Monday, October 28, 2019

Blogs of the Week ~ Farewell to Mary and Sherry


Today is a bittersweet day, my friends, as Mary and I step away from behind the scenes at Poets United, after nine and a half wonderful years. But never fear: we wont go too far. We are still poets who love poetry! And we love this community. So we will be around.




Mary 2011



Mary 2019

Sherry asked me to share a poem.  I have written hundreds of them, but I wanted to share one that I find personally meaningful. I wrote it in 2007 before I knew the blogosphere even existed.  It is the poem that inspired the title of my blog (6th line), and it is about my mother. (I think, no matter how old one is and how long one’s mother has been gone, one’s mother is always missed.)  I chose  a short poem, as personally I like short poems best (to read and to write), as they say what is important without rambling on and on.

Each spring I listen for you

Spring was always your season and you waited patiently 
for this time of rebirth so I know you are somewhere 
in my garden perhaps hiding behind the arbor vitae
overseeing and tending to the coming to life as you always did 
and sometimes when I stoop to tend plants in the greening earth
out of the corner of my eye I catch of glimpse of your smile 
between budding branches and hear your whisper in the warm breeze.


Sherry: What a moving and lovely poem. Thank you, Mary. Will you share your thoughts about this journey we have made at Poets United? When you look back, did you think, in 2010, we would still be doing this almost ten years later?  What were the joys, and the highlights. What stands out for you?

Mary: When we began participating in Poets United in 2010, I had no idea how it would evolve and how long I would be involved.  It was just a fun and exciting thing to do then — and the poetry blogosphere was still very young.   And I ‘met’ so many talented people through this medium, and somehow to me it became so very important and real. 

Sherry, you were there right alongside me from the very beginning, and from the time Robert Lloyd left up until this very day we were a great team - as were the other members of the Poets United staff who came on board.  We had a wonderful working relationship for all these years.

Sherry: Yes, we did. Such harmony! How has this community, this site, and the blogosphere impacted your work?

Mary: I had written poetry before Poets United & the poetry blogosphere in general, but after becoming involved with Poets United I was inspired to write much more poetry.  I looked forward to each new prompt, each new time to share one’s poetry (old or new), and also looked forward to reading what others had written.  I know I would not have written as many poems had I not been part of Poets United & other sites in the blogosphere.  Admittedly, Poets United always felt like ‘home’ to me.
  
Sherry: Me, too. What would you like to say to our members on this day of retirement?

Mary: Thanks to all of you who have participated in Poets United over the years.  (And a very special thanks to Sherry who ‘retires’ along with me!) I have enjoyed sharing poetry with you all. 

It boggles my mind sometimes when I think of knowing people through poetry from all over my country and also in so many countries of the world.  We all came together in one venue and shared.  What a wonderful time it was. 

And thanks, more specifically, to people who read and commented on my poems.  It is nice to be ‘heard,’ I think; and because of your comments I felt ‘heard.’  I am not sure if I am really retiring or not.  I will probably be around at one time or another, and when I do it will be nice to find you here!  I wish each of you well & much good writing ahead, as Poets United carries on without us.






Sherry 2010


Sherry 2019


DEAR POETS UNITED,

Where can I find other poets?”
I asked Blogger Forum in 2010.
Why dont you try Poets United?”
Robb Lloyd replied.
This began one of the best journeys
of my life.

Here you all were.
How we loved words,
rushed to share,
received each poem
as a gift of love.
I may step away from my desk,
but never too far,
for I still love words,
and you.
And a day is not complete
until I have shared
my latest poem
with you.

Thank you, my friends,
for almost-ten of the best years
of my life.
They have brought me joy,
and three thousand poems
I would not have created
without you.

Together
we have watched
our worlds changing.
We have mourned,
we have cheered.
We have cared.
We have shared our joys
and some tears.
Thank you, my friends,
for all these
wonderful, poetic
and so fulfilling
years.


Sherry: Sigh. When I found Poets United, I was living in a town where my writing was drying up for lack of encouragement and inspiration. My friend encouraged me to create a blog, and I found Poets United with such delight! At first, I worried I wouldn’t be able to come up with new poetry, or keep up. But once the flame was lit, my pen took off.

