Humming Bird

There you are every morning at my perch

Drinking from my fermented fountain

Addicted to the sour nectar

All of your iridescence shimmering in the sunlight

Pausing now and then to look at me

As I make my morning coffee

Movement in the shadows

Not sure what to make of me

The sunlight blinding your view

Making it difficult to see the details

Yet you come back every day

Finding nourishment and strength

In the liquid of life that sustains you

Hoping to get your fill

Before another drives you away

Claiming it to be theirs alone

Sort of like my view of God…

Moving in the shadows of my life

Providing sustaining strength and hope

Not exactly sure what I am seeing

Everyone thinking they alone have it right

Blinded by the light of Grace

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

A Bud of Hope

At the base of each drying leaf

Is a bud full of life and potential

Waiting patiently for summer’s heat

Or winter’s cold to pass

Knowing Spring will bring renewal



Behind all that crushes you

Makes you feel devastated

Hopeless and distraught

Lies a bud of strength and potential

The creator’s promised hope

Waiting for you to recognize

That your spring has arrived

Once more

Photo: Dwighr L. Roth

The Silent Voice

In the recesses of the mind

Where reason and conscience lie

Right along side the knowledge of good and evil

There comes a sound // not in words

But a silent voice speaking to me

Not with scream nor shout

But with a still small (silent) voice

Heard above the noise of loud voices

Clamoring for my attention

Heard above the noise of city streets

Roaring trucks and honking taxis

Above social media smart phones

Spewing out trivial pursuits

The silent voice always there…

The other option

Some call it mystical

Others hear nothing

But I hear the silent voice of God

Speaking into my soul…

The voice that says, “I love you my child.”

“No matter what you might do,

I love you!”

“Be all you can be!”

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Reposting this one from 2019

When My Spirit Rises

This week my childhood friend and his wife lost their middle-age son to cancer. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child. As I share in their sorrow, I wanted to share this poem that I have posted a few times before. It expresses my understanding of what it is like to pass on from this life to the next.

When my spirit rises

Unencumbered and free

No weight or worry accompanies me

Interesting that I value things

When in the end the spirit flies

Leaving them all behind

How much I worry and fret

But this too shall pass when I am gone

My spirit rises out of this shell

A virtual butterfly reborn

From caterpillar to chrysalis

Reborn in the image of God

Spirit Creator Redeemer Savior

Knowing there is no place for the earthly

In the spirit world beyond

I can’t take it with me

But then again… Why would I want to

When my spirit rises

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Independence Day…”all men are created equal”

Fourth of July 2012

I wrote this poem almost ten years ago. Thinking about the 4th of July and what independence day really means, I realized that it is all in the perspective from which it is viewed. It may be uncomfortable to look back at history the way it really was and know that for many generations, equality was nowhere to be found. A lot has changed in the last ten years, but inequality still exists in our nation. What will you and your children do to bring about change for the common good?

When all the fireworks fade into ashes

And the Bar-B-Que grills have cooled.

When the wide eyes of the children close in blissful sleep

Do you ever wonder what Independence Day really means…

To the ancestors of African slaves brought here in the holds of ships

Who look back at our forefather who bought and sold them,

Forefathers who wrote, “all men are created equal,”

And realize, the dark ones were not included.

In the words of, Thomas Jefferson, “less than human…”

Or, perhaps, to the Native Americans who loved the free and open spaces

Only to be run off their lands, pushed into the deserts,

Left where summer heat scorched them

And winter snows chilled them to the bone,

Where animals were few and crops refused to grow…

Were they a part of “All men are created equal?”

No, in the words of our former Presidents,

“They were just savages… they were less than human.”

Or, perhaps, to the ‘”Illegal Aliens” who scrub our floors,

Pick our fruits and vegetables, build our houses,

And mow our lawns and mulch our shrubs,

Are they part of “All men are created equal?”

No, in the words of many of us, “They are just ‘wetbacks,’”

Nameless illegals, “…Who should be sent back where they came from.”

Though we may not say it, some of us think they too are less than human.

How quickly we forget the dark side…

How soon we lay aside our guilt, insult, and pain…

We rise as a flower in the sidewalk crack,

Stepped on over and over again,

Yet, we rise and bloom from the strength of our roots.

Independence Day is a time to “Bloom”…

To draw from the strength of our roots… not to forget, but to move on

To all that we can become, in a land where in God’s eyes,

“All men are truly created equal!”

Words of Wisdom from Kipling

We all want the best for our children. As father’s. we hope to impart some wisdom to them in hopes that they might avoid some of the things we had to face. This reading from Rudyard Kipling came across Facebook on Father’s day. I thought it was such a great capsule of wisdom, not just for sons and daughters, but for all of us. Keeping one’s head while all around us others are losing theirs is very hard to do. We saw that very clearly with the Capitol riots in DC after the last election.

“If” means self-control

Life’s challenges are many

Hurricanes still come


Some succeed by accident

others by default

some by entitlement

living behind locked gates

But those who truly

make a difference

in this world

work hard

follow their heart

know who they are

do it for themselves

not to please others

knowing that success is

all about what you give

rather than what you can get

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posting on open link night at d’Verse Poets Pub. Join us at:

Writing Life Backwards

All you have to do is write one true sentence.
Write the truest sentence that you know.
― Ernest Hemingway

They call it the big dip

Some themid-life crisis”

Nest is empty

Chicks have flown

“What do we do now?”

So hard beginning backwards

Rewriting our life

Together or separate

Working back to love

(Put aside for the cause)

Finding that “bird” has flown;

But, it can be done

Counselors can help

The spark renewed

And life moves forward once more

Lisa at d’Verse, gave us several lines from Earnest Hemingways writings and asked us to write a poem inspired by one them. I chose: It is very hard to write this way, beginning things backward…
–The Torrents of Spring (1926) by Earnest Hemingway.

Mid-life brings with it many challenges. Many crash and burn at this stage of life. Others rethink life and with help move forward reinventing their relationship. It is a challenge either way. The ceramic above says it all for me. I dropped it one day and broke it in half, but the felt on the back kept it together. I glued it together, and on the back I wrote, “Cracked, but not broken” This is how I see our relationship.

I could have chosen this Hemingway line as well: The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.–A Farewell to Arms (1929)

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Curious Minds

Children are curious, you know

Until an adult tells them they are not to be

“Don’t touch that, you’ll get your hands dirty”

“I’ll tell you about that when you get older”

“It is not polite to ask such questions”

Curiosity silenced…

Lessons lost


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today is Quadrille Monday at d’Verse. De asked us to write a Quadrille (exactly 44 words) using the word curious.

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My Verse

Some may ask the reason of existence

This short lived life…

Here today // gone tomorrow

Of what value is my being

Why do I write poetry

Paint pictures with words

Or with a brush

I write because

I am a member of the human race

I write because I am alive

Full of passion and urgency

Finding connection

Creating purpose


We are all part of the play of life

“…The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse…

What will your verse be?”

Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to choose a favorite line from a movie and write it into a poem. I chose a line Robin Williams tells his class in the movie, Dead Poets Society. “…The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse…What will your verse be?”

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth