Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

Pollution And Climate Change - Poem by Michael Shepherd

First, of nature's course, it was the birds;
for theirs the air, above and over all;
knowing by intuition without need of words
as providential, seasoned, sure
as sparrow's fall;
and knowing too
how much to trust to men
who do not even trust each other.

It was, of nature's course, the snowy eagle
entrusted with the task:
the only bird who may look straight into the sun; and thus
to whom that message might be given, to ask,
to pass on to his lord; the only bird
whose plumage may reflect the sun's majestic rays,
and live; perhaps to bring a message back.

As to the message - was it just a sprig
of leaves from tallest tree - polluted, withered, black as crow?
or was it something inner in the words
as spoken on the flight from wintry sun to warmth, or
warmth to Northern spring?

They watched, the conference of the silent birds,
while snowy eagle, like the teepee's early morning smoke,
ascended higher, higher, into the sun's great eye,
which never man - eagle alone - may see;
and... do birds hope?
Or as the twilight falls upon the earth, accept
that what shall be, shall be?

Comments about Pollution And Climate Change by Michael Shepherd

  • (7/12/2005 6:24:00 PM)

    This is wonderful. The image of the birds gathering and sending one directly to the sun is almost mythological. Your question 'Do birds hope? ' really struck a chord with me..and the last two lines are born of philosophy and experience. Thanks for this.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Poem Edited: Wednesday, July 6, 2005

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