Prayer for a Shepherd

By Ken Woodley

Lost in this shadow-soaked valley,

I howl your name

into a darkness that seems to know me too well

using notes I didn’t know were mine,

yearning to hear your voice 

approaching in the distance.

I am huddled beneath a star-less sky 

with wolves that call me brother,

all of us dying to howl at the sun some day,

each of us ravenous for my stumbling prayer 

to lead you across a landscape scarred

by wounds we never saw coming,

woundings so deep they couldn’t even bleed.

Might you find us and soften the serrated hunger

that has devoured us for so long,

leaving us starving to become nothing 

more than sheep in wolves’ clothing

before shedding every hair on our counterfeit skin.

Exhausted by years of crying out words

I’ve been told are holy,

I fall silently to the ground

and hear something approaching through the dry leaves

of a season that is already dead.

Lifeless twigs are breaking underfoot

like promises made without knowing the cost.

Hope teases the outskirts of our desperation

and we are slowly surrounded by lambs

that begin howling at a moon so full

we hadn’t seen it shining.

In its light, we see green leaves on the trees

above your approaching shadow

through the sudden flowers.

Prayer for a Shepherd 

By Ken Woodley

Lost in this shadow-soaked valley,

I howl your name

into a darkness that seems to know me too well

using notes I didn’t know were mine,

yearning to hear your voice 

approaching in the distance.

I am huddled beneath a star-less sky 

with wolves that call me brother,

all of us dying to howl at the sun some day,

each of us ravenous for my stumbling prayer 

to lead you across a landscape scarred

by wounds we never saw coming,

woundings so deep they couldn’t even bleed.

Might you find us and soften the serrated hunger

that has devoured us for so long,

leaving us starving to become nothing 

more than sheep in wolves’ clothing

before shedding every hair on our counterfeit skin.

Exhausted by years of crying out words

I’ve been told are holy,

I fall silently to the ground

and hear something approaching through the dry leaves

of a season that is already dead.

Lifeless twigs are breaking underfoot

like promises made without knowing the cost.

Hope teases the outskirts of our desperation

and we are slowly surrounded by lambs

that begin howling at a moon so full

we hadn’t seen it shining.

In its light, we see green leaves on the trees

above your approaching shadow

through the sudden flowers.



Prayer for a Shepherd


By Ken Woodley

Lost in this shadow-soaked valley,
I howl your name
into a darkness that seems to know me too well
using notes I didn’t know were mine,
yearning to hear your voice
approaching in the distance.
I am huddled beneath a star-less sky
with wolves that call me brother,
all of us dying to howl at the sun some day,
each of us ravenous for my stumbling prayer
to lead you across a landscape scarred
by wounds we never saw coming,
woundings so deep they couldn’t even bleed.

Might you find us and soften the serrated hunger
that has devoured us for so long,
leaving us starving to become nothing
more than sheep in wolves’ clothing
before shedding every hair on our counterfeit skin.

Exhausted by years of crying out words
I’ve been told are holy,
I fall silently to the ground
and hear something approaching through the dry leaves
of a season that is already dead.
Lifeless twigs are breaking underfoot
like promises made without knowing the cost.
Hope teases the outskirts of our desperation
and we are slowly surrounded by lambs
that begin howling at a moon so full
we hadn’t seen it shining.
In its light, we see green leaves on the trees
above your approaching shadow
through the sudden flowers.



By Ken Woodley

Lost in this shadow-soaked valley,
I howl your name
into a darkness that seems to know me too well
using notes I didn’t know were mine,
yearning to hear your voice
approaching in the distance.
I am huddled beneath a star-less sky
with wolves that call me brother,
all of us dying to howl at the sun some day,
each of us ravenous for my stumbling prayer
to lead you across a landscape scarred
by wounds we never saw coming,
woundings so deep they couldn’t even bleed.

Might you find us and soften the serrated hunger
that has devoured us for so long,
leaving us starving to become nothing
more than sheep in wolves’ clothing
before shedding every hair on our counterfeit skin.

Exhausted by years of crying out words
I’ve been told are holy,
I fall silently to the ground
and hear something approaching through the dry leaves
of a season that is already dead.
Lifeless twigs are breaking underfoot
like promises made without knowing the cost.
Hope teases the outskirts of our desperation
and we are slowly surrounded by lambs
that begin howling at a moon so full
we hadn’t seen it shining.
In its light, we see green leaves on the trees
above your approaching shadow
through the sudden flowers.






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