Poem Hunter
0019 An Intrusive Thought In The Bathroom At Christmas
MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0019 An Intrusive Thought In The Bathroom At Christmas

Poem By Michael Shepherd

We control freaks like to feel
we have our thoughts in some sort
of order; though yes, we like to have
spontaneous feelings, it shows
that we are human (not just
control freaks, ha) - but we like to feel
we have those feelings, too, within
some sort of mental framework –

Saint Paul stricken, on the road to Tarsus,
with a blinding epiphany
is good to read about – it can happen
to others, great – but, as the song goes,
but not for me…

It happened, with a corny total appropriateness,
on Christmas morning (I almost feel
I have to apologise for that…) : I’d overslept;
hadn’t even put the radio on, to work myself
gently into Christmas cheer;
the bath was running; and then

I suddenly felt blest.
No. Knew myself blest.

You’d have to know
the nervous, melancholic, depressive me
to know the inconvenient inappropriateness
of that ‘state of grace’ as some would say;

my control freak brain couldn’t find a mental slot
where such thoughts belong; while registering
that many people would feel only
gratitude for that..

but that was it: it had happened;
now I had it in my memory
for the rest of my life; I had to deal with it; and worse,
I knew that what I recognised
so inconveniently, as the bath filled up,
was something that had a future and a past,
and if true in this brief moment
then had been, would be, true for ever…

* * *

There’s a beautiful tradition
that while those who give
are blest, that those who receive their gift
are not blest until (rather like
‘pass the parcel’ which we play
sometimes on Christmas Day)
they pass the gift along
to someone else..

But this control freak thinks,
try to tell someone else
and you can finish up
not believing it yourself..

I guess I’ll have to try
writing a poem about it sometime
but without
trying to find some sorta
mental framework for it

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Comments (1)

there's blessing in giving, I'm sure - also in accepting...