Nervous as a harried hen, Mom was in a dither
Would wedding guests be kept away by the winter weather?
My cheeks so rosy from the sting of howling, bitter winds
White lace and pearls, car door opened and a young girl stepped within
Fresh mums adorned the altar of “Our Lady by the Sea”
Blue bridesmaid angels led the way; John waited lovingly
Vows exchanged as God smiled down, crystal kisses danced in air
The reception band played merrily, all invited were there
Many guests remarked they’d never seen a happier bride
At midnight John took my ring-adorned hand, we ventured outside
Snow drifts piled ‘round the cars, Great Nor’ Easter just ending
My mate high on love (and champagne), wheels on highway spinning
Pulling into a gas station, trying to get a grip
Still in my bridal gown as the dipping temperatures nipped
The station attendant ran out and smiled, he’d seen us reel
But we were laughing and trading places behind the wheel
My tipsy spouse in a tux, truly a sight to behold
When we reached our new home, I carried HIM o’er the threshold'
For John's "Winter" contest
One summer eve in Galilee
I stood before my open door;
To me it seemed just one more night--
Like all the others gone before.
Someone would come and, passing by,
Would hear the tinkling of the bells,
Would see the garish harlot's robe
And painted eyes beneath my veil.
Someone, a man like all the rest--
It did not matter much to me--
A nobleman, Samaritan,
A Roman or a Pharisee,
Someone would pause and with one glance
Strip me again of maiden pride,
And leaving, later, never know
The shame and shattered dreams I hide.
O, he would think me very gay;
He would not see my hollow heart
Nor hear me curse him for his pay.
T was then I saw a band of men
Approaching down the narrow road;
There should be one among that crowd
Who wants the favors I bestow.
Kind eyes met mine, and with one look,
He saw what others could not see;
He saw the hunger of my soul,
My loneliness and misery.
I only know that since that day
I live to walk along with Him.
His look of love has changed my life;
I need not sell my love again.
Tonight He sups at Simon's house__
All day the dusty paths we roamed;
But, still he waits, unwashed, unkissed;
Small courtesies no one has shown.
My love for Him! It rolls and swells
Till from His side I cannot stay;
I'll wash His feet with tears of love
And with my hair wipe them away.
Mother would tuck into each dresser drawer,
a bar of soap, to scent the clothes..
The familiar fragrance of English Lavender would fill the air
The small bedroom, a bit cramped..a bit shabby, but comfortably familiar.
The faded chintz curtains and the cover on the four poster, was a primrose yellow...
and the wallpaper striped in blue and white.
There would be marguerite daisies in a jug on the dressing table..
Next to a framed photo of five, smiling young cousins..
all scrubbed, with shining faces, dressed for church, one Easter morning.
Over on the north wall hung a painting of Willowby Pond...
so pleasant to look at, just before falling to sleep.
Here I stand once again, having things so familiar, so much the same
I take a deep breath, recalling the sense of home, the fragrance of lavender
Like slipping into an old pair of slippers,
after spending the day wearing high heeled shoes
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
As I gaze out the upstairs window, it feels like yesterday
It is early, and a burst of sun gleams through the branches of the Cottonwood tree
It's not there anymore....
that string of washing that used to wave on the clothesline,
looking like colorful flags flapping in the wind....
and I wonder...who does that anymore...hangs their wash?
Doves are still strutting on the cobbled path, cooing their song....
or perhaps complaining about the chill of the October morn...
I look about the room,...
Right there, that's where marguerite daisies sat in a jug on the dressing table
next to a framed photo of five, smiling young cousins...
Scrubbed and shining faces, dressed for church one Easter morning, long ago
The faded chintz curtains, and the cover on the four poster is a pale primrose yellow
And the wallpaper is striped in blue and white....
It all looks a bit more worn, but still rather pretty
The bedroom is small,....a bit cramped, and a bit shabby, but comfortably familiar
Over on the north wall hangs a painting of Willowby Pond...
so pleasant to look at, just before falling to sleep...
Mother would tuck into each dresser drawer, a bar of soap....to scent the clothes
I recognize the fragrance of English Lavender, still lingering in the air...
even though she has been gone these many years...
Here I stand again, having things so familiar, ...so much the same...yet changed..
I take a deep breath, recalling the sense of home, the fragrance of lavender
and the sound of the doves...
Like slipping into an old pair of slippers
after spending the day wearing high heeled shoes....
It's used as an afterthought, fattening festive
arrangements for Mother's Day, Easter,
someone's birthday. An underrated vine,
enhancing center-stage flowers whose star-power
doesn't wear well. It's the "coming attraction"
that's there after the clapping dies down,
replanted by doorstep or gravestone. "Grow,"
I say, "Change my life with your traveling beauty,
your common denominator, your scrawling
signature seldom sought for autographs.
Snaking around graves at our family plot,
it's an ongoing gift, out-giving the giver
with its "overwhelming darkness", reminding us
where there is life, there is also death. Surviving,
thriving in hanging pots the less hardy exit,
it surprises and delights, reaching down from limbs
of trees for soil, unchallenged there in pine straw
until tender tendrils insinuate their way
to daylight through tapestries of needles
When the ivy becomes dense, I will know
you are there: ivy of my heart, ivy of essence,
the graceful way it swings and sways, how
it takes to new habitat in the way you, Julie,
cut a swath through New York City after lifetimes
in the easy South. We are old souls, older
than the hedera, cousin to ginseng, reminder
of the movement of the heavens, the ability
to bring things together. You were shelter,
the poets' headpiece, bringing peace
to my household. Resurrection and rebirth,
Julie, in this Easter of ivy.
Miss Scarlet was driving her car across town.
She had a meeting with Professor Plum at the library .
It was regarding a paper she had written in the study at home.
About the life of Colonel Mustard and the revolver he carried during the war.
Mrs. White was on her way to the school.
She had just left the kitchen,she forgot to put the knife away.
So she slipped it in her purse, she had colored eggs baskets for her students.
It was near Easter and she was driving to the ballroom to set up for the party.
Now, Mrs. Peacock was angry.
She had brought a rope to use to tie up the hole in the hutch.
Her prize bunnies were escaping, her best sales were during Easter time.
She needed to secure the hutch so that no rabbits would escape.
Mrs. Peacock put a wrench in her purse to secure the bolts on the hutch.
Well nobody knows what really happened next, they can only surmise.
All they know is the rabbit was lying in a pool of Easter eggs and baskets.
Three cars were totaled in the accident, all of the women died.
What was peculiar was what else they saw.
A wrench,a rope, and a knife, were found at the scene.
No one had a clue as to where, how, or why?
In the meantime, Professor Plum was in the Library with the revolver.
“I’m the unknown gardener my name is mentioned in the bible, but no one need honor me.
Just a pauper, I was in the garden that day, but my only contribution to grace works was filthy
Hearing a rumbling it seemed from deep inside the ground, I looked toward a tomb which had a
huge stone place over it’s mouth. As I looked I saw a steady lighting flashing, so bright it
dimmed my sight, emitting from the tomb around the rock’s edges.
The lighting stopped as suddenly as it had began, as once more I heard a scrubbing noise and
saw two celestial beings in shining apparel, as they rolled the huge stone away from the mouth
of the sepulcher. I was amazed, made weak in the knees, my countenance was overcome.
One of the celestial being said, “Fear not I am Michael, the archangel, I came to attend the
Master. This day thou also hath somewhat to offer unto him.” I wondered, amazed within myself
as I pondered in my feeble mind, ‘What on earth could a meager pauper have of worth to
A beautiful being stepped forth from the tomb, such the like I have never before seen or after!
When he spoke his voice was as the sound of many waters, such as a gently rushing water
fall. He said, “Behold I am the first, and the last, I was alive and was dead, and now I am alive
for evermore. It is finished!”…The two angels, I saw no more.
“Thy name is called Ishmael, born after the flesh, I have heard thy afflictions. This day it
behooves thee to be a signet necessity of my Father’s will, representing all of mankind,
for their righteousness of concepts be as fifty rags. Give unto me thy clothes and I will
cleans them for thy are metaphoric of the fleshly unrighteousness of all humankind.”
I gave him my clothes and I understood not, but I felt amazingly clean. He clothed
himself with my clothes and said, “Remember this day, for flesh will prophesy this truth in the
last days. In an inspirational writing that I will give thee utterance to write. You will entitle
it, ‘The Unknown Gardener’ then you will understand the signet!”
With this, He vanished from my presence. This same day has became know as Easter morning, the day of resurrection.
And the fleshly concepts of sin as the casting off of filthy rags! My natural senses returned and I arose from the vision.
I was astonished for seven days. At the end of which I wrote the understanding of the vision. This is what Easter means to me!
For and in Honor of Gwendolen Rix
And Contest: What Easter Means to me!
I had a dream that I walked behind
a man in white cloth - so gentle, so kind;
he told me his name with his fatherly voice
and asked me to follow, though it was my choice
He talked in stories which made me think,
while he told large crowds to take of his drink;
he walked among beggars, cripples, and thieves,
and he only asked us that we all just believe
I watched his miracles bring back the dead,
and I wept as they shoved thorns upon his head;
I watched him be beaten, spit on and cursed,
and on the day he died - the clouds rained with a burst
I cried because I had lost my very dear friend,
although, he told me that it was not the end;
I didn't understand this man, this begotten son
was the way to eternal life - for me and everyone
I walked alone without him there,
and felt so lonely because my soul did care;
this gentle man they did kill for me,
so I could live on and really be free
When I awoke from my dream I had a plan,
to live my life - to be a better man;
for what I learned from this only one
is that He is truly God's only son
I know my friend will always be,
even at times when I can't always see;
for a life is lost - without the One,
a kind and gentle man we call the Son.
For "What Easter Means to Me" contest sponsored by Gwendolen Rix.
The Galilean sun smiled down
Upon the dusty little town
And lingered o'er one humble spot,
A peasant's home and modest shop.
Long shafts of light fell 'cross the door
To lay bright carpets on the floor
Where children played in perfect peace
About the shop. Their joy increased
Each time they caught a glimpse of Him,
The carpenter who worked within.
His face was gentle, eyes were kind;
And as He worked, He did not mind
Their ceaseless chatter, endless play
Nor did He find them in His way.
Their laughter rippled round the room;
They scattered sawdust with a broom.
The woodchips falling at His feet
Became for them a fishing fleet
Or beds and chairs for little dolls,
A manger or a cattle stall.
Surrounded by the commonplace;
And yet, uncommon was the grace
With which He faced each daily task
As if all Heav'n lay in His grasp.
A carpenter He was by trade;
The wood responded, unafraid.
Beneath His hands each piece was formed
Into an object to perform
Some deed of usefulness or skill,
The needs of men to fitly fill.
Precise He was in all His craft
From oxen yoke to shepherd's staff
To couches for a nobleman;
He was a careful artisan.
Each part was polished, sanded, ground;
No painful splinters could be found
To pierce the flesh of those who bought
The items fashioned in His ship.
There wood was sacrificed for man
Beneath its own Creator's hands.
Does it seem strange that He would die,
Suspended between earth and sky,
Upon two rugged beams of wood,
This carpenter whose work was good?
Never had an Easter hunt, never got an easter basket
Each Easter we had a new outfit and easter shoes
Never any candy nor chocolate bunnies
We looked well dressed walking in at church
Smiling like a princess with chubby cheeks and freckles
We were ok, did not need the candy and I have never had a cavity
Mom knows best, she knew what we needed
Like country fried steak and mashed potatoes
Homemade biscuits Sunday morning
That was the smell-alarm for us
We got to eat at McDonald's some Sunday's after church
All the way in the next town, our town only had DQ
Life was good even though we never heard of an Easter bunny
Mom could sew real fine too, she kept me covered
Mama, thanks for the raising!!
It's funny how we associate things. They become one with each other. Who can imagine an Easter without the bunny, or losing a tooth and not being paid a visit by the tooth fairy. And Christmas would be unthinkable without Santa. So that is why, I guess, that I still remember one particular Thanksgiving from my youth.
Back then, turkeys at the market were fresh, not frozen and encased in plastic as they are today. They also represented an extra expense on an already tight food budget. So my mother made arrangements with the market manager to set up a layaway of sorts, paying some each week, and they promised to hold one for her.
I remember when, on the afternoon before Thanksgiving day, she sent me over to the grocer to pick up the turkey. I jumped on my bike and rode downtown to Converse Market. Walking up to the door, I found it locked. Shading my eyes, I pressed my nose against the window and saw that all the lights were off. Turns out they had closed early that day to give their employees a little more time to spend with their families.
When I returned home and told my mother what had happened, the look on her face was one of devastation. What would Thanksgiving be without a turkey? I thought my dad would be mad, but instead he just said “we've got food in the house don't we”? And we did.
So, although the letdown of a Thanksgiving without the traditional bird could have been a disaster, on that particular day, we chose instead to give thanks for what we had, and, as a family, dived into our pork chops with all the fixings.
The little hand lay open in his mother's palm;
Large tears washed streaks of white across two dirty cheeks.
His soft, dark eyes were wide with innocence and pain,
And small, trembling lips found it difficult to speak.
She held him close and wiped the spot of blood away
And applied to the injury a bit of balm.
"Now, don't cry; a carpenter often hurts his hands.
All will be well. Shall Mama sing to you a psalm?"
The child's sobs hushed; all around the house grew still
Save for the sound of Joseph's tools against the wood.
"Sing the shepherd's psalm, Mama; sing of the way through
Death's shadowed valley and the Shepherd who is good."
Mary pressed his rosy cheek closer to her breast;
Her eyes welled up with stinging tears; her face grew pale.
She held the little injured hand and knew not why
She trembled so at the imprint of one small nail.
She wouldn't win a beauty prize
My happy little Muffin.
She wasn't very much for size,
But sure kept me a huffin'.
She chased the rooster to the deck
Just to see that banty run.
When he hit the house and broke his neck
She was just having fun.
We'd play a game of hide and seek.
I'd seek and she would run.
I'd be so tired I couldn't speak.
She'd still be having fun.
She watched him hide his pretty wares
When the Easter Bunny came.
And as the children ran in pairs,
She joined into their game.
Their short legs were longer than
The short ones that she wore.
For each egg going in their pan
She'd find a dozen more.
We tried to take them from her and
She'd look at us and grin.
Her mouth was faster than our hand
As another egg went in.
She wouldn't mind me when I called her
As I trembled and I cried.
Though I ran and pleaded with her
A car hit her and she died.
I've had dogs that were more faithful
And superior in size,
But at being glad and gleeful,
Happy Muffin wins the prize.
Grandkids love to hear the story
Of how Muffin stole the eggs
And how God took her up to glory
On her little Dachshund legs.
By: Joyce Johnson
Easter was originally a rural,
Spring feast day celebrating the
lushness and richness of the soil.
It also celebrated the fertility and
birth of all creation. The sparrow
and the doves began to sing and build
nests during this season. In a Germanic
pagan tradition, the Goddess of Dawn
was originally worshiped prior to, and
200 years after, the death of Christ.
It was she who was known for
blessing the richness of the earth.
