Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rhapsodies Mine

words to echo the depths of passion and desire
those that capture moments of rapture's fire
the lover's embrace that holds silent the pain
within the folds of beauty our truth we so name
we and another in shared vision and a knowing quest
become the ocean waters as they flow and crest
an ecstasy within that breathes life divine
blessed be these rhapsodies mine.

Rose Marie Raccioppi
Poet Laureate
Orangetown, New York

Rhapsodies, APOGEE Vibrational Art, ©Rose Marie Raccioppi, 2013.

So deeply felt... so deeply known... the pen of the poet... the brush of the artist... 
word and palette ... a divine order in expression...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Camp Shanks 70th Anniversary 1943 ~ 2013 ~ To Honor Those Who Lived A Cause

These last weeks have been focused on the events associated with Camp Shanks Museum and the Piermont Pier Memorial. It has brought to mind and heart a deep sense of gratitude for what our founding fathers envisioned as a life supported by rights and freedoms. It has brought to soul a deep gratitude for all that have held these freedoms as divine and have fought to preserve the Divine Order. 

As a poet, echoes of heart are shared. This the glory of the expressed WORD. And now my words ever to be held in tribute.

HISTORY: On the evening of 25 Sep 42, over 300 Orangeburg residents met at the Orangeburg School (now the city library) to learn that their homes, lots, and farms (amounting to approximately 2,040 acres west of the museum) were being seized for the immediate construction of a military camp. One hundred thirty families lost their homes. If the United States was to transport troops and equipment to Europe, it had to expand its military facilities around New York City.

Colonel Drew C. Eberson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was the Chief Engineer during constuction. Camp Shanks was a rush job, completed between Sep 42 and May 43 at a cost of $44,391,335. Charges of corruption, petty theft, and disorderly behavior by workmen plagued the project. In Jun 46, a federal grand jury cleared the military and the contractors of charges of graft, but acknowledged major problems among some of the labor unions, primarily consisting of a gigantic kickback system.

Camp Shanks officially opened 4 Jan 45 under the command of Colonel Kenna G. Eastman. The barracks in which the transient soldiers lived measured 20' x 100', and consisted of two rows of bunks and three coal-burning pot-belly stoves which provided the limited heat. Two WAC detachments, consisting of over 400 women, were assigned to the camp, and filled positions ranging from clerk to mechanic to warehouse staff to armorer. Their freedom of movement on the installation was restricted. Camp Shanks comprised one of three staging areas on the eastern seaboard. The other two, Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, NY, and Camp Kilmer, New Brunswick, NJ, when combined with Camp Shanks, made the area the largest staging area in the world. One of the primary functions as a staging area was to ensure each soldier and WAC left the U.S. fully equipped before crossing the Atlantic. The final field inspection at Camp Shanks identified any problems, made any necessary repairs, and replaced anything which could not be repaired. 

At the beginning of the war, no large depots existed in England from which soldiers could get their equipment. They carried their essentials with them in their backpacks or barracks bags. During the second half of 1944, Camp Shanks was sending tens of thousands of troops overseas. Staging peaked in Oct 44, when 78,354 troops arrived while 85,805 troops departed. By the end of Nov 44, all staging areas in the U.S. stopped their final field inspections. Shortages and replacements could be handled from supply depots in England. When the soldiers were notified that they were on "Alert" status, they knew they would be shipping out within twelve hours. The soldiers removed their division sleeve patches, and their helmets were chalked with a letter and a number, indicating the proper marching order from the camp to the train and the railroad car to ride in. 

It was a short train ride to the New Jersey docks, and a harbor boat ferried troops to a waiting troopship. One source also advised that troops marched the four miles from the camp to the Piermont Pier where they boarded troopships. Camp Shanks also housed 1200 Italian and 800 German prisoners of war between April 1945 and January 1946, with the first Germans arriving in June 1945. At the close of the war, 290,000 POWs passed through Camp Shanks as they were processed for return to their native countries. The last German to leave was on 22 July 46. Camp Shanks closed in Jul 46.

