Crown of Thorns

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Of what use are your long gnarled stems
Heads balding from the loss of fragile beauty
Sucked dry by bird and bee
Seeking the nectar of life hidden deep inside
Of what use is your thorny crown
Pocked and dried by sun and wind
Waiting in the remaining time
To be cut broken discarded
The glory days of ephemeral beauty gone
What’s left for the aging freckled head
What beauty remains for the dried and broken
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It was not all for naught, the losing of ones crown
For underneath the crown lies the key to beauty
The ongoing genetics of life the giftwrapped wonder
Beauty is in the seed passing on and on and on
Since the beginning of time
Without the crown of thorns there would be no future beauty
The would be no life here after
Beauty is passing, life is fragile, but the seed remains forever
To once again spring forth from the ashes of the past
Bringing life and hope and to that dried crown of thorns

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Bjorn asked us to use Metaphors in our poem. I chose to write about this dying sunflower, which reminded me of my life as I get older.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Gumballs

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Before I moved to North Carolina, I thought gumballs were those giant bubblegum balls you could get from a machine at the entrance of a store.  You put your nickel/quarter in the slot, turn the handle, and the ball would drop and roll into the cup below.  Then, I moved into a house with five giant sweetgum trees. They are a Southern specialty, very prolific in their production of spiky gumballs. The balls produce seeds that open and drop out or get eaten by birds in the Fall. The hard shells, covered in sharp spikes, keep falling all winter long. Just when you think you have raked the last of them, the wind come through and down comes another layer! As you can tell, I like the sweet bubblegum balls much better!

Sweet gumballs // all sugar

Not found on a Sweetgum Tree

Fall gumballs dropping

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Hard prickly seedless shells

Hundreds cover my backyard

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The Patience of a Seed

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The patience of a seed lies in waiting
Knowing that at the opportune time
It will germinate, push out a root, and grow.
Too much sun will dry it up;
Too much rain will drown it // make it rot;
And, soil too hard will not let it take root;
Only when the combination of soil, light, and moisture
Is perfect will it grow and produce leaves and fruit.
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Our life is much the same // waiting
For the opportune time to grow and shine.
The difficulty is always in the waiting;
Avoiding the scorching light of flattery and praise
Don’t get carried away by the storms of life
Take root in the rich soil of people who love you
Be patient // like a seed… humble and strong;
You’ll know when your time has come.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

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

January Birds

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Cold weather in January always brings the birds to my feeder. They bring me a lot of joy as I watch them gobbling down the sunflower seeds and millet. The Red Bellied Woodpecker and Mourning Dove share the feeder together. This is nice to see since birds are often very competitive for the food. Perhaps we could learn from them how to get along.

Woodpecker and dove

Share my winter bird feeder

A lesson for all

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Kim at d’Verse asked us to write a Haibun that talks about January and all it brings with it. I love my winter birds so I chose to write this one.

Come join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Life in Death

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Easter brings with it a time of reflection. I thought the crown of thorns would be a great metaphor illustrating what Christians believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Some see only suffering and death. Others see the part that never dies, the spirit that rises bringing life, light, and hope to the faithful!

Crown of Thornes

Of what use are your long gnarled stems

Heads balding from the loss of fragile beauty

Sucked dry by bird and bee

Seeking the nectar of life hidden deep inside

Of what use is your thorny crown

Pocked and dried by sun and wind

Waiting in the remaining time

To be cut broken discarded

The glory days of ephemeral beauty gone

What’s left for the aging freckled head

What beauty remains for the dried and broken

It was not all for naught, the losing of ones crown

For underneath the crown lies the key to beauty

The ongoing genetics of life the giftwrapped wonder

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Beauty is in the seed passing on and on and on

Since the beginning of time

Without the crown of thorns there would be no future beauty

The would be no life here after

Beauty is passing, life is fragile, but the seed remains forever

To once again spring forth from the ashes of the past

Bringing life and hope and to that dried crown of thorns

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Photos: Dwight

Anticipation

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Winter is a time of hope and anticipation of what is to come. It is a time of reflection on the past year and a look forward to good things to come. What was lost in the past year is not necessarily gone, but remain as seeds of hope for renewal in the spring. Collect those seeds and plant them again when you feel the warmth of the sun on your face and the gentle rains of spring. Let them grow and blossom. There is no hope, only memories in a dried arrangement!

Anticipation

I collected seeds today

What was once an orange glow

Mirroring the warmth of the sun

Now captive of early morning frost

Dried and twisted stems

Heads bowed in thirsting humility

Yet full of hope and anticipation

Remnants of petals soft and fragile

Hard-pressed in the icy blasts

Devoid of life-giving water

Memory of beauty still hanging on

Winter is a time of anticipation

Remembering and expecting

Knowing that when the icy chill is gone

Resurrection of beauty will occur

Hope left in the fruit of the flower

Seeds are not dead rather full of paused life

So I collect seeds in winter

With anticipation of spring

Nature’s Paintbrush

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I can’t seem to get enough of the beautiful fall colors. Nature paints its colors in ways I can never duplicate in paintings or photos. There is nothing like the broad vista of vivid colors spreading out across the changing forest. The long rays of the morning and afternoon sunshine bring out every shade and color of God’s creation in full array. This poem is a tribute to the greatest painter of all time. Nature itself!!

Nature’s Paintbrush

Splashes of red on gold

Blushing in the afternoon sunshine

Waving at me across the way

From a canvas of trees

Laid out in perfect perspective

On background planes of gum, cedar, and hickory

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Nature’s paint brush can’t make up its mind

First green, then gold with splashes of crimson

And finally shades of burnt umber

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Seems it just can’t decide

Which color it likes best

So it tries them all

Then like an etch-a-sketch

Shakes and erases the pallet clean

Only to start anew

Red helicopters landing

Their mission perpetuation

Forests of the future

Right on schedule

Surrounding the frogs of spring

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

 

Crown of Thorns

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Without seeds life as we know it would cease to exist. Every year, as the summer comes to an end, plants dry up as the beautiful flowers and green leaves fade and fall to the ground. Most of us cut them, pull them up, or mow them up with the lawn mower. We give little thought to the importance of those dried up seed pods. They provide food for birds and animals in the winter, and still there are enough left to sprout and grow again in the spring. Farmers plant and harvest many grains for consumption. These seeds allow us to continue living year after year.  This poem in in recognition of the seeds that sustain us.

Of what use are your long gnarled stems

Heads balding from the loss of fragile beauty

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Sucked dry by bird and bee

Seeking the nectar of life hidden deep inside

Of what use is your thorny crown

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Pocked and dried by sun and wind

Waiting in the remaining time

To be cut broken discarded

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The glory days of ephemeral beauty gone

What’s left for the aging freckled head

What beauty remains for the dried and broken

It was not all for naught, the losing of ones crown

For underneath the crown lies the key to beauty

The ongoing genetics of life the giftwrapped wonder

Beauty is in the seed passing on and on and on

Since the beginning of time

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Without the crown of thorns there would be no future beauty

There would be no life here after

Beauty is passing,  life is fragile,  but the seed remains forever

To once again spring forth from the ashes of the past

Bringing life and hope and from that dried crown of thorns 

*********************************

Photos: Dwight L. Roth