Shadow of Death


Shadow of Death
I will climb mountains with you
Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries too
Cry over the birth of our children…
And morn over the loss of our parents
But // am I willing to walk with you…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
I will struggle to make ends meet
Sacrifice myself so you can get ahead
Take the kids to ball games // cheer them on
And, kiss boo boos when knees are skinned
But // am I willing to walk with you…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
Can we survive the death of a child
When cancer takes its toll
Survive the blinding demons of depression
When you no longer want to live at all
Will I be willing to walk with you…*
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”

When we have faced financial loss
And all we worked for goes down the drain
When infidelity and insecurity plague our life
And forgiveness seems the last thing on the brain
Will you walk with me…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death?”
Relationships are tough // not all fun and games
We are guaranteed to have heartaches and pain
But // if we choose to be committed //for the rest of our life…
“Till death do us part” // as husband and wife…
We will walk together… We will always be there…
“Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death!


Photo of Stain Glass Window at Weddington United Methodist Church – Dwight L. Roth



A Glimpse of Beauty (a Haibun)

Blooming Pear Trees

As I drove into town the other day, I saw the Flowering Pear trees in full bloom lining the road. What a wonderful sight!  I thought how soon those blossoms would be floating in the wind, pushed on their way by the green leaves coming out right behind them. Other flowers last for a couple of weeks or more. Pear trees have their fifteen minutes of fame and they are gone. Just like some of us!

Blossoms fill the trees

Soon to be displaced by leaves

White petals surf gusts


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

March Madness


March Madness

Duke or Carolina the game is on

A race of sweat and tears

Happens every year

Just like clockwork

ACC tournament at stake

Two of the best want that title

Bucket for bucket // shot for shot

Tarheels are looking good

Blue Devils putting forth their best

Duke Saw

It all comes down to fouls and shots

To me the last five minutes tell it all

Running back and forth gets a bit tedious

I like the action as the seconds tick down

The unexpected last shot brings joy and sorrow

But then again… it’s just basketball

But not for some!


Saw Paintings of UNC and Duke : Dwight L. Roth

Available for sale at Created in the Carolinas in Waxhaw, NC


Pollinator Bees (a Haibun)


Bee Aware

My granddaughter received her Gold Award from the Girl Scouts, for a project she did with pollinator bees. Her project was to establish a bee garden of wild flowers on the campus of Winthrop University in Fort Mill, SC. She and her friends and family worked very hard to dig a plot, cover it with mulch and plant wildflowers. She also mounted a Bee Box in the middle with bee cocoons in it. The flowers grew and the bees hatched. The garden was a great success.  We are all very proud of her.

Pollinator Bees

In danger of extinction

The source of our food


Click on her blog and read the whole story starting in April of 2017.


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

I am also posting this on our Open Link Thursday at d’Verse~Poetry Pub

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Survival of the Fittest


What does it take to retain a friendship, a marriage, or respect? Does one incident destroy a life time of work. Is there any sense of forgiveness and moving on? I usually like to post positive posts that are hopeful and uplifting. This one is just the opposite. It is my observations on how society has seemed to turn in on itself. It seems we have become like a tank of hungry Paranas waiting to tear into the next victim. We no longer have need for Judge and Jury. Every victim gets tried and convicted in the social media and the sensational news broadcasts.  When society loses its moral compass everything becomes vicious. I believe we still have a long way to go in learning to care about one another.

Survival of the Fittest

Clouds of controversy cover all the good that happens

Enhanced and amplified by hungry predators

Waiting to devour all records of good

And regurgitate it all with poisoned stew

Serving it up to a mindless public

Waiting like fledgling hawks in a nest

Mouths wide open for red meat fed to them

Fighting for more than their share

Believing they alone are entitled to grow

And prey on weaker species

Feeding their young on the same raw stew

Survival of the fittest seems to be the norm

With the fittest becoming more vicious each day


Photo: Dwight L. Roth


Cracked but Not Broken

Ruth's Tile

After twenty-five years of marriage things were unraveling.  Our boys were off in school and the empty nest syndrome was weighing down on us. Depression was challenging every part of our marriage. On our anniversary we went out to dinner and as was our tradition we exchanged gifts. She gave me the tile above inscribed with the words of hope for our marriage. I have had it on our wall ever since. A couple of years ago, it fell and cracked in half. I got some glue and cemented it together and hung it back on the wall. I thought, how symbolic of our marriage, cracked but not broken! Next year will be our fiftieth!

Cracked but Not Broken (a Quadrille)

Twenty-five years

Things were shaky

Gifts after dinner…

Tokens of love exchanged

For me ‘twas a tile

Words …of hope for the future

“Paint me a picture,

Draw me with you,

And together we can see the sunrise!”

Still together…

Cracked but not broken


Tile: (c) Irene 94   –   from Halmark

Our prompt today in d’Verse was from Sarah Connor. She asked us to write about tokens of love that we find significant in our life. I decided to write a quadrille.

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Patience…Nature’s Rule


Patience… Nature’s Rule  (a Hai bun)

In our world, we bow down and worship instant gratification. We find the opposite is true with nature. Since time began, nature has been patiently going through its annual cycles and seasons.

The book of Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time and a season for everything, a time for every purpose under heaven. Nature teaches us to be patient and wait for the right moment. The buds sitting in each joint wait for the sun, rain, and light to be exactly in sync before opening.

Sometimes we think we must make things happen in our life instead of waiting for the time to be right. Rushing things usually ends in disaster. The prophet Isaiah tells us, Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.  There is a lot of wisdom in waiting for the right time to bloom. You will know when everything is in sync and the time is right.

Stump of each dry leaf

A bud full of potential

Waiting patiently


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Victoria Slotto Kicked off our week with Haibun Monday—No Ko Me—Tree Buds

“In Japanese the word pending is implied in the Kigo, No Ko Me--tree buds. The bud holds so much potential, the possibility of the tree becoming all that is was created to be.”

Come join us at d’Verse~Poetry Pub.




Above you see a para-snowboarder with a prosthetic leg compete in the World Cup doing the same jumps as those who have two good legs.  Every day I read wonderful poetry and see photography from many of you, who share that you are overcoming your disabilities through writing or photography. Stereotypes and stigmas are fading as we learn to see the abilities in people rather than disabilities.  It is a beautiful thing to see what is being accomplished. Today on Public Television, I watched a tribute to Mr. Rogers who shared with children that people who have disabilities also have great ability. This poem was inspired as I watched that show.


You are not defined by your disability

But by your ability to overcome

Not by what other people see,

But //by what they forget

When they are with you.

When we move from words

Like retarded and crazy

To challenged, unique, and special

We then replace

Old stigmas and stereotypes

Stop dissing your ability

Find abilities that make you special

Do not let others define you

Choose your goals

Set out to achieve them

Use your abilities and drop the dis-

Only you can overcome dis-abilities



Winter Moon Haikus

Moon 2

The clouds over the winter moon separated the other night, just long enough to get these photos. It was more beautiful than ever with the accent of clouds passing over it. Following are three haikus I wrote to about the beauty of the winter moon. Perhaps this could be called a Hai bun plus two.

Bright celestial body

Haloed face peaking through clouds

Walking your runway


Moon 3

Tales from the dark side

Shadow your lustrous beauty

Are you hiding a myst’ry?


Moon 1

Orb of light shining

Through our compounding darkness

Recurring bright hope


Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The Old Man of the Mountain


Grandfather Mountain

The Blue Ridge Parkway yields panoramic views

Rising and falling through majestic hues

Turnoffs, overlooks, tunnels, and bridges

Orchards of apples and long gorgeous ridges


Grandfather Mountain towers ahead

Drawing us up to its jaw-dropping ledge

Serpentine backbone a scoliated spine

Split Rock lay open and wrapped in vines

The bald rocks the twisted trees

Bask carefree in the summer breeze

Hurricane-force winds cannot rip them loose

Deformed over time by Nature’s abuse

Excited to be at the top of the world

Here where branches and trunks are curled

Blooming flowers defy the wind

Smiling sweetly until the very end

Feeling the sway of the long steel bridge

Looking up in the distance at the neighboring ridge

A rocky pathway draws some to his face

The old man of the mountain stays fixed in his place

Undaunted by storms or gray fog rolling in

He’ll still be there when our vision grows dim

Creating the mystique that continues to draw

Young and old from near and far


Photo: Dwight L. Roth