Sunday Spotlight… Jersey Java & Tea

What is Jersey Java & Tea?
It’s an independently owned specialty coffee shop serving locally roasted fair trade coffees.

How long has Jersey Java & Tea been open?
Since October of 2009.

Where is it located?
140 N. Haddon Ave. Haddonfield, NJ.

What are the hours?
Monday – Saturday: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM

What else does Jersey Java & Tea have to offer besides great coffee (and tea)?
Coffee, tea, espresso, smoothies, bake goods and more. Plus live music, comedy nights, open mic poetry nights, special events and more.
The next open mic poetry night is coming up Friday October 23, at 7 pm.

From the Jersey Java & Tea website which you can visit here for more details and a calendar of events:

Jersey Java and Tea opened its doors in October of 2009 as a comfortable, classy spot in Haddonfield to relax, work, and enjoy high quality beverage and food offerings to the local community.

Over the next 2 years as our customer base expanded, so did our knowledge of what it means to be a “speciality” coffeeshop, allowing us to refine and improve our drink menu to various forms of hand-brewed coffees and traditional espresso drinks.

Proudly brewing and serving coffee and espresso from PT’s Roasting Company, Jersey Java and Tea has become a place to taste the intricacies of what coffee can be.

So come on by and try one of our “Guest Roasts” of the week brewed by chemex, taste our iced coffee from our cold drip tower, or strike up a conversation with one of our friendly and knowledgeable baristas. Don’t forget to check out our calendar for all of our exciting, free all-ages events.

Thanks for stopping by, and see you soon!!

– Jersey Java and Tea 🙂

jerseyjavaandteaYou can find Jersey Java & Tea on Facebook.
Musicians interested in performing at Jersey Java or Artists interested in having their work showcased, please email us at:

Written word…Poll Results

Are you a fan of Poetry?
Yes 83.33%
No 16.67%


“yes I guess. my poetry is a mess. my motto is less is best.”

“Never really got into it. Wrote some in school and many years later in college.”

“I read quiet a bit in high school as well as wrote a lot of it myself. I feel is a beautiful expression of any and all emotion!”

What is your favorite form of written word?
Music 57.14%
Novels 28.57%
Short stories 14.29%
Poetry 0%

“I enjoy poetry and short stories because I have a limited attention span”

“It keeps you engaged longer and broadens your imagination.”

“Music is a universal language. It knows no limit”

Who is your favorite poet/writer?
“RUN… I just think he’s slightly more profound than DMC.”


“Tie…Stephen King & Edgar Allan Poe”

“Charles Bukowski”


“Bob Dylan”

“Edgar Allan Poe”

What is your favorite poem, book or written word in another form?
“i don’t understand the question.”

“Chicken Soup for the Soul”

“Wuthering Heights”

“Deception point”

“Visions of Johanna”

“the tell tail heart”

Have you ever written any of the following?
Other Option 42.86%
“All of the above except book”
“All of the above”
“All of the above”
A book 28.57%
Poems 14.29%
A song 14.29%
A short story 0%

“I wrote a fitness book.”

“Have written poems & short stories.”

“Working on a novel in between life.”

Waxing Poetic: Our Reader Submitted Works of Poetry

If you missed  our reader submitted story by writer John Taylor, check it out here. John’s published credits include
The Intelligencer, Irish Edition and BuxMont living.

Today, reader submitted poetry rounds out our week of poetry and prose.

how did I slip back in
gone for so long
feeling so strong
you make me weak
this is so wrong
felt so good
my mind in tact
how did i get
so far off track
i didn’t even
turn my back
and here you are again
pretend to be my friend
seep in there again
turn my thoughts to black
knife me in the back
loosing what i’d gained
took so much time
just let it go
i will be fine
just gotta get
out of my mind


A beautiful vision who loves you whole
Captivate your mind, capture your soul
Love you like you have never known
Take your heart make it my own

Wishing that you could escape my hold
That is a story too many times told
No one can leave me unless I agree
My love holds you in like a lock with no key

And if leaving shall be what I choose to do
You’ll beg me to stay to love you true

~Michelle M.

Nitrous queen
Huffin gas
Don’t know how much longer I can last
I can see my future but I’m stuck in the past
Don’t know how much longer I can last

Feels so mean
Like some cruel joke
I’ve been bending so long feel like I’m broke
Pick up the pieces take another toke
Been bending so long I feel like I’m broke

Rainy spring
A cold march night
It’s all heading south but it feels so right
Wound up in the dark following the light
It’s all burning down but it feels so right

Love is a Blessing
Never a Curse
I feel pretty down but I’ve felt a lot worse
Just a wrong turn not a turn for the worse
Love is a blessing never a curse

Paul Baroli Jr.

You stood tall for me when no one else would
Dug deep and did things I didn’t think you could

I might have Made a thousand woman moan but there’s only ever been one I called my own

So Thank You Babe for Lovin Me
For being my light when I was lost at Sea
For crying alone and letting me be
I once was blind but now I see

You waited so long
When dark nights became darker days
I wanted to come home, didn’t know the way
Just drifting farther and farther
no clarity in my haze

So now what do we do?
Ride off into the sunset just me and you?
Or blaze a trail of glory the likes no one ever knew

I’ll just keep singin I really don’t care
As long as I look out and see that stare
Your beautiful smile I know so well
Fueled with The Love of a Lifelong Dare

So Thank You Babe for Lovin Me
For being my light when I was lost at Sea
For crying alone and letting me be
I once was blind but now I see

~Paul Baroli Jr.

True love can not be tested
Nor can it be betrayed
My heart’s been toyed with too many times
It’s strings can no longer be played

Love should come naturally
when you least expect it to
One day you’ll find that if you have faith
love will find you too

`~Delilah Jones

Someone who listens when I talk
who’s not afraid to hear what I say

My needs
do I put them on a shelf

I’ve screamed a thousand times
That’s why you can’t see the pain

People need to be heard, understood
crying out

Two people, too different, to exist

~MG & CC

Two people in a crowd
of many
All are happy

Two laugh, two dance, two talk
A blue sky

The two are one
you see
All for each other

Two in everything they do
hands entwined
Smiles abound

Two loving each other’s
For always

~MG & CC

Reader Submission: The Briefcase Caper

We’re rounding out a week of talk about the written word in the form of poetry, prose and storytelling. We hope you’ll enjoy this reader written short story that was submitted to us by John Taylor. Check back tomorrow for the results of this week’s poll, and don’t miss this week’s upcoming Sunday Spotlight.

The Briefcase Caper

Our local high school schoolyard was used to play baseball, football, stickball, freedom (a game of tag) …you get the idea, even if it was a parking lot. The fact that it was a school parking lot during the day didn’t matter, it was our neighborhood playground. Summertime, when school was out, was our favorite time to play, with no cars interrupting our games. It was here that the briefcase caper became part of the scene of a crime.

One summer day in the late sixties, I found a briefcase that led to a scary confrontation with the local police, a possible trip to the local police station, for my Mom, brother and I, via a police car. Not cool for a twelve year old kid to go to jail.

The schoolyard was a full city block. Two sides were bordered by a five foot high spiked fence with a gate in the middle to allow cars to drive in and out. One side, bordered by an eight foot high chain link fence separating the row homes, their yards face the schoolyard. The school is about seven stories high, except for a short two story section of the building facing the schoolyard. The shorter building has a chain link fence that rose to a second story roof that seemed to steal all of our well hit baseballs.

If someone, usually me, climbed the fence to the second story, one would liberate all the lost baseballs and sometimes other treasures. When I would climb the fence to the roof, I would generally find a treasure trove of hardballs, softballs, pimple balls (air filled rubber balls common to Philly), occasionally a football or two, a basketball and/or occasionally a treasure. Since I was risking life and limb, my brother and I would generally keep the best conditioned balls. The remainder of the balls, I would toss to whoever was on the ground.

