Friday’s Questions

Jesus am I the one who spat in your face on the way to the temple,

Or I am the one who cried out proclaiming your innocence?

Jesus am I the one who dragged you in front of the high priest,

Or I am the one who tried pulling the chains away from the soldiers?

Jesus, am I the one who questioned Peter the third time,

Or I am the one who consoled Peter?

Jesus am I the one who taunted you in that jail cell,

Or I am the one who felt your pain on that dark night?

Jesus am I the one who dragged and beat you on Friday morning,

Or I am amongst the crowd who prayed for you?

Jesus am I the one who torn your body as it formed bloody pools on the pavement, or I am the one who broke through the Roman soldiers, telling them to stop!

Jesus, am I the one in silence who stood by Pilate’s side as he washed his hands of you, or I am the one who protested your crucifixion?

Jesus am I the one who pushed down the crown of thorns and laughed at you , or I am one of the jailers telling them stop?

Jesus am I the one who constructed your cross,

Or I am the one who refused to cut the tree?

Jesus am I the one who continuously mocked you on the Via Dolorosa,

Or I am the one who comforted you with a cloth?

Jesus, I am the one who refused you help to carry your cross,

Or I am the one who God changed my heart?

Jesus, I am the one when you fell the third time stomped on you,

Or I am the one who gave you water to drink?

Jesus, am I the one who rode my donkey up to Calvary in all of my finery,

Or I am the one who walked with your mother Mary?

Jesus am I the one who nailed you to the cross,

Or I am the one consoling John and Mary Magdalene?

Jesus am I the one who watched this horrid death in complacency,

Or I am the one reeling in disgust from this senseless death?

Jesus, am I the one who still did not believe when the earth shook at the moment of your death, or I am the one who bowed my head and wept?

Jesus, am I the one whose sins waiver in my journey through this life?

Or I am the one who will continue through this life knowing that your love is so great, even to the point of dying on the cross?

© Mary Anne Abdo

Every Holy Thursday evening I watch Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ. For me when I first watched in the movie nineteen years ago I was in total shock as to the bloody violence of this film. But this what truly happened to Jesus and there was no other way to depict the last hours of his life. I will never forget the crying in the audience and the total silence at the end of the film even past leaving the parking lot of the movie theater. This movie is the most thought provoking, deep within your soul and the most controversial movie made about the death of Jesus. For me this movie sinks into my soul and makes me question myself, about my faith, how I am treating people , I am living a good life, how do I overcome my mistakes etc…


Friday Photos

As March closes her chapter today, here are some photos from this past weekend. I am looking forward to what April will bring to the creative drawing table for me.

The Land of Make Believe

Children have a wonderful way of making up games and magical stories.

Spontaneously running through the park and swinging on a swing.

Creating journeys of riding wild horses in a circus ring.

Using their imaginations while painting watercolor streams.

Twirling around and giggling as one wishes until they are dizzy.

Building impromptu tent cities in the yard.

Pretending their angel guides are eating lunch with them.

Wishing on a star while the moon gobbles up the cheese.

Being off the cuff with the details of their day.

Always adventurous without restraint.

Singing songs of those unrehearsed melodies.

Reading improvisational tales to their childhood friends.

Splashing about with dinosaurs in a wading pool.

Picking up buttercups to see if their chins turned yellow.

Hauling their dolls in the little red wagons, waiting for the ice cream truck to always appear.

Oh, how my dreams wander to these childhood memories,

making the land of make believe ever so vividly real.

© Mary Anne Abdo

Season of the Lamb

Spring embodies a time of birth.

Smells of country fresh air.

Mud puddles, remnants of winter’s snowy good-bye.

Waterproof trousers, a sheep farmer’s best friend.

Walking through new green fields mixed with swaths of heather purple.

Newborn lambs sleeping two by two in makeshift hay beds.

Loss of sleep and eating cold suppers, a springtime ritual.

Iodine and hand cream making your two hands a faded brown.

Ewes overwrought and lacking milk.

While their babies suckle from a bottle on a warm dirty lap.

Remember to shut the holding pen gate.

Or visions of white cotton balls will dot the landscape.

Raucous crying from these precious new friends is inevitable.

Silent tears, giggles and remembering nature’s wondrous site.

Gives you a sense of heaven, gazing over this pastoral landscape.

© Mary Anne Abdo

This is for all of the hard working sheep farmers during this season of lambing. I dedicate this poem to my cousin Eileen’s husband Loughlin who is an wonderful person working right now during the busiest season of their farm.

Thank you

Free From Sorrow

Date: March 12, 2023Author: Edge of Humanity Magazine

Written by Mary Anne Abdo

I write the words on paper that only you can give me.

I am sorry that you had to leave.

I am sorry you left this earth in so much pain.

I am sorry that your eyes witnessed war and strife.

I am sorry that the Green Zone was really not a safe haven.

I am sorry scud missiles made you and Maureen run for your lives.

I am sorry that blood filled the Tigris River.

I am sorry that there was no solace in Baghdad.

I am sorry that you lost your American comrades, who were blown

to nothing that day in the barrack’s gym.

I am sorry that your Iraqi interpreters will never be seen again,

in a war they never wanted.

I am sorry that when you came home and had to attend funerals of your comrades who took their lives.

Because the pain of war was too much to fathom…

I am sorry that PTSD was your new normal.

And that nobody really understood.

I am sorry your life became so full of sorrow.

I am sorry it was so unbearable that leaving earth was the only way to stop this madness.

I am eternally grateful that you protected my sister.

I am eternally grateful that you defended this nation.

I am eternally grateful for that you served with honor, distinction and bravery.

I will count you, my dear amongst the five pointed golden stars in the beautiful night sky.

Text © Mary Anne Abdo

Thank you to the Edge of Humanity Magazine for featuring this poem two weeks ago. Suicide is not a topic that most people want to discuss, especially that of a brave man or woman who served our country. But it is a topic that needs to be addressed, that statistics of our military men and women who suffer with PTSD are staggering. PTSD and it’s effects really never go away. The mental help and support they need are vital for them to go on with their lives. I can not emphasize this enough for loved one who is suffering or yourself suffering with the effects of PTSD, there is hope and there is help. Please reach out to someone who can get you to the support services that is needed. A family member, a trusted friend, someone who will support you. For without you there is a void and you matter because you gave us the freedoms in this country though your brave service. Thank you in advance for listening and please pass this message along. We have no idea how a simple gesture of compassion will mean to someone who really needs it.

Sunday’s Departures

Date: March 22, 2023Author: Edge of Humanity Magazine

Written by Mary Anne Abdo

Sixty days and these departures are always on Sunday

Was the Sabbath more timely for everyone to depart?

Notices and phones calls of loved ones leaving the train station.

Departures from Ireland, Texas, Florida, New York and Scranton.

Trying to console one another as this speeding train moves on.

Past the curtained vale.

Past a soldier’s wake.

Past the locked unit of a nursing home.

Past Loch Gorman near Kilmore.

Past the Polish ancestors.

Past the home of compassion.

I don’t want to have time for this train.

We all have tickets in hand awaiting our destiny of time.

A few close whistle calls made the conductor’s platform.

It was not their time on the train schedule.

I sit here and weep of those who left the train station.

On God’s time.

Text © Mary Anne Abdo

Thank you to the Edge of Humanity Magazine for publishing this poem. Lately it seems I am visiting funeral homes and sending condolence cards in memory of family along with close friends. I understand it is part of life, but it has been very draining.


Parents waiting for newborn birth.

Newborn birth gives way to possibilities.

Possibilities pondered over a child’s future.

A child’s future is infused with love.

With love children are free to discover.

Free to discover new ways of learning.

Learning about the world opening up to all opportunities.

Opening up to all opportunities of higher education.

Higher education enables many levels of human engagement.

Levels of human engagement fosters friendships.

Fostering friendships is a gift.

A gift not wasted by lack of time.

Lack of time and not looking for unanticipated moments.

Unanticipated moments are what makes life so marvelous.

(c) Mary Anne Abdo

Friday Photos

Civil War Soldiers Monument
The mayor of Ballina raises the Irish flag
The pipes are calling
The Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians
Sun breaking through a cold bitting wind
The Iconic Scranton Lace Works
New Glass Windows
Beautiful Reflections
Lace Village Lights

This weekend is a big weekend in my hometown of Scranton. We host the 2nd largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in America. My husband and I had the privilege of being present for the raising of the Irish flag at our courthouse.

Today, as I was passing by my favorite photographic muse. The workers were installing the Lace Village sign. The Scranton Lace Works at one time was the major producer of Nottingham Lace outside of England. It was also a major source of employment for immigrants settling in the Lackawanna Valley.

Contemplative Friends

We sing our bird songs of joy and thanksgiving.

For that lady on Euclid Avenue, has filled our dinner table.

Nothing too fussy or picky.

She throws out day-old bread.

A dinner treat against the cold north wind.

When winter’s grip breaks, she fills our suet cages.

Along with special blends, the best favored seeds for our large bin.

Imagine, just for us.

We do make quite a sight.

Flying sideways and crossways to get our favorite spot.

While the squirrels get their fill eating upside down.

In gratitude we leave feathered gifts on her porch.

The lady on Euclid enjoys our singing.

Especially when morning breaks.

Being her musical choir, the maestros of her quiet contemplation.

© Mary Anne Abdo

Forty Days

I step onto a path of personal change.

Internally finding ways of obtaining grace.

For my feet are unsteady.

Looking towards the desert of temptation.

The way markers of free will are set before me.

Crosses of ash are imbedded.

Into those who have chosen the journey of changing hearts.

Reminding us of our inevitable dust.

Some are experienced on this desolate path.

Some are in need of mentors along the way.

All wanting to silently pray for their intentions.

I walk along on Lent’s purple and violet sojourn.

Towards Israel’s hill of contemplation.

© Mary Anne Abdo

For me Lent is a chance to empty myself out from my human selfish ways. Being of the Catholic-Christian faith it is a time of pray and fasting. It is time to reconnect with the Divine and how His love changed this world. We need more of this time to promote love and peace.

Garage Wallpaper

License Plates.

Oh yes, we have a wall neatly plastered with Pennsylvania’s auto past.

Long ago memories of first cars.

Fast cars.

Beater cars.

And hauling trucks.

Colors of rusty gold with blue lettering.

Colors of faded yellow with the Keystone insignia.

Colors of worn out blue and illegible yellow lettering.

Decades of license plates spanning the ghosts of automobile past.

Dad’s favorite showpiece.

And talking points over coffee.

A bygone eras with his garage buddies.

And neighborhood friends.

Inherited pieces of metal as we remember, the stories of dad.

© Mary Anne Abdo

Friday Photos

Two weeks of exploring different ways to put my ideas to canvas.

I used two apple tree branches to create the branches of a cherry tree.
The bottom painting is a combination of salted water color and acrylic paints
The bottom painting is water color
I used a heavy makeup brush to upstroke the paint to create Auroras in the painting.
Alaskan Aurora