The Orphan Shepherd Boy

Snowhite clouds hung overhead in the limpid blue
Where myriad birds merrily flew
Tickling and nudging
Poking and pinging
Merrily singing
Of peaceful climes
Of happy times.
With make believe affection the waves below caressed the boulders
An orphan shepherd boy sat on a rock, hunched were his shoulders.

Recalling his dead parents with wistful sighs
Who vanished without saying their good byes.
He misses
The kisses
Of his petite mother
And the mock reprimands of his hardworking father.
Watching the mock affection of the waves caressing the boulders
Pensively he sits, hunched are his shoulders.

Distractedly he looks at a speck in the distance
Nothing seems to make any sense.
Is that a blue rock pigeon or a bearded vulture?
When will peace descend and kill this gun culture?
Will it be as endangered as the Hangul Deer?
He shudders in fear.
Sleep, my child sleep, had sung his mother
In the golden past
Which, alas, did not last.
More thoughtful he grows, watching the waves caressing the boulders.
At this superficial affection, more hunched become his frail shoulders.

Ah, there is the tinkling of a bell
A little calf, with half closed eyes stumbles towards him pell mell.
The boy bends down and picks up the calf.
As an old bent shepherd watches, leaning on his staff.

The waters of the Lidder River lie becalmed under the morning sun
Candy floss clouds chase each other in an orgy of fun.
The whole blue expanse of the river and the fathomless sky
Filled with the gorgeous play of sunny azure tinted gleams
Arm the hapless boy yet again with a handful of dreams.
A sunflower bright
Raises itself to its full height
And tries to beguile
The orphan with a smile.
From somewhere a ripple of merry laughter wafts across to tickle him
He no longer feels grim.
His skin tingles and sounds mingle to create a symphony of love.
He smothers the calf with kisses, eyes no longer sad now.
The waves applaud and affectionately caress the boulders
He gets up lovingly holding the calf, no longer hunched are his shoulders.

Joy filled the age chilled heart of the old shepherd and his beard twitched.
The calf luxuriated in the cuddles, as he stood bewitched.
“Come son, let us go home,” in a love laced voice calls the old shepherd.
”Coming granddad”, says his grandson, eyes fixed on a flamboyant bird.
Which chimes of happy times and peaceful climes.
Playfully the waves caress the boulders
The shepherd boy forges ahead, the calf safely perched on his shoulders.

7 thoughts on “The Orphan Shepherd Boy

  1. Swati Chandra

    nice! it felt like story-telling! long yes, and i feel an affinity here as my poems too tend to narrate stories and are often long!


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