Michael Shepherd

(8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! In the spirit of Rumi: 74: Bliss


and they asked him, master,
tell us about bliss…

and he smiled as if
within himself, he heard the
angels laughing at the blameless
comedy of human life

bliss, he said, is where you find it…

as, when one day, you’re so hungry
that a meal fit for gods and kings
is a loaf of warm, fresh-baked bread;
a jug of wine that doesn't ask a label;
maybe a piece of local cheese, why not,

the meal which in olden times,
was called ‘short commons’ in some tongues,
that every innkeeper would offer free
to the weary, dust-stained traveller
as one would offer to one’s god
in thanks for life and sustenance…
saying, there’s a shady tree out there,
go and sit beneath it in the cool…

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine… and Thou..

Thou who appearest in so many forms
always beside me;

Thou who made the bread, its daily freshness
as if the morning made it from the desert dew;

who made the wine’s slow miracle;
who made the jug – the metaphoric clay of life
made moist with love, fired hard by love…

who made the tree which shades you as you eat;
who, the meal finished, waits for your gratitude
so as to know that all He made, is good…

and who then offers - as silently as sand beneath your feet,
as silently as cool air moves around the tree’s light shade,
as silently as ripening figs blush on the branch above you,
as silently as roses live their scented life,

as still as morning dawns, or evening shades -
Himself, as bliss; where for a moment as you sit,
there is no thing in all His world
to be desired; for All is here..

there in the heart, the sweetest taste of His
so intricate and jewelled simplicity.

Submitted: Saturday, October 06, 2007
Edited: Wednesday, April 13, 2011

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Comments about this poem (! In the spirit of Rumi: 74: Bliss by Michael Shepherd )

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  • Alison Cassidy (10/6/2007 7:54:00 PM)

    Oh Michael, what can I say? Thanks for expressing the inexpressible with such humility and such grace. Your words have wings. love, Allie xxxx (Report) Reply

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