Between the Storms

Monday Morning Musings:

“But to find out the truth about how dreams die, one should never take the word of the dreamer.”

–Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

“Each night, without fail, she prayed for blue eyes. Fervently, for a year she had prayed. Although somewhat discouraged, she was not without hope. To have something as wonderful as that would take a long, long time.”

–Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye


Between the storms of rain and snow

as chilly winds still come and go,

cleaning the air of winter’s skies

in days yet cold, but with lengthening tries

the sun extends its warming rays–

even though it doesn’t stay.


During this week, as awakening spring

flitters and flutters, young people bring

hope with their rising, taking charge

urging others–politicians, the public at large–

to fight to make the world better and safer,

not just hopes and prayers, or words on paper,

but action, something that will stay,

through winter cold and summer days.


Between the storms of rain and snow,

more are fired, they come and go,

falling like dominos, one after another

a White House in chaos, one like no other,

the swamp grows larger, it hasn’t gone away

monsters of winter–hopes for spring to slay.


During this week, of awakening spring

as blooms arrive, and songbirds sing,

we walk a bit through city streets

where gardens stir amidst urban beats.

We see a play of dreams, though planted,

are wishes that cannot, can never, be granted

even as regret sighs to end the play,

still innocence is lost, but madness stays.

Arden Theatre
Pre-performance subscriber refreshments

Between the storms of rain and snow,

as icy fingers tap shoulders, then go—

(winter ghosts that haunt and taunt)

what matters if skin is black or white

brown eyes, or green, as well as blue delight–

how does orange hair and white skin filled with hate

bring peace or joy–or make anything great?



As we ponder the play, and color and race,

all around us are Irish, no matter their hair or face,

St. Patrick’s Day revelers in Old City, Philadelphia

standing in streets, wandering through this space,

we walk around them for coffee and quiet

(hoping there is no drunken riot)

though an ambulance struggles by

and we see a young man on the sidewalk, he cries

in pain with cuts on his brow

and we think perhaps we’ll go home now. . .


Looking studious over post-theater coffee

to dream of spring, to dream of space

and time without a hate of race

or children who are killed or raped,

of people who by hate are no longer shaped–

we call to sun and warmth, come here, this way,

then hope that dreams will come to stay. . .


at dawn I hear the robin’s warbling song

and know that spring will come before too long.



We’re expecting another nor’easter tomorrow with rain and snow.

We saw The Bluest Eye, based on Toni Morrison’s novel, at the Arden Theatre.  

On Wednesday, students throughout the U.S. walked out of their classroom for seventeen minutes—a memorial to the victims of the most recent school shooting and a protest against the current do-nothing gun policies. I got so angry this week seeing Facebook posts by ignorant people who likened the protesting students to sheep—as if seeing classmates killed or facing threats of violence isn’t enough to make them have their own opinions!  Some of you know that I’ve been working on two reference books on rape and rape culture. They will be out in May and August. Yesterday, I heard an investigative report on the radio about children who are bullied and raped in school–even in elementary school and on military bases.






27 thoughts on “Between the Storms

      • There are so many ‘types’ I’d be hard pressed to pick out just one. I think in general people believe what suits them. There will always be some half-baked idea touted on the social media that suits. It takes all the hard work out of having an opinion.

  1. I read The Bluest Eye in graduate school I think, a long time ago.

    Haunting post. I wonder when you wrote your first reference book on rape if you had any idea the culture would worsen, coarsen. You may have seen the 60 minutes documentary on the student movement in Florida (and elsewhere) last evening. Women have spoken out for a different cause. Now it’s time for the children to demand action. How articulate they are.

    • Thank you, Marian. I read the book a long time ago. I may re-read it. No, I had no idea that things would be like this now. I was frightened by the rise of the “Moral Majority” and the Tea Party, but really who could have foreseen the current president, and his tacit OK to demean women, immigrants, and on and on? I didn’t see the 60 Minutes program. I will look for it.

    • Thank you, Luanne!
      The play was good–not great. Some reviewers thought it was too stylized, but I kind of liked that. My husband also liked it, but he said he felt like it was almost like a work-in-progress. At the same time, it was 90 minutes without an intermission, and neither of us was bored at all.
      They’re going to be doing that Paula Vogel play, “Indecent” next spring.

  2. I’m glad you mentioned the play, its impact upon your husband and you! I have only read and seen one Toni Morrison book/plays. I am a sporadic reader, depending on the “librarians’ choice” shelf! 🙂
    I like your “call” to warmth, dreams and sun! Yes, I’ll second your “call!”

      • The team of librarians take their favorites each month to a carrousel of selections. My friends who work there usually have a nice selection of variety. But Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison have some roots in Ohio, I think. Oberlin and Lorain are both west side of Cleveland places we spent time in. 🙂

      • I use Google often! I am posting a link to your blog tomorrow. I was trying to find your post name about the books you wrote and their expected publishing releases. (May and September? Or?) xo 💐

      • Thank you Robin. I don’t have the new books listed. I was going to list them once they’re out, but perhaps I should go ahead now. 🙂 May and August is when they’re supposed to be out, according to the ABC-CLIO Web site.

  3. You may know that “Beloved” was made into a movie, but not sure if you ever saw the simple operatic play based on the character Margaret? I think its name was using her first and last name. Our church held a portion of it in our family gathering room, before Felicia graduated from college (2008). The cast were excellent singers, incorporating Margaret’s story. We liked this a lot! Smiles, Robin 🐦 💮

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