Haiku for a Winter Day

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Snowflakes

Big wet snowflakes

Hold hands as they dance toward earth

Melting hearts are warm

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Cardinals

Red Cardinals arrive

Filling their gullets with seeds

For a long cold night

Winter

Darkness closes in

Winter comes softly creeping

Hiding in the shadows

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Carolina Wren

Hyper little wren

Nervous always moving round

Chipper little friend

Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadees

Dressed in his gray and white tux

Eat seeds with abandon

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Red Bellied Woodpecker

Sharing the Feeder

Woodpecker and dove share seeds

They both get their fill

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Sharing this with d’Verse Poets Pub open link night.  Since many of you are still in the cold of winter, I thought you might enjoy my Haiku.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Cold Mountain Adventure

Uncle Fred's farm in winter! (3)

This is an old photo of my uncle’s dairy farm in Central Pennsylvania where my mother was born. I worked there for five summers and listened to him tell me tales of deer hunting on Stone Mountain, that rose up from the back of the farm. When I was sixteen, my parents took me there on Thanksgiving weekend so I could go hunting with him. In Pennsylvania the first day of deer season was the Monday after Thanksgiving.

It was freezing cold when we got up at 4:00 am to milk the twenty-six cows so we could be in the mountain before dawn. By 6:00 we were climbing that steep, snow-covered cold mountain. My Uncle told me to wait at the head of the hollow and he went back down to the pines to see if he could chase a deer up to me.

By 9:00, I was very cold as I waited. Nothing much was happening. About that time, I heard a deer coming up through the mountain-laurel. I was excited to see a six-point buck come into view. Without further details, I got my first deer on that cold mountain. It was an experience I will never forget.

Fresh snow crystals fall

Young hunter climbs cold mountain

One shot thinned the herd

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Today at d’Verse, Frank asked us to write a Haibun* about a cold mountain. This prompt took me back almost sixty years to my teen years and my deer hunting adventure. I realize some of you may not be supportive of hunting but being raised with farming in my background killing animals for food was a common occurrence.  In this situation, the farm fields in Big Valley fed the deer all summer. It was important to keep the deer herd thinned each year to prevent overpopulation.

Photo shared from the family album

*   A Haibun is a short prose piece followed by a Haiku.

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Out of Compost …Life

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Up from the compost comes new life

Some look forward to a long cold winter

I look forward to the flowers blooming in Spring

Daffodils can’t wait for winter’s cold to shine

In the midst of the rot and rubble they take root

Pushing upward with every warm day of Winter

Reminding me that it is not the losses of Summer

Nor the shedding of leaves in Autumn

But rather, hope lies in the eternal promise of Spring

As up from the compost comes new life

Pushing winter on its way

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Yesterday I noticed that the daffodils were already pushing their way up through the dead leaves. Our temperatures have been above normal, so they have started to reach for the sun. It will be another month or two till we see blossoms, but to see them there reminds me that Spring is not that far away, and there is life and promise for 2022!  Hopefully we too can gather strength and new life from the compost of 2021!

Photo taken this morning: Dwight L. Roth

Christmas Salvia

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A few weeks ago, we had a heavy frost that killed off most of my red salvia along my front walk. This was followed by a couple of weeks of unseasonably warm weather. I was surprised to see new green leaves coming out at the base of the plants I had broken off.  Two of the last plants near the sheltered door did not freeze. They kept on blooming and some of the frosted one grew enough to bloom as you see in the top photo.

Christmas Salvia

Blooming in spite of the Frost

Santa will bring coal/cold

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Exposed

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I worked on this watercolor painting yesterday. I started off with a vision of what I wanted to show, but the painting decided to expand and change directions on me. This is what came out. It reminded me of a tree that has gone through struggles and adversity, yet year after year it still stands strong.

Anchored high on the side of the mountain

Hit with unexpected storms of life

Yet, it stands tall and strong rooted in rock

Arms always uplifted reaching for light

Naked // exposed to winter’s icy blast

Knowing spring brings a dress of emerald green

Watercolor Painting: Dwight L. Roth

To Be a Leaf…

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Oh… to be a leaf, t’would be a delight

High in a tree on a warm summer’s night

Poking my head out the door

Warm seduction of spring calls me fore

Coming out half dressed in the morning light

A red bathing beauty all shiny and bright

Stretching extending my fingers unfurl

Semi-frosty nights will nip at the curl

Turning green without envy my hands open wide

No jealousy here I’m filled with pride

Ever expanding to the size of a hand

Not to be shaken by woman or man

Blown in the wind by breeze and ‘cane

Hands lifted in praise then baptized by rain

Waving high over lovers’   joy without end

Old folks and children consider me their friend

Enduring the heat of hot summer’s blast

Knowing all too soon it will be past

Blushing with color… yellow, orange, and red

My crowning glory before I land with the dead

Photographed by families, travelers, and friends

A model’s envy we all join hands

Waving our boughs and then we’re gone

Floating to the earth but I’m not alone

Lying with friends we await our fate

Raked in piles while the children wait

Jumping and squealing they all roll and tumble

All in a pile as big brothers grumble

Bagged and stacked on the curb for recycling

Back to the garden it’s not really frightening.

Or perhaps simply falling staying were we alight

Putting roots to bed for the long winter’s night

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

A rerun for Fall!