Halloween is a holiday of conflicting views. Some see it as evil and want no part of it. For kids it is a fun time to dress up in costumes and go door to door collecting treats and being frightened by imaginary ghosts.

Many of us remember Washington Irving’s story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. During the past presidential campaign I wrote this prophetic poem about the race that was taking place. While everyone was writing Trump off, I thought their message of his demise was very premature. As we all know my prophesy turned out to be true.

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

Rides the Headless Horseman of the Apocalypse

Leaving all in a fright and some in delight

He comes charging the bridge in full moonlight

Not a myth not a tale nor 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

His demise 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 and voters far and wide

Bringing chaos and confusion

Now all is lost the pumpkin is cast

He won’t stop till that last bridge is crossed

Leaving the frightened and scared in his wake

Riding full speed ahead into the dark night

The deal at the crossroad is sealed

Things will never again be the same


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Pitch Black


One evening when activities were over it was time to climb back up the ridge to our campsite. I realized I did not have my flashlight. A winding trail led up to the top of the ridge. It was so familiar that I thought I could easily climb it even in the dark. I started off well, but as I got into the trees everything turned pitch black. After stumbling in the dark for some time I finally reached the top of the ridge. I found that walking in darkness is no way to go.

Pitch Black

I thought I knew my way

Followed that trail easily

In the light of day

Could maneuver it with my eyes shut

Now in the dark of night

Only islands of flickering light

Fade in the distance

Where I must go is pitch black

There is no light t’was left behind

A winding dark trail in my mind

Only a blind man could traverse

Without light in hand

I confidently walk into pitch black

Heading for the top of the ridge

By the first turn the picture fades

The trail begins to change course

Stumbling and falling hands outstretched

Rocks reveal I’m not on the trail

Branches sting my face

Feeling my way I climb on

Like a blind man who lost his cane

Moving through bushes

Not seeing a thing

Night sounds surround me

As blind tree frogs sing

Stumbling in the darkness

A glimmer of light flickers up ahead

No time to stop I’ve reached the top

What one sees in daylight

Turns quite different in the dark

Pitch black surrounds you

The trail is obscure

Where there is no light

Always walk in the Light


Photos: Dwight L. Roth




Versatile Blogger Award


Chipmunks are very versatile creatures. They are smart enough to realize if they wait to eat their food they will have more in the end. So, they stuff their cheeks with as many seeds as they can and take them back to their home. This little guy lives under my deck I see him in my feeder a couple of times a day getting stocked up. He knows how to adapt to whatever environment he lives in. This is true of us poets  in the same way. We grab bits of inspiration when they are available and like the chipmunk stuff as many thoughts as we can in our brain to carry back to our computer.

I would like to thank https://emotionalnotions.wordpress.com/  for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. It is wonderful to be connected to a group such as this one where art and poetry can become a daily stimulation. 


I am nominating the following great bloggers that I follow. Check out their blogs and you will find some really great stuff:
















If you choose to accept this nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award you will need to do the following:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.


Seven things about myself:

  1. I enjoy writing poetry, painting with acrylics, gardening, and playing he guitar.
  2. I have written and self published three books of childhood memoirs, three children’s books, a book of theology (what I believe), a fictional biography of my grandfather, a book of my father-in-laws childhood stories, and four books of poetry.  You can read some of them on Amazon Kindle at: https://www.amazon.com/Dwight-Roth/e/B017HW5AHG/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1509311423&sr=1-2
  3. I am retired after 29 years of teaching elementary school.
  4. I volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity Restore two afternoons a week.
  5. I volunteer most Friday mornings at our local nursing home reading my stories, sharing my paintings, and playing 60s music with the residents.
  6. I am a Christian and sing in our church choir.
  7. I am a grandfather to six beautiful grandchildren.


Photo: Dwight L. Roth



Why do we store away the traumatic events of our life? For some, they are just memories of past events. Others store their injuries and pain like treasures in the attic. They no longer have any useful purpose in life, but the lack of forgiveness keeps them alive and tender. It becomes our personal Pandora’s box that no one wants to open. We all know it will only be a review of past pain, that no one but a psychiatrist wants to hear. Time to clean out the attic and let go of things that continue to haunt us. Forgiveness doesn’t take away the memory or the hurt, but it takes away the necessity of reliving it over and over again.


Dwelling on collections of the past

Memories never moving for many years

Stuck, reliving events that won’t go away

Collecting dust of regrets

Stimulating coughs and sneezes

In anyone who dares stir

Attics for old treasures long remembered

For some, treasures of hurt and pain

Treasured to nurse pity and sorrow

Dusty old treasures of the mind

Blade twisting each time

Pandora’s box

Avoided by all

Only to be opened after death

Some better left for ashes


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Ghosts creep through my mind

Conjuring up all of the things I fear the most

Illusions of insecurities haunt me

Floating spirits whisper secrets in my ears

Fake news from the crypt filters through

Dust from dead men’s bones settle on my thoughts

We all know Ghosts aren’t real

There is really nothing to fear

So why do I think I am seeing ghosts

Why do I listen to whispers of the dead

Why not blow that dust back where it came from

I know who I am without affirmation

Nothing can change what I have become

Ghosts of the mind just synonyms for worry

Floating past my line of sight

Attempting to draw attention

Trying to steal my strength

I know better

I live in the Light of Truth

Ghosts of worry cannot hold a candle to that

Strength and courage carries me on



I discovered the Dove Nebula this evening. No it is not in outer space, it is on my sliding glass door. As the sun moves lower in the our hemisphere, it reveals things in different ways. A dove hit my door again the other day and left this oil mark on the glass. It was not nearly as pronounced as the one I had six months ago, until this evening. The sun was catching the splotch just right. I loved the way it reflected on the glass. I am amazed the way birds seeing a mirrored reflection of the woods will fly right into the window. Sometimes we do the same thing in life. This is my inspiration and reflection.


Mirror images reflect back

False illusions of safe passage

Wishing can sometimes distort reality

Twisting perception

Creating mirage visions

Seeing only desired images

Plunging full speed ahead

Toward wishful vistas

Floating free

No danger in sight



Crashing head on

Into the mirror of unreality

Stunned and shaken

I gather my senses

Take a second look

Shed false illusions

Distinguish true from false

Move forward with awareness

Comprehending mirage from reality

Knowing the difference


Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The Last Taste of Summer


The Last Taste of Summer

Cool air creeps in on the back of shortening days

The sun’s still warm but nights are cold

Nips of fall manifest themselves in the garden

The grape vines are almost bare

Garden tomatoes still hang on to the very end

No statement of an early demise signed here

Fallen Zinnias and Cosmos feed the last of the Monarchs

Honey bees still collect pollen in the early morning sunshine

To my surprise I see a remaining orange jewel

Hanging on the aging vines

The last ripe tomato just waiting for me

I picked it today and had it for lunch

Last but not least it still had the flavor

Of earlier brothers and sisters already eaten

What a wonderful way to bring closure

That one last taste of summer makes it all worthwhile

All the work and toil ending in one last jewel of flavor

As fall closes in with colors of every hue

I enjoy this one last offering

Thankful for the simple blessings of life


Photo: Dwight L. Roth


This is a great blog you might want to check out:   https://uplandweb.wordpress.com/.

Fall Monarchs


This morning while filling my bird feeder, I saw two beautiful monarchs on my fading zinnias. They must have lost their map on their way to Mexico!  They were so beautiful with deep orange and black colors. I thought my zinnias were finished a month ago, but I left them grow as they fell over onto the fence.  Surprisingly they kept on blooming, even with a white dusty mold that came on their leaves. In another week we will likely get a heavy frost that will finish them off.  Here is a taste of the late summer beauty I saw. Poetry without words!    Photos: Dwight L. Roth


















Pieces of Me

Chris and Jason at Duck, NC 1977 001

The beauty of genetics is that genes get reshuffled with every hand. When we look at our children we see reflections of ourselves in their hair, their eyes, their smile, their dimples and their rosy cheeks! It is a beautiful thing to see. But even more beautiful is what comes from inside. The positive traits that make one a good person are also reflected as well as some of the negative ones. When we see our children growing into responsible and caring adults it give us a sense of pride and encouragement that perhaps the world will be a better place because of them.

Pieces of Me

“You look just like your mother!”

“You’re just as handsome as your father!”

Pieces of me

Reflected in my children

Coming through in rainbow blends

A little of me a little of her

Blended into that new and improved look

Called my children

Pieces from the inside shine as well

Some good and perhaps some not so good

The best and the worst tend to shine through

Personalities reflecting who I am

In their eyes and in their smile

Attitudes and actions magnetic and attractive

All passed on for the next genetic blend

Although it’s great to have good looking children

The pieces of me I cherish come from within

The beauty of the Creator

From me

To them and their children too

Making the world a better place

For me and for you


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Memories Remain


A good friend lost her daughter-in-law very unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago. It is so sad to lose a loved one in the prime of their life. Feelings of raw emotion chase questions through our minds as we wonder.  “Why?” Some things have no rhyme nor reason in our understanding. The memories that remain are treasures to keep and share, as we go on with our life. Sharing her love with others is what keeps her memory alive. I thought this poem that I posted earlier speaks to these feelings.

Love is…

They’re gone but love’s not lost

Pain entangles in every bone

Love remains not in the devastating loss

But in you

Love comes from deep within

Definitely not a superficial thing

Rooted deep in your heart and soul

Loss brings manic feelings rushing into scary dips

Love is rooted deeper than whispers from the lips

Yours alone to give or keep

A treasure of the heart does not come cheap

Though one you loved is gone

Your gift of love remains

To share at will should you choose again

To give away or keep


Photo Dwight L. Roth