Poverty and Opulence

“Blessed are you who are poor ….”

“Woe to you who are rich [i.e., opulent]. . . .”

According to the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau Report, 43 million Americans lived in poverty (e.g, annual income below $13,ooo for a one-member household).

Membership fee for Trump National Bedminster – location of presidential transition meetings over the weekend – was $200,000 according to LINKS Golf Magazine.

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, trying hard to follow Jesus, November 21, 2016.


The Countertenor’s Magnificat

Christopher Holman, Countertenor

strong>” A Blessing for Both”

He sings with flutes about the homeless poor
invited to the table of the rich
by God, by God! They eat their fill and more,
and not like dogs that lift their jaws and catch
the scraps, but guests with vintage wine
to match each course made by the Chef.
He sings
about the rich evicted from their fine
designer homes by God, by God! With rings
that flash and fancy shirts, they leave
their table before food is served! Instead
of feasting, they are empty and will have
no need for trainers, purging, before bed…

(Tonight, Sunday, December 15, 2013 A. D.,
at Holy Cross Catholic Church
In Champaign, Illinois, this ironic aria
will be sung as part of J. S. Bach’s
” Magnificat”– Mary’s song. Directed
by Chester Alwes.)

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, December 14, 2013

Christopher Holman, Countertenor

Christopher Holman, Countertenor

Editor’s Note: Christopher Holman is an American organist, countertenor, and choral conductor, currently residing and studying in Urbana-Champaign at the University of Illinois, whose primary interests lie in the realm of historically-informed performance.


Lost in Chicago

Parking now is privatized,
on-street prices very high,
all hotels have also raised
valet costs in the same way:
everybody wants to make
as much money as they can
before bankruptcy will take
everybody down just like

Mile Magnificent is still
mostly white except for men
parking cars or begging on
sidewalk sides. Inside, women
wear their diamonds on pale hands–
colored hands wear vinyl, fill
buckets, pails, trash bags, and cans:
garbage left behind by all
the rich.

Foreigners drive taxis, make
more here than at home. Send back
salaries and tips to help
families survive. I stop,
lost on lower Wacker Drive,
lower Michigan, no help
here from GPS, “Now drive
east 500 feet and stop.”
(I’d be in the lake…)

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, September 9, 2013

P.S. On Tuesday, October 1 Steve will bring his poetry to Tuesday Dialogues at Shepherd of the Hill Church in Chaska. Free and open to the public.

Mitt Romney

Moral Mormon, yes, at Church and home.

Is there, though, a hint that he objects

To the rules that women have the same

Trouble with the Priesthood that kept blacks


Restricted out of the Church for years?

Or that Morman kindness to the poor

Might be a good model for the U. S.

Nation?  Can we even up the score?

Everybody knows he’s handsome, smart,

Yes, and  rich–but does he have a heart?

An acrostic verse received this morning from Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL.