What is Normal

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Our free range playgrounds of childhood have died.

We no longer live connected, but rather side by side

We know each other by first name only

Some live isolated and feel quite lonely

Gone are the days of front porch swings

Where friends may gather as evening begins

And lovers sit swinging hand in hand

It was wonderful // Life was grand

Our doors never locked and curtains seldom pulled

Kids ran free and no threat while at school

Played in the woods // climbed trees without nets

Disappeared all day and played with their pets

And if we ever needed help from a friend

We knew who to call // that neighbor round the bend

Seems the new normal arrived long before Covid

As life had already changed  // no matter what we did

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

This poem came to me after reading Reena Sexons poem:

https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2020/08/05/target-markets/#comment-101335

Darwin and Covid-19

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When the bug got out, we all went inside;
Stayed there for days …and months we did hide.
Daily, Doctors  kept us up to date;
Our job was simply to sit home and wait.
But, some within our national span
thought it was all a just a government scam.
Mind control to keep us down
steal our freedom // shut us down.
Many resisted // flocked to the beach
still went to church and partied in the streets.
Their theory being, “It’s just like the flu!”
Some will die, but not me or you
Survival of the fittest was what they preached
Nature’s way // Earth’s balance to keep
Although many don’t believe in evolution,
Darwin would be very proud of their solution.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Soaring

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Today // I sat and watched a hawk
come sailing through the trees

Pushed by the wind he picked up speed
Wings folded back flying like a bullet

Lifting to ride on the March winds
Dipping diving // circling lifting
calling raspy notes to his mate

Today // first day of spring…
My mind soared in freedom

with every sweeping pass

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D.L Roth Photos

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Forgiveness & Freedom

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Forgiveness is the door through
the wall of separation
allowing us to exit
our bitter cage of choice.
Grace is the understanding
that frees us from ourselves,
opening the door of restoration
replacing bitterness with love.
Offering forgiveness to others
comes with no guaranties.
Forgiveness is the door we walk through
…to free ourselves

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Today is open link night at d’Verse. The inspiration for this poem came as a spin-off from a post I read earlier this week. You can read it here:     https://essenceandlife.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/forgiveness/

Join us at: https//dversepoets.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Freedom is…

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Freedom is like the wind
A cool breeze on a warm day
Refreshingly comforting
Freedom is like the wind
That roars outside your window
Chills you to the bone
Freedom is like the wind
Destructive and deadly
Bringing shock and awe
Freedom is like the wind
Throwing tantrums // a little child
Sweet one moment screaming another
Freedom is like the wind
That lifts you high above
Giving new perspective
Freedom is like the wind
A gentle spirit calming one’s soul
Reviving life restoring the beauty
Freedom comes with responsibility
Peace or destruction
The choice is up to you

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Pboto: Dwight L. Roth

 

Peace and Freedom

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On our bus tour of the city of Strasbourg, France, we passed the headquarters of the Council of Europe. It was founded on 5 May 1949 by the Treaty of London. After experiencing the atrocities of WW II, Sir Winston Churchill had a vision of the nations of Europe coming together to work for peace.  The purpose of the Council of Europe is to promote Freedom, Democracy, and the Rule of Law. On this Independence Day I am thankful for organizations that promote peace rather than conflict.

Independence Day

Thankful for peace and freedom

Hotdogs on the grill

 

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Coming to America

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Goodbye Little Sister  (The Long Sad Voyage of 1882)

 

The ships tall masts reaching high to the sky

Awesome for a boy of six // wondering why

His family packed up and left their home

Heading for a new world they travel alone

Brothers left behind grown and married

Younger brothers and sisters stay with the family

Watching the Alps fade as the shadows wane

To the port of Le Havre floating down the Seine

Ready to board this giant bucket of timber

Excitement rising trying to remember

All of his friends left behind in Basel

New adventures unseen in this perilous travel

Noise and activity surrounds them all

White sails slide up and begin to unfurl

Down to steerage on the ships second level

The family of Roths find a place to settle

Into the briny dark seas they sail

To New York Harbor where liberty hails

As the week drags on the voyage is rough

Young Christian and sister find sleeping is tough

The food is bad // unlike cooking back home

The water in barrels kept from the rats’ roam

But somehow this packed and unsanitary condition

Made some folks sick with dysentery emissions

Little sister was one whose resistance was lacking

As the days dragged on her fever not slacking

Worried mother and father prayed for God’s backing

Little sister got worse // there was nothing to do

As her fever raged on everyone knew

Late one night while everyone slept

Little sister passed on our little angel had left

O how we cried  // and mourned this great loss

Little sister had died before we’re across

The captain came by early that dawn

Saying sadly “She’s gone and we must send her on,”

The day was spent in tears and sad wails

As the orange sun was setting we bid our farewells

Wrapped in a blanket lowered into the swell

Into the briny blue she fell

With prayers and weeping // sadness abounds

Young Christian stood watching as folks gathered round

Little sister was gone // for her t’was too late

Wondering if he might be next for this unhappy fate

On reaching New York the emigrants unloaded

Ellis Island was crowded // each family recorded

Christian and family moved on to Ohio

With promise of hope always held high

Words still to come reflect how it should be

Give me your tired // your poor // yearning to be free

Give me your sad // your distraught // still counting the cost

Seeking religious freedom in a land unknown

Where Freedom and Liberty stand alone!

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Le Havre port  –  Bing Photo

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Bjorn at d’Verse asked us to write a poem using a story narrative. I wrote this poem last years about my Grandfather’s experience of coming to America at the age of six. I decided to repost this fictional narrative. The only fact I had was that when they sailed from France to come to America his little sister died on the journey. I had to fill in the details from my imagination. I took all the details I had and wrote a fictional biograpy of my grandfather Christian Roth.

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Most of us who live in America are descendants of immigrants by choice or by force. We have no idea the sacrifices that were made to come and live in freedom. In the year 1882, my Grandfather came as a young boy of six, only to see his sister die on the way across the Atlantic. (In those days when a child died the name was not always recorded in the family tree.  This seems to be the case in this case!) His parents left Switzerland for freedom of religion. Many immigrants have come in the years following for many reasons. It is sad that emigration today has been equated with fear and criminality.

Join us at d’Verse: https://dversepoetry.com

 

When I Think of Freedom

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On the Fourth of July many think of freedom as the day we declared our independence from England. It may remind us of those who fought in the revolution and many wars since then. It may mean standing for the National Anthem or Saluting the Flag. But there is an even deeper meaning to freedom, without which all the others lose their significance. Freedom is an attitude, a choice, and a mindset that goes beyond the physical realm.

Freedom to walk with others

Protecting their dignity and pride

Freedom to have courage to speak

When injustice rears its ugly head

Freedom to show kindness

Without expectation

Freedom to believe and have faith

In the manner of our choosing

Freedom to forgive

Releasing hurt and pain

Freedom to say.  “I love you!”…

So memories of you will be good one!

Freedom is not physical // it’s a mindset

No one can take away from you

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth