Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0199 Constantinople - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Two sisters separated soon after birth
one dark-haired, one fair, both beautiful, with shining eyes
run towards each other, eagerly, yet shyly, wonderingly,
from the two ends of a bridge
high over the water that joins and separates – run to meet:

Constantinopolis, Byzantium;
a city never here and always there,
a city made of images in the mind and heart
its jewelled, aqueous, shifting light
promising and hiding
like a jewelled dancer swirling, whom our senses yield to
but may not touch

provoking us with mystery, clouded fables,
many interpretations as to her history
to which we bring our own uncertainties;
choose what we can, but, transfixed, gaze upon her seduction
and marvel at her,
glowing invisibly with an imperceivable unity,
a knowing of a history of bloodshed, odious intrigues,
with a dazzling sense of the divine, of holy wisdom,
defying us to judge her, by her charms;

like an oracle,
speaking with her silence;
like an ikon,
gazing at your soul;
if you lack perception
her smile will seem like sorrow;

she asks nothing of you, yet
waits to greet you as graciously
as a goddess; as a queen.

From the Cypriot Greek of Vera Korfioti

Comments about 0199 Constantinople by Michael Shepherd

  • (10/7/2005 8:51:00 AM)

    This is simply a beautiful poem! (Report) Reply

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  • (10/7/2005 7:39:00 AM)

    I'm certainly under her spell, though I've never physically been there.
    This poem brings to my mind another strong piece, about Budapest, published on this site recently by Fivos Dmitros.
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2005 6:40:00 AM)

    This was good...a mini story very fascinating. (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2005 5:54:00 AM)

    This is beautiful. It just 'feels' so exotic...I really enjoyed this Michael. sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 7, 2005

Poem Edited: Friday, July 14, 2006

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