Monday, April 15, 2019

WCCOA's 2019 Poetry Contest!

Here are this year's Poetry Contest entries! Please enjoy, and should you wish to vote for your favorites please call in or visit your Senior Center of choice to cast your ballot! Thank you to everyone who submitted their work this year!


Baseball Was His Game

There once was a guy named Jerry
An athlete of some fame
He was big and strong and handsome
And baseball was his game.

When it was baseball season
The result was always the same
He’d work and sweat and practice
‘Cause baseball was his game.

He’d spend long hours in practice
Preparing for the game
He’d throw the ball and hit the ball
‘Cause baseball was his game.

He never lost his passion
Even in the rain
He gave it everything he had
‘Cause baseball was his game.

He was the greatest catcher
That ever played the game
I loved him when I met him
And baseball was his game.

From being a great player
It’s no wonder the day came
When they put the word “COACH” up beside his name
And baseball was his game.

The players came and went
The coach remained the same
He kept the dream alive
And baseball was his game.

After years and years of giving
Everything he had to the game
The time came to step aside
And baseball was his game.

I loved him as a player
Waiting to hear the announcer call his name
I loved him as a coach
And baseball was his game.

Now he has some time
To rest from all that pain
To spend some time with family
And baseball was his game.

As seasons come and go
His efforts won’t be in vain
For those who know and love him
Know that baseball won’t be the same
Because of all he gave it
Yes, baseball was his game.




Our Family Dream in Forty-Nine

In 1949, when I was thirteen,
Our family would move to Bowling Green.
Dad at the time was age forty-six
And added college teaching to his mix.

Mother then was forty-four;
She would live in Wood County for fifty more.
She taught in township schools of Portage and Troy,
To impart poetry and prose to each girl and boy.

My older brother had two years at Purdue,
But he got his degree at BGSU.
Before he left this earthly realm,
He had fifty years of teaching at his helm.

My sisters and I went to BG High.
They became teachers and so did I.
The years flew by and now it’s time,
To tell this story with this rhyme.

We all saw Wood County Hospital new on the scene;
The population double in Bowling Green.
A new Fairgrounds at Haskins and Poe,
And BGSU grow and grow and grow.

We four children moved away from the County;
But returned to the scene to laud the bounty,
Of a larger BGSU in a county seat town;
Bigger and better now that is has grown.

I was the youngest of the set.
Returned more often and yet,
Looking back, I have no regret;
Golden aging is a sure bet.

When people ask me where I am from?
I say from Hoosier land I did come.
But when the score is 70-13, haven’t you guessed?
Wood County, Ohio is the place that’s been for me blessed!




A Journey In My Dreams 

I’ve planned a new journey in my dreams; it won’t compare with my previous schemes.
Won’t need to call the triple A, won’t need to know what month or what day
Won’t need to know if by rail or by car; won’t need to know how near or how far.
Won’t need to know which room to reserve; won’t need to know what meals they will serve.

At an early age my parents were told, “Your son is a good student for eight years old;
But too much a dreamer for someone his age, he is an excellent reader now turn the page.”
Five years later at age thirteen, our family would move to Bowling Green.
Dad and mom were teachers, as were siblings (three), I too was expected to get a college degree.

About that time came the Korean War, I enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Three years later and back in Wood County, dreams of love and marriage became my bounty.
I finally got that college degree, it seemed that writing was the career for me;
The dream transformed into paper and ink, a “journalist-printer” quick as you think.

Along about then I took a short break; taught school for two years before I did wake,
To see that what we often see in our dreams, is not always what it sometimes seems.
We had a son and then a daughter; and our home was filled with joy and laughter.
Too soon after that it was “Granddad” me, within a blink great-grandchildren (three).

The journey through life at eighty plus three, has been a breeze for a guy like me.
When comes the time to reach the door, will I be ready to ask for more?
One more trip to Boston or New York; Branson, New Orleans or College Park.
Chicago, Pittsburgh, Texas or Lake Gage; Norfolk or Ann Arbor at any age.

Can I stop along the way to study the history; dream some more dreams and explore the mystery.
Find a new job, meet more new friends, solve some problems, make some amends.
Can I read another book? Dance another dance? Dream another dream or pursue a romance?
Will I have time for one more trip? Or write some more poems before I slip?

To say “goodbye”, I’ll not do yet. I have more dreams, more aims to bet.
I’m not sleeping, just resting my eyes, remember after sunset comes the sunrise!




Daydreaming

It comes to me without warning
The feeling is intense.
Accepting without judgment gives
Meaning to the wonder of it all.
I visualize a world without
Conflict and disease.
My eyes see all races and religions
Healing their differences.
Love is the adhesive bonding us together.
My daydreams give me hope
That the healing will prevail.




Dreams Have Power

Went to bed feeling old and tired.
Woke up energized and radiant.
The mirror now reflects my aging beauty.
I see my wrinkles as my reward for living a productive life.
My worried expression is replaced with joyful bliss.
I now wear my age with dignity and self-respect.
No longer defined by societies judgment.
Laughing comes easier when my mouth disconnects with my mind.
Loneliness is a distant memory.
Love and gratitude have become my constant companion.
My beauty will continue to refine with age.




The Wren House

The Lord has blessed me in so many a way
This morn, the sun is up, another special day
I am watching this wren house activity from my patio
The Mom is feeding the babies; old dad is a singing hero
Mother wren very busy; Mrs. Robin next door attending to her nest
When those babies fly, Mom and Dad can take a rest
The Rose of Sharon is in full bloom, it’s a beautiful sight
But what I really want to see is the babies first flight
Finally what I wanted to see…
From the birdhouse the babies did flee.
I went for more coffee, but before I got back to my chair
I heard the Momma bird’s call of despair.
In all my time
I never seen such a crime!
I screamed and yelled SCAT!
I was too late – damned yellow cat.




Dreams

Dreams existed before you were born
You are the dream.
The dream turns into family
Love, closeness, and health.
Dreams seep in when reality fails
And hope is the dream.
Dreams get bombarded by life
Twisted, turned, and changed.
They are hammered by time
Erased and are gone.
But made new again with persistence
Helped by love and faith.
Dreams are challenged by time and life
Assisted with kindness and understanding.
They live on even in death
To be remembered by others.




Untitled

Dreams are not real
So how can I write
About visions and fantasies
That happen as I sleep
Throughout the night



  
To Music

This was a sad day and then
Suddenly it wasn’t.
My granddaughter arrived
Shouldering her cello
We played a Haydn Concerto
For the first time
Piano and cello singing
Stumbling, crashing measures
Together lifting the notes
Into the room
Falling on the little white dog
Spiraling through the rooms
Where family listened.
Outside the white flakes fell.
The white dog slept.
Her hands white,
My white keys,
The white bust of Haydn
Seeming to smile on us
As we dreamed perfection.




Waiting for the Child

We are all waiting for the Child,
The line of cars
Moves at a crawl
Beside the duck pond
Can’t read, can’t write
Must move forward
My car moves ahead
He is there, waving,
A small smile for me
The best boy in the world
Just got out of school
And for a few hours
He is mine.
Still small, still calm
Eyes closed against the sun
Going around the flagpole
Always growing up
Until one day
 Time moves forward
My turn will come
To lie in a bed alone
Watching the door
Waiting for the Child.
He will be there
My beloved grandson.




End of a Dream

A caribou on a wall,
So sad to see
Magnificence silenced,
Mere reminder of life,
Of pulsing energy, halted
Of continuance ended
On the path to extinction. 




New Friends

I’m making new friends every day.
My old ones – they’re all dead.
My new friends always like me.
Some live – inside my head.

I’m making new friends every day,
But their names I can’t pronounce
Since I can’t hear – and my memory –
Weighs less than – half an ounce.

I’m making new friends every day.
And some – I even like,
Until we’re talking politics,
Then they say, “Take a hike”.

One – friend visits – every day.
He lives right here inside us.
He comes quite early – stays all day.
His name is – Arthur – Ritus.

I’m buying these two friends a car;
A nurse and foreign doctor.
I make their payments every month
Since my privates they did proctor.

I’m making new friends every day.
Today it was a plumber.
I told him how to wear his pants,
But he told me I was dumber…

Some new friends – are sending mail.
Each day they ask for money.
They must have me confused-
With a Rockefeller honey.

I’m making new friends every day
And you can do it too.
Just wear a smile – speak kind words
And forgive the things they do.




An Old Man’s Explanation

I have an explanation
If you see I have a fault.
It seems my great potential –
Is locked up – inside a vault.

I’m really rather perfect
From my head – down to my toes
And everyone would know – I’m great
Were it not for all my foes.

I’d jump from bed at five AM
Were it not – for gravity…
That forces me to stay in bed
Till ten o’clock – you see.

I have big plans – to do so much
But the couch – it calls my name.
It’s hard to turn off “Jeopardy”!
I could surely win that game!

I’d go to church – and pray all day.
They’d give a tithe –times three!
But God knows they’re all just hypocrites.
Why can’t they be like me?

I’m smart as Isaac Einstein
Every day of every week.
It’s just – I can’t remember –
Like I did – when at my peak.

I’d always keep my diet
If the food were not so good.
I could do my calisthenics.
Sometimes. – I really could.

I have an explanation
For why my greatness melts!
My greatnest skill – in all the world,
Is blaming someone else!




My Electric Friend

I need not talk to people.
Relationships are done.
I only need electric friends.
I think they’re number one!

I once had friends – with skin and bones.
Now, they seldom come around.
Now – I just call Uber –
And food arrives from town.

My best friends – have extension cords
That run all through the house.
They power my computers
And I just move a mouse.

I twitter and I Facebook
Till I have blurry eyes.
The good news is – I have no friends –
Seeing faults to criticize.

I always have my PC on.
It records the stuff I bought.
My phone? – I never answer.
I text each misspelled thought.

I traded in – my ole gas stove.
Just use my microwave.
If it runs on electric –
It is my faithful slave.

I don’t recall – when I last spoke –
Except to my remote!
My TV teaches politics
And I mail in my vote.

I only have one problem.
It happened just today.
A storm knocked down a big ole tree.
Took my electric friends away.




Dreams

Cast aside like a worn out shoe
Not knowing, or caring, what there is left to do.

A life of dreams, some fully achieved,
And others dimly remembered
And not likely attained.

Arriving here after many twists and turns
With a smile of regret or one of delight
Recalling the memories of those days and nights.

Yet like that old shoe, many dreams
Of the past still seem brand new.
And life left may allow you one or two.

Dream On!




Light Up My Dream 

I saw a bright light in the sky
So bright it was it hurt my eye
As I followed its rays it opened wide
And my entire being was pulled inside
I was not afraid; I felt warmth from its rays
I saw a place I had never seen throughout my days
And there before me I recognized many a friend
There were those I thought had met their end
But full of laughter and strength they were
More exuberance than they had ever had for sure
Flowers were blooming and fountains were flowing
Glistening leaves were radiantly glowing
There were no wrinkles on the faces of the old
And the children I saw had remained youthful and bold
They enjoyed stars that twinkled as their toys
The excitement was the same for both girls and boys
They all ran to meet me and so did the others
I knew them so well they were father and mother and my brothers
They were all there, a reunion like never before
Oh how happy I was to see them once more
Their voices and laughter the same as in days of yore
It was such a time of untold pleasure
No words of mine can ever quite measure
Then suddenly that light grew dim
And dawn was breaking from the rim
For you see a new day was in the making
And I from this glorious dream was waking
So someday friends I’ll see you all again
I don’t know how and I don’t know when
For they say dreams really do come true
Will I have to wait for that bright light to bring them in view? 




Out of Sight on Another Flight 

A bird came pecking on my window
This same bird I had seen time and again
He was very large, long legged and gray
He flew right up for he knew the way.
He knew that he was welcome and was about to stay.
He would come every day at half past four
Peek through the window, then peck on the door
My friend would feed him fish and meat
Then he would fly away, he had his treat.
But why am I sharing this story with you
Because after two years of absence, and this is true
I returned again to find the same egret bird
Expecting to be greeted by my friend’s kind word
I looked at the clock the time was the same
I had no treat to give him, I felt some shame
Then I had to tell him my friend is no longer here
He backed away from my door as if in fear
As if to say “so much for my treat,” journey complete
He hasn’t returned, he knew what I said, no need repeat 
He flew to a loftier height as my friend has done
I think of them often though their days with me are gone
Will I ever see this bird or my friend once more?
For into the heavenly sky they both did soar
This caring man who waited every day
To share with this bird in a kind loving way
A bit of friendship and a tasty bite
They are both out of sight on another flight




Forever Dream

The perfect place to be
Must it always have been with thee
The smile that all the world could be
But deeper when directed at me
You were beautiful in all the ways
Possible in the universe
Losing you was like reforming the world
I dream of all of this
That when my soul meets thee
There will be a calibration of the
Perfect life that you have given with me.




I Dream of a Day 

I dream of a day when love reigns and hate becomes
Just another word in the dictionary.
I dream of a day where helping others is more important
Than helping ourselves.
I dream of a day when we see the beauty of color
In all God’s creations.
I dream of a day when we cherish our children and respect our elders.
I dream of a day where wisdom replaces ignorance
And cruelty is an exception, not the rule.
I dream of a day when we look beyond labels and judgment
Is replaced with compassion and a willingness to understand.
I dream of a day where hate has no home and love
Really does conquer all.
I dream of a day…

4/15 Social Services Article: Mental Health Awareness Month is around the corner!

WCCOA's Social Services Department is here with the next installment of our helpful monthly blog articles to help our aging population stay active, healthy and safe! Check in near the end of each month for information on new topics. As we come to the end of April, it's time to remember:

MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH


The month of May is observed for Mental Health Awareness. 2019 marks the 70th year May has been deemed as Mental Health Awareness month. This is a month where advocates and activists gather to shed light on mental health issues. A mental illness is a condition that can affect an individual’s feelings, mood, and thinking. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year. Many individuals chose not to seek the proper treatment for their illness. NAMI also states that about 60% of adults with a mental illness didn’t receive mental health services in the following year. Stigma and lack of Mental Health resources continue to be an issue. Listed below are recommendations for Mental Health Awareness Month:

Educate Yourself!

  • Learn general information in regards to mental health.
  • What factors may influence a mental illness.
  • Symptoms of Mental Health 
  • Familiarize yourself on resources within the area.
  • Consider taking a Mental Health First Aid Training 


Destigmatize!

  • Stigma is when someone, or you yourself, view you in a negative way because you have a mental health condition. Some people describe stigma as shame that can be felt as a judgement from someone else or a feeling that is internal, something that confuses feeling bad with being bad.
  • Be mindful of hurtful stereotypes
  • The inaccurate myths of illnesses can cause shame, guilt, embarrassment, and build obstacles for those seeking the assistance they may need.  


Nurture Your Mental Health!

  • Reflect and advocate for your own mental health.
  • Create a self-care action plan for yourself.



Wood County Mental Health Resources:

A Renewed Mind: (419) 873-8280
Unison: (419) 352-4624 
Harbor: (419) 352-5387
Lutheran Social Services: (419) 352-0702 
Zepf Center: (419) 373-6560
Wood County Crisis Line: 419.502.HOPE (4673)   


Sources: NAMI; Psychology Today