Wednesday, January 25, 2012

stumblebum (Ist Corinthians 8:1-13)

at the bi-monthly meeting
         of the presbytery,
   there is so much
     we can go back 2 or 3
            times (if we
          wanted) while
       the hungry homeless
   continue to scavenge
               the bins
      behind the building;

gathering, chatting, munching
   peanuts, sipping my pint
      with colleagues after
         i catch a face
         out of the corner
            of my eye, seeing
    the college student (whose
    mother is an alcoholic)
       staring from a booth
       across the room, and i
   stutter-step over to say

as i head out to lunch
         with that person
         who is not my
   i not-so-carefully
         tiptoe into
     that minefield of
        wrong assumptions
        that can pop into
           someone's mind,
      that idle gossip
      which can slip too
         easily from their

         untangle my freedoms
     to keep me from sticking
        them out in front of
             others, tripping
        on their way

(c) 2012 Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, January 19, 2012

road work ahead (Jonah)

Jonah stands,
      leaning on his shovel,
   by the side of the
                  road, nodding
            with approval
         as we set out the
               traffic cones,
               flashing arrows,
               construction barrels
      narrowing traffic into one
studying the blueprints
      and gazing through the surveyor's
   he smiles as he spots
         the parking lot where all
                the cars will be
            and people will have
            to get out and walk
      ever narrower streets, until
         they are going
                 single file,
            having to turn sideways
               to squeeze through
  that alley called
           No Hope.

So, you pick up the phone
                  and call
      Grace and Daughters
         General Contractors,
   hiring them to take over the
         reminding them of
            the original specs:
   'widen the Way as far
           as possible;
       there are a whole lot
                 of folks
             heading for the Kingdom
    and we want
        to make sure they get there
                      in time for the

(c) 2012 Thom M. Shuman

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

punctuation (psalm 138:1-6, 13-18)

i remember those
          (all too many) days
                   when the
   appeared at the end
                   of this verse,
       my worries and fears
           trying to boldface it;

there was that one
    time though, when the
        ran up and sang out,
    clear as a bell, that
              shivery afternoon,
         with the wind at my back,
                 standing atop
                          Dun I;

         it is there
                on still as snow,
                   as well as shattering, days;
                in my wondering,
                  and wandering, journey;
               in the shadow of my best self,
                   and trying to trip up my worst;
         however prosaic,
     seemingly forgettable,
              so grammery,
                            but just what i need
'I come to the end--I am still with you'
© 2011 Thom M. Shuman