This poem was inspired by my regular commuter trips into Wellington. Wellington Station is quite beautiful, and becomes a hub of activity at peak times when people are filing into the express supermarket, in line for ticket purchases, wanting to register items at the lost and found desk, and generally rushing to get to work on time. If in your own busyness you pause and take a moment to look, really look, you will observe the people who aren’t rushing. They are sitting quietly on benches observing, almost as if they are basking in the lives and energy of the crowd – seeking to absorb some for themselves.

They are the buskers who’s set have ended with only a handful of coins, the people with no particular place to be. The people who need to get out of their small Council flats, or the off the cold concrete of the city’s hidden sleeping places.

Loneliness sits on a bench at the railway station 
Let me have a moment of your time 
We could talk about life, politics, any topic would be fine 
There is so much I want to say 
I've been saving up for today 
I could tell you about Ralph, the dog I used to own 
I had to give him up when I lost my home 
There are so many questions I have for you 
What's your name, what do you do? 
Where are you from? 
Are you staying here long? 

But I sit here quietly 
Keeping my words just to me 
I know the social rules 
The don'ts, some of the 'does' 
People don't smile or make eye contact anymore 
They walk quickly from differences, wishing to ignore 
We are like individual cells in the honeycomb 
Separated by walls, part of the same home. 
Where are you from? 
Are you staying here long? 

The metal bench is starting to become uncomfortable 
You know, they design them that way, it's intentional 
The pigeons are flying around the atrium ceiling 
I am just sitting here, lost in a feeling 
I should leave and go for a walk 
Put headphones on so I can talk 
To an imaginary friend 
Questions I will to ask them: 
Where are you from? 
Are you staying here long?  

Photo by Alotrobo on Pexels.com

One thought on “Loneliness

  1. So true. Those souls, so many stories…

    Love how you have captured the melancholy and the feeling of loneliness despite surrounded by people, in the rhythm of your words.


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