Changing Seasons

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Seasons of life collide with a season of war

Carnage rains down on young and old

The world weeps tears of anger and compassion

While those in Ukraine struggle to hold on

to their disrupted displaced lives

Snow falls as they hug their children

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lisa asked us to write a Quadrille of 44 words about the seasons. As an older person, I think about both the changing seasons and my own season of life. War is a vortex of evil that can happen in any season, but for us who are older it only speeds our demise.

In our digital world we see the horrors of the war in Ukraine every day on our news broadcasts. One cannot help but put themselves in their place as we watch and wonder what we would do in their place.

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Your Shadow

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Light from your bright shadow still follows me

Embedded virtues for good and hard times

Unseen whispers always there guiding me

Though gone from me your light still brightly shines

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I find you shadowing me through each day

Down labyrinth passages of my mind

Your tireless service has shown me the way

My shadow…    your reflection through time

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The shadow of your love surrounds my thoughts

Tireless effort set the tone for my life

Faithfulness and compassion you taught

Showing God’s love and Grace avoiding strife

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You, dear mom, are the beacon of my life

You shadow me daily shining your light

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Laura asked us to write a Sonnet using the word Shadow. I decided to write one in honor of my mom who’s influence still shadows me today. I hope I got this right.*

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* I saw after I finished my sonnet that I had misunderstood the prompt having the first and last word or each line the same! It was all too forced and confusing to me to make that be authentic.

Hope you enjoy it anyway!

No Joy in Pain

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Some people tell me, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Other will say that the end justifies the means, and it will all work out in the end. The preacher tells me, “Count it all joy when you suffer.” “God is testing you!”

I am not a fan of any of the above. I have been through back surgery for two ruptured discs. I did find healing and renewed physical strength for which I am grateful. On the other hand, I went through several years of depression that let me scarred with wounds that will never heal. Being told to cheer up or it will get better was no help.

No one, it seems, has a quick fix for pain. The best help for someone who is suffering is to be there for them, in a physical sense. Skip the helpful comments, the old clichés, and religious promises, and just be present with them. Listen and feel their pain with them. In due time things may or may not work out, but what I remember most is who cared enough to be there for me.

No joy in deep pain

Words and promises fall short

Be present with me

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Today at d’Verse, Ingrid asked us to dig deep and share a time in our life when we experienced pain. We are to write a poem that expresses how pain affected us as we went through it and hopefully came out on the other side.

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

National Day of Prayer 2020

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“We’ll pray for you”…. “We will keep you in our prayers”
Seems a meager token in the presence of such loss.
In the face of Covid-19 do prayers get through?
Seems more a roll of the dice… a lucky toss…
where some will win and some will lose.
The winners say their prayers got through;
Losers leave the faithful wondering why?
The scriptures say, “If you will humble yourself
and pray, I will hear …and heal your land.”
Is the key in the humbling more than the praying?
Pray for peace… become a peaceful citizen
We will pray for you… I will be there for you
So sorry for you loss… what can I do to help
Prayer is not answers, it is a reshaping of our minds

Today, Frank Hubney at d’Verse asked us to write a fourteen line poem of our choice. Since today is the National Day of Prayer, I decided to take a look at prayer and what it means in my understanding. You are welcome to agree or disagree. Come join us at: https//dversepoets.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

God Speaks in Silence

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Where does one hear the voice of God?
Is it in large cathedrals with towering spires
or from preachers who peddle the Gospel
like a Television infomercial” // New and Improved.
Does it come through what we put on // or what we take off
Perhaps in the mass emotion of the moment
Like an engine revved up to 5000 rpms?
I believes it come in silence. when we listen
To a bubbling stream or birds singing in the trees.
It come in the silence of a flower
Smiling up at us // waving in the wind.
Perhaps in a silent loving touch // no words needed;
Or, from the silence of the written word
Enlightening our minds // opening our eyes.
Sometimes it comes as we share ourselves with others
Our passion // our faith // our love // our compassion.
In the silence of our minds God speaks;
As we listen // living in the Spirit
We become the silent word made flesh;.
The silent voice of God to those willing to hear.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Shedding Religion… Finding God

