Rise

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Red Maple seed floats merrily on wings;
hoping to find a place from which to rise.
Landing between the crack of a rock;
with little soil, and almost no chance of survival;
it puts down a root;
forever changing the future of that rock!

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Quadrille Monday, and Merril, at d’Verse, asked us to use some form of the word rise. I decided to put a little different Spring twist to it and came up with this Quadrille of exactly 44 words.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

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You Can’t See My Roots

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You Can’t See My Roots

You cut me making me bleed

Liquid of life flows down my trunk

You strike and bruise me tearing my skin

Yet I stand tall // strong and mighty

For you can’t see my roots

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You cut off my branches take off all my leaves

Thinking surely he will die

You burn me stripping me bare

Leaving me exposed to the elements

Yet I stand tall // strong and mighty

For you can’t see my roots

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You cut me down to a stump and haul away my trunk

Not much of me left to show

Surely we have killed him this time

He has nothing left // his strength is gone

They do not know // they cannot tell I will rise again

I will come back with exponential strength

For my strength is in my roots

Family Roots

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Finding ones roots has become a popular thing to do. DNA testing will tell you where your ancestors originated from. As we grow older we realize the importance of our family roots. This is especially true when we lose a parent. When this happens we see how significant they were in helping us become who we are today. Trees are held up and tower seventy feet or more into the air. When a storm blows a tree over we can see just how important it is to have a strong root system.

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Roots

Beneath every tree are roots

Holding interlocking feeding

Bringing strength foundation

The source of all beauty we see

Looking at a tree

You’ve heard

“Behind every successful man

is a good woman.”

My mother was that good woman

Holding interlocking our family

Feeding caring for each one

My father a pillar of the community

Only on strength and nourishment

Of my mom who was always there for him

An unsung hero she was the roots of our tree

Without her none of us would be

Standing as we are today

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My mother lived to be 93 years old!

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

A Tree Grew From My Heart

A Tree Grew

A tree grew out of my heart

With roots entwined around my toes

Each year for seventy years it grew

Rings of varying width tell stories true

Years of small beginnings fragile and thin

Others of great growth and scars within

Good years of encouragement and strength

Branching out each season increasing in length

Showing beautiful new growth as new rings swell

Shedding the bark of last season’s junk

Reaching out each morning to the warmth of the sun

A tree grew out of my heart

And in the middle of winter it broke and shattered

Split right down the middle and some limbs scattered

Feeling like it would never recover

But bruises heal time recovers that broken heart

Growing ever stronger with each new season

Putting down roots drawing deeply from its source

Knowing spring will come once again one day

This is just another step adding beauty to its depth

A tree grew out of my heart

Through every season of my life

Creating nurturing nests for the young

Shading them from the heat of the sun

Weathering hurricane storms

And the fires of life

Only to come back again and again

And now I am here in the winter of my life

This oak that grew for the past seventy years

Revealing its colors in leaves of gold

Character comes out in flaming beauty

Knowing fall is here and winter is near

This tree that has grown out of the center of my heart

Provides a resource and life for generations that follow

Who knows what will be made of my wood

In the trees of their hearts both far and near

In the forest of the future they will carry on

 

 

Roots

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Roots are often hidden away under the ground. Although they provide strength and foundation for the tree, we give them little thought. When a storm causes a tree to fall we are able to see the massive root system. My mother was the root system of our family. She worked tirelessly in the background to help her husband and her family. This poem is a tribute to that strength and endurance.

Roots

Beneath every tree are roots

Holding interlocking feeding

Bringing strength foundation

The source of all beauty we see

 Looking at a tree

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You heard “Behind every man

          is a good woman.”

My mother was that good woman

Bringing a foundation of strength to our family

Feeding caring for each one

My father a pillar of the community

Became all that he could be

Because of strength and nourishment

From my mom who was always there for him

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An unsung hero she became the roots of our tree

Without her none of us would be

Standing as we are today

 

Roots

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Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle had a hit song that said, “I am a rock, I am an island. For a rock feels no pain and an island never cries…”  The isolated aloneness of this song makes me say, “No that’s not me!”    I cannot imagine living without my family roots.  They give me a sense of history and a set of values, morals and faith that I have drawn on all my life.   I believe roots are necessary whether they are birth family, an adopted family, or community of faith. Life must be very lonely  without connection to our roots.

Roots                                

Without roots

We are pulled weeds

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Tossed in the pathway of life

Rooted out

Sometimes by our own choosing

Or pulled from family gardens

Thrown onto the pathway of life

By cynicism and judgement

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To be trampled underfoot

But our roots can still grow

Alone in the hard cracks of humanity

Rising again and again

To bloom one last time

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Courageous strength

Refusing to dry up

In the pathway of life

No matter what comes our way

Without embedded roots

We are only  tumbleweeds

Dust in the wind

In a desert of humanity

 

Fourth of July

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When I was growing up the Fourth of July was our time to go visit grandparents and relatives who lived four hours away. It included an extended family picnic in a field along the back mountain, where wonderful dishes of food were spread down the extended table. Home-made ice cream, hand cranked in a wooden bucket filled with ice and rock salt, topped off the meal. A softball game in the pasture field included young and old. It was always a grand time.

A few years ago it occurred to me that Independence may not mean the same thing to all Americans. In America’s past, all men were not created equal in spite of what the was written in the Declaration of Independence. Amazingly,  people are resilient and rise up from slavery, hardship, bigotry, and pain to become the people we are today. There is no going back to fix the wrongs that have been done. But we can determine how we will live from here on into the future.  It is an ongoing lesson for all of us. This poem originated from those insights.

Fourth of July

When all the fireworks fade into ashes

And the Bar-B-Que grills have cooled

When the wide eyes of the children close in blissful sleep

Do you ever wonder

what Independence Day really means

to the ancestors of African slaves

brought here in the holds of ships

who look back at our forefathers

who bought and sold them

Forefathers who wrote “all men are created equal”

And realize the dark ones were not included

In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “less than human”

Or perhaps to the Native Americans

Who loved the free and open spaces

Only to be run off their lands

Herded like cattle into the desert

Left where summer heat scorched them

and winter snows chilled them to the bone

Where animals were few and crops refused to grow

Were they a part of “All men are created equal?”

No, in the words of our former Presidents

“They are just savages… they were less than human”

Or perhaps to the “Illegal Aliens” who scrub our floors

Pick our fruits and vegetables build our houses

Mow our lawns and mulch our shrubs

Are they part of “All men are created equal?”

No, in the words of many of us

“They are just ‘wetbacks”

“Nameless illegals”

“Who should be sent back where they came from”

Though we may not say it some of us think

They too are less than human

How quickly we forget the dark side…

How soon we lay aside our guilt insult or pain…

We rise as a flower in the sidewalk crack

Stepped on over and over again

Yet we rise and bloom from the strength of our roots

Independence Day is a time to “Bloom”

To draw from the strength of our roots

Not to forget but to move on

To all that we can become

In a land where in God’s eyes

“All men are truly created equal!”