Sunday, October 14, 2018

My Favorite Book...

Photo credit: drericz.com

THIS OLD BIBLE

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 7, 2018

The Leaves are Beginning to Turn...

Photo credit: ebay.co.uk

SYMPHONY OF THE WOODS
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