Loneliness is having to light a cigarette by myself

In a tidy room with the radio turned on.

A man is announcing the news

But he can’t see that I am laughing at him.

There are sixty new cases of typhoid in Aberdeen

And no-one here to say ‘how terrible’!

Loneliness is making only one cup of coffee

And it is me killing a spider!

It is looking at photographs and listening to certain records and reading old letters.

But more than these, it is thinking about

People and how they can’t be trusted –

Not even myself.  Probably there is

Nothing that really lasts.  Nothing

Permanent, nor anything to insure against loneliness.

It is man’s inherent quality

And is the most certain fact in the world.

Among all our doubts this is something

Which we can believe.  If only

It were not so terrible.

May 1964



4 thoughts on “Loneliness

  1. Yes, but it happened gradually over decades and I got used to it and learned how to concentrate on all the things I can still enjoy. With sub-titles and all today’s technologies there has never been an easier time to be deaf in history.

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