Sunday, November 17, 2019

Blessed at the Garden Tomb

While Bob and I were visiting the Garden Tomb,
I received a special blessing...

Photo credit:

Israel Pilgrimage—2006

Bob and I sit meditatively
on a bench in the pastoral garden
in view of the Garden Tomb—
Our pilgrimage is almost over
In a few hours we’ll prepare
for the long flight home

I catch a glimpse of a bookstore
and am jolted into remembering
that one of my poems
"Extraordinary Matzoh"
published in William Francis' book
Celebrate the Feasts of the Lord
may actually be for sale, here
at the Garden Tomb

so we go inside—
and sure enough, see it
beckoning to me from the shelf
among so many other
interesting and inviting holy books

I reach for a copy
even though I have one at home
(except this one
has a label printed in Hebrew
and a price tag in shekels)
So, whether it is silly or frivolous
I approach the cashier to pay

and swipe my hand across
the smooth russet cover that depicts
a glowing hanukkiah and a scroll
then flip through pages
to find what I know
is on page 31…my poem
introducing the chapter
about the Feast of Unleavened Bread

Oh! It blesses my soul
to discover my own simple words
here at this sacred spot
Truly, it blesses my soul to know
even when I return home today
books that contain this earnest poem of praise
will remain as my gift of blessing to the Land

Maude Carolan Pych

Here is a holiday gift suggestion:

My Brand New Book...

Behold the Lamb...poetically!

Poems about the Birth, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

It's available now at

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Dead Sea Dips...

Pastor/Rabbi Jonathan Cahn of Beth Israel Worship Center, Wayne, NJ,
is presently leading a pilgrimage in the Holy Land.
The tour will surely include a dip in the amazing Dead Sea...

Photo credit:

Israel Pilgrimages—1986 & 2006

Twenty years ago—

At midday, I slipped into
crystal clear salty sea-water
warm as bathwater

Saline stung
my freshly shaved legs

Great salt pillars
like giant white mushrooms
rose above the water
and glistened in the daylight

Some bathers climbed upon the pillars
others floated on their backs
and read a magazine
as depicted in advertisements
in glossy travel mags

The surprising buoyancy
delighted me
as silky natural minerals
caressed my skin—
a luxurious
spa-less spa treatment

Over-exuberance caused me
to disregard caution—
Salt-water splashed into my eyes
blinding me
until washed away
with copious freshwater

This trip—

It’s sunset
Our group enters the sea
(actually a big salt lake)
smaller than it was
twenty years ago
due to steady

This time the water
is cool and brown
There are no
salt pillars to climb

We cautiously step
into squishy mud
It oozes between our toes
and swallows our feet
like quicksand

Guarding against sliding
on slick slippery stones
we dip down                                   
and pull up handfuls
of soothing, luxurious mud
and laugh as we
slather it lavishly
over arms, legs
even our faces—
thankful for the cover
of darkness

Later, in the gift shop
we purchase packages
of Dead Sea mud
at five dollars each—
beauty treatments
for our daughters
back home

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Happy 90th Birthday, Bob Pych!

Sto lat!
"May you live 100 years..."
(at least!)

For Robert Pych—November 3, 2019

Happy birthday, my darling—
Ninety is definitely a milestone!

There’s so much to celebrate—
reasonably good health
great family, close friends
a comfortable life
but most of all
truly, truly, most of all
this is the perfect time to celebrate
enduring love, in these, our golden years

for we live a gentle life
with lots of I love yous
and spontaneous embraces
that generate smiles throughout the day

We take care of one another
and consider each other
in our own unique ways—
You’ve endured plenty of poetry readings
I’ve been known to flip
through magazines at the racetrack
We frequently gather at the Scrabble board
and squabble about those two-letter words
or by the TV, where we really try
to find something mutually agreeable to watch

Every evening we join hands in prayer to God
for all the people we love
and some we’ve never met
whose names are given to us by others

Who would ever have thought
love would keep on growing
and be so tender and sweet
as hair gets greyer
wrinkles get deeper
memories get muddier
and backs get achier
but the truth is
at least in our case, it does

May you live to be 100, hubby!
Sto lat! Sto lat, my dear!!!

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Remembering a Visit to Yad Vashem

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn of Beth Israel Worship Center, Wayne, NJ, 
will lead another pilgrimage to Israel next week.
The poem I've selected to share with you today is a sobering remembrance
from our visit to the holocaust museum in Jerusalem,
during my last pilgrimage in 2006.

Janusz Korczak & the orphan children.
Photo credit:

Israel Pilgrimage--2006

We are given an hour, only an hour
to walk through on our own—

It’s quiet
Barely any talking
No smiling

People move slowly
observing, listening
some brush away tears
some shake their heads

We walk along the Path
of Righteous Gentiles
hesitate at trees
planted in honor
of Oscar Schindler
of Corrie TenBoom

We see shoes of the dead, eyeglasses
photographs, paintings

The eternal flame shudders
as we swallow hard at the words:
Never Again

Outside, we pause at the bronze
of Janusz Korczak embracing
the orphan children—
the ones he accompanied
into a crematorium

At the Children’s Memorial
the darkness is assuaged
by so many mirrored reflections
of flickering candles
We read—
1,500,000 children

An hour, only an hour
is even too much
for us to bear

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, October 20, 2019

On Our 13th Wedding Anniversary...

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Thank you, Bob, for 13 loving years...

Maude & Bob at Breezy Point, 2017.
For Robert Pych on Our Wedding Day, October 21, 2006

"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."
Song of Songs 6:3

Shirley says
my heart is a thimble
and God's love is the ocean
and He wants to pour all that love
into my little heart

I have learned that the Lord
has made my heart
a little like His own

that the heart is limitless
in its capacity to love

that it may seem
the heart's chambers
are about to burst
…yet there's still room

that bodies grow older
…but not our hearts

I have learned
that God
is the Restorer of Hearts
the Master of mending
broken ones

that although sorrow
may visit us
the heart keeps its rhythm
…hope is not shattered

I grew tired of the Titanic song
weary of Celine's heart going on
and on and on

but now I understand
the heart does go on

I've also discovered
my heart is undivided
when it professes
Ani le dodi ve dodi li
and speaks of
two bridegrooms
One of my soul…Jesus
and one of my heart…Robert

and I believe
one of the best things there is
about knowing God
is that He is Love

…that we love
because He first
loved us

He just keeps on
filling our thimbles
with inexhaustible oceans

so we'll always
always, always
have Love
to give

Maude Carolan

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Getting to Know Him...

Image credit: 


I beheld You, not clearly...
In a fogged mirror Your mysterious Image
Materialized, then faded in diaphanous mist.

At the shining of re-birth, the fog thinned,
Evaporating like dew, droplet by droplet.
Learning day by day to know You,
The mist grows sheerer, more lucent...until finally

Upon entrance through the billowy veil
Into life forevermore,
Your Presence will emerge before me.
Squinting eyelids will flutter
As I awaken to brilliance
And the last layers of mystery
Dissolve into sparkles upon Your feet.

Maude Carolan

Get Ready:

It'll be here soon...

Release Date: November 20, 2019

Sunday, October 6, 2019

It's Time for a Walk in the Woods...

Photo credit:

I meander through woods
along a beaten pathway in North Jersey
and the music begins immediately

There’s chittering of crickets
and the cacophony of other insects
that are hanging on to life
until the frost, which will come soon
Leaves rustle in the trees
some whoosh past me
as they fall to the ground
and there’s a crunch
of dry ones beneath my feet

I hear an occasional snap of a twig
and the scamper of squirrels
or chipmunks, a raccoon
or field mice scurrying unseen
up and down tree trunks
or frolicking in the dense brush

There may be hidden deer or a bear
Some sounds I cannot identify

Birdsong completely fills the air
all kinds of birdsong—
chirps and coos
and warbles and squawks
I even hear the flutter
of wing flaps

Tying everything together
is the faintest whistling in the breeze
that feels something like tinnitus
ringing in my ears
but it’s not unpleasant

All the sounds blend together
into Nature’s symphony—
a serenade to my spirit
as I stroll

Maude Carolan Pych