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