Cold Mountain Adventure

Uncle Fred's farm in winter! (3)

This is an old photo of my uncle’s dairy farm in Central Pennsylvania where my mother was born. I worked there for five summers and listened to him tell me tales of deer hunting on Stone Mountain, that rose up from the back of the farm. When I was sixteen, my parents took me there on Thanksgiving weekend so I could go hunting with him. In Pennsylvania the first day of deer season was the Monday after Thanksgiving.

It was freezing cold when we got up at 4:00 am to milk the twenty-six cows so we could be in the mountain before dawn. By 6:00 we were climbing that steep, snow-covered cold mountain. My Uncle told me to wait at the head of the hollow and he went back down to the pines to see if he could chase a deer up to me.

By 9:00, I was very cold as I waited. Nothing much was happening. About that time, I heard a deer coming up through the mountain-laurel. I was excited to see a six-point buck come into view. Without further details, I got my first deer on that cold mountain. It was an experience I will never forget.

Fresh snow crystals fall

Young hunter climbs cold mountain

One shot thinned the herd


Today at d’Verse, Frank asked us to write a Haibun* about a cold mountain. This prompt took me back almost sixty years to my teen years and my deer hunting adventure. I realize some of you may not be supportive of hunting but being raised with farming in my background killing animals for food was a common occurrence.  In this situation, the farm fields in Big Valley fed the deer all summer. It was important to keep the deer herd thinned each year to prevent overpopulation.

Photo shared from the family album

*   A Haibun is a short prose piece followed by a Haiku.

Join us at:

Waiting in Ukraine

Train stations crowded

Families leave all behind

Waiting…singing hymns


Women and children board train

Husbands sent back to front line


Train pulls out…tears flow

Lives hanging in the balance

Husbands take a stand


Explosions and destruction

Children cry for their fathers


Hope reigns in death

She Sings!

IMG_1042 (4)

Back in the days before Covid-19, I went to a nearby nursing care facility to read my stories and play my guitar and sing. They enjoyed Folk songs from the sixties and gospel songs. One of the residents who came was a stroke victim. She had a difficult time speaking, but when we sang, she sang right along with us. It was a very moving experience to see this happening. This poem is for her.

She sings

though she cannot speak.

Halting words


“Hel-l l lo.”

But, as the music plays…

Oh, can she sing

Every word plain and clear

smooth as jazz.

She sings


a smile

spreading across her face.

The words pour out


her soul

with rhythm…

and yes

with spoken words

clear and unchained.

For the stroke

did not

affect that part of her brain.


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Silent Voices

DSC_0242 (2)

Spring slams its door on winter’s icy blast

Calling the groundhog from its dark burrow

And snowbirds to make their way North again

As green shoots push their way up through dead grass

DSC_0235 (2)

A symphony of yellow daffodils

Lift their silent voices in joyous song

Basking in warm blue skies and bright sunshine

While my tiny little wren sings happy trills

DSC_0226 (2)

The hope of spring comes with evening frog songs

Rising from muck and mud to let us know

Their blended harmonies; Nature’s foreplay,

continues from pond and tree all night long

DSC_0236 (2)

Flowers bloom, Russian tanks invade Ukraine

to satisfy Putin’s lust for power


Daffodil Photos from my back yard today: Dwight L. Roth

Splitting the Heart

IMG_0361 (2)

Memories are meant to be opened

Just as a log is meant to be split

Revealing the beauty of its past

Grains rich with uniqueness

Only seen when the heart is opened`

Layers of memories like wood grain

Embedded in the heart of our being

Appreciated only when they are revealed

Some logs lay for years

Preserved by the swamp in which they lie

Only to be found, opened, and viewed with awe

Others rot away

Destroyed by circumstances beyond their control

Memories lost in the compost heap of time

Some go up in flames

Fleeting memories, like flash paper

Soon lost in smoke and ashes

Beauty lies not in the rugged bark

Nor in the gnarled limbs

But in the split layers of the heart

Inner beauty laid bare …uniqueness of the soul

Cherished memories…

the story our life


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Sand… or Gold?

EER_0697 (3)

Truth will set you free…

Sales-pitches creates blinders

Like panning for gold

One must wash away the sand

To find small nuggets of Truth


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lillian gave us several proverbs and adages to choose from to write a poem. I chose “The truth will set you free… from John 8:32.

Join us at:

Salty Dog Sue

Some like their men prim and proper

Dressed to a tee and looking dapper

But Miss Belinda Sue Pepper

Full of vim and fermented vinegar

was captivated

by Smilin’ Jack, when he said,

Honey, let me be your salty dog!”

How could she refuse?

Today at d’Verse, De Jackson asked us to spice up our Quadrille of 44 words with the word Salt or some form of it. I thought of the old song, Salty Dog Blues, that we used to sing in the dorm when I was in college a couple of years ago! Time for a bit of silliness to spice up the evening!

Join us at:


DSC_0992 (3)

The stone-cold moon has no light of its own

Yet shines brightly in the night sky

A round chunk of rock and dust that never gives a moan


Some hear it humming, bright and full in the stary sky

Some think it calls lovers to swoon

As it returns night after night and days roll by


We know its strong forces pull the oceans’ tides

Invisible rubber band hangs onto earth for dear-life

Wanting to fly, to sail beyond, yet sometimes runs and hides


Love it seems, like the moon, is only a reflection

Of that warm smile (of the sun) making it glow


This poem is a spin-off of an audio poem by Merril Smith.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Allensville Crossroad


I finished this acrylic painting today. It is set in central Pennsylavania’s Kishacoquillas Valley, near the village of Allensville. My grandparents lived on this road. When I worked on my uncle’s farm during my teen years, I rode my cousin’s bicycle down this road which is about a mile across. Lots of good memories here.

Allensville Crossroad

Sounds of Amish Buggies float

through my memories


Jack’s Mountain in the distance

Hugs Big Valley’s rich farmland

Painting: Dwight L. Roth