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.

Saturday, November 4

Valerie Fox and Lynn Levin will introduce two poetry prompts to the Forgotten Voices Poetry Group. The first prompt is the Fibonacci poem, a concept that invites poets to craft a poem organized around the Fibonacci numerical sequence; the Fibonacci poem can evoke the Fibonacci sequence through number words, counted syllables, or other approaches. The second prompt is the superhero poem; whether your superhero rescues people in distress, provides a role model, or causes trouble, you’ll have fun putting your character to work in a superhero poem. In your poem, you may choose to star an existing superhero from popular culture, or you may also wish to invent a new superhero.

Valerie and Lynn will also share some of their own poems and participate in a question and answer session.

Valerie Fox’s books include The Rorschach Factory, The Glass Book, and Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets (co-written with Lynn Levin). Much interested in collaboration, she has published many poems and stories with Arlene Ang. She is also part of group of Philadelphia artists combining dance, word, and visual arts in projects known as “Variable Space.” She has published in Juked, West Branch, Hanging Loose, Painted Bride Quarterly, Apiary, Cleaver, Sentence, Mead, and other magazines. Last yearshe won Apiary’s first “Stung” contest. She teaches at Drexel University. Find out more here: https://www.poemsforthewriting.com.

Lynn Levin’s recent books are Miss Plastique, a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in poetry; as co-author with Valerie Fox,Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets, a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in education/academic books; and a translation from the Spanish,Birds on the Kiswar Treeby the Peruvian Andean poet Odi Gonzales. Lynn Levin’s poetry and prose have appeared inBoulevard, Michigan Quarterly Review, Cleaver, and other places. Garrison Keillor has read her poetry on The Writer’s Almanac, and she has twice been a guest onRadio Timeswith Marty Moss-Coane. Lynn Levin teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. Her website ishttps://www.lynnlevinpoet.com.

 

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
www.montcopoet.org
www.tekpoet.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.org for more information about the program.

 

Poetry by Forgotten Voices Members

Working Girls

The seats spin at the pink

formica counter

I am hon, dear, doll, and sweetheart

The clatter of coffee cups and spoons

 

Drowns out the surrounding world

Bacon seals itself onto my clothes

The aroma of coffee moves through the air

to my nose like a feature cartoon.

 

Here is my place, these are my places

From the long, hard road I am the man du jour

At Local Louie’s, everyone knows my name

I am welcome and we belong.

 

Dear woman, how are your feet today?

They ooze from the sides of your shoes

Your talents all placed aside for this work

And I thank you for being here

 

That sharp tone coming from the kitchen;

You endure

I dream of the lottery for you

And you smile and care for me.

 

J. Fillman

3/25/15

 

The Pillbox Hat   by Jim Fillman

Upon entering

she blessed the web of mesh that mysteriously

shaded her blue eyes

and their  hint of glamour.

 

The simple, round hat,

a crown in her styled hair,

ecclesiastically perched

as if for blessings.

 

One hat, black, had a lacey knot

that dangled along the side of her face;

a half-veil  fell from its lip, perhaps

to protect Father

from her inadvertent glance?

 

She gently touched the little knot

with her white-gloved hand,

and the priest placed a clean, white wafer

on her slightly outreached tongue

 

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:

To People Who Don’t Like Poetry

 

You may plainly say:

“I do not like poetry.”

Once took a college course

but, “Just don’t get it!”

You may be inclined to chime,

the least of all, “It was nice.”

 

I should say nothing,

best to bite my tongue, utter

colorless words: “Okay,

not for everyone.”

Something else I could express

follow up without restraint:

 

Poems are conversations.

Word pictures for the ear.

 

Witty syllables

insightful observations

by human voices

laughing at reality

questioning every blemish.

 

A river flowing

chosen words in conscious stream,

harmony rushing

over rocks. Thoughtful bubbles

reservoir of deep stillness.

 

Language of bodies

acrobats of emotion

a present moment,

of longing, remembering

and reaching out to touch stars.

 

Will you join the dialogue?

 

Steve Pollack

January 2015

 

In memory of long-time Forgotten Voices member and poet, George Offutt:

george-offuttBy 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