Reach for the Light

EER_0898.JPG

Do you ever feel suffocated by the sensational news media. I find it overwhelming at times, listening to lying politicians spewing their personal brands of “New Hope and Change” In my opinion, little of what they propose will come to pass. I believe my faith is something that can transport me above the darkness. It is a way to rise rather than becoming overwhelmed. This poem is an invitation to faith.

Reach for the Light

Living in darkness

Trees reach for the light

Following the sun

As it reclines on the edge of the world

Knowing that without light

There is no life

My soul rises toward the light

In a world filled with darkness

Evil pressing in to overwhelm

Terrors for one who dwells below

EER_0893.JPG

Let your spirit rise with mine

Reach for the Son

The source of Light and Life

Always shining never hiding

EER_0951

Spirit touching spirit

Reflecting the Light of Love

My escape

From the eternal darkness around me

 

 

 

 

Desert of Truth

IMG_0548

“They are so heavenly minded they are no earthly good.” I remember hearing this statement used to describe someone who is very religious, but really does not connect with the people around them. Sometimes I run into a person who goes on and on about their personal beliefs and it makes me want to run away.   But then there are others who not only talk about their faith but actually live an practice it in their daily life.  They show love to their neighbor and are ready to help in time of need. They actually care about others rather than their own agenda.  This is the kind of person who draws me to want hear what they have to say. Which kind of person are you.

Desert of Truth

Light without fruit makes a desert

Overwhelming all

Burning all

Driving everything underground

Faith without fruit creates a desert

Students running to the sand dunes at Kill Devil Hill 001

No shade No water No food

Just intense overpowering repulsion

For all to avoid

Grace Mercy and Truth

Fruit to feed on

A well to drink from

Shade of protection to come under

IMG_0517

Don’t let your life become a desert

Don’t let your truth become

Light to avoid

Let your Love reach out to all

Pop

EER_0915

My father  was a very special person. As you can see in this poem, he was a great people person. Some people called him Paul, students called him Mr. Roth, others Reverend Roth, but I always called him Pop!  He loved his work and he loved people. He was a friend and example to all. We worked side by side planting garden, cleaning out our chicken house, picking chicken feathers, and delivering eggs. He was a man of faith dedicated to his calling. It has been many years since his passing, but I miss him greatly.

Pop

Not Father, Not Dad, just Pop…

Hard working creative close to his roots

Tall and handsome

Teacher, preacher, father

Dedicated compassionate champion of the poor

Giving and forgiving

Gardener, farmer, plucker of chickens

Gathering eggs to sell

No job too small

Pop Digging Potaotes 001

Lover of our mom compassionate to all

Keeper of the faith teaching by example

Opening our home

One to call when there’s no one else

Kind words for the dead a touch from God

Last to let them down

A listening ear for both drunk and sober

Our door always open his fist never clenched

Heart reaching out

Counselor, advisor, neighbor, and friend

A heart too weak a heart still strong

Pop left us way too soon.

Paul M. Roth 1912-1982 – Dwight L. Roth – Father’s Day 2014

Sweet Baby Boy

Being adopted must be a traumatic experience for a little boy who started the first year of his life with a foster parent. This was  the experience of my grandson. He was adopted into a family who spoke a different language, ate different food, and had other children.  You can understand why he did not want his new parents to leave him at night. I wrote this as a lullaby that expresses some of the feelings that I imagined occurred  during this time. He has since grown into a well adjusted little boy.

IMG_5872

 

Sweet Baby Boy

Sweet baby boy just close your eyes

Go off to dreamland with a sigh

Sweet baby boy fly away

To worlds unknown beyond the eye

*

Sweet baby boy come to me now

With all your tears a crying

Sweet baby boy I’ll ease your fears

And soon you’ll be a sighin’

*

And when you wake I’ll be right here

Near you I’ll be lyin’

To keep you safe and let you know

This is your home where I am

*

Through tears and fears throughout the years

I’ll always be your Mother

And though you might not understand

There’ll never be another

Painting by Dwight L. Roth

 

Somewhere Above the Pain

Big Valley at Dusk -Rosalyn Alleman

Pain is one of the most difficult things one faces in life. Doctors can give us pain killers that can soon become addictive, or we can choose an other option. Some survive chronic pain is by learning to live above the pain. Most of us might  think choosing to ignore pain an impossible task. But, for those who are in continuous pain, that may be the only choice available if they want to have a better quality of life. I have seen this happen first hand and know it is really possible.

Somewhere Above the Pain

Somewhere above the pain there is life

A place where one can live and function

Where hopes and dreams can still be achieved

Living above the pain does not make it go away

It only allows one to be in control

Pain lies rooted in one’s being

A constant reminder

Rearing its ugly head

Vying for control

Only to be suppressed once more

By hope determination and faith

Unwilling to resign oneself to fate

Knowing that above the pain

Above the pills

There is light and hope

It is a choice one must make

Every day all day long

*A tribute to all of you who makes this choice every day, all day long!

Photo contributed by: Rosalyn Alleman

 

Ants in the Universe

EER_0869

Ants in the Universe

Pesky little creatures

Smaller than a pencil point

Swarming up to protect their kingdom

Sacrificing themselves under my foot

Crawling up on my shoe

EER_0780

Looking for a piece of flesh

Leaving their imprint in my skin

Tiny dots of poison destroying flesh

EER_0884

Lasting six months or more

Itchy reminders of that harsh encounter

Reminds me of humans

Attempting to save themselves

In a universe beyond their comprehension

Leaving scars on the foot of God

Trying keep us in control

Sacrificing ourselves at all cost

In a universe we know nothing about

Black Holes in My Brain

EER_0158

One of the most difficult things one can encounter is losing control of your life. This poem is an account of the anxieties and feeling of loss that occurred when my father-in-law realized he could no longer remember what was happening in his life. His wife was diagnosed with brain cancer and he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. We were waiting for a facility to open where he could receive the care he needed.  During that interim period he experienced great anxiety which is depicted in the sometimes word for word dialogue poem below.

Black Holes In My Brain

“I have come to discover that I now have black holes in my brain.

Spaces of emptiness that never get filled.

Like the holes in my pants pocket the memories slip out…”

“Oh, you are here? Well I didn’t realize! When did you get here?

You have been here a few weeks? Well I didn’t remember.

Tell me something I should know…

What shall we talk about…”

“Can I do something for you… do you need a light on?

Would you like to watch the News if I turn it on?

Do you want me to set the table for breakfast?

Can I help you in some way?

Would you like a piece of chocolate? Go ahead have one!”

“Is this Sunday? Are we going to church today?

Where is Mother & when is she coming home?

She won’t be coming back home? Oh my!

These are things I should remember.

When will we go to see here again? Can we go today?

We were there today?

Why can’t I remember? Were we just there today?!”

“I remember my grandmother was just like this.

She would apologize for her poor memory all the time.

I hope I never get that way.”

“By the way, where is Mother?

Do you know when she will be back?

She’s at the home!!? I didn’t know.

Somebody should have told me!”

“When will she be coming home?

You say she won’t be coming home!?

Oh my, I will have to learn to cook!

Perhaps you can show me how to cook…”

I will have to take care of myself.

“I just discovered I have no money in my wallet!

Can you take me by the bank tomorrow to cash a check?

I should pay you something for your expenses.

You are keeping the expenses on a tab?

Well, I should pay you.

You will take care of me? But you can’t keep coming to stay with me?

I should pay you something to help with the expenses.

You are using a debit card… from my account?

Well, I wonder why the bank didn’t notify me about this.”

“Tell me, Where is Mother?

Oh yes, she is at the home… up on 104th Avenue…

near Hollyrood close to the church.

Have I ever been there? I have… I don’t seem to remember.

Will she be coming home this evening?

She’s Living there… all the time? For how long!?

She won’t be coming home again? Is she sick? What is wrong with her?”

“Can you take me with you when you go to see her?

Can we go this evening to see her?

We were just there this afternoon? Why can’t I remember that?”

“Good night, I must check to see that the door is locked.

I just came back out to see if I had locked the door.

Well it looks like all the doors are locked.

Is anybody there…

Oh, I just came back out to check to see if the door was locked.”

“Good Morning… Where is Helen?”

 

Spiritual Ecstasy

IMG_0671

What is the greatest feeling you ever experienced?   I believe it is when two people share a moment together so powerful that it leaves them both with a natural high. It might be sticking a landing at the Olympics, playing the guitar with a good friend performing a song to perfection, a choir performance so great that it leaves both the choir and director with chills,  a climber standing on the summit taking in the vista, a concert so powerful that it fills your soul, or two lovers in a climactic embrace. These are all are examples of what I would call spiritual ecstasy.

Spiritual Ecstasy

Brain explosion dopamine rush a natural high

Electrifying body, soul, and spirit

A union of kindred minds

Coming together in unmatchable synchronous pleasure

Penetrating spirits ecstatic joy

Blending in melodious harmony

Riding the crescendo letting it go

Ending in breathless laughter or unexplainable tears

Knowing something unrepeatably special just occurred

Whether between Finite and Eternal

Male and Female

Guitar picker and Banjo picker

Conductor and Orchestra

Child Performer and Proud Parent

Choir Director and Choir

Preacher and Sinner

Mountain Climber and Panorama

The result is still that same burst of chemicals

Lightning flashing orgasms of pure pleasure

Coursing like a runaway train through your brain

Ending in breathless laughter, joy, and sometimes tears

58 Thunderbird

58 Thunderbird

EER_0578

Glory does not last forever. People get old and cars rust away, neglected in the yard. I saw this beautiful old car sitting in the grass as I passed by and wondered what kind of stories it could tell. The same is true of old folks sitting in their chair or living in the rest home. Oh, the stories they could tell, if only someone would ask and take time to listen to their tales. Don’t let these treasures waste away while their destinies are yet undetermined.

Destiny Yet Undetermined

58 Thunderbird rusting in the yard

Grass tall around wide white wall tires

Front dentures missing

Blind in both dark sunken eyes

Skin fading in the scorching sunlight

One time a masterpiece of its creator

Now wasting away neglected and still

Oh the stories it could tell

300 hp 352 cc engine glasspack mufflers

Four barrel carburetor drinking gas like a fish

Lovers in bucket seats riding into the sunset

Duel exhausts Chrome Grille Duel headlights

Pulling up to the light looking next door

Challenging them with engine roar and squealing tires

Black marks on pavement ten feet long

Leaving challengers in the dust

This phoenix could rise from the rust

A master’s hands could bring it back

But for now it sits alone and neglected

Destiny yet undetermined

 

My Little Bag of Stones

EER_0847

What do you do with your anger when you feel mistreated? Do you explode and let out all of your frustrations hoping to make peace later? Or, do you internalize your feelings and find them coming out in passive aggressive ways? This poem speaks to the second way of dealing with these feelings. It uses the concept of collecting stones of hurt to use at some later time to throw back at the one who caused the pain, or in some cases at anyone who might be in your path.

My Little Bag of Stones                                      

My little bag of stones all shiny and smooth

Serves me very well when I am hurt

Little memories stashed away

Some are small some are large

Traumatic events harsh words stabs of pain

All tucked neatly into my little bag

Waiting for just the right time

Displaced anger dysfunctional relationships

Objects of wrath inflicting pain

Lashing out with subtle intent

Trying to compensate for past mistakes

EER_0845

Stones saved neatly in the bag

Passive aggression stored for the future

Never finding satisfaction totally depressed

Weighing me down

Always carrying my heavy load

In my little bag of stones