Steps (a Quadrille)

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Guitar-fretted steps extended up beyond spacing
Climbing from the bottom sends my heart racing
These musical frets // are made for young ones chasing
Each other up and down // squealing // and with laughter piercing…
Like a violin being played sadly for the very first time

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The word fret has several meanings. One means to fuss or complain. Another is to carve out in parallel lines, such as in architecture. Then there are the frets on a musical instrument like a guitar, which are brass strips placed at intervals and used for giving the strings varied pitches. Today at d’Verse Kim suggested we write a Quadrille, of only 44 words, using some form of fret! I have attempted to use it as an adjective describing a long set of steps at our local park. I saved this photo for the last two years trying to think of a way to use it in a poem. This was the perfect opportunity to do so.

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There was a time…

Dwight's student as B'water Elem 001 (2)

There was a time when learning was fun
When learning went beyond books and tests
Actually using their mind to solve real life situations

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Observing creatures in their natural settings
Watching bugs and frogs and a preying mantis
Creating an egg sac that later produced hundreds
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When our children are all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all learn just the same // every child scoring
Higher and higher // or the teacher we will fire
What will happen when they face real world problems?
Perhaps Siri, Cortina, or Alexa will have the answers!

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Photos of may students in my early years of teaching. Since then times have changed and our focus seems to be on test results rather than well rounded students. Perhaps this will change as the cycle goes round and round.

For a wonderful example of what real learning can be, check out Forest Kids Learning. It is a fabulous program that does a wonderful job of hand-on learning!

https://www.facebook.com/ForestKidsCanada/

Barber’s Chair

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Big red barber’s chair
Many heads cut there
Look slick
Little boys’ father
Pays Barber the fare
Scissors click
Blond curls fall in pairs
Heads sheered// none to spare
Ends stick
Barber has a smile
Snipping ends awhile
Coins drop
Teens hair cut in style
One inch long for now
Flat top
Bald men come and smile
Stop to talk and rile
Tobacco plops
When cutting’s all done
Then comes all the fun
Broom sweeps
Door gets locked// kids run
Squeal in warm bright sun
Birds cheep
Barber chair gets spun
Clipper’s silence hum
Coins keep

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Grace introduced us to a new poetic form called a Lai. It is an old French form of poetry that has a very set pattern of a, a b, a, a, b, a a, b. The a lines must rhyme and the b lines must also rhyme. The rhyme changes with each stanza.

Join us at: https://dversepoets. com

Red Brick Schoolhouse

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When I was growing up, this little red schoolhouse sat just across the field from our home. When my oldest brother was five, he remembers wandering across the field to play with the school children at recess. Very soon after that, it was converted into a house. Our friend’s, the Kosacks, lived there with their daughter and a little black bulldog named Bowser for many years! It is amazing that 80 years later it is still standing; and people are still living in it. I took this photo in September, when I went back to visit my old home place, which did not fair so well.

Little red schoolhouse

Winter // children walked to school

Now a family home

 

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Christmas Memories

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I started teaching in 69

Fourth and Fifth graders were just fine

As each Christmas rolled around

Small gifts on my desk I found

Ornaments for my tree

Saved throughout the years

Now my tree’s filled with memories

Of smiling faces and good cheer

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

A quadrille of 44 words today for the d’Verse Poetry Pub. De Jackson asked us to write using the word Cheer. The ornaments given to me by my students bring me cheer each Christmas as I put them on our tree.

Join us at d’Verse:  https://dversepoets.com

Life’s Pattern

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Life’s Pattern

Our life’s a pattern of carefully laid stone

Each laid with care to show a place we owned

My life is built of corners hewn four-square

One layer on layer a box to grow to share

Young trees of green in soil dark find root

A life of sculpted stones well hewn bears fruit

 New bricks in pavement of carefully laid stone

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Frank asked us to write a poem in Iambic Pentameter. This is new for me so here is my attempt.  Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Safe Harbor

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The thought of harboring our children in safe places came to mind, when Lillian at d’verse asked us to write a Quadrille of 44 words using the word harbor. It brought to mind two of my favorite songs: Teach Your Children Well  and Cat’s in the Cradle. With all the violence and mayhem going on around us, children no longer can feel safe, even while at school. Home should be that safe haven where our children need not fear and were loving relationships are the primary goal.

Harbor children well

In safe places // from the gale

Shower them with love’s rain

Watch them grow // unfurl their sail

Ships built strong // with loving care

Ready to face swells

Life’s hurricanes // and wind’s wails

Anchored by our care…

Harbor children’s souls with Love

 

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iPhone Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at d’verse:  https://dversepoets.com

Finding Success

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Does becoming Miss Home Coming Queen mean you are a success? It is wonderful to be recognized in this way, but there is more to success than a short lived recognition. Success is who you are, not what you have accumulated.

Finding Success
Success comes from within
Not from what we have
The car we drive
The house we live in
The trophies we have won
Success is getting up when you fall
Believing you can continue on
Knowing who you are
And what you can do
Success is loving and being loved
Knowing the value of family
The importance of friends
And that children are an extension of you
Success is giving $12 worth of work
On a job that pays only $6
Success is treating others with respect
Even when you are mistreated
Success is standing up for justice
For those who are being oppressed
Success comes from within
From the core of your being
Success is who you believe you are
And being all you can be

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

This photo was taken in 1978 when I was teaching elementary school at Inborden School in Halifax County, North Carolina.

Bob

Bob

Bob

My good friend Bob left today

Truck all packed they drove away

Seems aging does things to mind and body

Making closeness necessary as we grow tottery

Children and grandchildren warm the heart

So we pack our things and soon depart

To live nearby //watered by their smiles

And have them close to help with our ills

My good friend Bob spent hours with me

Talking while I painted and sitting under the trees

His hearing was gone so his voice was loud

Scared some neighbors whenever he got riled

But with me // I didn’t mind his loud expressive pleas

We sat and talked on among tall acoustic trees

Talked of politics, stocks // everything in the book

Of those who were good //and those who were crooks

Over the years we grew quite close

Our trust and loyalty we both valued most

I will surely miss Bob and his booming voice

But my memories are good // I’m OK with his choice

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Photo: Ruth Roth

Impressively Unimpressed

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Kitty Hawk (a Haibun)

Years ago we climbed the dune at Kitty Hawk, NC to visit the Wright Brother’s Monument. It was a fun time with our young boys. I am amazed how far we have come since that first flight on matchsticks and canvas!

Impressive granite

monument  // rising bird wings

Young man unimpressed

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Photo of the Wright Brother’s Museum: Dwight L. Roth