Sunday, July 6, 2014

Introducing My New Chapbook

Maude's newest chapbook


9 a.m. Sunday—
Contemporary worship. 
Boardwalk Pavilion, Ocean Grove
This is where we worship 
with snare drums and guitars
funky drama and 
spontaneous praise dance on the boards
facing sand and spray and rising sun
This is where we lift our hands 
and shout "Hallelujah!"
louder than the rousing rhythmic praise
of the waves crashing in our midst
This is where families come in tees and tank tops
cut-off denim, wrinkly cotton shorts
bare feet, sneakers, flip-flops
It's where we fan ourselves with song-sheets
chug from Poland Spring bottles
and flip through the pages of our Bibles
It's where we greet strangers, unabashedly
with "Praise the Lord!" and hugs and exit
faces shining with Moses-glow

10:30 a.m. Sunday—
Classic worship. Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove
I walk briskly from the Boardwalk Pavilion
(with my Moses-glow) to the old Methodist edifice
with its prominent Cross facing the Atlantic
This is where thousands gather
facing a purpose spelled out in lights:
Holiness to the Lord—So be ye holy
This is where worshipers arrive in crisp pressed cotton
and wrinkle-free polyester, strap sandals, pumps and pearls
where we rise and sing on key, hymns by Wesley and Crosby
where we utter printed responses by rote and in unison
Here, to the accompaniment of a historic pipe organ
we hear a traditional choir sing traditional hymns
and accomplished tenors and sopranos
and some of the greatest preachers on earth
do magnificently what they have been magnificently trained to do
This is where we pray quietly, reverently, solemnly
hands folded in our laps, as 100 silver-haired ushers
process prominently with collection baskets
wearing white slacks, dark jackets and red ties
with white carnations pinned to their lapels
This is where Gordon Turk, the organist
presents a resounding recessional
as we nod at one other warmly
and walk out edified into a balmy afternoon

Maude Carolan Pych

The above poem is about my favorite vacation place at the Jersey Shore. Just this week I put the finishing touches on a new chapbook all about this shore town. It is titled, "God's Square Mile...Poems about Ocean Grove". Ordering information can be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of this blog.

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