‘Gifted’ with Parkinson’s: a new poem for Christmas and the New Year

Perspectives

Author: Parkinson's Life editorsPublished: 22 December 2016

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Mike Bell Gifted lead

We challenged the daily poet Mike Bell, who lives with Parkinson’s disease, to write a poem for Parkinson’s Life based on the theme of Christmas. Here’s the result


After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2015, Mike Bell pledged to write a poem a day for a whole year. He plans to release the collection of 365 poems in his own personal anthology, Bonfire One, 2015-16.

Here are Mike’s thoughts on the season of giving and how Parkinson’s can bring people closer together.

Gifted

It’ll be another end
to another slowing year,
my tightening body
under pain’s besmear:
A letterbox drop
of cards on the hall floor,
there to remain,
as I can’t bend any more:

Christmas on pause,
a slight hint of freeze,
until the carer’s arrival
to attend to me –
if she turns up,
if she’s the same one,
– my feet will be rubbed,
a bath will be run.

A text from my child,
now a mum on her own,
they’ll be here by three,
we are never alone.
One lesson I’ve learnt,
under PD’s long rub,
is that life is wonderful
when treated with love.

Listen to Mike reading his poem by clicking the player below.

Read more: An emotional new poem for World Parkinson’s Day

Mike says: “These poems form a narrative to my life, politically and emotionally, which I hope find engagement with other individuals whom are also just trying to get by, with, or without any diagnosis.”


 Read more: Why I promise to make poetry, not Parkinson’s disease, my daily challenge

Listen to more of Mike’s poems here and visit his website to read the rest of his poems

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