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The Room is Empty: A Poem

Updated on March 15, 2011

The Inner Voice Screams

 

Sometimes life’s events just lend themselves to poetry.  Many experiences are so beautiful they make your heart cry out with joy.  Our spirits are lifted upward by the magnificence we have witnessed, and we hope to share the feeling with others through our words.  At other times situations are troubling and necessitate a more indirect expression to be processed and shared.  Poetry lends itself to these darker moments, as well.  Its cathartic benefits provide an outlet for the inner voice, screaming to be heard. 

My inner voice is screaming today, and I wish to share the words that are demanding to be expressed.  In their sharing, I offer thanks to someone who has pushed me to put myself out there with my words and images.  Your courage emboldens me.

The Room is Empty: Images

The dishes remain
The dishes remain
The refrigerator is empty
The refrigerator is empty
The television still runs
The television still runs
A little boy's room
A little boy's room
He sits upright and stares ahead
He sits upright and stares ahead

The Room is Empty

Newspapers are scattered across the floor of his living room.

Dishes from a meal he ate without tasting litter his coffee table.

A fan circulates air throughout the room, flipping pages of a nearby magazine with its steady breeze.

The room is empty.

Bottles of aspirin and antacids line the kitchen counter.

The refrigerator is empty except for milk, frozen foods, and ketchup.

The clock on the wall was never set back, even though Daylight Savings Time ended days ago.

The sheets on his bed are twisted and sweaty.

An old-style answering machine blinks three times, alerting him to telephone messages he never listened to.

The television runs, offering four hour blocks of “Roseanne,” “M*A*S*H,” or “The Andy Griffith Show.”

He sits upright in bed, resting one arm upon his knee, staring straight ahead.

His eyes are dry from lack of sleep.

He has not moved for hours, save for the rise and fall of his chest as his lungs fill with air.

A young boy’s room is next to his own, wallpaper adorned with puppies.

The bed is made—the sheets clean, white, and pressed.

A teddy bear rests in the seat of a rocking chair, arms outstretched in tender greeting.

 

The room is empty.

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    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      I have read this twice-it came in just as I was headed to bed and I saw Mike and I had to come take a look at what you have written. :* (

      Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Your alone and now your room and refriderator are empty too?

      You are never alone! And your refridgerator has more in it than mine! If I ever wanted to hug someone at this moment it would be you! What troubles you so Mike? Makes me sad to read this, though I understand the feelings of aloneness on an earthly sense-I too am alone but in a spiritual sense-I am never alone. I close my eyes and think of long ago good times, good places, good people and I drift off to sleep...

      I am coming over right now to rub your back and sing..oh, I sing terrible...strike the singing...just pat your back and you will fall right off to sleep! :) *it worked for my babies..it will work for you! You are in my thoughts!

      You are not having a good night are you babydoll?

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Hey...is that an english muffin I see in your fridge? I like english muffins...with peanut butter melted on it...why don't you try one of those and have a glass of milk..if you are still alone and bored, you can draw in the peanut butter with your finger..I do..and it is much fun!

    • Dao Hoa profile image

      Dao Hoa 7 years ago

      I love it. Nice expression. Sometimes we cannot help it. We just feel empty.

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      Loneliness fills the room and you have worded it so well. Good job my friend. I feel the teddy bear's anticipation of welcoming you home. Poor little guy. LOL

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I remember before I met my wife there were times when I very aware of how empty my life felt, and I can remember at times looking to the right of me at the empty loveseat, wondering how nice it would be that someone would be sitting there to talk to, smile at me, love me, or just be there.

      For me, that was my emptiness. However yours is interpreted, the feeling it leaves us with is the same.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Ghost, you are so kind and supportive. You are always able to lift my spirits, and I appreciate your friendship. I have forever been an open book emotionally--was never any good at hiding my feelings. Past events sometimes reach out and grab me, I guess in reminder that the hurts sometimes don't go away completely--that was the case when I wrote this. Nights can be worse than days for sorting stuff out, but things are fine. (Although the back rub is a nice offer...)

      I went ahead and drew in the peanut butter as you suggested, by the way. Thanks for the idea.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Dao Hoa, thank you for reading. You are correct, sometimes we can't help the way we feel, and probably shouldn't. Feelings aren't always rational, but they are as valid as anything else we experience and I allow myself to fully experience whatever state I'm in. Thanks for the kind words about my writing.

    • Has_aWayWithWords profile image

      Has_aWayWithWords 7 years ago from United States

      Great poem Mike. Keep up the great writing.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Ralwus, I always appreciate your leaving comments on my pages. Tells me I did something right. Thanks for your kind words. An integral part of the success of any writer is to get the reader to experience what you are writing about with words. Your comments indicate I was successful (although I didn't intend to bring down the collective mood of whoever reads this--I'll have to pick a lighter topic next time, like Gilligan's Island or something).

      Thanks again.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Springboard, thanks for reading. I appreciate the depth and sensitivity of your comments, and your understanding. Life is tricky sometimes, and I navigate the emotional land mines as best I can. Thanks for sharing your own feelings.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Has_aWayWithWords (can I call you HAWWW, or something similar?), thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate your kind words and your support.

    • Has_aWayWithWords profile image

      Has_aWayWithWords 7 years ago from United States

      lol, call me anything you want Mike, I am sure I have been called worse, HAWWW or Aaron works for me.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 7 years ago from West By God

      Here I am with a different view of your poem. Were is the child that should be in the rocking chair with the teddy bear? Reading this makes me think that the child is away or has died and that is why the guy in the "Empty" room can't seem to get any sleep. He truly is empty without that child in the other Empty room. It is a sad poem but speaks volumes about the loss of a child. Sometimes it takes a long time to just get by from day to day.

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      Any mood that is on your heart is right. Just reach for the stars and knit that alphabet into something new.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      HAWWW, Aaron sounds good to me, also. Thanks.

      Lady Guinevere, thanks for reading. You saw the intent of my words. I am not trying to be obscure or mysterious, I am just unable to speak directly about what was troubling me. At least for the moment.

      ralwus, thank you for your comments, my friend. You are truly one of the good ones.

    • sabrebIade profile image

      sabrebIade 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Mike I may not always comment, but I do check out your Hubs.

      So I'm here too!

    • BeccaHubbardWoods profile image

      Mizzery Chick 7 years ago from Outside your window...

      At first, my heart ached a bit. But then I thought a bit and it doesn't necessarily mean the boy's room will always be empty. The main reason it made my heart ache, though, is because I saw so much of my dad in this poem, and it literally brought tears to my eyes. I'm glad you decided to continue poetry. Thank you for sharing, and mostly, thank you for allowing me to see things from a different point of view... I think perhaps you'll never know exactly how it read for me, and that's the beauty of poetry. What words mean for one can mean something entirely different to another. : )

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      sabreblade, thanks for reading. It is always nice to look and see that you have visited. I'm glad you're here.

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Hey Mike! You know...I was thinking that I may have upset you by being silly...I have been known to put my foot in my big mouth at times. So sorry. I was only trying to cheer you up!

      I was thinking when I read this was one of the rooms of yours-loss "untouched-loss of innocence of the boy you once were." That is why it is poetry-to be interpreted by the reader right? Apparently I am not very good at it.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Becca, I am touched and pleased by your comments. It is gratifying to know that you were able to connect with my writing in a personal way. I will not know what my poem meant to you, but it is more than enough to know my words meant something special. If you gained an insight into your father through what you read here, well--how could any writer ask for more than that? Please accept my thanks for your kind words. They truly mean a lot to me.

      Thanks again and take care!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Ghost, not to worry. You did not upset me in the slightest. In fact, I've returned here off and on throughout the day, reading your words more than once to boost my mood. Your comments were supportive and gentle and greatly appreciated.

      And yes, poetry is to be interpreted by the reader. I never intended my words to be a riddle with a single solution, and your interpretation is as valid as any other.

      Thanks for coming back and checking on me.....

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

      Great Poem, I know that great work can come from positive or negative inspirations, and this poem really told a story. I wish you the best, and please write more poetry.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 7 years ago from West By God

      Mike, is the child coming home soon. I do hope so.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Truth, I appreciate your comments. I am indeed encouraged to write more, thanks in no small part to the tremendous support I have received here. Thanks again.

      Lady Guinevere, I hope things change for the better. Thanks for your kind wishes.

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Hello Mike! Yup I come here and check on you to see that you are doing okay! (I sent ya an e-mail directly contact/profile last night but not sure if you got it because I don't know how these things work-or even if it got mailed out?) So I popped in to say that I am glad I didn't upset you by my silliness...it does get the best of me and at the wrong times.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Hi Ghost. Thanks for coming back. I am fine. I haven't looked for your email yet, I will go there next. (I will confess the email linked to my HubPages account is not one I check all that often...) And, I was not the least bit offended by what you wrote.

      Thanks for checkin' on me.

    • festersporling1 profile image

      Daniel Christian 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Wow, I wish I could write poems like you Mike. A real talent. Pleasure to follow you.

      Daniel

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Daniel, thank you very much for the kind words. They are much appreciated.

    • ChristyJC profile image

      ChristyJC 7 years ago from Texas

      Very nice once again, Mike! You are truly gifted! Have a wonderful day!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Christy, I am truly thankful for your kind comments and appreciate the compliment. Have a wonderful day, also.

    • Redraven077 profile image

      Whitney Monaghan 7 years ago from Utah

      wow, way to evoke your feelings.. we all have been there before in our own version of an empty room.. I hope your room gets less lonely soon! ...great poem :)

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Mike, I hope your okay now, at times yes we feel really at a blank wall, but then life smiles for us, I wish in any way I can give smile to you too, HUGS HUGS HUGS, I am still thinking of your poem, wonderfully written it affects even the stone in us, Thank you, Maita

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Redraven, I appreciate your comments and understanding. We all have that empty room in our homes (our lives), and we all have to spend some time in them. I am thankful for your kind words.

      Maita, you are always so kind and supportive. HubPages would be a much darker place without you. Thanks for your caring and good cheer.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Mike,

      This is more than a poem; it is a painting and a symphony at the same time. I could hear the stillness and smell the air in the empty room, I felt the breez of the fan and saw the pages turning.

      At times life feels empty and than a door opens and joy comes back

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Petra, thanks for reading. I am gratified that you saw the feeling and emotion in my words, and that I could make it feel real for you. That is the ultimate tribute.

      And yes--joy comes back. There has been joy, and there will be joy again.

      Thanks so much for your comments.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      The room is quite lonely indeed, and it makes you wonder about the person who resides in it.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Indeed it does, Sweetie Pie--indeed it does. Thanks for your comments.

    • Jess Killmenow profile image

      Jess Killmenow 7 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

      Excellent detail sets up the ending nicely

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Thank you, Jess. I appreciate your reading my work and commenting. Have a good evening.

    • stephensaldana profile image

      stephensaldana 7 years ago from Chicago

      Great Blog Indeed!!!!! Sometime life behaves like poetry, aptly stated in hub. Every thing happens like total fantasy. The whole hub is meticulously formatted and presentation is of par excellence. Thanks a lot for providing such a wonderful hub.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      stephen, thanks for the comments. Your overview of my work is kind and greatly appreciated. Art imitates life imitates art--or something like that.

      Thanks again, stephensaldana

    • profile image

      Just A Voice 7 years ago

      I just found you...and I am so glad. Empty rooms seem to loom wherever you are in life. I have a room that is half empty. We have a family member who is seriously ill. We try to fill the room with encouragement and bravado. But no matter how hard we try, the room is only getting emptier.

      You are a good writer. And I'm glad I've found you.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Just a Voice, thank you for your comments. I understand a little what you are talking about. My brother died of pancreatic cancer a little over two years ago--a slow process that robbed him of his physical capabilities but never his spirit or heart. It was slow but inevitable, and quite difficult for our parents to endure. The room shrank for my brother, from the world to the city to the neighborhood. From the house to his room to his bed. And yes, the room got emptier.

      Well... thank you for your comments. Feel free to communicate with me again anytime you wish to.

      Mike

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      Hey there Mike,

      First time I've had a chance to read one of your hubs. Loneliness and emptiness seem to go hand in hand. Your poem is wonderful; I sense your feelings run deep. Thank you for sharing and reaching out. Know that you are never alone. You have many friends here and we are all pulling for you. Keep doing what you're doing for this too shall pass.

      Sage

    • profile image

      Just A Voice 7 years ago

      Mike

      My father-in-law has pancreatic cancer also. We just found out. One month ago he had a check up and they took pictures of that area because he was having certain problems and there was nothing there. Now, one month later, he has a growth the size of a golf ball. It is very fast growing and he has gone from a vibrant man to an old man very quickly.

      I'm scared out of my mind. This man means a lot to me. And we are just beginning our new hell on earth. I hope his spirit and heart stays intact. I hope that I can be a bright beacon in this moment and time and that he won't see my fear that he will leave me too soon.

      I hope...

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Thank you for finding me, Sage. I am grateful for your words of encouragement and support. The feelings do run deep, and it is a comfort to have an environment so supportive in which to express them.

      Thanks again.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Voice, I'm sorry to hear about your father-in-law. It is indeed very frightening. Pancreatic cancer is insidious--apparently there are few nerve endings on the pancreas to register pain, and so it is often only when the cancer spreads that it is discovered; making it that much more difficult to treat. That was the case with my brother.

      I obviously don't know your father-in-law, but I am saddened for him, you, and your family. I encourage you to let me know if there is anything I can say or do to help you during this time.

      Thank you for your support, and know that you have mine in return.

    • Shelly Dee profile image

      Shelly Dee 7 years ago

      Very expressive poem.I liked it immensely.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Thank you for reading my work, Shelly. Your comments are appreciated.

      Mike

    • Sherbet Penny profile image

      Sherbet Penny 7 years ago from Galway, Ireland.

      Hi Mike, great stuff, striking images and a little erie also, excellent read, also love the photos that went with it.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Sherbet, thanks for the comments. I appreciate your noticing the photos. I drew the picture of the man sitting there, for whatever that's worth.

      Thanks again.

    • H.C Porter profile image

      Holly 7 years ago from Lone Star State

      I suppose poetry, although self expression from the writer-also allows each reader to interpret the collection of words in their own personal way, which was achieved in your poem. I very much enjoy reading your work-thank you for sharing it, and for your comments.

      HC Porter

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      H.C. Porter, thanks for your comments. Much like a painting, there is indeed an aspect of poetry that allows for personal interpretation, and that is a part of its beauty. Layers of meaning allow different people to respond to different aspects of the poem--an adventure in itself.

      Thanks for reading, your comments are appreciated.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      Ineffably sad, Mike - but lovely. Thanks for the moving words.

    • lovelypaper profile image

      Renee S 7 years ago from Virginia

      Very moving poem. Wonderful.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      RedElf, thank you for reading and for the kind words. I am grateful for both.

      lovelypaper, I appreciate your visiting and reading my poem. Your comments are appreciated.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Lovely poem and the pictures make it real. I think Poetry is like Therapy.

      Well, I hope the room is filled with sunshine and lots of laughter soon. May I have the beer in the fridge please, I think it is beer? Meanwhile, I must have a word with Waitrose to stock up your fridge.

      Thanks for sharing your poem.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Lady_E, thank you for your comments. Poetry and art both serve as therapy for me. I typically don't attempt poetry unless I am working through something (or, oddly enough, overjoyed about something). I usually don't write poetry when I am in that emotional middle ground. I guess I should try someday and see what happens, huh?

      And, sure, I'll save the beer for you!

      Thanks for reading.

    • Hokey profile image

      Hokey 7 years ago from In the energy.

      Very powerful!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Thank you, Hokey. I appreciate your reading words.

    • profile image

      plantit1 7 years ago from Athens, Tennessee

      Your poem touched my heart deeply as I read on towards the end and realized the reason for the poem to come forth. Our pain sometimes brings out the best poetry. Good write!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      plantit, thank you so much for your comments. As you suggest, we are often inspired by our pain, and sometimes suffering allows us to shine.

