Down the Drain


At the end of life our usefulness seems to get put on the shelf

Our limbs don’t always work as well as they once did

Inside // the heart still pumps round and round while we wait

Knowing our plowing days have ended and our decorative days are here


Life is full of ups and downs that could leave us in a turmoil at the end

As the coals of life burn down some choose to drown their sadness

Others simply throw in the towel and give up // feeling, “What’s the use?”

Many grow bitter and make life difficult for all who care


As I look back on my life, I see my brain as the drain that filters out the big stuff

Keeping the traumatic and the wonderful // letting the rest go right down the drain

Not sweating the small stuff // attempting to save some good to pass on down the line

I choose to not go gently  // rather to stay focused // letting creativity flow

Knowing that in the end most of who we are will go right on down the drain


Photos: Dwight L. Roth


Down the Road



At the end of the road when my life is done

What will I find will there be one

Who will meet me there at the pearly gates

With hands outstretched no need to wait

Will he be tall short fat or thin

When he sees me will he break out with a grin

Funny to me how we fantasize

Making God like us as we rationalize

Dreaming that descriptions of hands and face

Describe a reality that has no race

Metaphors become reality as we describe our God

Forgetting he is Spirit and that would be odd

For a Spirit has no shape, no hands to hold tight

Only a presence of the purest light

So whether our God is he she or it

The God we meet will probably not fit

The idea we have in the back of our mind

Won’t it be interesting what we will find

At the end of the road


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Open link night for our d”Verse poets group. Com join us:

The Last Lap

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When we grow old, we take that last lap not by choice but because that is the way our life has worked itself out. It is difficult to push through the pain to the finish line but we have no choice. The last lap is there for all of us to run, be it early in life or late.

The Last Lap

The last lap it seems

always hardest to run

when winter comes late


Pressing // straining toward the mark

When strength is gone // the end near



Spirit Rising


Soul Gazing

When my spirit rises

Unencumbered and free

No weight or worry accompanies me

Interesting that I value things

When in the end the spirit flies

Leaving them all behind

How much I worry and fret

But this too shall pass when I am gone

My spirit rises out of this shell

A virtual butterfly reborn

From caterpillar to chrysalis

Reborn in the image of God

Spirit Creator Redeemer Savior

Knowing there is no place for the earthly

In the spirit world beyond

I can’t take it with me

But then again… Why would I want to

When my spirit rises

Leaving it all behind


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Paul at d’Verse asked us to write a soulful poem (soul gazing) for our Tuesday prompt. This poem expresses what I believe happens when we leave this world and our spirit rises and returns to our creator.

Come join us at d’Verse:

Peddle Faster

EER_0315Sometimes I feel like Thelma and Louise, who. in the movie. put the peddle to the metal and sailed  off the Grand Canyon.   The closer I get to the end of life the more I realize that I must keep pushing forward, enjoying each day as much as I can. Who knows how long this ride will last, so I keep on peddling into the future knowing full well that the edge of the cliff is not far off. As Dylan Thomas said… “Do not go gentle into that good night… Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Writing poetry is one way for me to rage against the dying of the light, when this life for me comes to an end. Also, it is very rewarding to me.

Peddle Faster

Peddle faster feel the wind

The finish line is now in site

My race is on

But winning is not the goal

Just finishing well

Many slow down // stumble and fall

Barely dragging across the line


I never know what I might encountered

So I give it all I’ve got, while I still can

The finish line is not far off

So I ride with gusto

Enjoy the thrill

Competition is not the goal

In this race of life

Anything can happen

Fading away is not my plan

It is all about finishing well

For the finish line is now in site

But // I’ve still got a long way to go

Only time will tell


Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Give it Away Now

Working at the Habitat for Humanity Restore is an eye-opening experience. Every time I go to volunteer, I am amazed at what people give away. High end furniture, beds, sofas, chairs, and antiques. But even more amazing are the special things people collected over their lifetime that get donated for resale. Photos, personal arts and crafts, hand made doilies, tools, awards, and souvenirs all come through our door. My advice is to give away the special things you want children or grandchildren to have before your gone. It may sound a little cold, but if you wait, much of it will be thrown out or given away.


Give It Away Now

Give away the special things before you’re gone

Tell your story as they are presented


When You’re gone your memories go with you

Disappearing along with you into the mist

The old desk and chair are hauled away

Remaining furniture disappears as well

A box of treasures get divvied up

The unwanted ones go to the Restore

Along with clothes shoes and linens

Pictures off the wall a lamp and a stand

Soon find new homes and start all over

Souvenirs and hobbies garden hoses and tools


Pass out of sight forgotten

Our children have their own treasures

No room for ours as well

Even antiques lose their value

When viewed by survivors

Flip for the special things the ones of special worth

Perhaps some photos a painting but definitely not a purse

The Restore truck arrives and the loading begins

Group-sigh of relief when it all finally  ends


Coals on the Hearth of Time


Most of us know of someone who suffers from dementia. As we get older our minds sometime lose their short and long term memories. We got a first hand experience with this in 2013 when my father-in-law became debilitated from short term memory loss and had to enter a facility for Alzheimer’s patients. It is sad and difficult to watch this happen knowing there is no cure for it at this time. This poem reflects on memory loss and how it can affect us.

Coals on the Hearth of Time

Gone the fire once burning brightly

Life’s logs burned down to glowing embers

Slowly consumed white with age

Raging inferno of youth left behind

Dreams long lived slowly exit

Sifting out past memories

Coals of childhood smolder in the darkness

Warm glows grow dim on the hearth of time

Flickers are all that remain of a glowing life

Short bursts reappearing for a time

Flash paper memories

Lost in smoke of the dying embers

Clinkers from the past refuse to burn

“Where is Helen?”

Wondering why

Not remembering the question

Not knowing the answer

Repetitive memory now gone

Waiting Waiting Waiting

Remaining coals turn to ash

The fire dies

Our Mark


Over the centuries, people have wished to become immortalized in time for generations to come. But in reality, even the greatest eventually are lost in the future. Kings, presidents, heroes, inventors, athletes, and yes, even the Kardashians will be forgotten in the future. We are here, we make our mark and then leave the future to our children and grandchildren. Our mark remains in them for a while and then is gone, only to be glanced at from time to time by future generations. What kind of mark are you making?

Our Mark

Raindrops overnight surf falling leaves

Landing in the yard pasting to the drive


Nipped by overnight frostbite they lay

Beautiful accents of brown and gray

On winds late-day

Leaves take their leave from the pavement

Visiting our neighbor’s yard  instead

Imprints marking the concrete where lain


Tattooed fossils of rib and vein

Beautiful reminders not seen again


Just like us taking  leave of life

Having left our mark imprinted

On the lives we’ve touched

Remembered in detail for a time

Only too soon we fade from their minds

As others make their mark

In our place and their time


Photos: Dwight L. Roth

My Plowin’ Days are Over


I love old tractors and what they represent. If they could talk think of all the stories they would tell. Now and then I drive by an old tractor parked in the weeds along the road and think  to myself, I guess its plowin’ days are done.  One of these days I will join it. Then I too will know my plowin’ day are over!

My Plowin’ Days are Done

Parked in the weeds no roof for my hood

Plug wires hanging out  in the grass there I stood

My plowin’ days are done

Paint’s faded badly and my chains are all rusty

Put aside and replaced with one that’s more trusty

My plowin’ days are done

Air in my tires and my engine still runs

It’s been a long time since I’ve had any fun

I think my plowin’ days are done

When I’m put out to pasture no money in the bank

Joints are rusty and my engine won’t crank

Then I will know my time has come

I believe my plowin’ days are done


Contributed Photo



Waiting to Die


Waiting with my wife’s mother as she came to the end of her life stirred many strong feelings. She had been diagnosed with a  terminal brain tumor ten months earlier. As I sat and reflected on her life and my life, I began to ponder the end of life. Some die quickly and others live on sometimes in chronic pain, while for others the pain may come from the emotional part of our being. This poem looks at the end of life stages and how they affect us.

Waiting to Die

Becoming obsolete is one of life’s most difficult burdens

It is not something that comes on quickly

But rather happens over a few years

When things once held dear are no longer valued by the next generation

It raises a turmoil of the soul that at first kicks and screams

But gradually subsides into a churning rumble

Only to be followed by a great dull ache


Becoming physically challenged only adds to the burden

Our bodies slow down, wear out, won’t co-operate, get repaired,

Bounce back at times only to slowly head back down the slippery slope of time

That waits for no one but seems to careen wildly toward the cliff

This too raises the turmoil of the soul that at first kicks and screams

But gradually subsides into that churning rumble

Only to be followed by a great dull ache and a swell of physical pain


Becoming physically and/or mentally disabled increases the burden even more

When one can no longer care for himself

Or have the strength to move about

Losing the memory to recall life’s joys and sorrows

Or that unwanted friend and companion arthritis moves in and out

One begins to wonder why he continues to go on living

Now it’s just a long dull ache, for the inner kicking and screaming now subsides


Becoming totally dependent, sometimes unable to speak or function

Is probably the biggest burden of all

Long hours of little change of position or surroundings

Struggling for life with each difficult breath

Simply sitting or lying, waiting day after day

For the edge of the cliff to appear

Must make one wonder why some leave this world like the drop of a hat

While others continue on and on simply waiting to die


But what of heaven and the future life to come

Surely that should make it all better

Surely that should ease the pain of separation and loss


When all you know is the life you are living and the pain you are feeling

It is difficult to focus on what will come

In the present suffering one may understand what lies in store

But only feels the last pains of separation

From this earthly body into an immortal one

Safe in the arms of God