Loneliness Poem

Loneliness Poem By Sue Ellson Alexandra Gardens Kew Melbourne Victoria Australia

Loneliness Poem

By Sue Ellson

 

Lonely without connection
Lonely on my own
Lonely is a perception
Outside my comfort zone

 

Without any distractions
My addictions and replacements
It sneaks up silently and unwelcome
In all kinds of different places

 

I could be home alone
Or out in a large crowd
I could be wearing a mask
Trapped by what’s allowed

 

I could be my own best friend
And do what brings me joy
But when I feel loneliness
Company is my best decoy

 

So I’ll acknowledge my displeasure
I’ll consider all my choices
I’m sure I could go outside
And find some local voices

 

I’ll smile as I walk the streets
I’ll casually say hello
I might even borrow a dog
Who can join me as I go

 

I can visit the local shops
I can catch a bus or train
I’m sure to find some passengers
To get me talking again

 

I can call a long lost friend
No matter how long it has been
Someone with grey hair
Is likely to be pretty keen

 

For in our conversation
We’ll remember little stories
Our friendly interaction
Will free us from our worries

 

To truly be content
I’ll manage the ups and downs
And if I feel a little lonely
I’ll adjust my current surrounds

 

I’ll take some action steps
But be kind along the way
I know the feeling will pass
If I start with a cheerful gidday!

 

 

I learnt what it was like to be lonely when I moved interstate way back in 1994. I left a career, a family, friends and familiarity. When I arrived in Melbourne, I faced several challenges and I really felt lonely. So much so that I created the social enterprise Newcomers Network so that other people moving would not face the same challenges I did.

I hosted free monthly ‘Welcome to Melbourne’ events for almost 20 years and at each of those events, I would discuss how making friends was the most important step for settling in a new location. I would often recommend that people ‘borrow a dog’ and take it for a walk (provided you have the owner’s permission, you know its name, breed and age and are willing to pick up its poo) as people are much more likely to talk to you if you have a dog with you.

My other strategy was to encourage newcomers to talk to people ‘with grey hair.’ This is not to say that you shouldn’t talk to people without grey hair! It is just that older people are usually quite happy to have a chat, about anything from the weather to your worries. After all, they have probably lived through very similar experiences and will probably have some wisdom they can share.

Today, all these years later, I went out to see a music concert on my own. Yes, I was alone, and for a few moments, I also felt ‘lonely.’ But then I realised that I wasn’t looking after anyone else and I could do as I please. So after the concert, I went for a walk and stopped and paused wherever I wanted. I came home and did several other things I enjoyed and I have chatted to one of my children and engaged with various people online.

When you have a strategy for dealing with the ups and downs of life, you can find a way to manage the moments that may have challenged you in the past. Yes, I did feel lonely today and I was alone. But I know that I have choices and I don’t have to suffer from loneliness. I hope this poem provides you with some solace and some strategies. With love, Sue Ellson 🙂

Photo is of Alexandra Gardens in Kew, Melbourne, Victoria where I went walking today, 16 June 2024

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