A New Year’s Blessing

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A New Year’s Blessing
May your old year pass with peace and celebration
May you let all your worries remain in 2017
Hold your friends dear to your heart
Let loyalty and love be your coat of arms
Let your grief do its work in your soul
Never forget those who passed on
Keep your family precious and spouse revered
Hold grandchildren dear to your heart
May your wishes turn into goals to attain
With God’s strength work toward that end
My you follow the light of the Spirit in your heart
Walk with God as you would your closest friend
Trust that all things will work out for your good
Be thankful for all of your blessings of life
May you live every day as the “Word made flesh”
May you be a light and a beacon to all
Happy New Year 2018

Dwight L. Roth

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Rage Against the Dying of the Light

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Do not let 2017 be the end of your creative endeavors! Rage against the dying of the light. I think of it like sitting stands at the Daytona Five Hundred and watching the cars circle the track. As they come past me they go full speed ahead roaring into the next lap. This is the way I see 2018. Let’s go roaring into the next lap and not let up until we cross the finish line into that “good night” that Dylan Thomas speaks about.  Don’t come to that finish line wishing you had pushed a little harder. Choose to rage against the dying of 2017 and make 2018 the best year yet!  Don’t live on wishes, feeling sorry for what you did not do.  Live, enjoying what you have and will accomplish this year.

Do not go gentle into that good night
Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

:Trip to Edmonton 6-10 043“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light……”
From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp. Used with permission.

poets.org

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Happy New Year to all of my wonderful fellow bloggers, who have encouraged and inspired me to keep on writing and sharing this past year. Keep up the good work!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The Girl With Many Faces (A Haibun)

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I am in awe of women who can put on make-up and get it to look fabulous. I am glad I am not a woman. This is the painting I finished today, after working on it on and off for six months. Since I am still learning how to paint, I was excited to find this unfinished painting along with a couple of others, at the Habitat Restore The sketch was all that was done on this one. I have had little success painting faces, so I thought since I had such a fine sketch I would use it to give me some practice. I painted and repainted the face several times over the next month, with little success. When I could not get it to look right, I put it up on the shelf for the rest of the summer. About three weeks ago I got it off the shelf determined to get it to work. I painted the face several more times. The lights and darks just would not come together.  Finally, today, I got this face, which I feel works for me. See what you think??

Highlights accents beauty

Facial structure of a queen

Layer after layer

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I like the black and white version as well. This is the joy of digital photography

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

 

Light against Darkness

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My hope for the New Year is that we can come together to overwhelm the darkness and evil with Love and Peace. When light is the dominate contrast the world is a better place. Light stands out sometimes alone but very visible in contrast to darkness.  This reminds me of the song we used to sing that said. “This Little Light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…” Let your light shine this year and bring hope to the world.

Light against Darkness

Light and Darkness coexist

Bringing dimension and definition to life

Contrasting colors not to  be seen without the other

Accents of beauty and line given shape

Revealing all forms of life that exist

Ah, but you say, The spirit of life has no color!”

Oh but it does in so many ways

Light embodies all the colors

Light against darkness being most beautiful of all

Love is the light of the Spirit of God

Contrasted against the dark spirit of evil and hate

In our darkest moments of defeat a light emerges

A candle of light bringing hope in the blackness

Lighting others and they in turn light more

Until evil is overwhelmed with the Light of Love

Defining truth rising above the hate and evil

Bringing peace and joy standing in clear contrast

Against the darkness in the world around us

Light your candle of peace for the New Year

Let God’s love and blessing permeate all you do

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Stuffed (A Haibun)

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Do you feel stuffed now that Christmas is over. All of the wonderful food you consumed may have contributed to making you feel like it is time to cut back and eat less. Seems like losing weight is often chosen as a one of the top New Years Resolutions. I wonder if the Chipmunk that lives under my deck thinks about such things. He loves to come an pig out in my bird feeder. Sometime I wonder how he gets through the wire cage with those bulging cheeks. He is getting ready for the cold weather that is coming in tonight and the next few days. He looks so cute with his fat cheeks.  He does not seem to be like the rest of us who will need to loose a few pounds. He looks fabulous in his sleek winter coat!

