What’s Your Sign

Signs seem to be an important part of our lives. I remember when people would ask each other, “What’s your sign?” This usually referred to the signs of the Zodiac. In our world we take signs for granted, including when to cross the street, or where to cross, what to watch out for, where not to turn, and so many more. We depend on signs to send us in the right direction, show our streets, or the roads we are riding on. One sign many ignore is that little box that says, “I read and understand the rules and policies for this App!” Overwhelmed we just click and go on.

Even more disturbing is our failure to read Nature’s signs… wear your mask, get your vaccine shots, our climate is changing, our world population is spiraling upward, pollutions is killing our environment, and many more. To borrow a quote from Bill Engvall, “Here’s Your Sign!”

Signs of the times speak

Humans fail to hear prophets

Living in denial

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Nature is my Muse

Today at d’Verse, Ingrid asked us to write a poem describing our muse. In the past poets were often inspired by a person who stimulated their imagination and brought life to their poems. My muse is Nature. One thing I enjoy as much as writing is getting a good nature shot. The bees and butterflies, birds and flowers all feed into my poetry in some way. When my mind goes dry, I can always count on my photo files to get my juices flowing.

Inspiration flows

from Nature’s muse to my thoughts

Honey of the mind

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Painting Peru (photo montage)

In 2014 some neighbors we met from down the street came by my house and said they saw me painting in the garage. They wanted to commission me to paint several small paintings for them. His wife was from Peru and wanted some mementoes of Peruvian art. They gave me some pictures they wanted painted and I said I would try. After a couple of weeks, I had them done. They were pleased and I was happy to get a paid painting job. I don’t remember all the names of the objects. Perhaps you might know. One was a famous beach and another was a famous canyon, as deep or deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Peruvian Art

Meaningful home memories

Paintings on the wall

Paintings: Dwight L. Roth

Cicada’s First Song

Claws firmly attached, it hangs on to my old bird house wires being swallowed up by the willow tree! Seeing it hanging there was a most interesting sight. I wasn’t sure at first if it was alive or not, so I tapped it and found it hollow. The cicada, or seventeen year locust comes up out of the ground every seventeen years, usually attaching itself to a tree, and bursts out of its shell. Then it sings with his wings trying to attract a mate. Ours are usually green in color and about twice as big as the original shell. This one is a photographer’s dream shot. I was very excited to see it hanging there.

Cicada shell sways

Remnant of its dark past life

My bird house long gone


Hollow memories still hang on

Cicada sang its first song

Thrill Ride

Today Sir Richard Branson and his crew tested his Virgin Galactic space rocket that will take you to the edge of Space over fifty miles high, and then back to land like an airplane. People are signing up to ride the next flight at $250,000 each. It seems people with lots of money are always looking for the next big thrill.

Rich billionaires race

to create people’s first thrill ride

People pay big bucks

for the Virgin’s first high trip

Pushing Earth’s limits

Stamp art: Dwight L. Roth

Fruit of the Vine (haiku)

Grapes ripen on vines

Turning blue in summer sun

Squirrels may get first taste

My first good harvest

Will I get a taste at all

Other mouths compete

Globes of green sunshine

Pure sweet transformation waits

To see who tastes first

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Clauda at d’Verse, asked us to write a poem about our garden. I wrote this one last week about my grapes and competition with the squirrels for the fruit. I am now getting some sweet blue ones. They are wonderful. Since many of the d’verse group did not see this poem, I thought I would post it for our prompt this evening.

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CSX at Indian Trail

The old arts center at Indian Trail, NC was along side the railroad tracks. CSX trains often came rummbeling through the crossing, interrupting our live poetry readings. Susan Dedier, who was the director of the Arts Center at the time, was a great supporter of the arts. She was a fan of my art work as well, posting many of my paintings on the walls of the center. A few years ago the town of Indian Trail built a large new administrative complex. The small Arts Center was sold and our wonderful poetry readings sadly came to an end.

Before the Live Poetry Readings ended. I painted this large painting for her in appreciation of her support of my art and poetry. It was a 4 ft x 5 ft canvas that I got from the Habitat Restore. I primed and painted it with a large CSX train coming through the crossing. The building in the painting is Lilly’s auction house that sat on the opposite side of the tracks.

CSX freight train

Rolls through the IT crossing

Rattling our poems

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Kym Gordon Moore was our poetry host for these sessions, and it is because of her that I am writing this blog. I want to give her a shout out here:

Looking Upward | From Behind the Pen (wordpress.com)

Lifting Others Helps Us to Rise | From Behind the Pen (wordpress.com)

Ancient Superhero

This past week we visited the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. It has a great collection of Mexican, Central American, and Peruvian artifacts. It is amazing to see the detailed work on each object. Each piece was made with a purpose in mind. Many had spiritual significance attached with them. This rugged looking warrior reminded me of all the superheroes that have become so popular in the past few years.

Warrior in black paint

Headbanging club held ready

Past superhero


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Brown-headed Nuthatch

 Brown-capped Nuthatch comes

Visiting my birdfeeder

Grubs and bugs thankful

Peaks in my window

Wonders what I am doing

Mate raising a fuss

IPhone Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The Brownheaded Nuthatch is a small songbird found in mature pine forests throughout the Southeastern United States. It has a brown head and cap, and gray upper parts, while their bellies are white with some gray markings.. They eat spiders, beetle larvae, cockroaches, and egg sacs. ~ Bing

Rings and Wrinkles

“When you split your own wood, it warms your twice!”

I loved taking the maul and lifting it back over my head, bring it down hard enough to make the wood fly in both directions. I split my own firewood for many years, until one day I ended up with two ruptured discs. We had a fireplace insert wood stove that provide a lot of good heat from that wood. It is true what they say, “When you split your own wood, it warms your twice!” After my back surgery, I got smart and purchased a used wood splitter which saved my back and worked very well.

Cutting through the tree trunks with a chainsaw was exciting to me. I never knew what I would fine inside. Narrow rings and wide rings revealed dry years and wet years. Counting the rings gave me an idea how old the tree might be. Sometimes there were hollow rotten spaces, filled with termites or ants, that showed the tree was not in the best of health. Wood is a great renewable resource, when trees are replanted and managed for the future.

Rings left in a tree

Like wrinkles on our faces

Nature’s History Book

How old do you think this oak tree might have been?!

Photos: Dwight L. Roth