Portsmouth Rotary Log for May 2, 2019
President Cleo opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance, Al Lantinen led our song, Barry McArdle the 4-Way Test, and John Rice the invocation.
Guests (and possible future members) plus visiting Rotarians were introduced.  Birthdays and anniversaries were acknowledged.  Jonathan Flagg produced an historical poem from a 1968 Log. It teased us into today’s Poetry Hoot program.
Beginning the announcements, Cleo gave guidance about the Presidential Hands-on Project at the John Paul Jones House. The Club was scheduled to spend most of Friday and Saturday at work in and outside of the famous structure. The lure of a cookout encouraged Rotarians to show up en masse.
(Despite rainy and cold weather, the next day, Rotarians did show up. They were painting, scraping, weeding you name it.  And lunch was served.)
Tiffany Mckenna, who is organizing our Crossroads commitment, announced May 25 and June 6 are open for volunteers.
Ramona Dow welcomes volunteers to the Community Baby Shower on May 11 at the Community Campus. The Club is supporting this event. But if that doesn’t work for you, Joanie Dickinson explained that the Wallis Sands beach cleanup is the same day from 9 to 11 am.  It’s an Interact project, but volunteers are certainly welcome.
As per her recent emails, Vocational Service Awards Chair Alexia Leddy, seeks your nominations for one of the four Vocational Service Awards. The presentation is coming up at our June 20 meeting.  Put your thinking cap on and help us recognize deserving unsung heroes in our community.
And, hard to believe, but the Golf Tournament is eight weeks away on June 28. Consider a sponsorship or recruiting one or two.
The program was Rotary Poet Laureate Dave Holden’s Annual Poetry Hoot. While we have no scientific evidence, there seemed to be more “bards” than usual providing a wide variety of verse. Indeed, our literati covered the gamut from Shelly to Silverstein. From heartfelt affection to the “two knives they have hired.” 
Poetry was meant to be spoken aloud, not read silently in a chair. That is what this day offers us.  Hearing the words recited, not sung, as in the Universal Soldier, which Andy Fleisher read, somehow makes them more poignant. 
Several poems made us laugh which shows how close to the truth they are.  Poetic license by Judy Loto rendered Shel Silverstein’s poem “Sick” into a universal excuse for not participating in Rotary activities.
Susan Gold teared up as she shared a beautiful original work by her husband proclaiming marital love.
John Rice read C Day-Lewis’s Walking Away, the powerful piece about fatherly love being in the letting go of their sons. And, of course, no Hoot would be complete without David’s recitation from memory of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s classic “Ozymandias.”
At the end of the day, the Annual Poetry Hoot is a funky, quiet program that makes everyone better for taking time out to listen and think.  Maybe next year YOU can participate in this club tradition.
Respectfully submitted, Al Lantinen
Photos by Matt Randall