Sunday, October 29, 2023

"This Old Bible"

 Here's an "oldie but goody" for you...



It’s not one of those expensive

gold edged, leather bound volumes.

Its margins are filled

with scrawled notations

gleaned from personal revelations

and years of teaching

under Jonathan and Wayne.

There are yellow highlights,

asterisks, exclamation points, arrows,

underlines, sometimes double underlines,

sometimes double underlines in red ink.

There are little line drawings, dates,

Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic

transliterations, translations,

prayers copied on blank pages in front,

prayer cards tucked in its pages,

bookmarks, tracts,

a few notes and letters.

Its pages have lost their brightness

from handling and caressing,

they’ve absorbed tears,

illuminated joys.

There are jagged pen slips

from dozing,

many index labels have fallen off.

Its spine has been repaired

again and again.

It doesn’t look like anybody’s treasure.


When I pass on,

there might be a little money,

property, some poems.

There might be a few pieces

of inexpensive jewelry.

You’ll rummage through

the way we did when Grandpa died,

when lots of things were thrown in dumpsters,

lots of things were divided up and given away.

You may be tempted to toss this book,

but, no, no, I know you’ll know

this old battered Bible

is the most valuable possession

I’ll leave behind.


Maude Carolan              

Here I am, at the Totowa (NJ) Library,
reading from my book of poems
about the Birth, Death & Resurrection of Jesus...
"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"
by Maude Carolan Pych
is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.


Sunday, October 22, 2023

A Gentle Autumn Poem...

 After weeks of agonizing over the turmoil in the Middle East,

here in America and throughout the world,

I figure we can all use a break...perhaps a walk in the woods

or at least one gentle autumn poem

about a walk in the woods...

Photo credit:


I meander through woods

along a beaten pathway in North Jersey

and the music begins immediately


There’s chittering of crickets

and the cacophony of other insects

that are hanging on to life

until the frost, which will come soon

Leaves rustle in the trees

some whoosh past me

as they fall to the ground

and there’s a crunch

of dry ones beneath my feet


I hear an occasional snap of a twig

and the scamper of squirrels

or chipmunks, a raccoon

or field mice scurrying unseen

up and down tree trunks

or frolicking in the dense brush


There may be hidden deer or a bear

Some sounds I cannot identify


Birdsong completely fills the air

all kinds of birdsong—

chirps and coos

and warbles and squawks

I even hear the flutter

of wing flaps


Tying everything together

is the faintest whistling in the breeze

that feels something like tinnitus

ringing in my ears

but it’s not unpleasant


All the sounds blend together

into Nature’s symphony—

a serenade to my spirit

as I stroll


Maude Carolan Pych

Here are two of Maude's books of poetry:

"Wonderhoods," a memoir

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

The latter is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

"I Read Anne's Diary"

 It's been a tough week of weeping, praying, fasting, and worrying about people we know who were trying to get transportation home from Israel, and spending too many hours glued to our radios and televisions, listening for the latest news updates.

The first draft of today's poem, "I Read Anne's Diary" was written, Thursday afternoon, during a Zoom poetry workshop led by Maria Mazziotti Gillan. Here's the finished product, following a few revisions and tweaks...

Anne Frank

"The Diary of a Young Girl"


Terrorist attack on Israel, October 7, 2023


I was a teenager

when I read Anne Frank’s diary

for the first time

and clearly recall the young Jewish girl

(who was hiding in an attic

with her family, during the Holocaust)

writing that she believed

people were basically good at heart—


Eventually her family was captured by the Nazis

Anne was sent to Auschwitz, then Bergen-Belsen

where she died during the typhus epidemic


That was many, many years ago

but her words are still with me—


especially this week

when after planning their moves

for two years, Hamas

launched a brutal terrorist attack

on the Israel I love


They took hostages, bombed, murdered—

not just murdered, slaughtered

in the most horrifying ways imaginable

men, women, children, babies


so I think of Anne again and Israelis

think of evil that is in the world

I weep and fast and pray

and worry about people I know

who are in Israel trying to get home


Bombing on both sides will get worse


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

says no Hamas member

will be left alive


I believe God is in control—


I wish I could believe

people are basically good at heart


Maude Carolan Pych

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Israel Attacked

Thinking about the attack by Hamas on Israel, Saturday, I went into my files and pulled out a poem written about a visit to the Armory at Latrun during my 2006 pilgrimage to Israel. The photo below is of an Israeli soldier at the Wall of Names Memorial of fallen soldiers.


Latrun, Israel—2006


We visit the Museum of the Armory in Latrun

observe Merkava Tanks, the best in the world

solid and serious—

built to encase Israeli soldiers

in a womb of steel

built to show the enemy who’s boss


and we see names, row after row of names

etched on a long dark wall

exactly 4,498 of them—

the names of soldiers, mostly young

killed in Israel’s wars


Our guide points to one, newly engraved

It is his friend, Oz

who died a few months ago

Oz, who fought at his side

in the war against Hezbollah and Lebanon

the war we watched on our American TVs in June


I talk with three young soldiers holding M15s

ask if I may photograph them

They politely decline—

It is the Sabbath


One of them

has carefully knotted tzitzit[1]

protruding from his olive drabs


Maude Carolan Pych

[1] Tzitzit are the specially knotted fringes, attached to the four corners of the tallit (prayer shawl), worn by observant Jews.

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."

                                                               Psalm 122:6 KJV

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

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

Sunday, October 1, 2023

"Frankie's Dance"

 The poem I'm sharing with you this week was written several years ago and is in memory of a man who was a member of my congregation. His name is Frank Schiavo Jr. He was born with cerebral palsy and confined to a wheelchair. Frank yearned to be free. A health care worker shared the Gospel and love of Jesus with him. Frank received the Lord into his heart, was born again, and received a wonderful freedom he had never known before. This poem was originally published in "Sensations" magazine. A framed copy hung over his bed. When he went to be with the Lord in 1998, his mother told me that Frankie loved this poem. "Frankie's Dance" is being featured at Beth Israel Worship Center, Wayne, NJ, during the month of October.


In memory of Frank Schiavo, Jr.


In a circle

in the corner

of the sanctuary

the dancers

lifted arms and faces,

bowed reverently, rose,

offering gifts of praise to God.

Tintinnabulating timbrels

and tambourines,

their satin ribbons streaming,

swirled with shirts and skirts,

a kaleidoscopic rainbow.

Ineffable ecstasy

shone in countenances,

sparkled in dark, dancing eyes.


Parked at a row end

in the congregation,

Frankie sat

strapped securely

in his wheelchair,


his spirit whirling

in the dance.

Joy softened his face

into enthralled expressions

as praise

flowed fluently

from upturned lips.



perceiving the desire

written in his radiance,

a young man whisked

Frankie’s wheelchair

into the dance.

Circling, circling,

spinning, spinning,

wheeling worshipfully,

spiritually spiraling

upward, Heavenward,

an Elijah in a chariot

driven by horses,

their manes ablaze,

Frankie danced

his holy dance

before the Ever-Living God.


Maude Carolan

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

is available online

at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, etc.