Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve/Day

the bothy

every room will be blazing with
      so i will have no trouble
           finding the place
   when i arrive, or so i
      the table covered in fine
                   heirloom china
        and mirrored silver at each
          with the feast's aroma
             drifting in from the kitchen;
   my feather bed will manger
                my weary body while
     silks sheets swaddle me to sleep
                   after a relaxing soak
         in the jet-streamed tub.


         what if it is
just a box built out of
               river rocks,
   the door wind-weathered
                   and water-buckled,
      refusing to stay shut
          as if expecting more folks;
a rough-hewn shelf
         in one of the corners
    holds a clay pitcher brimmed
            with cool clear water,
      a hand-drawn map to the spring
                next to it;
wood has been laid
                     in the fireplace,
          ready to be brought to
a stone shelf is all that keeps
         one's body from the ground,
    just wide and long enough
             for a rough blanket,
      a candle and matches
                  where the pillow would be;
           and there's a shovel
                by the door for taking care
                     of the necessaries;

it seemed perfect for
       when you arrived,

didn't it?

© 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, December 15, 2011

i don't have time

bone-weary from errands

i don't have time to listen
   to my children singing in the tub,
   to my spouse quietly fixing dinner,
   to the angel whispering in my ear;

exhausted from the mall expeditions

i don't have time to wait
   to find hope suffed in my mailbox,
   to see you walking with me in the snow,
      for you to fill my emptiness;

spending the whole weekend decorating

i don't have time
   to greet a neighbor with a smile
      and not a mumble,
   to scrape the ice off my heart
      so you won't slip and fall,
   to be rocked gently
      in the cradle of your love.

here i am,
   hoping you have
for me.

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman

Saturday, December 03, 2011

eusebia (2nd Peter 3:8-15a)

it's tempting to think
that morality
   is about pointing one's
               finger at others,
      showing them the
         errors they have made,
                  but it's really about
    crooking your finger
    to invite the least
          into your home,
              tracing words in a
                    book, so a little
                one can learn,
        testing the wind
           so you know where
                Spirit wants you to

it's simple to act as if
    allows you to walk around
    with your nose up in the air,
                but you need to stick
                   your nose in other
                people's problems,
      so you can help solve them,
          you need to smell the
                    ordure of injustice
             so you can help clean it
                you want to lean down
         and rub noses with a little
           and be filled with laughter;

it's easy to develop
the attitude that
   it is all about my journey,
      of my personal relationship
                                 with the divine,
         of what has been done for
                                           me . . .
but faith
        is God-ward,
             and them-ward
   before it's ever

© 2011  Thom M. Shuman

eusebia is the Greek word translated 'godliness' in 2nd Peter 3:11

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

boots (Isaiah 64:1-9)

so shiny you can see
      your glory in them
   as you pull them on,
         the perfect accoutrement
      to your beribboned uniform
   with medals from the Roman,
      Babylonian, Egyptian campaigns,
your two-edged sword grasped
tightly in your hand . . .
   . . .so tear open the heavens
   and come storming down, to plant
         those boots precisely
      where we are convinced they
            are needed;

but instead, once again,
   (to our embarrassment? disgust?)

you pull on your waders,
   towing that rowboat behind you,
      picking up all those folks
      left behind when the
         stock market dams burst

you take your wellies
         out of the mudroom,
   heading out to the barn
      to feed all those
      we forget in our frenzied
          gorging on more,
        mucking out the floors
        of our hearts to make room
   for the little One;

your faded and scuffed slippers
fit comfortably around your
   as you get up and put
      the kettle on,
         putting a plate
      of cookies on the table,
   pointing us to the chair,
         'why don't you sit
         down and tell me
     all about it?'

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the talent show (Matt. 25:14-30)

as the brown truck
pulled away from the
      i picked up
      the box left
         on the porch, 
   and recognizing the
      return address,
            i immediately
         repackaged it in
              foil and
     plastic wrap, placing
   it in the bottom of the
       basement freezer,
           knowing no thief
     would look for faith

when i found the
   present way at the back
      of all the ones
         under the tree,
   and saw whose name
        was on the gift tag,
     i told the rest of the
          family i'd open
          it after dinner,
   but while everyone was
   dozing off in front of
      the tv, i carried it
         up to the attic,
    and hung grace way in
       the back of Aunt Maude's
          wardrobe that's been
      in the family for decades;

standing at the counter,
   my back blocking your view,
          as you told me, 'cream
           and two sugars,'
      i added something else
         to your tea, and when
   you fell asleep, i picked
           you up and carried
       you out into the night,
     hiding you in the compost
          of my fears
             and doubts,
   hoping you would never

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman

Friday, October 21, 2011

it's so easy, so easy, so easy (Matthew 22:34-46)

it seems easy to love our neighbor
when she is the grandmother
across the street
   who always seems to make
   'too many chocolate chip cookies'
      and brings a plate full over
     to our house;

it's never hard to love our neighbor
when he is the retired gent
right next door
   who is willing to share his tools,
   and when we don't have the know-how,
      patiently shows us one-more-time
      how to unstop a drain,
         change the oil in our car,
            get the mower started
            without pulling our arms out;

it is so simple to love our neighbor
when it is the kids who
come by each fall
   selling Christmas wreaths
   for their scout troops,
      and each spring
      offering popcorn and candy
          to support the drama club;

but what if
   Moammar Gahdafi had moved in
      down the street;
   if the single mom
   whom we admire so much
       turns out to be a parolee;
   if the local Muslim population
      petitions the school board
      to allow time for Dhuhr?

what then?

© 2011  Thom M. Shuman

how (Matthew 22:34-46)

how do
i love you
when my mind
is so easily distracted
   by the yelling on television,
   the anger on the roadways,
   the dullness of my life?

how can
i love you
when my heart
is so broken by
   the hatred among believers,
   the bitterness of friends,
   the forgiveness which eludes me?

how should
i love you
when my soul
   thirsts for a companion,
   hungers for empathy,
   longs for a respite from its weariness?

just maybe,
if i stop hanging on
to all my questions,
let go of all my answers,
and be caught by your grace,
i will be able to love
with all i am,
all i have,
all i hope to ever be.

- - -
(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

the reception (Matthew 22:1-14)

in his off-the-rack
      and too-tight shoes,
   Jesus fidgets at the
     glancing at his watch
           every few minutes
   (always surprised that an
    hour hasn't passed since
    the last time he looked),
       peering, once more,
            down the road
            for signs of the
         stretch limos;

back in the kitchen,
   steam roiling around
   like cumulus clouds,
      mutters to the sous-chef,
   her breath sending the
         chefs de partie
      fluttering around,
            checking sauces,
            keeping salads crisp,
            banging lids and
         turning down flames,
      doing their best to avoid
           her look;

having polished the flatware
           for the hundredth time,
   and centered the arrangements
      for the last time,
         sighs behind the bar,
   watching the fluted champagne
      flatten minute by minute;
throwing the bar towel down,
    the long-sufferer stomps
       to the back door and
       flings it open, hollering,
   'you cardboard box dwellers,
    you dumpster divers,
    you panhandling pariahs -
          come on in!
      there's plenty for all;
      bring your buddies!'

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, September 29, 2011

let's get organized! (Matthew 21:33-46)

maybe we ought 
to form a tenants' rights 
   Owner of the Vineyard; 
after all, 
we seem to be doing 
        a pretty good 
   with what you have 
       given to us: 
what do we need 
with all those 
   you keep sending our way: 
      Mother Theresa, 
           Taize's Roger, 
        Martin Luther King, Jr., 
   and all the others 
   who don't seem to have a 
     as to how to run 
       a vineyard? 
if you aren't careful, 
we might discover that 
   humility is preferred 
      over power; 
   service is more seductive 
      than success; 
   wisdom is to be more treasured 
      than wealth. 
and then what will 
   to what you have 
(c) Thom M. Shuman 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

mindless (Philippians 2:1-13)

you root around
the clutter of my mind:

   behind the cartons
   overflowing with conceit,
      you find the shredded
      remains of hope
         and wash them with your

   in the shadowed corner,
      you discover some old
      scraps of compassion
         and weave them into my

   you sweep up the
      dust bunnies of my
      selfish ambition,
         so i can see where
         to put my knees
            to worship you.

make my mind yours,
   my Beloved,
make it yours.

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

at the ledger's edge (Exodus 14:19-31; Matthew 18:21-35

each morning,
   i make sure i have
      my wallet, hankie,
      glasses, car keys,
   a fresh page in my
       to list all the
         hurts and slights
      which will come my

at night,
         before evening prayers,
   i power up the pc
      and my heart
       as i pull up the
     keeping careful accounts
      what he said,
        what she didn't do,
   who hasn't apologized yet,
          who owes me a kind
     but comes up short.

do you ever
        grow weary
   of stretching out your
     to part our seas
       roiling with grudges,
   so we might
     follow your gentle

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman
* George Herbert begins his poem 'Discipline':
Throw away thy rod,
Throw away thy wrath:
          O my God,
Take the gentle path.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

easier? (Matt. 16:21-18; Romans 12:9-21)

it's a whole lot
      to lose my
   than to lose my
to leave it propped
      up against the corner
   of the closet, dust
         bunnies sleeping
       at its feet;
to ignore it
      standing on the coffee
   table, looking out the front
           window, its cow eyes
        brimming with tears,
      as i pull away from
     the curb;
to simply reply, 'i can't
   remember the last time
           i saw it,' when
      i'm asked, 'what ever
   happened to your cross?'

each morning, it puts
   into my hands,
   closing my fingers tight
          over it, whispering,
      'don't let go; don't ever
             let go.'
it tapes a picture of
      to my bathroom mirror,
   so i will know it
         when i see it,
     and stand up to
it spends each lonely day
   at the loom,
       weaving the yarns
   labeled hope, love,
      patience, perseverance
         into that community
    which helps me to  
        bear what is mine.

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

crumbs (Matthew 15:21-28)

she had heard
of those promises made
under starry, sable skies:
   blessings flowing
   through the lines
   of desert wanderers,
      which would bring life
      to every one
      of God's children;

she had heard
of this wandering band
of foolish followers
   led by the teacher
   who reminded his kin
   of those long-ago
   spoken covenants;

but she was tired of
hearing only words . . .

even if it was only
   she longed to be fed
   from grace's feast;
even if it was only
      a glance,
   she challenged Jesus
   to see her as
   his sister;
even if it was only
      a whisper,
   she dared him
   to call her daughter
   'my niece'.

watching his assumptions
tumble to the floor,
   after she yanked the
   table's cloth out
      from under them,
Easter's Child
     silently reached down,
   lifted her to her feet,
        and gave her his heart.

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, July 28, 2011

why wait? (Isaiah 55:1-5; Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21)

when your soul is
  drier than any lecture,
     to that fountain
        which never runs
              out of water;

when all you have
left is
        a pocketful of
        fill your cart
  with bread and wine,
  with joy and wonder,
     all marked down to

when the props are
  out from under you,
     give a holler,
  i'm right in the
          next room
     and i'll come
  staying up all night
      keeping an eye
          on you;



(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

in our midst (matt. 13:31-33, 44-52

the kingdom of heaven
  is like an old dog
  curled up in a
     snoring his praise
        in solitude;

the kingdom of heaven
  is like a seashell
  burrowed under the beach
        which a little girl
     and gave to her best
         in the bleak midwinter;

the kingdom of heaven
  is like a
             sprinkle of
     skimming across the
            lawn, just
        out of the
     of dancing

the kingdom
            is . . .

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

who forgives God? (Genesis 22:1-14)

  in that hedgerow
  woven tight with the
        vines of despair,
           the thorns of loss
           pricking at us,
     we find no ram
     caught by its horns;
  we cling desperately to
         each other as our
            child is wheeled
            towards the surgery,
     where her life is placed
        in the hands of strangers,
  and no angel comes
  running down the hall, yelling

        we have mailed the letter
    to that old friend whose
            heart our anger broke
               all those years ago,
       but no word of pardon comes;
  the doctor comes into
            our room, but the words
       uttered are not
    "it's benign";
  there is no last minute
       in the sentence of
    which has been pronounced
                upon us;

  do we forgive


(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


you're not fuzzy math
that just doesn't add up,
   you're the dad
            who nags us
      to go mow the lawn
      for the laid-up neighbor;
   you're the mom
          who announces 'we're
              having left-overs tonight;
      that immigrant family
      whose care broke down
          is enjoying the pot roast.'

