Sunday, May 19, 2024

It's Pentecost!

Pentecost - Acts, chapter 2


 

ACTS, CHAPTER 2

 

Sometimes—

when I read my Bible

I imagine myself

there, in the rumpled, dog-eared pages

where and when remarkable things

were happening

 

For instance—

Oh, I wish I could’ve been

in the room that morning in Jerusalem

on the Day of Pentecost

when an astonishing sound

of rushing wind came from Heaven

and filled the place with the Holy Spirit

 

wish I could’ve been among

the crowd of bewildered people

clutching garments and belongings

securing food baskets and money bags

amid the sound of whirring wind

wondering what was going on

 

I would’ve seen with startled eyes

blazing tongues of fire appear

then split and rest above us all

would’ve heard the Galileans

miraculously uttering languages

they did not know

proclaiming good news

to people of every nation

 

Oh, joy! Euphoria!

 

I would’ve heard

preposterous ridicule and accusations

that we were drunk with wine

Drunk with wine so early in the morning!

 

Had I been there, I would’ve seen

Peter stand with his brethren

and quote the prophet Joel

and speak of Jesus

Crucifixion, Resurrection

and call us to repent

 

and finally, would’ve witnessed

three thousand souls receive salvation

and I would’ve been in that number

 

Oh! How great that would’ve been

How exciting to imagine

 

but, I didn’t need to be there

God had other plans—

 

On another Holy Pentecost

His Spirit came to rest on me

just as surely as it did

on the early believers

in Jerusalem, that day

 

and just the same as they

I have been changed

 

forever

 

Maude Carolan Pych



To read more of Maude's inspirational poetry

consider ordering her book online.

It's titled, "Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

and is available at

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.


www.maudecarolanpych.net

Sunday, May 12, 2024

A Tribute to My Mother

 Happy Mother's Day

to all mothers

and a loving tribute to mine...

Frances Longo Walsh - 1915-1966


MOTHER

In loving memory of Frances Longo Walsh (1915-1966)

 

I recall the way

my mother’s whole body jiggled when she laughed,

her sweet, shy smile,

that she understood Italian, but never spoke it,

the utter simplicity of her desires...

never asking for or receiving much

and not once complaining.

She had all she wanted, a home and family.

 

I remember the helpmeet working side by side

with our father, clearing the land

and building our stucco home.

 

My mind’s eye sees her plucking

chicken feathers in the backyard,

walking uphill home from the bus stop,

huffing, puffing;

scratching her itching back

against the bedroom door frame;

camping, just to please us children,

though it was more work than fun for her.

 

Recall, as if it were yesterday,

the flowery apron over her housedress

with its chain of safety pins

and her elastic band bracelets,

and Mother, standing at the stove, stirring

the bubbling red sauce in the big enamel pot.

 

Little Mommy, four-foot-ten and overweight—

She served herself the skimpiest portions,

never ate dessert, but occasionally gave in

to one indulgence: a crusty Italian bastone

from Minardi’s, sliced and spread with a pat of butter.

 

Hindsight reveals her quick on her feet

in the yard goods department at Quackenbush’s,

where customers remembered her

for smiles as quick as her feet.

 

When she arrived home, she changed her clothes

and aired out one of her two work dresses

on the clothesline off the back porch.

 

In retrospect, I see her

rolling her dark hair back into two neat curls

above her forehead,

applying red lipstick to her upper lip,

bringing both lips together to transfer color

to the lower, then, blotting.

 

Never attended high school, but

she could add columns of numbers

rapidly, in her head.

She read the newspaper nightly,

and completed the crossword puzzle.

 

My memory flashes to her relaxing evenings

in our parlor, in the old tufted chair,

watching Alfred Hitchcock or Lucy or

Barbara Stanwick in, “The Big Valley”.

She never missed the easy crooning of Perry Como.

He was her favorite. (He’d been a barber, like her father.)

 

I remember it pleased our father

that she always waited up for him

till he arrived home after working

the night shift at Wright’s.

 

Yes, I still see clearly, her dear kerchiefed head,

which Gramma remarked, made her look

like a peasant in a babushka.

 

Remember trying to convince her to hike her hemlines,

wear “Kiss Me Pink” lipstick, update her hair style,

learn to drive.

 

Flashback to hear her inviting my date

to come in for a cup of tea at our kitchen table

when he brought me home.

 

Vividly, I recollect the day

she was curled up tight on the couch.

She didn’t want me to call the ambulance,

though her hernia was strangling,

didn’t want to spoil plans

my sister and I had with our friends.

I disobeyed. The doctors operated just in time,

before gangrene set in.

 

My mind’s eye still sees tears in her eyes

when she came to my wedding

without my father.

 

And I remember her joy

to learn both daughters were pregnant, however,

 

she died before her grandchildren were born.

 

Oh! How much her grandchildren have missed

for never having known her—

 

which is one of the reasons

I’ve written this poem


Maude Carolan


*The above poem was originally published in the Paterson Literary Review.



Would you like to read more poems?


"Behold the Lamb...poetically"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is a book of poems

about the Birth, Death & Resurrection of Jesus,

written over a period of 30 years.

It is available online

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.


www.maudecarolanpych.net


Sunday, May 5, 2024

"The Iris Garden"

 It's May!

Irises are getting ready to burst into bloom.

It's time to plan my annual visit to the

Presby Memorial Iris Garden, in Montclair, NJ...


Presby Memorial Iris Garden, Montclair, NJ

Photo credit: essexcountyparks.org

 


THE IRIS GARDEN

 

I delightedly strolled

along an iris rainbow

one effulgent Sunday in May

while would-be VanGoghs

painted under sunbrellas.

 

God could’ve made irises gray,

but He’s as lavish with color

as He is with love.

 

Maude Carolan






"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.


www.maudecarolanpych.net



 


Sunday, April 28, 2024

"Hallelujah Hands"

 

Image credit: pastoreid.com



HALLELUJAH HANDS

“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer,

without anger or disputing.” 1 Timothy 2:8 NIV

 

Some lift one

others, both

chest-high, chin high

Some reach upward

ceilingward, skyward

stretching Heavenward

reaching for

His hem

 

Soft young graceful hands

with squared airbrushed fingertips

Pudgy, fidgety, child hands

copying his daddy hands

Brown hands, pale hands

old bulging vein hands

Just plain hands

hands with bands

hands flashing rings

stones sparkling

Calloused hands, splintered hands

rough, red dishpan hands

Cold hands, warm hands

peanut butter and jelly hands

Salon hands

nails lacquered red

rose pink or pearly

 

Tambourine shaking

banner waving

clap clapping

Bible clutching

baby holding

tear wiping

clenching, wrenching

God beseeching hands

 

Hands clasping the hand

of another

hands signing praise

for ears that cannot hear

hands folded

serenely in a lap

 

All beautiful

all holy

all His children’s

hallelujah hands

 

Maude Carolan


More Poems?
"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"
by Maude Carolan Pych
is available online
at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.

www.maudecarolanpych.net

Sunday, April 21, 2024

A Poem for Passover

 Today I'll share a poem for Passover...

Image credit: haggadot.com


EXTRAORDINARY MATZOH

 

It’s only ordinary unleavened bread

Ordinary matzoh

On an earthen plate

It probably came

From a supermarket shelf

A Manischewitz box

Ordinary matzoh

Blessed for Passover

Oh, but when I take it

And cradle it lovingly

In my hands

Break it and bless it

It is for me

Most Holy Bread

Good Friday Bread

Body of the Lamb that was slain

With my cup of Redemption

Communion Bread

Lechem without hametz

Without yeast of sin

Pierced

Striped

Bruised

Shrouded afikomen

Hidden

Then resurrected

With glory

I partake

Alleluia, alleluia

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

 

Maude Carolan

 

The above poem has been published in William W. Francis’ book, 

Celebrate the Feasts of The Lord. 

Crest Books.



Would you like to read more poems by Maude?


"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.


www.maudecarolanpych.net

Sunday, April 14, 2024

"The Emmaus Triptych"

Here is one more Emmaus Road poem...



 

THE EMMAUS TRIPTYCH

Luke 24:13-35

 

I. THE UNNAMED FRIEND

 

Cleopas and friend walked and talked

with lumbering gaits and downcast faces

shining hopes of sweet redemption

dashed and obliterated

 

They asked of each other the Why question

for if anyone had come to fill those old prophecies

surely it had seemed to be Him

that Jesus they'd come to know

through signs and wonders

that appeared to be miraculous

 

Their so-called Messiah had been crucified

was dead and gone. Yes, gone, gone, gone!

Even His cold dead body was missing

from the tomb that had been sealed—

 

He approached them

in the midst of their perplexity

on the road to Emmaus

He walked with them, talked with them

they even felt His fire

but didn't know who He was

 

and strange as that may seem

how often have I been

the unnamed friend of Cleopas?

I, too, profess to know Him, know Him well

yet fail to recognize Him along the road

 

II. THE STRANGER

 

Taking the barley loaf in his hands

the stranger lifted it

 

Baruch ata Adonai

Eloheynu Melech ha Olam

ha motzie lechem

min ha'aretz

 

He tore it, offered it, and just as it fell

into reaching grasps

their astonished eyes recognized Him

and in that instant

He utterly vanished from their sight!

 

Leaping from the table, Cleopas and his friend

stumbled over each other

looking under, over, around and around

knowing even as they did

it was True after all

 

As they looked at each other

their disbelief became relief

the sweet awakening of a deep Belief

 

for Truth visited them along the way

joined them at their table, broke their humble bread

They asked each other

 

Were not our hearts burning

as He talked with us on the road

and opened the Scriptures to us?

 

Now, blazing temples of Holy Fire

they suddenly knew their once shattered hearts

would never cool again

 

III. MY EMMAUS

 

When I first found You, or You found me

I thought I'd go from strength to strength

pinnacle to pinnacle, joy to joy

and so it was for a season

when love was new

 

then the whirlwind came

thrashing through my world

upending all my securities

leaving me stunned, broken, alone

certain I would die

 

so I waited for You to save me

waited for prayers pleaded at Your scarred feet

to avail their just reward

for I believed in You, trusted, hoped

Eyes veiled, I couldn't find You

failed to recognize You along the road

 

Had I believed in vain?

 

Then You began to speak

not audibly, but  whenever I opened Your Word

Radiance, Glory, Unfailing Love

sprang from the page and became manifest

My heart blazed! I began to shine!

 

Now, on the other side of sorrow

I dare not forget my burning heart,

Your Glorious Presence

so I abide, remembering

it is You, my Jesus

Who walks with me along the road

 

Maude Carolan


More Poems?


"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.


www.maudecarolanpych.net

Sunday, April 7, 2024

"Along Emmaus Road"

 

"Meeting the Christ on the Road to Emmaus"

by Daniel Bonnell


ALONG EMMAUS ROAD

Luke 24 & Isaiah 53 NASB

 

I’m sitting in the kitchen

with my Bible open

reading about the men

who were walking to Emmaus

the Sunday following the Crucifixion

 

thinking how bewildered they were

and dismayed that the one

they supposed was their savior was gone—

He died upon that Cross on Friday

leaving their hopes completely dashed

 

and I’m thinking about Jesus

joining them on their journey

as a complete stranger

bringing the hope of the Gospel

as He explained about Himself in the Tanakh

without revealing that they were actually walking

the seven miles to Emmaus

with their newly Resurrected Lord

 

I flip through the pages

and see Jesus handwritten in the margins

of the Old Testament, over and over

wherever I’ve discovered Him anew

and recall each exciting revelation

 

and imagine their amazement

as they listened to Jesus

revealing Himself as He spoke

about Moses and the Prophets

particularly when He came to the part

about the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53

How exciting it had to have been to hear it

from the lips of the Suffering Servant, Himself—

 

Despised and forsaken

a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief

smitten of God and afflicted

pierced for our transgressions

crushed for our iniquities

by whose scourging we were healed

 

Who like a lamb was led to the slaughter

Who like a sheep, was silent before its shearers

 

assigned a grave with wicked men

but was with a rich man in death

 

He rendered Himself as a guilt offering

and God would prolong His days

 

Jesus…Jesus…Jesus

 

I visualize the men

clutching their burning hearts

 

When they reached their destination

they invited the stranger to stay with them

because the hour was late

 

and as they gathered around a table

to partake of an evening meal

Jesus lifted a loaf to bless—

 

Suddenly their eyes beheld

His nail-pierced hands!

 

and as He broke their humble bread

they recognized Him

 

In that instant Jesus vanished!

 

but the words He spoke

along the road that day

were permanently seared

upon their hearts

 

so they rose from the table

and hurried off that very hour

all the way back to Jerusalem, in the dark

to tell the disciples of all the wonders

that happened that remarkable day

 

Maude Carolan Pych


More Poems?


"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.


www.maudecarolanpych.net