The Summer of ’69

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We were in love…

It was the summer that men first walked on the moon.’

I was going home with Ruth to meet her parents

We drove across country with friends…

2500 miles in a Ford Falcon

stopping in Illinois so they could be in a wedding,

then driving all night to Iowa City.

It was definitely not your usual trip

But, in five days we reached Edmonton, Alberta.

We both still had miles to go to reach our destination.

It was a wonderful trip, with tubing on the river

canoe rides on the lake, and a boat ride down river;

and, of course, spending time with her family.

The Apollo Moon Mission was in progress

Neighbors invited us to their house to watch

as Neal Armstrong took that first step onto the moon.

It was a little 13 inch black and white TV

with a fuzzy picture,

but we knew history was being made

in many ways in the summer of ‘69

Dwight & Ruth's Wedding0010 (2)

                  We were married after Christmas in 1969

Photo:from the family album and Jim Bowmen 

Today at d’Verse, Linda gave us the first lines of twelve different books and asked us to pick one to include in our poem. I chose ‘It was the summer that men first walked on the moon.’– Paul Auster, Moon Palace, Faber and Faber 1989. I have so many great memories from that summer.

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Dreams of Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms - Cedric

In our travels last weekend, we once again saw many family members we had not seen since before Covid. My nephew has a cute young girl who is full of life and lots of imagination. She told her parents she wanted to go to Japan to see the Cherry Blossoms. But instead of making that trip they came up with a compromise and drove to Washington, DC the next day where they saw these beautiful Cherry Blossoms in full bloom.

Cherry blossoms bloom

Lighting trees both near and far

Making young girls smile


Photo: Cedric Roth

Haibun Monday at d’Verse, with Frank Tassone giving us a Cherry Blossom prompt for spring.

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Pennsylvania Dragon

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Feeling a bit nostalgic this evening, I decided to repost this poem I wrote as a song in 2007 that describes the coal train as I remember it from childhood. You can see in the painting, it was an awesome site in the early evening as it rolled along the Monongahela River on its way to the steel mills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When it roared through the coal mining patches you could feel the ground shaking and rattled the windows in the houses. I called it the “*Pufferbilly Dragon” because of its great power and the visual effects of the smoke and steam coming out of it. 

Refrain: Steel wheels keep on turning

Keeping rhythm perfect time.

Hauling coke from the ovens

Hauling coal from the mines.


Down along the winding river, Monongahela was its name

Comes the “Pennsylvania Dragon,” Belching smoke, shooting flames.

Engine 29’s a coming, see the light and hear the steam.

As she passes Martin crossing, you can hear her whistle scream.


Whistle blowing at the crossing, black smoke pouring from her stack.

On to Pittsburgh she’ll be rolling, tomorrow she’ll be coming back.

Counting coal cars as she passes, waving to the engineer.

100 cars hauling heavy, red caboose at the rear.


Now the trains of my childhood are all silent, lost in time.

And those “Pufferbilly Dragons” are just memories on my mind.

Down along the winding river no more smoke or shooting flames.

Just the rumble of the diesel, but it’s just not quite the same.


Painting: Dwight L. Roth

The term Pufferbilly originated in the UK as you can read here:



Love Note on a Knothole


While in Pennsylvania this past weekend, I went with my brother to see a couple of covered bridges. At Cabin Run we stopped to take photos. As we were walking through the bridge, we noticed a plastic rose hanging from a knothole on the bridge wall. I do not know what motivated this person to leave the note at the bridge. Perhaps it is a place they used to drive through when they were dating. It could be that Bill passed on or they broke up the relationship. We will never know.

A rose and a note

Loving sentiments posted

Left on a knothole

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You can see the rose hanging on the far wall of the bridge!

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Lick the Paper


There was a time in American history

When paper caused the dumping

of a shipload of British tea.


Stamps of every kind left their mark

on taxes, certificates, and deeds.


Commemorative stamps collected

or licked were put on letters.

Can you taste the glue?


Stamp Art: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, De Jackson asked to think about paper and its uses and write a 44-word Quadrille. I chose stamps. They’ve been used in so many ways throughout recent history.

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Mourning or Celebrating

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New buds surround light

Filled with the hope of springtime

In church loved ones mourn

Remembering a life well lived

Celebrating family ties

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Yesterday we gathered with family and friends to remember the life of my brother’s wife. She was a beautiful strong woman, who spent 35 years of her life serving others as an Intensive Cardiac Care nurse. She was loved by all who knew her. Though we mourned her loss, we celebrated the gift she was to all of us.

Shadows of Sadness

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Spring sun shines brightly

Skies blue and cottony over head

Yet, shadows of sadness surround me


Life’s journey brought me here

Overcoming through ups and downs

Yet, shadows of sadness surround me


So quickly our good life gets disrupted

Many hide as tanks roll and bombs explode

As shadows of sadness surround them


As men take a stand and mothers flee

Innocent people die daily from blind destruction

And, shadows of sadness surround me


Power corrupts and divides us

Greed and Evil are Siamese twins

Yet, hope rises in the sadness that surrounds us


People with hope believe in their cause

Willing to die rather than loose their freedom

And, hope for their children empowers them…


In spite of the sad shadows that surround us all


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

I am sharing this tonight on the d’Verse poets open link night.

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