Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! ! S E L F' ' S G R A C E - Poem by Michael Shepherd

It’s said that we are graced
specifically, in three ways:
(though we might add,
but what is human life but grace?)

those three, firstly the divine grace
which we may turn to, any time,
in the scriptures as set down
(which we must bring to life ourselves..)

and then, the grace which flows
through the good fortune to find
(or does he or she find us?)
a teacher who may steer our course
through life, through teachings, and
through the understanding which we bring;

and third and last – and most mysterious,
most powerful, most firmly set;
and most of all, which all our living life
partakes of: grace of self.

But what is that? So darkly set
by our past thoughts, and words, and acts;
so darkly, lightly, made each moment’s presence
by our present life; and which, darkly again,
must influence our future life in ways
or even in our future bodies, if
such teachings as the Hindus hold
may energize our ways…

Can we, should we, attempt a gratitude
to our mysterious former self – that thus
we are, and to our present moment, brought?

So should we, in some novel, inner way,
dedicate our present self – to… self?
Fall silent, still; and in that place beyond
all thought, all word, all act, all sense, all seeing,
dissolve into ourself; know only, being?

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, December 12, 2009

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