Ashes Scattered

Indian funeral AP - image

AP – Photo

In India, funeral pyres burn

Smoke of gloom rises from

crematories and parking lots.

Loved ones isolated as fires

consume what mattered most.

Overwhelming numbers rise

along with cries of family.

Ashes remain…

Fires cool…

Ganges carries spirits of

loved ones to the sea.

*

Today at d’Verse Sarah asked us to write a Quadrille of 44 words using the word Ash. It was shocking to me, earlier in the summer, to see the numbers of Covid-19 deaths rising in India. The funeral pyres burning in parking lots was very sad and disturbing to see. Cremation is done all over the world. The ashes of loved ones are kept or scattered. It is my understanding that the ashes of loved ones in India are often scattered in the Ganges River. Please correct me if I am mistaken.  I decided to write about this for my poem today.

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Shortness of Days

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Fall brings coolness and shortness of days

Age brings awareness of life’s transient journey

I lose the invincible feeling of youth

replacing it with more time for contemplation

Lengthening shadows of night become clearer

now that I am counting time with a different clock

Reflecting on life changes // I wonder

“Will I be around in ten more years?”

“…or even next year?’

“What challenges will aging present?”

Covid-19 amplifies thoughts of life’s finality

Numbers of casualties rise and fall with the seasons

Questions of, “What if?” shadow my thoughts

Yet, life is to be lived rather than hidden away

So, until changes slow me down, I will press on

doing what makes me and others happy…

Using common sense, enjoying the blessings of life

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Creative Learning

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When I started teaching back in 1969, computers were unheard of, there was no air conditioning, and the front wall of my classroom was covered with black slate chalk boards. It has been a challenging journey navigating through the changes that never cease.

I always tried to incorporate hands on learning in my classroom. We did crafts, had a painting easel, and did lots of cut and paste art work. One year my class had a hot house, raised their own Marigolds and replanted them around the school ground. Then we collected the seeds and saved them for the following year. We watched the mutations from cross-pollination.

As children start back to school, I wonder what Covid-19 and teaching for the test has done to their creativity. I am glad to see them back in the classroom even with the mask precautions. There are things you just can’t learn by virtual learning. It is essential that we don’t forget the importance of hands on learning and playing together.

Days growing shorter

School buses rumble at dawn

Kids can’t wait to learn

 

Photo; Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Frank Tassone asked us to write a back to school haibun. I am thankful my teaching days are log past!

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Come Fly With Me

Like sardines in a can we waited

for Covid to to be abated

Some wore sweats all day

on their computers with pay

Now many have their shot

Tired of staying home a lot

Fourth of July is coming

Jet engines are now humming

Stamp Art: Dwight L. Roth

Today I wrote a Quadrille of exactly 44 words. The Quadrille was created by d’Verse Poets Pub, which is now on mid summer break for two weeks.

Rising From the Ashes

As we move back to our new normal, we think of so many who did not survive the pandemic or 2020. Family members and friends were included in the death toll. These blips in time have happened since the beginning of time. The human spirit always rises to meet the challenge. Sadly not all survive, but those of us who do go on, more aware than before of our fragile mortality realizing how quickly life can change.

From death’s dark ashes

Rise to live another day

Mourning those we loved

***

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Venturing Out Again

Today is the anniversary of the Covid-19 shut down in the United States. We had no idea what was going on, and it seemed no one else did either. Travel bans, restrictions, quarantines, hospitalizations, and deaths all came together for the perfect storm. It has been a very different year for all of us.

We celebrated our 50th in the summer of 2019 with a European River Cruise. We are so thankful that we were able to do this before all the Covid restrictions came down. We are waiting for our second shot, and the ability to feel safe going to restaurants, church, and travel to visit family once again. Hopefully you are doing well also.

Hiding in shadows

Missing travel, family, friends

Spring brings warm fresh air

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Fire In My Head

My parents always told me I was an unusual child! When I began seeing visions at the age of six, everyone passed it off as childish fantasy.

As I grew older the visions became more detailed and urgent! There were visions like the time my grandmother was sick with cancer, and I saw her complete and whole again. Within that year she made a complete recovery.

Other visions were not as measurable, such as the time I spoke to my grandfather who had died the year before. He assured me all was well and not to worry.

Yesterday, I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head. I had an unusual feeling of anxiety and fear. It was New Years Day, 2020. The sun was bright, the trees were bare; but, there was this ominous dread like never before.

Painting – Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse we are writing prosery, which is a flash fiction piece of 144 words that includes a given line from a poem. Kim gave us this line: I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head –from The Song of Wandering Aengus, by William Butler Yeats.

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Worth the Risk

I am not afraid of dying

It is the fear of loneliness that haunts my mind

Family disconnect is unacceptable for me

Visits and hugs are worth the risk

Embracing Covid with masked precaution

I’m pushed into the pool

It is sink or swim

Photo: Ruth Roth

Today at d’Verse, it is Quadrille Monday. We are to write a Quadrille of 44 words that includes the word embrace. This has been a long lonely year for many of us, not being able to socialize with friends and family like we used to do. Covid-19 is taking its toll around the world. One of the worst effects of Covid is the separation of families at the time of death. This to me is unacceptable, even with the risks involved. We have decided that connecting with family is worth the risk, and though infrequent, we get together from time to time. My poem today expresses that sentiment.