Finding Common Ground

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The death of Congressman John Lewis, bring a reflection of the intense turmoil  he lived through during the Civil Rights era. The struggle for respect and equality still goes on sixty years later.  As I look at the division that still remains, I realize it will not be resolved  without God’s love changing our hearts allowing us to live together in peace.

Some views are shotguns blasting away

Others sling shots pelting against the gate.

Let’s have a conversation they say…

Come together // find common ground

Solve our differences together.

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How does that happen with shotgun politics

and sling shot twitter, that couldn’t hit a brick wall.

When our view is the only right view,

Each conversation become one of persuasion or condemnation…

A ticket to ride our train non stop to our destination.

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Legislated change without heart change, brings little hope.

History keeps repeating with every rotation.

Change comes with give and take // listening and hearing

Appreciating uniqueness // instead of condemning it.

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Only a revolution of the heart will bring peace from division.

Perhaps, “love your neighbor as yourself”

are words that could make our world a better place…

Opening the door to finding common ground…

Bringing the “Hope and Change” we really need.

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Here is a favorite song from the Folk era by the Youngbloods called Let’s Get Together

Perhaps what is missing in this generation is the truth in Folk Music… Music that brought people together!

God Speaks in Silence

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Where does one hear the voice of God?
Is it in large cathedrals with towering spires
or from preachers who peddle the Gospel
like a Television infomercial” // New and Improved.
Does it come through what we put on // or what we take off
Perhaps in the mass emotion of the moment
Like an engine revved up to 5000 rpms?
I believes it come in silence. when we listen
To a bubbling stream or birds singing in the trees.
It come in the silence of a flower
Smiling up at us // waving in the wind.
Perhaps in a silent loving touch // no words needed;
Or, from the silence of the written word
Enlightening our minds // opening our eyes.
Sometimes it comes as we share ourselves with others
Our passion // our faith // our love // our compassion.
In the silence of our minds God speaks;
As we listen // living in the Spirit
We become the silent word made flesh;.
The silent voice of God to those willing to hear.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Shame

Loras bracelet

“Metamorphosis doesn’t look the same for everyone. Don’t be afraid to share your story.”

We live in a time where Mental Health issues and PTSD  affect many in our society. Some things in life cannot be fixed by a pill, a doctor, or a will to change. In the past generation, sharing this kind of issue was a stigma and considered shameful by many. Our scars and differences are not something to be hidden or kept within ourselves. Sharing our story can be the first step in finding healing and wholeness again.  Our story is what makes us unique from everyone else. How good are you at listening to what others are going through?

“Shame happens

when we largely treat suffering

like a problem to fix

rather than a story to tell.”

Photo from: Lora Myers Roth

Used by permission

Quote came from an article in Christianity Today:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/december-web-only/wakeupolive-heiligenthal-bethel-church-miracle-doesnt-come.html?share=&fbclid=IwAR3tKk4Mnz61_bKZX-iWhpBgXOSuBIalHIsmmN60A1RRmUotyGWSjaYIYHg

 

The Silent Voice

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In the recesses of the mind
Where reason and conscience lie…
Right alongside 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!”

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

I am the guest host for Tuesday poetics at d’Verse~Poets Pub. The prompt for the day is the Sounds of Silence. We are to write a poem describing any aspect of the Sounds of Silence.

Join us at d’Verse. The bar opens Tuesday at 3:00 PM.  https://dversepoets.com

Listen

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Silent Words

The ocean speaks silent words to me

As it crashes and rolls across the sand

Words of hope beyond this noise

Of crashing and pounding and roaring blows

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Words that speak cleansing to my soul

Smoothing out the rough places in my mind

Letting go the sandcastles of expectation built in sand

Refreshed once again by the receding tide

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Only foundation stones remain

I Listen alone to the silent words

Amid the rolling ebb and flow

Words spoken only to me

So I write my troubles in the sand

And watch

And listen

For the unspoken word

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Can You Hear the Termites Chewing?

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Can You Hear the Termites Chewing

Can you hear the termites chewing

Most people can’t become that still

Few take time to sit or listen

Perhaps only a blind man could

With sharpened acuity and sensitive ears

Hear those tiny critters in the wood

Take a walk in the woods

Sit down on a rotten log and listen

Block out all else but the lumber jacks

Working in dark coal mines of wood

Chewing chewing chewing at this unending log

If you concentrate block out the noise around

And the symphony of creatures auditioning for a spot

Parking their flute or drum in your brain

For your future reference

If you block out everything else to true silence

Perhaps then you can hear the termites chewing

Beneath your seat on the decaying log

As for me it will never happen

Age and excess decibels have taken their toll

The constant ringing that never stops

Covers all the minute sounds silence might bring

Like termites chewing inside a log

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Photo: Ruth A. Roth

Sisters

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Family relationships can be challenging, but the older we get the more important it is to focus on the positive things in life. Sisters have that special bond that is different from any other. As life moves on this connection can become a great source of strength and encouragement. Facing the future together is much better than facing it alone.

Sisters

After a life of ups and downs

Sisters come together to wander around

Traveling and talking about things from the past

Good things and bad things and things that didn’t last

Enjoying the bond that only sister can share

Knowing the other will always be there

Someone to call on who will lend an ear

Though far away it will feel like you’re near

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As the hair turns white in the fall of life

The bond they have is not full of strife

But rather with joy and love all around

Sharing a future where good memories abound

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

 

Splitting the Heart

Ruel's wooden bald eagle.

Older folks have so many stories to tell if only someone will take the time to ask and listen.  I always enjoy hearing stories of life before my time. I worked for a boss who was in his seventies and when asked about his past, he told us some most interesting stories. It reminds me of taking a log and splitting it open to see what is in the center. When you cut to the into the log you begin to see the beautiful wood grain that has come from years of growth. When planed down, that grain becomes a work of art, a thing of beauty. The same is true when people share their heart. Take time to listen and ask question. It is amazing what you will hear.

Splitting the Heart

Memories are meant to be opened

Just as a log is meant to be split

Revealing the beauty of its past

Grains rich with uniqueness

Only seen when the heart is opened`

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Layers of memories like wood grain

Embedded in the heart of our being

Appreciated only when they are revealed

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Some logs lay for years

Preserved by the swamp in which they lie

Only to be found, opened, and viewed with awe

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Others rot away

Destroyed by circumstances beyond their control

Memories lost in the compost heap of time

 

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Some go up in flames

Fleeting memories

Soon lost in smoke and ashes

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Beauty lies not in the rugged bark

Nor in the gnarled limbs

But in the split layers of the heart

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Inner beauty laid bare… uniqueness of the soul

Cherished memories… the story our life

 

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Wood sculpture by Ruel Detweiler –  Bald Eagle Intarsia 15″ wide x 26″ tall
Woods used: Aspen, Walnut, Red Bay, Spalted Birch, Mulberry and Poplar. No stains used; all natural color.

The red oak bench made from recycled truck racks by Dwight Roth.