Feel the Power

I have always had a love for trains, especially steam trains. Living in coal country, in Pennsylvania, I loved seeing the big black engines come rolling down the track. Now in my adult years I refer to them as the Pennsylvania Dragons. Many of them were built in the Baldwin works in Philadelphia. The tremendous power it takes to move all that weight is breathtaking!

Some of the old engines are being restored and changed over from coal burning to oil. That is what was done to the engine in the Video. How can one not stand in awe while watching one of these going down the track.

This is a song I wrote a few years ago in memory of those childhood steam trains I enjoyed so much. The blog won’t let me post a video of me singing it so you will just have to use your imagination!

The Pennsylvania Dragon

(refrain)

Steel wheels keep on turning

Keeping rhythm perfect time

Hauling coke from the ovens

Hauling coal from the mines

*

Down along the winding river

Monongahela was its name

Comes the “Pennsylvania Dragon”

Belching smoke & shooting flames

*

Engines 29’s a coming

See the light and hear the steam

As she passes Martin crossing

You can hear that whistle scream

*

Whistle blowing at the crossing

Black smoke pouring from her stack

On to Pittsburgh she’ll be rolling

Tomorrow she’ll be coming back

*

Counting coal cars as she passes

Waving to the engineer

100 cars hauling heavy

Red caboose at the rear

*

Now the trains of my childhood

Are all silent lost in time

And those “Pufferbilly Dragons”

Are just memories on my mind

*

Down along the winding river

No more smoke or shooting flames

Just the rumble of the diesel

…but it’s just not quite the same

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

I am posting this one for open link night at d”Verse. A diversion from the foolishness going on in our society theses days!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com Click on the Mr. Linkey box to read our poems.

Morning Bursts Forth

Morning bursts forth in all its radiant glory

Peering into the dark sheltered woods

Highlighting the trees dancing on flowers

The stepping stones draw me to the trees

To the mysterious woods sheltering the creek

Turning to mush in summer’s heat

Frogs buried in the mud keep cool

Sending out their sharp croaks

calling for someone to hear

Morning breezes soon shift

 to a sauna of heat and humidity

But for now the glorious morning rests

 on the yellow buttercups

Red salvia bathed in the sunlight

reach toward the heavens

Calling me to come join them

In the exhilaration of the beckoning day

Photo: Dwight L. Roth taken this morning

I wrote this four years ago, but I felt like it was time to post it again as I looked out across the bottom filled with blooming wildflowers covering the creek!

Disappearing Footprints

The Oregon coast is a wonderful place to visit. We hiked down the long set of stairs to the beach below. An old man rested on the bench with his dog. He lives nearby and hikes down and up those stairs every day. A rest was needed for some of us at bottom and top. The ocean coastline with all its beauty also holds dangers of slipping and falling over the edge. Warning signs posted tell us to stay back. The breathtaking view makes it all worthwhile!

Hiking on the beach

Our footprints gone with high tide

Only sand remains

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Frank asked us to write a Monday Haibun using the word hike. A haibun is a short piece of prose followed by a complimentary haiku.

Last October we attended our niece’s wedding. While there we traveled to the coast and spent a couple of days enjoying the glorious view. My haibun today is about our time hiking on the beach.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

How is Your Day

I saw this cute little guy sitting on my bird feeder a couple of weeks ago. He’s a young one with only half his molting feathers. Rather scruffy and hot it seems. Then again, I think we would all look a bit scruffy in this extreme summer heat!

Little Wren panting

Think you are having a bad day

It’s 98 F

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Evolution of Spirit

If, as many believe, we we evolved from the primordial oceans

evolving into the innumerable living creatures populating our planet

Then where did our soul/spirit come from… that intangible part of our being

that has no mortal substance that will grow or decay with our bodies

Some call it the breath of life and others the image of God

If, as many believe, we come from the primordial oceans

How did we end up with a soul and spirit seeking a creator

Seems obvious that soul and spirit are not part of an evolutionary process

But rather, given and taken as we live and die leaving the mortal behind

So how can one not believe in a creator; a spiritual force far greater

than the universe that presides over everything that exists

How can one believe that our soul and spirit nature will not go back

to the one who gave it, as our mortal body decays and returns to dust

Science may attempt to explain evolution, but seems to have no answer

to the question of soul and spirit that resides within each of us

*****************

Body, Soul, & Spirit painting: Dwight L. Roth

This poem is written in the stream of consciousness form that lets ones thoughts flow onto the paper without much editing of any kind. This was our prompt for the d’Verse Poets Pub prompt this past week.

https://dversepoets.com

Seems Like Yesterday

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Seems like only yesterday that he played with this little red wagon  Now he’s moved on to other more interesting things. Today, he is over six feet tall and moving on again to other new and interesting things. He’s my grandson, and I am very proud of him!

How fast he grew up

leaving his wagon behind

Summer interests change

***

Now he’s one to look up to

Standing about six-foot three

******

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Call of the Surf

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When we are young the idea of dying is far from our minds. That is for old people and those who are sick.  Now with Covid-19 running rampant around the world, it again seems it is the aged and sickly who don’t survive. After three months of being confined to our homes sheltering in place, many are ready to get out again. Laying aside social distancing protocol, they shed the masks and party hardy.  Between that and the recent protests, with little or no social distancing. new positive test and hospitalizations are on the increase. Some still think it won’t happen to them.
Covid-19 spikes
Many play a deadly game
Surf and Sun beckons
***
Celebrate Fourth of July
Invincible youth

***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Pallet Drums

Pallet Drum

When the economy was in a down turn and business bottomed out, the sales at the siding warehouse where I worked slowed down as well. During the down times I passed the time taking apart pallets and using the wood to make a variety of things from porch swings to drums.  It was a fun challenge to see what could come up with. I made a set of two bongo type drums and then a set of three for a friend. I got cowhide from a local saddle shop for my tops.

Repurposed oak pallets filled with life
Vibrations echo from tiny caverns
Each one unique
Pallets cleaned and strips cut;
all with a slight bevel
Glued together into cylinders
Cowhide stretched across the top
Stapled and tacked for durability
Rhythms echo for years to come

 

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Mish shared here experience with Native American drum making. She asked us to use the word drum for our Quadrille of exactly 44 words.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Full Circle

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When I was young the world was small
A circle of family and friends // was all
As my world expanded my eyes were opened
To a much bigger world // harsh, cruel, and broken
Full of people who use you for personal gain
Not so concerned about your personal pain
Success and survival brought joy and heartaches
And part-time friends who left in the home stretch
Through years filled with life’s interactions
Family and friends brought more satisfaction
And into a small small world I withdrew
Valuing people who cared and really knew
The importance of family // the joy of dear friends
A wonderful bond that never ends

Photo: Dwight L. Roth