The Flocks Have Left The Fold - Poem by Daniel Partlow
The flower of the thorny roses dead, calls, forestalls the loss of their head
Entering the bed, the deuce covers lost alba hue with paint of red…
The fields of wheat are filled with weeds; some fig trees have stopped fruiting
The time of beast and serpent nears, they plot the vineyard vines uprooting.
Following the serpents siren song, the flocks have left the fold
The proud have wandered away from their shepherd of old.
Prowling and coordinating the foretold plan, the beast
Enlists the ranks of predators into the brotherhood of serpentine false priest
Leviathan lies in wait beneath the marshy fen
And signals fellow minions to prepare to begin.
Though the fisherman's schools of fish are teaming
The requin shiver circles, the crafty sharks are scheming.
The sheep are all divided many driven to distraction
The weak have followed the proud out of simple interest or attraction
In rites of bleating howls, the pack promises the sheep a lupine fleece to try-on
And some wander off entranced by the gentle purring of the lion
The raven deals with them to sell their pure white wool.
For the price of initiation into the party of boasting bull.
They receive on their foreheads and bodies the blood-letting leeches
For the serpent demands their blood: one of the many heresies he teaches.
The shepherd calls each one back to the fold by name
He sends his helpers out to warn them of their foolish game.
The razorbacks and wild dogs sense opportunities for gluttonous gouts of blood.
And help the proud sheep to entice their brothers away from meadows into bogs of mud.
The proud ones tell the others that the shepherd was a myth
Frolicking with the leopards is liberating - run to them forthwith.
The lion invites the sheep to observe the land from his perch in the trees
In giddy thrill, they ignore the helpers' warnings, calls, and pleas.
Let the condors lift to new heights, and teach flight to our little lambs
Predation is a fairy tale; the old limitations and doctrines are only shams
Just look at the awesome strength of our new friend tiger.
Let us emulate the lion dam and give him offspring like the liger.
Our 'shigers' will be big and strong, clearly superior
Be brave and leave turf-eaters behind to old-fashioned ways inferior
In fact, who needs them any way? They only hold us back.
Let us instead learn the ways of wolf so we can run freely with the pack.
If the coyote has so many clever wiles
Let us learn his wisdom and his ways, all his genius guiles.
Oh, the time has come, curious oyster friends to speak of other things
The walrus begins his smoke screen bluster about cabbages and kings.
The Frog-Eye Patch burns the green grass with its pattern of sixes
Fungus catches in the proud sheeps throats and eventually asphixes.
Familial hives of bees collapse because of homogeneity, varoa, and mites.
The unpollinated blossoms dropp and wither from the droughts and blights.
Queer self-mutating crops have been sown in some of the farmer’s fields
Which repel the remaining good pollinators and produce unfruitful yields.
The rows are then attacked by flies, robigus, galls and canker.
Spreading their lies, hatred, apostacy and rankor.
The blades of wheat are attacked by a sickening black stem rust.
Converting good nutrients into vomit-toxin, mold, and must.
Fusarium, hessians, long-horned beetles, scorch, and scabby ghosts
Stage their attack on the figs from the barbarous barberry bushes and other evil hosts.
The biting flies goad the sheep to fight with each other.
That they may feed upon the carrion of the weaker brother.
The fish in streams and seas though belonging to the fisher
Are stolen one by one in beastly deed which evil times doth usher.
'Come to me little fishes' calls the crafty bear.
Fly up from your stream beds taste the freedoms of the air.
Go with the flow little fishes calls the Dead sea of blood and salt.
Forget the rumors heard of how your heart and gills will halt.
Innocuously swims up the aqueous serpent, preparing his venom rank
We're in this stream bed together – but I can teach you to crawl upon the eastern bank.
The crocs circle round, overhearing the trap the snake has planned,
And call the sheep for a swimming lesson, 'come down to the banks of sand'
The hyena laughs at the shepherd's doctrine: a call to repent.
And offers what he says the shepherd really meant.
The coyote shrieks in the piteous pitch of yin.
With feigned wound and false pride, more sheep are taken-in.
The false prophecy of boa winds itself among its prey.
Binding them in sin for constriction on the beastly day.
The ostriches, wildcats and owls, prepare for the satyr’s fest.
The desert beast and jackle in palaces howl; the gazelles are hunted without rest.
Proud sheep denigrate the ‘stupid’ ewes and the 'caveman' rams
Creating divisions and suffering among families and offending the little lambs.
The zeitgeist of the time causes a brooding robin great despair.
And in faithless confusion she is caught in the trapper’s snare.
Her abandoned hatchlings are flushed and caught by the hounds
The nest eggs are stolen by the adder – his dislocated jaw surrounds.
