Monday, May 23, 2022

Beautiful Butterflies

 Yesterday, while working in my garden, lo and behold I saw my first butterfly of the season...a beautiful swallowtail! Well, it is Spring! The fanciful site inspired me to share  one of my favorite rhyming poems, a butterfly poem, "Sky Dancers." Enjoy!

Swallowtail Butterfly

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There's something happy about butterflies.

They flit-flitter as they flutter by,

flying flowers against the azure sky.


They alight upon the milkweed, and then

they circle, soar and alight again,

toe-dancing on pink petals in the glen.


Ever dwelling in hue and sweet fragrance,

in garden splendor they flicker as they dance.

Pollination is purely happenstance.


I delight in their overflow of joy.

(They wouldn't even know how to be coy.)

A flame of mirth! A whirligig! A toy!


Do they recall they once were grubby worms,

remember well their dark and squiggly squirms?

Reborn, now grace and beauty each affirms!


This almost seems to be sheer fantasy,

sky dancers as enchanting as can be,

springing from blossoms right in front of me!


So, merrily a-nectaring they go,

reaping and sowing sweetness in day-glow…

Seems they have learned what all of us should know.


In contemplation of their simple ways,

I wish to add their ballet to my days,

to sky dance gracefully on wings of praise!


Maude Carolan Pych

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For more poems by Maude

or to order her books

visit her website at

Sunday, May 15, 2022

"Pieces Falling" by Ann Van Hine


By Ann Van Hine

Navigating 9/11 with Faith, Family, and the FDNY

One woman's journey

Ann Van Hine is a friend and fellow member of the North Jersey Christian Writers Group (NJCWG). She is the widow of a fallen 9/11 firefighter. I just finished reading Ann's book and would like to take this opportunity to highly recommend it to others. "Pieces Falling," tells Ann's story of navigating the very personal loss of her husband, Bruce--a New York City firefighter who died on 9/11--amid the very public tragedy that shocked the world. 

Her book is published by Illumiex and is available at

Since I'm featuring Ann's book about 9/11 today, I'll stay with the theme and post a poem that I wrote shortly after that horrific event. More than twenty years have passed but that day still weighs heavily on our hearts.


Written in the wake of the September 11, 2001, Attack on America


We’ve been told God doesn’t belong in our schools

He doesn’t belong in public buildings

not in the town square, not at baseball games

We may not pray to Him in our classrooms

His Name has been shushed from graduations

Our witness at work has been silenced

Crèches and menorahs have been removed from government properties

and replaced with roly-poly Santas, tinseled trees and dreidels

Christmas and Hanukkah have been neutered

with wishes of “season’s greetings,” “happy holidays”

We’ve been closeted by the separation of church and state

in this free country founded as a safe haven for religious freedom


but when those 767s flew into those magnificent towers on September 11th

when those great towers imploded, when thousands died tragically

and shockwaves of grief and terror riveted our planet

suddenly our churches filled

God’s name arose boldly on banners all across the land

It was posted, plastered, scrawled, and spoken

prayed to by the President, our leaders, newsmen

It appeared on school message boards

bumper stickers, lapel pins, buttons

It was superimposed upon flag decals glued to our windowpanes

It was emblazoned upon our chests on patriotic T-shirts

and it appeared over and over and over on subway prayer walls

along with Scotch-taped photos of those who were missing

Thousands proclaimed it loud and clear

at candlelight vigils and a prayer service at Yankee Stadium

and we all sang it with tears

“God Bless America,” our truer anthem


If we’ve been complacent; if we’ve swept Him aside

packed Him away in attic trunks

with things we thought we wouldn’t need anymore

He’s waiting with arms outstretched

love streaming from His eyes

and we need Him to heal our shattered hearts


Oh, let’s keep the “God Bless” in our “America”

and Americans, let us “Bless God”

O let us never let go of Him again


Maude Carolan

Saturday, May 7, 2022

A Poem About Mother

 Happy Mother's Day

I'm posting a photograph of my mother at my wedding in 1964.

This was before we were enlightened about not wearing animal furs for fashion.

