Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0265 Tongue - Poem by Michael Shepherd

strange name for a pet yeah?
but that's what I call it
and it knows its name
so we get along OK
I keep it in its cage now
since it's a bit large and scary
for those who haven't met it
or know its owner
but I've given it all I can think of
to keep it amused in its cage
papers old books photos to keep its teeth sharp
we love each other to bits

but every now and again
I can 't resist opening up the cage
and letting it out to be itself
wild untamed sometimes vicious irresponsible
I used to say naughty Tongue
who's a naughty boy then
but I felt such a hypocrite
I love to see it free
it's like when you have a pet greyhound
that's never seen a track, or raced
faster faster
with all the crowd shouting
to please itself and its master
oh we're both so proud of Tongue

I was given it when it and me we were very small
and people would smile and say
what a pretty Tongue then
it'll grow up to be a fine Tongue
you must be very fond of it and proud too
to my parents who smiled weakly
they encouraged me and Tongue little did they know then
little did they think
that small Tongues grow to be big Tongues
well isn't that the same with all pets
until you flush them down the john
to roam the sewers or sneak out at night
to leave them scratching the tiles
in some gas station restroom
and giving someone's bladder
one hell of a shock opening the door
they hoped we'd grow apart Tongue and I
and I'd go on to something quieter
tattoos piercings stuff
I wouldn't do that not ever to Tongue
though we had to leave home Tongue and I

so I go to open up the cage
and Tongue opens its big mouth
in a sorta snarly smile
gives me a quick glance like yes now
and then it's off
pleased as Punch, top speed,
sniffing where all the other tongues
have left their mark
sniffing friendly at children
scaring grown-ups all shouting at me
picking a fight with every other tongue it meets
so I can't help be proud of it
lifting its leg on the neighbours who tell the other neighbours
who don't speak to me now
oh we have a fine time Tongue and I

then after we've had a great workout
come back panting, flushed, victorious not a bit ashamed
maybe later
people who've stopped talking to me
say to each other so I'm told never me
he'll be sorry one day
Michael has such a malicious Tongue

Comments about 0265 Tongue by Michael Shepherd

  • (6/13/2005 9:43:00 AM)

    Too funny...and extremely creative. This is one I'd like to give to certain people.


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  • (6/13/2005 8:28:00 AM)

    quirky little number, Michael. I thought you did more than merely pay the topic 'lip-service'...this piece 'spoke' to me on many levels...in all seriousness though, I really enjoyed the style...dash of alliteration here, great chunk of humour there...offbeat and fresh and I'll take your 'word' for it, but honest too. (Report)Reply

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  • (6/13/2005 8:25:00 AM)

    Super cool poem, Michael! (Report)Reply

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  • (6/13/2005 7:34:00 AM)

    Brilliant thought. Tongue should not be trained for the circus or be put on a leash or in a cage. That is unhuman and intolerable at times. I'm often saddened to see a friend lose his or her Tongue or worse still give it up to someone else (usually to someone who does not care much for the pet) . (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, June 13, 2005

Poem Edited: Friday, July 14, 2006

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