Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Poetry

Day 244

the shepherd

they live on the hills
a gasp away from the house;
singular single androgynous
indeterminate shimmering fading
in and out of the green, made
of air and fire and water and wood.
they feel, physically, the push
and pull of the sick man and his
beasts, inside and out; his demons,
his animals; and hers, too, the
woman’s, her lost identity, her
hopes, her emptiness in the storm
the man carries into each room.

they tend nature up here,
the they shepherd, all atoms of it,
the green the white the bark
the fur the skin the crop
all living things as far as their
eyes see, as far as their spirit
reaches. they land their gaze
in each room of the house, into
each soul in the house, and they hurt
with the bereaved family existing
in the valley down that slow slope.

each day they see the man stumble into
their green, pursued by the worried
animals addicted to the sense of death,
pursued by the woman’s longing gaze
and her wish that she could heal him.
they open their arms, the they shepherd,
when they are invisibly close to him,
wrap him in the spell of their crook, to
wrestle with the illness in his flesh
and his mind.

when they let him go, they let him take
their immortal youthfulness with him
although he loses it within yards,
and cower by the barren fountain
until the water returns. this is
the daily cycle.

Experimental of sorts, the end of that series of four poems, which I don’t know what to collectively name, but I will, if I ever remember I’ve written them.




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