There Might Be Ghosts

Monday Morning Musings:

There might be ghosts in this story–
a tale of family secrets, a haunted house,
nightmares and night terrors

(what if they came for you?)
the spirits, specters, demons, and devils–
a frisson of fear, a shiver and a quiver

as you hear the tale,
it’s not real (you tell yourself)
these things don’t exist

(unless they come for you)
the secret police, the armed agents
to detain, to torture, to turn your life

upside-down, the world we live in now,
where we see the light reflected and wonder how
it is here and there, and wanders

Puddle Reflection, Upside-down World. ©️Merril D. Smith, October 2020

from shore to distant horizon
between what we see
and what we think we see

Autumn refracted and reflected through the mist. Red Bank Battlefield,.©️Merril D. Smith October 2020

in the fog, all is a blur,
sound is distorted, it echoes,
a soft purr of distant cars, the honk of a goose

Heron in the misty ripples of the Delaware River. Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

here birds stop, then soar,
but I stand, rooted like the trees,
in the midst of autumn splendor

(I like to think)
still rising, still growing,
knowing that roots connect underground–

so be it. And healthy cells grow, too,
though the malignant tumors stand out,
they are not the entire body (politic),

Still, I sigh, watch the birds fly,
read the horror tales, feel the feels,
they’re not as scary as what is real–

the ghosts of 215,000, rising, plus,
and thus, what’s to come with the scary clown,
while the Constitution is whittled down

we ache, body and soul,
as the fluff-headed victors sound the death knell
to tell of democracy’s demise—yet the story to tell

is that the moon still hums, the stars still sing,
and scatter the light brightening
all, it radiates, falls

in ripples, like the stone I cast
into the river, watch the ripples pass
flowing on, the present an illusion, it doesn’t last,

past to future, goes, in ridges and waves
like light, with colors we won’t ever see,
an essence remaining, like a ghost of ancestors, or you, or me,

the whispers of earth, the songs of the sea.

Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. Autumn Splendor. ©️Merril D. Smith, October 2020

Merril’s Movie/Theater/Book Club:
We watched a live-streamed production this week, STATE VS. NATASHA BENINA, which you probably won’t be able to access, but if you do get a chance, it’s well-worth it. I wondered how a production done live on Zoom would be (the audience was muted, and I turned off my camera, as I didn’t want people to see me in pjs in our living room). The actress was so good, portraying a Russian teen, who was raised in an orphanage, and now is accused of a crime. The audience is judge and jury, and votes at the end, but that serves more as a lead-in to discussion.

We were going to go out to a winery in the late afternoon yesterday, but the weather was not very nice, so we cancelled. I made a dinner, similar to one we might have had after Philadelphia theater dates, and we watched a filmed play, which is now on Amazon Prime. What the Constitution Means to Me is Heidi Schreck’s award-winning play, and it is excellent. I have heard pieces of it on the radio, as she discussed how she paid for her college education by giving speeches as a teen on the Constitution, but the entire play is really wonderful, as she weaves her personal history, her family’s history of domestic violence, women’s rights, and other issues into the narrative.

We also watched the new version of Rebecca on Netflix. We both enjoyed it. I like Lily James, though she seems rather more attractive and charming than the book character, and Kristin Scott Thomas is very good as Mrs. Danvers. From what I remember, this version does not have the overall menacing, Gothic feel of the Hitchcock movie or the book. I think it’s better to take it as it is, and not compare it to either.

We’re also started watching Borgen on Netflix, a Danish political drama. I like it, though it took a couple of episodes for me to get into it (and to understand the Danish political system).

And I finished The Year of Witching, and I’m almost finished with Home Before Dark. Horror reading—not nearly as scary as reality.

39 thoughts on “There Might Be Ghosts

  1. Your reflections shots are always so beautiful, Merril. As I’ve said to our friend Derrick many times in reference to his photos, your shot of the Red Bank Battlefield would make a fun jigsaw puzzle. I’m drooling over that cheese board!

  2. What a wise and grounded and beautiful blog post. Yes: “as you hear the tale, it’s not real (you tell yourself) these things don’t exist (unless they come for you) the secret police, the armed agents
    to detain, to torture, to turn your life…” I think about the brave activists in Hong Kong, and Nigeria, and the US and Russia and so many other places — daring/caring to stand up to abuses of power, to corruption, to kleptocratic leadership. And still the moon hums and the stars sing! ps: the photo of the heron standing caused me to take a deep, calming breath. And then it flew away so gracefully…

  3. These are the lines that most resonate with me:

    past to future, goes, in ridges and waves
    like light, with colors we won’t ever see,
    an essence remaining, like a ghost of ancestors, or you, or me,

  4. Your photos are full of the beauty of autumn light that contrasts so sharply with the darkness that has descended upon our country and our world. The court legacy of this administration will cast a very long shadow on our children and their children if we survive it at all. I hope it will not come to knocks on the door in the night, but I am fearful. (K)

  5. Splendid photography and perfect poetic portrayal of the menace of the times with suggestions of future recovery; also good reports of viewing and reading – reinforcing the earlier message of reality being more scary than the imagination.

  6. Wow the photos of the trees and leaves are gorgeous, I liked the pink-n-green-leafed one.
    The movie snack tray, pleaseeee😭🤤
    And those books and movies I’m going to do a little further digging on.
    A wonderful share.

  7. Merril, your musings are like a modern day troubadour.
    They travel, herald comings and goings, bring the news, speak of love; and poetry is your music.
    Great shots, poignant post!

  8. Always wonderful poetry with beautiful images. I love Mondays (even when I’m a week behind 😉 )
    That is my kind of meal!
    And I watched Rebecca the week before. I really do enjoy Lily James and Kristin Scott Thomas did a fab job, I agree. Best not to compare (which I can’t as I’ve not seen any other version)

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