Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thank You, Debra Ross! Editor & KOA Chief

I want to thank Debra Ross, editor and creator of, for publishing my essay about encouraging toddlers to enjoy poetry during National Poetry Month. (If interested, the essay site is below the poem that follows.)

The way the essay appears on the page is excellent with its easy to read print, graphics, and edits. I consider Debra an amazing friend who inspires many in the Rochester area and beyond to explore life doing healthy family activities. She makes a difference for Rochester, thanks to her weekly newsletter and other positive activities. And I consider her my friend. This poem is for her by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: 


I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, who has sight so keen and strong
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poets Talking About Poetry

Robert Frost (1875-1963) American Poet.
Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Greek philosopher.
Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those we have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these things.

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) American-English poet and playwright.
If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) American poet.
When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA
Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) U.S. poet.
Poetry comes nearer to vital truth than history.

Plato (BC 427-BC 347) Greek philosopher.
Poetry is either something that lives like fire inside you --like music to the musician or Marxism to the Communist --or else it is nothing, an empty formalized bore around which pedants can endlessly drone their notes and explanations.

Author Unknown
You will not find poetry anywhere unless you bring some of it with you.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist.
In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.

Kahlil Gibran (1883 –1931)Lebanese poet, artist, and writer
Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Best Internet: Inmate Football

There was an unusual high school football game played in Grapevine, Texas. The game was between Grapevine Faith Academy and the Gainesville State School.  Faith is a Christian school and Gainesville State School is located within a maximum security correction facility. 
Gainesville State School has 14 players. They play every game on the road. Their record was 0-8. They've only scored twice. Their 14 players are teenagers who have been convicted of crimes ranging from drugs to assault to robbery. Most had families who had disowned them.  They wore outdated, used shoulder pads and helmets. Faith Academy was 7-2. They had 70 players, 11 coaches, and the latest equipment. 

Chris Hogan, the head coach at Faith Academy, knew the Gainesville team would have no fans and it would be no contest, so he thought, "What if half of our fans and half of our cheerleaders, for one night only,  cheered for the other team?"

He sent out an email to the faithful asking them to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send, "Hogan wrote. "You're just as valuable as any other person on the planet." 
Some folks were confused and thought he was nuts. One player said, "Coach, why are we doing this?" Hogan said, "Imagine you don't have a home life, no one to love you, no one pulling for you. Imagine that everyone pretty much had given up on you. Now, imagine what it would feel like and mean to you for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you." 

The idea took root. On the night of the game, imagine the surprise of  those 14 players when they took the field and there was a banner the  cheerleaders had made for them to crash through. The visitors' stands were full. The cheerleaders were leading cheers for them. The fans were calling them by their names. Isaiah, the quarterback-middle linebacker said, "I never in my life thought I would hear parents cheering to tackle and hit their kid. Most of the time, when we come out, people are afraid of us. You can see it in their eyes, but these people are yelling for us. They knew our names." 
Faith won the game, and after the game the teams gathered at the 50-yard line to pray. That's when Isaiah, the teenage convict-quarterback surprised everybody and asked if he could pray. He prayed, "Lord, I don't know what just happened so I don't know how or who to say thank you to, but I never knew there were so many people in the world who cared about us." 

On the way back to the bus, under guard, each one of  the players was handed a burger, fries, a coke, candy, a Bible, and an encouraging letter from the players from Faith Academy . 
What an incredible act of Christian witness and kindness and goodness that was.  Proverbs 11:17 says, "Your own soul is nourished when you are kind."

Proverbs 3:27 says, "Do not withhold good when it is in your power to act."

Be kind to someone this week. Be kind to every person you meet. You might be amazed at what God will do with a simple act of kindness.  

Friday, March 11, 2011


OMG, does anyone actually read these posts? I hope so. It actually takes some time to share the "Best of the Internet" or whatever I put on here. I write what pulls at my heartstrings. That's the  poet coming out. Please take the time to comment.

I collected four sayings about God. I like to share them with you before I discard my little notebook page:

1. God grades on the cross, not the curve.

2. God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

3. God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.

4. What we are is God's gift to use. What we become is our gift to God.

(Authors unknown)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

We Are Stained Glass Windows

People are like stained-glass windows. 
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, 
but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty 
is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Author Unknown

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Best Bunch of Writing Quotes

"Writing comes more quickly if you have something to say." ~Sholem Asch

"Men may move mountains, but ideas move men." ~Lois McMaster Bujold

"Ink on paper is as beautiful to me flowers on mountains; God composes, why shouldn’t we?" ~Audra Foveo-Alba

"There is more pleasure in building castles in the air then on the ground."~Edward Gibbon

"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly." ~Buckminister Fuller
“You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.”~Nietzsche

“Author sho never give you something to disagree with never give you anything to think about.”~Michael LaRocca

“If my doctor told me that I had six months to live, I wouldn’t brood, I’d type faster.”~Isaac Asimov

“I find that when we really love and accept, and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works.”~Louise Hay

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”~Toni Morrison

“Write down on the page what’s in your heart.”~William Wadsworth

“Live from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people's souls.~Melody Beattie                            

“Life—like writing—it's about the journey; fill it with dreams, direction, and dedication.~Joe Sottile