Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

To Be The Veda - Poem by Michael Shepherd

Who am I?
Who put me here?
Why am I here?
What should I do?

Who will tell me who I am?
Who will tell me, who put me here?
Who will tell me, why I'm here,
and tell me then, what I should do? ..

Sometimes, I am all thankfulness
for what keeps all of me alive;
is there a greater one whom I may thank?

And sometimes, I'm alive with praise;
Is there a greater one whom I may praise?

Sometimes, as thunder rolls and lightning strikes,
earth quakes; seas foam,
I am all fear; is there a one
who’ll tell me, the other, or the greater
things that I should fear,
and tell me what I need not fear?

From day to day, my thankfulness
wells up for this; and then for that:
the earth that yields me food,
the rain that helps it grow,
the sun and light that help it ripen,
the air that I must breathe,
the sounds that draw me to my fellow men:

so are there many such, whose mighty powers
I should thank and praise,
or is there only One?

Or are there many in the One
whom I should thank and praise –
and what then do these greater powers
know of each other; know of that One?

Sometimes, when all is silent, still,
I seem to have a hint of whom I am;
of why I’m here; what I should do;

then who will tell me the greater more
of all the more I think I know?

Sometimes, when all is silent, still,
I wish to spend my days deep in that place;
but I must work; then should I trust
some other man or woman, who will spend
their days in thanking, praising, in my place?
or can my work be also thanks and praise?
who judges thanks and praise enough?

Sometimes, when all is silent, still,
I feel a greatness in me, that
joins me to all things in myself..
who shall tell me more of this?

Sometimes, when all is silent, still,
I seek for sounds, and words, and song,
to measure all that this heart feels:
oh, who will teach me greater words?

Is there a teacher, and a taught?
Or is the teacher all around?
Or is the teacher all within?

Oh, who will tell me whom I am,
in words that sing as from myself?


[An ongoing attempt to ‘imagine myself’ into the spirit of the Veda]

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 5, 2008

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