Disrespect and apathy are sown into the fields yielding briars and crabby-grass.
Viruses and killing spores are prepared for the anti-sacramental black mass.
The scorpion brews his lethal narco-stings
And tells the lambs of the wondrous feelings that it brings
The baboon plies the lambs with his inebriating weed and water
To numb and stupefy them for the upcoming slaughter
The vulture circles above the desert sands.
Awaiting the hour when death descends upon the wayward lambs.
Proud sheep, tares and chaff, wilted and painted rose
The night is waning fast and hear now the cock crows.
Impersonating the shepherd, but blaspheming his Word.
The predators close in to gorge upon the adepts of the fallen herd.
Though the smoke from Leviathan, the faithful sheep, it cannot smother.
It attempts, as apiist, containment and apathy, preventing the rescue of their brother.
Cobra too menaces faithful sheep, spewing venom through its headline fangs.
To deter them all from rescuing the lost from the clutches of the gangs.
Cowed into helpless sedation, so many submit in ignorance or fear
Until, 'I give you not a spirit of timidity, but that of strength, ' His voice rings in their ear.
Under the protection of shepherd's crook they march out bleating loud.
Calling all their family home before terrible fate is meted to the proud.
The helpers stand ready to free them from their mess.
When sheep look up to the shepherd and faithfully confess.
The helpers bleat for reason as the proud vainly bruises udders.
But with ears so full of lies some ignore the truth as merely mutton mutters.
The good reapers work the fields to gather all the grain into the garner
Before the tares and chaff are burnt up, the shepherd sends out the final gleaning-warner.
All faithful sheep and those repentant, behind the shepherd's gate
Saved from the ferile eels, all the schools within good fisher's net, the final catch is great.
As the fishers stand on every shore from Engedi unto Engelaim;
Their haul shall is abundant as they spread forth thier nets and bounty claim;
Even some of the predator cubs reject the serpents' deceptive fables.
They foresware the bulllock’s blood eating just the scraps from the Shepherd’s table.
An axe is laid at the root of the trees and each which brought forth not,
Yielded not good fruit, shall be hewn down, and cast into the fires hot.
Oh barren trees whose branches stretched out and blocked the light of the sun.
You drank up the waters of the earth and now thy time is nearly done.
The wind blows the chaff and tumbleweed before the storm and all hear their cries
The reeds and bulrushes fail when their stream recedes and dries.
In blasts of steam and ash Leviathan begins to swell.
Withering the unfruited boughs, he opens wide the mouth of hell.
The sheep gathered on his back feel a rumbling thrill fantastic,
Uncertainty, then terror… then incineration in blasts black and pyroclastic
The noxious fumes choke all in its wide and billowing path.
Save those protected by the shepherd, they feel their father's wrath.
Profaning the shepherd of the heavens, the volcanic eruption peaks
Amid Hyena Laughs, Leopard Growls, Gorilla Hoots, Baboon Howls, and Coyote Shrieks,
All hell breaks loose, so many proud sheep are lost to the jackal
The boa cinches tight the noose, the fires rain and crackle.
The skies blackened with soot, the locusts armed to teeth descend
Upon all the painted roses and corrupted vegetation on which wicked faithless sheep depend.
The black panthers under cover of the darkness prowl
Savaging, ravaging, the victims bemoan their fate and howl.
The tempest rages and many are destroyed by the wave and gale of hurricane.
Save those who trusted on the shepherd who long ago wailed in the ultimate of pain.
But now these biting axes which held themselves above the lumberjack.
Are themselves thrown upon the ignited kindling stack.
The saws and smiting rods are all forever broken.
When the apocalyptic word of fury is finally spoken.
The tyrants are thrown down to nether at the end of their term:
Their couch is the maggot and their blanket is the worm.
Sound the knell, true peace and the kingdom has finally come
Ring the bell, Alleluia and Hosanna: Let the angel’s harps be strum.
The skies are cleared - free forever from predator’s weapon stings.
Free at last - praise Immanuel – every voice together sings.
The pacific cubs then lie down with the good lambs and flocks
The new lion, bear, leopard, and wolf all eat the ample grass like the ox.
A river flows forth from the Shepherd and His new city is founded
In which the trumpets of peace shall be forever sounded.
A new Earth where forever Truth and the Shepherd reigns.
The deceivers and deceived all cast out: bearing perpetual chains.
And in the end, all the proud are lost to the pride,
For the pride devours those who can't admit that their serpent master lied.
So listen to this dormouse, and heed what the prophets have said.
Keep your head. Indeed. Keep fresh your faith and heart and head.
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