Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0020 Awakening To Myself - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Surfacing from deep sleep, that moment
when the disciplined get up immediately,
the self-motivated can’t wait to get on doing their life,
the blest open their eyes with praise upon their lips,
the tardy look with horror at the bedside clock,
or the peremptory alarm floods the body with adrenalin,
while the rest of us pull the bedclothes over our head
to keep the world out of ourselves, or vice versa,
not I..

half-surfacing to some stony ledge
in the ocean of part consciousness
I am at one with every depressive, every would-be suicide,
every spiritual down-and-out,
every being who feels their worthlessness,

as one inspecting carefully the contents
of the fullish bag of a vacuum cleaner
finding there, naught for my comfort

until, if I’m lucky, some passing concern
for another human being
takes the place of fervent morning hymn
and I may feel I have some place,
some part to play in this strange drama
that we find ourselves thrust onstage to play,
wondering if we learned the lines aright;

and after this chastening roller-coaster
of humility, mayhap another chance to seek myself,
I, dispassionately, rise.

Comments about 0020 Awakening To Myself by Michael Shepherd

  • Alison Mary Dunn (9/12/2008 6:40:00 PM)

    This is a wonderful write Michael. I've read your poem a few times now and it's up there with the best. Ally (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/6/2006 7:03:00 AM)

    Michael, You've done it again. Told me something I already know and in the telling, allowed me to know it better than before. Tara's right - bloody ripper of a title. love, Allie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/4/2006 4:20:00 PM)

    So pleased to discover that I am not the only one. Fine work.

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/3/2006 5:27:00 AM)

    Know precisely what you mean, of course. A rollercoaster of a poetic ride M but one which makes its humbled reader pause for thought. Excellently coined title, too. t xx (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/3/2006 5:16:00 AM)

    I particularly like the world-weary reference to Shakespeare's 'All the world's a stage' mantra, pointing out, quite correctly that one doesn't get far without a script. Yes, a wistful poem that dares to defy the usual 'I'm feeling positive today' talk when waking up. Well done, Michael. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/3/2006 4:50:00 AM)

    Not everyone has the level of intellect required to see into the heart of the matter of life. Deep and philosophical if rather grey and grim (inevitably so, given the meaninglessness of life) .

    Speaking of awakening to oneself, I've sent the £15 to Godstow for the sonnets. I'm hoping that they'll reach me some time this week - I want to get reading!


    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 6 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Sunday, September 3, 2006

Poem Edited: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

[Report Error]