It was one of these summertime days of playing baseball, after scaling the fence to get a ball we roofed during a baseball game, I scoured the roof for other lost balls. Finding several balls, I tossed the best ones to my brother, Wilbert. The remainder, I tossed to other kids in the yard. Just before I was going to climb down, I saw something in the corner, near a window. I walked over and sitting in the corner was a perfect looking briefcase. The briefcase was partially open and inside was a bunch of papers, pencils and pens. Did someone toss this on the roof? Did someone toss it out the window? Why get rid of a perfect briefcase. Since school was over for the summer, there was no one to ask. Well, “finders keepers, losers weepers” was the law of the land in my neighborhood. I remember thinking, what a great place to store my comics and baseball cards, a briefcase!

By now I started to hear Wilbert yelling, “Johnny, what are you doing up there? We’re gonna be late for dinner and Mom is gonna ground us. Let’s go!”

I yelled back, “I just found something really cool. I’ll be down in a minute.”

I looked into some of the windows and no one was in the school and all the lights were out. Hearing Wilbert continue to yell, I figured it was time to leave before he drew a crowd. I went to the fence and showed Wilbert what I found.

He said, “Cool!”

Now I thought how do I climb down with the briefcase and not fall to my death? I yelled down to Wilbert, “I’ll get to the top of the fence and drop the briefcase down. Don’t drop it.”

I climbed to the top, dropped it to Wilbert and he made a great catch. I said, “It’s a shame you can’t catch a baseball that good.”

He replied, “If you don’t want me to take the briefcase from you, I’d shut your face.”

On our way home Wilbert asked me was there anything in the briefcase. I replied, “Yeah, some papers, pencils & pens. I left the papers on the roof and kept the pens and pencils.”

Wilbert asked, “Why did you toss them?”

I said, “They looked like test papers or notes, since school is over, I left them on the roof.”

As we walked home, we ran into some our friends. They wanted to know what I was doing with a briefcase. Some of the kids were laughing at me. I told them I found it on the schoolyard roof, while looking for baseballs, and what I planned to do with it. They stopped laughing and thought it was real cool to have the briefcase hold comics and baseball cards. A couple of them wanted to buy it off me. “No way!” I said.

As Wilbert and I walked up the street to our house, Wilbert said something I didn’t think of, “How are you gonna get that in the house without Mom seeing it? You don’t wanna tell her you found it on the roof! She’ll cream you and take the briefcase off of you.”

“Crap!” I then told Wilbert, “…you go in first and I’ll sneak it up to our bedroom and hide it.”

No sooner did we get in the front door, when Mom came out of the kitchen and saw us walk in. “You’re almost late for dinner,” she said. Mom’s eyes squinted as she looked in my direction, then at the briefcase; there was no way to hide the briefcase now. With an obvious frown on her face she said slowly, “Where did you get that briefcase?”

“I found it.” I answered.

“Where?” Mom said sternly as she walked towards us.

Nervously, I said “In the schoolyard.”

“Tell me the full story.”

I didn’t want to tell her I climbed on the roof, because I didn’t want to get slapped upside the head and get grounded, so I just told her I found it in the schoolyard. This way I wasn’t lying, the roof was in the schoolyard, although two stories up in the air. As Mom was standing in front of me looking down at me, I looked over at Wilbert, and Mom said, “Don’t look at him, I’m asking you how you ended up with a briefcase that looks almost brand new.” She looked at my brother and said, “Go into the kitchen while I find out what happened from him and I’ll ask you about it afterwards.”

Wilbert gulped and slowly walked into the kitchen. As he walked away, he made a goofy face at me then proceeded to take his right hand and made a motion that looked like he was cutting his throat. I looked up at Mom as she said, “It didn’t fall from the sky, that briefcase belongs to someone.”

