The Valley of the Shadow


Barry Goldensohn

The Lord is not my shepherd. I am not a sheep.
I do not eat grass or consent to be shorn.
I do not breed children with daughters or granddaughters. 
I can count and use languages. 
I do not follow my leader in long lines or orderly flocks
from pasture to pasture at the tinkle of his bell.
I eat the meat of many creatures including sheep. 
I hunt, grow and gather much of my food.
I lodge in cities and love their unruly culture
half of every year, and I live on a wilderness lake
with the wild music of loons the other half.
The presumption that I need a shepherd amuses me
and the presumption of shepherds enrages me.
I don’t need staff or rod.  I know I’ll die.

BARRY GOLDENSOHN‘s books of poems include The Hundred Yard Dash Man: New and Selected Poems, St. Venus Eve, Uncarving the Block, The Marrano, Dance Music, East Long Pond (with Lorrie Goldensohn), The Listener Aspires to the Condition of Music and, most recently, Snake in the Spine, Wolf in the Heart. He divides his time between Cabot, Vermont and New York City.