Taking Down Memories

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Today I took the ornaments off of my Christmas tree, and packed them back in the box, to store until next year. I enjoyed looking again at each ornament, remembering that many of them came from my former elementary school students. Some I remembered; others had names on them. You may think an ornament is an insignificant gift, but mine have hung on my tree every year since 1970.

Gifts bring back mem’ries

Each one was a warm spot in my heart

Winter of my life

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Letters From Valley Forge

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During the cold winter encampment at Valley Forge, Washington rallied the troops. A big Christmas surprise was about to take place. While the  British partied in Trenton, Washington loaded his men in boats and crossed the icy Delaware River in the dead of night for a surprise attack. The victory that took place would continue to be remembered in American History. I can imagine the letters sent home told exciting stories as the New Year came rolling in.

Christmas Victory

Brought troops hope for the New Year

Winter snow still falls

***

Stamp Art: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone asked us to write a Haikai poem related to New Years.  As I thought about those freezing cold soldiers camped at Valley Forge, I wondered what they must be thinking as Washington laid out his plan to attack the British in Trenton, NJ. This is my Haibun about that time.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2019/12/28/haikai-challenge-119-12-28-19-new-year-shinnen-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

 

 

Songs, Frozen in Time

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The songs of Christmas have endured for many years. Some are hundreds of years old and others more recent. Some have tried to change them or add to them, but the originals seem to be frozen in time; enjoyed over and over again.

Christmas chimes remain
Frozen like well loved carols
Waiting for a voice

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

A Birdhouse for my Grandson

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This year we got our nine year old grandson his first tool box with real tools for Christmas. To help get him started, I cut out a birdhouse out of some scrap cedar lumber that I had in my garage.  I predrilled the holes and put in the screws. When I was finished I took it all apart and put the pieces and the screws in a zip-lock bag for him to put together. It will be a good project for him to complete.

Bag full of pieces

Grandson’s first Christmas project

Winter house for birds

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Happiness and Joy

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Christmas is a time when many think it is what we get that brings happiness and joy. What often happens is that after all the gifts are exchanged and the holiday decorations are back in the box, the mood changes from happiness to depression and loneliness. What is the difference between happiness and joy in our life. I posted this poem earlier, but I felt that it might be appropriate for this Holiday season.

Happiness and Joy
Happiness is a little bird
Perched on the rail
Right within my grasp
Only to fly away
The moment
I reach out to take hold of it.
Joy is the blood
Pumping through my veins
A constant rhythm of rejuvenation
Not something to be possessed
Rather something to be
Joy is what keeps my soul alive

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Christmas Prelude

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Neighbor’s cat blends in

with rocks and crisp fallen leaves

Shortest day is here

Winter Solstice // a prelude

to Christmas Joy and new Light

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***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone asked us to write a Haikai poem about Christmas or Hanukah. This is also the Winter Solstice and the shortest day in our hemisphere.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2019/12/21/haikai-challenge-118-12-21-19-christmas-hanukkah-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Our Last Christmas Together

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Back in 2012, we celebrated our last Christmas with my wife’s mother. She had just been diagnosed with and inoperable brain tumor. It was a time of very deep and mixed emotions. Her father was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and in January of 2013 had to be placed in a care facility as well. As I look at this photo, I see that Mother has resigned herself to what is to come and greatly enjoyed our last Christmas together. On the other hand Dad was filled with anxiety at the anticipation of being left alone without his wife to care for him.  You can see that his smile did not hold the same resignation as Mother’s. The adjustments of aging and loss are much deeper than any of us can imagine. As we complete our fiftieth year together, I often reflect on that Christmas, and on what is still to come.
Enjoying Christmas
Knowing everything will change
Winter’s mixed feelings

****

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Also posted of Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge…

#Haikai Challenge #118 (12/21/19): Christmas/Hanukkah #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

 

No Room

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No Room at the Inn
Travelers came knocking on the door of the inn
After traveling all day tired, hungry, and thirsty;
The donkey needed fed // they needed a bed
A full inn afforded them nowhere to lay their heads;
Pregnant Mary needed a place to deliver.
Water broke // waves were coming on strong;
No time to look elsewhere for a private room.
The inn was no place for a delivery room;
Travelers standing around gawking at the sight
Of a new born baby coming ready or not.
The kind Inn Keeper suggested, “Perhaps the stable…
A private place to deliver away from prying eyes?”
The animals provided warmth from their exhales.
He did what he could to make them comfortable;
Brought water and a blanket as Mary screamed in pain;
He was not the villain in this story as portrayed;
Rather a compassionate keeper avoiding gossip’s scandal.
Why do we think they should have been entitled?
Unknown travelers from afar // they had no reservations.
Thankful for a private spot, it all came about
A child was born in private, and would soon,
In the course of time, change the world;
A Savior who is Christ the Lord!

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Filling the Void

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During the Christmas season, we often find we are caught up in the Holiday rush to find the right gift.  The commercial aspects of Christmas start before Thanksgiving. Stores and retailers all want to cash in as people rush to buy presents they think will make someone happy. In reality happiness is short lived, but joy is a part of who we are as a person. True joy is found in God’s Love, which is the real reason for the season.
Christmas is not about
Angels
Christmas is not about
Wise men
Mary and Joseph
The baby
In a manger, cold
Not about Santa
Coming
Nor gifts or presents
Wrapped tight
Not shining bright lights
At night
Christmas is our sign
His love
Permeating Love
Filling
A universal void
Our hearts
Filled by the great I AM

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Open Link night at d’Verse Poets Pub. Join us at:  https://dversepoets.com

Homeless Doves Gather

EER_0515 (4).JPGDoves, fluffed up, gather
on my leafless grape arbor
Soaking up sunshine.
Two Turtle Doves adorn a
lifeless tree with three French Hens.
Christmas  approaches
As our mad world rushes by
with no thought of why!
A baby in a manger
brings hope to a hopeless world.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Lara, at d’Verse, asked us to consider the word less as we write our poem. She gave us a list of words that had less as the suffix less. We were to choose at least one or more of them for our poem.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com