Shepherd's Isle

Shepherd's Isle

There once was an island with cliffs and a mountain at one end.
On the peak was a source from which a mighty river did descend.
It flowed across the island dividing it in half.
On one side worked many-a cow and their calf.
And on the other sheep ranged freely o’er the vale and glen.

And with the sheep lived the families of the shepherd.
And with the cows lived a whole village of cowherd.
One day a typhoon was seen headed for their shore.
The shepherds went out to bring all sheep indoor.
But the other side cared not if their beasts got showered.

Instead they closed the gates and huddled inside.
They ate, drank, and really just ignored the rising tide.
In distress the calves ran down toward the shore
The shepherds saw how the cowherds forsook their chore.
They forded the waters and gathered the cattle on the other side.

Some of the cattle saw and understood the shepherds’ aid.
But some saw them as predators and were afraid.
Inside the village the cowards were numbed with drink.
No one checked to see that the cows were at the brink.
The shepherd’s worked with zeal as they prepared and prayed.

They gathered all their sheep and many cows as well
To the safety of the higher ground and dell.
They knocked on the doors of the village.
But the cowards thought they were only there to pillage.
And so they threw stones and damned them all to hell.

Their eyes were blinded by pride: all glazed, and glossy.
Through their stupor they decided to form a posse
‘How dare they come and tell us what to do’
‘Those cows are ours, and they are so few’
‘Let’s throw them to the waves for they act so bossy.’

But as they rose to prepare their attack
The tempest hit the island and blew them all back.
A black funnel cloud dropped down
And it destroyed the little town.
Every manor, tavern, school, and shack.

The shepherds called again to join them on higher ground.
But confused and angry they all ran down.
At the very moment that the storm surge hit.
It washed them all into Poseidon’s deep pit.
There was only blackness and a grinding and wailing sound.

But on the mountain top the storm clouds broke.
The good Shepherd appeared, and all bowed as he spoke:
‘All you who went to the fields and searched and scoured
And all those who followed: your faith has flowered
You shall never again wear the coward’s yoke.’

And a river of living water flowed forth from the Lamb
The isle grew great and there were many ewes and rams
From North to South, and West to East
In this kingdom, all lived in eternal peace
An in the radiance and glory of the Lord whose name is ‘I am’

Copyright (c) D.Partlow 2008

Daniel Partlow