Music Crossroads

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I  really enjoy Ken Burns PBS video series on the History of Country Music. The beauty of it all is reflected in the way music was passed back and forth across the social and racial divides. The influences of all the cultural groups are reflected in the music. Great music speaks to everyone’s soul. It has no boundaries.

Soul melodies flow
Music // blood only runs red
Crossing all bound’ries

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Music // an ever renewable energy source
Costs nothing //earns great sums for some
A soft song or rhythm with a driving force
Music can be loud // or only a small hum

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Can you tell what melody is written on the painting…  Start at the clef and work upward…

My DeWALT Bass!

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The Poetry of Sound…
I saw people making cigar box guitars on YouTube. Only one or two tried making a bass. I decided to see if I could make a 2 string fretless bass. I did not have a cigar box, so I decided to use my DeWalt reciprocating saw case. It was good hard plastic and locked down tight. I had a piece of hickory, from a tree behind my house, that I ran through my table saw to make the neck. I took the grinder and ground out the partitions and drilled holes in the top with my door hole saw. I got a cheap piezo stick-on pick-up on amazon. It seems to work well and has a good sound when I hook it up to my small amp. I tuned it to a low C and E on my piano.

These photos show some of the process:

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth & Ruth Roth

She Sings

 

Daniel T Stowe Gardens #7 2018 (2)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 a rhythm,
and yes,
with spoken words
clear and unchained;
For the stroke
did not
affect that side of the brain.

***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Making a Difference

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Her gray hair that once flowed around her shoulders
Now pulled back tightly held with a stretch band;
There she sat in her wheelchair // her gaunt body fading
Wrapped in her shawl // holding her little doll on her lap.
As I read stories to the group of elderly residents
She sat with her head down // eyes closed as though asleep;
Yet somehow, I knew she is still listening to me.
I finished, and got out my twelve-string ovation guitar;
They enjoyed singing my old classics from the sixties…
A time when we all were young, and words sung told stories.
As I began to sing, “You are my sunshine…” her head began to move
Others joined in letting the song take them to another place and time.
Thought her body remained motionless, her feet now began to move;
Her soft pink slippers began a rhythmic pattern as she relived the days
When she danced, carefree to the music, with the one she loved.
Clutching her dolly, her eyes went from open to closed and open again
She rode the rhythms of each song in her mind, as feet danced
Pushing her wheelchair back to her unit she quietly said to me,
“I really enjoy that.”
It was then I knew I was making a difference!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Anmol, at d’Verse, asked us to write a poem that uses description of a person that paints a picture of that person for the reader. I decided to write about one of the elderly persons who comes to hear my stories and songs at the local nursing home.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Anna

Dancing Girl

Four years old Anna’s, daddy played the fiddle in a small-time music group. On Saturday nights, her mother brought Anna to the Via Cappuccino to watch her daddy play.
As the group sang and played, Anna left her table and moved into the walkway where people pass to get their coffee. She threw her head of yellow curls back and danced and twirled as the music captivated her mind.
When Anna started school, her teachers reminded her that spontaneity was not welcome in the classroom. In Middle School, she became sad, bottled up, and aggressive. One day, she got sent home for a three-day suspension.
As her father drove her home that day, he told her,
“Anna, one day ‘you will love again the stranger who was your self’.”
*****
“Tonight, we play music!”
“Come listen to me play my fiddle (…and remember that stranger!”)

Bing Photo: coolwebsiteinfo.com

Tonight at d”Verse, Kim asked  us to write a flash fiction piece of not more than 144 words. We also were asked to include this line of a poem: ‘you will love again the stranger who was your self’

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Steps (a Quadrille)

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Guitar-fretted steps extended up beyond spacing
Climbing from the bottom sends my heart racing
These musical frets // are made for young ones chasing
Each other up and down // squealing // and with laughter piercing…
Like a violin being played sadly for the very first time

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

The word fret has several meanings. One means to fuss or complain. Another is to carve out in parallel lines, such as in architecture. Then there are the frets on a musical instrument like a guitar, which are brass strips placed at intervals and used for giving the strings varied pitches. Today at d’Verse Kim suggested we write a Quadrille, of only 44 words, using some form of fret! I have attempted to use it as an adjective describing a long set of steps at our local park. I saved this photo for the last two years trying to think of a way to use it in a poem. This was the perfect opportunity to do so.

Country Soul Music

Today at d’verse Amaya asked us to think about music that touches our soul and brings tears to our eyes! I have been a lover of country music since I was a teenager. Traditional Country Music has always been embedded in the lives of the listeners. Listening to it is often like watching a reality show. Vince Gill gained fame in the early 1990s, and his song Go Rest High on that Mountain touches my soul like no other. He finished it after the death of his brother a couple of years earlier.

The clip above is from the funeral of George Jones, where he sings his classic song with Patty Loveless.  George Jones, a veteran of Classic Country Music, was a close friend of Vince. As you listen, you can’t help but get caught up in the intense emotion flowing from this song. It is truly one of the great songs of our time.

Music searches the soul like nothing else;
Setting words on fire // lighting the spirit;
Inspiring our hearts // connecting us with God.
Tears flow as I listen to Go Rest High on the Montain;
Crying for my loss // Crying for their loss
Coming face to face with my mortality
Knowing at some time the center of focus will be me.
Empathy, pain, and grief all rolled into one;
Cathartic tears cleanse my soul // resets my spirit;
A time of reflection past … present … and future

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This is the official version of the song:

 

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Old Musicians

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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

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

In Limbo

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Our d’Verse prompt today is Limbo. I am trying the Lai poetic form again, and writing about the long awaited Royal Baby! Delivery any day. In the meantime, everyone waits in Limbo!

Royal baby soon
We might hear by noon
We’ll know
Megan screams pained tune
Harry brings balloons
Too slow
Might wait till June
Media buffoons
Limbo

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Photo: people.com

55words

Join us at:  https://dversepoets.com

The Lai poetic form has three couplets of five syllables; each followed by a two syllables line.

The five syllable lines must rhyme and the two syllable lines must rhyme as well.

The Feeling of Home

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When we moved to the Charlotte area of North Carolina several years ago, it felt like home. The rolling hills, the corn fields, and the woodlands all felt very much like the area of Pennsylvania where I grew up. I came to the conclusion that home is really a feeling that brings back memories of our  past. I wrote this poem as a song at that time describing how I felt. I have edited it to make it flow better when read.

Home is a Feeling
Home is a feeling you’ll know when you’re there
No matter how far you go no matter where you’ve been
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling when you’re there
*
When you’re driving through the cornfields
 down a long and dusy road
And you see the evening sun
sinking slowly out of sight
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling and you’re there
*
When you’re far away and all alone
wondering how long you’ll be gone
And a song comes on the radio
it takes you back and you’re right there
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling and you’re there
*
Though mom and dad are gone
and the old house stands no more
The place is still just as real
you can feel their presence there.
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling when you’re there
*
When you’re loved by those around you
and they all reach out to you.
Nothing else matters now…
You can see it in their smiles.
That feeling slips in and lets you know…
Home is a feeling when you’re there

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth