Sand

During this time of Covid-19, I have had my down times just like many of you. But, what I find helps more than anything else is to create purpose in my life. Being isolated gives me much time for creativity. It lifts my spirit and brings me joy. This past year I have self-published a hundred page book of poems I have written for my daily blog on Word Press. I also wrote and illustrated a children’s book about Rocky the Owl, and passed it out to friends who have little ones. Now that the days are warmer, I have been painting again. There is not time to sit and wait for the grim reaper. There are things to do that take my mind of the sand in the hour glass!

The sand in the hour glass runs faster at the end

I feel it shifting and settling into that narrow space

People for centuries tried to flip the glass to no avail

In the span of time and antiquity

our few minutes goes quickly

So make them count // those last few grains

settling into the final drop // becoming sand once more

Tell your stories // write your poems // sing your songs

Fill your days with creativity // joy // and wonder

For the sand in the hour glass runs faster at the end

This is a painting I finished last week of the City View Dairy Farms in the community where I grew up in Pennsylvania. I posted it on the community Facebook page where it was appreciated with hundreds of likes and comments and memories from people who no longer live there, but have great memories of getting milk there. It gave me great joy to see so many find it meaningful.

Spirit Questions (a Rubáiyát)

I wrote this a few years ago for the d’Verse Poets Pub. I thought it would be good to reflect on as we exit 2020 and enter 2021. We have lost a multitude of people this year to Covid-19. Death has a way of bringing things into focus. It brings us face to face with our own mortality. The thoughts in this poem reflect on spirit within each of us.

Where dwells the spirit before life begins         

Waiting to entwine with genes at man’s whims

Does it float in space riding red stardust

Or in ocean waves where the raindrops swim

*

Where dwells the spirit when I took my first

Breath of life // of heart and lungs merged thirst    

Spirit seems at home in this flesh and bone

Fragile body // heart pumping till it bursts

*

Where does my spirit dwell when life is done   

As eyes close in death and the race is run

Breath leaves the body and the spirit rises

Rejoining spirit with Spirit // lives on

******

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Leave a Trace

Coming, going, the waterbirds don’t leave a trace ~ Dogen

Time pounds our lives like the ocean pounds the shore.

Do you not know how short and fragile life can be?

Some think wealth or power will produce a lasting legacy.

How foolish…

When all becomes bones and dust and empty coffins pilfered.

Strive to live the legacy you desire, not bound by time or life’s travail.

Such a life carries on generation to generation, spirit to spirit

Like grains of sand glistening on the beach, brought back again and again.

That lasting legacy is Love..

********

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Linda asked us to write a spiritual/mystical poem using a line from a list of several she gave us. She said we could also use the line as a Epigraph at the beginning of the poem. I chose the line written by Dogen for my Epigraph.

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Never Give Up

I was sad to hear today that Jeopardy host Alex Tribek had died from Pancreatic Cancer. He resolved to work as long as possible, Even with chemo treatments and pain, he worked until two weeks ago. Unlike the butterfly in the pictures, he did not show his battle scars. He carried on until the end and never gave up. An example for all of us.

Battle scars showing

Butterfly never gives up

We miss you, Alex

I saw this beautiful creature on my butterfly bush a couple of years ago. It has much of it tails shredded and missing. It seemed unphased as it flitted from flower to flower drawing strength. Even with all its damage, its true colors still came through. These photos seemed to fit so well with the passing of Alex Trebek.

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The God Perspective

“You know,” he mused, “Some folks don’t believe there is a God. They get all tangled up with religion and theological arguments about who is right and who is wrong, and miss the bigger picture.”

Grandpa always did have a unique perspective on life. He was wise beyond his years, but only shared his wisdom if asked.

“Aren’t your afraid of catching Covid and dying,” I asked?

“You know son, there are a lot worse things in living than in dying. Death is knocking on all of our doors!”

“I believe there is a God who is the source of all life, and that my life will continue on long after this old pain-ridden body is gone.”

I thought about what he said, as he continued, ‘We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time’.

“God’s Love is eternal!”

***********

Painting By Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Kim is having us do Prosery. This is when we write a prose piece of flash fiction (144 words) that includes a random line form a poem she chooses for us. She gave us this line from the D. H. Lawerence poem, Hummingbird:We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time’. I decided to write my piece as a conversation.

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All is Lost

‘Twas with storm and October gale she ripped the sail

Shredded last threads flapping / faceless flag without stripes

Into the gale / fearless calm / face of moon-ash-pale

Fate assured / as many feared the Orca axed rock’s sharp scrape

*

Tsumami waves… his pall bearers strong / buried him deep

neath igneous rocks, casket solid, lasting a thousand years

Pale moon shredding tears / hidden from all in view’s keep

Fate assured / guiding light / riding gears of hopeless fears

*

Now each October 31st she walks / cold quartz beneath her feet

Pale Moon brightly shines / smiles / mist kissing her ashen face

This night her last walk / gang plank of sand / calls from the deep

Assured fate / drawn to his siren song / moon follows her last trace

Waves wash the chalkboard clean….

Spectors walk hand in hand in the full moon’s light….

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lucy is the guest host and asked us to write a dark ballad. October has many aspects of this ending with Halloween. I am not into murder, blood, or gore, so I wrote my ballad about a salor lost in a storm and his love who cannot take the loss any longer! Hope you enjoy it along with my painting that I entitled “All is Lost”.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com Then click the Mr. Linkey box to read some of the other poets poems.

Opinion and Truth

A statue of the blindfolded lady justice in front of the United States Supreme Court building as the sun rises in the distance symbolizing the dawning of a new era. – Getty Image

In today’s divided society, with cameras everywhere, no one wants to wait for the system to do its job. We all have our opinions about what we are fed on the News Media. Some believe everything and others believe none of it. Protests and riots occur immediately when incidents happen. When we are given only half of the truth, we tend to accept it as the whole truth. This divides us even more. When opinion becomes truth we are all in trouble.

Social media

Everyone judge and jury

Public Opinion

Tantrums thrown stores up in flames

Not everyone gets their way

Today at d’Verse, Grace asked us to write a protest poem. She emphasized that words and poetry are powerful tool that can help bring about change in our world. I struggle with all division and misinformation that comes across social media. The tragic deaths of black men and women, as well as police officers, and children killed in crossfire disturbs me greatly. Somehow we need to learn to listen to each other and co-operate together to make everyone’s life better. I have written my poem in the Tanka format!

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Old Musicians

Old musicians die

But their music lives on

Beautiful tributes

To the power they harnessed

That changed the world

Challenged politics

Social Norms

And, brought about revolutions

Music that touches the soul

Reaches all the way to Heaven

And Hell

Yes, old musicians die

But their music is alive and well

Today at d’Verse, it is open link night. Linda, our host talked about her love for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones when she was young. Some musicians that we enjoyed have passed on for various reasons. John Lennon’s music Imagine will last into the next generation and beyond. I loved country music, which lost a number of its iconic singers early in life. I think of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, who died in their prime. Buddy Holly also left us way too soon. Even so, their music lives on. This poem is a tribute to them.

I painted my old Harmony guitar a few years ago. I found it many years ago at a yard sale, coming apart at the seams. I glued it back together and it works fine. It was one you could have ordered from the Sears and Roebuck Catalogue back in the 1950s. I laid the guitar on the canvas and traced it off full size and then painted it.

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Photo: Ruth Roth

Bunky

Bunky’s Shack – Dwight L. Roth

Bunky died today!

He called me just last week from his Shack on the mountain. Seems, his wife sold the house, left, and had gone to Florida. For him, the Shack was his place to get away from the heat of the summer. She stayed home by herself. Her daughter came up and helped. They liquidated all in just a few weeks.

When I worked for him, we always enjoyed long conversations filled with stories of growing up in Eastern North Carolina. He was strong willed, opinionated, and had done just about everything in his seventy plus years. Now, my friend was calling for a listening ear.

Sadly he shared, “When it was over said and done, it was a time, and there never was enough of it.”

Bunky had slipped on the side of the mountain and hit his head on a rock!

Bunky – Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, we are writing Prosery. This consists of writing a short story, flash fiction or true, exactly 144 words, and incorperating a line of poetry given to us by Lillian. The poetry line is taken from a poem by, “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke.

The lines we were given were:

“When it was over said and done

it was a time

and there never was enough of it.”

The story above is a true story from a few years ago, when my good friend died suddenly in an accident at his place in the mountains.

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