Almost Heaven

Dusty Sunset - Gary Smucker

An interesting phenomenon occurred this week, when a huge cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa was carried across the Atlantic. Some of the dust entered our atmosphere here in the US and is creating wonderful sunsets as the light reflects off the dust particles. This gorgeous photo was taken yesterday, and posted on Facebook by a friend who lives in Lost River West Virginia. It immediately reminded me of John Denver’s song Almost Heaven West Virginia. He graciously allowed me to use it in my post today.
West Virginia shines in all its glory.
Dusty copper sky glows brilliantly
in evening light above shadowed mountains…
outlining ridges with purple hues;
Dripping a spot of gold on the lake below.
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Almost Heaven, West Virginia…” John Denver sang,
dreaming of a place where God paints the sky.
Brushing with broad strokes across a Sahara canvas…
he once again creates beauty and grace from the dust of the earth;
Leaving us all standing in awe and adoration.

Photo: Gary Smucker (c)  – Used by Permission

Listen to his song here:

I Am Here!

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          One never hides his face when reaching the summit of a mountain. The long and arduous journey, up the treacherous rock face, challenges all that we have within us. Reaching the top, we see the grand vista below.
It calls for us to cry out, “I’m here!!” “I made it to the top!”
And, as we pause, we hear the echo of our voice, reverberating from the distant valley,
“I am here! …am here!” .. am here!”
“I made it to the top! …the top … the top”
          As I reflect on D. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, at the Lincoln Memorial, I see the same thing happening.
          Maya Angelou described it this way,

“The Rock cries out to us today,
You may stand upon me,
But do not hide your face.”

We still hear those echoes today! “I’m here……”
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At d‘Verse today, we are writing prose. Frank asked us to write a piece of only 144 words reflecting on and including the quote from Maya Angelou. Today is Martin Luther King Day in the US.
Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

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https://www.amazon.com/Dwight-Roth/e/B017HW5AHG?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Thrill of a Lifetime

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Rolling down the mountain I see the sign, “Runaway Truck Ramp.”
I wonder, “What would it feel like driving an eighteen-wheeler;
Losing my brakes half-way down the mountain at seventy mph?
Would I panic or stay focused?
I would guide my rig right into that welcomed sand trail
Carving grooves // sinking in all the way to my axles
Coming to a rumbling halt half-way up.”
“Yes, that would definitely be the thrill of a lifetime!”

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Frank asked us to write a soliloquy (a literary effect of having a conversation with yourself in a poem).  This is my first attempt at a soliloquy. I hope it is close to being correct!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Fall Colors

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The dry weather will affect the Fall colors around here this year. We have not had rain for over a month. Instead of turning yellow, the hickory trees behind our house are simply turning brown and dropping to the ground. The painting above will help us remember how colorful the Fall foliage can be.

Swimming colors blend

Red leaves drift down from the trees

Snow lays on the peaks

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge is to write a poem using Fall Colors as our prompt. I thought I would repost my painting showing the beauty of Fall colors.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2019/10/05/haikai-challenge-107-10-5-19-fall-foliage-red-leaves-momiji-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Harvest Moon

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Harvest moon rises

 On Friday the Thirteenth eve

Once in our lifetime

No need for superstition

Snow falls on the peaks

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Painting B&W edit: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone asked us to write a Haikai poem about the Harvest Moon. This one is very unique in that it comes on Friday the Thirteenth. It has not done that since the 1800s. We missed it here due to the much needed rain that came through last evening.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2019/09/14/haikai-challenge-104-9-14-19-harvest-moon-meigetsu-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

 

Flow

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In the beautiful Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina we find Looking Glass Falls. It is a beautiful sight to behold, flowing under the large outcrop of limestone rock. The layers tell the tale of having formed in a large shallow sea. All of that changed as the earth groaned and plates shifted in rebirth. Now it is a mystery for all to view in wonder.

Beneath a thousand years of Sedimentary Rock
The flow continues, as it has since these mountains
heaved and broke forth from an ancient  seabed;
Stories thought to be sealed in stone for eternity
Cracked // twisted // and came forth as the earth convulsed.
Shuffled like a deck of playing cards they rose
in the hands of the creator;
Separating land and water;
Forever changed  // as the flow began

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Plastic Earth

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“Where were you when the earth was plastic?” This is what God asked Job, in answer to Job’s complaint about his woes and sorrow. Obviously this is more of a paraphrase than a quote. I love to think about the time when the earth was in its formative years. The beauty of geological time is written in the rock layers all around us. I can’t imagine the tremendous forces that lifted and bent these rocks. Once mud on the ocean floor, these rocks are now part of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Fossils tell of a very different time. I have broken open rocks and found perfect fossils in them. I have cracked geodes open to find amethyst crystals that grew as lava cooled millions of years ago. So when you complain about your situations in life, I ask, “Where were you when the earth was plastic?”

Read writing in rocks

Recognize we are but dust

Gives life perspective

 

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth – taken at the Linville Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina

I am posting this for open link night on d’Verse Poets Pub.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Athabasca Falls

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When our boys were young, we made a number of trips to the Canadian Rockies and the surrounding areas. One of our stops was at Athabasca Falls. It was a beautiful spot. I took a slide photo of the falls, and when I got home sent it off to get made into a poster. It hung on our upstairs landing until we moved from that house to our present home. It was rather faded but that time but held a lot of sentimental value. I decided to see if I could paint the photo. This was the beginning of my renewed interest in painting. It is now preserved for a lasting memory.

Whitewater roaring
Rocks refuse to wear away
Athabasca Falls

The little fir tree growing in the rocks survived its precarious location. Several years later we visited the falls a second time and it appeared to be about six feet tall!

Painting of Athabasca Falls: Dwight L. Roth

The Feeling of Home

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When we moved to the Charlotte area of North Carolina several years ago, it felt like home. The rolling hills, the corn fields, and the woodlands all felt very much like the area of Pennsylvania where I grew up. I came to the conclusion that home is really a feeling that brings back memories of our  past. I wrote this poem as a song at that time describing how I felt. I have edited it to make it flow better when read.

Home is a Feeling
Home is a feeling you’ll know when you’re there
No matter how far you go no matter where you’ve been
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling when you’re there
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When you’re driving through the cornfields
 down a long and dusy road
And you see the evening sun
sinking slowly out of sight
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling and you’re there
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When you’re far away and all alone
wondering how long you’ll be gone
And a song comes on the radio
it takes you back and you’re right there
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling and you’re there
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Though mom and dad are gone
and the old house stands no more
The place is still just as real
you can feel their presence there.
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling when you’re there
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When you’re loved by those around you
and they all reach out to you.
Nothing else matters now…
You can see it in their smiles.
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling when you’re there

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

An Unlikely Pair (Haiku)

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Cedar and shale stuck

Braving elements attack

Only one will last

 

Torn from their birthplace

Together under the stars

Whole lotta shakin’ gon’ on

 

Aging together

A rocky relationship

Mismatched from the start

 

Knotty log waiting

For rising waters lifting

Leaving rocks behind

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth