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.

Crowning Glory

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Years of nurishment

Rhododendron blooms purple

Crowning Glory

Each flower uniquely shines

Just like each of us

*****

You my dear surpass all others

Blooming beauty shines within

Love for all to share

Beautiful  gray hair reflects

Your outer Crowning Glory

*****

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today’s poem is written as a Tanka, the third five line Japanese poetic form shared on d’Verse this week. .

https://dversepoets.com

Tanka enjoys a long history in Japan. Originally known as waka (short song), the 5-line verse poem was the medium of literary exchange during the Heian era, the golden age of ancient Japanese culture. Courtiers and emperors alike composed them. Lovers would often share their devotion through the exchange of them.

The second stanza of the poem above reflects the true intent of the tanka.

 

Where Have You Been?

My father-in-law. who had Alzheimer’s, was confined several years ago after his wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This all took place within a month and a half. Initially we took him to visit her in her care facility across the city; but. he forgot he saw her by the time he got back to his residence.
It was very difficult for him that first year and after she passed away. When we went to visit we found notes written on his dinner napkins asking where she was and why she did not come back. It was heartbreaking to read his pleas for answers. Although we explained everything to him it was not long till he again asked the same questions. The note writing stopped after about a year. He seemed to be resigned that he was there by himself and only asked about her on occasion. He was there for five years and died in 2018.

In the winter of life the fog sets in
obscuring the obvious and familiar
Leaving one to memories past;
today’s events already forgotten.
A perspective very different
from yours and mine;
Time stands still …
like looking in a mirror to the past;
Closing the windows of the present.
Anxieties not understood
plague the mind and thoughts.
Looking for a spouse long gone;
Expecting to see her any moment;
Wondering where she is
and when she will return.
Distraught to the point of resignation
the fog becomes more intense.
Time slows down as the hour glass trickles
until finally // the top glass is empty.

This beautifully haunting song by Kathy Mattea helps bring the sadness of this disease into perspective.

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Secrets of Aging

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     Aging carries with it secrets many are reluctant to tell. When one spouse begins experiencing dementia, the other often compensates by keeping it a secret as long as possible.
We saw this with my father-in-law a number of years ago. As he began to be confused at times, she would write the directions or an address on an index card for him to carry along, in case he forgot.
In one instant he came from volunteering at the local hospital and could not remember where he had parked his car. It took him two hours and some help from the staff to find it.
In time the secrets of dementia reveal themselves. At that point hard family decisions have to be made regarding the future.

Secrets of aging
Will always reveal themselves
Winter closes in…

Today at d’Verse, Merril asked us to think about secrets. They come in many forms, but none so sad as when we age. These are secrets we ususally can’t keep.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Check out my e-books on Amazon Kindle on amazon.com…

https://www.amazon.com/Dwight-Roth/e/B017HW5AHG?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

 

Old and Bold

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Today at d’Verse, Frank asked us to take a quote from a favorite poem and write an imitation poem in the exact same style. I chose the following quote from T. S. Elliot…“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

“I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.”
*****
This is my rewrite:
I grow bold … I grow bold …
I shall shave the round top of my bald head cold.
Shall I trim around my ears? Do I dare to wax my chest?
I shall dress in old cargo pants, and set out on my quest.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

My 50th Class Reunion

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Today, I attended my 50th class reunion.
A slideshow with funeral sounding music
Reminded us of how we used to look…
With young faces, smiles, and hair all in place.
As I looked across the crowd, I barely recognized a handful.
Like me, they all have changed // age stealing youth.
Some, no longer with us, were cut down in their prime.
Why do people go to reunions?
Is it out of curiosity to see what damage was done?
Is it to compare levels of aging?
Perhaps it is to see old friends
old boyfriends
old girlfriends
What brings us together after fifty years?
Nostalgia and pride // holding on to a past long gone…
Or maybe it is share our achievements
Our failures
Our divorces
Our losses
Our pain
By this time, there is little to show off any longer.
Nature has leveled the playing field
for jocks and nerds, the homely and the beautiful.
Just like falling leaves reflect the beauty
of spring past
and summer gone
So, we too reflect the beauty of vibrant youth
Quickly fading into a sunset of obsolescence;
One last burst of effort before the frost sets in…
Only the full Hunter’s Moon knows why we came;
And what we will take with us as we go…
And he is not telling!
He knows where we will be when the next fifty rolls around.
We will, by then, have taken our place in the cycle of time;
Just sand in the hour-glass for the next generation’s countdown.
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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Que Sera, Sera…

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Que Sera, Sera…
Worry less about the future
Concentrate on today
No need to spend time on what might be
And miss out on what is
Aging brings questions of what is next
It also brings a treasure of what was
A life to share // a gift to give
No need to sit back and wait for the end
Stay in the game // play hard to the end
Enjoy all life has to offer as long as you can
Be grateful for the blessings of life
Love deeply // feel every emotion
Share the joy of this moment in time
Be the best you can be today
Let God have your tomorrow
…Whatever will be, will be

Stair Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Crown of Thorns

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Of what use are your long gnarled stems
Heads balding from the loss of fragile beauty
Sucked dry by bird and bee
Seeking the nectar of life hidden deep inside
Of what use is your thorny crown
Pocked and dried by sun and wind
Waiting in the remaining time
To be cut broken discarded
The glory days of ephemeral beauty gone
What’s left for the aging freckled head
What beauty remains for the dried and broken
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It was not all for naught, the losing of ones crown
For underneath the crown lies the key to beauty
The ongoing genetics of life the giftwrapped wonder
Beauty is in the seed passing on and on and on
Since the beginning of time
Without the crown of thorns there would be no future beauty
The would be no life here after
Beauty is passing, life is fragile, but the seed remains forever
To once again spring forth from the ashes of the past
Bringing life and hope and to that dried crown of thorns

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Bjorn asked us to use Metaphors in our poem. I chose to write about this dying sunflower, which reminded me of my life as I get older.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Taste This

Fall Tomatoes
As days grow shorter and hot weather cools
A few light rains help revive struggling tomatoes
Amazing what a little extra water can do
A few cool days allows blooms to form tomatoes
Now, those old vines that seemed half dead
Are putting out new growth climbing the wire
Ripe Fall tomatoes are a nice treat
Can’t wait to slice and bite into them
*
Now that days are shortening and I am growing old
A resurgence of energy surges forth in the form of poetry
Amazing what a little encouragement can do
Blogging seems to bring out the best inspiration in me
Sharing my experiences and photos with all of you
Followers from all over the world are climbing each week
New poems continue to flow like ripe juicy tomatoes
To be shared with those who dare to bite into them
Tasting the inspiration // passing on feelings and ideas

Today at d”Verse, we are looking at waiting and anticipation. Nothing peaks my anticipation like seeing the green tomatoes getting bigger and bigger as they turned rosy red orange. Waiting for them to ripen is wonderful anticipation.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

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