We are of One Blood

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When self-preservation

at all cost

overrides our understanding

of humanity,

Ideologies arise

blinding us to the truth

that we are all of

One Blood

that pumps

through our veins

interchangeable

with you or me

regardless of color

race or ethnicity,

Life-saving blood

revealing

that we are all one

in the midst of

our diversity,

but not exclusive

in value

or superior in

entitlement.

We are humanity

created in the image

of our creator

Spiritual channels

of light

in the darkness

We are hope and comfort…

not death and destruction.

*

My sad condolences to the people of Buffalo whose family members were attacked and killed yesterday by a raving lunatic who thought his humanity was greater in value than the lives of others who were different from him.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Job’s Cry for Ukraine

Our Cry to God

Where are you God when we need you the most

as bombs explode and buildings crumble

Where are you as little men who desire power

send other men to the slaughter in their place

And where are you as mother’s weep

for their husbands… their sons… and their children

Where were you when refugees fled their homes

for destinations unknown and unforeseen just weeks ago

Where were you as bullets fly and old men are murdered

left shot, lying in the street like human refuse

Where are you as women were raped and children cry

from a lifetime of the despicable happening overnight

Where are you God as the Nations rage

seemingly out of control

God’s Response

I Am… not the chess-master controlling the board

As pawns are discarded and Queens attempt to capture kings

The affairs of men go on as they have since the beginning

Nation against nation and Kingdom against kingdom

Some think I Am a genie in the bottle

that when correct prayers are given, rubbed the right way,

will bring the three wishes of fantasy and dreams

My kingdom is not one of the physical realms

But of the spiritual, not of this world but of the eternal

I Am the God who gives you strength from within

Power of unequal measure coming up from the depths

When faced with crisis, or the enemy, or the forces of evil

I Am the God who reveals himself through the human spirit

bringing comfort to the grieving and strength to the dying

I Am the God who removes physical blinders revealing

chariots of fire moving you forward to face whatever lies ahead

I Am the Lion roaring through you to confront evil in the world

Those who look to me will find renewed strength

And like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, you too will rise

I AM the God of peace…      which will come in time

as Love is shown and Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness

are extended to all

***

This is not intended to be a theological study although it is inspired from the Biblical account of Job questioning of God as he lay suffering in sack cloth and ashes. This is simply a poetic rendering of questions we might be asking ourselves, as we watch the death and destruction in Ukraine, and how I imagine God might answer.

Paintings of Sunflowers: Dwight L. Roth

Sharing this on d’Verse Poets Pub open link night… Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Humming Bird

There you are every morning at my perch

Drinking from my fermented fountain

Addicted to the sour nectar

All of your iridescence shimmering in the sunlight

Pausing now and then to look at me

As I make my morning coffee

Movement in the shadows

Not sure what to make of me

The sunlight blinding your view

Making it difficult to see the details

Yet you come back every day

Finding nourishment and strength

In the liquid of life that sustains you

Hoping to get your fill

Before another drives you away

Claiming it to be theirs alone

Sort of like my view of God…

Moving in the shadows of my life

Providing sustaining strength and hope

Not exactly sure what I am seeing

Everyone thinking they alone have it right

Blinded by the light of Grace

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

A Bud of Hope

At the base of each drying leaf

Is a bud full of life and potential

Waiting patiently for summer’s heat

Or winter’s cold to pass

Knowing Spring will bring renewal

*****

Remember…

Behind all that crushes you

Makes you feel devastated

Hopeless and distraught

Lies a bud of strength and potential

The creator’s promised hope

Waiting for you to recognize

That your spring has arrived

Once more

Photo: Dwighr L. Roth

Aunt Betty’s Oyster Shack

Bing images~

My Aunt Betty grew up in the small town of Ware, Virginia right along Mobjack Bay, home of Ward Oyster Company. Aunt Bet, as friends called her, was a fine cook and specialized in fried oysters. People up and down the Ware River knew about Aunt Bet.

She was so popular that that she and Uncle Joe decided to open Aunt Betty’s Oyster Shack. It was a big success, with people lined up around the block to get a taste of her fried oysters, slaw, hush puppies, and sweet tea.

She could shuck those oysters faster than anyone I know. One day I asked her, if she was ever angry that God made her black. A broad smile crossed her face as she looked up at me and said, “No, I do not weep at the world; I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife!”

**********

Today at d’Verse, Lisa challenged us to write a prosery piece, that included the line: “No, I do not weep at the world, I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife!” from –Zora Neale Hurston, from “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow (1928).

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I took my fictional setting from information I found on line about the Ward Oyster Company at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. If you are interested you can read more about it below:

Ward Oyster Co. is one of the largest cage oyster farms on the East Coast of the USA, distributing their oysters all over the continental United States. Ward Oyster Co. has about 20 to 30 million oysters placed in cages near the mouth of the Ware River (our nursery) and in the heart of the Mobjack Bay (our grow out location). It is headquartered in the towns of Ware Neck in Gloucester County, and the town of Foster in Mathews county, both of Virginia. The Ware River is one of four rivers which feed the Mobjack Bay, all of which flow directly to and from the salty lower Chesapeake Bay.  Visit our online store for the best fresh oysters in the area.

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…

Beyond Brokenness

Broken

What do you see when something is broken

An object to discard

Or an object restored

Half-full or half-empty

Perspective is everything

Affects all of life

We all become broken

At some time in our life

Thinking we are beyond repair

But God sees us otherwise

And restores us with his grace

His perspective

His Love

Are always there

We always have our place

Way beyond

What we could ask or think

Jose Ramirez – 1937

Photos & Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Stairway to Heaven

A little girl saw a long wooden ladder, with wheels as tall as she was, sitting inside the Cathedral door. Seeing the priest greeting Sunday parishioners nearby, she reached over tugging on the arm of his robe.

Her mother quickly pulled her away and said, “Don’t bother the priest while he is greeting people!”

The priest overhearing what was happening said, “It is quite alright. What would you like to know young lady.”

“Is that the stairway to heaven?” she asked.

“No child, Heaven is much farther away than this ladder could reach. This one is for changing our lightbulbs.”

“Well, where is God?” asked the little girl.

“Oh, Only mouths are we, who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things? God is the center of all that exists, both near and far.”

“And, thank you for asking.”

Today at d’Verse, Sanaa introduced a Prosery prompt. It requires a short prose piece, only 144 words, that includes a line from a poem that she has chosen. The line is“Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things? – from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Heartbeat.”

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Photo from the Stasbourg Cathedral: Dwight L. Roth

Is Your God is too small?

As long as we can keep God confined to an image

or a person, we can control the use of him/her

to conform others to think like we do

~believing we are the only ones~

While others find God’s Spirit all around them

Experiencing love and blessing in all they do

Exchanging religion for real spiritual connection

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Merril introduced us to Puente, bridge building in our poetry. We are to take the first verse and connect it to the third verse by a single bridge line that completed the first verse and leads into the third. This is a first for me, so I am sharing some thoughts running through my head today.

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