Nasty Little Boogers


EER_0077Cute little creatures so beautiful and sweet

Come to my deck and bring friends to eat


It’s one giant leap and off the window he ricochets

Claws hang as the seed feeder sways

Eating all the seeds he can get

One at a time he pulls them out

Three seconds it’s shelled and in his mouth

He sits there all day stretched over the top

Eating sunflower seeds  until they run out

His friends hog the rail and bird feeder too

When I look out the window I think it’s the zoo


With no fear of us or our continuous knocking

He continues what he’s doing

While the feeder is rocking

I holler and shout and hiss and growl

But nothing would phase them

He was not beguiled


I got out the soakers and filled them with water

Shooting streams at them hiding  is great fun for granddaughter

With three on hand I kept them running

But when I turned around they kept on coming

I tried throwing cucumbers as they ran through the yard

But my aim was no good and I threw out my arm

Young little ones want to go to the top

Climbing up the window chewing the stop

They jump and they claw and scratch and pry

But only the old ones can learn to fly


I finally gave up after much consternation and fuss

When they chewed on the windows I finally had enough


The seed feeder came down the rail feeder is empty

For the rest of the summer I have no empathy


Now I smile when I see them come by

And hope they disappear before winter is nigh


Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Wiener Roast



What’s the difference between a wiener roast and a hot dog roast? None!! My sister and second brothers were older than me. When I was ten or eleven, they were in the youth group at our church. My father was the pastor, so we had a lot of activities at our house. We often had what we called a wiener roast which included a bon-fire and lots of hot dogs and fixings. I was only ten or eleven, so I was too young to participate in games and activities, but I did get in on the eating.  My father built a long eight foot wooden table from left over three inch tongue and grooved porch flooring.  The hotdogs, ketchup, mustard, onions , napkins and Kool-Aid drink cups were spread across the top. When the fire burned down we roasted our wieners on the hot coals. They were wonderful.

Wiener Roast    (Childhood Details Collection)

Before I was a teen I can still recall

A crackling bon-fire burning tall

All gathered ‘round in the cool evening breeze


A group of young teens laughing with delight

Evenings  by the woods with fireflies bright

After an evening of fun at the beginning of night


I was too young but I was the preacher’s kid

So I shared in the food when all the others did

After all it was at my house and my back yard


Sticks from the woods all sharpened to a perfection

Young folks scattered in all directions

Wieners on buns await onions and relish



Three dogs to a stick across the pointed Y

Perfectly roasted  about to be anointed

With ketchup mustard and maybe a fly


A simple evening lots of fellowship and fun

Then they all went home the wiener roast was done

And I was fat and happy after three loaded buns


Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Write Me From Paris



Write Me From Paris

Today I worked on art instead of writing. My friend Bob buys and sell stamps. He has big tubs of stamps that he goes through looking for that special stamp that will bring more than just a few cents. He is a good friend and we spend a lot of time solving the world’s problems down under the trees!

I asked for some of his throw-away stamps, that don’t measure up to his keen eye.  I wanted to do a mixed media project. The piece above is 12 x 16. I think of a theme, paint in the background with acrylics, and then add the stamps. I use clip art from the Webb and then add in the stamps around it gluing them on one at a time.

I used the Eiffel Tower as my first project that I worked on last week. I called it “Write Me From Paris.” It has stamps on it from all over the world.

Today I decided to do a tribute to New York City and the Twin Towers that were destroyed by terrorists on 9-11.  I think I will call this one “Remember When I Wrote You from New York?”  I used clip-art from the Webb and added color to the buildings with acrylic paints. The stamps in this piece are all from the USA.

Perhaps there is poetry in stamp art as well!! What do you think?



Remember When I Wrote You From New York?

Car Wash

Car Washing in 1953!

