Michael Bartholomew-Biggs

Flock (1)

You are doomed, you shepherds of Israel! You take care of yourselves, but never tend the sheep.-Ezekiel 34:2

They say we see the flock as wool and profit
and ultimately meat.
They say we only count them –
since they only count –
at times of shearing or slit throats.

 

And we’d say, yes, we want the flock at market
at the proper time
and with the smallest cost to us
in risk and blisters.
If some are lost along the way

 

we’ll count that as a better deal
in terms of sweat and payroll
than hiring boys to keep them
together and alive,
by chasing after all the stragglers.

 

The fact is, led or driven, sheep are buggers
to get organised:
a bunch of shiftless drifters,
who more or less
collude with lupine predators.

 

© Michael Bartholomew-Biggs

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Flock (2)

I will judge between you strong sheep and the weak sheep. You pushed the sick ones aside and butted them away from the flock.…Ezekiel 34:20,21

 

As one sheep to another – where do you think we are going?
As one sheep to another – how do you think we are growing?
Can you still see the shepherd and the rest of the flock?
Or are some of us stranded behind a rock?
As one sheep to another – we’d all better go the same way.

 

As one sheep to another – who do you think you are shoving?
As one sheep to another – please be a little more loving.
But the same goes for me as it does for you
I’ve done my own share of pushing too.
As one sheep to another – we’d all better go the same way.

 

As one sheep to another – can’t you see I’m getting thinner?
As one sheep to another – you’ve been trampling on my dinner.
Even sheep should be smart enough to understand
there must be lots of pasture in the promised land.
As one sheep to another – we’d all better go the same way.

 

As one sheep to another – why are we always fighting?
As one sheep to another – yes that is my leg you’re biting!
We shouldn’t be going for each other’s throats
we should just be thankful that we’re not goats!
As one sheep to another – we’d all better go the same way.

 

© Michael Bartholomew-Biggs

 

Procedure

He said to me, “Mortal man, can these bones come back to life?” – Ezekiel 37:3

 

This is more than just embarrassing.
Speeded-up perceptions watch
and find the time to comment on
a white van slo-mo overcoming
pedestrian resistance.

 

Right leg triple open fracture.
It’s wiser not to look at blood
or bone; but as a good distraction
make adrenaline-induced apologies
to anyone who comes to help.

 

I think we put the bits all back.
A shattered tibial plateau
can be repaired: a wire mesh matrix
holds the crumbled mess in place
supported on titanium.

 

It only needs a blood supply
to grow itself as good as new.
The mended bone will end up stronger
than its metal reinforcement
as it’s weakened by fatigue.

 

It’s best to keep this scrap of paper
to specify your orthopaedic screws.
Surgeons know there’s nothing worse
than opening a patient up
and finding you’ve the wrong-size tools.

 

© Michael Bartholomew-Biggs