Silver Wingspread

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When I went to pull the shade on my sliding glass door, the long rays of the sun were shining through the grease smudges on the window revealing this sad, but beautiful image. Another dove took a hard hit and left this imprint on the glass. This happens from time to time. So far, they are able to fly away after the hit. They see the reflection of the woods and sky in the window and don’t seem to realize it is an illusion.

Wingspread imprinted

on sliding door’s illusion

Winter sun shows all

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone at d’Verse asked us to write a Haibun of winter. Lots of birds come to my feeder in the winter months. Doves enjoy seeds scattered on the deck. Sometimes they get reckless. I am sharing this one that happened yesterday. Amazing!

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Memory is the colander of the mind

Sorting out the good times worth keeping.

Letting the negative ones slip through.

Years can wash away the residue

leaving only our warm moments…

faint remnants // yet clearly recalled


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Auschwitz Remembered

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Silent screams radiate

from every barbed wire

of Auschwitz.

Clear blue skies

filled with spirits

of souls sacrificed

Hushed silence…

stands in awe

of the evil

that took place here.


of pain and suffering


in every twisted barb…

Calling out

to all who come here

to listen

to hear

to remember

to feel the atrocities

that took place here

So that it can never

happen again

From: Wikipedia

The first gassings—of Soviet and Polish prisoners—took place in block 11 of Auschwitz I around August 1941. Construction of Auschwitz II began the following month, and from 1942 until late 1944 freight trains delivered Jews from all over German-occupied Europe to its gas chambers. Of the1.3 million people sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million were murdered. The number of victims includes 960,000 Jews (865,000 of whom were gassed on arrival), 74,000 ethnic Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans. Those not gassed were murdered via starvation, exhaustion, disease, individual executions, or beatings. Others were killed during medical experiments.

Soviet troops entered the camp on 27 January 1945, a day commemorated since 2005 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The Climb II – segment 10

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Jim put his gun back in its holster and the three friends started back down the mountain,

That was a scary situation,” Jim said, as they walked down the trail. “I have never seen a Timber Rattler before.”

They are one of God’s beautiful creatures, once you get past the myths and fears about snakes” George replied.

Old Blue barked happily as he zigzagged into the laurel around them. By now the heat of the day had set in and Jim could feel the sweat on his forehead and trickling down his back.

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When they got back to the pines, the fawn and its mother were gone. They sat down on a big fallen log that looked like it had been lying there for at least the last ten years or more. Old Blue stopped at the creek for a quick drink before taking off into the underbrush again.

Jim took a long drink from his canteen. The water was no longer cold but felt really good going down his throat. George poured some water from his bottle on to his handkerchief and wiped his head and neck with it.

You know.” said George, “I think this is the place where I saw he big buck and had my heart attack.”

That must have been a scary time for you,” Jim replied.

“Yes,” George continued. “When my chest started getting tight, the pain was radiating down my left arm. I would never have made it back down to my truck if the search party from the Sheriff’s Office had not found me.”

They sat resting quietly, enjoying all the beauty that surrounded them. Blue was barking higher up along the ridge. In a few moments a doe came running through the laurel followed by a button buck. George signaled to Jim to sit very still. As they came closer, she stopped abruptly, sniffed the air, then turned and bolted off up the mountain.

George and Jim sat very still as they heard another deer coming through the brush. This one sounded much bigger than the first two. Jim’s eyes grew big when through the thicket came a large buck. It appeared to be an eight or ten pointer from the look of the antlers.

As the buck came closer, it also stopped, getting a whiff of the human scent in the air. He turned his head and looked straight at George, snorted and pawed the ground, before flicking its tail as he followed the doe up the mountain.

A few moments later, Old Blue came bounding through the underbrush barking up a storm.

Wow!” said Jim excitedly, “did you see that? It was the biggest buck I have ever seen!”

George smiled, “That is the one I shot at right before I had my heart attack.”

He looked right at you like he recognized you,” Jim exclaimed! “And did you see that beautiful rack? It must have been at least ten points.”

He was a beauty,” mused George. “Old Blue must have flushed them out from their mid-day nap. You know, deer are color blind and if you remain still, they cannot tell you from a tree. They can, however, pick up your scent in the air, so they know you are nearby.”

George called old blue back from following the deer up the mountain, and they started walking back down the trail.


The rest of the hike down to the parking area was uneventful. Neither of them said much.  Both Jim and George were replaying the drama of the day in their minds. What a great day it had been to get out in nature and revisit some ghosts from the past.

