The dispossessed

faded-beauty-2Where do they go, the faces of youth?
The smiles and laughter,
The sparkling eyes
And witty conversation?
They are lost in the silence
Of forgotten solitude;
Of endless days
And sleepless nights
When the mouth never opens
Except for tea
And pills that keep alive
The empty shell.

Where have they gone,
The minds that wander?
Back to the pastures of childhood
Or a first nervous kiss?
To the babe in arms
And its laughter,
Eye to eye in delight?
Or the last touch of lips
On eyes that have closed
And will not open;
Eyes that shared secrets
Of love and pain.

Where have they gone,
The blushing brides
And tall young men?
Are they forgotten
In the scent of lilies
And stale cigarettes,
Their faces, too weary
To hold their shape,
Reaching already for the grave
For want of a smile?
The sparkle lost
To desuetude.

Voices crack from disuse
No-one listens
And nobody comes
To hear them speak.
They murmur prayers
Softly to the night…
To fill the silence…
Companionship of shadows
And the ticking clock,
As their hands stroke the pet
That died long ago
And left them;
Alone.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to The dispossessed

  1. Susan Scott says:

    Pretty powerful Sue thank you –

    Like

  2. Leeby Geeby says:

    Very touching stuff. The closing line lingers like dust motes that swirl in a blade of sunlight with the pattern of something that has moved through them but is no longer there. Beautifully haunting.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Thanks, Leeby. Age comes to us all…if we are lucky. And if we are lucky, it won’t be this way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Leeby Geeby says:

        Your welcome. I think it depends what we’ve cultivated in life, if we have remained active participants in our communities we will be surrounded by friends. A lot of elderly people consign themselves to the scrapheap because of the overemphasis on youth. Living in Japan has really changed my view because its so much more common to see healthy and active elderly people doing meaningful stuff in the community. And I think that is exactly why they live so long. That and the amazing traditional diet.

        Like

        • Sue Vincent says:

          I agree, Leeby. Community here is not the same as it was. Neighbours don’t know each other, families have moved away…and youth is valued over rich experience most of the time.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Leeby Geeby says:

            Sorry to hear that. Young people forget that they will get older one day too. We need to do what we can to rekindle the innate wisdom of our ancestors and keep those traditions alive and flowing, present and visible. More than just the token oldie trying to hob knob with the yunguns. But a real presence in their own right and being respected for that.

            Like

            • Sue Vincent says:

              It is odd, because it is just those who are accepted for the wisdom of their years who are the most respected. I think there is something deeply ingrained in us that sees that…yet society, as it often does, goes against nature in favour of a ‘fashion’.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Leeby Geeby says:

                Yes, consumer forces are a big driver. Planned obselesence sadly seems to creep in everywhere. Newness for newness sake without reflecting on what’s worth keeping. Perhaps younger people may also feel that they inherited a bum rap from their elders, so why should they listen to them. But the older generation were young when they made the world what it was. So it’s not so much, “we know better,” but hey we were idiots once too, and heres how to learn from it (as opposed what to learn from it) Let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater and be great co-creators and ditch the ageist nonsense, because darling young ones you too will inherit the world of your youth. Don’t wait till you are old to find out that you didn’t cherish your elders enough.

                Like

  3. besonian says:

    Desperately sad, Sue, though spot-on. And beautifully written. I often think of the unacknowledged and untapped founts of experience and wisdom that must lie simply rotting away like this in our society. And memories are OK. But they’re only thoughts – not reality. I’m reminded of the words of Edna O’Brien when she spoke of ‘the poisonous itch of nostalgia’.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      It is sad, Jeff. I have met so many older people, just quietly fading for want of someone to talk to…their stories are our own history and we lose so much by relegating them to forgotten corners of society.

      Like

  4. Charles says:

    Poignant questing that seeks answers in the deepest soul. Thank you Sue

    Like

  5. Powerful and sad! Lonely!

    Like

  6. Beautifully expressed…the sadness, the loneliness. We should do better by these folks…they are us.

    Like

  7. Beautiful and so tragic, Sue. ❤

    Like

  8. This is a very sad poem, Sue. It breaks my heart to think of elderly people left alone. We try very hard to see our parents on both sides as much as possible.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      The research on loneliness paints a very stark picture… and sadly our societies are becoming more and more fractured, with fewer family members able to ‘be there’ for older relatives.

      Like

  9. So sad to think some experience this in senior years.

    Like

  10. Eliza Waters says:

    Oh, unspeakably sad. And so true of many of our seniors.

    Like

  11. A heartrending piece on aging and loneliness, Sue. Good writing. —- Suzanne

    Like

  12. Dalo 2013 says:

    There is something powerful in memories…be it in the dust of the past, dust of the stars. Memories hold energy, and your words bring the sadness and loneliness of the world. Beautiful.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      A memory shared continues to live, long after the hand that holds it has faded. I hold the memories of generations, having been blessed to know the ones that came before. It is sad to see so many people fade, unable to share their own.

      Like

  13. How very sad, Sue. I am sure there are many people that could relate to this though.

    Like

  14. dgkaye says:

    Haunting, and sad Sue, but once again beautifully written. ❤

    Like

  15. Zinni says:

    Where have the gone? With poetry to do so much! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s