Little Brother

Phil on the porch at Masontown

When I was ten years old, my parents announced to the four of us children that we were going to be having a baby brother or sister. Back then there were no tests to tell ahead of time. What a surprise for me (and I think for my parents as well). My mom was 43 at the time, and having a baby at that age was questionable back then, since the age factor could lead to issues like Downs Syndrome and others.

I remember being introduced to people as the “Baby of the family!” It brought a lot of good attention it seemed. But with the advent of my new little brother, all that changed over night. All went well and my brother Philip was born without any complications. He was the first of us to be born in the hospital! He was so cute and everyone loved him and showered him with attention. I don’t remember ever feeling jealous or left out as a result. I am sure it was a bigger adjustment for my parents than it was for us children. My sister was delighted to have a little brother and took him under her wing to look after.

Tomorrow, October 25th, he turns 64! It is hard to believe that so much time has passed since then. I wanted to write this post to wish him happy birthday!

What a nice surprise

A little brother arrived

Happy Birthday Phil

*

Photo from family album

Tattoos on my Heart

Tattoo heart

Some I’ve passed in life’s journey

left tattoos inked upon my heart;

Indelible piercings still remain

even though we are far apart…

Marking memories of times gone by

never to be removed, no matter how I try.

Good and bad // I remember them well

along with all the back-stories they tell.

Joy and pain have left their mark…

images tattooed upon my heart.

Some I hide and wish they were gone;

Others shine brightly like a dearly loved song.

All are foundation stones right from the start…

signatures of love engraved on my heart.

 

Tattoo from bing images

Connected or Disconnected

IMG_1333 (2)

Today I was feeling disconnected, so I thought I would write my feelings about it. My good friend Bob, moved back to New York, in 2018, to be closer to his family. He loved to talk and came by often when I was painting in my garage. He would sit and talk as we would solve the world’s problems while I painted.  Since he moved, I have not found anyone like him to connect with and it has been a lonely time for me. I am most grateful for all my wonderful blogger friends, but it is not quite the same.  

Feelings run deep

through the labyrinths of my mind

expressed in many subtle ways

as time moves on.

Emotions flow

like calm bayou waters…

over many tangled roots.

Finding connection with people

becomes a disillusioning task

in this age

of three-second attention spans

and busy schedules.

Friends who will take time

to sit and listen

are hard to come by.

Most acquaintances

are ‘hi and bye’ friends

with few shared interests.

Even family

is hard to connect with

amid work and school activities…

A smile and a hug

a shared meal or visit

between smart phone checks…

all on the run it seems.

Perhaps my interests

are just that…

my interests

while others have moved on.

Does anyone really care

what happens

how it happens

or what I think?

In our crowded

disconnected world

we live in seconds

not hours.

Who sits

and talks for an hour,

let alone minutes any more?

Perhaps we need more

front porch swings to sit on

with neighbors

who know each other…

people whom we can share

long conversations with

about the meaning

of life, love, and happiness.

Perhaps

we should spend real time

with our loved ones now

before it is too late.

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Worth the Risk

I am not afraid of dying

It is the fear of loneliness that haunts my mind

Family disconnect is unacceptable for me

Visits and hugs are worth the risk

Embracing Covid with masked precaution

I’m pushed into the pool

It is sink or swim

Photo: Ruth Roth

Today at d’Verse, it is Quadrille Monday. We are to write a Quadrille of 44 words that includes the word embrace. This has been a long lonely year for many of us, not being able to socialize with friends and family like we used to do. Covid-19 is taking its toll around the world. One of the worst effects of Covid is the separation of families at the time of death. This to me is unacceptable, even with the risks involved. We have decided that connecting with family is worth the risk, and though infrequent, we get together from time to time. My poem today expresses that sentiment.

A Living History

This is not a painting

It is a living family history

Not just an abstract splash of color

But, a life’s journey

A story that began a lifetime ago

Moving 2500 miles to Alberta

Building a little house in the big woods

Raising his family near a Cree Indian village

By the shores of Calling Lake

*

This is a story of mid-life change

to the big city of Edmonton

Becoming a respiratory therapist

A new career of serving others

Retiring to a condo

*

Memory fading to dim

More than Mother can care for

Her brain tumor required attention

Care needed for both

*

End of like can be full of surprises

This is not a painting

It is our family’s story

Painting: Dwight L. Roth 1-2013

Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to choose an object, that means something special to us, and write a poem beginning with the line… “This is not a _________” Eight years ago we flew to Edmonton, AB to make care arrangements for both of my wife’s parents. Her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and her father was suffering from Alzheimer’s. It was a traumatic time for all of us. When we finally returned home the end of January, I poured my emotions into this painting depicting their life in Alberta. To me, this is much more than a painting. It is a piece of family history!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com …click on Mr. Linkey and read more poems.

Christmas Love

Unpacking Christmas a box of loving gifts

Full of sweet memories that bring me a lift

Remembering my students’ love shared with me

Ornaments of beauty to hang on my tree

A shiny brass apple with name and date

A stained glass window made on a plate

Homemade Rudolph made with clothes pins

Cotton ball snowman and angels with wings

So many memories from yesteryear

Much love remembered sweet and clear

Grandchildren come to help each year

Oohing and awwing is what I hear

And I smile remembering back on those days

When love was shown in so many ways

My tree’s not filled with bought decorations

But a tree filled with love from a past generation

And when it’s all over we’ll pack them away

Storing the love for another Christmas day

I treasure the gratitude each one brings today

Feeling the love that will never goes away

This poem was published in the Old Mountain Press poetry and prose anthology, Enjoy the Holidays. If you have an Amazon Kindle subscription, you can read it for free at:

Together

Foster children get passed around

From house to house across the town

Five children living far apart

With dreams of a family in their heart

Robert Carter a single dad

Remembers the foster life he had

Adopted three siblings to give them a home

Discovered two more were all alone

He searched the system and found they were there

The other two siblings were in foster care

He decided he needed to make things right

And bring them together to their delight

He adopted them all and took them home

From now on these children will never be alone

Their sad separations no longer make them blue

Dreams of family really do come true

Today at d’Verse, Peter asked us to write a documentary poem. He challenged us to write about an event that is local or does not get much attention. I saw this on the local news this morning and thought it would be perfect. Adoption is so important to children whose lives have been disrupted by separation. This story touched my heart and I think it will touch yours as well.

https://www.wral.com/single-man-adopts-five-siblings/19372126/

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Because You’re My Sister

I saw this sign in an old cabin when we visited friends in the mountains a few years ago. It made me smile. It could also apply to our parents. We can’t pick our family members, but we can learn to respect and love them.

My sister was five years older than me. I always looked up to her because she was smart and well liked by all of her teachers. She took time to read to me some of the stories she was reading, and brought me left over pizza from her dates. I am sure I was an aggravation to her from time to time, but we have always maintained a good relationship, even when we disagreed over the years.

Sisters are special

One of a kind friends for life

Smile / she’s stuck with me

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Photo: Family Album

Me and my sister and little brother.

Your Roots

Beneath every tree are roots

Holding… interlocking… feeding

Bringing strength foundation

Roots the source of all beauty we see

looking at a tree

You’ve heard, “Behind every successful man

is a good woman.”

My mother was that good woman

holding interlocking our family

feeding… caring for each one.

My father was a pillar of the community

on strength and nourishment

of my mom who was always there for him.

An unsung hero

she was the roots of our tree.

Without her none of us would be

standing as we are today.

My Father and Mother on their 40th

My father died at age 70. My mom lived to be 93!

Photos; Dwight L. Roth

Putting on a Hug

Our disposable society has a lot of downside and excess baggage that comes with it. I believe we lose so much these days because we are too quick to discard what we once held dear. Whether it be friends or family or spouse, everything these days is dispensable. Commitment and vows seem to be archaic confinements in this generation. We seem to forget that in relationships we will have differences; things that may hurt deeply, but forgiveness is always a part of life. Without forgiveness, we will go on repeating our same mistakes and adding more and more baggage to our life’s load.

She tells me it’s time to throw it out

Faded and worn // button missing

But to me it is something special

A security blanket of sorts

Putting on this old shirt is like

putting on a hug

*

Just like a long-time friend

with all our quirks and flaws

We are something special

A security blanket of sorts

Having you as a friend is like

putting on a hug

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Sharing this one on open link night at d’Verse.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com Then click on the Mr. Linkey box to read from the different poets.