Music the Last to Go


I remember the first time I saw a stroke victim sing. It was quite a shock. I had taken my guitar to the rest home to sing some Folk Songs of the 1960s with the residents. One lady who could hardly tell me her name began singing clearly with me on This Land is Your Land. It was one of the most beautiful things I ever experienced. Speech and music come from different sides of the brain, so even though speech is difficult the singing ability is still there.

Music is the Last to Go

Musical vibes floating all around

Pushing the air beating our drums


Emotions of joy come pouring out

Raising our spirit making us shout

Coming from that spot in our brain

That touches our soul and keeps us sane


No matter what happens

Be it stroke or loss of speech

Music still flows

When talking’s out of reach


When it’s time to sing

We can sing every line

In rich melodic tones

Leaving all behind

Speechless in that moment

Wondering what just happened

Jaws drop in shock

As we sing with abandon


Musical speech unlocked in the brain

Music and talking ride a different train


In that gray matter that sometimes goes wrong

Our talking is slurred our conversations gone

Musical diction will still make us shout

From the very first note the words flow out

Bringing awe and wonder to all  who are about


Painting of Harmony Guitar -Dwight L. Roth


The Eye of My Needle


When confronted with the caustic attitudes of the current political campaign, it is easy to get caught up in negativity. How we respond is our choice. When a friend has been injured by the words or actions of others, it is easy to jump onboard and promote the negativity. I am proposing there is an alternative, sewing the wounds with love and compassion that can bring healing and help.  Negativity becomes a cancer of the soul. Don’t let it consume yours.

The Eye of My Needle

I’m a needle with an eye on the end

Waiting for a thread to pass through

Will the thread I use help to mend

Or as I sew will it leave you blue


Threads of darkness or threads of light

Joining together sewing things tight

Drawn through the eye with utmost care

Choose the thread that can mend the tear


To friends you know who are on the mend

Will your thread be light or a painful end

Perhaps it will be a thread of grace

From a true friend of the human race


Threads of healing or bitterness and strife

Will you be sewing their wound with life

Or, with caustic soda and the twisting knife


They say the eye is the window of the soul

Fill yours with Light that makes one whole

Face the Light




As we were guided through the Linville Caverns in the North Carolina Mountains, the guide stopped and said, “Now I will show you what if feels like to be in total darkness.” Then he flipped a switch and everything went black.  The lantern above was a welcome sight when he turned it back on. Depression feels like someone flipped our soul into total darkness. Things seem hopeless as we stare into the blackness. But there is light and there is hope. God’s love is a candle that never burns out. Our friends, those who stand with us, are our guides walking back with us toward the Light of God’s love and grace.

Face the Light

In the black darkness

One can see a candle

Burning in the distance

Unless he turns his back

Staring into the darkness

Where there is no light


The first is hope

The second is depression


Turn until you see the Light

Focus on it

Follow it

It will be your guide 

Out of the darkness

Into Light


Santa Already!!

santa-clauseChristmas is still almost two months away and Santa is already out! Next week is Halloween and Thanksgiving is still a month away. What’s the rush? What do they hope to gain. It must be attention, because it made me look when I saw Santa on top of our local Mitsubishi dealership.

Santa Already?!

What to my wondering eyes  did I see

Santa on top the Mitsubishi

Blown up Santa bigger than a teddy

Not even Halloween and he’s here already

What are they thinking why so soon

It’s not even cold and he’s here before noon

Thanksgiving is still a month away

And what ‘a you know he’s here to stay

Unless the air that keeps him rotund

Stops it’s flow and he hits the ground

Hopefully he’ll make it till Christmas tide

And won’t blow away before his night ride


Photo on the fly with my flip phone!  Sorry for the poor quality! – Dwight L. Roth







Unlike the horse in the photo, we choose the blinders that we wear. Setting our course straight ahead it is easy to ignore the things around us. We choose our neighborhood, our schools for our children, our religion, and our politics that suits our thinking. We believe we are right and others who are different from us are wrong.  We avoid the things that make us uncomfortable or challenge our thinking. As I wrote in an earlier poem, we often seek comfort over truth.


Amish buggy clopping down the road

Horse looking straight ahead pulling her load

Not seeing side to side distractions might scare

Blinders on each eye make her unaware

On down the road and into the barn

Knows her place she always goes home

Just like us clopping down the road

Choosing our blinders pulling our load

Refusing to see what’s all around us

Distractions might scare us the news might blind us

Tell us we might be wrong in our thinking

With all our choices could drive us to drinking

As long as we can see straight ahead

We stay on course knowing we’re lead

Down the road of our personal choosing

We forge ahead even though we’re loosing

Unlike the horse who must wear her blinders

We choose to ignore all of our reminders


Photo of Pennsylvania Amish Horse and Buggy – Dwight L. Roth

Fall Seeds and Pods


Today I am sharing some photos of the seeds and pods that I saw on our trip to Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Seeds provide food for birds and hold the potential for reproduction after the long winter chill.  Thousands of seeds are produced each summer and either fall to the ground or are eaten. When I realize that ongoing life is held in those tiny pieces of matter it amazes me.

