Sunday, June 24, 2018

Praise Him With Dancing

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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,
his spirit whirling
in the dance.
Joy softened his face
into enthralled expressions
as praise
flowed fluently
from upturned lips.

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
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I've written several poems about my father
and read two of the
m at poetry readings
this weekend. Here is one of them:

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

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Communing With God

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Alone, in the morning
except for gulls, pipers
and a few fishermen far out on the jetties
I walk along the shoreline
Fringes of waves
rhythmically roll over my sandy feet
as I worship You with quiet song—
The soft ocean rumble, my accompaniment

At rose-toned dusk
I stroll a mountain path lush in deepening shadows
Cognizant of my serenity, I appreciate the harmony
designed into creation by You

Cozy in my bed
in the quiet moments before slumber meets me
my pre-sleep meditation is prayerful thanks
for the blessings that surround me, and
the giving heart of You.

Maude Carolan

This poem began with an early morning stroll along
Ocean Grove Beach, vacation's end, the summer of `94.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Celebrate Israel!

What a Day!!!

Today is my Birthday.
 There've been joyous celebrations morning till night
and I'm truly blessed by every birthday wish.

This is also is the day
of the Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC...

With that in mind,
I've selected a poem to feature
from my Holy Land Pilgrimage collection: 

Israel Pilgrimage—2006

It’s nighttime—
We arrive at Mount Scopus
overlooking Yerushalayim[1]
The stars glimmer
in the heavens
and The City is lit up
like the jewel of all the earth

Wishful, I want
there to be fireworks
want the surroundings
to express the excitement
stirring inside of me—
Suddenly, I hear fireworks
boom, boom, booming
although I cannot see
their luminous splendors
bursting in the sky

We partake of the fruit
of the vine—
our cup of blessing
as we prepare to enter in

Our rabbi prays
for the peace of Jerusalem
prays the Shema[2]
prays the Shehekianu[3]
covers his head
with a magnificent tallit[4]
embellished with
the Star of David and the Lamb
He lifts his hands and prays
the Aaronic Benediction

Our joy cannot be contained—
This is the City of Our Great King

I watch a tear
trickle down
my rabbi’s face

Maude Carolan Pych

[1] Jerusalem
[2] The central prayer in the Jewish prayerbook (Siddur)
[3] A common Jewish prayer to celebrate special occasions
[4] prayer shawl

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Friendship with God...

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"…there is a friend
who sticks closer than a brother."
Proverbs 18:24

Sometimes I go to God's house, sometimes He visits mine;
He often comes to work with me and helps me pass the time.

He's with me in the kitchen when I cook and as I scrub;
I meditate upon Him while lolling in the tub.

He keeps me company driving and when I take a walk;
God and I stroll quietly and other times, we talk.

God's there when I am shopping and watering my flowers;
He inspires my writing, in computer-weary hours.

He's in me as I minister and hears me as I pray,
lifts me up when I am downcast and helps me through the day.

He sups with me at table and He joins me in my rest.
Oh, when we are communing, they're the times I like the best.

God loves it when I worship Him and glorify His Name;
He shines His face upon me and ignites me with His flame!

I read to know God better, for He knows all about me;
fills sleepy thoughts at bedtime with His sweet tranquility.

How blessed I am to know Him! Love overflows my heart!
I count upon His faithfulness and know we'll never part.

My heart is filled with gladness every moment that I spend
with the Creator of the Universe, Holy God, my Friend.

Maude Carolan

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Pentecost Sunday

Congratulations to my grandson,
Aiden Randy Thompson,
who received the Sacrament of  Confirmation, today
at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church,
Manasquan, New Jersey.

God bless you, Aiden!

