Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

Slither - Poem by Michael Shepherd

If you're a fellow sufferer,
you'll know exactly what I mean.
Is it worse for those who live by the word,
or those who hope to avoid it?

It's that pile of papers, CDs, books, leaflets,
sitting beside the PC, vital at the time
when time was of the essence;
soon covered like a game of impatient patience
with another vital document...
file everything after use? Who's that anal?

It's that pile of mail on the kitchen table
with a touch of marmalade between some items, that
you opened during many breakfasts (it's a cereal story, this)
and hope will answer itself.

Above all, it's the pile of mail-order catalogues
that come in cellophane wrappers
which you haven't taken off of course,
knowing that you will, one day, be grateful
(as so you thought about the previous editions of same,
further down the pile...)

And the pile of folders, which obey that law of nature -
that spines of folders are thicker than
the other edge - they're the first to

slither. And you should know by now -
there are demons in them thar piles:
if there's a page or two
which you need right now as you fly out the door: abracadabra! -
five minutes ago when your right hand and eye put it right there
(who's taken it, c'mon, quick...?)
in two seconds flat, your left hand and eye
slipped something else on top of it..
left brain, right brain co-ordination? ha!
RH reason put it there; LH emotion said, hate work, hide it....

and then, one day -
slither! And
you hate yourself, look around for someone else to blame,
blood-pressure goes up - again -
your day's ruined and it's still breakfast time...

Slither. Moses didn't have that problem.
It's yet another giant step
sideways - damn - in the evolution of the human mind.
Maybe marmalade is the answer, after all.
You've suffered, too?

Comments about Slither by Michael Shepherd

  • (8/10/2005 8:39:00 AM)

    A step sideways. I like that.
    It's not such a problem right now because I have no room to leave paper out. But I'm notorious (to myself) for filing things into a SAVE pile, a THROW AWAY pile, and a DECIDE LATER pile.
    Unfortunately, I would wind up putting everything in the DECIDE LATER pile! Good thing I don't like marmalade!
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (8/10/2005 7:29:00 AM)

    This is outrageously good. I also find some Milton Erickson in there,
    he thought with a method that was a mixture of madness and obsessively fascinated observation. I enjoyed this very much.
    (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »
User Rating:
2,9 / 5 ( 12 votes ) 2

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]