When they reached the truck, they all piled in and started down the road back home. Jim and Old Blue were quite tired, and it wasn’t long until they were both snoozing quietly. George smiled as they road along, with a feeling of satisfaction and appreciation for this wonderful moment in time. He knew Jim would soon be grown and off to college and days like this would only be a memory. But what a great memory it was; one to be remembered!

~The End~

This completes my story of part II of The Climb.  If you would like a free pdf. file copy of the whole story, email me a request at and I will email you one.



After last night’s storm the tulip petals are strewn across the patio

where they mortally fluttered.”- Church, Jim Harrison

This week I got word of two different friends who died from Covid-19. Gerry was my neighbor and friend for many years. He was full of life, and as his daughter said, “His zest for life was infectious…” He never knew a stranger and his compassion for people of all races and colors was an example to all of us. My wife and I had a standing weekend dinner date with Gerry and Alice for many years. Now I am reflecting on so many good times together with them.

I learned to know Loraine at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore. She was the assistant manager for several years and always appreciated the volunteer work I did there. She was a feisty redhead who didn’t take any junk from anyone, yet she had a heart of gold. She retired a couple of years ago and had recently gone to live with her daughter in Florida.

It saddens me when my close friends are strewn across Covid-19’s dark deck, fluttering as they breath their last. Brings realization of my own mortality before my eyes.

Petals strewn will fade

Old friends bid farewell and pass

Great memories linger


Today at d’Verse, Linda asked us to choose one of eight lines from Jim Harrison, writer and poet, and used the line as an epigraph to a poem we will write. It can be any form, so for this one I chose to write a memorial Haibun.

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Fallen Rose Petals – Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Shivered Beauty

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Temperatures dropped to 20 degrees.

Frost shivered its way across my front door glass

leaving trails of fossilized beauty

which like the ephemeral hibiscus

are here today and gone tomorrow.

A dusting of snow rests like tiny diamonds

on my deck rail and bowl.

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Merril gave us the word shiver and asked us to write a Quadrille of exactly 44 words using some form of the word.

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The Climb II – segments 8&9

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Jim was glad he had worn his jeans today instead of shorts. Cautiously he climbed into the cave. There wasn’t much head room, but he was able to maneuver and turn around without much difficulty.

The leaves that had blown into the cave smelled dank and musty. But they were dry and made it easier on the knees for Jim.

I can see why you chose this cave to get out of the snowstorm,” said Jim, as he settled into the spot where George had spent the night. “Between you, your gun, and pack there is very little room left.”

It really was a tight fit, George replied. “There was so much of me in there, there was no room for the cold! But it did keep me somewhat comfortable through the night.”

Jim laughed as he scrambled back out of the cave into the sunshine and onto the flat rock where George was sitting. By now the sun was high overhead and George suggested that this might be a good place to eat their lunch.

You know,” said George, as they ate their sandwiches. We are sitting right at the spot where that Mountain Lion would have been that night. It was pitch black, I could not see anything, but there was a slight reflection from the snow.”

How did you know where to shoot if it was that dark?” wondered Jim.

I could hear heavy guttural breathing out on this flat rock, George replied. “Not wanting to take any chances, I decided to shoot before it stuck its head in the opening. As a result, I must have just grazed him, from the light blood stains I found the next morning.”

Wow! Thought Jim, you were a lucky man.”


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Jim’s mind wonder off, thinking about all that George had gone through that cold night two years ago. He was so glad that his friend made it home again and had recovered well from his triple by-pass surgery.

Jim offered George one of his chocolate bars as George pulled out some dog biscuits for Old Blue. Blue snatched them up and chomped down on one crushing it between his strong teeth. Sitting on this particular rock with George gave Jim a warm feeling and he was glad George had drawn him away from his reading to come along with him.

Old Blue gobbled down the biscuits and stood wagging his tail, giving a bark letting George know he would like another one. George gave him the last biscuit he had brought along. After eating it, Blue wandered down to the creek below for a drink.

As Jim and George sat on the rock finishing their lunch, Old Blue went sniffing a little farther up toward a large pile of rocks nearby. After a few minutes, he started barking furiously standing his ground near one of the rocky outcrops.

I wonder what he is so excited about,” chuckled Jim, as they closed their packs.

Probably just another ground squirrel that ran under a rock,” George replied. “Lets go see what he is up to.”

They put on their packs and headed down and back up to where Old Blue was having a fit. As they got closer, George stopped and listened. He immediately called Blue back to him and took out his pistol. Jim was surprised at George’s actions until he looked at what Old Blue was barking at.

There curled up under the ledge of the rock was a timber rattler! He was eyeing Old Blue and his rattles were shaking with a steady warning rhythm. Fortunately, Blue’s instincts told him to keep his distance, but that did not stop his barking frenzy.

