Sunday, August 2, 2015

Poets United: The Lonely Hours

girl in woods


THE LONELY HOURS

We have purged wonder, sitting alone with the silent furniture
in our dressing gowns
with our firewalls and collecting of Friends
like gold medallions
crafting big words in a Godless code, but saying nothing
spilling our souls from virtual thrones, but no one's listening

There's a loneliness that beats like a second heart
wireless illusions leave us uninspired, so very tired
at the break of dawn, sleeping with the TV on
playing pretend with our stories
exporting our seeming, deleting our being,
queuing up our sticks and stones to throw

The doves with tender eyes have gone blind, and
we don't seem to mind
communion with the stars has gone, and we with
our cyber wiles, our encrypted smiles and faux glories
reveling in this hum on the earth, this
"you show me your ego and I'll trump yours with mine"

The trees still know everything, outside our curtained windows
offering up their holy treasures to ears gone deaf
to their lessons...and their hearts must break, as they wait
in every wood, lonely for us listening souls
with our closed off minds, our tightly closed blinds,
our numbing escape from the sacred flow.

© Sherri Brannon 2015


The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention. ~Kevin Kelly

I've been wanting to write a poem about social media and technology for a long time...let me first say that I love my iPad and iPhone for all the wonderful things it allows me to do. I love the interaction with fellow photographers and poets in the online world. My iPad and iPhone have become the prime source of all my creativity...amazing! That's the positive side of technology, and I'm extremely grateful for it.

This poem is more about the addictive, toxic side of the worldwide web...it's a fine line that's very easy to cross. It's the side that makes us feel rushed and unable to listen or take notice of life beyond the screen. Too much technology can make us feel disconnected. Too much social media interaction can deplete us with its "my life is perfect" presence. It can also be a vast playground for bullies and cruelty. It can be a bit soulless, and big with ego.

For the photo above, I used an Unsplash photo and edited it with apps on my iPad. I used Brushstroke to make it more painterly, DistressedFX to add the birds, and Repix to add the stars. Stackables helped me make it more moody. Even though it was a completely separate project, I was pleasantly surprised to realize it tied in really well with the fourth stanza of my poem. Unsplash.com releases photos each month that are public domain and can be freely used however you'd like - check it out, it's a great site.

Thanks so much for stopping by - this is the first poem I've written since last November. I was sad about it, but several weeks ago I just started writing and it all flooded back...the poems never go away, they just patiently wait for the writer. It feels good to be writing again!

I'm linking up today with Poets United. Click HERE to visit and see some wonderful poetry.

28 comments:

  1. Indeed so many sit with their internet collection of friends and ignore the true beauty in one's environment. Your poem expresses the virtual loneliness of that phenomenum so well. Sad when one communes more with one's devices than with the stars, when one keeps one's curtains closed to all that is outside. Your poem is a wake-up call. Bravo!

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  2. What a thoughtful post - it certainly feels like no one is listening at times...but i think there is always someone there willing to hear/read/understand our thoughts and words

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  3. "We have purged wonder"...the most dangerous thing to live a life of fulfillment in the true sense and slowly nurturing alienation that would ultimately kill us...a very timely poem..."The doves with tender eyes have gone blind, and / we don't seem to mind" this is one heartbreaking image....

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  4. Wow. After so much time away from poeming, and this is one of your best, I think! This should be published in some volume somewhere.

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  5. I love this poem! I take this kind of activity in spurts..I'll spend a lot of time indoors uploading working/editing my photos..This kind of work/play makes me feel productive and relaxed if I come up with something that I am pleased with..When the weather isn't hot and humid, I find my self hiking the the woods or strolling on the beach..
    I too am grateful for internet...Even TV has its limited uses..Both can make passing the time easier if one is shut in due to illness/mobility issues and doesn't live near family..I agree, there is always someone willing to hear/read/understand our thoughts and words for that amount of time that they are able to spare...If we are willing to cross certain time or physical constraints in efforts to interact (aka being at a certain place, certain time )...This seems to work for online contact or face to face contact..

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  6. WOW! I think this is the best poem I've read all week. It is so good to see you posting again and your writing of this poem is stellar. You must know how completely I resonate with its message. So many wonderful images and phrases: "we have purged wonder":, "there's a loneliness that feels like a second heart", "the doves with tender eyes have gone blind." Wowzers, kiddo, way to write a poem!!!!!!!

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  7. Welcome back!! the picture is fabulous and your poem too. Indeed, in the fast technology paced world we need to draw line between reel and real.