      Thank you very much for your comments, I am appreciative.

    • mbwalz profile image

      MaryBeth Walz 7 years ago from Maine

      That just makes me want to know more - I felt like screaming for air when I finished. It was spooky yet beautiful.

      It made me think, somewhat, of the strange process of looking around my dad's place after I'd seen him pass away in the bedroom. Eery, sad, yet beautiful! Thank you.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      mbwalz, thanks for reading. Every writer hopes to evoke an emotional response from the reader. I appreciate the compliments, and knowing that my words made an impression.

      Thanks again for reading.

    • I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image

      I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s 7 years ago

      vivid expressions. very nice.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 7 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Great weave there Mike, I enjoyed sharing that moment in time. I believe you and I have also shared the same coffee table at one time or another, metaphorically speaking.

      Ben

    • Jisblessed profile image

      Jisblessed 7 years ago

      This is very touching and heartfelt. The only one I know that can help or heal is Jesus. Invite Him in and see what happens. You're in my prayers. God bless

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s, thanks so much for reading. I appreciate your comments.

      Ben, I always appreciate what you have to say, also. Yup, that coffee table has gotten a workout over the years. At least tonight was Applebee's, for whatever it's worth.

      Thanks again, Ben.

      Jisblessed, I appreciate your gracious comments. Thank you very much for reading.

      Mike

    • profile image

      dark heart 7 years ago

      excellent work Mike.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Dark heart, thank you so much. I appreciate your kind words.

    • profile image

      daisy storm 7 years ago

      Your poem could have so many hidden meanings. But, I liked it just the same. Although I am new to the hubs, I have to say I like the variety in how many writers express their thoughts. No matter what was the true meaning behind the poem, it was good! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Daisy, thank you for reading. Many poems have more than one possible interpretation, and finding the meaning is part of the joy of reading. And, you are correct, there is a wonderful variety in the words of the fine people using hubs. Reading their work is a pleasure.

      Thank you for you kind words, you are very gracious.

      Mike

    • gzuznme profile image

      gzuznme 7 years ago from Chesapeake Va

      Mike, i am new to this, but when I was reading empty rooms...my heart began to beat rapidly at the end...i wanted to ready more...u grasped my attention! keep it up!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      gzuznme, thank you for your comments. It is gratifying for any writer to realize he or she has affected the reader on an emotional level. I hope you will continue to read what I've written.

      Thanks again for your comments.

    • Has_aWayWithWords profile image

      Has_aWayWithWords 7 years ago from United States

      Mike you inspired me to write about something personal to me, I have not previously opened that door and I have always been somewhat guarded at how much I put out there. I read this the other day and ever since I have contemplated opening up with my writing and perhaps using it to cope. Thank you for freeing my mind a bit. I posted my first "personal" hub today about me and my children

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Has_aWayWithWords, thank you so very much for your comments. Your decision to post something of a more personal nature, based in part or whole on reading something I wrote, is the best compliment I could receive. I find writing from the heart to be the most rewarding actions I can take.

      I am humbled and gratified by your comments. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Denizee 7 years ago

      Written expression of the inner self; has always been my favorite style of poetry/writing. This is really good - a clear read with no words mixed in to hesitate the reader in a pause; of what the message is in this poem. A wonderful offer of talent - Great poem.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Denizee, thanks so very much for your thoughtful comments. Your kind words mean a great deal to me, and I am appreciative.

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 7 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      So deep in words that emptiness becomes fulfilled in true passions, lovely work...

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Moulik, I appreciate your reading and the kind comments. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      rml 7 years ago

      This is very moving and quite powerful. You express loneliness very well. I hope it is an expression of the moment and not a lasting sadness.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
      Author

      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      rml,

      Everything is fine. Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      SamAntone 7 years ago

      Wow! Powerful! The last four verses (aided by the preparatory first verses) grabbed me by the heart, flung me around a few times, then threw me into blubbering fits.

