On and Off

piet mondrain painting Boogie Woogie Broadway

Painting by: Piet Mondrian, ‘Broadway Boogie Woogie’, 1942-43, moma.org

Kim at d’Verse, introduced us to the painting above, and asked that we use it as inspiration for our *Haibun Monday. As I looked at the implication of streets and intersections, I thought that would be too obvious to write about. My wife thought it looked like a circuit board, which really connected with me.
Circuit boards have gone from large boards of soldered tubes, transistors, capacitors, and switches to boards so small you can’t even see the pathways. My hearing aids have four channels and three volume settings, and are hidden neatly behind each ear. Pushing one button controls both at the same time. Now we have wrist watches that can check body functions and even do electrocardiograms. Who knows what they will come up with next.
Hidden solder paths
Connect on and off switches
Summer tree roots ‘twined
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*Haibuns are a form of Japanese Poetry with two or three short crisp paragraphs of prose followed by a traditional Haiku, that references a season.

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Masters

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Masters

Today at d’Verse, Frank Tassone offered to us two master poets. One was William Shakespear who was a prolific English poet and play-write. The second was the most revered Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉, 1644–1694), who introduced hokku which later became haiku poetry. Both men changed the world with their words. This is the goal of all of us who write. Our hope is that our words will shed light on the truth of the world around us in a way that has both present and lasting affect.

I write poems on my

journey with teacher Bashō

New beans sprouts today

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Such different poets

Shakespear and Bashō

Both pushing flowers

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Bashō visits Shakespear’s stage

So many words are spoken

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“All’s well that ends well”

What more needs to be spoken

Clear as fresh spring air

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Lost in endless lines of verse

Shakespear’s never ending voice

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Bashō speaks more with

less, like a set c-4 charge

Spring explodes

*****

I wrote my Haibun above, then added a few non-conformed haikai ranga verses following that give comparison of the two from Bashō’s perspective.

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Photos from d’Verse…

Reincarnation Reboot

Little Chippie on Dwights shoulder

I fully retired in 2011. Over the years I had many interests that have since been helpful to fill my time now that I am retired. I began to spend time doing acrylic painting. Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting came on PBS create channel every day at 12:30. I watched in awe, while eating my lunch, as he painted a whole painting in less than a half hour. I began to experiment with his painting techniques and finally found some success.
Little Chippie was a mourning dove who fell out of his nest too early. We began to feed him and he became like a pet, actually eating out of our hand. This was my last personal encounter with Chippie. As he got older he began to be more distant. We went on vacation for two weeks and when we returned he had adjusted to life in the wild. We were sad to lose the connection, but realized this day would come. You can read the original poem at https://wordpress.com/post/rothpoetry.wordpress.com/18410
I wrote a children’s book Little Chippies Big Adventure, which is also an e-book on kindle.
***

Painting with my friend
Spring dove brought social closeness
Now the bird has flown

Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Kim at d’Verse asked us to go back and find an autobiographical poem and add prose and a haiku to it for Haibun Monday.

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For a preview of my story click the link below:

http://a.co/78yG5dH

Grant Park 2008 11/4/08

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I saw America gathered on a cold November night
Black and white, yellow and red with all blends in between
I saw America gathered together as one people…
Children of integration, people of hope, “silver spoons,” and ghetto moms
I saw America gathered with joy in their hearts
College Students, blue collar workers, business men, and teachers
I saw America gathered “One Nation Under God”
People of all faiths, people of no faith, all with hope for the future
I saw America gathered a shining light to the world
Examples of hope, oneness, unity, and love, speaking with one voice
I saw America gathered watching History being made
Bringing down walls of race and fear that for too long held us back
I saw America gathered fulfilling ancestral dreams
Of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King
I saw America gathered to let the whole world know
Those differences can be transcended and peace can be attained.
I saw America gathered and it made me very proud
To be part of this great country where every voice is heard
I saw America gathered and I prayed, that God
Would give our new president wisdom in the difficult path ahead
I saw America gathered as Barack Obama spoke
With humility and pride, confidence and strength, wrapped in words of hope
I saw America gathered eager for national change
Not black or white, rich or poor, simply Americans
…and nothing more!

*Back in 2008. after the disastrous Bush years of the invasion of Iraq, I and many other Americans were drawn in by Obama’s message of Hope and Change. Although the “Hope and Change” did not turn out the way I had anticipated, watching the crowd who came out to see President elect Obama at Grant park that night, was a very moving experience. Immediately following the victory speech, I was inspired to write this.
Sadly the desire to work together was immediately crushed by Republicans, just the way it has now been with the Democarats with Trump. Division and polarization has brought great harm to the country. The vision I saw happening in Grant Park that election evening seems to have gone up in political smoke!

Tonight at d’Verse we were asked to write a poem that reflects Black History Month. The above is my naive dream that we could all come together to create the Hope and Change our country needed.

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Birds are Timeless

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A pair of house finches pull sunflower seeds through the mesh. A new year has begun for us; but, for them it is still a matter of survival. Hopefully, my feeder provides them with needed resources as winter comes on strong.

Time keeps on ticking
Means nothing to my finches
Everyday’s the same

 

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at D’Verse Poets Pub, Bjorn asked us to write a Haibun that refers to the new decade starting and new beginnings.

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Honsaker Tombstone

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I walk through the cemetery of my childhood
visiting old friend’s stones, long engraved;
unchanged through every season.
Each stone’s name brings back a special memory;
Some much more memorable that others.
“O, there you are my favorite stone of all
You haven’t changed a bit in fifty years
Honsaker tombstone do you remember
How we walked your ledge in the dark
On summer Sunday evenings after church;
And, do you remember when my friend Jimmy
brought a girl to make out in your dark shadow;
What a wonder you are // the largest rock on the hill.”
“You don’t know how confining it is to remain unchanged;
Year after year watching the living and the dead pass by
Oh. how I long for the freedom to move and rise above
like the birds flying overhead.
I remember you and all your friends with great nostalgia;
Your laughter and happiness lifted my spirits.
But now, all that is gone and I sit here // alone // rock solid
Waiting for the end of time.”
I leave them all behind as I walk back to my car
feasting on memories frozen in time.

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Amaya, at d’Verse, asked us to look at the use of apostrophe in poetry. I always thought that an apostrophe was just that little mark you use when writing a contraction. Today, I learned it is much more than that when used in poetry. It becomes a form of personification, injecting and addressing what is not there as though it was a living being. I think I got that right!? I chose a tombstone that I remember very well.
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My Kind of Girl

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My wild woman in pearls // kaleidoscope of beauty
What are you thinking in that hollow mind
What did you say?
Oh, you are more than the sum of your colors.
Tell me what you want of me;
I gave you the pearls to make you stand out.
Your cranial donuts make me hungry…
And, what’s going on with your earring?
Oh, your ear is invisible!
Your blue eyes radiate emptiness.
Yes. I know // I created you!
Your enigmatic smile
Your rounded nose
That cute flip of the hair
Wild woman you are my kind of girl!

Painting “Wild Woman In Pearls” – Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Linda asked us to consider surrealism and poetry. We are to write a surreal poem. This crazy painting I did a few years ago seemed to fit the bill. This is what my free wondering mind came up with for the prompt.

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The Intersection of Infinity

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Caught at the intersection of infinity
Earth’s conception began
“Without form and void”
Matter brought forth // our Earth is formed
At the intersection of infinity
Time as we know it began ticking
Capturing eternity in a fragile snow globe
Still being shaken from time to time
At intersection of infinity we appeared
Formed, created, or evolved we are here
Birthed by an intercourse in time
Just as every living thing that followed
Was born…

At the intersection of infinity… Love was born!

Art work: Mark Garlick   –  Angel Messages ~ Penetrate Polarity    –    roserambles.org

Amaya at d’Verse asked us to look at birth as our prompt and write a poem incorporating some aspect of the word. I have been mulling this one around for a while and this seemed to be a good time to put it in words.

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Robert’s Books

IMG_0400 (3)The Eagles’ Hotel California played on WKDX radio
As I drove up to Robert’s Book Shop
It was a place I always planned to visit
Today was the day to check it out
A bell rang as I gave the stuck door a kick

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Rows and rows of books, stacked to the ceiling, greeted me
A little barking pooch brought the clerk to attention

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“Make yourself at home,” she said. “You’ll be here awhile!”
The lyrics to the song ran through my head
Sending a chill slowly up his spine.
Stepping back in time I wandered down row after row.

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Fluorescent lighting glared harshly from overhead;
Old books from school days, novels, favorite stories
Kept appearing down every row

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One of my favorite childhood books, Little Black Sambo,
(Now banned by politically correct and polite society
for having racial overtones)
Is no longer shared with children of great imagination.
Memorabilia, posters of vintage actresses, toys, and animal heads
Hung in odd places above the rows

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Even an old payphone, that no longer rang hung on the wall

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The smell of old books permeated the store down each row
Favorite radio shows such as Dragnet, The Lone Ranger,
and The Shadow Knows were there in book form.

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Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Uncle Wiggley
Took me down memory lane to my childhood
Every time I thought I saw everything, another row appeared
Once again the words to the song played in my head;
… “you can never leave!”

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today, Sarah asked us to write a poem that describes someone or ourselves using the senses. I hope this is what she meant.  We visited this quaint bookstore on the Oregon coast last week. It was a trip back in time and a visual feast.

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