The three amigos

Music makes the blind man see again

“This sunny April afternoon” made me think of Danny

He loved music and singing in the choir

Being blind did not affect his singing voice

His harmony came through loud and clear

Diabetes took its toll on his health, but not his voice

At age seventy-four he wanted to learn the guitar

A big challenge for me to help him

Getting fingers in position.. on the right strings

Playing chords came in time as we met each week

I could feel the music flowing through Danny

We spent a great year playing and singing together

Although it seemed like his “life in a bottle” was dark

his imagination and memory were sharp and clear

Then came Covid-19… isolation separated us

Health issues took Danny from us only a year ago

We all miss him greatly

Music made the blind man see again

Teaching guitar to Danny and David (2)

Photos: Vera Payne

Posting for Punam’s poetry prompt, Music, on d’Verse Poets Pub. We were to include two of the song titles from a Linda Perry record album that she shared with us.  My quotes are in dark print.

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Acapella Music


Acapella Music

Music was sweet and pure when I was a child

No “worldly” instruments with our Sunday Songs

Just sweet voices singing four-part harmony.

Now times have changed accompaniment abounds

But memories of four-part harmony still bring chills

To those of us us who were there.

Today at d’Verse, Linda asked us to write a 44 word Quadrille using any form or the word music. When I was a child, back in the 1950s, I grew up in a conservative Mennonite church. In our church musical accompaniment was not permitted. It was great sitting in a church full of people singing four-part harmony. I still find it very soothing to my soul when I hear it. The song above was one that became a favorite in later years. It is known simply as 606, the number of the hymn book page where it was found.

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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


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











Photos: Dwight L. Roth

She Sings!

IMG_1042 (4)

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


“Hel-l l lo.”

But, as the music plays…

Oh, can she sing

Every word plain and clear

smooth as jazz.

She sings


a smile

spreading across her face.

The words pour out


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.

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