Monday, March 18, 2013

Upper Moreland Library Display Case in honor of "April is National Poetry Month" - We tie it into Poets w/ Bipolar or Depression and Our Support Group

Poet Linda Barrett met me at the library and together we installed the display case. Head librarian Margie told me when she took over as library director, she found all three display cases collecting dust in a back room.

I spent three hours at home typing up material for the case including, at Margie's request, the purpose of the case:

Perhaps if you double-click you can read it. I turned it into a poem. This is the top of two large shelves. My friend Lloyd Lyons self-published an amazingly creative book - there's the Rev Martin Luther King on the cover, along with a photo of Prez Obama on the bottom.

Rocks and shells, feathers and pine cones, filled the two shelves.

BTW, the striped rock in the front cost me a dollar. A dozen years ago, some kids from up the street were selling rocks. I know a good bargain when I see one, so I gave him his nickel asking price plus a tip.

My 'forced' forsythias sat in water in a pretty beer bottle that I painted in my acrylic painting class a couple of years ago.

Two feathers from Pennypack Trust, necklaces for decoration on the bottom, and a wonderful poem "Sleight of Hand," by Richard M Berlin, MD, from his website. Got his permish to use it.

On my blogroll on the right of this post, you'll see websites that I frequently check and Berlin's is among them.

Holding the feathers is one of Claudia McGill's creations. I've known Claudia for yrs and have half-dozen of her collages around my house, as well as my own artwork.

My mobile made of PVC pipes.
Also asked my 88-yo friend Ted Peck of Princeton, NJ, to send me a poem. When he does, I'll get the key again for the display case and find a space.

I always ask a patron for his or her opinion.

"Hello, Kind Sir," I said to a friendly-looking fellow. "You are the lucky person chosen to inspect our display case for your opinion. Do you have time?"

"Sure do," said Bill Miller, a driver of Greyhound and other buses.

Bill said he loved the display case and learned a lot from it. He also took a couple of New Directions' brochures since he said he knows some people who might be interested.

Here's what my two statements read:


Display case goal?
To have you take a renewed look at poetry
Give it a chance to thrill you
sadden you
make you weep
and celebrate the
deliciousness of every
single day on earth.

Did you know that many famous poets
- Sylvia Plath - Jane Kenyon - Robert Lowell -
had depression or bipolar disorder?

Let's applaud them for their perseverance
with these challenging illnesses
and read their poetry
while they sleep with the angels.


These challenging illnesses are treatable.

No cause for shame
No cause for sorrow
Our people have talents
unknown to others:
the abyss of our suffering
the mountaintops of joy
make us unique.

Visit our support group
brochures on your Right.

New Directions Support Group

Ruth Z Deming, Founder/Director
Our pleasure to serve you and
also to present this Display Case.

B/c it had begun to snow outside, Linda hopped in my car so I could drive her to her car in front of Barnes and Noble.

"Linda," I said after she buckled herself in, "I'm listening to an audio tape. A woman is being raped."

"Lord have mercy," she said.

"It's a Stephen King novel," I told her. It's very graphic, of course. But... if I turn it off, as a courtesy to Linda, it starts all over again!

The prior Stephen King novel on the first four discs was very imaginative. That's the one where King came out of retirement.

I stopped listening to it b/c it was so gruesome, but wanted to find out the ending. This was the story where a man, with the help of his 14-yo son, kills the mother and stuffs her down the backyard well.

That was only the start of his troubles.

Turns out the 'hero' is haunted by the murder and experiences hallucinations that rats are everywhere.

He dies in his hotel room, where he's forced to live b/c he has no money.

Cause of death? He bit himself to death like a rat.

Quick! Change the subject.

Delivered the Compass to the new psych unit at Abington Memorial Hospital. Linda with the cheery voice got permish from her manager to take me on a tour.

What a beautiful and cheerful unit it is now. I used to give 'inspirational talks' there and loved it.

Gave Linda a dozen copies to share with staff and patients.

Then took the elevator downstairs to see my former psychiatrist, Larry Schwartz, who still doesn't believe me, I ascertained today, that my bipolar d/o has gone forever.

Larry is about 78 today,

As my faithful readers know - I think that's you, Roberto - Larry's wife recently passed away.

I brought him a condolence card, which I was gonna shove under his door, but, like old times when I saw him for many years when I had bipolar, the door was ajar.

And there was that note on his inner sanctum saying "I'll be detained."

Knock knock knock!

"Larry," I shouted. "It's Ruth Deming."

Sure enough, he answered the door and I peeked into the room where I'd visited him so often.

"Ruth Deming," I reminded him.

I always remind people of who I am, including my boyfriend Scott.

"I'm so sorry to hear of your wife's death," I said, handing him a condolence card. Marion and Ada also send their sympathies.

"How did she die?" I asked, expecting to hear about a long, painful struggle.

"A heart attack," he said, with that little smile on his face.

"And there was no warning?" I asked.

"No," he said shaking his head.

"It's good you're working," I said.

I wished he had invited me in to chat, like we did in the good ole days.

I left him two Compasses in his waiting room.

Mom called me today and said she made meatloaf (outa turkey meat) per my request. Taking account the newly falling snow - more like prongs of ice - and the temperature - 34 degrees - I decided to drive on over.

Here's Mom, 90, preparing my meal. She's taking 'walking lessons' from one therapist and 'using- her- hand lessons' from another. Long story. Arthritis in the hands and lack of blood flow to her legs.

Oy! Getting old is not healthy for you.

 The meat loaf was superb and I brought some home for lunch tomro.

Delicious salad and my trusty Novolog needle. 8 units should do it. Diabetes, of course, from my antirejection meds.

Mom and I sat and talked awhile, tho I was in a hurry to get home on account of the roads.

My next move? To work on my short story "The Light in the Kitchen" about the Marine gunnery sergeant who comes home to heal himself.

As they say, write about something you know!


  1. Great idea about display case and turning this into a poem! Also wonderful job on Compass and read most of it last night and enjoyed all. Good articles, poetry and enjoyed and learned. Thank you for the honor of being included. I had sent you some poems as you had requested, thinking you might choose one or two and did not expect you to include so many. I am appreciative to have been there with all the others.

  2. iris, i've done dozens of these over the yrs. glad you enjoyed the compass. pass em out to people who might enjoy them. ya know what? every yr i say to myself, This is the last compass.

  3. I laughed when I read this as I said the same about things related to my adoption agency..last newsletter..last family party..last contest, etc. It took me nearly 30 yrs though, to finally mean what I said. Sometimes I still can't quite believe that Thursday's Child is no more.

  4. funny, i was thinking at our last new directions meeting on tues nite that if i kick the bucket the group will still go on. twas a good feeling, but i've got too much writing to do until then. am still working on my story about the soldier in afghanistan. plus i sent in a true story to an online site called blackbird. it's called katya the impossible.
    lemme know if you wanns read it and i'll mail it.