Within and beyond

Everything crowds in,
the noise, the clamor of people
moving through their lives,
touching but untouched,
feeling but not felt,
somnambulists in a dance
of private reckoning,
cascading into aloneness,
remote, isolated,
awash in the debri
of scattered necessities,
one thing rising upon
the ashes of another,
over and over again,
as we drift through
our separate realities
thinking, deceptively,
that we are connected.

The voices of others
chafe beneath my skin,
their needs, expectations,
burdens upon which I dwell
in meaningless observance.
Their voices drown my own,
grate, chafe.
Their voices drown my own,
grate, overwhelm,
and the voice within cries
for peace, solitude, relief,
from the unending stream of demands.
Yet still I wonder
if it is all those voices
which are burdening me so,
or just the echo within
of unsolvable problems,
which knaw at me,
day after blinding day,
in unending procession.
as

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