The clock and I

11.11.2019

Following completion of our Loneliness Lock-In recently, the Minister of New Parks Methodist Church – Steve Clark – wrote a poem capturing his experience and reflections of life for those who experience loneliness on a regular basis.  Steve has kindly agreed for this to be published………..

 

The Clock and I

Another day begins – what will it bring?
Same old, same old, no doubt.
I slowly rise, get dressed, make breakfast,
Tea with toast and marmalade –
Traditions are some comfort.

Breakfast over, I sit and wait –
For what? I wonder.
The old clock seems loud today –
Tick-tock, tick-tock.
The hands are moving, but O, so slowly
Tempus certainly fugits not today!

Another day, another day,
Just like yesterday and the day before.
I dream, just for a moment,
Of days gone by –
A house full of noise, chatter, laughter,
Even arguments at times.
Those really were the days.

But they’ve long gone,
A faded memory.
The days are silent now (if you ignore the clock),
No highlights, no conversations, no purpose?
Tick-tock, tick-tock.

“What about me?” my friend the telly asks,
“I keep you entertained, don’t I?”
Yes, there is some truth in that,
But even your attractions are less strong,
And when I watch, I often fall asleep.

Suddenly I hear the door – a caller?
But no, it is the letter box.
A letter from a friend?
Eagerly I rise to see,
But only disappointment greets me:
Some junk mail and a bill.
What happened to the days when friends wrote letters?
Even such a small thing would bring joy.
Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Half way through the morning – is that all?
A coffee and a biscuit – comfort food.
Homes Under the Hammer, but even
Dion’s jokes fall flat today.
Roll on lunchtime; I sit and wait
And as I sit, immobile, a chill comes over me.
A dull, grey, cold autumnal day outside,
And maybe inside, too.

Lunch over, the afternoon ahead.
A silence so profound around me and within;
They say that it is golden
But now it seems so tarnished.
I give thanks even for tick-tock.

‘Cooped up’ – an apt description of me now.
Perhaps I ought to venture out,
But what to say to passing strangers?
I’ve lost the art of gentle conversation.
And would these old and weary legs
Still carry me from A to B and back?

And so I stay, and sit, and wait
As time grinds slowly on.
“They also serve who only sit and wait”
But how can I serve? I ponder in my mind.
I cannot see a purpose for me now.
Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Yet God is here, I often feel him near me.
I’ve known his loving presence through the years
And I have loved and served him as I could.
What is the way of service for me now?
Yes, I can pray, and do,
It comforts me to know that prayer does make a difference.
I talk to God and he to me,
Yet still I crave some audible conversation.

And there are times I ask that God
Would take me to himself.
I feel my earthly course is run
And yearn to be in heaven,
Where pain and tears and loneliness will cease.
I wait his call, and so the day goes on.
Patience is my calling, but it’s hard.
Tick-tock, tick-tock.

The phone! The phone!
My heart leaps in anticipation.
A friend? A relative? A conversation!
“Hello, this is your internet service provider”
And with those words, frustration fills my soul.
A happy chat would make my day,
But nuisance calls just leave me feeling empty.

There was a time I was an avid reader
And still I try,
Though concentration is elusive
And my eyesight is not what it was.
I soon grow drowsy,
But try to keep the sleep at bay
Or I would lie awake through the long, dark night.
Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Not all is doom and gloom, of course,
For many times my mind drifts back
To happy days,
And I give thanks to God
For all that I’ve lived through,
And precious memories of life and love.

For I’ve been blessed in many ways
And I recall a song my mother used to sing,
Which urged us, “Count your blessing”
And I do.
Memories – treasured
And yet a source of pain, for they are from the past
And I live in the here and now.
Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Now the darkness falls outside,
Another day alone, me and the ticking clock.
No human conversation, no touch, no smile, no face to see.
It’s early evening, still, but I feel tired
And not a little sad.
I’ll go to bed and hope and pray
Tomorrow will be better, we shall see.

Steve Clark

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