Thank You!

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This week I passed 5000 followers on Word Press. Seems like an impossible dream for me. I thought it was really something when I reached a hundred followers. Then it was three, then five and now five thousand followers!
I am most grateful to all of you for your friendship, inspiration, and kind support. I learned to know so many people from all over the world who appreciate poetry and enjoy my photos and art work. You have been most generous with your likes and comments.

Here are a few thoughts on creating a successful blog:
* Write your blog because it makes you feel good.
* Be authentic in your writing… share your life and imaginations.
* Colorful photos are a great eye-catcher and compliment your work.
* Don’t try to imitate or copy someone else’s style of writing.
* Keep posts short and crisp. Say what you say and stop!
* Present a variety of subjects that are unique and interesting.
* Join a group of bloggers who enjoy what you do.
*Most importantly practice networking:
-Put likes, comments, and follows on other people’s blogs.
-Always respond when someone takes time to comment on
your work. Thank yous are important!
-Develop personal life interactions with some of your bloggers.
-Plan to spend a lot of time each day on your blog.
*As followers, increase you won’t be able to read everyone’s blog who follows you, but it is important to check in with them from time to time.
Have fun and see the world through others! Thank you for being a part of my life!
Dwight

P.S. … and I am still using the Free Word Press Blog!

 

Shame

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“Metamorphosis doesn’t look the same for everyone. Don’t be afraid to share your story.”

We live in a time where Mental Health issues and PTSD  affect many in our society. Some things in life cannot be fixed by a pill, a doctor, or a will to change. In the past generation, sharing this kind of issue was a stigma and considered shameful by many. Our scars and differences are not something to be hidden or kept within ourselves. Sharing our story can be the first step in finding healing and wholeness again.  Our story is what makes us unique from everyone else. How good are you at listening to what others are going through?

“Shame happens

when we largely treat suffering

like a problem to fix

rather than a story to tell.”

Photo from: Lora Myers Roth

Used by permission

Quote came from an article in Christianity Today:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/december-web-only/wakeupolive-heiligenthal-bethel-church-miracle-doesnt-come.html?share=&fbclid=IwAR3tKk4Mnz61_bKZX-iWhpBgXOSuBIalHIsmmN60A1RRmUotyGWSjaYIYHg

 

Building Word Castles of Stone

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When we are young
our words erected billboards
Saying this is me… who I am… what I believe!
As we grow older
those words become stones
in a cavernous castle…
with tall spires
dark halls
dungeons
and locked chambers;
Holding pain
Long ago sentenced to life…
never to be let out again.
Surrounded by a moat
only crossed by a few
whom we choose to let in…
then quickly raising the drawbridge.
Our words // chiseled with time
mortared together
still saying:
this is me… who I am …what I believe!!

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This poem was inspired by a poem by a fellow blogger, Ali Grimshaw, entitled The Architecture of Conversing. Please check out her poem as well.

The Architecture of Conversing

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

Freedom

 

There is much talk in the news about Anthony Bordaine taking his own life. The power of depression is such a great weight on a person’s life. The feeling of helplessness, lack of self-worth, and desperation makes death look like the only way to be free from the pain.

Sadly, many people choose the “…Nothing left to lose”, route. Celebrities, victims of abuse, and soldiers suffering from PTSD take their own lives. Even everyday people who find work and the stress of life overwhelming, sometimes choose this as their only option.

Treatment and support from others is another option. There is light at the end of the tunnel. The most important way to get help is to share with those who will understand. Family, friends, or a church group can walk with you. If you suffer from depression remember you are not alone. Reach out and get the help you need and find the freedom to live a long healthy life. I know this to be true. I have been there myself!

 

Nothing left to lose

Depression gnaws at your mind

Desperate thoughts of suicide

*

Dark night of the soul

Freedom comes in sharing pain

You are not alone

 

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Song: Youtube

Bjorn at d’verse asked us to write a Haibun about some aspect of freedom. I choose to look at freedom from the mental health perspective.

https://dversepoets.com

Christmas Reminder

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Christmas Reminder   (A Haibun)

People still live on the streets of every city in America. It is easy to look the other way and assume anything you give them will be spent on alcohol or drugs. Jesus said your neighbor is the one you see in need, and it is your responsibility to give help in what ever way your are able. Families and children live in shelters for lack of a home. This Christmas season and all year round, extend help to those in need around you, especially those who are falling through the cracks of our society.

Bells ring, angel wings

But all are not calm or bright

Shelters full tonight

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Christmas Grace

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The photo above shows the hammer I got for Christmas almost sixty years ago!  When I was child my family had very little money to spend on Christmas. My father was a pastor and only got what people gave on the Sunday the offering went to the preacher. In our church there was a couple who had no children. They adopted our family each Christmas and asked each of us children what we wanted for Christmas. When Christmas came they had each of our requested gifts. I will never forget this act of grace and what it meant to me.

Christmas Grace

“What do you want for Christmas she asked?”

A chemistry set would be a real blast.

When Christmas came, this angel of grace

was at our door with every gift in place.

*

We were just poor preacher’s kids, our die was cast.

Waiting for Christmas was always a great task.

For we knew our selected gift of choice

would make us shout from the top of our voice.

*

“What do you want for Christmas this year?”

She would get it no need to fear.

Just a hammer of my very own,

would make my day when you come to my home.

*

Money was scarce and gifts were few.

But, at our house we always knew

that no matter what the circumstance,

we need not worry about chance

 

“What do you want for Christmas this time?”

A Louisville slugger would suit me just fine.

Then I could be like Henry and Don.

A bat of my own yes, that’s the one.

*

Ruth and Edgar were one of a kind,

No children of their own they did not mind,

bringing smiles and joy to their preacher’s kids

and that helmet they brought me surely did.

*

“What do you want for Christmas,” she asked?

She never let a Christmas pass.

Every year until I left home

my gift of choice became my own

*

I will never forget that act of grace

and the joy and smiles she brought to my face

I learned of God’s love and his saving grace,

and his only son Jesus who took my place.

*

And now each Christmas I hear that voice,

“What do you want for Christmas?” “It’s your choice?”

There is nothing I need that will bring me more joy

than that gift of God’s Grace to a little boy.

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Written as a tribute to Ruth and Edgar Honsaker

who helped make our Christmases a little brighter.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Sisters

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Family relationships can be challenging, but the older we get the more important it is to focus on the positive things in life. Sisters have that special bond that is different from any other. As life moves on this connection can become a great source of strength and encouragement. Facing the future together is much better than facing it alone.

Sisters

After a life of ups and downs

Sisters come together to wander around

Traveling and talking about things from the past

Good things and bad things and things that didn’t last

Enjoying the bond that only sister can share

Knowing the other will always be there

Someone to call on who will lend an ear

Though far away it will feel like you’re near

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As the hair turns white in the fall of life

The bond they have is not full of strife

But rather with joy and love all around

Sharing a future where good memories abound

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth