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…”

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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/

Waiting for Heaven (a Ghazal)

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Obsolete // life’s most difficult burden
Life lingers on as you wait for heaven

Your rising soul resists the dimming light
Strong and powerful //waiting for heaven

Time and physical tolls // body wears out
Still you struggle // not ready for heaven

Mind and body fail you // yet life goes on
Disappear // four walls // waiting for heaven

The end is near // it is perfectly clear
Breathing is difficult // nearing heaven

Spirit rises // all earthly struggles cease
Safe in the arms of God // you reach heaven

A few years ago we waited while my mother-in-law was coming to the end of her life. I wrote a poem at that time called Waiting to Die, which was a combination of what I felt about life and what was actually taking place.  Today, I have condensed those thoughts into a Ghazal for d’Verse Poets Pub.  The Ghazal is from an ancient Arabic poety that writes in couplets of the same length. They end in each couplet with the same or similar words. It us usually about love, life, or pain. This is my second attempt at a Ghazal.

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Cutting Art

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Recycled old saw

Dull teeth will never  be sharp

A paradigm shift

Steel blade now a work of art

Blending rust with the ocean

 

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I finished painting these scenes today on an old saw from Habitat Restore.  Both scenes are on one saw; one scene on each side. This is a fun way to repurpose old saws that would otherwise be discarded.

The Mirror Never Lies

IMG_6338.JPGAge has a way of drawing us closer to the mirror
Studying the trails of life etched on our face
Reflecting the future // that is yet to come;
Removing the cataracts of denial as changes took place
Demanding we see life for what it is in the clear and bright.
Age calls us to reflection on years gone by
On joys and sorrows that have come and passed us by;
Reflections on things we held near and dear
Of friends and family that brought us cheer
Age has a way of revealing the truth
Of life of death // of faith and the eternal;
Calling us to remember // as we study our face…
Though this may not be the image we’d hoped for;
Shattering the mirror does not alter or erase.
The mirror never lies

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Country Soul Music

Today at d’verse Amaya asked us to think about music that touches our soul and brings tears to our eyes! I have been a lover of country music since I was a teenager. Traditional Country Music has always been embedded in the lives of the listeners. Listening to it is often like watching a reality show. Vince Gill gained fame in the early 1990s, and his song Go Rest High on that Mountain touches my soul like no other. He finished it after the death of his brother a couple of years earlier.

The clip above is from the funeral of George Jones, where he sings his classic song with Patty Loveless.  George Jones, a veteran of Classic Country Music, was a close friend of Vince. As you listen, you can’t help but get caught up in the intense emotion flowing from this song. It is truly one of the great songs of our time.

Music searches the soul like nothing else;
Setting words on fire // lighting the spirit;
Inspiring our hearts // connecting us with God.
Tears flow as I listen to Go Rest High on the Montain;
Crying for my loss // Crying for their loss
Coming face to face with my mortality
Knowing at some time the center of focus will be me.
Empathy, pain, and grief all rolled into one;
Cathartic tears cleanse my soul // resets my spirit;
A time of reflection past … present … and future

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This is the official version of the song:

 

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The World in Black or White

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I want life to be black or white
Everything easy and I am right
But it really doesn’t work that way
Life is full of contradictions they say
Why can’t life be black or white
Perhaps I wouldn’t be so uptight
But grays are part of every life
I’ve known pain that cuts like a knife
The world wants things in black or white
Good or bad we have to fight
To protect our perfect way of life
Seems it causes bitter strife
To always think in black or white
Fills me with fear and causes me fright
Extremes affect the way we think
And leaves our nations on the brink
Why can’t we realizes we need the grays
Shadows bring accents in many ways
Creativity and paradigm shifts
Would not be possible without the mix
Must we think only in black or white
Judging our brothers when “they don’t do right”
Or can we simply love their flaws
The grays and shades are part of us all
Black or white makes everyone halt
Shutter and cringe at every fault
Blends are the creations we all need
To love our brothers, and not to bleed
But I guess as long as there are two
Black or white will judge them too
Love the differences don’t get up tight
Live in peace and let’s not fight
Recognize that if we want to survive
Black and white will not keep us alive
Thinking we are always right
Life will surely be a fright

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth