Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0027 Dreaming Truth - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Imagine yourself -
yourself, to imagine –
this dream; dream
this imaging:

the water’s so far, far below
it’s beyond this dark imagining, this dream;
all your attention is required
by this rope bridge,
swayed by nature to some immediate, vibrating laws
of this way, that way, more complex
than steel or concrete bear in mind –
five lines of rope, that’s all,
bound from time to time
but only every few and fearful steps
so that they do not part
unless you tread without remembering
all five of them; toe, heel, as you place your foot…

and now it seems, in the illogical
precision of this dream – which is in
league with some dark inner truth
and so, it must be walked – now,
it’s not five ropes, any more,
but five strings of some instrument
vibrating, low and high; while tense, taut mind
looks for firm frets to tune each step;
or can you trust their tuning?
is the tuning now the fingers of your feet?

each fallible or faulty foothold
will send its string’s own warning of uncertainty:
this bass string, booming failure between the valley’s two high cliffs;
this treble string, nerve-searing scream of pain;
ahead, this firm support that holds the strings, now
drops away; the hollow soundbox that’s all space,
all sound, all air, all touch and light and flow of sound;
the sound of judgment’s stern and justly-tempered final chord –

now you awake: relieved, yet with a question,
born of night, to be resolved by day;
what does the dream tell to the waking thought?
what does the waking thought tell of the dream?
some metaphor for life inhabited your dream;
some knowledge passed, wrapped in a metaphor;
you only know, that it was watched – by whom?


Comments about 0027 Dreaming Truth by Michael Shepherd

  • (8/2/2006 9:08:00 PM)


    Existential indeed, and deep and meaningful. I hear the music that plays when the strings of control are let go of. Michael, you are one hell of a writer.
    love, Allie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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  • (7/26/2006 11:13:00 AM)


    One word, Mikey: WOW! This is a delightfully deep and profoundly existential poem.....and guess what? I heard your music. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Poem Edited: Thursday, August 19, 2010


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