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  8. Sherri, I sent an email to the link supplied on your site and it was rejected - do you have a new one? could you please email me at WildWoman2@shaw.ca???? Thanks, kiddo.

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    1. Sherry, I got the email - and responded! :)

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  9. I agree our poems do wait for us....fabulous image and poem. I have been careful to pull away from social media....no cell phone or ipad...just a laptop....but yet I can get caught in technology forsaking sleep and nature....glad you are back!

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  10. Your ending stanza is superb:

    The trees still know everything, outside our curtained windows
    offering up their holy treasures to ears gone deaf

    Awesome photo and lines reminding us where the sacred is (and its not in our computer) ~

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  11. Nice to be reminded the trees are waiting! I love the photo too, and thank you for describing your process. I didn't know about any of those iPad apps; now I want them all!

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  12. Love the line about collecting Friends like gold medallions ... so true, one of the reasons I left Facebook. Most are "fake" friends just trying to get numbers up. Excellent poem with a strong message.

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  13. This is outstanding. How I agree with your every word. It is far better to talk to the trees than voluntarily enter the insane asylum of FB.

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  14. Your photo is gorgeous and this poem is brilliantly written......"queuing up our sticks and stones to throw"..wow.

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  15. This is the best thing I've read! I feel the same way. We've taken ourselves out of nature and submerged ourselves in screens. The heart just can not simply grow fully that way. I feel your words on so many levels. Such a great write!!

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  16. Social media should be unplugged some times.

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  17. Oh Sherri, this is crazy good! You're right. The poems will always be there. You came back with a bang and your edit is superb. I did a post on social media about a month ago. It was kind of a spoof but I was serious.

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  18. The trees still know everything, outside our curtained windows
    offering up their holy treasures to ears gone deaf

    There are lots going on outside and we still insist in working with our devices. We are in our own world with friends but still lonely. Thoughtful write Sherri!

    Hank

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  19. A very relevant one... Nicely written :)

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  20. Beautiful photo and meaningful writing.

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  21. This post definitely caught my eye. The topic, the image, the emptiness implied by your excellent poem. Such a wonderful combinatioon of themes to contemplate. Thank you! you have a rich blog indeed!

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  22. I think this is such an excellent poem Sherri!! I've never seen anyone write about this subject in this way, and so elegantly too. Social media and technology is soooo fascinating and also ideal for many people who are already feeling lonely, but....life is still out there, the trees are waiting for us....that almost had me in tears thinking of that. Such a good point, and probably more true than we could ever imagine! :o(

    Thank you so much for contacting me some time ago on The Writing Garden about your poetry and photography/art. I'm so sorry it's taken me a terribly long time to get back to you. I have my own WordPress blog and a few other writing pages, plus The Writing Garden takes a great deal of my time arranging all the pieces for each issue - everything takes so long! Anyway, I finally got back to you, and what a gorgeous blog and beautiful writing you have on here - I've had trouble choosing it's so good! Would I be able to publish this brilliant poem in the November issue of The Writing Garden, and also include your stunning image too? Love that photoart you have created!!

    I usually give writers a link to the website at this stage, but I know you've seen the magazine. An answer here should be sufficient, but if you need to, please do contact me at the writing garden and I can email you back if you prefer. If you need a link to the magazine there are lots of links on my G+ page.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!
    Suzy :o)

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    1. Suzy, I'm sorry for the delay - I've had company recently and have had very little computer time, so I'm just now seeing this. I would be honored if you wanted to publish my poem in November - thank you! I'll also leave a message at your Writing Garden site. I appreciate your kind words - they truly make my day. <3

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    2. No worries about delays, goodness, it takes me ages to get back to messages sometimes. And there must always be time for real life! ;o)

      That's great news Sherri, thank you for letting me publish your lovely writing! And would it be okay to use the image too? I noticed after I posted my first message here you had said the image was from Unsplash but edited by yourself. I went on quite a trip after that, I'd never heard of Unsplash - what a wonderful website! I'm sure that will come in very useful for The Writing Garden, as sometimes I find it difficult to get the right image for a poem or story. After finding Unsplash I discovered a whole load of other copyright free photography websites too. So thank you for mentioning the name of that website, I feel I'm even more better equipped at finding the best image.

      The next issue will be early November, so as soon as it's published I shall get back to you with a link. You may see it before I get back to you, no problem, it's just something I do, to make sure everyone involved knows their work has been published.

      Thanks again Sherri, looking forward to publishing your work! :o)

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    3. Oh yes, it's absolutely OK to use my image. Isn't Unsplash amazing? I love them! Thanks for getting back to me with a link when the time comes - I look forward to it. Thanks again! :)

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