Tattoos on my Heart

Tattoo heart

Some I’ve passed in life’s journey

left tattoos inked upon my heart;

Indelible piercings still remain

even though we are far apart…

Marking memories of times gone by

never to be removed, no matter how I try.

Good and bad // I remember them well

along with all the back-stories they tell.

Joy and pain have left their mark…

images tattooed upon my heart.

Some I hide and wish they were gone;

Others shine brightly like a dearly loved song.

All are foundation stones right from the start…

signatures of love engraved on my heart.


Tattoo from bing images

Princess Treasures

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Sweet little sisters

Linger over each shell found;

Assessing whether

the newest one

just might be a little better

than the one before;

Washing the sand away

putting each precious find

into their bucket of memories

to carry home

with them at days end.

Today at d’Verse, Linda asked us to linger on the word linger, and write a Quadrille (exactly 44 words)  using it in some form! My poem is about two sweet little girls we saw who were next to us at the beach last week. They were having so much fun collecting shells in the surf, they did not know anyone else existed.

Join us at:

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The Cauldron of Time

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Memories buried in the cauldron of time

Last coke fires long extinguished

What was once the source of steel making

left to turn to rubble.

Hollow shells of coke ovens

buried in the hillsides

Specters of the past // once alive

Now // just ghosts…

with eyes that have no fire.

Swallowed up by nature’s blanket

overgrown and hidden

for the last seventy years.

Once beehives of life and work

Now, just crumbling brick walls

stained with memories of the past;


with names of countless men

who’s sweat and toil

were the first

to make America Great!

Coke ovens burning at night

Coke Ovens burning at night.    –   Ed West Photo

In September of 2010, two of my brothers and I went back to our hometown of Masontown, Pennsylvania where we grew up. We spent four days driving around, visiting friends, and reliving memories of our childhood. It was a wonderful time. One of the things we wanted to do was find some old Coke Ovens that were buried in the hills nearby. When I was a child, they burned day and night lighting up the hillsides like jack-o-lanterns.  The smoke poured into the air and was blown away by the wind. The gasses were burned off the coal then it was watered down and only the coke that remained. There was not EPA to worry over the environment back then. The coke was loaded into cars and hauled to Pittsburgh to fuel the steel mills.

With the help of a friend, we found some coke ovens down along the river at the little mining town patch of Mount Sterling. Most of the houses were gone and it was greatly overgrown with vegetation.  We hiked through the weeds and underbrush and found the abandoned ovens crumbling but many still in tact. We made and shared great memories on that trip back in time.

Coke oven workers

Backbreaking work day after day at the coke ovens.   –  historical archives

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Photos; Dwight L. Roth

Twin Kiss

Sweet twin kiss, vanilla and chocolate

teasing the taste buds, cooling my palate

Buddy Morgan was the man, drove an orange race car

Raced oval dirt tracks both near and far

His Twin Kiss was the place to be

Burgers, pizza, and milkshakes for me

Mugs of root beer with ice on the glass

Drinking it down was a very easy task

Chevys, Fords, and a 58 Mercury

all parked in rows; but no one’s in a hurry

Guys with duck-tails, Girls with teased hair

Bobby socks and poodle skirts, they made quite a pair

Sitting tight by their guy, teasing and kissing

It’s those days, now in old age, I am missing

Days long gone, and the Twin Kiss too

I loved those old days…

How about you?

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

This is a poem I wrote earlier and have now revised. It has been chosen by Old Mountain Press for the upcoming anthology, Old Tales!

You can read my poems in several other Old Mountain Press anthologies here:

Our Walls

Walls built with stones // mortar of memories

Locking tightly together each painful reality

Stacking // cementing them tightly in place

Till the soul is hidden without even a trace

Dungeon of doom condemning the soul

Cold place of solitude where no one can dwell

A roof on top keeps out the light

Beautiful on the outside; but dark in the heart

Protected // guarded from any more pain

Windows boarded up to keep out the rain

Though years have gone by, the walls still close in

Creating a chasm the soul cannot swim

A castle on the hill of life with walls strong and tall

No windows // no drawbridge // no one comes to call

A lifetime of memories too painful to tell

A soul locked in memories

A real living hell


Koblontz Fortress photo: Dwight L. Roth

Also posting this one on d’Verse Poets Pub open link today. Join us at:

Lilacs Still Bloom

One of my mom’s favorite flowers was the sweet smelling lilac that grew near our driveway. I planted this bush to remind me of her. It is hard to imagine that it is fourteen years since she passed away. Her memory is always with me in so many little ways.

Mother’s Day

Memories of Mom linger sweet

Lilacs bloom each Spring

Photo’s Dwight L. Roth

Bald Focus

Bald Focus

Woe, the sad reality of present nights

Washing a shiny bald head with only traces of down

A slick global arc that would make a women turn away

Happily these hairless days are short lived

But memory now fades, of those obnoxious hair grease jingles

Rattling in my brain out of tune


Today at d’Verse, Lisa asked us to write an Opposites Poem, where we take a poem and write the opposite of it! I chose to do one of my own poems, that I called Hair Daze. The original poem is shown below.

You can join us at:


Hair Daze

Oh, the glorious memories of past days

Combing long flowing hair with swept back duck-tails

Smooth waves that would make a surfer gaze

Sadly the glory days leave only tales

But, I do remember the TV ad…

Brylcreem… A little dab will do ya!”


Friends in Low Places Published

I was honored to receive this email from the North Carolina Bards:

Dear Dwight

We are pleased to announce that we have chosen

 Friends in Low Places

for publication in North Carolina Bards Poetry Anthology.

 Friends in Low Places

Today I walked through the cemetery of my childhood


of all life stories encapsulated there.

Friends and neighbors

inscribed on these stones;

A card catalog

of stories one can no longer check out.

Ancestries long buried in dust

some lost in time;

Yet, the stones live on

calling for recognition from the living.

I posted this poem back in December of 2020 for the d’Verse Poets prompt. I entered three poems for the new anthology. I am very pleased and honored that they chose this one. This is the second year I have had a poem published with them.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The Old Oak Tree

This is my latest project done during the few warm days of winter. It is the painting of a farm near Singers Glen, Virginia. During college dating years, we enjoyed some beautiful days there up under the oak tree on the hill. We even took our engagement photo next to that tree! I sent it to my niece, whose grandparents lived there.

Ziegler Farm

So many great memories

‘neath the giant oak


Painting: Dwight L. Roth