MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! A Silent Night, And Stars

Oh yes he said, there was a birth,
you ask me how I’m sure

remember shepherds train themselves
to see the slightest things
on dark nights, on starlit nights
when it’s windy, when it’s still,
when snow makes strange lights,
strange shapes, strange shadows –

under the shadow of that low stone wall,
there’s a darker shadow… does it move?

yes, it’s a great job, out there on a starlit light,
a great bowl of stars, nothing to do except
be alert the whole time; so you never miss
the unexpected; so peaceful, there’s already love
for everything around you. Best job in the world.

so you can’t miss anything out of the ordinary;
what’s not so easy is to explain to others…
but it’s all here in my heart; my children know it’s true..

but it’s funny how you remember the small things
on a special day.
The straw. When it’s clean, it’s always gold of course
and shiny. But I’d never seen straw shine like that.

And the cow’s eyes. You know how cattle look at you
as if they’re interested, but not very interested?
That one was different. It seemed to know
just why it was a cow..

And then of course the other guys.
You don’t come so far, so precise
unless you’re very wise.

Far things and near things. We each
have our special skills, he said;
in the high things and the humble,
It’s here, and there.

User Rating: 2,8 / 5 ( 2 votes ) 4

Comments (4)

From the far things to the near things, this has such a beautiful feel to it Michael And so from afar, I bring you praise of this awesome poem Take care Love duncan X
Michael this one is extraordinary. Written in an easy conversational style it gives such humanity to the familiar story, such a different slant on something that has become almost hackneyed and allows the reader to risk looking at it differently too. It is about noticing, awareness of the little things like the colour of the straw and the understanding on the cow's face and a great bowl of stars....
Shepherd poet: you did pick on the details... not just the heavens but the straw! Funny you observed your cow expression: I've often thought about that humble donkey who may have known what was coming. Happy New Year, Michael, Linda
Ah Mr Shepherd. You're right. The music keeps on playing in that head of yours, and beautiful melodies they are: 'in the high things and the humble' - a truly stunning line! More wizardry. Casual in style (though maybe not in the gestation) and all the more effective for it! jim