Sunday, July 8, 2018

It's Time to Take a Vacation...

Photo credit: foursquare.com


OCEAN GROVE

Ocean Grove—
This tiny Christian community
comes to life in the summertime
Methodist. Camp Meeting.
Boxy tent houses
with colorful flower gardens
American flags and banners
surround The Great Auditorium
with its lighted Cross
facing the ocean

It’s just a mile square
Quiet. Subtle.
Not in-your-face-religion
although
church bell chimes
do break the quietude now and then
with a gentle reminder
and there’s a pavilion
on the boardwalk
where Gospel events take place
Folks can walk-in or walk by
and there’s a tabernacle
for morning worship
and solid Bible teaching
but it’s optional

Personally, the spiritual amenities
are what draw me
to this particular place
at the Jersey shore

What’s surprising
is that many vacationers come
not for the Bible Hour
not for the concerts
not to hear great preachers
from all over the world
not to worship in the great old edifice
with its magnificent pipe organ
not to sing hymns of antiquity
in fact, they come
not for the Gospel, at all

but for peace and quiet
for one square mile
of no hawking of tee shirts
and games of chance
roller coasters, carousels
freak shows and body piercing
in fact, there’s nothing for sale
on the boardwalk
and no alcohol for sale
in the grove

No, they come
for a sandy beach
and ocean spray
quaint Victorians, B & Bs
curiosity shops on Main
and shady sidewalk dining
oh! and ice cream at Nagle’s or Day’s

and they know they can rely upon
good old-fashioned
Ocean Grove wholesomeness
and Christian acceptance
even if they’re not necessarily
seeking the Christ of Christianity

…and to my way of thinking
miss out on the Best
this precious little gem
has to offer

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Praying for Revival...

Image credit: flags-unlimited.com


Here's a poem that I wrote this week:
PRAYING FOR REVIVAL IN AMERICA
2 Chronicles 7:14

I grew up loving Jesus
and blessing the USA—
With my classmates every morning
I’d bow my head and pray.

God Bless America we’d sing
with heartfelt awe and pride
aware that God Almighty
was our nation’s Holy Guide

Our churches were full of people
and from our homes flags flew;
we saluted veterans, and
respected leaders, too.

We knew America was beautiful,
“God shed His grace on thee!”
then took that grace for granted
and failed to bend a knee.

The years have led us far off course;
and faith in God has waned—
Our leaders now get less respect.
The Bible’s been profaned.

In the shadow of 9/11
we live every day.
Many hearts are downcast;
many folks have lost their way.

So I’m praying for revival—
We need it desperately!
Let us promise to follow God
with true sincerity.

When we return to follow Him
He’ll restore His loving grace.
From sea to shining sea, our Lord
will shine again His Face.

Oh, come and join your prayers to mine,
let’s do it every day.
Ask God to heal this troubled land
and vow to live His way.

Maude Carolan Pych

Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Praise Him With Dancing

Photo credit: etsy.com
Image credit: leapoffaithdancecompany.com


FRANKIE’S DANCE
In memory of Frank Schiavo, Jr.

In a circle
in the corner
of the sanctuary
the dancers
lifted arms and faces,
bowed reverently, rose,
offering gifts of praise to God.
Tintinnabulating timbrels
and tambourines,
their satin ribbons streaming,
swirled with shirts and skirts,
a kaleidoscopic rainbow.
Ineffable ecstasy
shone in countenances,
sparkled in dark, dancing eyes.

Parked at a row end
in the congregation,
Frankie sat
strapped securely
in his wheelchair,
worshipping,
his spirit whirling
in the dance.
Joy softened his face
into enthralled expressions
as praise
flowed fluently
from upturned lips.

Suddenly,
perceiving the desire
written in his radiance,
a young man whisked
Frankie’s wheelchair
into the dance.
Circling, circling,
spinning, spinning,
wheeling worshipfully,
spiritually spiraling
upward, Heavenward,
an Elijah in a chariot
driven by horses,
their manes ablaze,
Frankie danced
his holy dance
before the Ever-Living God.

Maude Carolan

The above poem was originally published
in Sensations Magazine.






Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day...

Image result for father's day 2018
Image credit: awarenessdays.com

I've written several poems about my father
and read two of the
m at poetry readings
this weekend. Here is one of them:



THINKING ABOUT MY DAD
In memory of Frank H. Walsh ~ 1912-1985

I went to see The King’s Speech
the other night
This started me thinking about my father
who became a stutterer
as a result of nervousness derived
from his childhood battle
with crippling poliomyelitis

With child eyes
I never saw him crippled
though he walked with a pronounced limp
one leg being shorter than the other
He wore a heavy soled shoe
reinforced with steel with a metal brace
attached that extended up to his knee

I didn’t think of him as a stutterer either
though he had great difficulty
saying what he wanted to say
stammering over, over and over
trying to get the words to spring
from his tangled tongue

To me, he was just Dad
…ordinary Dad

Looking back now, I think of him
as extraordinary and tenacious
a “can-do” kind of father
…even an overcomer