Easter resides on a movable calendar,
changing the date of its celebration
every year. Easter mirrors Passover
to the extent that Moses spent 40 days
on Mt. Sinai to receive the sacred
commandments in the old Testament.
Lent and Ash Wednesday, practiced by
Orthodox Christianity, also lasts 40 days.
It was basically 200 years after Christs’
death that the Christian church took
over the feast day of the Goddess and
filled it with Easter Sunday dinner..
"What Easter Means to Me" contest
It’s good to get together as friends and confreres
like in table fellowship or religious convocation
and then, enjoy the company of each other’s culture
as Italians, Colombians, Filipinos or Brazilians.
The day after Easter Sunday adds another occasion
for us Scalabrinians to be reunited at this point in time
sharing the gifts of food, life, humor and relationship
with a space for fraternity, some updates and good wishes.
Truly, it shows the spirit of oneness and fraternal fellowship
sharing the commonality of our commitmment to faith
as brothers in Christ and members of our Founder’s order,
the religious congregation that cares for migrant people.
There’s much to do and plan for what we aim to materialize
in today’s world where migration poses a huge issue
like a salad bowl with mozzarella, tomato and olive oil
a metaphor for migration that deals with human cultures.
Described in the Bible as a growing missionary virtue
hospitality as a key to open one’s heart in this journey
With fearlessness and confidence, it’s a major issue
depicting the picture of global movements raised in action.
Our days of darkness, our bickering confreres in places –
where community life matters and features one’s emptiness
in dealing with one another in our quest for human and divine.
it’s indeed a challenge and will always be a test of faith, thus far.
This helps us understand through our setbacks, pains and joys,
with friends around and those who share with us many times
those sacred stories of being called to worship God and be present
especially in the Eucharist that nourishes our souls to be whole.
I looked away and tried to shake her. I can't really describe what I felt in her presence. In
fact, if it was a feeling I was experiencing, it felt great . But there she was anyway…smiling
and kind of bubbly I guess you could say... right above and just behind the priest….kind of
floating I guess. I kept pretending she wasn’t there, looking away and thinking of the person
I was praying for even while feeling giddy because she WAS there and
the priest obviously couldn’t see her……… She would flit to that person I was saying a prayer
for in my mind’s eye and above the picture formed in my mind of that person,.. spread her
hands palms up in an outward position while smiling gaily as if to say ..okay we’ve got her
covered! But she never said a word. Somehow she made me feel wonderful. I did not know
who she was. I just knew she was dressed as a nun and she was a lively bubbly, loving
person. My priest friend was still reading and a couple of times he looked up at me and
asked me if anything was wrong… I said no but couldn’t help smiling and did not want to tell
him what was happening. I thought he would think I fell off my rocker on this fine Easter day.
I felt sorry for him trying to help me by reading this for me and here I was lost in
an adventure of sorts with this nun! So I said a Hail Mary for him. Quick as a wink
she “floated” above him, spread her palms out, kissed him on top of his head and looked at
me again with that fun loving smile! I thought I would bust with glee. I laughed out
loud. My poor pastor looked up at me and again inquired. I thought I would chance telling
It did not seem to surprise him a bit. I told him I had to go home. All this while I was
overwhelmed with an unmistakable feeling or knowledge that this nun was going to be with
me forever and wherever I went. I was even trying to plan ahead how to act in my everyday
life with her keeping me in such joyful ....
The pastor I had met a couple months ago was sitting across the table from me reading
from a book by a Doctor of the Church or Saint or from scripture. I can’t remember which.
We had been doing this twice a week for four to five hours a night since he crossed my path
as an answer to my prayer yelled to the ceiling at God to show me the truth!
