Anniversaries

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To everything there is a time and a season… the cycle of life.  Every year we celebrate the coming of each season on its anniversary. Spring, summer, fall and winter, all come and go with precise clockwork. Each anniversary, flowers bloom as days increase and decrease in length. In the case of my hibiscus, the anniversary blooms only last a day and then are gone and replaced. Frank Tassone reminded us that it has been one year since he started issuing his Haikai Challenges each Saturday. Anniversaries seem to come and go so quickly just like my hibiscus. The one at the top was three days ago. The one at the end of this post was taken today.

Beauty is fleeting

Seems to last only for a day

Tomorrow it’s gone

 

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iPhone Photos: Dwight L. Roth

I revised a portion of my earlier hibiscus post for Frank’s Anniversary Challenge. The second flower is fresh today!

Join us at:    https://frankjtassone.com/2018/09/30/haikai-challenge-53-9-30-18-anniversary-favorite-kigo-of-the-year-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

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Sawing Logs

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I enjoy trying different things like painting old rusty saws. Painting gives them a new and useful life. Painting a saw is sort of like writing a Haiku. You have to condense a lot into a very small space. Most saws I have seen were painted horizontally. I tried painting this one vertically. It really condensed the space available.

Summer’s gone // school starts

Beach memories fading fast

Fire warms // I saw logs

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Saw Painting: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Perspectives

Earth Rise

In light of the events of this past week. it seems everyone has their own perspective on the charges made against Supreme Court Nominee Brent Kavanaugh. Some minds were made up before the hearings took place. It is very easy to become divisive when we choose to look at things from only one perspective. This painting I finished this  week helps illustrate what I am trying to say.

How we view something

Depends on where we’re standing

Step back //  look again

 

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Coming to America

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Goodbye Little Sister  (The Long Sad Voyage of 1882)

 

The ships tall masts reaching high to the sky

Awesome for a boy of six // wondering why

His family packed up and left their home

Heading for a new world they travel alone

Brothers left behind grown and married

Younger brothers and sisters stay with the family

Watching the Alps fade as the shadows wane

To the port of Le Havre floating down the Seine

Ready to board this giant bucket of timber

Excitement rising trying to remember

All of his friends left behind in Basel

New adventures unseen in this perilous travel

Noise and activity surrounds them all

White sails slide up and begin to unfurl

Down to steerage on the ships second level

The family of Roths find a place to settle

Into the briny dark seas they sail

To New York Harbor where liberty hails

As the week drags on the voyage is rough

Young Christian and sister find sleeping is tough

The food is bad // unlike cooking back home

The water in barrels kept from the rats’ roam

But somehow this packed and unsanitary condition

Made some folks sick with dysentery emissions

Little sister was one whose resistance was lacking

As the days dragged on her fever not slacking

Worried mother and father prayed for God’s backing

Little sister got worse // there was nothing to do

As her fever raged on everyone knew

Late one night while everyone slept

Little sister passed on our little angel had left

O how we cried  // and mourned this great loss

Little sister had died before we’re across

The captain came by early that dawn

Saying sadly “She’s gone and we must send her on,”

The day was spent in tears and sad wails

As the orange sun was setting we bid our farewells

Wrapped in a blanket lowered into the swell

Into the briny blue she fell

With prayers and weeping // sadness abounds

Young Christian stood watching as folks gathered round

Little sister was gone // for her t’was too late

Wondering if he might be next for this unhappy fate

On reaching New York the emigrants unloaded

Ellis Island was crowded // each family recorded

Christian and family moved on to Ohio

With promise of hope always held high

Words still to come reflect how it should be

Give me your tired // your poor // yearning to be free

Give me your sad // your distraught // still counting the cost

Seeking religious freedom in a land unknown

Where Freedom and Liberty stand alone!

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Le Havre port  –  Bing Photo

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Bjorn at d’Verse asked us to write a poem using a story narrative. I wrote this poem last years about my Grandfather’s experience of coming to America at the age of six. I decided to repost this fictional narrative. The only fact I had was that when they sailed from France to come to America his little sister died on the journey. I had to fill in the details from my imagination. I took all the details I had and wrote a fictional biograpy of my grandfather Christian Roth.

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Most of us who live in America are descendants of immigrants by choice or by force. We have no idea the sacrifices that were made to come and live in freedom. In the year 1882, my Grandfather came as a young boy of six, only to see his sister die on the way across the Atlantic. (In those days when a child died the name was not always recorded in the family tree.  This seems to be the case in this case!) His parents left Switzerland for freedom of religion. Many immigrants have come in the years following for many reasons. It is sad that emigration today has been equated with fear and criminality.

