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“Paul’s Poetic Platform” Series Introduction

“The grass so green
Skies so blue
Spectre is really great!”

—Norther Winslow, Poet Laureate of Spectre, Alabama, in Big Fish (2003)

This quirky quote from one of my favorite movies is a disclaimer: I do not claim to be a “poet laureate,” nor do I claim to have been working on these poems for 12 years! I’m simply a wordsmith taking on a self-imposed challenge to express more ideas with fewer words in this year’s 10-part poetic series (a first in my 29 years of monthly columns). I’ll cover a wide variety of general and personal topics in an attempt to offer insights, blessings, and inspiration as I model trying new things in this era of widespread societal and personal changes. I may employ different styles, with the cohesion of acrostic, one-word rhyming titles from A through J.


Six months and a week…our nation’s been changed.
Past habits assumed have now been estranged.
No meetings indoors without wearing masks;
No one is exempt from “new normal” tasks.
Some people are reeling, emotions are low;
While others adapt and go with the flow.
Some places stay closed; no op’nings in sight;
Big groups that once thrived now share the same plight.

At JUGHEADS, our rosters are cut by a third,
But those coming weekly are heartily spurred.
We’re masked and we’re distanced; we’re giving our shot
To not let this COVID define our shared lot.
Reop’ning is risky; new protocol’s here,
But this cause we defend and temper our fear.
The mental health side of getting together
Outweighs many dangers of virus and weather.

Social distancing heightens our shared isolation;
We’re thankful Emmaus allows adaptation!

We miss our old friends and all our lost spaces;
We miss reading lips and sunshiny faces.
No handshakes for now, but we’re touching our bases
With steely resolve.
Our gloom now displaces!
We dust off our props and tie up our laces
Persisting with focus toward juggling aces!
Developing youth, we’re off to the races!
JUGHEADS goes on thanks to God and His graces!