Meaning in the Meaningless

Old in age, I am young at heart

Seeing my way through an uncharted maze

I look for light in the winter dark of night

Racing slowly toward the finish line

*

Days creep by, as redundant weeks roll on

Attempting to find meaning in the meaningless

Believing in that unbelievable Spirit of all Creation

Experiencing grace and comfort in not knowing

*

In this winter of freezing joints and pushing buds

I defy the waiting cold earth with warm sunshine

I write my simple poems from inspired words unknown

As night closes in, each new day dawns

I am the bud and the blossom, I am the late-falling leaf” – from The Paradox by Paul Dunbar

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Laura asked us to consider writing from the perspective of paradox. She gave us some lines from different poems to choose from for inspiration. I chose the one from Paul Dunbar’s, The Paradox.

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

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.

Beauty in the Aging

Today a lone monarch visited my flowers, sucking out the last drops of nectar. I was excited to see it, since I didn’t see any all summer. The Yellow and Black Swallowtails were here, but no Monarchs. I got my camera and snapped away, as it enjoyed what is left of my Zinnias.

Summer has finally come to an end, and a lot of my flowers grew fungus and mildew on their leaves. The leaves deteriorated and dried up starting at the bottom and going up. But, with a couple of late summer rains, and a little watering from my rain barrels, my Zinnias continue to grow. I also have been cutting off seed heads as the flowers petals fall off. This stimulates them to keep putting out new buds. Although the bottom half of the stem looks dead the top continues to bloom. Some have now reached a height of almost eight feet! I see beauty in the flowers and also in the drying stems and leaves. It reminded me of the stages of life we all go through and that beauty can always be found even as we age and come to the end of life.

In the Fall of Life

beauty is found in aging

Blooms shine above pain

Photos taken today – Dwight L. Roth

Fading Fast

Summer temperatures in the 90s F have kept us inside. Covid-19 all around us has taken the lives of thousands. Being in the high risk age group it does make me wonder how all this will play out. So far we have been in good health, but we realize that could change rather quickly. We go on with our life taking precautions, wearing masks, and using common sense.

Dried in summer heat

Many around me dropping

Still showing color

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Rust

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There is a lot of history in rust
Experiences hidden away in flecks of iron
A lot like us holding life together
Outwardly flaking away with time’s oxidation
Held together through times of storm
Standing proud in the strength of youth
There is a lot of history in rust
Secrets left untold in deteriorating minds
Lost forever in hurricanes last blow
Just oxidation on the beach

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

 

My Life Goes On

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If I should find this my last day
Looking back on my work and play
Life is the place where joy and sorrow meet
A roller coaster ride of ups and downs.

*
Struggles, pain, and joys abound
Making me stronger // standing my ground;
Becoming the man who bears my name.
The image of my creator reflected in my face;
Not perfect // but full of love and amazing grace…
A shadow of the divine embracing a much better place.

*
Life goes on be it here or there…
In our children // in their children
His face is everywhere;
Reflections of love immeasurable power…
Strength for today and hope for each hour
Passing on down through the thread of life
So fragile // so dear // so full of strife

*
If this were to be my last day,
With sorrow’s leaving I would surely say,
“I’m not gone I’m here to stay!”

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, we were asked to write a poem written with the first person “I am” included in it.  This is a poem about ourselves. This poem looks a life from my aging perspective, realizing that even though I may pass on, my life goes on. We are created in the image of our creator and that is in our DNA. It gets passed on from me to my children and grandchildren. So in that perspective life goes on.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Bottom Leaf

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In an everchanging world, I find myself struggling with the way in which things are moving! Life goes on whether I want to come along or not. As I watch the struggles of social groups and see the injustice that has long plagued our country’s history, I wonder where we are headed.  History like politics has very dark times. We can embrace it, be offended by it,  or attempt to deny it, but it will always be there.  As the next generation comes on, I hope they learn from history instead of repeating it.  I pray that we can all learn to live with each other, allowing for our differences in values and beliefs without feeling like we need to impose ours upon everyone around us. Uniqueness has always been our strength!
Sometimes I feel like the bottom leaf of a plant
Birthed from seed // providing sustenance for a time;
Now eclipsed by more recent growth rising above…
Providing new solar sources to feed from…

 

Obsolete // no longer making that much difference.
Never meant to shine or blossom // I’ve done my job…
Supporting // nurturing new growth and change;

 

Yet, now that life has grown beyond me,
I am here // drying up at the bottom of the stalk
while growth and reproduction of values and thought
happens above me // in a world very different from mine.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

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

 

Alzheimer’s Story for Children

My father-in-law began to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s back in 2009. In 2012 he had to live in a care facility. It was very sad to see someone decline into dementia and lose touch with reality.  He died in 2018 at the age of 89.

I began to look for books on line that children could relate to that talked about Alzheimer’s disease. There were very few if any and  none for younger children. I decided to write and illustrate a children’s book that would introduce children to dementia and the way it affects older people.

If you are interested please click the link and check it out on amazon.com kindle books. My granddaughter helped me with the color in the illustrations. If you have a kindle subscription you can read it for free.