Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sunflower Joy!

I've been sitting in my beautiful sunflower garden, delightfully writing new sunflower poems...but for now, I've gone into my files and selected an old favorite to share with you.

Maude's selfie.
Photo was taken in her sunflower garden

SUNFLOWERS

Lafayette, New Jersey, September 1, 2001


God’s abundance wows me
from a sprawling field of sunflowers
which tower above
on thick woody stalks

They lift great ochre heads
framed in ragged haloes
of yellow gold
to shine sunrays upon me
like God’s own radiant face
amid a communion of saints
and I must smile back

Their leaves
are big green hearts
In their midst
my own heart
grows and greens

How God loves me!
He astonishes His child
with wondrous whimsies

Soon, when the season ends
they’ll just nod their weary heads
and shed their golden haloes
on the ground

and bequeath their gift of seed
to ravens of the air
which will feast festively
upon God’s abundance
unto them

Maude Carolan


Maude's sunflower garden


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sunnier Every Day...

Sunflower Row...

My Sunflower Row gets sunnier every day!


Three Poems:

HAIKU

Lion of Judah
God’s Face in a sunflower
His mane is ablaze

Maude Carolan Pych


HAIKU IV 

God shines joy! Big! Bold!
Earth umber haloed in gold.
Sunflower. Full bloom.

Maude Carolan


 
A beauty from my garden.




BRINGING HOME THE SUN


Lafayette, New Jersey, September 1, 2001 

We took a late summer drive to Lafayette,
to see if sunflowers were shining yet.
We cruised through the countryside, lush and green
to a great golden field on Route Fifteen.
It was a most glorious sight to see,
for my hubby, Cousin Marie and me.

Leo stayed comfortably in the car;
Marie and I walked to the field, not far,
with sharpened clippers already in hand,
we sought the best sunflowers in the land;
but we did not seek, for Heaven’s sake,
giant bumble bees and slithery snakes
which certainly lurked in the open field.
We just aimed to cut an abundant yield
of glorious flowers with petals gold
oblivious of the perilous toll!

I was dressed for outdoors in summer heat;
suntanned arms, strappy sandals on my feet;
but I couldn’t turn back, I’m not that sort
and Marie was with me, a brave good sport!
Marie stood near in the wild grasses
and helped select from among the masses
of gigantic beauties, stately and high
while watching the earth and watching the sky
for creatures squirming and creatures flying.
I cut, quivering…there’s no denying.
If a creature had brushed against my flesh
I would have suffered cardiac arrest!

No snake bites! No bee stings! We filled the car
with bright flowering suns, quite without par!
At home I arranged them in pretty pots;
photographed and enjoyed them…lots and lots!
But, next year I shall be much more astute…
bug repellant, long sleeves, my highest boots!

Maude Carolan

The above poem was written days before the tragic event that changed all of our lives on 9/11/01. Leo F. Carolan and Cousin Marie Gioia have both gone home to be with Our Lord. This poem is in loving memory of both of them.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The First Sunflower of Summer

THE FIRST SUNFLOWER of summer
has burst into bloom in my garden.
I've planted a whole row of them.
In a few days my backyard
will be GLORIOUS!

Photo credit: thespruce.com

SUNFLOWERS MAKE ME SMILE

Sunflowers make me smile—
because they’re absolutely outrageous!
They’re taller than a beanstalk
and way, way larger than a flower should be

They easily pass me in height
and keep right on growing
Each stately stalk and its sturdy leaves
go up, up, up like a ladder to Heaven
and when that flower bursts into bloom
it lights up my whole backyard
like the sun’s come down for a visit
All the shaggy petals are golden sunrays
shining upon me, while
the bees buzz with delight
sucking in nectar

I think God made sunflowers
to cause us to look up and take notice
of His handiwork and His generosity

His Love, too! The bigness of it!
His magnificent magnanimousness!

Oh! It’s certainly no wonder—
Whenever I see sunflowers
they always, always, always make me smile J

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, July 29, 2018

I SAW A MONARCH...

One of the simple delights of summer...
I saw a monarch this week
dancing atop a coneflower
at a butterfly garden
 in Ringwood, New Jersey

Photo credit: martydavisphotos.com




SKY DANCERS

There's something happy about butterflies.
They flit-flitter as they flutter by,
flying flowers against the azure sky.

They alight upon the milkweed, and then
they circle, soar and alight again,
toe-dancing on pink petals in the glen.

Ever dwelling in hue and sweet fragrance,
in garden splendor they flicker as they dance.
Pollination is purely happen-stance.

I delight in their overflow of joy.
(They wouldn't even know how to be coy.)
A flame of mirth! A whirligig! A toy!

Do they recall they once were grubby worms,
remember well their dark and squiggly squirms?
Reborn, now grace and beauty each affirms!

This almost seems to be sheer fantasy,
sky dancers as enchanting as can be,
springing from blossoms right in front of me!

So, merrily a-nectaring they go,
reaping and sowing sweetness in day-glow…
Seems they have learned what all of us should know.

In contemplation of their simple ways,
I wish to add their ballet to my days,
to sky dance Heavenward on wings of praise!

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Camp Meeting Week is Coming...

Camp Meeting Week 2018
in Beautiful Ocean Grove, New Jersey
Begins Sunday, July 29th

Tent houses by the Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ.
Photo credit: kidsunplugged.org


CAMP MEETING WEEK

An hour and a world away
is a charming place we love to stay,
where time stands still a little while,
in fact, some call it, “God’s Square Mile.”

Our spiritual retreat vacation
at this gem within our nation
is where we find more than we seek,
at Ocean Grove, Camp Meeting Week.

The Great Auditorium’s surrounded
by quaint tent houses, abounded
by flower gardens, every hue;
coral, magenta, lavender blue.

Great preachers come from far and near,
expectant pilgrims come to hear
the preaching and angelic choir
as the great pipe organ sends its fire

of resounding music through the air,
inviting all who will to prayer.
All this takes place beside the sea
in a grove of sweet tranquility.

Stroll tented lanes in ocean breeze,
past tabernacle, B & Bs;
Victorian landmarks give a show
of “painted ladies” row on row.

Visit eateries, little stores
and take the garden trolley tour.
This Jersey shore town gives to each
respite, chapels, sandy beach,

a quiet boardwalk and pavilion,
where perhaps, more than a million
over the years have stopped and heard
Gospel concerts and God’s good Word.

So come, find more than you may seek
at Ocean Grove, Camp Meeting Week.

Maude Carolan Pych


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
.