Showing posts with label poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poetry. Show all posts

Monday, June 13, 2022

Senior Story Hour: Episode 042 - Uvalde, Cribbage, Visiting The Neighborhood, Amazon and More (audio)

"In this episode, the Franklin Senior Center writer's group share stories, poems, writings and more about the tragedy Uvalde, Cribbage and a String of Pearls, Revisiting old neighborhoods, Amazon deliveries and more!

This episode aired on Franklin Radio for June 2022."

Audio file ->

Senior Story Hour: Episode 042
Senior Story Hour: Episode 042

The writer's group meets weekly on Wednesday's at 1 PM either in person at the Senior Center or virtually via Zoom. Once a month we meet at the Franklin TV studio to record this session for radio and podcast.

If you would like to join the writer's group contact the Senior Center or send me an email (shersteve @ and we'll get you on the mailing list.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

"Who Will Clean Out The Desks"

"As part of teacher appreciation month, Morning Edition asked NPR's audience to write a poem about teachers who have had an impact on their lives. 
We put out this call a week before the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, so the majority of contributors are not reflecting on that horrific day but a late addition did reflect that loss. 
We received over 300 responses, and NPR's poet in residence Kwame Alexander took lines from submissions to create a community poem. 
This poem is dedicated to all teachers, but especially to Irma Garcia and Eva Mireles, fourth grade teachers who lost their lives at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde."
Continue reading the community generated poem online


A teacher cleans a desk in a classroom during a media tour at Dorothy Eisenberg Elementary School in Las Vegas.  (John Locher/AP)
A teacher cleans a desk in a classroom during a media tour at Dorothy Eisenberg Elementary School in Las Vegas.  (John Locher/AP)

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Senior Story Hour - WFPR: Baseball, Hockey, Spring, Meatloaf and So Much More (audio)

"In this episode, The Franklin Senior Center writers group presents stories and poems about growing up playing baseball, being a mother in a hockey family, the dawning of Spring, how meatloaf saved Zenobia's life and much more. 
This episode aired on Franklin Radio for April 2022"

Senior Story Hour - WFPR: Baseball, Hockey, Spring, Meatloaf and So Much More (audio)
Senior Story Hour - WFPR: Baseball, Hockey, Spring, Meatloaf and So Much More (audio)

Saturday, January 8, 2022

#LoveFranklin - Open Mic Night at THE BLACK BOX - 12/08/21 (audio)

FM #689 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 689 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the audio recording of the #LoveFranklin Open Mic Night held on Wednesday, Dec 8, 2021 at THE BLACK BOX.  

The evening master of ceremony duties were shared by MacKenzie Atwood and Jamele Adams.

The original raw recording runs an hour and 36 minutes. You’ll be listening to the edited version which is shortened by about 12 minutes. 

Key reasons for shortening the recording (1) to spare your ears the jarring sound of cleaning the microphone between performers. (2) A couple of the audience participation exercises were shortened. (How much indistinct audience/crowd noise can you listen to?). 

One percussion performance added at the last minute during the evening was also shortened. The percussion exercise was good to be in while it happened but would have been headache inducing to listen to. So we spared you that. No other performance was shortened or edited in any way.

Let’s listen to the Love Franklin Open Mic Night of Dec 8, 2021.


The lineup for the "Love Franklin" Open Mic Night at THE BLACK BOX

1. Jamele Adams - poem

2. Mia Magliari - All I Ask by Adele

3. Audrey Olmstead - She by Dodie

4. Hope Guanga - If I knew by Bruno Mars

5. Mackenzie Atwood - Back In (self written poem)

6. Joe Maple and Audrey Olmstead - Can't Help Falling in Love with you

7. Meghan Whitmore - Her Personal Story

8. Andrew Mitchell - Crisis by Joshua Bassett

9. Maria Zaki - Complainers by Rudy Francisco

10. Steve Sherlock - Poem: Variations on the theme of "A dark and stormy night"

11. Hope Guanga - Crocodile Rock by Elton John

12. Judi Perez - percussion exercise

Jamele closes with a recap of some of the audience inspirations

More information about the Freedom Team can be found online ->

More of my poetry can be found at 


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.


