Breathe a Cloud

Monday Morning Musings:


“Fear makes for good servants

and bravery is fraudulent”

       –Jim Harrison from “Vows”


The timeless lies

of dictators grappling for power

smiling for the crowds

insisting they are making things better

demagogues feeding the fears

firing them into fury

so that they erupt

like a volcano

spewing lava into the air

to flow over

those people–



bad hombres–


those people who take your jobs,

and ravish your women,


not fully human.

We’ve seen this before

but that doesn’t happen here

that’s all in the past

in countries far away.

We thought we were safe,

more enlightened now

(to separate parents and children)

we’re not

paralyzed by fear and indecision

numbed by the normalization

of Twitter rants

but evil has only been buried

in a shallow grave

waiting to crawl out

like zombies

eating brains

and souls.


But when to fight

and when to escape in flight?

Do we leave at the first sparks

from the volcano,

or wait till it erupts?

My daughter’s friend goes out for bread

finds herself wind-whipped with ash–

falling from the sky.

Sudden changes–

like the storm clouds that break

for sunshine

and for a night

when we can sit outside with friends

to enjoy a concert










watching children dance in the green grass

in innocence and joy


the storm clouds return










and we sit inside


and watch TV

Mixed-berry Crumble











we go to a wine festival

sampling wine

until the wind kicks up

and it is too cold and blustery to sit outside


















so, we come home

to sip

inside again


watch an old movie about war

and bravery and morality

where the coward becomes the war hero,

but when is fighting necessary

how do we stop evil

without glorifying war?

I have no answers–

but know that questioning must continue–

the press, the poets, the artists

truth and artistic vision

The Post and Guernica–

the light in the darkness,

that is bravery, too


and when


the rain falls,

hard rain

forming puddles

where little girls see rainbows

not guns


look up



breathe a cloud

blush a breeze with joy

over our universe

and use soft rhythm

to time the thing—


it sails

a vast cool ocean








I’ve linked this to Jilly’s Day  4 of  her 28 Days of Unreason using the poetry of Jim Harrison. And the Oracle added the message at the end.

Don’t forget to vote! One person and one vote can make a difference.






28 thoughts on “Breathe a Cloud

  1. You had me at procrastibake! An poem that reflects the times we live in. Evil has some modern disguises, and what is it with us that we’re so jaded to allow children separated from parents and placed in camps. I could go on….but you wrapped it up nicely for us.

    • Thank you, Derrick.
      Yes, when the reputable fact-checking media exposes politicians and other evil-doers, it is helpful. Unfortunately, many, including dt get news from sites that are not actual new sites.

  2. Well, I like lots of things here. The evil in a shallow grave – I can see the (abnormally orange????) hand coming up through the soil – the rainbows in puddles, and particularly the procrastibake. We’ve been doing a lot of that recently!

  3. Light & dark bright & dim bravery & cowardice love & fear – it’s difficult to hold the tension of the opposites but somehow this must prevail. Thank you Merril for your haunting words –

  4. Mennoonites and other groups who take a stance for peace have pondered your question: how do we stop evil / without glorifying war?

    Thank you for introducing me to the work of Jim Harrison, Merril.

  5. “Breathe a cloud…” Thank you for that, Merril. It brought peace. 🙂 I wish I’d read this before I got on my soapbox with my latest post. I don’t know if it would have changed anything, but it seems we were on a similar wavelength in terms of questioning (what to do? when to do it?).

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.