The Unimaginable Magic

 

Monday Morning Musings:

“There are moments that the words don’t reach

There is suffering too terrible to name

You hold your child as tight as you can

And push away the unimaginable. . .

 

There are moments that the words don’t reach

There is a grace too powerful to name. . .

 

It’s quiet uptown”

-Lin Manuel Miranda, “It’s Quiet Uptown,” Hamilton

 

“The atoms that huddled for a cosmic blink around the shadow of a self will return to the seas that made us.

What will survive of us are shoreless seeds and stardust.”

–from Maria Popova, Figuring.

 

 

 No human voices break the silence,

but robins and mockingbirds sing, a woodpecker pecks,

crows caw wise warnings, geese honk greetings

I hear a whoosh above and a shadow flits before me, gone

IMG_6509

my own shadow remains, long-legged, invincible goddess–

if only,

she could push away the unimaginable,

the suffering, the families who will never hear a familiar voice.

She can’t. I can only I look for beauty and share

IMG_3088

the way sunbeams sift through early morning clouds,

the astounding variety of flowers in a multiplicity of hues,

rainbows revealed in sprinkler sprays, the sight of a deer family

the charcoal splendor of thunderclouds, the intense blue of the cloudless sky,

color and light, physics and magic, charm and fury—

EB1959E1-61F5-46B9-AF47-69E2947BE5F0

36CE87D6-B235-490A-9563-5CD7C9F9517A

life itself, cycling love and loss,

we never imagine, don’t expect

plagues, freak accidents, revolutions—

we push away these thoughts

because to do otherwise, we could not go on

 

and on, we go,

craving life, survival

seeds of hope sprouting in unlikely conditions

growing, reaching for light,

for grace

413B4290-0BF6-4B32-B803-2FB1CED0F948

The tenacity of plants. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield, July 2020. ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

perhaps unimagined,

silence can be comfortable;

it can be lonely, too–

equal and opposite reactions,

we’re pushed and pulled

 

from the womb to ashes and dust

we ebb and flow

like the tides of river and sea

and yet traces of us survive forever

in shoreless seeds and stardust—

 

this is the unimaginable magic of the universe—

that in the sparkle of light on water

the past and future exist together,

holding love, loss

and hope.

9DF18A5D-F282-41F0-B5D2-A57CDEEAA7D6

Delaware River

 

Merril’s Movie/Theater Club: We watched the Taiwanese movie A Sun (2019, Netflix). I don’t know if it’s the same in Mandarin, but in English, the title plays on the words sun and son. The movie is about family dysfunction and tragedy; the favored golden son who is working towards entering medical school and the younger son who predictably ends up in juvenile detention. But each member of the family has secrets and depths. After a tragedy, the family dynamics change. Though this movie is perhaps a bit too long, the acting is excellent, and the cinematography is beautiful.

0F7F8316-D5B4-4790-8402-1772B5C01EFA

Whitall House with a tree decorated for the Fourth of July. Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

We celebrated Independence Day, the Fourth of July by watching Hamilton (Disney+). I don’t know if this is available outside the U.S. I subscribed to Disney+  for a month just for this, which was a bit annoying, but I don’t plan to keep it, since there’s not much else I’m interested in on that platform. Still, at $7 and change, it’s worth it. We’d pay more for a movie ticket at a theater. This film is compiled from two performances of the original Broadway cast production, but it includes camera angles that you would never see from sitting in the theater. I’ve discussed Hamilton before. Believe all the hype, it really is a wonderful show, and most likely I’ll watch it again while I can.

The excerpted lyrics above are about after Alexander Hamilton and his wife Eliza’s son Philip is killed in a duel. Alexander and Eliza have been estranged, but in this aftermath of their personal tragedy, they grow close again. Life goes on in the midst of revolutions and tragedies—people fall in love, babies are born, children die. History is never simply about battles and elections.

We ate and drank a glass to freedom (that’s a glass of sangria, banana chocolate chip cake with cream cheese frosting) Ricky was not interested in the first act, but enjoyed the second half. 😏

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going Forth–Haibun

I’m reblogging this poem of love while hate is all around. Happy Anniversary to my younger daughter and son-in-law.

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

11722283_1005544602792136_3415753660320789971_o

Today tanks roll through the nation’s capital, and jets fly over a divided country, but I remember another Fourth of July where people came together to witness a union. Outside fireworks boomed and flared, but inside, love lit up the room. No excess displays are needed to whitewash the facts. Here, we share a couple’s happiness. With the stomp of a goblet, we’re reminded of the simple truth that love. . . is love is love is love. . .and that it endures.

lovers stand and watch

colors streak across the sky—

shattered glass echoes

through time, a kaleidoscope,

love forms and reforms again

Today is my younger daughter and son’s wedding anniversary. A few years ago, we celebrated three weddings within about two years. First our older daughter married her wife, then younger daughter married her husband, and then my sister married her wife. (You can find posts about…

View original post 31 more words

Celebrate. . .but

E36C9B2B-72B9-43AF-9969-ECA2351E9A41

Sunrise, Pitman Golf Course, June 2020

 

Celebrate,

but listen–

not to the naked fool.

 

Drink,

but not the dark brews

of pseudo-science and demagogues.

 

Celebrate and drink 

in the dazzling beauty of sky, sea, and flowers

that bloom and dance in the breeze.

 

Listen for good,

for healing and laughter,

for all the ifs

 

time offers

 

a window open to always,

never, and ever after

reflected in the glass,

 

past and future

in a brilliant cloud,

ghosts

 

leaving a trace in the air,

like perfume, I breathe in

the scent of caramel and coffee

 

that floats,

like a smile of, for

eternity.

 

My message from the Oracle. She does love the Puente form, even though she likes to play with it.

It’s Independence Day here in the U.S., the fourth of July, when we celebrate the anniversary of when the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The Oracle is obviously disgusted with the display the current and supremely ignorant inhabitant of the White House decided to put on last night, where he played to the basest of his base.

 

Up and Down

© 2020 Frank J. Tassone

 

We stand on a precipice, nation and world. Fissured by plague and threats to democracy, we are faltering, close to tumbling into an abyss. Is this the beginning of the end? Or merely a ripple in the waves of time? I leave the angry and weary voices to walk, looking for beauty in the bright colors around me. A chipmunk scurries by. Deer shyly graze, turkeys strut through the long grass, and blackbirds give a trilling chink as they fly overhead.

I watch the sun rising over the river, making it sparkle. It know it’s physics, but I can also see the magic. We need both.

 

bare branches turn green,

brown leaves fall into river–

past floats to future

 

F9A07115-F532-4266-AF85-B5C8005CA8AC

©️Merril D. Smith 2020

A Haibun for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Haibun prompt, using Frank Tassone’s photo at the top for inspiration, and my photo at the end.

 

 

 

The Sequel: Summer Stock

New_york_restaurant_by_edward_hopper

Edward Hopper, New York Restaurant

 

Perhaps the story did not end with the slam of a door and a parting of ways. Certainly–as with that other famous play–the audience thought that was that. They discussed the denouement. Then, they exited the theater and quickly forgot about it.

But stories always go on, even if we can’t see behind the curtain; even if what passes for drama is mundane or boring and closer to farce. Three kids in six years for him and a move to the suburbs (but not too far away); a steady corporate rise for her.

They connected again on social media. She saw photos of his children playing in their grandfather’s dentist office. There were not many shots of him and his wife together. He saw her photographed at business functions and vacationing in exotic locales. No steady partner in sight.

“I’m in New York for a conference. Do you want to get a drink and catch up?” He messaged her.

The audience thought, this time they will marry. And they did, moving back to their hometown, where he could be close to his children.

But they couldn’t go back to their old roles. Their characters had moved on from ingenue and young hero. Within three months, there were more slammed doors. And when she was offered a new job in another city, she took it and left.

 

A bit of flash fiction. Claudia McGill challenged me to write a sequel to her story-poem. Yeah, so the sequel is longer than the first part. 😏 Read hers first here.

 

 

Looking at Yesterday, Seeing Tomorrow

Monday Morning Musings:

“Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness and tears.”

–from Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, “Sunrise, Sunset,” Fiddler on the Roof (1964)

After thousands of sunrises and sunsets

the years fly quickly,

faster now, summer turns to autumn,

spring tears fall and shoots appear–

winter snow glitters on our heads.

 

Once I was a turtle,

slowly walking across a road

I hid my head from others

though I showed off my lovely carapace,

then you took me from my shell

A711D37C-F864-46AA-9082-DF6F3F5FA66A

and brought me into the world of people.

I showed you the world of books and art,

introduced you to exotic turtle food

and we played and burrowed deep,

into our blanket nest.

