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

Best Lickin’ Ever

Licking the mixing bowl when my mom baked cakes was so much fun. The mixer was set up on the kitchen table. I pulled out a chair and climbed up on it, sitting on my knees, and watched the spinning bowl. The rich chocolate batter flowed smoothly through the beaters as the bowl rotated hypnotically round and round. She used a wooden handled rubber spatula to clean the crumbs of mix off the outer edges of the bowl.

When all was blended, she poured the mix into a 9 x 12 glass cake pan. Now it was my turn. She loosened the beaters and gave them to me one at a time to lick off. It was wonderful to run my tongue up and down each of the tine, getting chocolate from ear to ear.

Then it was time for the bowl. She left little streaks of chocolate decorating the inside of the bowl. I licked both sides of the spatula; then used it to scrape out every bit of chocolate batter that I could get. It was a wonderful time to bake with mom when I was six!

Waiting anxiously

Chocolate lava oozes through

Mixing bowl is mine

Photo: Family Album – the house where I was born

Today at d’Verse, Lillian asked us to take time to reflect and take note of memories from our childhood that are not from photos or family stories. We are to write a Haibun sharing what we conjured up from the depths!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com then click Mr. Linkey and read more!

Love Lives on

Valentine’s Day brings many mixed feelings for those who have lost loved ones this past year. Covid-19 took its toll around the world, and it wasn’t just older folks who succumbed to the virus. You might think losing the one you loved has left you empty; but love remains. I wrote this a couple of years ago, but I feel it is appropriate to post again this year.

They’re gone

but love’s not lost

Pain entangles in every bone

Love remains…

not in the devastating loss;

But in you.

Love comes from deep within;

Definitely not a superficial thing…

Rooted deep in your heart and soul

Loss brings manic feelings

rushing into scary dips

Love is rooted deeper

than whispers from the lips;

Yours alone to give or keep.

A treasure of the heart

does not come cheap.

Though one you loved is gone

your gift of love remains;

To share at will

should you choose again

to give away or keep

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Dedicated to all those who have lost loved ones this past year

Shaving

Stretching over the sink he shaves

Just like his dad / Barbasol and all.

Standing on tiptoes he pats on

a face full of shaving cream.

His plastic pretend razor slides easily

making wide snowplow tracks.

Rinsing off the excess he continues

until his face is shiny clean.

Wiping his face with the towel

he smiles feeling like a real man.

Little brother watches carefully

and copies the same motions;

rinsing his razor in the same sink.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d/Verse, Grace asked us to consider the significance of setting in our poems. We are to write a poem that definitely gives the reader a sense of the poem’s setting. This is one of my favorite photos of my two boys many years ago. I found a child’s shaving kit at the Dollar Store and he loved it.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com then click on the Mr. Linkey box and read some other poems.

Big Valley Pennsylvania (Travel)

Horses and buggies can be found clopping up and down the roads of Kishacoquillas Valley in Central Pennsylvania. Big Valley lies between the towns of Lewistown and Huntingdon. It is the home of a great number of Amish and Mennonite Farmers, who, along with many others farm, this beautiful valley. People there refer to their home as Big Valley. It is the home of many of my ancestors on both sides of my family. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country. These are a few of the sights you might see on a visit there.

Memories and roots

grow deep in rich black soil

Ancestors rest here

My mother’s home
My father’s home
The Crossroad

Painting the Farm

I have a friend of my family who grew up in my home community in Pennsylvania. When my two brothers and I visited there a couple of years ago, we drove past the farm where her grandfather once lived, and was passed down through the generations. It was still in good condition, although the trees had grown quite large over time. The little white barn and tile silo were still there. On the hill above the farm, sat a little brethren church. Tombstones in the cemetery contained the names of many of her friends and family members. I took a few photos while we were there.

We had a few warmer days the past two weeks that allowed me to paint, so I decided to paint the farm picture and send it to her in Virginia. I had two good shots, one close and one far away. Not being able to decide which one to paint, I decided to paint them both at the same time. This was the first I tried painting two at once. They are on 11 x 14 canvas board. I hope she will enjoy them.

Family farm stories

left in memories long past

Silo stands empty

Painting the Debolt Farm – Dwight L. Roth

Christmas Love

Unpacking Christmas a box of loving gifts

Full of sweet memories that bring me a lift

Remembering my students’ love shared with me

Ornaments of beauty to hang on my tree

A shiny brass apple with name and date

A stained glass window made on a plate

Homemade Rudolph made with clothes pins

Cotton ball snowman and angels with wings

So many memories from yesteryear

Much love remembered sweet and clear

*

Grandchildren come to help each year

Oohing and awing is what I hear

And I smile remembering back on those days

When love was shown in so many ways

My tree’s not filled with bought decorations

But a tree filled with love from a past generation

And when it’s all over we’ll pack them away

Storing the love for another Christmas day

I treasure the gratitude each one brings today

Feeling the love that will never goes away

******

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

I discovered that I already posted this poem back in November… Did any of you notice this??

Christmas Love

Unpacking Christmas a box of loving gifts

Full of sweet memories that bring me a lift

Remembering my students’ love shared with me

Ornaments of beauty to hang on my tree

A shiny brass apple with name and date

A stained glass window made on a plate

Homemade Rudolph made with clothes pins

Cotton ball snowman and angels with wings

So many memories from yesteryear

Much love remembered sweet and clear

Grandchildren come to help each year

Oohing and awwing is what I hear

And I smile remembering back on those days

When love was shown in so many ways

My tree’s not filled with bought decorations

But a tree filled with love from a past generation

And when it’s all over we’ll pack them away

Storing the love for another Christmas day

I treasure the gratitude each one brings today

Feeling the love that will never goes away

This poem was published in the Old Mountain Press poetry and prose anthology, Enjoy the Holidays. If you have an Amazon Kindle subscription, you can read it for free at: