Attitude Adjustments



Back in the 90s when I was still teaching school, I was feeling burned out and disillusioned with my job. I did an assessment and looked at what it would take to get another job that would pay me what I was earning as a teacher. With my boys starting college it was not the time to bail out on my job. The only other option was to work on me! I finally came to this conclusion:

It is easier to change my attitude

Than to change my job


I found this to also be true in my marriage relationship.

It is easier to change my attitude

Than to change my spouse

I am sure there are other situations in life where this is applicable as well.

Muttart Conservatory Photo: Dwight L Roth


The three amigos

Music makes the blind man see again

“This sunny April afternoon” made me think of Danny

He loved music and singing in the choir

Being blind did not affect his singing voice

His harmony came through loud and clear

Diabetes took its toll on his health, but not his voice

At age seventy-four he wanted to learn the guitar

A big challenge for me to help him

Getting fingers in position.. on the right strings

Playing chords came in time as we met each week

I could feel the music flowing through Danny

We spent a great year playing and singing together

Although it seemed like his “life in a bottle” was dark

his imagination and memory were sharp and clear

Then came Covid-19… isolation separated us

Health issues took Danny from us only a year ago

We all miss him greatly

Music made the blind man see again

Teaching guitar to Danny and David (2)

Photos: Vera Payne

Posting for Punam’s poetry prompt, Music, on d’Verse Poets Pub. We were to include two of the song titles from a Linda Perry record album that she shared with us.  My quotes are in dark print.

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Intangible virtual reality surrounds us

All at the click of a key or tap of a thumb

We do it all on a miniature screen in seconds


What ever happened to newspapers you could hold

while having your morning coffee

and later use it in your cat’s litterbox


I still have my record collection but no player

Looking at those album covers I can still hear the music

Even cds are disappearing in front of our eyes

But then again, we have a playlist on our phone


Our social life seems to be on a screen as well

Three hundred friends on Facebook that we never see

 come across our screen… algorithms filter them out

And then the few that do show up might get three seconds

of our time as we scroll through looking for the unique

post that might grab us or repulse

Clicking likes or even loves along with emojis seems

to suffice as we race through looking for the next mind tickle


We don’t talk any more, we text or message people even when

we could click the number and talk to them in person

go figure

I guess the next generation will have a collection of cell phones

since it is the only thing tangible that they will have left

and all memories will be lost since they are no longer supported.


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Goodbye Dear Sister

Dwight Priscilla

Today I received word that my sister Priscilla passed away. It is a very sad day for her family and for all of us. She was five years older than me and always looked out for me when I was young. She enjoyed reading her favorite books to me. Some were the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew Mysteries, and Sherlock Holmes. She was smart, energetic, and full of life. I always looked up to her. She had a very engaging personality and loved interacting with people, especially children who loved the attention she showed them. She will be greatly missed.

You always looked out

for me, making impressions.

Epitaphs on my soul

Free from sickness, free from pain

May your spirit find peaceful rest…

Nature’s Song

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Mountain storm passes through

Pisgah National Forest

Water roars over Looking Glass Falls

Thunder booms… Lighting flashes

Tons of shale hang out over the falls

unfazed by natures fury


Today’s Carolina Blue sky

embedded on flat rocks

Mountain stream gurgles over

wet stones

polished and shaped

over ten thousand summers and winters


Native Americans sat on these rocks

drank from this stream

enjoyed the beauty of the falls

long before we arrived…

to claim it!

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

This is a poem I wrote a year or two ago. I reworked it and added to it so I could present it for an upcoming Old Mountain Press Anthology. I got word today that it has been accepted.

Moving Forward (flash fiction)

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It was Valentine’s Day which made the pain plunge deeper into her chest. Sophia knew the sacrifice Vlad made in the battle for Ukraine, fighting on the front-line resistance.

Her ticket was for two o’clock.

As tears ran down her face, she laid a red heart on his tomb stone. A handwritten note inside read:

We promised to love “till death do us part”

This whole last year, I could not let you go…

You were on my mind both day and night.

My grief was more than I could bear

The pain of your loss crushed

my soul… but…

This year’s a different thing, –

I’ll not think of you…’

as often…

I must move on to Poland

I know you will understand

My happiness is what you would want for me

You always have a place in my heart




Today at d’Verse, Merril asked us to write a prose piece that includes the line, “This year’s a different thing, –I’ll not think of you.” from a poem by Charlotte Mew. It cannot have more than 144 words.

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Fall Warmth

Pear Tree

Fall Warmth

The pear tree glows warm in the sunlight

with a mixture of yellow and rusty burnt umber.

It was first to put out flowers and green leaves,

Now, it is last to let leaves weep and stand naked

as cold winter shivers around it.


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lisa asked us to write a 44 word Quadrille that includes the word Warm or Warmth. I was admiring the colors in the small pear tree today that I planted a few years ago, in honor of my wife’s father who passed away. It was glowing in the late sunlight and a warm Fall day.

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You were born in the dark of the moon! Through the smoke-hole in the top of the wigwam, I could see the night sky. Between my contractions I could see all the way out into the Milky Way. Ursa the Bear roamed about with his little brother, as Taurus the Bull charged into the celestial China Closet breaking the crystal. flinging it across the galaxy.

The flow of sweet dreams was injected with bouts of pain. You took your time coming out, but late into the night you made your entrance, screaming at the top of your lungs, waking everybody in the village.

I held you up to the heavens. ‘In the street of the sky night walks scattering poems’ of glittering light. It was then, my beautiful son, that I decided to call you Nightwalker. You will always be our guiding light!”


Today at d’verse, Linda gave us our prosery flash fiction prompt that must include the following line: ‘In the street of the sky night walks scattering poems.’ It comes from the poem, Tulips & Chimneys, by e. e. cummings and is the last line of IX- Impressions.

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth