ISOLATION

When your lips see my lips they bring
That sorrowful and outcast thing
My heart home from its wandering.

Then ere your lips have loosed their hold,
I feel my heart’s heat growing cold,
And my heart shivers and grows old.

When your lips leave my lips, again
I feel the old doubt and the old pain
Tight about me like a chain.

After the pain, after the doubt,
A lonely darkness winds about
My soul like death, and shuts you out.

  — Arthur Symons (1865 – 1945), Welsh poet and critic.

REFUGEE

Loneliness terrific beats on my heart,
Bending the bitter broken boughs of pain.
Stunned by the onslaught that tears the sky apart
I stand with unprotected head against the rain.

Loneliness terrific turns to panic and to fear.
I hear my footsteps on the stairs of yesteryear,
Where are you? Oh, where are you?
Once so dear.

  — Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967), African-American poet, novelist and playwright.