I Am Here!

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          One never hides his face when reaching the summit of a mountain. The long and arduous journey, up the treacherous rock face, challenges all that we have within us. Reaching the top, we see the grand vista below.
It calls for us to cry out, “I’m here!!” “I made it to the top!”
And, as we pause, we hear the echo of our voice, reverberating from the distant valley,
“I am here! …am here!” .. am here!”
“I made it to the top! …the top … the top”
          As I reflect on D. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, at the Lincoln Memorial, I see the same thing happening.
          Maya Angelou described it this way,

“The Rock cries out to us today,
You may stand upon me,
But do not hide your face.”

We still hear those echoes today! “I’m here……”
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At d‘Verse today, we are writing prose. Frank asked us to write a piece of only 144 words reflecting on and including the quote from Maya Angelou. Today is Martin Luther King Day in the US.
Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

My Plowin’ Days are Done

F-20
I saw this old F-20 Farmall tractor today, sitting in a field where it had probably been for the last forty years. There were two tractors and some old farm equipment there as well. It brought back the memory of a poem I wrote a few years ago. I decided to repost it here since it fits very well with this tractor.
My Plowin’ Days are Done
Parked in the weeds no roof for my hood
Plug wires hanging out in the grass there I stood
My plowin’ days are done
Paint’s faded badly and my chains are all rusty
Put aside and replaced with one that’s more trusty
My plowin’ days are done
Air in my tires and my engine still runs
It’s been a long time since I’ve had any fun
I think my plowin’ days are done
When I’m put out to pasture no money in the bank
Joints are rusty and my engine won’t crank
Then I will know my time has come
I believe my plowin’ days are done

F-20 2

The Farmall F-20 tractor was built by International Harvester from 1932 until 1939 at the Farmall Works, Rock Island, Illinois, USA.  They were replaced by the Farmall H and the Farmall M.

F-20 3

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Taking Down Memories

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Today I took the ornaments off of my Christmas tree, and packed them back in the box, to store until next year. I enjoyed looking again at each ornament, remembering that many of them came from my former elementary school students. Some I remembered; others had names on them. You may think an ornament is an insignificant gift, but mine have hung on my tree every year since 1970.

Gifts bring back mem’ries

Each one was a warm spot in my heart

Winter of my life

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Letters From Valley Forge

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During the cold winter encampment at Valley Forge, Washington rallied the troops. A big Christmas surprise was about to take place. While the  British partied in Trenton, Washington loaded his men in boats and crossed the icy Delaware River in the dead of night for a surprise attack. The victory that took place would continue to be remembered in American History. I can imagine the letters sent home told exciting stories as the New Year came rolling in.

Christmas Victory

Brought troops hope for the New Year

Winter snow still falls

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Stamp Art: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone asked us to write a Haikai poem related to New Years.  As I thought about those freezing cold soldiers camped at Valley Forge, I wondered what they must be thinking as Washington laid out his plan to attack the British in Trenton, NJ. This is my Haibun about that time.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2019/12/28/haikai-challenge-119-12-28-19-new-year-shinnen-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

 

 

Our 50th

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Yesterday was our fiftieth wedding anniversary. Our whole family came home to celebrate with us. It was a wonderful day together. I received this tile from my wife for our twenty-fifth anniversary. This year I wrapped it up and gave it back to her. A reminder of the fifty years we have spent together.  Like our relationship, it has been cracked, but not broken. Now it is cemented together and stronger than ever

Happy Anniversary, my love…
Fifty years have flown by;
Through the years one thing remains; our vow of commitment to stay together for better and for worse.
We enjoyed many great years together with our family and our church. Our faith brought us through the Valley of the Shadow of death and out the other side.
We love our wonderful children and grandchildren. We pray that each one will use the values and principals we have taught them to find their own way.
I love you as much today as I did when we said our vows fifty years ago. Our love has grown and changed over the years, but I believe the love that brought us together was God ordained and he has seen us through.
Happy Anniversary my dear…
I love you with all my heart. I look forward to our next 50 years together.
December 27, 1969 – 2019

Photo: Dwight Roth

 

A Birdhouse for my Grandson

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This year we got our nine year old grandson his first tool box with real tools for Christmas. To help get him started, I cut out a birdhouse out of some scrap cedar lumber that I had in my garage.  I predrilled the holes and put in the screws. When I was finished I took it all apart and put the pieces and the screws in a zip-lock bag for him to put together. It will be a good project for him to complete.

Bag full of pieces

Grandson’s first Christmas project

Winter house for birds

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

No Room

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No Room at the Inn
Travelers came knocking on the door of the inn
After traveling all day tired, hungry, and thirsty;
The donkey needed fed // they needed a bed
A full inn afforded them nowhere to lay their heads;
Pregnant Mary needed a place to deliver.
Water broke // waves were coming on strong;
No time to look elsewhere for a private room.
The inn was no place for a delivery room;
Travelers standing around gawking at the sight
Of a new born baby coming ready or not.
The kind Inn Keeper suggested, “Perhaps the stable…
A private place to deliver away from prying eyes?”
The animals provided warmth from their exhales.
He did what he could to make them comfortable;
Brought water and a blanket as Mary screamed in pain;
He was not the villain in this story as portrayed;
Rather a compassionate keeper avoiding gossip’s scandal.
Why do we think they should have been entitled?
Unknown travelers from afar // they had no reservations.
Thankful for a private spot, it all came about
A child was born in private, and would soon,
In the course of time, change the world;
A Savior who is Christ the Lord!

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

She Sings

 

Daniel T Stowe Gardens #7 2018 (2)She sings
Though she cannot speak.
Halting words
say
“Hel-l l lo”
But as the music plays,
Oh… can she sing;
Every word plain and clear
smooth as jazz
she sings
with
a smile
spreading
across her face the words pour out
filling
her soul
with a rhythm,
and yes,
with spoken words
clear and unchained;
For the stroke
did not
affect that side of the brain.

***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

The Joy of Friendship

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Today, I am grateful for friendship. Over the years I have had some of the best friends anyone could ever want.  Friends come and go, but the feeling of connection is always there. In the photo above are two friends who live down the street. Danny is my age and is blind, and David lives right across the street from him. They both wanted me to teach them to play the guitar, so last January we started to get together twice a week.  We play and sing all of the old songs of our past. David learned very quickly, but Danny has taken longer due to his sight disability. We have adapted, by letting Danny play the home chord all the way through the songs, while David and I play all the chords. The clash of chords is not noticeable most of the time. We have great fun together.

Grateful for friendship

Young and old bring me much joy

Thanksgiving is here

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Photo: Vera Payne

Today at d’Verse, Frank asked us to write a Haibun using a form of gratitude as our prompt. There are so many things in my life that I could be grateful for, but right up at the top is friendship. My connection between friends is second only to family.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

The Magic Oak

W.A. Pattillo Elementary School - Tarboro, NC 1978 (2)

Story #1
A giant oak tree stood in the middle of the School parking lot! Rumor has it the center was hollow, and inside lived the souls of teachers from the past.
They called it the Feel-Good Tree, because anyone who stood under it lost the stress of their day. Its magical qualities had been shared for almost a hundred years. Children played around the tree while waiting for their buses. Teachers stood by in the shade and shared the day’s gossip.
The School board decided to build a new building that would be located right where the oak tree stood. Sadly. Taking Down the Tree occurred in the summer when almost everyone was gone. As the roar of the chain saws marked the end of the magical tree, no one heard the mournful cries of the souls of the teachers who resided there for generations.Dwight's Class in front of our Giant Oak 001 (2)

Today at d’Verse Victoria asked us to write Flash Fiction prose of not more than 144 words. She gave us a line from one of Jane Kenyon poems. Jane Kenyon was born in 1947 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was once the Poet Lauriat of New Hampshire. The line we had to include in our story was: Taking Down the Tree.
I took a photo of our giant oak tree from my former teaching days and created my story.

I realized after the fact that I got the wrong line in my story. It was supposed to be:  If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant.

I edited the ending to my story and inserted the correct line. Below is the revised version.

Story #2   The Magic Oak 

A giant oak tree stood in the middle of the School parking lot! Rumor has it the center was hollow, and inside lived the souls of teachers from the past.
They called it the Feel-Good Tree, because anyone who stood under it lost the stress of their day. Its magical qualities had been shared for almost a hundred years. Children played around the tree while waiting for their buses. Teachers stood by in the shade and shared the day’s gossip.
The School board decided to build a new building that would be located right where the oak tree stood. As the roar of the chain saws marked the end of the magical tree, no one heard the mournful cries of the souls of the teachers who resided there for generations. As they disappeared, they said, “If it’s darkness we’re having, let it be extravagant.”

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com