Just stay back,” George told Jim. “This is not something we want to tangle with today.”

Are you going to shoot it?” Jim asked excitedly.

No,” George replied, “we are going to keep our distance and move on away from it. It wants to avoid us as much as we want to avoid it. Those warning rattles are telling us to keep away.”

Shouldn’t we kill a poisonous snake,” Jim inquired.

Snakes are a very important part of the ecosystem. They help keep down the rodent population as well as the rabbits and squirrels. So, no we are not going to kill it. Many people are afraid of snakes, but they are seldom aggressive unless cornered or messed with in some way.”

George went on, “Old Blue is lucky he kept his distance and waited for us to come. If a dog gets too close the snake will strike at his face. In most cases the dog will recover, although there will be swelling, and it will be painful for him. It is important to get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

With humans, antivenom is used to counteract the bite. Timber rattlesnake venom is considered a hemotoxin, which means it acts to destroy tissue as an aid in digesting its prey. It also has neurotoxins, which affect the nervous system. Getting medical help is very critical to preventing tissue damage. Most people will recover from snakebite!”


For more information on Timber Rattlers check out this YouTube clip:

The Climb II – segments 6 & 7

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The clump of young pine trees was only fifty yards from them. Slowly they made their way through the thicket to where they had heard the sound a minute before. When they got to the pines everything was very still. The only sounds they heard were the birds overhead and the gurgling stream behind them.

George’s eyes scanned the area for a moment and then he put his finger to his lips and motioned to Jim pointing into the undergrowth. There lying in beneath a pine bow was a baby fawn. It was beautiful rust color with white spots on its back. The fawn’s long ears were perked up and its big eyes were watching George and Jim with a frightened look on its face, but it did not move.

After watching the fawn for a minute or two, George motioned to Jim to move back to the stream. Old Blue had wondered on up the mountain sniffing the stumps and rock. When they got back to the trail, George had a big smile on his face.

I figured that might be what was making the noise,” he said. “When I saw the doe take off into the woods, I knew she was trying to get us to follow her. She was drawing us away so we would not find the fawn. She’ll make a wide circle and come right back for the fawn after we are gone.”

It was amazing how it stayed so still, while we were watching,” said Jim.

That is their built in protective instinct,” George replied. They are too small to outrun a predator. By blending in and being very still they stay safe!”

The sun was rising higher above the trees as the two hikers followed the stream up the hollow. Up ahead they could hear Old Blue barking as he enjoyed this time in the woods.

The cave is only a little further, said George, just below those big bolders up ahead.


The entrance to the cave was partially hidden by plant growth and Mountain Laurel, but Jim could see the dark opening high above them, about twenty yards up on the side of the mountain. A big flat rock jutted out through the underbrush.

That’s it,” George said, “Let’s go up and see if there is anything in it.

What do you think we might find?” asked Jim.

Probably nothing this time of year. The cave is rather shallow and not likely deep enough for a den. But keep your eyes open for anything unusual.”

George called Old Blue to come along up and explore around the cave entrance. As Blue came bounding back through the brush a Ruffed Grouse sprang up and flew off into the laurel. Blue was ecstatic with excitement. Barking loudly, he took off after the bird. George called him back and they continued up the mountain side.

Reaching the entrance they noticed that the dead leaves were lying there untouched for quite awhile. Blue stopped, sniffed the leaves, and wandered on into the cave. It was empty as they suspected.

George took his flashlight from his pack and shown it into the cave.

Nothing has been living in here for some time,” George said. “This sure does bring back a lot of memories.” Right back there in the corner is where I hunkered down for the night, during the blizzard.

You were lucky you remembered this place,” Jim mused. “You might not have made it home alive if you hadn’t.”

I almost didn’t anyway,” thought George to himself.

Go ahead, Jim. Crawl back in there and see what it feels like.”

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

These Hands of Mine

As you might know if you have read my earlier posts, I am trying something new during this cold month of January. I am learning to draw from the book Drawing from the Right Side of Our Brain, by Betty Edwards.  In this lesson on drawing the hand she had me make a plastic covered frame and hold it over my left hand in different positions. Then with a dry erase marker I had to close one eye and trace what I saw through the plastic. It is amazing how that helps get the proportions correct. I then traced the hand, with my right hand, onto paper, as you can see below.

Perspective changes

When seen from a different view

Hand sketches emerge

Below is a knight on a horse that I drew upside down. I got the horses head a little too small, so it did not come out quite as well as I had hoped, but still satisfactory.

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More sketches today 1-22-22

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