Rooted in the Rocks

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Along the banks of the James River, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, we found this giant oak tree, standing seventy or more feet tall. It was obvious that over the years flood waters washed against the roots exposing them to the elements. The roots adapted by covering themselves with bark. But even more importantly, they embedded themselves between the layers of uplifted rock. As a result of these muscular roots, the tree has withstood the ravages of nature and still stands today!

Oak’s muscular roots

Flex against layers of stone

Branches reach the sky

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posted on open link night at d’Verse Poets Pub

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Harbinger of Things to Come

 

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There she was // big as life standing before us;
Pasted smile stretch under bright red lipstick.
What she said next was a clear harbinger
Of pending storms coming in with a rush.

“I know something about each one of you!”
“I plan to be around for a long time;
I don’t know about all the rest of you!”
Three bombshell statements from her and we knew…

Life under this school principal brought chains.
Vindictive // demanding //she made life hard;
We complained and fussed with no success;
Nothing remained the same // everything changed.

Half of us left // the rest weathered the storm;
She stayed a few years and then she was gone.

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Survival

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Changing principals was a very difficult transition for me during my 29 years teaching elementary school. One of my most loved principals died of cancer, followed by a principal who had just finished her Masters in Administration. It appeared to me that she was hired to clean house by the Central Office. She came in with an attitude, and after her first year most of our older teachers resigned. I finally crawled into my classroom hole and hibernated until she finally left for a year of study, and was replaced. The next principal was a really great administrator who supported us and was fair and balanced with everyone.

Snow Queen brings winter

Hibernate ‘till summer comes

Snow melts in sunshine

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

Relationships strain

An attitude adjustment

helped me through the heat

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Today Merril, at d’Verse, asked us to write a Haibun sharing a transition we have experienced. Looking back, I am amazed I survived those years.

Join us at:  https://dversepoets.com

Photo of cake from my retirement party: Dwight L. Roth

 

Wounds

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My squirrel saga continues. After two months of no squirrels showing up at my feeder, one started coming back. The other day when I looked out I saw him eating and was surprised to see what looked like pretty severe flesh wound on his back. As you can see, it was deeper than just a surface scratch. My guess is he is part cat and has used up one of his nine lives. I think he more likely escaped from a hawk that had him in its talons. It did not seem to slow him down. He acted like nothing had happened.

Lesson to be learned from a wounded Squirrel:

Don’t let your wounds slow you down

or keep you from moving toward your goal in life.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Edit:  After posting a reader suggested it may be a wound from a bot fly whose larva uses the squirrel as its host. Check it out on YouTube.com

 

 

 

 

 

Battle Scars

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Our battle scars need not define us. As I looked out the window and saw this beautiful swallowtail on my flowers, I was surprised to see a chunk taken out of its wing. It may have eluded its predator by giving up a piece of itself to be able to live another day. In spite of its damaged wing it seemed to be feeding and functioning normally. It will lay eggs and pass on its life to the next generation. It’s scarred and injured wing did not define it’s destiny. It is going on to fulfill its role in the world that it was created to do.

Battle Scars

If you live long enough

Life will give you battle scars

Some physical others psychological

Those who succeed in life

Learn to live beyond their battle scars

Some suffer all their life

From trauma of war or words or events

Battle scars are worn like a badge of courage

Reminding others there is life after death

The death of one’s confidence

The death of ones friend

Courage arises after the trauma of battle

An accident or calamity can occur in a moment

Separation and divorce leaves ragged edges

But you are still beautiful you are still loved

Family and friends help bind up your wounds

The good within still exists in spite of the scars

God still loves you just as you are

Don’t let your battle scars define you

You are more than your imperfections

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Ants in the Universe

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Ants in the Universe

Pesky little creatures

Smaller than a pencil point

Swarming up to protect their kingdom

Sacrificing themselves under my foot

Crawling up on my shoe

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Looking for a piece of flesh

Leaving their imprint in my skin

Tiny dots of poison destroying flesh

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Lasting six months or more

Itchy reminders of that harsh encounter

Reminds me of humans

Attempting to save themselves

In a universe beyond their comprehension

Leaving scars on the foot of God

Trying keep us in control

Sacrificing ourselves at all cost

In a universe we know nothing about