Fly Away


Independence Day (a Tanka)

Today I attended the funeral of a friend’s wife who died after an extended struggle with cancer. It was a heartfelt service with words and music well suited for the occasion. The celebration of her life and her love for her family, her church family, and God was evident through out the service. Sometimes freedom is the release from all that weighs us down in this life

Independence Day

Comes in different ways for some

Cancer gone // Soul free

No more pain or suffering

Spirit leaving body behind


Photo: Dwight L.Roth

Frank Tassone Haikai challenge for this Saturday is to look at what Independence Day means. Some think of it only in relation to our country and the 4th of July. But independence day for others might include relief from abuse, as Martina McBride sang about. For others death is independence day. Those suffering from cancer or Alzheimer’s or other debilitating diseases find death as a release from physical constraints.  Freedom and Independence has many meanings.  Come join us:





Independence Day


Independence Day (a Haibun)

Perhaps our understanding of freedom and independence is skewed by misguided expectations. Our Republic was founded on the principles of freedom under law. The question becomes whose freedom and whose laws. It seems that every time there is a social push for change, the ensuing freedom comes with expectations that everyone will get on board. When that does not happen, then it (our newfound freedom) becomes means of control and forced compliance. Too bad we can’t just enjoy our freedoms without insisting everyone has to see things our way!

Independence Day

Freedom to control others

The way we see fit


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone asked us to look at the meaning Independence Day. What does it mean to be free and what are the necessities to remain that way. I believe we live in a country where the word freedom has been hijacked by those who want to control it. If that continues to happen we will no longer have a free society.

Join the Haikai challenge at:

#Haikai Challenge #40 (6/30/18): Independence #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga


Lonely Condor (a Haibun)


The California condor remains one of the world’s rarest bird species. It is one of the world’s longest-living birds, with a lifespan of up to 60 years.  The species is listed by the IUCN as critically endangered.

A conservation plan was put in place by the United States government that led to the capture of all the remaining wild condors which was completed in 1987, with a total population of 27 individuals.

These surviving birds were bred at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and the Los Angeles Zoo. Numbers rose through captive breeding and, beginning in 1991, condors were reintroduced into the wild. Since then, its population has grown, but the California condor remains one of the world’s rarest bird species. As of December 2016, there were 446 condors living wild or in captivity.  

Lonely Condor floats

On updrafts of summer winds

No others in sight


Painting of the California Condor: Dwight L. Roth

Information about the Condor from Wikipedia

Summer Fun

Jason Playing in the Surf  - 1977 001.jpg

Sun and Surf

Puddles of molten gold in the water

Reflecting the morning sun

Watching the tide as it rises and alters

Those magical castles of fun

Sandpipers and gulls run with the surf

Eating their squiggling breakfasts

Snatching critters from the receding kerf

Before it washes past them

Brown Pelicans float over the shallows

Diving for fish in waves

Long necks & scooped beaks easily swallow

Slippery morsels that cannot be saved

Bronzed beauties oiled, laid out, and frying

On beach towels in the sun

Young boys discretely spying

Cutting up and having fun

Shells and driftwood litter the beach

Collected by old and young alike

Oooing  and awwwing as they examine each piece

Saving every one with delight


Photo: Dwight L. Roth   1977 – Nags Head, NC

Open link night at d’verse, where Bjorn suggests we think about summer and what we enjoy doing. We always enjoyed going to the beach each summer and watching the children play in the surf, ride the swells, and build sand creations.  This poem takes us back to the very beginning!  We will be taking a break for a couple of weeks at d’verse, but we will all come back the end of July. Join us at:


Walking “the Way” for Justice


Click and read her wonderful blog:     via Día 22 & 23 

Today I am doing something different on my blog…

I am reposting Jennifer Townsend’s blog documenting her pilgrim journey across northern Spain. She is walking the Camino de Santiago trail of St. James. She will be walking over seven hundred kilometers in twenty nine days.

She has raised $27,000 dollars for Justice Missions International to help save young girls caught in the sex trafficking trade. The money she raised will pay a lawyer’s salary for a year to represent these girls.

The story of her journey is fascinating and the photos are fabulous. Please take a moment to walk the trail with her. You won’t be disappointed!  Jennifer is our niece who lives in Vancouver, BC.


Photo: Jen Townsend

Cats and Dogs

Tiger with Ruth 001

I Married a Cat… She Married a Dog

I married a cat
Sleek and beautiful
Strong and independent
Yet likes to come and be close when
She is ready and feeling loved
Claiming the house as her space
Demanding attention when things get neglected
Purring when things go right
Scratching when things go wrong
Loving and caring and always there
I married a cat
She married a dog
A co-dependent creature
Full of noise and excitement
Always barking about something
Demanding attention
Not to be denied
Protective and possessive
Tail wagging and drooling for love
Always wanting more
Assuming and thoughtless
Taking everything for granted
Leaving sheadings everywhere he goes
Always there when things get tough
Full of love and compassion
A wife’s best friend
She married a dog!


Photo taken many years ago! Dwight L. Roth

Lillian at d’Verse asked us to consider opposites in our poetry this evening! The saying is “Opposites Attract”  applies to me and my wife. As you see in my poem we are very different personalities, yet we have managed to make this marriage work for the past 48 years!  Come join us at d’verse and join the fun.


Summer Invasion


Sms the tw thngs t avd in wrtng r rlgn nd pltics. Bt as I st n my chr wrtng ths Hibn th ft mma sqrrl hs clmbd my fder ple and s etng sds whl hngng upsd dwn.

Not only has she crossed the boarders of my yard, “without passing go or collecting her $200!” Along with her, she brings her three or four young ones, born not more than two months before. I have been using the catch and return method of extraction. The young ones are easier to catch, but she is a tough mother who has been in and out of cages before, yet never caught.


Thgh t is sd t seprte the chldrn frm thr mthr, I jst cnnt cntnu t allw ths nvasn t cntnu. Thy r rlntlss nd as sn s n is captrd nd rturnd, thr mre shw p. I dn’t knw wht th answr mght b. Prhps I shld buld a wll!


Sweet little squirrels

Invade my yard and feeders

No wall will stop them


Photos: Dwight L. Roth

You might be wondering what in the world is going on with my Haibun today. Lillian asked us to break the rules and write a Haibun that doesn’t fit the norm. So… I am writing mine partially without vowels in the pros. If you can read it you are a genius, as Facebook posts say! Not only that, but I have chosen to write about a touchy political subject in our country today, squirrels crossing the border!

This is about as far out of the box as I think I want to get, so have fun and don’t send me any hate mail! Please!!

Come join us at d’Verse.



Midsummer Rains

Farm - Uncle Fred bailing hay 001

Midsummer Rains   (a Haibun)

During my teens, I worked for five summers on my uncle’s 100-acre Pennsylvania dairy farm. I loved being able to drive the tractors, long before I was old enough to drive a car. In mid-July we would make our second cutting of hay. We always tried to get it dry and into the barn between the midsummer rain showers.

baling hay

On occasion we would be racing across the field making our last round with the baler, watching the thunderheads rising above the mountain. The sprinkles started as we backed the hay wagon onto the barn floor. It wasn’t long until the rain would be drumming on the tin roof of the barn. It was a wonderful sound to hear.

Farmer baling hay

Midsummer rain coming fast

Drumming the tin roof


Family photos

For our Haikai challenge, Frank Tassone asked us to write about midsummer rains. Older calendars have summer starting in May, so by the end of June it would be mid summer. This took me back a few years to me time on the farm. Rain showers can be good or bad depending the circumstance, as you can see.

Farm - bring in the hay to the barn 001

#Haikai Challenge #39 (6/23/18): midsummer rain (samidare) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

Another perspective:

Midsummer rains fall

Bringing farmers liquid gold

Gold in many forms

This Land…

See the source image

Today I was singing This Land Is Your Land with the residents of our local rest home. As we were singing this iconic song, I thought how ironic to be singing this at this time.  We have always been selective as to whom “your” refers to. With the immigration controversies of the past two weeks, I thought perhaps it would be good to reassess what we are singing compared to what we really believe.

Perhaps it is time to bring back the Folk Songs of the 60s to remind us of the importance of treating others with dignity and respect. Songs like Blowin’ in the Wind and Try a Little Kindness might do us some good in this era of harshness.

My apologies to Woodie Guthrie for butchering his wonderful song!

Is This Land My Land?
Is this land your land, Is this land my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulfstream waters
This land’s not yours, it’s just for me

As I was driving that ribbon of highway
I saw before me that endless sky way
I saw below me that golden valley
This land’s not yours, It’s just for me

The sun was shining and I was strolling
The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
As the cloud was lifting, a voice was crying
Is this land not made for you and me.

I roved and rambled and followed GPS steps
From the sparkling sands of her diamond desert
And all around me voices were sighing
Is this land’s not made for you and me?

…Yes //  this land is made for you and me!


Record Jacket: Bing photo