Steve Shepherd: a poem

Photograph by Steve Shepherd


sung only in paint (for don van vliet)

each plywood panel held an image

destined for the smithsonian institute

so on the day he left the house

don explained to the puzzled newlyweds

that the doors of his kitchen cupboards

would be leaving too

later, way out in the desert,

his canvases fetched more than his music

and the magic band, long silent, vanished in the rising heat

leaving his new songs un-transcribed

sung only in paint



Steve Shepherd writes poems and takes photographs. He used to make radio programmes, mostly jazz.