A clean car was a priority for my father, even though we lived on a dusty dirt road. Since we did not own our house, the car was the only major possession we acquired. Therefore having a clean car became an extension of himself. We loved to help wash the car feeling the soapy water running between our toes. The photo above is a picture of me in 1953 when I was six years old. My sister is up on the bumper of our 1951 Chevy, scrubbing, and my father is on the far side. I had the job of pumping the buckets full at our outside pump. As a result,  we all acquired the need for  clean cars as we got older . 

Car Wash    {Childhood Details Collection)

Soapy suds run over dusty surfaces

Cleaning unwanted coatings from the car

Dirt roads shed their dandruff

Cars stir up cumulus clouds of dust

Following behind like a little boy’s shadow

Settling into every crack and crevice

Mud builds up from pothole splashes

Water from the well-pump and dish soap

Chase those particles like an avalanche

Washing them to the ground

Wheels washed and shined

Comet cleanser and wire brush scrubbing

Wide whitewalls cleaned to perfection

Sponged and rinsed the shine returns

Chrome surfaces sparkling in the sunlight

Seems like such an effort in futility

Knowing that the first trip out our dirt road

Will invite powdery dust

To once again settle like dandruff

On the fender-shoulders, hood, and roof

But that ephemeral pristine look

Brings satisfaction if only for a moment


Photo from the family album



The Honsaker Tombstone

Honsaker Tombstone

The Honsaker Tombstone  (Childhood Details Collection)

Who knows the tales that could be told

Of goings on behind the stones

In the dark after church on any Sunday night

Children loved to play among those stones

Behind our church in the cemetery

Stood the biggest marble stone I ever saw

Seven feet tall five feet wide two feet thick

Two ledge around the bottom eight inches wide

The Honsaker Tombstone stood out above the rest


A place to play and a great place to hide

My friend Jimmy told tales of making out

With a girl named Marion behind that stone

Little children love to walk on its ledge

Hide and seek and games of tag in the dark

We squealed and hollered as we ran and played

Teens walked slowly hand in hand in the dark

No need to fear falling in a grave

The plots were all filled

Digging moved further up the hill

If those stones could talk

Who knows what tales they’d tell


Photos: Phil Roth







Chocolate Drops and Hardtack

Children love getting boxes of candy. Each Christmas, when I was young, our church had a Christmas program where the Sunday School Children were given parts we called “pieces” to recite.  Christmas Carols were sung and sometimes they dressed up in house coats for acting out the parts of Mary and Joseph and the Wise Men and Shepherds.  At the end of the service my father would pass out boxes of chocolates along with an Apple and a big Navel Orange to each person.  The candy boxes were put together by our family a few days before. It is a very special Christmas memory.

Chocolate Drops and Hardtack  (Childhood Details Collection)

Every Christmas we had a program and treats

Where children gathered to say their piece

Of wise men and Shepherds and Baby Jesus

Cute voices and smiles they always pleased us

Each year the words were much the same

Children emerged different but cute once again

Songs and carols filled the air

Everyone who came was glad to be there

At the end of each service treats were passed ‘round

Children waited anxiously with nary a sound

An apple an orange and a box of candy

Put together at our house by the preacher and family

Flat cardboards with pictures of camels and angels

Became boxes for candy when bent ‘to right angles

A string on top made them easy to carry

Rounded lids over lapped and ends were married

Chocolate drops and hardtack sorted and laid out

Gum drops and whole walnuts finished them out

Ends folded and crisscrossed to hold it all in

A hundred or more for everyone who attends

A special time for all and a simple treat

Topped off the season and kept us all sweet


Bing Photo:



Back Porch


Dwight on the back porch 001

The Back Porch      (Childhood Details Collection)

One of my favorite places when I was young

Our back porch a place for fun

The old white swing with a hundred thousand miles

Back and forth it went and the squeak was loud

Shelling peas snapping beans cutting apples for a pie

And then squealing with delight as I sailed on by

Paul Sanford and Phil at Masontown

For three generations we used the chairs

Metal ones blue and yellow outlasted my time there

Traveled all the way to my house when Mom needed care

Haircuts on the stool while stories were told

Grapes eaten from bunches eating all I could hold

Under the porch our lawn mowers kept

Not power but push ‘cause the grass never slept

The trellis on the end covered with vines

Morning Glory blossoms opened each morning time

Morning Glory 001

Two concrete steps led up from the sidewalk

A wide metal scraper helped me get the mud off

A place for my bike to stay out of the rain

When I got my new one with shiny chrome and bling

My pop stretched out after a hard day of working

Seemed like the back porch was perfect for relaxing

Before the time of cool air conditioning

The back porch was the place on cool summer evenings


*Photo from the family album:

~Me sitting on the back porch step at age 2:

~My oldest brother holding my youngest brother in front of the back porch & cistern

*Photo of Morning Glory  – Dwight L. Roth

Little Henry

Henry Padlo & Dwight Roth April 1955 001

This photo shows my childhood friend Henry and me on our way to school. He was in first grade and I was in second. The picture was taken by my mother, just before we left to catch the school bus. We spent our young summers together during our primary school years. We got along remarkably well. We loved digging in the dirt and pretending to mine coal. The coal industry was active all around us. We had few toys, so we had to use our imaginations.  We had a wonderful time.

Little Henry   (Childhood Details Collection)

Little Henry was my best friend

When I was six or seven through ten

My neighbor Henry lived across the street

Our times together were hard to beat

Playing Superheroes, Cowboys, and Indians

The Lone Ranger, Rifle Man, and Rin Tin Tin

Henry’s Black and white TV brought it all in

We loved our summers running in the woods

Our fueled imaginations made us believe we could

Do anything be anything we wanted to be

Little Henry and I did everything together

Baseball cards, Marvel Comics, and Indian feathers

Played baseball with brother Larry and neighbor Donn

Sometimes Alvin and Leroy came along

Playing football together in Kerchner’s field

Banging heads and tackling till we had to yield

We headed home for supper our moms were calling

Running carefully to keep from falling

Big Henry and Theresa Little Henry’s parents

A finer pair not found anywhere around us

We had great fun till I was twelve

A paper route and new interests

Took us down different trails

But memories of those early years

Playing cowboys in the woods

Are the best anyone could ever wish for

I treasure them and long for more

Some have friends drawn from imagination

I had Little Henry who was alive and kicking


Photo: from our family album.

The Poetry of Harvest


I came home yesterday to see the farmer across the road had his combines running. They were half way through and the dust clouds filled the sky. The grain was pouring into the hopper and almost to the top. It was a beautiful site to see. I got my camera and went back to the field to take these photos. When I came home later that evening there were three combines running trying to beat the dark.   Three tractor trailers we also standing by to take the grain. It was truly poetry in motion to watch how our grain is harvested and shipped to be stored for our food. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. No further words are needed!

















Photos: Dwight L. Roth

A Father Who Cared

Dwight & Pop

My father was a person who cared deeply about others. He was a minister, husband, and family man. He has been gone since 1982, but his memory is still fresh in my mind. When I was young, I had difficulty reading so he brought me Illustrated Classics to read, hoping it would encourage me to read more. He was a good listener who listened to me go on and on. He had little response that I can recall, but somehow I felt he cared about what I was saying. I loved working side by side with him in the garden, cleaning the chicken house, and delivering eggs to customers.  He had a heart of love for the people he served and that core value has been engrained in the person I have become. I am very thankful for my father who cared, a Godly man who never new a stranger.

A Father who Cared

My father a flower blooming

in the cracked sidewalk of humanity

Servant and Shepherd

Bringing comfort and joy to others

Minister of God’s mercy to the poor

To all who listened and heard

He brought the Light of salvation

A friend to all

A sacrifice of love on the altar of Grace

Husband Father and Friend

Always ready to listen

Ready to help in my time of need

Encouraging me to do my best

His life touched the hearts of many

He knew the importance of kindness


Every act of kindness is a flower blooming

in the cracked sidewalk of humanity

Be that flower… show kindness today

Photo: from the family album