! To A Younger Poet
Well, thanks for asking - quite a nice surprise...
by Michael Shepherd
first off, you have my passionate support -
for how could I believe in any less
of poetry, its value and its power?
And I know well of you, that despite all
your youthful, quick impatience, so sharp shown
to those, the wrinkly; grey; not keen on change -
you'd like to hear our comments on your work;
yes, even to reject them, red of face...
But spare a thought for ageing minds and hearts -
like comfortable kitchen-cupboard store
in that beloved house of realised dreams
where we can now at last just be ourselves,
where favourite brands cram out the sagging shelves
with jars not opened for too many a year -
more for sentiment, than for some new cuisine;
there's not much room for untried brands, alas -
'despite the fervour with which youth may praise
the heart-wrench of those wild love-seeking days,
or praise in detail Her so unique sight
to eyes so red from passionate wild night'...
there's not much room for endless rhymes for love
now, in the store-room of our ageing hearts;
we've been there, got the Tshirt (somewhere there, and
rotting from the dazzling blue sea's salt
of love's abundance, into which we two splash-dived) :
So please excuse us if we don't pour praise -
however fine your wild and winning ways;
we're poetry-besotted; live in thought;
know this: our passionate and full support.