Hiding in Plain Sight

Living life alone, even in a crowd,
a family, a love affair,
is not so different as the life
of a hermit. I can be as solitary
in those circumstances
as any Essene on the lam
in the mountains of the Holy Land.
But instead of hiding and meditating
in a shrub-shrouded cave,
I stare at you from behind this
amusement park persona, a charade
of light, noise and motion,
keeping your world entertained, at bay,
by abruptly changing direction
and emotional altitude.

Sometimes I send you away from the show
the worse for the climb, like a heretic-hunter
worn from the search for my spiritual fore-bear.
My head, this cave of seclusion,
is where I ineveitably pull back
when I can’t push away,
crouching in its darkest cutting crevices,
cold, relying on its dim light
for illumination enough to contemplate
why I would want or need
to stay hungry and naked like this.
Even more, I wonder why you keep trying
to pry me out of here when
you don’t really want me anyway.

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18 thoughts on “Hiding in Plain Sight

  1. A well written poem, that I can relate to well..'My head, this cave of seclusion' ..I did literally want to go & live in a cave at one point!! .. to try and escape everyone trying to 'pry' me out..but looking back now, I'm glad they did…sending you warm hugs Joe..

  2. Bittersweet, poignant, honest, real. I love your writing. That cave – it's an enigma to me. I do have a very dark cave but I don't last too long in there. The air outside, the light, even the rain, it's so beautiful -especially when I'm sitting beside a friend.

  3. nice…i really like that last stanza in this joe…a heretic-hunter
    worn from the search for my spiritual fore-bear…is a fun line in a bit of a hard feeling poem….sometimes i retreat and sit….and living in that cave is not always so bad….smiles…

  4. So glad to catch this potent write today:
    ‘I stare at you from behind this
    amusement park persona, a charade
    of light, noise and motion,
    keeping your world entertained, at bay,
    by abruptly changing direction
    and emotional altitude.’
    – genius

  5. a powerful promulgation of alacrity, sir. You never fail to touch my emotions and zap my intellect. Like the line /crouching in the darkest cutting crevices/.

  6. Excellent echoing back and forth in this–the feeling of someone talking to himself, interacting with the reader by whispering so we listen harder, to get the picture just right. Too many good lines to quote, but the end is the icing on a triple chocolate cake for me.

  7. I can understand this… I’m the same way. Often when I’m retreating into my own mind, I’m looking into a familiar face. They are none the wiser and I won’t tell!

  8. A satisfying stillness lies across this piece, Joe. Very easy to identify with the narrator’s perspective, familiar, even while dressed in fresh langage, like this:

    a charade
    of light, noise and motion,

    and the sudden shifts of ’emotional altitude’.

    Wholly refreshing.

  9. O Caveman Joe, this cuts deep into the psyche of solitude. Relating it to the cave is brilliant simply because it feels like it represents the most deepest rooted tool for survival that ‘man’ will ever know. It also sounds like you have another muse, who ‘bothers’ you at every available moment ;-). Well written, friend.

  10. “…But instead of hiding and meditating
    in a shrub-shrouded cave,
    I stare at you from behind this
    amusement park persona, a charade…”

    Distancing, pondering, pain–a lot of emotion to be roiling around in one’s head. I thought your “near rhyme” between cave and charade,and the sort of unbroken train of thought you wrote in worked well. The last three lines really struck me, so sad, filled with reality and rejection.
    A lot to ponder in this. Well penned, Joe.

  11. I sit in the cave quite often … and being pulled out sometimes is not so bad 🙂 Love the second stanza, especially:

    like a heretic-hunter
    worn from the search for my spiritual fore-bear.

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