People of Amsterdam

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Last summer we celebrated our 50th anniversary with a Rhine River Cruise. We started in Amsterdam and traveled up river to Basel. When we arrived in Amsterdam we had a half day to do as we pleased, so we went on a canal ride through the heart of Amsterdam. Below are some of the people we saw along the way.

 

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Wherever we go

People are much the same as

You and me

Photos take in Amsterdam: Dwight L. Roth

Keeping Quiet

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I read this poem earlier this week and thought it was very appropriate for the time we are experiencing, with our stay at home order. Maybe a little silence would be in order.
KEEPING QUIET
by Pablo Naruda
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about…
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

“Pablo Neruda was a Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet-diplomat and politician. Neruda became known as a poet when he was 13 years old, and wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems such as the ones in his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.”

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Que Sera, Sera…

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Que Sera, Sera…
Worry less about the future
Concentrate on today
No need to spend time on what might be
And miss out on what is
Aging brings questions of what is next
It also brings a treasure of what was
A life to share // a gift to give
No need to sit back and wait for the end
Stay in the game // play hard to the end
Enjoy all life has to offer as long as you can
Be grateful for the blessings of life
Love deeply // feel every emotion
Share the joy of this moment in time
Be the best you can be today
Let God have your tomorrow
…Whatever will be, will be

Stair Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Winter Reflections (a Sonnet) 2

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A sonnet consists of 14 lines structured into two parts. The first part gives an “argument” and the second part a “solution” separated by a “volta” (a turn), in the italian sonnet the argument consists of the first octet leaving the last sextet for the resolution.  Today at d’Verse Poets Pub, Bjorn introduced us to different forms of the sonnet. I am attempting to write my first Italian sonnet. It includes my thoughts on aging in this winter time of my life.

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Jilly asked us to use enjambment, which is punctuation that reflects the meaning we want to project. This is my revised version with punctuation added.

In this gray, leafless winter time of life;
When reflection dominates my thinking;
And, age blankets memory; snowy, cold, twinkling;
Covering over old pain, hurt, and strife.
Forgetting past, and sometimes the present,
I contemplate my future things to come.
Will old age smile on the end of my run;
Or, can I peacefully pass on content?
Life still goes on, independent of us,
New changes will come, without our consent;
All I can do is watch, and make a fuss;
But, if I have no choice about this chatter,
Why should I worry, or fret with resentment?
To stay, or leave, does not really matter.

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Proving Your Faith

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I believe it is contradictory to try to prove faith.  Some go to great lengths to prove that what they believe is right. Endless studies and theological discourses are done trying to disprove everyone else. Some feel if they can disprove evolution, for example that they will have accomplished a great milestone for Creationism. Still others pick and choose proof texts to support their particular beliefs. For me, this proves nothing. The proof of your faith is in living it. If what you say does not match what you do then you have nothing to offer anyone.

Proof is in the living //not in the proving

Faith is not based on proof //rather on belief

Proof is not disproving others

It is living the faith you choose

For it is in living that we convince others

That our words/work is not in vain

Yet we try so hard to convince ourselves we are right

Is it our doubt // or feelings of superiority?

Few are brought to faith by details of theology

Rather by the life of One who has lived selflessly

Faith is not supported by disproving science…

Which is ever changing as knowledge increases

Faith is not proven by what cannot be proven //

Stories of the past or imaginations of the future…

Recorded to uplift and reassure the faithful

Having little to do with drawing others to accept your Truth

Faith is a mystery // believing what can’t be proven

Accepting God’s Love and Grace

Living in that light each day of your life

Loving God //Loving your neighbor //Serving others

Faith is based on Love … not on Proof

Your faith in action becomes

“The Word made Flesh”

Questions

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Questions draw us toward eternity

Leaving us to speculate what will be

The future of this fragile soul

Wandering (wondering) // like in a black hole

 

Questions draw us toward answers unknown

For no one knows accept by faith they’re shown

What lies in store // what will be our fate

As we pass through this life’s final gate

 

Questions draw us to stake our claim

Designating truth becomes our aim

For we know in truth we feel secure

Even though we don’t know what’s there for sure

 

Questions draw us into a sense of peace

Realizing knowing answers brings no release

But our minds will forever seek to know

What only faith can reassure and show

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

When the End is Near

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How does one prepare for his own demise. I used to think as I drove down the road, “If this or that happens, I will react in this way to avert a bad outcome. Ironically things happen in split seconds and not in rational minutes. This became a reality when canoeing in Michigan with my wife. We decided to take a short cut through a set of rapids. I made the mistake of grabbing a fallen tree limb in the river as we went by. It two seconds we were upside down in the water. Life is the same way. Split seconds often decide our future in this life. To think we can plan out our life to the end is rather foolish. Things happen when  we least expect them. It is more important to live each day to the full, enjoy our families, and be grateful for the gifts others bring into our life.  Planning is important, but a wise counselor once said, “Life happens when we have other plans.”  Live every day as though it will be your last.

When the End is Near

How does one prepare to die

When all my life I have always denied

Until the time of confrontation

Be it diagnosis or major complication

I used to think I could plan it out

And when my time came to go out with a shout

How foolish to think I could have any say

When my time has come and it’s my day

The older I get the faster the time flies

Like a barreling freight train that comes flying by

To plan for my end must be done in the living

Of each day’s moment each opportunity for giving

When that time comes and it will for us all

I can say while I lived I gave it my all

And if I keep going on as long as I can

When it’s my turn to go I won’t need to plan

But when I am gone if I am remembered

Hopefully it will be that I never surrendered

As I press toward the mark of that high calling

I trust that my life will have been worth the living

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Stamp mixed media art: Dwight L. Roth

The House By the Side of the Road

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Being retired has its perks. One is having the time to write for this blog. Another is choosing my own schedule. The best part is being able to volunteer and give back to the community. I found this beautiful little poem painted on glass and in a gilded frame while volunteering at the Habitat Restore. I really love the poem because it very concisely says what I feel about this stage of my life.  I hope you enjoy it as well

The House by the side of the Road

Let me live in a house by the side of the road

Where the race of men  go by

The men who are good and the men who are bad

As good and as bad as I

I would not sit in the scorner’s seat

Or hurl the cynic’s ban

Let me live in ha house by the side of the road

And be a friend to man

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From the writings of Sam Walter Foss

 

 

No Regrets

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No Regrets

Regrets are only rocks in your pack

Weighing you down and stealing your joy

Telling you it’s ok to sulk and mope

Regrets are like pebbles in your shoe

Hindering your walk creating more pain

Infectious aggravation leaving you maimed

Regrets repeated push others away

Not wanting to hear the same old tale

Wishing you would get on with your life

Regrets… just crush those rocks into sand

Let them lay in the flow  of receding tide

Washing your problems out into the deep

Regrets remembered can be just fine

Acknowledged and left to the passing of time

But too heavy to carry to for a whole lifetime

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Myrtle Beach, SC Photo: Dwight L. Roth