Bitterness

Root of bitterness

Attaches deep within your soul

Like rusty barbed wire

Twisted pain stretched tight

Anger embedded in flesh

Forgiveness removes the barbs

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

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

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Hang Loose

Last week I finally picked up this mess of string that had gotten extremely tangled. I thought I would begin rolling it onto a stick so I could use it in the future. I found the end and began to roll, but the harder I pulled the more knotted up it became. I tried weaving the stick through the loops, but it soon was tight again. Finally I picked up the loose ends and began to shake them in my hand. As I did, the end loosened up and I kept winding. It took awhile, but in the end I was able to shake this knotted mess loose and get it totally rewound onto the stick.

There are a number of analogies one could take from this, but I thought how much this is like our relationships. The harder we pull against each other the tighter the situation becomes. If we could just hang loose and let things shake themselves out, life would be a lot better for everyone. In a marriage there will always be knots somewhere down the line. If we could just hang loose and not take things so personally, perhaps we could find a way to untangle those knots. I realize some situations may require cutting the cord, but for most there is hope if both are willing to work at it.

Life’s knots and tangles

Need shakeups to work them out

Hang on… don’t jump ship

Ride out September’s gales

November brings Thanksgiving

Winter is coming

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.

Sticks and Stones

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Sticks and Stones will break my bones
But names will never hurt me
Hogwash
Sticks and Stones will break my bones
And words will hurt me even more
Bones heal
Remembered from time to time
Words leave scars on the soul
Indelible marks
Never erased
Perhaps forgiven

Be careful what you say…

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

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Shattered

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There are times
in life
when everything
seems to go to pieces.
Devastated,
we think
our life is over…
But,
in reality,
those shattered pieces,
in the end
cement together
to become
the mosaic of our life!

Today I read a poem, by blogger Christine Bolten, called Jagged Pieces. It inspired the poem I wrote above. Her poem deals with brokenness, healing, restructuring, and the hope of forgiveness.
Read her poem here: https://poetryforhealing.com/2019/09/27/jagged-pieces/

The mosaic tile art  piece was done by friend and artist Lynn Carmichael.

Shedding Religion… Finding God

The older I get the simpler life becomes
I feel sort of like a tree shedding it bark
End of life // is not too far in the future;
makes me stop and think…
“What is really important and true?”
The older I get
the more focused faith becomes;
Moving beyond religious trappings
guilt, fear, and control;
(Knowing those
were nailed to the cross for me.)
Understanding God’s grace in my life
brings me peace;
Knowing I am blessed
to have lived this long
in good health.
I let go of all those things
I once felt obligated to do;
Understanding that the metaphors,
taken so literally by some,
Are there to guide me along the way…
not to prove right or wrong.
I let go of “streets paved with gold”
and “mansions over the hilltop…”
knowing God is Spirit;
No need there
of physical things
we hold so dear.
I believe the image of God
is not flesh and blood
nor what I put on or take off,
but rather an attitude of spirit
that is loving and compassionate.
I came to the realization
that all those prayers I prayed
demanding results
never got past the ceiling.
I realize prayer is meant
to change me // not them
Prayer brings me closer to God,
as I focus on my needs
and the needs of others.
Infomercial religion has no appeal to me
…nor or to God…
There is no place for peddling the gospel
for personal gain…
nor to exert control over the faithful.
Hamster cage religion
leaves me frustrated
and going in circles;
Faith and action bring a feeling
of authenticity and connection.
Church should be uplifting…
an encouraging fellowship
full of good news
connecting us with God
showing us how to love as Jesus loved.
To me the Bible is my guide …
not my God…
words of truth to live by.

Photo:  Dwight L. Roth

The Silent Voice of the Spirit

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Easter brings a time of reflection on what the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus means to us who are part of the Christian faith. For me it reinforces the power of God’s love in my life. Some get bogged down in rules and rituals and debates over theological interpretations, but for me the gospel boils down to Love and Grace… God’s Love for me and Grace that goes beyond all my sins.  I wrote this poem earlier this year which sums up and focuses on the way all this plays out in my life.

The Silent Voice of the Spirit
In the recesses of the mind
Where reason and conscience lie
Right along side the knowledge of good and evil
There comes a sound // not in words
But a silent voice speaking to me
Not with scream nor shout
But with a still small (silent) voice
Heard above the noise of loud voices
Clamoring for my attention
Heard above the noise of city streets
Roaring trucks and honking taxies
Above social media smart phones
Spewing out trivial pursuits
The silent voice always there.
The other option…
Some call it mystical
Others hear nothing
But I hear the silent voice of God
Speaking into my soul…
The voice that says, “I love you my child.”
“No matter what you might do,
I love you!”
“Be all you can be!”

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Armor of Blame

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Cold steel words now cover me head to toe.
I bind cold blame around my pierced body
Thinking it proves righteous indignation.
Not the first // mine will be the second blow
A fight to the death // my sword sharp words live;
Casting blow after cutting blow I charge…
Battle-scarred, bruised, and battered we retreat…
Alone // Would be easier to forgive?
Oh, no! … for I fight alongside Id and Ego;
Too much at stake to forgive your many sins.
Blame is my protection // choking my heart;
Stand and fight // I learned defense long ago!
Forgiveness // love // leaves me vulnerable;
I go down fighting // while I am able.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today Frank , at d’Verse, asked us to write a poem that includes blame and forgiveness.  I wonder why we put ourselves through all the pain when forgiveness could save us the agony. It all comes down to being right! How could I forgive you if I am always right!!?? I believe this is the problem in our country as well.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Finding God

 

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Somewhere amid the rules and regulations
The desire for correctness
The literal interpretation….
Underneath it all we hope to find God
Buried in the guilt and shame
Of imperfection // fallenness
We lie…
Controlled by our fears
Manipulated by our insecurities
Underneath it all we hope to find God
In creeds and sacraments of blood and wine
In stories of suffering // blessing // and chosenness `
We struggle to make right our wrongs
Knowing that…
Underneath it all we hope to find God
Our prayers ascend on wings of faith
Hoping to find an opiate for our pain
A clearing and focused mind
That can see and feel that…
Underneath it all we hope to find God
We open our heart to redeeming grace
Finally realizing // it’s not what we do
Not what we say verbosely to others
It is in forgiving others // and ourselves
That we find love and acceptance
And underneath it all we find God

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Stain glass window from the WUM Church in Weddington, NC