Dreamer – chapter 3



When Henry hesitated, the old man reached for a box of stick matches and struck one on the side of the box. It burst into flame and Purrlin used it to light a single candle sitting on a wooden stand by his chair. The candle burned with an eerie green glow of molten smoke rings rising around the red flame.

“Come, come, my boy, tell me what is on your mind.’


As Henry stared at the candle’s aura, it gave him a light headed hypnotic feeling.


“I want to be a railroad engineer,” he said. “I want to drive an engine that belches fire and smoke as it goes down the track!”


“I see,” said the old man, “You are not alone. Many young boys have that dream! Follow my instructions and your dream will come true. Stare deeply into the candle’s flickering flame!”

*****

This is a continuation of a flash fiction story I started as our prosery (144 words exactly) prompt at d’Verse Poets Pub.

Check it out at: https://dversepoets.com

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Mystery Bridge

Do you recognize this bridge? A few years ago while I was working at the Habitat Restore, we got an old wooden desk donated. While cleaning it up for resale, I found the small 3 x 3 black and white photo above in one of the drawers. It appeared to be an old post WWII era photo of a bridge, and on the back it said Savan River Bridge. I was intrigued by the picture and did some research, but came up with nothing with that name.

I though it looked like a bridge that could have been in Paris so I started looking at bridge images on line and found that it is the Ponte Alexander iii bridge. It was named in honor of a Russian Czar. You can read about it at this web site: Pont Alexandre III – Wikipedia

I decided to paint the bridge and this is how it came out: It is 3′ x 4′

Mystery bridge found

in Paris crossing the Seine

Someone’s lost treasure

Nature’s Little Gift

While resetting my stepping stones, I stopped to take a rest on my chair along the creek. Across the way the sparrows were coming back and forth to the birdhouse with pieces of material to build a nest in the box. I noticed a feather lying in the leaves on the ground on the other side. About that time, I saw the male sparrow fly down and pick it up in its beak. He flew to the birdhouse and proceeded to drag it into the nest. He got two-thirds in the hole, but could not get the rest into the nest. Next thing I knew he pushed it back out and left it float back to the ground.

I went over and picked up the feather and found that it was a hawk feather. The hawks come and visit the gas-line clearing from time to time. It is a beautiful specimen as you can see. I thought it was interesting to see the fuzzy down at the base of the shaft. That is most likely the way they stay warm and insulated in cold weather. I decided to save it for my collection of odds and ends!

Hawk feather too big

for brown sparrow’s bird house nest

Nature’s gift to me

iPhone Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Light Outshines the Darkness

In the Christian faith we celebrate Good Friday, remembering the suffering and death of Christ on the Cross at Calvary. But it is not the dark night of the soul that draws us to God’s Love and Grace. It is the joy of Easter and the Light of the Resurrection that gives us hope. The Light at the end of the dark tunnel is Jesus!

Friday night’s darkness

Seems like dark evil has won

But Sunday’s coming

*

Light overwhelms sad darkness

Drawing us all toward bright hope

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Whacked Out Bluebird (limericks)

There was a silly blue bird named Winnie-Jo

Who saw her reflection in the window

She mounted an attack

And into the window she went smack

But she still thought she was seeing Mary-Jo

Time after time she attacked

Each time her body went smack

As Charlie Joe watched

She never gave up

He thought, “Wow! This bird is whacked!”

What must be going through Winnie-Jo’s mind

As she chases those phantom feathers sublime

But then who can blame her

She never had a mirror

So she didn’t realize it was her all the time.

*

Photos. Dwight L. Roth

April Fools: These are not just silly limericks. Winnie-Jo is nesting in my bird box on the grape Arbor. She comes by every day and flies at her image reflected in my window. Now it is only a half-hearted gesture, but she seems not ready to give up. Her mate sits nearby and watches without trying it himself. Smart bird!

This is Open Link night at d’Verse Poets Pub. Lillian told us a hillarious true account of her experience in the great Boston snowstorm. Click on the following link to read it: https://dversepoets.com

Wind Blown

Laundry on the line

For all the world to see

Basking in sunlight

Fresh sheets blowing in the wind

A fresh smell like no other

*

Clothes from the washer

Suds squeezed out through the ringer

Woman’s work back then

Monday morning wash day

Life’s simple routine repeated

*

Wicker basket filled

Undies just hung on the line

Wooden clothes pins tight

No one then gave it a thought

Whether the neighbors saw them

*

Phosphate soap bubbles

Tide will always get them clean

Good fresh smells linger

Dry clothes pressed on ironing board

Folded put up by supper

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

At d’Verse this evening, De asked us to write a poem about laundry! I grew up in the days when clothes were washed in a ringer washer and washtubs, hung on the line outside with wooden clothes pins, and ironed on an ironing board in the kitchen! No need for fabric softener back then the clothes always smelled wonderful. I decided to do a series of tankas.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms lead the Spring parade. Along with flowering pear, and redbuds they provide a glorious silhouette against the deep blue sky. I took this photo in my neighborhood this morning. Cherry blossoms are a great symbol of new life and light as we lead into Easter this coming weekend.

Cherry blossoms shine

Painting warm soft spring snowflakes

Soon wrapped in deep green

At d’Verse, Frank asked us to write our Monday Haibun on the theme of cherry blossoms. I waited to post till today so I could show you the beautiful cherry blossoms I see as I pass in and out of my neighborhood.

Join us at: https://dverse poets.com

The Oyster Gatherers of Cancale by John Singer Sargent (restoration)

A few weeks ago a 22 x 28 print on canvas, of the Oyster Gatherers of Cancale, came in to the Habitat Restore where I volunteer. It was in very bad shape with stains and yellow with cigarette smoke. We could not clean it, so I decided to get it and attempt to do a restoration on it to bring it back to life. I painted over the colors with acrylic paints, trying to keep the feel of the original. This is what I completed today. The original is below.

Impressionistic

Smoke stains covered with fresh paint

Life on French seashore

“OYSTER GATHERERS OF CANCALE byJohn Singer Sargent”

“John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American expatriate artist, considered the “leading portrait painter of his generation” for his evocations of Edwardian-era luxury. He was born in Florence to American parents, and trained in Paris before moving to London, living most of his life in Europe. He enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter.

From the beginning, Sargent’s work is characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality.

In later life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, and devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air. Art historians generally ignored “society” artists such as Sargent until the late 20th century.”

Nature’s Outie

Dried stretchmarks wrap around sawed-off knots

Straining against pregnant life swelling within

Nature’s outie / where life separated from life

Puckered up smirking at everyone who comes by

Covering scars of knots buried / healing over time

Creating a beauty all its own

enjoyed by all

***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to write a Quadrille of exactly 44 words using some form or the word knot. I saw these knots on the side of a tree when we were at the park a couple of weeks ago. I thought they were interesting, so I took a couple of photos of them.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com then click on Mr. Linkey to read more.

Americans One and All

“Teach your children well…”

Most of us will remember when Hurricane Harvey came through Huston Texas a couple of years ago, the city was flooded, homes were destroyed and people were stranded needing help. This year a different but similar storm hit Dallas Fort Worth with ice and snow, freezing pipes, crippling the electrical grid, and contaminating the water. In both cases people came to assist and offer help. This kind of coming together to help is what America is really all about. I wrote this poem after the hurricane, but it could just as well apply today.

“Forty Days and Forty Nights”

“The rains came down and

The floods came up”

Water deluge seemed endless

Twenty-trillion gallons of water fell

No Ark available for people or animals

Only Texans reaching out with mini arks

Carrying friends neighbors and strangers

To safety on dry land

No discrimination hate or bigotry here

Only concern to help one’s neighbor

Not Republican or Democrat

Politics is left for the judgmental talking heads

Not African-American or White or Latino

Just Americans helping Americans

Concern for one another’s safety

Supersedes all other strongly held labels

Except for a few smallminded newscasters

Who lost their sense of focus

Making light of the First-lady’s heels

Leaving with her husband to support the victims

The true Americans one and all

Manifested themselves in Harvey’s wake

Working tirelessly to help others in need

We must remember and learn from this

When the waters recede and dry land reappears

We are more than politics race or creed

With one heart one spirit and concern for each other

We are Americans one and all

Photo: Dwight L. Roth