Happy New Years 2019


A New Year’s Blessing
May your old year pass with peace and celebration
May you let all your worries remain in 2018
Hold your friends dear to your heart
Let loyalty and love be your coat of arms
Let your grief do its work in your soul
Never forget those who passed on
Keep your family precious and spouse revered
Treat everyone with dignity and respect
May your wishes become goals to attain
With God’s strength work toward that end
May you follow the light of the Spirit in your heart
Walk with God as you would your closest friend
Trust that all things will work out for your good
Be thankful for all of your blessings of life
May you live every day as the “Word made flesh”
May you be a light and a beacon to all
Happy New Year 2019


Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Finding God



Somewhere amid the rules and regulations
The desire for correctness
The literal interpretation….
Underneath it all we hope to find God
Buried in the guilt and shame
Of imperfection // fallenness
We lie…
Controlled by our fears
Manipulated by our insecurities
Underneath it all we hope to find God
In creeds and sacraments of blood and wine
In stories of suffering // blessing // and chosenness `
We struggle to make right our wrongs
Knowing that…
Underneath it all we hope to find God
Our prayers ascend on wings of faith
Hoping to find an opiate for our pain
A clearing and focused mind
That can see and feel that…
Underneath it all we hope to find God
We open our heart to redeeming grace
Finally realizing // it’s not what we do
Not what we say verbosely to others
It is in forgiving others // and ourselves
That we find love and acceptance
And underneath it all we find God


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Stain glass window from the WUM Church in Weddington, NC

Gift of Time


One Christmas, several years ago, we decided that instead of buying Christmas gifts for each other we would draw names and each of us would make our gift. My son drew my name and made this original clock for me. As we enter the new year, perhaps we should think how we can make this thought true not just for dad, but for all of our family members, especially for those who are confined and can no longer get out and about.  The greatest gift of love you can give to them is your time.

Give the gift of time

A most precious gift of love

Your New Year’s Blessing


Those whose lives are too  busy

Will miss their special reward


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

This was written for Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge…. The prompt was to write a poem using the word New Years in .

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/12/29/haikai-challenge-67-new-year-shinnen-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

I am also posting this on d’Verse Poets Pub for their prompt of Time and  What if?. It is not exactly on but close. So important to spend time before your loved ones are gone and you say to yourself, What if I had spent more time with them!

Join us at:  https://dversepoets.com


Life Patterns

Daniel T Stowe Gardens #9 2018 (2)


A mosaic dome

Filled with uniquely complicated pieces

Structured parameters all focusing on center

Cemented together forming a creation of beauty

Letting light pass through illuminating each one

Bringing out our unique qualities

Holding each other together

With gratitude and love

Strong and fragile


Photo: Dwight L. Roth





Bands of Promise

Dwight & Ruth's Wedding0026 (2)


Two small bands of gold

Promises bigger than life

49 years strong


Tomorrow will be our forty-ninth wedding anniversary. When I think back on that day it was so very special. I smiled so much that my face hurt. The snowstorm that went up the east coast earlier in the week kept a few from attending,  but the wedding went on as planned. My friend who was supposed to play at our wedding was snowed in, so at the last minute my co-worker, who was the music teacher at my school, graciously filled in with only two day’s notice!  Through all the ups and downs of life, we have managed to stay together and love each other as we promised on that cold December day.

Dwight & Ruth's Wedding0012 (2)

Wedding Photo: Jim Bowman

The Greatest Gift

Christmas Love

Advent Painting - Piercing the Darkness (2)

Christmas is not about
Christmas is not about
Wise men
Mary and Joseph
In a manger, cold
Not about Santa
Nor gifts or presents
Wrapped tight
Not shining bright lights
At night
Christmas is our sign
His love
Permeating Love
A universal void
Our hearts
Filled by the great I AM


Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Christmas 1963


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

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

I am reprinting my story from last year. It brings back lots of good memories for me and hopefully you will enjoy it as well.

Christmas Colors


Maple glows bright red

Doesn’t know December’s here

All other trees bare

Red lights in forest window

Nature celebrates Christmas


Red Maple Photo taken today: Dwight L. Roth


Haikai Tanka for Frank Tassone’s challenge using Christmas as our prompt. One Red maple still has its leaves clinging to its branches. Seems very unusual to see this at this time of year. Shot this photo today to use as my theme.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/12/22/haikai-challenge-66-12-22-18-christmas-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/