Sand

During this time of Covid-19, I have had my down times just like many of you. But, what I find helps more than anything else is to create purpose in my life. Being isolated gives me much time for creativity. It lifts my spirit and brings me joy. This past year I have self-published a hundred page book of poems I have written for my daily blog on Word Press. I also wrote and illustrated a children’s book about Rocky the Owl, and passed it out to friends who have little ones. Now that the days are warmer, I have been painting again. There is not time to sit and wait for the grim reaper. There are things to do that take my mind of the sand in the hour glass!

The sand in the hour glass runs faster at the end

I feel it shifting and settling into that narrow space

People for centuries tried to flip the glass to no avail

In the span of time and antiquity

our few minutes goes quickly

So make them count // those last few grains

settling into the final drop // becoming sand once more

Tell your stories // write your poems // sing your songs

Fill your days with creativity // joy // and wonder

For the sand in the hour glass runs faster at the end

This is a painting I finished last week of the City View Dairy Farms in the community where I grew up in Pennsylvania. I posted it on the community Facebook page where it was appreciated with hundreds of likes and comments and memories from people who no longer live there, but have great memories of getting milk there. It gave me great joy to see so many find it meaningful.

Life’s Old Bones

Charlie was a farmer all his life. It was a small farm; about a hundred acres. He milked cows every day until he was seventy years old. It was a good life, but much of that was gone now. His wife died a year ago in April. His only daughter married a man who worked in the technology field. The only alternative was to sell the farm.

On auction day, folks came from miles around. Tractors and implements sold quickly. The thirty milk cows did as well. The farm sold for more than a half a million dollars.

All that seemed insignificant now, as he stared at the shell of a dilapidated barn, out the window of the rest home. Charlie thought to himself, “Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, One day I will collapse, just like that old barn.”

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Linda asked us to write a flash fiction of exactly 144 words, using a line from a poem, Spring Azures from the book Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. The line is… ‘Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy.’

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

Love Crosses All Boundaries

Years ago these two cute little girls were the best of friends. They did not think about race or color, just that they really enjoyed each other’s company. Makes me wonder why it is so hard for adults to to the same. We need to work on Dr. King’s dream and make it become a reality.

Teach your children well

Love crosses all boundaries

Be their example

***

How are you doing your part?

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Fake Truth

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities!

Voltaire ~

Most of us like to hear what we already believe is true! We gravitate toward that narrative and feed on our idea of truth. This was very evident in the atrocities at the Capital in Washington, DC; all done in the name of patriotism and based on absurdities and misinformation.

Sadly, the game of politics is often a game of misinformation. What starts out as a grain of truth gets twisted and spun into a cotton candy swirl of falsehoods. And we tend to cheer on the person or platform that says what we want to hear, even when sounds absurd and crazy.

PBS did a documentary on Alex Jones, far right radical talk show host who promoted things like the 9-11 attack was a government plot and the Sandy Hook massacre of children was all just a group of staged actors! You might think, how would anyone believe that; but, though he was banned from talk radio, he expanded his following on the internet and has millions who listen and believe what he says, as absurd as it may seem. Even Roger Stone and Donald Trump were on his show trying to get his followers to support Trump, which they did. Trump’s repetitive statements repeated over and over again are simply repeating what Jones said to his followers.

And it worked! Volatire words were played out in real time. as people who actually believed they were patriots, attempted to storm the capital to disrupt and take over the Senate proceedings that were being conducted at the time. What a sad day for America. What have we come to. Khrushchev was right when he said, “Communism doesn’t have to destroy America, it will be done from within by your own people.” Unless we get together and find common ground, this may well be our fate.

Twisted truth destroys

America’s foundation

Time for Trump to go

The following clip is a documentary from PBS . It disturbing in content, but very enlightening as to how all this could happen . It is well worth your time to view.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities!

Voltaire ~

I found the Voltaire quote on the blog website of my friend Ivor Stevens.

Furious, a Haiku ‹ Ivor.Plumber/Poet ‹ Reader — WordPress.com

A Living History

This is not a painting

It is a living family history

Not just an abstract splash of color

But, a life’s journey

A story that began a lifetime ago

Moving 2500 miles to Alberta

Building a little house in the big woods

Raising his family near a Cree Indian village

By the shores of Calling Lake

*

This is a story of mid-life change

to the big city of Edmonton

Becoming a respiratory therapist

A new career of serving others

Retiring to a condo

*

Memory fading to dim

More than Mother can care for

Her brain tumor required attention

Care needed for both

*

End of like can be full of surprises

This is not a painting

It is our family’s story

Painting: Dwight L. Roth 1-2013

Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to choose an object, that means something special to us, and write a poem beginning with the line… “This is not a _________” Eight years ago we flew to Edmonton, AB to make care arrangements for both of my wife’s parents. Her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and her father was suffering from Alzheimer’s. It was a traumatic time for all of us. When we finally returned home the end of January, I poured my emotions into this painting depicting their life in Alberta. To me, this is much more than a painting. It is a piece of family history!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com …click on Mr. Linkey and read more poems.

Stunned Bird

The grease imprint of a dove that hit my window…

Birds fly into my window from time to time crashing into a sky of glass and an image of illusion. Stunned they fall to the ground or circle back to the trees, only to do it over again on another sunny day. Being territorial they are trying to attack the illusion of another bird intruding into their territory, and only hurt themselves in the process.

Seems we are seeing this play out today in DC, as our Lame-Duck President continually tries to incite followers to attack the illusion of an intruder stealing his space. Over and over he keeps hitting the glass sky and is now looking like that stunned bird that hit my window.

Protesters gather

Attacking an illusion

Stunned bird thinks he won

*********

This is a stunned finch that hit my window. You can see the twisted claw. He eventually was able to fly away.

A New Beginning

When I retired from teaching elementary school, in 1998, I still had fifteen years until I could fully retire. I ran my own Home Repair business for two and a half years, and then taught a building construction class with the Community College for another two and a half years.

It was the winter of 2005, and my class of ten students dwindled down to six, after the first week. We were partnering with Habitat for Humanity, giving them hands on experience in actually building houses. The snow that came that first week caused a few to drop out. As a result, the class was canceled. It was discouraging to me to be left without an income until another class could be scheduled.

My friend Bunky ran a vinyl siding business. He heard that my class was canceled, and called asking if I would come and fill in for a couple of weeks as sales manager for the warehouse. He had just fired his whole warehouse staff “for selling siding out the back door!” I knew nothing about vinyl siding and just a little about the computer, but I agreed to do what I could. This was Saturday. I went in on Sunday afternoon to learn how to do invoices on the computer, and started work the next day! It was very unsettling to attempt to run the warehouse by myself, but I learned all about it. That was on Valentines Day, 2005, and I continued to work for him for the next six years, until I retired in 2011!

Snowfall takes its toll

Students not ready to work

Friends help each other

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lillian asked to think of a time in our life when we had a New Beginning! She asked us to write a Haibun consisting of up to three short paragraphs followed by a traditional Haiku.

Join us and read more at: https://dversepoets.com and click on the Mr. Linkey box.

A Smile For You

Creativity and imagination always make me smile. When I pulled into my parking space at the mall, I saw this sweet little beauty smiling back at me. I tried to imagine the person who puts eyelashes on their car headlights. What a unique idea! Do you give names to your car?

Batting eyelashes

Smiling across the parking lot

A sweet set of wheels!

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Vacations

Remember the days

when vacations were fun

Time off work

and we were on the run

Traveling as far as

our imaginations could reach

To the mountains

ride the train

and fun times at the beach

Coming home exhausted

and ready for a rest

Back to work on Monday

Vacations were the best!

I took this photo in 1976, when one of my students, Sharon Ulrich, won the My America contest for the state of Virginia. It included a week long trip across the state of Pennsylvania, stopping to visit all the historic sites. It included her parents and her teacher (me) and winner representatives for each state. By the time we got to Lancaster County, to ride the Strasburg Railroad, many of the folks were worn out and needed a rest… as you can see in the photo!

Fifty-One Years Today

Our Love (A Quadrille)*

Our love’s a poem

Written in the tide…

Spelling out our dreams

On the shore of life

Poem of lasting quality

Ebb and flow from day to day

Smooth, serine, mirroring the sky…

Crashing // bold from deep within

Our Love…

Written for the ages

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

*A Quadrille is a a poem of exactly 44 words, created by d’Verse Poets Pub.