We know that seeing never can
be believing. We fool the eye
of all who look at us and see
the other. Mother left the band
upon our wrist that gave our name
for weeks after our birth, but then
began always to dress Brian
in blue. One day we switched–I came
out in his shirt–she called him Chris!
St. Thomas was a twin and so
when he heard that his friends were sure
they’d seen the risen Lord, of course
he doubted that was true. But then
he heard the word…although a twin.

Steven Shoemaker
Urbana, Illinois, Feb. 21, 2015

[These poems may be used, copied, or published as you will. It would be nice
if you included my name, city, and State]

NOTE: Readers unfamiliar with Christian Scripture will find it helpful to know the biblical text behind Steve’s poem. Click Jesus and Thomas, the Twin for the story in the Gospel of John.

Feeling blue

The blues struck this week. A sense of longing. You might even say a kind of fainting.

Psalm 84 leaped up for attention, quite by accident. It’s a psalm of enormous contrasts, almost bi-polar in its highs and lows.  Joy and longing sit right beside each other like first-born and second-born twins. No sooner is Praise born (“How lovely is Thy dwelling place!”) than faith’s twin, Longing, is born – the longing, the sense of estrangement that yearns to be united with the lovely dwelling place: “My soul longs, yea, faints for the courts of the LORD….”  It is this Psalm that inspired Johannes Brahms’ Requiem, sung here by a combined choir in a lovely place in Atlanta, Georgia. Bring the blues to the music of the Psalm and see what happens.