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Psalm

by Richard Paez

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
When He makes me lie in these pastures
all I know is the green, green blades of grass
succulent and half-bent, caressing
and wind-blown, waving
pendulate invitations.

Drunk on the musk of soaked soil
soft and slippery with Spring
I touch my muzzle to the velvet viridian
take quivering tufts into my mouth
chewing till the juices dry
swallowing what’s left—
a crass and cellulose cud.

I lap the dew from my lips
and move on to the next tender thatch.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
But when He leads me beside these still waters
the rivers within me swell.
In every wavelet and ripple
I taste undulation,
heave-rise and billow.
Bloated and distended,
the engorged upwelling surges,
mounts as I pant,
pant,
pant.

He restores my soul:
Belly full, my center of gravity low
I follow willingly in the path of righteousness.
For His name's sake,
bleated, echoed, moaned,
gurgled by the rushing undercurrent
of these still-faced, churning waters.

Yes, though I walk bleating and chisel-footed
through the valley of the shadow of death,
leaving the marks of my passage
in V's of crushed grass stalks
I will fear no evil:
for you are with me
comforter, caretaker.
You feed me my enemies
Keep me well oiled
Quench my thirsts with the deluge.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

 

01/16/2005

Posted on 01/16/2005
Copyright © 2020 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by JD Clay on 01/17/05 at 12:07 AM

Rudimentary poetry, malachi. I hear the prophets buzzing round your temperate text, but it's my guess, King David would be pleased. I will never see this hallowed valley in my mind the same. You give new meaning to chewed up and spit out. Glory be. Pe4ce...

Posted by Scott Cadence on 01/17/05 at 03:09 AM

"In every wavelet and ripple
I taste undulation,
heave-rise and billow.
Bloated and distended,
the engorged upwelling surges,
mounts as I pant,
pant,
pant.

Richard, you had me at hello. :) Amazing poem, you have complete control over the mental canvass - and I love to watch you paint. Always excited to see a green arrow next to your name, you do it again. :)

Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 01/18/05 at 04:56 PM

now, let's put aside the fact that i now need a smoke (sorry, i'm a sick individual)... your analogy, as i choose to see it in this piece, is stunning, raw and freaking brilliant... write on... blessings...

Posted by Marjorie Anne Reagan on 01/20/05 at 03:50 AM

Lambs we all are. Your Psalm refreshed my soul. Thank you!

Posted by Ava Blu on 01/21/05 at 03:11 PM

Your words always show me something I couldn't see on my own. I love what I see in this. I added it to my fav list. "I will fear no evil: for you are with me comforter, caretaker. You feed me my enemies Keep me well oiled Quench my thirsts with the deluge"----I love these lines. You're fed enemies, while I am forever fed silence. "I lap the dew from my lips and move on to the next tender thatch."---and these lines made me wanting more. You did an incredible job with this. Every other comment already said more than I can.

Posted by Bethany Lee on 03/01/05 at 03:59 PM

astounding! it's been a while since i have walked the walls of your library, and the first piece i pick up to read is a reminder of your potent poetry. the sensual tones and flowing verses quenched my thirst for words . 100% fruit juice.

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