Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0304 Drawing Space - Poem by Michael Shepherd

See this whitish sheet - now mellowing to a shade
of precious ivory - gently revealing in the finest lines of silver-point
two lovers whose whole air of innocence
makes them angelic, as if their ardent gaze
joined souls not bodies;
though those bodies, beautiful, transparent,
she all gauze, her dress
moved by the lightest breath of air as if it would
return her to the air; her breasts, to innocence itself;
he, every muscle of proud chest under pleated jerkin
joining his dancing legs to ardent eyes
consumed in adoration for what he barely dares,
her beauty and its innocence

this silver-point might be from Botticelli, or
a well-trained student in the master’s mind
glancing over and across the studio
at what the master, the magician,
conjures out of space and out of mind;

the then white vacant sheet
undifferentiated space as if
it were Creation waiting the command
to be itself;
there’s magic still to come, and space itself
yet to be brought alive. See these lines;
they are not bounding bodies, but the space itself;
on one side of this line, the air alive with happening that’s invisible,
the other side, her space we call her body;
all her life enclosed in what the artist sees –
awakening of love; see in the space
between her outstretched hand and his,
about to join with lightest touch in dance,
- electricity - before mankind knew such a thing or named;
and in this space, there’s love divine.

and see the space between their eyes: why,
in that space, their lives, the present, past, the future;
their minds, their hearts, their souls
hover all expressed and yet invisible;

from emptiness the artist has found space;
from space, from line, drawn as the first time, love.


Comments about 0304 Drawing Space by Michael Shepherd

  • (5/11/2006 5:00:00 PM)


    Seems the very air crackles with the feeling here...heavy, yet lightened by the descriptions of the sheets and her dress, etc. Beautifully contrasted. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 11, 2006

Poem Edited: Saturday, July 15, 2006


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