Bottom Leaf

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In an everchanging world, I find myself struggling with the way in which things are moving! Life goes on whether I want to come along or not. As I watch the struggles of social groups and see the injustice that has long plagued our country’s history, I wonder where we are headed.  History like politics has very dark times. We can embrace it, be offended by it,  or attempt to deny it, but it will always be there.  As the next generation comes on, I hope they learn from history instead of repeating it.  I pray that we can all learn to live with each other, allowing for our differences in values and beliefs without feeling like we need to impose ours upon everyone around us. Uniqueness has always been our strength!
Sometimes I feel like the bottom leaf of a plant
Birthed from seed // providing sustenance for a time;
Now eclipsed by more recent growth rising above…
Providing new solar sources to feed from…

 

Obsolete // no longer making that much difference.
Never meant to shine or blossom // I’ve done my job…
Supporting // nurturing new growth and change;

 

Yet, now that life has grown beyond me,
I am here // drying up at the bottom of the stalk
while growth and reproduction of values and thought
happens above me // in a world very different from mine.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Pop’s Garden

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Sunday is Father’s day. I was blessed with a loving caring father and mother in my family. We did not have much money, so raising a garden was not a hobby, like it is for me, it was a necessity.  We always had a large beautiful garden. The farmer over the hill let us use his tractor to plow and turn over the soil each year. Then we would get the disc to break it up. I loved running barefoot through the rich black soil. We raised chickens and the chicken manure was recycled into the garden which enriched the soil and made wonderful vegetables. I will always be grateful to him for showing me these gardening skills. He died in 1982 at the age of 70, but his legacy lives on.
Pop loved to garden
Knew the value of good manure
Soil rich and dark with compost
Raised enough to last through the winter
Mom canned and froze our garden veggies
Green beans, peas, corn, and tomatoes
Incomparable taste // rich in vitamins
Instilled in me a love of gardening

 

He loved helping me dig my potatoes
Proud to see the values of gardening passed on
Wish I could show him my tomatoes this year
Thank you, Pop!  I miss you…

*****

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Consequences of Choice

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Today at d’Verse, Amaya asked us to take our poetry to taboo places, writing about subjects such as sex politics, religion. I decided to incorporate all three in my poem choice. Thousands of babies are aborted in this country and around the world every year. Some have convinced themselves that it is a woman’s right over her own body to abort the life within her. Yet those same individuals decry the destruction of turtle or eagle nests. Both have become political agendas, and it is now the law that a woman can choose to have or not have her baby growing inside her. I am not sure how we can justify this choice.

How incensed our cries
When turtle eggs are destroyed…
Inflicting strict fines;
Yet, the government pays for
destruction of the unborn…
Convenience changes
our values of life and death.
Some call it Pro Choice;
“It’s a woman’s right to choose.”
Seems more like a holocaust …

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Photo: Wikapedia

Abortion Was the Leading Cause of Death Worldwide in 2019, Killing 42 Million People

Being Control

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O how we value being in control
Knowing we alone affect an outcome
Absolutely sure we’re unquestionably right
Even when we’re wrong
O how we value composure
Keeping that strained pained smile
Even in the face of the most obnoxious
Pretending actions do not offend
O how we value knowing
Never asking for help
Ignoring the urging to ask
Believing though lost // we still know
O how we value pretenses
Be it wealth, skills, or the perfect marriage
Never let our weakness show
Always well put together smiling
O how we value affirmation
Selfies on Facebook // time after time
Promoting our accomplishments
Never satisfied // always seeking more of being in control

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Rights and Freedoms

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I have always been told it is not wise to bring up Politics or Religion because they are so polarizing and controversial. Sadly, I enjoy discussing both!  Today marks the day, last year, when marchers clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia.  White Nationalists and Left Wing Protestors who opposed their racist agenda got out of hand when a car was driven through the crowd, killing a woman who could not get out of the way. It centered around the push to take down Confederate Statues that honored Civil war soldiers who were fighting to keep slavery.  Tensions ran high as this and other similar issues were debated all over the country. This poem has lots of questions and not too many answers.

Rights and Freedoms

What happens when a societal group
Gains freedoms they did not have before
Do the rights one gains
Mean the rest of society
Loses some of theirs?

Do the demands of one
Now impose changes
Affecting values and beliefs…
Punching holes in the culture
Filling them with new patches
On long held old garments?

Perhaps new rights are positive
Adding embellishments
To a two-hundred-year-old culture?

Seems to me // it is like a balloon
That when squeezed on one end
Causes it to pop up on the other…
Giving rise to protests and resistance.

Perhaps the US is not the melting pot
That everyone keeps imagining it to be.

Diversity does not always guarantee inclusion!

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

 

Bob

Bob

Bob

My good friend Bob left today

Truck all packed they drove away

Seems aging does things to mind and body

Making closeness necessary as we grow tottery

Children and grandchildren warm the heart

So we pack our things and soon depart

To live nearby //watered by their smiles

And have them close to help with our ills

My good friend Bob spent hours with me

Talking while I painted and sitting under the trees

His hearing was gone so his voice was loud

Scared some neighbors whenever he got riled

But with me // I didn’t mind his loud expressive pleas

We sat and talked on among tall acoustic trees

Talked of politics, stocks // everything in the book

Of those who were good //and those who were crooks

Over the years we grew quite close

Our trust and loyalty we both valued most

I will surely miss Bob and his booming voice

But my memories are good // I’m OK with his choice

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Photo: Ruth Roth

Etch-a-Sketch Life

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My granddaughter loves the Etch-a-Sketch. She made the beautiful sketch above working painstakingly on it for some time before leaving it for us as they left to go home. We kept if for a while knowing that it would not last, since any sudden movement could shake and erase.  I thought how this is a reflection of life. So often we strive to attain the things that won’t last and forget the those lasting values of family, faith, and love. What we instill in our children is what will last and pass on when we are gone. This poem reflects some of those things.

Etch-a-Sketch Life

Here today and gone tomorrow life is short

Like the grass in the field and the flower that fades

What legacy will you leave to report

Or when you go will life simply be erased

Like an Etch-a-sketch screen without a trace

Houses families and unfulfilled dreams

Gone in a heartbeat at the end of your race

*

Is what you create in this life while you’re here

Making a difference in those you hold dear

Learning good discipline to share and be kind

Values and character with love and good cheer

*

Things collected and attained with tall towers

Wealth and fame and political power

With the shake of God’s hand will all be erased

Passed on to others with  your name not a trace

*

As we celebrate Christmas and the joy that it brings

Remembering God’s love that we see in Him

Let us set our life’s goal on eternal things

Not things erased on the Etch-a-Sketch screen

 

 

 

Impressionable Minds

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Children come into the world without bias, prejudice, or hate. Their minds are dry sponges in a world of wet experiences. Everything that goes into those sweet little minds determines how they will function as adults. Parents have an immense responsibility to make sure that what they soak up are values that will give them a foundation for life.

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Impressionable minds

Virgin brains

Unpenetrated by bigotry or hate

A clean hard drive

Sponging up every detail of life

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Impressionable minds

Seeing everything

Forgetting nothing

Imitating parents

Repeating what they hear

The good

The bad

The ugly

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Tainted minds

Polluted with underlying bias

Picking up the hate

Imitating  bigotry

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Impressionable minds

Can be filled with goodness

Bathed in Love

Full of Compassion

Exuding grace and forgiveness

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What kind of parent are you

Your children will be

Your reincarnation

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth