The Cry of Haiti

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With all the disasters that keep happening around the world, the human spirit in its resilience keeps rising again and again. This is a tribute to that human spirit! 

The Cry of Haiti

1)Though the earth may shake us

and walls come tumbling down

We’re brothers and sisters in our pain

We’re brothers and sisters in our pain

*

Together we will rise to face another day

To become more than we are now

To become more than we are now

~

2)Though death surrounds us

and tears flow from our eyes

We’re brothers and sisters in our pain

We’re brothers and sisters in our pain

*

Together we will rise to face another day

To become more than we are now

To become more than we are now

~

3) Though our stomachs are empty

and sky over our heads

We’re brothers and sisters in our pain

We’re brothers and sisters in our pain

*

Together we will rise to face another day

To become more than we are now

To become more than we are now

~

4)With children dying

broken in the streets

Our hearts cry out in agony

Our hearts cry out in agony

*

We’re brothers and sisters in our pain

We’re brothers and sisters in our pain

*

Together we will rise to face another day

To become more than we are now

To become more than we are now

~

5Where are you God

in all this tragedy

How will you heal my broken soul

How will you heal my broken soul

*

We’re brothers and sisters in our pain

We’re brothers and sisters in our pain

*

Together we will rise to face another day

To become more than we are now

To become more than we are now

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Ingrid asked us to consider the oral poetry, the poetry of the spoken word passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. She asked us to write a poem with that feel by speaking the verses and then writing them down. The more I thought about it, the more I kept coming back to a song I wrote in this manner, after the first devastating earthquake that hit Port O Prince a few years ago. And then again, this year, another one hit in Haiti, causing death and destruction. And now, we just had Hurricane Ida come roaring from the gulf and bringing devastation to Louisiana this week. This is a tribute to the human spirit!

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

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Learning

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When I started teaching back in 1969, computers were unheard of, there was no air conditioning, and the front wall of my classroom was covered with black slate chalk boards. It has been a challenging journey navigating through the changes that never cease.

I always tried to incorporate hands on learning in my classroom. We did crafts, had a painting easel, and did lots of cut and paste art work. One year my class had a hot house, raised their own Marigolds and replanted them around the school ground. Then we collected the seeds and saved them for the following year. We watched the mutations from cross-pollination.

As children start back to school, I wonder what Covid-19 and teaching for the test has done to their creativity. I am glad to see them back in the classroom even with the mask precautions. There are things you just can’t learn by virtual learning. It is essential that we don’t forget the importance of hands on learning and playing together.

Days growing shorter

School buses rumble at dawn

Kids can’t wait to learn

 

Photo; Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Frank Tassone asked us to write a back to school haibun. I am thankful my teaching days are log past!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

For more stories from my teaching career check out Amazon Kindle:

 

 

 

Real or Reflection?

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Real or Reflection

Normal or reflection of normal

in our changing world

*

Reality

skewed makes many question

what is real and what is just a reflection;

*

Reflections of wishful thinking and deceit

bombard us with every click of the key

with every click of the channel

*

What was once foundational

now undermined

becoming the skeptics challenge

making one wonder

“What is Truth?”

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Hot!!!

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Temperatures here hit 95 F today. It has been in the nineties for the past two weeks. The garden is fried, flowers are wilting, and in the scorching sunshine it is really unbearable. Afternoon sunshine pushed my thermometer to the limit.  All we can do is hibernate inside, hoping for cooler weather when September rolls around.

Temperatures soaring

ninety-five feels one twenty

Summer’s last hot blast

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Royal Flush – (a soliloquy)

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Words draw me to places yet unexplored

Stretched across the page like a mountain full of trees

Some of value tall and strong others just scraggly bushes

What draws me to write incessantly // hours on end

Filling pages with cobwebs of past // present // and future

*

So many like me write on and on, words unheard // never read

Yet they write, like me;   seems they just can’t help themselves

What magic is in these words // the morphine of the soul

Stimulation like no other is my well written page

Compelling me to keep seeking that one last high

*

I am an Alzheimer’s poet // words flowing day after day

Yet with no memory tomorrow of what I wrote yesterday

There’s magic in words, shuffling the cards and dealing

A new hand every day… new words, new thoughts written

Perhaps one day soon I’ll be dealt my last hand…

*

My royal flush

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Victoria asked us to write a soliloquy. It is essentially a poem that has the poet in conversation with himself/herself. Musings and ponderings are heard only by the poet himself/herself. Perhaps it is what we old folks do as we age… talking to ourselves. Today, I am musing about why i continue to write everyday.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

The Climb – segments 13-14-15-16-17

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The rest of the story… 

A thousand thoughts ran through George’s mind all in a split second. Here he was with the trophy buck he waited so long to get, in his site, just a breath away. If he shot the deer, what would he do with it in all this snow? There was no way George could drag him another half mile to his truck, and if he did make it, the deer would be too heavy to lift up into the bed of the truck.

George thought about his life as well, an old buck himself with not that much time left. The old deer had eluded him and other hunters for years. It would be a shame to end old buck’s life here with no one nearby to help him drag it out. Until he could go for help and come back, the mountain lion, coyotes, or vultures would be devouring the carcass. He could not end this beautiful animal’s life that way.

At that moment the old buck turned his head and looked straight at George like he knew what was about to happen. They both stared at each other for a moment as George lifted the scope an inch and fired. The bullet shot right above the bucks right shoulder and lodged in a distant tree. Startled, the old buck turned and bounded back into the pines, flicking his white tail at George as he ran.

George felt his arm go numb, as he watched the old buck disappear into the trees. This was more than the tingle he had been feeling earlier that morning. Tightness drew across his chest like a heavy weight and his breathing became labored. He knew he was having a heart attack and there was nothing he could do but collapse to the ground. He fumbled for his glycerin pills in his coat pocket. He put two of them under his tongue and passed out!

*****

Patrick was up at 6:00 AM eating his breakfast when Jim came down the stairs. He wanted to come along and help search for George, but Patrick and Nora felt he was too young for something as dangerous as this. Reluctantly, he sat down and began to eat his breakfast. He was worried about old George out in the mountains all alone.

Old Blue was still in the house up the lane so, Patrick kissed Nora goodbye and made a quick run through the snow to check on him. Old blue was delighted to see him and gobbled his food down quickly. On the spur of the moment, Patrick decided to bring Old Blue along. Barking happily, he jumped up in the front seat of the truck, sitting with his paws propped on the edge of the frosted window. Driving down the lane in four-wheel-drive, Patrick turned his F-150 onto the snow covered main road and headed to the Sheriff’s office. He was glad Nora remembered to send some sandwiches and a large thermos of hot coffee along.

*******

At the Sheriff’s Office, several deputies arrived to join the search. Since Patrick knew where George hunted, Sheriff Taylor asked Patrick to lead the way to Windy Gap. The sheriff called the DOT the night before requesting that county snow plows clear the highway all the way up Rt. 17 to Windy Gap before plowing the other roads. They worked all night and by morning the road was fairly clear, but still very slick.

Arriving at the entrance leading back to the National Forest of Windy Gap, they saw the road was completely covered with snow. All the vehicle switched to four-wheel-drive and started the four mile journey to the base of Moonshine Ridge. They found George’s old Dodge truck buried in the snow, next to the creek, but he was nowhere to be found. By now it was 9:00 AM.

The mood was very somber, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Splitting up into groups of two, the men started up both sides of the hollow. If any one found George, they were to call on the two-way radio and let the others know. If they were out of range they were to fire three shots in succession, wait ten second and fire three more.

*****

Patrick and Sheriff Taylor started up the deep end of the hollow with Old Blue following close by. Old Blue was having a great time chasing squirrels and birds as they climbed. Twenty minutes into the climb, a single shot ring out echoing across the mountain. One shot and then nothing at all. No one would be hunting in this kind of weather, so they knew it had to be George. The men quickly headed up the hollow in the direction of the gun shot. As they drew closer Old Blue started barking and took off up the hollow leaving the men behind. He had picked up Georges scent and headed up to find him. They could hear him barking excitedly in the distance.

When the men arrived, Old Blue was there licking George’s face and barking happily. He was semi-conscious, but still alive. They knew they had to act quickly, so Sheriff Taylor and his deputy hiked back down to get a stretcher out of his vehicle. The Sheriff got on the radio calling for an Ambulance to meet them at the entrance Windy Gap. Grabbing the stretcher, they quickly made their way back up to George. They loaded him on the stretcher and four deputies carefully carried him down the mountain. Old Blue followed close behind barking all the way.

Patrick was relieved that they found him alive, but really worried about his physical condition. As they carried him back to the SUV, George was in and out of consciousness. He kept mumbling about shooting at a mountain lion, and then about shooting at the old buck. The men thought he was out of his head and just hallucinating.

*****

The Ambulance met them at the gate on Rt. 17. The EMTs loaded George into the Ambulance and headed to the hospital. At the hospital, Dr. Adams was amazed that George survived his ordeal. Hooking him up to a heart monitor and IV medications they soon had him stabilized and resting comfortably.

When George regained consciousness, he told Dr. Adams about taking the glycerin tablets just before passing out. Dr. Adams said that was probably what saved his life. He told George he had some heart damage, but with rest and avoiding mountain climbing, he should make a full recovery.

Patrick, Nora, and Jim all came by the hospital to visit George. Old Blue wanted to come along, but as you know dogs aren’t allowed into ICU. They all wanted to hear about his adventures on the mountain. George told them about getting caught in the snowstorm and taking shelter in the cave. Jim’s eyes got big when he told him about his wild night and the mountain lion. He was very excited to hear that George had taken a shot at the old buck, though George did not mention that he had raise his gun a little just before he shot.

George’s friends thought they were just stories of an old man telling tales, but Jim knew every word George said was true.

The End

If you would like a pdf. file of the whole story just email me at dwru27@aol.com and I will send you one.

Thanks to d’Verse Poets Pub, for the prosery flash fiction prompt that was the beginning of this story.  And also to my blogger friends who encouraged me to continue on with what turned into 17 segments. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it.

The Climb

 

 

Your Smile

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Captivated by a smile

My heart drawn like a magnet.

I must have been a needy soul

My mind consumed by those lips

Spread wide showing pearly whites…

Full of assumptions // often mistaken

My heart full of wishes

Waiting to be picked by you

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, De asked us to write a heart poem for our Monday Quadrille. (only 44 words)

I decided to write about teen age love (lack of love) life when I was so easily bowled over by a sweet smile!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

The Climb … segments 10-11-12

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George awoke stiff and cold from his unsettled night in the cave. Sunshine reflected off the shimmering snow outside, with the promise of warmth in its rays. George picked up his gun and made his way into the morning light. The sun on his face felt wonderful and took away some of the chill he felt. All around spread a world of white with only a whisper of a breeze in the trees above.

As he ate the last half of his granola bar, he was glad he kept the water bottle in his inside pocket. His body heat kept it from freezing solid. George knew his climb down to the valley below would help him warm up. Stomping his feet, numb with cold, he felt his joints talking to him telling him he was much too old for this kind of activity. His left arm was tingling again and he had a slight tightness in his chest, so George popped a glycerin pill and let it dissolve under his tongue. He always carried them with him for situations like this. His heart was not happy with all the strain, but the tightness and tingling soon subsided.

As George prepared himself for his climb down the mountain, he noticed some tracks in the snow outside the cave. On closer examination, he saw the imprints were cat tracks as big as his hand. The tracks left the cave entrance and trailed up the hollow. George looks further and noticed slight spots of red sprinkled very lightly in the snow next to the tracks.

He recalled what he thought was his bad nightmare from the night before. Did a mountain lion actually visit his cave last night? Did George actually take a shot at her grazing her just enough to bleed a trickle of blood in the snow?

George emptied the shells from his rifle. Only five shells in the gun instead of six! Still not believing what he saw, he climbed back into the cave. Sweeping the leaves aside, he found nothing. Then over in the back corner lay his expended shell. He could not believe what he was seeing. In the middle of the night, in his sleep, he had taken a shot at a mountain lion. Who would believe this tale? He knew Jim would love this story.

*****

Feeling extremely cold, George knew he needed a fire to warm himself before starting down the mountain. Dragging out a pile of dead leaves from the cave, he added some small dead limbs from the bottom of the white pines nearby. The leaves were dry from being in the cave and he soon had a blazing fire going. It was enough to take away some of the chill from his body.

By now the sun was shining through the tree tops and the pines covered with snow sparkled like a million diamonds. Overnight the snow accumulated to a foot and a half deep. It would take quite awhile to wade through it all and make it back to his truck.