Join us at d’Verse: https://dversepoetry.com

 

Passing Beauty

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Hibiscus Flower Fresh this morning

Presenting itself in all its glorious beauty

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Yesterday’s flower fading fast

Passing on genetics in a blood red vase

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Beauty is fleeting

Seems to last only for a day

Tomorrow it will be gone // but the seeds remain

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Curling and wrinkling in the summer sun

As the next raving beauty come open for view

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Reality of life // we watch it all play out

Right in front of our eyes // just like you and me

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How do we get all this beauty out of dirt?!

Unedited iPhone photos taken today: Dwight L. Roth

Now that fall is coming on, my little hibiscus began to bloom again, more gorgeous than ever! One flower yesterday and a new one today. I had to share them with you all! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

 

Charlotte

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The Fair is over // fans have gone home
Charlotte contemplates her grand finale.’
Seven legs instead of eight
Fortunate to have made the escape
Little hairs on her legs she forgot to shave
Those Tan and black three jointed legs
She weathered the storm as Florence blew through
Now she’s sitting // sunning on my spout
looking at you
Silver, yellow, and black coloration
Creamy yellow spots decorate her abdomen
Like war paint on chiefs of a long ago kingdom
Volcanic lead thorax provides protection
Place where legs find their connection
Two hairy proboscises // great food trap
Everyday at lunch as she enjoys her wrap
She appears to have three eyes and maybe more
Though she may be legally blind // but I’m not sure
She looks lost and alone // no web to show
Her writing days are over // it’s time to go
One sac to fill with eggs by the hundreds
The promise of life // another year has ended

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today on d’Verse Sarah lead us in a mindfulness exercise. She asked us to pick a small object and study it for a few minutes noting the details and taking notes . Then we are to follow up by writing a poem using that information.  I found this spider on my water spout the other day so I thought I would study it for my poem.

Join us at d’Verse:  https://dversepoets.com

Safe Harbor

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The thought of harboring our children in safe places came to mind, when Lillian at d’verse asked us to write a Quadrille of 44 words using the word harbor. It brought to mind two of my favorite songs: Teach Your Children Well  and Cat’s in the Cradle. With all the violence and mayhem going on around us, children no longer can feel safe, even while at school. Home should be that safe haven where our children need not fear and were loving relationships are the primary goal.

Harbor children well

In safe places // from the gale

Shower them with love’s rain

Watch them grow // unfurl their sail

Ships built strong // with loving care

Ready to face swells

Life’s hurricanes // and wind’s wails

Anchored by our care…

Harbor children’s souls with Love

 

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iPhone Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at d’verse:  https://dversepoets.com

Remembering our Heritage

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During WWII, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan, fear ran rampant in the country. It was during this time that anyone of Japanese descent was rounded up and put into camps in different parts of the country. When the war ended they are again allowed to return to the general population. My friend Jean’s parents were put in one of these camps. After she was born she was told about the experiences during that time. Jean, who now lives in Canada, is very proud of her heritage. She loves to sew quilts, lap quilts and quilted wall hangings. This is a beautiful wall hanging she made out of respect for her parents and her Japanese heritage.

Heritage displayed

Stories of the past remembered well

Shared with words and thread

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

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This is Jean and her husband Dave 

 

Pumpkin Pickin’ Time

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Pumpkins lined in rows

Fall harvest yields a great bounty

Corn maze draws big crowds

Kids love pumpkin pickin’ patch

Picking their own Great Pumpkin

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Photos of the Oregon Dairy in Lancaster County, PA: Dwight L. Roth

Written for Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge today which is to write a Haikai Poem related to the harvest, now that Fall has officially arrived today.

Join us at:   https://frankjtassone.com/2018/09/22/haikai-challenge-52-9-22-18-harvest-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Crossing the Gorge

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In Fayetteville, West Virginia there is a bridge

 that spans the New River Gorge.

Over three thousand feet long

876 feet above the New River below

It provides a breathtaking view from any vantage point…

Drawing visitors from far and wide

to take the plunge into the rapids

of the New River Gorge!

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Triangles of steel woven and welded into an arch

          of over a thousand foot span

Strong enough to carry cars, trucks, and buses

on  the highway above

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Daring souls pay their fare

and ride the old school bus

 down to the river

anticipating  their ride through the rapids

 feeling the adrenaline rush

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Those who are fit can walk the steps

 all the way to the bottom

for a breathtaking shot

of the arch spanning high above

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Riding on that New River Train (of rafts)

shooting rapids

has to be a thrill of a lifetime!

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

I stopped on my way through West Virginia two weeks ago to shoot these photos at the visitors center at the New River Gorge. You can also walk all the way across the bridge under the highway if you like. I did not take that trek.