For an Old Man We Met on a Mountain

For an Old Man We Met on a Mountain


Upon the occasion of our


the same old man again

on his way

down from the mountain

He still held

an empty bowl by his side

although his

free hand, remained


outstretched and in front

of his belly ..

Begging crusts, crumbs or

loose change

from locals and tourists ..

And all for the

sparrows, he said he may

meet on the

way, to wherever it was

he then

thought he was going ..




  • Author: Neville (Offline Offline)
  • Published: November 22nd, 2022 02:25
  • Comment from author about the poem: for those who might wonder and ask .. no aspect of this observation is fictitious & although for the purposes of this scribbled recollection, he shall remain nameless, I did get to know him quite well & my provisional diagnosis was that he had probably suffered from repeated psychotic episodes (probably of some schizotypal form) with associated florid symptoms during which had clearly frightened the locals and possibly holiday makers too & since then, he had been forced to survive on the very shifting fringes of a generally intolerant and largely misinformed society .. N
  • Category: Unclassified
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  • Users favorite of this poem: Accidental Poet, Dove.


  • Goldfinch60

    Fine words Neville, many people do not understand others problems.
    There was a guy in my town who used to sit there playing a tin whistle, I got to know him quite well and often wondered how he got by with the problems he had.


    • Neville

      they still reckon its about one in every hundred .. & that's just for those with schizophrenia .. just imagine if all other largely misunderstood and de-valued groups were lumped together .. the world would become one vast begging bowl ................ sadly, there are too few givers N

    • Fay Slimm.

      Those who don't fit into society's expectations are pushed aside to its fringes like your poemed old man still homeless and holding his lonely bowl - ---- a heart-touching write of misinformed shunning and found almost everywhere..............x

      • Neville

        indeed, I could not have put it better myself, nor be more grateful for my own good fortune despite everything and of course for your visit today dear Fay ... x

      • orchidee

        And - there's often a similar man or woman in some churches. A 'regular' who can get different responses from others - welcome, acceptance, embarrassment, ignorance, etc.
        One I know went from drug use rehab, to church, then back to the streets again sadly. Don't know where he is now.

        • Neville

          a true story told and so many time over, in every village, town and city pretty much all the world over .. interestingly, maybe not so much in many of the so called third world countries .... maybe ..

          thank you for sharing that Mr. O it was muchly appreciated ... Neville

        • Violet bluebell( used to be yellow rose)

          That’s sad ( maybe he thought the sparrows might accept him . I’m sure he didn’t mean to frighten anyone . Some people are very judgemental . I know that I have felt judged at times .. or treated differently . And it’s never nice . People with problems need compassion .

          • Neville

            if I could rate or rank the responses to this particular little scribble VB I think I would place yours on the top .. like the cherry on the cake, or the fairy on the Christmas tree .. and I thank you for it 🙂

          • crypticbard

            Your compassion is quite moving and inspiring. Of late we have met a couple of like persons but these were 'mountain folk' of another sort. But the compassion exerted has to be the same as they had their proverbial bowls out in one hand and the other rubbing their grumbling belly. A bit of an inverse in method but the need is quite similar to their well being.

            • Neville

              Thanks for seeing it my way ..................... Neville

              • crypticbard

                When your way is our way how can there be any other way? There would be holes in that statement of mine, but you get the drift. .....Rik

              • Doggerel Dave

                Although I willingly give it, you don't really need an endorsement from me, do you Nev?
                Encouraging to see the responses above.
                You illustrate those ritualised repetitive behaviours, which above all, do not, I repeat, do not signal violent intent.
                Of course, these folks are ignored because they are assessed as having little or no economic value.......
                Thanks for putting it out there.

                • Neville

                  I once had, if I remember correctly four psychiatrists walk out on me while presenting at a national conference in Manchester after I had pointed out that within the last fifty years, without a single exception, psychiatrists have killed more people per year than people diagnosed with schizophrenia (in the entire UK) .. albeit inadvertently .. Three of them later sent me written letters of apology via the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health whom I was working for at the time when they realised .. guess what .................. Yeah, I was right ........ Neville 🙂

                  • Doggerel Dave

                    If the sciences were living entities, born and growing to maturity, then Psychiatry, (meaning all within - psychiatrists, nurses, social workers and so on) has barely learnt to walk yet….
                    If any satisfaction is gained as a result of treatment, then this can be more attributed to an individual personality rather than the discipline under which they work.
                    You seem to have had your battles, Nev – more power to your elbow…

                  • dusk arising

                    where are any of us going anyway?

                    • Neville

                      ................................................ precisely sir 🙂

                    • Accidental Poet

                      Why the compassion of man can be felt and given by some and not others is a mystery that evades us, your scribble is heartfelt and speaks for so many. Thank you, N, for your compassionate write.

                      • Neville

                        and thank you AP for your insightful & most heart-warming contribution to this particular page .. always welcome and likewise appreciated my friend .. Neville

                      • Dove

                        Very insightful, schizophrenia is a mystery to me. My sister has it, and though I can read all about it, walking around it is hard. I never know what to say.

                        • Neville

                          there are so many who feel similarly .. I can only send my thank you's for visiting .. and assure you should you ever need an ear, I am only a click away

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