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, September 24, 2010


I am finding it hard to describe Dennis' tribute to Art. It was eloquent, flowing, accessible, touching. I quote:
In the eyes
of a man whose soul
sits aside the Stygian shore
I see a boy skate wild
across the frozen floor of Russia...

For me it was a throat-tightening, eye-blurring experience. Thank you.

My own poem (yes, I had one) dims by comparison, although I was fairly happy with it when I wrote it. Belling The Cat was inspired by my new Hell's Kitten, Moses, but actually tried to relate the act of a small pain letting loose the floodgates to all the pain in the universe. Mixed reviews.

Tim brought us a work in progress which is off to a good start. I, too, am fascinated by cemeteries and Tim included a visual of an old one. I believe Mark suggested that the poem ended on the first page and it could, but there was good stuff on page two that deserves to live. Not, however, "widdle tikes".

We were happy (and a little surprised?) to see Israel and Catherine again. We don't always have good luck with return visits from the people we initially attract. We might need to address this problem. In any case, they still seem to like us, and although Israel had not written, Catherine brought a wonderfully fresh Sylvia Plath poem which we all liked.

Ann drifted off the beaten path with her Two People which totaled nine alliterative words, written with her calligraphy pen, prompted ideas of the words floating around the page.

Mark, who seemed determined to chop everyone's poem off at the knees tonight, had a great title - This Foul Act - for his couplets re living life in obscurity.

Acorn shrapnel was raining down on Edie who experienced a horrible summer and was now facing the hailstorm of autumn. Edie had wisely removed a sappy verse before presenting it to the group. Dan was also into the autumn cycle with a rhyming "summer's gone" poem. Appropriately he told us how he often hears music while writing poetry. Susan compared his work to a book of timeless poems she has that was published in 1913. That was a compliment.

Susan's own Words was thought provoking and led to discussion of line breaks. It was a poem that needs several readings to absorb. Alan's list poem of the contents of his college desk in 1973 was much more on the surface, and gave us some tells into his personality. General consensus was too many books listed, poem needed weeding. Paul's First Communion started off better than it ended up, with great detail about the "uncles with knives in their boots on Saturday night". There was controversy regarding the final three lines, whether to keep or ditch.

Larry delighted me, despite his clothes clashing, the sight of his hairy legs made up for his clothing delinquency. "Exploding soapy sponges". What a concept.

All 13 of us were a little rowdy and the gavel was wielded on a number of occasions. I forgot to mention that Mike Burke left me a note assuring us of his imminent return now that the track season is over. No, Mildred Kerr is not dead but I think Tom Corrado is.

And, forgive me, God, for joking - I just got a phone call that our Mr. W. is gone.


  1. Anonymous9/25/2010

    Dan Lawlor said: at first I thought the comment about comparing me to a 1913 poet was a put down, but now I realize that they were writing great poetry back then, so it really was a complement...thank you thank you.

  2. Dan Lawlor said: Dear Susan: thanks for the complement; Remember, I only copy from the best..ha ha.