Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0009 Persian Vase, Persian Thoughts - Poem by Michael Shepherd

As you enter this quiet and peaceful sunlit room,
it seems at first all space; but then your eye
- as is intended – straightway drawn
to that fine Persian vase which sits
upon an old oak chest, its lid, polished
with the wax of love and years,
a crack across it somehow speaking
of trials borne and overcome;
the tale of life, of time, of history, of lessons learnt.

The chest – it’s cedar lined, as aromatic as memory
when the lid is opened – does not now hold,
as when it was first carpentered, a bridal trousseau;
a girl given with fine clothes to destiny -
now, precious family documents
that tell of rights and duties, high positions
and their responsibilities, once held;
past, present and future, public life and private,
aromatic in the memory.

The vase is cool and vivid, curls of blue and white;
a cobalt blue, the colour of far-seeing beauty –
the surface colour seen in deepest sea;
the colour which the upper air, in flight,
seems to yearn for; as if we look
into the vase and through it and beyond it;
the white’s so white, it speaks of purity;
and here are touches of an emerald green
which sets off both, as if jewelled thoughts
are never far away from golden minds

I am the potter, speak that vase:
I am the eye that draws your eye,
I am the beauty that may touch your heart;
and to your mind, I bring the thought –
I too was born of dust, of clay and precious water,
decorated with a potter’s love;
one day I shall, by that accident which reigns
in life that passes, be broken into pieces
and return to dust…
you and I, our past is dust, our future dust –
but oh, the beauty of the present that’s eternal,
the joyous dancing of the here and now…
cobalt blue like sea and sky, innocent as white,
emerald as green fields fresh diamonded with dew..

Comments about 0009 Persian Vase, Persian Thoughts by Michael Shepherd

  • (6/28/2007 10:24:00 AM)

    As you know, Michael, this poem was tucked into the back of my mind, but I couldn't remember the title, so I contacted you. And, WOW, am I ever glad that I did, because it is so well worth the effort. This, to my way of thinking, is what poetry is all about...deeply touching, making me think, lingering in the mind like a sweet perfume.

    This time, however, I am making a copy of it...so that I won't have to bother you again, and I can read it often. Thank you for such a lovely work of art. Scarlett
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  • Linda Hepner (8/4/2006 10:38:00 AM)

    Pure pleasure reading your poem. A full 10 +. I'm sure your words will be the loveliest and most spiritual all day in this heedless, hopeless, vainly striving world. (Report) Reply

  • (7/24/2006 1:38:00 PM)

    Dear Michael,

    This is a wondrous jewel of a poem. It travels at its own pace, and each aspect is given its proper shrift and exploration. It is delicate and sensual and deeply spiritual and profound. I take off my symbolic hat to you and your gift! Wonderful writing.

    All the best,

    (Report) Reply

  • (7/22/2006 10:24:00 AM)

    Michael, this is truly a fine piece of work, beautiful in the descriptions, beautiful for my mind's eye to behold, and it has a depth of thought behind it that is amazing. I had not thought of a vase from the standpoint that it is only dust and water, and that it is the potter who brings it to life, with love. Your description of the colors of the vase glow, like emeralds and diamonds on a Persian woman's fingers, and yet it is simple dust...what depth! Thank you for sharing this with us! (Report) Reply

  • (7/22/2006 9:08:00 AM)

    For someone with such a wicked sense of humour, this has a surprisingly sensitive patina. Excellent.
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/22/2006 8:29:00 AM)

    Micheal this is beautiful and such a pulling at the heart, Amazing in its wisdom
    A high ranking position for this would bode well in my opinion
    Love duncan X
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/22/2006 7:40:00 AM)

    Michael, this is an untterly enchanting, reflective piece. Please enlighten on the quote? t x (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, July 22, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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