Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0016 Fathers, Sons, And Families - Poem by Michael Shepherd

and next to the world of heavenly gods,
the world of ancestors…

when ageing Indian fathers heard the call
that spoke some other world, they called their son
and put to him three propositions, to which
he might then make three promises:

‘You are all things - you are God in everything ' –
this the first, to call the open mind
to gain the widest knowledge of all things;

‘You are sacrifice, surrender – you are universal law,
tradition, responsibility…’: this the second; then

‘You are the world – you are humanity itself—
find this and live by it..’

the father’s mind now freed; and for the son,
continuity; and constancy; the good passed on;
all that fathers seek, for family and son;
and so the family lives on, in sweet redemption
of its generations, in its hopes, and in its love.

* * *

And so, I like to think, poets speak for them today
in rituals of poetry; holding in cupped hands
against the cold night winds of chance and change
the lights that pass from hand to hand,
from mouth to mouth, from ear to ear,
saying, remember, you are all things
in all your shining consciousness;
you speak of all good things and pass them on
in all your glorious languages;
you are the world, yourself,
you are humanity

Comments about 0016 Fathers, Sons, And Families by Michael Shepherd

  • (11/7/2006 7:43:00 AM)

    ; ¬) (Report)Reply

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  • (11/7/2006 7:36:00 AM)

    OK call it corporate modesty, you cynic...dammit, that's what poets do, I say...yeah, you too, and with humour! (Report)Reply

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  • (11/7/2006 6:19:00 AM)

    'And so, I like to think, poets ', wishful thinking here, perhaps?
    When called to the Poet's Bar, I'm afraid, the vetting policy is somewhat lax.
    Nice sentiment, all the same.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Poem Edited: Friday, November 5, 2010

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