Chernobyl

Chernobyl photo

It was my first visit to Chernobyl since the reactor meltdown years ago. I grew up there as a child; rode the Ferris Wheel and Bumper Cars in the park. My father worked in a one of many factories owned by the government.
As our SUV pulled into the radiation zone, I could see things had changed. The grass was green, the sky was blue, and wild foxes roamed the fields nearby looking for rabbits and field mice. But, there was an eerie sad silence that seemed to wrap its arms around me.
Pulling up to the factory where my father went each day, I could see the jagged glass broken in the windows; the sagging doors were orange with rust. “No one left and no one came on the bare platform.” Hell must be like this I thought; memories of what once was…

Today at d’verse we are doing Prosery, combining poetry into a 144 word prose piece. Sarah gave a line form a poem that must be incorporated into our flash fiction piece. Our line today comes from a poem called Adelstrop by Edward Thomas. It is: “No one left and no one came on the bare platform.” 

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Bing photo from a YouTube clip.

Her Perspective

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How big the world must look to one so young
With all its overflowing challenges;
A chasm most daunting // stretched and far flung;
It spreads in all directions and ranges.
From your high safe perch on that giant rock,
You might feel secure // a place to call home;
But, you know in the future you will walk
Across that river of life all alone.
How big the world seems sitting on a rock

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

This evening is open link night at d’Verse. Join us at:

https://dversepoets.com

Black Walnuts

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Black walnuts always take me home
Back to the place of my childhood
And to the black walnut tree growing
On the side of the hill above the driveway
Each fall a bushel full lay in crushed array
Uncracked by car tires driving over

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Today at d’Verse, De Jackson asked us to write a quadrille of 44 words for our prompt, and use some form of the word Crack. The word crack brought back memories of collecting, shelling, and later, cracking black walnuts to pick out the meat for cookies and eating. The nuts have a tough husk around the outside and need to fall on the ground and deteriorate some before they can be removed. We poured them on the driveway and used the car tires to shell them out. Then, we put them in the basement next to the coal furnace to dry. The shell of the actual nut is very hard and had to be broken with a hammer.

The photo above shows my siblings, with our neighbor, before I was born. You can see the walnut tree on the hill just to the right of the old water pump. The actual drive was created after I was born.

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Memories (Flash Fiction)

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Sitting in the driveway, under the old Maples, a long-forgotten song played on the car radio. It took him right back to that moment in time when he was sixteen. “Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue, with a love so rare and true…” floated from the speakers. Peggy Sue was one of those memories he had pushed back into the closet of his mind.
Under the maples, in the dark of the evening, he hesitantly gave her a kiss. It was the first for both of them. It all happened so quickly; and then she was off, back around the house.
Hormones raged, as they sat holding hands on the swing, under the naked bulb of the front porch light. Pandora’s box had been opened, never to be closed again.
Though time and circumstances changed their course. “These memories were left here with the trees.”

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Tonight at d’Verse we are writing Flash Fiction, which must include a line of a poem in our story. Stories are limited to only 144 words.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Survivor

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If the rings on this turtle’s shell are connected to its age, it must be very old. He was probably two and a half feet long and probably twenty inches across.  A man with a van had him and a couple of other smaller turtles in a grassy area next to a parking lot. He was collecting money to help buy food for them. The details in this beautiful creature are astounding.  I took some photos and gave the man a little to help him on his way.

Magnificent  rings
reveal years of this ancient
survivor’s journey
Hard shell protects body parts
A place he feels right at home

***************

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

The Feeling of Home

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When we moved to the Charlotte area of North Carolina several years ago, it felt like home. The rolling hills, the corn fields, and the woodlands all felt very much like the area of Pennsylvania where I grew up. I came to the conclusion that home is really a feeling that brings back memories of our  past. I wrote this poem as a song at that time describing how I felt. I have edited it to make it flow better when read.

Home is a Feeling
Home is a feeling you’ll know when you’re there
No matter how far you go no matter where you’ve been
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling when you’re there
*
When you’re driving through the cornfields
 down a long and dusy road
And you see the evening sun
sinking slowly out of sight
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling and you’re there
*
When you’re far away and all alone
wondering how long you’ll be gone
And a song comes on the radio
it takes you back and you’re right there
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling and you’re there
*
Though mom and dad are gone
and the old house stands no more
The place is still just as real
you can feel their presence there.
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling when you’re there
*
When you’re loved by those around you
and they all reach out to you.
Nothing else matters now…
You can see it in their smiles.
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling when you’re there

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Safe Harbor

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The thought of harboring our children in safe places came to mind, when Lillian at d’verse asked us to write a Quadrille of 44 words using the word harbor. It brought to mind two of my favorite songs: Teach Your Children Well  and Cat’s in the Cradle. With all the violence and mayhem going on around us, children no longer can feel safe, even while at school. Home should be that safe haven where our children need not fear and were loving relationships are the primary goal.

Harbor children well

In safe places // from the gale

Shower them with love’s rain

Watch them grow // unfurl their sail

Ships built strong // with loving care

Ready to face swells

Life’s hurricanes // and wind’s wails

Anchored by our care…

Harbor children’s souls with Love

 

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iPhone Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at d’verse:  https://dversepoets.com

Oh, My!!

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When we drove in the road to see the old house where I was born, my first reaction was “Oh, my!!” The place was unrecognizable. It was so overgrown with weeds that you could barely see the front porch. The yard was not mowed and it appeared to be in a state of disrepair. My mind quickly raced to the days when everything was trimmed and neat. The house was painted and the garden planted. It is heartbreaking to see how things have changed in fifty years.

Drove past our old house today hoping to gather some memories

Quickly realized that memories were all that remained

Nothing appeared as I remembered // everything had changed

Weeds wrapped the house like a blanket

The yard had disappeared swallowed up by the woods

Henry Padlo & Dwight Roth April 1955 001

My friend Henry and me ready for school!

De Jackson at d’Verse asked us to write a poem of 44 words that included the word quick (or a form of it) for Quadrille Monday. Nothing ever stays the same as you can see by my house then and now!

Join us at:  https://dversepoets.com

Memories of Home

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Today I traveled to joined my two brothers at the town where we all grew up for one last visit together. Everything changed greatly in the fifty years since we have been gone. The large cooling towers and stacks of the Hatfield power plant along the river were not there when we lived there.  The town suffered greatly from the loss of jobs from the depressed coal industry. As we drove down the roads we used to travel, we commented how much the trees and woodlands had grown. Our old home place was over grown with weeds and bushes, which made us very sad. We are finding a few things that are relics of the past, but mostly it is a completely different world. We were greeted with a beautiful rainbow as we visited our home church cemetery this evening. It was a good time for reminiscing.

Going back home again

Nothing matches my memory

Everything has changed

Summer rainbow greeted us

One sight that never changes

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Home

IMG_1358.JPGAging has its issues. Downsizing and relocating is often part of the process. Letting go of the things we have emotional attachments to can be very stressful. In time we might discover that the reshuffling of our life has very positive results.  Smaller places mean less work. Retirement communities can provide resources that add to our life.  What happens as we await metamorphosis is up to us. Our attitude and mindset makes a big difference in that outcome.

Awaiting Metamorphosis

We wrap ourselves with strands of life

That tells our story from front to back.

A life of joy and sorrow…

All woven into that cocoon we call home.

 

Layer after layer we weave the strands.

Stories, pleasures, and memories abound

Bringing undefined feelings of love

To our ephemeral life.

 

Family and friends give life its edge.

Children and grandchildren cut deep into our souls

Embedding themselves in the fabric of our cocoon.

 

Cool crisp mornings with coffee and tea.

Birds and flowers and vines of Kiwi.

Unspeakable joy and pleasures surround

In our home cocoon we’ve so tightly wound.

 

Time to let go and break out of our shell.

Who knows what joys and pleasures we’ll tell

In transformation of mind and matter.

 

Though parting is great sorrow

There is still hope for tomorrow

Beyond this cocoon we call home.