One of my mom’s favorite flowers was the sweet smelling lilac that grew near our driveway. I planted this bush to remind me of her. It is hard to imagine that it is fourteen years since she passed away. Her memory is always with me in so many little ways.
Washing a shiny bald head with only traces of down
A slick global arc that would make a women turn away
Happily these hairless days are short lived
But memory now fades, of those obnoxious hair grease jingles
Rattling in my brain out of tune
Today at d’Verse, Lisa asked us to write an Opposites Poem, where we take a poem and write the opposite of it! I chose to do one of my own poems, that I called Hair Daze. The original poem is shown below.
I was honored to receive this email from the North Carolina Bards:
We are pleased to announce that we have chosen
Friends in Low Places
for publication in North Carolina Bards Poetry Anthology.
Friends in Low Places
Today I walked through the cemetery of my childhood
of all life stories encapsulated there.
Friends and neighbors
inscribed on these stones;
A card catalog
of stories one can no longer check out.
Ancestries long buried in dust
some lost in time;
Yet, the stones live on
calling for recognition from the living.
I posted this poem back in December of 2020 for the d’Verse Poets prompt. I entered three poems for the new anthology. I am very pleased and honored that they chose this one. This is the second year I have had a poem published with them.
This is my latest project done during the few warm days of winter. It is the painting of a farm near Singers Glen, Virginia. During college dating years, we enjoyed some beautiful days there up under the oak tree on the hill. We even took our engagement photo next to that tree! I sent it to my niece, whose grandparents lived there.
Licking the mixing bowl when my mom baked cakes was so much fun. The mixer was set up on the kitchen table. I pulled out a chair and climbed up on it, sitting on my knees, and watched the spinning bowl. The rich chocolate batter flowed smoothly through the beaters as the bowl rotated hypnotically round and round. She used a wooden handled rubber spatula to clean the crumbs of mix off the outer edges of the bowl.
When all was blended, she poured the mix into a 9 x 12 glass cake pan. Now it was my turn. She loosened the beaters and gave them to me one at a time to lick off. It was wonderful to run my tongue up and down each of the tine, getting chocolate from ear to ear.
Then it was time for the bowl. She left little streaks of chocolate decorating the inside of the bowl. I licked both sides of the spatula; then used it to scrape out every bit of chocolate batter that I could get. It was a wonderful time to bake with mom when I was six!
Chocolate lava oozes through
Mixing bowl is mine
Photo: Family Album – the house where I was born
Today at d’Verse, Lillian asked us to take time to reflect and take note of memories from our childhood that are not from photos or family stories. We are to write a Haibun sharing what we conjured up from the depths!
Valentine’s Day brings many mixed feelings for those who have lost loved ones this past year. Covid-19 took its toll around the world, and it wasn’t just older folks who succumbed to the virus. You might think losing the one you loved has left you empty; but love remains. I wrote this a couple of years ago, but I feel it is appropriate to post again this year.
but love’s not lost
Pain entangles in every bone
not in the devastating loss;
But in you.
Love comes from deep within;
Definitely not a superficial thing…
Rooted deep in your heart and soul
Loss brings manic feelings
rushing into scary dips
Love is rooted deeper
than whispers from the lips;
Yours alone to give or keep.
A treasure of the heart
does not come cheap.
Though one you loved is gone
your gift of love remains;
To share at will
should you choose again
to give away or keep
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Dedicated to all those who have lost loved ones this past year
Today at d/Verse, Grace asked us to consider the significance of setting in our poems. We are to write a poem that definitely gives the reader a sense of the poem’s setting. This is one of my favorite photos of my two boys many years ago. I found a child’s shaving kit at the Dollar Store and he loved it.
Horses and buggies can be found clopping up and down the roads of Kishacoquillas Valley in Central Pennsylvania. Big Valley lies between the towns of Lewistown and Huntingdon. It is the home of a great number of Amish and Mennonite Farmers, who, along with many others farm, this beautiful valley. People there refer to their home as Big Valley. It is the home of many of my ancestors on both sides of my family. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country. These are a few of the sights you might see on a visit there.
I have a friend of my family who grew up in my home community in Pennsylvania. When my two brothers and I visited there a couple of years ago, we drove past the farm where her grandfather once lived, and was passed down through the generations. It was still in good condition, although the trees had grown quite large over time. The little white barn and tile silo were still there. On the hill above the farm, sat a little brethren church. Tombstones in the cemetery contained the names of many of her friends and family members. I took a few photos while we were there.
We had a few warmer days the past two weeks that allowed me to paint, so I decided to paint the farm picture and send it to her in Virginia. I had two good shots, one close and one far away. Not being able to decide which one to paint, I decided to paint them both at the same time. This was the first I tried painting two at once. They are on 11 x 14 canvas board. I hope she will enjoy them.