Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! They Only Feel Real When... - Poem by Michael Shepherd

‘they only feel real when
pretending to be themselves…’

sometimes, psychology and poetry and philosophy
come close together; and like a dog
meeting another dog for the first time,
we’re cautious – that statement has legs
and claws and teeth … do we want to meet it,
might it be more fierce than it looks,
is it that ‘too much truth’ which mankind - says poor Tom -
cannot bear?

our tails quarter-wag, wag and stop,
our weight’s on our back legs,
caution is advised..

we’ll back away right now,
wait for the next meeting;
meanwhile, there’s always the tree to sniff,
a sharp reminder of the bone we’ll gnaw,
hide, dig up yet again, and gnaw…
gnawing on our own blood not the bone,
living a dog’s life, a dogged life,
mongrel, thoroughbred, alike:

only feeling real, when
pretending to be ourselves.

Comments about ! They Only Feel Real When... by Michael Shepherd

  • (2/3/2007 1:24:00 PM)

    As the first two lines are in quotation marks, is this a quote from someone else?
    I like the image of us as poets burying our bones of wisdom only to dig them up again later. What a wonderful way for us as writers to 'Mellow' what we want to say, to allow ourselves to remember with pleasure that we have that hidden bone, and to know the secret glee of knowing its hiding place...and only we know WHERE! !

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, February 3, 2007

Poem Edited: Friday, January 7, 2011

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