Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! Evcharistos! And Not Only... - Poem by Michael Shepherd

here is the world of not only:
lifting its face, lifting its hands,
beyond not, beyond only, to
not only, but.. to That!

not only for some, but for all.
Be sitting in your chair, or
kneeling before an altar or a statue, or
touching head to ground, or
cross-legged, the sitar and the vina
quietening to silence, the incense
filling the lungs and heart;

or walking through the forest, in the hills; seeing,
not only this, or this, but… that…

Eucharist, Communion, Advaita –
Thanksgiving, coming together as one,
‘not two’… do all these mean the same,
mean, not only?

not only you, but all of us;
not only worshipping, or working;
not only body or spirit;
not only earth or heaven;

but there, where work is worship; worship, work;
where activity is rest;
where Body is Spirit; Spirit, Body;
earth is heaven, and heaven’s on earth;

where sound and silence meet;
where stillness meets activity;
where body and spirit know each other;

take, if you wish, this sip of wine, this crumb of bread,
this handful of water, this flower,
in the memory of centuries and millions,
lifting, too, their faces and their hands;
looking beyond not only, finding, that;
or put your hands together,
as all things come together;

say the word, a word,
give a name to it, to That;
or listen to the sound beyond all names;
the sound that’s in the silence;
the life that’s in the stillness;

or stay with eucharist, communion, advaita, jihad,
sacrifice, surrender, prayer, praise;
they are your guardians and your friends,
smiling as they run toward you, greeting;
calling out to you,
not only… but…

Comments about ! Evcharistos! And Not Only... by Michael Shepherd

  • (6/20/2008 9:53:00 PM)

    I was searching for Advaita. I think yours is beyond my comprehension. (Report)Reply

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Monday, December 10, 2007

Poem Edited: Friday, April 29, 2011

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