Michael Shepherd

#239 on top 500 poets

! A Poet

He — or was it she?
was a child who said little
but walked, endlessly, just looking

or stood still for minutes, hours,
and became what they looked at

was from a large family
but still people said, you’re an only child aren’t you

was it seems very happy in themself
but no-one asked, so never said

kept themself to themself, which annoyed
other children, who bullied them

and then were even more annoyed
when they didn’t play the victim

failed examinations and yet
was always wrapt up in a book

occasionally did things like cutting themselves
and was told off but never questioned usefully

wrote poems secretly but was unconcerned
whether people read them or not

was good to be with as long as you
didn’t expect anything of them

was secretly loved by some
who never liked to say so

because what they loved somehow
didn’t have a name

years later, some of them read the poems
and knew what they had loved

Poem Submitted: Sunday, October 8, 2006
Poem Edited: Thursday, October 14, 2010

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Comments about ! A Poet by Michael Shepherd

  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (5/30/2016 5:50:00 AM)

    A Poet! ! Years later. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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  • Okoye Charles ChukwudiOkoye Charles Chukwudi (2/22/2012 2:48:00 AM)

    This poem is good, simple and beautiful...it takes the reader thru a circle of life and ends him in a comforting triangle...kudos

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  • John Oconnell (2/17/2010 9:35:00 AM)

    there is a lot of things England may not be proud of.
    but they may be proud of you.
    thanks for your humanity.

    john

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  • Patrick A. Martin (8/17/2009 11:13:00 AM)

    Oh micheal you filled up my shoes completely had I met you when I was 10 I wouldn't have told you my secret even if it was your secret too.10 again

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  • Tamara Hanaring A Thought Mate (7/18/2009 5:52:00 AM)

    a good poem about the poet..well expressed

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  • Darlene Perry (12/30/2008 9:33:00 AM)

    True is your sword, ink stained, sharp and entertaining.

    Darlene

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  • Tom J. Mariani (11/1/2007 2:33:00 PM)

    Your description of a poet is much more comprehensive and serious than the lighthearted version my mother used to give me when she caught me writing instead of doing my chores. 'He's a poet and you should know it because his nose is a longfellow.' You, and Billy Collins here in the States, are now both on my list of being able to show what it is to be a poet.

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  • Janelle Morehart (10/18/2007 7:49:00 AM)

    Wow, how very interesting! Such lovely work and it give's a sense of sharp meaning. Penetrates the mind and make's you think. Of so many different things. It's sorta like a riddle that tells the answer yet it give's light to other things as well. I very much loved this piece and I hope you make millions more like it!

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  • Nimal Dunuhinga (10/7/2007 6:24:00 AM)

    I see a poet in a poet.

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  • Max Reif (8/17/2007 12:01:00 PM)

    Sweet portrait. And I, windblown and in from the cold and rain, am jealous of you who are getting a dozen comments per poem. Maybe you're better writers, I have to conclude (sigh) .

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  • Jim Valero (7/11/2007 3:58:00 PM)

    Very true, indeed-this need for solitude, to have the time, the leisure, to observe, to become a part of all that we behold, to become sun, cloud, flower, stream, blade of grass. And sure enough, as you say, others will think it weird, odd. But, as you also point out, art, beauty, poetry is the outcome of all those oddballs who feel life so much and struggle with words to let others know-like the poet who wrote these lines: you.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  • Marvin Brato (6/29/2007 5:40:00 AM)

    Gifted poets are weird ones when they were small, they cannot be understood by the common minds. It is only after they read the poems that they understand the poets state of mind. Great poem Michael.10

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  • Marvin Brato (6/29/2007 5:39:00 AM)

    Gifted poets are weird ones when they were small, they cannot be understood by the common minds. It is only after they

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  • Elysabeth FaslundElysabeth Faslund (6/23/2007 11:05:00 AM)

    You've nailed down exactly what most children go through...who later become artists of one form or another. Quiet introspection, lonliness, but they'll never say that, unless it's to themselves. And, if you ask them what they've seen? They'll say 'Nuthin.' In reality? Everything. Oh How I treasure this poem...it's incredible insight. If poets want to know why they ever picked up a pen one day? ...read this poem! ! ! ! xxElysabeth

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  • Duncan Wyllie (3/31/2007 9:13:00 AM)

    These three amazing couplets;

    'stood still for minutes, hours,
    and became what they looked at'

    'was good to be with as long as you
    didn’t expect anything of them'

    'what they loved somehow
    didn’t have a name'

    Michael, this is fantastic writing,
    Love duncan X

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  • Onida (12/30/2006 5:49:00 AM)

    wow, a great poem.loved the poem very much! !
    kudos
    regards,
    Nida

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  • Tara very irritated with PH injustice (11/22/2006 12:19:00 AM)

    This is perfect. The nameless oddball finds his or her niche, hitherto also unlabelled.... I think it is important, too, that the 'poet' is not assigned to either gender. Not sure why. I imagine this insightful, hopeful piece will hit home for many. t x

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  • Alison Cassidy (10/19/2006 6:57:00 PM)

    I can see your he she in this intriguing portrait - the bully who wouldn't be bullied because... the strength of that inner knowing was always there. 'And still people said you're an only child aren't you' sums it up for me. For some reason, your poet feels like Les Murray... love, Allie xxxxxxxxxxx

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  • Nimal Dunuhinga (10/16/2006 6:03:00 AM)

    Splendid! Michael you brought us a rare poet and his unpublished poem. Thank you.

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  • Alice Shaw (10/12/2006 4:16:00 PM)

    This poem of yours really touched me, describing something I've been trying to figure out for some time. A really touching poem, just as all your other poems are. I could spend whole days reading them. They're so easy to follow yet question the mind in ways I hadn't encountered before. Beauty of language in its purest form used to stimulate the mind...

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