Scottie Dogs

Two little dogs / one white and one black

Childhood entertainment when the service went too long

Carried in my mother’s purse

with Juicy Fruit gum and a silk handkerchief

A magnetic pair in a little white box

Imaginative fun for one little boy

Today is Quadrille Monday (only 44 words) at d’Verse. De asked us to write about magnetism in any way we chose. I was taken back to pre-school days when my mom would carry the magnetic Tricky Dogs in her purse to entertain me at church. I loved playing with them. If you put the like poles together they would spin around and connect from opposite poles. They were great entertainment for me.

Join us at: Then click on the Mr. Linkey box to read other poets’ work.

Photo from bing images.

My Most Shining Moment

Mom and Dwight on her 93rd 001 (3)

In June of 2007, my two sons and I drove from North Carolina and Virginia to visit my mom in Eastern Pennsylvania. She was celebrating her 93rd, and last birthday. She passed away in August of that year. It was a wonderful visit. She was so happy to see her grandsons, and the love was felt all around. Though our visit was short, it was a very meaningful time for all of us.

My mother’s love shared

 Summer’s most  shining moment ,,,

August she was gone


Photo: Chris Roth

IMG_3022 (2)

Photo: Don Ziegler

Lillian at d’Verse, asked us to think about our most shining moment. She referred to the end of March Madness when they shoe clips of the most shinning moments of the tournament! Our assignment was to write a Haibun of prose, followed by a traditional Haiku, describing our most shining moment. There are several that I could have chosen, such as our wedding, births of our boys, our 50th, etc. , but I decided to choose my last visit with my mother.

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Pop’s Garden

IMG_6292 Pop digging potaotes (2)

Sunday is Father’s day. I was blessed with a loving caring father and mother in my family. We did not have much money, so raising a garden was not a hobby, like it is for me, it was a necessity.  We always had a large beautiful garden. The farmer over the hill let us use his tractor to plow and turn over the soil each year. Then we would get the disc to break it up. I loved running barefoot through the rich black soil. We raised chickens and the chicken manure was recycled into the garden which enriched the soil and made wonderful vegetables. I will always be grateful to him for showing me these gardening skills. He died in 1982 at the age of 70, but his legacy lives on.
Pop loved to garden
Knew the value of good manure
Soil rich and dark with compost
Raised enough to last through the winter
Mom canned and froze our garden veggies
Green beans, peas, corn, and tomatoes
Incomparable taste // rich in vitamins
Instilled in me a love of gardening


He loved helping me dig my potatoes
Proud to see the values of gardening passed on
Wish I could show him my tomatoes this year
Thank you, Pop!  I miss you…


Photo: Dwight L. Roth



Grandma Roth and Christopher 001 (2)

Memorial Day brings back memories of all those loved ones who have passed on.  Hopefully memories are good ones that can be recalled with warm feelings. My mother loved our boys and enjoyed being a part of their life. My father died at age 70, but she live on to be 93. She enjoyed watching them grow and seeing them become parents to her great grandchildren. We look back with fond memories of those days.

Memorial Day brings

memories of lost loved ones.

Always in our hearts


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Remembering Mom

Mom and Dwight on her 93rd 001 (2)

Mom passed away in 2007 at the age of 93. She was one of a kind, caring and compassionate, with a love that went beyond herself to those around her. Her life was spent in service to her family, her husband, and others.  She was strong and enduring, with a will to find meaning and purpose up to the end. She took time to read to us when we were young. Her faith in God went very deep and she shared that with everyone she met. She was a preacher’s wife who worked hard to bring the love of God to others.

Mom // strength of mountains

Caring love brings ebb and flow

Compassion for all


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Connections (4-Haikus)


National Handholding Day

Handholding day ends
I take my first steps // myself
Fall celebration

Handholding today
Touching her makes me tingle
Spring sap’s rising fast

Holding hands with you
Walking down the aisle // smiling
Summer flowers bloom

Holding hands with Mom
Winter’s chill // wrinkled hands cold
Sad to let her go


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today is National Hand Holding Day. Lillian at de’verse asked us to write poetry that celebrates one of several events on this date. I chose Hand Holding Day because of the connection the touch of hands represents. There are so many ways holding hands communicates feelings from one to another.

Come join us at d’Verse:




My mother had a large bed of peonies in our back yard when I was growing up. I remember the many blooms and sweet smell they produced. Now when I see peonies, it reminds me of that bed and of my Mom. Frank Tassone gave us peonies as our prompt for Haikai Saturday. This is my Tanka.


Long stemmed pregnant buds

Purple petals bursting forth

Spring peonies shine

One of Mom’s favorite blooms

Always reminds me of her


Photo: Bing image

Written for Frank Tassone’s  Haikia Saturday. This is a tanka about my mother’s flowers.

#Haikai Challenge #36 (6/2/18): Peony (botan) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

Mom’s 93rd Birthday

Mom and the boys June 16 -07 001

She Turned 93 Today (6/07)   (A Ghazal Poem)

Her breathing’s hard //Her spirit’s strong… She’s still not ready to go
She turned 93 today, 93 today.. She’s still not ready to go

With a century of memories still sharp in her mind …
She still remembers everything…She’s still not ready to go

Her face lit up //Her smile grew broad… Grandsons made her smile                                   Looked at pictures for a while… She’s still not ready to go

Fresh berries in a cup…She soon ate them up…
Time for lunch,  so up she got… She’s still not ready to go
She turned 93 today // Weak in body //strong in spirit
Mom turned 93 today // And she’s still not ready to go!


