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Some thoughts on strangers

Updated on August 10, 2011
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A smile, a laugh, a loving look,

A hand on the small of the back.

The faces imprinted on my memory

Of people I would take pleasure in

learning to know.


They take in the view;

They pause and pose for photographs,

Speaking a language I don't recognise.

I am already thinking of the moment

When they will get back in the car and

drive away.


We meet innumerable people in our lifetimes,

Most of whom we never see after the first promise.

The world is vast and brimming,

And it breaks my heart to realise

that I cannot know everyone in it.


People are beautiful, and their

relationships are a privilege to watch from a distance;

Even more so to witness close up.

I could watch people all day,

And never interrupt with my

blunt hello.

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    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Hi, Linda, I am so glad our friend Pearldiver made a comment, because I have been drawn to this hub again.

      I have just read it, and loved it as before, and read all the comments. This is such quality work... and your visitors.

      I got a little misty eyed when reading:

      "They pause and pose for photographs,

      Speaking a language I don't recognise.

      I am already thinking of the moment

      When they will get back in the car and

      drive away."

      Loved it, my friend,

      Ian

      x

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      So... here are some new words from a stranger, one whom simply walked into view unpretentiously and in a curious fashion.... This is an excellent work and certainly written in a style that flows far more and stronger, than those words which must stop to allow world order to occur, within a perceived belief that poetry should be the vehicle of that occurrence. Your words honor the subject well and provide the platform for many thought provoking reflections on being open to that human condition that we all cherish... friendship. Thank you for your words and talent... take care.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Thanks for visiting Colin and Hyphenbird :) I'm very pleased to get a few comments on this hub, as it was with some trepidation that I took the first steps into the writing of a real poem! So thank you for your lovely encouragement.

      Colin, those books sound beautiful. I now have three sets of Shakepeare's complete works, but the latest one I found is the prettiest. I also have some new lovely books of essays and short stories by Thackeray - he's one of my favourites. These new copies have real leather covers, with the gold leaf still visible at the edges of the papers, and when you open the books ... oh my, what a glorious sound of crinkling and crackling! I cannot wait to dive into them. But actually, I'll say no more about this, because I'm writing a hub on this sort of thing!

      Linda.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Strangers become friends or become even stranger. We never know until we try. I love this Hub.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ...also my mum when she was a little girl received a special prize at her school (in Scotland in the 30's)

      ...the complete works of Shakespeare - all 40 of them - in minature book format with complete printing inside - I would say they are the size of my big toe - lol - no kidding - quite a collector's item I would say and a family heirloom and my cat Mister Gabriel keeps knocking them over because he doesn't read or appreciate fine literature so I've had to put them up high and out of harm's way.

      lake erie time 7:04pm

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ..well you have certainly earned your title of LADY WORDSMITH - because I have always found you to be a writer's writer and I am quite a people watcher too (isn't any writer?) and I love to observe their body language lol lol - so yes, as always, your writing is fresh, spontaneous, witty, full of charm and a joy to read ...... lake erie time 6:58pm ontario canada -I sincerely hope you've had a safe and happy summer - as I live but 100 feet or so from the lake - my second home has been in the lake as we've had a fairly hot summer - but alas here comes fall in another month or so ......

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Think Kipling drank a pint’o two

      while he let’is words ring true

      ain’ Wordsworth fiddl’n with’is pen

      while he sat an sipped his gin

      n’ think birches bend without cost

      for o’r-old friend Robert Frost

      n’ ale taught us many a lesson

      through the pen of our dear Emerson

      there’s a bloke drank hisself mellow

      you know the one, that Longfellow

      n’old Poe gave us all a fright

      when he picked up pen to write

      all this to make you see

      it’s the writ’n that’s the key

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Why, thank you Michael. No, I haven't done many poems on here, for the simple reason that I haven't done many poems! This is actually only my second ever poem, if you don't count my few limericks. Of course, if you want to count my few limericks, then in total I've written about seven poems in my life.

      Thanks for the encouragement. I may write more, but I think I have to just wait for them to pop into my head - it could be a long wait!

      Linda.

    • michael ely profile image

      michael ely 6 years ago from Scotland

      Hi Linda, I thought that was excellent. Have you done many poems on here? I would definitely like to read more like this. Great stuff!

      Michael.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      You're quite right of course Mike - there's no need to be aiming for perfection all the time.

      Lx.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Well of course there is that method, Mike, Thanks a lot.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      you’re both overthinking the lot

      darn poem don’t need no plot

      just throw the words in a pot

      take’m out and see what ya got

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Well, that's encouraging then :) That you find it difficult to edit, I mean.

      I'm just pleased that I got some lines down that made a few people say 'aww, well done, good effort'! That's good enough for me with poetry. I am viewing poetry in a similar light to ascending a climbing wall - I want to do both, but am a little nervous that I'll be crap and fall off.

      No, I like that metaphor - that's probably why limericks appealed to me, because I could lead up to the punchline and then get a laugh (or a least a slightly amused hiss).

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I find it had to edit, Linda. Sometimes I find a line pops up out of nowhere, and before I know it it is rolling along collecting all sorts of analogies (because in my humble opinion that is what a poem is, either an analogy, or an amount of them bunged together,)

      I occasionally tweak, but once I start to edit, it goes.

      Happy hunting in the book shop.

      Obviously editing helps if there is a verse pattern, and it can be fun working on structure and rhyme and metre... but I only like thyme that is relevant,

      Call me crass, but I think a poem is very mush like a good joke, and the rhyme sometimes is the punchline... or a series of punchlines.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Thanks all for those kind comments. I am currently on holiday in the beautiful town of Alnwick, in Northumberland, where there is the most amazing and beautiful secondhand book shop called Barter Books. I am in my element - well, I am in my element when I can get a chance to browse its dusty shelves. I have paid one visit already, and will make another one or two before I leave. I spent an hour in there with my mum, and then my partner brought my children to meet us - to my absolute delight the boys were fascinated by the books, and wanted to buy some and wanted to know what all of the titles were and wanted to know why the books were so old and why they were so dusty and why they had a different smell. I have hope that they will become readers of real books!

      Anyway, I was going to say that I have written down all the names that you all mentioned, and will see if I can tick any of them off at Barter Books. I bought some titles from Everyman's Library, and am going to hunt out some more of them because they are exquisite.

      @Ian - you picked out the two bits that are the only bits I'm actually really happy about with this poem! 'pause and pose', and 'my blunt hello' - I thought that they were the only two actually poetic bits of the whole 'poem'. I would call this prose poetry, because it's really just my thoughts broken down into smaller lines to be made to look like a poem. I don't know if I could make it any better - I'm still lacking the skills to know how to edit and rethink a poem.

    • attemptedhumour profile image

      attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

      'A stranger, is a friend you haven't yet met', is a good motto, but as you so rightly point out you can't interact with every person strolling past you. You've created a nice diversion with this thought provoking little poem, as most folk like people watching. Cheers

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      I,m just going to say that I enjoyed that, and I agree with the sentiments expressed.

      Thanks Linda for a lovely poem.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 6 years ago from Shelton

      I'm not going to compare.. just click up and awesome great share :) Frank

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      You might as well add T. Lobsang Rampa and Hermann Hesse to the reading list. Just came back to vote awesome.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      i just wrote a mini hub to you and lost the lot.

      Try reading 'Childhood if a leader' and other stories. There is one in there which I loved... 'The Wall'. and while we're at it, try reading Irene Nemirovsky. I just discovered her last year, 'The Ball' is excellent.

      I have read 'The Age if Reason' and I liked it, it's part of a trilogy, I think called 'Les Chemins de la liberte' or some such frog stuff, but I ain't a frog so i read it in Englsih cos dats wot I reed in best.

      Yes, I liked 'Strangers' especially "pause and pose for photographs". Why is it that some groups of words in a particular place become haunting. So many images... and I liked "with my blunt hello" those few words carry so many meanings.

      Sometimes (when I was writing poetry) I would find groups of words that almost make me float, they are so beautiful. For others they may do nothing. that's what I mean when I say I am almost my favourite poet... I writer for myself, and if others like them it's a bonus... but they have to be special people. Not the ones who tick the awesome button for everything.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Your Hub reminded me of ‘All My Friends are Going to be Strangers’, by Larry McMurtry, just the opposite sentiment. Sarte is a slippery slope to Camus, then there is an emptiness.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      What do you think? 'Existentialism and Humanism', or 'The Age of Reason'? Which one shall I try first?

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image
      Author

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Jean Paul Sartre - another writer I've heard of but never read. I am shame-faced.

      I have decided to consider you my mentor. I am going to find some Sartre right away. Here begins my real education!

      Look forward to reading your thoughts on strangers :)

      Lx.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Linda, I like it. It reminds me so much of a book of short stories I read about a million years ago, and then again, last Summer,

      The book was by Jean Paul Sartre, and I know his stories are sometimes bleak, but this isn't. It's pensive, it's the way my mind works, some times. it's introspective.

      Voted up.