I Can Still Dream…

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Dreaming

I can always dream… they never get old!

Let my mind wander up and down memories past

Delusions of grandeur finally replaced with reality

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I can always dream… they never get old!

Remembering the good times when faces were flushed

Spontaneous times of sweet intense connection

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I can always dream… they never get old!

Babies, turning into children, growing into adults

Blooming in their prime… still making our mistakes

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I can always dream… they never get old!

Places to go and things to see traveling while we still can

Making the most of the time we have left

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I can always dream… they never get old!

Even when I am old confined to a chair

Memories are as fresh as they ever were

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I can still dream…

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Strike a Match

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Sixty-three years ago, I bought my first new bicycle from Workman’s Bicycle Shop. It was black with chrome fenders. I was taking on a paper delivery route that covered a two-mile area, so I needed a good bike. The Workmans were friends of my family, so it was good to get one from them. It wasn’t actually brand new but felt new to me. The Workmans collected old bike and frames and refurbished them. New chrome fenders made them look brand new. 

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Matchbooks strike memories

Chrome fenders and Newspapers

John Workman’s Bike Shop

I found these matchbooks in my garage, and it took me back to the age of twelve. Most of them were collected since then. In a day when many people smoked, matchbook covers were a good way to advertise their businesses. Some of these came from Habitat Restore where I volunteer.

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Burning Fall

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There was a time in the fall of the year when leaves were raked into a ditch and burned. The rising smoke snaked its way through the neighborhood burning eyes for some and tickling nostrils. For me, the sweet smell of burning leaves is synonymous with Fall.

Folks living in the country burned their leaves year after year. Sometimes those leaf piles burned into the evening shadows. They would take a ghostly stance and watch with a rake in hand as the pile got smaller and smaller. In time everything turned to ash. No one gave a thought about polluting the air. The evening wind carried the smoke away blending it into the other scents of Fall. It mixed with the smell of oak wood burning in woodstoves throughout the neighborhood.

Smoke from burning leaves

Mingles with the cool night air

Sweet smell of Autumn

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, guest host Jo asked us to write a poem of scents. They are those smells around us that tickle our senses and trigger memories and emotions. I chose to write about memories of fall leaf burning.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Father’s Stories

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My father had a heart attack in 1975, when he was 65 years old. He recovered and lived for five more years. After he recovered, I realized if I wanted to find out about his life, I needed to ask him now. I took my cassette recorder and sat down with him asking him to tell me about his childhood. The tape ran for almost an hour as we talked back and forth. I took the tape home and put it in my file drawer. I did not know when I would get it out and listen to it again.

Forty years later, I decided to write a biographical fiction book about my grandfather who came to this country when he was six years old. He was a most interesting man who was a concrete mason in Central Pennsylvania. One of his hobbies was catching and breeding skunks! He operated on them and took out their stink glands, selling them as pets and also selling the hides. It was during my writing of his story that I remembered my father’s interview tape. It was most helpful in adding depth to the story.

Most young folks are too preoccupied to think about asking parents or grandparents to tell them their stories. Sadly, most of the stories die with them when they are gone. I urge you to ask your questions while you can. Your fathers and mothers will not always be around.

Father’s Day stories

Lifetime of memories shared

Ask them while you can

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

You can read my grandfather’s biographical fiction here:

Goodby Dear Friend

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Today my good friend Danny passed away. It was very sad to get the news. He is the same age as me but suffered from health issues that shortened his life. He had diabetes that was difficult to control. Several weeks ago, he had to have part of his lower leg amputated from lack of circulation. In addition to that he was blind.

Back in 2019 his wife asked if I would try to teach him some chords on the guitar, so I worked with him along with his neighbor David who wanted to learn as well. David picked up playing very quickly, but for Danny it was a little slower. I was able to teach him how to hold chord positions, but he never quite mastered changing from one chord to another. We decided to have him play the home chord while David and I played the changes. He did well on keeping rhythm with us, so we sang and played together twice a week for the year before Covid. He loved playing with us and looked forward to our weekly get togethers. He favorite song was one his father in Barbados loved, Just a Little Talk with Jesus! Since Covid we have not been able to play together as his health continued to decline.

Goodby my dear friend

May you sing with the angels

and talk with Jesus

Danny David and Dwight

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Danny Dwight and David

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Words Change the World

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The good and the traumatic seem to find permanent residence!

Remember, words are important!

They can build up or tear down in a matter of seconds

Remember, words are remembered

Embedded in feelings they lie in our minds

Remember, words have power

Call out those who commit atrocities

Remember, words can bring peace

Offering forgiveness, hope and compromise

Remember, words make a difference

Be careful how you use them

The good and the traumatic seem to find permanent residence!

Today at d’ verse. Sarah asked us to use anaphora, repetition in poetry. She gave us a list of words to choose from and we were to pick one to use as our repetitive word. I wrote this poem this morning after responding to Michele Lee’s post, ( https://myinspiredlife.org/2022/03/26/property-dispute/comment-page-1/#comment-11521) and modified it a little to include the word remember.

This is what Wikipedia says: anaphora (Greek: ἀναφορά, “carrying back”) is a rhetorical device that consists of repeating a sequence of words at the beginnings of neighboring clauses, thereby lending them emphasis.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Overload

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There was a time when things held value, were retained and cherished. As I think of our fast-paced digital world, I wonder what is gained and what is lost.

Once we had hymnbooks that contained a collection of cherished meaningful songs to be sung over and over. Now we continually crank out new songs, flashed up on a screen, before we have learned to appreciate the current ones.

Being a blogger is stimulating and interesting, but the volume of material that flows through the blog leaves me only minutes or seconds to contemplate it before moving on to the next new thing. Will what we write today have any meaning for tomorrow like poets and writers of the past?

The music industry lives for the bottom line and rides success like and eight-minute rodeo ride. Creativity is often put aside for the next successful million selling song, just like the one before.

So again, I ask, what have we gained in our lightning fast virtual, digital world? What do you value and hold dear? What do you put on your virtual shelf to read or listen to over and over? Is anything held in your hands and cherished anymore? Does anything move you or stir your soul? Or are you numb with overload!

Give me a second.”

Hold new meaning in our world

No time for thinking

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Painting of some of my favorite things: Dwight L. Roth

Allensville Crossroad

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I finished this acrylic painting today. It is set in central Pennsylavania’s Kishacoquillas Valley, near the village of Allensville. My grandparents lived on this road. When I worked on my uncle’s farm during my teen years, I rode my cousin’s bicycle down this road which is about a mile across. Lots of good memories here.

Allensville Crossroad

Sounds of Amish Buggies float

through my memories

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Jack’s Mountain in the distance

Hugs Big Valley’s rich farmland

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Purpose Renewed

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Experience drifts silently through my veins

Inspiration weeps keeping me alive

I visit catacombs of long dead pains

From dark tunnels sweet memories revive

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Inspiration seeps pushing me forward

Experience flowing onto my pages

Finding purpose in my journey onward

Drifting memories saved for the ages

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From those sealed dark tombs of long hidden pain

Entangled roots unfettered confidence

New life flows silently rising above the shame

Every heartbeat carries experience

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Purpose for living drifting silently

Beauty shining in memories revived

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

At d’Verse, Ingrid asked us to feel the footsteps/ heartbeat of iambic pentameter and write a poem in this form.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Memories on a Shelf

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In 2019, when everything was open and there was no thought of a pandemic, we took a river cruise up the Rhine River, to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, stopping at several cities along the way. At Strasbourg, France, we visit the famous Cathedral with its beautiful architecture and stained-glass windows.   

A vender at the open-air market nearby had racks of scarfs for sale. Ruth picked out some colorful ones for out granddaughters which we purchased, never even thinking about haggling over the price. He put them in this colorful red bag which has become one of the few souvenirs of our trip. It hangs on the wall in our closet along with her cute hat on the shelf.  We smile when we see it and remember the wonderful time we had.

Memories on a shelf

Celebrating a milestone

Love lasts a lifetime

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