Excerpt for Shadows and the Shepherd by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Shadows and the Shepherd

Copyright 2017 Brian Boudreau

Cover Art and Illustrations by Theresa Boudreau

Published at Smashwords

ISBN 9781370988495


May you find comfort in this collection of illustrated verse.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 KJV


Of Things Not Seen

Tiny Boat


Winter Heart



Daily Bread

Heart of the Son

St. Peter’s Gate

Back to Your Heart

Noble Deeds


Foolish Heart


Before We Go


Beyond This

Heart and Hand

You Gave

In as much



Pieces Broken



Seated with the King

Calm Whisper

Without Spot

Pieces and Tears




My Story

You and Me

My Heart



To Know



Pas de deux

Breathe Again

Another Day

Shine On



Above All



The I Love You I Once Knew


The One

Always With You



Mission Bell

Christmas Eve


Christmas Girl

My Shepherd


Come Near

Mother’s Kiss

New Year


The Garden



In the Garden Dark

The Offering Cup

Feeble Heart


Ten to Zero

Le Vieux Montreal

Mastered By Few


Sin No More

Of Things Not Seen

Tiny Boat

Desperate to see lost hope in love's eyes

Only to stumble in the darkness I despise,

Tossed about in this shadowy tempest

My worthless works have nowhere to rest,

A fading glimpse of no permanence

Promise without form or substance,

Dying to dock a true confession

To exchange this curious possession

Blindly cleaving naked amiss in fear;

Clothe me! Hold me! Take me ever near!

Save this wreck adrift in the dark unheard

As I strain to hear a familiar voice of comfort,

And dare not lift my eyes on this immense sea,

Only pray my tiny boat sails into Your eternity.


This life is a shadow and a measured vapour

Short-lived as the grass and precarious flower,

From beyond senses whispers a duty of care

To not let your pride trample this garden fair,

Nor your brow grow high for the tiny part you see

Such airs in the fullness of time spoil as vanity,

All are purchased with a price to be one with Him

Who takes full measure of a man when he is undone,

With correction for teachers and narrow gate if you seek

Always close to the humble giving all to the meek;

For the dying man cast down begging for a crumb

Is carried to the table and seated with Abraham,

And one day eyes will open and ears will hear

The light of new life thunder in the Lion’s roar.

Winter Heart

Though days of dark isolation unfold

In empty voids of howling frigid cold,

Count not bleak winter as but desolate

And barren of hope and of joy bereft,

For soon the languish of this season breaks

And new light from heaven above wakes,

To stretch and pierce the dense dark clouds

Shining embrace on all that loneliness shrouds,

In blinding brilliance its warmth blazing aglow

Like white fire shimmering on sheer snow,

Its sacred purity will melt the immoveable frost

Bringing back to all the earth the life it lost,

Far and wide unbound newness will spring to clutch

Every winter heart yearning for the Son’s touch.


Sorrow hunts our peace

Howling like a wild beast,

From the dark depths unknown

He devours flesh and bone,

His bite brings on a furious fever

Where idle cares become despair,

Till we lay lifeless to drift away

But prey trapped will always pray;

Undo these fetters of fears

Free me from this snare of tears,

Let this wilderness be heaven heard

And your Angels unsheathe their swords

To slay the predator at Your command

And secure my soul in Your hand.


Summer’s blooms to the cold snow lay down their blush

Autumn’s breath mutes the song of the humble thrush,

Its echoing song fades as it sounds the deep canyon

Whose dust blows in the wind far across to the ocean,

And as the sun slips away the moon chills the air

Its pale serenity cooling the day’s burning fervour

While heaven’s clear blue turn to dark grey skies

So the times of our lives pass before our eyes,

And I wonder what is our raison d’etre in this tumult?

What glimmer sublime twinkling in this vault?

It’s then I recall the birthright and worth of this race

As here we wait for the new sunrise not of this place,

When we will rise from time’s tomb greatest and least,

The dead cast down redeemed by the Prince of Peace.

Daily Bread

From rooftops to the ground below

On tree branches and window sills

Heavy heaps of laden snow

Wrap our home in winter chills,

Inside the transforming fire ablaze

Warms the lowly lump of leaven

As re-born out of fall’s harvest

Our daily bread has risen;

We break and share and remember

The toil that purchased this rest

And the sacrifice that will forever

Make us a family in this place,

Come rest your weary head

And be filled with our daily bread.

Heart of the Son

Searching for meaning and light

Lost in a world dark as night,

Tears falling and time fading

Too many songs unsung,

And as the cold winds blow

We know it’s time to go,

Unsure where the tide takes us

We sail the deep long last,

Braced for the storm that’s coming

I remember your kind loving,

And suddenly the dark, cold dread

Breaks and dissolves as dead,

And embers of truth aglow

Warm my shivering soul as I go,

This glimpse of the heart of the Son

Sets me free and I am alive again,

Eyes set on the light on the hill

Guiding me through the vaulted vale.

St. Peter’s Gate

In soaked rags the poor boy alone in the rain

Finds shelter within the walls of St. Peter’s church,

Huddled beneath its spires soaring above the mundane

In awe of the scrolled carvings whispering of the eternal,

These stone images of human witness calling to his soul

With timeless voices fixed in each mysterious perch,

What meaning to this lamb lost from the human fold

Are these ageless faces dead but alive back then?

Pressed by the shivering damp he dares to reach

To grasp the lumbering door’s tarnished brass ring,

Cracking slowly open fragrant incenses caress his face

And he enters in the warmth of the candles amber glow,

Struck by the beauty of a stone sculpture white as snow

His heart fills with awe, wonder and yearning,

Mother Mary with head covered and shoulders hung low,

Clinging to her Son Jesus abandoned and lifeless.

The vaulted ceiling ornate with God’s servants of old

Each one sounding in the silence of timeless walls,

God’s message they saw, touched and with their lives told,

As the poor boy hears this silent symphony of the Spirit

He traces his fingers along the wounds of Christ’s feet,

Touching life beyond the temporal show of these halls

He now finds shelter for his soul and kneels to meet

The One who died to bring lost lambs life eternal.

Back to Your Heart

The night sighs deep as the world lays down

What’s left for anyone in this town?

Only chasing old shadows and fears

Till the soul can’t count the lost years,

Panting, pounding, pressing unbound

Who will tame this wild heart I’ve found?

And show me a fresh start

Back to Your heart.

Noble Deeds

Live and breathe fair creature but also know

Your home is beyond the senses that shine,

For you are not of earth’s fickle show

But are her captive of issue divine.

This frail frame so odd and finite,

Filled with the groans, pains and fears,

Flung into oblivion to fight,

Becomes a soul of endless years.

Man’s unfilled longings ring,

And resound through time’s torrent,

The tolling of all our laboring,

To return from whence we were sent.

But noble deeds of highest mind,

Unless issued from a loving heart,

Will be only be shadows left behind,

For the rising sun to break apart.

For when we finally reach the end,

And all our labour is summed up,

It is by Him into eternity we ascend,

And at His table we are carried to sup.


When you're weary and no one knows

And pain squeezes your mind and heart,

Remember Him who bore our woes

With the tears and beauty of prayers art,

There in the garden His body laid

Heart consumed by compassion,

Mind stricken for the strayed,

Innocence bearing all our oppression,

There heaven broke while He wept

Shedding blood and sweat as one,

Till dead men such as Lazarus leapt

And time bowed to obey God’s son;

So in your deepest sorrow never fear

You are not alone, He is ever near.

Foolish Heart

The silk nectar of youth is sweet to taste

Although often swallowed in thoughtless haste,

Drunk dazed beneath the sun in unbound dance

At length laid in shadows of repentance,

Riding up and down on a carousel

Pass many mirrors round in a circle,

Striving and grasping for the golden rings

Till swept away on weary wistful wings;

What hope to strive against our proud bent?

O! the silent night, His sacrifice sent,

The Star to seek to spark man’s spirit ablaze,

And light the dark to reveal dawn’s praise,

And make of this foolish heart a new life

Filled with heaven’s nature and free of strife.


This flesh and bone that holds me together

Breaks and bleeds when I stumble and fall,

Each step hobbled by pride’s blinding fetter

Always head in hands trying to walk tall,

Undo the strongholds of my selfish sway

Press spat-on clay upon my eyes,

Touch this leper cast from human way

Rid me of my torment and endless sighs;

O Shepherd seeking lost lambs outside the fold

Day and night I plead crying out to You,

Rescue me! Free me from sin’s hold,

Flood my flesh with your living waters true,

For without your Spirit living in me

I am only a vagabond thinking I’m free.

Before We Go

On earth before we go,

The dance is high and low,

Between empty and full,

The temporal and spiritual;

Crave not a blissful peak,

Nor stay lowly and weak,

But abase and abound,

Always in Him found.


In darkened shadows I wandered alone

Heard your voice felt you reach for my hand,

But my cold heart resisted hard as stone

A stubborn soul of shriveled dry land,

I wanted a way to know your love

Perhaps live a life of carefree joy,

But what light there was from above

I doused in the cares of selfish ploy,

I could only see my true need

When compassion plowed this fallow ground,

Thrashing the weeds that choked the Sower’s seed,

Taking root and pruned for His fruit to abound,

For the patience of our Father is a love story

And taking prodigal hearts home is His glory.

Beyond This

Heart and Hand

I saw ‘neath the eyes of a poor girl hungry,

Cast down in shame, seared in social agony,

A hideous doubt dragging her soul in sorrow,

And the pain of endless tears on her pillow,

Her lost dream of being someone to belong,

Mocks her infinite potential in a world all wrong;

From an empty cup that can’t beg, steal or borrow,

Angels echo to heaven her prayers for a hero,

Where is the heart and hand of compassion

To rise in love and give her a chance to stand,

Help her find strength to lift her weary spirit,

And take a step to come into the light?

Humble us to serve your children in word and deeds,

Investing all we possess unto to the least of these.

You Gave

When one pursues with ambition undaunted

Earthly things of life that seem most wanted,

The measure of our stature soon resembles

A discordant swelling of clanging cymbals,

The busy days, hectic pace, smiles insincere

Always in a crowd but never having one near,

Pushing to gain the power and possessions,

Human kindness lost in our self-obsessions;

Holy Spirit breathe upon this soul ensnared

And rouse to wake this giving heart You prepared,

So I may share God’s love that our poor hearts crave

And others may receive the life in me You gave.

In as much

Midst the dire dregs of death

And parched land without breath,

Flowing from her inner-most being

Cascades of living waters healing,

“It’s not quantity but quality”

Her lowly sensibility,

With towel in tote, on bended knee,

Untouchables she served as He,

Her hands heaved beyond her heart

With only His charity to impart,

Most cheerful with beggars to sup

And pour her paltry offering cup,

A life consumed by compassion

And not my will but Yours be done.


Under the pouring showers of April,

Hungry beaks peck boldly at the fresh buds,

Their eyes set sharp, alert and whistling shrill,

Austere feathers, flying fearless through floods,

But I beneath an umbrella's carry,

Plod with stooped head ducking here and there,

In bristling thrusts of uncomfortable hurry,

But then, I hear spring call to child-like fanfare.

Calling me to leap with abandon carefree!

Till angels press with desire and want,

Breaking the sky wide open above me,

To gaze at my stride and courageous vaunt,

Unfurled joy more exuberant than the lark,

Like King David dancing before the Ark.


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