Sunday, December 31, 2017
Sunday, December 24, 2017
This is the final poem in the series:
A special poem for children follows
to read to them on Christmas Eve...
Saturday, December 23, 2017
ANOTHER SILENT NIGHT
My friend Holly (who has a special
affinity with all things Christmas)
once gave me a picture
of Mary at the crib of Jesus—
She said the image of Mary
reminded her of one of my daughters
I framed the picture
and hung it on the wall
not because of any resemblance
to my daughter, but
because I was moved
by the striking look of anguish
upon Mary’s lovely face
This had to have been the day
Mary and Joseph went to the temple
to dedicate Jesus, the day
they offered two turtledoves
as a sacrifice for their firstborn son
Simeon was present when they came in
and knew immediately
by the power of the Holy Spirit
that this Child was
God’s promised Savior
He told Mary—
A sword will pierce your soul!
This silent night in Bethlehem
as Jesus lay sleeping
Mary lifts his tiny hand
to her trembling lips
She wonders about God’s marvelous plan
wonders how a Savior saves
and as she wonders, she feels
the point of an unseen sword
pressing against her flesh—
What did that wise old man mean?
There’s so much I do not know—
So much I do not want to know
Maude Carolan Pych
Friday, December 22, 2017
A personal favorite:
|Image credit: Christcenteredmall.com|
THE BABY NEXT DOOR
I saw him the other day
the baby boy who lives next door
His parents are poor Hebrews, like we are
He’s swaddled the same way we swaddle our babies
and he cries and coos just like our babies do, yet—
the brightest star I’ve ever seen
shines down upon him every night
and shepherds have left their fields
just to take a look at him
exclaiming all the while
about angels singing in the sky
Really? Angels in the sky—
One day I saw wisemen from afar
dressed in finery, ride in on camels
They were bearing costly gifts to honor him
and actually bowed prostrate
before his little cradle
I met his mother at the well, yesterday
Her name is Miriam (Mary)
She told me they’ve named him, Yeshua (Jesus)
Yeshua is a fine name. It means savior
Savior. We’ve been waiting for a savior—
Maude Carolan Pych
Thursday, December 21, 2017
The following is my 2017 Christmas poem,
marking my 30th year
of writing and sharing a poem
with family and friends at Christmastime.
|Image credit: presbydestrian.wordpress.com|
BEHOLD, THE LAMB
In a grassy field in Bethlehem
a rugged old shepherd
tenderly smooths the wooly coat
of a pregnant ewe, as she bleats in labor
almost ready to deliver her offspring
He’s been through this many times—
Patiently, the shepherd remains with her
prepared to assist as she gives birth
Immediately following the delivery, he wisely wipes,
the membrane away from the lamb’s face
so it can breathe, while the mother
instinctively licks it all over with her tongue
In a few minutes, it rises on wobbly legs
and manages a few shaky steps
Then the shepherd picks it up
and carefully examines
every limb and joint and crevice
Finding no blemish
he wraps strips of swaddling cloth
around its delicate little hooves
to protect them from splintering or cracking
He’ll raise this spotless little lamb
with utmost care—
and present it to the Levitical priests
designated for sacrifice
upon the altar at the Temple in Jerusalem
as an atonement for sin
The old shepherd
warms himself by the fire
with the younger men
when suddenly the sky is alight
with angels singing praises to God
and announcing with joy
the birth of Yeshua (Jesus), Savior of the World
Filled with great jubilation
the shepherds set off
with their flock, to honor Him
They don’t have far to travel
In a lowly stable outside an inn
they find the Babe
with His mother, Miriam (Mary)
and her husband, Yosef (Joseph)
Baby Yeshua is without blemish
swaddled and sleeping, in a make-shift cradle
that is actually a feeding trough for animals
Years go by
and in the fullness of time
the Man, Yeshua, presents Himself
to Yochanan (John), the Baptizer
on the shore of the Jordan River
As He approaches
Yochanan proclaims to all who will listen
Behold, the Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world!
A few years later
Yeshua, Son of God, the spotless Lamb
does exactly that, once and for all—
at the Cross
Maude Carolan Pych
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Today's poem contains a lesson
I know is true, but...
am still trying to learn.
|Image credit: hddfhm.com|
In a little manger, in a little town,
was born a little boy,
to a little family of little means.
He brought the world great joy!
If the Lord of All could come so small,
with the biggest, highest aim,
then why oh why must we buy and buy
for the day that bears His Name?
We shop, we trim, we bake, we cook,
we visit, we send, we party,
we run up the tally on credit cards,
the bills we pay are tardy.
While the hustle and bustle can be great fun,
sometimes it steals our peace,
sometimes the true Christmas spirit gets lost
when our busyness won’t cease.
From the little manger, the little town,
the crib of the little boy,
comes a little Christmas thought to muse,
which may heighten Christmas joy…
Let us celebrate with littleness,
become as the little Child,
with simplicity, wonder, innocence,
pure Love that’s undefiled…
and the Savior, Our Lord, who was that Child,
shall smile at us, well pleased,
“For the kingdom,” He said, “of Heaven belongs
to people such as these!”
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
|Image credit: helloilivehere.come|
ONE CHRISTMAS IN THE EARLY 5O’S
I sat with my nose pressed
against the frosty kitchen window,
staring hard into the black starry sky
looking for snowflakes,
searching for Santa in his sleigh,
straining to see a tiny red light
that might be the tip of Rudolph’s nose.
Mommy said Santa wouldn’t come
until I went to sleep,
so I put on new flannel pajamas
trimmed with red piping,
and went to bed.
I heard noises, elfin noises?
Kneeling on my bed,
peering out the window,
I spied my father
dragging evergreens from the car.
Soon I heard Mommy, Daddy,
Aunt Carol and Uncle Fred whispering,
heard them rustling around
moving things, the buzz of a drill.
I worried that the commotion
would keep Santa away,
but soon my eyes wouldn’t stay open.
I awoke very early
and roused Carol and Frankie.
We tiptoed downstairs
where we were dazzled by a fir
decorated with big bright bulbs
and bubbling candle lights,
shiny glass balls,
silvery tinsel shimmering
reflections in the glow,
and a glittering star way up on top.
Aunt Carol was curled on the sofa,
Uncle Fred lay snoring
in an overstuffed chair.
Beneath the tree was not
the perky Toni I prayed for
and asked Santa to bring
when I sat on his lap at Quackenbush’s,
but a different yellow-haired doll
with little pink curlers,
an oversized tricycle
with a fresh coat of chartreuse
and a Chinese Checkers game.
My sock, bursting with candy,
hung from a cardboard fireplace
covered with red brick printed paper.
Soon our aunt and uncle awoke,
then Mommy and Daddy.
We were told Daddy
had taken the last scrawny pines
from an abandoned tree lot
after his night shift at Wright’s.
He and Uncle Fred drilled holes
into the trunk of the best,
fitted in branches from others.
They stood it on a stand
with Daddy’s old green Lionels
Carol and I bundled and walked
to Mass at St. Bonaventure’s,
leaving our new toys behind.
When we got home,
there was sausage and eggs,
a stollen coated with powdery sugar,
filled with tiny pieces
of red, green and yellow fruit,
(which we picked out),
and mugs of rich steamy cocoa,
with a big Campfire marshmallow
melting and bobbing on top.
Monday, December 18, 2017
Are you grieving the loss of a loved one this Christmas?
In 2004, my husband, Leo F. Carolan,
went to be with the Lord.
The following poem is about mourning his loss
during that Christmas season...