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

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


It has been awhile since I blogged. I go into semi-hibernation at this time of year, so I am not feeling very communicative. Our first December meeting got snowed out so I had little but gossip to report. Snow seems to have effectively deterred us from Dan's New Year party in spite of our intentions. Don't know anyone who went. Tim aborted and went to the bookstore to run up his credit card instead.

I did forget one announcement on the 27th. For those of you who remember her, Mildred, the Queen Mother of EOTNP, sent a Christmas card - one of her pencil sketches drawn of the scene outside the window of her apartment in Beverwyck - with a poem:

OVER THE YEARS by Mildred Baur Kerr
Box up memories...the good ones.
Pack close
precious time and
tender feelings.
Squeeze in
thoughts of
many dear friends.
Tuck corners with
beauty of places visited.
Stuff vacant spots
with recollections of
laughing grandchildren.
Tie tight each knot.
Let nothing be lost
before marking fragile.

Mildred is very close to ninety, if she is not already, and this is her first Christmas without Donald.

At the meeting, Philomena announced the start-up of a poetry-coffeehouse at the Unitarian Church in Albany next May.

Alan passed out the Annals of Perious Frink and announced a book warming at Perfect Blend Coffee House in Delmar on Sunday, January 27, from 3 - 5 p.m. He also made a beautiful broadside of Mike's Tattoo poem. You can support Alan's publishing with a membership in Rootdrinker Institute.

Alan offered us a choice of three versions of the same basic poem - one-word difference in each. It was a terrific poem with a great title - Sea Bird, Another - and the spacing on the page contributed greatly to the effect. Having to choose between love and wind, I choose wind. Dog lover that I am, I also enjoyed Feeding Charlie Cheerios in the "freebies" Alan passed out.

Dennis, who was coming off his annual stint as the jolly red Christmas guy, also brought his usual packet of produce. His first offering was written for Noam Chomsky and and led to some discussion of a "box of moonlight". Great line: "the fulgent star-light white of a glass of milk."

I wish I was as prolific as Santa, arriving with no poem, but discovering one in my folder which I had not presented before. It was written just days before my father died and pointed to his economies with toothpaste and the subsequent loss of his teeth. Suggestion: change the order of the verses.

Ally-Cathy talked about tears, the lack of them and the comfort of them. Suggestion: change Mark to a generic person.

Philomena wrote a theological update on the childhood Act of Contrition. It was personal, yet it remained very universal. Suggestion: that the repetition be eliminated.

Paul walked with the Druids in the twilight woods. Strong voice, good atmosphere.

Mimi's Quilting talked about a friend's effort to control the uncontrollable world through fabric.

Mike's Xmas poem left me a little confused about why the guy went up the stairs. Included a great description of a lonely man's house. I still say the wife died, not divorced him.

A couple of us thought Tom's Our Voyages Endlessly Maiden (good title) should have been two poems, as it broke into something else in the middle - life out of balance. Tom stuck up for his deliberate cliches.

Tim introduced a good light-hearted moment with his Advice Godiss (reminiscent of Metroland): a series of three-line letters to a columnist who tries to solve people's problems. No answers were forthcoming, but we enjoyed the questions.

I haven't been writing lately. Whether it is because of Kenya or Pakistan or the Sudan or just Mike Huckabee, I am not very into the beginning of another year. Keep the Exedrin coming.
See you on the 10th.

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