My poem is about Mom donning a mink stole this solitary day in her life.

Frances Longo Walsh 1915-1966



Mom had no interest in fashion—

At home, she wore a cotton housedress

with a bib-front apron over it

trimmed with a bit of rickrack or piping

Two work dresses were enough

one to wear, one to air on the clothesline

There was nothing fussy about her

She didn’t mind if her coat was a bit frayed

around the cuffs. It was warm

Didn’t care if her clothes

were up to the minute

if her hemlines were the right length

if her lipstick was a popular shade

or her hair, the latest style


Mom hardly ever got all dressed up

except on the rarest occasions

a New Year’s Eve, perhaps

when she would put on

her black dress and pumps

a rhinestone necklace and earrings

from the back of her bureau drawer

and to us, she looked like a queen


That’s when she and dad would go

with our neighbors, the Komorowskis

to Tammany Hall Bar in Secaucus

It was owned by Henry B. Krajewski

the pig farmer who repeatedly ran

for president, then governor, then senator

although he never won an election

They would have a rollicking

good time drinking Polish beer

and eating pierogis and kielbasy

and come home in the wee hours

with noisemakers, silly hats

and Krajewski’s latest campaign buttons


When I was planning my wedding

Mom did all she could to help

She worked part-time at Quackenbush’s

and was able to order the gown

of my dreams using her 20% discount

We selected my veil, my shoes

shopped for this, bought that

She made it all about me


but I wanted it to be about her, too

so we found a lovely blue gown

its bodice embellished with sequins

(I don’t think my mother had ever

worn a gown before

or anything with sequins)

Then we shopped for accessories

and waited for the big day


My fiancé had given me

a beautiful white fox stole to wear

on our November wedding day

then I learned his mother

planned to wear her mink

(This was in the ’60s

before animal activists picketed

and protested the wearing of furs)

I wanted my mom to look just as elegant

as my mother-in-law

so I rented a stole for her to wear


Unaccustomed to such luxuriousness

I could see she felt awkward

watched her squirm and fidget

unsure about what to do

wrapped up in all that finery


but I also knew she felt cherished

deeply, deeply cherished


I still have a photograph of her—

my mom, my queen

mother-of-the-bride…in mink!


Maude Carolan Pych

For information about ordering Maude's books
visit her website at

Sunday, May 1, 2022

21st Annual Arts Festival

 Congratulations, Artists!

Yes! Congratulations to all the artists, photographers, and poets who won awards at the 21st Annual Festival of the Arts, held this weekend at St. Francis School in Haskell, NJ. It was a wonderful event, a favorite that I look forward to year after year. I didn't win any awards this time, but it was still great fun to participate and I definitely enjoyed viewing the artistic entries and listening to the musical presentations, and of course...the poetry!

I'm pleased to share with you one of the poems I entered and read at the festival poetry reading last night. It's titled, "Identifying With Those Sleepy Disciples."

Maude reading poems at Art Festival, St. Francis School, Haskell, NJ.

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There’ve been times I attended

the Friday night service

at my church

after a busy work-week

and although my pastor’s messages

are always interesting

and often profound

and even though I determine

to pay close attention, still


on more occasions

than I care to admit

my heavy eyelids droop

my head nods

and the pen in my hand

makes a jagged mark

across the page of my Bible

or worse, the Bible slides

off my lap, and slips onto the floor


As a result

I’ve missed significant portions

of the message, and flushed

with embarrassment and shame


That’s when I remember

Peter, James, and John

those sleepy disciples, who

on that fateful evening

after enjoying the Passover meal

walked with Jesus

to the Garden of Gethsemane


then Our Lord, filled with anguish

asked them to watch and pray

for His time was at hand


I’m sure they wanted

to be supportive, wanted to pray

but their weak flesh got the better of them

and they fell fast asleep


That’s when I give them grace

as Jesus surely did

and as He surely gives to me


That’s when I forgive myself

and vow to stay awake and alert

next time


Maude Carolan Pych

Sunday, April 24, 2022

"What is Truth?"

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John 18:38


I first learned

the importance of truth

at my mother’s knee

My children

learned it at mine


Life has taught me

truth is truth, even

if no one believes it

if no one wants to believe it

if every man is a liar


What’s true is true, even

if millions are spent

to disprove it

if it’s argued against

lobbied against

debated against

railed against

voted against

legislated against


Truth Is




even if it’s watered down

to make it acceptable

skirted around

to soften its appeal                        

lubed with oil

so it goes down

nice and easy

sugar coated

to make it palatable


even if it looks

soooo, soooo good


Truth is Truth

whether it’s popular

or unpopular



in the face

of persecution


Pilate asked,

What is truth?


The Psalmist wrote,

The sum of God’s word

is truth


Jesus said,

I Am the Truth


He also said,

Everyone on the side

of truth

listens to Me


I believe the supreme

Truth is a Man

and His unchanging Word


…even though           

He be crucified



Salvation Truth

Resurrection Truth                                                                                           

Living Truth



I can stand up for


Maude Carolan Pych

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.


Sunday, April 17, 2022

He is Risen...Alleluia!

A Poem for Resurrection Sunday...

He is Risen...Alleluia!

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It’s Holy Saturday


Dough is rising

on the kitchen counter


filling me with thoughts

of rising


helium balloons

set free



over the Sea of Galilee


waking up




soap bubbles

floating skyward


seagulls soaring



booming and bursting


jet planes at take-off


rocket ships

with long trails of fire

zooming to the moon


O, but nothing




and no one


has ever done it


or will


…like Jesus


Maude Carolan Pych

Have a glorious Resurrection Day!

Maude's book of poetry

about the Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus,

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Yeshua, My Savior!

A Poem for Lent...




Yes You are

The Miraculous Offspring

Of I Am



Yes You are

The Paschal




Our Atonement

Flowed down


Wooden beams


surrendered Life


Our Great Salvation


Yes it did


Suffering Servant

Lion of Judah

Sar ha Shalom[2]



Yes You are

Ha Mashiach[3]




You Are.


Maude Carolan

[1] Hebrew for Jesus

[2] Hebrew for Prince of Peace

[3] Hebrew for the Messiah

More poems?

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"
By Maude Carolan Pych
is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Friday, April 15, 2022

"The Pieta"

A Poem for Lent...

Good Friday

Sometimes my own poetry causes me to weep...

This is one of those poems.

Image credit:



After the earthquake

the peals of thunder

the flashes of lightning across the sky

After the curious crowds dispersed

Mary sat in ominous dimness

upon a mound of earth

at the base of the Cross

clutching the body

of her Son


She cradled Him

in the hollow of her lap

close to her bosom

as she had

when he was

her baby boy


Mary removed

thorns of mockery

that encircled His forehead

and tossed it to the side

Straining to see in the shadows

she carefully picked

fragments of thorn needles

still stuck in His lifeless flesh

although they couldn’t hurt Him

any longer


With her fingertips

she tenderly closed the lids

over His dark, vacant eyes

and smoothed

the disheveled, matted hair

…then she kissed Him


O, my beautiful Son…


Tears flowed

down her face onto His cheeks

mingling with dried blood

With the edge of her garment

she wiped some blood away


John came

and rested his hand

upon her trembling shoulder

He was now her son

She was now his mother



too deep to comprehend

swirled in her mind

like the flap and flutter

of wings and overshadowing

Son of the Most High

and David’s throne


like pregnant Elizabeth’s joy

when the baby leapt in her womb

and the Baptizer himself, when grown

proclaiming his younger cousin

“The Lamb of God, Who

takes away the sin of the world”


and Simeon’s prophesy

that Jesus would be

a Light of revelation

to the Gentiles and the glory

of the people of Israel


Where is the Light?

Where is the glory?

Where is the throne?


Overwhelmed by sorrow

so intense it stabbed her

deep, deep in her inner parts

Mary cried out in anguish

and rent her robe


Was this what old Simeon meant

long ago in the Temple

when he held Jesus in his arms

and said a sword would pierce

my very soul?


O my Son, my beautiful Son…


I cannot fathom the ways of God, but


I do know this cannot be the end


Maude Carolan Pych

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.