Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Sunflowers Along Emmaus Road"

Photo by Maude

Israel Pilgrimage—1986

Big, bodacious sunflowers
live up to their name
sun-shining a million
dazzling petal spires at us
along Emmaus Road

It is fitting
because I am ablaze
with Jesus-joy
to be here

as I think about my newly
Resurrected Lord, vanishing
at the very breaking
of the bread

astonishing the disciples
who sat with Him
at table

Those utterly bewildered disciples
whose hearts thumped
and blazed
with glory fire
as He walked with them
as He explained to them
the Holy Scriptures

2000 years ago
along this very road

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, August 20, 2017

It's Sunflower Season!

I never have much luck with sunflowers. This summer, I must have planted 200 seeds in my backyard, and some in my daughter's backyard in Ringwood, and I also gave my sister a handful of seeds. One plant survived the birds, the little creatures, and the elements. Here is a photo of my splendid sole surviving sunflower and a poem about someone I do not know who had much greater success than I, a few years ago.

Photo by Maude
of this year's sole surviving sunflower


For weeks now
I’ve been driving by a house
on Totowa Road
that holds no distinction
except for a vibrant flower garden
in front and around the side

What catches my glance
and causes me to smile
are perhaps thirty or forty
big golden sunflowers
shouting for attention

Today I printed
eight sunflower poems
folded them neatly
and placed them in an envelope
decorated with a scribbled sketch
of a solitary sunflower
and a note saying
“I love them, too!”
and left the envelope
by the front door
of the house on Totowa Road

Sometimes I leave bereavement poems
on a table at a neighborhood mausoleum
or give copies of The Widow’s Song
to newly widowed friends
Sometimes I mail poems
about butterflies
to people who love them
and regularly post poems on my blog
about God’s love and His mercy
with the hope
of reaching those
who need encouragement

When the one who gifted me
with a garden of sunbursts
opens the door today
I hope my simple poems
generate a smile

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, August 13, 2017

At the Mount of Beatitudes

Photo credit:

Israel Pilgrimage—1986

At the Mount of Beatitudes
Wayne[1] suggests we each find
a quiet spot to spend
time alone with God

so I stroll along a pathway
surrounding the church
built in the name of
the Lord’s great message
to the multitudes

In a few moments I hear baa baaing
and follow the sound to the top of a hill
with sheep and a shepherd in view below

I sit on a low wall
to watch and carefully listen
for the voice of my Shepherd
amid plaintive bleating
I, too, am one of His sheep
I, too, have things to tell him
and don’t want to miss
anything He might have to say

This is communion—
a lamb with her Shepherd

I bask awhile in sweet serenity
aware of a holy presence
as the sheep graze
and the shepherd, like Jesus
carefully tends his flock

Afterward, we pilgrims come together—
No one else heard the sheep
No one else saw the shepherd

The interlude was for me alone
a gift from my God—
a simple blessing
to one little lamb He loves

Maude Carolan Pych

[1] Wayne Monbleau—Pilgrimage leader and host of “Let’s Talk About Jesus” radio program.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Metamorphosis of a Butterfly

Photo credit:


Once I was a caterpillar, dwelling upon the earth,
Crawling along day by day, adept at feigning mirth.
I only knew the earthy life, I thought that that was it;
I took what terra firma gave, the pleasures and the grit.
There was no beauty in me.  No one ever looked here twice,
Few cared if I were evil, no one knew if I were nice.
I was only concerned with myself, what the earth could give,
Yet, inside I was sensing a far better way to live.
Instinct led me to spin a thread and weave a neat cocoon;
I became a living mummy, wrapped tight within my tomb.
What was happening to me?  I tried to kick and shout,
“Help me!  Open up this thing!  I want to get right out!”
No one heard and I was powerless, so I went to sleep,
Not knowing what was ahead of me, feeling something deep.
I don’t know how much time went by within my tiny tomb,
But sensed that I was being changed, as one inside a womb.
Finally, instinct worked in me.  There was a sudden urge
To break out of my chrysalis and from the dark emerge.
Somehow, I then received the strength to burst my being free;
Alas, the golden Light broke through and there was a new me!
I took some time to understand, some time to wonder why,
Then I just shook myself a bit and I began to fly!
And `lo, I was so beautiful, and `lo, I saw the sun...
Oh, after living on the earth, soaring was great fun!
A wretched worm was I no more, I knew that that was true,
I was reborn and I became a creation wholly new!
A butterfly!  A butterfly!  I received my wings,
Glorious splendors of the Heavens, all the higher things.
All old things have passed away, they’ll never come again;
I’ve set my mind on things above, on these I will attend.
Now, even when I swoop to earth and walk upon the ground,
I’ll never be a worm again...I’m Butterfly...glory bound!
Praise God for metamorphosis, it’s by His loving grace
That I’m a new creation now, and I shall see His Face.

Maude Carolan