When I Think of Freedom


On the Fourth of July many think of freedom as the day we declared our independence from England. It may remind us of those who fought in the revolution and many wars since then. It may mean standing for the National Anthem or Saluting the Flag. But there is an even deeper meaning to freedom, without which all the others lose their significance. Freedom is an attitude, a choice, and a mindset that goes beyond the physical realm.

Freedom to walk with others

Protecting their dignity and pride

Freedom to have courage to speak

When injustice rears its ugly head

Freedom to show kindness

Without expectation

Freedom to believe and have faith

In the manner of our choosing

Freedom to forgive

Releasing hurt and pain

Freedom to say.  “I love you!”…

So memories of you will be good one!

Freedom is not physical // it’s a mindset

No one can take away from you


Photo: Dwight L. Roth



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

Ink Spots


Ink Spots

Young and flawlessly beautiful

She emerged like a butterfly

Damp wings and all

Only to spread her wings and fly away

Into a challenging world of lessons to be learned

And bruises to be nursed.

With each clip of her wing

She put an ink spot with needle and blue

To remember not to repeat that one with you…

Ink spots

Indelible on her skin

Words to look at each day and remember

Who she is… fragile and ephemeral

Yet strong and determined to achieve

Feeding from all the beauty around her

Basking in the sunshine of spring

Looking forward to heat of summer

And perhaps a few more ink spots to remind her

To stay strong at the crossroads of life

Remaining true to herself and her dreams

Choosing the path less traveled

But most rewarding in the end


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

*Written for my beautiful granddaughter Ashley

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