Paint me in the Shadows

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When my time has come and I am gone

Take my ashes and paint me in the shadows

Under the oak tree where memories were made…

In the shadows with the fungi and let me watch it grow

And feel the coolness of the wind floating through the leaves


When my time has come and I am gone

Brush me smoothly under rocks of overhanging cliffs.

Paint me in the shadows where cool water

Trickles its way gurgling neath the trees

And deer quench their thirst on hot summer days


When my time has come and gone

Blend my ashes onto boardwalk pilings.

Paint me in the shadows where I can hear

Excited children walking as the waves roll in

Splashing in the shadows and rolling out again


When my time has come and gone

Take me to the farm I loved so long ago

Paint me in the shadows of the furrows

Of rich dark dirt to nourish alfalfa roots

growing green and tall in the summer sun


When my time has come and gone

Paint me in the shadows of garden rocks

Where Zinnias grow tall to shade me

While bees and hummingbirds come and go

And little Wrens keep me alert with their song


When my time has come and I am gone

And my pigment has turned gray

Paint me in shadows of your memory

and I’ll be here to stay


Posting for Open Link night at d’Verse Poets Pub. Some winter reflections.

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Life’s Choices


Resolutions are simply acknowledging a bit of wisdom.

Like,” When you add something to the cupboard of life,

subtract something.”

Most are simply common sense that I should already know

Things that if done make life better for me and others

I don’t give much thought to resolutions… turned wishful thinking

I try to live every day the very best I can and not worry about the rest

When the time comes life will make my resolutions for me

Whether I like them or not

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Punam gave us a list of five resolutions. We were to pick one and incorporate it into a poem regarding resolutions. The one I chose is in dark print in my poem.

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Winter Flowers

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Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers. The bulbs begin pushing through the ground in the heart of winter. Every warm day in January brings the shoots up higher and higher. By the first of February yellow heads are ready to pop open. They are short-lived, but are a hopeful reminder that spring is not far away.

Hardy green shoots

push up through cold winter leaves

Yellow blossoms shine


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Frank asked us to write a Haibun that uses a form of the word heart!

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Shredded Lives

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Sadly, we have another incident of a young man, stopped by the police, ending in tragedy! Dragged out of his car the man was brutally beaten by five police officers. He died three days later in the hospital. The five police officers have been charged with murder. Bodycam video released has once again brought protesters out into the streets calling for justice. It is so sad to see this happen over and over again. When will we learn a better way to deal with our problems.

Another man dies

violently, beaten by cops.

Families’ lives shredded


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

An Odd Memento

Ovens of brick crumble, broken

Flames buried in the past


Echos of coke workers’ shovels

Smells of acidic smoke


Blackened brick reminds me of home

Rows of ovens glowing


I can hear the steam train rumble

Whistling at the crossing


Today at d’Verse, Grace asked us to consider mementos. We were to use a form created by Emily Romano, that is syllable based. The first line of eight syllables, the second line of six syllables, and the third of two syllables… is repeated four times.

When I went back to my hometown in Western Pennsylvania with my brothers a few years ago, we decided to look for remnants of coke ovens that used to turn coal into coke by burning off the gases in brick beehive ovens. They were last used in the 1950s. With the help of a friend who lives there, we were able to find some abandoned coke ovens. We hiked in through the brush to examine them. I brought back a piece of brick from one as a memento of my childhood.

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Photos; Dwight L. Roth

Photos: Ed West & Fayette County Historical Society

Cold Beauty

One of the things Facebook does is remind me of posts on this day from years past. Today I was reminded that in 2017 it was snowing and cold as you can see in the photo below. We sometimes think it is the red male cardinal that is the beautiful bird, but as you see here the female is also stunning!

Female Cardinal

Snow queen’s

gorgeous winter coat

accents winter snow

Female Cardinal 2

Photos; Dwight L. Roth

Frozen Melodies

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Life wraps its icy grip around us

Leaves us paralyzed and cold

Stealing our song… losing its tune;

Like wind-chimes frozen in time

Suspended between yesterday and tomorrow

Waiting for the warmth of another’s love

To melt the ice… giving us back our song

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’ Verse, Mish asked us to write a 44 word Quadrille using the word ice. My mind went back to the 17 inch snow fall we had over Christmas in 2010. I loved seeing this three foot icicle that froze over our wind-chimes on the back deck. It is a great metaphor for the things that happen in our life that we have no control over. Although they seem to paralyze us at the time, they will loose there grip and melt away over time.

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Past Loves

Athatbasca Glacier

Past loves are like a glacier

sliding slowly across our heart

an escarpment revealed…

leaving scars from long past

embedded in the rock of our being…

as it melts in the sunlight

of this present day


Past loves are like a glacier

Cold, solid, overwhelming

moving us into the future

as the sun warms our hearts

Slowly calving away

sometimes with great force

falling into warmer waters

to be remembered no more

Hubbard Glacier Calving (2)

Past loves are like a glacier

grinding away at our souls

moving slowly across our being

leaving only rubble in the moraine

glistening in the sunlight of a new day

lateral moraine

Past loves are like a glacier

slowly “Slip Slidin’ Away


Photos:  Athabasca Glacier, Hubbard Glacier, and Lateral Moraine   –   Bing Photo Images

~disclaimer… This is not written as a personal reflection, but from observations of those around me who have experienced love’s heartbreak.

This poem is for d’Verse Poets Pub Open Mic and Open link night.

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Unexpected Gifts

Gifts often come in unexpected ways

Ways undeserved and unpaid for

like the small woodland lying

just beyond our back deck

filled with tall trees reaching for the sky;

a home to squirrels and birds

who come to my feeder

on a cold January day


The house finch with his crimson red head

jockeying with the sparrows and titmice

for a place at the feeder


I watch the downy woodpecker

who gently dances down the wire

to the suet feeder hanging almost against

the glass of my living room window

He peaks in our open window and knows

all is well as he and she eat their fill…

Much less work than pecking into shedding bark

hoping to find a bug or termite hidden there


And then there is the cardinal

wearing a beautiful red coat

who competes with the wren

for seeds other birds wastefully pull out

as they mine for black oil sunflower seeds

hidden in the mix

Their scratching scatters seeds to the ground

where doves, squirrels, and towhees

“eat the crumbs from the master’s table”


Yes, some gifts cannot be bought with money

but leave me grateful, blessed,

and thankful beyond measure

on this January day

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Sanaa asked us to write about our January days and how we feel about them. I chose to write about all the beautiful birds that entertain me as I sit in my chair and watch them come and go. We own none of the trees behind us but enjoy the benefits of them being there every day, as the seasons change.

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Shadows Chillin’

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A number of years ago, I had a home repair business. I got a job out in the country north of Rocky Mount. As I drove my 85 Nissan pick-up around the corner off the main road, I saw a little country store. On a fence post near the parking lot was a homemade sign that said, “N0 CHILLIN’ ON THIS CORNER!” This was a colloquial way of saying, No Loitering.” I thought I would bring my camera and take a photo of that sign, but I never did.

In our part of North Carolina, there were lots of little stores, both in the city and in the country, that sold bread and milk, but made their money selling beer, wine, and cigarettes. The guys who worked with me called them “juice stores.” (I gather juice was a euphemism for alcohol.) Smoking and drinking were not uncommon outside these stores.

Winter brings short days

Shadows hang ‘round like “brothers”

Laughing and joking


Chillin’ outside the juice store

Watching people come and go


Photo:Dwight L. Roth