Ingrid Bruck is wild flower gardener and a poet inspired by nature. She lives in Amish country in Pennsylvania. This site shocases selected works by her.

"her magnificent voice”, “her imprint” & “I like to think of Aretha Franklin” - Published by: The Song Is...

NOTE: “her magnificent voice” & “her imprint” are collaborative rengay. “I like to think of Aretha Franklin” is a sole author poem by Ingrid Bruck. 


her magnificent voice: Aretha Franklin Tribute #1

By Benita Kape, Dee Aubert, 

Julie Naslund, Ingrid Bruck,

Michael Peck & Leslie McKay


the greater performance

her magnificent voice               

brave words of courage

power and a brand new me      

opens her mouth

sings the soul of ache and joy

into our bones                              

queen of r/e/s/p/e/c/t

put her life on the line

marching with King                       

sunlit vision in a dark world

transforms black and blue souls   

her voice of God


from the beginning                         


her imprint: Aretha Franklin Tribute #2

By Ingrid Bruck, Leslie McKay,

Michael Peck, SE Ingraham,

Dee Aubert & Julie Naslund

the ocean

another sky

blues bend and soar

her imprint on the horizon


sun mirrors her soul

night reflects her skin

her voice weaves them

this gospel diva

rode pink Cadillac style

live and to the end

touched by gods and angels

ring of joy, empowerment


sings out longing, promise, hope

that impossible hat

Don’t Play That Song, Play All Those Songs

For: The Queen of Soul

Sunday morning tribute

Every Baptist Church in America

Say A Little Prayer For Me

Gospel Choirs Sing, Yes they sing

Sing the power of the Queen of Soul

Voice of the Century: Sister Aretha Franklin


Rock Steady

And we remember you

Wind down the car window

From Rock Steady

to Spanish Harlem                                                                                                        

In songs, willing to forgive.



How could you touch her? The song said.

In your hands the pain grows and grows

And your soul and your lines increase

Going further back

A Nineteen Seventy release

Don’t Play That Song


Sitting beside Bergen (Candice)

You gave us stunning comedy and diva

That was a long time ago

Your mastery at the keys

When in Charlotte

You pay tribute to Whitney Houston



Long, long time to get here

If I walk a little taller

If I speak up when you’re wrong

Lyrics we all understood

Words, and the many transposed

And it grew a new kind of free


Re – re – re -  respect

Give me my propers

Wrote Otis Redding

You – you – you

Earned it well Aretha

Aretha, to you the respect



You were releasing

One Step Ahead in Nineteen Sixty Seven

Then came The House That Jack Built

Rushing to your side, song writers

Bobby Lane and Fran Robbins

That was Nineteen Sixty Eight


Don’t Play That Song

Again: and again and again

Play all those songs

A Change Gonna Come, Amazing Grace

You rush to the side of Martin Luther King

“Black People Will Be Free”


How many songs and how many writers?

Dozens and dozens

All wrote for you

So long as it’s Soul, Soul, Soul,

Soul: give us the Queen of Soul

Such strength and power in her incredible voice


Sunday morning tribute

All over the world

Say A Little Prayer For Me

Gospel Choirs Sing, Yes they sing

Sing the power of the Queen of Soul

Voice of the Century: Sister Aretha Franklin

Benita H. Kape © 19.8.2018


Cherita form:: Cherita in Malaysian means to tell a story. Usually written in 1 line – 2 lines – 3 lines. When written in other variations of those lines, these are known as Cherita Terbalik. Terbalik in Malay means to reverse. This poem “Don’t Play That Song, Play All Those Songs”begins with Cherita and continues with variations, Cherita Terbalik, ending again with a Cherita.

Aretha Franklin 

she sang from her heart 

words so full of love and pain 

those who listened left with wet eyes 

knowing they had heard 

what they felt in their heart 

everything about Aretha was big 

her voice, her endurance, her strength 

she knew the blues inside and out 

her smile bursting with the glory 

of one who consumed the pain 

of the blues 

turning that pain into complete faith 

in herself and her love of life © 

~ by Michael Peck

I like to think of Aretha Franklin

birthing a son before she was a teen,

singing “Natural Woman”

for all the child-women who doubted 

they had the right to feel like a woman.

She claimed “Respect” for herself and all Sisters. 

I like to think of Aretha Franklin

demanding her place in line

when she marched for freedom with King.

She crumbled when MLK was shot, 

when racial hatred flared and cities burned. 

She despaired for common women,

the Black ones and whites like me. 

I like to think of Aretha Franklin

feminist icon, activist and Vietnam protestor

singing “Chain of Fools”, 

broadcasting war follies, 

challenging white generals’ incompetence, 

lamenting senseless deaths of young soldiers. 

I like to think of Aretha Franklin

devoted to her large family

going home to care for her father

when he was too sick to know it. 

I like to think of the Queen of Soul

singing gospel and faith,

singing blues and protest

her voice, grand

her songs, jazz.

She started poor, got rich, 

proved a woman can do it. 

I like to think of Aretha Franklin. 

* Inspired by “I like to think of Harriet Tubman” by Susan Griffin

~ by Ingrid Bruck 

Writer’s Group Bio:

HowModPoWritesPoetry is a global group of writers from five countries with a shared interest in haiku and short forms. We met taking ModPo (Modern American Poetry), a massive free online MOOC. The connections we made in the class were so strong, we didn’t want to lose them and formed our closed online writing group. We’ve been together for four years. One of our favorite forms to write is rengay, a collaborative haiku form in six stanzas developed by Gary Gay (American). Our group discovered many shared interests, one of which is jazz. When singer and song writer Aretha Franklin died recently, our poets wrote her tribute poems (collaborative rengay & sole author). 

A Selection of Rengay & Individual Tribute Poems to Aretha Franklin: by writers from the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand

Dee Aubert is a Mexican poet who resides in Switzerland.

Ingrid Bruck lives and writes in Pennsylvania Amish country, US. 

S.E. Ingraham is a Canadian poet from Edmonton. 

Benita Kape is a New Zealand poet with an interest in Japanese short forms and the Western devised, (though based on haiku) rengay.

Julie Naslund writes in the high desert of central Oregon. She feels that poetry is an act of translation.

Leslie McKay is an Aotearoa/New Zealand poet and writing teacher.

Susanne Margono, a German poet, lives in upstate New York, US.

Michael Peck is a US poet and playwright from Utah.

And now for the music!

Let's start with "Don't Play That Song":

Here she performs "Rock Steady" on Soul Train:

I have to add "This is the House that Jack Built":

Have to include "Freeway of Love" as well:

This is her "Bridge Over Troubled Water":

I don't know how to top this, so I won't.  Enjoy!

Marianne Szlyk

Date Published:  February 3, 2019

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