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New poems -- Michael Shepherd
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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I a myth ?


Somehow it slipped through, like some gypsy charm
from Indian East to West and ancient Greece:

‘Mithya’ -- neither true, nor untrue;
fit for altercation; category
known but to the wise; beyond all sciences
heads devise; enshrined in every heart;

myths: that hold a nation
in imagination’s palm:
Arthur, all his knights around,
sleeping that sweet sleep between
the dream and the reality;

asking nothing but a warrior’s death,
the fight well fought; even then their raising up
the service of the land they love;

poets visit them in dreams,
their faces as their soul in sleep. Mind, remember.


*

MS
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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dreaming reality


In a dream that shone last night
washed with a clear sweet tenderness
I walked a paradise I knew
and I remembered happiness:

in a presence without end
and in a space where all stays free
I walked complete as my true self
and happiness remembered me.


*

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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arjji. A celebration.


Every birth is a miracle;
more of a miracle; not less;

but his two hands and his two feet
are tiny miracles in themselves;

the four first toys he’s yet to discover and enjoy;
we can’t take our eyes off them --
their perfection.

but his face..still crinkled, his lips
almost disdainful; as if he’s not yet ready
to face the world, put on a face for the world;
it’s not even a world to have a view about as yet.
Lucky him.

So he doesn’t know as yet
that he’s to be named Arjuna;

that he’s yet to discover
whether it’s a burden or a blessing
to be given that name

which he’ll hear crooned so many times:
‘Arj…Arjji…Arjunaji… Arjuna…’

and gradually it’ll sink in, that
there’s someone else… and me myself…
can this be true ?

they'd prayed, as the ancient custom is,
to bring a great and noble soul into the world;

his father Krish, that’s Krishnaji
has taken on a new role too;

there’s more to birth, and name, and life…
it takes a lifetime to find out.


*

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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Universe at Finger’s Tip

Two or three months back
my little finger caught in a closing hinge;
could have been worse…

since then, the nail’s been
every shade of blackish-brown,
living some ancient, primitive life, of battered claw,
or shellfish, bruised by rock and ocean,
yet preserving, in its shell
such tender life
as heroes live to save..

every day, I watch this primeval drama
as, secretly, beneath the horny shell
so measured in its protectiveness,
dying slowly like a hero who enfolds
a baby life within his arms,

secretly beneath, there grows a new pink life;
its promise makes me look afresh
at its neighbour nails; and marvel
at the delicacy of their shade
from crescent moon to nail so practical..
what lacquer could ever hope to match
this living beauty ?

and I fall silent, still; humbled at this scene
that brings the universe’s law and love
here to my finger-end. No name of god,
or evolution, or Intelligent Design,
may encompass my humility;
I who know not my own finger-end;
humility so still, it’s even beyond prayer.
If praise can be one, without form --
then this is praise.


*

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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Memory of George Herbert. For Fay.


I, upon this journey, question me :
journey, I to God, or God to me ?

If I to God: I pray that journey fast;
if God to me: Thou first; that I may last.


*

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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiritus Sanctus [for a lady sorrowing; written in the Metaphysical style]

This consolation spirits have (did we but know,
and thus to meet them with our undimm’d love) :

that though they seems so far in body, yet,
the nearer by so far, share unbound mind;

and nearer still – and nearer than a tear;
and closer than the magnet warmth of smile –

to those wide open arms which are our heart,
the spirit of our soul which knows all spirit there;

who knows, but that the souls of those we love,
now dancing free of body’s need for limbs,

rejoice -- to be so close now to our heart
that nevermore forgot or separate;

who knows, but that their new and patient hope
is that their spirit’s joy is ours to hear ?

For what could be the Holy Spirit’s self itself
if not the very essence of those powers,

to love so close and so unbounded, free;
the model of all loves that walk the earth ?

This consolation, spirits have; ours, but to know:
love is our everdue; creates; sustains; and ever so.


*

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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Act One Scene One


Spring sunlight filters through new leaves
in this wood near Athens;
the ozone of the sea not far away
livens the nostrils of the hopeful student
pausing in front of the marble columns.

The pause is a departure and an arrival:
there’s dust on his sandals;
he’s come from far away;
who knows how far ?

How many times has his spirit
been washed by Lethe’s oblivion ?
That forgetting which by grace
may lead to a remembering ?

The student and the columns of the portico
shining white in their new marble in the sunlight,
both for a moment still; yet
in another world, the spirit of the student
and the spirit of the Academy itself
fly to meet each other;
the goddess, bare arms open,
greets her worshipper of truth.

We the Chorus, witnessing the beauty of this scene
indescribable; immortal; full of truth,
speak of the gods who watch eternally;
recall in measured words
Odysseus, returning to his homeland;
his mind, like his faithful dog,
waking to its long awaited master.


*

MS
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Peter Blumsom



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 1120
Location: Wembley, London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, After seven days of a grinding reference search this was just what I wanted.

Spring sunlight filters through new leaves
in this wood near Athens;


Ah, if only ...

Last Summer I spent two hours looking down at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Parnassus looming above and the great valley below. I expect that's about as near as this body will ever get to heaven.

Pete
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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharing eternity


It should be so obvious :
all the ‘eternal values’ which we may see
as worthwhile in our life –
these, we share with those who’ve gone before..
what else more worth the sharing ?

and share, more closely than we know to seek:
those whose ‘loss’ to us we mourn –
especially those so recently thought ‘lost’ to us –
they are the ones still closest to us :

they delight to hear from us, chatting in our heart;
in their eternity, so willing to forgive if we but ask;
need no medium, planchette or ectoplasm
to be contacted; if we but wish;

and in the wisdom of eternity which they share
with us within our inmost heart,
so eager now to give, and to forgive, and give again :

beloved teachers, to continue so to teach;
beloved ones, to continue so to feed, draw out our heart with love..

then share eternity, and live !
and tell them of our gratitude...
it should be so obvious..


*

[extracted from Shaivite teachings]

MS
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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silent Prayer


Two lovers in an inner room withdrawn,
and speaking much of love, as one to one;
and yet their speech so ardent in its truth,
not sound but rather silence seems to reign.

Those silent lovers are the soul and God;
their silence, prayer, which brought them, joins them, here;
they talk of all that lovers ever speak,
and plight their troth as lovers ever swear:

'Yet nought I have to give you, but myself;
and that I give, and beg of you to take;
and nought I ask of you, but that yourself
you give to me in truth for my soul's sake...'

No lovers' pledge more common, nor more true;
no love more constant; nor more holy vow.


*

From Mechthild of Magdeburg's description of prayer.

MS
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Peter Blumsom



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 1120
Location: Wembley, London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A belated congratulations to Michael whose thread has now passed the 20,000 'hits' and to wish him better. I miss his contributions like anything. Pete
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David Taylor



Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 254
Location: Sutton, Surrey, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Posted here in tribute to Michael, a truly inspiring man who I had the privilege to call my friend.

In Memory of a Poet

It is so long since new words graced this page
From your loving hands, your smiling face, your thoughtful gaze,
Almost two years have passed since that fateful day
Which was the foreboding of your departing way.

Your eyes still burn so bright in this sanctum of my heart
You brought such inspiration with your abiding love,
You no longer sit with us in simple faith and common trust
And with your words, dissolving all our fears to dust.

But dearest and most true beloved friend
The truth you thought, that truth which has no end,
I find it now on treasured pages left
Your graceful words endure and speak of rest.

I will forever keep you in my heart
And your poems, full of joy and never dark,
Will stay with me until I reach that final day
When I too must leave and travel on my way.

With love from David

_________________
David
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Cheryl ALbrecht



Joined: 12 May 2009
Posts: 100
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: ....a thing of beauty is a joy forever.... Reply with quote

Your presence felt across the seas
no sense of either here.. or ..there.

You were free, the freedom to be
expressed in stillness, truth declared.

Words in exalted wit, your art,
bright bowers of flowers blooming
springing from nectar of your heart.

Wealth of treasures so sustaining,
your presence ever remaining.

with love joy gratitude, Michael,
You gave us the gift of yourSelf.

*******
ever remembered
Cheryl
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 191
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael died two years ago today. This is a poem he wrote about death, grief and life ...


A grief ago

'There is no grief

which time does not lessen

or soften' -

so said Cicero, a man so often right; 

a Stoic, those for whom

all life presents a lesson

to be learned from, 
and then, to move on from..



But I wonder about all this: 

is grief ever lessened or softened? 

Is it not, perhaps, overlaid

in our so various ways? 



For some, grief framed and falsified

to ease that grief; 



For some, like hyacinths and crocus bulbs, 

left in a dark cupboard in the autumn of our grief

to respond to time, and

become at last

themselves? 




gently, gently, the covers pulled

over the loving bed, 

the true, the pure, the lovely painful grief, 

the memory deep cherished, 

gently, gently, folded

into the cupboards of the heart



there to be known, without the door disturbed

until the time - 'a grief ago' as Dylan wrote -

the cupboard opened only for love's sake

without grief...: 

those carefully folded memories

brought out and loved

and lived a while...



not grief, not grief...but

the pure memory of grief



and behold, 

life.


MS
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Alan Edward Roberts



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 191
Location: Twickenham, London, UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And this is a poem Michael wrote concerning writers and readers ...


'Great Write...' - great reader!

Every poem is an invitation

for the readers to use their imagination



a vehicle licensed

to carry passengers



who sometimes have a greater imagination

than the poet



even perhaps get more from the poem

than the poet knowingly put in



which you must admit

if with a slight embarrassment



as you read the words of praise

is a divine joke



and from the divine viewpoint

very practical since



every reader is an invitation

for the poets to match their imagination


MS
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