I replied, “Well you know what they say, finders keepers, losers…” Before I could finish the statement, Mom whacked me across the top of my head. I could hear Wilbert giggling in the kitchen. Mom turned slightly towards the kitchen and yelled, “That’s enough from you, and you’re next!” Turning to me she said, “And what were you planning to do with it?”

“I thought it would be a cool place to put my comic books and baseball cards.”

Mom replied, “That’s what shoeboxes are for. Once again, it didn’t fall from the sky, it belongs to someone and we need to find out who it belongs to. Someone lost it and is probably looking for it. If you KNOW it belongs to someone else and you take it, what does that say to you?”

As tears filled my eyes, I just kept silent. Mom leaned over and said, “It’s the same as stealing it yourself. Hand it over and let’s see if we can find out who it belongs to.”

“But Mom!”


I handed over my newfound treasure, knowing it would never hold my comics or baseball cards. My friends will surely laugh at me now. As Mom opened the briefcase and started to look into it, the doorbell rang. As I stood there, Mom looked at me and said, “You gonna answer that?”

I turned around and peeking out from the kitchen was Wilbert making a goofy face. Mom yelled to Wilbert, “Don’t think I can’t see you there.” I whispered under my breath, “Man she’s got eyes behind her head.”

Mom whacked me in the head again saying, “I heard that, now answer the door!” I wiped my eyes and headed for the door. Opening the door, my friend Skipper was standing on the stoop and said, “I thought you would want to know, the police are in the schoolyard. They were responding to a break-in at the school. A few kids said they saw you come down from the roof and that the Taylor brothers walked away with a brand new briefcase. The police are looking for Wilbert and you right now.”

I didn’t have time to think or duck, as Mom’s open hand headed for the back of my head. I could hear and feel the smack to the back of the head. WHACK! THUD! The whacks were getting harder. In the background I could now hear loud laughter from both Skipper and Wilbert. Mom was now screaming, “You were on the roof? What the hell is wrong with you? Are you trying to kill yourself or drive me crazy? You just got done telling me you found it in the schoolyard!”

I couldn’t think fast enough, maybe due to all the blows to the head I just received, but responded, “The roof is in the school yard.”

Mom just stared at me!

Mom now yelled towards Wilbert, “Get over here!” As he walked over he gave me the evil eye. I thought that when this is all over, he’s gonna kick my butt. He hits harder than Mom and when you least expect it.

“Were you with him while this was all going on?”


“And you didn’t think of stopping him?”

Extremely slowly, he inched out the word, “No!”

WHACK! THUD” Wilbert was knocked back slightly. Mom’s now yelling, “You’re older than him, and I would have thought you had more common sense, but I guess I was wrong.”

Mom said, “Stay right there, I need to turn dinner off. We’re going over to the schoolyard right now.” Wilbert glared at me, mouthing the words, “You’re dead meat, you moron!” As Mom walked back towards us, still carrying the briefcase, she looked like she had steam coming out of her ears, like you see on cartoons. I had to stifle a snicker for fear of getting another whack in the head. With the briefcase in her right hand and my right ear in her left hand, we quickly left the house. Mom looked back at Wilbert said “Lock the door and follow us, NOW!”

As Wilbert locked the door, he said something to Skipper that had him laughing his head off. Wilbert quickly caught up with us.

What a sight, Mom walking briskly down the street. Briefcase still in one hand, my ear in the other and Wilbert walking behind us (no doubt making goofy faces) with Mom muttering to herself the whole way. Neighbors were either outside on the stoops, at their windows or at their front doors watching in amazement. Around the corner we stormed, rather Mom dragging me in this parade towards the schoolyard. We could see the flashing lights of the police cars. Yup, more than one police car needed to get the Taylor criminals. As we approached the schoolyard, I could see one police car in the entryway of the schoolyard and another near the fence I climbed. I could see at least one police officer was up on the roof.

There was already a small crowd forming in the yard. Suddenly, I saw one of my “friends” standing next to an officer, turn and point in our direction. As the police officer turned in our direction I noticed that I was starting to cry. My chest felt like it was gonna burst. As we walked into the schoolyard, the officer started to walk towards us. My Mom still had a vice grip on my right ear. I wondered if I would be able to hear from that ear when this was all over, if I lived. As we approached the officer, Wilbert looked at me and laughed out loud. Mom froze, FINALLY letting go of my ear, turned slowly towards him saying, “You’re half the problem, I wouldn’t laugh.” his face froze!

The officer walked up to my Mom and said, “May I help you?” Mom started to tell the story of what happened, minus the multiple blows to our heads. The officer now looked at me, crouched down so we were face to face and said, “Now, you tell me what happened?” I just cried out loud. The crowd was now all around us and I was getting more scared and embarrassed. Mom and the officer calmed me down and I told him EXACTLY what happened.

It was then that the officer that was on the roof approached us and said, “We got a problem. The school was broken into from the roof. There is a broken window up there and one of the classrooms was trashed. The investigators are still assessing the damage and determining what was stolen.” He then pointed in the direction of the roof where I found the briefcase. “Neighbors say that they saw two boys on the roof, break the window and came out with what looked like a briefcase. Once they called police, the boys were gone.”

As Mom and the officer turned and looked at Wilbert and me, the officer said, “Hmm, and your two boys show up with a briefcase.”

I cried out, “I didn’t break the window, I never even saw any broken windows; I found the briefcase up there as I was picking up the balls off of the roof!” Now looking scared and no longer laughing, Wilbert yelled, “I was never on the roof!”

Now I was in a total panic.

Then the officer, looking directly at my Mom, said, “I think we’ll need to take you all to the station for questioning. Mrs. Taylor, do you have a lawyer?” My Mom’s face went blank. The officer looked past me yelled, “Where do you think you’re going?” As I turned around, I saw Wilbert slowly walking towards the gate to the street. Wilbert turned and said, “I’m hungry, I’m going home to eat dinner.” The other officer, walking briskly towards Wilbert said angrily, “The next meal you have may be in a prison cell. Get your ass over here.” My Mom was too stunned to say anything back to the officer. I saw fear on my brother’s face and was sure there were tears welling up in his eyes, as the officer gripped Wilbert by the shoulder, leading him back to where we stood.

I could see that Mom was worried. She said to the officers, “We came here on our own. Once my son told me he found the briefcase, I questioned him further. That’s when a neighbor told us that the police were at the schoolyard investigating a break- in and were looking for my boys. I felt the briefcase was somehow involved. I know you hear it all the time, but my boys would never break into a school, trash it and steal.”

Before my Mom could continue her story any further, a lady was pushing through the crowd yelling, “Excuse me! Excuse me!” I recognized her as one of the neighbors who lived in one of the houses facing the schoolyard. I thought right then and there, we’re dead. She is always yelling at us. She would probably ask the officers to shoot us right then and there! She finally got through and said, “I’m the one who called the police. I’m Mrs. Fischer, my son Bobby, works in this district.”

Both officers turned to Mrs. Fischer and said, “Hello Mrs. Fischer, nice to meet you, we both know Bobby, he’s a good friend of ours.” Mrs. Fischer continued, “I know both of the Taylor boys, they’re good kids and I don’t believe it was them. One of the neighbor kids just told me the police were gonna arrest the Taylor brothers for the break-in. I thought I should get here before you took them to the station.”

My Mom let out a huge sigh!

Mrs. Fischer looked at my Mom and asked, “Are you Mrs. Taylor?” My Mom squeaked out a “Yes, I am.”

“Are the boys wearing the same clothes now that they wore earlier today?

Mom said, “Why yes, why?”

Mrs. Fischer turned to the police officers and said, “Take a look at what the Taylor boys are wearing and check out the police report I gave, you’ll see the clothes don’t match the description I reported.”

