Monday, 5 May 2008

Not The Good Shepherd.

Heroin is my shepherd
I shall always want
It maketh me to lie down in gutters
It leadeth me beside troubled waters
It destroyeth my soul
It leadeth me in the paths of Hell for its name's sake
Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
I will fear no evil
For heroin art with me
My syringe and foil shall comfort me
Thou strippest the table of groceries in the presence of mine family
Thou anointest my head with madness
My cup runneth over with sorrow
Surely hate and evil shall follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of misery and disgrace for ever.

There are various versions of this on the go and more than one story about who wrote it but they make the same point and make it well, although thankfully the last line isn't necessarily always the case and I've spent today in the company of a number of men who've moved house from that particular house of misery and disgrace, even though they're still in "The Big House" (jail).

For those unfamiliar with it, here's the original Psalm 23:

The LORD is my shepherd;
I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in fields of green grass
and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water.
He gives me new strength.
He guides me in the right paths,
as he has promised.
Even if I go through the deepest darkness,
I will not be afraid, LORD,
for you are with me.
Your shepherd's rod and staff protect me.
You prepare a banquet for me,
where all my enemies can see me:
you welcome me as an honoured guest
and fill my cup to the brim.
I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life;
and your house will be my home as long as I live.

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