When the fire had burned down to embers, George covered them with wet snow to put them out. He new it was time to start moving.

Deep snow made walking difficult for George, but he slowly made his way down the west side of the hollow so the morning sun could help warm him in the frigid morning air. After walking for an hour, he brushed the snow off a fallen log and sad down to rest. He really needed a drink so he scooped up some fresh snow and melted it in his mouth. The cold water trickling down his throat refreshed him.

As George was ready to trudge on, he heard a rustling in the pines across the way. In a moment two doe came into view followed by a third. George sat real still knowing they could not tell him from the trees, except by smell or movement. Suddenly they stopped and sniffed the air, ears perked up listening for any movement. Since the breeze was blowing up the hollow, it carried George’s scent away from them, so they continued moving slowly nibbling at the ends of young saplings sticking up above the snow.

What a beautiful sight to see thought George as he watched them moving further up the ridge. Another noise drew George’s attention back to the pines. George could not believe his eyes, as he watched the old buck come into view. He stood tall with a majestic rack that spread above his head like a king’s crown. Being cautious, he always seem to follow the doe who checked to see of there was any danger ahead. The old buck stopped and sniffed the air unaware that George was just across the hollow. It was as though he sensed something different in the morning air.

George’s heart was racing as he saw the buck come closer. This was the chance he had been waiting for and talking about for years. Now the opportunity was right in front of him, with a clear shot that few hunters could miss. George raised his rifle and looked through the scope. The cross-hairs focused right behind the old buck’s shoulder.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

A continuation of an earlier prosery prompt from d’Verse Poets Pub….  Scroll down my site to see earlier segments.

The Climb… segments 8 & 9

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Back home in Windy Gap, the sun was setting and George had not returned home. Since his wife had died three years earlier, he had live alone with his old hound dog, Blue. Like George, Old Blue had also seen his better years. He thought it best to leave old Blue at home for this trip.

Down at the end of the gravel lane, his neighbors the Clancy’s lived with their ten year old son Jim. Patrick and Nora were wonderful friends who looked out for George since his wife died. Nora took George hot meals from time to time and often invited him down to visit.

Patrick heard the roar of the old Dodge truck as George headed down the lane in the hours before sunup. George mentioned earlier that he was headed out hunting on Moonshine Ridge, hoping to come across the old buck that had eluded him the last several seasons.

George told Jim hunting stories and how he dreamed of getting one last trophy buck. Those who had seen the deer said it looked like he might have a rack with as many as fourteen points and weigh at least 200 pounds.

When Jim came in for supper that evening, he announced that George’s truck was not at the house and Old Blue was barking up a storm inside the house. With snow beginning to fall Patrick decided to go up and check on Old Blue and see if there was any sign that George might have returned home and left again.

*****

Patrick climbed up the steps to the porch and peered in the window. Nothing seemed disturbed as Old Blue jumped up at the window with a deep mournful wail. Jim found the key under the old crock on the porch and let himself in. Old Blue greeted him happily, jumping up on him trying to lick his face. Patrick left Old Blue run out in the yard to relive himself. He saw there was no water in Blue’s bucket and no food in his bowl. Very unusual for George not to tell anyone to feed Old Blue.

He went to the cupboard and took out the bag of dog food, pouring some into the food bowl. Blue eagerly gobbled it down crunching the hard bits between his teeth. Patrick added a little more and filled up his bucket from the old pitcher pump. Seeing the snow falling faster he had an uneasy feeling about what might have happened George in this extreme weather.

When George did not come home by 9:00 PM, Patrick knew something was wrong. He called the Sheriff’s office in River Bend, ten miles away. After telling the Sheriff what he knew about the situation, Sheriff Taylor said with the storm closing in, and with six inches already on the ground, there was no way they could send a search party into the mountain to look for George before morning. It would take four-wheeled-drive vehicles to make it back to Windy Gap. He told Patrick to meet him at the Sheriff’s office at 7:00 AM. They hoped George found shelter from the storm; otherwise, his chances of survival were very slim.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Earlier segments:  https://rothpoetry.wordpress.com/2021/08/18/the-climb-three-more-segments/

The Climb… segments 5-6-7