Here we are...

...a group of Baby Boomers of sundry religious,
political and cultural orientations, who have been
meeting at the Voorheesville Public Library since 1991
to read and discuss each other's poems.

We include old fathers and young grandmothers,
artists and musicians, and run-of-the-mill eccentrics.
Writers are welcome to stop in and stay if they like us.

Some of Us

Some of Us
Dennis Sullivan, Beverly Osborne, Tom Corrado, Edie Abrams, Art Willis, Alan Casline (all seated); Paul Amidon, Mike Burke, Tim Verhaegen, Mark O'Brien, Barbara Vink, Philomena Moriarty

Friday, June 29, 2007

Personally, I have to stop eating

We ate like starving third world children last night. Really. The bill at Smit's was bigger than I've ever seen it and it wasn't from the libations. That said, I will apologize for falling asleep on my couch and missing the beginning of the meeting. You, of course, carried on without me, but Alan (who was also late) and I just weasled our poems in under the time wire.

News first. Ally appeared to say goodbye for the summer as she has chosen to do water aerobics on Thursday nights instead of poetry (!). I concede it is better for her health, but we will miss her. Joyce tells me she is also taking a writing break. Burke has deserted us for the lake house. No Mimi for a couple of sessions. She will be in VA and at Pyramid Lake. Paul was missing last night and I missed the explanation if there was one. Also no Philomena. Still, a dozen of us there and some good, good poems.

Dan had questions about poems that rhyme v. those that don't and expressed his inability to write the others. We might want to spend some time talking about that subject and the subject of gerunds, which also came up. Dennis has suggested that we do an evening outside the library which is devoted to discussions of that nature. Our time is usually so short at meetings that we cannot get into other subjects of interest. We will be planning something.

Okay, the poems. Edie's Sanctum Sanctorum was unmistakeably hers and one of her best. Markle's new language was almost decipherable and very clever. He is making progress. Ally did a DRY LAND SAIL which was not only a great title, but a great poem about an encounter with a bicyclist with "lime green billowing".

Tom had a new technique called "leave extra words in the poem and let the audience choose". It worked admirably and we all had an opinion. It was fun. A small debate ensued about #4 pencils. Willow also prompted quite a discussion with her surprise ending on an "alien" poem which turned out to be litter of puppies. We opined that it needed a new title.

I missed the reading of Art's Targum but picked up on positive remarks about the cadence and the content. Dennis divided us all between those who had heard of Phillip Berrigan (the 60's peace priest) and those who hadn't. Our peace and justice master impressed us (me, anyway) with his personal acquaintance with the man who was an object of my admiration.

I got a little dramatic with Timmy by tearing his poem apart (literally) and did apologize after, but he didn't seem to mind. I found the first two pages confusing so I ripped them off. The final page I loved.

Dennis inspired me to write about my grandmother, who was his neighbor years ago. I was kind of rough on her. I have strong memories of our visits to her in Tennessee and think it was a strong poem.

Alan wrote about Adirondack clouds, ending with the terrific phrase "this weather is too small to hang your hat on". I loved that. He also published a broadside of my poem from last time about my family around the fire. It is adorned with a beautiful woodcut (?) of leaves. I love it and appreciate his effort with it. Thank you, Alan.

And - thank you all for your presence at my birthday and for the very thoughtful gifts and speeches. You are all very special to me.


  1. Anonymous6/29/2007

    You forgot to say that everybody else but you loved my poem. tut tut

  2. Anonymous6/30/2007

    Barbara - miss everyone already - I'm in VA taking care of Dad - he's doing very well - looks like my visits to VA will continue for a while.
    Your blog keeps me connected, and I appreciate it very much.