! Homage To A Not Unknown Poet - Poem by Michael Shepherd
Straightway - it's the tone.
Even; quiet but clear; is it writing, or is it talking?
As if to family: you're being filled in
on what happened yesterday or last week;
it's a continuation of what you last spoke of;
so no 'tone' about the tone;
you have a background of a lifetime's love
not to need to talk about;
you're friends even before you are family
if you know what I mean;
no family relationships hovering like ghosts
like your mother never quite stopped
sibling squabbling with your aunt;
it's harmless really - a silly evocation of childhood
and no-one else's concern;
The no-tone tone: you're family,
so the voice expects you to be interested
enough to read
even if it's something to tell another family member later
whom it would concern more.
So no elaborations,
no false sentiment,
but a little dry comment
like a dry white wine perhaps,
they'll have the background for
because you're family.
That even tone - dull? No, not dull -
a quirky, individual voice
that tells a story deadpan
that makes you howl with laughter;
no, never dull..
The details: those events,
those small happinesses, small sweetnesses
(it sounds better in French -
petits bonheurs, petites douceurs) ,
the spoken words from open heart to open heart
which are the greatness of our
real, real life;
what's in the tidy drawers of the heart
when the house-clearers finally arrive.
And all around this family message to you who read,
called a poem,
Comments about ! Homage To A Not Unknown Poet by Michael Shepherd
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