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In a cornfield by the road a giant oak grows

High and mighty it stands in a field of corn rows

Grand and majestic and reaching toward the sky it sways

Passed by many every day who travel on their way

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Arms far outreaching welcome insects, squirrels, and crows

Bees buzz in the crotch of its limbs where death’s rot begins to show

With a trunk as big as a truck it stands strongly rooted in the clay

Butterflies flit about the trunk sipping sap from the crack where it lays

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Broken limb hangs wounded fractured from a strong Nor’easter’s blow

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Between it giant roots and toes fat puffy round foot fungi grow

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It’s been around for a hundred years not sure how long it will stay

As cornfields turn into houses where the giant oak tree will lay

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Green leafed canopy exchanged for greenbacks how soon we don’t know

Another wonder of nature gone with nothing more to show

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

I have shown this tree in some of my posts before, but I wanted to do a photo study of it now that the field is clear and easily accessible. I went on two different days and took photos as I walked 180 degrees around the tree. Each view gave a slightly different perspective, much the fable of the blind men describing the elephant! It is a gorgeous tree to walk around and under. Most drive by it every day and probably seldom give it a thought. The land was rezoned last year for 400+ houses which made me very sad. This is directly across from the entrance where I live. More houses, more traffic, and one less majestic oak.

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Running Colors – (haiku)

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This is a watercolor that painted itself.  I put on the color and let it run and then blended a few more colors and low and behold this is what came out! My Bob Ross in watercolor! It is a little dark, but I love color so I tend to get it a little intense!  practice practice practice!

Green river flowing

Mountains emerge blending hues

Colors run freely


`Watercolor Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Colors of Water

I have decided to try doing watercolor painting. I find the transition from acrylics is very challenging. I tend to want to over-paint and over-work my paintings. With watercolors that does not work so well.  The first painting above is my transition painting, after trying a few samples. The second one I did today. As you can see the first one is more like my acrylic paintings and the second is beginning to look more like a watercolor painting. 

Capturing nature

Watercolors challenging

Red Maple leaves fall

Posting this on d’Verse Open Link night.  Join us at

Watercolor Paintings: Dwight L. Roth

House of Stone

Andy Roth photo

Samuel T. Jones has a house of stone

at the mausoleum up on the hill

All that is left are stones and bones

There’s nothing more to steal

No jewels, no treasures,

no help to the other side

Just a shell and shadow of a man

in a casket deep and wide

Now lying there… he met his fate

making sure he’d be remembered

He left his mark but had a date

with a house made out of stone

His wife got all his money

the house and his estate

and now he’s lying there all alone

in his house made out of stone…


Photo: Andy Roth: The Benson Mausoleum was the first mausoleum built in the area of Laurel Hill Cemetery in Pennsylvania that became known as Millionaires Row.

Fake Smiles

Phil's Garden Skeleton

Behind each smile there lies a motive

why those teeth are showing;

Some like Scarecrow Jake don’t have much choice

Their smiles are always showing;

But the ones that irritate me most

are those pasted on fake smiles glowing.

Shown at parties by every host

All the while they’re knowing…

they have to pretend to welcome you

with their big fake smile showing.

Oh, do come in,” they say

with smiles from ear to ear.

Then they talk when you can’t hear

…after you walk away.

For me, I like them genuine

A smile that is believable;

One you can trust every time

and they never will deceive you.


Photo: Phil Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lisa asked us to write a poem about a human trait that irritates us. I chose a fake smile. Join us at:

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:   

Join us at:

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