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Michael Shepherd



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

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Metaphor


A pretty girl
is like a simile
and vice-a-versa
so I'd say
for like the sunlight, they
delight our so prosaic day

and life is better for
a metaphor
when apposite
to what you write

the first I used
that made some sense
came out of childish
innocence

before I read
the word in prose
I thought that what
just goes and goes

was 'dire rear' -
not too bad
as an idea
for a nappy-happy lad?


*

[This one has hit it big on the international circuit, with tens of thousands of hits...I guess it fits American internet look-up homework...a dubious claim to fame...]

MS
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David Taylor



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

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hot Day (Haiku)

Drop of perspiration
falls, splashes and melts ink words....
art emerges from poet.

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David
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Michael Shepherd



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

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a hey and a ho and a txtng to-and-fro..

It was a lover and his lass
with a hey and a ho and a texting to and fro
that o'er the sidewalks smiling pass
with ringtones, with ringtones,
with dotty ditty ringtones
while cellphones ring
hi! tingalingaling,
sweet lovers love a ring.

And so sweet lovers, talking as they walk,
whisper their sweet nothings, walking as they talk;
with ringtones, with ringtones
with dotty ditty ringtones
and all the birds
txt lv ya bf wrds;
sweet lovers love a ring



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Michael Shepherd



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

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gertrude Stein is interviewed on American poetry

and there was the knocking on the door
that we were expecting
and it was the man
that we were expecting
with the questions we were expecting
to which answers were expected
by those who expect answers
as if life were like that
which for writers it is not

yes, tea was drunk
and after tea the tape recorder set up
so that what I said
I would continue to say
somewhere else
even when I changed my mind
here and nowhere else

and he said Ms Stein
what do you think of American poetry
and we said well it's American
and it's poetry
that's as it should be
and really that's all there is to say

and the man looked disappointed
so we asked him did he read poetry
and he said poetry no I dont read poetry
but my editor does
so I said it's really about Americans
living their lives
that's what American poetry is really about
because Americans move around
and so their words move around and
words in English have lost their intensity
but American words are always on the move
and they are more intense
yes, Americans living among Americans
and talking to their neighbours
if it's not about that
it's not really American poetry at all is it
if it's not about that
then why bother writing poetry

and the man was asking about a rose
being a rose being a rose and we said
for a hundred years the rose
has not been red in poetry
but now for the first time in a hundred years
the rose is red again

and the man looked at his watch
and said thank you Ms Stein
and was switching off his tape recorder

and a month later that
was what we said
in a magazine much read
by Americans who mostly
are not poets no very few but we said it
we know that this is so
because we read it there
and we think that really
that was all there was to say
because that was all we think
is really important
about American Poetry
that the words move like Americans move
and that is exciting for a writer
and that is the important thing about
American Poetry


*

(based on Gertrude Stein's actual statements)


MS
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Elizabeth Maulton



Joined: 14 Mar 2008
Posts: 35
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:08 am    Post subject: Humour Reply with quote

Kooka

If you cook a kookaburra
In a little pail...
Not only do you pay a fine:
You also go to jail.

EM
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Michael Shepherd



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

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Universal joke


You can’t get really near
the Beloved Friend
who some call God
without a sense of humour;

humour; and paradox:
sadness brings humility,
humility catches God’s ear…
now you’re laughing for sheer joy.

And have you heard this one…:
you can’t take anything from this world
without the world taking something from you…
isn’t that the best joke that ever was…?

Cows, who ruminate as well as Rumi ever did
Call it the Unified Field Theory.



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Michael Shepherd



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

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

throwaway blowaway thinkthing songsing


if loveliness
says sweetly Yes
says who poets’
poetness?

worthwords,
spearshake,
art forsaken art
now world,
with here you,
in our all,
whose heart?

if loveliness
says sweetly Yes
says who poets’
poetness?


*

to the hope of ee cummings not going

MS
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Michael Shepherd



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

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fruit of reflection


Gooseberry gooseberry gooseberry pie --
don't you sometimes ask yourself,
who am I ?

gooseberry gooseberry gooseberry fool --
'In stillness rests the answer..'
is the green and golden rule..



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Michael Shepherd



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

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two cows deconstruct Derrida


These two cows were ruminating
and one says, I was listening
to the milkmaid’s transistor

and this French philosopher
was explaining that there’s
no English translation of the French word
‘betise’ except ‘stupidity’ but

‘stupidity’ only refers to man
where the French ‘betise’ means
to behave like an animal…

and the other cow says
well what’s wrong with that

and the first cow says
well his point is, English cows
can’t be stupid; only man
can be stupid..

and the other cow says
well that’s a relief then
so does that mean that French cows
can be stupid

and the first cow says
no because they don’t have a word for it
in French

so the other cow says
so then is it better to be
an English cow
that can’t be stupid
or a French cow
that can’t be called stupid

and the first cow says
who cares, I’ve always said
the French ruminate too much
and then talk bullshit…

and the other cow says
I’m glad I’m English

what about that French milkmaid
I call sexyhands but
the farmer sometimes calls
a silly cow I wonder what
Derrida would say about that


*

[written after watching a video of the celebrated 'language' philosopher of 'deconstruction', on Utube, delivering a public lecture around this very instance..]

MS
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Michael Shepherd



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

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taking existential coffee with Jean-Paul Sartre


It was 1952. We had a limited travel currency.
In Paris, I went of course one morning to
the Café Flore. There
sat Jean-Paul Sartre, smoking
a large meerschaum pipe
such as Kierkegaard or Nietzsche might have smoked;
he had his morning coffee in front of him.
Simone had not yet joined him.
He was, one might say, alone; yet..

A circle of young admirers sat at a
discreet distance; most wore black
but the young women could not avoid
a certain Parisian chic in their sombreness,
their existential frown and turned-down lips
without false hope, around bright eyes.

It was the chance of what we call
a lifetime. Dare I speak to him?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained:
a human being must live his words,
act out his own chosen life in honesty
like Ché Guevara..

I moved to his table. The circle of admirers
were all attention. I saw two of them
surreptitiously take out small notebooks.

‘Is this seat free, Monsieur? ’ He knew me for
a stranger in that theatre of the absurd
we call life, where all are strangers
and hell is people who are other.

His arm was a signifier. His hand
indicated an empty seat (not the closest,
which awaited Simone) : his shoulder
gave the slightest Gallic shrug. We make
our own decisions, live by them.

An awed waiter, affecting nonchalance,
brought my coffee. Should I speak to Sartre
of his teenage mountaineering in Canada
and the discovery of philosophy?

No. We would then be
to each other, The Other.

We sat there silent: two beings without meaning
whose meeting was prefigured, whom
only a Creator could have put there;
a Creator whom we must deny.

I spoke through the dry lips of one
who had not yet attained an authentic
aloneness:
‘This coffee is good, n’est-ce pas, Monsieur? ’
Two students took up their pencils.

‘Ca, c’est.. oowhy I com heere.’

We sat, two human beings magnificent in the
heroism of their aloneness, enjoying,
if that’s the word, a shared appreciation of the coffee
carefully watched by the intellect..

The coffee drunk, I stood up, with a
slight bow – ‘Monsieur..’
He glanced up, but not at me;
Simone had appeared.

I walked away, glorying in
the heroism of those who know they have no heroes,
writing the words of their life,
living by them. The students, awed,
watched my body language for clues
to existence, which might then reveal
essence. Or not.

*

MS
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Michael Shepherd



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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Cartesian life co-ordinated


The year is 1607; the place, the lodgings
of the Jesuit College Royal Henri-le-Grand
at La Fleche; it’s evening;

around a flickering candle
three boys of eleven years,
bright young faces against black robes,
bright eyes, lit in each pupil by the candle flame;

too young yet to be tired
by their day of such demanding study,
they laugh over a game
designed to improve their knowledge
of the Latin terms that they must learn:

the one whose father is a High Court judge
of course knows most; yet is most bored;
such is a father’s ambition for his son…

the game, easily constructed without expense:
pieces of paper in a Jesuit cap
on each of which, a simple Latin word
most likely to be required for formal argument
in pulpit, in the courts of law:

the game, to be the first to draw
words which can make a sentence
that can pass for logical…

Bright, bored René draws first :
Ergo’ – ‘therefore’ : they all groan; the very word
speaks study, formal argument..

