Afterglow (Haiku)



The flush in your cheeks

Reveals smoldering hot coals

In the afterglow


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The prompt for Frank Tassone’s Haiku challenge was afterglow in honor of his anniversary.

#Haikai Challenge #43 (7/21/18): Afterglow (yuuyake) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga


Jewels of Summer (Haiku)


My favorite garden vegetable each summer is the tomato. Although it is technically a fruit, I will take it either way.  Nothing beats a great tomato sandwich.  As they ripen in my tiny garden, I think, how beautiful they are and am thankful for these jewels of summer!

Bright reddish orange gems

Tasty summer jewels shining

Waiting to be lunch


Green to red they grow

Tanning in the summer sun

Ripe for the picking

Swallowtail’s Anniversary


Every year about this time at the end of July

The swallowtail returns to grace my flower garden

Natures clockwork in a world with no thought of time

This year is different // half a tail gone // snack for a bird



Like a Rorschach print inked on only half a page

Still she flits and floats among the Zinnias mixing with the bees

Her handicap does not keep her from achieving her destiny



Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Frank, at d’Verse, suggested we might write a seven line poem to celebrate the seventh Anniversary of d”Verse~Poets Pub. I saw this beautiful swallowtail on my flowers this week and took a number of photos.  Here are three of the best.  Come join us at d’verse poets:


Proving Your Faith


I believe it is contradictory to try to prove faith.  Some go to great lengths to prove that what they believe is right. Endless studies and theological discourses are done trying to disprove everyone else. Some feel if they can disprove evolution, for example that they will have accomplished a great milestone for Creationism. Still others pick and choose proof texts to support their particular beliefs. For me, this proves nothing. The proof of your faith is in living it. If what you say does not match what you do then you have nothing to offer anyone.

Proof is in the living //not in the proving

Faith is not based on proof //rather on belief

Proof is not disproving others

It is living the faith you choose

For it is in living that we convince others

That our words/work is not in vain

Yet we try so hard to convince ourselves we are right

Is it our doubt // or feelings of superiority?

Few are brought to faith by details of theology

Rather by the life of One who has lived selflessly

Faith is not supported by disproving science…

Which is ever changing as knowledge increases

Faith is not proven by what cannot be proven //

Stories of the past or imaginations of the future…

Recorded to uplift and reassure the faithful

Having little to do with drawing others to accept your Truth

Faith is a mystery // believing what can’t be proven

Accepting God’s Love and Grace

Living in that light each day of your life

Loving God //Loving your neighbor //Serving others

Faith is based on Love … not on Proof

Your faith in action becomes

“The Word made Flesh”

Rationalizing Vice


Today we explore the seven deadly sins and the seven virtues (Vice and Virtue). Amaya challenged us to look inside ourselves and evaluate one of each. As I looked down the list of seven there was more than one I could have chosen. I decided to hit home and challenge myself with this one. These signs have appeared in welcoming yards across the country, since President Trump put limits on immigration.  Where do you stand,,, on the side of vice (Greed) or on the side of virtue (Charity)?

I must confess when I read the sign something inside me resisted

The Pharisee in me reared its ugly head // made me back away

Possessive greed required my allegiance // rejecting some who are different

Surprisingly, open arms and welcoming seemed foreign to my spirit

Questions arose: are they legal, are they dangerous, or perhaps the wrong color?

The story of our nation reveals

How quickly we took from welcoming native neighbors

Burning villages // killing them off // Relocating them to far away places

Out of sight // out of mind // the problem was now solved

We live here in luxury with guards, walls, and gates

Disinviting all who are different from us // closing eyes to the problem

Is this what it means to “Make America Great Again…”

Hedging ourselves in // using them to do our bidding

Or can we move from our vice to virtue with charity in our hearts

Saying,” No matter who you are // where you are from,,,

we are glad you’re our neighbor”


Sign Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Summer Time Itchy

Porgy & Bess: Summertime

My apologies to Ella and Louis for taking liberties with their song. I was itching to try something different. Grace at d’Verse Poets Pub asked us to write a Quadrille of only 44 words using a form of the word itch. Since I grew up playing in a woods full of poison ivy, I was used to the summer itch between fingers and toes. Hope you sing along as you read my poem!!

Summer time and the livin’ is itchy

Poison ivy  // growin’ near by

Summer time and the livin’ is itchy

Scratch little pinky toes don’t you cry

Summer time and the livin’ is itchy

Little boys running // through a patch near by…


Calamine Lotion Needed


Album cover from Bing Search

News Politics and Truth

Three blind men and and elephant

Perhaps the truth you choose to believe
Depends on which side of the Elephant you stand
Some at the head and get whipped around by the trunk
Those who are left stand at the rear constantly shoveling
Those on the side see a vast nearsighted nothingness
But // beware of the feet //for they will stomp you flat
In the everchanging tide of strong divisive opinion
It is sometimes hard to tell left from right
Truth seems to be whatever we make it to be
This is nothing new // we’re always in a stew
A few short years ago it all depended on
Which side of the Donkey you stood on on
With very similar results
Only shoveled from those who were right.
We’re reminded daily of fake news being spread
So // how does one know truth from fiction // gossip from facts
The answer is in no way clear
For me it all seems to be a lot of ES…DS…and BS … and now TS
I don’t think social media is a friend of our society
Its aim is to distort, divide, keep us in fractured turmoil
For me // give me a ten-page newspaper with comics in the back
A Look or Life magazine with mostly photos and a few facts
Filter out the most important things and let the rest go
Let those in charge do their job // if not the next vote will show
There’s a world of mess out there that I don’t need to know


Three Blind Men and an Elephant:


I guess you can tell from this one my age is telling on me.


Eternal Sleep


Fragile blooms reveal such striking beauty

Nature’s embellishment for green fields

With seeds yielding a mixed bag of healing and death

Petals of red hearts of black // growing wild and free


Seeds to ease the pain // used for generations

Extractions and concentrates create powerful narcotics

Morphine // Heroin  // Codeine

Powerful pain relievers leading to addiction


Blood red flowers mix with the red blood of the fallen that bloody day

Symbol of the men who died on Flander’s Field // resting in eternal sleep

Paper Poppies sold on the end of a wire on Veterans’ Day in November

Beauty grown wild all over the world


 Photos: Dwight L. Roth


Down the Drain


At the end of life our usefulness seems to get put on the shelf

Our limbs don’t always work as well as they once did

Inside // the heart still pumps round and round while we wait

Knowing our plowing days have ended and our decorative days are here


Life is full of ups and downs that could leave us in a turmoil at the end

As the coals of life burn down some choose to drown their sadness

Others simply throw in the towel and give up // feeling, “What’s the use?”

Many grow bitter and make life difficult for all who care


As I look back on my life, I see my brain as the drain that filters out the big stuff

Keeping the traumatic and the wonderful // letting the rest go right down the drain

Not sweating the small stuff // attempting to save some good to pass on down the line

I choose to not go gently  // rather to stay focused // letting creativity flow

Knowing that in the end most of who we are will go right on down the drain


Photos: Dwight L. Roth


Supermunk (Haiku)

Supermunk pigs out

Bulging  cheeks with summer seeds

Bars can’t contain him



Back to his dark nest

Storing seeds for winter’s cold

Supermunk climbs down



Skinnymunk returns

Engaging stretched slinky

Slipping right inside


  Sneaky guy reloads

Sunflower seeds food of choice

Never ending treat


Photos: Dwight L. Roth


For another great read form Compost and Grace, check out stories of my dad. It will lift your spirits and scratch your nostalgic bone!!