Sunday, April 26, 2015

"At Grandma's Knee"

I was named after my paternal grandmother, Maude Ann Walsh. Grandmother lived right next door to us in what was then West Paterson, now Woodland Park, NJ. She often told me stories about Jesus and in the early 1950's, when I was very young, she made a scrapbook for me out of cardboard. Grandma decorated it with pictures of flowers snipped from a Burpee Seed catalog and pictures of cats, dogs, farm animals and dancing children that she found in various magazines of the day. Most importantly, inside the scrapbook was "The Life of Our Lord" written by Charles Dickens for his children. The story was printed with inconsistencies in spelling and punctuation that appeared in the original manuscript, which Dickens had not intended to publish. It appeared, as a series, in a local newspaper, probably the Paterson "Morning Call". I say that because I recall that was the newspaper that was delivered daily to her home.

The poem that follows appears in honor of my grandmother.
Maude Ann Walsh
paternal grandmother of Maude Carolan Pych

In memory of my grandmother, Maude Ann Walsh
For all 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

Monday, April 20, 2015

"This Old Bible"

Photo Credit:


It’s not one of those expensive
gold edged, leather bound volumes.
Its margins are filled
with scrawled notations
gleaned from personal revelations
and years of teaching
under Jonathan and Wayne.
There are yellow highlights,
asterisks, exclamation points, arrows,
underlines, sometimes double underlines,
sometimes double underlines in red ink.
There are little line drawings, dates,
Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic
transliterations, translations,
prayers copied on blank pages in front,
prayer cards tucked in its pages,
bookmarks, tracts,
a few notes and letters.
Its pages have lost their brightness
from handling and caressing,
they’ve absorbed tears,
illuminated joys.
There are jagged pen slips
from dozing,
many index labels have fallen off.
Its spine has been repaired
again and again.
It doesn’t look like anybody’s treasure.

When I pass on,
there might be a little money,
property, some poems.
There might be a few pieces
of inexpensive jewelry.
You’ll rummage through
the way we did when Grandpa died,
when lots of things were thrown in dumpsters,
lots of things were divided up and given away.
You may be tempted to toss this book,
but, no, no, I know you’ll know
this old battered Bible
is the most valuable possession
I’ll leave behind.

Maude Carolan              

Saturday, April 11, 2015

In Memory of Phillip McCoppin

Our very dear friend, Phillip Ace McCoppin, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, April 8th. Bob & I spent many wonderful times in the company of Phil and his beloved wife, Susan. We will miss him greatly and wish to extend our deepest condolences to his family, especially Susan and their children Aaron & Ashley. Our mind's eye can see our friend safe in the loving arms of Jesus, enjoying the very beginning of eternal life in Glory.

The following poem is one in a series written following the passing of my previous husband, Leo F. Carolan. It appears in my chapbook, "The Widow's Song".

Photo Credit:


Leo, so often
I wonder about you
in the wonderment of Heaven
your dwelling place
where you no longer see
through a glass darkly, as I do
I, who remain upon the earth

Everything is clear to you now
No mysteries, no questions
…only astonishing

Revelations   b  e  y  o  n  d
my imagination

Trusting you to God
is accepting
unanswered questions
I accept, O God
still…I wonder
and ponder
squint and peer
through a shadowy pane, curious
about Your secret splendors

I yearn to spray blue Windex
yearn to scrub away the film
yearn to gaze
through a glass clearly
into the sparkly Heavens
to see you, Leo, glorious
and free

but, I'll wait, O God
I'll trust You
I'll accept
unanswered questions
till I, too
dwell glorious
in Heaven

Maude Carolan

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sometimes I Wish...

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How can I tell
how can I show
how grateful I am
that You are my Savior?

Sometimes I wish
it were possible to
leave the roast in the oven
the suds in the sink

and follow my heart’s cry
to the land of the Bible
to climb Calvary’s hill
in beautiful Zion

Oh! I’d fall to my knees
at the foot of The Cross
and wrap my arms tightly
‘round its stained wooden base

and press my trembling cheek
against the old splintered grain
and thank You for Love
so wide and so deep
beyond what I can fathom

then I’d kiss it and weep
kiss it and weep

and whisper, I love You
from the depths of my being
for I’m eternally grateful
My Savior, My Lord

Maude Carolan Pych

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mary Magdalene at the Empty Tomb

