Darkness to Light

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Today at d’Verse, Peter from Australia challenged us to focus on editing. He said we should write like a dog and edit like a cat. Love what you write, then go back and edit like it was the first time you read it. He asked us to take a poem we had already written and reedit it. Then post both poems to show the changes. This is a poem I did a couple of years ago.

Face the Light

In the black darkness

one can see a candle

burning in the distance

unless he turns his back

staring into the darkness

where there is no light

The first is hope

the other is depression

Turn until you see the light

Focus on it

Follow it

It will light your way

Guiding you out of the darkness

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Face the Light

Black darkness overwhelms

Distant candle burns // shines

Bringing glimmer’s promise

unless I turn back

staring into the abyss

blackness swallowing me

*

Choosing hope over

dark depression

I strain against darkness grasping light

Focus // Follow glimmer’s path

Light of Promise // Guides me

Brighter day dawns

Darkness to Light

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For some great editing tips join us at: https//dversepoets.com

Winter of my Mind (in this summer of my life)

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I am in the winter of my mind, where shadows creep

and darkness comes early // seeming never to sleep…

closing in and overshadowing my thoughts.

 

Creativity remains with each bright new day

bringing a spot of sunshine from friends far away

of like minded bloggers and a few online friends.

 

I must close off the darkness // of  “hurricane News”

and “tornadoes of fear” // with darkness infused

leaving my mind destroyed by what I hear.

 

I’ll go back to my writing and pretend not to see

the streets in upheaval and the mothers who plea

for children caught in the crossfire // each day, it seems.

 

For truth these days seem more one’s perception

with marching politicians and Covid physicians

and dissent is met with racial accusations.

Photo; Dwight L. Roth

I am sharing this on open link night at d”Verse poets night.  With all that has been going on the past five months, I feel a little stir-crazy at times. Seems a lot of others feel the same way from all chaos I  see happening across the country, on the evening news. It pains me to see children shot, and no one seems to raise a voice or carry a sign for them. Very sad indeed! These are some of my thoughts as I stay in my cocoon!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

I got my inspiration for this poem today, after reading Lynn’s Poem this morning:

window to writer’s world

Happiness and Joy

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Christmas is a time when many think it is what we get that brings happiness and joy. What often happens is that after all the gifts are exchanged and the holiday decorations are back in the box, the mood changes from happiness to depression and loneliness. What is the difference between happiness and joy in our life. I posted this poem earlier, but I felt that it might be appropriate for this Holiday season.

Happiness and Joy
Happiness is a little bird
Perched on the rail
Right within my grasp
Only to fly away
The moment
I reach out to take hold of it.
Joy is the blood
Pumping through my veins
A constant rhythm of rejuvenation
Not something to be possessed
Rather something to be
Joy is what keeps my soul alive

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Nothing to Lose

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Most people experience depression at some point in their life. If you have not, count yourself to be one of the fortunate ones.  I remember how it felt years ago when depression was a part of our life.  With life spiraling out of control you feel no one cares. At that point the feeling of nothing to lose sets in.  If left unchecked it could lead to a variety of sad outcomes. With the help of some good counselors, we made it through those dark times. Finding help is so important. Without seeking help, we see people going to deadly extremes. The poem below discusses how a depressed and disillusioned person might feel.

The cry of a lost soul echoes in silence;
An inaudible scream for help unheard;
Shame fills the mind of the hurting…
Who would want to hear my tale?
Who would believe me if they did?
Pressures of the day drift across my mind;
Demands push emotions to the limit;
Voices in my head seem to call for action;
Delusions play like virtual reality before my eyes.
Defense mechanisms kick in to bring relief.
No one is aware of my pain // no one seems to care;
Those voices in my head keep calling for attention.
What can I do to quiet their incessant nagging?
Everyone is closing in on me… I can’t take it any more;
I must do something to stop them.
I have nothing to lose // the end is near;
What else can I do…

Gargoyles Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posting this on open link night at d’Verse Poets Pub.

Join us at:  https”//dversepoets.com

Are You Really There?

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When life begins to implode on you, it is tempting to begin questioning everything you believed. When prayers are not answered and God seems absent, it really sends you for a loop! This is what happened to me many years ago.  In time, all worked out and life got back on track. It was during this time that I wrote this poem.
My God… MY God… Why Have I Forsaken You?
“I will never leave you nor forsake you”
This promise I had learned
Then my God why am I forsaking you
Are you really there?
Is there method to all the madness
or are you just a good feeling
that comes and goes
to those who wish it so
You seem so far away
Too distant to hear my cry
Too removed to feel my pain
Answers don’t come life goes on
mixed with tragedy trouble and heartache
I have lost all hope
My life sits on the edge there’s no one here for me
No one to share the pain
Still I pray…
Are you really there?

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Photo Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, HA asked to write a confessional poem that revealed something of ourselves that we may or may not normally have written. I wrote this poem many years ago when, at mid-life, I went through a time when everything in my life seemed to be falling apart!

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All Alone

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Many years ago I went through a very difficult time in my life. Everything was turned upside down and I did not know which way to turn. Nothing helped. It was during this time that I felt like Job…lost and alone. So, like Job I questioned God. asking why I did not find help in my time of need. I, unlike Job, did not get a scathing reply, but in time things did level out and life was as good as it ever was before.

WHERE WERE YOU GOD?
WHERE WERE YOU GOD // WHEN I NEEDED YOU MOST
WHEN MY LIFE COLLAPSED AND MY LIFE TURNED BLACK?

GOD // WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I EXPECTED THAT YOU CARED
WHEN I BELIEVED // I TRUSTED // AND THOUGHT YOU HEARD?

WHERE WAS THE PROMISED PEACE OF MIND…
THAT THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES I DID NOT FIND?

WHEN I WALKED THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH
I FEARED EVERY EVIL // I FELT ALL THE PAIN

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I CRIED OUT IN PAIN
WHEN I PLEADED // I BEGGED // AND CALLED YOUR NAME?

WHEN I HURT SO BAD I WISHED I COULD DIE,
WERE YOU THERE TO SEE // DID YOU HEAR MY CRY?

I COULD NOT TELL // I FELT LEFT TO FATE…
WITH NO WAY TO HELP // BEFORE IT WAS TOO LATE

WOULD ALL THAT HAPPENED, HAVE HAPPENED ANYWAY
OR WERE YOU THERE // WHAT DO YOU SAY?

WHERE WERE YOU GOD, WHEN I NEEDED YOU MOST?

~1995~

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Frank, at d’Verse asked us to write a poem about frustration, disappointment or heartbreak.   Come join in with all the fun.

https://dversepoets.com

Faith

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Faith

My faith in God is not something to be proved. Rather it is something to be believed and lived. Faith is a belief about truth, with a little experience that helps reinforce it. I have found faith to be rather elusive at times in my life.

When all is well faith comes easy, but when “life happened”, as it does to all of us, it threw me for a loop! I was spiraling downward fast with no answers in sight.  My prayers went unanswered. Things seemed out of control. There was no way I could fix things. The only thing I had left was faith that God was in control, and things would work out for my good. Even then I had my doubts. I was frustrated and angry.

Through it all, I found prayer was what I needed to change me, not others. In time, and with help from some good counselors, life finally got back on track. I learned a lot about myself and about God. It definitely changed my understanding of faith. A lot of what I thought was faith was mostly culture and religion, but my belief in God and his eternal providence and grace is still strong.

Burning through blackness

Spring sun rises // Dark is light

Grace for the graceless

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Mish asked us to write a Haibun about some aspect of faith. It has to be written from our experience.  A Haibun has a concise prose segment followed by a  seasonal haiku. Come join us at d’verse.

https://dversepoets.com/

 

Shadow of Death

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Shadow of Death
I will climb mountains with you
Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries too
Cry over the birth of our children…
And morn over the loss of our parents
But // am I willing to walk with you…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
*
I will struggle to make ends meet
Sacrifice myself so you can get ahead
Take the kids to ball games // cheer them on
And, kiss boo boos when knees are skinned
But // am I willing to walk with you…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
*
Can we survive the death of a child
When cancer takes its toll
Survive the blinding demons of depression
When you no longer want to live at all
Will I be willing to walk with you…*
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”

When we have faced financial loss
And all we worked for goes down the drain
When infidelity and insecurity plague our life
And forgiveness seems the last thing on the brain
Will you walk with me…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
*
Relationships are tough // not all fun and games
We are guaranteed to have heartaches and pain
But // if we choose to be committed //for the rest of our life…
“Till death do us part” // as husband and wife…
We will walk together… We will always be there…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death!

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Photo of Stain Glass Window at Weddington United Methodist Church – Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Cracked but Not Broken

Ruth's Tile

After twenty-five years of marriage things were unraveling.  Our boys were off in school and the empty nest syndrome was weighing down on us. Depression was challenging every part of our marriage. On our anniversary we went out to dinner and as was our tradition we exchanged gifts. She gave me the tile above inscribed with the words of hope for our marriage. I have had it on our wall ever since. A couple of years ago, it fell and cracked in half. I got some glue and cemented it together and hung it back on the wall. I thought, how symbolic of our marriage, cracked but not broken! Next year will be our fiftieth!

Cracked but Not Broken (a Quadrille)

Twenty-five years

Things were shaky

Gifts after dinner…

Tokens of love exchanged

For me ‘twas a tile

Words …of hope for the future

“Paint me a picture,

Draw me with you,

And together we can see the sunrise!”

Still together…

Cracked but not broken

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Tile: (c) Irene 94   –   from Halmark

Our prompt today in d’Verse was from Sarah Connor. She asked us to write about tokens of love that we find significant in our life. I decided to write a quadrille.

Come join us at d’verse:   https://dversepoets.com/

 

Did You Hear Me, God?

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Did you ever wonder why God did not answer your prayer? I believe everyone goes through those times of questioning. This is especially true when the circumstances are so bad that there appears to be no hope. Many years ago I went through a similar situation. I was depressed and despondent an did not know what the future held. As the poem says I reached out to God and could not feel his presence at all. With the help of supportive brothers and sisters, I finally came through and again renewed my faith and trust, believing that God really does love and care for me.

Where Were You God?

Where were you God // when I needed you most
When my life collapsed and I felt my worst?

God, where were you when I believed you cared…
When I trusted you to direct my path?
Where was the promised peace of mind…
That through this difficult time I did not find?

When I walked through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I feared every evil // I felt all the pain.
Where were you when I cried out in vain…
When I pleaded // I begged // I called out your name?

When I hurt so bad I wished I could die,
Were you there to see // did you hear my cry?
I could not tell // I did not know why.

I felt alone // left to fate
No way to help, before it was too late

Would all that happened have happened anyway…
Or were you there, what do you say?
Where were you God,
When I needed you most?

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth  –  my mothers funeral… unrelated to the poem.