Sunday, July 25, 2021

Have You Been to Ocean Grove?

 A Poem About God's Square Mile

at the Jersey Shore...


Image credit: foursquare.com


OCEAN GROVE

 

Ocean Grove—

This tiny Christian community

comes to life in the summertime

Methodist. Camp Meeting.

Boxy tent houses

with colorful flower gardens

American flags and banners

surround The Great Auditorium

with its lighted Cross

facing the ocean

 

It’s just a mile square

Quiet. Subtle.

Not in-your-face-religion

although

church bell chimes

do break the quietude now and then

with a gentle reminder

and there’s a pavilion

on the boardwalk

where Gospel events take place

Folks can walk-in or walk by

and there’s a tabernacle

for morning worship

and solid Bible teaching

but it’s optional

 

Personally, the spiritual amenities

are what draw me

to this particular place

at the Jersey shore

 

What’s surprising

is that many vacationers come

not for the Bible Hour

not for the concerts

not to hear great preachers

from all over the world

not to worship in the great old edifice

with its magnificent pipe organ

not to sing hymns of antiquity

in fact, they come

not for the Gospel, at all

 

but for peace and quiet

for one square mile

of no hawking of tee shirts

and games of chance

roller coasters, carousels

freak shows and body piercing

in fact, there’s nothing for sale

on the boardwalk

and no alcohol for sale

in the grove

 

No, they come

for a sandy beach

and ocean spray

quaint Victorians, B & Bs

curiosity shops on Main

and shady sidewalk dining

oh! and ice cream at Nagle’s or Day’s

 

and they know they can rely upon

good old fashioned

Ocean Grove wholesomeness

and Christian acceptance

even if they’re not necessarily

seeking the Christ of Christianity

 

…and to my way of thinking

stand to miss out on the Best

this precious little gem

has to offer

 

Maude Carolan Pych


Want to read more poems?


Here I am at Barnes & Noble

with a copy of my book,

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

You can order it online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

For information: www.maudecarolanpych.net


Sunday, July 18, 2021

Looking for Jesus...

 Every month Pastor Steve selects one of my inspirational poems to feature at Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, New Jersey. The poem is set up decoratively, placed in a frame and broadsides are available for the taking. This month we are featuring a timely new poem. I've also decided to share it here on my blog this week. Every opportunity to share my poetry is a blessing to me and I pray the poems are a blessing to you...


Image credit: raydowning.com


I’M LOOKING INTO THE SKY

I’m looking up, up into the sky

like those disciples

at the end of the Gospel of Luke

as they watched Jesus ascend

gloriously into Heaven

 

and thinking about those men in white

who told them Jesus will return

in the same way

descending through the clouds

 

so I’m peering intently into cloudscapes

If my eyes could send lasers upward

to burn through them

perhaps I’d see more

perhaps I’d see Him

 

perhaps He’s getting ready

to return

 

I hear of wars and rumors of wars

watch the nightly news to find

people worried about the pandemic

and variants and global warming

There’ve been slashings on subways

People are depressed and agitated and angry

They’re demonstrating aggressively

pushing, shouting, stabbing, and shooting

There’s unbridled violence and mayhem

It’s obvious, many have plainly forgotten

how to love one another

 

which isn’t surprising

since so many of Jesus’ teachings

have been cast aside

and honor, glory, and praise

are being withheld from Him

 

so I’m praying for repentance

and revival and pleading

for people to return to God’s Word

and His loving ways

 

Meanwhile, more than ever

it feels like the end times—

 

so I keep looking up

peering through breaks

in the clouds, gazing deeply

into the high blue heavens

 

watching to see

 

if my Jesus is coming down

 

Maude Carolan Pych


Want to read more poems?

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon & Barnes & Noble.

www.maudecarolanpych.net


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Summer Vacation

 My favorite summer place...

Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

Photo credit: kidsunplugged.org


Photo by Maude


CAMP MEETING WEEK

 

An hour and a world away

is a charming place we love to stay,

where time stands still a little while,

in fact, some call it, “God’s Square Mile.”

 

Our spiritual retreat vacation

at this gem within our nation

is where we find more than we seek,

at Ocean Grove, Camp Meeting Week.

 

The Great Auditorium’s surrounded

by quaint tent houses, abounded

by flower gardens, every hue;

coral, magenta, lavender blue.

 

Great preachers come from far and near,

expectant pilgrims come to hear

the preaching and angelic choir

as the great pipe organ sends its fire

 

of resounding music through the air,

inviting all who will to prayer.

All this takes place beside the sea

in a grove of sweet tranquility.

 

Stroll tented lanes in ocean breeze,

past tabernacle, B & Bs;

Victorian landmarks give a show

of “painted ladies” row on row.

 

Visit eateries, little stores

and take the garden trolley tour.

This Jersey shore town gives to each

respite, chapels, sandy beach,

 

a quiet boardwalk and pavilion,

where perhaps, more than a million

over the years have stopped and heard

Gospel concerts and God’s good Word.

 

So come, find more than you may seek

at Ocean Grove, Camp Meeting Week.

 

Maude Carolan Pych


Would you like to read more of Maude's poetry?


"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"
by Maude Carolan Pych
is available online at Amazon & Barnes & Noble.
For more information visit her website
at www.maudecarolanpych.net


 

 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

The Statue of Liberty

4th of July, 1984

 A Star-Spangled Day

In Our Family's History...

Frederick Leo Harris, July 4, 1984


UNCLE FRED AND THE TORCH OF MISS LIBERTY

In memory of Frederick Leo Harris

 

Uncle Fred was an unassuming kind of guy—

a master crane operator who ran

a long-necked crane for Canger, Inc.

He never boasted about it

didn’t speak of the special skills required

or dangers or the scope

of projects he was working on

 

nor did we even think to ask

except perhaps to inquire, conversationally

about where he was working

It could have been Jersey

or New York or sometimes Pennsylvania

He just put on his work clothes each morning

put in his eight hours, and came home

to their three room apartment

in Paterson, every night for dinner

 

On the 4th of July in 1984

Uncle Fred was the engineer

chosen to remove the original torch

from the hand of Lady Liberty

 

That particular Independence Day

marked the start of restorations

on the Statue of Liberty, with completion

targeted for her 100th birthday, in 1986

 

I don’t recall our uncle telling us

about it in advance. If he had

we undoubtedly would’ve been there

with our young children

to witness his feat

 

He probably dressed for work that morning

just like every other day

had his coffee, drove into the city

got himself to Liberty Island

and quietly set about doing 

exactly what a master crane operator

would be expected to do

 

There was a special ceremony

that Independence Day

with pomp and circumstance

a brass band and dignitaries—

 

and in the cab of the tall crane

hunched over the controls

sat our Uncle Fred, confidently

doing what needed to be done

to expertly bring down the old torch

 

The honor bestowed upon him

was completely lost on our Aunt Carol—

She was at home and unhappy

because he had to work on the holiday

and therefore they had to miss out

on normal 4th of July festivities

like a parade or a cook-out or fireworks

When a news reporter called

to ask her some questions

she let him know exactly how she felt

and what she said was directly quoted

in the newspaper the following day

 

It wasn’t until she saw a picture of him

standing next to the old torch

on the front page of the Paterson News

that she realized the illustrious way

he spent the 4th. Suddenly

she became overcome with pride

and fussed over him to no end

even though, I’m certain, Uncle Fred

could easily have done without

anybody fussing over him, at all

 

The original torch is on permanent display

in the base of the Statue of Liberty

with a plaque telling of its removal

and the statue’s restoration that followed

It includes no mention of our uncle’s name

which, surely, would not have bothered him

 

but we know, and we’re proud

and this poem is written to keep

that special memory of him alive

 

Maude Carolan Pych


Happy Birthday, America!


The above poem appears in my memoir in poetry,

"Wonderhoods"


For ordering information

visit my website at www.maudecarolanpych.net

or inquire via email to maudecpych@gmail.com.






Sunday, June 27, 2021

A 4000 Year Old Well

 

Image credit: netours.com


A CUP OF WATER FROM JACOB’S WELL

Israel Pilgrimage—1986

 

We arrive at Shechem

and make our way

to Jacob’s Well

 

It surprises me to find

this ancient water source

that I first read about in Genesis

still operating

 

and I’m astonished

to be offered

a refreshing cupful

drawn deeply

from a bucket

on a rope

 

The water is clear and cool

and tastes ordinary, but

what can be ordinary

about water drawn

from the very well

of the old patriarch

built 4000 years ago

the very well

where Jesus revealed Himself

as the Messiah

to a woman of Samaria

 

I purchase a small ceramic urn

filled with an ounce or so

of life’s most basic sustenance

It is sealed with a plug of wax

 

I’ll place it on a shelf at home

not because of any

mystical or magical powers

 

(It is ordinary water, after all)

 

but to remind me

of how far back in time

God’s amazing story goes

 

Maude Carolan Pych


Here I am holding a copy of my book,

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

published by Elm Hill press.

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

maudecarolanpych.net

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