She Sings


Daniel T Stowe Gardens #7 2018 (2)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
across her face the words pour out
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


She Sings

Lone Bass Man

This week I was introduced to by fellow blogger Amaya to, a poetry group on Word Press that challenges one another to write in various poetic forms. This is all new for me, so I am giving it a try. Today they are asking us to write Jazz poetry which, I never heard of before. It is a free verse style that has a musical jazz-like quality to the rhythm to the flow. So here is my attempt. I am writing about my experience playing the guitar and singing with a group of old folks at a local nursing home each Friday.  I hope you enjoy my poem. This is my painting of The Lone Bass Man that I thought would go well with my poem.

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
Across her face the words pour out
her soul
with a rhythm,
and yes…
With spoken words
clear unchained.
For the stroke
Did not
Affect that side of her brain.

Music the Last to Go


I remember the first time I saw a stroke victim sing. It was quite a shock. I had taken my guitar to the rest home to sing some Folk Songs of the 1960s with the residents. One lady who could hardly tell me her name began singing clearly with me on This Land is Your Land. It was one of the most beautiful things I ever experienced. Speech and music come from different sides of the brain, so even though speech is difficult the singing ability is still there.

Music is the Last to Go

Musical vibes floating all around

Pushing the air beating our drums


Emotions of joy come pouring out

Raising our spirit making us shout

Coming from that spot in our brain

That touches our soul and keeps us sane


No matter what happens

Be it stroke or loss of speech

Music still flows

When talking’s out of reach


When it’s time to sing

We can sing every line

In rich melodic tones

Leaving all behind

Speechless in that moment

Wondering what just happened

Jaws drop in shock

As we sing with abandon


Musical speech unlocked in the brain

Music and talking ride a different train


In that gray matter that sometimes goes wrong

Our talking is slurred our conversations gone

Musical diction will still make us shout

From the very first note the words flow out

Bringing awe and wonder to all  who are about


Painting of Harmony Guitar -Dwight L. Roth