Red Moon Rising

Coke Ovens on the Mononghela (2)

     Tears flowed like a downpour on a hot summer day. All around, Jennifer could see the wives of the miners in Swift Creek Mine. Earlier that morning, an explosion trapped eight men in the far end of the shaft. Three of Jennifer’s friends were among the women anxiously awaiting their fate.

     The siren on top of the tipple sent shrill chills through the little coal patch. At times like this, the whole neighborhood rushed to the mine for word of who the trapped miners might be. Those whose husbands were safe, stayed to give comfort and support.

A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills of the Monongahela. Jennifer could only wonder when it would be her time to weep; having a husband and son who worked there.

     Everyone went silent… as the men were carried out… one by one!

Painting of Coke Ovens and Mine: Dwight L. Roth

Prosery today at d’Verse: Lillian gave us the challenge to write a flash fiction of exactly 144 words that includes a given line from Carl Sandburg’s poem, Jazzy Fantasia . The line I included was A red moon rides on the humps of the low river hills…  This story comes from memories of my childhood in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  Many lives were lost in the coal mining industry that supported our steel mills in Pittsburgh at the time.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Finding Common Ground

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The death of Congressman John Lewis, bring a reflection of the intense turmoil  he lived through during the Civil Rights era. The struggle for respect and equality still goes on sixty years later.  As I look at the division that still remains, I realize it will not be resolved  without God’s love changing our hearts allowing us to live together in peace.

Some views are shotguns blasting away

Others sling shots pelting against the gate.

Let’s have a conversation they say…

Come together // find common ground

Solve our differences together.

*

How does that happen with shotgun politics

and sling shot twitter, that couldn’t hit a brick wall.

When our view is the only right view,

Each conversation become one of persuasion or condemnation…

A ticket to ride our train non stop to our destination.

*

Legislated change without heart change, brings little hope.

History keeps repeating with every rotation.

Change comes with give and take // listening and hearing

Appreciating uniqueness // instead of condemning it.

*

Only a revolution of the heart will bring peace from division.

Perhaps, “love your neighbor as yourself”

are words that could make our world a better place…

Opening the door to finding common ground…

Bringing the “Hope and Change” we really need.

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Here is a favorite song from the Folk era by the Youngbloods called Let’s Get Together

Perhaps what is missing in this generation is the truth in Folk Music… Music that brought people together!

Superhero Comic Book

My granddaughter Molly has written a comic book about the experiences living with her new brother, who was adopted from Korea.  She lives out her fantasies and struggles on the pages of her book, hoping that sharing her struggles will help other children who have adopted siblings.  She is creating this for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. Today, her little brother turns ten years old.
As you can, see I am very proud of both of my grandchildren, and hope you will take time to view it on Amazon.com.  Click above to view. If you have Kindle, you can read it for free!

Superheroes

Come in all sizes

We love them both

Check out her web site:  https://www.weadoptedasuperhero.com/?fbclid=IwAR0IE3LC-Ljt3qfBwNHOfzuaiHxCY-P8VKjdvq_Pp4xdCpf1QPg8p9U9d-s

Woodland Symphony

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Music pours out from shadow and tree
Calling us all to enjoy a reprieve
A melodious symphony straight from the heart
Each tiny instrument playing its part
Miniature voices in perfect pitch
Unwritten scores of notes that are rich
Filled with a beauty beyond man or pen
A symphony of music that will never end

*

Mocking birds solo sopranos and basses
Finding their notes in so many spaces
Piccolo warblers and wren solos start
Antiphonal melodies straight from the heart
*
The bassoon bull frog comes in now and then
Cicadas’ strings play background blends
Crickets and blue jays fill the air
The snare of the trees adds depth to the pair
Woodpeckers drumming on old hollow trees
A staccato rhythm that floats on the breeze
*
Suddenly right out of the blue
The feline conductor brings all in on cue
With a growing crescendo from blue jay and friend
Celloed instruments calling, “This is the end!”
The squirrel plays percussion with his raspy scolding
As the woods fills with music the finale’s unfolding
*
A thunderous applause from the balcony on high
Brings all to their feet flashes crossing the sky
The concert is over the conductor’s gone home
Performers take bows the music is gone

*

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

This is a painting and poem are from a few years ago.  I wrote this as I sat under the trees listening to all that was going on above me. I love the idea of the birds and animals creating an orchestral piece brought on by the neighbors cat!

