Updated date:

A Shadow On My Heart

John is a freelance writer, ghost-writer, storyteller, and poet. He always tries to include a message or social commentary in his writing

Photo by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

Photo by Ono Kosuki from Pexels

A Shadow On My Heart

The city’s like a ghost town

As I walk the streets alone.

Most doors are closed and lights are dim,

As I pause to check my phone.

The mask I wear, obligatory,

It hampers every breath.

A sacrifice I have to make

To decrease the risk of death.

The deeply sombre atmosphere

Cuts through me like a knife.

The vibrant city I once knew

Now seems devoid of life.

Image by Frauke Riether from Pixabay

Image by Frauke Riether from Pixabay

People fear to venture out,

Not risk being exposed.

The silent killer in our midst

Some think a threat supposed.

For months it has lurked unopposed,

No end is yet in sight.

Vaccines may bring this terror down

But we’re in for a long fight.

The cold bare stone walls that I pass

Cry out in deep despair,

And throw a shadow on my heart

That may never be repaired.

Image by Syaibatul Hamdi from Pixabay

Image by Syaibatul Hamdi from Pixabay

© 2021 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 21, 2021:

Thank you, Nithya. this pandemic has been one of mankind's greatest fights for many years, but with the help of the vaccines I am sure we will eventually emerge victorious.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on January 21, 2021:

Great poem; it is a reflection of what is happening nowadays. We are in for a long fight, but I do hope the vaccine helps defeat the virus. I am looking forward to good old happy days.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Hi Farah, oh, the freedom to breath unrestrained and without fear. Hopefully that dream is not far away. Thank you for reading and commenting.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Yes, exactly, Vidya. Life certainly has changed and we have to take measures to stay safe, ride out this challenge, and emerge a stronger more resilient people.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Ruby, “a sense of peace” is what has been lacking for quite some time in America (and elsewhere) I think. I pray that will change now, so let’s hope. This virus won’t quit without a fight but it will be defeated in the end.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Thank you for the wonderful comment manatita. Yes, Bro, the human condition is really at the heart of much of my writing, as it is yours. I enjoy trying to tap into what others, apart from myself, may be feeling. It is a nice challenge and satisfying when you capture it successfully.

As for your previous request. I have not forgotten. On my list of suggestions yours is number 171. I have completed 167, and I try my best to complete the poems in the order I receive them. For that reason I couldn’t do it before now but it should sneak into the next Poems From the Porch, or I may make it a stand alone..let’s see. I will try to shine the light in your request. Peace.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Hello Linda, I haven’t been to the big city either for quite awhile. Oh I did visit my son in Brisbane about two months ago but didn’t go out of the house while there. It is sad to think how many businesses have had to close, many forever. But, yes, hopefully hearts are opening.

Farah N Huq from Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 20, 2021:

Not sure where we are heading but lets hope it gets better soon. Would love to breath without consciously wondering what I am inhaling.

A lovely poem!

VIDYA D SAGAR on January 20, 2021:

An excellent Poem on reality today, Jodah. The Pandemic has cast a shadow on all our hearts. Nothing is like before and we yearn for normalcy to return. Till then we have to take measures to stay safe.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on January 20, 2021:

John, you captured the feeling of so many people here in the US. About the time when we were beginning to open restaurants, a new virus has appeared. A new dawning is on the horizon, Joe Biden was sworn in this morning as our new President. He talked a lot about God leading us through these difficult times and I felt at peace for the first time in months.

manatita44 from london on January 20, 2021:

You are becoming like me, Bro.

You're using yourself to express the human condition. Awesome!

Now I didn't respond to your last hub when you talked about a lessoning of requests. Purely because I wanted mines for the turn of the New Year. It was an elaborate question as far as I can remember, asking about something very positive and possibly related to hope.

The reason why I didn't mention it, is because it's a bit late now, Jan 20th. But you can still do a special. If I can raise the bar a little, make it a bit like what that 22-yr old did for President Joe Biden, full of Hope, beauty and promise. Do it, in such a way, so as to turn the negative on its head and avoid words like Covid and vaccines.

You know, the great Savant Nolina kanta Gupta, once said that the difference between Eastern and Western Philosophers, is that many of their great lines expressed the dark, while in the East, they use similar conditions to express the Light. Try expressing the Light.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on January 20, 2021:

John, I have not been to "the big city" in more than a year so I haven't observed what you write up first-hand, but I know that hundreds of businesses have been shuttered, most to never re-open. The sadness, weariness, and despair in your writing are palpable. But I feel hopeful. Doors are closing, but perhaps hearts will begin to open.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Thank you, Brenda. I am glad I managed to capture the essence. Maybe it is our new reality that we need to learn to live with. Hopefully, the vaccines help to control it though.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 20, 2021:


This is an excellent poem.

It captures the very essence of this time we are living.

I think it's our new reality.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Exactly, Peg. We can’t relax until it is over. Some of us have more patience than others though. Thank you for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Yes, Bill, a lot of people won’t accept anything that makes life uncomfortable for them, and have little regard for others. The pain will only ease sooner if everyone does their part and follows the rules. Thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

It has been a frustrating time for many people, Chitrangada. I hope some form of normalcy returns soon now vaccines are coming available. Thank you for reading.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 20, 2021:

This pandemic has cast many shadows on people's thoughts and lives. We all long for the day when this is over! In the meantime, mask up, and stay safe!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 20, 2021:

Well done, John! This is a reality for millions around the world, a reality many of us are not aware of or choose not to accept. There is pain in this world, and pain is not always measured by physical suffering.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 20, 2021:

Well expressed poem, which effectively brings up the images of the Pandemic affected people and the cities all over the world. This must end now, and we are all eagerly waiting for normalcy to return.

Thank you for sharing this.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Ann, I appreciate your kind words. We, all have the feeling of despair sometimes especially as numbers continue to worsen or there are second and third waves. I tried to capture those feelings in this poem. However we do have to continue to be optimistic about winning this fight now that vaccines are being rolled out across the world.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

I was just trying to capture the sad reality and the emotions felt by many, Pamela. Glad I succeeded in this poem.

Ann Carr from SW England on January 20, 2021:

Sadly, this is the dark side that we all feel and you express it so well; the despair and the emptiness. A very well-crafted poem.

I have days when that makes me sink into the ground but mostly I rise above it when I remind myself that I'm lucky to be able to stay at home and enjoy the garden and nature around me. My heart reaches out to our workers and medical teams who are keeping us going and saving lives. Numbers are up again here but vaccines are rolling out fairly quickly. That's the light on the horizon but I fear it won't be finishing soon.

You are a poetic wordsmith!


Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 20, 2021:

Your poem certainly reflects our lives as we must live them due to this horrid pandemic. Your captured the emotion in this pom. It is so well done, John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Thank you for reading, and the generous comment, MG. Much appreciated.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on January 20, 2021:

John, lot of feeling and emotion in your poem. Simply great.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

I am glad you feel I managed to capture the feelings of many in this poem, Lora. I am confident we will return to some form of normality, but how long that will take I don't know. Let's hope it is sooner than later.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Yes, Rosina, there is always hope in every situation. This pandemic is no exception. We will defeat it in the end, it is just sad it has cost so many lives already. Thank you for your positive comment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Thank you Flourish. We have still not had any cases in my town but our state capital, Brisbane was in lockdown a week or two back as there have been incidents of the mutated British strain. We carry masks everywhere we go and wear them if we visit any other town, or even in our own if we visit a supermarket or other area with close contact or a lot of people. We have a large supply of masks as my wife makes them.

Lora Hollings on January 20, 2021:

You certainly captured the sense of alienation and loneliness that we are all struggling with in your poem, John. It's as if the world we once knew is gone and we all have a sense of acute loss. It's as if we are now in a place that we want desperately to leave but we can't. I hope that in the next few months, this fog of death will finally lift and we will be able to return to a world that we are familiar with and be able to really enjoy each other's company once more! An excellent write.

Rosina S Khan on January 20, 2021:

Thank you, John, for portraying the pandemic reality in your beautiful poem. What can be done? We can hope, pray, and have faith in the Universe and in ourselves and make the most of everything moment to moment. I do think there is hope over the horizon.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 20, 2021:

Very somber but this is excellent! Positivity rates in my area have never been higher. If I have to go somewhere public I wear two masks on top of each other. Can’t be too safe. I get so upset when people don’t mask up or take this thing seriously.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2021:

Thank you MsDora. We are all affected in some way but this pandemic, though some countries and cities much worse than others.

Even if we are in one that is relatively untouched at the present time we must be ever vigilant and can't let our guard down. We just have to make the best of whatever situation we are in and stay positive.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 20, 2021:

Oh Jodah. Your title expresses it well. The picture of ghost town under siege by the silent killer is as real as it gets. It's not half as bad where I am, but I'm also stuck here. We're all affected, so our hearts are all crying out for a breakthrough. Thanks for giving voice to our situation. Still, let's find a reason to be grateful.

Related Articles