Take Nine

My friend Cindy Washabaugh is part of a poetry group here in Cleveland. They call themselves Take Nine. They have been together for over a dozen years. There are nine members, thus the name. All of them are seriously talented.

When I go to one of their readings, I feel filled up. Inspired. More. Glad to live where I do. There is such a creative wellspring here in Cleveland. It’s the same feeling I get following an afternoon at an art museum (without kids). It’s the same feeling I get when I see Sweet Honey in the Rock, live. Something sacred is going on there. Women gathering, sharing, honing their gifts and generously delivering them back to the world.


Beauty in joy. Beauty in sorrow. They get it all in.

Cindy read a gorgeous poem (which had me in tears),  about a poignant moment she had during a phone conversation with her aging father. She somehow kept it together reading it. It’s about love, and memory and slowing down to appreciate him.

Here she is reading another poem, on aging:

Another amazing poet in Take Nine is Katie Daley. In the following poem, she speaks of finding love, finally.

The other seven are every bit as talented, but I didn’t get permission to record them so you won’t see them here. I met Cindy and Katie at a writing workshop I hosted here a few years back. Cindy’s life was very full. Almost too full. She didn’t need any more friends at the time, but she couldn’t resist me, so she kept me. LOL.

I’m so glad she did.

Have you read poetry lately? Gone to any readings? Where do you get inspiration?

*Take Nine members include Gail Bellamy, Meredith Holmes, Bonnie Jacobson, Cindy Washabaugh, Kathleen Cerveney, Darlene Montonaro, Linda Robiner, Rita Grabowski, & Katie Daley

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3 Responses to Take Nine

  1. Poetry is a lifeline for me. I always say that I’m heading to hills with a book of poetry when I can’t take it anymore. 🙂

  2. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Michelle, . . . I do read poetry, but only recently have I begun to explore contemporary poets. Like you, I have a close friend who is a published poet and her work speaks to me. I’m discovering many poets by reading the following blog in which “Teresa Evangeline,” who is herself a poet, presents poetry by contemporary writers. Here’s the site:


  3. Carrie Link says:

    Love that she took you even though she really wasn’t taking any new friends. : )

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