Michael Shepherd

#155 on top 500 poets

0169 Lines In The Sand

Is there a greater privilege
than to breathe sea air? And here, it’s like
a front seat at the greatest
open-air theatre in the world:

I’m sat here on my coat upon the rock
which reappears each time the tide recedes
leaving the sand so smooth as if
the sea were demonstrating beautifully
the relation between its ferocity and power,
and innocence, perhaps forgiveness; there’s
a little runnel of water around the rock
where I sit, notebook and pencil, just as if
this must be the very centre of poetry
in the world;

the notebook blank
as I watch the long-haired dog
taking its master for a walk; its poem
is the ballet it makes, leaping, racing, panting,
looking back, leaving its long hair
patterning the sky a fraction after
every leap; does it know
the ballet is entitled, joy? If I say,
poetry in motion, will you read it
as if you never heard the phrase before?
Racing towards me now, hurling reckless limbs,
one sniff at me, but then there’s something else
more interesting here in the sand to paw.

Some long intoxicating sea-breath minutes now, of mind’s content
to be and just to be; the page stays like the sand,
innocent, as white as salt and white as surf;
and I, the silent poem that nature has just written.

Poem Submitted: Thursday, February 23, 2006
Poem Edited: Friday, July 14, 2006

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Comments about 0169 Lines In The Sand by Michael Shepherd

  • Mike Finley (3/8/2006 5:09:00 PM)

    Who screwed you with a five? This is a good poem.

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  • Gina Onyemaechi (2/23/2006 9:05:00 AM)

    Wow, Mikey. Friggin' wow! ! ! Enrapturedly, Gina.

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  • Mary Nagy (2/23/2006 9:04:00 AM)

    Oh how lovely Michael. I've never seen the Sea but you paint a beautiful picture. How nice it must feel to be able to just sit and experience such peaceful solitude....one of God's greatest creations.....the Sea. Very nice poem. Sincerely, Mary

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