 

Our children were fawns

long-legged, shy, and fey,

until their camouflaging spots faded,

and then they sang the songs of birds

and gathered the wisdom of owls

 

tossing words, pitching music, and beaming light

into the world–

sometimes it was reflected back

in all the colors of the universe,

bringing love.

BC30E44A-4E31-4EA7-86D5-9BC4BFB11F06

8896A486-2E82-4758-8C27-DAB0C546E0BD

And now?

The water calls to me in rivers, streams, and oceans,

I sometimes carry the heavy weight of my shell,

but you share the burden,

and when I look at my reflection,

E6DA421D-37E8-4677-820B-3DD7E532E6F1649CEB36-897F-48C5-A99F-C958ED390F1420A016AA-F715-4661-991E-7AD707AC52EB

 

I see worlds beyond worlds–

the absurdity of the upside-down,

the glowing rays of a double sun

the promise of all the ifs,

and the hope in infinite possibilities stretching to forever.

16BD6D98-ABCB-46CF-9EAE-9056A4433011

I do not look to yesterday but walk into the future.

 

We celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary a few days ago, but we’ve known each other since ninth grade. To celebrate, we went to Ocean City, NJ and walked on the beach for a couple of hours in the morning, avoiding people as best we could. Then later we went on our first real outing since March. We went to a winery for our anniversary dinner, where we sat outside physically distanced from the other patrons, and after a brief thunderstorm, we enjoyed wine, pizza, and gelato. I think we were both a bit giddy to be out. I put my mask back on whenever our masked server came to the table.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Merril’s Movie Club: Back to more obscure Merril films. Both are on Netflix. We watched See You Yesterday, which we both really liked. All of the acting is excellent, especially the two engaging leads who portray brilliant Black teens hoping to get scholarships to good universities—a future. But this is very much a Black Lives Matter film, and they attempt to change the past. Playing on the theme, Michael J. Fox has a cameo appearance.

We also watched Bulbul, an Indian horror film—though it’s not a jump out of your seat horror. It’s more of a dark fable with beautiful cinematography.  It deals with a child bride and her life as an adult in her husband’s household, where her best friend is her brother-in-law. There is a tale of a demon/goddess who lives in the trees and swoops down to attack men at night. The story is retold throughout the movie. We both liked it, though I think I liked it more than my husband did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shifted Sands

IMG_1062

Ocean City, NJ June 2020

 

Great women

often forgotten,

and their marks

tide-shifted

till their footprints are erased–

still their ghosts whisper

 

murmuring

with knowledge we’ve lost,

unseen and

swept away,

their hidden figures buried

in the sands of time.

 

A double shadorma  for Colleen’s tanka Tuesday challenge. Pat R.’s theme asked us to consider Longfellow’s “Psalm of Life” poem and/or use it as a source of found poetry. Well, you can see what that poem does to me. 😏

In the Ever and After

 

ferocious eternity, a blush away

in a brilliant cloud—

 

listening for home,

I soar in search of time,

 

and if

I find, hear

 

the cosmos

in full-flowered rhapsody,

 

it is always a world

with dream language

 

like glass

and ocean, light-filled

 

ascending

with a thousand laughing wings

 

(wake, listen)

 

to heal the tiny tears

of the universe

 

in the ever

and the after

 

where magic lingers,

a ghost in the night.

 

It’s Saturday, and so, I consulted the Oracle. She gave me this poem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishes

512px-Winslow_Homer_-_Moonlight,_Wood_Island_Light

 

From the sea, she walks ashore, seal-skin slips

from her body–she stands now unadorned–

shimmering hair unbound and flowing,

dulse-laced and glowing, she whips

it ‘round like armor. Girded thus, the sea foresworn

yet she lingers, soul unsure, not quite captured

by the sunlight, body gleaming, hair sheened by salt-sea blowing,

directed then by lover’s shouts, she turns, enraptured.

 

But rapture does not last, not when the sea sighs and calls

in waves that beckon with infinite ebbs and flows

with subaqueous whispers from afar–

till finally, she must flee the confining walls,

let loose her hair and shed her clothes

to rush upon the sea-kissed sand,

fur-pelt in hand, she makes one wish upon a star,

and embraces the sea, abandons land.

 

For De’s prompt at dVerse on mermaids and selkies. I rewrote a poem I did a while ago for one of Jane’s prompts and added a second stanza. I kept the rhyme scheme, but didn’t quite follow the rest for a san san poem. So, here goes—no minimalism here, this one’s unabashedly romantic.