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It’s no wonder
Mary of Magdala
traveled with Rabboni
and the twelve
and helped
support His mission
She was a woman on fire
with love and gratitude
a woman freed
of seven snarling demons

It’s no wonder
despite trepidation
she watched at a distance
as they nailed her Great One
to a wretched cross
cupping her ears, wailing
at each resonating hammerfall
No wonder
she drew near
as He hung
in the agony of dying
for being there
was better
than not being there

Mary, bereft
looked upon her Rabboni
as they took Him
from the beams
laid His powerless Body
in the tomb
and rolled a great round stone
across the entrance
separating Him from her
before the sun went down
that Good and terrible Friday

and it’s no wonder
she was back at dawn
the morning after Sabbath
with other ministering women
carrying spices
heedless of whom
would roll the stone away
But the tomb was open
and the women trembled
as an angel astounded them
with talk of rising

Mary ran to the apostles
but it’s no wonder
she returned
to grieve near the tomb,
wanting to be
where last He was

A stranger, the gardener?
inquired of her weeping
"Sir," she implored
"if you have carried Him away
tell me where you have put Him
and I will get Him"



Astonished, she reflexively
reached for Him…
"Do not cling to Me"
He told her
"for I have not yet ascended
to My Father"

Oh, it’s no wonder
it was she He entrusted
to bring the news
to the brethren
No wonder
she ran, stumbling over rocks
and potsherd
dashing through brush
and brambles
raising tufts of dust
eager to exclaim
breathless with jubilation
"I have seen
the Lord!"

Maude Carolan

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Pieta

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After the earthquake
the peals of thunder
the flashes of lightening across the sky
After the curious crowds dispersed
Mary sat in ominous dimness
upon a mound of earth
at the base of The Cross
holding the body
of her Son

She cradled Him
in the hollow of her lap
close to her bosom
as she had
when he was
her baby boy

Mary removed
thorns of mockery
that encircled His forehead
and tossed it to the side
Straining to see in the shadows
she carefully picked
fragments of thorn needles
still stuck in His lifeless flesh
although they couldn’t hurt Him
any longer

With her fingertips
she tenderly closed the lids
over His dark, vacant eyes
and smoothed
the disheveled, matted hair
…then she kissed Him

O my beautiful Son…

Tears flowed
down her face onto His cheeks
mingling with dried blood
With the edge of her garment
she wiped some blood away

John came
and rested his hand
upon her trembling shoulder
He was now her son
She was now his mother

too deep to comprehend
swirled in her mind
like the flap and flutter
of wings and overshadowing
Son of the Most High
and David’s throne

like pregnant Elizabeth’s joy
when the baby leapt in her womb
and the Baptizer himself, when grown
proclaiming his younger cousin
“The Lamb of God, Who
takes away the sin of the world”

and Simeon’s prophesy
that Jesus would be
a Light of revelation
to the Gentiles and the glory
of the people of Israel

Where is the Light?
Where is the glory?
Where is the throne?

Overwhelmed by sorrow
so intense it stabbed her
deep, deep in her inner parts
Mary cried out in anguish
and rent her robe

Was this what old Simeon meant
long ago in the Temple
when he held Jesus in his arms
and said a sword would pierce
my very soul?

O my Son, my beautiful Son…

I cannot fathom the ways of God, but

I do know this cannot be the end

Maude Carolan Pych

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Passover Lamb


Abba went into the sheepfold to choose a spotless lamb,
as Moses gave instructions that he got from the I Am.

Our lamb, indeed, was spotless, so I named him Wooly Bright;
we brought him inside to live with us, morning, noon and night.

I ran my fingers through his coat and fed him from my hand,
I put fresh water in his trough; he’s the best lamb in the land!

Today he’ll be our sacrifice. Moses said this must be done.
He must die that I may live, for I’m a firstborn son.

We’ve been oppressed by slavery; Pharaoh will not let us go,
but God’s mighty arm will save us. We’ll watch His power flow.

Moses told us, take lamb’s blood, and brush it on the lintel
then we will be protected; it almost sounds too simple.

Tonight we will leave Egypt and journey far from home,
but I’ll remember Wooly Bright wherever I may roam.

Someday the world will see in this, God’s salvation plan;
God’s Son will be the sacrifice, the great Passover Lamb!

For as God will use blood of lambs to set my people free,
the precious Blood of Jesus will save sinners…you and me.

Maude Carolan Pych