Thursday, November 12, 2009

hannah's canticle (1st Samuel 2:1-10)

if only we would
look past
the politico's rhetoric
flashed across the screen
day after day,
    so we might see
    those families
    for whom poverty
    is an unwelcome guest
        who refuses to move out;
if only we would
listen beyond
the pious platitudes
so easily mouthed
day after day,
    and with ears
    finely tuned with compassion,
    listen to the whispered prayers
    of children whose future
        seems so sterile;

if only we would
disassemble the walls
stacked word upon word,
day after day,
by the dissemblers of optimism,
    and peer into
    the faces of our sisters and brothers
    mired in the pit
        of hopelessness.

if only
        would . . .
 . . .  day after day.

(c) 2009  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 05, 2009

canticle 127

unless you keep giving us
the kingdom's vocabulary test,
until we know your hopes
backwards and forwards,
we hem-and-haw
on the part of the have-nots,
our words wobbling weakly
past the world's ears;

unless you take your fingers
and rub the avarice
out of our eyes,
we drift further and further
away from our sisters and brothers,
leaving them buffeted and bruised
on poverty's floor;

unless you fashion our hearts
into a sanctuary
for your compassion,
we can only hand out
the moldy bread
of futility,
we can only offer a drink
from the cup filled
with empty promises.

unless you . . .

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

all day, every day

st. lucy stopped for a moment
while she rested her arms and legs
from pushing her little
brother down the sidewalk
in his electric car whose
battery had run down;
stroking Dusty's nose,
her eyes shimmered with delight
and she exploded in a giggle,
'you're a silly dog!'
when he suddenly baptized her
with a sloppy kiss.

pausing for a few moments
from helping his elderly neighbor,
st. chuck leaned on his rake,
smiling as his grandkids,
eagerly and deliberately
scattered the leaves he had
spent all afternoon carefully
piling by the curb,
whispering, 'what a life!'

slowly, painstakingly, as if
she were joining together a puzzle,
differently-abled st. jennifer
put each item in its place
in the cloth bags,
not making them too heavy
(as the customer requested)
making sure the bread
ended up on top,
and nothing too heavy
was near the eggs.

they're all around us, aren't they,
those precious drops of grace
sprinkled in our lives?

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

tumbling act (mark 10:46-52)

not by marching round and round
seven times (or more),
but by simply
standing still;

not in great tumult
or loud curses,
but by a gracious,
welcoming invitation;

not with a parable
or recounting of past
wonders and might,
but by a gentle

the meek find their voice,
blind trust becomes the path to walk,
futures are put at risk,
masks are taken off,
walls fall down

in jericho.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

able? (mark 10:35-45)

hand me a
steaming cuppa,
swirling with just
the right mixture of milk and sugar,
and i am content
to curl up in my chair,
listening to you
all day;

but offer me
your chipped, stained mug
filled with that vinegary
mix of discipleship and obedience,
you'll forgive me (i'm sure)
if it slips through my fingers,
shattering on the cold, hard
floor of my soul.

i'd bellyflop eagerly
(and all too easily)
into those warm
baptismal waters,
floating the rest of my life,
stretched out on my back,
watching the clouds
drift by, over my head;

but your invitation
to skinny dip in your
drudgery filled pool,
dodging death's icebergs
as they drift by?
you'll understand (i hope)
if i let someone else
go in ahead of me.

disabled by my penchant
for power and privilege,
how can i ever
do whatever
ask of me?

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, October 08, 2009

kneeling, i ask (Mark 10:17-31)

what can i do
to get that Christmas present:
- play nice with my kid sister;
- put away my toys at night;
- eat (all!?!) my vegetables?

what should i do
to deserve a brighter day:
- whistle rather than whine;
- smile at that person i'd like to smack;
- put a dollar (nothing smaller in my pocket,
darn it!) in the handler of the pan?

what must i do
to earn eternal life:
- not let my eyes wander over another;
- cough that gossip germ into my elbow;
- drop enough sins so i can squeeze through the gate?

at the fragile edges
of life,
where you lived and spoke
with the poor,
the possessed,
the children,
the outcasts:
was that where you discovered
even you could not save

let go of all that you were,
so that with God
every thing became
for us?

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 24, 2009

one size fits all

it is so big
it takes more than
one of us to manhandle
and roll it along
until we find just
the right candidate
to wear it;

it is so heavy,
our biceps will ache
for days from the strain
of picking it up,
setting it perfectly
upon the shoulders;

while i am busy
adjusting that concrete
necktie on another,
would you mind
sweeping up all
those tiny pebbles
i don't mean to drop
on the floor
in front of everyone
around me?

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

and taking a child . . .

conventional wisdom tells us
we should always
stand our ground
until the other person gives in;
God's wisdom from on high
recommends a willingness to yield
so that the other might be served.

the consensus
among tv's talking heads
is that strength
remains the only choice
in confronting the world;
God's strange insight
is that weakness can be
the way to welcome others.

popular belief holds
that we should sit
in our easy chairs,
cynically commenting on
the rottenness of everyone around us;
God's radical response
beckons us to stand by living waters,
handing everyone a drink.

the prevailing sentiment is simple:
if you want to win the race,
use any (and every) means possible
to win the blue ribbon;
God's unorthodox belief
calls us to come in last,
carrying all who have fallen
across the finish line
with us.

sounds awfully child-like to me!

(c) 2009  Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

don't walk?

at the busiest corners
of our lives, where
our toes tap out
a staccato of anxiety,
our knees buckle
from the weight
of the doubts
stuffed in our backpacks,
our hearts thud
to the beat of despair
in our earbuds

you stand . . .

the faded signboard
Who do
say I AM?
chaffing your shoulders,
while little sister, Sophia,
hands out icecold bottles
filled from the aquifer
of hope.

while the flashing red hand
freezes us into place,
you pick up those
cobbled together pieces
of grace,
stepping firmly into
life's flowing traffic

glancing back at us,
as if to ask,
'you coming,
or not?'

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, August 27, 2009

song of jesus

leapfrogging over sin,
vaulting out of death's
grasping reach,
he comes, skipping
out of the wintry tomb.

he stands behind me,
peering over my shoulder
at the trellis overrun
with my fears and doubts.

Beloved cups his hand
over my ear, whispering,
'arise, graced one,
run away with me . . .'

death's vigor is frozen,
(never to thaw out);
peace blossoms
in every heart;
all creation sings
of the love
which echoes
in every nook
and cranny of life.

hope stretches wide
its embracing arms;
joy weaves its way
into our hearts;
faith's sweet aroma
tickles our noses.

'arise, graced one,
run away with me
into the kingdom.'

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


you tiptoe into our rooms
while the shadows still dream,
gently touching our hearts until
we roll over and open our eyes;
putting a finger to your lips,
you whisper, 'get up, sleepyhead,
i want you to see something.'

with our hands wrapped
around steaming cups, we sit
sidebyside on the lawn, comfortable
as only
soul friends can be,

watching the kitten stalk a butterfly
through the wildflower jungle,
softly laughing as the monarch
glides gracefully,
(so tantalizingly) just out of reach.

breaking off a piece of toast,
you pop it into our mouths,
and as it slowly incarnates
deep, so deep, within us,
we lean our heads
on your shoulder,
with a drowsy,
'thanks for everything.'

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


dressed in
the black-and-white
(horizontal) striped shirt,
i sit before the mirror
each morning
smearing on the greasepaint,
lining my eyes in black,
shaping little gold stars on my cheeks;
tying a red sash
around my neck,
the beret resting jauntily
on my head,
the white gloves slipped
over my hands
i am ready to bip
the good news.

when my venomous words
wrangle another to the ground,
when only nettles flourish
in my soul's garden,
when my heart runs outside
to play another round
of spite and malice
with the neighbors
the seal is broken,
i am revealed:
a mockery of grace.

so then,
you gently enfold me
in your grace,
send me back out
into the crowd,
'try again, beloved,
try again.'

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

druthers (Ephesians 4:1-16)

a loner by nature,
i don't cotton to others
very well,
preferring to wander
those less-taken paths
staring at my shoes,
swimming out of the way
of the other fish in the sea;

but all those people -
that crowd i could take or leave?
have joined me at the Hope
with those who are not
my cup of tea,
nor i theirs . . .

. . . refusing to let
my humility-resistant pride,
my gentle vindictiveness,
my impetuous patience
threaten this life-shattering

i may not have
the body i would like,
but you grace me
with the Body i need,
(by God's sense of humor)
needs me.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


we sit down
with our sharpened pencils,
to chart out the
longitude and latitude
of your grace
to keep running
out of paper;

we tie a string
around each sin,
dropping them into
your sea of forgiveness,
to discover we can
never plumb its depths;

we scrabble and scrape,
push and pummel ourselves
from Land's End to John o' Groats
on our self-planned journey,
to find
we are at the
starting point
of your Way;

how foolish we are
to try to limit you
by our imagination

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


joining the parade
as it snakes
through life

i swagger
to the front of the line,
my swash polished
and buckled around

my swollen ego
floating higher and higher
pushing and shoving
till it is caught on camera,
for all the talking
heads to admire,

my pomposity
joining the windbag band,
we drone on
and on, playing
a tune that is all about
amazing me;

turning the corner
towards the grandstand,
i glance back
there you are,

sweeping up all
the blustery dust
trailing behind me.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

canticle 130

i dangle my toes over
the curb of my heart,
my toes washed in
those tears racing
towards the storm drain,
my keening words
echoing through the
empty streets;

if you wrote all my sins
on the blackboard
you would run out of schools,
but the Spirit stays after class,
banging dusty death out of the
begging your pardon
for Crossing
out your work;

more than those
who watch the clock
on the graveyard shift,
i wait (we wait!) for hope
to be the lyrics of
the music of your heart,
more than a rooster
scanning the horizon
for that first glimpse of dawn -

we hope
for you . . .

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

in the still of the night

i can cross the t's
and dot every i
in my doctrinal
blue book
during the mid-terms,
but cast off
into my dusky life
as the storm clouds
gather on the horizon?

i can (intellectually)
affirm certain teachings
(though that predestination
thingy has always bugged me,
but you knew that before the
foundations of the world
were poured, right?)
but calmly, without a whimper,
resist crawling under the covers
when lightening strikes
and thunder rumbles
through my heart?

i can memorize
all the creeds
and parrot every
confession of faith,
but keep on steering
through the waves
crashing over my soul
without looking over
my shoulders to see
if you have woken up?

what do you think
i am


(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, June 11, 2009

by . . .?

from chasing after
every image
flashed before me
by sin's sirens
(by faith,
i can walk through
the flowers of the

all those angry
words packed in
so tight, i can only hear
their hollow echoes
(by faith,
i can hear
the soft whispers of

the noxious nosh
piled high on the
platter of my soul
(by faith,
i can feast
on the simple
quenching my thirst
from the everflowing

every word i imagine
slips quickly into the life
of those around me,
tripping them on
their journey
(by faith,
i can rest in silence
until the word
another needs
blossoms from the

by faith
(even me)
has become

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


when the Spirit comes,
she will put dancing shoes
on my two left feet,
lace them up
and lead me out
onto the floor,
where we will enter
the Argentine Tango

when the Spirit comes,
she will wander through
the barren garden of my soul,
as she opens her hands,
butterflies will skitter
from withered hope
to dashed dream,
breathing them back
to life;

when the Spirit comes,
and finds me brooding
by the stagnant pool of tears,
she will dive right in,
drenching me with God's joy,
then teach me how
to float on my back
(without sinking)
pointing out the flames
flitting about our heads
like fireflies.

come . . .

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

canticle 1

we walk on air,
when we refuse to go to
the self-help seminar
hosted by Incorrigibles, Inc.;
when we won't put our feet
in the footprints left
by those who trespass
through life;
when we refuse
to sit down in the seats
vacated by the skeptics;
God tickles us pink
by handing us that credo
which we can chew on,
in silence and hope,
until we hunger for nothing else.
rooted deeply in grace and mercy,
we yield a harvest
in every season of life,
our gifts do not need
to be raked up and taken
to the landfill -
we turn out well.

the reprobates are polar opposites:
blown about like dandelion
they won't be able
to break in line ahead of us,
or sit in the front row;
God sweeps the litter
the vandals have thrown
on the sidewalk,
and watches us play
hopscotch all day long.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Prayer for Memorial Day

We remember, Grieving God,
those, in so many places,
in so many times,
who have died in war;
and we pray
we might honor them
by becoming your children,
makers of peace to our broken world.

We remember, Mothering God,
children who have grown up
around us in our schools,
our neighborhoods, our churches,
who have now gone to war;
and we pray for children
throughout the world
who are the orphans
of violence and death.

We remember, God of Truth,
those wars which rage within us,
the aggression we feel towards others,
our unwillingness to forgive,
our desire to foster division and discord,
our discomfort in being called
to love our enemies;
and even as we despair,
we pray for new hope;
as we struggle to see you in our world,
we pray for discernment;
as we confront ancient fears,
we pray for new love;
and for your old, old peace
to be born anew in us.

As we remember, we pray,
Healing God,
we pray.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

canticle 98

the smokey-voiced
scat singer
backed by the overly-enthusiastic
handbell ringer:
producing a psalm . . .

the hobo on the oboe,
the buffoon with the bassoon,
with bling-burdened rappers,
and street corner finger snappers:
all shape notes into spirituals . . .

the organ grinder's monkey
dancing for a dime,
and the fourth-grader
mastering ragtime:
orchestrate an oratorio,
with the mountains taking
the low notes,
and the stars the descant . . .

new songs!
composed in your heart,
Ghostwriter of joy,
and planted deep in our souls,
just waiting to burst forth,
a flood of praise!

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

. . . may i . . .

in the secret places,
where fears and doubts
litter the floor of my heart,
you come along
sweeping them into
your broom and dustpan,
exposing the bright
foundation of faith;

you sit me on your lap,
placing your hand over mine,
stretching out my finger,
so, together, we trace
the words in the stories
of grace and hope
told (and lived out)
in each generation;

you could roam all
the ends of creation,
but choose to hang out
with me (!)
grabbing me by the hand
when i am about to dart out
into the traffic on Sin Street;
lifting me into the air
to reach the highest branch
so i can swing
on the Arm of your love.

Mother . . .
. . .may i always
lose my heart to

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

(it is Mother's Day in the States)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

canticle 23

with you at my side,
i am not poverty-stricken:
finding rest in your lush love,
stilling myself by baptismal pools,
dipping my frantic feet
in the cool waters;
you add zest
to my fading impishness,
you carve your name
in each paving stone
set in the path.

when fear, sickness, doubt
crook their finger at me
from the shadows,
i can lean on
your walking stick
to make my way to
that table where
my rivals are seated;

you pour healing oil out
for dipping the bread of life,
the cup of grace spills over
staining my hands with hope.

Shirley, Goodness, Mercy
(friends from childhood)
and I play follow the leader
till we end up
on the front porch,
you welcoming us with
wide-open arms of joy.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, April 24, 2009

canticle 4

how long . . .
will i play tag
with the idle idioms
on my street,
or buy a front row seat
at the con artists' convention,
buying their latest
self-help tomes?

not long, for . . .

your joy delights
my palate
more than the
oldest single malt;

you pick me up
and lay me
in the deep downy
mattress stuffed with grace,
pulling the Spirit's
peacemeal quilt
up under my chin,

sitting by my side
until morning comes.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 16, 2009

springtime of doubt

as my frozen heart
thaws bit by bit,
and the brown lawn
carpeting my soul
begins to green,
they appear:

they push up
through the tangled
roots of my belief

their bright heads
dazzling in the light,
the softness of
their caresses
inviting me to pause
(just for a moment),
to lie down and
contemplate their beauty,
to stay in their midst
a little while longer;

you come along,
gathering them up
into your arms,
appearing a little
while later,
a luscious salad
tossed from their leaves,
the petals pressed
into a chardonnay
(with a hint of
of peace),
all placed on the Table

a part of the feast
you have prepared
for us.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Monday, April 13, 2009

the day after

on the second day
of the week:

Salome spent nearly
three hours at the
doctor's office
with a croupy kid;

Pilate and Herod
had their troops
out searching
all the dumpsters
for the missing

11 ordinary looking
guys joined the
ever-growing lines
at the local
unemployment office;

and Jesus played
hopscotch with the kids,
using the stone which
had sealed his fate
to mark his place,

then waving bye,
he danced through the streets,
high-fiving all those
ear-budded teens
the good news
to their networks.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 09, 2009


at twilight we gather,
to remember:

a basin of water
will baptize
our trembling hearts
in your warm grace,

you will fill it
with your salty tears,
handing us
the cup of hope
to slake our
parched spirits;

a soft linen towel
will swaddle
our weary souls,

wrapping it around
the still-warm loaf,
you tenderly break the bread
(with hammer-and-nail
callused hands)
passing on
your passion for God
to us.

at twilight's end we will depart:

a towel,
a basin,
a loaf,
a cup

all we need to love
and serve
one another.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


when peace sweeps
the cobwebs of our fears
out of the corners
of those tombs
we carve into
our hearts;

when death is left stunned
at the open grave door,
the empty shroud
dangling in its hands;

when grace gently
bathes the scars
with God-tears,
swaddling them in
bands of compassion;

when joy
takes our breath away,
and we can only stand,
in awe and alarm;

when hope races
ahead of our doubts,
waiting to welcome us
when we return home,
wrapping us in
the tender arms
of love . . .

morning has come
with unexpected

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

the circus is in town

gazing in the mirror,
you scoop up a gob
of greasepaint,
smearing it all over
your face,
adding the candyred
gumdrop nose,
dabbing multicolored
stars and moons
on your cheeks;

you pull on
the polka dotted suit
the baggy sleeves
stuffed with grace,
sticking the seltzer bottle
filled with living water
in your back pocket;

you pull on your
scuffed shoes
and squeeze uncomfortably
into the kiddie car
disguised as a

waving and honking
the big-bulbed horn
you drive through
our lives,
calling out:
'wanna see Jesus?
. . . follow me!'

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

canticle 51

when you receive the latest
huff-and-puff from me,
be kind
and hit the delete button;

when i spend each moment
hanging out with the wrong crowd,
be patient
and send truth to be
my best friend;

when i wallow
in the muddy mess of me,
be gentle
as a washerwoman with
the unmentionables,
and let me dry in
peace's sweet breath;

when i hear the bell
on sin's seductive truck
coming down the street,
be quick
to turn up the boombox
playing the glad choruses
of your heart;

when you could
toss me out with
the rest of the junk,
be an old softie,
cradling me in your heart,
tenderly polishing me
with your scarred hands,
until i reflect
the hopeful gleam
in your eye.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

the enemy

all those people i can be
when i follow
the wrong profit;

of all the faults
i spot so easily
in those around me;

every time my life doesn't go
exactly as i asked God
to create it;

when everyone acts
as if it isn't all about

i've met the enemy
and he is behind me,
pushing me
further and further

from you.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 26, 2009

lead me

tempted to slide
as far away from
my cellmates in
sin's dank, dreary tombs,
nudge me till
i am sitting side-by-side,
our brokenness
a mute witness
to our solidarity;

tempted to remain
at the Jordan's edge,
with my feet tingling
from the bracing water
swirling between my toes,
open my eyes to see
you on your knees,
cradling those
i shoved aside
in my impatience
to be first;

tempted to simply tread
water while the flood
of my fears sweep me away,
show me a new stroke,
so i can make it to
the safety of your hope.

teach me your ways . . .

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 19, 2009

until (Mark 9:2-9)

we see the faces
of those tossed onto
the world's garbage heaps
dazzling bright with
hope and wholeness;
we respect the prophets
we have been yearning for
in the hip-hopped, do-ragged
teenagers strutting
through the malls;
we hear God's sweet
songs of peace and reconciliation
in the mother tongues
of all we turn
a deaf ear to;
we catch a glimpse
of you (out of the corner
of our shut-tight eyes)
coming down off
the shelf where we store you
to enter our frayed lives;
we should have nothing to say . . .
(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 12, 2009

the right time

speak . . .

. . .aloud
for those whose voices
have been stilled
by all who know best;
. . .in whispers,
to a child
tossing and turning
in fear's fever;
. . .caroling
the joy of bathing
in grace's sweet arms.

keep quiet . . .

. . .tongue-tied
when caressed
in a seaside sunset;
. . .tight-lipped
rather than flapping
one's gums
in gossip;
. . .muting
that inalienable right
to lash out
in anger.

there is a time to speak
as well as a time to be silent . . .

may i discern
the right time,
Word of my heart.

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

in God's image

when we would gossip
over the pew backs,
whispering behind our hearts,
you thump our ears,
silencing our pettiness
with that 'look' of yours;

when we would
sit in judgment on others,
you dump us
out of our chairs,
taking us by the hand,
so we can walk with you
through the alleys,
past the doorways,
under the bridges
where your children huddle;

when we would stop
to fill up our selves
with arrogance's free air,
you puncture our pride
with the sharp point
of the gospel,
'haven't you been
haven't you figured me out
by now?

you are a servant,

follow me.'

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the exorcist (Mark 1:21-28)

are you holding
in your hands
(behind your back)
as you come towards us;
you come to plunge
the listlessness
of our lives into
the pools of your peace,
or will
silence the dubious choirs
which echo 24/7
in our souls,
to be able to
expunge those little
who bounce up & down
on the bedsprings
of our souls?
for us
what you will,
Holy One of Conundrums,
hope slipping out
of that tiny tear
in our heart's pocket,
and questions piling up
on the dining room table,
we wonder,
if it was left to
would we
embrace your healing touch
or renounce you
as the enemy
Jesus of Nazareth?
(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, January 22, 2009

pushy, aren't you?

by the shores of complacency,
i am content to simply
mend the nets
of my washed-up life,
pull me to my feet,
plop me in the boat,
stick the oars in my hand,
and push me away
to find the ones
you would have me
bring to you;

as i scrape my toes in the dirt
at the city limits
of petulant procrastination,
waiting for the bus to pull up,
grab the ticket
to Tarshish out of my hand,
put on the backpack filled
with hope and humility,
and push me towards
those who have waited
so long and patiently
for that simple word
which can change them

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, January 15, 2009

was it you?

that insistent
that resounded like a
dumping me out of
a warm snuggle
with my worries,
urging me down
the path,
stumbling through the shadows,
stubbing my toe
on all my doubts
scattered about like toys
i forgot to put away;

was it you?

doggedly shaking me
while i drowsed
in the shade of
the figments of my imagination,
dreaming of that day
when all my stereotypes
become self-fulfilled,
when all my suspicions
are confirmed by
my prejudices;

was it you?

taking me by the
pulling me out
of the safe waters
of the womb of my expectations,
persistently prodding and poking,
forging and framing
(focusing so hard on your task,
the tip of your tongue sticking
out of the corner of your mouth),
following the blueprints
sketched out by the Spirit;

it is you,
isn't it?

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, January 08, 2009

still, waters

like water skimmers,
we simply glide along
the smooth facade of our lives,
till you come running up,
diving right in,
coming up with rivulets
caressing your big grin,
as you splash water
in our eyes so we can

we drift along
just below the surface,
occasionally coming up for air,
hoping you cannot spy us
hiding in the shadowed pools,
but you step in
with your waders on,
tying the special fly
the Spirit made for you,
casting, casting, casting,
again and again,
until we take that first bite
of your grace
and we are hooked;

throwing caution to the wind,
you drive out onto our frozen souls,
setting up the shack,
chipping through the ice,
dropping your line in the hole,
patiently waiting
(while you pass the bread
and bottle around
with your two buddies)
to pull us into
the warmth of your heart.

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman