The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


The Wood County Committee on Aging, Inc. will hold its ninth annual poetry banquet Tuesday, April 29 at 4 p.m. at the Wood County Senior Center in Bowling Green.

The contest and drew in 22 entries from all over Wood County. The poems reflected the individual’s personal feelings about life, hope, dreams and love, which celebrated the heart and souls of the participants as they have enjoyed “Life’s Moments.”

The winner was Nancy Jean, of Perrysburg, author of “And We Grow!” The second place winner was Larry E. Slaughterbeck, North Baltimore, for his poem entitled, “A Plastic Cream Colored Philco.” Colleen Dunn of Bowling Green received an Honorable Mention for her work entitled, “God’s Children.”

When asked about judging the Poetry Contest, Bowling Green State University General Studies Writing Instructor Chad Michael Van Buskirk said, “Judging the poetry contest was a wonderful opportunity to engage with the fascinating and meaningful experiences and insights of our community’s senior members. The pieces submitted remind us that thoughts of memory, desire, loss, and resilience are perennial. Reviewing the submissions is always an enjoyable, enlightening process.”

Winning entries include:

And We Grow!
By Nancy Jean
I stood over your freshly dug grave
bra-less in the wrong colored shoes.
Tousled out of morning to this day
where silence trumps all that’s been said.
Chasms deepen and ripple with mourning…
how much truly can one soul impart.
Followed and haunted, remembering
all the roads that we’ve run,
all the ways of our hearts.
Nothing seems real here
not this morning…
not this dirt now under my soles.
Life runs and conquers
leaving us wondering
so much
so deeply
And we grow!

A Plastic Cream Colored Philco
By Larry E. Slaughterbeck:
In the corner of our dark attic, a plastic “cream colored” Philco radio
Lay covered in dust and cobwebs.
Now silent, in the forties, it was new and shiny.
The moments of the world it gave to us,
The romanticized music of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller.
Then…on a quiet Sunday afternoon,
The seventh of December,
It told us Pearl Harbor was under attack,
And for the next four years at our dinner table,
We tuned in the evening news, to listen to a world at war.
At night, the young mother would sit by our bed,
Reading to her very young sons.
With folded hands she prayed for the safe return of her beloved,
And for all the fathers and brothers and sons.
The thinking of others made her more beautiful.
That little Philco filled our home with music.
Sometimes she would hold her sons and dance.
Sometimes the music brought tears to her hazel eyes,
And the news on the Philco reminded us…
Precious blood was being shed in faraway places,
And those places became all too familiar…
Guadalcanal, the Azores, Saipan, Normandy,
Anzio, Bataan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Corregidor…
In December of `44, the little Philco gave us
Bing’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”
But, the Gold Star on our neighbor’s front window
Reminded all in Cygnet their son would never return…
His baseball glove hung limply on a hook.
Finally on a hot summer day in 1945,
That little radio let us know…
The War was over.
Today in the attic, I lifted the little Philco,
Blew off the dust and just held it.

God’s Children
By Colleen Dunn
Sometimes it’s just a little one, whom God sees fit to take.
Someday we’ll meet them over there, beside the crystal lake.
They spread their childish laughter, throughout the palace halls.
And help to bring the sunshine, to others whom God calls.
They run along the golden streets, they swing on pearly gates.
They shine like lilies bright and fair, while on their God they wait.
Heaven would not seem complete, without some childish glee,
Who’d want to see just old folks, throughout eternity?
So when God calls a small one, he’s lent us for a while.
We feel so sad, but shouldn’t, for they have seen His smile.
The Wood County Committee on Aging extended gratitude to all of the entrants for their contributions to the contest. The contest committee also thanked Sunset Retirement Communities and Ashanti Hospice for their sponsorship of the program and to Bowling Green State University for assisting with the judging of the entries.

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