Sunday, October 30, 2016

It Doesn't Look Like Anybody's Treasure...

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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               

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Walk in the Woods in Autumn

Have you taken a walk
in the woods, this autumn
and praised God for His handiwork?

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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 16, 2016

It's Our 10th Wedding Anniversary

 We Celebrated Our 10th Anniversary
On a Cruise Along the Mississippi

Maude & Bob Pych

Our 10th Anniversary vacation—October, 2016

When people heard we were celebrating
our 10th anniversary
there was always that look of surprise—
They expected to hear it was our 50th, at least!

Bob and I became friends following the demise
of our spouses and now enjoy the sweetness
of mature love and someone across the table
during these, our golden years

We were on a long anticipated river cruise
chugging along the muddy Mississippi
from Memphis to New Orleans
aboard a brand new paddle-wheel boat
built to look like a historical old steamboat
We enjoyed spicy Cajun and Creole cuisine
and music by a different jazz band every evening

Thoughts of Tom Sawyer, Huck
and Becky sprang to mind along the brush
and coves and beyond the levees. Imagination
carried us past whitewashed fences
and old graveyards with tumble-down tombstones
inscribed with indecipherable names and dates

We visited the Civil War battlefield
at Vicksburg, Tennessee, and toured
stately plantation mansions
boasting yesteryear charm in every room
and saw former cotton fields that now grow
sugar cane since the widespread infestation
by the destructive boll weevil
We peeked inside long empty slave quarters
deep in the old south

Then we disembarked and spent a few days
in the Big Easy’s quirky French Quarter
where structures from the 1800s clearly showed their age
and where strings of gaudy beads dangled
from tree branches since Mardi Gras last spring

We took a stroll down Bourbon Street
as jazz saxes and trumpets blared
from inside the pubs
and young street musicians
banged on plastic containers and paint cans—
a constant noisy battle of the bands

We were surrounded by so much to do and see
and history so old, it made us feel young

Maude Carolan Pych