Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! ! The Heart's Light - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Somehow, the words of Hesychius
have reached us after more than a thousand years
and from a desert place, Mount Sinai;
where he was famed for ‘breathing Jesus’
(there’s something in me says,
that’s quieter than the pulpit..)
and thus, talked little..

but he said (and this they wrote down,
preserved, passed on, quoted, marvelled,
sought to practise; succeeded.. or ever, failed? …

‘One who watches carefully over the heart
will quickly see, how the heart
of its own nature, is emitting light’…

and I’m sad; with that sweet sadness
when you hear of a beauty that
you didn’t know existed;
wondering, if one day…
or every day.. and how long
it would take, and whether
you, or I, would ever have
the strengths, whatever they might be,
to attain that state…

and how it must have been,
when word got round, and others watched
their heart, his monastery glowed
like a family of fireflies in the dusk,
as cool, as bright, as love bestowed
without the asking..

Tomorrow, you may see me in the street,
walking a little more slowly than the usual;
rapt in a wordless thought,
discreetly glancing at the passers-by;
beyond the judging failure or success,
treasuring a sweet silver gift,
a cool, new beauty promised.


Comments about ! ! The Heart's Light by Michael Shepherd

  • (1/2/2008 7:45:00 PM)


    Sigh. In the best possible way. Yes, I agree with Mary, your writing is saintly. However, I am sure that while you most certainly do live the life of a saint, it's not very saintly to continue to write pieces, seemingly with such eloquent ease, which are bound to inspire such poetic jealousy! :) t x (Report) Reply

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  • (1/2/2008 2:45:00 PM)


    Michael, this is another terribly beautiful poem. Your writing is saintly. By that I don't mean to imply you live the life of a saint, but that you capture that esoteric state of the contemplative. As for that 'sweet sadness', I feel its ache most certainly when I read this poem. Thank you. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Poem Edited: Friday, February 8, 2008


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