A Tribute my Mom Beatrice Roth who turned 93 July 16, 2007
It was my last visit with her before she died in August

Our challenge for this writing came from Paul at d’Verse, who asked us to write a ghazal poem in Arabic form with couplets and repeats at the ends of the lines throughout the poem. This is new to me, so I hope this is close to what was expected.  I revised a poem I wrote in memory of my last visit with my mother, on her birthday in 2007.

Things I Miss From Childhood

Masontown, PA circa 1949 001

On Sunday I heard Billy Collins reading one of his poems on the Prairie Home Companion radio show. I love his poetry and also enjoy listening to him read his poems.  As I am finishing my Childhood Details Collection, I thought a poem like his would fit in really well. So here is my “Billy Collins version”  of my childhood memories.  Some of the things mentions are pulled from other poems I have written earlier, so I hope you will bear with me.  It really works best when read aloud. It helps feel the flow and rhythm of this free verse poem.

Things I Miss From Childhood  (Childhood Details Collection)

Now that I am almost ready for my second

I think back on my childhood with fond memory

I miss sitting on my mom’s knee while she talked on the phone

Hoping no one was listening in on the party line as we rocked

I miss running barefoot in the summer through trails in the woods

Resulting in poison ivy rashes and pink calamine lotion

Hoping to dry up the bubbles that grew on my ankles and toes

I miss the long high stair case with its heavy rail and balusters

Fun to slide on but no fun to tumble down

I miss watching my mom and sister wash clothes in the cellar

Sitting on the basement steps watching the suds

As the clothes were put through the ringer

Soap squeezed out running back into the washer

The cool dank smell of the dark stone basement

Mixed with the stale smell of coal dust and ashes

From the furnace room around the corner

Rows of canned fruit in Mason jars sitting on old wooden planks

Preserved for many winter meals and Sunday chicken dinners

I miss the way Mom tucked me in on cold Pennsylvania nights

Covering me with a heavy quilt she made and knotted

Sleeping in the old iron bed that once belonged to my brother Nelson

It became mine when he left home to go to college

A hot clanking radiator on the wall next to the window

Cooled down till morning as the coal fire burned low

I miss the rides with my pop in our old green 54 Chevy

Feeling the power glide shifting underneath us

The cleaning of whitewall tires with little round pads

Steel wool and soap from a yellow box that read Comet S.O.S

I miss the clothes hanging on the line in the bright morning sunshine

The wicker basket piled high the pin bag sliding down the line

Little wooden soldiers waiting to stand attention all in a row

The long wooden clothes prop pushing up the sagging middle

A sweeping line of towels and sheets extending on an on

Osmosis of water and cotton absorbing the sweet smell of freshness

Unmatched by softeners or dryer sheets shrinking hot clothes dry

I miss gathering eggs upstairs in the chicken house

Feeling the nest of straw prickling against my fingers

Contrasting against the smooth hard shells of perfect eggs

Baskets full of eggs hand washed and boxed for selling

Saving the cracks for us to eat never once thinking of salmonella

I miss watching Pop popping corn on the blue flames of our gas stove

In the old cast iron skillet with a special lid full of holes

Steam squeezing through the holes as the corn popped loudly

I miss the dirt road in front of our house

Where I used to ride my bicycle sailing down the hill

With the siren chain pulled tight against the wheel

Screaming past our front door all the way down past the mailboxes

I miss the spinning wheel that held all the mailboxes

One for each neighbor spinning on top of a big iron pipe

Saving our mail man a trip back the long dusty road

I miss sleeping with my head on my mom’s lap on Sunday evenings

Lying on the old hard oak benches at church as the wall clock ticked

Carried home when the service ended and talking was done

Put straight to bed knowing nothing till the morning

I miss the big white house with two chimneys and German siding

That I painted with Dutch Boy paint one summer when I was eightteen

I miss climbing the Butternut tree that grew tall

Getting bigger each year just like me

I miss climbing the Red Delicious apple tree along the road

Lodged in its fork biting into ripe delicious fruit in the fall

Wiping sweet juice running down my chin on my shirt sleeve

Of the many things I miss from my childhood these are only a few

And…As I enter the beginning of the second they say

These memories are the last to go


Photo of my childhood home in 1949 from our family album

( The round spinning mailbox post had not yet been put up.)



A Tribute to Mom

Mom pulling Dwight in wagon -Masontown 1948 001

One of the things that struck me most, as I read through her diaries after she passed in 2007, is how many times she writes, “I am so tired!”  Back in the 40’s and 50’s there were no air conditioners. Clothes were washed in a ringer washer and hung on a clothes line to dry. Mom always washed clothes on Monday. I can still smell the aroma of Tide and see the clothes squeezing through the ringer into the rinse tubs. When dry, she and my sister Priscilla sprinkled them and ironed them on an ironing board in the kitchen. It was hard work and I am sure Mom was very tired every night when her head hit the pillow!

Thanks Mom, for all your hard work and loving care!

Wash Line Memories

Lines strung across the yard to the apple tree

Electric pole and butternut make three

Held up in the middle with a big long prop

Just a long skinny pole with a nail in the top

Morning dew quickly takes leave

Clothes carried from the basement in a basket of weave

Wooden clothes pins in a bulging bag

Some have heads others squeeze to hold the rags

Shirts and underwear flap pretty as you please

Jeans and sheets hang carefree in the breeze

Neighbors next door see everything you wear

Back then it didn’t matter we didn’t give a care

Towels loose moisture but not their good smell

When you wash with Tide you know all is well

The best part of all are those windblown sheets

Crawling in bed getting tucked in and ready to sleep

There’s no better bed in the entire world

Than one just made with windblown sheets


Photo:  Mom Pulling me in the Wagon 1948