Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! The Toad Not Raken - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Now that the frost has gone its rimy way
there’s the matter of that long grass
that meets the undergrowth
at the end of the garden;
time to take steps to tidy it.

two rakes awaited my decision:
there’s the metal one, which makes hard work
but scarifies the moss and aerates the top soil as well –
and the wooden one, slightly Japanese looking,
its tines further apart, and easier on the arms,

which combs the long grass rather than removes it,
setting it up for the strimmer when the grass dries off.
But I remembered how last year’s early raking
disturbed a sleepy toad and, to my shame, partially dismembered it.
These little choices make our road and name us.

I took the gentler wooden rake, and dragged it careful-slow;
the reward, a scuttling movement in the grass ahead.
Two rakes were there for me to make my choice;
I’m glad I took the one less often used, the gentler one.
Though looking at the grass, it's hardly made any difference.


(For all respectful but mischievous poetry fans)


Comments about ! The Toad Not Raken by Michael Shepherd

  • (3/25/2007 10:33:00 AM)

    Reading this title, I thought, 'Have I created a monster? ' Then realised, no. It was have been 'The Wrath of least Persistence? ' (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (3/25/2007 10:11:00 AM)

    Sheer class in delivering your message.
    TO
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Melanie Emiko (3/25/2007 9:52:00 AM)

    Great, great job! It isn't just the play of the original that makes this interesting, but the whole content, the story is fulfilling. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 3 comments »



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: Sunday, March 25, 2007

Poem Edited: Sunday, February 6, 2011


[Report Error]