The Shepherd

It’s hard graft, shepherding,
Solitary like, and often desolate.

You’re always brooding, mulling over
Where to find pasture or refuge;
How to keep the wolf from the fold.
Preoccupied with options, tempted
To play safe; dreaming of clout.

No-one thinks much of you sleeping
With the flock; sordid they say, thirsty,
Hungry – and not just for food;
Only the clothes you stand up in.

And you need courage: the hills are full
Of rogues and bandits – those who don’t think much
Of what you do and what you say and who you are.
Some of them – the ‘powers that be’
They’d kill you without a second thought.

The good sheep, they look to me for the route –
They want a crutch ‘A moral compass’ they cry,
But I have only my integrity – the ‘I am’ of old.

And there are always those who
Blame me when they’re lost;
Argue it’s all my fault when things go wrong,
Assume the world is kind to sheep!

But I do love them – all.
I’d lay down my life for them.
Bit like the other Shepherd I suppose.