The unseen

When I’m invisible,
I watch people go on
living all around,
unaware that I watch.

Dropping their guard,
they dance and flow and sing,
full streams of clear
water, bubbling.

Only as long
as I’m silent, apart,
not a part of their lives,
never entering their hearts.

For when I begin to interact with people,
and my cloak of invisibility falls away,
I am revealed; and all that was real in them departs.

People drift away and fall apart from me,
withered rose petals loosened on a winter wind.
How I long to catch their warm, soft scent again.

Copyright © 1990 Barbara W. Klaser

Written in my journal in 1990, from feelings of shyness and otherness. I started to edit this for the blog, but I’ve decided to just post the original because it captures who I was then and the feeling at the time. If I edit it now it will be another poem.

5 comments on “The unseen

  1. Helen McGill says:

    Hi Barbara,

    What a lovely poignant poem. I only see a few tiny flaws in it, near the end as I read it – my own perception at least….
    Seems like it should read more like;

    I am revealed; and all that is real in them shines as they see the light in me (you) like a mirror that shines back at them.

    Don’t get me wrong, of course I would never re-write your lovely prose, just saying, you light up a room, a conversation and a blog!
    Your light inspires and shines so bright, especially on a morning like mine, as I busily contemplate how to get the band-aids off my heart in a gently easy way… love and light on the rest of your week!
    Om Namah Shivaya!

    your sis, Helen

  2. Barbara says:

    Helen, that’s sweet. Maybe we just never see ourselves the way others do. Maybe it doesn’t matter at all. But we do seem lonely creatures sometimes, surrounded by people yet each in our own little bubbles. I’m always thinking I should work on popping my bubble — but maybe instead a zipper, in case I decide I need to put it back on sometimes. It feels so safe.

  3. Marion says:

    Barbara, I’m glad you didn’t edit this poem. There are days where I still feel that “otherness” and you have expressed it very well.

    It can be scary to reveal that vulnerable part of myself…that bubble sometimes comes in handy!

    There is a lot on your site that I can’t wait to sit down and look through…I’m glad you and I found each other!

  4. Barbara says:

    Marion, thank you. I still plan to revise it in the future, just decided to present it here the way it was in my journal, because I don’t have time to spend with it right now. In this raw state it communicates something about who I was then, and what was happening. But it’s nothing I would try to get published, in its present state.

    I’m glad I found your blog too. Your description of the snow was amazing. It made me feel as if I was there experiencing it with you.

  5. Ken says:

    It appears to me that you just published it, Barbara.

    I think Helen makes an interesting point about the mirror, and it seems to me that the two views, yours and hers, aren’t necessarily exclusive. Other people do change us, it’s that whole social aspect of life and our human tendency to cooperate. If one wishes a socially unbiased view into others, observing them without their awareness would seem essential. But would that apply to their conscious and/or sub-conscious behaviors? Our scientists seem to think that simply observing a particle (sub-atomic?) alters it, and I’m sure I’ve read that we have a sense, conscious or not, regarding when we are being watched.