Street Musicians – Tuba Skinny – in New Orleans French Quarter


Music is life

The very essence of love

lost in sweet lyrics.

Lethal dose cuts to the heart

Deafeningly loud / lit and wild

Today, Bjorn at d’Verse, asked to write a poem using a list from google search. By putting in a word or two and a letter, the search fill in the rest for us. I used bing search and typed in Music is l… It filled in Music is life and then gave a sub-list of additional l words for music is life. See below.

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The poem above is in tanka form, based on the theme Music is Life… I highlighted the other words from the sub-list.

The music in the video is a group know as Tuba Skinny. They are a group of street performers in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I love listening to their music. The couples in the video dance so effortlessly as though the music flows right through them. Enjoy!

music is life

  • music is love
  • music is love lyrics
  • music is lit
  • music is loud
  • music is lethal

music is life quote

Covid Creativity – A Chair Seat Bass

A few weeks ago, I was volunteering at our local Habitat For Humanity Restore fixing some chairs that had been donated. I used one damaged chair to repair two others for resale. When I was done, I had this nice solid wood chair seat that was about to hit the dumpster. I thought to myself, “This would make a great electric bass guitar.” So I brought it home with me.

I drew a curved body on the chair seat and cut out one side with my jig saw. I used the piece I cut out for the opposite side. That got rid of all but two of the holes along the edges.

It fit nicely across my leg, but the point on the top side caught my armpit so I cut it off. That worked very well. My belts to my belt sander separated so I did most of the sanding on the edges by hand.

When I got it smooth, I hung it up and spray painted it black and then began working on the neck. I needed a strong piece of wood that would be very hard so I used a piece from a hickory tree in my back yard. I cut it the year before and it had dried out nicely. With my table saw I cut off the bark and shaped the neck. Again I had to sand it by hand so it was a little rough, but smooth.

I found some old paint that I used to touch up a car I used to have and decided to paint it all burgundy red. It turned out very well. I then put several coats of clear coat over it.

When I bolted the neck to the body I found I had it too long and would not be strong enough to keep from bending, so I cut six inches off and reset the neck to a 34″ scale. In doing so got the end that bolt to the body too thin. So I had to find something to serve as a truss rod or the neck would bow forward.

In my collection of junk I found a clothes line tightener and by flattening an L bracket I was able to attach it to the bolt on the guitar and the neck, so when turned the middle it drew or loosened the neck. That worked and brought the neck down to about a quarter of an inch action height.

I forgot to mention I only had room for three strings on the neck, so I decided that would work. I ordered parts from amazon and found they had a three string cigar box pick up as well. When it came I discovered the four string bridge was too wide to line up with the magnets on the pick-up, so I had to redrill the string holes. By plugging in the jack and holding it over the strings I found where I was getting the best sound. That is were I mounted it onto the body. The pick-up had a very fragile wood frame so I used a couple of wooden toy wheels to shim it up. It ended up being the exact height I needed.

I drilled through the body and ran the pick up wire through to the back. I trenched out a space for the wire to lay in and used electrical caps to cover it. I bent the end one on and angle and used it to mount the the re-soldered jack.

When I hooked it to my amp it worked great. I could only turn the volume to a 3 or it would rattle the windows! I was thrilled.

I mounted the tuning knobs in the head piece of the neck and used wide head screws to keep the string tension in the grooves.

I used my guitar tuner to set my scale on the neck where frets would usually go. I wrote the chord roots on the neck so I could see where to put my fingers. Then I drilled holes in the neck to mark where they were also. It works great seems to hold tuning well. It tend to have a little feedback buzz if I pick to hard with my thumb.

Building this was the most fun I have had in a long time. Now I have to learn how to play it! I tried to load a face book clip of me playing it but it would not let me use it. You will have to use your imagination!

“A creative mind never sleeps! – Dwight L. Roth

I finally found I had to put the FB video on public to get it to load on here! We did a simple version of I’ll Fly Away, so you could hear a little of how it sounds.

All is Lost

‘Twas with storm and October gale she ripped the sail

Shredded last threads flapping / faceless flag without stripes

Into the gale / fearless calm / face of moon-ash-pale

Fate assured / as many feared the Orca axed rock’s sharp scrape


Tsumami waves… his pall bearers strong / buried him deep

neath igneous rocks, casket solid, lasting a thousand years

Pale moon shredding tears / hidden from all in view’s keep

Fate assured / guiding light / riding gears of hopeless fears


Now each October 31st she walks / cold quartz beneath her feet

Pale Moon brightly shines / smiles / mist kissing her ashen face

This night her last walk / gang plank of sand / calls from the deep

Assured fate / drawn to his siren song / moon follows her last trace

Waves wash the chalkboard clean….

Spectors walk hand in hand in the full moon’s light….

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lucy is the guest host and asked us to write a dark ballad. October has many aspects of this ending with Halloween. I am not into murder, blood, or gore, so I wrote my ballad about a salor lost in a storm and his love who cannot take the loss any longer! Hope you enjoy it along with my painting that I entitled “All is Lost”.

Join us at: Then click the Mr. Linkey box to read some of the other poets poems.

First Snowfall

Out in the field

behind the chicken house

rows of asparagus

line the edge of the woods

kinked twisted…

bent over like a hundred old men.

Seed pods cling stubbornly to the tops.

In the woods,

bare foot paths

Disappear under a snowy blanket.

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Merril asked us to write a Quadrille of exactly 44 words, using the word blanket in any form we choose. It is still Fall here, but I immediately thought of snow in the winter where I grew up. It was such a beautiful sight to see that first snowfall blanketing everything outside.

Join us at: … then click the Mr. Linkey box to read other poets’ posts.

The Humble Servant

Bing photo

What do you think would happen if Trump and Biden washed each other’s feet?

Today is World Communion Sunday, remembering the suffering and death of Jesus. It is celebrated by many Christian churches. When I was young, our church celebrated communion twice a year. Along with the bread and the cup representing the body and blood of Christ, we also practiced foot washing. This also was a part of the original story where Jesus washed his disciples feet, and told them to do the same for each other.

In the time of sandaled feet walking dusty roads, it was common for a servant to wash the feet of guests who arrive. It was probably one of the lowliest jobs in the household. This was the humble act of service his followers needed to do for each other to remind them that in God’s eyes we are all the same. We are all humble servants of one another. This concept seems to be lost in today’s society.

I had this flash of a thought in relation of the upcoming election and the debates scheduled. Wouldn’t it be interesting if, instead of castigating each other, Trump and Biden would simply come on stage and with a basin and a towel and wash each other’s feet! And in this act of humble service say to the American public, whomever you choose, we will be the humble servant to the other! Wow my imagination really did run wild today!!

Let me wash your feet

Humility and service

heal division’s wounds

To read the story click the link below:

Hang Loose

Last week I finally picked up this mess of string that had gotten extremely tangled. I thought I would begin rolling it onto a stick so I could use it in the future. I found the end and began to roll, but the harder I pulled the more knotted up it became. I tried weaving the stick through the loops, but it soon was tight again. Finally I picked up the loose ends and began to shake them in my hand. As I did, the end loosened up and I kept winding. It took awhile, but in the end I was able to shake this knotted mess loose and get it totally rewound onto the stick.

There are a number of analogies one could take from this, but I thought how much this is like our relationships. The harder we pull against each other the tighter the situation becomes. If we could just hang loose and let things shake themselves out, life would be a lot better for everyone. In a marriage there will always be knots somewhere down the line. If we could just hang loose and not take things so personally, perhaps we could find a way to untangle those knots. I realize some situations may require cutting the cord, but for most there is hope if both are willing to work at it.

Life’s knots and tangles

Need shakeups to work them out

Hang on… don’t jump ship

Ride out September’s gales

November brings Thanksgiving

Winter is coming

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Feel the Power

I have always had a love for trains, especially steam trains. Living in coal country, in Pennsylvania, I loved seeing the big black engines come rolling down the track. Now in my adult years I refer to them as the Pennsylvania Dragons. Many of them were built in the Baldwin works in Philadelphia. The tremendous power it takes to move all that weight is breathtaking!

Some of the old engines are being restored and changed over from coal burning to oil. That is what was done to the engine in the Video. How can one not stand in awe while watching one of these going down the track.

This is a song I wrote a few years ago in memory of those childhood steam trains I enjoyed so much. The blog won’t let me post a video of me singing it so you will just have to use your imagination!

The Pennsylvania Dragon


Steel wheels keep on turning

Keeping rhythm perfect time

Hauling coke from the ovens

Hauling coal from the mines


Down along the winding river

Monongahela was its name

Comes the “Pennsylvania Dragon”

Belching smoke & shooting flames


Engines 29’s a coming

See the light and hear the steam

As she passes Martin crossing

You can hear that whistle scream


Whistle blowing at the crossing

Black smoke pouring from her stack

On to Pittsburgh she’ll be rolling

Tomorrow she’ll be coming back


Counting coal cars as she passes

Waving to the engineer

100 cars hauling heavy

Red caboose at the rear


Now the trains of my childhood

Are all silent lost in time

And those “Pufferbilly Dragons”

Are just memories on my mind


Down along the winding river

No more smoke or shooting flames

Just the rumble of the diesel

…but it’s just not quite the same

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

I am posting this one for open link night at d”Verse. A diversion from the foolishness going on in our society theses days!

Join us at: Click on the Mr. Linkey box to read our poems.

Blossoms to Beans

I am sad to see the beautiful purple hyacinth blossoms falling as the bees and humming bird suck out the last bit of nectar. Pollen has been passed around freely by all, and the cool breath of Fall is creeping in behind shortened days. In place of the blossoms purple seed pods emerge carrying on new life from season to season.

Bean blossoms preserved

Hidden within purple seeds

Fall is here once more

Photos: Dwight L. Roth