Massanutten Calls

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Proud tall Massanutten Peak rises high

Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley calls

Blue Ridge mountain stands against a blushed sky

A sentinel of history’s many flaws

Only erased by erosion and time

Ghosts of Lee haunt many a hallowed hall

Calling the living to keep in their minds

Cost of division runs bloody and deep

Yet, we still have not learned with passing time


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Laura reminded us that this is the 9th day fo the 9th month. She asked us to write write a nine line poem in iambic pentameter. This is my attempt. I am not sure if it is correct, but hopefully it is close.

Join us at:

Independence Day…”all men are created equal”

Fourth of July 2012

I wrote this poem almost ten years ago. Thinking about the 4th of July and what independence day really means, I realized that it is all in the perspective from which it is viewed. It may be uncomfortable to look back at history the way it really was and know that for many generations, equality was nowhere to be found. A lot has changed in the last ten years, but inequality still exists in our nation. What will you and your children do to bring about change for the common good?

When all the fireworks fade into ashes

And the Bar-B-Que grills have cooled.

When the wide eyes of the children close in blissful sleep

Do you ever wonder what Independence Day really means…

To the ancestors of African slaves brought here in the holds of ships

Who look back at our forefather who bought and sold them,

Forefathers who wrote, “all men are created equal,”

And realize, the dark ones were not included.

In the words of, Thomas Jefferson, “less than human…”

Or, perhaps, to the Native Americans who loved the free and open spaces

Only to be run off their lands, pushed into the deserts,

Left where summer heat scorched them

And winter snows chilled them to the bone,

Where animals were few and crops refused to grow…

Were they a part of “All men are created equal?”

No, in the words of our former Presidents,

“They were just savages… they were less than human.”

Or, perhaps, to the ‘”Illegal Aliens” who scrub our floors,

Pick our fruits and vegetables, build our houses,

And mow our lawns and mulch our shrubs,

Are they part of “All men are created equal?”

No, in the words of many of us, “They are just ‘wetbacks,’”

Nameless illegals, “…Who should be sent back where they came from.”

Though we may not say it, some of us think they too are less than human.

How quickly we forget the dark side…

How soon we lay aside our guilt, insult, and pain…

We rise as a flower in the sidewalk crack,

Stepped on over and over again,

Yet, we rise and bloom from the strength of our roots.

Independence Day is a time to “Bloom”…

To draw from the strength of our roots… not to forget, but to move on

To all that we can become, in a land where in God’s eyes,

“All men are truly created equal!”

“Where have all the flowers gone?”


Sunday is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, when fighting ceased, bringing an end to WWI. It was called the war to end all wars, but sadly we see conflicts and wars continue throughout the world. Some say war is Hell and I would tend to agree. Many brave soldiers lost their lives on the battlefield. The horrific atrocities that occurred were unimaginable. Our leaders have not learned from our past. The division in our country can only lead to further conflict in our own back yard. We must learn how to agree to disagree and move beyond our personal power trips. We must stop sending our best young people to slaughter in ongoing wars of our own making.

Armistice Day ink
Brings an end to bloody war
November snow falls

Frank Tassone reminded us that tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of  the end of WWI. The Armistice signed ended the fighting and killing that had raged on for years. He asked us to write a Haikai poem that mention Armistice Day.
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Tomorrow is also Frank’s birthday!  Happy Birthday Frank!!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth    Title from Pete Seeger song:  “Were have all the flowers gone?”




Word of mouth stories

Passed down through centuries

Of human kind

Representing events and actions

Showing how critical choices

Helped or harmed men and women

Of diverse origins and cultures

Recording these events as history

Chosen and written for

Future generations to read

And imagine what actually happened

That was not told or only inferred

Wondering in their minds what

Layers of history were not recorded

Significant portions lost in the dust of time.

We pick and choose the history

Our children and grandchildren

Read and learn from…

The successes and mistakes

Of the past are there to help

Them learn and avoid

Repeating the evils men do.

Sadly few ever learn from the past

History continues to repeat itself

Generation after generation

Calling to mind the haunting question

Pete Seeger so simply asked…

“When will they ever learn

When will they… ever learn…”


Photo: Dwight L. Roth