Thursday, May 29, 2008



my improvement project
is done!

walls framed
out of my fickle fears,
drywalled with
my dashed dreams;

windows triple-paned
with my desires,
flooring out of
the finest hardheaded lumber,
roofed over
with the wretchedness
of my will:

so why doesn't it
feel like home?

you could hammer
a refuge for me
in your heart;

your grace could
finely sand
my roughened edges;

your tenderness
could warm
my iced-over soul.

when it comes
to building a life
on faith's foundation,
i am an unskilled laborer,
so please,


do it yourself
(for my sake)

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 22, 2008

alterations, no charge

last night,
i hung up my worries
in the closet,
hoping the wrinkles
would smoothe out
by the next day;

i put my fears
into the laundry,
so they would
be clean enough
to wear again this week;

i made sure that
pebble called stress
was still in my shoe,
where it has worn
a hole into the heel.

but this morning,
when i opened the closet,
i found
a whole new outfit,
woven out of
Easter lilies
and resurrection's
sweet grass
and sandals
made out of
sparrow's feathers.


i found you
standing there,
a tape measure
around your neck,
chalk in your hand,

saying with a smile,
'try them on . . .
so we can see
if any alterations
are needed'

(Matt. 6:24-34)
(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 17, 2008

nothing, but . . .

i have no proof,
but in the carpet
of motley grasses
Dusty rolls on
stretching his back;
in the multicolored
which hide the squirrels
from his gaze,
i discover you,
Imagination beyond compare.

it's not admissible evidence,
but in the daughter
who sits up
all night
while her father
slowly sleeps
into resurrection's arms;
in the mother
comforting her son
who made the last out
in the championship game,
i learn from you,
Compassion's Carpenter.

there is nothing concrete,
but in the mist
sculling over the lake.
in the ripples
which lullaby
the couple in the canoe,
in the breath
which cradles
the gently sailing geese,
i feel you,
Whisperer of life.

no proof,
no admissible evidence,
nothing concrete:

only you
God in Community,
Mystery in One.

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, May 10, 2008

pentecost party

(having burnt
a finger
testing the iron)
God begins -
phump, phump, phump -
smoothing out
the wrinkles
on the heirloom
by Hagar and Sarai;

Gabe and Mike
to help)
Jesus fits
the extra boards
into the kitchen table,
then starts
moving the place cards
so folks
have to sit
next to those
they cannot

is putting
the liturgical dancers
through their paces
'flames! flames!
flicker like flames!'
(though not telling
any one
of the last-minute surprise
she will pull);

in an upper room
we wait . . .
turning the invitation
over and over
in our hearts . . .

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman