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The Literary Groong - 11/11/2006

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	SONG OF THE SHEPHERDS

	by Knarik O. Meneshian


	Up
	Climbs the shepherd
	With his flock.
	"Hey, hey!" he calls,
	Tapping his stick on soil and rock
	Up
	The mountain Aragats.

	Higher,
	A shepherdess
	In a billowy dress
	With hair tucked under her scarf
	Sings as she stirs a pot
	Hanging above flickering flames
	Near a canvas tent
	And strips of wool dripping, drying on a rope
	In the summer wind
	Sweeping across the mountain,
	Through rocky fields, green pastures, and alpine flower meadows
	Of blue and white and pink and yellow.

	"Hey, hey!" calls the shepherd to his flock
	As they ascend higher still.
	The shepherdess hums,
	Offering him water, cheese and bread,
	And brushwood
	To the flames
	Dancing a waning dance.

	The shepherd whistles a tune
	And the shepherdess sings the words.
	Their song carried by the wind like wishes
	Towards the mountain top
	Where cold winds swirl
	Past black, jagged crevices
	To dance on cliffs,
	In summer snow fields
	Near Kari Lake,
	With its blueness shimmering in the sunlight
	And silver ripples
	Stroking the shore.

	An old woman in a babushka stirs a pot
	Suspended above roaring flames.
	Steam rises,
	Filling the crisp mountain air with the warmth of tradition.
	"Would you like a bowl of Khash?" she asks,
	Here on this mountain
	Where just above
	One can almost touch the tips of Aragats,
	Almost tug at the clouds,
	Almost touch the sky--
	Where one can hear
	The song of the shepherds.


--
Knarik O. Meneshian was born in Austria. Her father was Armenian from
Armenia and her mother was Austrian from Austria. A writer and
teacher, she is married and lives in Glenview, Illinois with her
family.  In 1991, Knarik taught English in the village of Jrashen
(Spitak Region), Armenia. In 2002-2003, she and her husband lived in
Armenia for a year as volunteers and taught English and Computers in
Gyumri and Tsaghgadzor. Her various works have been published in
American and Armenian publications.  She has authored a book of poems
titled Reflections, and translated from Armenian to English Reverend
D. Antreassian's book titled The Banishment of Zeitoun and Suedia's
Revolt.

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