I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

16 April 2015

My Folly

Left alone
to find my single self,
I thought I'd need to build
a new identity.

I constructed Widow:
elderly, grieving,
coming to terms;
just me and my cats.

I called this
'learning to be with me'.
I'd never lived
alone before.

Except for those cats.
Then one of them died.
Now it was just
her brother and me.

We clung to each other,
bonded more fiercely.
I refined my construct:
old witch with black cat.

When a very nice man
spoke of new friendship,
I missed whatever hint
he might have meant.

I blathered on, about 
how my cat had become
my Significant Other.
Now that man doesn't call.

I did need time for myself.
I needed self-sufficiency. But
I never meant to construct

For 'Poems in April' at 'imaginary garden with real toads', we were asked to write about a folly — some foolish or eccentric construction to satisfy one's own whim (well, that's my definition and I'm sticking to it). 

I'm also submitting this one to Midweek Motif at Poets United, which this week offers the topic, Foolishness.


  1. Yes--an odd conflation occurred unplanned between folly and foolishness at our two sites. Love it! And this poem--I love it too. From construct to construct we ease into a comfortable identity--perhaps just masks--for a living human within with the same human desires we had while young. You capture it well.

  2. We sometimes don't know what we are building until we are living in it. Perhaps you can now start to deconstruct loneliness. Beautiful poem

  3. I think there are many ways to construct loneliness.. Maybe we manage to design it in the middle of a crowd, maybe all alone.

  4. This is deep. I would not negate the importance of the cat(s) in preventing loneliness. I would rather live alone with my cats than in an empty marriage or create a new relationship with one who did not see their value in my life. ^.^

  5. Lydia makes sense. There is a name, "on the rebound," and I have seen it be okay and then other times when all were bets off. Of course I am a guy so my role can be more on the obvious prowl.
    But three years after the BIG split I still wasn't looking for anyone. I met Mrs. Jim at our landlady's quarterly supper and she was different. But still I was in no hurry. Somehow one time she was a little out of my presumed character for her at just the right time. After that we 'clicked.'
    BTW, I wasn't supposed to be at that supper, I was back in school and had class that night. But the teacher took roll and let us all go. I headed for a free meal, she was sitting at my roommate's table knowing that there was a possibility that I might come (per the roommate's girl friend).

    1. Nice story, Jim. Thanks for telling it. I haven't been looking either (and I'm still not sure if that man was). I'm probably not quite ready to move on yet anyway, hut the fact that I can now, however belatedly, entertain the possibility, is interesting. I have told the Guys Upstairs, 'Well if you want something to happen, you'll have to bring it about. I'm not doing any chasing.'

    2. Ha, I like that, Rosemary. Anyway if he was put off that easily, his loss. LOL. I love this poem, because I so resonate with "learning to be with me". Was the hardest - and the best - lesson I learned this lifetime I think.

  6. This is really sort of sad, but unfortunately something I can also relate to... Opens up a whole can of emotional worms for me. Wonderful!

  7. This is such a wonderful poem...... so heart-warming :D
    May loneliness never bother you! And may happiness always find its way to you :)
    Have a great week ahead! Much love,

  8. A very intriguing account of 'folly', but in the end, one that I can only perceive as wise, since the process was a learning one.


  9. What a folly ....which made u learner at the end of the day...
    Its good be lonely with our own follies rather than being in company.

  10. Oh dear-- and yet maybe you weren't ready and the cat was enough for then. Anyone--he should have persisted if serious! It is very hard being alone, and I have a great deal of sympathy--you do have a company of writers! (in a sense.) Not the same though when feet are cold. k. (manicddaily)

    1. I have many good friends, and my cat shares my bed! :)

  11. " how my cat had become / my Significant Other."...that's no folly surely...

  12. How poignant this is - yet I sense hope in the wisdom that the poem finds x

  13. This poem made me sad really, that this man stopped calling. Very poignant and honest. I think that many times people 'construct loneliness' in their own ways....unintentionally.

  14. I think whatever or whomever gives us comfort and peace is greatly missed...irreplaceable for a time maybe but hopefully there becomes room for something else?

  15. It's easy to do, and once its constructed, it is a Folly that is hard to pull down. This is insightful and straightforward, and one ends hoping something comes of the narrator's realization of what she's done. Thanks for participating, Rosemary.

  16. I've never lived alone, been married forever. But many of my friends are single and I have such respect and admiration for how courageously they live. They all have dogs, but would like a human companion as well. It sounds like you're going with the flow, open to what life has to offer.

  17. Missing the hints others give isn't foolish it's just being human.

  18. Awww...cats and dogs are anyway welcome as sleeping partners in our house. so it is not surprising that a big population is letting them enjoy a comfortable night of sleep!!
    To me, missing the hint was not at all foolish ;-) LOL...
    Loved it and loved you for doing this, Rosemary! :-)

  19. luv the skilled use of metaphor; really good write

    much love...

  20. I think many of us tend to construct personas for ourselves. This is a very thoughtful, self-aware piece, Rosemary. I hope now you can construct some paths through the lonliness. xx

  21. Self reliance and being happy with oneself are important indeed though...your closing is very effective.

  22. Oh no! But you've seen your folly (and many don't) so now you can correct it.

    1. Well, I can make sure to be more attentive in my listening and careful in my speaking in future. I am still not sure if this very new acquaintance was really trying to sus out the possibilities; and there could be many good reasons for him not being in touch since, including that perhaps he wasn't interested in the first place! So I'm not going to try and mend any fences there, for fear of making an absolute fool of myself — will just be cordial and polite if I run across him again.

    2. You are an experienced woman and you know if someone is interested or not You don't need anyone who is not certain of what they want or what they are doing. Cats are adorable companions. Men aren't bad either...one will come your way if you want it. :)

  23. We certainly need time for ourselves ~ Well there will be another opportunity to make new friends, smiles ~ Hey, sometimes we blabber without thinking of the consequences ~ It happens, we move on~


  24. I think we can be lonely even in a crowded place as we sometimes do construct that wall to protect ourselves from hurt.

  25. Rosemary,

    This is sad, but very honest, when faced with the journey of life, being alone. I understand your hesitancy with other companions, at least too soon...I'm sure that the foolishness may rest with the impatient man!! Cats are generally less demanding...