Tuesday, 17 February 2015


“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.” - May Sarton

Poetry Jam this week has set the theme of Loneliness/Solitude as a prompt for poetic outpourings.

Some people find themselves alone and immediately search for companionship, failing to differentiate between the two strikingly different faces of being alone: The self sufficiency of solitude and the gnawing pain of loneliness. It is a terrible thing when we have no choice in the matter – when we start by enjoying our solitude, but then as it turns into loneliness, we have no recourse to companionship…

Here is my offering:

The Castaway’s Island

the shipwreck

the survivor
–cruel sea!–
the laughing witch
the blue-green island
the ever moving waves
the hypnotising murmurs

the castaway

the solitudes
–gentle sea!–
the kind, lucid days
the island a prison of gold
the sunsets gilded yellow
the twilights violent violet

the shipwreck

the memories
–dark crystal sea!–
the impassive lizard
the island of a ghostly love
the palms battered by the wind
night awakening the shadows

The castaway:

A lonely death…
–Cruel, endless sea!–
Bleached bones on golden sands;
The island solitary, pitiless, self-serving
While on the horizon, deriding hope,
White sails of a ship appear.


  1. your wonderful images describe solitude and loneliness so aptly...dark images are chilling even the "White sails of a ship" appear dark.....

  2. Shipwrecks and Castaways powerful images of the way we choose to live life. Life can be cruel, but like the sea it can give life. All lot here that really makes one think....

  3. Your poem made me think of all the castaway stories and tales of world literature. It seems to be a theme man likes to ponder on. Maybe because when man is alone with himself he can truly wonder what or who he is.

  4. luv that May Sarton quote
    yes i agree hope abides in solitude but in loneliness only despair

    much love...

  5. i take it you caw the tom hanks movie castaway...
    forced solitude would be so hard...i take such energy
    from others --- i imagine it might drive you a bit crazy....

  6. Interesting to think how one might feel if they were a soul survivor on an island.
    Perhaps at first one would appreciate the solitude, but after a while it might
    turn very lonely indeed. Sad that in the end he seems to die....just before
    there is a rescuing ship on the horizon.

  7. I enjoyed the contrasts in this. I am sure I would have many conflicting feelings about being alone on an island.

  8. Such a touching poem.
    The ship appears after he has waited & then is no more...
    Castaways have lonely lives indeed.

  9. I love the line pattern here; the different contrasting lines describing the sea is so effective. Color, texture, emotion combine so well in your work.

  10. Nicholas,

    Your poem is a journey through the many facets of solitude and loneliness. The personal satisfaction in being alone and content with one's own company. Isolation can impact and suddenly 'the charm.' of being alone, can wear thin...That shipwrecked and abandoned sense, is a different isolation...One then does not notice the surroundings of one's lonely placement...A superb journey..


  11. I hate to tell you what error I made in reading this the first few times (I am laughing aloud at myself now! Duh!). It all makes so much more sense when you read it correctly..."sea!" not "seal"... I just didn't get it when I was saying "seal". You try it. Nope, doesn't make sense, but kind of close. Now that I'm reading it correctly - Wow! I love it. (and I get it!)

  12. …this wouldn't make a satisfying movie ending, but it does paint what probably happens most often! very well written - I could 'see" it all.

  13. Yes at times, we make our own choices, and then left with no options....How the same boon turns into a curse.....Beautifully penned !!