MOTHER

M3391M-1012

                                   Mom with my two sons on her 93rd birthday

An acrostic poem for my dear mother who has now been gone for 15 years:

MOTHER

Mom who worked tirelessly to provide and care for our family

Outstanding loving mother and supportive wife to my father

Teacher of religious and moral values both, at home and in Sunday School

Helper and caregiver to those in need, including hobos who came by

Entertained guests at our Sunday dinner table from all races and classes

Respected and appreciated by everyone who knew her until she died at 93

***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Goodby Dear Friend

Vera's Painting

Today my good friend Danny passed away. It was very sad to get the news. He is the same age as me but suffered from health issues that shortened his life. He had diabetes that was difficult to control. Several weeks ago, he had to have part of his lower leg amputated from lack of circulation. In addition to that he was blind.

Back in 2019 his wife asked if I would try to teach him some chords on the guitar, so I worked with him along with his neighbor David who wanted to learn as well. David picked up playing very quickly, but for Danny it was a little slower. I was able to teach him how to hold chord positions, but he never quite mastered changing from one chord to another. We decided to have him play the home chord while David and I played the changes. He did well on keeping rhythm with us, so we sang and played together twice a week for the year before Covid. He loved playing with us and looked forward to our weekly get togethers. He favorite song was one his father in Barbados loved, Just a Little Talk with Jesus! Since Covid we have not been able to play together as his health continued to decline.

Goodby my dear friend

May you sing with the angels

and talk with Jesus

Danny David and Dwight

Danny Dwight and David 2

Danny Dwight and David

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Moon with a Moon

~When Climate Change won’t matter…

IMG_9146 (2)

When the earth hiccups and burps

Covering green with light gray

Will the Earth become

all crusty, powdery and dusty…

a Moon with a Moon?

***

 Painting changed to Black and White:  Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Reflections on Turning 75

IMG_9321 (2)

A great day to be alive, celebrating with Cherry Cheesecake (Cherry Delight)

I turned 75 today and the world continues to change

Some things remain constant it seems

Like war and oppression, racism and hatred

While compassion, love, forgiveness and grace

are still alive and well among us.

I am a Baby Boomer from the late 40s

When I started school things were simple

Pencils and tablets, (paper not digital)

with a Dick and Jane reader and an outhouse out back

Cursive writing was done in pen and ink

Pens with a split point and inkwells to dip in

By the time I reached High School

the space race was on and so was Viet Nam

Trying to keep ahead of the Soviets

we forged ahead

Sputnik and a man in orbit

Ours was John Glenn in a Mercury Capsule

followed by Saturn V rockets and trips to the moon

Transistor radios and handheld calculators

By college it was Folk Music and Civil Rights

Simon and Garfunkle and Joan Baez

My first teaching classroom had slate chalkboards

and pipes in the stairwells wrapped with asbestos

Cassette tapes were on the way out and digital discs were in

Leaded gas was a no and Unleaded took its place

as front-wheel-drive cars became the rage

Heart transplants and bypass surgery saved many

as laser surgery become commonplace

Our first computer was a used Apple iii

with plastic floppy discs and a dot matrix printer

By the 90s it was a hard disc and a 386 computer

Soon we had laptops, cellphones, and flash drives

And satellites circle the earth

Digital Cameras made everyone a photographer

What a movie this life has been for the past

three quarters of a century and it’s not done yet!

*

Photo: Micah Roth

 

Coming to Terms with My Life

DSC_0348 (2)

These five stages of grief are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Acceptance turns to nostalgia

as I turn 75 tomorrow

Another year added to a long

interesting life

There is a sense of grief at this age

looking back and looking forward

Grief for the loss of what once was

realizing change is inevitable

Watching the next generation

moving on without you

Knowing someday, they too

will look back wishing

they had asked more questions

of the living

The future is a bit unsettling as

control may be forfeited

to someone else’s care

I pray that will not happen

I have wrestled with God

Argued with him threatened him

and been angry with him

At this point in life I have made

my peace with God and eternity

Some things are better left unknown

The subtle losses seem to hurt the most

There is anger at the changes that

occur in our physical bodies

The ringing in the ears, the loss of hearing

All that extra weight that comes on slowly

The medical field has no sensitivity

to body shaming, calling me obese

How is that any different than saying

you’re fat

Yet I am thankful I can still function

slower and with less energy but still going

Joints and muscles ache more at this age

but still remain relatively strong

My life’s work has been traded for

a more sedentary style of living

I look back and dream of what once was

Knowing memories are all we have

I listen to the old songs and relish

the pleasure of visions they hold

But joy comes in the grandchildren

so full of life and possibilities

I pray that they will find the strength

to face the realities of a changing world

and still show love and compassion

for those around them

It has been a long life and this, a long poem

So I think it is best to stop here.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lisa asked us to consider the five stages of grief and choose one to write our poem. Since tomorrow is my 75th birthday I chose to write about acceptance. I have kicked and screamed, so to speak, throughout my life. I still grumble and complain about the changes taking place, but for the most part I feel like I have made my peace with my life and am in a place of acceptance. Letting go is very difficult, but in reality we never really have control in this life.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Check-out Time

EER_0311 (2)

Static hisses in the brain as we struggle

to overcome the feeling of helplessness

spinning in a vortex of anxious thoughts.

Isolation seems needed to wipe it away

Cheerleaders tell you to cheer up

sharing thoughtless advice making it worse.

Only solution… self-destruct!

Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to use the word static as our Quadrille prompt. I grew up in an age of radio static on AM stations too weak to hear. We loved playing with static on balloons as we rubbed them on our sweaters and stuck them on the wall. I can still feel the static shock from the doorknob after walking across nylon carpeting.

My poem today reflects the static we hear in our heads. As many of you know Naomi Judd from the country music duo, The Judds, passed away yesterday due to her struggle with ongoing mental illness. If you have ever struggled with depression, you know there are no easy solutions. Many cannot stand the ongoing static in their heads and decide to check out early. If you are struggling, reach out for help rather than thinking life is hopeless and there is no solution. Life is too precious to lose.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Collateral Damage

DSC_0066 (2)

Collateral Damage

What happens to all those lives lost in war

Those blown to smithereens or shot and left

What happens to those back home who wonder

or to refugees leaving all behind who wander

What happens to the bodies found on the streets

and the nameless buried in mass unmarked graves

What will become of those who survive

battle after battle on the home front, never knowing

if this day or tomorrow or some future moment

will be their time to depart

And then, there are the children who will never be the same

Robbed of their childhood, scared for life

after seeing mortars and bombs blow up their homes

they huddle against their mothers hoping their train

will make it to the boarder, wondering if they will

ever see their fathers… there brothers… their neighbors

again following this living hell they are going through

The collateral damage of war goes on for generations

Some will choose to exit early while others will wake up

terrified, screaming from the nightmare of memories

attempting to make sense of it all in their dreams

Yet, generation after generation we continue to refuse

to turn swords into plowshares and live at peace

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

First Blooms

hibiscus 2 2022 (2)

If you follow my blog, you may remember that I attempted to save my three little Hibiscus over the winter by keeping them in my garage. Now that the frost is no longer a threat, I planted them in my flower bed. They immediately started forming heads and today they began blooming, even before they have developed much green foliage. They are so beautiful. I am glad they survived the winter hibernation!

Beauty blooms in pairs

Surviving hibernation

Lesson for us all

hibiscus 3 2022 (2)

iphone photos today: Dwight L. Roth

Ukrainian Now

Tom Paxton and John McCutcheon have written a heartfelt, stirring song, “Ukrainian Now”, that touches us all. Noel Paul Stookey edited this beautiful video that includes Peter Yarrow, Bill Miller, Tret Fure, Holly Near, Joe Jencks, Emma’s Revolution, Rebel Voices, Crys Matthews, Carrie Newcomer and Christine Lavin singing with them.

Many of these folks are living shadows from my past! They came out of the Folk Revival of the 1960s and have been speaking through their music and lyrics ever since that time. This is poetry in song! This is a beautiful heartfelt song!

Job’s Cry for Ukraine

Our Cry to God

Where are you God when we need you the most

as bombs explode and buildings crumble

Where are you as little men who desire power

send other men to the slaughter in their place

And where are you as mother’s weep

for their husbands… their sons… and their children

Where were you when refugees fled their homes

for destinations unknown and unforeseen just weeks ago

Where were you as bullets fly and old men are murdered

left shot, lying in the street like human refuse

Where are you as women were raped and children cry

from a lifetime of the despicable happening overnight

Where are you God as the Nations rage

seemingly out of control

God’s Response

I Am… not the chess-master controlling the board

As pawns are discarded and Queens attempt to capture kings

The affairs of men go on as they have since the beginning

Nation against nation and Kingdom against kingdom

Some think I Am a genie in the bottle

that when correct prayers are given, rubbed the right way,

will bring the three wishes of fantasy and dreams

My kingdom is not one of the physical realms

But of the spiritual, not of this world but of the eternal

I Am the God who gives you strength from within

Power of unequal measure coming up from the depths

When faced with crisis, or the enemy, or the forces of evil

I Am the God who reveals himself through the human spirit

bringing comfort to the grieving and strength to the dying

I Am the God who removes physical blinders revealing

chariots of fire moving you forward to face whatever lies ahead

I Am the Lion roaring through you to confront evil in the world

Those who look to me will find renewed strength

And like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, you too will rise

I AM the God of peace…      which will come in time

as Love is shown and Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness

are extended to all

***

This is not intended to be a theological study although it is inspired from the Biblical account of Job questioning of God as he lay suffering in sack cloth and ashes. This is simply a poetic rendering of questions we might be asking ourselves, as we watch the death and destruction in Ukraine, and how I imagine God might answer.

Paintings of Sunflowers: Dwight L. Roth

Sharing this on d’Verse Poets Pub open link night… Join us at: https://dversepoets.com