Beauty in the Broken

Lynns ceramic

Brokenness is another way of reinventing ones self. Sometimes when the hard knocks of life shatter our plans for the future destroying our self-image, it helps to realize that this is not the end, but rather the beginning of new and greater things.

Beauty in the Broken

Look for beauty in the broken

For out of the shards of glass

Comes a beautiful mosaic

More spectacular than the original…

A healing of brokenness

Forever cemented together…

The pieces of anticipation

Broken, yet whole once more


Ceramic Mosaic: Lynn Carmichael

Our dVerse ~Poetry Pub is giving us a choice of offering today. To see what others are writing click on the site:


Choking on Coke Smoke

Coke ovens painting

Coke Ovens

This is my painting of Pennsylvania Coke Ovens that I finished today. When I was young, in the 1950s, coke ovens burned all across the surrounding hills near Masontown. Smoke poured out without filters of any kind, as coal was partially burned to make coke for the Steel Mill in Pittsburgh. Coke was shoveled into train cars or loaded onto barges in the river for transport to the mill. During the depression some desperate people lived in the abandoned coke ovens for a period of time.

Along the Mononghela River there were many coal mines, each with small “Patches” of houses built by the coal company and rented to the workers firing the ovens. They were pretty much all the same and looked like a patchwork quilt when viewed from the sky. A company store, owned by the coal company, provided basic needs. This is where the song Sixteen Tons, sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford came from. Behind each of these patches were rows of coke ovens like those in the painting. It was an extremely hard life for those people.

Coke smoke fills my lungs

Ovens fired and belching soot

Amazed I’m still alive


Painting of Coke Ovens: Dwight L. Roth

Listen to the song:



“Lead, follow, or get out of the way!”  These words describe change. We can be a part of change that always looks forward, living on the cutting edge of life, or we can be that pothole in the road that everyone tries to avoid. Taking ownership in change makes it easier to accept. No one has ever kept change from happening by complaining about it. Lead the way to the future by taking a positive outlook on change.


Can’t imagine being stuck

In leisure suits and bell bottoms

Fashions come and go

And sometimes come back

To haunt us


What age would you choose

For your groundhog day…

Waking each morning

Looking in the mirror to see

That smiling face that never ages.

Your peers grow older and change

But you retain that wrinkle-free smile


Accept change as a fact of life or…

You can choose the plastic alternative.

Inside changes continue

But, with the right surgeon

You can lie unchanged in the coffin.


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

This poem written for the prompt Change on the dVerse~Poetry Pub.

Check it out here:


The Joy of Discovery

winter 2020 135

The Joy of Discovery

My greatest joy comes from discovery. This may seem odd, since I am a person who resists change. When I thought about our challenge to write a Haibun about my plans for my writing, I thought what in the world is a Haibun? I am a fish out of water in the dVerse~ Poetry Pub for sure. Most of you are far more accomplished in writing that I am.

This brings me to the need for change. I have been blogging for about a year and a half, and attempt to post poetry or photos every day. It has gone well for me and I have accumulated a great number of followers. But, my poetry is all much the same. So I am looking forward to discovering, not only the meaning of a Haibun, but also the meaning of all the other “foreign terms” I see on your site. Perhaps they will stretch my mind and challenge my style of writing.

 One Christmas present

A trainer for this old dog

To teach some new tricks


This post was witten for Haibun Monday, to take on the challenge given by Toni to write a Haibun about our future plans for our writing. I hope this meets the criteria.

Click to check out the site:

Down the Road


Motherhood is such a great responsibility. Today Amaya’s post, Vistas, discussing motherhood and spirituality.  She is a stay at home mom who has taken time off work to raise her family. The busyness seems at times to be overwhelming.  Parents have an awesome, but rewarding responsibility. This was my response to her great post.

Check out her blog and read the whole post.

Down the road

a few years,

you will look back

and realize

although the vista

was desired,


it was really

the journey

that is most rewarding.

Jsaon and Emily 001

Read her whole post here:

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Hiding in My Shell


Most of us experience depression from time to time. Some of us have suffered from deep depression that steals our joy and turns it into deep sadness. This is not just those who have PTS. It happens to new mothers, teens, married couples, working people, and seniors.  The good news is that it can be treated. For some it includes medication and counseling. We are just realizing how important treatment is in this country. Until we provide adequate treatment and help for depression, we are going to see violence and suicide rise. If you suffer from depression. Talk to someone who has the skills to help you through.


This pain

Deeper than anything

I’ve ever know

Envelops my being

Overwhelming my soul,

Consuming my spirit

Destroying all desire to live.

Quicksand sucks me down

Drawing me into the darkness…

Wanting nothing

Giving nothing…

Just that feeling of loneliness

That never goes away.

Hopeless and helpless

My joy turns to a great sadness

Pumping through my veins

Like a long stemmed rose

Long dead….only the thorns remain

Scratching my soul with each beat


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Coffee & Love

Coffee and Love

As I take one last sip

Of morning coffee,

I think,

how similar

it is

to romantic love.

Steaming Hot!!

Enough to get burned

at the start.

Warm enough to enjoy

with added shots of Hot


Cooling down to tepid

when left set

too long unattended.

Heat and flavor’s gone…

Nothing left in the pot…

Throw out

What remains.

Perhaps brew a new pot…




She Sings

Lone Bass Man

This week I was introduced to by fellow blogger Amaya to, a poetry group on Word Press that challenges one another to write in various poetic forms. This is all new for me, so I am giving it a try. Today they are asking us to write Jazz poetry which, I never heard of before. It is a free verse style that has a musical jazz-like quality to the rhythm to the flow. So here is my attempt. I am writing about my experience playing the guitar and singing with a group of old folks at a local nursing home each Friday.  I hope you enjoy my poem. This is my painting of The Lone Bass Man that I thought would go well with my poem.

She Sings
Though she cannot speak.
Halting words
Hel-l l lo
But, as the music plays
Oh can she sing
Every word plain and clear
Smooth as jazz
She sings
A smile
Across her face the words pour out
her soul
with a rhythm,
and yes…
With spoken words
clear unchained.
For the stroke
Did not
Affect that side of her brain.

Risking It All


Bing Photo

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I think of  all those who left family and friends to travel here, in perilous conditions, for the chance of having a new and better life. Some came for adventure, some for gain, and others for religious freedom.  I wrote this poem about my Great Grandfather’s family coming to America from Switzerland. On that voyage we are told they lost their youngest daughter. Details are unknown, so I wrote this fictional poem detailing what I thought might have happened. My Grandfather was only six years old at the time. It really makes me appreciate the blessings I have because of their choice to risk it all and come to America. I thought I would repost this as a reminder to us all.

  The Long Sad Voyage of 1882
       (Goodbye Little Sister)
Ships tall masts reaching high to the sky
Awesome for a boy of six just wondering why
His family packed up and left their home.
Heading for a new world they travel alone
Brothers left behind grown and married.
Younger and sisters stay with the family,
Watching the Alps fade as the shadows wane.
To the port of Le Havre floating down the Seine.
Ready to board this giant bucket of timber
Excitement rising trying to remember
All of his friends left behind in Basel
New adventures unseen in this perilous travel
Noise and activity surrounds them all
White sails slide up and begin to unfurl
Down to steerage on the ships second level
The Roth family finds a place to settle.
Into the briny dark seas they sail
To New York Harbor and where liberty hails.
As the week drags on the voyage is rough
Young Christian and sisters find sleeping is tough
The food is bad, unlike cooking back home
The water in barrels kept from the rats’ roam.
But somehow this packed and unsanitary condition
Made some folks sick with dysentery emissions.
Little sister was one whose resistance was lacking.
As the days dragged on her fever not slacking
Worried mother and father prayed for God’s backing.
Little sister got worse there was nothing to do
As her fever raged on everyone knew.
Late one night while everyone slept
Little sister passed on our little angel had left.
O how we cried and mourned this great loss
Little sister had died before we’re across.
The captain came by early that dawn
Saying sadly, “She’s gone, now we must send her on.”
The day was spent in tears and sad wails
As the orange sun was setting we bid our farewells.
Wrapped in a blanket lowered into the swell
Into the briny blue she fell.
With prayers and weeping the sadness abounds
Young Christian stood watching as folks gathered round,
Little sister was gone for her t’was too late,
Wondering if he might be next for this sad fate.
On reaching New York the emigrants unloaded
Ellis Island was crowded each family recorded
Christian and family moved on to Ohio
With promise of hope always held high.
Words still to come reflect how it should be,
“Give me your tired your poor yearning to be free”
Give me your sad you distraught still counting the cost
Seeking religious freedom in a land unknown
Where Freedom and Liberty stand alone!

A Thankful Heart

Eating with Bunky and Celia

A thankful heart comes from who we are, not from what we have. Whether we have a little or a lot, we can still have a thankful heart. The oil of gladness keeps life running smoothly through all the ups and downs that come our way. I wrote this poem a year ago, but feel it is a good reminder as we celebrate Thanksgiving.  Be encouraging and helpful as you gather. Let the oil of gladness permeate all of your relationships.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

The Oil of Gladness

Ever try celebrating when no one cares?

A big event a great surprise

Yet no one seems phased.

Inside you are jumping up and down

Outside you are sliding on a splintered board.

The oil of gladness

A necessary part of healthy living

Sharing joy with those who rejoice

Finding well-earned success.

The oil of gladness

Celebrating with the child who comes in second

Giving away a part of yourself

Bringing joy to others around you

“A thankful heart is good medicine…”


Photos: Dwight L. Roth