I See You in There!


Laras knot hole eye

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a Ponderosa Pine stump and can’t get out? Maybe all this staying at home, for who knows how long, will teach us what bears already know; how to hibernate and sleep through the down times! Hopefully we won’t stay as long as Rip Van Winkle. Even so, by the time we come back out the world will be a different place than the one we remember.

Smiling eye peaking

through the knot-hole in our tree

“Come out! It’s springtime!”


The air is fresh // sky is blue

We miss your hugs Grandma


Photo: Lara Z. Condon

Furry Little Gift


Over the weekend I found some old slides of our kitten we got back in 1993. He had a lot of love to give us, and we had much to learn from him. Boxes, bags and newspapers were his favorite things. He would play hard and then take a nap. Then he was back at it for a second round. Problem was he racee up and down the stairs at !0:30 at night, right after we went to bed.  He was with us for the next fifteen years. We loved him dearly.

Play hard // take a nap
A balanced life // play and rest
A lesson to learn


No care in the world
For us // cares overwhelming
Learn to live and love


Photos: Dwight L. Roth



When I think of morning, I think of Cat Stevens’ masterpiece, Morning Has Broken, which he recorded during his rise in popularity many years ago. It has become a hymn sung in many churches and never seems to grow old. His worshipful praise for the magnificence of the new day dawning is unparalleled.

More often, when I think of mornings I think of waking up slowly to the smell of coffee perking. Since I am a night person, it seems to take a while for me to get motivated in the morning. Breakfast cereal and a glass of orange juice will see me through to lunch time. I like my orange juice as much as I do my half a pot of coffee that I drink while watching the morning news.

Morning has broken

Fall sunshine streams through my pane

Orange juice makes me smile


Video Clip from Youtube

Mish at d’verse asked us to write a Haibun (consisting of a short prose and a Haiku) describing our morning. The song above has long been a favorite of mine so I included it as well.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com


Crickets’ Last Song

Bridgewater Elementary - terrariam

One fall, in my early years of teaching Elementary School, I built a terrarium creating a closed ecosystem for my classroom. We included dirt,  gravel, chunks of grass, rocks and sticks. We found a large preying mantis on the schoolyard and put it in the tank, along with a toad, earthworms, moths, pill bugs, and crickets. The students really enjoyed watching all the activity in the tank.

The crickets in the tank made their chirping sounds as we went about our school day. Little did they know the mantis sitting silently  up on the dead branch was waiting patiently  for her chance to grab one of them for lunch. When the mantis caught one, the children watched in awe as she systematically devoured the cricket. She was preparing to create her egg sac!

Cricket’s soulful sound

Chirping last mating song __

Fall mantis waiting


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Victoria at d’Verse gave us crickets as our prompt for Haibun Monday.  Crickets are an indication that fall is on the way once more. I decided to share how crickets contribute to my classroom during my teaching day back in the 1970’s

Join us at d’Verse : https://dversepoets.come


Web Makers


All around my back yard, flower beds, and garden, I am finding spiders at work building webs, hoping to snare some unsuspecting insect. As summer draws to a close, fall sneaks in quietly, with shorter days and welcomed cooler temperatures. Spiders will use their catch for nourishment to help then create an egg sacs that will survive fall and winter, hatching in the spring as warm days return again. The cycle of life continues.

Spiders keep spinning

Autumn’s internal clock ticks

Bugs feed urgency


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Written for Frank Tassone’s Saturday Haikai challenge.  Our writing needed to reflect the message that autumn is near.

#Haikai Challenge #47 (8/18/18): autumn near (aki chikashi) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

Pray for Peace


Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

Today is the day set aside in Japan to remember those who died or were injured in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. Two nuclear bombs were dropped three days apart, the first on Hiroshima and the second on Nagasaki, wiping out both cities, killing mostly civilians in the horrific blast. The effects are still felt as people gather for a peace ceremony honoring the dead. The question that comes to my mind is why two bombs? Surely the death of 250,000 people in the first drop should have been enough to bring an end to the war. From the information I read, there were six bombs scheduled for dropping. What were we thinking?

Revenge is not sweet
Blue sky becomes mushroom cloud
Gray chill of death lingers


Frank Tassone is our guest host at d’verse today. He is asking us to write a Haibun (short prose and a haiku) that reminds us of the chilling horrors brought about by the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan during WWII.

Join us at d/Verse: https://dversepoets.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Second Year Mutations


Gregor Mendel was a pioneer in studying genetics in peas. It is amazing how far the study of genetics has come. You can send off and order a DNA test that will tell you your origins and also, people who have the same DNA who might be your long lost relative. But, the genetic changes that take place in people and flowers has never changed. When two flowers come together through pollination, the genetics and DNA are mixed and altered. Sometimes odd mutations occur. I love exploring the genetic changes in flowers by saving the seeds and replanting them the next year. The mix of genes in these zinnias from last year are evident in the new flowers produced this year. Most are still the same, but these few come through missing some petals and parts.  I will save the seeds from them and see what comes out next summer. Enjoy my odd flowers.

Zinnias full bloom

Summer sun accents beauty

Mutant genes revealed














Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Hope you enjoyed my little botany lesson!

Mom’s Kitchen

Pop cutting Phils hairLittle Brother Phil getting a hair cut on the kitchen table

At my house growing up, the kitchen was the center of daily activity. It was barely big enough to house a stove, a fridge, a cabinet, and a table.  The kitchen was a hum with my mom cooking, canning, or baking. I loved licking chocolate off the spatula and beaters after she mixed up a cake.

In the winter, it became the laundromat, where underwear hung on a wooden rack. like spokes on a wheel. My mom and sister sprinkled clothes from the basement and placed them rolled up into the wicker basket to be ironed. The ironing board was set up in the hallway between rooms with steam hissing all morning long as they pressed the shirts, slacks, and dresses.

Off to the side was the pantry with a large porcelain sink and a tall set of cupboards for storing dry goods. I can still see my father cleaning chickens from our pen in that sink.  It was a grand time to be alive.

Sleet strikes window panes

Winter clothes pressed and hanging

Pressure cooker sings


Photo from the family album

Today on d’Verse, Lillian asked us to write a haibun following the strictly traditional Japanese rules. It includes a short prose reading followed by a haiku that eludes to something seasonal.  She asked us to go back in our memory to the house we grew up in and pick a room to write about. I chose our family kitchen.

Come join us at: https://dversepoets.com


Lonely Condor (a Haibun)


The California condor remains one of the world’s rarest bird species. It is one of the world’s longest-living birds, with a lifespan of up to 60 years.  The species is listed by the IUCN as critically endangered.

A conservation plan was put in place by the United States government that led to the capture of all the remaining wild condors which was completed in 1987, with a total population of 27 individuals.

These surviving birds were bred at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and the Los Angeles Zoo. Numbers rose through captive breeding and, beginning in 1991, condors were reintroduced into the wild. Since then, its population has grown, but the California condor remains one of the world’s rarest bird species. As of December 2016, there were 446 condors living wild or in captivity.  

Lonely Condor floats

On updrafts of summer winds

No others in sight


Painting of the California Condor: Dwight L. Roth

Information about the Condor from Wikipedia

Summer Invasion


Sms the tw thngs t avd in wrtng r rlgn nd pltics. Bt as I st n my chr wrtng ths Hibn th ft mma sqrrl hs clmbd my fder ple and s etng sds whl hngng upsd dwn.

Not only has she crossed the boarders of my yard, “without passing go or collecting her $200!” Along with her, she brings her three or four young ones, born not more than two months before. I have been using the catch and return method of extraction. The young ones are easier to catch, but she is a tough mother who has been in and out of cages before, yet never caught.


Thgh t is sd t seprte the chldrn frm thr mthr, I jst cnnt cntnu t allw ths nvasn t cntnu. Thy r rlntlss nd as sn s n is captrd nd rturnd, thr mre shw p. I dn’t knw wht th answr mght b. Prhps I shld buld a wll!


Sweet little squirrels

Invade my yard and feeders

No wall will stop them


Photos: Dwight L. Roth

You might be wondering what in the world is going on with my Haibun today. Lillian asked us to break the rules and write a Haibun that doesn’t fit the norm. So… I am writing mine partially without vowels in the pros. If you can read it you are a genius, as Facebook posts say! Not only that, but I have chosen to write about a touchy political subject in our country today, squirrels crossing the border!

This is about as far out of the box as I think I want to get, so have fun and don’t send me any hate mail! Please!!

Come join us at d’Verse.