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)