Handicaps never seemed
to handicapped him
never kept him from doing
anything he set his mind to—

He wasn’t a builder, but
he built the house we grew up in
and a bungalow next door for Grandma
did all the plumbing, electrical work
installed the drywall, spackled, painted
built porches, set the sidewalks
climbed a ladder to the roof
He built a patio with an outdoor fireplace
and a cement wading pool, too
He erected a coop for chickens
which he raised from fertilized eggs
He slaughtered them
mom cleaned and we ate them
for Sunday dinner
He also plowed the backyard
and planted a big vegetable garden

You name it, he did it
and usually did it well

He sang “Heart of My Heart” and
“You Can Have Her, I Don’t Want Her,
She’s Too Fat for Me”
without any stammer at all
danced to a rollicking “Beer Barrel” polka
with his heavy shoe thumping the floor
and I’m told he even pedaled
his bike once, all the way up Skyline Drive

Dad took us on vacations every summer
usually tent camping at Bear Mountain
or the Adirondacks or Truro at Cape Cod
setting up camp and cots mostly himself

He built outboard motor boats,
Water Lily and Water Lily II
and a blue egg-shaped camper trailer
which he hitched to the back of our car

He brewed root beer
bottled it and we drank it
even though it was flat and fizz-less
and he brewed beer beer
I can still remember the smell
of it fermenting in a huge crock
in our spare room

When I was a child
I thought all daddies did those things
And when I got married
I thought husbands did those things

To say he was remarkable
seems an understatement—
I only hope some of the stuff he was made of
has worked its way into the bones and marrow
into the blood and sinews
into the gray that matters
into our Walsh family genes

Maude Carolan Pych
.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Communing With God

Image credit: blueboatblogs.uua.org


COMMUNION

Alone, in the morning
except for gulls, pipers
and a few fishermen far out on the jetties
I walk along the shoreline
Fringes of waves
rhythmically roll over my sandy feet
as I worship You with quiet song—
The soft ocean rumble, my accompaniment

At rose-toned dusk
I stroll a mountain path lush in deepening shadows
Cognizant of my serenity, I appreciate the harmony
designed into creation by You

Cozy in my bed
in the quiet moments before slumber meets me
my pre-sleep meditation is prayerful thanks
for the blessings that surround me, and
the giving heart of You.

Maude Carolan

This poem began with an early morning stroll along
Ocean Grove Beach, vacation's end, the summer of `94.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Celebrate Israel!

What a Day!!!

Today is my Birthday.
 There've been joyous celebrations morning till night
and I'm truly blessed by every birthday wish.

This is also is the day
of the Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC...


With that in mind,
I've selected a poem to feature
from my Holy Land Pilgrimage collection: 


MOUNT SCOPUS
Israel Pilgrimage—2006

It’s nighttime—
We arrive at Mount Scopus
overlooking Yerushalayim[1]
The stars glimmer
in the heavens
and The City is lit up
like the jewel of all the earth

Wishful, I want
there to be fireworks
want the surroundings
to express the excitement
stirring inside of me—
Suddenly, I hear fireworks
boom, boom, booming
somewhere
although I cannot see
their luminous splendors
bursting in the sky

We partake of the fruit
of the vine—
our cup of blessing
as we prepare to enter in

Our rabbi prays
for the peace of Jerusalem
prays the Shema[2]
prays the Shehekianu[3]
covers his head
with a magnificent tallit[4]
embellished with
the Star of David and the Lamb
He lifts his hands and prays
the Aaronic Benediction

Our joy cannot be contained—
This is the City of Our Great King

I watch a tear
trickle down
my rabbi’s face

Maude Carolan Pych





[1] Jerusalem
[2] The central prayer in the Jewish prayerbook (Siddur)
[3] A common Jewish prayer to celebrate special occasions
[4] prayer shawl

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Friendship with God...

Image credit: ilovemyshepherd.com
MY FRIEND
"…there is a friend
who sticks closer than a brother."
Proverbs 18:24

Sometimes I go to God's house, sometimes He visits mine;
He often comes to work with me and helps me pass the time.

He's with me in the kitchen when I cook and as I scrub;
I meditate upon Him while lolling in the tub.

He keeps me company driving and when I take a walk;
God and I stroll quietly and other times, we talk.

God's there when I am shopping and watering my flowers;
He inspires my writing, in computer-weary hours.

He's in me as I minister and hears me as I pray,
lifts me up when I am downcast and helps me through the day.

He sups with me at table and He joins me in my rest.
Oh, when we are communing, they're the times I like the best.

God loves it when I worship Him and glorify His Name;
He shines His face upon me and ignites me with His flame!

I read to know God better, for He knows all about me;
fills sleepy thoughts at bedtime with His sweet tranquility.

How blessed I am to know Him! Love overflows my heart!
I count upon His faithfulness and know we'll never part.

My heart is filled with gladness every moment that I spend
with the Creator of the Universe, Holy God, my Friend.

Maude Carolan