Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0050 Morning Rain In Early Autumn - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Today the soft rain is
not falling, rather blessing,
as gentle as mercy,
making the air
more airy, if that can be,
nature’s air conditioning let’s crudely say,
and the geraniums blessing, in their turn,
the front door to my heart’s home, are, manifestly,
exhibiting pleasure.

It’s almost a century since the Indian, Professor Bose –
mark the day with unpicked flowers –
was drummed out of the Royal Society, no less,
for demonstrating to his satisfaction
and the delight of non-members
that plants had nerves, felt pain, revulsion…

and it’s pretty obvious that the
subtly-named Venus Fly Trap
has very effective, non-rust, non-gymnasium
vegetable muscles

while Hinduism, I read yesterday,
completes the picture – plants
feel pleasure as well as pain
and show it

so from today, no idle chat over the garden fence
like ‘the geraniums are perking up…’
it’s ‘the flowers are pleased today! '
and stuff the raised eyebrow…

I, who normally treat gardening as
a spectator sport, now in the light of
this clearer knowledge, dead-headed,
yesterday, the geraniums which looked like
the week after the week before,
a serious hangover after a burst of private
garden show, and today I look at them
tenderly – on this day of soft rain.

And, I feel dead-headed too; maybe today
a poem is flowering gently close by
the heart’s open door; and the geraniums
are – if not, anthropomorphically, pleased –
showing pleasure, in the measure
that Creation permits them to; and I
am pleased; for them; for it; to say the least.

I’ll leave that door open
on this day of soft and gentle mercy.

Comments about 0050 Morning Rain In Early Autumn by Michael Shepherd

  • (8/7/2006 8:49:00 AM)

    It has been many years, Michael, since I heard rain is not falling but 'blessing.' My father's family, ranchers in a desert place longed for rain each day and when it fell, they knew they had been blessed. Your descriptions of the geraniums by your door left a lovely picture, but the rain 'gentle as mercy' left a better picture of your soul.

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  • (8/7/2006 8:29:00 AM)

    That last line - I'll leave the door open on this day of soft and gentle mercy - is, in my eye, perfection. Leaving our hearts open for what fortunately comes our way - Beautiful, Michael. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 7, 2006

Poem Edited: Monday, August 23, 2010

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