I even tried to get rid of God by that time in my life but I couldn’t shake Him. Hadn’t been
to Church in 25 years and never intended to again. I knew better….until I finally hit bottom. I
had been raised a Catholic by my parents but I jettisoned that when I hit the service and
basically never looked back. I knew by this time in my life that I would never go back to that
church but here I was discussing God the Trinity with a Catholic priest every spare moment
I had. No room here for details but it was a more than obvious answer to a prayer yelled out
to God in frustration that even I ,in my stubborness, could not fight . We took turns reading
and discussing various books, but today was special. It was Easter 1992 about ten pm or so.
He was reading . I can’t remember what. I wasn’t paying attention. I was busy praying a Hail
Mary that he had taught me again, for certain people. I was worried for them and couldn’t
keep my mind on the task at hand even though it was enjoyable enough. ………..Then I saw
her. I didn’t believe I saw her. But there she was....
continued in parts 2 and 3.
Resurrected tomb inspected but all that was left was a purple covenant torn and tattered
Next to this covenant of wet tears and blood was a letter evidently from his Mother Mary
This letter read: I am sorry, I could not die with you and I know you will see me when the time is right
in the dark when it is neither day nor night. I wrote this letter when you were a little boy to prepare for the worst because I love you so.
I hope when you rise you will realize my intentions were kind and true unto you and even the world to come, please see me before Revelations unveils your true majesty's will
On Easter Sunday a time between day and both night he rose out of sleep and read these words aloud that was laid on top of his heart.
As you know his mother gave him strength more miraculous than any superhero or muscular man,
and when he read his Mother's Will to him a breath of
ravenous wind blew into him from every direction, it was a wind so heavenly like all the angels were calling upon him in a naturist way.
After the wind filled him with everlasting life he sighed and said to God
I died for all sins on earth; men will fear me now more than back then.
He took his tattered robe and clenched onto the dice thrown at his cross.
He rolled them before exiting the tomb and both of them landed as 1 and 3 next to each other.
13 spiritual healing prayers thereafter Mary was visited by his son Jesus.
A ravenous wind stirred up again on New Year's Eve 11:47 13 minutes before 2013.
Who is Praying Now? Then the whole world looked up at the stars in awe and said "Holy Cow!"
As many Catholics make a trip to church
on this particular day which marks the beginning –
Lent, in its threshold of another liturgical event,
they wear that smudge on their foreheads.
This calls everyone to a conversion journey
it means turning to all who suffer in their lives;
fasting and praying and giving alms to the poor,
form the essence of what Lent really means.
A particular discipline especially in prayer
provides a continuum in God’s focusing;
it’s something that shapes us from within
a constant encounter with His divine presence.
Sackcloth and ashes are signs of repentance,
like those incidents with some prophets
such as Isaiah , Daniel , Joel , Jonah , or Judith
in their quest for a life worthy of God’s grace.
It’s a season of renewal as baptized Christians,
a reminder of our nature as mortal ones,
our identity that embraces to come to a fuller life
in the life of Christ who gifts us his love.
Described as a community of sinners,
with its strong need of repentance and understanding,
this event of Ash Wednesday that leads us to pray –
in our journey of conversion and transfiguration;
brings us to new life and closeness to Easter celebration.
I was sitting on my front porch early one Sunday morn,
listening to the music nature plays; when I noticed an old
man walking slowly, talking to someone I could not see.
He noticed I was starring as he came closer to me,
then he stopped and smiled so sweet.
"Have you heard what they did to my Savior, so long
ago in a town so far away?"
They nailed Him to a cross, and let Him die, but He ask
that forgiveness be given to them, from His Father in
Heaven so high.
"Have you heard He arose one Easter Morning, and His
Spirit could be seen only by those who believe?"
"I came to tell you He is right here walking with me, and
He sees everything going on in our world today."
"One day soon, all His children will take a journey, to His
Kingdom in the sky, " and you know, I'm ready anytime He
comes for me," and then he wiped the tears from his eyes."
"Have you heard He offers Salvation," do you believe you
just saw me?"
"Have you heard about our Savior?"
"Have you read the headlines today?"
"Do you know Him, and will He know you, on
our Judgement Day?"