Steve Shoemaker (1942-2016) shared equal time on Views from the Edge until his untimely death. Steve’s genre was poetry. Often his poems and verses led readers by the nose through his lines to the surprising last line that shed a humorous light on all that had come before. Steve was a 6’8″ gentle giant who lay on his side at night, quietly typing a new inspiration into his iPhone in the dark so as not to disturb his wife Nadja at 3:00 A.M. Poems like this one were waiting in my in-box in the morning.
Steve lived to write and craved desserts (especially his nightly bowl of ice cream) and sex, matters about which, so far as I could tell, he hadn’t lied. Nor did he brag or exaggerate. Of the seven friends who knew each other well over four decades, Steve was the least self-centered with the wryest sense of humor. He never denied himself a bowl of ice cream!
I will give up writing poems for Lent
I will give up eating desserts for Lent.
I will give up sex for Lent.
I will give up thinking about sex for Lent.
I will give up lying for Lent.
I will give up bragging for Lent.
I will give up exaggerating for Lent.
I will give up self-centeredness for Lent.
I will give up self-denial for Lent.
– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL
March 5, 2014 (Ash Wednesday)
In this era of ill-humor and self-indulgence, Steve’s tongue-in-cheek verse again rings the bell on the betrayals of our best intentions, and our common need for repentance and forgiveness.