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Loneliness

“Your task is not to seek for love,
  but merely to seek and find all the barriers
  within yourself that you have built against it.”
    ~ Jelaluddin Rumi

He sits at the table and watches the shoppers walk by
There aren’t many seats here, his half-hour limit’s long past
As one by one each worker chats with him; they know this guy
He offers them something for which they could never have asked
Is he all alone but for these times where these grocery carts
Roll blind past this spot where store patrons with sandwiches sit
How much does it matter: he touches the store workers’ hearts
As he in time opens his heart to them too, bit by bit

We need much more than loose companionship: each needs someone
Moment to moment — if you neglect this basic need
And find yourself lulled fast asleep in the Florida sun
The others who share the beach with you will pay you no heed
Your skin that was once yearning warmth having found itself burned
Though long you’d been caught in the thought that you hardly had much
Real need for another — your heart was blocked till you discerned
The pain forcing you to withdraw your own wound-healing touch

Loneliness thus begets loneliness through lack of flow
Leaving society toxic and cold, though aren’t we
Some of the most social creatures: you think we would know
Given the size of our brains that we’ll never be free
To live in our grand isolation — say is it not sad
That we who’ve accomplished so much remain cruelly alone
In safety behind our four walls or four doors, for we’ve had
So many a fear we may act like our hearts are of stone

Most folks are either religious or distant, I think
Though there sure is joy in connecting with someone untamed
If you can sell such on your pat ideas, you may well drink
One and all from the same cup; how could instinct be blamed
For scorn and exclusion of real individualists
Don’t we know strangers whose ways of life cause them to be
Left to themselves with their thoughts — why they’d hardly be missed
That’s why it’s trouble to live as a visionary

He sits at the table: what is he, a healer a saint
Or maybe Kieslowski’s calm witness of silent insight
Observing the Decalogue unfold without the least taint
Of any least judgment, since all of us know our own plight
If you would engage him in talk would you hear unique thoughts
Or would you yet cover him up in the news of the day
And squelch him clear out with a barrel of shoulds woulds and oughts
So leave him there lonely since he’ll never know you that way

Thanks always returns

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