Monday Morning Musings:

“let us dream of evanescence and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things.”

― Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea

(Thanks to Beth of I Didn’t Have My Glasses On for this quotation.)

“You can’t see them, but they are there.
Unseen things are still there.”

–from Misuzu Kaneko , “Stars and Dandelions” Read more here.

“Aunt Esther: You think you supposed to know everything. Life is a mystery. Don’t you know life is a mystery? I see you still trying to figure it out. It ain’t all for you to know. It’s all an adventure. That’s all life is. But you got to trust that adventure.”

–August Wilson, Gem of the Ocean


Snow, sun, rain

fleeting moments, each a chain

from then to here—

the dust of stars falls near


and ghosts appear

though we may not hear—


listen! There the rustle, the sigh

spirits or dreams flitting, drifting by?

Temporary, like our days,

so say poets and playwrights in their plays


(how do you measure a year?)


we take brief moments to watch the story

days of hope, days of glory


(one song glory)


days of fear and longing,

days to find a sense of belonging


to build walls, or tear them down

to visit the City of Bones, surround


oneself with people who care

enough to travel through, and share


(seasons of love)


the adventure, life

through Underground Railroads, and beyond—the strife


of being separated from family, husband and wife

and then finding emancipation is still rife


with pain, and different chains

two trains running, and from remains


of cities and lives, present and past

and so, if asked


(What about love?)


we take a chance on freedom,

on love, on hope, and try to teach them–


our children, lovers, friends—

that such much depends


on what we do now

when we allow


to linger in each beautiful pause



our time is limited to

see the unseen, too few


moments in a year


(Five hundred twenty-five thousand 
Six hundred minutes


lost to pain, despair, and fear


We gather our rosebuds, while we may

Ok. Wrong season, enough to say


we walk and talk, and drink some wine

we walk some more, the day is fine


we see some plays

then, find more ways


(with a thousand sweet kisses)


to find some joy, the mystery

of life, the history


ours and theirs

so, dance, who cares?


It’s an adventure, for real

not always ideal


in fact, sometimes awful

perhaps, unlawful



(No day but today)



Look! The unseen things are here, there

in earth, moon, stars—everywhere.



We saw August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, a wonderful, stirring, magical play at the Arden Theater. It is part of Wilson’s American Century Cycle, chronically African-American life. This one was one of the last plays he wrote, but it’s the first chronologically in the cycle. It’s set in 1904. We saw Rent, the 20th Anniversary Tour. The parenthetical lines come from Rent songs. Rent is a sort of retelling of La Bohème set in New York during the AIDS crisis. Jonathan Larson (book, music, lyrics) died of an aortic aneurysm a few weeks before the show opened in 1996. We ate at Tria and Monk’s in Philadelphia.

Also, yesterday began Daylight Saving Time, and I hate it.







34 thoughts on “Evanescence

    • Thank you so much, Cindy. That is a lovely comment. You made my day imagining someone carrying my poetry with them on a mountain hike. I’m getting bits a pieces published. We’ll see about a collection.

  1. These just get better and better. I love the photo of your shadows especially. It brought to mind that line from “Get Together” –“we are but a moment’s sunlight” and of course it circles back to love…and the moon and stars, still there under the daylight. (K)

    • Thank you so much, Kerfe!
      I hadn’t thought of the song–but you know what’s weird? I almost started this with some lines from the Oracle about all are brothers. “Smile on your brother. . .”
      I was happy the sun was out for a change, so we could see our shadows. 🙂

  2. I thought of Rent when I read “(Five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes)”.
    a wonderful musical…I hadn’t known about the writer dying…love your closing lines and photo.

    • Thanks so much, Janice.
      Yes, Larson was in his thirties, and everyone involved decided the show should go on in his honor–it won Tony awards and a Pulitzer posthumously. Older daughter was a bit obsessed with Rent when she was in high school, and she wrote about it for her college essay. 🙂

  3. I thought it odd I did not get a Merril Monday post on Monday. Then say you had shared it on Facebook. Checked my inbox again, thinking I had accidentally flushed you. Nope. Came here and lo and behold, here it was. Then got called away before I could read it. Turned off the computer. Today I worked (gasp! First time since December 16th! – in all fairness, it is a golf course and they had no events until today 😉 ) So… finally catching up on my emails, read today’s post and remembered I hadn’t read yesterday’s! Now I see I was not alone in not receiving my Monday gift 😉
    And gift it is. You do this so beautifully well. I agree, you should publish your poetry in one lovely book one day 🙂
    And I am pleased as punch I figured out the words in parentheses were Rent songs.
    And I loathe DST – don’t understand why they still torment us twice per year with a one hour change. Hmph!

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment and very kind words. I appreciate that you went looking for my post. I wonder if many people never received it? Will you be back to working full-time soon? My husband’s not sure when he’ll be returning to the golf course where he works. It’s a weird system, and operated by the county.
      Yes, the switching back and forth is so stupid and annoying.

  4. I didn’t get a notice of your post, either. I’m glad I stopped by to check. Wonderful as always, and I love the comment from Cynthia about a collection of your poems that could be carried on a mountain hike. Your poetry would be so well suited for that.

    I don’t like springing forward either. I wish we’d stop it. Or they could switch it to 4 PM on Friday instead of doing it at night. Workers would probably love losing that hour on a Friday in March.

  5. Pingback: Harbingers of Hope and Fear – Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

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