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Shepherd

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					                                  SHEPHERD
                     Insignificant as a grain of sand among the rest,
                    choices and commands being one and the same,
                  just lead me and I will follow the favored and blest
              to the ends of the earth, consecrated as a wick to a flame.
                        And the disquiet of your cold, blank gaze
                            is still echoing through my mind,
                        surrounded by the darkness and the haze
                               that only in you do I find . . .
               This leaves me feeling as if washed upon the shoreline
                      by the descending waves that drag me under,
                           and into the unutterable and malign
  force of the inevitable void where my independence is ripped and torn asunder.
                 Cannot desire to reason, cannot desire to see beyond
                             your eyes, showing me the path
                          of the haunting holdings of the pond,
                             shallow water reflecting wrath.
              Bring me not to the water, Master, I beg of you and plea,
                my reflection staring back at me from its ebbing flow,
                          I will not be able to bear as it tells me
            That I cannot see farther than anything you let me know . . .
             So hold your staff high, Shepherd, lest I stray from the herd.
      And hold your lantern low, Shepherd, lest I cannot see through the fog.

          Though the truth and the drowning waters, to me you’ve shown
                           are one and, by all means, the same,
         you said there was no way that you would lead this sinking stone
               into the certain death of the cold black water, in shame.
               For you told me, Shepherd, that the truth like the water,
                     even though I may see it glistening in the sun,
                          will not set me free but only slaughter
                     all of that which my Master, for me, has done.
                So lead me far from death and truth, lead me far away
                    to the pastures of mercy, the fields of prosperity,
                            where always, by your side, I stay
                safe beside my watcher protecting me from my verity.
              An iron cast of oblivion and fault trying to drag me down,
                   for in the fury of the sea, my ankles are but leaden,
               and fighting the truth until at last it will sink and drown
                  to the bottom, where creatures will quickly deaden.
         Lead me now back to where the grass grows higher than the knee
where the fields seem to wave goodbye as the wind moves through the valley below,
            as it flows through the plains as it sways, it whispers unto me
             That I cannot see farther than anything you let me know . . .
            So hold your staff high, Shepherd, lest I stray from the herd.
      And hold your lantern low, Shepherd, lest I cannot see through the fog.

                 And this is the very wind that carries the wolf’s cry
             through the miles of comfort, the miles of space between
                  where the wolf may never wander, but must shy,
                  away from the fields so full of solace, so serene.
                 And as the moon grows high in the darkened day,
               the wolf’s cry echoes through the pasture of the night,
           sending silence through the meadows where my brothers lay,
           and watch in the shadows cast by the moon’s borrowed light.
                    By the flames a shadow moves much faster
                than the dimming campfire light can hold its frame;
                     save me from my innocence now, Master;
                        comfort me with your coat of blame.
                            Coming closer, never stalling,
                    and with its next step the beast approaches;
                                           hold me now, for it is calling,
                                      my very heart and soul it encroaches.
                                  As it raises its head to the darkened night sky
                            it sends forth a cry to the moon above the valley, below,
                              he says unto me “The time has come; you must defy,
                         For you cannot see farther than anything he lets you know . . .”
                          So hold your staff high, Shepherd, lest I stray from the herd.
                      And hold your lantern low, Shepherd, lest I cannot see through the fog.

                                          You must sheer me now, Shepherd,
                                     for my independence has become too thick,
                            my reason has become far too weathered and tempered—
                                             a candle at the end of its wick.
                                      And I am but the lantern’s flame you eye,
                                   my existence swaying, for the wind disagrees;
                                        flickering in the darkness from its sigh
                                    or breath of the cool and conquering breeze.
                                         So rape me of my cloak and comfort,
                                             for I have become too clever;
                                      lost are the days when I woke in comfort,
                                  yet the release of my dreams, you cannot sever.
                                Still, Master, I must keep reminding myself of this,
                             of how you conquered every fright and lurking shadow,
                                             and now that I may reminisce,
                          I find that you have always watched over me in the meadow.
                                              Still I must ask the question
                                        of why the wind whispers as it blows;
                                        now I must hear your true confession,
                     Of why it tells me I cannot see farther than anything you let me know . . .
                          So hold your staff high, Shepherd, lest I stray from the herd.
                      And hold your lantern low Shepherd, lest I cannot see through the fog.

                                        Steadfast in epiphany, I stand before you
                                      knowing what you thought I could never see,
                                 for I have been told by the wind that blows through
                                           of what was always hidden from me.
                                        To me, it whispers and my name it sings
                            as it flows, it rustles, murmurs and speaks through the trees,
                                   it beckons to me and soars with an aura of wings
                              as it descends down to the field of my unspoken dreams.
                                             Alas, I am sovereign and released
                                     and broken free from the shackles and chains;
                               no longer do I move with herds of the living deceased,
                               independence and freedom now being all that remains.
                                              And as I depart from the herd,
                                         I look up and choose a star as my guide;
                                  this I will pursue through darkness, without a word
                                    until come the rising of the waking dawn’s sky.
                            Still scrutinizing the skies, I watch as, right before my eyes
                        I see for the first time how the stars, through darkness, they show,
                                   and still gazing and wondering, I suddenly realize
                     That I could always see farther than the nothingness you let me know.
             So you may lower your staff, Shepherd, for I have strayed, broken free from the heard.
And you may suffocate the lantern’s flame, Shepherd, for no more do I need your beacon to lead me through the fog.

				
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