Sunday, November 12, 2017

Grandmothers Are Important...


My paternal grandmother,
Maude Ann Walsh


AT GRANDMA’S KNEE
In loving memory of my grandmother, Maude Ann Walsh,
and dedicated to all of my grandchildren.

When I was a child, sitting at my grandma’s knee
she told me about Jesus, Who gave His life for me.

She made for me a scrapbook all about the Lord,
to show me countless reasons why He should be adored.

I still have that scrapbook. I keep it with my treasures.
Looking through it time to time is among my pleasures.

She told of His birth at Christmas; Easter, it was the Cross;
told of the sins He saved us from, when His life was lost.

She made it clear she loved Him; I learned to love Him, too,
and I grew up to follow Him, all my whole life through.

Now I have grandchildren, who sit upon my knee;
I get to tell them of the things that mean the most to me.

I read them poems and sing to them…Oh! we laugh and play;
I hug and kiss and pray with them in my special way.

Of course I tell of Jesus and why I love Him so,
and oh I hope they’ll love Him, too, as they grow and grow.

Maude Carolan Pych


Announcements:

Coming Soon…

Take a break from the busyness and enjoy
A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas
They will be posted on this website, daily
beginning Thanksgiving Day!

It’s Almost Here…

Maude’s 411-page memoir in poetry:

“Wonderhoods”

Details will be posted here
as soon as they’re available



COME TO A POETRY READING
Featuring

ELIZABETH MARCHITTI
&
MAUDE CAROLAN PYCH

To Launch Our Books

Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at 7 p.m.
at the Totowa Library
537 Totowa Road, Totowa, NJ
In the Community Room
(Parking in the rear of the building)
Light refreshments will be served.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Have You Taken a Spiritual Retreat?

Photo credit: 123rf.com



WOMEN ON RETREAT

Three women
meet at a lodge
in the Pocono Mountains
They are strangers—
but that soon changes

One, freshly wounded
two, a decade older
had been healed
years before
of the same sorrow

The two
instinctively soothe
the younger sister
with the balm
of compassion
listen
speak soft words
of experience
touch

At apricot sunset
they walk a wooded path
along the edge
of Tamiment Lake

Coming upon
a crude table
and benches
they stop, sit
join hands
and beseech God
as a million tree frogs
chirp crickety crescendos
from shadows
of tall leafy boughs
and deer graze
in their midst

As twilight wanes
they arise to go
then keep
one another
from stumbling
along the rocky path


Maude Carolan

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Under the Huppah...

It's Our 11th Wedding Anniversary
Maude & Bob--October 21, 2006
Beth Israel Worship Center
Photo by Patricia Ley

OUR WEDDING CANOPY
Israel Pilgrimage—2006

There was a grass-roofed shelter
along the Sea of Galilee
which reminded me of a succah
which reminded me of God’s covering over me
which reminded me of the blue and white tallit
I bought yesterday in Tiberias

Once I read an article in The Record
that stated being wrapped in a tallit
is like getting a hug from God
a statement that made me yearn
for a prayer shawl of my own
The very day after the article appeared
Rabbi Jonathan revealed
the newly designed Mizoram tallit to our congregation
with its colorful “Lamb within a Star of David” logo
representing Yeshua, our Jewish Messiah—
I gasped, when I saw it, assuming
one would be mine, my tallit, my hug from God
however, they were only presented to the pastors

which brings me to my marriage to Bob
just sixteen days ago
and that Pastor Steven graciously offered
to lend us his tallit to use as our wedding canopy
He gave us his traditional blue and white striped shawl
but Rabbi Jonathan said we would need a larger one
so Pastor Steven lent us his personal Mizoram tallit—
the very shawl that caused me to gasp, so long ago

Four ministers held up the corners of the prayer shawl
creating a fringed huppah over our heads
So, Bob and I stood under the covering of the Lamb
as we exchanged our marriage vows

At the conclusion of the ceremony
Rabbi Jonathan draped the shawl over our shoulders
wrapping us in a Heavenly hug on our holy wedding day

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Let's Take a Walk in the Woods...

Photo credit: renatures.com



SYMPHONY OF THE WOODS
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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

"Mount Arbel in the Moonlight"

Photo credit: pinterest.com


MOUNT ARBEL IN THE MOONLIGHT
Israel Pilgrimage--2006

Traveling in the tour bus from Tel Aviv
we arrive at the base of Mount Arbel
before twilight turns to dusk

The prudent would
postpone this venture
till daybreak, but
the zealous are rarely prudent

so seventy of us
imprudent zealous pilgrims
hastily begin an uphill trek
dodging rocky obstacles
Sprightly pilgrim feet
shuffle, sprint and stumble
up the mount
right to the cliff edge
at the pinnacle

The last vestiges of twilight
reveal the Galilee
flowing below us, darkly
like a great well of ink
Thousands of twinkling pin-lights
emanate from across the lake
…the city of Tiberius

The full moon
makes shadows of us all
as our guide teaches
and our rabbi ministers

We sing
O how we sing—

We are standing
on holy ground and we know
that there are angels all around…

and song after song of praise
unconcerned about hour or nightfall

Our exhilarated spirits mellow
and we lapse into solemn silence
except for muffled adoration
by a few and gentle weeping
by those bearing weighty burdens

then one by one
we make our way
…sure-footedly
down the steep, stony path
as God’s great October orb
casts a holy beacon
upon what otherwise would be
a treacherous, dark descent


Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, October 1, 2017

"The Labyrinth"


THE LABYRINTH

Written at a poetry retreat led by Laura Boss and Maria Mazzioti Gillan

Mendham, New Jersey, October, 2001


It was free time during an intensive
weekend poetry retreat
I strolled the convent grounds
that warmish autumn day
to clear my head
of so many words and phrases
so many raging poems
about the World Trade Center
so many poems sprung from wounds
from love and death

I smiled at the sight of a nun
wearing a black and white habit
that grazed the russet ground
as she gracefully raked leaves
in a wide open field

“Sister,” I called
“you have quite a job there!”

She answered, but
not hearing her reply
I left the path
and approached her
She was Sister Julia, a novice
named for a thirteen-year-old martyr

Sister Julia was clearing leaves
from a circular brick-in-grass labyrinth
She told me what I hadn’t known
that a labyrinth isn’t a maze
but a unicursal
one path that leads to the center
and out again
She called it Chemin de Jerusalem[1]
a substitute for pilgrimage

I continued my journey
to the old cemetery
with its weather-beaten cement crosses
and to a nearly dry, leaf-strewn pond
then returned, because I had to
to the labyrinth

Entering, my spirit revitalized
as I stepped slowly within the bricks
joyfully reciting snippets
from Davidic, “Songs of Ascents”
and offering hymns and hallelujahs
At center, aliyah!

“My feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem”

and recalled, sweet as honey
so many years ago
when they actually were

I could almost hear the sound
of a distant shofar

Maude Carolan






[1] Road of Jerusalem

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

It is Good to Praise the Lord!

Image credit: 123rf.com
HALLELUJAH HANDS
“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer,
without anger or disputing.” 1 Timothy 2:8 NIV    

Some lift one
others, both
chest-high, chin high
Some reach upward
ceilingward, skyward
stretching Heavenward
reaching for
His hem

Soft young graceful hands
with squared airbrushed fingertips
Pudgy, fidgety, child hands
copying his daddy hands
Brown hands, pale hands
old bulging vein hands
Just plain hands
hands with bands
hands flashing rings
stones sparkling
Calloused hands, splintered hands
rough, red dishpan hands
Cold hands, warm hands
peanut butter and jelly hands
Salon hands
nails lacquered red
rose pink or pearly

Tambourine shaking
banner waving
clap clapping
Bible clutching
baby holding
tear wiping
clenching, wrenching
God beseeching hands

Hands clasping the hand
of another
hands signing praise
for ears that cannot hear
hands folded
serenely in a lap

All beautiful
all holy
all His children’s
hallelujah hands


Maude Carolan