PIERMONT PIER: A total of 419,491 persons (equal to 573 trainloads) embarked and disembarked from Piermont Pier during the existence of Camp Shanks. The pier is located at the east end of Paradise Avenue, Piermont, NY. An outstanding example of reuse, this mile-long dock that once was the eastern terminus of the Erie Railroad is now a tree-lined public walkway jutting out into the Hudson River. The concrete pier is still used by local fishermen. It is open year-round during daylight hours. (1-800-295-5723)

A bronze commemorative plaque is mounted on a large stone at the entrance to the pier with an inscription which reads:

In Memory of
Those Who Never Returned
May God Be with All of Them

The Piermont Village Board
Mayor William Goswick
Trustee Donald Cocker
Trustee Margaret Grace
Trustee Charles Berger
Trustee John Zahn

Excerpted information from:

And now in acknowledgment of the 
 70th Anniversary of Camp Shanks 1943 ~ 2013 
To Honor Those Who Lived A Cause
Inviting you to mark your calendars ... Would love if you can join me in this event... Anniversary of V-E Day And Camp Shanks, Piermont, New York...

On Wednesday, August 14, 2013 – at 6:30 p.m., there will be a ceremony held at the end of the Piermont Pier, Piermont, New York. At this event, a plaque will be unveiled, commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the creation of Camp Shanks, and the 68th Anniversary of V- E Day, the end of the War in Europe. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. For further information, contact Jerry Donnellan at 845-638-5244 or e-mail: 

Rose Marie Raccioppi
Poet Laureate
Orangetown, New York

Photo: Memorial Tribute: Piermont Pier, Piermont, New York: Camp Shanks 1943-2013.

Friday, June 21, 2013

'Tis Love...

'Tis Love...

An array of flowers each its own blessed story
Blooms of color God's grace in loving glory
A Rose with petals, a velvet caress
A Sunflower holding light and happiness

An Iris with drama and mystery
A Daisy with joyful frivolity
'Tis earth and beauty that lovingly meet
Such delicate splendor and fragrance sweet
A flower within be it of perpetual grace
Within chambers of heart 'tis love to place.

Rose Marie Raccioppi
Poet Laureate
Orangetown, New York

Image Courtesy of: Carmen Stanica, I fiori colorano Spello, Umbria.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

FORGIVE ~ A Calling...

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” 
Alexander Pope (1688-1744) 

And when we FORGIVE granted unto us be the blessings of:



for the burden and weight of our dismay is lifted... Let this BE known... 

A TRIUNE of GRACE... when intention, word, and truth are ONE... 
each sounding and silent vibration calls on to us and the heart is known.
Rose Marie Raccioppi

Image Courtesy of: Matthew 18 Community - Part 10 - That Beautiful Thing Called Forgiveness

Firmament ~ Eyes Turned Skywards

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, 
for there you have been and there you long to return. Leonardo da Vinci

Ascending ever changing sky and light
Wondrous by day, wondrous by night
t waves of color crest and enfold
In awe be this celestial sea of soul.

Rose Marie Raccioppi
Poet Laureate
Orangetown, New York

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Random postings... in poetic expression... "THE FINER THINGS OF LIFE."

"Words are things, and a small drop of ink
falling like dew upon a thought
produces that which makes
thousands, perhaps millions, think." 

Lord Byron, 1788-1824

"The Finer Things of Life" 
A Compilation by H.S.
The Rosemary Booklets
Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Ltd.
A collector's booklet treasure

"The Finer Things of Life," Book Photo,  Collectible Clicks, ©Rose Marie Raccioppi, 2013.

Here in Tappan, New York ... A reflective word... as the sun sets and the rains come... BE in the PRESENCE of the moment, yet hold no resistance to the coming of the next... may the silence between each breath be known as its own expression of graceRose Marie Raccioppi 

Ah, yes, dear friends... 

'tis the joy of expression to share
met by hearts that feel the mission of care
a word, a thought, a moment's knowing wise
the daunting shall meet its delivered demise
our heart's calling calling be it ever heard
may LOVE ~ LOVE be the echoing word.

He spoke...and then the final question was asked: "Did you become YOURSELF? ... and so I question...

what Yearnings have you answered
what Oneness do you seek
what Unity have you lived
what Revelations have you welcomed

what Spirit makes itself known
what Eternal quest calls to your heart
what Love have you embraced
what Freedom do you live?

...and then the final question was asked: "Did you become YOURSELF? ... and so I question... 

...and is this be my DESTINY

what Door stands before me  
what Entry am I to make  
what Spirit calls to my soul  
what Truth is to be revealed 
what Inspiration touches this heart 
what Need is to be acknowledged  
what Yearnings am I to heed... 

I am told it is FATE... if it is so, then to thy self ask... FATE

what Freedom am I to unfold 
what Aspiration from time untold
what Treasure of self to reveal
what Eternal calling beyond conceal...  

While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet

As I read these words of William Wordsworth, the depths of poetry were revealed, the mission of my life's work as a sound therapist, and my passion for poetic expression, became ONE. HARMONY be the questing state of BEING. This the APOGEE Paradigm, defined when I was but seven years of age as my calling, my destiny. The poet, the educator, the artist, the advocate, the activist, the exploration, the discovery, the receiving, the giving, the offerings... each and all to bring HARMONY...

Be they of...

Yielding ... to the light, the grace, the resounding pulse of Life itself.

WORD ... heart's expression...

Be it Wondrous
Be it Omnipresence
Be it Revelation
Be it Divinity


Be it Passion
Be it Expression
Be it Aspiration
Be it Calling
Be it Eternal

"The  more you practice GRATITUDE, the more you see how much there is to be grateful for, and your life becomes an ongoing celebration of joy and happiness."  don Miguel Ruiz

In GRATITUDE live...


Graces of Eternity

Bathed in the sweet nectar of divinity
Held by the graces of eternity
Feel I the Will of God's love
See I the glory of the heaven's above
Live I each breath, the giving, the receiving
Within this soul the knowing, the believing
And on to this hour, this moment at hand
Be it God's Will in loving command.

I, In FAITH... from Passion's Fire

Conspiracy, corruption and travail
Beyond aberration THE WORD to prevail
Just as the night pursues the light of day
So too, ever present be the path, THE WAY
Illusions cast as truths to be revealed
THE WORD to cast light on deceptions concealed
And known to us be our soul's desire
The PHOENIX to rise from passion's fire
From the depths of our knowing heart
This I in FAITH claim to be true
This the GRACE OF GOD on to You.

...the pleas of need be too, your story told...

In Poet's Hand

and here this pen in poet's hand
with word and faith in command
a smile, a gesture, the warming sun
a creed, a mission, a task now done
'tis not what I alone to answer nor unfold
the pleas of need be too, your story told
all awakens for the vision yet held
purpose and right intention in glory meld
a thought, a quest, with yearning real
passion and desire beyond conceal
the touch of grace, ever spirit's claim
within heart, the calling of GOD's name
and here this pen in poet's hand

with word and faith in command.

The Night's Music

The brush to hold the voice of hand
The night's music in loving command
Line and form to reveal
The call constant and real
Heed wise the Muse, 'tis counsel of soul
Creation's blessings to mark your goal
Spectrum of color from a palette divine
Immortal the quest this beckoning mine
The brush to hold the voice of hand
The night's music in loving command.

In Reflection...

To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist.
Robert Schumann
1810 - 1856

Stars and galaxies, vistas of splendor and glory
Within the secrets, the miracles of Creation's story
Stardust in waves of time and space
From which our spirit we to trace
Light beholden within our heart
From where love has its primal start
Known be the fire of the Creator's flame
And we the Presence of All so named.

Rose Marie Raccioppi
Poet Laureate
Orangetown, New York

The Three Tenors - 1994 - O' sole mio (DVD LOST VERSION) IMPRESSIVE!

O' Sole Mio ... and touched be my heart... ♥ 
I grew up with my grandfather singing this to me. 
He sang it with the purest of Neapolitan love. 
He would say I was the sun of his day...yes, sweet tears of love come to heart...

Neapolitan lyrics

Che bella cosa e' na jurnata 'e sole
n'aria serena doppo na tempesta!
Pe' ll'aria fresca pare già na festa
Che bella cosa e' na jurnata 'e sole
Ma n'atu sole,
cchiù bello, oje ne'
'O sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
'O sole, 'o sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
sta 'nfronte a te!
Quanno fa notte e 'o sole se ne scenne,
me vene quase 'na malincunia;
sotto 'a fenesta toia restarria
quanno fa notte e 'o sole se ne scenne.
Ma n'atu sole,
cchiù bello, oje ne'
'O sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
'O sole, 'o sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
sta 'nfronte a te!

English translation

What a beautiful thing is a sunny day,
The air is serene after a storm
The air's so fresh that it already feels like a celebration
What a beautiful thing is a sunny day
But another sun,
that's brighter still
It's my own sun
that's upon your face!
The sun, my own sun
It's upon your face!
It's upon your face!
When night comes and the sun has gone down,
I almost start feeling melancholy;
I'd stay below your window
When night comes and the sun has gone down.
But another sun,
that's brighter still
It's my own sun
that's upon your face!
The sun, my own sun
It's upon your face!
It's upon your face!

'O Sole Mio
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

'O sole mio" is a globally known Neapolitan song written in 1898. The lyrics were written by Giovanni Capurro, and the melody was composed by Eduardo di Capua. It has been performed and covered by many artists, including such stalwarts of opera as Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Mario Lanza, The Canadian Tenors, and The Three Tenors. Luciano Pavarotti won the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance for his rendition of "'O sole mio". Though there are versions in other languages, "'O sole mio" is usually sung in the original Neapolitan language.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Commemorative Poem now as part of a Museum Exhibit...

Her Commemorative Poem now as part of a Museum Exhibit...

Well there she is, Rose Marie Raccioppi, Poet Laureate of Orangetown, New York, today at the Camp Shanks World War II Museum making sure that the framed poem written in commemoration of, "Camp Shanks 70th Anniversary 1943 ~ 2013, To Honor Those Who Lived A Cause," is lined up straight... no less would be expected for a military tribute. Her poem is now a featured part of the permanent display at the museum, greeting visitors as they enter the "barracks."

"The Camp Shanks Museum commemorates the military facility that served as the largest point of embarkation for soldiers headed for the front lines in North Africa and Europe during World War II, including the landing forces for the D-Day invasion. Opened in 1942, Camp Shanks contained 1,500 barracks, mess halls, theaters, a hospital, and other buildings where some 1.5 million G.I.s (approximately 40,000 a month) were issued combat equipment and underwent final inspections before shipping overseas. Most soldiers spent eight to 12 days at the self supporting complex dubbed “Last Stop, U.S.A.” Located in a simulated barracks, the museum contains artifacts and photographs that recount the history of Camp Shanks and describe the everyday life of male and female soldiers at the facility. A Wall of Honor lists servicemen and women who spent time there." (

Hours: Memorial Day – Labor Day: Saturday – Sunday (12:00 pm - 4:00 pm).Do peruse: Hudson Valley 

Magazine Article: Remembering Camp Shanks ~More than a million World War II soldiers headed overseas after a stint at Camp Shanks in Rockland County ~

An added word... 

It was a day of delight spent with Korean War veterans... great guys... great spirit... hold to the belief and vision that America is to be free and accountable!! So honored by the warmth and appreciation for heartfelt words expressed. A WW II Veteran, 90 years of age certainly knew how to give a warm and loving HUG... when I fulfilled his request to personally read the poem to him shortly after he arrived... yes, a tear was shed...

Photo Credit: Arthur Cooke.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Chopin's Raindrops

Rain Rain

The rhythmic falling rain

The green flourishing foliage
The touch the sound the feel
Creation in God's grandeur real

Rain outside my window
Tapping at my door
I hear its sounding call
Rain rain evermore

Droplets of splendor
Upon branches budding green
Shimmering day light
'Tis God 's blessings be seen

I listen to its haunting
Chant and melody
And feel its loving grace
Deep deep within me.

Rose Marie Raccioppi
Poet Laureate
Orangetown, New York

Friday, June 7, 2013

Artistry across time and distance... SUNFLOWER...

click for larger image

Artistry in Communication... 

The words of a Poet Laureate, Rose Marie Raccioppi, and the masterful eye of photographer, Muhammad Zaki, from New York to India, from India to New York, all in devoted expression. Here we are, each engaged in shared moments of Creation... each born decades apart, each living distances apart... this the majesty of loving intention... the ONE in manifestation. Ours, a tribute to the Sunflower... this the light, the bloom, the beauty in soulful gratitude.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Flower of the SON... the child of Light... ever the seedling of Love... SUNFLOWER

Flower of the SON... the child of Light... ever the seedling of Love...


Petals of golden light I to perceive
This the majesty of the CREATOR to conceive
What thoughts of love and grace has HE
To bring beauty's array, this flower to be
Seeds of light the center does hold
Within, another flower yet to unfold
Gifts upon our Earth, blooms ever sublime
And touched we are by this endowment divine
THE MASTER GARDENER in loving grace does sow
A behest in celebration of the sun's light and glow. 

Rose Marie Raccioppi 
Poet Laureate
Orangetown, New York

 ...ever received as the warming smile of spirit and creation... 
blessings... progeny as seedlings of love...

Image: Sunflower, Google Search.