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The Salutary Effects of Poetry
Mike Orlock


for JJF & YDP

Poetry, per se, these days will never make me wealthy;
but a poem a day consumed, I say, is key to staying healthy.

There's something in the well-turned phrase
or in the measured line
that lifts the spirit in such ways
approximating wine.
There's ecstasy in metaphor,
a state of grace imbued
when words in combination form
a heightened amplitude.

The body takes its nourishment
from what it can digest,
in meats, in grains, in nutriments
that make for stalwartness.
But souls subsist on sweeter things
than what can tease the tongue;
and poetry that soars and sings
keeps old men feeling young.


© by Mike Orlock.
Used with the author’s permission.



Mike Orlock is a retired high school English and American History teacher who splits time between the Chicago suburbs and a vacation home in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. He has been married for 40 years to his high school sweetheart and inspiration, Liz, and greatly enjoys being grandfather to four beautiful little girls. Mike's short stories, poems, and reviews have appeared in a variety of publications and he was a Jade Ring winner in a contest sponsored by the Wisconsin Writers Association.


Post New Comment:
ed werstein:
Congratulations on the WFOP Muse Prize. Ed Werstein, East Region VP.
Posted 05/01/2016 10:57 PM
Loved the rhyme, the message. "Souls subsist on sweeter things", yes ~. Judy
Posted 05/01/2016 11:02 AM
Love this!!! Congratulations, Mike for a fine poem and Jayne, for a spectacular month of poetry!!
Posted 05/01/2016 07:47 AM
I'm so happy for you granddaughters are wonderful. I have four & three grandsons.
Posted 04/30/2016 05:59 PM
Thank you for all the kind words and commentary, today and in the past. This has been a banner day for me. In addition to having my work showcased on this wonderful site (kudos, Jayne, for your tireless work promoting this art), I got to welcome my newest granddaughter, Adeline May Orlock, to the family--born this morning at 4:30 approximately two weeks early. I also picked up the Muse Award for a poem of mine at this year's Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets conference in Madison. I will have to update my bio, Jayne. Thanks again for all you do, not only this past month but all the months before it.
Posted 04/30/2016 04:27 PM
Posted 04/30/2016 04:11 PM
Jayne, a memorable poetry month. Variety and fun and to finish with Mike's poem couldn't be better. Thanks so much.
Posted 04/30/2016 03:26 PM
Jane Eva Cooper:
Thank you for a wonderful month of poetry Jayne; a great selection.
Posted 04/30/2016 01:30 PM
Posted 04/30/2016 01:19 PM
Mary Lou Taylor:
What an enjoyable month! Lots of fun, thought and craft went into what you gave us to ponder, Jayne. More than enjoyed today's poem.
Posted 04/30/2016 01:19 PM
Sez it all! Poems feed the soul. Thanks Jayne & to all the offerings at the sweet banquet this month...
Posted 04/30/2016 12:50 PM
Lori Levy:
Love the idea that "souls subsist on sweeter things" like poetry.
Posted 04/30/2016 12:13 PM
Now I know why I feel so young as an octogenarian--a poem a day.
Posted 04/30/2016 11:26 AM
Wonderful! I loved it - and wasn't the month terrific.
Posted 04/30/2016 10:10 AM
The joy is often in reading but, so many claim they have not the interior inspiration to pen so.
Posted 04/30/2016 09:07 AM
Posted 04/30/2016 08:28 AM
Delightful poem! I love the theme, lively wording, and rhyme and meter. Janice
Posted 04/30/2016 08:03 AM
Love the poem and the photo!!
Posted 04/30/2016 07:43 AM
fun,good and true poem, as always, Mike!
Posted 04/30/2016 07:42 AM
hear! Hear!....yes, women too:) Love the lyrical flow!
Posted 04/30/2016 06:41 AM
Old women too. This is one of the best things I've heard in a long time. Makes me feel good!
Posted 04/30/2016 06:21 AM
"Stalwartness"---now that's a word to remember!
Posted 04/30/2016 06:07 AM
Mike....great poem, and those last 4 lines are killer!!
Posted 04/30/2016 05:14 AM
That was delicious!
Posted 04/30/2016 02:29 AM

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