Masterpiece for God

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The Cologne Cathedral is a majestic structure. We visited Cologne this past summer and were in awe of the fine detail in every aspect of its architecture. Looking up, it appears to stretch upward like a giant skyscraper. The most amazing thing is the cathedral was built without the help of modern technology or tools. Skilled craftsman sculpted every stone by hand. Many who visit find this magnificent cathedral to be a very spiritual experience which brings them closer to God. Others simply enjoy the history and appreciate the wonderful architecture.

Craftsman carved

their faith into every stone

Masterpiece for God

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Amaya at d’Verse asked us to use the word Majestic in a poem of our choice.

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Tears Remembered

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Today, in the US, we are celebrating Columbus Day. To me, a conflict arises, as I think of the Indigenous People who were affected by this event. The arrival of white Europeans meant the beginning of the end of the lives of the Native American people. In North Carolina, the Cherokee people were force off their land and driven to the Oklahoma desert land to live. It became known as the Trail of Tears. Many died on the long march west. Some hid in the North Carolina mountains and a refused to leave. There is still a Cherokee presence in the Great Smokie Mountains.
When we visited Banner Elk a couple of years ago, we saw symbols of Indian heritage in the stone walls erected in the center of town. This was very interesting to me, since I read that there are numerous gated communities in the Banner Elk area. I would guess that very few, if any, of those residents are Cherokee.

Banner Elk stone walls
Remind us of tears shed
Fall brings bright colors

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone, at d’Verse asked us to write a poem for Haibun Monday using the word indigenous. I decided to take the viewpoint of the displaced Cherokee people who once lived in the NC mountains.

In 1977 participants at the United Nations International Conference on Discrimination against Indigenous Populations in the Americas proposed that Indigenous Peoples’ Day replace Columbus Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes that Native people are the first inhabitants of the Americas, including the lands that later became the United States of America. And it urges Americans to rethink history.  While Columbus day remains the Federal Holiday, many communities in the US celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year.

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Thoughts on Being Real

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Kris Kristopherson made the statement after his failed movie “Heavens Gates”:
“What is even more difficult than failure is when you
are perceived as a success and you are failing.” R. St. Mag.

In Margery Williams book the Velveteen Rabbit, she captures what being real means in her children’s story.
“ What is Real?” Asked the rabbit one day. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made”, said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to
you…. It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. Generally
by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop
out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter
at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to the people who don’t
understand.”

Being real means you

bring authenticity to

the life you’re living

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

My 50th Class Reunion

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Today, I attended my 50th class reunion.
A slideshow with funeral sounding music
Reminded us of how we used to look…
With young faces, smiles, and hair all in place.
As I looked across the crowd, I barely recognized a handful.
Like me, they all have changed // age stealing youth.
Some, no longer with us, were cut down in their prime.
Why do people go to reunions?
Is it out of curiosity to see what damage was done?
Is it to compare levels of aging?
Perhaps it is to see old friends
old boyfriends
old girlfriends
What brings us together after fifty years?
Nostalgia and pride // holding on to a past long gone…
Or maybe it is share our achievements
Our failures
Our divorces
Our losses
Our pain
By this time, there is little to show off any longer.
Nature has leveled the playing field
for jocks and nerds, the homely and the beautiful.
Just like falling leaves reflect the beauty
of spring past
and summer gone
So, we too reflect the beauty of vibrant youth
Quickly fading into a sunset of obsolescence;
One last burst of effort before the frost sets in…
Only the full Hunter’s Moon knows why we came;
And what we will take with us as we go…
And he is not telling!
He knows where we will be when the next fifty rolls around.
We will, by then, have taken our place in the cycle of time;
Just sand in the hour-glass for the next generation’s countdown.
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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Making a Difference

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Her gray hair that once flowed around her shoulders
Now pulled back tightly held with a stretch band;
There she sat in her wheelchair // her gaunt body fading
Wrapped in her shawl // holding her little doll on her lap.
As I read stories to the group of elderly residents
She sat with her head down // eyes closed as though asleep;
Yet somehow, I knew she is still listening to me.
I finished, and got out my twelve-string ovation guitar;
They enjoyed singing my old classics from the sixties…
A time when we all were young, and words sung told stories.
As I began to sing, “You are my sunshine…” her head began to move
Others joined in letting the song take them to another place and time.
Thought her body remained motionless, her feet now began to move;
Her soft pink slippers began a rhythmic pattern as she relived the days
When she danced, carefree to the music, with the one she loved.
Clutching her dolly, her eyes went from open to closed and open again
She rode the rhythms of each song in her mind, as feet danced
Pushing her wheelchair back to her unit she quietly said to me,
“I really enjoy that.”
It was then I knew I was making a difference!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Anmol, at d’Verse, asked us to write a poem that uses description of a person that paints a picture of that person for the reader. I decided to write about one of the elderly persons who comes to hear my stories and songs at the local nursing home.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Back in the Radio Era

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It is hard to imagine a time when we did not have all of the electronic gadgets we have today. When I was young we did not have a TV, so the radio was our only source of broadcast information. We used our imagination to connect the dots when we listened to Lowell Thomas and the news. His broadcasts from all over the world were fascinating to hear. The Lone Ranger and “Hi-O-Silver” came through the speakers and tickled my imagination. Music and religious programming also came across the airwaves.

Today we have information overload. So much so, that many things are only view for a few seconds at most. Music comes through earbuds and blocks out any chance of social interaction.  As I watched the Ken Burns special, The History of Country Music, on PBS, it once again took me back to the Radio era, when music came live across the airwaves and was played on vinyl records. I must be really old!!

Radio Music

Coming through ten inch speakers

Forty-thousand Watts

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

If you enjoy history, check out this blogger’s trip down old Rt. 66!

An Ode to the Mother Road

 

 

Monsters Under the Bed

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When I go to bed at night
And my parents get ready to turn out the light
I shudder and shake like an earthquake
As fears arise and create all these fakes
Wild and awful creatures in flight
Come floating in the dark of night
Out from under my bed they snake
Rearing ugly heads to make mine ache
But, I learned the best way to make fears flee
“I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.”
When they see how sweet to the taste, I am
Their fright disappears and I fall asleep once again

Amaya at d’Verse, came up with the idea of turning Franz Kafka quotes into children’s’ stories. She gave us a few to choose from and I chose, “I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.” The ideas is to overcome fears by embracing them as part of the fun, thus taking away their power over our mind.

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Clip art from: blogspot.com

 

 

 

Cry For Our Farmland

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Development encroaches into the countryside
New houses creep onto our farms and fields
Blacktop streets checkerboard rolling hills
Infrastructure circulates underground
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Cry for our farmland // fast disappearing
More mouths to feed // less land to grow crops
Farmland going into extinction
Who’ll grow our food?

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Linda at d’Verse asked us to write a Quadrille of 44 words using the prompt extinction. Some believe Climate Change is going to bring us to the edge of extinction, but I believe it is the population explosion that will be our demise. When all the farm land is gone where will our food come from to feed billions of people?

The land in the photos is across from the development where I live. It has just been rezoned for more than 400 new houses. The field grew up in weeds this summer. This week they began getting ready to put in the infrastructure.

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58 Thunderbird

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58 Thunderbird rusting in the yard
Grass tall around wide white wall wheels
Front dentures missing
Blind in both dark sunken eyes
Skin fading in the scorching sunlight
One time a masterpiece of its creator
Now wasting away neglected and still
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300 hp 352 cc engine glass-pack mufflers
Four barrel carburetor drinking gas like a fish
Lovers in bucket seats riding into the sunset
Duel exhausts Chrome Grille Duel headlights
Pulling up to the light looking next door
Challenging them with engine roar and squealing tires
Black marks on pavement ten feet long
Leaving challengers in the dust
This phoenix could rise from the rust
A master’s hands could bring it back
But for now it sits alone and neglected
Destiny yet undetermined

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today is open link night at d’Verse Poets Pub.  This old Thunderbird has fascinated me for several years. When I drive by, I see it sitting in its owner’s yard rusting away. Today I stopped and took some photos. I wish someone would take it and restore it to its former glory.

join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Memories (Flash Fiction)

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Sitting in the driveway, under the old Maples, a long-forgotten song played on the car radio. It took him right back to that moment in time when he was sixteen. “Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue, with a love so rare and true…” floated from the speakers. Peggy Sue was one of those memories he had pushed back into the closet of his mind.
Under the maples, in the dark of the evening, he hesitantly gave her a kiss. It was the first for both of them. It all happened so quickly; and then she was off, back around the house.
Hormones raged, as they sat holding hands on the swing, under the naked bulb of the front porch light. Pandora’s box had been opened, never to be closed again.
Though time and circumstances changed their course. “These memories were left here with the trees.”

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Tonight at d’Verse we are writing Flash Fiction, which must include a line of a poem in our story. Stories are limited to only 144 words.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com