Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! A Journey Through An Interminable Poetic Landscape - Poem by Michael Shepherd

In the midst of the dense thicket
of the poet-milky wood, just beyond the gas pumps
standing as lonely as a trio of crows
waiting for a poet’s metaphor, and just beyond

where the pavement ends,
the road divided:
I took the road less travelled,
- unlike, say, a wise purveyor of ice-cream;

pausing only to think, as the evening
fell like sadness from my cigarette, that
the other road will be for me
for ever, the road I did not take

into the landscape which I did not see,
in the time that will not return;
but the road I took, led past
plum-trees, showering Spring’s wild daffodils

as with a late Spring snow, falling quietly
like the sighs of young slant-eyed girls thinking of love;
I’m glad I took that road; for later, when Autumn
with its mists and mellow plumful fruitiness,

came silently, so silently,
I took that road again; although I’m told
the other road was much the same;
but now, as the brown leaves fell and swirled,

the small, hard plums had fallen;
I took some home, put them in the ice-box;
were they juicy, cold on my morning lips?
No. They’d gone; along with the girl

I’d brought home, and the crate of beer;
just a note on the ice-box door:
‘I used to worship your poetry; now
I know that you’ve sold out… loser…’

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Poem Submitted: Friday, November 2, 2007

Poem Edited: Thursday, April 21, 2011

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