Embedded Fossils

IMG_9868 (2)

Imprints From the Past

Can you imagine a few eons ago when the seabeds shivered?

Earth’s crust groaned and cracked uplifting ancient sediments covering all

embedding living crustaceans in layers of mud and sand.

Hot molten lava sealed their fate forever in layers of stone.

Then, folding ripples of sandstone built the Appalachian Mountains.

Until…

One summer thirty years ago, I searched and found a chunk of rock.

Solid sandstone lay buried there on a western Virginia mountainside.

A new road cut into the ridge and rocks were pushed aside.

I found a chunk weathered and worn, but with faint imprints outside.

Excited, I cracked it open with my hammer to see what was locked inside.

As pieces fell apart from the whole, stunning treasures could no longer hide.

Creatures from a million years ago were perfectly preserved inside.

IMG_9874 (2)

IMG_9879 (2)

IMG_9876 (2)

When I taught elementary school back in the 90s, I collected rock wherever I traveled to use in my classroom when we studied rocks and minerals. This was a wonderful find for me. It came from a camp that my boys were attending. I knew there were some fossils in the stream that ran through the camp, but when I found this rock halfway up the ridge, I was very excited. Cracking open the rocks revealed the unweathered fossils were just as they were when they were first formed. I thought I had lost these when we moved, but I found them today when I was cleaning up my garage.

Fossil Photos from Highland Retreat Camp: Dwight L. Roth

The Estuary of Life

IMG_6114 (2)

Even the river

flows across rocky rapids

crashes //churning white

thunders over rocky falls

Smooth flow continues

How many lifetimes

we have stayed in river’s flow

carrying life’s mud

eroding jagged edges

Then we drop it all

In the estuary of life

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The Fall Line

Rocky Mount, North Carolina is the place where the Coastal Plane meets the Piedmont. This location is called the Fall Line. It is defined by the place on the Tar River where you can no longer paddle upstream. As you can see, the Rocks emerging from the river make it impossible. The Fall Line stretches across several of the Eastern States running right through Rocky Mount. It is often marked with water falls flowing from upper level of the Piedmont to the lower level of the sandy Coastal Plane. At this point, cargo and boats had to be portaged across the falls, in order to continue the journey.

Towns grew up along the Fall Line because of the power that was gained from the river; and because this became the stopping off place for early explorers, as they traveled to the interior of the country. If you look across the river you can see Rocky Mount Mills. It was a cotton mill for many years, powered by the Tar River dam. It had its own electric generator that provided power to the machines. It is now being renovated into office space and restaurants.

Life’s flow starts smoothly

Only to find rocks waiting

Midlife marks Fall Line

Can we get past life’s challenge

Some can’t get beyond the rocks

Others rise above

Finding smoother sailing there

Whitewater ahead

Life’s wild ride

Photos: Dwigth L. Roth

Sand

Mountains majestic / rising tall above us all

Solid and strong they stand immovable.

Until shaken, they crumble and tumble;

their strength broken and their high position

brought low, scattered across the landscape.

You see, mountains are simply rocks waiting to crumble…

Even the tallest mountains turn to sand in time.

Sand is the great equalizer!

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

All is Lost

‘Twas with storm and October gale she ripped the sail

Shredded last threads flapping / faceless flag without stripes

Into the gale / fearless calm / face of moon-ash-pale

Fate assured / as many feared the Orca axed rock’s sharp scrape

*

Tsumami waves… his pall bearers strong / buried him deep

neath igneous rocks, casket solid, lasting a thousand years

Pale moon shredding tears / hidden from all in view’s keep

Fate assured / guiding light / riding gears of hopeless fears

*

Now each October 31st she walks / cold quartz beneath her feet

Pale Moon brightly shines / smiles / mist kissing her ashen face

This night her last walk / gang plank of sand / calls from the deep

Assured fate / drawn to his siren song / moon follows her last trace

Waves wash the chalkboard clean….

Spectors walk hand in hand in the full moon’s light….

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lucy is the guest host and asked us to write a dark ballad. October has many aspects of this ending with Halloween. I am not into murder, blood, or gore, so I wrote my ballad about a salor lost in a storm and his love who cannot take the loss any longer! Hope you enjoy it along with my painting that I entitled “All is Lost”.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com Then click the Mr. Linkey box to read some of the other poets poems.

Carolina Blue Sky

IMG_6106 (2)

Blue sky embedded on flat rocks

Mountain stream gurgles over

wet stones

polished and shaped

during ten thousand summers and winters.

*****

Native Americans sat on these rocks

drank from the stream

enjoyed the beauty of the falls

long before we arrived…

to claim it!

IMG_6103 (2)

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today the d’Verse group is back from summer break, and our prompt is Blue!  We are to write a Quadrille of  exactly 44 words using the prompt. Skies have be extra blue this summer, as pollution and smog are reduced due to Covid-19 stay at home orders. There is nothing more beautiful than the Great Smoky Mountains. The photos above are from our trip to the Pisgah National Forest in 2012. This is Looking Glass Falls near Brevard!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Unmovable Rock

DSC_0120 (4)

Spring is all around us, spreading pollen as leaves and flowers flourish. The joy of springtime is not inhibited by human crisis! Rocks remind us that what is solid is unmoved. As we lift prayers and hope for those working on the front lines of the Coronavirus, we must remember that the words on our coins are not just a nice saying, but rather the solid rock of our faith… In God We Trust!

Beauty rises high

above all // glorious Spring

Rocks remain solid

*****

Photo: Dwight L. Roth