Nature’s Big Toe

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Rocks along the Oregon coast were formed long before we showed up. The lava formations, now eroded away, reveal rough and rugged shapes. Studying these shapes is like looking at the clouds and seeing animals, or faces, etc. This is one of those odd formations that remained as the ancient lava cooled.

Nature’s big toe 

Hardened in cold ocean surf

Waiting for next step

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Alchemist’s Creations

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We are just squishy pots of clay
spun and shaped by the master
Starting out as greenware
Aged and dried in the sun
Young and vibrantly smooth …
But we’re not finished
Till baptized in life’s colors
Full of toil and troubles
Only to be fired in life’s kiln
Aged // glazed with experience
Hardened with love’s beautiful finish
Yet, some struggle so hard
that their final hardened glaze
is crackled raku, tried by fire
still beautiful in its own way…
The Alchemist loves them both

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Posted on Open Link Night at d’Verse Poet’s Pub

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Check out this great pottery site!  The Alchemist’s Studio

Frozen Reflections (haiku)

grasses-at-ennerdale-water- Fay Collins

Frost nips tall grasses

Reflections freeze on the Lake

Reality twists

Today at d’Verse Sarah asked us to revisit Faye Collins’ wonderful art. I chose Grasses at Ennerdale Water! I love the tall grasses and leaves along the pond. I don’t know exactly what season this is set in, so I chose to make it a frosty interpretation! It looks like it could be late Fall from the reflections.

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Friends Who Enrich Our Lives

Bunky and Celia's Shack

Friends Who Enrich Our Lives

As I look back on my life, I recall individuals who have enriched my life just by who they were and how they treated me and others. There are so many I could name in every stage of my life. My friend Bunky was one of those people.

Bunky ran a siding business and in 2005 I started working for him as the warehouse manager. I knew nothing about siding, but I did understand the building trade and was somewhat proficient on the computer. I came in and had a couple of hours orientation and started work the next day. He was very patient with me and helped me learn the details of the business. I worked there for six years.

Bunky was not just a boss, he was a friend. I sat in his office many times listening to his life experiences. He had so many great stories to tell. We became great friends during that time. Sadly, he died in 2017 in a fall at his mountain cabin. He will always be in that memory bank of friends.

Our friendship ran deep

Sharing life’s experiences

He died way too soon

Today at d’Verse, Frank asked us to choose something or someone we are thankful for in our life. I chose to write about my good friend Bunky Reges who was full of life and laughter. He came from “the old school” as they say. He was strongly opinionated but very likable to those who knew him well.

My Haiku at the end is a Senryu. I hope this will still pass for a Haibun.

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Photo: Dinner with Bunky and Celia at the mountain Shack! – Dwight L. Roth



I worked on this watercolor painting yesterday. I started off with a vision of what I wanted to show, but the painting decided to expand and change directions on me. This is what came out. It reminded me of a tree that has gone through struggles and adversity, yet year after year it still stands strong.

Anchored high on the side of the mountain

Hit with unexpected storms of life

Yet, it stands tall and strong rooted in rock

Arms always uplifted reaching for light

Naked // exposed to winter’s icy blast

Knowing spring brings a dress of emerald green

Watercolor Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Winter Haiku (4)

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Full Moon

Frosty night

Birds peck ice

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Suet feeder sways

Downy claws hang tightly

Pecking out the seeds

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Cold oak leaves turn brown

Squirrels gather an acorn stash

Willow stands naked

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Dried weeds sway

Seeds already scattered

Squirrel finds winter nest

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

My Blood Runs Red

Words…. the poets lifeblood…

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My words bleed red … running over the page
pouring out of the strict and rigid channels
onto flood plains of freedom unrestricted
My words bleed red … staining minds who read them
with lasting impressions embedded like hooks in a song
never forgotten… but rather called up at a moments notice
My words bleed red … life running out of me
so, I draw from your word bank of inspiration
mixing words with words finding my muse once more

A Legacy of Brick and Mortar

Fairmont Park Trolley Bridge - Andy

Photo; Andy Roth

Stone and brick defy gravity’s pull
rising in sweeping arches 
neath the Fairmont Park Trolley Bridge
Built with the sweat of immigrants
Sharing their skills
in the midst of struggle to survive
They are the ones who made America Great
leaving their legacy behind 
in brick and mortar 

In the late 1800s immigrants from Europe were pouring into our country by the ship load. They were looking for a better life in the United States. With them they brought their rich cultural heritage as well as their skills in many different fields of work. They worked hard for little pay, but took pride in what they did. They were the blue-collar workers who built this country’s cities and infrastructure. 

The picture above shows the Fairmount Park Trolley bridge in Philadelphia. You can see the skill and creativity that went into this structure, still standing today. The trolley lost out to the newly emerging automobile and the line shut down for good around 1946. This kind of workmanship is seldom seen today. You will notice the arches in the bridge are all made from bricks, carefully laid by very skilled brick masons.  This photo really caught my eye, especially since my grandfather was an immigrant and a concrete mason, very skilled in his work as well. 

Thanks to my nephew Andy Roth for the use of his great photo.

For more information on the Trolley you can click the link below:  

Decorating the Christmas Tree

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Grandchildren used to come after Thanksgiving
setting up and decorating our Christmas tree.
Our tree has lights already wound and entwined.
Decorations are memories of teacher gifts
given by students over the year // each one special.
When I was young, we never had a Christmas Tree.
You see, we spent each Christmas with our relatives
who lived four hours away in a big snowy valley.
There, they all had beautifully decorated trees;
Some even had lighted candles that danced and bubbled
Now most of the Grandchildren are grown and gone.
Only the two youngest ones came last year.
Funny how some things are only special to children
who still enjoy the rediscovery of each ornament
dug out of a big plastic tub that was stored in the garage.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today Dora was our host at d’Verse, and asked us to write a poem about an epiphany or pause in our Christmas comings and goings. It was to be something that creates a twist in our poem that takes the reader a different direction of thinking or reflection.

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