Unexpected

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I painted this sunflower for our neighbor across the street a couple years ago. I was painting a different sunflower when Lois came by and said she wanted me to paint one just like it for her. It is a large 4′ x 4′ painting. She loved the colors and put it on an easel in her living room.

Sadly, we lost her to cancer a week ago. She was a beautiful person with a warm smile and welcoming spirit, just like the sunflower above. She will be missed.

Winter of life 

unexpected changes 

Seeds drop

Memories live on

Sunflowers bloom

Her spirit lives on

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Only One Ticket to Ride

Like the Petals of a Rose (2)

Aging brings so much angst…

Knowing it would happen is no help

as the petals of life begin to fade.

I count… she loves me she loves me not

as our expectations rise and fall

like a Carrowinds coaster

with its ups and downs and loop-t-loops.

Knowing the ride is about over is no help.

Coasting into the exit I exhale

trying to maintain meaning and purpose

knowing I only get one ride.

As friends slowly exit ahead of me

I mourn their passing and grieve my losses.

Aging makes me question my existence,

my future, my truth, and my purpose.

Reality is harsh as challenges increase

Loneliness sets in as other coasters roll on by

filled with excitement and wonder.

I cheer them on with a sad heart…

Knowing they too will someday be here.

While the ride was exhilarating

it seems all too short.

Sadly, I only get one ticket to ride.

***

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Not Calm nor Bright

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All is calm, all is bright

Until shattered by the unthinkable

Shots ring out amid terrified screams

Each shot piercing our souls as well

As one by one they are silenced

Beautiful, sweet spirits rise

Returning to their creator

A cauldron of tears, anger, and anguish

Stirs and boils over with each reflection

Questions of why repeated over and over

Questions of how those in power

Continue to bow to those who fill their coffers

Deliberate inaction makes accomplices of each one

***

Wounded Butterfly Photo: Dwight L. Roth

To be shared on d’Verse poets pub.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com!

Politics as Usual

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Politics as Usual

Raspy murder of crows sit on the Capital power lines

Feeling the hum of 25,000 volts flow between their claws

Sharpening their lies, innuendos, and accusations

against their rival ravens

Discussing how they can harness all this power

for their own personal gain…

While more children died today

from unpredictable gun violence…

And the Eagle flies and cries alone

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Ingrid asked to write a poem from the Corvid family of birds.  As the nation morns and parents cry once again, I chose to write about the politicians who can’t seem to get the job done. This time it is 19 elementary school children and 2 teachers in Texas shot today by a deranged teenager, in their school classroom. This is unthinkable! My sad condolences to the families.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Goodby Dear Friend

Vera's Painting

Today my good friend Danny passed away. It was very sad to get the news. He is the same age as me but suffered from health issues that shortened his life. He had diabetes that was difficult to control. Several weeks ago, he had to have part of his lower leg amputated from lack of circulation. In addition to that he was blind.

Back in 2019 his wife asked if I would try to teach him some chords on the guitar, so I worked with him along with his neighbor David who wanted to learn as well. David picked up playing very quickly, but for Danny it was a little slower. I was able to teach him how to hold chord positions, but he never quite mastered changing from one chord to another. We decided to have him play the home chord while David and I played the changes. He did well on keeping rhythm with us, so we sang and played together twice a week for the year before Covid. He loved playing with us and looked forward to our weekly get togethers. He favorite song was one his father in Barbados loved, Just a Little Talk with Jesus! Since Covid we have not been able to play together as his health continued to decline.

Goodby my dear friend

May you sing with the angels

and talk with Jesus

Danny David and Dwight

Danny Dwight and David 2

Danny Dwight and David

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Collateral Damage

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Collateral Damage

What happens to all those lives lost in war

Those blown to smithereens or shot and left

What happens to those back home who wonder

or to refugees leaving all behind who wander

What happens to the bodies found on the streets

and the nameless buried in mass unmarked graves

What will become of those who survive

battle after battle on the home front, never knowing

if this day or tomorrow or some future moment

will be their time to depart

And then, there are the children who will never be the same

Robbed of their childhood, scared for life

after seeing mortars and bombs blow up their homes

they huddle against their mothers hoping their train

will make it to the boarder, wondering if they will

ever see their fathers… there brothers… their neighbors

again following this living hell they are going through

The collateral damage of war goes on for generations

Some will choose to exit early while others will wake up

terrified, screaming from the nightmare of memories

attempting to make sense of it all in their dreams

Yet, generation after generation we continue to refuse

to turn swords into plowshares and live at peace

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Shadows of Sadness

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Spring sun shines brightly

Skies blue and cottony over head

Yet, shadows of sadness surround me

*

Life’s journey brought me here

Overcoming through ups and downs

Yet, shadows of sadness surround me

*

So quickly our good life gets disrupted

Many hide as tanks roll and bombs explode

As shadows of sadness surround them

*

As men take a stand and mothers flee

Innocent people die daily from blind destruction

And, shadows of sadness surround me

*

Power corrupts and divides us

Greed and Evil are Siamese twins

Yet, hope rises in the sadness that surrounds us

*

People with hope believe in their cause

Willing to die rather than loose their freedom

And, hope for their children empowers them…

*

In spite of the sad shadows that surround us all

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

I am sharing this tonight on the d’Verse poets open link night.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Auschwitz Remembered

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Silent screams radiate

from every barbed wire

of Auschwitz.

Clear blue skies

filled with spirits

of souls sacrificed

Hushed silence…

stands in awe

of the evil

that took place here.

Memories

of pain and suffering

audible

in every twisted barb…

Calling out

to all who come here

to listen

to hear

to remember

to feel the atrocities

that took place here

So that it can never

happen again

From: Wikipedia

The first gassings—of Soviet and Polish prisoners—took place in block 11 of Auschwitz I around August 1941. Construction of Auschwitz II began the following month, and from 1942 until late 1944 freight trains delivered Jews from all over German-occupied Europe to its gas chambers. Of the1.3 million people sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million were murdered. The number of victims includes 960,000 Jews (865,000 of whom were gassed on arrival), 74,000 ethnic Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans. Those not gassed were murdered via starvation, exhaustion, disease, individual executions, or beatings. Others were killed during medical experiments.

Soviet troops entered the camp on 27 January 1945, a day commemorated since 2005 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Passings

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After last night’s storm the tulip petals are strewn across the patio

where they mortally fluttered.”- Church, Jim Harrison

This week I got word of two different friends who died from Covid-19. Gerry was my neighbor and friend for many years. He was full of life, and as his daughter said, “His zest for life was infectious…” He never knew a stranger and his compassion for people of all races and colors was an example to all of us. My wife and I had a standing weekend dinner date with Gerry and Alice for many years. Now I am reflecting on so many good times together with them.

I learned to know Loraine at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore. She was the assistant manager for several years and always appreciated the volunteer work I did there. She was a feisty redhead who didn’t take any junk from anyone, yet she had a heart of gold. She retired a couple of years ago and had recently gone to live with her daughter in Florida.

It saddens me when my close friends are strewn across Covid-19’s dark deck, fluttering as they breath their last. Brings realization of my own mortality before my eyes.

Petals strewn will fade

Old friends bid farewell and pass

Great memories linger

***

Today at d’Verse, Linda asked us to choose one of eight lines from Jim Harrison, writer and poet, and used the line as an epigraph to a poem we will write. It can be any form, so for this one I chose to write a memorial Haibun.

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Fallen Rose Petals – Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Now That You’re Gone

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Back in December of 2014, my nephew was killed in a traffic accident. He was still in the prime of his life at that time. It was very sad for all of us. I wrote this poem as a way to work through the feelings I had at that time.
Now That You’re Gone
(Remembering Brian)
Now that you’re gone what can I say
that hasn’t already been said
The good and bad the sweet and sad
Imprints on my heart
Hurricanes of emotion cutting deep
Sometimes pounding
Sometimes they gently creep
Like grains of sand on an evening beach
Ebbing, flowing, smoothing all the footprints of time
leaving only diamonds of Light glistening on the sand
answers sifting through the fingers of my hand
Warm sun sends its healing rays
Now, the only thing left to say
echos through my mind…
“I Love You!”
Revised from 12-2014

Posting on d’Verse Poet’s Pub open link night…

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth