Sunday, June 20, 2021

A Poem About My Father

 Happy Father's Day!

Let me introduce you to my father...

Frank H. Walsh (1912-1985)


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 motorboats,

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


The above poem appears in my 411-page

memoir in poetry titled, Wonderhoods.


Ordering information can be found on my website or blog:

www.maudecarolanpych.net

http://maudespoems.com

Email: maudecpych@gmail.com


Sunday, June 13, 2021

Beautiful Butterflies

 See the pretty flowers dancing in the sky...


Image credit: wired.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 happenstance.

 

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 gracefully on wings of praise!

 

Maude Carolan Pych



Here I am with a copy of my book,

Behold the Lamb...poetically!

It's a compilation of poems about the Birth, Death & Resurrection of Jesus

You can order a copy online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

For more information, visit my website at

www.maudecarolanpych.net

Sunday, June 6, 2021

"Metamorphosis"

 A Springtime Poem...

Photo credit: martydavisphotos.com


METAMORPHOSIS

 

Once I was a caterpillar, dwelling upon the earth,

crawling along day by day, adept at feigning mirth.

I only knew the earthy life; I thought that that was it;

I took what terra firma gave, the pleasures and the grit.

There was no beauty in me.  No one ever looked here twice,

Few cared if I were evil; no one knew if I were nice.

I was only concerned with myself, what the earth could give,

yet, inside I was sensing a far better way to live.

Instinct led me to spin a thread and weave a neat cocoon;

I became a living mummy, wrapped tight within my tomb.

What was happening to me?  I tried to kick and shout,

“Help me!  Open up this thing!  I want to get right out!”

No one heard and I was powerless, so I went to sleep,

not knowing what was ahead of me, feeling something deep.

I don’t know how much time went by within my tiny tomb,

but sensed that I was being changed, as one inside a womb.

Finally, instinct worked in me.  There was a sudden urge

to break out of my chrysalis and from the dark emerge.

Somehow, I then received the strength to burst my being free;

Alas, the golden Light broke through and there was a new me!

I took some time to understand, some time to wonder why,

then I just shook myself a bit and I began to fly!

And `lo, I was so beautiful, and `lo, I saw the sun...

Oh, after living on the earth, soaring was great fun!

A wretched worm was I no more; I knew that fact was true,

I was reborn and I became a creation wholly new!

A butterfly!  A butterfly!  I received my wings,

glorious splendors of the Heavens, all the higher things.

All old things have passed away; they’ll never come again;

I’ve set my mind on things above, on these I will attend.

Now, even when I swoop to earth and walk upon the ground,

I’ll never be a worm again...I’m Butterfly...glory bound!

Praise God for metamorphosis, it’s by His loving grace

that I’m a new creation now, and I shall see His Face.

 

Maude Carolan


Here I am, reading from my book, "Behold the Lamb...poetically!" at the Totowa (NJ) Library, last year. The book is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For more information and links, visit my website at: www.maudecarolanpych.net.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

A Poem for Memorial Day

 Freedom Isn't Free...

Iwo Jima Memorial

pinterest.com

Memorial Day, 2021

Honor...Remember


MY ADOPTED SOLDIER

For Cpl. R. J. Roberts, USMC

America At War In Iraq – March 2003

 

The message on my computer screen

said click on The Presidential Prayer Team –

the Adopt Our Troops link

and be given a soldier to pray for

until the end of the war

 

I didn't know any soldiers

stationed in Iraq, personally

soldiers who startled us with Shock & Awe

soldiers who endured stinging sand

blazing days and shivery desert nights

Didn't know any who engaged in combat

manned planes, ‘copters and tanks

or risked biological warfare

during that arduous trek to Baghdad

Didn't know any at all

so I clicked on the website

…but was unable to access the link

 

When the morning paper arrived

the front page held a full-color photo

of a British medic

examining a newborn Iraqi baby

cradled in a cardboard box

with the flaps torn off


I placed my hand upon the soldier

 

Jesus, bring him home, whole

 

laid my hand upon the infant

 

O Lord, please have him grow up

safe and strong

in a land free of terror…

 

At work, later that morning

a co-worker approached my counter

softly singing a hymn


How lovely to hear singing

in times like these, I remarked

 

My son left Tuesday, she said

 

Our eyes locked

mother to mother

 

I'd like to adopt your son, I told her

I'll pray for him every day

until he comes home

 

He is a Marine, she said

serving in the air delivery platoon

Cpl. R. J. Roberts

He'll be on the ground

distributing supplies in Iraq

 

I know he'll return

 

Our pastor prophesied

a few years ago

that R. J. will become a preacher

 

He's not a preacher yet…

though I suppose

there's a very good chance

he may be preaching right now

 

When I got home

I fastened a yellow ribbon

to my front porch railing

 

Maude Carolan




Maude's book, "Behold the Lamb...poetically!" is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For information, visit her website at: www.maudecarolanpych.net.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Spirit Gives Life...

 Today is Pentecost Sunday

Image credit: commongoodonline.org

and the day my beautiful granddaughter, Emelia,

was Confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church, Manasquan, NJ.


Emelia Thompson (third from left) with her family.


A poem about my own personal Pentecost experience follows:


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


Here I am with a copy of my book,

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

It's available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

www.maudecarolanpych.net


Sunday, May 16, 2021

"A Good Land"

 "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

May they prosper who love you."

Psalm 122:6a


The Temple Mount, Jerusalem.

Photo credit: int.icej.org


Whenever I would travel to Israel for pilgrimage

family and friends would voice their concerns...


A GOOD LAND

“For the Lord your God is bringing

you into a good land.” Deuteronomy 8:7-9

 

Israel Pilgrimage—2006

 

My children, siblings

and friends are quick to say:

 

What’s so good about it?

 

Suicide bombers

blow themselves up

in the marketplace

and take as many with them

as possible

 

Palestinians and Israelis

throw rocks at one another

 

Bombs fly from Lebanon

 

Enemies surround

and yearn to shove Israel

into the Mediterranean Sea

 

Who needs the Middle East?

 

And yet

this is the land

where the virgin gave birth to Yeshua/Jesus

where Lazarus emerged

alive! from the tomb

where Peter walked on water

and lepers were healed

where my Savior

was crucified, rose

and promises to return

 

where the roots

of the olive tree

that I’m grafted into

reach down deep

into good soil

 

It’s a good land—

nourishing me with milk

of the living Word

and sweet honey hope

that thrives

in the center of my being

 

It is the jewel of the whole earth...

How can I not love it?

 

Maude Carolan Pych


Please join me in praying for God's will to be done

in the Middle East...



Would you like to read more poems?


Here's a copy of my book, "Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, Woodland Park, NJ.

It is also available at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

God Bless Mothers...Young & Old

 Happy Mother's Day!


My dear mother, Frances Longo Walsh

on her wedding day.


OLD MOTHERS

 

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

pleasantly

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


Note: The above poem received an honorable mention, several years ago, in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest.



"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

www.maudecarolanpych.net