The police took the briefcase from my Mom and took down our names and address. One of the officers said, “We’ll keep the information on file in case we need to contact you further. Then he turned in our direction.

The officer gave us, me in particular, a stern talking to about climbing on the roof, private property and possibly falling off the roof. Afterwards, I had a finer appreciation for the term, TRESSPASSING! Mom smacked both Wilbert and me in the back of the heads and said, “The both of you are grounded. By the time we get home I may decide to send you to bed without dinner.” Once again, I got smacked in the back of my head while Mom gripped my right ear again, yelling “And you climbing on the roof, what the hell is wrong with you…” As we walked through the schoolyard gates on our way home, Mom was still ranting; I could hear the officers giggling, along with the crowd.

My thought at the time? I’m glad I’m getting grounded; I don’t think I ever want to go out in public again after this incident. Once Wilbert gets off grounding, I’m in for a real beating! All of this because of a stupid briefcase!

Sometimes, “Finders keepers, losers’ weepers” is not the rule; sometimes finders are the weepers!”

On the Eve of National Poetry Day, Writer Sean Hill Shares his Passion for Poetry and Prose.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. — Ernest Hemingway

While I don’t think too many but the purest of old school writers are still using a typewriter to get their stories out, Hemingway’s words are still on point today. The greatest of writers are those who leave a little piece of themselves on the page; who come away from writing a little poorer so that those who read it may become that much richer.

How long have you been a writer?
Well, I’m told that writers are born not made, that they always have the words or the story inside of them, but it’s not until they get them out, that they become a “working” writer.

So 2 years then?
Yes (laughing), yes. All of that was writer speak for two years. No. Seriously, I started writing when I was able to, 5 maybe 6. For fun? 20 years maybe. Professionally speaking, I guess 10 years or so.

And what kind of writer are you? In what genre do you predominantly write?
Well, what I have published, are mainly articles and some short stories. But I’ve been working on a novel. Then again, that sounds so cliché’. Who isn’t working on a novel?

Well, I’d like to have the rebuttal of “me” here, but unfortunately, I too am working on a novel. 

So, you write mainly short fiction and non-fiction and are an aspiring novelist?
Basically, but my first literary love is poetry. I’m really a poet.

And you didn’t know it?
Exactly (laughing). You should consider giving up writing that novel and getting your own stand-up.

Believe me, it’s crossed my mind. Again I digress. So tell me what is it about poetry that makes it your genre of choice?
You can make it what you want to make it for one thing. I mean, you can do that with any writing really. But If I write a book about Jack and Jill going up a hill, if 10 people read it chances are all 10 will say “hey that was a book about Jack and Jill going up a hill”. But a poem, unless it is something so cut and dry, so simple, it can’t be disputed, it can be totally subjective. 10 people might think it means 10 different things. And there are just so many works of poetry that move me, like truly take me to another place.

Who are your favorite poets? 
There’s just too many. There are certainly latter-day poets that have influence me, Ginsberg, Kerouac, poets of the beat generation. And then there’s Dylan Thomas, and Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath… and I could just go on. But I’m a purist at heart. Give me some Emily Dickinson, Yeats, Lord Byron, Walt Whitman. There’s something for every mood, every moment, every phase of life. It’s pretty astonishing.

Okay, say you are talking to a thousand poetry novices right now. They’re reading this. Obviously, they’re all going to have different tastes, different interests, come from different places and experiences, but you have to give them a top 10 intro to poetry to-do list as an assignment. They have to read one piece from each in order to get a good well-rounded poetry education. Who do you choose?
So they have to get a complete intro to poetry in 10 pieces?

Yes. Consider it like speed dating for would-be poetry lovers. Give them your top 10 to check out. 
(we took a ten minute break here so he could think about this and incidentally, so I could get more coffee)
Okay I’ve got it.
Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Browning, T.S. Eliot, William Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Maya Angelou.

I think that’s 11.
I’m a writer, we’re indecisive.

