Non Existent

One day my body disappeared,
__nor could I touch or taste,
but I could feel the flood of tears
__that filled my missing face.

My presence was by no-one known.
__Not felt, nor seen, nor heard,
imprisoned in a realm alone,
__dissevered from the herd.

Back home, I saw my wife and house
__but she was not aware.
She thought I dwelt at some place else.
__Her realm I couldn’t share.

She combed the streets, the parks, the plains,
__she shouted, wailed and cried,
and through the wind and pouring rain,
__I walked lost at her side.

I stood with her at my own grave
__and though she thought me dead,
we were, as each the other, craved
__in heart and law still wed.

I couldn’t ease her mounting woe
__her hurt and loneliness.
All the love I yearned to show
__was lost in nothingness.

She found another person’s arms
__Though I was racked with hurt,
I felt no ill towards the balm
__that made her grief inert.

When her distress gave way to joy
__I knew that I should leave.
Although, alone with love devoid
__I roam with much relief.




Stratford Man

He has graced the blessed steps of time,
and all residing in its honoured house
with wonders not befitting the great crime
inflicted on him by the elitist grouse.
His work acclaimed by commoner and King,
exceeds all epochs, trends and whim of age;
stands, unsurpassed by any work penned since,
and victim of an insidious foray.
Great reverence is bestowed on laureates,
and fanfare heralds literary prowess,
but envious men, begrudging and select
divest the Stratford man of his finesse.
Stop your fruitless, vain and hopeless search,
and give honour to the genius you’ve besmirched.



Gary Borck is from the UK. He teaches in China. He has nearly been published in 867 editorials. He has been wholly published in the online journal: Grand Little Things.

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12 Responses

  1. Michael Pietrack

    Indeed, Shakespeare is a genius that makes up a category all his own.

  2. Gary

    Agreed Michael. A genius indeed.

    By the way I thought your “Mistress” poem was a stroke of genius. Very well done.

  3. Paul Freeman

    Non-Existent almost read like a homage to the film ‘The Sixth Sense’. I enjoyed how you gave the poem a classical feel.

    As for your sonnet about Shakespeare and Shakespeare conspiracists, this topic was touched on quite recently, and you’re right, it’s a shame credit is not always be given where credit’s due.

    Thanks for the reads, Gary.

    • Gary Borck

      ‘Non Existent’ wasn’t consciously inspired by the Sixth Sense, although I think the film passed through my mind at some point, when writing the poem. I love the film, though, especially the reveal at the end. And, you’re correct, there are definitely parallels between it and my poem.

      Regarding dear Shakespeare, I think it’s simply down to jealousy and snobbery. I think most who claim his work was written by others, know he wrote it but the aforementioned traits they have, refuse to allow them to acknowledge it.

      Thanks for your thoughts, Paul.

  4. Roy E. Peterson

    The Stratford Man is indeed sometimes impugned but deserves top billing in our literary pantheon. “Non Existent” reminds me of soldiers that have returned from battles and battle wounds. Both are excellent reads.

    • Gary Borck

      You are correct, Roy. That’s what makes it worse. They’re not content with claiming that Will didn’t write the works credited to him, but they often, also go on to insult him and malign his character. He definitely deserves better. I think my poem has successfully conveyed my feelings on that.

      I can see the parallel with the feelings of battle-scarred soldiers feeling alienated from society. Another cruel and sad outcome of war.

      Thanks Roy, it’s a pleasure to share my poems and to receive positive feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

  5. Tonia Kalouria

    True Love is wanting the best for the other person — even if it means their finding someone new. Lovely theme.

    Agree about The Bard, too.

    • Gary Borck

      Yes Tonia, if someone genuinely loves another, they will always want the best for them, no matter what. I’m glad you liked the theme.

      Also, pleased to hear we’re on the same wavelength, regarding William Shakespeare.

      Thanks for your kind reply.

  6. Norma Pain

    Non Existent is a beautiful poem with a very touching sentiment. I enjoyed both poems very much. Thank you Gary.

    • Gary Borck

      Norma, I too am touched, by your appreciation for my poetry. My goal in sharing my poetry is for readers to enjoy and be moved by it.

      Thank you for your inspiring reply.

  7. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Gary, I really like the rhyme scheme and the idea of ‘Non Existent’. It’s a heart touching piece with some intriguing turns that has a poem I have read before hovering just on the periphery of my memory. The reveal in the fifth stanza is sad and clever… that was the hook for this reader. I also like your clear readings. There’s something about the author reading that adds extra depth to the words, and you read beautifully.

  8. Gary Borck

    Hi Susan, I couldn’t think of a topic to write my next poem about. I then thought it might be interesting to write about someone being invisible, but decided to add an extra dimension that would make that person unable to have any impact on the world, whatsoever, though they would still be conscious of the environment around them.

    If you manage to remember and find the poem, that mine reminds you of, please post it here. I am intrigued.

    I do try to put feeling into my reading but find it very challenging to do a decent job. You are absolutely correct that a good reading can greatly magnify the effect of a poem.

    I hold your work in high esteem, Susan, so really appreciate your encouraging words.

    Thank you.


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