Massanutten Calls

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Proud tall Massanutten Peak rises high

Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley calls

Blue Ridge mountain stands against a blushed sky

A sentinel of history’s many flaws

Only erased by erosion and time

Ghosts of Lee haunt many a hallowed hall

Calling the living to keep in their minds

Cost of division runs bloody and deep

Yet, we still have not learned with passing time


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Laura reminded us that this is the 9th day fo the 9th month. She asked us to write write a nine line poem in iambic pentameter. This is my attempt. I am not sure if it is correct, but hopefully it is close.

Join us at:

“Where have all the flowers gone?”


Sunday is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, when fighting ceased, bringing an end to WWI. It was called the war to end all wars, but sadly we see conflicts and wars continue throughout the world. Some say war is Hell and I would tend to agree. Many brave soldiers lost their lives on the battlefield. The horrific atrocities that occurred were unimaginable. Our leaders have not learned from our past. The division in our country can only lead to further conflict in our own back yard. We must learn how to agree to disagree and move beyond our personal power trips. We must stop sending our best young people to slaughter in ongoing wars of our own making.

Armistice Day ink
Brings an end to bloody war
November snow falls

Frank Tassone reminded us that tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of  the end of WWI. The Armistice signed ended the fighting and killing that had raged on for years. He asked us to write a Haikai poem that mention Armistice Day.
Join us at:

Tomorrow is also Frank’s birthday!  Happy Birthday Frank!!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth    Title from Pete Seeger song:  “Were have all the flowers gone?”

Form to Dust

Grave Marker 001

I watched this week as a controversial statue of a Confederate Civil War Soldier was taken done from a high pedestal. The statue was just a piece of metal, but to some it was a symbol of racism, oppression, and slavery, while others viewed it as a symbol of Southern Heritage. In both cases, the controversy was in the spirit of what it represented.  We hang on to symbols and figures to remind us of those gone before, but the spirit of their life is what we really honor. That spirit continues through the generations to come. It should remind us that both hate and love can be passed on. It is up to us to decide how we will be remembered.

Form to Dust

Why try so hard to give form to dust

It has already been done at our creation

Dust returns to dust and form is gone

Still we cling the image we remember

The one it once was before life left

Even the preacher says form returns

When the time is right in the heavens

All reforming in a twinkling moment of temporary reality

Thinking identity of spirit will be found there

Cremation to me seems the harshest of realities

Dust returns to dust and the form is gone

Is it really dust and form we choose to recall

Or rather the life and spirit that drove it

Form is just a statue on a short lived pedestal

A star in the personal walk of fame

Here today and lost forever in time

Perhaps dug up in eons to come

A bone or two here and there to save

Speculations of life and spirit long gone

One’s life and one’s spirit live on for ever

Cloned spirits in the genes of generations to come

So search for the spirit of which you were born

Live well the life that continues beyond dust and form

We are not meant to be wax figures in a museum of time

We are life and light the breathe of God

His image passed on for generations to come


Photo: Dwight L. Roth



Compromise for some is not an option. But without compromise our government gets nothing done. When one group refuses to budge, we have what we saw in the Obama Presidency. Now we are seeing a similar resistance in relation to President Elect Trump. Members of congress refuse to attend the inauguration refusing to cooperate with this rogue president.  On the other hand we see that Hillary Clinton, who battled tooth and nail against Trump, is planning to attend is spite of her devastating loss.  I believe she has learned the importance of compromise in a Democratic Republic. The only other option is Civil War. There is no good outcome in that choice as we have already seen a hundred and fifty years ago.


As much as we want things cut and dried

It always comes down to compromise

Right and wrong are in the pot

Stirred together in a common lot

We saw what happened in the reign of Lincoln

The South rose up to save their nation

The Union break-up was not an option

Lincoln stood firm to save this nation

Blood spilled from young and old

Tragic stories are still being told

This is the end when no compromise is found

It’s brother against brother devastation all around

One hundred fifty-six years later it’s still the same

No compromise here livid passion remains

We want it our way we won’t change our game

This attitude leads to the very same outcome

Without compromise our futures are undone

Is this what the Fathers had in mind

When in compromise they laid out their plan


Photo: Dwight L. Roth




“Don’t give me any fifties”

The teller looked perplexed

“I don’t understand,” she said

As she gave him hundreds instead

“Well, you know,” he said,

“Here’s the deal”

“You never give a Southerner

A fifty-dollar bill”

“I still don’t understand she” said

As she handed him his money

“It really seems confusing

After all it’s only money”

“When you hand that bill to me,” he said

“It’s an insult to my roots”

“T’is a sad day for the human race”

“All the way down to my boots”

“I’ll take a Franklin or a Hamilton

“About those two I’ll not rave or rant”

“But when it comes to fifties

I’ll never take a Grant!” *


*For those of you who may not be familiar with American history, Ulysses S. Grant was the Union General who was the head of the Union Army during the Civil War. He was there when General Robert E. Lee signed the document of surrender ending the war. More lives were lost in the Battle of Antietam than any other war before or since. It was a bloody conflict and the animosity of Southerners against Northerners still exists among some who still have not given up the fight in their mind


This is a poem written by my friend Bob S., who looks at things from a different perspective … that of printing a photo of General Robert E. Lee on a bill  of his own. See what you think…


We struggle for images to put on or bills

Like government has nothing better to do

Many feel this war over and the memory to bed

That’s far harder to do than it is being said

The war lingers on in a far different way

Instead of with bullets its now done with pay

Go south of the line and you’ll see what I mean

The disparity of life can easily be seen

So lets honor General Lee as the gentleman who surrendered

Let put his image on meaningful tender

A seventy-five dollar bill seems a very odd tender

But think of the change you will get from a vendor

We feel like we’ve come so far from that struggle

But till we see parity we will always have trouble

A unified America is what we need

An image on a bill is such a false deed.