Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0027 That Baker Boy - Poem by Michael Shepherd

and allowing that
records only record what’s recorded –
that’s, written records – the sounds are something else -

the records say
that for most of your waking life
you were out of this world on drugs
or when you weren’t, you behaved
appallingly; excepting when you sang and played,
when, all agreed, you were ‘out of this world’..

and yet, you wrote an autobiography
or should we say memoir, that is,
what you might remember, which
is a catalogue of innocence, of purity,
of life as good, well lived…

so I would not like to be
your prosecuting counsel, taking you through
this litany, each deed, each word..
I don’t think I could bear the pain..
was it what you really thought you were,
or what you would have wished to be?

I’ll settle for the love you whisper
in the ‘standards’, convincing us they’re holy writ;
pausing just where truth itself would pause;
and blowing the truth that finds and speaks itself
between the lips and lungs and trumpet’s mouthpiece;

like some ancient seer or sibyl, shaman, visionary,
speaking, singing, truths which yet you do not know
or have forgotten. It seems that genius knows
the greatness of the art of which it is
(apt phrase) the mouthpiece; and all else
is of this world; subservient.

Comments about 0027 That Baker Boy by Michael Shepherd

  • (11/17/2006 7:32:00 AM)

    As easy as some find it, to by-pass the drug-inspired musical legacies left behind by tragic enigmas, try to hear their talents in a neutral vaccuum. Its often worth it.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, November 17, 2006

Poem Edited: Saturday, November 20, 2010

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