Big Valley Pennsylvania (Travel)

Horses and buggies can be found clopping up and down the roads of Kishacoquillas Valley in Central Pennsylvania. Big Valley lies between the towns of Lewistown and Huntingdon. It is the home of a great number of Amish and Mennonite Farmers, who, along with many others farm, this beautiful valley. People there refer to their home as Big Valley. It is the home of many of my ancestors on both sides of my family. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country. These are a few of the sights you might see on a visit there.

Memories and roots

grow deep in rich black soil

Ancestors rest here

My mother’s home
My father’s home
The Crossroad

Crank up the Victrola

Back in the days of the hand cranked Victrola these old 78 rpm records brought music to folks with limited access to the larger world. Radio stations broadcast songs of A.P. Carter, Sarah, and Mother Maybell, across the airwaves from Bristol Virginia/Tennessee, into mountain homes with battery powered radios. The records, like the one above, were recorded live and cut onto a metal disc that was then used to press the vinyl records. Classical and Jazz records were a hit as well. I still don’t understand how a scratching needle can make beautiful music!

We have come a long way from 78 rpms of my childhood. Digital sound is amazing as it comes from many devices manufactured today. Interestingly the old 45 rpm and 33 1/3 rpm players are not making a comeback with the younger generation! There is something magical about putting a record on, watching it spin and listening to the music come pouring out! The old ways weren’t so bad after all!

RCA Victor

Music coming from a horn

Flappers dance to Swing


Photo from Robert’s Books in Lincoln City, Oregon – Dwight L. Roth

Chasing Beauty

I followed her as she floated in free fall,

admiring all those glittering points of light.

I reached out to touch her glistening face

only to find her cheeks cold to the touch.

Light reflected, not inborn.

Landing with all the others

she froze in place // frigid // unmoving;

unique glory lost in the masses.

Her cold cold frozen heart melted

in the early morning sunshine.

Sparkling one last time, she disappeared

right before my eyes…

Snowflake // so perfect // so unique;

One of a kind ephemeral beauty.

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Peter asked us to consider beginnings… the beginning line of our poem. He noted that the beginning line of a poem makes a person either want to continue reading or pass it by. I have reworked a poem that had a generic beginning and attempted to make it more enticing!

Join us at:

Painting the Farm

I have a friend of my family who grew up in my home community in Pennsylvania. When my two brothers and I visited there a couple of years ago, we drove past the farm where her grandfather once lived, and was passed down through the generations. It was still in good condition, although the trees had grown quite large over time. The little white barn and tile silo were still there. On the hill above the farm, sat a little brethren church. Tombstones in the cemetery contained the names of many of her friends and family members. I took a few photos while we were there.

We had a few warmer days the past two weeks that allowed me to paint, so I decided to paint the farm picture and send it to her in Virginia. I had two good shots, one close and one far away. Not being able to decide which one to paint, I decided to paint them both at the same time. This was the first I tried painting two at once. They are on 11 x 14 canvas board. I hope she will enjoy them.

Family farm stories

left in memories long past

Silo stands empty

Painting the Debolt Farm – Dwight L. Roth

Our Love…

“…so close that your sea rises with my heat.” C.Perez

Our love crescendos, turning us into liquid.

Oceans of your love crash and swell, then ebb

into calm retreat, painting the canvas bare…


Flowing across the layers of my electrocuted mind;

Covering all the shards of hurt from the past

with the joy of this glorious present moment in time;

Leaving only love’s fading footprints on the sand.


Our love grows in weeded beds of flowers sweet

with honey bees’ favorite blossoms, filled with nectar…

Without the taint of poisonous words that sting and dig

deep into the soul, leaving scars blight and spoil.


You. my love, are life’s precious fruit no longer forbidden

in the garden of beauty and perfection, delectable as

fresh peaches graced with rich sweet cream


Feeling you here in this moment, in this time of uncertainty,

Calms my storm of chaos that sit churning just off shore.

You are here now…

“so close your sea rises with my heat.” C.Perez

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

We are doing Poetics at d’Verse this evening that deal with endings! She gave us six ending lines from poems of various poets. We had to choose one, and take the ending line of that poem, to continue the thought of the poem, in the same manner as the original poem. I chose ending line of the poem,  C.Perez ~ Love in a Time of Climate Change to write my poem. Hopefully it is close to what she is asking us to do. We are to use the ending line as an epigraph (between the title and the body of the poem). Or at the end… I did both.

Join us at: Then click on Mr. Linkey to read more poems.

The Way to the Top

Some inherit their position with little effort

Entitled and inexperienced leaves little empathy

Social status // production // and the bottom line

It’s their way or the highway…

The way to the top usually starts at the bottom

Hard work providing experience and understanding

Brings success

Today at d’Verse Lisa asked us to write a quadrille of exactly 44 words using the prompt way. Join us at: then click on Mr. Linkey to read more…

George Washington at Valley Forge stamp art: Dwight L. Roth


During this time of Covid-19, I have had my down times just like many of you. But, what I find helps more than anything else is to create purpose in my life. Being isolated gives me much time for creativity. It lifts my spirit and brings me joy. This past year I have self-published a hundred page book of poems I have written for my daily blog on Word Press. I also wrote and illustrated a children’s book about Rocky the Owl, and passed it out to friends who have little ones. Now that the days are warmer, I have been painting again. There is not time to sit and wait for the grim reaper. There are things to do that take my mind of the sand in the hour glass!

The sand in the hour glass runs faster at the end

I feel it shifting and settling into that narrow space

People for centuries tried to flip the glass to no avail

In the span of time and antiquity

our few minutes goes quickly

So make them count // those last few grains

settling into the final drop // becoming sand once more

Tell your stories // write your poems // sing your songs

Fill your days with creativity // joy // and wonder

For the sand in the hour glass runs faster at the end

This is a painting I finished last week of the City View Dairy Farms in the community where I grew up in Pennsylvania. I posted it on the community Facebook page where it was appreciated with hundreds of likes and comments and memories from people who no longer live there, but have great memories of getting milk there. It gave me great joy to see so many find it meaningful.


How many of you remember using one of these?


Fated to live retracing steps taken

Backspacing becomes the norm

A brain one wire short of perfection

Requires backspacing to be the norm

In bygone days erasures quickly met metal

Pen and ink scratched out those shorts

Some keep asking // thinking I should learn

But for me backspacing is the norm

Distractions, only a second past, causes forgetfulness

A mind with a missing memory chip

Seems repetition should solve the problem

But with me backspacing is the norm

Reminders in multiples of ten are needed

Lamenting the need to repeat again and again

Brings no healing to a chipless brain

For me backspacing is the norm

Names go through my canals // beat the anvils

And pass right on through // unless

Piggy-backed on another file //stored there for awhile

It may seem like I don’t care // and sometimes I am not aware

Forgetfulness becomes my greatest flaw

When I am old // perhaps I’ll be excused

They’ll call it Alzheimer’s …and lock me away

Saying for him backspacing is all he ever does


Stamp Art: Dwight L. Roth