November Circus


November Circus

A Three ring circus came to town last November

Complete with actors, acrobats, and lion tamers

A triangle of three tents each housed exciting acts

Jungle cats paced on the Big White Tent track

The lion roars loudly only to be snapped

By the ring master’s whip as he does his act


In the second tent the acrobats fly

Swinging from the rafters reaching for the sky

Going nowhere, but putting on a great show

Tightrope walkers with no nets below

Clowns come out with horns to blow


The third tent brings on horses and riders

As Elephants stand up and down on stools provided

The most trained of them all / they wow the crowds

With amazing antics // they stand tall and proud


Who knew that the Lion could tweet // and ‘bats could swing

Amazingly // some of the big cats got into the acrobats’ ring

As tightrope walkers straddled both sides of the string.

The big caged cats keep howling for fresh meat

Whether it be a clown or one of their own to eat


The high stepping horses with all of their riders

Keep circling the elephants with their stools provided

Round and round they go and when they’ll stop

Nobody knows // for they have so little to show



Today at d’Verse we were asked to write about the circus. I have read stories and seen movies about the circus, but I have never been to one. So, I decided to use the circus as a metaphor for our political circus that we have playing out in real time .  Come join us at:






EER_0388 (4)

There was a time in our country’s history when farmers welcomed advertising on their barn as a way to get their barns painted.  The Mail Pouch advertisers painted the side facing the road with their logo. Sometimes they painted both the front and the end, depending on whether it could be seen from the road as people passed by. The rest of the barn was then painted to suit the farmer. They received $2 to $4 a year for the use of their barn. That would be $20 to $40 in today’s dollars. After the depression and during the war this was probably a great way for farmers to keep their barn in good condition. I took this photo on Rt. 21 between Masontown and Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

Mail Pouch on your barn

Summer paint job with great perks

Paint and Chew both deadly


Photo: Dwight L. Roth


Stacked (Haiku)


Rocks carefully stacked

Withstood one hundred winters

Roots and bushes grow


Walls last a lifetime

Ditches remain // water flows

Still hold back the bank


Corners stacked plumb

Unmoved by ice, rain, or snow

Steps long gone with time


Skilled craftsmen laid stone

with precision and great pride

It outlived them all


Photos are of the stone wall across from the Leckrone Company Store, near Masontown, Pa. It is stacked stone without mortar that has lasted many years. My understanding is that it was the retaining wall in front of the old post office that still sits in overgrown brush on the hillside above the wall.  I took these photos when my two brothers and I visited my home town last weekend. We went back to remember, and dig up some bits and pieces of our past life when we were young more than fifty years ago.


Which Way is Up?



It seems funny to me that we talk about going up to heaven when we die. Which way is up? Depending on the continent we live on it could be a lot of different directions. Nevertheless, when we think of the heavens we are covering a vast expanse beyond the human mind. We are in a small miniscule part of this great cosmos. If the cosmos were a human being, they would have to use an electron microscope just to find the Milky Way Galaxy! How small we must be!

Is Heaven up there

hidden in the Milky Way…

An eternal Spring?


Frank Tassone asked us to write a Haikai poem of our choice that alludes to or mentions the Milky Way. Join us at:

#Haikai Challenge #51 (9/15/18): Milky Way (amanogawa) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga




Nothing Lasts Forever

Nags Head Shipwreck 001


Being a celebrity is like building a house on the beach

Knowing that, like life, it will not last…

Enjoying fame and fortune // living on the edge of disaster

Each sunrise more beautiful than then last…

Putting pilings into the sand thinking they will stand

Against the wind // the rain //and raging hurricanes.

But // everything gets old // foundations crumble

In time all will be buried in the sand dunes

Along with the misfortune of shipwrecks…

Skeletons of past glory that sometimes wash to the surface

Revealing what we all knew all along

Nothing lasts for ever


Nags Head Shipwreck 001

Photo of Shipwreck at Nags Head, NC: Dwight L. Roth

Back to School

EER_0885 (2).JPG

Big yellow school bus

Carried us to school each day

Down county back roads

Every child learned to write cursive

French was the foreign language

Girls preoccupied our minds


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Lillian, at d’Verse, asked us to think about going back to school and then write a poem of six lines about the a b c’s. We had to pick any six letters of the alphabet in sequential order, and write  a poem about school. The ornament above was given to me by one of my students back in 1982.

Join us at: https:

Evening Rainbow

IMG_3155 (2).JPG

I saw this beautiful rainbow when I arrived at choir practice this evening. I decided it was worth being late in order to capture these photos. With a hurricane coming our way tomorrow everyone grows concerned. In spite of the storm, people of faith believe that God is in control of all that happens. The rainbow is a representation of his love and grace in our life!

Evening rainbow glows

reminding us who’s in charge

just before the storm

Hurricane Florence churns off the coast

All rainbows gone tomorrow


IMG_3153 (2).JPG


IMG_3156 (2)

iPhone Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Where Were You?


Alan Jackson wrote this song after 9-11 reflecting on that terrible day when so many innocent people died in the collapse of the Twin Towers.  Today at d’verse, we were supposed to take a poem we wrote about 9-11 from our past writings about the event and lift some lines or words that could be used as a prompt for a poem today. Since I never wrote any poems about 9-11, I am barrowing Allen Jackson’s song “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”.

When the news broke that a plane hit the tower

I was on a ladder working on a chimney that September day

A phone call informed me and my world stopped turning

I felt compelled to go home and watch the news

Soon after I sat down to watch.  the second plane hit

Stunned // I watched as people ran for their lives

While first responders rushed into the inferno to help

My world literally stopped turning again as I watched

The first tower // then the second tower collapse and fall

White powder from pulverized concrete billowed everywhere

How could anyone do such horrific acts against fellow human beings?

When heroic acts brought down the third plane in Pennsylvania

The world stopped turning for many people whose loved ones

Lost their lives in the misguided attacks

I wondered how anyone could forgive such actions

Then I reflected on the horrific crucifixion  of Jesus

As he cried out in his agony // Father forgive them

For they know not what they do.

Faith, Hope,  and Love

Are the good things he gave us

But the greatest is Love!


Video from Youtube



Oh, My!!

IMG_3128 (2)

When we drove in the road to see the old house where I was born, my first reaction was “Oh, my!!” The place was unrecognizable. It was so overgrown with weeds that you could barely see the front porch. The yard was not mowed and it appeared to be in a state of disrepair. My mind quickly raced to the days when everything was trimmed and neat. The house was painted and the garden planted. It is heartbreaking to see how things have changed in fifty years.

Drove past our old house today hoping to gather some memories

Quickly realized that memories were all that remained

Nothing appeared as I remembered // everything had changed

Weeds wrapped the house like a blanket

The yard had disappeared swallowed up by the woods

Henry Padlo & Dwight Roth April 1955 001

My friend Henry and me ready for school!

De Jackson at d’Verse asked us to write a poem of 44 words that included the word quick (or a form of it) for Quadrille Monday. Nothing ever stays the same as you can see by my house then and now!

Join us at: