Old Musicians

Old musicians die

But their music lives on

Beautiful tributes

To the power they harnessed

That changed the world

Challenged politics

Social Norms

And, brought about revolutions

Music that touches the soul

Reaches all the way to Heaven

And Hell

Yes, old musicians die

But their music is alive and well

Today at d’Verse, it is open link night. Linda, our host talked about her love for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones when she was young. Some musicians that we enjoyed have passed on for various reasons. John Lennon’s music Imagine will last into the next generation and beyond. I loved country music, which lost a number of its iconic singers early in life. I think of Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, who died in their prime. Buddy Holly also left us way too soon. Even so, their music lives on. This poem is a tribute to them.

I painted my old Harmony guitar a few years ago. I found it many years ago at a yard sale, coming apart at the seams. I glued it back together and it works fine. It was one you could have ordered from the Sears and Roebuck Catalogue back in the 1950s. I laid the guitar on the canvas and traced it off full size and then painted it.

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Photo: Ruth Roth

A Great Example

See the source image

Death calls us one and all
Gathering one last time to pay respects
Four Presidents and a son all came together
Sitting solemnly in the front pew
No words of animosity spoken
Not the time for politics or twitter
Only a time for remembering
And honoring a life well lived
An elder statesman and former President
Words of praise // of humor // and of love
All expressions of those who loved him most
And then came the sermon…
~Of love and acceptance
~Of caring and compassion
Straight from the heart of God
Perhaps his last trip to Washington
Will speak to the discord and division
Leaving behind the greatest legacy of all…
An example to follow by the one now in charge
Let him who has ears to hear…
Hear and find wisdom to live by
From the life and example of
President George H.W. Bush
~December 5, 2018~

Photo of Bush’s Dog Scully: UPI

Cowardly Lies


The Wizard of Oz was a lesson in phycology for those who watched Dorothy and her three friends struggle with their deficiencies. As they made their way down the Yellow Brick Road, they discovered the confidence they lacked was really within them.  Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to choose one of the three characters and write a poem from their perspective. I chose to write a poem addressing the Cowardly Lion’s lack of courage. At the end read the Lions response…Perhaps we could all learn something about ourselves from the Cowardly Lion!

Cowardly Lies (Dorothy)
Who stole the virginity of your mind
Telling you courage was not for you
Embedding self-depreciating thoughts
Of weak and unfounded fear

Who filled your mind with kryptonite lies
Making you weak and helpless when challenges arose
Hiding in the shadows afraid to show your face
Feeling like a mouse in a lion’s costume

You are more than a sniveling wimp
You are a Lion // proud and strong
Born with a king’s legacy in your DNA
Surrounded by a pride of ancestors gone before

To find your voice you must believe
Look deep into your heart
See the courageous King you were meant to be
Stand tall and strong // believe in yourself

Rise // and fulfill your destiny


Photo: from d’Verse Poetry Pub


The Lions Response:

A Change of Heart
Who stole the virginity of my mind
Telling me courage was not for me
Embedding self-depreciating thoughts
Of weak and unfounded fear

Who filled my mind with kryptonite lies
Making me weak and helpless when challenges arose
Hiding in the shadows afraid to show my face
Feeling like a mouse in a lion’s costume

I AM more than a sniveling wimp
I AM a Lion // proud and strong
Born with a King’s legacy in my DNA
Surrounded by a pride of ancestors gone before

To find my voice I must believe
Look deep into my heart
See the courageous King I was meant to be
Standing tall // and strong
I believe in myself

I Rise // and fulfill my destiny


Etch-a-Sketch Life


My granddaughter loves the Etch-a-Sketch. She made the beautiful sketch above working painstakingly on it for some time before leaving it for us as they left to go home. We kept if for a while knowing that it would not last, since any sudden movement could shake and erase.  I thought how this is a reflection of life. So often we strive to attain the things that won’t last and forget the those lasting values of family, faith, and love. What we instill in our children is what will last and pass on when we are gone. This poem reflects some of those things.

Etch-a-Sketch Life

Here today and gone tomorrow life is short

Like the grass in the field and the flower that fades

What legacy will you leave to report

Or when you go will life simply be erased

Like an Etch-a-sketch screen without a trace

Houses families and unfulfilled dreams

Gone in a heartbeat at the end of your race


Is what you create in this life while you’re here

Making a difference in those you hold dear

Learning good discipline to share and be kind

Values and character with love and good cheer


Things collected and attained with tall towers

Wealth and fame and political power

With the shake of God’s hand will all be erased

Passed on to others with  your name not a trace


As we celebrate Christmas and the joy that it brings

Remembering God’s love that we see in Him

Let us set our life’s goal on eternal things

Not things erased on the Etch-a-Sketch screen




Leaving His Mark


At the beginning of the twentieth century my grandfather left his mark on his community in Central Pennsylvania. Being a concrete mason, he did every kind of concrete work you could imagine.   A few years ago my brothers and I went looking for pieces of his work and found several that still had his name and the date carved into them.  The little town of Allensville had his sidewalks until the 1990’s. My brother-in-law was there when some of his sidewalks were being torn up and replaced. He salvaged a few pieces with names and dates on them . I took the 1914 piece, in the photo, and embedded it into a brick wall I built in my back yard. There it can live on. This poem is a tribute to  my grandfather, Christian Roth.

In 1914 he made this mark carved in wet concrete

Lived on the sidewalk for ninety years

His hard back breaking work complete

With progress comes change and new town walks

Grabbed a piece while being broken up

Saved for conversation memories and talk

The quality of his work was undeniable

A hundred years later still solid as rock

A fine lasting piece still carrying his label


C. Roth found in concrete all over the valley

1912, 1914,  and many more were there

Leaving his mark too many to tally


Walks, Watering Troughs, Sinks, and Ponds

Bake Ovens, Cow Stables, Root Cellars and Walls

A century of quality was his lasting bond


Now I plant this piece of stone from a century long gone

A tribute to my Grandfather

For the next hundred years on…



Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Headstone made of concrete and crushed glass was made for his son who died in a car wreck in 1926.

The wash house stove hearth was made in 1912 for my Great Grandparents.

The bake oven was built on a farm an is still in the yard. It was repaired and repointed by my uncle and my cousin over fifty years ago.

The 1914 piece from the town sidewalk.