I had written around a thousand poems during my life. But I have written three times that many thanks to Poets United and all of you. I had no idea, when Mary and I took it over, that we were embarking on an almost ten-year journey. Very soon, I began doing the Monday features: an interview a week for all these years, telling the stories of poets leading such amazing lives! How I have loved it.

I will be forever grateful to Poets United for what it did for my writing life. And for the wonderful friendships that have resulted with people from around the world. What a journey it has been!

So, yes, blogging has made all the difference in my writing life. Not many people read my poems before I came online. I have been so grateful that people visit my site, read the words of my heart, and leave me encouraging words. It is something that I never take for granted. And oh, my! The amazing poems I have read! There is such astonishing talent online. I often think more of our online poems are read than if they were in books waiting for someone to pick them up off a shelf somewhere.

I gave a lot of my time and energy for the love and support of poets and poetry, through these years. I gave  whole-heartedly, and loved every minute. But believe me when I say, I received so much more than I gave.

What do I want to say to you, on this, my last Monday feature? Just thank you: for being there, for being you, for sharing your words and your friendship, and for showing up every week to share our love of poetry. What an amazing journey we have made together. And more poems and journeying lie ahead. I am grateful for it all.

Thank you, Mary, for steering our ship so steadily through the years. Thank you, also, to the staff, who have worked alongside us with such dedication, even during times of challenge in your personal lives. And thank you to each of you, members past and present, who have shared your poems, your words, your lives and your hearts with us. Our lives have been made richer by every one of you. So, today, we say, not farewell, but “See you in the ‘sphere!”



101 comments:

  1. A tearful thank you to both of you and best wishes for future projects. I'll miss your regular posts and comments, but I'm reassured that you will still share your poetry here.

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    1. Thank you, Kim. I always enjoy your poetry! Keep writing as you do.

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  2. Thank you, Kim. I will still be around, just not as busy. It is amazing how swiftly October zoomed past. I am already feeling the relaxed pace and free time. Smiles.

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  3. This is gonna take like forever to sink in. I've only just (fairly) recently returned to the fold, was honored to be the subject of Sherry's next-to-last interview, and am certainly enjoying the work of all the other fine poets I'm encountering. You fine ladies have built us a fine house to live in, and I'm VERY happy to hear that you're not leaving us entirely. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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    1. It really was great that you connected with us here at PU. I have enjoyed the uniqueness of your poetry.

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  4. Thanks, Ron. Since online is the only place where my writing is read, I will certainly stick around. I am so glad you made your way back to us.

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  5. Although we have never met in person,I feel as if I know you both well. Ten years of beautiful poetry, heartaches, and celebrations! My gratitude to you both is unending! As Ron said, you have built us a fine house Sherry and Mary! I will always cherish having met you both here and so many other amazing poets! I look forward to seeing you both at prompts when it is your choosing. Enjoy your time, you deserve every wonderful moment! 🌻🌹

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    1. The friendships I have made through Poets United is a side benefit I had not expected and am so grateful for! Thanks, Carrie.

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    2. Ah, Carrie - we have indeed known one another a long time through this medium. We have traveled this poetry path lots of years! I cherish having met you too, and I think we will continue to see one another around!!

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  6. Many, many thanks Mary and Sherry. Enjoy your "retirement" you deserve it. I'm not saying goodbye because I'll see you in the Sphere! 🙏🏽💝

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    1. You will, for sure! Thanks, Khaya!

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    2. Exactly - somehow we will be somewhere in the sphere.... Smiles. Thanks greatly for your comment.

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  7. I know I have not been around in a while, but a birdie whispered in my ear about this. Know you are loved for more than just poetry. Thank you for your dedication all the years.

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    1. Oh you have made my day, Mr. X. We so often mention how much we miss reading you. I hope you are still writing and that we can read your poems again one of these days. You are well-loved, too, kiddo.

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    2. Ha, X - so nice to see you! Fond memories of some good times in the early days of the blogosphere. Oh, they were good, weren't they? Hope life is good for you still & also that you are still writing.

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  8. Thank you, Sherry and Mary, for your wonderful contribution to the poetry blogosphere. Poets United has inspired me for many years now and it has always been a pleasure to participate in the prompts and read some amazing poems. Sherry, thank you for featuring me in your Life of a Poet series as well. It was so kind of you.
    I look forward to visiting your sites and cherishing your words. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Anmol. I enjoy watching your journey, through your wonderful poems.

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    2. So nice to see you, Anmol. Always enjoyed your poetry at both PU and other venues. Hope you continue to write your distinctive poetry.

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  9. I'm a wee bit tearful too. To me you have been an inspiration behind the scenes as well. It's been, as you say, such a harmonious journey. Which of course stems from 'the top'. The rest of the team will do our best to continue in this fine tradition.

    Even if you are not writing quite so frequently in the future, we hope you'll still come around to read the poetry of this community which you nurtured so long and so well. We also hope you'll have lots of fun in the semi-retirement!

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    1. Thanks for your words, Rosemary. We have worked together for a long time, and indeed we have always had a harmonious relationship with staff, which has meant so much. Yes, as a team, we nurtured a lot of poetry one way or another! And it is good that it will continue to carry on.

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    2. Yes, the harmony has been wonderful and I agree with Mary - it is so good to know that Poets United will carry on, thanks to all of you.

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  10. Thanks, Sherry, for this wonderful last Monday feature. I have truly enjoyed them over the years. You always sought out poets and found out the most interesting things about them and presented them in such a unique way. You are a one-of-a-kind person, have been a tremendous asset to PU and the blogosphere in general. You definitely deserve a time to rest up a bit, but I am glad you will continue to be around. May your 'retirement' bring you much joy!

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    1. Thank you, my friend and colleague. I have loved doing the features, every single one of them. When I was a cub reporter on a daily newspaper, features were my speciality, and it has been full circle to bring my love of telling peoples' stories to P.U.

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  11. I am a bit teary eyed here, always the weeping willow I will be. I am finding it difficult to find the right words. So, I will simply thank you both for your support through the years. You have enriched my journey in so many ways.

    wishing you, peace, light and happiness...

    Thank you!

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    1. Wishing you peace, light, and happiness too. Thank you for your supportiveness over the years as well. May your writing journey continue to be fruitful! We will definitely stay in touch.

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    2. Most definitely as I am happy to call you "friend"

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    3. I know you well as the weeping willow, and part of my heart is the same. Thank you, Truedessa. The support, friendship and sharing of poetry will continue!

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  12. Thank you to both of you for the way you have run Poets United. Your warm and caring presence was something I deeply appreciated. I have enjoyed writing for this site and reading the works of others too. Fare well, my friends, and do continue to write!

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    1. And thank you Gabriella, as well. And, I have no doubt we will continue to write....one way or another.

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    2. Many thanks, Gabriella. Yes, the writing will continue as long as the words keep coming, until they start repeating themselves and sounding confused. LOL. And maybe even then too.

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  13. Sherry, I also want to thank you for your wonderful poem. Robert Lloyd had NO idea what he started. And your words express what many feel!!

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  14. When I started on staff at P.U., I had no idea how long this journey would continue. I will always be so grateful to what P.U. did for my writing life, but even more so, for the friendships I have made here. I'm glad you like my poem, Mary. Thanks.

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  15. You guys have run a beautiful ship here and we sailors are going to miss you. So keep on writing and posting so we don't forget who you are.
    I've really enjoyed writing for your prompts and and other directions and occasionally I learn.
    Thank you both, Sherry and Mary.
    ..

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  16. You are most welcome, Jim. Thanks so much.

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  17. Well ~ sigh ~ the time has come at last. I shan't say goodbye, to you both, Mary and Sherry, because I don't have a scintilla of doubt that we will stay in touch … and perhaps even meet in person one-fine-day. 'Thank you' seems so inadequate by way of expressing the time and support and friendship you both have given - so generously - to myself and others - and the extent to which you have benefited so many poetic lives in the Poets United Community, so graciously. Thank you … Thank you … Thank you.

    While reading this post the words to the Green Day Song 'Time of Your Life' began playing in my mind - perhaps because they always seem to convey an end and a new beginning - so perfectly. So here goes ~ smiles ~

    Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
    Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
    So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
    It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

    It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right
    I hope you had the time of your life

    And I hope you both DID have the time of your life. I know I did. See you in the blogosphere.

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    1. Oh WOW! How perfect. That says it perfectly, Wendy. I did. I had the time of my life!

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    2. Wow, Wendy, what a wonderful message! I appreciate your words and the time it took to think about just what to say. Time grabs one by the wrist indeed and pulls one along, sometimes where one didn't know one wanted to go. Smiles. Thank you for your support and participation over the years. And, yes, see you....somewhere out there!!

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  18. For me Poets United has been the two of you. Thank you for giving so much and making so many poets welcome here! I'll treasure this post as I treasure your poems. Don't be strangers now, hear?

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    1. It has been such a pleasure, Susan. Thank you for coming aboard when you did and for all you contribute to this site.

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    2. Yes, it has been a pleasure indeed. We have definitely had some wonderful years together, co-operatively and harmoniously working together. I will be checking back to read your poems for sure.

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  19. So conscious of the big change, and how much we have to be grateful to you for, I nearly forgot to mention the poems you've shared here. Yes, Mary, I agree, we never forget our mothers. Your poem for yours is very beautiful – and fitting not only as the starting point of your Poets United journey but also because you have done such good mothering of this community, nurturing it from small beginnings to full growth. (I am also thinking of a gardening metaphor.)
    And Sherry, your poem addressed to us all does indeed sum up things we all find here, whilst simultaneously articulating your personal journey. We have all blessed each other, I think, with our ongoing participation.

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    1. Thank you for your perceptive words, Rosemary. I do like the gardening metaphor. Indeed, growing Poets United was / is a bit like planting a garden and tending to it. And now it definitely is in full-bloom.

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  20. I love that, Rosemary, Mary has indeed done such good mothering of this site. I could not have done what I did without her. We began together, and it is fitting that we step away together.

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  21. Thank you, thank you, Mary and Sherry. I am honored to have called you both friends because you one of the kindest, most attentive and diligent writers i have known. The fact that i have stayed on at Poets United is a testament to your efforts. Before i stumbled upon PU, i have been to some forums and sites that are like war zones or halfway houses.
    I feel kind of sad that both of you are not running the ship anymore, but I am sure that PU will still be in good hands with the present administration, so us deckhands need not worry.

    So enjoy your retirement. All the peace, light and happiness to you! And hope to see your poetry around soon. :)

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    1. Lee San, your very depthful poetic words were always a pleasure to read; and it was always nice to find them. I am glad that you found Poets United and stayed...we did try always to keep the kindness and acceptance evident and be a welcoming place. Thanks also for your good wishes.

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    2. Lee San, it has been such a pleasure reading your work over the years, and i will keep on doing so. And yes, kindness has always been key for us.

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  22. The tremendous effort it takes to sustain a poetry group over such a long period of time and provide a platform for poetry from around the world.. thank you both so much, Mary and Sherry. I will always be grateful for how generously you offered to feature my book when it was published. But, it is not farewell.. see you on the poetry trail! Hope you enjoy the extra time doing what you love best!

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    1. And thank you for your loyal participation EACH week at the Poetry Pantry. And you definitely deserve that recognition for your wonderful poetry book. May you write many more. Smiles.

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    2. Yes, thanks, Rajani, for your faithful participation each week. You created a wonderful book. I hope it does very well and am sure it will.

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  23. You will both be missed a lot - you have always provided encouragement and inspiration. It will be a pleasure to see you both on the trail though. Let there always be poems

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    1. Yes, Jae, let there always be poems. You are an inspiration yourself, you know. Write on.

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    2. I so agree with Mary. You are an inspiration, and such a talented poet.

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  24. Thank you so much to you both. I feel like I’m at the other end of the spectrum finding myself where you were when you began and you’ve shown me what a beautiful journey I’m embarking upon. Kudos to you!!

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    1. Lori, I am heartened by hearing that you are at the beginning of your journey. We all were there at one time. And I am hoping that you will be nurtured along the path in the way that many of the rest of us were. Keep writing.

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    2. I echo Mary. You are embarking on a journey that will take you farther than you ever dreamed! Smiles.

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  25. I'll always remember how you both were by my side in my hard times like angels. Will miss you both.

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    1. Sumana, you are a gem of a person and a gem of a writer. And being by each other's side -- well, that's what friends do!

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    2. We have walked side by side for so long, and will keep doing so, my friend.

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  26. Writing this through tears, but I know this is not good-bye. May your journeys be fulfilling and your hearts light.

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    1. Thank you so much, Linda! Wishing you a good journey and a light heart too!

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  27. Thank you so much, Linda, for such beautiful wishes.

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  28. I am new to Poets United, but I agree that it is a wonderful community. Thanks for posting this, and happy "retirement!" Best wishes. :)

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    1. We are happy you found us! And thank you for your wishes!

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    2. Ah, it is always nice to have new participants who love poetry. Thanks for the 'best wishes' too; and same to you.

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  29. It is amazing to me how the years passed by. I was happy to find your site, and the wonderful prompts it brought me. You both worked very hard to keep this site going,
    and of course, deserve a rest . . . well maybe a doze. I would not want to lose you or your thoughts and poems forever. Thank you both so much for being here. I wish you good times, and peace.

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    1. Ha, I like the idea of a doze. Smiles. Thank you so much for the good wishes, Sara!

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  30. I can't believe time passed so quickly and here we are .. you both will be greatly missed ❤️ I was never one for goodbyes and hope to remain in touch.. I have learned so much from you both and in my time here at Poets United .. there are so many memories here.. feeling emotional at the moment ..

    Wishing you both joy, you deserve a standing ovation for your hard work and talent!❤️


    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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    1. Thank you for your very kind words, Sanaa. I hope we will stay in touch too...yes, so many memories. I remember when you first started sharing your poems, and look at you now! Smiles.

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  31. Thank you, Sanaa.......I am smiling at the standing ovation! We will wish you the same after your ten years at Poets United. LOL.

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  32. Oh you two stars. I saw the post coming by on Facebook and thought I have to make time for this as you have made so much time for all of us. Although I am only a very part time participant I have loved every minute of it and hope to keep seeing you when I have time to pop in. Thanks you so much for all your work. Mary the poem you shared is so touching and Sherry your special for Poets United written poem shows so much of who you are. Full of love ❤️ and thousands of poems My goodness That's amazing Wish you both all the best of the world

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    1. Thank you, Marja! I always enjoyed your poems when you shared them, and really appreciate your very caring words!! Hope you continue to write and share your words in the future as well.

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    2. Thank you, Marja. How kind. I enjoy reading you very much and will continue to do so - keep linking!

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  33. Dear Mary and Sherry, I'm neither good at, or fond of farewells. I'd much rather just slip away and hope for future contact. But, under the circumstances I can't do that. Mainly because together, you created a home for me and so many others. And it seems rather trite to just say thank you. Goodbyes are such final things, even though I know you will still be around in whatever form you choose. Yet, I know that you took me in to your warm loving home and always made me feel like a personal favorite guest. And thank you just sounds so inadequate. You warmly accepted this North Wisconsin Hillbilly in a way that few others would. Your warmth and encouragement kept me going far longer than I could have imagined. Thank you for featuring my blog, my poems, and all the chats. Please know that you will be missed. May your future days be filled with the same warmth and care you have both extended to all of us.

    Love and hugs,
    Elizabeth

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! Yes, we had some good times here at PU, didn't we? From early days on, I think..as I reflect back. And hopefully you will still continue to write and create in your own special way. And, of course, you were a 'favorite guest.' Smiles. We wanted to create that atmosphere, and it is good to know we did.

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  34. We had some great chats, didnt we? And I will never forget that you and Annell walked me through the terrible time after Pup died. Not goodbye, my friend, we shall carry on our chats by email! Smiles. I love that you felt welcomed here into the Poets United living room. That is what we have always tried to do.

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  35. Dear Sherry and Mary, thank you both for being such wonderful hosts at Poets United. I had hardly touched poetry prior to joining PU concentrationg on writing stories in serial form for weeks and months on end, but when many blogging sites I used folded I found PU and concentrated on verse instead. What a great community there was on Poets United and I felt quite at home here and enjoyed the company of so many talented poets. I do hope you enjoy your retirement from hosting PU and we continue to regularly enjoy your poems in the future.

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    1. We're so happy you found us, Robin, with your wonderful poetic love stories. I really enjoyed doing our features about your childhood during WWII. You have some great stories. Keep writing and I will keep reading. Smiles.

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    2. Robin, I always looked forward to reading your contribution to the pantry on Sunday. I enjoyed your nostalgia and your way with words. I also enjoyed, like Sherry, your stories about growing up during World War II. I do hope you will keep writing your poetry, as you have a lot to say!

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  36. Well I hope the number of comments serves as testimony for you to know how much you two ladies are loved and appreciated. I will miss you so much on the blog and off because I'll never forget your dedication to poetry and to PU. I was relatively new to poetry when I discovered you and will be forever grateful to have shared these poetry years with you. I intend to keep writing but we all know about "good" intentions. My muse is so sleepy lately. I'm not sure if I have much more to contribute to poetry or it to me. But I will keep trying to revive my thoughts enough to write some things from time to time.
    I hope you know what a tremendous contribution you have made in my life and I'm sure in that of others. I wish you both the very best. Enjoy life the way you've enjoyed poetry.

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    1. Myrna, how well I understand the sleeping muse. Smiles. And, like you, sometimes I wonder if I have much more to contribute to poetry; but I think both you and I need to trust that sleeping muse to awaken again and write like you said 'from time to time.' I have always enjoyed the depth of your poetry. Thanks for your kind words.

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  37. Myrna, thank you for your lovely comment. I hope you do keep writing. Maybe your muse wants to go in another direction, maybe another children's book for your grandchildren. I love your poems. You and I share a similar worldview. E you soon!

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  38. Mary and Sherry...please don't comoletely leave. Share your wsdom and your love with us every once in awbile at least. You have brought into my life so much and and I thank and bless you for it. Hugs and love and poems to you both. 💜💜💜

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    1. Thank you, Toni. I appreciate your poetry and also your caring words. I will be around on occasion, hopefully. Hugs to you too.

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  39. Toni, will still be around, writing and linking and emailing. No worries. Thanks for caring.

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  40. Dearest Sherry and Mary,

    I am so sad to see that your stewardship of Poets United, has come to end end. So sad, but yet, so happy for ever having spent time with both of you.
    I remeber those early days when Robert Lloyd fopunded Poets United and we were part of those early days, when we were all contributing to its beginnings, back in 2010.
    My how it has grown and become ever such a warm and embracing family, for poets right around the world.
    I am sorry that in more recent years, my own participation has fallen down. Health reasons have been my biggest problem, not least of which is a huge ongoing issue with my eyesight. I am hoping for some form of help, in the
    near future.
    Thank you both for giving me many opportunities to grow my interest of poetry over the past ten years.
    I wish you both well and send you my deepest thanks and good wishes, for many wonderful days ahead.
    Enjoy your catch-up time and hope to see you both here or there:) Eileen

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    1. Thank you, Eileen, for your words. Yes, we were all part of those early years when it seemed the blogosphere was new and fresh. It really is amazing how it grew over the years, and indeed you were part of that growth and a person who contributed to that wonderful positive atmosphere. I wish you well, Eileen, and hope that you keep writing as well.

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    2. Eileen, those early years were so wonderful, and our friendships from those years still ongoing. I am so sorry to hear about your eyesight. Thank you for your kind words. We had no idea back then of the journey we were embarking on together.

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  41. A tearful thank you to Sherry and Mary. However i am hoping to see poem from you here for some time still

    Much💞love

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    1. Thank you so much, Gillena!

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    2. Indeed you will, Gillena. Thank you for your participation over the years.

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  42. I can't tell you enough how much Poet's United means to me. It was the place I really started and I have found a home here. Thank you so much for welcoming me and for continuing to do so. Your care and love shine through every word you write.

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  43. Oh how sad to see this post as I have been absent for too long due to personal issues. You have both made me feel so welcome and I will miss you here but hopefully we will still be connected through this space. I hope to return soon once things settle. I have missed everyone here and especially you Sherry and Mary. Good luck in your retirement and I wish great wonderful things for you!!

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  44. I have not been around in a while, the fb link brought me here today!
    Sherry and Mary, I am going to miss you both here! This place will not be the same again. ...
    Goodbye from my side too. Thank you for all the hard work you guys have put in to keep this platform going. Good Kuck on retirement...💖

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  45. Sherry and Mary, you are fine poets, and finer people.

    Thank you ~

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  46. Thank you, Sherry and Mary for all your time, dedication, and inspiration you gave all of us! You also gave us a poetic family-thank you!! I am so, happy I was part of the magic for a while..it was a gift!! Best wishes to you beautiful souls!! xx

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  47. Many thanks, my friends. Such lovely wishes and comments. We appreciate each one.

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