Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0046 Jewel Of Blood - Poem by Michael Shepherd

A fine morning and the side-streets empty
then turning the corner,
in the middle of the road
a pigeon - grey-mauve, plump and feather-perfect,
one wing half-spread in flight,
sprawled sideways,

and at that moment the sun shone
on the blood that shone on the dusty road by its head,
a jewel, redder than any red,
that shone like a message
as if it were the blood of the world itself
so rich, so rich...

and I felt guilty
that I saw it so beautiful,
that jewel from the heart of a dead dove
of peace,
and thought I should suppress the thought...
and, now, that further thought which hovered in its train
that this whole world in such a jewel of blood,
more precious than a ruby, or than gold, or much fine gold,
a jewel beyond price
is what a devotee at communion or at Mass...

while cool reason
(what has reason to do with this?)
well you value your own blood above most things
don't you? Why not a pigeon's?

but all words spent and poets silent and associations dropped
and thoughts at rest,
that pool of blood
in the winter sunlight that shone on the dusty street
was just so beautiful.

Comments about 0046 Jewel Of Blood by Michael Shepherd

  • (6/11/2005 2:30:00 PM)

    Brings back the time I found a bi-cycled over pigeon in Radcliffe Square in Oxford and felt awfully sad. Good poems do this: they take you back to experiences in your own life and elucidate them. (Report) Reply

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  • (3/7/2005 9:40:00 PM)

    A beauty indeed! Creativity in all originality! (Report) Reply

  • (2/2/2005 6:45:00 PM)

    Beautiful images. Well crafted. You found beauty in an unusual image and conveyed it convincingly. (Report) Reply

  • (2/2/2005 5:22:00 PM)

    Your poem reminds me of your initials. MS
    Could they stand for microsoft? I know you will understand this as it is meant.
    Is your facial expression, while writing a poem, substantially different from the one after you finish?
    The best Teutonic label for your work is SOUVERAEN, which isn't exactly the same meaning as its English cousin. Siegmund would be able to explain.
    Best wishes,
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/2/2005 4:37:00 PM)

    Red is a beautiful color expect when its blood.Relating beauty and blood is very poetic Good poem.thank you. (Report) Reply

  • (2/2/2005 4:20:00 PM)

    outstanding perspective, Michael. you've got something here.

    it reminds me of something Picasso was once quoted as saying: 'Art is the Lie that helps us Understand the Truth'.

    onwards and upwards!

    (Report) Reply

  • (2/2/2005 2:50:00 PM)

    Thanks for this one, Michael. Yes, a pool of blood can be beautiful. So can violence and death, even though they are not beautiful in the larger sense. If you're interested, check out Tim O'Brien's book, 'The Things They Carried, ' which takes place during the Vietnam war and talks about the visceral beauty of war without being insensitive. (Report) Reply

  • (2/2/2005 2:35:00 PM)

    Thank you Michael, thoughtful and gentle (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: beautiful, winter, peace, red, world, sun

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Poem Edited: Thursday, July 13, 2006

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