Christmas Reminder


Christmas Reminder   (A Haibun)

People still live on the streets of every city in America. It is easy to look the other way and assume anything you give them will be spent on alcohol or drugs. Jesus said your neighbor is the one you see in need, and it is your responsibility to give help in what ever way your are able. Families and children live in shelters for lack of a home. This Christmas season and all year round, extend help to those in need around you, especially those who are falling through the cracks of our society.

Bells ring, angel wings

But all are not calm or bright

Shelters full tonight


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Ink Spots


Ink Spots

Young and flawlessly beautiful

She emerged like a butterfly

Damp wings and all

Only to spread her wings and fly away

Into a challenging world of lessons to be learned

And bruises to be nursed.

With each clip of her wing

She put an ink spot with needle and blue

To remember not to repeat that one with you…

Ink spots

Indelible on her skin

Words to look at each day and remember

Who she is… fragile and ephemeral

Yet strong and determined to achieve

Feeding from all the beauty around her

Basking in the sunshine of spring

Looking forward to heat of summer

And perhaps a few more ink spots to remind her

To stay strong at the crossroads of life

Remaining true to herself and her dreams

Choosing the path less traveled

But most rewarding in the end


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

*Written for my beautiful granddaughter Ashley

Check out her artwork for sale:

Little Grain of Sand


Little Grain of Sand

What were you when time began…

Before you washed up on this beach

Were you part of a molten lava flow

Spewed and cooling exuding a red glow

Or maybe dust from a continent bust

Leaving the plates washing into the sea

Were you tossed and turned for a million years

Shrinking in time granulated and seared

Perhaps you were a diamond bounced and chipped

Losing all your carats churning grinding into bort

Tossing in the storms carried far away

Only to be brought back once again to lay another day

Little grain of sand you found your place for now

Joining with so many others to bring comfort to bare feet

And joy to laughing children building sand castles

Only to be washed smooth at high tide

You have such talent in your insignificance

Holding sky scrapers together

Or become a walkway for many feet

A foundation of a house or bricks stacked neat

And in extreme heat you become most exquisite crystal

None of which you can do alone

But together joining with others like you

Your potential is unlimited


Photo Dwight L. Roth


Landmines (5-2 poetry)


It is amazing how traumatic words and experiences get embedded in our minds. A word or a comment can take your right back reliving that moment as though it was yesterday. I look at words like that to be unexploded mines in our psyche. The problem with these mines is that even though they are triggered, they keep resetting to be triggered again and again. This should remind us of how important our words are to others. Words spoken can be excused, denied, or even forgiven, but they can never be taken back.

Landmines  (5-2 Poetry)

Though you’re gone for years

Words remain

In my vast mind field


Waiting for one misstep


One trip

Triggers disruption


Scattering Shrapnel


Memories of you

Long dead

Revive in an instant



Crusty Bark


Today I am trying something that Amaya, from Gospel Isosceles, came up with after reading my post on Five Loaves and Two Fish. She thought this would be a great new form of poetry, to write with five syllables in the first line followed by two syllables in the second. I love the idea, Here is my first attempt at 5-2 poetry. Give it a try. You will like it!!

Crusty Bark  (5-2 poetry)

Crusty bark split open


Yet necessary

For growth


Crusty old fellow

Hates change

Set in his old ways

Boxed in

Lying in that box


Waiting for new growth



Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Check out Amaya’s beautiful post Serendipity that she wrote to illustrate;




We cannot depend on others to fulfill our dreams. We will be disappointed every time. If you want to make a difference. If you want to succeed at what you set out to do, you must find the inspiration within yourself to give you the life that will take you where you want to go. If you get praise, or accolades, they are simply icing on the cake. Hard work and persistence will make it happen. And above all enjoy the ride!

We can only fly

if we have dreams to be the

wind beneath our wings!


Photo: Dwight L. Roth


Chocolate Drops and Hard Tack

This is the prose piece I wrote that was included in the Old Mountain Press winter anthology called Celebrating the Holidays.

Chocolate Drops and Hardtack
Growing up in a preacher’s family meant that I got in on all the background preparations that went on at Christmas. This was especially true when getting ready for our annual Christmas program.
We lived in a poor coal mining community of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Christmas program created a special time for everyone, especially the children. They knew that after the program ended everyone got a special treat to take home.
A week prior to the program my father shopped for all the goodies that went into, the Christmas boxes. He came home with a variety of candy, English walnuts, and Brazil nuts. We all participated in the job of sorting the candies and filling one hundred boxes.
The small cardboard boxes came flattened and needed to be pushed into a rectangular shape and closed on one end. The long narrow side had a string inserted so it could be carried like a miniature suitcase. On the outside were colorful pictures of Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, the Shepherds, and the Wise Men. The boxes were about the size of an Animal Crackers box of the past.
On Saturday we all gathered around our big dining room table and began filling the boxes. Into each box we put a couple of chocolate drops, some colorful hardtack, English walnuts, Brazil nuts and Hershey Kisses. We folded and locked the flaps together and carefully packed them into several large cardboard boxes.
As the program commenced, the atmosphere grew tense with excitement. Parents watched their little ones recite their piece, all dressed up in housecoats and holding shepherd staffs. When the program ended, my father announced that we had one last thing to do. Several adults passed out a box of candy, a big red apple, and a big navel orange to everyone.
The service ended and we all went home with a treat and a smile.

Printed in the Old Mountain Press winter anthology 2017

Note that all anthology titles  are now in Kindle format visit

Sculpting Me

Life has some hard lessons for us to learn. They are not always pleasant and we are often left with scars from our experiences. Not all are physical. Some are emotional and mental scars that cut deep into our soul. In the end the person we become is a combination of shaping cuts and scars of the soul.

Life’s a Chisel

Life’s a chisel chipping away



A little at a time

Bringing out inner beauty

Capitalizing on flaws

Revealing me

Showing my strength

Leaving scars

Cutting deep into my soul

Grace is the sandpaper



Knocking off sharp edges

Love is the finish



Enhancing my inner beauty


The Craftsman’s masterpiece


Bing Photo

Changing Truth vs Chasing Truth

Piercing the Darkness - 2014

Some people believe truth is whatever one claims for themselves. Others have very rigid ideas of what truth entails. Every religion has what it consider to be it’s truth. I believe the search for truth is a part of everyone’s mind. For this reason, I originally called this poem Chasing Truth. It is sad to me to see how things get twisted, shaped, manipulated and distorted. This poem attempts to share that feeling. The painting reflects truth from a Christian perspective. “The Word Made Flesh…”

Chasing Truth

I run toward truth

                     Arms wide open as a lover’s embrace

Breathless with anticipation

I move through the swamp’s fog

Heading for higher ground


I reach for truth 

Gathering it as bort on the diamond cutter’s floor

Only to find the chips

Are parts of a much larger facet

Shining as they may 

They are only the edges of a greater glory


I grasp truth

 As a child clings to his toy

Thinking no one else will possess it but me

Settling for sparkling dust on the cutting room floor

 And seeking no more


I find truth

Shining in all its faceted glory

Set in nature’s gold and love’s embrace

Only to tarnish it

With Id and Ego

Thinking it is I who makes it shine


I face truth

Dimmed by all its light

Surely if I change it some,

It will suit me much better when not so bright


So, I grind it

 With mortise and pestle

‘Till all it becomes is dust in the bowl

 Never again to be part of the whole


Painting – Piercing the Darkness: Dwight L. Roth

This is our last post on the d’Verse~Poetry Pub group. It is open mic night

so I am posting one of my favorite poems and paintings.

Check out d’verse at: