Fall in the Woods at Masontown


Fall in the Woods at Masontown

I can still remember, like it was yesterday

Fall in the woods at Masontown

Cold weather closed in early

Leaves in the woods

Turned shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown

What was once a lush green woods

Filled with green hollow stemmed weeds

Now becomes blanketed

With a soft silent coating of leaves


The Silver Maple and Butternut next to the house

Dropped their yellow-tan leaves

The quince turned yellow-brown

As the apple trees blended into the scene

With rich deep red leaves

Highlighted by a back drop of color

Pouring from the shallow woods

Extending from our house

To the church cemetery


On the driveway black walnuts still in the hulls

Driven over with car tires

Squishing and shelling

Removing the hard nuts inside

Picking them up, peeling off the excess

While blends of saffron, amber, and walnut stains

Are left on my hands and under my nails

From driveway to furnace room

Down in the basement

The nuts carried to be dried

For cracking with hammer and brick


Out in the field behind the chicken house

Rows of asparagus

Lined the edge of the woods

Bent over like a hundred old men

Kinked and twisted

Dry hollow stems

Seed pods still clinging stubbornly to the tops

Some will weather the snow and wind

Only to be disked up in the spring

To start all over again


Out in the woods,

Paths where our bare feet ran all summer long

Disappeared under layers of leaves

As frost took its toll on the trees

Now I can walk through the woods,

With a borrowed single-shot 12 gauge,

Looking in the pit holes for rabbits,

Flushing out ring-necked pheasants

From the edge of the corn field

Just beyond the back side of the woods


Life was simple then,

Rabbits shot were few and pheasants even fewer

But walking through the woods and field

Was an experience I enjoyed

Just for the sake of being there

The woods remained stark and bare

For the rest of the winter,

But it’s passing and recurring beauty

Left indelible impressions

On my mind for years to come

Sometimes I wish I could just be there once again.

Butterflies of the Blue Ridge

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I am going to speak a million beautiful words to you in my blog today. This is poetry in pictures, Butterflies of the Blue Ridge Mountains of  North Carolina. I hope you enjoy this spectacular visual treat! We found these last week while traveling the parkway to Linville and Grandfather Mountain. Photos: Dwight L. Roth
















eer_0522 At the Linville Caverns there was a butterfly bush covered with more black and blue butterflies than I have ever seen. How many can you see in this small segment.








Imagine a burning speck of dust

Riding over the highest arc

Of a galactic fireworks

Heading outward cooling yet hot

One of a quadrillion sparks

Lighting up the Milky Way

Shooting toward infinity

Imagine that cooling spark


Contains trillions

Of smaller pieces of energy

Spinning and floating

Binding and loosing all of this beauty


While sailing at the speed of light

Imagine that inside those pieces of energy

Trillions more particles bump and grind

So fast that they hold everything together


Imagine that within that mix

You and I

Are miniscule parts of that one

Moving speck of dust

Now imagine

That controlling all of this action

Is a God

Who loves You and Me

…This is Faith


Photos: Dwight L. Roth




Beyond the Mist


We live in a time when everyone wants to know exactly what is going to happen. When we find ourselves having to wait for anything, we begin to get anxious.  Someone once said, “Life happens when we have others plans.” We need  to adjust our life and rest in the knowledge that all things can work out for our good. We need not become anxious when we can’t see things clearly. We know we can rest in the fact that God wants what is best for out life. We can use down time to renew and refresh. Consider it to be the dew of the spirit washing over our life.


Beyond the mist the sun is smiling

Waiting for it to lift

The cool damp blanket of morning dew

Hanging on every stick

The flowers drink in the fluid of life

Standing shiny and slick

Lifting their petals in thanks to God

For the refreshing drink he gives


When the fog sets in and clouds your view

Accept it with gratitude

Consider it a time of healing

Before the sun bursts through

In those inner moments as things close in

Our view is not quite clear


Let faith grow strong and cement our bond

We know the Son is near



Photos on Grandfather Mountain, NC – taken by Dwight L. Roth


Web of Death


Traveling today on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina I came across this beautiful web soaked in the dew of a heavy overhanging fog. Its amazing engineering is breathtaking, as it reflected in the water drops shimmering in the morning light. Amazing something so beautiful can be a web of death.  Much like the rest of our life. The things that shimmer and shine sometimes bring our demise!

Web of Death

In her dark tunnel she hides

Lying in wait for the blazing sun

Dew drops clinging to her web

Breathing quietly with the patience of Job

Knowing lunch comes as soft breezes will blow

Her web of death for unwitting insects

Entangled in her shimmering threads

Thin as fiber optics strong as steel

Once entangled they are her next meal


From her tunnel of darkness she emerges

Like a horror on the fun-house ride

A venomous bite and it’s all over

Then she’s back inside




What does a soldier do with his pain? Memories of the carnage and bloodshed rerun over and over in is mind. What does a person do who was criticized or ignored by parents who seemed not to care?  That voice, that look, that feeling of never measuring up is always there. What about the child who never quite fit in, who was bullied and teased by his so-called friends? The verbal abuse, the punches and kicks stay forever in his mind .  This poem is for all you who are hurting and cannot shake the trauma. This is to say, in your pain I care about the hell you are going through.


Walls built with stones and mortar of memories

Locking tightly together each painful reality

Stacking and cementing them tightly in place

Till the soul becomes hidden without even a trace

Dungeon of doom condemning the soul

Cold place of solitude where no one can dwell

A roof on top to keep out the light

Beautiful on the outside but dark in the heart

Protected and guarded from any more pain

Windows boarded up to keep out the rain


Though years have gone by the walls still close in

Creating a chasm that the soul cannot swim

A castle on the hill of life with walls strong and tall

No windows no drawbridge no one comes to call

A lifetime of memories too painful to tell

A soul locked in memories a real living hell


Photos: Dwight L. Roth

* If you are suffering from any of the above, seek professional help to work through whatever you might be going through. I have and it has made all the difference!





Leaving His Mark


At the beginning of the twentieth century my grandfather left his mark on his community in Central Pennsylvania. Being a concrete mason, he did every kind of concrete work you could imagine.   A few years ago my brothers and I went looking for pieces of his work and found several that still had his name and the date carved into them.  The little town of Allensville had his sidewalks until the 1990’s. My brother-in-law was there when some of his sidewalks were being torn up and replaced. He salvaged a few pieces with names and dates on them . I took the 1914 piece, in the photo, and embedded it into a brick wall I built in my back yard. There it can live on. This poem is a tribute to  my grandfather, Christian Roth.

In 1914 he made this mark carved in wet concrete

Lived on the sidewalk for ninety years

His hard back breaking work complete

With progress comes change and new town walks

Grabbed a piece while being broken up

Saved for conversation memories and talk

The quality of his work was undeniable

A hundred years later still solid as rock

A fine lasting piece still carrying his label


C. Roth found in concrete all over the valley

1912, 1914,  and many more were there

Leaving his mark too many to tally


Walks, Watering Troughs, Sinks, and Ponds

Bake Ovens, Cow Stables, Root Cellars and Walls

A century of quality was his lasting bond


Now I plant this piece of stone from a century long gone

A tribute to my Grandfather

For the next hundred years on…



Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Headstone made of concrete and crushed glass was made for his son who died in a car wreck in 1926.

The wash house stove hearth was made in 1912 for my Great Grandparents.

The bake oven was built on a farm an is still in the yard. It was repaired and repointed by my uncle and my cousin over fifty years ago.

The 1914 piece from the town sidewalk.


My Plowin’ Days are Over


I love old tractors and what they represent. If they could talk think of all the stories they would tell. Now and then I drive by an old tractor parked in the weeds along the road and think  to myself, I guess its plowin’ days are done.  One of these days I will join it. Then I too will know my plowin’ day are over!

My Plowin’ Days are Done

Parked in the weeds no roof for my hood

Plug wires hanging out  in the grass there I stood

My plowin’ days are done

Paint’s faded badly and my chains are all rusty

Put aside and replaced with one that’s more trusty

My plowin’ days are done

Air in my tires and my engine still runs

It’s been a long time since I’ve had any fun

I think my plowin’ days are done

When I’m put out to pasture no money in the bank

Joints are rusty and my engine won’t crank

Then I will know my time has come

I believe my plowin’ days are done


Contributed Photo



Awaiting Metamorphosis


Downsizing and moving to a smaller residence can be very traumatic for some of us who are growing older. The decision to make a major change can leave one with a lot of anxiety. Leaving the house you love and lived in for the past twenty years is not easy. Not knowing what the future holds makes us uneasy. The upside is that our life can become easier to manage with less responsibilities. It may give us the opportunity to develop new interests and meet new people who can enrich our lives. This poem takes a look at facing the changes that come with aging.

We wrap ourselves with strands of life

That tells our story from front to back

A life of joy and sorrow

All woven into that cocoon we call home

Layer after layer we weave the strands

Stories, pleasures, and memories abound

Bringing undefined feelings of love

To our ephemeral life

Family and friends give life its edge

Children and grandchildren cut deep into our souls

Embedding themselves in the fabric of our cocoon

Cool crisp mornings with coffee and tea

Birds and flowers and vines of Kiwi

Unspeakable joy and pleasures surround

In our home cocoon we’ve so tightly wound.

Time to let go and break out of our shell

Who knows what joys and pleasures we’ll tell

In transformation of mind and matter

Though parting is great sorrow

There is still hope for tomorrow

Beyond this cocoon we call home

He’s Gone


Most of us probably know someone who fell head of heels in love, only to find that they were falling for someone who wasn’t interested in a lasting relationship. The passion of the moment throws stardust into the eyes as they fall hard. Finding the right person has to go beyond the fleeting fantasy. Developing a lasting relationship takes time to develop and cannot be attained in the heat of the moment.

He’s Gone

Inhaling smoke from your flame

Overcome in the heat of the moment

You were warned, you were told

Did you listen? No!

Now you will burn

Like flash paper in a magician’s hand

 Combustible feelings up in smoke

That mind-blowing moment gone

Your all-consuming desire

Not quite what you expected

Leaving ashes for memories

Dust in the wind

He’s gone!