Winter is a time of hope and anticipation of what is to come. It is a time of reflection on the past year and a look forward to good things to come. What was lost in the past year is not necessarily gone, but remain as seeds of hope for renewal in the spring. Collect those seeds and plant them again when you feel the warmth of the sun on your face and the gentle rains of spring. Let them grow and blossom. There is no hope, only memories in a dried arrangement!


I collected seeds today

What was once an orange glow

Mirroring the warmth of the sun

Now captive of early morning frost

Dried and twisted stems

Heads bowed in thirsting humility

Yet full of hope and anticipation

Remnants of petals soft and fragile

Hard-pressed in the icy blasts

Devoid of life-giving water

Memory of beauty still hanging on

Winter is a time of anticipation

Remembering and expecting

Knowing that when the icy chill is gone

Resurrection of beauty will occur

Hope left in the fruit of the flower

Seeds are not dead rather full of paused life

So I collect seeds in winter

With anticipation of spring

Nature’s Paintbrush


I can’t seem to get enough of the beautiful fall colors. Nature paints its colors in ways I can never duplicate in paintings or photos. There is nothing like the broad vista of vivid colors spreading out across the changing forest. The long rays of the morning and afternoon sunshine bring out every shade and color of God’s creation in full array. This poem is a tribute to the greatest painter of all time. Nature itself!!

Nature’s Paintbrush

Splashes of red on gold

Blushing in the afternoon sunshine

Waving at me across the way

From a canvas of trees

Laid out in perfect perspective

On background planes of gum, cedar, and hickory


Nature’s paint brush can’t make up its mind

First green, then gold with splashes of crimson

And finally shades of burnt umber


Seems it just can’t decide

Which color it likes best

So it tries them all

Then like an etch-a-sketch

Shakes and erases the pallet clean

Only to start anew

Red helicopters landing

Their mission perpetuation

Forests of the future

Right on schedule

Surrounding the frogs of spring


Photos: Dwight L. Roth


Crown of Thorns


Without seeds life as we know it would cease to exist. Every year, as the summer comes to an end, plants dry up as the beautiful flowers and green leaves fade and fall to the ground. Most of us cut them, pull them up, or mow them up with the lawn mower. We give little thought to the importance of those dried up seed pods. They provide food for birds and animals in the winter, and still there are enough left to sprout and grow again in the spring. Farmers plant and harvest many grains for consumption. These seeds allow us to continue living year after year.  This poem in in recognition of the seeds that sustain us.

Of what use are your long gnarled stems

Heads balding from the loss of fragile beauty


Sucked dry by bird and bee

Seeking the nectar of life hidden deep inside

Of what use is your thorny crown


Pocked and dried by sun and wind

Waiting in the remaining time

To be cut broken discarded


The glory days of ephemeral beauty gone

What’s left for the aging freckled head

What beauty remains for the dried and broken

It was not all for naught, the losing of ones crown

For underneath the crown lies the key to beauty

The ongoing genetics of life the giftwrapped wonder

Beauty is in the seed passing on and on and on

Since the beginning of time


Without the crown of thorns there would be no future beauty

There would be no life here after

Beauty is passing,  life is fragile,  but the seed remains forever

To once again spring forth from the ashes of the past

Bringing life and hope and from that dried crown of thorns 


Photos: Dwight L. Roth