Making a Difference

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Her gray hair that once flowed around her shoulders
Now pulled back tightly held with a stretch band;
There she sat in her wheelchair // her gaunt body fading
Wrapped in her shawl // holding her little doll on her lap.
As I read stories to the group of elderly residents
She sat with her head down // eyes closed as though asleep;
Yet somehow, I knew she is still listening to me.
I finished, and got out my twelve-string ovation guitar;
They enjoyed singing my old classics from the sixties…
A time when we all were young, and words sung told stories.
As I began to sing, “You are my sunshine…” her head began to move
Others joined in letting the song take them to another place and time.
Thought her body remained motionless, her feet now began to move;
Her soft pink slippers began a rhythmic pattern as she relived the days
When she danced, carefree to the music, with the one she loved.
Clutching her dolly, her eyes went from open to closed and open again
She rode the rhythms of each song in her mind, as feet danced
Pushing her wheelchair back to her unit she quietly said to me,
“I really enjoy that.”
It was then I knew I was making a difference!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Anmol, at d’Verse, asked us to write a poem that uses description of a person that paints a picture of that person for the reader. I decided to write about one of the elderly persons who comes to hear my stories and songs at the local nursing home.

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I am a tiny rock
thrown into the river of life;
Ripples undulating forth
making my entrance…
Picked up, I’m tossed again
making a tiny splash.
Waves radiate out across the water
Every toss makes a difference
causing changes in the river of life,
affecting the lives of those around.
Life goes on…
This rock
sometimes tossed
sometimes kicked
sometimes thrown;
Each time making waves
each time being shaped.
This smooth pebble that I’ve become
is polished to near perfection.
Some stones may be much larger,
making a bigger splash…
But, this polished little pebble
gently making its splash,
makes a difference
affecting life in lasting ways
as love radiates forth.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Tonight at d’Verse, Frank asked us to consider descriptive beginnings that help draw the reader on into the poem. I wrote this poem yesterday, and reworked it today for our prompt.

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Red Maple seed floats merrily on wings;
hoping to find a place from which to rise.
Landing between the crack of a rock;
with little soil, and almost no chance of survival;
it puts down a root;
forever changing the future of that rock!


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Quadrille Monday, and Merril, at d’Verse, asked us to use some form of the word rise. I decided to put a little different Spring twist to it and came up with this Quadrille of exactly 44 words.

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Sometimes we might think

we are simply grains of sand

Stretched out across the beach of life

feeling powerless…

unable to render // help

or change the world around us…

Until // heat and the pressures of life

surround our soul

bringing us together

with many others…


into a solid mass of rock

which // in the right hands //

can be shaped // carved // or built upon

in ways that change the world


Photos: Dwight L. Roth




Why Poets Write…


This amazing spider created a web outside my bedroom window. I noticed it today as I was heading around the house to my garden. It stopped me in my tracks and sent me back inside to get my camera. This is what we hope to do as we write poetry. We hope that a line or a thought will make someone stop in their tracks as they read. Only a few people read our poetry, but the hope is that those who do will be inspired and challenged by our words. The spider does not catch all the bugs, but he does catch a few. The few are enough to draw his nourishment and give him strength. This is what poetry does for us as well.

Why Poets Write…

Writing poetry is often like painting….

Not valuable until a century later

Still we write…hoping to connect

With that tweak of imagination

That will light a spark in someone else

We write for the same reason spiders spin


Weaving intricate webs of beauty

Hoping to entangle the imagination

Of one poor soul who might wander in

Creating that one line that will snag them


Stop them in their tracks

Inject them with stunning venom…

That one line that can change a life



Photos: Dwight L. Roth


Rest in Peace My Friend


My good friend and former boss died this past week. It was very sad to hear the news. He was a great person to work for and a great person to learn from. Those of us who loved him will miss him greatly. This is my tribute to him as I reflect on my experiences with him.



Friend brother and boss

Hardworking hard driving visionary

Always looking at the bigger picture

Seeing things many could not comprehend

Organizer manager salesman

Making things work no matter what

Loyal to friends big hearted caring

Church builder engineer and architect

Got things done made things happen

Project planner a stickler for detail

A lifetime of experience a lifetime of stories

Always accompanied by a big hearty laugh

Old school in his thinking rubbed some the wrong way

Cultural attitudes carried over from childhood

Loved singing in the choir

Amazing Betty Jo survived the both of us


Never too busy to laugh and talk with his employees

Sent Mr. Ed for biscuits from Oak Level Café

Ask him a question he had an answer

Usually a very good one

Ask him about his past and he would spin a yarn a mile long

Tales of farming and raising chickens

Hunting and a still down by Pig Bottom creek

Crop dusting close calls

Working for Heinz Pickles in the cucumber business

Stories of pulling tusks out of hogs

Running a convenience store in Nashville

Stories of seeing Celia at Red Oak school

for the very first time

Knowing right then

She was the cutest little girl he had ever seen

Losing his sense of taste in the Chemistry Lab

at Red Oak High School

Marrying young and lived upstairs in his parents’ house

Eating mama’s biscuits sopped with molasses

Made a meal a feast

Riding with son Chris on the biggest Ford tractor in Nashville

Letting Chris drive it in the field when he was very young

Almost too small to reach the peddles

looking like it was driving itself

Stories of the little church on Clinton Court

Sunday evenings singings that never stopped

He and Celia going with Marvin and Betty Jo

to Hardies for ice cream after church

Implanting the vision to build Englewood Assembly

Drawing the plans and seeing it come about

as everyone joined in

Investing his money into the project to help make it happen

Meeting Augustine and his crew for the first time

as the sheetrock was going up

A mutual relationship that lasted many years

as they continued to help each other


Proud of his girls Tammy and Terri

who stepped in to help

when the business was in a crunch

When folks had a need he often stepped in to help

Bunky was not perfect

He was not a saint

He was like all the rest of us

Saved by the grace of God

Made perfect in his sight

Rest in peace my friend!