you're no theological
   you're our BFF,
   totally (and always)
            for us, even
      when we have trouble
         taking your side;
   you're our mate
      who knows us inside out,
         accepting us just as we are,
         pushing us to become more
             than we expect.

you're not a mystery
wrapped in an enigma,
   you're the thunderstorm
            that rattles our conscience
         the gentle breeze
   that cools our fevered

you're not a doctrine,

   you're a

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

dare we? (acts 2:1-21)

hesitant enough
to whisper your name,
  much less tell others
  of your presence in our lives:
        dare we ask for
        tongues of boldness?

our hearts
fatigued by
  the malignancy of poverty,
  the terror of our times,
  the children wounded in our streets:
        dare we ask
        for a transplant
        of compassion?

souls numbed
  by broken lives
  and shattered dreams,
grace iceberged
  by the chill of our culture:
        dare we ask
        for just the smallest spark
        to engulf us?

dare we hope?

              come, Holy Spirit, come!

(c) Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

time (Acts 1:6-14)

we're ready;

you know
we are ready for the power
  (we've prepared ourselves
              for oh so long)
        certain we won't abuse it
     like so many before us;
but the humility,
   the weakness,
        the foolishness
 you left lying on the ground
     as if we should pick them up . . .

we would go anywhere
         for you - hop on a
   bus, grab the next plane,
      spend years out on the
             field of dreams, harvesting
        a bumper crop of 'them,'
but that 1000 yards down
  to the neighbor who has
       getting up on his ladder
  to clean his gutters -
     that's can't be all there is
           to the journey . . .

we have the structure
               all in place,
     everyone voted to approve
  the committees, the task forces,
       the bureaucrats, the gofers
    (it was unanimous, for pete's sake!);
but committing more than 2 minutes to prayer,
        facebooking the folks at the nursing,
  blistering our feet in the race for the shelter . . .

we're getting antsy waiting, you know;

does your watch need a new

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 26, 2011

the account (1 Peter 3:13-22)

(9:17 a.m.)  while dropping off
       the kids at school, the youngest
   held on to the door handle, her backpack
         pulling her out the car, as she reminded
     me about the spring play's dress rehearsal
            later this afternoon, her voice relying
   on my answer, which came at its usual
                              rush pace,
       'if i get that report done;'

(1:33 p.m.) turning the corner
                   a little too much in a rush
           to get back the office (and the
       couch), i just about trip
              over the fellow sitting against
           the building wall, his handprinted
        sign clearly an appeal to the good
               conscience in those passing by,
          and his eyes turn hollow as i shake
                           my head from side to side,
    while pushing the handful of bills deeper
           into my pocket;

(9:59 p.m.)  as we shuffle the papers into
      neat stacks of reports showing the
          challenges we face, and we
    try to let the babeled words of
        the out-of-touch dreamers slip
                 from our consciousness,
       the group turns towards me (is it only
                     my imagination?) watching
          to hear if i might dare to assure them
               God isn't done with them yet,
   but i fall back on my meeting-ending mantra,
'any more business we need to conduct?'

at the end of
      the day, filling out the columns,
        jotting down the details,
          i wonder why they don't add up
before putting that ledger marked
    back in its place on the shelf.

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, May 19, 2011

the stonemason (1st Peter 2:2-10)

we hand you the design
     the committee has come up
  with, so that the wall will
           be layed out in that dogmatic,
           unwavering line (no doubts or
                      deviations) we expect,
        but after a quick glance,
     you simply place it in the back
             of the truck and start
  to work;

where we would toss
  those who have
     have been skipped haphazardly
              over the world's waves,
        they become the tiestones
     to hold the sections together,
  while those wearied from
           their struggles shape the
      soft gentle curves;

untying the bandanna from around
        your head,
  you quietly rub the dirt
     out of the nicks and crevices
     caused as they have been ignored,
            you gather up the children
                and youth,
        pouring them into hollow spaces,
  as the aggregate to hold
             us all together;

when we expect to
     be the pride of your
  you quietly pick up the
        broken, the chipped, the left-over
    slivers we kick out of our way,
       placing them as the capstones
  on the dry stone wall
  you are building in the

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

potluck (John 10:1-10)

at one end of the table,
i can find the meatloaf
  slathered with catsup
     (the directions for which are
        tattered and grease-stained,
        held in the recipe book by
  the cracked, clear plastic

in the middle,
i come across the
        carrot-and-raisin salad
  the 9-year-old boy learned
  how to make
     from his great-grandmother,
           before she went to the hospital
  (what proved to be her last)

years ago,
having tasted the lemon pie
     created by the Shakers, Maud
  went home and experimented
        until she created a
        near-perfect copy
     (only without all that
  and she places it lovingly
  on the dessert table, next to
     the pitchers of cold milk,
     the coffee perk-perking along,
     lemonade for the little kids
       and water for the purists.

if it was only
me, i'd simply peel the plastic
  back from the corner of
    the frozen meal tray,
           zapping it in the
      microwave until it turned
  into heated sludge,
but you invite me to the
    where i can pile my plate
       high with the rich variety
  of your grace, and go
     back for as many helpings
         as i want of your
abundant life.

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

(Luke 24:13-35)

i take
a shortcut just
  down this alley,
where anger
  and agony come
tagging after me;

i explore the wide avenues
of the world,
  whose hope
  has been potholed
     with despair;

  i glance at the map,
and stumble down
the next street,
  only to find sin
  standing in every
enticing me with its
fingers sticky
        with temptation;

then we turn down
Emmaus Road,
  where the aroma
  of fresh-baked grace
wafts out each window,
and, tapping me on the shoulder,
     you shout, 'go!'
  and race me

(c) Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, April 07, 2011

lazarus (John 11:1-45)

  by those foolish
        we have of being
     left on our own,
  in the cool enbrace
        of our misunderstandings
     about why he came,
  by the chains
              of sin and death
        dogging him every
he stands weeping at
the now-empty tomb
     he hears the Voice
              cry out,
  'unbind him and let him go . . .

           . . .to Jerusalem'

and he turns
  and goes,
                 hoping not to
  along the way.

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

piano man (John 3:1-17)

at the bar, where he's
been nursing his wounds
  after a long bored meeting,
Nick pushes himself to his feet
wandering over to
the cigarette-scarred
           where Jesus is
        slowly plinking
        'in the still of the night'

putting a dollar
in the chipped glass,
  he begins to chat
        with the guy
        who can do wonders
              with just a few notes;

nodding slowly,
listening carefully,
     Jesus looks up
           and smiles:
"my man,
you need a new dance partner,"
     pointing to the corner

as Nick turns,
he sees Spirit
  waiting for him with open arms;

"but, Nick," Jesus whispers,
     you gotta let her lead . . ."

as he swings into
a blues version of
     'i could have danced all night'

(c) 2008  Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

a handfull (Matt. 17:1-9)

if it was only
in the mist-ery of
   we would never have
   knowledge to understand
               what in the world
      is going on with you;
if it was only
   the thundering voice
            echoing off mountain
   we could never have enough
               silence to hear you;
if it was only
   in the sun and stars
            heaving and
         in birth's throes,
   we could never have enough
              light to see you.

but in you
   to touch us with
      a gentle hand
      on the shoulder,
   lifting us to our feet, whispering
       'don't be scared!  look...'
as you point to
   standing in the kitchen,
   flour freckling the calloused hands
        kneading the dough &
        shaping it into life
              all too easily broken,
   while watching the Spirit
merrily stomping down the
                     grapes of wonder,
      laughing in delight
             as grace stains the hem
   of glory's garment.

a crumb
      a sip,
           a handful of

and that's more than

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Friday, February 25, 2011

alterations, no charge (Matthew 6:24-34

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'

(c) Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, February 17, 2011

satyagrahi* (Matthew 5:38-48)

you invite us
  to walk the streets
              of the world,
     using those muddy paths
         marked 'kingdom'

so that when one acts
           with violence
        towards us, we will
  take gentleness out of
              our clenched pockets,
     to balm the hand injured
          by our face;

so when one hauls us
  into small claims court
             trying to get half
        of what we own,
    we will strip our homes
  of everything, loading it into
            their empty souls;

so when we see a homeless
     family sitting by the
          side of despair,
  our generosity will turn
      anti-panhandling laws
                   into toothless

what a dangerous invitation
              you send to us!

   how will we rsvp?

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman

* a satyagrahi is a practitioner of satyagraha,
the soul-force or firm love advocated by Gandhi.
The purpose of satyagrahi is not to shame or
coerce the practitioner of oppression, violence,
or other manipulative acts, but to convert them
by one's practice of active non-violence.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

wordswordswords (Matt. 5:21-37

the media trumpets
     loud and clear
  that i can get a hall pass
              during my marriage
        or i can have a friend
           with benefits along the way,
    but you whisper the words
        in those moments of

this morning
     i was told that the
                terrror threat
          is as high as its ever
  so my suspicion level
      needs to be turned up
           with that sharp eye
    out for packages,
                parked cars
       certain people (who
                   might just look
                   like you),
but your songs have lyrics full of

that little imp
sits on my shoulder and
        whenever i find myself
     in an awkward spot,
  not sure about what i should
       he weaves a story
       which win the trophy
           at the liars club convention,
  urging my tongue to give it a
but you keep holding up
     the flash card reading
  pushing me time and again
                 to get it right.

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

halite (Matthew 5:13-20)

while there may be
     14,000 uses for
  our preference
        is to use it
     the same way
     we have always done . . .
              as a
  successfully inhibiting any
                 chances of

but you,
     knowing that
  we carry within us
           particles from
       creation's seas,
     would have us
  the world
          around us.

we've removed all those
     bright, old-fashioned,
         incarnation bulbs,
  replacing them with
anticipating we will
       see savings (in the first
                    year alone)
  of some

but you,
  watching the shadows
       creep across the kingdom's
     would have us
  turn up the dimmer (all
                the way)
       on the walls of our
     so others might
  be able to
        see what your
is all about.

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman
(halite is the mineral form salt comes in)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

baditudes (Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15; Matt. 5:1-12)

i could come carrying the
      of my arrogance,
            handing them to
   waiting expectantly
          (just ignore the tap, tap, tap
              of my foot)
      for you to
recycle them into a plaque
         with my name etched in

i could come
      with crocodile tears
         (running down my cheeks)
   about how the world
            even as i continue
      to gain from the
               predicaments of

i could come sitting down
         at the table reserved
         in the quiet corner,
      ordering the special of the day:
            filet of bias (medium well),
            mashed meanness,
            a medley of injustices sauteed
                in herb butter,
         followed by apple pie
                     ala marred.

i could simply follow the
      carefully placing
   my feet in the
         they leave behind
      in the muck and mud,
            as they wander through that
   they can see
          with their eyes shut

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

slow poke (Matthew 4:12-23)

a dawdler by
  a straggler by
     i could manage
           to lose a race
  to a pro

me-lingering through
  i barely can
     find the energy
  to get up and do

strolling down the
     stopping at the
  outdoor cafe at
        the corner of
     apathy and inert,
i while away
  my hours, making
     a cup of expresslow
           last all afternoon;

but immediately?


  that's the
           in the

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, January 13, 2011

look! (John 1:29-42)

the weakling
        who can
  those immense barriers
              of distrust and
  we have thrown up;

the softie
        who can gather
              up our tangled
  to weave a soft
     to wrap us in
               hope's warmth
  against pain's bitter

the innocent
        who sings soft
  to the raging cries
          of loss
      and doubt;

look!       the
  who takes us
       just as we are.

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

hymn for Baptism of the Lord

still waters

One drop of water from the sea,
flowing your hope into our sight,
placed on our heads and into our hearts,
touching all in whom you delight.
   still, your waters run deep in us;
   still, your love overflows parched lives;
   still, you call us your Heart's true love:
      Holy in One.

One drop of water from the sky,
tears of joy on each upturned face,
running down cheeks to fill empty hearts,
so we thirst never for your grace.

One drop of water from your heart
shatters the flimsy bonds of death;
your Spirit singing softly to us,
quenching our fears with your brash breath.

tune: OPEN MY EYES with refrain

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman