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
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.montcopoet.com
www.poetrywits.com

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.

 

Time passes.

 

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

programs.

 

I am happy, I like the sound of their

laughter.

 

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 murder

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

     December 2013

 

 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