Sunday, August 13, 2017

Arts Fest - Part Two

 Donna Krause has experienced many losses. She wrote a poem about her daughter Mariel who died at 15 of meningitis. The audience was so moved they commented on the tragedy.  Donna has written many poems about her beloved daughter.

I mentioned that religion and a belief in the Afterlife was a comfort to so many people who were there. Another woman, Lorraine, had lost her 32-yo son to a heroin overdose.
"Rolling into Town on a Greyhound Bus," sang Vern. And "Come with me, come with me, Corn Maiden." He also read a poem about the death of a young man in the neighborhood Kenny Rankin. Shot to death. Told him at first I thought he was singing about Dave van Ronk, a great folk artist, who was the basis for one of the Coen Brothers films. 

 Fran Hazam drove out from her apartment in downtown in Philly. She lost her husband Denis about a year ago. I have the program from his funeral on my death shelf atop my living room desk. I can summon his mellifluous voice any time I want.

Fran is one of the greatest activists I've ever met. "Got rights?" reads her T-shirt. She's gonna retire in November from MHASP.

 I said I was happy to introduce people we'd never met before who would take the stage.

Bob McGlinski - this may be a repeat - read a very touching poem about his mother who had Alzheimer's for many years. She had been a nurse who suffered from bipolar. Great job, Bob. 

Below is Susan Miller who read an astoundingly good poem WHO AM I ?  She's been through a lot and wrote this poem a week ago.

She also sang! She belted out the Stylistics Betcha By Golly Wow. 

She is a risktaker!

Linda read a series of poems. She had written one this very morning which she read for us. She has her poetry organized in a notebook she buys at Staples and has each page in a laminated sheet.
Her new poem concerned a duel the poet goes through as an evil spirit tries to take her down.
Rem read an epic poem about the ruination of our planet. And then a lighter one.
Ed Lakota was at his best, as he strummed his geetar and played his harmonica. He started with some Roger Miller songs. Then he moved on to the Beatles, including Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. We discussed if the song referred to using LSD. Probably not.

The rhythms were so great I got up and started dancing. I pulled Herb up from his chair and danced with him. He was struck down when he was discharged from the Army. He has a phenomenal mind.
Herb is in the middle below. More about him later. Mary is a peer specialist from Salisbury. And Helen, wearing a cape, surprised us. She had just come from a really long walk.

 Family member Gail Russell also surprised us. She and her friends are frequently on FB. What believers they are! She read some passages I had written her on FB, such as that she sounds the trumpet for hope and triumph against mental illness.
 Maggie and her friend react to Ed's rhythms. We stood up and danced. I pulled Herb out of his chair.

 I read one poem. When the pope came to visit. There was an orange Gerbera daisy on the back table. I gave it to Susan Miller as her gift.
 Herb asked if he could do some stand-up comedy. I was skeptical but he was so persuasive. He was GREAT!  Did some voices - Rocky Balboa - a waiter at a Jewish deli - an Indian who owns a gas station. Excellent likenesses. Then he sat down but remembered another act, so did that one too.

Imagine! Herb was so excited about performing! He was a natural. Hope he has the chance to do it again.

Ed and Vern knew each other. They were talking shop. I love to bring people together.

And, yes, we were all together today, Sunday, August 13, from 1 until 4 pm, the exact time we were supposed to be there.

I'm listening now to Mountain Stage from West Virginia. The Chocolate Drops with Rhianon Gibbons.

After we said goodbye to one another, I went downstairs at the Giant and had dinner!

From the Hot Bar I got Chicken Pot Pie, a breaded triangle filled with mac an cheese, and a serving of steamed veggies.

I sat down with my friend "Sherman Johnson," who I've known for years. He has a nice pension but his family in TX won't have anything to do with him b/c of his bipolar disorder.

Does this ever stop? This nonsensical prejudice? He's got a 3-year-old g'daughter 'they' won't let him visit or talk to.

What dyou say? I said Wait a while and then try again. But don't let your g'dtr forget about you.

Cynthia Marcolina from Harleysville is a bundle of energy. She "retired from the "Minutia-scrutiny" of work, as a counselor. "Sunlight and flowers reviving me now. Finally, out of the Cold-dark-den."

She vacationed in Barbados.

Everywhere… blight and beauty.
        Here glass becomes treasure when the sea
        Is done with it.  Crumbling houses merge
        With the ground.  I swam with turtles and
        Floated on waves of iridescent translucence.

And me? I read my pope poem.... Pope Francis came to visit me.

What must he think of this world where he was elected to be king and conscience and fixer-upper and just general Francis-be-good?

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