I met my Solitude. We two stood glaring.
I had to tremble, meeting her face to face.
Then she saying, and I with bent head hearing:
“You sent me forth to exile and disgrace,
 
“Most faithful of your friends, then most forsaken,
Forgotten in breast, in bath, in books, in bed.
To someone else you gave the gifts I gave you,
And you embraced another in my stead.
 
“Though we meet now, it is not of your choosing.
I am not fooled. And I do not forgive.
I am less kind, but did you treat me kindly?
In armored peace from now on let us live.” 
 
So did my poor hurt Solitude accuse me.
Little was left of good between us two.
And I drew back: “How can we stay together,
You jealous of me, and I laid waste by you?
 
“By you, who used to be my good provider,
My secret nourisher, and mine alone.
The strength you taught me I must use against you,
And now with all my strength I wish you gone.” 
 
Then she, my enemy, and still my angel,
Said in that harsh voice that once was sweet:
“I will come back, and every time less handsome,
And I will look like Death when last we meet.” 
 

Copyright © 1994 by Naomi Replansky. “I Met My Solitude” originally appeared in The Dangerous World: New and Selected Poems, 1934–1994 (Another Chicago Press, 1994). Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved.

I am weary of the working,
   Weary of the long day’s heat;
To thy comfortable bosom,
   Wilt thou take me, spirit sweet?

Weary of the long, blind struggle
   For a pathway bright and high,—
Weary of the dimly dying
  Hopes that never quite all die.

Weary searching a bad cipher
   For a good that must be meant;
Discontent with being weary,—
   Weary with my discontent.

I am weary of the trusting
   Where my trusts but torments prove;
Wilt thou keep faith with me? wilt thou
   Be my true and tender love?

I am weary drifting, driving
   Like a helmless bark at sea;
Kindly, comfortable spirit,
   Wilt thou give thyself to me?

Give thy birds to sing me sonnets?
   Give thy winds my cheeks to kiss?
And thy mossy rocks to stand for
   The memorials of our bliss?

I in reverence will hold thee,
   Never vexed with jealous ills,
Though thy wild and wimpling waters
   Wind about a thousand hills.

This poem is in the public domain.

year-worn
weary to the bone,
dancing in the dark with the
dark,
the Suicide Kid gone
gray.

ah, the swift summers
over and gone
forever!

is that death
stalking me
now?

no, it’s only my cat,
this
time.

From The People Look Like Flowers At Last by Charles Bukowski. Copyright© 2007 by Linda Lee Bukowski. Published by arrangement with Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.