Fading Shades of Gray

Mother and Dad

Fading Shades of Gray  (a Hai bun)

Watching my father-in-law’s mind fade from shades of gray to black evoked a lot of emotion.  It became noticeable to my wife and me when we visited her parents in 2009. Driving us across Edmonton to the Science Center, he got mixed up and forgot how to get there. Apparently this happened before, because Mother had written the directions for him on index cards. Later she told us that one day he came out to the parking deck, after volunteering at the hospital and could not find his car. She kept tabs on him until 2012 when she developed a brain tumor.

Giving up his keys and driving privileges it was very hard on him, but the hardest thing for him to understand was when they were in separate care facilities. He would ask about her over and over, and could not quite comprehend what was happening. After she died, he kept expecting her to return. He is now 90 and seems to have adjusted to his confinement, even telling friends who visit that they should try to get a room there as well. He tells them that they take good care of him there.

Winter brain cells fade

Short term mem’ry turns to black

“Helen, Where are you?”

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Bjorn, at d’Verse~Poetry Pub asked us to write a Hai bun using the word gray. I chose to write on the graying effects of Alzheimer’s on the brain.

Visit us at: https://dversepoets.com/

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Fukuroo-Owl (a Hai bun)

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FUKUROO-OWL ( a Hai bun)
Stomping the snow off my boots, I unlocked the heavy oak cabin door and gently pushed. It gave a painful screech as it swung open on dry hinges. Split wood for the stove was stacked neatly against  the wall. Pine kindling from the wooden box soon got the wood in the stove burning. Warmth from the fire soon filled the room.
It was early evening as I looked out the back window onto the wide snow covered field. Bent cornstalks poked through the snow, like a regiment of old broken down soldiers returning home from the Civil War. A row of tall yellow pines lined the edge of the field.
As the full moon rose above the treetops, an eerie light flooded the open field. It was then I noticed what looked like a ball of white, perched on a high limb, just beyond the back porch. A second look revealed a Fukuroo Owl intently surveying the garden below. A slight movement told him there was a field mouse searching for leftover kernels of corn. Airborne in an instant, the owl swooped down from his perch for a pre-aborted landing. Talons clutched the ill-fated mouse, as powerful wings lifted them both back to the trees.
Cold contemplation
Night vision detects doomed mouse
A warm lunch is served

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Owl Photo:  wallpaperart.com

I missed the prompt for Fukuroo-Owl Hai bun challenge.  So I decided to write one anyway. Here is my attempt.  (A Hai bun is a poem with a short prose followed by a haiku relating to the story.) The Fukuroo-Owl is the Japanese Snowy Owl.

 

Why??????

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Why???????

No change is brought though prayers besought

Unanswered question of century…s past

What happened to the miracles we were taught

    when our call remains unanswered? 

When God sheds tears from heaven no joy is brought…

When we walk through the valley of the shadow

of death… we fear every evil

     of which there are many

     lurking in the shadows

     like fanged creatures waiting to strike

Parents without their children cry with the widows

Raging and venting their anger

      against God and man

     “Why?”

“Why was it my child who had to die today?”

Love and grace hide behind the storm clouds… 

Pouring buckets of salty tears over the whole land.

Forty days and forty nights will nare suffice…

No ark prepared for this kind of calamity

     will lift man or beast to the mountain top.

Grief runs deep as God remains in the shadows…

As always, waiting for the clouds of grief to separate

     letting the light and hope shine through once more.

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Cry for the Children

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Cry for the Children

My hear grieves //my spirit is torn

Echoing screams fill the halls

Mixing with insane shots fired

Everyone has opinionated afterthought

Newsless news keeps chewing and spewing…

Regurgitating video of the fear and carnage.

Easy solutions come from the left

Blind denial from the right

Mental health still not funded

FBI failed to follow up on a tip

Anger and rage treated with expulsion

Once again // parents must bury their children

“When will we (they) ever learn…When will we(they) ever learn?”

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Last line from Pete Seeger song, Where have all the Flowers gone?

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Lasting Memories

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Mem’ries // mortar joints

Sealing life events with love

Laying foundations

Strengthening relationships

Fam’lies last for a lifetime

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Frank asked us to write a poem of only five lines, any style, for our d’Verse poetry prompt. My poem uses the Tanka 5-7-5-7-7 pattern. Hopefully it is done correctly.

Come join us at: https://dversepoets.com/

It’s not a Cliché

Tulips

Say I Love You

Don’t let a day go by without love

A word a smile a touch

Given over and over again

Like you favorite song it never grows old

Don’t let a day go by without love

One never knows what is to come

Breath takes only seconds to leave

The soul takes rise the body and is gone

Say I love you with a smile

Don’t let a day go by without love

A helping hand a word of encouragement

Light and fire to revive and lift the soul

Bring joy and happiness to all

Show you care say it with love

Don’t let a day go by without love

No matter how you feel

What’s said in anger pierces the heart

Draining out love’s reserves

Words of love are saved in the heart

Remembered for ever treasured gifts

Don’t let a day go by without love

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Childhood Innocence

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          Childhood Innocence

Sweet undefiled childhood flowers

           Into naked innocence //emerging

From her teacup fairytale life

          Dreaming // of one day fitting the

Glass slipper… held by a handsome prince

          Unaware of the ominous flood

Just beyond the dawn’s horizon

          For now // pixey dust and Bieber

Fill, thrill, and bring goose bump chills

          Sweet // undefiled // ephemeral childhood

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Poem created from one of four of the art Image by artist Catrin Welz-Stein, featured at:  https://www.redbubble.com/de/people/catrinarno?ref=account-nav-dropdown&asc=

Used with permission given to d’Verse~Poetry Pub, to use it as our prompt for today. Lillian challenges us to write a response poem to one of Catrin Welz-Stien’s art images.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com/

 

 

Going for the Gold (a Quadrille)

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Quadrille Monday at d’Verse~Poetry Pub with De Jackson asking us to use the word murmur in our poem. I chose the Olympics and Chloe Kim winning the Gold Medal in Snowboarding as my subject.

Chloe Kim

Riding on top of the leaderboard

Competitors chasing for the Gold

Snowboarders wipe out one by one

Murmurs permeate the crowd

Will she hang on to the top spot?

Last competitor bites the snow

Victory run almost perfect

Chloe Kim //Wins Gold!!

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Photo: nbcolympics.com

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

You Won’t Let Me Go…

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Just like no father would ever let his child drown, even so God, our Father, will not let go of us . I wrote this as a song a few years ago, that flows in waltz time throughout the verses. I can see it sung antiphonally, along with expressive interpretative dance happening all at the same time.  The Psalms are full of expressions of God reaching out to us as we reach out to him. Jesus asks, if a child asks for bread would a father give him a stone? No! For people of faith, the God connection is and interaction of Love and Grace. This song expresses how I believe that happens. The repeated refrain expresses our faith and confidence in God’s love for us.

You’re the Lover That Won’t Let Me Go

You’re the lover of my soul

…the one that won’t let me go

     You call out to me     …I call out to you

You’re the lover that won’t let me go.

Lord, you are the one I adore

…the one that won’t let me go

You call out to me    …I call out to you

You’re the Lover that won’t let me go

*

Your beauty is everywhere

…I feel your love and care

Holy Spirit, speak into my soul

…and draw my heart to you.

      You’re the lover of my soul

…the one that won’t let me go

    You call out to me   …I call out to you

     You’re the lover that won’t let me go

*

Your truth is in your Word

…that I so often heard

Open my eyes that I may see

…the beauty of your grace

Lord, you are the one I adore

…the one that won’t let me go

      You call out to me   …I call out to you

        You’re the Lover that won’t let me go.

*

Your love makes me alive

… It makes me realize

Without you Jesus, I am lost

…but with you I’m satisfied

  You’re the lover of my soul

…the one that won’t let me go

     You call out to me     …I call out to you

    You’re the lover that won’t let me go

*

Lord, you are the one I adore

…the one that won’t let me go

       You call out to me     …I call out to you

        You’re the Lover that won’t let me go

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Baptism Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Backspacing

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Backspace is a wonderful key on the computer. It allows us to correct a typo and end up with a perfect document.  As I was typing my poems for this blog, I became aware of how many times I have to backspace. It just comes naturally, like typing with all my fingers. In life, backspacing is not such a good thing. For those of us who are easily distracted, and find remembering difficult, backspacing becomes part of our day.  Forgetting to follow through with a task, not seeing the obvious, or becoming distracted in the middle of a task, are just a few of the things that make backspacing necessary. ADD is not something new. It has been around since time began. Some may feel it is done intentionally, but in reality it is just the way our brain works.

Backspacing

Fated to live retracing steps taken

Backspacing becomes the norm

A brain one wire short of perfection

Requires backspacing to be the norm

In bygone days erasures quickly met metal

Pen and ink scratched out those shorts

Some keep asking //thinking I should learn

But for me, backspacing is the norm

Distractions, only a second past, causes forgetfulness

A mind with a missing memory chip

Seems repetition should solve the problem

But with me, backspacing is the norm

Reminders in multiples of ten are needed

Lamenting the need to repeat again and again

Brings no healing to a chipless brain

For me backspacing is the norm

Names go through my canals // beat the anvils

And pass right on through // unless

Piggy-backed on another file //stored there for awhile

It may seem like I don’t care // and sometimes I am not aware

Forgetfulness becomes my greatest flaw

When I am old // perhaps I’ll be excused

They’ll call it Alzheimer’s …and lock me away

Saying for him backspacing is the norm

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth