Michael Shepherd

(8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

November 28,2007 is the International Day of Stillness: A Poem for the day

'Stillness is my beloved teacher.
From her, I learn new things every day.'
I said to Stillness,
How can you teach me so well?

Stillness said,
By being with you always.
I said to Stillness,
How can you teach me so much?

Stillness said,
Because you have much within you;
I, but a mirror for your mind;
I, but a mirror for your heart.

I said to Stillness,
O my beloved teacher, will you
promise me you will never leave me?

Stillness said,
I cannot leave you;
though you can leave me..
but what is stillness without a companion?
I said to Stillness,
Is your work hard?

Stillness said,
I have the most wonderful task that I could wish for:
I sit with babies while they smile;
I sit with children in the classroom
as they delight to learn;

I sit with the angry and disturbed,
and watch them grow to peace;
I sit with the sad and lonely and bereaved
and watch them rediscover happiness and joy;
I sit with kings and queens and rulers
while they find wisdom and mercy;

I sit with governments and committees
while they find reason and justice;
I sit with artists and scientists,
and watch them find new things outside themselves,
and find new things within themselves;

I sit with those who pray or meditate,
as they find God in themselves;
I sit at the feet of saints
while they become perfection;

I walk in the gardens of the dawn,
I walk in the gardens of the dusk;
in the deep of the night, I watch;
I fly with birds, in the silence of the air;
I watch the animals as they explore the earth;
I listen to the growing of the trees and plants;
I listen to the opening of the flowers;

Said Stillness,
I am the friend and the companion of all;
who would not love to share my life with me?
I said to Stillness,
May I never leave you.
And Stillness looked me in the eye,
and Stillness smiled at me:
‘I am born with every creature born
to be their friend for life.’

Submitted: Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Edited: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

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Comments about this poem (November 28,2007 is the International Day of Stillness: A Poem for the day by Michael Shepherd )

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  • Alison Cassidy (11/29/2007 10:27:00 PM)

    Michael, I recognize your words. They come from 'that place' of listening - of the space between - of allowing. Thank you for sharing them here so companionable, so accessibly, so enchantingly. The readiness is all. love, Allie xxxxxxx (Report) Reply

  • Leria Hawkins (11/28/2007 6:27:00 AM)

    Bravo Michael....wonderful poem...absolutely wonderful. You got my 10.

    Leria (Report) Reply

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