I Close My Eyes and Dream

Monday Morning Musings:

“For myself, I declare I don’t know anything about it. But the sight of the stars always makes me dream.”

Vincent van Gogh, letter to his brother Theo, July 1888

“I think about our ancestors. Thousands of years, wondering if they were alone in the universe. Finally discovering they weren’t. You can’t blame them for wanting to reach out, see how many other species were out there, asking the same questions.”

–Captain Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek Voyager, Episode, “Friendship One”


At night

ghosts sail to stars

dazzling the universe

with wild poetry,

that thing there—

see it?

the liquid blush of desire

Screen Shot 2017-09-30 at 6.41.06 AM


Earth spins and orbits our Sun

but all is not right

(in day or night)

the heavens rage

the surface heaves

the forests burn

the oceans churn

(do you hear them sigh)

and creatures die

on the stars I make a wish

for planet, us, for birds and fish

and then under the glowing stream

I close my eyes and then I dream


I wake to see bright Venus,

high above

she sings of love

there in the eastern sky

she dances and she wonders why

(as do I, oh, as do I)

we are not swayed from the hate

and do not counter or negate

the dotard’s words of folly

but instead sink into a melancholy—

(as do I, oh, as do I)

under starlight’s beam

once again

I close my eyes and then I dream


We watch Star Trek Voyager

Earth’s greeting of friendship gone wrong

a civilization pushed headlong

into nuclear winter,

the next day—synchronicity

a radio story of the real Voyager

the golden record as it would sound to aliens

Simplicity? Specificity?

We want to reach out,

to know we’re not alone

the moon smiles and gleams

I close my eyes and then I dream


We have a holiday dinner

missing daughters, sister, and niece

still I present the soup and loaf

(a masterpiece!)


with apples, honey, and some wine


we drink and eat and we are fine

(we pour more wine)

talk of movies and van Gogh

(there’s a new movie out, you know)

wonder about Ben Franklin’s diet and life

then matter-of-factly my mother’s zinger

that he did not sleep alone

at ninety-five, she was so in the zone!

and with that, the laughter lingers


like the honeyed fingers

from the baklava and apple cake

she mangles the middle

and picks at the pieces

but sister laughter

follows after

and after


We drink more wine, again we’re fine

FullSizeRender 207

under moonlight sky and starry stream

I close my eyes and then I dream. . .


of the universe’s wild poetry

of singing stars and humming moons

of spirits soaring and swaying to the tunes

before dawn’s blush of desire

turns the sky to fire

I wake and look up to the sky

to see Venus shining bright

I gaze and wish

for us, for cats, and fish

for dogs, and horses, and for birds

(and yes, even for the dotard)

for the planet, earth, and trees

and for the seas

under Venus’s beaming gleam

I close my eyes and wish and dream


So, we watched Star Trek Voyager and saw an episode about the result of a probe that was sent out from Earth that was very similar to the real Voyager and its golden record. Then the next day, I heard this story on NPR’s Weekend Morning Edition and the Oracle gave me that poem. Synchronicity?


Some of you may know because I’ve ranted about it   that I’ve been working on two reference books about rape. I am happy to report that both manuscripts have now been sent in. I also finished another project over the weekend, so I should now have time to answer e-mails and respond to comments and prompts. At least until, I receive copyedited manuscript (first one is coming next month).







29 thoughts on “I Close My Eyes and Dream

  1. Your stories of family events always have such warmth.

    Good news on the manuscripts.

    “Simplicity? Specificity?” … Synchronicity
    Speaking of which, I’m planning to make an apple cake today!

  2. Congrats on savoring family time here and finishing those manuscripts on rape. Ugh! No wonder you search the skies for comfort. We used to live close to a big box store whose parking lot lights blotted out the starry skies. Now we can see the night sky, earlier and earlier, and I often spot Venus and maybe Cassiopeia.

    Thank you for this heavenly post and for reading and replying to my blog posts even when you have been so pressed for time.

  3. poignant… there is a good reason we have holidays to bring together family and friends, to celebrate without completely erasing from out minds the world as it is (otherwise we couldn;t pray for it). Went to a poetry workshop this weekend at a church, and the priest in opening remarks quoted a Jesuit theologian: contemplation is a long, loving look at the real. This meets that definition.

    And congrats on the projects. 🙂

  4. I love your meandering musings on a Monday Merril … thank you. I’m so sorry about the tragedy in Las Vegas. I’m sorry about so much. I’m not sorry for our imaginings of a peaceful world where the seas sigh with us wishing us joy and peace and always reaching for the stars.

  5. The comfort of your food photos and words help soothe. Wine and love — we can always use more, so I visit your blog; knowing I’ll find those in abundance here!

    What a wonderful start of the week for you with your finished manuscripts! Hip hip hooray!! 🎉

  6. So glad I came here to read this today. In spite of the mentions of the dotard, it was joyous. Loved this:

    “of the universe’s wild poetry

    of singing stars and humming moons

    of spirits soaring and swaying to the tunes”

    And the photos! So much fun. 🙂

  7. Those photographs are such joyous love personified.
    Peaceful synchronicity and dreams do have content and portent, our family feels this way.
    The poems are both wonderful, Merril.
    I like the photos of you and your husband, you and your sister and the gathering of those who celebrated together. 💞

  8. Ah Merrill, life is good on so many fronts. I’m glad. Keep those poems coming. I will just add here that your title reminded me of a song from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Coat, now whirling in my head. 🙂

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