Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! ! Love And Loss And Love Again - A Poem For Jenny And Her Friends - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Loss can be good for us,
researchers say (Nolen-Hoeksema
and Davis,2002) – it’s called
Post-Traumatic Growth…

When we ‘lose’ someone
we seldom see these days,
yet always love, we are in some strangely beautiful way
the gainers –

lose someone who, caught a glimpse of
down a school corridor, is like
a mirror in which you’ll see reflected
yourself as nothing but pure love…

and when you meet her then, it’s just as if
you meet love – and a modesty almost uncertain:
as if she had been bestowed the awesome gift
of a part of sun and sunlight, and told,
bestow this wisely…

warmth, and light, and beautiful humility –
even your great talent – I recall
a rare and radiant press review
of a concert in the Purcell Room
where you improvised on, was it, Ravel..?

and when asked why you never built
upon that boost, you said with typical
serious thought, well people don’t seem
to be interested in that sort of thing…

so, the occasional concert; and another
undeveloped gift, for bringing together in opera
people who would never have dared
to seek the gift of singing in themselves…

so, we the gainers in this sad yet joyful way:
we saw you just occasionally; now,
as often as we remember you,
you’re here again, as love.. just, love…

my only sadness, Jennifer,
is that one day, when on your face
(never tell a lady to her face
about her face – yet I insult you
by saying that of you…)

on your face I saw the look
of a little girl who’d done her very best,
yet feared retribution…what demon,
small or large, had you to deal with in yourself?

I regretted then, not speaking out
and asking you about that; yet
you, with your great talent to bring love
were better equipped than I; too wise,
I think, not to know yourself…

for what you brought in your sweet nature –
taking work where it would offer,
playing the piano for a celebrated
but also modest ballet teacher,
playing a white grand piano next to a fern
in Heathrow’s nerve-strained hall…

what you brought was the essence of
that Indian ‘Perfect Prayer’ which so many speak
but not all live out: that nothing can be ‘taken’,
for the remainder is always perfect…

so we will mourn, or celebrate, dear Jenny:
we who were so fortunate,
and who shall remain blessed for ever
that you have lived on earth..

‘sweet are the uses of adversity’ – for
there’s music in our souls

*

[Jennifer Bowring Pearce, >2007]


Comments about ! ! Love And Loss And Love Again - A Poem For Jenny And Her Friends by Michael Shepherd

  • (12/6/2007 4:26:00 PM)

    It is the acceptance, I think and the reassurance and the truth you share in this deeply personal and unaffected tribute that must endear it to readers all over the world. It certainly touched this one. love, Allie xxxx (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • (12/1/2007 2:14:00 PM)

    i feel you man, that's to true (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (10/9/2007 10:52:00 PM)

    Its really good, Very powerful and deep (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
Read all 3 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Sunday, September 16, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 9, 2011


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