the others draw their words;
in the second round, our René draws
Sum’ – I exist, I am’’

the third round : excitement intensifies :
can three words make a sentence fit
for speaking in this holy, hallowed place ?

gods hold their breath; angels
hover on the wing; Fate shakes the dice;
nature, nurture, weighty past,
all conspire to set the seal
upon four centuries of future thought…

flushed young face and slow-moved hand
stretch out suspense in childish fun…
Cogito…’ reads René’s paper scrap…

how was the eleven-year-old to know
that his next words—so lightly spoke,
so soon discarded to the vaults of memory –
would shape a life, a nation’s self-drawn image,
more volumes in more languages
than any could imagine then ?

alas ! as every being in the heavens
awaited human statement of the greater truth
which would awaken mortal man
to his divine inheritance…
Sum, ergo, cogito’… they whisper to the Fates…
‘I am, I exist; therefore, I think…’

alas ! Man’s hubris won the day…
Cogito, ergo sum !’ shouts our triumphant René --
‘J’ai gagné ! J’ai gagné !’
and even God was heard to sigh…

The boys laugh; the game is won, discarded;
instant forgetfulness washes Lethe-like
over young minds; it will be thirty years
before our René dredges from his mind,
significance; human hubris; method; discourse…
sets the thinking world by egoistic ears…

and so four centuries of self-assertive Frenchmen
will gaze and talk with philosophic love
into the eyes of mesmerised
nubile young girls across the coffee-cups
of tables on the sidewalks of the boulevards;

proud to be born French; the nation
knowing that they, above all, they hold the secret
of philosophy, of life : we are, I am, born to think..
je suis né pour penser

and what of being itself,
and what of consciousness,
that enfolds ‘I am’…?

mon pauvre, mon semblable, mon frere… mon assassin…
hélas ! hélas !…


*

MS
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Michael Shepherd



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

PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awakening to myself


Surfacing from deep sleep, that moment
when the disciplined get up immediately,
the self-motivated can’t wait to get on doing their life,
the blest open their eyes with praise upon their lips,
the tardy look with horror at the bedside clock,
or the peremptory alarm floods the body with adrenalin,
while the rest of us pull the bedclothes over our head
to keep the world out of ourselves, or vice versa,
not I..

half-surfacing to some stony ledge
in the ocean of part consciousness
I am at one with every depressive, every would-be suicide,
every spiritual down-and-out,
every being who feels their worthlessness,

as one inspecting carefully the contents
of the fullish bag of a vacuum cleaner
finding there, naught for my comfort

until, if I’m lucky, some passing concern
for another human being
takes the place of fervent morning hymn
and I may feel I have some place,
some part to play in this strange drama
that we find ourselves thrust onstage to play,
wondering if we learned the lines aright;

and after this chastening roller-coaster
of humility -- mayhap another chance to seek myself --
I, dispassionately, rise.


*

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David Taylor



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

PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprise, Surprise!

That's a surprise!
That's a surprise!
That's a surprise!
That's a surprise!
He said.

So many surprises?

No, only the One.
But so new
every moment!

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John Kelly



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 127
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just been reading the Understanding Poetry thread and the interesting comments relating to music/lyrics/poems. Can't throw any light on the matter but I remenber Mr. Resistor coming to mind after listening to the Beatles "Her Majesty", erm.. not sure what the connection is... perhaps I should stick to electrics, anyways here is....

Mr. Resistor.
Oh Mr. Resistor I wish I'd not seen her
your sister all wrapped up in fur
I'm not from the east
I'm going to get fleeced
she's demanding some incence and myrrh.

Oh Mr. Resistor I wish I'd not kissed her
your sister so young and so sweet
I'm head over heels I can't eat my mealls
and your Mothers put chains round my feet

Oh what shall I do please tell me true
shall I write her a poem or a song
send her some flowers and count by the hours
I cant wait by the phone for so long

Please tell me please I dont feel at ease
my hormones are all in a spin
is this a dream or some kind of scheme
this boy cant possibly win.

Oh Mr. Resistor I wish I'd not kissed her
your sister I saw in a dream
as I climb out of bed with thoughts in my head
of breakfast with coffee and cream.
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Michael Shepherd



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 1395
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This Mr. Irresistor finds lyrics like this, irresistible ! Thanks for putting a song in my heart..

Michael
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