Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Drank from a 4000 Year-Old 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?

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

The above poem is from my chapbook, "A Pilgrim's Quest--A Poet Visits the Holy Land". Scroll to the bottom of this website for ordering information.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Succot at Beth Israel Messianic Center

 The Feast of Tabernacles at Beth Israel Messianic Center, Wayne, NJ
Rabbi Jonathan with the lulav & water pouring ceremony
Photos by Maude

Israel Pilgrimage—2006

Israir Terminal JFK, October, 2006

I wait to board—
full of anticipation
carry-on at my knee
guide-book in hand
heart already
in the land to which
we’re bound
pilgrim feet, still
hours away from stepping, at last
into the Land of the Book

Announcements emanate
from the sound system
in Hebrew

arrivals, departures
boarding information
do not leave bags

Aaron David Horowitz
there is a call for you
at the ticket counter

or maybe
Flight #743
is delayed
due to inclement weather

I do not know
        the language         

All my pilgrim ears hear
is something ancient
and deep

the holy sound of prayer

Maude Carolan Pych

+ + + Comments always appreciated.+ + +

Jonathan Cahn, pastor/rabbi of Beth Israel and author of the NY Times Best-seller, The Harbinger, will be leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in November. To prepare hearts for this amazing journey I will be posting poems from my series on pilgrimage.

If you would like to read more poems from my three life-changing pilgrimages, scroll to the bottom of this website for information about ordering my chapbook, A Pilgrim's Quest.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's all about...THE LAMB

September 15, 2013
Vol. 16, Issue 3


It’s all about…The Lamb
Maude Carolan Pych/Quarterly Poetry Letter

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches

and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” Rev 5:12 NASB


It’s all about…The Lamb is a quarterly publication for lovers of the Holy Lamb of God, who also enjoy poetry. The purpose is to magnify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and inspire an ever-deepening relationship with Him, the lover of our souls…


The ten days between the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hoshanna) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) are known as the Days of Awe (Noraim Yomim) on the Hebrew calendar. These are days of great reverence, a time to get right with God and man, a time to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. It can also a time to think about eternity and where you’ll be spending it. You don’t have to be Jewish to do this.



It’s been a great summer. Bob and I spent fifteen exciting days exploring the Colorado Plateau with Bob’s son Jeff, Jeff’s wife Yolanda and their daughters Isabel, nine, and Sophia, seven. The six of us piled into their Honda Odyssey and visited the National Parks and canyons of Utah, including Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Zion. It was awesome. God’s majesty was ever before our eyes. I spent time today writing a poem about it which I’ll be certain to share here at a future date.




I’d like to introduce you to a poet new to this publication. Her name is Sandra Duguid. Sandra and I see each other at poetry venues in northern New Jersey from time to time.


Our featured poet was born and raised in rural western New York and received a B.A. from Houghton College, an M.A. in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Buffalo. Sandra has taught literature, composition and creative writing at colleges in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and was Assistant Director of the Academic Support Center at Caldwell College in New Jersey, where she managed the Writing Center for seven years. She retired three years ago to devote more time to writing.


Sandra was awarded a Fellowship in Poetry from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and was invited to read her poetry at a Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. One of her poems received an honorable mention in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest, sponsored by Passaic County Community College, and her poem “Road to Emmaus” (which is one of the poems featured here) received a prize in a contest sponsored by Calvin College. The poet lives in New Jersey with her husband, Henry Gerstman.

Sandra recently published a book of her poetry entitled “Pails Scrubbed Silver,” printed by North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc. It is available through I’ve selected two poems from the book to include here, and invited her to tell us what inspired her to write them. This is what she said, in her own words:



The New Testament account of Jesus walking unrecognized by two disciples on the road to Emmaus following his Resurrection is always compelling. Paintings and songs depict it anew. (Our church choir sang a recently written anthem based on it.)   This poem was a response to a challenge to write a poem based on the Biblical account, and it was actually written quite quickly (unlike many others!) The New Testament words were beside me when I was working on the second stanza in particular.


The poem was written some time before 2003, and I was responding in it to several events that had happened in 1999: the shooting of the innocent Amadou Diallo in his doorway by New York City police officers; the terrible school shooting at Columbine High in Colorado; and the succumbing of my older sister to breast cancer. Three “crosses” had been marked on her “chest” where radiation was to be applied.


These events were all “the worst news in the neighborhood” in my/our time. We need comfort, companionship, and good counsel, just as did the pilgrims walking with the unrecognized Christ in their unthinkable time.  His words, quoted in the poem, gave them a sense of reference not only to the past, but to a future, as His words offer to the contemporary pilgrims, me/”us,” in times of our suffering.


We, too, might respond then, when Christ is recognized, as they did, with hope, hospitality, wonder, and self-examination.



In the poem “Memorials,” I put myself in the place of the woman in Matthew 26: 6-13 and Mark 14: 3-9, who anointed Jesus at the home of Simon the leper. She did not know the full extent of her act nor, of course, that Jesus would soon be put to death.  She was generous and loving in her response to a man she possibly had seen work miracles and whose distinctiveness and love she partially understood. When Jesus said her anointing was anticipating his burial, she was perplexed, believing, I imagined, that he would die someday, as we all do, even though we are grand in some sense (“towers” of bone) of “natural causes.”


I think the ironies in this account, that the disciples were not magnanimous, as she was in her poverty; nor as understanding as she was, and that Jesus could tell what was about to happen to him, while others could not, or did not want to think about it—and that we all shall live, rather than die, attracted me to this New Testament down to earth and mysterious encounter. Jesus said her loving action would be remembered

as a “memorial” to her; and it was a “memorial” to Him.


This kind of reading of a Scripture passage, as you may know, is called “lectio divina,” “sacred reading.” One tries to imagine oneself in a Biblical passage and imagine and explore, from the point of view of a participant there what “exactly” is happening.  This can be a wonderful time of reflection, and the source of a poem.






There have been crucifixions, too,

in our town—innocents

gunned down in their doorways

or in school halls; or radiation’s

black outlines, three crosses

marked on a sister’s chest: no wonder

we walk in quiet rage, musing.


And who, on this road, will join us,

seeming unaware

of the worst news in the neighborhood,

but spelling out the history of the prophets

and a future:

            Ought not Christ to have suffered these things

            and to enter into his glory?

Could our hearts still burn within us?


Will we ask the stranger to stay?

Break bread? And how

will our well-hammered and nailed

kitchens and bedrooms appear to us

when we understand who he is

just as he steals away?


Sandra Duguid

© 2013




Yes, I indulged the moment:

setting my white heirloom box

next to his plate

at Simon’s dull table;

placing my hand on his hair

to anoint his head with ointment—

the room awoke, wavered

in perfume.


His friends complained:


But how could I have spread thin

what ounce of wealth I owned?

I had watched this man

heal the blind and maimed,

heard him speak—

I was making amends for my doom.


And for his, he said,

though I wasn’t foreseeing a burial—

I’ve yet to understand;

we all die, I mean—eventually,


we towers

of bone.


Sandra Duguid

© 2013



Sandra will read poems from her book, Pails Scrubbed Silver, at a poetry reading presented by the West Caldwell (NJ) Library. It will be held Sunday, September 29th, 2 p.m., in the Community Room. Another fine poet, Charlotte Mandel, will also be featured at this event. The program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Call 973-226-5441 or sign up online at:


Comments are always welcome and appreciated.


Look for the next edition of It’s All About…The Lamb, December 15, 2013




Dear Subscriber,

A few days ago, in the very midst of the Days of Awe, on the twelfth anniversary of the destruction of the Twin Towers and the horrendous loss of life on 9/11, many of us gathered at Beth Israel Messianic Center in Wayne, New Jersey, to pray for our nation and the world for a great wave of repentance among believers and for unbelieving hearts to turn to Messiah in a mighty, mighty way.

Have you surrendered your life to Jesus? Don’t delay. Ask Him to forgive your sins and invite Him to dwell in your heart. It’s the most important thing you’ll ever do…

God be with ewe,



After God’s Own Heart Publishing

P.O. Box 2211, Woodland Park, NJ 07424







Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's Sunflower Season!

 Sunflowers photographed by Maude
Israel Pilgrimage—1986
Big, bodacious sunflowers
live up to their name
sun-shining a million
dazzling petal spires at us
along Emmaus Road
It is fitting
because I am ablaze
with Jesus-joy
to be here
as I think about my newly
Resurrected Lord, vanishing
at the very breaking
of the bread
astonishing the disciples
who sat with Him
at table
Those utterly bewildered disciples
whose hearts thumped
and blazed
with glory fire
as He walked with them
as He explained to them
the Holy Scriptures
2000 years ago
along this very road
Maude Carolan Pych
For additional poems about the Holy Land, scroll to the end of the blog for details about ordering my chapbook (small book of poetry) entitled, "A Pilgrim's Quest".

It's always a blessing to hear from visitors to this website, so I want to invite and encourage you to leave a comment below.