Goodby Dear Friend

Vera's Painting

Today my good friend Danny passed away. It was very sad to get the news. He is the same age as me but suffered from health issues that shortened his life. He had diabetes that was difficult to control. Several weeks ago, he had to have part of his lower leg amputated from lack of circulation. In addition to that he was blind.

Back in 2019 his wife asked if I would try to teach him some chords on the guitar, so I worked with him along with his neighbor David who wanted to learn as well. David picked up playing very quickly, but for Danny it was a little slower. I was able to teach him how to hold chord positions, but he never quite mastered changing from one chord to another. We decided to have him play the home chord while David and I played the changes. He did well on keeping rhythm with us, so we sang and played together twice a week for the year before Covid. He loved playing with us and looked forward to our weekly get togethers. He favorite song was one his father in Barbados loved, Just a Little Talk with Jesus! Since Covid we have not been able to play together as his health continued to decline.

Goodby my dear friend

May you sing with the angels

and talk with Jesus

Danny David and Dwight

Danny Dwight and David 2

Danny Dwight and David

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Ukrainian Now

Tom Paxton and John McCutcheon have written a heartfelt, stirring song, “Ukrainian Now”, that touches us all. Noel Paul Stookey edited this beautiful video that includes Peter Yarrow, Bill Miller, Tret Fure, Holly Near, Joe Jencks, Emma’s Revolution, Rebel Voices, Crys Matthews, Carrie Newcomer and Christine Lavin singing with them.

Many of these folks are living shadows from my past! They came out of the Folk Revival of the 1960s and have been speaking through their music and lyrics ever since that time. This is poetry in song! This is a beautiful heartfelt song!

Homemade DeWalt Guitar

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As many of you know, I love trying new things. This week my urges went into seeing if I could make a guitar out of a DeWalt drill case. I cut out the walls from the inside of the case and made a neck out of a piece of Maple from a tree that was damage a couple of years ago. Using my old Washburn guitar, I measured and copied the scale length of 25.5 inches. I marked off the neck to match and cut slits for the frets. I got the frets, the tuning nuts, the bridge and a cheap stick-on pick-up from Amazon. The neck runs through the case and bolts into the end. Since I needed more strength inside, I cut a piece of steel shelf leg and mounted it onto the neck.  On the outside I used a small turnbuckle to keep the neck from bowing.  It is a little tinny sounding but works and is tunable. With the amp it doesn’t sound too bad,

Music comes from case

Neck straight and bright strings vibrate

Drill stops its whining

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

She Sings!

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Back in the days before Covid-19, I went to a nearby nursing care facility to read my stories and play my guitar and sing. They enjoyed Folk songs from the sixties and gospel songs. One of the residents who came was a stroke victim. She had a difficult time speaking, but when we sang, she sang right along with us. It was a very moving experience to see this happening. This poem is for her.

She sings

though she cannot speak.

Halting words

say,

“Hel-l l lo.”

But, as the music plays…

Oh, can she sing

Every word plain and clear

smooth as jazz.

She sings

with

a smile

spreading across her face.

The words pour out

filling

her soul

with rhythm…

and yes

with spoken words

clear and unchained.

For the stroke

did not

affect that part of her brain.

***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

What Takes You There…

When you look at a piece of art or read a poem

What grabs your attention and makes you look or listen

What takes you there… to another place and time

Is it the color, the refinement, or the spectacular?

No, what takes you there is the heart/mind connection.

The memories of places or events or people

Flow through your mind like a flash flood in Spring

Washing over you once again with those feelings;

Many long gone, yet very real in your mind.

Some take you places you don’t want to go…

To dark times long buried, yet haunting still.

Connections with the past take you there…

Allowing you to relive what will never be again;

And, for a moment in time, you are there.

*

Music video: YouTube

The Beat Goes On

Lone Bass Man keeps the beat

Dancers waltz // music flows sweet

One, two, three // one, two, three

Mellow strings

Melody carries them

Floating high in the hall

Beat goes on

Light steps move // paired as one

Blue Danube

flows gently in their ears

The notes stop // curtsies // bows

The bass man packs it up

He never gets to dance

Lone Bass Man Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Bjorn asked us to look at the beat in poetry. He asked us to write a poem with the three-beat rhythm of the Waltz.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Crank up the Victrola

Back in the days of the hand cranked Victrola these old 78 rpm records brought music to folks with limited access to the larger world. Radio stations broadcast songs of A.P. Carter, Sarah, and Mother Maybell, across the airwaves from Bristol Virginia/Tennessee, into mountain homes with battery powered radios. The records, like the one above, were recorded live and cut onto a metal disc that was then used to press the vinyl records. Classical and Jazz records were a hit as well. I still don’t understand how a scratching needle can make beautiful music!

We have come a long way from 78 rpms of my childhood. Digital sound is amazing as it comes from many devices manufactured today. Interestingly the old 45 rpm and 33 1/3 rpm players are not making a comeback with the younger generation! There is something magical about putting a record on, watching it spin and listening to the music come pouring out! The old ways weren’t so bad after all!

RCA Victor

Music coming from a horn

Flappers dance to Swing

***

Photo from Robert’s Books in Lincoln City, Oregon – Dwight L. Roth

Music

Street Musicians – Tuba Skinny – in New Orleans French Quarter

Music

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.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

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

Music in the Key of C

Music, when combined with poetry, leaves imprints on our hearts and souls. I remember the exact time I first heard Folk Music. Three high school kids had formed a group and were singing the Folk Songs of the 1960s. When I heard Blowin’ in the Wind for the first time, I was hooked. Peter, Paul and Mary along with Joan Baez reinforced what I had heard. It became forever embedded in my soul. I have been playing and singing these songs for over fifty years.

Words and melodies take us back or make us dream of something more. Songs lift our spirits, challenge a nation, and sometimes make us cry. What would life be like without a song to sing? Michael Jonathan, of the Wood Song Old Time Radio Hour says: “You can’t fight and sing at the same time!” You can on the other hand walk hand in hand and protest injustice while singing! Perhaps our nation needs some new songs to sing.

Music notes like words

Never ending melodies

Sing of summer’s end

***

Painting of G Clef: Dwight L. Roth