Jim-Bob, Shepherd-Man, Part III

The final part of my pastoral elegy. Thanks for following along.

VI.

“Is that a capsule we pull up
From the earth?”
That’s time’s grave
That is. “Find then a hammer then.”
No.
We’ll smash it with our hands. “Move
Aside. Move Aside. One, two,
Three…”
“Jug, Jug.” On
The ground, trampled. “Jug.” The

Books we take
Down from the
Shelves. The compass
Wanders round
And round
The map that
Describes
Pastures we
Cannot find.

The clocks are covered,
In canvas.

Round we go. Round
The prickly pear at 5 o’clock in…

“Jug.”

(… Madness. Was that madness,
Just then? I heard:
A dread voice. But it has past,
Shrinking back into
Stagnant streams that do not flow.
We should proceed then,
Plodding our way through…)

VII.

The cedar saplings strewn with broken
Bits of straw. While tall, sparkling amaryllis
Rises above the rest of syringa
Trees, mute in fir forests draped in
Aphroditic rosemary – “that’s for remembrance” –
While white periwinkle fastens itself to

The ground. But, these flowers grow beyond
Our reach. We must not crawl content through
Cedar saplings, frail and withered, while green
Spotted rhododendron poisons our water-bound
Lilies of the swamp we slog through,
Burdened by the coffin we carry, plucking as

We go: Hyacinths. We love:
Hyacinths. “They called me
The hyacinth girl.” Rising up red
From the dead,
Parched brown land.

VIII.

So weep on, woeful shepherds, weep on.
We slouch towards the water-side, gazing
Up at the cliff-side, where, efficiently
Done, crisp figures on jagged peaks hurl over
Our rich, time-worn tomes. While we bleat.
Wailing when they smash and crash
Into the waves, sinking

Down, deep, beyond our reach they
Go. They go. Never to rise again. So,
We wait, aimlessly. Waiting on
Our lone shore.

Wiping tears from pale eyes.

IX.

Thus sang the uncouth swain to his purblind
Flock, to those who hear his wail, but
Bend not to his words. Just

Gorging. Gorging
Gaily they go, picking at weeds, roving
Aimlessly over hills. Of

Pasture lands pale.
Wasted. Sinking
Into the western bay. Away

Then, I’ll go up to fresh woods with
Deeply rooted trees. Where the song
Sings. Where the fresh pasture acres
Wave with fresh grasses that sing
In soft breezes… and that I, lone man
Wandering away,
Long to hear.

Posted as part of Poets United Poetry Pantry

6 thoughts on “Jim-Bob, Shepherd-Man, Part III

  1. ZQ August 30, 2015 / 4:27 pm

    Excellent! A wonderful read.

    Like

  2. Sanaa Rizvi August 30, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    In soft breezes… and that I, lone man
    Wandering away,
    Long to hear.

    Such beautiful closing lines 🙂

    Like

  3. Mary August 30, 2015 / 11:09 pm

    Bravo. A worthy effort.

    Like

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