Verse – Thanksgiving (acrostic)

Thanksgiving Pilgrims and Wampanoag all

Huddled together to eat by the fire.

After the Palefaces learned to trap fowl,

Native Americans also taught fair

Knowledge of maize farming. They heard of God’s

Son who had died for them, teaching of love.

Gathering to offer thanks for the goods

Ingathered at harvest, both of them have

Very much happiness to celebrate.

In years to come would be broken treaties,

Native folks killed, forced to flee or to fight.

Give thanks at least for a few meals in peace…

  • Steve Shoemaker, Urbana,  IL

Verse – From Mid-West Farms

Verse — From Mid-West Farms

…In Sidney, Illinois, the Elevator
waits for grain. The corn, the beans,
arrive in wagons or in trucks the farmers
drive. The loaded truck is weighed.
…The boy was only nine when first he steered the Farmall tractor with the corn
in wagons from grand-daddy’s farm
to here. Now twenty-five tons fill
his semi-truck. The probe descends
to measure moisture in the beans–
13 point 3 percent, a little wet,
but very close.
…The operators flip the switch on side
of truck, the grain descends through grates, the augers twist, the fans begin
to dry soybeans until the days the trains
arrive. In 20 seconds each train car is filled.
…The empty truck is weighed, the receipt
given to the driver. Shift, accelerate, and steer…go get another load. From 6 a.m.
to 9 p.m., the harvest days are long,
but it is happy work.

  • Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, October 6, 2015

Published with apologies to Steve for insertion of … in place of indentation.

Daily Riches: Without Excuse or Defense Before God (Thomas Merton)

Pope Francis quoted Thomas Merton. Here’s more thought-provoking Merton.

Richer By Far

“ …we should let ourselves be brought naked and defenceless into the center of that dread where we stand alone before God in our nothingness, without explanation, without theories, completely dependent upon his providential care, in dire need of the gift of his grace, his mercy and the light of faith. …But when the time comes to enter the darkness in which we are naked and helpless and alone; in which we see the insufficiency of our greatest strength and the hollowness of our strongest virtues; in which we have nothing of our own to rely on, and nothing in our nature to support us, and nothing in the world to guide us or give us light – then we find out whether or not we live by faith.” Thomas Merton

“I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne;
 and the train of his robe filled the…

View original post 318 more words

Verse – Rising Early

Our April morning
sky, ribbed in violet,
now becomes

magenta fading into
dusty blue without
a single white cloud

to distract our horizon gaze
waiting for our spinning
globe to show the sun.

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, April 12, 2015

Gay Marriage according to Franklin Graham

I never pay attention to Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham. After Jim Wallis of Sojourners called attention to one of Graham’s FaceBook postings, we found Graham’s more recent posting chastising the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s newly announced constitutional amendment redefining marriage. Said Franklin Graham:

“In His Word, the Bible, God has already defined marriage, as well as sin, and we should obey that rather than looking for ways to redefine it according to the desires of our culture. Marriage is defined as between a man and a woman—end of discussion. Anything else is a sin against God, and He will judge all sin one day.”

As of this moment, 107,850 Graham FaceBook followers “Like” it and 12,373 have “shared” it. I posted this comment on the FaceBook post.

“I’m sorry, sir, but you have yet to do your homework, and your statement “End of discussion” separates you from the more humble approach of the father whose name you proudly bear. Without interpretation and re-interpretation those who take the Bible at face value should also hold steadfast to the cosmology of a flat earth.

As a Presbyterian (USA) pastor since 1967, I have watched and heard the debates about the nature of human sexuality since 1979. The discussion within the church have not been without rancor or turmoil, but I’m proud that my church has had the courage to look at human sexuality and biblical hermeneutics through the lens of “the rule of love” not hate, separation, exclusion, or one’s own righteousness.

As a pastor who began hearing the stories of gay church members many years ago, I sensed that the prevailing view of homosexuality as a sickness and/or sin was off the mark and damaging to the heterosexual majority no less than the homosexual minority. There is no distinction at the baptismal font. No distinction allowed at the Lord’s table. And, at long last, I am now free, according to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to make no such distinction at the kneeling bench before the altar.

– Rev. Gordon C. Stewart, H.R., Chaska, MN, March 19, 2015

The Dancing Dog Eatery and Juicery

An Acrostic Tribute

The vegetarians love it!
How do omnivores love it too,
Even though all is vegan food?

Delicious, each bite of the pies!
Animal friends happy outside!
Nice, the waiters are always nice!
Chips and fish, the menu says,
Inside is plant-based tasty food,
Never cooked from any other!
Good! And never had a mother!

Delicious, I use the word twice!
Orange, apple, grape, amazing juice!
Good wine and beer, let’s give a cheer!

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, Dec. 4, 2014. The Dancing Dog is in Urbana, IL. Here’s a link to the restaurant.

The Dancing Dog Eatery and Juicery

The Dancing Dog Eatery and Juicery


Verse – Burning Man (A Negative Acrostic)

Burners all must have real money,
Unless they will win the draw.
Rich folks flock to wear the funny
Nighttime costumes, whites will all
Imitate the best black dance moves,
Not that many blacks are there…
Get the best rental motor homes,

Make plans, we have time to spare
Art’s in our homes, our museums:
Narcissistic, not a care…

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, August 31, 2014

Steve attended Burning Man 2014 in Nevada this past week. Steve’s 71, had the money to go, but shared a tent.  He wrote by email “I did accapella singing, heard great jazz, rode on an art car (see the web site). I would only go back in an RV… For the quiet, AC, & clean toilet & shower.”

In Memory of Jean Redpath

Verse In Memory of Jean Redpath
An Acrostic

Joyful on the stage or off,
Even after doctors gave
A cancer diagnosis. Have
No doubt that the Scot did laugh,

Reassured her friends and fans,
Endured treatment with a song,
Drank some scotch, then sang again!
Played the guitar, sent emails,
Always asked about her friends,
Thankful that she could still sing,
Hearing her sweet Robbie Burns…

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, August 26, 2014

Let’s have an other child!

an acrostic for a former gymnast

Lindsay Shoemaker with Owen

Lindsay Shoemaker with Owen

Only Lindsay, brand new Mom,
While still in the Labor room,
Exclaimed “That was not so wild,
Now let’s have another child!”

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, January 27, 2014

NOTE: Four month old Owen, with mom, Lindsay Ramsey Shoemaker, spouse of Christopher Shoemaker, Steve’s nephew.

Old Friends (an acrostic)

Have you recalled the fun we had
All those long years ago? So young,
Poor, ignorant a girl, a lad–
Perhaps our song would not be sung,
Yet we would gather, drink, and play.

Not caring what the hours were,
Enjoying ourselves every day,
We danced and laughed our fears to cure.

Years have gone by and yet we know
Each time we meet our smiles will show
Awareness of what they forgave:
Real kindness, all our lives to save…

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, December 30, 2013