Poem – Please Mind the Gap

Piccadilly Station Manchester

I was reading a post last year called ‘The Janitor’ by Bendedspoon on her excellent blog and no. 6 on the list really made me think. 

6. LEAVE A LEGACY. It doesn’t matter if you live 2 thousand years or twenty. What matters is how you fill the space between the dates on your gravestone. Let your wisdom live and multiply in each life that you touch.

It made me think about the the space between our birthdate and our deathdate  – our lives. ‘Please mind the Gap’ is a warning issued on the London underground before boarding the train.  It’s also a metaphor for the many pitfalls we encounter on our journey throughout life.

Please Mind the Gap


From conception to womb –
Please mind the gap..
From cradle to spoon –
Please mind the gap!
From totter to school –
Please mind the gap!
From childhood to fool –
Please mind the gap
from fool to regret –
Please mind the gap
From dawn to sunset –
Please mind the gap
From happiness tears –
Please mind the gap
From wilderness years –
Please mind the gap
From faith to despair –
Please mind the gap
From substance to air –
Please mind the gap
From health to old age –
Please mind the gap
From epic to page –
Please mind the gap
From daylight to night –
Please mind the gap
From blindness to sight –
Please mind the gap
From deafness to grasp –
Please mind the gap
From shouting to gasp –
Please mind the gap
From labours last test –
Please mind the gap
To lifes final rest –
Please mind the gap!

©2011 Lynda M Roberts

To ‘mind the gap’ a little too much and not take any chances at all in life would result in a pretty boring and  unfulfilling existence .  But would we be ‘safe’?  Not necessarily, fate has a way of filling those gaps when and with the unexpected…..

10 thoughts on “Poem – Please Mind the Gap

    1. And it was your post which inspired the poem! They do say a child is wiser in some way than an adult sometimes. We lose some of this childhood wisdom over time. So much for us ‘knowing it all’ 🙂

  1. (sound of fingers snapping applause)
    Very nice work. An excellent use of a commonplace metaphor to illustrate the fleeting time we have in this life. Far more than a casual warning to “stop and smell the flowers”, this draws the reader’s mind to the inevitable question of, “What shall I leave behind?”.

    To quote Ani DiFranco: “You’re done for, done for good. So, tell me…did you do all that you could?”
    This poem wonderfully addresses that which most of us do everything we can to avoid thinking about: Death.

    “From labours last test…To life’s final rest…” Outstanding lines!
    Thank you for this uniquely-crafted, lovely poem.

    1. Thanks Dawn runs amok! Not seen you for
      a while 🙂 I was trying to get a chug chug train of urgency (as life is speeding by) that’s why the poem is in one continuous chunk 🙂 Inspiration comes from everywhere, I took the photo ages ago knowing it would come in handy somehow. Thanks for your positive comments and for visiting – appreciated!

  2. I love the repetition and the rhymes you put together here, Lynda. And the journey through life, you make it sound so hectic!
    Thought you might like these:

    Have a sunny day!

  3. This is so full of truth, Lynda.. Gaps exist… and if we don’t fill ’em in carefully, nature will fill ’em for us… in her own ways! 🙂
    We need to strike a balance between being free and being disciplined… both can coexist peacefully… but only when we want them to 🙂

    A lovely poem with a cool rhyme scheme.. and ofcourse, the repetitions really drive the point in!! Awesome!

    1. Thanks Kavita1 Too many warnings and not enough gaps in the poem lol
      You’re right – we do need to strike a balance between caution and daring and fill that gap (life) with as much positive deed and hope they have consequence 🙂

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