Forgotten Voices Poetry Group
Poets and poetry lovers are invited to Forgotten Voices meetings, held on the first Saturday of each month at 1 pm at the library.
Special Guest: Saturday, September 6 - Teresa Leo
Teresa Leo is the author of two books of poetry, Bloom in Reverse (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014) and The Halo Rule (Elixir Press, 2008), winner of the Elixir Press Editors' Prize.
Teresa's work has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Poetry Ploughshares, Women's Review of Books, and many other publications. She is the recipient of a Pew fellowship, a Lee Foundation grant, two Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships, and the Richard Peterson Poetry Prize. She works at the University of Pennsylvania.
About Forgotten Voices:
Many of our members write poetry, although, writing is not a requirement to attend. We welcome all ages, abilities, and interests. We enjoy listening to what each member shares. Please come and read a poem by a poet you like or a poem you have written, or just come to listen! If you love poetry, please join us!
Contact: Joanne Leva
Free and open to the public. We meet the first Saturday of each month from 1-3 pm in the Community Room. We are a group of people who are interested in poetry and have been meeting at the Indian Valley Public Library for over 22 years. The Forgotten Voices Poetry Group is led by Joanne Leva, creator of the Montgomery County Poet Laureate program. Go to www.montcopoet.com for more information about the program.
Poetry by Forgotten Voices Members
I Am Not My Diagnosis
By Rosco Cole
My name is Rosco, and although I live with mental and physical challenges, I have chosen to rise above my conditions. I choose who I want to be. here are some things I do. Maybe they can help you also.
Don't have a pity party (Oh! Poor me): I don't talk much about my difficulties.
Turn the frown upside down, and let it go around: I try to look at myself as a positive person.
Don't put yourself down (BE Happy again!): I know if I talk negatively about myself, I'll start to believe what I think.
Be who you are: Understand, accept and believe in yourself. It doesn't matter what other s think.
Don't put restrictions on yourself: Stand outside of the box.
Educate others: Participate in the conversation, and share information about mental illness.
Through my example, people will learn that I am just another person in their universe. I won't let my disabilities get in the way of our friendship. I am a good, kind and understanding person. I am a helpful person - it makes my day to make your day. Finally, it's nice to be important, but it is more important ot be nice.
A Child's Memorable Evening
By, Patricia Leibenguth
Dinner is over at the parsonage
and Grandma is in the kitchen,
Grandpa is in the study
reviewing his sermon for tomorrow.
I am lying on my tummy
on the living room floor
busy with coloring book and crayons.
A squeak from Grandpa's chair,
the click of the switch
of the lamp on the big oaken desk,
darkens the study as
he steps into the living room.
He stops by me, admires my work.
His praise brings a good feeling.
He goes to the kitchen.
I am content.
I hear their laughter from the kitchen.
My grandparents are happy and smiling
as they come into the living room.
Grandpa turns on the radio,
Grandma sits down to crochet.
Grandpa sits down to read.
I am happy.
The music stops, a station break.
The announcer gives the names of
programs to follow.
They rise, put down the crocheting and the
book to step into the dining room.
Grandma takes the wood framed, glass tray
from the top of the tea wagon to
place it on the dining table,
while Grandpa raises the two drop leaves.
The Chinese Checkers Board is
placed there and they play
as we listen to Abie's Irish Rose,
Molly Goldberg and Amos and Andy.
They laugh heartily enjoying the
I am happy, I like the sound of their
I don't fully understand it all, but laugh too.
I am only six and I am happy too.
Their favorite programs are over.
The radio is turned off.
They put the checker board away,
return the glass tray to the tea wagon
and put down the leaves, then turn
off the light.
They call to me, "Time for bed, Patricia."
Grandpa turns out the light in the living
room and turns on the stairway light.
Up the oaken stairs we go
to prepare for bed and
together say our prayers.
After we said our prayers Grandpa
turned on the radio in their room.
I could hear it too.
Beautiful music for a lullaby.
I fall asleep in the room and bed
where I was born.
I am happy,
I am content,
I am loved.
Spring, As Always
Here, as always, like a vow made and kept,
it tunnels through the rags of leaves and
bundles of snow, a long dank trail
to the first sweet sniffle of grass
and a season of fireworks exploding
before our dimmed, bedazzled eyes.
Welcome to the lawn mower, the heaps of mulch
neighbors haul in, the baby dandelions
with their round smiles, and a spit of chickadee
jumping up and down on her quivering twig.
Yes! And yes again to this precious earth
and all that greens and blossoms
and all that dies so that other are born
and for the generosity that keeps its word
like an ancient reliable voice that every
human ear has heard and believes.
Barbara Esch Shisler
A poem by Forgotten Voices member, Steve Pollack:
The First Crime
Ever since Cain murdered his brother
violence has been mankind’s eternal birthmark
envy, a miserable force that powers anger
the steady unrelenting march towards hate
Like a love unrequited, we each wait
for fate to realize our better selves
for strength to overrule our basic nature
for courage to do what we know is right
Whether coded into all of our body’s cells
the residue of abuse left by a child’s innocence
a victim to life’s mountain of disappointments
or the overwhelming anguish of mental illness
No excuse is acceptable
No explanation is sufficient
We stand at the bench of civilization
We are measured against the lessons of history
Every intolerant word
Every corrupt deed
Every war, bangs a destructive drum
Every day we witness our brother killed
and all the life and light he would have created
We each have responsibility for this world we share
We are all tillers of the earth and shepherds of flocks
Our justice must be sure and urgent and fair
administered ahead of death’s next delivery
We truly are our brothers’ keeper
And our children’s teacher
By Steve Pollack
In memory of long-time Forgotten Voices member and poet, George Offutt:
By George where could U B C/ing the
Sounds that sometimes seem inaudible
But with aid I can hear better
See the nature in all things through
his eyes made the examples come
Alive in our inner parts of his mind
Taking me home one afternoon was
Such a thrill--2 B 1on1 with a
Person that has such a grasp of
Nature Nature ly I will miss
his outlook on life & the things
That he heard and instilled in me
By Rosco Cole