Winter Solstice


The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, is not an end in itself.  It is a reminder that now the days will begin to get longer as the earth moves in its path around the sun. The promise of more light to create growth and nourishment for all of us allows us to appreciate the long cold winter. I thought about the struggles we all go through. At the time it may seem like there is not hope, but as with the sun this too won’t last forever. Renewed strength will come in due time.

Winter Solstice

Advent of winter cold and dark

Comes to visit chilling us to the bone

Long shadows tell the tale

Of our trek around the sun

Tilting away from those life giving rays

Demanding hibernation

As new buds wait for the light

Knowing it will come in the course of time

In our dark nights of soul searching

Answers seem far away

As we move away from the Light

Life demands our hibernation

Not in devastation but rather in self renewal

Developing new strength and perspective

Preparing for the promised return of Light in our life

Dispelling the dark night in which we struggle

No matter how dark devastating or desperate

This too will pass

With the return of the Light

That is always there

Illuminating our minds moving us onward


Photo:Dwight L. Roth





Peace on Earth Good will toward men

The words of the angels to the shepherds

Two thousand years ago

Announcing the birth of a Savior

Christ the Lord

Today the world still is not at peace

Nations religions ideologies and cultures

Still clash make war and destroy one another

Was it all for naught that word of peace

That greeting of Shalom

Or was it something more

Perhaps peace must be planted in our heart

One person at a time in a garden of Love

At home at school with our friends and neighbors

Peace cannot be legislated treatied or mandated

No, peace is a result of something greater

The Word of God made flesh living and practiced

In us

Peace is a choice a gift we give to ourselves and others

An outflowing of  God’s Grace from the garden of Love

And in return

We receive


Ornaments of Love


I taught elementary school  for 29 years. At Christmas some of my students and fellow teachers brought Christmas ornaments to give me . It was always special to get these gifts from them. Over the years I have collected quite a few, which I added to my tree. As a result I have never had to buy decorations. I simply hang all of their gifts of love on my tree and remember the smiling faces of those who cared enough to share them with me.

This is not a poem today, but rather a few of the gifts I received over the years. Some of the ornaments like this stamp have the date stamped on them. The picture above was from 1982.  This was from 1977 when postage was only 13 cents!















Some like this one were homemade ornaments.



Each Christmas my grandchildren come and help decorate our tree. They really enjoy looking at each one and placing it in a special place on the tree.


Photos: Dwight L.Roth

Etch-a-Sketch Life


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




Tiny Turtle


One summer my grandson found what appears to be a baby alligator snapping turtle along the edge of the creek bank below our house. He was tiny little guy not much bigger than a silver dollar. All excited, we all gathered around to look at him. He did not seemed to be too bothered by our picking him up and kept his head and feet out looking all around. It was a great find for the day and a great story to tell.

Tiny Turtle

Living hidden in a creek bank  edge

Baby turtle lives just under the ledge

Its stony spine cover surrounds him

Hiding tail feet and head protruding

Tiny little guy who just arrived

Amazingly adapted he knows how to survive

In a ditch bank where children play


Seems an odd place for eggs to lay

Hatching to live in the dark murky muck

He’s on his own there and left to luck

Cute little creature in vivid detail

Soon to grow big from head to tail

For now we’ll enjoy this extraordinary guy

Then put him back and let him hide


Photos: Dwight L. Roth




Little Chippie


A year ago a little mourning dove fell out of the nest early and became attached to my wife and I. He would eat seeds out of our hand, sit on our shoulder and knee, and wait on the deck each morning watching for any activity in the house.   By the end of the summer he became more independent and would no longer come to us.  But, he still sits on the deck each morning and watches through the sliding glass door for us to wake up. It has been a really interesting experience.

Little Chippie

Little Chippie a mourning dove fell out of the tree

Landing on the cap of Bob sitting next to me


What a surprise he fell out of his home

A little squab only two thirds grown

Downy feathers on his tummy still showing


He landed on my chair arm not wanting to leave

I reached out to catch him as he flew to the tree

He slipped through my fingers and on my knees

Were his tail feathers and down fluttering on my sleeve

Oh no Oh gee what will he do now that he’s not in the tree

The poor little bird  has a naked tail Oh me

Will he sit and cry for his nest in the tree


He stayed around at the feeder he began to eat seeds


He ate out from hands and sat on our knees


We became his mother he allowed us to stay

He became our friend he did not fly away


A few weeks later he grew new tail feathers

Lost his down grew as handsome as ever


He came by one day as I worked on my painting

And sat on my shoulder while I painted he waited


Then flying off to the nearby tree

He never again came back to me

Now he is grown and brings round his friends


To eat at the feeder for seeds they do fend

One day this summer they came to the feeder

With a new little squab so good to meet her


Early in the morning when I come out for coffee

I look out on the deck where he still waits to see me


 Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Read my children’s book about Little Chippie on Amazon Kindle. It is free to those who have Kindle Unlimited. 

Click the link below to read:



Christmas Overload


A good friend of mine loves to decorate for Christmas. As you can see, they have lights and figures everywhere. It lights up their whole corner in the neighborhood. I had to think about the hope, peace,  and good cheer that Christmas lights and figurines represent. The meaning of Christmas goes deeper than the superficial celebration of Happy Holiday. This poem attempts to sum that up for you.

Christmas Overload

Cobwebs of lights on the windows and eves

Strung through the front yard filled with leaves

Santa’s on the roof top glowing fat and red

Baby Jesus all wrapped up and tucked into bed


Stars and snowflakes with strings of lights

Bring Christmas overload to the yard tonight

Every inch from the porch to the edge of the street

Covered with lights on every shrub twig and leaf

From the top of the roof to the bottom of the bush


The sparkling lights are every child’s wish

But there is more to be said for Christmas time

Than tinsel and lights and brass bells that chime

It’s the Light of the World bringing love to all men

With grace and forgiveness and coming again

Without love shared there is no peace on earth

So forget the overload and for what it’s worth

Rejoice in the real meaning of Christmas today

Don’t get caught up in the rat race and melee


Photos: Dwight L. Roth



Poetry You Can Ride

While traveling in the mountains earlier this fall we saw this beautiful Indian Motorcycle in the parking lot at Lynville Falls. The sleek lines and beautiful chrome and paint were accented with fine leather. It looked like it would be poetry in motion cruising down the highway. The couple who were riding it said they were enjoying a beautiful fall ride in the Blue Ridge Mountains. My poem for today is an Indian Motorcycle worth a thousand words.













Photos: Dwight L. Roth

A Library Dies with Them


Each time I go to work at the local Habitat Restore, I see remnants of people’s past being donate for resale. Furniture, pictures, kitchen pots and pans along with many keepsakes are given to us by children who don’t have a place for them in their lives. A friend of mine once told me that her sister, who is a librarian, told her “When a person dies a library dies with them!” This inspired me to write this poem.

A Library Dies with Them

“When a Person dies a library dies with them”

Unwritten stories and never told little gems

Perhaps some better left unwritten

Of fear or war or parent who are hittin’

Childhood friends all dressed up and fancy

Endless hours of fun and fantasy

Running through woods streets and alleys

So much fun at High School pep ralleys

Sweet childhood romances imagined and real

Traded classmate photos and kisses we steal


Yes, when a person dies

Past relationships die as well

Teachers who cared friends who dared

And bullies who made black eyes swell

Stories of mom and dad

Always proud of joys we had

Or of horrors and tales of abuse and pain

Blocked out never to be mentioned again

Achievements gained awards attained

All lost in the dumpster of time

A dumpster of treasures hand-made creations

Unseen unwanted by the next generation

Stories of romance with fights that follow

Of babies pets and children who holler

Toss it all out none left for tomorrow

Weddings funerals and proud graduations

No time left for the past generation

Just sprinkles of memories now rarely devoured

A hall of fame dies along with the flowers

All up in smoke no more to remain

The stories are gone not heard again

So that’s why I write that’s why I plead

Remember life’s passing with very great speed

So come to my library for a really good read


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Quote: Diane Prutsman Ross  – an  old African Proverb –  “When a person dies a library burns to the ground”


Brown Bunny


Brown Bunny

Little brown bunny came by this morning

Fattened by summer green he’s mourning

Nibbling remains of the frostbitten grass

Knowing winter’s fare is here at last

Thick fur coat picked out for winter

Buttoned up tight all around this sprinter

Watching me make coffee he sits and wonders

Not sure what’s going on at my kitchen counter

Hot coffee for me as I watch him shiver

Waiting patiently for me his pose delivers

Then off to the woods and his nest in the grass

Tonight when it’s cold he’ll be out in the blast

Freezing air coming in it sure will  be a cold

Maybe some snow blowing in strong and bold

When time to sleep I’ll be snug in my bed

He’ll be out there in his warm nest instead