The clock and I


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

Chaplaincy Training Course

We are excited to be running the second chaplaincy course after easter in collaboration with Anna Chaplaincy. This follows a successful pilot course which ran from November to December 2023 and was attended by eight volunteers...

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