Psalm

The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want

I shall not want for tribulation
For the flock is scattered
Their bleating goes unheard
Wolves nibble at the corners
With no fear of hindrance
I shall not want for tribulation
For the armies of God surround me
They have raised up the banners
Of loathing in every direction
And lo the sheep crawl
In slavish obeisance
I shall not want for tribulation
Even the dogs have abandoned us
As the shepherd sleeps off His cosmic binge
I shall walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
Eyes closed
Fingers in my ears

My country ’tis of thee

Empty, empty, of good or bad,
all equal before the sea-spattered
horizon, the pastures relentlessly
split open undone forever

I gaze on these at last remorse
the withering vine, the trodden soil
all witness to vanity, to regression

since times untold and form unbidden
horses fraught, thin bones straining
against what flesh remains.

As an infant, I was told how this
was my legacy, my inheritance,
all from the wrong ledger, it seems

The one beneath, the one unsmothered
despite the efforts of a cruel century,
the murder of compassion for fear of pain
the sacrifice of love for the comfort of predictability

Fools’ gold, dross, dust.