Old Songs


Last week we got together with some old college friends, and their spouses, from the late 1960s. During those years we sang together in a group we called the Optimists. The Folk Music era was in full swing and the songs of Peter, Paul, and Mary as well as many other musicians influenced our song choices. We rented a house on Lake Wiley and spent four great days together singing and catching up on our lives. It was a wonderful time. The songs and harmonies came back together just like it was yesterday!

Old Songs

Notes cling to the chambers of my brain

Hanging there stretched across my mind

The first three notes…………

Drawing me like a moth to a flame

Snagging me with silky smooth harmonies

Wrapping me tightly in a cocoon of pleasure

Lost in dusty webs of the past fifty years

Sucked in and stored away for evermore

Eight-legged bands are now long gone

Leaving me stuck in the recesses of history

In an egg sac // hatching out tunes of my own

Running here and there stringing new webs

Never forgetting how great it was

To be caught up in the old song’s web

Notes branded on my brain for ever

Creating an identity of who I am today!


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Once Upon a Dream


Once upon a dream
Dripping thoughts ran free
Choice words // honey sweet
Speak to soft hearts open to hear
Wisdom from the honeycomb

Once upon a dream
Inspiration took root
Words buzzed through the mind
Pockets of honey stored away
Drawn upon in desert times

Once upon a dream
Sweet Gold flowed // ink to paper
Food fit for a queen
Full of life // sweet soul nectar
Mind dreams do come true


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Lillian at d’Verse asked us to take the phrase “Once upon a time….  and do a twist on it.  We were to write a poem that started with “Once upon a ____________,” filling in the blank with anything but the word time.  I wrote about the beauty of poetry.


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Changing principals was a very difficult transition for me during my 29 years teaching elementary school. One of my most loved principals died of cancer, followed by a principal who had just finished her Masters in Administration. It appeared to me that she was hired to clean house by the Central Office. She came in with an attitude, and after her first year most of our older teachers resigned. I finally crawled into my classroom hole and hibernated until she finally left for a year of study, and was replaced. The next principal was a really great administrator who supported us and was fair and balanced with everyone.

Snow Queen brings winter

Hibernate ‘till summer comes

Snow melts in sunshine


Relationships strain

An attitude adjustment

helped me through the heat


Today Merril, at d’Verse, asked us to write a Haibun sharing a transition we have experienced. Looking back, I am amazed I survived those years.

Join us at:  https://dversepoets.com

Photo of cake from my retirement party: Dwight L. Roth


No Excuse for Hate


Today our hearts go out to the families of those who were killed by an anti-Semitic gunman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, yesterday. The news media has been broadcasting events as they occur. It seems to me that the person who did this should only be mentioned in passing, while the lives of the victims who were killed should be shared with us. This is not a time for politics and sensationalism.

No excuse for hate

Not a political tool

Remember lives lived

Lift them high // show their faces

Erase haters from our view


No excuse for hate

Not fuel for the talking heads

Remember lives lived

Their joy // happiness // and love

Hater’s not mentioned


No excuse for hate

Guard the dignity of those

whose lives were cut short

Let their lights forever shine

Overcoming hate with love



Photos: Dwight L. Roth

All Tricks


What happens when your teeth fall out? This afternoon I sat down to take a break with a cookie and a glass of tea. On the last bite one of my front caps popped off leaving me looking pretty scary. On Monday, I will see if my dentist can glue it back on before Halloween makes it permanent!! It is either laugh or cry, so for Frank Tassone’s Haikai today, it’s a Renga that hopefully will make you smile instead of cry!

All sad tricks today

Halloween came too early

Makes my dentist smile

Chewing cookies with cap apps

Made me a jack-o-lantern

Perhaps I should wait

Till the children come by

Give them a big smile

Making it a real fright night

No need to buy a pumpkin

With that toothless smile

Perhaps my candy will last

‘Till the last one screams

Running frightened down the street

More candy for me to eat


To rot out more teeth!!


Selfie Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at:  https://frankjtassone.com/2018/10/27/haikai-challenge-58-10-27-18-halloween-or-samhain-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/





Sometimes we might think

we are simply grains of sand

Stretched out across the beach of life

feeling powerless…

unable to render // help

or change the world around us…

Until // heat and the pressures of life

surround our soul

bringing us together

with many others…


into a solid mass of rock

which // in the right hands //

can be shaped // carved // or built upon

in ways that change the world


Photos: Dwight L. Roth






Being adopted must be a traumatic experience for a little boy who started the first year of his life with a foster parent. This was the experience of my grandson. He was adopted into a family who spoke a different language, ate different food, and had other children. You can understand why he did not want his new parents to leave him at night. I wrote this as a lullaby that expresses some of the feelings that I imagined occurred during this time. He has since grown into a well adjusted little boy.

Sweet Baby Boy
Sweet baby boy just close your eyes
Go off to dreamland with a sigh
Sweet baby boy fly away
To worlds unknown beyond the eye
Sweet baby boy come to me now
With all your tears a crying
Sweet baby boy I’ll ease your fears
And soon you’ll be a sighin’
And when you wake I’ll be right here
Near you I’ll be lyin’
To keep you safe and let you know
This is your home where I am
Through tears and fears throughout the years
I’ll always be your Mother
And though you might not understand
There’ll never be another


Painting by Dwight L. Roth

Jilly at d’Verse asked us to use repetition in our poetry today to bring emphasis to the poem. Sweet Baby Boy came to mind when I read this prompt. It is a song I wrote as a lullaby for my adopted grandson when he was adopted several years ago.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Our Job

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The world is “going to hell in a hand basket”
Some believe the end is near
Others say, “What’s the use…there is nothing we can do.”
So… what do we do in the face of violence and hate?
Some think it is to protest // to force change
Others say it is “vote the bums out of office”
Still others seek separation and revolution
French philosopher, Jacque Elull said,
The job of the Christian in this world
Is not to fight, but rather to call into question
The actions of those in power
(Especially those who claim to be Christian)
For to let their actions go unchecked is to give assent
The Germans who opposed Hitler’s policies
Realized this it was too late to speak up
Challenging what is happening forces them to think.
It might not bring the change we want
But it does not allow them to believe what they do
Is right, acceptable, or just…
Stand with the “lest of these” who cry out for change
Our job as citizens is to call into question the actions of our leaders
Our job as individuals is to “Love God and Love our Neighbor”

Make the world a better Place!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Creativity Pays

Saws painted

Every fall our church has a crafts fair for anyone who wants to set up a table and join in the fun. This year I decided to paint some old saws to sell. I tried a variety of themes hoping that it might connect with someone as they come by.  Here you can see my collection. Hopefully I will be able to sell a few of these as well as my paintings.

Rusty old saws change

As paint restoration cuts

through rust and dull teeth

Giving new life and luster

Creating a work of art

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

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