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A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

National Poetry Month--Day Ocho--Octopoem

Here's a poem I wrote that has nothing to do with today's poetry form (Octopoem to follow):

I'm not one of those easy sheep--
Those snowy-coated
Innocent believing
Lambs who always
Makes the best decisions.
I'm not the lamb
Who gets twinkled into Heaven
Because her Goodness Medal
Clinks against her Outstanding Service medal
And suddenly she's dinner
For an unprincipled wolf.
I mean well.
 Really I do.
There are things
I'm told to do
Every day
That I put off
Until I've never done them. 
I THINK about doing them.
But just thinking gets you nowhere.

I'm that haggard old ewe
With burrs in her ragged coat 
Out there in a briar patch
On the side of a cliff
Just daring you 
To try and rescue her
Before she butts you off the ledge.
I'm that sheep so feral
She's weighed down
With loads of wool
From going her own way 
For so long. 
I'm nobody's favorite lamb.
Just ask them.
But even for me
There is a Shepherd
Who cares enough to 
Climb down the side of that cliff
And disentangle me
From the stickers and burrs.
With one bleat 
He would leave the rest of you
Good little sheep,
The ones who do all their ministering
On the first day of the month
Who bake bread for their neighbors
And join the PTA
And spend their lives at soccer practice, 
Bake cookies for the orphans of Zimbabwe,
And have finished all the standard works 
For the second time this year, 

He comes
Striding through the briars
Oblivious to the scratches and cuts
To rescue the slacker sheep.
That means something to me.
It means He LOVES me.
It means my road would be much easier
If I did all I could,
And I would be happier.
But if I couldn't,
If I was too weak or 
Put "it" off for too long
Or for some other reason 
Had stumbled off into the weeds,
HE would be there for me.
For me,
That pitifully dense little ewe. 
HE calls
With a quiet, gentle voice
Calls me by name,
With a bit of a smile
And an affectionate laugh
And bids me
Come out from there. 
Be the sheep you were 
Made to be.
Listen to my voice.
I will lead you Home.
So I go.

 ©2020 by H. Linn Murphy

And now for the poem of the day. If you want to know how to write one of these babies, go here. Here's my octopoem:

Orange blossoms adrift on the wind
Suffusing springtime air with a tang of joy
Antique lace of spent desert blooms swathes my feet 
Wind sets branches dancing, filling air with yet more fluttering flowers
Tree humming with pollen-jacketed winged worshipers
Filling the fleshy tables of the heart with promise
Enrapturing the Psyche with lush well-being
The heady business of honeyed spring

 ©2020 by H. Linn Murphy


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