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In remembrance of Pentecost 1979—
The Upper Room Charismatic Prayer Group at the Parish Center,
St. Catherine of Bologna RC Church, Ringwood, NJ—
Father Matthew Gaskin, pastor

Here I am, Lord
at the podium in The Upper Room
reading my poems again

The Upper Room—
room of my second birth
where thirty-five years ago
after questioning Your existence
and the meaning of life
the truth of the Gospel became real to me—

Yes, it was here, in this very place
that Father Matthew delivered the prayer
for those of us who desired to be Born Again
and filled with the Holy Spirit—
a birth both spiritual and virginal
from the Seed of God alone
a prayer that changed our lives
completely and forevermore

There was no primal cry at our rebirth
but exultant cries of “Hallelujah!”
and Pentecostal utterances
No amniotic fluid
but streams of Living Water
and Second Chapter of Acts tongues of fire
that we couldn’t see with our eyes
but knew in the realm of the Spirit
were blazing above our heads

In a wonderful and mysterious way
that night and this room was reflective
of another Pentecost; another upper room
another descent of the Spirit—
somewhere in Jerusalem, 2000 years ago

We became new creations that night
like those believers of old—
burning with Light
that has not grown dim

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Mother's Day Tribute to My Mom

My Beautiful Mother

Frances Longo Walsh


Never had the opportunity--
missed the privilege
of doting upon my old mother.
Mother died
of a heart attack
at fifty-one

Watch with envy--
sweet old mothers
with rosy rouged cheeks
and charming smiles
carefully navigating
footed canes
or wheeled walkers
Dutiful daughters
accompany them
in doctor’s waiting rooms
taking their tweed coats
making small talk
about the grandchildren
and what Aunt So And So
will be serving
the church ladies for lunch
Blessed daughters
who left beds unmade
dishes in the sink
who listen attentively
to doctor’s instructions
see that Medicare
and supplementary insurances
are processed properly
who assist them
with their coats
and to their cars
stopping at pharmacies
on the way home

Maude Carolan

My mother went to be with the Lord a week before my 22nd birthday and I've missed her sweet presence in my life all these years. She was selfless and humble, a diligent help-meet to my father and simply the dearest mother one could ever have.

The above poem received an honorable mention in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest.

Happy Mother's Day
to mothers, everywhere...

God bless you all!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Life From the Dead Sea

Thank you, Karen Lee Ramos
for hosting a delightful afternoon of poetry, today,
at the Barn Gallery, Ringwood Manor State Park.
I enjoyed reading poems from my book
and listening to all the other fine poets.

And now...another poem about the Dead Sea:

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Israel Pilgrimage—1986

There’s something mysterious
yet wondrous
about this great water body
that lies smooth and still
in the midst of utter barrenness
so salty, one can actually climb
and walk upon giant saline mushrooms
which rise up from sea bottom
at the lowest ebb on Earth

For millenniums it has taken
from the Galilee and Jordan
without giving—
refusing sustenance
to fish and flora
hoarding its rich minerals
and precious oils which intensify
in ongoing evaporation

People flock to its shores
from far continents
to bathe, buoyed
in lifeless waters that heal
They even slather their bodies
with its dark therapeutic mud
receiving restoration
from the deadest dead

One great day
the mighty arm of God
will reach down, down, down
to touch its lifeless liquidity
with miraculous rebirth
Its waters will spring to life!
Fish will thrive
Trees will bear magnificent fruit
along its lush and fertile shores

Maude Carolan

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Poetry Reading, Sunday, May 6th

Poetry Reading, Sunday, May 6, 2--3:30
The Barn Gallery, Ringwood Manor State Park
Image credit: RMAA.jpeg

Featuring poets: Anna Appel
Edytta Wojnar, Joan Page-Durante
& Maude Carolan Pych

Refreshments & Open Reading to follow

1304 Sloatsburgh Road, Ringwood, NJ

Hosted by Karen Lee Ramos

And now...This week's featured poem:
Come, take a dip
in the Dead Sea, Israel
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Israel Pilgrimage—2006

Earlier today
while bussing
through the region
brilliant sunrays illuminated
the Dead Sea
bedazzling us
with sparkling expanses
of cerulean and turquoise

Now, amid evening shadows
some of us slip into the sea

There is ample darkness
so we dare to reach down
for handfuls of rich
black, therapeutic mud
and slather it lavishly
over our face and body

It’s November—
the air is cool
as is the sea
we linger
bobbing buoyantly
in extreme saltiness

as the precious muck
squishes and oozes
through our toes
reminding us
of when we were kids

  Maude Carolan Pych