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! ! This One For Hanque With Thanks - Poem by Michael Shepherd

All around the world,
poems are talking among themselves
when the books are shut,
when the computers are switched off,
when old-fashioned poets put down
chewed pencils, sucked ballpens,
lips a little stained with the flavour
of ink that’s washable or permanent;

poems talking among themselves
in that language that poems understand,
that poets seek to write;
poems murmuring, complaining,
sometimes shouting desperately,

who are these people who
have dared to speak our language? What
is their right and reason? When
did they arise? Where
did they get their ideas? Why
do they even try? How
do they hope to improve on this? What
is a poet, anyway?

The tumult of their languages,
the babel of upraised voices
speaking, though, with that unutterable
beauty of that sound which can really act,
can change the world of change,
can touch the heart for lifetimes,
melts a heart of stone,
brings tears to eyes needful of tears,
opens clouds to blue sky and to sunlight,
watches angels as they ascend and descend,
speaks of, speaks,
the unknown, formless, eternal, ever present –

the tumult dies down; in the
silence and the stillness,
only the pure sound of sound itself; and

in that sound the absolution:
forgive them, O Muse of Poetry:
they know not what they do..
yet in their hearts, they know
what must be said.

The pain, exquisite;
found worthy; loved.


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Poems About Thanks

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  26. 26. A Thousand Thanks... , (brief renderings) Joe Fazio
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  35. 35. ! ! This One For Hanque With Thanks , Michael Shepherd
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