Ode to the Dying

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O fair flower, so quickly you’re fading…

Deep red transformed into gossamer wings.

 While all around you remains vibrant green

another emerges to take your place

*

O frail beauty, intense brightness shines forth

reflected from petals bent and browning…

Shriveling // curling inward in death

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse were are writing a Quadrille of exactly 44 words using any form or use of the word fair.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

A Time to Bloom

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After writing this Haiku, I thought about this time of Covid and how many stepped up to serve and help others even at risk of their own lives. The front line workers shone brightly while all around many were dying every day. Thank you to all who stood in the gap during this challenging time.

Fall flowers blooming

Each one shines in its own time

While all about dies

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

House of Stone

Andy Roth photo

Samuel T. Jones has a house of stone

at the mausoleum up on the hill

All that is left are stones and bones

There’s nothing more to steal

No jewels, no treasures,

no help to the other side

Just a shell and shadow of a man

in a casket deep and wide

Now lying there… he met his fate

making sure he’d be remembered

He left his mark but had a date

with a house made out of stone

His wife got all his money

the house and his estate

and now he’s lying there all alone

in his house made out of stone…

*

Photo: Andy Roth: The Benson Mausoleum was the first mausoleum built in the area of Laurel Hill Cemetery in Pennsylvania that became known as Millionaires Row.

The Fear of Living…

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The Fear of Living

I don’t fear death; I fear living… too long! Some drop and are gone, others take longer to leave this world. Lingering is a fearful word in this old man’s vocabulary. Lingering often comes with losing control, as dementia sets in. Loss of memory, loss of driving privileges, loss of physical abilities to function without help all come with different levels of fear. And then there is pain. Chronic pain is very real to many, both young and old. It changes how we live and function.

I watched my father-in-law as he gradually developed Alzheimer’s disease. It was so hard to give up his keys to his car. But, not remembering where his car was parked, or how to navigate across the city of Edmonton, made driving too risky for him. When his wife developed a brain tumor, he had to move to a care facility, which involved more loss and now separation. It was extremely sad to see this happen. Even in the best of settings life was no longer memorable for him.

Fear of living on and on and out of control is my greatest fear. I try not to think about it or obsess over it, but it constantly shadows the recesses of my mind.

Living well for now

Aging brings new challenges

Life becomes fearful

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Frank Tassone asked us to think about our fears. This seems to be the season of the year when fright and fear are celebrated in some circles. Spooky ghosts and goblins are nothing compared to the real fear of living in pain or life out of control.

Thanks to my friend, David’s, post for stimulating these thoughts:

https://skepticskaddish.com/2021/10/26/silence-or-the-lambs/   

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

When My Spirit Rises

This week my childhood friend and his wife lost their middle-age son to cancer. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child. As I share in their sorrow, I wanted to share this poem that I have posted a few times before. It expresses my understanding of what it is like to pass on from this life to the next.

When my spirit rises

Unencumbered and free

No weight or worry accompanies me

Interesting that I value things

When in the end the spirit flies

Leaving them all behind

How much I worry and fret

But this too shall pass when I am gone

My spirit rises out of this shell

A virtual butterfly reborn

From caterpillar to chrysalis

Reborn in the image of God

Spirit Creator Redeemer Savior

Knowing there is no place for the earthly

In the spirit world beyond

I can’t take it with me

But then again… Why would I want to

When my spirit rises

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Crossing Over (flash fiction)

The old man lay on his death bed waiting for his last breath. Only his wife of sixty years remained with him in this lonely hour.

“We have had a great life together,” Catherine whispered to him as his eyes opened and then closed.

The old man half smiled and tried to nod his head.

“I will miss you my dear, but your time has come to cross over.”

Catherine’s mind wandered as she contemplated his passing…

“Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”

“As your soul becomes one with the universe, the thought of beginnings and endings will be no more. The spirit of creation will carry you into the joy of your existence; beyond all that you could ask or think!”

His breathing became more shallow. She held his hand, as John drew his last breath.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, we are doing Prosery (flash fiction of exactly 144 words). Merril has chosen a line from Jo Harjo’s “A Map to the Next World.” The line must be included in our story.

The line is: “Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com then click on the Mr. Linkey box to read more…

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.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Beauty in the Aging

Today a lone monarch visited my flowers, sucking out the last drops of nectar. I was excited to see it, since I didn’t see any all summer. The Yellow and Black Swallowtails were here, but no Monarchs. I got my camera and snapped away, as it enjoyed what is left of my Zinnias.

Summer has finally come to an end, and a lot of my flowers grew fungus and mildew on their leaves. The leaves deteriorated and dried up starting at the bottom and going up. But, with a couple of late summer rains, and a little watering from my rain barrels, my Zinnias continue to grow. I also have been cutting off seed heads as the flowers petals fall off. This stimulates them to keep putting out new buds. Although the bottom half of the stem looks dead the top continues to bloom. Some have now reached a height of almost eight feet! I see beauty in the flowers and also in the drying stems and leaves. It reminded me of the stages of life we all go through and that beauty can always be found even as we age and come to the end of life.

In the Fall of Life

beauty is found in aging

Blooms shine above pain

Photos taken today – Dwight L. Roth

Each Day a Gift

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These days, every day is a gift….

but then again, it has always been that way!

The significance of being becomes more significant

the closer one gets to the horizon

Freedom becomes being able to get up every morning

have breakfast and enjoy the day

Rumblings of disease and discord are stealing our rainbows

along with the imaginary pot of gold!

The simple life we longed for is now a never ending experience

leaving us ready // itching to get out an about once more

Death has always been on the horizon for each of us

It is just a part of our life experience at any age

But, until that time let us enjoy the gift of life

For tomorrow things will change…

 

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Inspiration bits for this poem came from a poem by Paul V. Cannon. You can read his poem here:

https://pvcann.com/2020/07/24/just-glad-a-poem-by-paul-vincent-cannon/comment-page-1/#comment-38127

And…

A poem by Christine Bolton… you can read her poem here:

https://poetryforhealing.com/2020/07/23/no-contest/#comment-15789