A while back I wrote a piece called ‘The Trickster’ to bring awareness to clinical depression. It was based on my personal past experience . Since I wrote that piece, mental health issues have become a cause I wish to champion. In some small way I hope to help rid this dreadful group of illnesses of the misunderstanding and the stigma that cloaks it.

Anxiety, depression, breakdowns, phobias etc all manifest in different ways. The following poem is an attempt to explain one way it manifested itself, in me, in the years after I was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease. I basically couldn’t stand anything that remotely suggested absence, loss, things gone. The first line sets the theme, the margin is the gap I already felt in my life and my attempt to accept and adapt to my situation.

Please understand this is not about me, I’m happy and well, I would humbly ask you to remember my words should you know of or come across someone suffering and should you wish to comment bear this in mind.

This is the first time I’ve spoken about this, even to family.



Things gone

Often I leave a margin in my day,

to fill later with that which I saw.

It’s not for me in one place to stay,

the sudden thud of a closing door.

I like hello’s and will warmly greet,

and be first with a hug and a kiss

but don’t like seeing an empty seat

and prefer long goodbyes to miss.

Always leave a slice on the plate

and a little bit of coffee in the pot,

let leaf fall block the gutter’s grate

and spare my eyes the childless cot.

Maybe on the edge of madness I walk

blissfully aware

or perhaps the demon insanity I stalk

seeking his lair

who is the hunter and who is the prey,

I really can not tell

for both in thick undergrowth lay,

and laughed as I fell.





11 thoughts on “THINGS GONE

  1. If you hadn’t written the intro, maybe I still wouldn’t have been none the wiser as to the sentiment behind the poem. Like you said the other day, a poet ‘sees’ where others just look. The theme of your poem is personal to me to some extent.
    “It’s not for me in one place to stay” – that kinda gave you away.
    The second verse was bittersweet, saying much about the person behind the poet.
    My favourite line though was “spare my eyes the childless cot.” It was a sigh moment for me.
    Walking on the edge on madness while being “blissfully” aware of the demon stalking was a brilliant use of figurative speech.
    YOU are a word wizard. Brilliant writing, Nigel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most kind Nandita. You are correct about my opinion regarding our Art. I usually don’t write an intro and I’m as pleased if someone ‘sees’ the same or something different to my original vision, just so long as I’ve opened a door. However in this case I wanted to ensure the message was clear, hence the intro. You’re very perceptive and I look forward to reading more of your words. Thank you for your comment.


      1. I look forward to reading you and being ready by you. Nothing gets me going the way poetry does. It is not a mere hobby for me. It is my passion, my calling. And you’re most welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘There’s more to the picture than meets the eye’ – those lyrics have stuck with me while I listen to and read your words, as they feel like a big part of the overall piece.
    Filling the ‘margin’ and letting life filter through to avoid those empty spaces is relatable and much needed to push through those closing doors. Love the pivot of seeking out the demon’s lair and the hunter becoming the hunted. Great strength in your wonderful words, as always, Nige !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Colleen. You, know I carefully select the song for the spoken. Well the line ‘ Rock n Roll will never die’ has a 2-fold meaning. First it’s simple defiance, though not the same man there will always be a bit of the ‘tiger’ in me and secondly it’s the nick-name of ropinirole, the nasty drug that put me in hospital and is almost impossible to come off.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nigel, your poetry is just beautiful and of high class, imagery so strong and emotive.
    I know this one carries sadness and yet your creativity conveys calm and peace too.
    ” who is the hunter and who is the prey,

    I really can not tell

    for both in thick undergrowth lay,

    and laughed as I fell. ”

    I am silenced by the strength and beauty of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nigel this is a powerful and moving piece and one with many layers. The first line is the one that hits as it is in those margins where the dark thoughts inhabit. The last line provides a fitting contrast because with the laughter comes the knowledge hunter and prey have learned to co-exist.

    Liked by 1 person

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