Sunday, January 25, 2015

Simple Truths...


After reading my poems
the woman said that I am deep.

If she meant obscure,
obscurity is what I rail against,
but if she meant
the poems brought her
to a new depth
in her own perception,
then, praise God,
from my Bic
molten gold.

I yearn to be a poet
of God’s heart,
conveying Truth
in fresh simplicity,
not abstractions
that people scan
with screwed-up faces
then set aside,

I want to write
as the shepherd/king,
letting the Spirit
guide my pen.

When the page
is put down,
will flash
God’s glorious
guiding Light,

gold dust
will sparkle
on fingertips.

Maude Carolan

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Fire Burned in Their Hearts!

The following poem gives three perspectives to one of my favorite portions of Scripture, found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24. During one of my pilgrimages to Israel, our group stopped for lunch in a picnic area along Emmaus Road. I've often wondered how amazing it had to have been to have Jesus Himself explain the Old Testament Scriptures to the strangers He met along that road. No wonder their hearts burned within them! Comments are always welcome. I love to receive them!



Cleopas and friend walked and talked
with lumbering gaits and downcast faces
shining hopes of sweet redemption
dashed and obliterated

They asked of each other the Why question
for if anyone had come to fill those old prophecies
surely it had seemed to be Him
that Jesus they'd come to know
through signs and wonders
that appeared to be miraculous

Their so-called Messiah had been crucified
was dead and gone. Yes, gone, gone, gone!
Even His cold dead body was missing
from the sealed up tomb

He approached them
in the midst of their perplexity
walked with them, talked with them
they even felt His fire
but didn't know who He was

and strange as that may seem
how often have I been
the unnamed friend of Cleopas?
I, too, profess to know Him, know Him well
yet fail to recognize Him along the road


Taking the barley loaf in his hands
the stranger lifted it

Baruch ata Adonai
Eloheynu Melech ha Olam
ha motzie lechem
min ha'aretz

He tore it, offered it, and just as it fell
into reaching grasps
their astonished eyes recognized Him
and in that instant
He utterly vanished from their sight!

Leaping from the table, Cleopas and his friend
stumbled over each other
looking under, over, around and around
knowing even as they did
it was True after all

As they looked at each other
their disbelief became relief
the sweet awakening of new Belief

for Truth visited them along the way
joined them at their table, broke their humble bread
They asked each other

Were not our hearts burning
as He talked with us on the road
and opened the Scriptures to us?

Blazing temples of Holy Fire
they suddenly knew their once shattered hearts
would never cool again


When I first found You, or You found me
I thought I'd go from strength to strength
pinnacle to pinnacle, joy to joy
and so it was for a season
when love was new

then the whirlwind came
thrashing through my world
upending all my securities
leaving me stunned, broken, alone
certain I would die

so I waited for You to save me
waited for prayers pleaded at Your scarred feet
to avail their just reward
for I believed in You, trusted, hoped
Eyes veiled, I couldn't find You
failed to recognize You along the road

Had I believed in vain?

Then You began to speak
not audibly, but  whenever I opened Your Word
Radiance, Glory, Unfailing Love
sprang from the page and became manifest
My heart blazed! I began to shine!

Now, on the other side of sorrow
I dare not forget my burning heart,
Your Glorious Presence
so I abide, remembering
it is You, my Jesus
Who walks with me along the road

Maude Carolan

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Prayer Walk in a Labyrinth



Written at a poetry retreat led by Laura Boss and Maria Mazzioti Gillan

Mendham, New Jersey, October, 2001

It was free time during an intensive
weekend poetry retreat
I strolled the convent grounds
that warmish autumn day
to clear my head
of so many words and phrases
so many raging poems
about the World Trade Center
so many poems sprung from wounds
from love and death

I smiled at the sight of a nun
wearing a black and white habit
that grazed the russet ground
as she gracefully raked leaves
in a wide open field
“Sister,” I called
“you have quite a job there!”
She answered, but
not hearing her reply
I left the path
and approached her
She was Sister Julia, a novice
named for a thirteen year old martyr

Sister Julia was clearing leaves
from a circular brick-in-grass labyrinth
She told me what I hadn’t known
that a labyrinth isn’t a maze
but a unicursal
one path that leads to the center
and out again
She called it Chemin de Jerusalem[1]
a substitute for pilgrimage

I continued my journey
to the old cemetery
with its weather beaten cement crosses
and to a nearly dry, leaf strewn pond
then returned, because I had to
to the labyrinth

Entering, my spirit revitalized
as I stepped slowly within the bricks
joyfully reciting snippets
from Davidic, “Songs of Ascents”
and offering hymns and hallelujahs
At center, aliyah!
“My feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem”
and recalled, sweet as honey
so many years ago
when they actually were

I could almost hear the sound
of a distant shofar

Maude Carolan

[1] Road of Jerusalem

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Most Wonderful News...Ever!

The following poem, "Wonderful News" was written several years ago. It was inspired by a deep yearning in my heart that all the people I love would call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved. It is one of my most requested poems and has been used as a catalyst by others to lead people to Christ. Copies have been distributed like tracts on the streets of New York City by young men from my congregation. I can't think of a more important poem to share at the start of the new year.

Photo credit:


I have to share the most wonderful news with those I love most in this world.
The news I have is more precious, by far, than diamonds or rubies or gold.

There was an enormous void in my life. “Is this all there is?” I would ask.
I searched far to find some meaning in life. It seemed an unknowable task.

One day someone shared the Gospel with me, and I learned that Jesus is real.
I prayed to invite Him into my heart and was filled with astonishing zeal!

The day that He gave His life on the Cross, to save all mankind from our sin,
He opened to us salvation by grace; life eternal, the prize that we win.

You know that I share the best that I have with my cherished family and friends,
so listen, dear one, to this wonderful news upon which ever-after depends.

Just open your Bible to the Gospel of John, third chapter, verse number three,
then read of God’s love in the sixteenth verse to learn what has happened to me.

Some people grow up with Bible in hand, without Jesus burning in heart,
some haven’t explored the true meaning of life, some wouldn’t know where to start.

Whether you’re Protestant, Jewish, my friend, Catholic, Muslim, atheist,
my news is for you and all who will hear, who long to receive of God’s best.

You needn’t become a fanatic or prude, I’ve no list of do nots and dos.
God’s Spirit will teach you all you need know. The offer’s too good to refuse.

Although tribulation may take you by storm and trials may bring a hard test,
God’s greater, He’s faithful, He’ll bring you through to victory. You’ll shine in His rest.

This can be the greatest day of your life, the day you receive the New Birth.
This can be the day you begin to know why we’re the happiest people on earth.

Like me, you will yearn to share the Good News with all of the people you love.
Like me, you will want all those you meet to be touched by our Great God above.

Maude Carolan Pych