Birthday Poems: ! A Birthday Celebration - Poem by Michael Shepherd

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! A Birthday Celebration - Poem by Michael Shepherd

How strange it seems, that old age follows youth!
when all the world seemed one's own, at that time,
with time enough to seek a higher truth -
who'd guess the stairs so steep, so slow to climb?

Worn carpets and worn kneecaps are old age
- and yet, a blessed time for life of mind:
for those who wish, a different sense of wage;
free-chosen universal work to find;

and yet more blessed still: that earth-bound soul
to meet and greet, and work its soil and flowers;
to live with gratitude; and scan the whole
to find that One which proves the whole world ours.

As iron age yields to the gold of truth,
so our old age may find within, true youth.


Comments about ! A Birthday Celebration by Michael Shepherd

  • Rookie Lynn Cowman (6/15/2005 6:08:00 AM)

    What A Wonderful Read...
    I enjoyed this very much, A very talented, well thought out piece..
    Lynn ~
    (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie Raynette Eitel (4/18/2005 9:21:00 AM)

    This is beautiful, Michael. I especially loved the final couplet. At my age, I understand this poem way too well, especially the part about 'worn carpets and worn kneecaps.' (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Rookie Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler (4/8/2005 7:50:00 AM)

    ha ha ha, Microsoft! this was fantastic! i'm off to Boots to get some hair dye. should i pick some up for you?

    Jake
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Rookie Pradeep Dhavakumar (4/7/2005 6:20:00 PM)

    Only heard about that Michael.Dont know much. (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie Michael Shepherd (4/7/2005 6:00:00 PM)

    Pradeep - the saying of many gurus that despite living in the kaliyuga externally, we may live in the satyuga internally...but you know more about this than I do? (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie Pradeep Dhavakumar (4/7/2005 5:52:00 PM)

    Excellent sonnet.Didn't quite understand 'As iron age yields to the gold of truth' but still its pretty good.Well written.thank you. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
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  20. 20. On His Eightieth Birthday
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Birthday Poems

  1. A Birthday

    My heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is in a water'd shoot; My heart is like an apple-tree Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit; My heart is like a rainbow shell That paddles in a halcyon sea; My heart is gladder than all these Because my love is come to me. Raise me a dais of silk and down; Hang it with vair and purple dyes; Carve it in doves and pomegranates, And peacocks with a hundred eyes; Work it in gold and silver grapes, In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys; Because the birthday of my life Is come, my love is come to me.

  2. Poem On His Birthday

    In the mustardseed sun, By full tilt river and switchback sea Where the cormorants scud, In his house on stilts high among beaks And palavers of birds This sandgrain day in the bent bay's grave He celebrates and spurns His driftwood thirty-fifth wind turned age; Herons spire and spear. Under and round him go Flounders, gulls, on their cold, dying trails, Doing what they are told, Curlews aloud in the congered waves Work at their ways to death, And the rhymer in the long tongued room, Who tolls his birthday bell, Toesl towards the ambush of his wounds; Herons, stepple stemmed, bless. In the thistledown fall, He sings towards anguish; finches fly In the claw tracks of hawks On a seizing sky; small fishes glide Through wynds and shells of drowned Ship towns to pastures of otters. He In his slant, racking house And the hewn coils of his trade perceives Herons walk in their shroud, The livelong river's robe Of minnows wreathing around their prayer; And far at sea he knows, Who slaves to his crouched, eternal end Under a serpent cloud, Dolphins dyive in their turnturtle dust, The rippled seals streak down To kill and their own tide daubing blood Slides good in the sleek mouth. In a cavernous, swung Wave's silence, wept white angelus knells. Thirty-five bells sing struck On skull and scar where his lovews lie wrecked, Steered by the falling stars. And to-morrow weeps in a blind cage Terror will rage apart Before chains break to a hammer flame And love unbolts the dark And freely he goes lost In the unknown, famous light of great And fabulous, dear God. Dark is a way and light is a place, Heaven that never was Nor will be ever is alwas true, And, in that brambled void, Plenty as blackberries in the woods The dead grow for His joy. There he might wander bare With the spirits of the horseshoe bay Or the stars' seashore dead, Marrow of eagles, the roots of whales And wishbones of wild geese, With blessed, unborn God and His Ghost, And every soul His priest, Gulled and chanter in youg Heaven's fold Be at cloud quaking peace, But dark is a long way. He, on the earth of the night, alone With all the living, prays, Who knows the rocketing wind will blow The bones out of the hills, And the scythed boulders bleed, and the last Rage shattered waters kick Masts and fishes to the still quick stars, Faithlessly unto Him Who is the light of old And air shaped Heaven where souls grow wild As horses in the foam: Oh, let me midlife mourn by the shrined And druid herons' vows The voyage to ruin I must run, Dawn ships clouted aground, Yet, though I cry with tumbledown tongue, Count my blessings aloud: Four elements and five Senses, and man a spirit in love Thangling through this spun slime To his nimbus bell cool kingdom come And the lost, moonshine domes, And the sea that hides his secret selves Deep in its black, base bones, Lulling of spheres in the seashell flesh, And this last blessing most, That the closer I move To death, one man through his sundered hulks, The louder the sun blooms And the tusked, ramshackling sea exults; And every wave of the way And gale I tackle, the whole world then, With more triumphant faith That ever was since the world was said, Spins its morning of praise, I hear the bouncing hills Grow larked and greener at berry brown Fall and the dew larks sing Taller this thuderclap spring, and how More spanned with angles ride The mansouled fiery islands! Oh, Holier then their eyes, And my shining men no more alone As I sail out to die

  3. A Prayer For A Mother's Birthday

    Lord Jesus, Thou hast known A mother's love and tender care: And Thou wilt hear, while for my own Mother most dear I make this birthday prayer. Protect her life, I pray, Who gave the gift of life to me; And may she know, from day to day, The deepening glow of Life that comes from Thee. As once upon her breast Fearless and well content I lay, So let her heart, on Thee at rest, Feel fears depart and troubles fade away. Her every wish fulfill; And even if Thou must refuse In anything, let Thy wise will A comfort bring such as kind mothers use. Ah, hold her by the hand, As once her hand held mine; And though she may not understand Life's winding way, lead her in peace divine. I cannot pay my debt For all the love that she has given; But Thou, love's Lord, wilt not forget Her due reward,- bless her in earth and heaven.

  4. Poem For My 43rd Birthday

    To end up alone in a tomb of a room without cigarettes or wine-- just a lightbulb and a potbelly, grayhaired, and glad to have the room.

  5. A Birthday Poem

    Just past dawn, the sun stands with its heavy red head in a black stanchion of trees, waiting for someone to come with his bucket for the foamy white light, and then a long day in the pasture. I too spend my days grazing, feasting on every green moment till darkness calls, and with the others I walk away into the night, swinging the little tin bell of my name.

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