Goodbye Dear Sister

Dwight Priscilla

Today I received word that my sister Priscilla passed away. It is a very sad day for her family and for all of us. She was five years older than me and always looked out for me when I was young. She enjoyed reading her favorite books to me. Some were the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew Mysteries, and Sherlock Holmes. She was smart, energetic, and full of life. I always looked up to her. She had a very engaging personality and loved interacting with people, especially children who loved the attention she showed them. She will be greatly missed.

You always looked out

for me, making impressions.

Epitaphs on my soul

Free from sickness, free from pain

May your spirit find peaceful rest…

Dabbling in Watercolors


I was invited to do a painting session with the after-school reading program sponsored by our Weddington Methodist Church Monroe campus. It is a bi-lingual church and the students who come are from local Latino families. I decided to do watercolors since they are less messy and easy to clean up.

I did a few sketches beforehand and had them printed on140# paper. We decided to try the turtle. About eight to ten children showed up and we painted for about a hour. I learned that we will need wider brushes for the next session. Even so, the children had a good time and stayed focused as they followed me painting the turtle. The picture above showed some of their results. We had a great time. They ranged from kindergarten to fifth grade. Below are some of the sketches I tried to see what might work.

Watercolors run

as blues blend with yellow hues

Dip and brush is key


After school kids create joy

Perfection is not the goal

Click on the painting to enlarge:

Watercolor paintings: Dwight L. Roth

Nature’s Song

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Mountain storm passes through

Pisgah National Forest

Water roars over Looking Glass Falls

Thunder booms… Lighting flashes

Tons of shale hang out over the falls

unfazed by natures fury


Today’s Carolina Blue sky

embedded on flat rocks

Mountain stream gurgles over

wet stones

polished and shaped

over ten thousand summers and winters


Native Americans sat on these rocks

drank from this stream

enjoyed the beauty of the falls

long before we arrived…

to claim it!

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

This is a poem I wrote a year or two ago. I reworked it and added to it so I could present it for an upcoming Old Mountain Press Anthology. I got word today that it has been accepted.

Holy Roller or Rolling in Holy Dough

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A holy shift from a vow of poverty

to riding in holy luxury.

As coffers fill with holy dough

Temptation entices as offerings flow.

Convincing oneself it is not excess

Just God’s servant, truly blessed…

from the Lord Most High

Never asking why



Photo: Dwight L. Roth

As the seasons shift from Winter to Spring, today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to write a poem (a 44 word Quadrille) using any form of the word shift. This afternoon, as I was waiting at a stop light, the car in front of me had a most interesting license plate. It brought all kinds of thoughts to mind as I pondered what it might mean for the driver of the car. There are many Christians who believe in what is known as the “Prosperity Gospel” and probably just as many who see it as contradiction to what Jesus taught. ( WWJD) I took the liberty to pass a little judgement of my own here. What do you think? (Perhaps I should not cast the first stone!)

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Golden Gate

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Back in the summer of 1989, we took a family trip to the west coast. Our boys were teenagers and we wanted to get this trip in before the oldest graduated from high school, so we packed up our 85 Mazda 626 and put a top carrier on the roof to haul our camping equipment. It was a grand family time. We came through San Francisco late Sunday afternoon. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and stopped at the pull-off on the East side. I took this picture as a photo at that time. Many years later I decided to attempt painting it.

This painting was done back in 2018, but I was not happy with the way it looked. I decided today to repaint over it and brighten it up a little. I think I like the way it turned out. Seems we artists are never quite satisfied with our work. I found that most of the time it is better to leave things alone, but I think this was an improvement over the original one.

Golden Gate Bridge shines

in the late afternoon sun

Cargo ship chugs on

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Dig a Little Deeper

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When the honeymoon is over, and things have settled down

And the exhale that follows leaves you fully unwound

Dig a little deeper… create another round.


She’s pregnant with one and then there are two

And there’s no sleep at night and more work to do

Dig a little deeper… do your share too.


There are diapers to change and babies to feed

No time for you, life spins at warp speed

Dig a little deeper… let her know she’s the one you need.


When the kids have grown, and activities never stop

Enjoy those moments, help them come out on top

Dig a little deeper… cheer them on, enjoy their shouts.


When the empty nest is now your own

And all of your sweet children have long since flown

Dig a little deeper… as life moves on.


Time to rediscover who you are now

Relight the flame of love for a while

Dig deeper… find out who she is now


As the years move on and our bodies taunt us

with aches and pains and demanding sorrows

Dig deeper… find out who you are.


Life changes us whether we like it or not

Good memories of life and lessons to be taught

Dig deeper… reflect… and share them now …


Though they won’t be heard…

‘til we’ve been gone for awhile.


Photo: Dwight L. Roth 

Posting for d’Verse open link night… 

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Places and Spaces

Going back home…

“For me this journey was like going in the depths of my heart’s womb, like looking in the mirror of life, looking at oneself through so many eyes that have known me but inside them they are changing, like I am changing in me and none, no one can even say or do anything about it.”

~ Narayan Kaudinya – East Indian Endologist – The Road to Nara

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My visit back home a few years ago was a clash

between past nostalgia and present reality.


The house where I was born so full of memories

Now overgrown with bushes and run down;

Reality bites as I take in the view…

Perhaps that is why we tend to remember the good

and let the bad things that happened to us

sift through the hands of time and fade into oblivian.


The church where I listened to my father preach

still looks much the same, as does the cementery

extending up the hill behind, which now holds

many of my friends and neighbors from childhood.


There are a few people still around, just as old as me,

who remember the good times and talk of days gone by.

People such as Mary Ann who turned ninety this week

and was lovingly celebrated at a church dinner

that my two brothers drove many hours to attend.


It was a grand time of appreciation and love

the kind that should be given while one is still alive

instead of kind sentiments when we have passed

and never get to hear what is spoken.


Sometimes I wonder why we go back

knowing it’s not the same, yet feeling the yearning

to once again relive a good moment or feel the love

of friendships long past.


Places and spaces do hold meaning long after they

have changed or disappeared, and we desperately

cling to their memory so we can feel that at least,

that part of us hasn’t yet died or faded away.


Photos: Dwight L. Roth and Phil Roth

Today at d’Verse, Ingrid asked to think about Places and Spaces that were special in our life and write a poem about them. I did a train of consciousness poem reflecting on my childhood home where I was born.

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The Old Man of the Mountain

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The Old Man of the Mountain

“You must see it,” Robert told Jen. “It’s breathtakingly beautiful sitting five thousand feet above sea level. The rock formation looks just like an old man in repose. That is why they call it Grandfather Mountain.”

The more he talked, the more excited she became. “And there is a mile-high swinging bridge stretching from the gift shop to the foot of the climb. It is made of metal and anchored with thick steel cables keeping it from swinging too much on windy days.”

As they drove along, Jen’s mind floated in and out trying to visualize what he was telling her. Winding their way up the narrow road, they arrived at the gift shop. The view was spectacular.

As they sat atop the “Old Man’s” head, Jen turned to Robert and said, “In space in time I sit, thousands of feet above the sea.”

Photos of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, we are writing prosery, which is a flash fiction piece of 144 words that must include a given line from a poem in the story. Merril gave us this line:

In space in time I sit thousands of feet above the sea.”

From May Sarton, “Meditation in Sunlight”

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