The Fear of Living…

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The Fear of Living

I don’t fear death; I fear living… too long! Some drop and are gone, others take longer to leave this world. Lingering is a fearful word in this old man’s vocabulary. Lingering often comes with losing control, as dementia sets in. Loss of memory, loss of driving privileges, loss of physical abilities to function without help all come with different levels of fear. And then there is pain. Chronic pain is very real to many, both young and old. It changes how we live and function.

I watched my father-in-law as he gradually developed Alzheimer’s disease. It was so hard to give up his keys to his car. But, not remembering where his car was parked, or how to navigate across the city of Edmonton, made driving too risky for him. When his wife developed a brain tumor, he had to move to a care facility, which involved more loss and now separation. It was extremely sad to see this happen. Even in the best of settings life was no longer memorable for him.

Fear of living on and on and out of control is my greatest fear. I try not to think about it or obsess over it, but it constantly shadows the recesses of my mind.

Living well for now

Aging brings new challenges

Life becomes fearful


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Frank Tassone asked us to think about our fears. This seems to be the season of the year when fright and fear are celebrated in some circles. Spooky ghosts and goblins are nothing compared to the real fear of living in pain or life out of control.

Thanks to my friend, David’s, post for stimulating these thoughts:   

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Little Brother

Phil on the porch at Masontown

When I was ten years old, my parents announced to the four of us children that we were going to be having a baby brother or sister. Back then there were no tests to tell ahead of time. What a surprise for me (and I think for my parents as well). My mom was 43 at the time, and having a baby at that age was questionable back then, since the age factor could lead to issues like Downs Syndrome and others.

I remember being introduced to people as the “Baby of the family!” It brought a lot of good attention it seemed. But with the advent of my new little brother, all that changed over night. All went well and my brother Philip was born without any complications. He was the first of us to be born in the hospital! He was so cute and everyone loved him and showered him with attention. I don’t remember ever feeling jealous or left out as a result. I am sure it was a bigger adjustment for my parents than it was for us children. My sister was delighted to have a little brother and took him under her wing to look after.

Tomorrow, October 25th, he turns 64! It is hard to believe that so much time has passed since then. I wanted to write this post to wish him happy birthday!

What a nice surprise

A little brother arrived

Happy Birthday Phil


Photo from family album

A Poet’s Hymn

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Like a Poet hidden
In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden… “

~Percy Shelley – To a Skylark


A Poets Hymn

The poets mind is always in tune

to what’s happening all around;

Picking up on tidbits of emotion,

trickles of thought, or misspoken sounds.

Tucking them away for rumination

adding perspective, bias, and slant.

Embellished with bits of truth’s promotion

life lessons to heal and seeds to plant.

Prophets, seekers, mystics, and sages

Words written across his pages

Always in perfect pitch…

a hymn for the ages


Photo: Dwight L. Roth


Tattoos on my Heart

Tattoo heart

Some I’ve passed in life’s journey

left tattoos inked upon my heart;

Indelible piercings still remain

even though we are far apart…

Marking memories of times gone by

never to be removed, no matter how I try.

Good and bad // I remember them well

along with all the back-stories they tell.

Joy and pain have left their mark…

images tattooed upon my heart.

Some I hide and wish they were gone;

Others shine brightly like a dearly loved song.

All are foundation stones right from the start…

signatures of love engraved on my heart.


Tattoo from bing images

Plein Air

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I enjoy trying different things with my painting. I have not painted since April due to the summer heat. Now that cooler weather is here, I thought I would  try a plein air painting. Plien air is a French term that simply means outdoors. I decided to paint the flowers blooming in the wooded area just beyond my back yard. By the time I finished the flowers had disappeared.

Plein air painting 

Yellow wild flowers blooming

My Shangri-la

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Painting; Dwight L. Roth

Ashes Scattered

Indian funeral AP - image

AP – Photo

In India, funeral pyres burn

Smoke of gloom rises from

crematories and parking lots.

Loved ones isolated as fires

consume what mattered most.

Overwhelming numbers rise

along with cries of family.

Ashes remain…

Fires cool…

Ganges carries spirits of

loved ones to the sea.


Today at d’Verse Sarah asked us to write a Quadrille of 44 words using the word Ash. It was shocking to me, earlier in the summer, to see the numbers of Covid-19 deaths rising in India. The funeral pyres burning in parking lots was very sad and disturbing to see. Cremation is done all over the world. The ashes of loved ones are kept or scattered. It is my understanding that the ashes of loved ones in India are often scattered in the Ganges River. Please correct me if I am mistaken.  I decided to write about this for my poem today.

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To Be a Leaf…

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Oh… to be a leaf, t’would be a delight

High in a tree on a warm summer’s night

Poking my head out the door

Warm seduction of spring calls me fore

Coming out half dressed in the morning light

A red bathing beauty all shiny and bright

Stretching extending my fingers unfurl

Semi-frosty nights will nip at the curl

Turning green without envy my hands open wide

No jealousy here I’m filled with pride

Ever expanding to the size of a hand

Not to be shaken by woman or man

Blown in the wind by breeze and ‘cane

Hands lifted in praise then baptized by rain

Waving high over lovers’   joy without end

Old folks and children consider me their friend

Enduring the heat of hot summer’s blast

Knowing all too soon it will be past

Blushing with color… yellow, orange, and red

My crowning glory before I land with the dead

Photographed by families, travelers, and friends

A model’s envy we all join hands

Waving our boughs and then we’re gone

Floating to the earth but I’m not alone

Lying with friends we await our fate

Raked in piles while the children wait

Jumping and squealing they all roll and tumble

All in a pile as big brothers grumble

Bagged and stacked on the curb for recycling

Back to the garden it’s not really frightening.

Or perhaps simply falling staying were we alight

Putting roots to bed for the long winter’s night


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

A rerun for Fall!

Crowning Beauty


This beautiful pot of mums was given to us by a friend, a couple of weeks ago, while it was still full of buds. When it opened last week this was the gorgeous sight we were given. The gift that keeps on giving!

Spreading joy with every view

Fall leaves start falling


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Days End

img_4970-2The pregnant ocean swells and flattens

Teaming with life unseen

Feeling its heartbeat in the twilight

With the rhythm of waves

Gently rolling in, caressing the shore.

Salt breezes soften the heat of the day

Gulls circle searching for one more bite

Twilight brings a calm serenity

As the sun kisses the ocean one last time,

Before dropping off the edge of the earth

Only to return again at morning light.

Palms silhouetted against the sky

Sway strong and tall in the evening breeze.

Everyone is gone into the shadows

Following the flaming line of tikki torches

Called by the beat of the drums.

Dancers undulate, grass skirts sway

Twilight’s deep shadows close into

Darkness broken only by flames


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

A rerun of Twilight….