Saturday, September 28, 2019

Poetry Pantry #495




NOTES FROM MARY AND SHERRY

FROM MARY:

"Hi Friends -  This is the 495th Poetry Pantry.  Believe it or not, Poetry Pantry has been going since 7/27/2010.  Every Sunday, except for our very occasional breaks.  Amazing, isn’t it?  I went back and looked at the first Pantry to see if anyone who posted in that first Pantry is still active here at Poets United.  I was there.  Sherry Blue Sky was there.  Eileen O’Neill and Carrie Burtt were there. The rest of the people who participated in that first Pantry, including the founder of Poets United - Robert Lloyd - are seemingly no longer active in the blogosphere. Anyway, it was fun to look back.  

So you see I have been around at Poets United from the beginning — first as a participant, then as a contributor, and (after Robert Lloyd left) as an administrator as well as contributor!  I have contributed at other poetry venues as well, including Toads and D’Verse.  I was the administrator at the now defunct Poetry Jam (I loved that small site) for a time as well, with its once-a-week prompt!

Being part of the poetry blogosphere has been a big part of my life for many years now.  I wrote poetry before, but with my discovery of the blogosphere my interest grew, as did the number of poems that I wrote!  It was a wonderful journey.  I lived and breathed poetry. And wrote and wrote.

Fast forward ahead to 2019.  Friends, for everything there is a season. For every beginning is an eventual ending.  I find that it is no longer easy for me to write GOOD poetry, and my interest in poetry has lessened in recent years, so I have decided to step down as a Poets United administrator / contributor at the end of October.  But, don’t worry, friends!  Poets United will continue on and evolve under the direction of a great staff who will make sure of that.  And, ha, I may even be around here when the spirit moves me.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in Poets United over the years and made it such a successful site.  A special thanks to Sherry who has accompanied me on this journey from the beginning and who has, throughout all the years, done so much (in every area) for the site and who was always willing to help out anywhere when needed. She has always been a real 'trooper' who worked tirelessly for our site.  And thanks to the other dedicated staff we have who will continue to carry on.  I have had a wonderful time!"

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FROM SHERRY:

"Kids, when I found Poets United in 2010, my poetry took wing.  I owe a debt of gratitude to this site and to each one of you who has touched my poetic journey.  Since 2010, Poets United has been the biggest part of my life and my identity.  I have taken great pride and satisfaction in my role, supporting poets and the love of poetry.

Since 2016, the political climate and the climate change crisis have weighed on me so heavily that my normally lively spirit has been dampened.  My writing, (always my gauge of how I am doing), has bogged down.

This past year, I have been dealing with extreme fatigue, and vertigo which lasted most of the year.  A couple of times, Mary and I talked about whether it was time to stop, but each time we opted to keep going for all of you.  Now, however, we have enough staff that Mary and I can step away and the site can keep on going.  That is a wonderful thing, for all of us who love it so much.

Mary and I stepped into running Poets United together, and it feels right to me that we should be hopping on our brooms together at Halloween and flying away...But don't worry.  I won't fly too far.  I will still be writing and linking and visiting all of you.  I am hoping that by easing my workload, perhaps my poetry might gain some life again.  We live in hope.

As we continue on this journey together, please know that I will never be farther than a link, or an email, away.  You all know me better than my "real life" people because you have read the deepest parts of my heart.

I want to thank you, Mary, for these years that have been so wonderful.  What an incredibly joyous work experience it has been.  Thank you to the dedicated staff who will carry Poets United into the new year.  And thank you to each one of you who, since 2010, have shared the love of poetry with us.  It has been such a wonderful journey."

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If you haven't read Sherry's feature of a poem by Aboriginal Canadian poet Jeanette Armstrong this past Friday, do be sure to scroll back. Monday Sherry will be having a wonderful chat with one of our loyal and prolific poets.This next Wednesday's Midweek Motif will be Truth/In Honor of Gandhi's Memory.  The theme for next Sunday's Pantry of Prose is "October is Here..." (we'll create pieces set in the month of October).

And now, as we always do on Sundays, let us share poetry.  Link your poem below, and be sure to visit others who link.  Have a wonderful day!


46 comments:

  1. Both of you, Mary and Sherry, will be missed. You have done so much for poetry and have impacted the lives of many in ways that you may not always be aware of. I am thankful for your hard work and your love of poetry.

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  2. I came back from a travel break to link my poem this morning and was saddened by the news here. Mary and Sherry - thank you so much for all you do with Poets United. I have learnt so much here and met so many lovely people. Wish you the best with your well deserved leisure time! Thanks so very much!!

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  3. How amazing, the 495th Poetry Pantry – congratulations! But I’m sad that you will both be ‘hopping on your brooms’, as Sherry says, at the end of October.

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  4. You will both be missed - thank you for everything you have done. Long may we continue to read your words

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  5. To Mary: It’s so good to hear / read about PU’s beginnings. I always felt I’ve hitched a wagon to the star without taking time to look at the centre hole that makes it move. Even though I don’t participate in Poetry Pantry, I’m always looking forward to reading the post every Sunday morning. Because it’s like an announcement board for all the happennings at PU. Thank you so much for all what you’ve done for this community I’m proud to be a part of.

    To Sherry: Your warmhearted and generous nature is irreplaceable and a big thing for me; a beautiful mothering, I call it. :) Because I still vividly remember how you made me feel welcomed at PU from the onset, and thus helped ease the anxiety I had about sharing my doubtful and insignificant jottings with such accomplished poets. You always go an extra mile to shine a spotlight on others, and even for this alone, I can’t thank you enough.

    All the best to you both. <3

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  6. Mary and Sherry, I have to say hat your platform has blessed me in more ways than one.
    It's sad to see you go...just promise not too far away.
    This platform you've created is a foundation many of us have been able to grow roots in. And for that, I thank you both!

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  7. Good morning everyone. What a long journey you have had. I realize that when I wrote my first blog post PU was already in operation. I have had a great time visiting here on Sundays and catching up on everyone.

    Best wishes Mary and I hope you continue to write.

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  8. Dear Mary and Sherry, Judy Collins’s beautiful singing of ‘Turn, turn, turn’ is very fitting. It will seem strange without you, yet I admire the wisdom with which you have recognised this turning-point. I’m glad you’ll still be around in your usual roles for a few more weeks, and after that not too far distant but continuing to participate in a more leisurely way. Thank you for accepting me so warmly as a new ‘staff’ member shortly before Robert resigned, for helping me find my way smoothly and easily, and for encouraging my ideas for new topics. I was a bit nervous at the beginning, but you always made me feel like a valued colleague on equal footing, and indeed a friend. We’ve been a particularly harmonious team, which is down to all the members, and especially to Mary’s calm and sensible guidance behind the scenes and Sherry’s unfailing wisdom of the heart. Anyway, this isn’t really goodbye, so - we’ll be seeing you! xx

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  9. Thank you, friends. It wouldn't be a day, if i werent writing, reading and sharing poetry.......so yes, i'll be seeing you! Just in a more leisurely fashion......though i am so slowed with fatigue, i cant imagine what more relaxed will look like. Cackle.

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    1. I wish, I wish, I wish your muse finds all sorts of wonderful things to birth in those "more relaxed" times ahead *cackling with you*.

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  10. Mary and Sherry, you have faithfully worked this forum with great love and energy, with a loyalty to its contributing poets and the medium of poetry that exceeds any expectation. Your work I celebrate and say you have overpaid your passage out via broomstick. Poets United counts mightily, and I'm so glad it passes into hands which may prove as capable and loving as yours (though that is a tall, tall order). Thanks again.

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  11. This isn't happening. I can't imagine...
    I hung out here ages ago & drifted away (don't ask why; I don't recall) & only recently returned, mostly at Sherry's warm enticement to do so.

    Now this. Hmmmm. Can't be.
    I'll still be hanging out, but still...Hard to imagine.

    We all owe so much to these fine Founders.

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  12. Thank you Mary and Sherry for synthesizing the site and keeping it going for so long.

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  13. Seems my life is not the only one going through changes this year. :-)

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    1. RedCat, i am unable to leave a comment at your site. But i did try. Thank you for your poem.

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  14. Sorry I found this site so late in its journey. I feel sad but am glad to hear it will go on. Poetry Pantry has really helped me with my incentive to write and I appreciate every one who works here. I feel like I know Sherry and Mary and I hope they will still link in here!

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  15. Mary and Sherry thank you, for all of your graciousness, time, and efforts to keep this poetic vessel afloat!! You have inspired many to forge onward and I am happy our paths crossed!! Your wings of insight, poetry prompts, and vision helped me shape my own sacred journey~ I can't thank you all enough!! Hugs, ladies for all of your work and selfless sacrifice~ xoxo You will be missed~

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  16. Thank all of you who have commented here. Your words mean a lot to me!

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  17. Well, now. I feared this day would come--or will at the end of October. When I came here, I found the calm and welcome I needed after stormy blogging relationships. We challenged each other to expand and comment and go deeper into the truth. How I love the interviews and the free pantry and the blogs of the week, a creative way to get to know each other and encourage each other's growth. It's been wonderful, and will continue in the spirit you two established. Thank you, thank you, and again thank you. Don't go far, dear poet friends.

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  18. Unbelievable! And yet, as the song reminds us: There is a season for everything. So, Mary and Sherry, enjoy this new season of your lives. And do visit us often. I'm sure you still have beautiful and thought-provoking poems to write---maybe only a few, but that's enough. Godspeed!

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  19. Yes, thank you, friends. Your words go straight to my heart, and help us know our contribution to the love of poetry mattered. Yay!

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    1. Of course it has mattered! Heaps and heaps. You have made a huge difference in the creative lives, and thereby the whole lives, of many.

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  20. Thank you both, Mary and Sherry, for this site, which it feels like I found just yesterday and has brought my poetry reading forward, reminding me of how much there is to love in reading and sharing. Wishing you both well. I am grateful to have been here to discover your poetry.

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  21. Dear Sherry and Mary, to say that would will be missed sounds almost silly. I don't think I've ever thought of Poets United without your faces popping into the thought. I got used to thinking, What will Mary and Sherry think about this? I will probably continue to do so, anyway. It just makes sense in my head.

    I hope the rest change brings good things. I hope your muses get a boots. I hope you get to write more often than either of you thought you might.

    Read you around, my ladies.

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  22. Mary and Sherry, thank you for being the inspiring and energetic voices behind this wonderfully diverse and nurturing site. I hope the new found down time is restful and brings you all the inspiration you need for whatever the next stage of life is.

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  23. Thank you for your love, your wisdom and guidance. Thank you for everything, Mary and Sherry!❤️ We have come a long way together. I wish you both the best and hope to be seeing you! xo

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  24. Mary and Sherry- Although I have only been visiting here for a couple of years, I have learned so much from Poets United and the other amazing poets who frequent here. I wish you both the very best on this next phase of this amazing journey we call life. Peace and Love to you both! <3

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  25. AWWWWWW I do hope that you both will not be strangers. I dearly love both of you and respect the art you have brought to the forefront of this site. Blessings to both of you. You both are the epitome of "poets united"....

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  26. Dear Mary and Sherry, I haven't been here long at all, but I have a huge "thank you" in my heart for you and all the years you have been here building this awesome community. It is obvious that you have really made a positive difference in so many people's lives through the work you have done here. We are all very fortunate for all you have given. I hope the time and freedom you are giving yourselves now will be refreshing and fulfilling. It is well earned and much deserved. And thank you for leaving us all in such fine, capable hands! Much love to you both!

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  27. Mary and Sherry, I have loved wilting for this site under your wise guidance. I will miss your personalities, and takes on what is going on in the world. Hope to see you both on other sites from time to time. It has been s real pleasure.

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  28. I continue to be thankful for each of your comments. Deep appreciation once again for sharing your poetry and your presence with me over the years.

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  29. Mary and Sherry, It is with a heavy heart I read this post you have both been vessels of light for so many through the years. I do, however, understand and respect your decision to move forward on a new journey.