      It was a stroke of genius that you didn't specify the details of what had happened; each of us can apply our own experience and take it from there, thus making it more real to us. I think you outdid Longfellow and Robert Frost on that one!

      I wrote something about how I think children don't really suffer, on my home page, if you're interested.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Sam, thanks for your comments. I'm not sure that I can hang with Longfellow and Frost, but I graciously accept your compliment. As you will note with some of the other comments here, many people did exactly what you said--they applied their own experiences to the words. In the sense that I managed to evoke an emotional response from so many, I consider my piece a success.

      Thanks again for reading and I will check out what you wrote.

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      I stopped by to re-read some of your work. I was here..left my footprints...have a good night..you were in my thoughts my friend. Peace and love to you!!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Ghosty, thank you for coming here and reading my poem tonight, and for your wishes of peace. I appreciate it so very much.

      Mike

    • profile image

      sophs 7 years ago

      Wow this is amazing! So powerful and beautiful I was lost in your words. Great work Mike :)

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Thank you sophs. I appreciate your kind words. I have enjoyed your work very much, as well.

      Thanks for reading.

      Mike

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      Just A Voice 7 years ago

      Just had to come by again. Your poem touches me everytime I read it in a different way. Just depends on what my own mood is at the time.

      I hope you do more of this kind of writing. It is very good.

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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Voice, I'm glad you came by again. Feel free to visit whenever you wish. I am grateful that you find something in my work that touches you--it means a lot to me.

      Thanks for visiting again, hope all is well.

      Mike

    • Momma Mia profile image

      Momma Mia 7 years ago from North Carolina

      This is great!! Read twice now.........this time leaving a comment...........you are very creative and expressive!

      Thankyou for your hubs

      Mia

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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Mia, thanks for your comments. This was pretty personal for me, and I was reluctant to even put it out here for others to read, but I am glad I did. I appreciate your comments very much, and thank you for reading.

      Mike

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      Do you have a hidden camera in my house?

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Micky, no camera--just a peek inside the soul. We're all the same on the inside, right? Thanks for reading.

      Mike

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Very touching and worded so that every bit of detail literally sprung to life. I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. Both of mine are now gone as well as both of my parents, my mother being the most recent death. I have my wonderful husband but those feelings of loss can at times overpower one. Hoping that your days have become much brighter.

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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Peggy, thanks for reading. I am not skilled at expressing myself through poetry, but I wanted to try a bit. I am glad you enjoyed reading and, yes--the days are brighter.

      Thanks again.

      Mike

    • notquitecorso profile image

      notquitecorso 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Wonderful concept and form for an idea such as this...like a little cornucopia of images...then suddenly a solitary character is introduced from among the emptiness...along with the repetition of the title throughout it made for a moving piece...I'll definitely be back. Thank you.

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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      notquitecorso, thanks for stopping by. I am appreciative of your kind comments about my writing. It was indeed an expression of isolation and emptiness.

      Thanks again.

      Mike

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 6 years ago

      Hey Mike you are not alone. In my hubs about Jack..here was a man who was alone and running on empty love, feelings and courage for some time. His companion was loneliness, empty fridge, empty rooms, being slovenly and not caring what was laying on the floor or how it got there.

      Life for Jack was simply an old movie in black and white playing in reverse, he stared into nothingness for some time and drank in excess.

      His soul often crying out in pain to be whole and put back together againlike humpty dumpty he just couldn't put those pieces back to complete the puzzle.

      So I feel the pain in this great piece and I hope you got past it okay. Peace and a hug is out to you my friend.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Saddlerider, thanks for reading. You articulated the feelings and emotions perfectly. Sometimes things reach a point where all you're doing is existing--anything more than that is irrelevant. It was this way for me when I wrote about this. It was a bad situation that improved somewhat--another resolution would have been preferable, but things worked out okay.

      Thanks for reading and for understanding, my friend.

      Mike

    • Surfmukti profile image

      Surfmukti 6 years ago

      Wow, I'm almost breathless! I'm the father of a 4 year old boy who has a new puppy. This poem makes me well up with tears. Thanks for sharing this Mike! I'm a follower from now!

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      susan beck 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa

      This kind of reminded me of a poem called "Tenement Room" by Claude McKay. Your verb choices and imagery really make the poem come alive. Nice job.

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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Surfmukti, thanks for reading. A four year old boy? That is a great age, and I hope you enjoy every single moment of being a parent. I appreciate your kind words about my poem, and thanks for the follow. Take care.

      Mike

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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Steele, thanks for stopping by. I'm not familiar with Tenement Room, but I will search for it. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, it is greatly appreciated. Have a good day.

      Mike

    • Red_Velvet profile image

      Red_Velvet 6 years ago

      Love the picture that has been painted with these words. Great Hub!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Red Velvet, thanks for your kind words. The poem doesn't describe a very positive moment in my life, but the feelings were heartfelt. Thanks for reading, and for your gracious comments. Stop back any time.

      Mike

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Mike. All I can say is "wow." You have an amazing way of paintiing the scene through words. Even though there is no emotion being expressed by the subject of the poem, as a reader I couldn't help but catch my breath deeper and deeper with each new line. I'm not expressing this very well. What I mean to say -- what I took from your poem -- is the excruciating pain/loss of the man, even though those particular words are never used.

      Awesome is a cop-out word, but I'll use it anyway. MM

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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Mighty Mom, thanks for stopping by. I greatly appreciate your kind words about my writing and your understanding of the emotions behind the words. The pain of loss is indeed excruciating, and it is a depth that is difficult to climb out of. Thanks again for your comments--the word "awesome" as applied to my work is high praise.

      Mike

    • profile image

      living room furniture  6 years ago

      I remember before I met my wife there were times when I very aware of how empty my life felt, and I can remember at times looking to the right of me at the empty loveseat, wondering how nice it would be that someone would be sitting there to talk to, smile at me, love me, or just be there.

    • matt6v33 profile image

      matt6v33 6 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Sir,

      u have truly been blessed by Him, with such an "Awesome" heart, mind, and soul! U Have much to offer to us out here, who can appreicate that gift, u clearly have been blessed to possess! Keep going Sir.. We Need ones like u!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      living room furniture, thanks for your comments. As I know you are aware from reading this poem, I can relate to feelings of emptiness and wishing for a different type of life. This poem is more specific, but I understand the feelings very well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Mike

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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Matt, thank you so much for reading, and for your kind words. I am appreciative and grateful for your taking the time to read my poem. Thanks again and take care.

      Mike

    • acaetnna profile image

      acaetnna 6 years ago from Guildford

      Poetry can express so much and the words that you have used so poetically really paint a picture of loneliness. I see you wrote this some time ago now so I do hope that the emptiness and solitude have now disappeared and that you have filled every moment with contentment and happiness. I loved this hub and I am so pleased that I found your poetry.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Acaetnna, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words about my poetry--a form of writing I admittedly lack confidence in. I will confess that while some days are worse than others, the emptiness I felt so profoundly while writing these words has left me. Thanks again for your kindness and encouragement.

      Mike

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 6 years ago

      I am glad to read that you are no more empty but filled. Pray I ask what with?

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Jaggedfrost, I'm filled with contentment. For the moment, at least. Thanks for stopping by.

      Mike

    • agaglia profile image

      agaglia 6 years ago

      Such a lonely poem. I can relate. The ending gave me a bit of surprise. The loneliness has a point > a child perhaps. Poetry doesn't have to give all the answers to be good.

      Thanks for the read. nice, nice job.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Agaglia, thanks for stopping by. The room is indeed lonely, and yes--there was a point I alluded to. Thank you for understanding that the mysteries don't necessarily need to be revealed. Thanks again.

      Mike

    • Poohgranma profile image

      Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

      I have tried to stretch my mind to find words fit to leave here and come up - empty - except to say I have a similar room in my heart, I believe. Very, very moving.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Poohgranma, thanks for stopping by. I hope the room in your heart is soon filled with joy. None of us deserve the emptiness we so often face. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and for your kind words. Take care.

      Mike

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