Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0367 Portrait Of The Poet As Sea-Monster - Poem by Michael Shepherd

The poet -
by whom I mean
an ordinary human being like you or me
who keeps a diary
of the mind and heart
and then publishes it
with luck
and maybe sells a few -

is a bit like one of those 'exotic' creatures
filmed on the ocean floor,
gracefully waving a hostess welcome
as if used to welcoming photographers
into its lovely home in this week's special issue
and such a delicate shade of pink its designer decor! -
but how to read it visually?

Are those waving fronds all the nerve ends
of this sensitive creature of the depths
of the human heart?
Or are they stinging antennae,
jealously defending its survival,
guarding its creative core
against all comers?
Or simply, like the elephant's trunk,
a means to acquire the food
to digest
with its prodigious memory longer than one man's alone,
into the poetry of the deep?

Beached on the floor of a commuter train
this delicate creature would be trodden under foot
as two-dimensional yuck;
but in its own environment
it secretly upholds humanity,
seeks the true in the unknown,
says new things about old minds,
teaches us to pause and think and see,
sings silly rhymes to enchant children,
shouts boldly or murmurs quietly
about goodness, truth and beauty,
and their opposites,
and deeply, deeply

Comments about 0367 Portrait Of The Poet As Sea-Monster by Michael Shepherd

  • (3/27/2005 8:07:00 AM)

    A very thoughtful poem about the craft of writing and a poet's relationship to his (or her) world (Report)Reply

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  • (3/26/2005 3:40:00 PM)

    A lovely thoughtful piece, thank you for sharing Michael: -) (Report)Reply

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  • john tiong chunghoo (3/26/2005 7:01:00 AM)

    michael, this is really nice. give us more of this type of poem.
    my haiku for you:

    the poet
    fitting his world
    onto the paper

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Read poems about / on: pink, poetry, food, memory, ocean, children, truth, beauty, home, sea, alone, beach, child

Poem Submitted: Saturday, March 26, 2005

Poem Edited: Saturday, July 15, 2006

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