How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit or

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"


for the 'selfie exercise' with Meghan Whitmore
for the 'selfie exercise' with Meghan Whitmore

Pantherbook article on this event ->
Pantherbook: LoveFranklin Open Mic Night - Dec 8, 2021

Friday, December 31, 2021

"May this be the day We come together"

A poem? In Franklin Matters? Why? 

Sometimes the poet has the words to say what needs to be said. In this case, the new work by Amanda Gorman fits the need so very well.  

‘New Day's Lyric’ by Amanda Gorman

May this be the day

We come together.

Mourning, we come to mend, 

Withered, we come to weather,

Torn, we come to tend,

Battered, we come to better. 

Tethered by this year of yearning,

We are learning

That though we weren't ready for this, 

We have been readied by it.

Steadily we vow that no matter

How we are weighed down,

We must always pave a way forward.

This hope is our door, our portal.

Even if we never get back to normal, 

Someday we can venture beyond it,

To leave the known and take the first steps. 

So let us not return to what was normal, 

But reach toward what is next.

What was cursed, we will cure.

What was plagued, we will prove pure.

Where we tend to argue, we will try to agree,

Those fortunes we forswore, now the future we foresee, 

Where we weren't aware, we're now awake;

Those moments we missed

Are now these moments we make,

The moments we meet,

And our hearts, once all together beaten,

Now all together beat.

Come, look up with kindness yet,

For even solace can be sourced from sorrow. 

We remember, not just for the sake of yesterday, 

But to take on tomorrow.

We heed this old spirit,

In a new day's lyric,

In our hearts, we hear it:

For auld lang syne, my dear, 

For auld lang syne.

Be bold, sang Time this year, 

Be bold, sang Time,

For when you honor yesterday, 

Tomorrow ye will find.

Know what we've fought

Need not be forgot nor for none.

It defines us, binds us as one, 

Come over, join this day just begun. 

For wherever we come together, 

We will forever overcome.


and USA Today

Listen to Amanda read this poem in her Instagram video ->

Monday, December 13, 2021

Pantherbook: LoveFranklin Open Mic Night - Dec 8, 2021


"From the cast of Franklin High School’s Mamma Mia! to a Dean College faculty member, Franklin community members from all backgrounds were able to express themselves on stage on December 8th, 2021. Mackenzie Atwood, FHS senior, had the emcee position for the first half of the night and, expectedly, provided a very entertaining experience for the audience members. She kept the audience constantly engaged through small anecdotes about the participants and subtle quips. (Notable audience members included Steve Sherlock and Dr. Sara Ahern). Atwood started the night off by highlighting her recent experience at the October school committee meeting and emphasized the importance of “speaking up for people who can’t speak up for themselves.” She later conveyed her experiences as an openly gay student through an original poem– a beautiful one, might I add. Participants in the latter portion of the night were introduced by Jamele Adams, the leader of the Franklin Freedom Team. "

"An Accepting Community – Meghan Whitmore

For those of you who don’t know, Meghan Whitmore is a transgender woman who delivered a heartfelt speech on Open Mic Night about her experience transitioning and the reception she received afterward. Her moving words illustrated the importance of inclusivity, and Whitmore even stressed how touching it was to have people accept her as a woman."


"Love One Another, Stand for Change – Jamele Adams

Needing no introduction due to his large impact on Franklin, Jamele Adams immediately captivated his listeners when he began to recite his poem. Although he was a participant in the event, Adams also played a significant role in organizing Open Mic Night, so when I broached the idea of making it an annual show, he enthusiastically replied, “More than once a year, hopefully, this could happen once a week!“, elaborating on the fact that “the Open Mic affected everyone in this space […] Folks shared that they were absolutely moved and then at the end when people were asked to write about how they were inspired, they shared how they were inspired […] People were moved in the space. People shared their narrative because they trusted in the space, and the energy was powerful and welcoming, and warm, supportive, and filled with advocacy for love. “
Pantherbook: LoveFranklin Open Mic Night - Dec 8, 2021

Sunday, November 21, 2021 Senior Story Hour - November 2021 (audio)

"In this episode, the Franklin Senior Center writers group presents stories and poems about nature, boot camp, Falmouth MA, discussion on language and prose, life and spirituality, the dark times during the height of COVID-19, and running cross country."

This episode aired on Franklin Radio for November 2021.

Find more episodes in Google Podcast (or your favorite podcast app) ->

Yes, listeners might recognize my voice towards the end of this episode. The cross country quintet I wrote can be found ->

You can also find the Senior Writer's group on the air anywhere in your browser window at  or 102.9 on the local Franklin area FM band. Friday's at 11 AM, 2 and 8 PM, repeating on Saturday's at 4 PM Senior Story Hour - November 2021 Senior Story Hour - November 2021

Monday, September 6, 2021

The Freedom Trail: Imaging the Age of Phyllis

On September 1, 1773, Phillis Wheatley's "Poem's on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral" was published in London. Wheatley's collection was the first volume of poetry by an author of African descent to be published.

"For many, Phillis Wheatley Peters is well known as a poet, but not as a woman. She is mainly remembered as a literary prodigy and enslaved girl in 18th century Boston who became the first African American woman to publish a book of poetry.

Poet HonorĂ©e Fanonne Jeffers sought to revive and expand our collective memory of Phillis through her award-winning book The Age of Phillis. Jeffers’s evocative work calls on us to imagine Phillis through her other identities: a daughter of Africa, a friend, a wife, a mother, and an author who spoke to the historical moment of the American Revolution."

Imaging the Age of Phyllis ->

The Freedom Trail: Imaging the Age of Phyllis
The Freedom Trail: Imaging the Age of Phyllis

Monday, August 30, 2021

"poetry reminds me of those mysterious truths that can’t be reduced solely to linear thought"

"In this weary and vulnerable place, poetry whispers of truths that cannot be confined to mere rationality or experience. In a seemingly wrecked world, I’m drawn to Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Autumn” and recall that “there is One who holds this falling/Infinitely softly in His hands.” When the scriptures feel stale, James Weldon Johnson preaches through “The Prodigal Son” and I hear the old parable anew. On tired Sundays, I collapse into Wendell Berry’s Sabbath poems and find rest.

I’m not alone in my interest in this ancient art form. Poetry seems to be making a comeback. According to a 2018 survey by the National Endowment for the Arts, the number of adults who read poetry nearly doubled in five years, marking the highest number on record for the last 15 years. The poet Amanda Gorman stole the show at this year’s presidential inauguration, and her collection “The Hill We Climb” topped Amazon’s best-seller list.

There is not a simple or singular reason for this resurgence. But I think a particular gift of poetry for our moment is that good poems reclaim the power and grace of words."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required) 
I wake fearful
take a breath
it is a
new day, we
can do this!

For more sherku and other verse I write visit

in our age of social media, words are often used as weapons. Poetry instead treats words with care
"in our age of social media, words are often used as weapons. Poetry instead treats words with care"

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture Boston: HOME Poetry reading March 5-6

Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture Boston (@ArtsinBoston) tweeted on Wed, Feb 17, 2021:
"The next HOME poetry reading and workshop will be on March 5-6. The theme is "I Belong There", and the facilitator is Monica Sok. In this workshop, we will read poetry of exile and ask ourselves what it means to create (be)longing inside of our poems."

City of Boston poet laureate
Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture Boston: HOME Poetry reading March 5-6
Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture Boston: HOME Poetry reading March 5-6


Sunday, January 24, 2021

"Using your voice is a political choice" | Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman captured my attention (along with many others) on Wednesday. Here are a couple of videos that share insights into her person and poetry. 

Using your voice is a political choice | Amanda Gorman
"For anyone who believes poetry is stuffy or elitist, National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman has some characteristically well-chosen words. According to Amanda, poetry is for everyone, because at its core it's all about connection and collaboration. In this fierce Talk, Amanda explains why poetry is inherently political (in the best way!), she pays homage to her honorary ancestors, and she stresses the value of speaking out despite your fears. "Poetry has never been the language of barriers, it's always been the language of bridges."
Direct video link =
'Overjoyed': Hear from poet who stole the show at inauguration
"CNN's Anderson Cooper speaks with Amanda Gorman, the nation's first-ever youth poet laureate, after she delivered a poem at the inauguration of President Joe Biden"
Direct video link =

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Nikki Giovanni: "We find the song in the darkest days"

From the New York Times:
"Over the course of her 52-year career, Nikki Giovanni has written 12 children’s books and eight nonfiction books, and she has released 10 spoken word albums. But the genre for which she is best known is poetry.

When you flip through a stack of her 19 collections (it’s a tall stack), you find her face, still radiant and smiling at 77, staring back at you from the covers. This is an unusual choice for the jacket of a poetry book, but Giovanni is the rare poet whom a good number of people will actually recognize — a distinction that is all the more noteworthy considering how long it has been true.

She was name-checked in the 1980 Teena Marie song “Square Biz,” featured in the Afropunk Festival in Brooklyn in 2016, and both seen and heard reading her poem “Dream” last fall in a campaign ad for Joseph R. Biden Jr. It was 1972 when Ebony magazine first called her “a personality, a star.” Her staying power over half a century comes from a stream of acclaimed work, her proclivity for a punishing schedule of tours and readings, and a fearlessness born of not caring what foolish people think.

“The best thing you can do for yourself is to not pay attention,” Giovanni said during a video interview from her home in Christiansburg, Va."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Listen to a wonderful interview with Nikki Giovanni and Neil Pasricha

Monday, July 27, 2020

Voices of Franklin: Pandemic Poetry by Faith Flaherty

Here is a couple of acrostic, pandemic poetry. An acrostic poem is a poem where certain letters in each line spell out a word.


Contrary to fear, let’s relish our family time.
Ours to do what we always wanted:
Rest, read, do whatever enters our mind,
Only walk wherever our feet led.
No one to impress, no one to care.
Alone. We can go most anywhere!


Can I throw kisses
Over fences and through doors,
Very heartfelt messages?
Isolated and alone, catch them,
Destined to outlast a virus.

"Voices of Franklin" is open to all residents and reader of Franklin Matters. Details can be found

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Pandemic Poetry: The Devil Rides on Bacilli by Faith Flaherty

Pernicious evil growing
from dark pathogens
unearthed in a Wuhan lab
or the open market.

Eaten by an ant.
Swallowed by a bat.
Lapped by a pangolin.
Relished by a man.

No reason to make ado.
Some always look to blame.
Others always find conspiracy.
Then there's just bad Karma.

The fact that it survives
washing hands,
wearing gloves,
donning face masks,

is a testimony to the stubbornness
of an enemy beyond our eyes,
waiting to pounce and ride
round the world with abandonment.

What weapon will kill it?
Soap and vaccine will slow
but never have victory over
a bloodless, fleshless germ.

Wait till summer, some say.
The heat will kill the virus.
Then throw this bane back
to hell where it was conceived.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Library of Congress: Celebrating 200 Years of Walt Whitman

Celebrating 200 Years of Walt Whitman

The Library of Congress will celebrate the 200th anniversary of American poet and changemaker Walt Whitman's birthday in spring 2019 with a series of exhibits, public programs and a digital crowdsourcing campaign to showcase the Library's unparalleled collections of Whitman's writings and artifacts.

Click here for more information

Walt Whitman in his younger years, as shown in this 1854 engraving by Samuel Hollyer used in the 1855 first edition of "Leaves of Grass." Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Walt Whitman in his younger years, as shown in this 1854 engraving by Samuel Hollyer used in the 1855 first edition of "Leaves of Grass." Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

In the News: Ryan Martin selected 'Celtics Junior Broadcaster'; Grave search for America's first published poet

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

Ryan Martin selected 'Celtics Junior Broadcaster'
"Like many 14-year-old boys, Ryan Martin enjoys playing baseball and basketball. But unlike some of his peers, he already knows what he wants to do when he can’t play sports anymore. 
Ryan aspires to be a sports broadcaster, and earlier this month he got a taste of what his adult working life might look like. He was selected as a “Celtics Junior Broadcaster” after submitting a short video of himself to the NBA team, and his reward was to join the radio and TV crews for a March 14 Celtics game against the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden. 
Ryan was interviewed on air by NBC Sports Boston anchor/reporter Kyle Draper. He also joined Celtics commentator Sean Grande of 98.5 The Sports Hub for the radio station’s halftime show. 
“That night was truly unbelievable,” Ryan told the Daily News last week. “Just seeing the Celtics shooting around and being three inches away from (players) Al Horford and Aron Baynes. It was really a great experience.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Grave search for America's first published poet

"Anne Bradstreet was the North American continent’s first published poet, yet her legacy has largely been lost to time. 
Now, professors and students at Merrimack College in Massachusetts are trying to pinpoint her burial site while at the same time restoring her legacy and what they say is her rightful place in the pantheon of Western literature. 
“Even though we don’t know much about her, she was a household name in the 17th century, both here and in England,” said Christy Pottroff, an assistant professor of English at Merrimack. 
Bradstreet’s 1650 book of poetry, “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America,” was a sensation both in the Colonies and in her native England, where people were fascinated by her accounts of everyday life in the New World."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The Poetry Foundation has additional material on Anne and her poetry

Poetry Foundation photo of Anne Bradstreet
Poetry Foundation photo of Anne Bradstreet

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Mass Poetry: Poetry for a New Year

View this email in your browser
Mass Poetry: Poetry for a New Year
Poetry for a New Year
Dear Friend of Mass Poetry –
New Year's Resolutions come in many stripes; here at Mass Poetry we're resolved to double our reach in 2019. But to do that, we need your help.
In 2018, we put poetry in front of more New Englanders than ever before:
·      With our "Poetry on the T" program, tens of thousands of Bostonians encountered a poem on their commute, while riding the T;
·      More than 4,000 middle school and high school students across the state of Massachusetts participated in one of our "Student Day of Poetry" events – for many of those students it was their first encounter with poetry;
·      "Raining Poetry" (if you haven't watched the video – more than 24 million views! – watch it now) surprised people all over the Boston metro area by revealing poetry on the sidewalk – but only when it rains;
·      Thousands of people from across New England attended our Poetry Festival this past year in Salem;
·      Hundreds of classrooms and book groups used our Common Threads poetry guide to celebrate National Poetry Month;
·      Our Spring Showers poetry installation at the Prudential Center in Boston brought poetry to a whole new audience.
But our aspirations for 2019 are even greater. Why? Because words matter. In our increasingly connected-but-distant world, poetry captures a kind of magic that makes the moment sing. Bringing poetry to all kinds of communities around Massachusetts is the purpose of Mass Poetry – and your contribution, no matter how modest, makes a difference. With your help, we can double our reach in 2019. Please give today.
Thank you for everything you do for poetry –
Nicco Mele

If you love the work we do to support poets and spread the power of poetry to students, T riders, and more, please consider supporting us with a recurring monthly donation.
Donate Now

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