Sunday, December 8, 2019

"A Bethlehem Memory"

Day #8

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Photo credit: slideplayer.com
The Threshing Floor of Boaz


A BETHLEHEM MEMORY

Israel Pilgrimage II, May 1987


O little town of Bethlehem
how still we see thee lie
from the wheat field of Boaz
one pleasant mid-spring night

A zealous band of pilgrims
tracing footsteps of the Lord –
with hearts ablaze to praise
One so worthy to be adored

We huddle at the circular
stone threshing floor for wheat
with eyes fixed on the little town
so Christmas tableau sweet

We look around for shepherds
as the sun is going down
while to the strumming of guitar
we lift the joyful sound

of our voices unto Heaven
to give our gift of song…
Every carol that we know
is offered by the throng

The evening is so glorious
we do not want to leave –
Our dinners may be getting cold
but here our spirits cleave

The darkness slowly deepens
as dim starlights appear…
twilight glows with hymn-song
while in reverie, we veer

back to the old, old stories
of the night of Holy Birth
Each of us is enthralled by
this blessed bit of earth

In the distance, the townsfolk
begin to light their lights
for the routine of living
in this simply awesome site

We wonder, do they ever kneel
to kiss the hallowed ground
where they spend their everydays?
Do the amber fields resound

with ecstatic jubilation?
Do stars shoot sparks of praise
for the glorious Gift given
that precious day of days?

O little town of Bethlehem…
this night we’ll always treasure
Echoes of carols, memories
will remain forever

Pure joy overflows our hearts
for Bethlehem’s Babe, Our Lord
was born here to save sinners…
Jesus, Savior of the World!

Maude Carolan


Saturday, December 7, 2019

It Was Like Christmas...

Day #7

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Photo credit: phys.org




IT WAS LIKE CHRISTMAS
“Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly
lights, who does not change like shifting
shadows.” James 1:17

Perhaps it was a vision
or at least a vivid imagining…
It was like Christmas!
There was a great heap of presents
of various sizes,
gaily wrapped,
tied with streaming ribbons
and lustrous bows,
each with a gift tag
that bore my name.
Some presents
had already been opened,
wrappings strewn, white tissue awry,
others, wonderfully enticing,
were yet to be unwrapped.

In my spirit, I knew
they were gifts of God,
the spiritual blessings
of my life.
The open ones
represented gifts already acquired.
Some bedazzled,
those, the granted yearnings
of the prayers of my heart,
others were blessings also
though never sought in prayer,
still others were gifts
I never wanted,
gifts I’d have preferred
to return or exchange.
In time I understood
each was perfect,
selected by the Source
of all wisdom
with me alone in mind,
loving graces
spiritually working in me
creating the me
I am becoming in Him.

I look to the future
anticipating
wondrous gifts
still unopened.

Maude Carolan



Here is Maude's new book:
Behold the Lamb...poetically!


To order, go to www.maudecarolanpych.com

Friday, December 6, 2019

"The Christmas Concert"

Day #6

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Image credit: lecheileetns.com


THE CHRISTMAS CONCERT

As a mother and a father sit with other moms and dads
in a crowded auditorium waiting for their gals and lads

to perform at the Christmas concert playing flute or sax or drum
or caroling their hearts out, parents sit smiling, rapt and mum.

It doesn’t matter if their offspring forget some words or squeaks
parents just keep snapping photos. This is one of life’s sweet peaks!

Observing, it occurred to me, when I give God stammered praise
or fumble with lyrics of a hymn, His eyes do not get glazed.

My prayer need not be eloquent; my song need not be smooth
God’s tender eyes are watching me; there is nothing I must prove.

As each loving mom and dad adores their child’s song, off-key
my Heavenly Father knows my heart. He’s pleased to hear from me!

Maude Carolan Pych

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Blessed be the Lamb of God!

Day #5

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Image credit: clipartmag.com

WHAT'S THIS I SEE?

What's this I see in a feeding trough?
A lamb asleep in a bed of straw
without any blemish to behold…
the Lamb deserves a crown of gold

What's this upon crossbeams, I see?
A lamb impaled…sacrificially!
I fall to my knees before His Grace—
the Lamb looks down. I see God's face

From lintels stained with blood of lambs
to the Cross that saves from being damned—
the whole Word holds a mystery…deep!
Blood of the Lamb has saved His sheep

All glory to our Paschal Lamb
Messiah, Son of the great I AM
Who from that humble bed of straw
became our Savior…We bow in awe!

Maude Carolan


Are you looking for
an inspirational Christmas gift
for a special someone?


To order copies of my new book
"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"
go to amazon.com



Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Pfeffernusse, Anyone?

Day #4


A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Photo credit: pixelsandcrumbs.com

A NEW RECIPE

I flip through a cookbook
and select, as I sometimes do
a recipe I’ve never tried before—
a cookie, full of aromatic spices
cinnamon, nutmeg, clove
even a pinch of pepper

I stir some dark, robust molasses
and the spices into flour
butter and sugar
then roll teaspoonsful
of the thick brown batter into balls
line them neatly in rows
on cookie sheets
and slip them in the oven

Gradually the kitchen
fills with an old, familiar fragrance
I can’t immediately identify
In a few minutes, I remove a pan
from the oven, wait for the cookies to cool
then roll each one in powdered sugar
as the recipe indicates

One taste
transports me to childhood—
This is pfeffernusse!
that classic Christmas cookie
that spicy little gem I hated
the cookies that turned to rocks
clunkers at the bottom of the cookie jar

These were the cookies Mom offered
when there was no other sweet in the house
the ones that bobbed in her coffee cup
dripping as she ate them with a spoon

Today, all those mingled spices
the dash of black pepper
are pleasingly hot upon my tongue
the sweet sugar coating
the pungent aroma
are positive proof

the taste buds of my youth
have definitely
grown up

Maude Carolan Pych

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Setting Up the Manger Scene

Day #3

A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas

Maude's manger scene


SETTING UP THE MANGER SCENE

A few snowflakes drift in wintry air
as I carry the carton down the stairs
and unwrap the antique fragile things—
a manger, some camels and three kings.

I set them on the polished tabletop,
being careful not to chip or drop
them as I do. Sheep and shepherd men
are arranged as entering Bethlehem.

An angel, gilded, with one chipped wing
is affixed above; her place to sing.
There’s a cow and donkey, nibbling straw,
Joseph, kneeling, with a look of awe

and Mary, new at being mother
gazing adoringly at none other
than her swaddled, holy, infant Son…
Jesus, Our Savior, on day one.

As I move each figure, to its place,
I call upon God’s loving grace…
pray each who stand before my manger,
to Jesus will never be a stranger.

May this heirloom crèche made long ago
recall the event that sets hearts aglow.
May He be for them, as He’s been for me—

Sweet Love …for now
and through eternity.

Maude Carolan Pych



A Perfect Gift Idea...

Maude's new book:
Behold the Lamb...Poetically!


For ordering information, go to Amazon.com or:

Mary & Elizabeth

Day #2

A-Poem-a-Day
Until Christmas...

Mary & Elizabeth


MARY & ELIZABETH

A young virgin
from Nazareth was roused
by the flapping of wings
a manshape in moonbeams
and a perplexing salutation:

Greetings favored one!
The Lord is with you

It was Gabriel
an angel sent by God
who told Mary she would conceive
and bear a boy child, Jesus—
the Son of the Most High

He spoke of the Holy Spirit
and overshadowing
and of her relative, Elizabeth
who though barren
conceived in her old age—

for nothing is impossible with God

Awestruck, trembling
needing to tell someone
who did Mary go to first?
Her mother? Father?
How would they receive such news?
Or did she run to her betrothed, Joseph
expecting him to understand?

Oh, he wanted to understand
wanted to believe, but
it was unbelievable, preposterous
So, stunned, disappointed
feeling utterly deceived, Joseph
contemplated quietly sending her away

Then Mary remembered the angel
had spoken of her dear cousin, Elizabeth—
Is that why Mary hurried off
on a brave trek to the hills of Hebron…alone?

Of course, it had to be Elizabeth
aged, wise, expecting
and now acquainted, herself, with miracles

When Mary arrived at the home
of Zacharias and Elizabeth
Elizabeth’s unborn baby
leapt for joy! in her womb
and in a whirl of wondrous ecstasy
Elizabeth knew of Mary’s pregnancy
before being told

…then a psalm-like lilt of praise
sprang from Mary’s lips
extolling the great things
the Mighty One had done for her

Tender were the next three months
as the household awaited Elizabeth’s travail
(and the birth of John, the baptizer)

The women prepared their layettes
folded the swaddling-clothes
shared their magnanimous miracles
and confided maternal aspirations
as their bellies swelled

…and I like to think
Joseph ran all the way to Hebron
one day expressly to announce
his own angelic vision in a dream—
that he was to take Mary as his wife
and they would await
the miraculous birth of Jesus—together

Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Christmas at the Mall

Today is December 1st...
Time to post Poem #1 in my series of
A-Poem-a-Day Until Christmas:

Photo credit: says.com

CHRISTMAS AT THE MALL

Day after Thanksgiving, at the mall, what is this I see…
Santas sledding in the air and a tinseled Christmas tree,
a roly-poly Frosty, red-nosed Rudolph with some elves,
glittery garlands, balls, and bows, bedazzling on the shelves?
The shops are alive with music, “White Christmas,” “Jingle Bells;”
there are “ho, ho, hos,” “let it snows” and cinnamony smells.

It certainly all seems festive, so cheery and so bright,
but what oh what does it have to do with that holy night?
I cannot find a manger scene, an angel or a star,
I do not see the wisemen…wonder where the shepherds are.
I do not hear a carol or the story of the birth
of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, Who dwelled right here on Earth.

Some, it seems, have cast aside the things that matter most—
By replacing Truth with fairytales, Treasure has been lost.
My heart fills up with sorrow and causes me to prod
the fading faith of dear ones, who used to walk with God.
Lord, help us all remember the virgin and the Child…
Revive in us once strong faith that’s been waning a while.

Maude Carolan Pych


Maude's new book:
"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"
is available now