    You have worn your moccasins well as keepers of this community. I know the roads ahead will offer you wonderful change and new opportunities.

    Thank you for all your unselfish time and support through the years.

    Peace be with you in this new phase of life...

    hugs always...

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  30. True, i love "you have worn your moccasins well". That is a high compliment. Thank you.

    And thank you everyone, for all of these warm words. It is good to know we have done good work, in support of, and love for, poetry.

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  31. Though I know all endings create a beginning, I always grieve them. I so poorly with endings so instead, I'll remain in denial for as long as I can. Mary, i know how hard you've worked and appreciate your dedication. Sherry, I don't even have to put my feelings in words. You intuitively know how I feel.
    PU will miss you both. THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK AND DEDICATION.
    I do welcome the new administrators and writers. My poetry well seems to be running dry as well. Too rarely, lately, does my muse awaken. But I'll be contributing as often as possible. I support you all and wish you well.

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  32. Mary and Sherry, thank you! I appreciate everything you have done. Sending you best wishes and prayers.

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  33. Thank you Mary and Sherry for your dedication and kind voices. I truly hope you stick around as I would miss you! Sherry, I took a step back from the news cycle - listen maybe a total of 1/2 hour or less a day. Had to for my own sanity - my quality of life and sanity. Seriously 24/7 news is not healthy. We need to live our own lives as well - there is so much good in the world but it gets scrubbed out if we wallow in the destructive nature of the news... it isn't healthy nor real - it focuses on ONE thing. I listen to BBC a bit and it amazes me how much more they report on - our news media is sick - just one topic 24/7 it seems. Oh, I'm ranting (sorry) I bet if you turn it off, your natural poetic nature will surface bright and shiny!

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    1. Yes, I do limit what I watch, I refuse to listen to a Certain Someone. But the climate crisis is urgent. I do know we also have to love and be grateful for all that is wonderful.........thanks, Margaret.

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  34. You both will be missed. Thank you so much, Sherry and Mary, for your outstanding contribution to - and support of - our Community of Poets … which was truly above and beyond. Enjoy your break, Poets. It is much deserved.

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  35. I'm saddened to see you both go, Sherry and Mary, but I understand the need for self-care. Thank you both for being so welcoming and encouraging throughout your tenures here. I hope to see more of your poetry in the future.

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  36. Mary and Sherry, thank you so much for your work here, your poetry, and your kindness. When I first stepped into the poetry blogging world a few years back the both of you were so supportive. I have truly cherished your encouraging words. I understand feeling it is time to take a break and I do hope to be able to continue to read you in the future. All the best to both of you. xoxo Jen

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  37. I am reading the beautiful words shared by everyone. Only I am wordless. My best wishes to both of you Mary and Sherry.

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  38. I have been wandering the web until i stumbled upon Poets United and the fine poets that gather here. Dear Mary and Sherry, and the other admin staff, you all make this place feel like home. It is a good place to return to, to share our poetry and opinions, our frustrations and losses and triumphs.

    Mary and Sherry, thank you so much! Enjoy your "retirement", but please continue to keep in touch. Wishing you all the best. :)

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  39. Thanks, once again, everyone for your very touching words. I will not respond to each individual, though,of course, I think of you each as the individuals you are. Ha...and October isn't over yet, so I will still be around at least through then. Smiles.I doubt that I will totally stay away after that.

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  40. Mary and Sherry Thank You so much for all you’ve done for poets and the poetry community. I will forever be grateful for finding Poets United when poetry returned to me. It is through both of you, your talent, compassion, and encouragement I’ve been able to grow and share my poetic voice.

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  41. Thank you, again, my friends, for your beautiful wishes. I will definitely still be around, just not working behind the scenes. Still linking and reading, just like all of you. Yay! We have all grown together through the years. The support of other poets is such a wonderful thing. Online has been such a blessing in my life. And so have all of you.

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  42. Mary and Sherry, I have to say hat your platform has blessed me in more ways than one.
    It's sad to see you go...just promise not too far away.
    This platform you've created is a foundation many of us have been able to grow roots in. And for that, I thank you both !

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