Seeds and Pods

Amazing seeds bursting forth

Treasures of reincarnation

Sustenance for snow-covered birds

Light as air floating in the wind

Round as bearings red as a rose

Pods ugly as mud fungi mushy as jell

Homes for aphid farmers

Perches for butterflies

Hanging around lying in wait for Spring

Resurrecting in the warm sunshine

To do it all over again












The Atrocities of Being Right


We have all heard the expression, “History Repeats Itself”. This seems to be as true today as it has ever been. When I think back over the many deaths that have occurred because we think we are right, it is really unbelievable. From the Crusades, to burning people at the stake, to drowning people accused of being witches,  to the holocaust in Germany, to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,  to the massacre of Native Americans, to the bombings and beheadings still going on today, it is obvious to me that we have not learned a thing from history. We must work for a more peaceful way of living together. John Lennon, in his song Imagine, had that vision. We sill have to catch it.

The Atrocities of Being Right

Who decides what is right or wrong

This question is decided before we’re born

So who is really right and who is all wrong

Really depends on where you’re born

In India, in Iran, in China or Japan

Truth there is dealt a different hand


So sad the atrocities that have been done

Killing and maiming and burning the one

Who might disagree with our chosen one


How many buildings must we burn

Or suicide bombers take their turn

Life’s not important

We have no regard

As long as were right killing is not hard

All is done in the name of our God

Blessings on us and curses abroad


What atrocities we exact on the brotherhood of man

Torture, stoning, and fire, is our plan

With bombs and guns and deadly airplanes

All because we have the “truth”


We forget that in the heart of every man

Love crosses every span

Love can bridge the gulf of war,

Of bombs, of hate and so much more

Ironic that in every book

Loving your neighbor is what it took

Like Trees


The mountains are alive with color and people flock to see the beautiful fall foliage. I find it interesting that leaves are most beautiful as they are about to die and fall to the ground. My mind started running and I came up with this idea. I realize the analogy doesn’t follow through in every aspect, but bear with me and see what you think. If people were like trees perhaps older folks would be more revered in our society. Perhaps the young ones would choose to spend more listening moments with them, gaining wisdom and knowledge that will soon be gone.

Like Trees

If people were like trees

They would love us

In each season of our life


Finding comfort and shade

In our towering strength

Admiring our refined appearance

Planted on the landscape of time


And, in the fall of life

Make special effort

To come before winter

And see all the magnificent beauty

Of our changing folage


The myriad array of colors

That makes us special

Before they’re is gone

With the cold winds of change


And our balding limbs

Put in brick boxes with windows

Injected with composting material

Observed from time to time

As we await our fate



Family relationships can be challenging, but the older we get the more important it is to focus on the positive things in life. Sisters have that special bond that is different from any other. As life moves on this connection can become a great source of strength and encouragement. Facing the future together is much better than facing it alone.


After a life of ups and downs

Sisters come together to wander around

Traveling and talking about things from the past

Good things and bad things and things that didn’t last

Enjoying the bond that only sister can share

Knowing the other will always be there

Someone to call on who will lend an ear

Though far away it will feel like you’re near


As the hair turns white in the fall of life

The bond they have is not full of strife

But rather with joy and love all around

Sharing a future where good memories abound


Photos: Dwight L. Roth




The Headless Horseman of the Apocalypse


The Headless Horseman of the Apocalypse

Riding through the dark night of the soul

Comes a headless horseman on a silver steed

Snorting fire and ashes he rides with great speed

No one can stop the galloping Spector

No one dare be so bold

As the ghastly night round him grows cold

Not Donkey nor Elephant, not Fox nor Hound

He defies all those who would slow him down

Many have tried and many have failed

Some have screamed and some have yelled

But nothing can stop the apocalyptic wail

Out of the swamp through the fog of night

The horseman of the apocalypse

leaving all in a fright

Comes charging the bridge in full moonlight

Not a myth not a tale not a short lived wail

Will rise up to challenge with ghastly pale

The pending disaster that rides on his tail

In the morning sun he’ll surely be restricted

It was not true as many souls predicted

He’s here for now and he’ll be for a spell

This wild man with no head has tales to tell

The powers tried to slow him down

As he rode in that midnight hour

But the pumpkin wielding warrior

Simply brought scare and horror

To politicians far and wide

Bringing chaos and confusion now all is lost

He won’t stop till that last bridge is crossed







Image from Clip Art on the web: