Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0180 Let Sleeping Dogs Lie - Poem by Michael Shepherd

At the far edge of the expanding cemetery
in its uncertain spiritual limbo,
its small gravestones re-emerge only in late summer
like a clipped coat, the tall grass annually machined; of
those who made no will or testament
that we know of and we may be wrong
nor do we know their last thoughts if thoughts
nor do the stones reveal the names they knew themselves by; and
was the human love their inscriptions indicate
less or greater than that evoked
by their own kind? What sort of peace
do they rest in?

It’s not the most imaginative corner
to have chosen. There’s a perfect place
by the 16th tee of the golf course,
high on the hill, facing west,
riddled with a rabbit warren
where on a summer evening
more rabbits than you’d guess, of every size
bob around and sun themselves
and seem to feel so safe that they ignore
the humans, dogless at that hour,

an elysian field where dogs might dream and twitch
for eternity; repent, or lie down in peace with brer rabbit,
their natures everlastingly fulfilled;
where in the summer evening sun,
facing the glowing sky and gold-tipped clouds
cottontails and men might sit, philosophise and speculate
together, about the little that the species know
of each other’s knowledge.

Comments about 0180 Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Michael Shepherd

  • Chuck Audette (3/21/2006 1:54:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem, Michael. Lovely imagery. There might need to be some occasional squirrels around, too. -chuck (Report)Reply

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  • Ghada Shahbender (3/12/2006 6:17:00 AM)

    Every time I visit our cemetries, and where I am they are arid and dry, I think the dead don't lie here... they lie in the memories of the people who miss them. As usual your poem gives me much to think about. (Report)Reply

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  • not on poemhunter anymore (3/11/2006 5:17:00 PM)

    i've noticed a pattern of exceptional poems from the writers of the British Isles. this continues that pattern. enjoyed the rabbit stuff - and the punchline at the end was bold and profound. (Report)Reply

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  • Gina Onyemaechi (3/11/2006 5:10:00 PM)

    Michael, I can't even begin to think about the message here, I'm just swimming in these rich, delicious words! ! Beautiful writing. Regards, Gina. (Report)Reply

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  • Hugh Cobb (3/11/2006 4:50:00 PM)

    Dear Michael:

    A lovely poem, here. The sense of connectedness and intercommunication amongst all species is a wonderful thought and so much gets lost in the translation because we, arrogant humans, fail to listen and give proper attention.



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  • nicci Hopmann (3/11/2006 3:11:00 PM)

    good poem iliked it...keep up the good work...

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, March 11, 2006

Poem Edited: Friday, July 14, 2006

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