Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

Fare Well - And Yet Goodbye To All Farewells. - Poem by Michael Shepherd

All is in the mind and in the heart:
there are no empires and no entities,
nought can be owned and nought possessed,
in mind nor heart; our parents, partners, kith and kin
are but changing shadow puppets in
the self-constructed drama of our life -

and this the humbling truth, which in our mind we know
yet in our heart, wish that it were not so;
loving the flight of free and graceful birds
yet wishing all within the golden net
of our own love - that love which can so quickly seem to go...

and so, since we can never own those things
which bring us all our joys and all our life
we can no more say hello nor goodbye
when all is all within, yet all without...

this freedom should bring joy - were we so bold
that in ourselves, we knew it to be so;
so, meeting some new face, know it to be - ourself;
and saying goodbye - be it to dust and ashes said -
know, what we never owned, can never lose;

for 'hello' was an ancient wish - 'be whole and well',
and 'goodbye' meant 'God be with ye' in a distant age;
'fare well' a blessing too, a wish beyond
our view of self, and loss - or death - or gain;
and thus beyond all pleasure lost, or pain;

what cannot be acquired can not be lost;
'goodbye, my love' a frail, transparent ghost;
love weeps beside the grave's heart-rending sorrow,
yet lives to love, heart beat again, the morrow.


Comments about Fare Well - And Yet Goodbye To All Farewells. by Michael Shepherd

  • (6/17/2005 10:09:00 AM)

    that last stanza is briliant, Michael. you have a knack for wrapping things up magnificently!

    Jake
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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 16, 2005

Poem Edited: Wednesday, May 12, 2010


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