Almost Heaven

Dusty Sunset - Gary Smucker

An interesting phenomenon occurred this week, when a huge cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa was carried across the Atlantic. Some of the dust entered our atmosphere here in the US and is creating wonderful sunsets as the light reflects off the dust particles. This gorgeous photo was taken yesterday, and posted on Facebook by a friend who lives in Lost River West Virginia. It immediately reminded me of John Denver’s song Almost Heaven West Virginia. He graciously allowed me to use it in my post today.
West Virginia shines in all its glory.
Dusty copper sky glows brilliantly
in evening light above shadowed mountains…
outlining ridges with purple hues;
Dripping a spot of gold on the lake below.
                                                          *
Almost Heaven, West Virginia…” John Denver sang,
dreaming of a place where God paints the sky.
Brushing with broad strokes across a Sahara canvas…
he once again creates beauty and grace from the dust of the earth;
Leaving us all standing in awe and adoration.

Photo: Gary Smucker (c)  – Used by Permission

Listen to his song here:

Choices

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It pains my heart to see the way one policeman’s deadly action has reopened the door to division and strife that has been stewing for years in the United States. Peaceful protests are very much in order, but the violence of opportunistic looters and destructive vandalism in no way honors the memory of George Floyd. How can one call for respect when their actions show otherwise. The lack of wisdom and understanding in this situation is very disheartening!

Choices affect everyone;
changing the course of a nation
Choices are the difference between life and death;
altering the lives of everyone around us.
Wise choices lead to life…
“Above all, seek wisdom and understanding…” Proverbs

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

On and Off

piet mondrain painting Boogie Woogie Broadway

Painting by: Piet Mondrian, ‘Broadway Boogie Woogie’, 1942-43, moma.org

Kim at d’Verse, introduced us to the painting above, and asked that we use it as inspiration for our *Haibun Monday. As I looked at the implication of streets and intersections, I thought that would be too obvious to write about. My wife thought it looked like a circuit board, which really connected with me.
Circuit boards have gone from large boards of soldered tubes, transistors, capacitors, and switches to boards so small you can’t even see the pathways. My hearing aids have four channels and three volume settings, and are hidden neatly behind each ear. Pushing one button controls both at the same time. Now we have wrist watches that can check body functions and even do electrocardiograms. Who knows what they will come up with next.
Hidden solder paths
Connect on and off switches
Summer tree roots ‘twined
******

*Haibuns are a form of Japanese Poetry with two or three short crisp paragraphs of prose followed by a traditional Haiku, that references a season.

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When Death Comes Knocking

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It does make us rethink life when death is knocking
making us withdraw into our cocoons
Time to rethink our way of life // our values // our purpose
while we quarantine in our homes
Forced reflection demanded when death offers its portal
Looking out on quiet streets
Neighbors now masked strangers
Some live in fear // most take precautions
Others choose denial // finding reality hard to face
We now live in a time warp somewhere out in space
Getting prepared to make entrance
into a strange new world
Uncertain what walking through this portal may reveal
We step out cautiously and do as we’re told
Life is precious // some will die // most will live
We just hope and pray death’s portal
is not our chamber door

Staircase Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Anmol asked to consider the word portal for our prompt today! As we move into a new way of living with the dangers that are all around us, I chose to write about how it affects us mentally as well as physically.

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Unfinished

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This painting caused me great frustration in getting the turtle to look right in the sand. As a result it remained unfinished. Finally, I simply redid the painting, keeping the moon and changing the scene from the beach to the mountains. I like the way it turned out.  A friend that I work with decided he wanted it, so now it has a good home.
Some things in life don’t
turn out the way you had planned
Time to change the scene
Rethink what is important
Recreate something you love

 

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Paintings: Dwight l. Roth

*The turtle lies at the point where the stream turns!