Choose Your Hypnotist


A willing subject is the key

Believing all will be

What is spoken to me

Tickling my itching ears

Stirring my righteous anger

Calling me to do what

I would never dream of doing

had this spell not been cast

on me…

so willingly

This is my second poem for the prompt Spell. As I watch some of what is going on with the Senate hearings on the January 6th riots at the Capital, I had to think about why this happened. The hypnotist chooses willing subjects to do his bidding, but the subjects usually choose who they want for their hypnotist! This is not only true in politics.

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth


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I met my friend Sri last week for lunch. We had a wonderful time catching up with life and family and changes. He knows I have a sweet tooth, so he bought me a large cinnamon bun for dessert. I split it and we both enjoyed this shared experience. Good friends are wonderful and make life a joy.


Some think life’s choices are about being right or wrong

I believe my choices are more about how life makes me feel

The love of another, the joy of a child, the compassion of a friend

Life is about that connection I feel when someone gets me and I them

That connection of interaction and validation beyond the superficial

A person can follow all the rules and “do things right”

and still be miserable, if that feeling of connection is missing

Life for me is about sharing the joy I feel with others

in spite of knowing some will never quite understand who I am

It is the appreciation that comes with kind affirmation

that renews and restores my confidence in myself

Life that is only about being right or wrong is a very cold life

For me, life is about feeling and loving deeply and caring for others

It is what makes my life worthwhile


Photo selfie: Sriam B.

Unwanted Treasures

Walnut table

I believe meaning and purpose often dies with us. Emotions are very hard to pass on …except through genetic predispositions. So much is gone when one dies. A lifetime of memories and stories are left untold, while a few cherished moments and trauma live on …sometimes for generations.

I see it happening, when I volunteer at the Habitat Restore. Parents die leaving a houseful of keepsakes. A handful are saved, and our box truck brings us the rest. Stuff often loses meaning when passed from generation to generation. Young folks have their life, their own stuff; So, unwanted treasures from the past go to be sold to someone who will cherish them, and then perhaps they too will be passed on, resold, or discarded.

Our cherished treasures

full of memories long past

Help build new houses



Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Note: Habitat for Humanity Restore is a place that takes donations of many kinds that are resold. The money is used to build new low-income houses for families who otherwise would not be able to afford one. In the past our store alone has taken in enough in one year to build ten new houses.

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Not Calm nor Bright

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All is calm, all is bright

Until shattered by the unthinkable

Shots ring out amid terrified screams

Each shot piercing our souls as well

As one by one they are silenced

Beautiful, sweet spirits rise

Returning to their creator

A cauldron of tears, anger, and anguish

Stirs and boils over with each reflection

Questions of why repeated over and over

Questions of how those in power

Continue to bow to those who fill their coffers

Deliberate inaction makes accomplices of each one


Wounded Butterfly Photo: Dwight L. Roth

To be shared on d’Verse poets pub.

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We are of One Blood

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When self-preservation

at all cost

overrides our understanding

of humanity,

Ideologies arise

blinding us to the truth

that we are all of

One Blood

that pumps

through our veins


with you or me

regardless of color

race or ethnicity,

Life-saving blood


that we are all one

in the midst of

our diversity,

but not exclusive

in value

or superior in


We are humanity

created in the image

of our creator

Spiritual channels

of light

in the darkness

We are hope and comfort…

not death and destruction.


My sad condolences to the people of Buffalo whose family members were attacked and killed yesterday by a raving lunatic who thought his humanity was greater in value than the lives of others who were different from him.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Finding Success

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Success comes from within

Not from what we have

or the car we drive

or the house we live in

or the trophies we have won

Success is getting up when you fall

Believing you can continue on

Knowing who you are

And what you can do

Success is loving and being loved

Knowing the value of family

The importance of friends

And that children are an extension of you

Success is giving $15 worth of work

On a job that pays only $10 an hour

Success is treating others with respect

even when you are mistreated

Success is standing up for justice

For those who are being oppressed

Success comes from within

From the core of your being

Success is who you believe you are

and being all you can be

Success is loving God and those around you

being willing to serve others for the good of all


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posting on d’Verse Open Link night:

Moon with a Moon

~When Climate Change won’t matter…

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When the earth hiccups and burps

Covering green with light gray

Will the Earth become

all crusty, powdery and dusty…

a Moon with a Moon?


 Painting changed to Black and White:  Dwight L. Roth



Check-out Time

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Static hisses in the brain as we struggle

to overcome the feeling of helplessness

spinning in a vortex of anxious thoughts.

Isolation seems needed to wipe it away

Cheerleaders tell you to cheer up

sharing thoughtless advice making it worse.

Only solution… self-destruct!

Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to use the word static as our Quadrille prompt. I grew up in an age of radio static on AM stations too weak to hear. We loved playing with static on balloons as we rubbed them on our sweaters and stuck them on the wall. I can still feel the static shock from the doorknob after walking across nylon carpeting.

My poem today reflects the static we hear in our heads. As many of you know Naomi Judd from the country music duo, The Judds, passed away yesterday due to her struggle with ongoing mental illness. If you have ever struggled with depression, you know there are no easy solutions. Many cannot stand the ongoing static in their heads and decide to check out early. If you are struggling, reach out for help rather than thinking life is hopeless and there is no solution. Life is too precious to lose.

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Collateral Damage

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Collateral Damage

What happens to all those lives lost in war

Those blown to smithereens or shot and left

What happens to those back home who wonder

or to refugees leaving all behind who wander

What happens to the bodies found on the streets

and the nameless buried in mass unmarked graves

What will become of those who survive

battle after battle on the home front, never knowing

if this day or tomorrow or some future moment

will be their time to depart

And then, there are the children who will never be the same

Robbed of their childhood, scared for life

after seeing mortars and bombs blow up their homes

they huddle against their mothers hoping their train

will make it to the boarder, wondering if they will

ever see their fathers… there brothers… their neighbors

again following this living hell they are going through

The collateral damage of war goes on for generations

Some will choose to exit early while others will wake up

terrified, screaming from the nightmare of memories

attempting to make sense of it all in their dreams

Yet, generation after generation we continue to refuse

to turn swords into plowshares and live at peace


Photo: Dwight L. Roth