Black Raspberry Pie

Grandma's Black Raspberry Pie

 

My grandmother made the best pies. I loved going to her house each summer knowing that she would have fresh baked raspberry pies waiting in the fridge. This poem is for her.

Some folks like warm pie, but I prefer mine cold. My mom and grandma always made their pies from scratch. This means they  made their own crust by mixing up the flour and shortening, salt and water, and rolled it out with a rolling pin. They mixed fresh fruit with sugar and cornstarch and poured it into the pie crust. Most of the time they added a top crust, pinching the edges to hold them together to make a scalloped appearance.

My earliest recollection of real fruit pie

Is sitting at the kitchen table

In my Grandma Hartzler’s house

Watching her cut into a big fourteen inch Raspberry pie

 Thick and smooth with a dip of real whipped cream

Straining out all the seeds with a cheese cloth

Adding cornstarch to thicken the remaining juice

Flaky crust made with flour and lard

Real cream skimmed off the top of glass milk jugs

Raw milk straight from the cow

No pasteurization No homogenization

Cream floating to the top

It always brought a smile to her face and a sparkle to her eye

To watch her grandson eat her black raspberry pie

No need to wait till dinner

She knew I couldn’t wait

So from the fridge she took the pie

And put a big slice on my plate

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Grandfather Mountain

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One of the most beautiful spots to visit in North Carolina is Grandfather Mountain. Its mile high vista gives a panoramic view in every direction. The rugged pathway to the summit is accessible to the young and strong, but for the older folks the view from the bridge is almost as good as being on top.

Grandfather Mountain

The Blue Ridge Parkway yields panoramic views

Rising and falling through majestic hues

Turnoffs, overlooks, tunnels, and bridges

Orchards of apples and long gorgeous ridges

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Grandfather Mountain towers ahead

Drawing us up to its jaw-dropping ledge

Serpentine backbone a scoliated spine

Split Rock lay open and wrapped in vines

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The bald rocks the twisted trees

Bask carefree in the summer breeze

Hurricane-force winds cannot rip them loose

Deformed over time by Nature’s abuse

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Excited to be at the top of the world

Here where branches and trunks are curled

Blooming flowers defy the wind

Smiling sweetly until the very end

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Feeling the sway of the long steel bridge

Looking up in the distance at the neighboring ridge

A rocky pathway draws some to his face

The old man of the mountain stays fixed in his place

Undaunted by storms or gray fog rolling in

He’ll still be there when our vision grows dim

Creating the mystique that continues to draw

Young and old from near and far

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Uniqueness is Perfection

Uniqueness is Perfection

It is not perfection that makes us special

It‘s uniqueness and character

It is not smooth faces that tells the story

The gray and the wrinkles are our glory

It’s the wrinkles of time that show who we are

 

Years of strain and years of pain

Bring out the character in everyone

Allows us to remember all the fun

 

Botox and silicone can stretch us tight

Filling up wrinkles and sags

It stretches us tight and we look a fright

When the make-up comes off each night

 

After years of work, play, and fun

The thing that makes us special

Is not perfection or a smooth complexion

Our uniqueness makes us the exception.

 

So why worry over what time has wrought

Thinking we can make it better

We create a mask with our aim for perfection

Hiding our uniqueness and losing our perception

That aging person in this vessel of clay

Is a reflection of His work

The unique image God created

In His eyes

We’re unique and highly rated

The Thrill of the Needle and Drill

My dentist once commented, “You have a fortune in crowns and fillings. My teeth have been my “Achilles Heal” since a very young age. I always hated going to the dentist to get my teeth filled and later to get crowns put on.  They say it is either laugh or cry, so I decided to write a poem about it after a recent visit. This is what came out!

skull

Here I sit in the dentist’s chair

 Waiting for my gum to get numb

It’s a place I avoid for the needles and pain

Are some things from which I run

 

When the needle went in I did not feel a thing

But the idea still makes me cringe

My mind goes berserk and the memories kick in

 Each time I see that syringe

 

  I sat in the chair getting numb to my hair

Awaiting Dr. Hudson’s return

I wait there in dread feeling numb in my head

Helpless with a faraway yearn

 

Passing the time till the dreaded encounter

 The hygienist jokingly said

Since you’re numb in the head and everything’s dead

Your nose could be pierced instead

 

We talked of tattoos and ear piercings too

 Growing old will be a wild wonder

When all those tattoos we love when they’re new

Get pulled and stretched all asunder

 

How odd to me what some people go through

 Piercings extreme pain just to be blue

Arms legs and nipple rings too

And in places you mama never knew

 

“Ah,” I told her, “That pain’s not for me

My threshold is way too low

When I want to suffer and be tortured and bled

I go to the dentist instead.”

 

She Turned 93 Today…

Mom and Dwight on her 93rd 001

I am amazed at how time passes so quickly. This month is almost ten years since my two sons traveled with me to Eastern Pennsylvania to see my mom on her 93rd birthday.  She enjoyed our visit and seeing her grandsons  very much. A couple of months later in August she passed away.

When I returned home I reflected on our visit and her spirit. I wrote this poem as a tribute to that spirit and her long rich life, not in money, but in things money can’t buy.

She turned 93 today, 93 today

Her breathing’s hard

Her spirit’s strong

She’s still not ready to go

*

She turned 93 today, 93 today

With a century of memories

Still sharp in her mind

She’s still not ready to go

*

She turned 93 today, 93 today

Her face lit up

Her smile grew broad

She’s still not ready to go

*

She turned 93 today, 93 today

Fresh berries in a cup

She soon ate them up

She’s still not ready to go

*

She turned 93 today, 93 today

Time for lunch,

Up she got

She’s still not ready to go

*

She turned 93 today, 93 today

Grandsons made her smile

With their pictures for awhile

She’s still not ready to go

*

Another day another visit

Weak in body strong in spirit

Mom turned 93 today

And she’s still not ready to go.

 

A Tribute my Mom Beatrice Roth who turned 93 July 16, 2007

   It was my last visit with her before she died in August.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uniqueness is Perfection

Pop and Jason 001

It is not perfection that makes us special

It‘s uniqueness and character

It is not smooth faces that tells the story

The gray and the wrinkles are our glory

It’s the wrinkles of time that show who we are

Years of strain and years of pain

Bring out the character in everyone

Allows us to remember all the fun

Botox and silicone can stretch us tight

Filling up wrinkles and sags

It stretches us tight and we look a fright

When the make-up comes off each night

After years of work, play, and fun

The thing that makes us special

Is not perfection or a smooth complexion

Our uniqueness makes us the exception.

So why worry over what time has wrought

Thinking we can make it better

We create a mask with our aim for perfection

Hiding our uniqueness and losing our perception

That aging person in this vessel of clay

Is a reflection of His work

The unique image God created

In His eyes

We’re unique and highly rated

The Woodland Symphony

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Sitting in my Adirondack Chair down by the creek that flows into the woods, I listened to the birds singing in the trees above me.  When all was calm they did their random chirping. I could hear the squirrels chattering at each other. The woodpecker worked on his nest in the rotten Maple behind me. The bullfrog croaked from the mud in the creek. There were songs for different things that were happening. I noticed when a hawk or a cat came by, all of the birds began raise a ruckus. I thought to myself, this is just like listening to a symphony. I got my small computer and began writing the Woodland Symphony.  This poem is the end result.

The Woodland Symphony

Music pours out from shadow and tree

Calling us all to enjoy a reprieve

 

A melodious symphony straight from the heart

Each tiny instrument playing its part

Miniature voices in perfect pitch

Unwritten scores of notes that are rich

Filled with a beauty beyond man or pen

A symphony of music that will never end

 

Mocking birds solo sopranos and basses

Finding their notes in so many spaces

Piccolo warblers and wren solos start

 Antiphonal melodies straight from the heart

 

The bassoon bull frog comes in now and then

Cicadas’ strings play background blends

Crickets and blue jays fill the air

The snare of the trees adds depth to the pair

Woodpeckers drumming on old hollow trees

A staccato rhythm that floats on the breeze

 

Suddenly right out of the blue

The feline conductor brings all in on cue

With a growing crescendo from blue jay and friends

Celloed instruments calling, “This is the end!”

The squirrel plays percussion with his raspy scolding

As the woods fills with music the finale’s unfolding

 

A thunderous applause from the balcony on high

Brings all to their feet flashes crossing the sky

The concert is over the conductor’s gone home

Performers take bows the music is gone

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Summer Morning

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Morning Bursts Forth

Morning bursts forth in all its radiant glory

Peering into the dark sheltered woods

Highlighting the trees dancing on flowers

The stepping stones draw me to the trees

To the mysterious woods sheltering the creek

Turning to mush in summer’s heat

Frogs buried in the mud keep cool

Sending out their sharp croaks

calling for someone to hear

Morning breezes soon shift

 to a sauna of heat and humidity

But for now the glorious morning rests

 on the yellow buttercups

Red salvia bathed in the sunlight

reach toward the heavens

Calling me to come join them

In the exhilaration of the beckoning day

First blog post

Poetry is an out-flowing of the heart that pours like an avalanche. It can be triggered by a very small thing or by a major event! When inspiration hits I must write it down or it gets lost. Even if it is only one line, it must be saved so that I can build on it at a later time.  Nothing is insignificant. I am always amazed at what follows. All poems start with small beginnings.EER_0178

Dwight L. Roth  –  writer and poet