Residents Get Creative in LeadingAge Contest

The annual Creative Writing Program of LeadingAge Oregon (formerly the Oregon Alliance of Senior & Health Services, or OASHS) has been going strong since 1993. Talented residents of Robison Jewish Health Center and Rose Schnitzer Manor have been participating in the program for many years.

The program requires member residents to submit short stories and poems. Three judges, who are published writers and poets, score the entries and up to 50 top-rated pieces get published in “Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders”. The winners are also honored at a luncheon in February; this year’s luncheon will take place on February 21, at Friendsview Retirement Community in Newberg, Oregon.

The 2012 contest saw the following entries make the cut:

  • “Reality” by Florence L. Blitch
  • “The Canoe Is Empty” by Diane Budner (see below)
  • “Classical Music, O Yes!” by Murray Kaufman
  • “Dedication” by Martha Pomeranz (see below)
  • “Sonnet” by Robert S. Putterman
  • “My Mother’s Eyes” by Molly Tulin
  • “A Natural Event” by Inez Weissman

Enjoy these two selections by Manor residents.

The Canoe Is Empty, by Diane Budner

Where are you, Alan?
Not in the dark clouds or sky
Where are you, Alan?
Not in the stars or the moon
Where are you, Alan?
Not in the rainy woods or park

The canoe is empty
The journey over

I looked in the river
for sailboats in the sun
I looked on the beach
for footprints not there
I looked in my heart
for memories of our love

The canoe is empty
The journey over

You are in your children,
in their children
They would say
“plaid Dad” and
“that was so ‘Budner’esque” and
“is ‘Bapa’ fiction now?”
And you would say
“don’t touch the dirty water” and
“keep your gutters clean”
“no eggs, butter, meat”
A hug, a kiss, a twinkle
A basketball, a violin
Bridges, waves, ripples baby Adva

The canoe is empty
The journey over

You laughed with me, laughed at me
Our funny little jokes
Danced and pranced
Etched in my head
Expressions you had, clothes you wore
Music you played, sang, whistled
Come back to me, come back to me
Our good times, our travels, our home, our love

The canoe is empty
The journey over

Dedication, by Martha M. Pomeranz

We live for past generations: for Mothers and Fathers too.
Who taught through loving actions, what we should or should not do.
We live for all poets, artists, scientists, actors and crew.
What is needed is more actions, with benefits for me and for you.
We live for the six million, who never had a chance
To see the world we live in, or to help in its advance.

We live for early colonists, They came here for religious peace
And consumed the food they had grown, and hoped their troubles would cease.
We live for the fallen soldiers, those in prisons or in battles lost,
For they gave this land its freedom, and never counted on its cost.
We live for the early Grecians, who endowed all artful shrines
And in their epic poems, you can read between the lines.
We live for all the animals, plus birds, bees and flowers.
They uphold the parks of life, which nature nourished through long hours.
We join advocates for world peace, who think their ideas are new,
Yet were passed around since time began, always hoping they would come true.

2 Responses to Residents Get Creative in LeadingAge Contest

  1. Eric Moskowitz says:

    ‘The Canoe is Empty’ was indeed very moving – a beautiful and heartfelt piece. Thank you.

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