Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0003 Similes, Metaphors And Stuff (2) - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Isn’t it strange, this thing called
Poetry – and even stranger, these things
called similes and metaphors, which are
the very essence of what poetry
uses to try to get to us?

Look! Over there, in that field! Did you
see it?
No, what?
A hare! Never seen one before! It’s
hiding in the grass now – there! It’s jumped up again!
watch it bounce up and down as it runs,
must have strong hind legs,
isn’t it funny? So fast, too – our dog will never catch it…

No I still didn’t see it, I was watching that beautiful
perfect V-formation of wild geese against the blue sky
over there, I wonder where they came from,
where they’re going? And does
their leader know and lead them, or
do they all know and they're
all on the same goosy wave-length and
they must be cleverer than us then,
how do they do that...?
You missed them, they're
out of sight now, so
we'll never know...I guess our dog
barking, set them off…

And so, our mind – that lively, scatty, playful, faithful dog,
chasing hares which catch our idling attention,
chasing wild geese which are out of reach,
barking up the wrong tree,
seeking with a wagging tail
the beautiful, elusive good;

Or, like Swami Vivekananda describes,
mind as monkey – restless, vain, vindictive,
agile, watchful, quick to move,
never quite at rest – and worse,
intoxicated, selfish, full of pride; and
worse again – cunning, drunken, angry,
inventing enemies in its divided mind –

Similes for one thing like another,
metaphors for situations which
connect in depth of mind like
crossword clues which finally
illuminate – ah yes, now I see
what it’s getting at…and
we're into a world of enchantment where
the word makes all Creation one, and new...

Like parables, they take us deeper, subtly
tease the mind, and then dart round and past it
like wingers on the football field
thrilling our attention, their joyous goal
touching our heart with the adventure and
pointing it towards a boundless love;

similes, metaphors, homely proverbs, parables –
more difficult than thinking, easier than thought,


Comments about 0003 Similes, Metaphors And Stuff (2) by Michael Shepherd

  • (12/10/2005 1:11:00 PM)

    This is a perfect example of your ability to think as profoundly as you write. (Report) Reply

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  • (12/10/2005 7:53:00 AM)

    I think the use of language can be beautiful.........It's amazing how vivid the picture can be with only the right combination of letters. Great poem. Sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, December 10, 2005

Poem Edited: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

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