Dark eyes and fat cheeks

Stuffing in all he can get

Cold weather is coming

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Here are a few more cute shots of my Chipmunk:

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

*A Hai bun is a Japanese form of poetry that uses both prose and a haiku.

Tum balalaika – 48th Anniversary

Ruth and Dwight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=He3efzCCwfA

When Ruth and I were dating many years ago we sang this song together. She had learned it in elementary school in Northern Alberta, Canada, and shared it with me from recall. That was forty-eight years ago today. I just discovered that it is a popular  Yiddish folk song that has been sung for many years in Romania and elsewhere. There seems to be several verses and translations of it into English. After we were engaged we often sang it together.  This is the version she taught to me. I sang the first verse. She sang the second verse. We sang the refrain together. We later recorded it on a record with The Opitmists, our college singing group. I don’t have a digital copy of that record to share with you.

Tum Balalaika

Maiden Maiden tell me true

What can grow without the dew

What can grow for years and years

What can cry yet shed no tears

Refrain:

Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalaliaka

Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalaliaka

Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalaliaka

 

Silly Lad I’ll tell you true

Love can grow without the dew

Love can grow for years and years

Love can cry yet shed no tears

Refrain:

Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalaliaka

Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalaliaka

Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalaliaka

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*The video at the beginning of the post has had over a million views!

*Here are two more versions you might enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTBOMT5bMRs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6uBysoQkDw

Life is a Collection

Russian Dolls

Life is a Collection

From birth announcement to death certificate

Life is a collection of items saved or tossed

Valued pieces set aside and preserved

Carefully kept along with memories

Bronzed shoes remembering first steps

Crayoned pictures from primary school

A red heart with an “I love you mom!”

Certificates in a box mark accomplishments

Cards from special people for special occasions

Jewelry passed down from mother to daughter

Memories of Grandmother reading stories

Trips taken, cups and teaspoons collected and saved

Photos in the family album now transferred to digital

Grandmother’s china carefully set for special occasions

A box of keepsakes valued only by me

A pocket knife, a baseball card, cufflinks, a bowtie

Memories soon to be forgotten by those coming after

Preserved history like the rings on a tree

Soon to be cut down and chipped into paper

Recording their memories of the future

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Photo of the Russian Dolls and Spike the Tomato : Dwight L. Roth

Read the story of Spike the Tomato on my Amazon Kindle collection….

 

 

Christmas Visitors

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Christmas is all about visitors. Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus, Shepherds, Wise Men all visitors in the Christmas story. These were my beautiful visitors on this Christmas day.

Dressed in royal red

Black and white adorned she comes

All looking for food

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Male Cardinal

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Female Hairy Woodpecker

 

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

No Room

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The Inn Keeper is not the villain in this story as so often portrayed. When you examine the story more closely you will see the stable was actually the best choice given the circumstances.  I attempted to write my poem in defense of the Inn Keeper at Bethlehem. See if you agree! Here is my Christmas Poem…

No Room at the Inn

Travelers came knocking on the door of the inn

After traveling all day tired, hungry, and thirsty

The donkey needed fed and they needed a bed

A full inn afforded them nowhere to lay their heads

Pregnant Mary needed a place to deliver

Water broke and waves were coming on strong

No time to look elsewhere for a private home

The inn was no place for a delivery room

Travelers standing around gawking at the sight

Of a new born baby coming ready or not in the night

The kind Inn Keeper suggested, “Perhaps the stable…

A private place to deliver away from prying eyes?”

The animals provided warmth from their exhales

He did what he could to make them comfortable

Brought water and a blanket as Mary screamed in pain

He was not the villain in this story as portrayed

Rather a compassionate keeper avoiding gossip’s scandal

Why do we think they should have been entitled

Unknown travelers from afar, they had no reservations.

Thankful for a private spot it all came about

A child was born in private who would soon

In the course of time change the world

A Savior who is Christ the Lord!

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Photo of the Manger: Dwight L. Roth

Manger set from Ten Thousand Villages