From Your silent mouth,
The precious breath of life;
Sustenance for all.
Your moustache; shelter,
Under which we gladly crouch,
Longing for freedom.
Your eternal eyes
Must surely weep in sorrow
As we hide our hearts.
Do Your ears hear them?
The selfish prayers, begging,
Something for nothing.
Does Your grand nose smell
The dreadful stench, lingering,
In the body gross?
Your forehead; the sun!
Your chin, Sufi moon within;
Ezad's smiling gift.
Only Your promise
Makes the days trials worthwhile;
You are I am You.
david shepherd. 1999
a fortiori Ossie Hall
Bat-time in Woombye
Jane and I escaped
Our abstaining hosts
Parking on the dirt track
In between the early evening
Brute force railway lines
And some spindly sugar-cane frond things.
We lazed in the portable lounge-room
Like lucky larrikins
Drinking sly bottles of beer
Cunningly concealed in brown paper bags
The local black-fella radio station
Blared out of the dashboard
The didgeridoo vibrated the vehicle into dusk
And we knew we belonged there
More than those spindly sugar-cane frond things.
We toasted the clotted cumulus clouds
As the setting sun transformed them
Into iridescent pink cotton wool
We watched the trains blur past
The driver’s slight of hand wave
Conjuring up an air tearing interfering horn.
We watched the hypnotising sky
A fading blue mirage-desert of spectral sand dunes
Merging into unknown red mercury rivers
And yawning golden gorges
Leading to Jupiter Infinity and Beyond.
High and mighty
Dark delicate boomerang shapes
Gently etching themselves
Into the sky’s fractal plasma
Until the flood of ink
Across heaven’s dimming page
Became an awesome Esher image
A deliberate deluge
Of gracefully gliding gargoyle bats
Thin shiny latex membrane
Stretched between fingerling points
Web clawing the ashen sky
Flapping and beating the still air
Until their veined black cloaks
Gradually blinded the dead sunset.
In their near night flight
They exchanged magic Morse code mutterings
Like endless squadrons of fox-faced
Cloth-eared Messerschmitt Komet Interceptors
Blitzkrieging their way
Across black and white propaganda celluloid
To far flung secret sites
Hiding forbidden fruits
And forgotten foods.
Soaring selfless silhouettes
Of grace and beauty
We watched them forever
Flinging themselves into eternity
Across the apocalyptic sky
And we were willingly embraced
Within their Rapture.
D. J. Shepherd. Jan. 2003
Having a quiet smoke with Francis - Champion Ruby of course !
The Holy Tree.
still venerable tree
your innocent arms are dark and dead
giant and brittle
with no sap muscle
in the middle
only your abdomen
your open slit trunk
the menstrual blue of sky
your tortured limbs threaten
the firmament with twisted fists
but only manage
to scratch and claw
grey arthritic fingers
at empty air
of twisted twigs
grate and crack open sores
your hollow trunk
grinds out a baleful warning
of impending doom
creaking and moaning
like the ancient mast
of the Hesperus
you will fall
but leaves still grow
on your shiny side
and hotel-lobby wattle birds
wallow in your green spindly hairs
the mercenary wind
tests your strength
for a time.
D.J.Shepherd. Blackall Ranges. Jan. 2004
Eye of the Storm
The grey scrim sky hung low
Ominous cluttered clouds swiftly rolled in
And a stiff breeze began
The cooling of Terania Creek.
The firmament bellowed and blushed into blackness
A spider spun mist raced up the valley
Smothering everything in its path
With a wonderful wet web.
Thor's hammer struck white heat
Cracking the clouds asunder
Like the sound of a baseball bat
Smashed across a naked skull
Not dripping blood
But tears of joy.
Within minutes the tender tears
Became a terrible torrent of wrath
Devout trees bent their backs in submission
Their underlings followed
Bowing in supplication
But it wasn't enough.
Like a merciless mad monk
The rain scourged the land
Tearing the great green curtain
Ripping the fine fabric before us into shreds.
We watched the road of gravel and rock
Become a raging river of grey gall
As the whirling dervish of wind and rain
Danced ecstatically around his axis.
We were inside his sacred Ka’bah
A creaking leaking wooden cube
He rotated furiously around us
Lashing the walls and windows
With his diluted diamonds
Flinging everything in his path aside
Throwing his pearls before swine.
Then his beloved’s Nazar graced him
His exhausting exuberance ceased
Just drips blissfully dropping
Onto the revitalised vegetation
Gleaming in the supernatural light
Of the cool clear ionised air
The damage and debris a mere trifle
In this entrancing edifice of Eden.
Only the sound of a tree
Falling in the forest
Shattered the new silence
Snapping into brittle shell-like splinters
And crashing into the all-embracing undergrowth.
Thirty-five millimetres of rain
In fifteen minutes
We'd been in the eye of the storm
And witnessed its power and glory
What an awesome and almighty play!
Soon the chain-saws started up
Clearing the roads of severed limbs
And the power lines were down too
But we had the stored sun for solace.
D.J.Shepherd: Jan: 2002
The Master Plan.
Hazrat Babajan's gentle kiss
Bestowed on You infinite bliss.
Narayan Maharaj gave You Dattatrey's throne.
Upasni Maharaj threw a well aimed stone.
The great Sai Baba stopped His procession,
To put infinite power into Your possession.
Tajuddin's mystical rose was also part of the plan,
To bring down God, to live as a man.
You are the trinity of power, bliss and knowledge.
You are the Ancient One, Beloved Meher;
We pay You homage.
Avatar Meher Baba - Ki Jai!
david shepherd. 1999.