Dreamer – chapter 8

Chapter 8

The engine moaned loudly as the air brakes screeched on the coal cars, keeping the train at a safe speed.

“You know Henry, if you just use the air breaks, they will burn up before you reach the bottom.” Sometimes you must trust the power in your hands.”

Purrlin sat down in his seat to rest. Simmi jumped up onto his lap and began purring loudly. Henry smiled feeling the wind blowing against his face as he leaned out the window. It seemed the trees were more colorful than ever.

“You can let the engine run on the last half mile,” Purrlin said. “She will roll back to normal when you reach the Broad River… the river… the river…”

The trees were glowing red, orange, and florescent green. Purrlin and Simmi were gone!

“Henry, time get up! You will be late for school.

~The End~

Paintings: Dwight L. Roth

Spin-off story from Monday’s d’Verse prosery prompt.


I have compiled all the stories into a book of 12 pages with illustrations. If you would like a pdf: copy, give me your email address and I wills end you the file to print.


Dreamer chapter 7

Chapter 7

Crossing the top of the mountain, the train started down the three mile run. Henry felt the loaded coal cars pushing against the heavy engine. Applying the air-brakes did not seem to slow things down and the train picked up speed as the last car crossed the summit.

“Purrlin, the brakes don’t seem to be holding!” shouted Henry. “What’ll we do?”

The train was now moving faster and faster. Henry looked out the window and could only see the tops of the trees in the ravine below.

“Don’t worry Henry, this Big Boy is made for heavy loads in the mountains! Just throttle it down and let the engine do its work.”

Henry cut the throttle back, as the steam hissed all around him. Simmi hid under the tool box. The engine roared even louder as the weight of the cars pushed forward.

Paintings: Dwight L. Roth

Spin-off story from Monday’s d’Verse Poet’s Pub prosery prompt.


Dreamer – chapter 6

Chapter 6

The train climbed through the mountain. Rounding a sweeping curve, Henry looked out the window and saw his engine was pulling a long line of coal cars. Purrlin told Henry they would stop at the water tower along the track ahead.

Henry was living out his dream to be the engineer of a steam train. Simmi put his paws up on the edge of the window and watched the trees as they rolled along. Pulling the rope for the whistle, he listened happily as the sound echoed from ridge to ridge and back again.

“What happens when we get to the top of the mountain?” asked Henry. He recalled an old song he had heard about the wreck of the Old 97.

“As long as we keep a good head of steam, our air breaks should hold fine.” said Purrlin.

Henry wasn’t so sure.

Paintings: Dwight L. Roth

Spin-off from the prompt Dreamer on d’Verse Poets Pub… https://dversepoets.com

Dreamer – chapter 5

Chapter 5

Suddenly everything turned dark. Night surrounded them as the train kept rolling down the track. It made Henry uneasy, but as he looked around young Purrlin was still shoveling coal into the firebox and Simmi had now crawled up on his lap for comfort!

Purrlin’s voice seemed clear above the noise of the train. Don’t let the dark night bother you. It only lasts for a short time and soon you will see the light again.”

Henry looked out the window at the full moon peaking above the clouds. He knew as long as the train stayed on the tracks he would be fine. The train’s black smoke billowed back across the engine, and blended into the night sky!

The dark got even darker as the train charged into the mountain tunnel.

At the far end, Henry saw the morning light welcoming him.

;Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Spin-off from Monday’s d’Verse prompt dreamer: https://dversepoets.com

Rocky’s Big Adventure

This is a project I have been working on for the past few weeks. It is a 23 page children’s story book coloring book about the little Saw-whet Owl found in the Rockefeller Christmas tree. I saw the story. after Thanksgiving, on the morning NBC News show. Apparently the little owl was trapped in the tree when it was cut down in upstate New York, and spent three days there while the tree was being brought to Rockefeller Center Plaza in New York City. It was found by a worker and taken to a wildlife sanctuary, where it was given food and water. The owl seemed to be fine and was released back into the wild several days later.

I thought it would make a great children’s story. So, I created the illustrations from the pictures I saw on the News Story video clips. I made up the story as I thought it might have happened, and decided to make it into a coloring book as well. I self-published it this week and had it spiral bound so the pages would lay open. I also got heavier weight paper so the colors would not blead through. Now I will pass them out to family and friends with children who will enjoy the story.

Rocky the tiny Owl

Wrapped in Spruce boughs took trip

Visits New York City


A personal commercial shout-out:

My Granddaughter Ashley, is in a Masters of Arts program at Adler University. She does beautiful art work, making hand crafted book ear rings made of miniature books, that actually open up , as well as many other items.

Please check out her Positive Fibes, Etsy site at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PositiveFibes?ref=search_shop_redirect

Alzheimer’s Story for Children

My father-in-law began to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s back in 2009. In 2012 he had to live in a care facility. It was very sad to see someone decline into dementia and lose touch with reality.  He died in 2018 at the age of 89.

I began to look for books on line that children could relate to that talked about Alzheimer’s disease. There were very few if any and  none for younger children. I decided to write and illustrate a children’s book that would introduce children to dementia and the way it affects older people.

If you are interested please click the link and check it out on amazon.com kindle books. My granddaughter helped me with the color in the illustrations. If you have a kindle subscription you can read it for free.

Monsters Under the Bed


When I go to bed at night
And my parents get ready to turn out the light
I shudder and shake like an earthquake
As fears arise and create all these fakes
Wild and awful creatures in flight
Come floating in the dark of night
Out from under my bed they snake
Rearing ugly heads to make mine ache
But, I learned the best way to make fears flee
“I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.”
When they see how sweet to the taste, I am
Their fright disappears and I fall asleep once again

Amaya at d’Verse, came up with the idea of turning Franz Kafka quotes into children’s’ stories. She gave us a few to choose from and I chose, “I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.” The ideas is to overcome fears by embracing them as part of the fun, thus taking away their power over our mind.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Clip art from: blogspot.com




Serafino’s Store


The ugliness of this storefront
Does not diminish the long-held memories
Of climbing those steps as an eight-year -old.
Lunch hour at our elementary school
Gave us time to cross the streetcar tracks…
To go to Serafino’s store to spend a nickle or a penny.
Inside a big case with slanted glass
Allowed us to view all the many choices
Every variety of candy tempted our tastebuds:
Fireballs, cinnamon sticks, and Sugar Daddies
Licorice tubes in a box, wax teeth, candy cigarettes
Necco Wafers, wax bottles of sugar water in a box
Good and Plenty, red licorice, and candy bars…
So many to choose from for our little minds
Yes, the store may be closed
…run down
…and boarded up
But the wonderful joy of climbing those steps
Still brings a smile to my face.
Memories see things as they were
Not as they are


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today on d’verse Mish asked us to look at the beauty in ugliness. We are to write a poem showing a different perspective on what most people would consider ugly. This Fall I went back to my old elementary school and saw it was now a home where someone lived. This is the store where we used to go at lunch to get candy, if we hand any money to spend. It is now boarded up and looking pretty bad. But the memories are still there.

Join us at d’verse: https://dversepoets.com


The illustrated Story of Spike… the unusual tomato is a children’s story I wrote a couple of years ago, when I found this unusual tomato growing in my vegetable garden. My wife put eyes and a mouth on it and it become Spike!  The story deals with being different, being teased, and developing self-esteem.  Spike goes through school graduating from Veggie High and goes on to Veggie State University. He travels around the world and meets the Russian Premier and the Russian Dolls! Through it all, he sticks with his core values his parents taught him.

This is an excerpt of the whole story. There are many color photos in the story. To read it you will need to go to amazon.com and read it on Kindle. If you have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free!



The Unusual Tomato



This is the story of Spike.

Spike was born in Grandpa’s garden during the hot summer of 2013.


There he grew along with his saucy mother Spikette and his handsome father Spike Senior.

Spike was a very unusual child. But he was always loved and very happy!

He had many brothers and sisters as well as friends and neighbors.


Oni the onion was one of his good friends. The other kids did not like to be around him because he seemed to have a strong odor about him. Even though he did not always smell the best, underneath all that smelly skin Oni had the heart of a loyal friend.


In spite of the fact that Spike had many friends, he always felt he was a little bit different from all the others. It was his unusually long red nose that stuck out in a way that made everyone stop and look when he came into the room.

Some of the kids at school whispered about him when he wasn’t looking and some even laughed and made fun of his bulbous nose. The teacher told them not to treat him like that, but they did anyway when she wasn’t looking.


His parents, however, told him he was special and that God gave him that nose because he wanted him to stand out and be noticed.

So Spike ignored the teasing and whispering and kept his smiling disposition. He treated everyone with respect, and as a result almost everyone liked playing with him

As spike became older, his parents warned him about hanging out with friends who could get him into trouble. These so called friends always seemed to end up in mixed company!

Little did Spike know that they were flirting with danger and were about to get a dressing down for all their shenanigans! It was only a matter of time till they came under the knife and were cut to pieces.


Pick Elle’ and Peppier’ were two such friends. Even though they pretended to be friends with Spike, they really did not have his best interest in mind. They kept trying to get Spike and Oni to join them and their capers. Spike watched from a distance as they kept going down down until their escapades with saucy mixed company left them lying in the muck at the bottom of the bowl!

Then Spike realized that his parents were right.  Because they loved him, they were trying to guide him in the right ways. This piece of wisdom would stay with him though out his life.


If you would like to read the whole story you can find it on Amazon Kindle at:


Read my other books on Amazon.com at:



Little Chippie


A year ago a little mourning dove fell out of the nest early and became attached to my wife and I. He would eat seeds out of our hand, sit on our shoulder and knee, and wait on the deck each morning watching for any activity in the house.   By the end of the summer he became more independent and would no longer come to us.  But, he still sits on the deck each morning and watches through the sliding glass door for us to wake up. It has been a really interesting experience.

Little Chippie

Little Chippie a mourning dove fell out of the tree

Landing on the cap of Bob sitting next to me


What a surprise he fell out of his home

A little squab only two thirds grown

Downy feathers on his tummy still showing


He landed on my chair arm not wanting to leave

I reached out to catch him as he flew to the tree

He slipped through my fingers and on my knees

Were his tail feathers and down fluttering on my sleeve

Oh no Oh gee what will he do now that he’s not in the tree

The poor little bird  has a naked tail Oh me

Will he sit and cry for his nest in the tree


He stayed around at the feeder he began to eat seeds


He ate out from hands and sat on our knees


We became his mother he allowed us to stay

He became our friend he did not fly away


A few weeks later he grew new tail feathers

Lost his down grew as handsome as ever


He came by one day as I worked on my painting

And sat on my shoulder while I painted he waited


Then flying off to the nearby tree

He never again came back to me

Now he is grown and brings round his friends


To eat at the feeder for seeds they do fend

One day this summer they came to the feeder

With a new little squab so good to meet her


Early in the morning when I come out for coffee

I look out on the deck where he still waits to see me


 Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Read my children’s book about Little Chippie on Amazon Kindle. It is free to those who have Kindle Unlimited. 

Click the link below to read: