Steps (a Quadrille)

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Guitar-fretted steps extended up beyond spacing
Climbing from the bottom sends my heart racing
These musical frets // are made for young ones chasing
Each other up and down // squealing // and with laughter piercing…
Like a violin being played sadly for the very first time

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The word fret has several meanings. One means to fuss or complain. Another is to carve out in parallel lines, such as in architecture. Then there are the frets on a musical instrument like a guitar, which are brass strips placed at intervals and used for giving the strings varied pitches. Today at d’Verse Kim suggested we write a Quadrille, of only 44 words, using some form of fret! I have attempted to use it as an adjective describing a long set of steps at our local park. I saved this photo for the last two years trying to think of a way to use it in a poem. This was the perfect opportunity to do so.

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Midsummer Solstice

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Summer solstice here
Midsummer heat arrived early
Thankful for cool air
Sol sistere // sun stands still
Day and night ponder future
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Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Frank Tassone asked us to consider the up coming solstice, which is sometimes referred to as Midsummer Solstice. In the southern hemisphere is the Midwinter Solstice. He asked that we write the haikai poem of our choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that alludes to our choice of either midsummer (manatsu) of midwinter (mafuyu).

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2019/06/15/haikai-challenge-90-6-15-19-midsummer-manastu-midwinter-mafuyu-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Father’s Day

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Father’s day always brings memories of my dad, who I always referred to as Pop! He was a caring and compassionate person who showed love not only to his family, but to everyone he met. He died at the age of seventy, back before heart bypass surgery was happening. Although it has been so many years, I still miss him.

Father, Dad, or Pop…
A wonderful man to me
Agape Love shown

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

There was a time…

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There was a time when learning was fun
When learning went beyond books and tests
Actually using their mind to solve real life situations

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Observing creatures in their natural settings
Watching bugs and frogs and a preying mantis
Creating an egg sac that later produced hundreds
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When our children are all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all learn just the same // every child scoring
Higher and higher // or the teacher we will fire
What will happen when they face real world problems?
Perhaps Siri, Cortina, or Alexa will have the answers!

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Photos of may students in my early years of teaching. Since then times have changed and our focus seems to be on test results rather than well rounded students. Perhaps this will change as the cycle goes round and round.

For a wonderful example of what real learning can be, check out Forest Kids Learning. It is a fabulous program that does a wonderful job of hand-on learning!

https://www.facebook.com/ForestKidsCanada/

When Trees Are Gone

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With the economy booming in our area, more and more trees are being cleared to make room for new housing developments. There is no attempt to save the existing trees. Everything is stripped to bare ground, ground up and hauled away. Giant machines turn fifty year old trees into wood chips in a matter of minutes.

What happens when we remove so many trees from our environment? Wildlife gets condensed into smaller and smaller areas. Birds lose their annual nesting locations, and more and more deer are killed by the on slot of cars brought on by development. There appears to be little or no effort to create better highways to accomodate the increased vehicles. We wonder why climate change is bringing warmer weather. Could it be that we take little thought for the tree we are so eager to discard.

Trees cry tears and leaves

Chipper turns years into chips

Earth struggles to breathe

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

This post was inspired by one done by Kym Gordon Moore discussing the same subject.

https://frombehindthepen.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/attack-of-the-wild/

 

Plastic Earth

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“Where were you when the earth was plastic?” This is what God asked Job, in answer to Job’s complaint about his woes and sorrow. Obviously this is more of a paraphrase than a quote. I love to think about the time when the earth was in its formative years. The beauty of geological time is written in the rock layers all around us. I can’t imagine the tremendous forces that lifted and bent these rocks. Once mud on the ocean floor, these rocks are now part of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Fossils tell of a very different time. I have broken open rocks and found perfect fossils in them. I have cracked geodes open to find amethyst crystals that grew as lava cooled millions of years ago. So when you complain about your situations in life, I ask, “Where were you when the earth was plastic?”

Read writing in rocks

Recognize we are but dust

Gives life perspective

 

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth – taken at the Linville Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina

I am posting this for open link night on d’Verse Poets Pub.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Timber Rattlers

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The deadly lie in the warm sunshine
just outside their rocky lair // entwined;
Two appear as one // tightly wrapped;
Rattles shake // warning all to stay away.
Beady eyes fix on the intruder’s focus;
iPhone clicks away as undulating coils squirm
Better keep away from these poisonous vipers;
The risk is not worth a new pair of boots.
Some trophies are better left as photos…
“Live and Let Live” //  “Tread on me and Die!”

 

Photo: Terry Showalter

Terry came upon this pair while logging in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania. There were two Timber Rattlers wrapped up together.  With his smartphone, he was able to get this great photo, and then get on with his work. Terry gave me permission to use this photo in my blog.

 

 

 

Lost (Flash Fiction)

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Lost
Dwight L. Roth

I was lost…totally lost in the pitch-black darkness. I climbed this ridge several times in the daylight, following the winding trail all the way to the top where we had set up camp. Now I was stumbling; tripping over rocks and branches as I wander off the trail. Why did I forget to bring my flashlight?
Talk of a mountain lion in the daylight brought no fear, but now, in the pitch dark, the reality presented itself with every distant rustle of the leaves and breaking of a branch. I pressed on climbing upward, feeling my way through the saplings, mountain laurel, and dead tree limbs. “The top can’t be too much farther.”
Suddenly. there is that unmistakable wine of a big cat; off in the distance, yet too close for comfort. Chills run up my spine, when far away an interrupted cry… silence!

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Bjorn at d’Verse introduced us to our new form to work with…Flash Fiction. He asked that it not be more than 144 words. It could be exactly 144 words as well. Mine is 144 words. We must use the given line from a poem somewhere in the story. Today it was “when far away an interrupted cry…”

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Fragrant Breeze

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Lilacs bloom fragrant
Perfume carried on the breeze
Summer’s almost here
Poppies sway // ripples flowing
Gently across Flander’s Field
Reminder to us
That war is filled with blood-shed
Poppies bleed blood red

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Written for Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge Fragrant Breeze. He also reminds us of the anniversary of D-day and suggested we incorporate that as well.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2019/06/08/haikai-challenge-6-8-19-fragrant-breeze-kunpuu-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/