The Between Time

Monday Morning Musings:

“A Light exists in spring

Not present on the year

At any other period

When March is scarcely here.”

—Emily Dickinson, “A Light exists in spring,”Full Text Here


In the between-time, dinosaurs dreamt,

their breathe swirled in the misty air

floating to mingle with ours

their feathers bright

with gaping jaws and thunder cries

amidst the fern-like leaves,

always summer


we dreamt their dreams

and they dreamt ours

warm blood flowing through our veins

(uniting heart and mind)

we sat on their backs as they flew

large wings outspread

feeling their power and grace

and they listened to our stories

of love

of kings and queens

raptors enraptured,

always summer in our dreams


But now

in this between-time of winter-spring

the flowers bloomed, they danced and sang

(we heard their songs)

then felt their pain

(tears fell from the sky)

as winter touched them with cold fingers

covering them in an icy blanket

yet the days grow lighter


and yet still whiter



In this between-time world,

this in-between season,

forces of good and evil fight

but most of us, dinosaurs and humans,

remain in-between,

compliant, complacent,

lost in dreams,

thinking of summer


This weekend, we ate Hamantaschen

(a lot of Hamantaschen),


we drank wine,



I read about Queen Esther,

who may or may not have existed,

(an in-between world)

she married King Ahasuerus

who ordered his first wife, Queen Vashti,

to stand naked before his male guests at a banquet,

displaying what he owned

(what he could touch with his small hands)

she refused,

and he banished her–

magnanimously did not executed her–

but made a new law—

men would have complete authority over their wives.

Esther, plucked from his harem,

became his new wife,

a new trophy.

This king ruled a vast empire,

but he was petty,

thin skinned

(orange tinted)

easily influenced,

as for Esther,

fourteen years old

did she have a choice?

She was Jewish,

a secret descendent of exiles,

in palace full of secrets and intrigue,

she and her uncle Mordecai foiled a plan to kill the king,

winning his trust,

but the eunuchs involved were killed,

collateral damage,

And Esther skillfully manipulated the king,

outwitted his prime minister Haman

(the evil man behind the throne

disseminator of alternative facts)

and prevented the mass slaughter of the Jews

(though they still had to fight)

She is honored now,

Haman is reviled,

but still I wonder,

she remained with the king,

bore him a son,

a woman caught between men,

and I wonder about her

what did she give up

what did she give in to


Credit Line: Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, “Esther before Ahasuerus, (1738-1740)
Purchased with funds contributed by the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in honor of their 100th anniversary, 1982


I wonder about being complicit,

collaborating with the enemy,

we watched a TV show about Earth after aliens have taken over

letting humans do the work of enforcing their decrees

those who work for the aliens get good homes and other perks

resisters are sent to work camps or to “the factory,”

from which they never return,

a spin on WWII and Nazi-occupied countries,

or any country under a dictator,



(What would you do to save your family?)

though the air feels warm

sometimes, it’s always winter


But I know spring is coming

sense it from the light,

different from other times of the year,

brighter, losing the gloom of winter,

a signal,

a beacon of hope

I drink more wine,

eat some sweets,

ignore false honeyed words

take a break

deep breaths



we value love

and art

and beauty

and joy

we tell stories

of dinosaurs and ghosts

of ancient worlds

and kings and queens

and believe in people

we hope, but resist

and do not become complacent

even as the days grow longer

and we are lulled by spring’s sweet siren song

and dream our dreams,

ours and the dinosaurs,

in the in-between time


My conceit about dreams mingling with that of dinosaurs was inspired by Kerfe and Jane’s discussion on this post. 

The recipe for Shakshuka Hamantaschen can be found here on What Jew Wanna Eat.  I used part whole wheat flour for the pita. The recipe for the Cannoli Hamantaschen can be found here.

We’re expecting a big snowstorm tomorrow. Sigh.










45 thoughts on “The Between Time

  1. What a meaningful tribute to Esther and the feast of Purim here. Though you expose the dark you always suggested the light side full of art, love, joy.

    Here is a website I sometimes visit: You may find some more enlightenment and recipes here for this holiday.

    Yes, I know about Storm Stella. My sister and I are scheduled to fly from FL to PA on Wednesday afternoon. Fingers crossed . . . !

    • Thank you, Marian.
      Yes, I’ve seen that site before. I usually have to look up information about Jewish holidays because my knowledge of them is not very complete. 🙂
      I never really thought of Esther quite this way before.
      Good luck with your flight. I imagine the airports will be open by Wednesday afternoon–though getting to and from them might not be so much fun. Good luck!

  2. Wow Merril, wonderful! So many tangents and yet they all are netted into unity. I’ve been thinking too about the compromises and choices we make, especially for our children, our families. How we justify them to ourselves. When do they cross the invisible line?
    Anyway, one of your best. Dinosaurs and dreams and aliens and wives and kings and seasons and…somehow it all fits together. (K)

  3. Such a lot to think about here. I’m glad you gave us a pastry break in the middle! Most bible stories are so awful, you wonder what kind of a god was giving the life style instructions. Any woman who survived with her skin and her sanity must have been extremely intelligent, wiley, or lucky. What a shame the men who manipulated them still seem to be around today.

  4. Our mid-seventies on Thursday was supposed to be followed by an inch or two of snow on Friday/Saturday, but we had just a dusting on Saturday morning. Our daffodils weren’t too happy, but they have rebounded. It makes me wonder how crops will be affected. I remember times in New York when even light snow would wreak havoc on fruit trees, so here’s hoping for the best.
    I hadn’t thought about it before, but the wall around “Colony” now makes me wonder what is in store for us, these days.

    • We only got a bit of snow the other day. Everything was covered, but then it melted. The storm that’s coming tonight and tomorrow is supposed to be a major storm. I worry about the farmers and fruit trees, too.
      I like “Colony,” but it makes me anxious, too. Yes, that wall–we will see.

  5. Wonderful wisdom here, Merril. Dinosaurs, Esther, hamantaschen, and being complicit. I didn’t know the story of Esther and her predecessor, or about those delicious looking cakes. I hope the snow is not too cruel.

    • Thanks so much, Derrick.
      We’ve got a nor’easter now, I guess. There’s rain, sleet, and wind on top of the inch of snow we had. I’m not sure now if we’re supposed to get more snow or not. I’d rather just have snow.

  6. I feel bad for the flowers too. Love these lines: as winter touched them with cold fingers, covering them in an icy blanket…

    Wonderful metaphor for so much in this poem and the times in which we live. Brava! Job well done!.

      • Yes, it is! But a good day for the writer, I suppose, since ice and frigid temperatures leave us housebound. I imagine you sitting at the table with your laptop in front of you and a big mug of coffee having already written more poetry.

      • It’s almost like you’ve seen that, Susan. Hahaha. Actually that was earlier. Now I’ve moved on to cooking a pot of borscht, drinking tea, and trying to write test items. 🙂

  7. How fascinating, Merril! I loved the intermission between dinosaurs and orange thin skinned men — the pastry and wine looked sumptuous, by the way!

    I do hope the human race doesn’t wither away like the dinosaurs. Absolutely brilliant writing — your imagination knows no bounds. xo

  8. It was a beautiful mingling of “flavors” in the poetic descriptions, Merril. I loved your poem of light and spring’s beginnings, sprouts of hope.
    I see the dinosaurs as part of original life forms, like our unblemished Earth was before climate change and pollution.
    I am not going to become complacent nor be beaten by the platitudes and false smiles of the one who is misleading. Hurray for love of people, art, music and wine! ❤

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