Cracked but Not Broken

Ruth's Tile

After twenty-five years of marriage things were unraveling.  Our boys were off in school and the empty nest syndrome was weighing down on us. Depression was challenging every part of our marriage. On our anniversary we went out to dinner and as was our tradition we exchanged gifts. She gave me the tile above inscribed with the words of hope for our marriage. I have had it on our wall ever since. A couple of years ago, it fell and cracked in half. I got some glue and cemented it together and hung it back on the wall. I thought, how symbolic of our marriage, cracked but not broken! Next year will be our fiftieth!

Cracked but Not Broken (a Quadrille)

Twenty-five years

Things were shaky

Gifts after dinner…

Tokens of love exchanged

For me ‘twas a tile

Words …of hope for the future

“Paint me a picture,

Draw me with you,

And together we can see the sunrise!”

Still together…

Cracked but not broken


Tile: (c) Irene 94   –   from Halmark

Our prompt today in d’Verse was from Sarah Connor. She asked us to write about tokens of love that we find significant in our life. I decided to write a quadrille.

Come join us at d’verse:


Did You Hear Me, God?


Did you ever wonder why God did not answer your prayer? I believe everyone goes through those times of questioning. This is especially true when the circumstances are so bad that there appears to be no hope. Many years ago I went through a similar situation. I was depressed and despondent an did not know what the future held. As the poem says I reached out to God and could not feel his presence at all. With the help of supportive brothers and sisters, I finally came through and again renewed my faith and trust, believing that God really does love and care for me.

Where Were You God?

Where were you God // when I needed you most
When my life collapsed and I felt my worst?

God, where were you when I believed you cared…
When I trusted you to direct my path?
Where was the promised peace of mind…
That through this difficult time I did not find?

When I walked through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I feared every evil // I felt all the pain.
Where were you when I cried out in vain…
When I pleaded // I begged // I called out your name?

When I hurt so bad I wished I could die,
Were you there to see // did you hear my cry?
I could not tell // I did not know why.

I felt alone // left to fate
No way to help, before it was too late

Would all that happened have happened anyway…
Or were you there, what do you say?
Where were you God,
When I needed you most?


Photo: Dwight L. Roth  –  my mothers funeral… unrelated to the poem.



Make 2018 a year to listen to others and hear what they are really saying.  Winter is a time when many suffer from depression. The shorter days and cold weather seems to add to their Blue feelings. Let this be the year of being real with one another. Our job is not to fix people but to be there for someone who needs a friend.

The “Just Fine” Mask

“How are you?”  “Oh, I am just fine!”

How easy to protect ourselves behind our mask

Social butterflies flitting here and there

A drop of nectar from me and one from you

Kiss, Kiss!

“How are you?”  “Well, I have been better.”

“Stop right there I don’t want to know”

Cutting you off …too much information

No invested emotion here

Kiss, Kiss

“How are you?” “Oh, I am so glad you asked!”

“Here we go again… do I really have to listen to this?”

“Tell me what is going on, I would love to hear.”

“Don’t worry it will get better.”

Kiss, Kiss

“How are you?”  “I am really struggling!”

“I am so sorry, tell me more.”

“What can I do to help?”

“I’ll call you soon!” “Then we’ll talk.”

Kiss, Kiss

“Hi how are you?”  “I’m fine!”

“I can’t deal with this anymore”

“Love you, goodbye!”


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

This one has been posted a year ago, but is a good reminder for the new year.

Hiding in My Shell


Most of us experience depression from time to time. Some of us have suffered from deep depression that steals our joy and turns it into deep sadness. This is not just those who have PTS. It happens to new mothers, teens, married couples, working people, and seniors.  The good news is that it can be treated. For some it includes medication and counseling. We are just realizing how important treatment is in this country. Until we provide adequate treatment and help for depression, we are going to see violence and suicide rise. If you suffer from depression. Talk to someone who has the skills to help you through.


This pain

Deeper than anything

I’ve ever know

Envelops my being

Overwhelming my soul,

Consuming my spirit

Destroying all desire to live.

Quicksand sucks me down

Drawing me into the darkness…

Wanting nothing

Giving nothing…

Just that feeling of loneliness

That never goes away.

Hopeless and helpless

My joy turns to a great sadness

Pumping through my veins

Like a long stemmed rose

Long dead….only the thorns remain

Scratching my soul with each beat


Photo: Dwight L. Roth




Losing Ground

Standing in the sand

Looking out over a beautiful world

While the sand erodes under these sore feet

Sucking like quicksand down into an ever changing surf

My mind spinning in astronomical directions

Wondering how this could happen

Crushed hopelessly

Sinking deeper











Face the Light




As we were guided through the Linville Caverns in the North Carolina Mountains, the guide stopped and said, “Now I will show you what if feels like to be in total darkness.” Then he flipped a switch and everything went black.  The lantern above was a welcome sight when he turned it back on. Depression feels like someone flipped our soul into total darkness. Things seem hopeless as we stare into the blackness. But there is light and there is hope. God’s love is a candle that never burns out. Our friends, those who stand with us, are our guides walking back with us toward the Light of God’s love and grace.

Face the Light

In the black darkness

One can see a candle

Burning in the distance

Unless he turns his back

Staring into the darkness

Where there is no light


The first is hope

The second is depression


Turn until you see the Light

Focus on it

Follow it

It will be your guide 

Out of the darkness

Into Light


My Little Bag of Stones


What do you do with your anger when you feel mistreated? Do you explode and let out all of your frustrations hoping to make peace later? Or, do you internalize your feelings and find them coming out in passive aggressive ways? This poem speaks to the second way of dealing with these feelings. It uses the concept of collecting stones of hurt to use at some later time to throw back at the one who caused the pain, or in some cases at anyone who might be in your path.

My Little Bag of Stones                                      

My little bag of stones all shiny and smooth

Serves me very well when I am hurt

Little memories stashed away

Some are small some are large

Traumatic events harsh words stabs of pain

All tucked neatly into my little bag

Waiting for just the right time

Displaced anger dysfunctional relationships

Objects of wrath inflicting pain

Lashing out with subtle intent

Trying to compensate for past mistakes


Stones saved neatly in the bag

Passive aggression stored for the future

Never finding satisfaction totally depressed

Weighing me down

Always carrying my heavy load

In my little bag of stones










I Cry Alone

The music group R.E.M. wrote a song called Everybody Hurts, in which the video depicts the ways people struggle with pain and depression. Depression is an implosion of the soul that leaves one feeling destitute of spirit and all alone. I wrote the following poem as a song,  when I was at one of those points in my life. Sometimes the only thing that helps one hold on is when another person stands with us quietly caring. Words of help, quoting Bible verses,  and solutions to fix us only make us feel worse. The most important thing is to be there in the aloneness. Listen to the video if you care to and read my poem to get some insight into what is really happening. The Pslamist spoke of walking through the valley of death. This was one of those times.

I cry alone I cry alone for no seems to care

So I cry alone

The depth of hurt I know the knife of pain

Cut deep into my soul when no answers came

I cry alone, I cry alone, for no one seems to care

So I cry alone

I cry but you’re not there I’m all alone

Helpless and empty the pain is always there

So I cry alone

I cry alone, I cry alone, for no one seems to care

So I cry alone

Lord are you really there you seem so far away

My life sits on the edge no one’s here for me

So I cry alone

I cry alone, I cry alone for no one seems to care

So I cry alone

For no one feels the pain    …of what I bear