A Poem For Times When Something is Just Off

When I was in college, I struggled a bit with mild depression or melancholy. During those times, I found refuge in music, long walks, and poetry. This is a poem that I wrote during that season and just found the other day. It tries to articulate that sense of strangeness or eeriness that can come with depression—that feeling like everything in the world is a bit off color, or blurry like when you have the wrong prescription glasses. Sometimes just getting to the point where you can articulate that feeling can bring a measure of comfort.

A hidden stillness

Like pain under an opiate

A shadow lurking

Like a centipede crawling in my mind

A strangled feeling, tortured in time, suspended in mid-air, churning beneath consciousness

A gnawing greyness

Like splintered glass in dark water

A grasping hope, a rising light

A certain knowledge

This, too, shall pass


  1. […] Gavin Ortlund. A Poem for Times When Something is Just Off. […]


  2. […] Gavin Ortlund. A Poem for Times When Something is Just Off. […]


  3. That is beautiful and describes the feeling so accurately


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