Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Lenten Poem about Judas Iscariot


“…But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man!

It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Matt 26:24b (NIV)


He controlled the money bag

dipped into the money bag

dipped with Jesus at table

mingled with Him

chewed the fat

as they roasted fish

along the shore of the Galilee


Judas watched Him heal

the blind and lame

even raise the dead

was there when He fed

hungry multitudes

calmed a raging squall

and walked billow to billow

upon the storm-tossed sea


He heard Him teach

beatitudes, parables

even how to pray

observed His tenderness

as children climbed

upon His lap

observed His mercy

to those who sinned much


The day Mary anointed Jesus’ feet

with extravagant nard

and dried them

with her unpinned hair

it was he who complained

the perfume should have been sold

the money given to the poor—

yes, it was he, holder

of the purse strings


When this same apostle agreed

to betray his master

for a handful of silver

did he think

The Miracle Worker

would somehow slip away

unscathed, as He had

the day He was driven

out of the synagogue

by an angry mob

intent on throwing Him

off a cliff


Woe to the mercenary

betrayer of the Son of Man

…Mammon had always been

his greater god


Their final evening

at the Paschal meal

The Master stooped

to wash filth

from His betrayer’s feet


Judas partook of The Bread

drank of The Wine

and when Jesus dipped a morsel

and gave it to him

from His very own hand

the taker took that, too


Later, in the garden

following Jesus’ great travail

Judas approached Him

with armed cohorts

called Him, “Rabbi”

kissed the face

still damp with blood and sweat

as The Rabbi called him, “Friend”


The word echoed

echoed, echoed

in thunderous


till he flung

the tarnished coins

through temple doors

till he tied

a ragged noose around his neck

and hanged his wretched self

from a jutting twisted limb


Maude Carolan


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Some call Him Yeshua




Yes You are

the Blessed Offspring

Of I Am



Yes You are

The Paschal




Our Atonement

Flowed down


Wooden beams


your Ebbing Life


Our great Salvation


Yes it did


suffering servant

Lion of Judah

Sar ha Shalom



Yes You are

Ha Mashiach




You Are.


Maude Carolan

The English translation for the Hebrew words that appear in this poem is as follows:
Yeshua means Jesus
Sar ha Shalom means Prince of Peace
Ha Mashiach means The Messiah

Sunday, February 10, 2013

" a lamb before its shearer is silent..."


"He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,

and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,

so he did not open his mouth." Isaiah 53:7 N.I.V.


Father Bob drained the cup

and replaced the cover

on the brass pix of Hosts.

Communion over

the two old friends

settled back

in their kitchen chairs


A natural storyteller

Leo began to reminisce

about Mr. Sattel

his neighbor in Roselle Park

in the 1940's –

the best bologna maker

at the pork store nearby


Eventually the neighbor

purchased some farmland

and moved to Penn's Grove

where he built a slaughterhouse

Leo spent time there

the summer between grammar

and high school


He had watched Mr. Sattel subdue

fat squealing hogs

and tenacious bulls

Saw him and his helpers

pull resisting livestock

by a rope fed through a nose ring

to another ring in the floor

where struggling animals

were systematically


one at a time


Mr. Sattel grew hardened

even provoked to anger

by the tugging and digging in of hooves

amid the ominous odor of blood

which roused the desperate instinct

against death –


The grueling labor of slaughter

left him no energy for grief


but his steel eyes glazed over

one muggy afternoon

when he told Leo,


"I did a lamb once.


It walked right alongside me

up the ramp.


I'll never

do it




An edgy silence followed –

silent as paces of a lamb



There they sat, two white-haired friends

washed by the shed blood

of One Docile Lamb

Who walked Calvary's ramp


two thousand years ago


Maude Carolan

Lent begins this week. 


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Praise living color!!!



Across the aisle, two pews up

stands an attractive, middle-aged woman

with springy mahogany curls

corkscrewing out in various directions


She turns her head

Her lipstick looms lush, full

and passionately crimson


With exuberance, she sings

"Shout to The Lord!"

along with the congregation

following the words projected

on a white overhead screen


The redhead sits

and prepares to hear the message

She casually unzips

her black leather covered Bible


from many in the sanctuary –

ordinary Holy Bibles with

hundreds of thousands

of contemplated black words

upon thousands of well worn

white gilt-edged pages



this woman's Bible

is extraordinary…

wildly splashed

with big bold dashes –

highlighter daubs of

blue, yellow, rose, green –

as Utterly…Unabashedly…Vibrant!

as each Living! Breathing! Word!


I smile…at how colorful

God made her


Maude Carolan


This poem was written in 2004 and appeared in Spindrift, an anthology published by Northwind Publishing, compiled for the Walt Whitman Festival in Ocean Grove, NJ, in 2006. I didn't know her name when I wrote the poem, but have since come to know this exciting, vibrant, spirit-filled woman is Carol Anne Zingale. Carol Anne is a member of my congregation, Beth Israel Messianic Center, Wayne, NJ.