Friday, May 1, 2015

Part Two - Poetry Night at the Huntingdon Valley Library

Eileen, dressed to the nines, wrote a stunning poem about Anxiety. After our last Sonnet class, she went home, so inspired that she wrote about what was on her mind.

Her daughter, she said, is really the poet in the family.

Well, so are you, Eileen, whose rhythmic poem echoed the feeling of being anxious. Something inside her, she wrote, was "desperately seeking to get out."

At one point, Janice Dawson - no relation, we presume, to the great quarterback Lenny Dawson born in 1935 - went to the Bethayres Train Station to pick up Daniel Simpson and his GF Ona Gritz.

Dan and David Simpson are identical twins. Both born blind. I believe it's b/c they were preemies. David Simpson has one of the most horrible of all disease: ALS. Read my post about him.

Janice read some lovely haiku. I'm not quoting them exactement. My pen wouldn't write fast enough. I'm not one of dem United Nations translators. 

April is not so cruel
Time to play baseball.

Experiences of today
are tomorrow's memories.

A polar bear
casts a white shadow.


She references many foreign films including Ingmar Bergman's
Image result for the seventh seal

 The Seventh Seal. Jeez, it makes me wanna see these movies again.

Look! They're all available on YouTube.

I drank coffee today and am wide awake. Will watch one I've never seen before. How I love what's her name....

Liv Ullmann 2014.jpg Here's what Liv Ullmann looks like today.

More from Janice's poem....

For it's all a Grand Illusion with the shape of things to come.

Ona Gritz is a wonderful writer. Look at all her accomplishments here.

She read from her book Geode. She wondered what it was like "to kiss a boy who mattered" instead of an idiot who lied about her.

To My Beloved Mr. Rogers was a wonderful poem. And, yes, how we loved Mr. Rogers.

Image result for fred rogers   As a child he was obese, and was mocked by neighborhood bullies. He practiced kindness toward one and all.

Ona's restless child couldn't sit still for the program, but Mr. Rogers was ready to forgive her for all the things she would do.

When he tells you he loves you
it's like hearing music
in a cathedral.


Janice also read a poem by David Simpson called "My Favorite Silk Shirt." Of course he couldn't see it, but imagined "it was a deep green like what I imagine the sea would look like."

"Maybe I just imagine wearing the sea and the sky."

Dan Simpson stood at the podium and read a poem about why he never married.

"Of course" if he married "he could have all the guilt-free sex he wanted." The first woman he loved was his physics teacher. "She was crying with her back to us."

"The gravitational pull" meant he could love her the rest of her life, and then some.

Dan is the author of the book "School for the Blind," while David wrote "How Love Comes to Me."

Here's Linda Barrett's mom, Jane. She's walking with a new cane.

Typical phone conversation with Jane. Linda will always answer the phone when she's home.

"What! She's not home? Where does your daughter go all the time?"

Linda read three sonnets. You can read them here.

Linda is so bold. She asked our teacher if she should continue writing sonnets. Yes, indeed, said Lynn. You have a knack.

Dan was dressed up b/c he was at a funeral earlier.

He read a poem on Excuses for Not Being Married. Again, excuse me for my slow pen.

All I wanted was a narrow bed
safe and narrow. I saw the
rightness of getting married
a wave that would sweep me
over the playground.


I met my girlfriend in yoga
"Meant-to-be," she laughed,
six months later.

Happiness is right next to you.


Dan talked about his male guide dog, Chandler. He feels guilty when he leaves him at home in Lansdowne. What if there's a fire?

He asked his mom if she believes in heaven? No, I don't absolutely know, she said. But she prays, just the same, in case there is a heaven.

He read a poem by his brother David.

His pony-tailed brother who is in hospice at Holy Redeemer, while his wife Emily recovers from "the kissing disease" mono.

When she's well, he'll return to their home in Glenside.

Image result for house in glenside pa  Glenside, home of the Keswick Theater.

David has had ALS for a year and a half. Two months ago he wrote a poem "To My Terminal Disease."

Relentless wrestler, how you ruined my windpipe
elbowed in my eye

Thank you for teaching me not to
wrestle with the present moment.


Dan Simpson doesn't think he'll get ALS. He thinks many forms of ALS are caused by environmental factors, such as taking statins for your cholesterol.

His brother took statins and so do I. I have just contacted my family physician to ask him about Zocor. 

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