David Shepherd



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.



They came

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

Perfect protractions

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 !

Grave of Francis Brabazon, Woombye, Qld.
Grave of Francis Brabazon, Woombye, Qld.



The Holy Tree.


Once noble

still venerable tree

your innocent arms are dark and dead

giant and brittle

with no sap muscle

in the middle

only your abdomen

bears life

your open slit trunk

bleeds through

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

tired tips

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

down low

industrial insects

and hotel-lobby wattle birds

wallow in your green spindly hairs

and still

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

Snapping branches

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.