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