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LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “Sonnet” by Robert S. Putterman

LeadingAge LogoAs every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon held a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participated in great numbers. Winners were announced publicly on February 28; 50 top-rated pieces were also be published in Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.

The following entries by RSM residents were selected as winners:

Here’s the ninth of 13 submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“Sonnet” by Robert S. Putterman

We often thirst for what is first in life,
What is that precious thing that we must know.
Because our days are often filled with strife,
It’s hard to find the purpose for this show.

Perhaps, we’ve thought, the answer is in wealth,
Although we know that that has ne’er been true,
And then the subject of our constant health
Has always been there, out there in the blue.

Since neither meet the test with errless grace
The answer lies in something else for sure.
The only truth that stares us in the face
Comes quickly through like sparkling crystal pure.

It’s loving friendship that we find comes “first”
To answer what we know is life’s main thirst.

LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “Haunted” by Evelyn Hirsch

LeadingAge LogoAs every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon held a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participated in great numbers. Winners were announced publicly on February 28; 50 top-rated pieces were also be published in Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.

The following entries by RSM residents were selected as winners:

Here’s the eighth of 13 submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“Haunted” by Evelyn Hirsch

Some people swore that the house was haunted. I agreed. The one time I had the courage to go in proved that images, smells, and sounds from unknown sources existed. The house was built in 1850, a beautiful four story Victorian mansion. It had all kinds of decorative work on the roof. It was painted white, with lilac colored trim on the windows and doors. We lived on the outskirts of Louisville, Kentucky and I passed that lovely old relic on my way to school each day. Jimmy double dared me to go in. You can’t refuse a double dare. As soon as I opened the front door, I turned back and saw Jimmy running away. Well I wasn’t scared, not much. As I entered the foyer, the door shut behind me. Oh well, maybe it was the wind. It’s funny but I smelled lilacs and it wasn’t even May. Why did the owners leave all the furniture? There was a big ancient clock leaning up against the wall. It was still ticking. How come? Who was winding it? I heard a clatter of dishes in the kitchen. Well, I got this far, I might as well go on. The huge old kitchen had an adjourning butler’s pantry. The kitchen table was set with pretty dishes and a silver coffee pot. There was no one in sight. Who set this up? I touched the silverware and got a shock as if there was electricity emanating from the spoons. Ok. Don’t touch. I went into the parlor, because that’s what they used to call it, way back when. The staircase was curved and the banister was made of oak with onyx knobs. I climbed slowly upwards with great trepidation. I had to, as I was double dared and I was brave and curious. The first door I opened showed a huge mahogany four poster bed. There were indentations on the pillow, as if someone was just laying there. Again the odor of flowers and suddenly the rocking chair in the corner started to rock back and forth and creak. I wanted to run, but now I couldn’t move and I got very cold as a breeze was blowing into the room. Then the humming began, a baby’s lullaby. A sweet voice was singing Rockabye Baby. It was the song my granny sang to me a long time ago. Suddenly I felt calm and tranquil as I knew no harm could come to me from this voice. Suddenly my legs were taking me down the hallway and I opened another door. There was a woman dressed in a great shawl covering her hoop skirt standing at the window. She turned and smiled at me. I wasn’t afraid. She seemed to be so nice. Then she vanished. The smell of lilacs was so strong. I have always loved lilacs. I guess she did too. Slowly I went back down the steps and each creaked as I stepped on it. But it was ok. Nothing to fear. Nothing to be scared of. Nothing was the same anymore.
The end.

LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “My Persian Rug” by Barbara Dubin

LeadingAge LogoAs every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon held a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participated in great numbers. Winners were announced publicly on February 28; 50 top-rated pieces were also be published in Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.

The following entries by RSM residents were selected as winners:

Here’s the seventh of 13 submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“My Persian Rug” by Barbara Dubin

My Persian rug was made the year I was born.
I fell in love the first time I saw her, when she was 48 years old.
Her colors were unusual for a Persian rug.
Her background was fuchsia with golden flowers and black designs intertwined.
She was described as an antique by the curator.
My Persian rug was made the year I was born.
I thought she was too young to be an antique.
She is called an American rug, because her bright colors were dyed in Persia and then shipped to American buyers.
I bought her at an estate sale in New Jersey.
Did I overpay? What did I know about Persian rugs?
A friend more knowledgeable than I said, “Do you buy and sell rugs for a living?”
“No, I just loved her.”
“Then I hope you enjoy it in good health.”
So the rug joined our family in 1977.
My Persian rug was made the year I was born.
I thought she was too young to be an antique.
Infant grandchildren played with their toys on her cheery colors.
Her fringes were tattered by our family’s use.
I became older and needed to live in a smaller, more compact living space.
The rug was cleaned and presented to my oldest child.
The college-age children now play games on the rug.
My Persian rug was made the year I was born.
I hope she continues to live with my descendants for many decades.

LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “Mother Tulip’s Chant” by Martha Pomeranz

LeadingAge LogoAs every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon is holding a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participate in great numbers. Winners will be announced publicly on February 28; up to 50 top-rated pieces will also be published in “Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.”

We have received notification that the following entries by RSM residents were selected as winners:

  • “Uncle Izzy” by Sam Berry
  • “Friday, December 14, 2012” by Florence Blitch
  • “Waiting” by Diane Budner
  • “A Mother” by Alice Cahana
  • “Haunted” by Evelyn Hirsch
  • “Mother Tulip’s Chant” by Martha M. Pomeranz
  • “Sonnet” by Robert S. Putterman

Here’s the sixth of 13 submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“Mother Tulip’s Chant” by Martha Pomeranz

“Wake up my darling baby, for there’s much work to be done”
Quote Mother Tulip sleepily to her newborn tulip son.

“Today we start our digging, since we aim to reach the light.
Do eat all your breakfast, so you can push with all your might.

Here now, take a sip of water; the past weeks have been so dry.
We’ve got to reach the surface, which means you’ll really have to try

To put some color in your cheeks, you’ve been sleeping, and you’re pale.
So do breathe deeply and stay awake – it’s one, two, three – inhale.

The rumors have been echo’d along the rooted vines,
And the news that spring is coming has been proven by its signs.

You may be just a bulb now, but you’ll sprout and be a Man,
And you’ll dress in vivid colors to win the best award you can.

It’s true you’re just a flower, and your life won’t last so long
But dream a bit and show us that you know right from wrong.

There are roses and some daisies, and friendly lilies, too.
All decked with fragrant blossoms; all waiting to greet you.

One day you’ll meet a “lady”- all dressed in creamy white.
You’ll find her in the garden and bow to her each night.

With both of us together, how proud I’ll be of you.
We’ll hold our heads up high, dear, and see the sky so blue.

However, I must warn you, while you delve into great deeds,
Be forever on the look-out for our enemies-the weeds.”

LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “Friday, December 14, 2012” by Florence Blitch

LeadingAge LogoAs every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon is holding a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participate in great numbers. Winners will be announced publicly on February 28; up to 50 top-rated pieces will also be published in “Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.”

We have received notification that the following entries by RSM residents were selected as winners:

  • “Uncle Izzy” by Sam Berry
  • “Friday, December 14, 2012” by Florence Blitch
  • “Waiting” by Diane Budner
  • “A Mother” by Alice Cahana
  • “Haunted” by Evelyn Hirsch
  • “Mother Tulip’s Chant” by Martha M. Pomeranz
  • “Sonnet” by Robert S. Putterman

Here’s the fifth of 13 submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“Friday, December 14, 2012: Sandy Hook Elementary School” by Florence Blitch

I write down words, then take them away.
I can find none that will convey
The awful horror of today…

Their young laughter, song,
Stilled suddenly, was no more…
Teachers crumpled to the floor
All, all tomorrows gone.

A boundless rage born of our sorrow
Roars out across the land.
Keening, we bend to comprehend
Evil beyond evil. We cannot understand.

Forever now a shadow lies across our lives,
A tie that binds our agony.
Knot well this ribbon of our grief;
Hold them forever close in memory.

LeadingAge Creative Writing Contest: “A Physicist Confesses” by Murray Kaufman

LeadingAge LogoAs every year since 1993, LeadingAge Oregon is holding a Creative Writing Contest. Cedar Sinai Park residents participate in great numbers. Winners will be announced publicly on February 28; up to 50 top-rated pieces will also be published in “Reflections: A Collection of Writing and Poetry by Oregon’s Elders.”

We have received notification that the following entries by RSM residents were selected as winners:

  • “Uncle Izzy” by Sam Berry
  • “Friday, December 14, 2012” by Florence Blitch
  • “Waiting” by Diane Budner
  • “A Mother” by Alice Cahana
  • “Haunted” by Evelyn Hirsch
  • “Mother Tulip’s Chant” by Martha M. Pomeranz
  • “Sonnet” by Robert S. Putterman

Here’s the fourth of 13 submissions we’ll be reprinting here (with permission from their authors).

“A Physicist Confesses (a quantum physics poetic paradox)” by Murray Kaufman

It seems like ages ago, but it was only yesterday,
That under great duress, I must confess
I had my biggest failure:
my mathematical construct-
the quantum physics paradox
where an atom is conceived as both a
particle and a wave-
did not secure a rave,
because that ornery atom did not behave,
and I could not resolve his contradiction-
I was accused of lapsing into fiction-
when my mind became chaotic
this was ironic; for the atoms that were me
began to dissolve into
dancing strings of particles
that fluttered on wings
pretending they were kings!-and went into their
magic act, and viola,
they flowed as wine, and thought they would shine
as waves of light-
and what a sight!-
but not to be outdone,
they switched back into
particles and joined the fun!
and that’s when I had the illusion
that I fell, landing, I think, in
a philosophical hell,
where I humbly learned it is
not enough to think like a cunning fox
when you’re lost in this quantum box,
for physics, at its best,
provides this nightmare of elation and
hope, as you chase Einsteinian elegant
universe to no avail,
but for now all’s discombobulation and
dissonance, and alas, perhaps it’s best,
that for the physicist there is no mental rest,
for the world of physics has a mysterious
unfathomable beauty and the ultimate test is-
yes, to find it, and make the atom act
reasonable: do you want to be a particle or a wave?
alas, I expect no answer, so we physicists must
start over again, keeping the chutzpah-and the burning
hunger to discover, but perhaps,
without the arrogance.