! ' Sorry, But What You Write Isn'T Poetry...' Poem by Michael Shepherd

! ' Sorry, But What You Write Isn'T Poetry...'

Rating: 2.7

A deep breath; a sigh.. as if
you didn’t accuse yourself of this
every time you write a poem and
hoping to pretend it’s ‘ stretching
the boundaries of poetry’ etc.
- and whether it’s subsequently
well received or not..

and you reply, with a slightly shaky patience,
‘Well, you define poetry, and
I’ll give you then an answer…’

* *

It begins with some small explosion
(no casualties) in consciousness
(the Indians call it ‘sfota’)
or perhaps, it seems more like
some movement of the heart;
perhaps in delayed reaction to some event,
or perhaps out of that blessed ‘blue’…

and you swear undying faith and trust
in this wee mite, to guard it with your life;
it’s the thrill of a lifetime, but,
can you raise it as you should?

I won’t attempt to describe to those
who know this all so well,
the inner world through which you follow it –
sometimes it’s like some vast building
full of dusty libraries, committee rooms
some a hubbub of argument,
some somnolent; then
you open a door and find yourself
in court, and in the dock - and also witness box…

how ludicrous this must sound
to those who’ve never written ‘poetry’...
our whole life, hanging onto every word…

Cin Sweet 10 May 2007

I know, I know.....but.... I sometimes accumuate all these extra words, nervous and stacked up, in my little cramped brain, crashing into one another, and every now and again, when I turn my head sideways, they roll out of my ear like little alphabet-filled railroad boxcars, onto a coffee stained paper I've written my grocery list and/or maybe the name of a certain guy I met who didn't call and that, that is why I have drawn a picture of him next to his name with the many little knives sticking out of his skull, but anyway, and out of boredom I reckon, I roll them (the alphabet-filled boxcars) around a little and stack them up into a tall multi-tiered wordcake, a monstercake with gooey frosting that makes little or no sense at all to likely anyone but me, and at that very moment, VOILA, that is when I know I have finished and simply must post my 'masterpiece' for others to read in agonizing astonishment....but I am good natured and only do so in fun, and with the best of intentions. But...I will try harder, no matter what the cost. Onward troops, we have words to do, mountains to scale! P.S. Um, err, you were talkin' to me, right?

1 1 Reply
Scarlett Treat 23 May 2007

Oh, yes..those blessed 'out of the blues - - ' Where would I be without that errant breeze blowing through my mind, and leaving a fresh breath for me to breathe? I would be lost with all those words floating about in my head and nowhere to put them....Thanks, Michael!

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Alison Cassidy 19 May 2007

Michael this poem beautifully describes the child/parent relationship of poem (good or bad) and poet (however learned) that only those who've given poetic birth can understand. You share with great clarity the anxiety and excitement that accompanies this process which seems to have an unstoppable life of its own. Stunning piece. love, Allie xxxx

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Chris Mendros 14 May 2007

The only words i can add to this are A-f***ing-men. Tho i guess the hyphens make it all one word.

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Melvina Germain 11 May 2007

I love it, I relate to it, I know where it's coming from and where it's going, finally someone understands me. Thankyou very much Michael.--Melvina--

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Brian Taylor 26 February 2019

What a great poem.

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Keeley 09 September 2018

My sister is horrible

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Wojja Fink 04 June 2009

This way for poems that way for junk, you must have been born with poetry it's self Michael, thanks for the signpost to sanity.

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Tom J. Mariani 04 November 2007

Yor are so right in describing the attempt to write. My 'Like Shooting Stars' started out as a seemingly small explosion yesterday. Somewhere between the dust from that settling and being half-awake this morning trying to get everything run by clocks in my house to fall back an hour for Pacific Daylight Time, shooting stars popped into my head. Yep. that's how it happens; for better or worse.

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Bob Oldfield 05 June 2007

Michael - this whole process of stripping oneself naked and standing in full view of the world really can only best be understood by those who are persuaded by some out-of-the-blue power to put pen tp paper. This is exquisite, I like it very much. Thank you Bob

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Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

Marton, Lancashire
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