The following article appears in the July 2018 issue of the Joseph’s Journey e-newsletter.

During the long and hot summer months, things slow down a bit around Joseph’s Home. Seeing a need for summer programming, Joseph’s Home Board Member Debbie Rovito proposed the idea of starting a poetry group with the men. Her hope was to provide a fun activity that would allow them to express themselves. Her idea has now transformed into a monthly program called “Poetry and Pastries.”

Debbie led her first session of Poetry and Pastries on June 13 and it was a hit! The residents were able to munch on some tasty treats and were assigned to write a haiku poem together about their favorite foods. Here is one of the poems they wrote about their favorite dessert:

“Smooth, creamy cheesecake
With sweet, red cherries on top
On a fancy plate”

So for the July 11 session, Debbie brought smooth, creamy cheesecake, sweet red cherries and fancy plates for the men to enjoy. The session focused on rhythm and rhyme. Debbie demonstrated the elements of rhythm and rhyme using Robert Frost’s famous poem “Dust of Snow” and Joseph’s Home alumnus Carl Lewis Lawhorn’s poem “I Found Myself.” The men were then assigned to write a poem about what they found at Joseph’s Home using rhythm and rhyme. Together they wrote:


The residents have had a great time with the program and have really enjoyed themselves. “Not only was it fun and informative, but the pastries were delicious and hit the spot,” said Respite Care Manager Raven Kauffman.  Mr. Goins, in particular, said he was looking forward to the next session and that it really was a good thing for him. Maybe it’s the pastries talking, but he also mentioned that Debbie is a “sweet lady.”