Peace of Mind

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“What brings you peace of mind and cleanses your spirit?” This was our question for the d’Verse Poets Pub poetics this evening. For me it is not just one particular thing. I love sitting under the trees and watching nature hum all around me. Music soothes my soul, both listening and playing music on my guitar with others. I love going to the Nursing Home each week where I read stories and play music and sing with them. I always come away renewed! But, I have found that posting on my blog each day brings me the most peace of mind. If I have been busy all day, all that mind clutter goes away when I sit in my chair and begin writing a poem and finding a photo or two that I can add to it. Sometimes it is the other way around. If I have no particular inspiration, I look through my photo files and am always able to find inspiration. Connecting with all of you is most rewarding. It is not so much the likes on my posts, but the comments and personal interactions that make what I do here worthwhile. So, for that I say thank you for your support and encouragement.

Sharing thoughts with you
Connecting with such great friends
Brings joy to my soul

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at:  https://dversepoets.com

 

 

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Shedding Religion… Finding God

IMG_0170 (2).JPGThe older I get the simpler life becomes
I feel sort of like a tree shedding it bark
End of life // is not too far in the future;
makes me stop and think…
“What is really important and true?”
The older I get
the more focused faith becomes;
Moving beyond religious trappings
guilt, fear, and control;
(Knowing those
were nailed to the cross for me.)
Understanding God’s grace in my life
brings me peace;
Knowing I am blessed
to have lived this long
in good health.
I let go of all those things
I once felt obligated to do;
Understanding that the metaphors,
taken so literally by some,
Are there to guide me along the way…
not to prove right or wrong.
I let go of “streets paved with gold”
and “mansions over the hilltop…”
knowing God is Spirit;
No need there
of physical things
we hold so dear.
I believe the image of God
is not flesh and blood
nor what I put on or take off,
but rather an attitude of spirit
that is loving and compassionate.
I came to the realization
that all those prayers I prayed
demanding results
never got past the ceiling.
I realize prayer is meant
to change me // not them
Prayer brings me closer to God,
as I focus on my needs
and the needs of others.
Infomercial religion has no appeal to me
…nor or to God…
There is no place for peddling the gospel
for personal gain…
nor to exert control over the faithful.
Hamster cage religion
leaves me frustrated
and going in circles;
Faith and action bring a feeling
of authenticity and connection.
Church should be uplifting…
an encouraging fellowship
full of good news
connecting us with God
showing us how to love as Jesus loved.
To me the Bible is my guide …
not my God…
words of truth to live by.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Peace and Freedom

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On our bus tour of the city of Strasbourg, France, we passed the headquarters of the Council of Europe. It was founded on 5 May 1949 by the Treaty of London. After experiencing the atrocities of WW II, Sir Winston Churchill had a vision of the nations of Europe coming together to work for peace.  The purpose of the Council of Europe is to promote Freedom, Democracy, and the Rule of Law. On this Independence Day I am thankful for organizations that promote peace rather than conflict.

Independence Day

Thankful for peace and freedom

Hotdogs on the grill

 

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The World in Black or White

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I want life to be black or white
Everything easy and I am right
But it really doesn’t work that way
Life is full of contradictions they say
Why can’t life be black or white
Perhaps I wouldn’t be so uptight
But grays are part of every life
I’ve known pain that cuts like a knife
The world wants things in black or white
Good or bad we have to fight
To protect our perfect way of life
Seems it causes bitter strife
To always think in black or white
Fills me with fear and causes me fright
Extremes affect the way we think
And leaves our nations on the brink
Why can’t we realizes we need the grays
Shadows bring accents in many ways
Creativity and paradigm shifts
Would not be possible without the mix
Must we think only in black or white
Judging our brothers when “they don’t do right”
Or can we simply love their flaws
The grays and shades are part of us all
Black or white makes everyone halt
Shutter and cringe at every fault
Blends are the creations we all need
To love our brothers, and not to bleed
But I guess as long as there are two
Black or white will judge them too
Love the differences don’t get up tight
Live in peace and let’s not fight
Recognize that if we want to survive
Black and white will not keep us alive
Thinking we are always right
Life will surely be a fright

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Happy New Years 2019

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A New Year’s Blessing
May your old year pass with peace and celebration
May you let all your worries remain in 2018
Hold your friends dear to your heart
Let loyalty and love be your coat of arms
Let your grief do its work in your soul
Never forget those who passed on
Keep your family precious and spouse revered
Treat everyone with dignity and respect
May your wishes become goals to attain
With God’s strength work toward that end
May you follow the light of the Spirit in your heart
Walk with God as you would your closest friend
Trust that all things will work out for your good
Be thankful for all of your blessings of life
May you live every day as the “Word made flesh”
May you be a light and a beacon to all
Happy New Year 2019

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Advent of Innocence

Advent Painting - Piercing the Darkness

Advent of Innocence
Today is the first Sunday of Advent in the Christian Faith. Emmanuel, God with us, was the prophesy of the promised Messiah. A time when God himself would take on the human embodiment to show us what it would be like to live and love in a life contradictory to the norms and darkness of the day. It is interesting to me that the Messiah came to us in the innocence of a tiny baby. The future life and sacrifice of Jesus brought forgiveness, grace, and peace to all who choose to believe.

The Word made flesh
Advent of innocence brings
Light piercing darkness

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Shared with the Frank Tassone Haikai Challenge. Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/12/02/haikai-challenge-63-12-2-18-advent-and-or-hanukkah-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

“Where have all the flowers gone?”

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Sunday is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, when fighting ceased, bringing an end to WWI. It was called the war to end all wars, but sadly we see conflicts and wars continue throughout the world. Some say war is Hell and I would tend to agree. Many brave soldiers lost their lives on the battlefield. The horrific atrocities that occurred were unimaginable. Our leaders have not learned from our past. The division in our country can only lead to further conflict in our own back yard. We must learn how to agree to disagree and move beyond our personal power trips. We must stop sending our best young people to slaughter in ongoing wars of our own making.

Armistice Day ink
Brings an end to bloody war
November snow falls
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Frank Tassone reminded us that tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of  the end of WWI. The Armistice signed ended the fighting and killing that had raged on for years. He asked us to write a Haikai poem that mention Armistice Day.
Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/11/10/haikai-challenge-60-11-10-18-armistice-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Tomorrow is also Frank’s birthday!  Happy Birthday Frank!!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth    Title from Pete Seeger song:  “Were have all the flowers gone?”

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

 

Holy Place

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Holy Place (a Quadrille)

Burning bush // the path of guilt

Words of “I AM” searing the heart…

Mirroring my soul awry…

Calling, “Come, take off your shoes”

“Step forward”//“This is holy ground.”

Let go past laments

Rise in newness of life.

Not a building //location //nor shrine

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

We were asked by Amaya, at d”Verse, to think about Holy Places that are sacred to people. They might be shrines, locations, or buildings that people go to and find a connection to the the divine.  We are to write a poem of our choosing. I chose to write a quadrille.

Although I have great respect and high regard for what most people consider Holy Places, I find that it is not a place or a thing that brings me connection to God. It is rather the Spirit connection that has occurred in me at various times over the years. It may be through hearing the spoken word, the words of a song, an event, seeing a butterfly or bird, the birth of a baby or the ecstasy of love. It could be in church or out in the mountains. God to me is Spirit, and the place the I find our spirits connecting is a Holy Place.

Visit us at d’Verse : https://dversepoets.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Peace for You and Me

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My wish for the new year is that we could learn to live in peace with one another. We have had a year of division and strife in this country and around the world. Power and control seem to be what many desire. But for me, I would love to see the world learn to be more accepting of others loving each other as God loves, extending the hand of grace to all. We can blow ourselves to kingdom come, but real Peace does not come from power, rather from Love and Compassion.

Peace

Can peace come from a heart of fear?

From the hand clinched tightly in defense

Trying to save what is already lost

No…

Only from a heart of Love!

Selfless love that is sacrificial

Knowing that it may mean

the end of one’s self

for the sake of another

A heart that does not grasp

But rather opens the hand of God

to one in need

So that all may live in Peace

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Reposted from my book Ebb and Flow