Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Poem for Memorial Day

The following poem was written in 2003 near the beginning of the war in Iraq.  I feel it is apropos to post it here on Memorial Day. God bless all our military men and women. The image below makes a profound statement: America is the home of the free, because of the brave... 

Image credit:

For Cpl. R. J. Roberts, USMC
America At War In Iraq – March, 2003

The message on my computer screen
said click on The Presidential Prayer Team –
the Adopt Our Troops link
and be given a soldier to pray for
until the end of the war

I didn't know any soldiers
stationed in Iraq, personally
soldiers who startled us with Shock & Awe
soldiers who endured stinging sand
blazing days and shivery desert nights
Didn't know any who engaged in combat
manned planes, 'copters and tanks
or risked biological warfare
during that arduous trek to Baghdad
Didn't know any at all
so I clicked on the website
…but was unable to access the link

When the morning paper arrived
the front page held a full-color photo
of a British medic
examining a newborn Iraqi baby
cradled in a cardboard box
with the flaps torn off
I placed my hand upon the soldier

Jesus, bring him home, whole

laid my hand upon the infant

O Lord, please have him grow up
safe and strong
in a land free of terror…

At work, later that morning
a co-worker approached my counter
softly singing a hymn
How lovely to hear singing
in times like these, I remarked

My son left Tuesday, she said

Our eyes locked
mother to mother

I'd like to adopt your son, I told her
I'll pray for him every day
until he comes home

He is a Marine, she said
serving in the air delivery platoon
Cpl. R. J. Roberts
He'll be on the ground
distributing supplies in Iraq

I know he'll return

Our pastor prophesied
a few years ago
that R. J. will become a preacher

He's not a preacher yet…
though I suppose
there's a very good chance
he may be preaching right now

When I got home
I fastened a yellow ribbon
to my front porch railing

Maude Carolan

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Irises are In Bloom

After church, today, Bob and I went to the Presby Memorial Iris Garden, Upper Mountain Avenue in Montclair, NJ. We walked along the iris rainbows and enjoyed the beautiful displays. We also sat a while on the lawn to listen to a jazz concert. The irises will continue in bloom for the next few weeks.

Presby Memorial Iris Garden, Montclair, NJ


I delightedly strolled
along an iris rainbow
one effulgent Sunday in May
while would-be VanGoghs
painted under sunbrellas.

God could’ve made irises gray,
but He’s as lavish with color
as He is with love.

Maude Carolan

Maude at the Presby Iris Garden

Presby Iris Garden, Montclair, NJ

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

"Women on Retreat"

Image credit:


Three women
meet at a lodge
in the Pocono Mountains
They are strangers—
but that soon changes

One, freshly wounded
two, a decade older
had been healed
years before
of the same sorrow

The two
instinctively soothe
the younger sister
with the balm
of compassion
speak soft words
of experience

At apricot sunset
they walk a wooded path
along the edge
of Tamiment Lake
Coming upon
a crude table
and benches
they stop, sit
join hands
and beseech God
as a million tree frogs
chirp crickety crescendos
from shadows
of tall leafy boughs
and deer graze
in their midst

As twilight wanes
they arise to go
then keep
one another
from stumbling
along the rocky path

Maude Carolan

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

My Beautiful Mother

Frances Longo Walsh  1915-1966
In memory of Frances Longo Walsh

Aunt Carol said
she could picture my mother
with grandchildren on her lap

She was a grand mother
so it stands to reason
she would’ve been
a grand grandma

an aproned, house-dressed
simple stay-at-home grandma
without fussy hair

a rock-a-bye
buxom, ample lapped grandma
with strong cradling arms
and plenty of time

a soup simmering, sauce stirring
let’s-eat-in-the-kitchen grandma

who would’ve gone down on the floor
to build wooden block towers
in primary colors
for her grandkids to topple

who would’ve comforted their cries
changed a thousand diapers
wiped a bunch of noses
given a million kisses

who would’ve read Mother Goose
sang Twinkle, Twinkle
offered Lorna Doones

She almost was—

She was counting the days

but died
while her two daughters
were expecting

Maude Carolan Pych

Elyas Joud - Born May 7, 2016

Congratulations to my step-granddaughter, Natalie Carolan Joud and her husband, Rado, on the birth of their son, Elyas, in Germany, May 7, 2016. God bless the three of them!

God bless all of you beautiful mothers!

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Circumcision of the Heart

Image credit:


There was no mohel
no Bris Milah 
on my eighth day
no drop of blood
from my cloven heart
So, when and how it happened
cannot be pinpointed
Perhaps it occurred
when I read Moses’ face shone
after he was in the presence
of the Lord, on the mountain
or that David danced
uninhibitedly before the Ark
out of impassioned love for God
or perhaps when I heard Boaz
put his covering
over the gentile Ruth
and became her kinsman redeemer
Oh, it might have been
when I made aliyah in ’86 or ‘87
or again in 2006
each time praying                                  
at the Wall and the Tomb
or it may have happened
upon becoming utterly awestruck
at the Little Cupula of the Tablets
or possibly the night we sang
every carol we knew
in the shepherd field of Bethlehem
It could even have been
when I drank water from
the ancient Jacob's Well
or experienced sunrise over the Dead Sea
dreaming of the Great Day
when fish will thrive
and vegetation bloom, miraculously
in its healed waters
It may well have been
the sight and smell of the land
as I walked in the footsteps
of my Jewish Savior
or when my heart
caught fire while reading
the melodious Psalms
or Solomon's Song of Songs
or as I poured over the account
of Peter's prison praise
Actually, it probably was when
I received blessed assurance
that I am eternally saved
by the Blood of the Lamb…

All I know is
some way, somehow
something happened
to spiritually circumcise
this gentile heart
making it echad[1]
with the Heart of the God
of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
and I haven’t for a moment
been the same


Maude Carolan Pych

[1] one

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