What’s your favorite poem?
Surely you jest.

That difficult? 
Could you pick a favorite child?

Depending on the day, yes, yes I could. 
I don’t think I have a favorite. I do not think it’s even possible. I think there’s a favorite for when I’m happy, and a favorite for when I’m in a bad mood, and a favorite on rainy days, and a favorite for Thursdays. It’s too much.

Okay then, give us your favorite poem for Thursdays.
(laughter) Okay, okay. My favorite Thursday poem. I’m gonna go with Dylan Thomas.

Was he even on your top 10 list?
Yeah we’re not just indecisive but we’re fickle too. So, here is my Thursday poem. Is this even going to be published on Thursday?

Actually no it’s not. It’s going to be published on Wednesday. But interestingly. Thursday is National Poetry Day. And we honestly did not plan it that way! So let’s have your Thursday, National Poetry Day poem.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I actually thought of another… interesting story here. So many people know it. It’s on probably a million mass cards. But do you have any idea who wrote it?

Do not stand at my grave and weep:
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starshine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry:
I am not there; I did not die.

I actually know the story, but I venture to guess most people do not. Did you want to share?
So, this work is by Mary Elizabeth Frye. Ever hear of her? No? She was a housewife from Baltimore, Maryland. Had no higher education, no writing credentials, and had never even tried writing poetry before. She grew up an orphan. So the story goes that she wrote the poem for a young girl who has escaped after the Holocaust but when she returned she found out that her mother had not made it and had died in Germany. The girl was devastated that she had no grave, nowhere to visit, nowhere to go to cry and say goodbye. So Frye, feeling this incredible compassion for this young girl, also now an orphan, wrote this poem for her. And here it is, this incredibly famous piece of work that is recited and published and shared as a means of consoling the bereaved. And all because a housewife had felt empathy and compassion for a young Jewish girl. The best part is, Frye never had it published. She never even got a copyright. She never made a cent from it.

Incredibly story never get tired of it. Again, that’s the power of words.

Friday we’re publishing some submissions from our readers. Stay tuned. Maybe one of those will become the next great poetic story. 

The Written Word…A Poll

Waxing Poetic: Our Favorite Works of Poetry and Why Words Pack Such a Punch

writtenword2What is a word? Can you define it? You use them every day. You use them to articulate your thoughts. You put them together to make sentences that get your point across, explain how you are feeling, or tell people what you want them to know. But, what is a word? All alone, by itself, what does the word word mean?

The dictionary defines the word word as a sound or a combination of sounds, or its representation in writing or printing, that symbolizes and communicates a meaning and may consist of a single morpheme or of a combination of morphemes. Sounds so technical, so sterile, so cold, doesn’t it? And yet the spoken word is the basis for every declaration of love, every promise made, every vow taken, every joke told. And the written word the basis for every heartwarming movie line, every hysterically funny comedy show, every prolific, unforgettable song lyric penned. In fact, nothing could be less sterile, less cold than words.

This week, we are using our words to talk to people about theirs. We open up our forum for people to submit any written work no matter how small it may seem, to share with all of you. And we’re talking to people about the weight and breadth of the word and it’s purpose. When we focus on the world of arts and culture as something that unifies, which we often do, we usually focus on music. Whether it be that we are both lovers of music, or that we have been fortunate enough to have a wealth of musical talent at our disposal to bring to you, that is just the way it has been. But there are all kinds of art forms. There are all types of mediums that unite people in many ways. Writers, poets, spoken word artists, lyricists, rappers, all utilize words to entertain, to educate, to bring people together and get messages across. The power of words is immeasurable. We’re bringing our thoughts to you, and hoping you’ll use your words to tell us what you think!

This week we’ll have reader submissions, an interview with a poet and author, and more…
but first a favorite piece of written work from each of our One Unified founders. Enjoy!

The Road Not Taken (The Road Less Traveled) by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I Carry Your Heart by E.E.Cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)