The older I get the simpler life becomes
I feel sort of like a tree shedding it bark
End of life // is not too far in the future;
makes me stop and think…
“What is really important and true?”
The older I get
the more focused faith becomes;
Moving beyond religious trappings
guilt, fear, and control;
(Knowing those
were nailed to the cross for me.)
Understanding God’s grace in my life
brings me peace;
Knowing I am blessed
to have lived this long
in good health.
I let go of all those things
I once felt obligated to do;
Understanding that the metaphors,
taken so literally by some,
Are there to guide me along the way…
not to prove right or wrong.
I let go of “streets paved with gold”
and “mansions over the hilltop…”
knowing God is Spirit;
No need there
of physical things
we hold so dear.
I believe the image of God
is not flesh and blood
nor what I put on or take off,
but rather an attitude of spirit
that is loving and compassionate.
I came to the realization
that all those prayers I prayed
demanding results
never got past the ceiling.
I realize prayer is meant
to change me // not them
Prayer brings me closer to God,
as I focus on my needs
and the needs of others.
Infomercial religion has no appeal to me
…nor or to God…
There is no place for peddling the gospel
for personal gain…
nor to exert control over the faithful.
Hamster cage religion
leaves me frustrated
and going in circles;
Faith and action bring a feeling
of authenticity and connection.
Church should be uplifting…
an encouraging fellowship
full of good news
connecting us with God
showing us how to love as Jesus loved.
To me the Bible is my guide …
not my God…
words of truth to live by.

Photo:  Dwight L. Roth

Invisible Feelings of Loss

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What do you say to one who has lost
A spouse… a child… or a loved one dear…
When ceremony has passed and flowers have faded?
How do we handle those feelings of loss
For a week or two we might inquire…
Wondering how they are doing; in their quiet solitude
Of grief and pain; in the empty spaces of the heart.
But time goes on, those questions retire.
Pain and loss become invisible feelings
That friends have talked about long enough…
Lest repetition stir up more than they can handle.
It’s time to pass over those invisible feelings!
No time for the crying heart; only a mask of smiles // “I’m fine”;
But, if you look closely, invisible feelings are glistening in their eyes.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Merril, at d/Verse, asked us to think about things around us that we miss or have made invisible. She asked us to be creative in our responses, so I decided to write about invisible feelings. It is often hard to know what to say to someone who has had a great loss in their family. Perhaps it is just better to be there for them. Talking some times gets in the way.

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Lost

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What happens when things grow foggy and you no longer know who you are? A few years ago we were in Wal-Mart when I noticed a man who seemed lost and confused. Not only that, but he was obviously not in control of himself. He kept wandering back and forth through the lines. It was so very sad to see this man who was so out of touch with reality. This is my account of that incident.

Losing Touch …The Point of No Return

He was wondering across the checkout lanes
At the local Super Walmart
With a look of concern on his face
As he looked across the carts

He was unaware of his condition.
His pants were soaked and soiled
His only concern was to find his wife…
And surely she would come through soon

As I watched him move from lane to lane
My heart went out to this man
Who seemed not to know the state he was in
But had only one plan

I asked him if I could be of help
He said he didn’t think so
She would be coming through very soon.
And he wandered on down the row

I went to find a manager
Who could help him find his wife
But when we returned he had vanished
He was nowhere in sight

I still think about the old man not much older than myself
And wonder if he found her
And what it must be like
Not to know who you are

I cried many tears as I recalled
The empty look, the lack of concern
Unaware of the condition he was in
And for the mind that had grown dim

I wonder if I too will reach
That point of no return
The place where my only concern will be
Just to find the one I love

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Remembering Me?

Dwight self Portrait

Amaya asked us to write a personal poem this evening at d’Verse~Poets Pub. It was to be something that those who know us would recognize when they read it.  It took me awhile to think this one through, but I finally came up with this one.

Remembering Me?
Would it be my smile…
Shining through my deep blue eyes
Welcoming you in
Or perhaps my compassion
Dedicated emotions

Deep caring friendship
Always ready to help you
True // loyal // lasting
No matter the miles away
It seems just like yesterday

Maybe my questions
About life and religion
Always wondering (wandering)
Pulling God out of the box
Finding perspective and truth

My deep family love
Pride and encouragement there
For each one to share
Unconditional love known
Foundation of the future

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Self-Portrait Painting: Dwight L. Roth

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Just Walk On By

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Without love we are most miserable creatures. But with love we can endure most any situation that comes along. While visiting a street fair in Virginia, we came across an older man playing his keyboard in the doorway of an abandoned building. His dog lay at his feet as he played. The tip jar held barely enough to get by.  It was obvious the love he and the dog had for one another. As my grandson put some money in his jar, this image left a lasting impression on me. Most people just walk on by on the other side of the street. He  probably experienced more loved than many of them.

Sweet notes in spring air

Gifts given // shared  // love received

“Love endures all things…”

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Quote from: 1 Corinthians 13

For Haibun Monday on d’verse, Xenia asked us to take an in-depth look at compassion. She suggested we look at the compassion in the compassionate and see how they connect with each other. This photo came to mind as a great example of that kind of compassion.

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