Light a Candle

Today, January 27, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. I’m reposting this poem from a few years ago.

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

“It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what we have to say. It can happen, and it can happen everywhere.”

–Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved

Light a candle

six million, if you can,

resplendent glow,

for those who say they didn’t know,

for those who didn’t, do not see

what once was, what could be,

who overlooked the ash-filled air,

who still ignore the pleading cries

and do not hear the ghostly sighs

that float over the walls of hate,

now, don’t hesitate–

light a candle

for those who suffered

and had no buffer

from the fear,

no one to wipe away a tear,

who died because you didn’t see.


By Takkk (Own work), via Wikipedia, Holocaust Memorial Center, Memorial Wall of Victims – Budapest, Hungary

For International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January 2017. The anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet…

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12 – 20 – Featured Haiku Writer

I don’t think I ever shared this haiku. Thanks again, Freya.


shore slides beneath sea

lovers in flirtatious dance–

timeless, rhythmic waves

© Merril D. Smith 2020

Merril D. Smith is currently working on two reference books about rape–and a book of poetry.

Here is the fifth haiku from our Featured Haiku Writer. The first line of this haiku struck me from the first reading. I love the way Merril develops the image throughout the poem

This haiku is part of our ARTURINA theme!

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12 – 18 – Featured Haiku Writer

My fourth featured haiku on Pure Haiku. Thank you very much, Freya!


moon hums to oak tree

ancient song, a lullaby–

love grows from your roots

© Merril D. Smith 2020

Merril D. Smith listens to the moon hum and the stars sing, and sometimes she writes about it.

Here is the fourth haiku from our Featured Haiku Writer. This haiku made me think of the Chorus Trees that sing in harmony on Arturina. They are also a safe haven for the small animals that are hunted by the predators …

This haiku is part of our ARTURINA theme!

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Where do the shadows go?

Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

Where do the shadows go,
when mist obscures the shifted light?
And dreams heart-drift, then flow
owl-feathered into the night.

When mist obscures the shifted light,
watch the sea reflect the clouds, they race
owl-feathered into the night
to another time. In another space,

watch the sea reflect the clouds, they race,
tossing spindrift to the sky—
to another time, in another space,
uniting, or they forever fly,

tossing spindrift to the sky—
and dreams (too), heart-drift then flow
uniting, or they forever fly–
where? Do the shadows (ever) go?

A pantoum for dVerse. Peter has asked us to think about endings for our last prompt of 2020. He tells us “2020 has been an amazing year. Here at Dverse we’ve published nearly 150 prompts, and you, our beloved poets, have written and shared well-over 3000 poems in response.” I will have some time to catch-up on reading before we return on January 4, 2021!

Writers Who Bake: Merril D. Smith

Charlotte is doing a fun series on writers who bake. I’m on today’s post with two cookie recipes.


Mandelbrot Cookies

I’m sharing two cookie recipes because in our house they’re called “Mommy Cookies” and “Daddy Cookies.” The first is my mandelbrot cookies. They are my favorite cookies, which is why they’re called Mommy Cookies. They’re like biscotti with dark chocolate chips and cinnamon and sugar. This recipe came from a cousin, and then I refined it. I used to bring them to archivists when I was working on my dissertation.

The other cookies are Welsh Cookies, which are cooked on a griddle or fry pan like pancakes. I’ve discovered my cast iron fry pan works great. The recipe came from my husband’s grandmother, though I’ve changed it to butter–the recipe originallyused lard and margarine.

Mandelbrot (aka “Mommy Cookies”)

3 ¾ cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup oil

2 tsp. baking powder

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla and a little bit of almond extract (maybe about ¼ tsp?)

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Eat the Storms – A Merry Little Christmas Podcast Episode 15

A perfect holiday podcast of poetry and music!

Eat The Storms

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker, PocketCast, Podbean and many more platforms

This episode aired on 12th December 2020 and it was A Merry Little Christmas Episode featuring poetry, short story and festive song. Below are the links to all the Elves and Fairies and Santa’s helpers who joined me to make this final episode of Season 1 Eat the Storms so special. See you all mid January for Season 2…

Matthew M C Smith is on Twitter at and he is the creator of Black Bough Poetry

Lynn Valentine is on Twitter at and will have her debut Scots Language Pamphlet coming from Hedgehog Poetry Press in 2021 and her full Poetry Collection coming from Cinnamon Press in 2020

Merril D Smith is on Twitter at and can be found on WordPress at

Nigel Kent is on Twitter at…

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Eat the Storms – The Podcast – Episode 13

The divinely delightful Damien B. Donnelly has a podcast–because he’s insanely, multi-talented, so of course he does! I’m honored to be on this week’s episode, along with poets Serge Neptune, Kari Flickinger, Annick Yerem.

Eat The Storms

Podcast available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Breaker and many more platforms

This episode aired on 28th November 2020 and I was joined by poets Merril D. Smith, Serge Neptune, Kari Flickinger, Annick Yerem. The links to their websites, blogs or Twitter pages are all listed below…

Merril D Smith is on Instagram at @merril_mds and you can find Merril on WordPress with linbks to here books here…

Serge Neptune is on Twitter at @mermanpoet and his book is published by Broken Sleep Books and available here…

ElisaKari Flickinger is on Twitter at @KariFlickinger and can be found at her website…

And you can find her collection at Femme Salve Books…

Annick Yerem is on Twitter as @missyerem and you can also find her at her blog…

My debut collection Eat the Storms is available…

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The Great Escape

Sharing this from Jane to help others struggling with the new WP blocks.

Jane Dougherty Writes

Mike Powell has just proved that he is not only a talented photographer and knows his stuff about birds and insects (go and look, here). He is also a technical detective/wizard/ferret. Alone, single handed and with only his patience and curiosity and the tenacity of a terrier, he has discovered the way, in a single click, to circumvent the blocks.

For those of us who use Mac and Word, it has been impossible to get the new editor to accept a post formatted in the way we see it in Word. It strips it of spacing where we do want it and adds double spaces between the lines of poetry where we don’t.

To avoid this mess, and to avoid having anything to do with the blocks at all, simply write your post/poem in Word, copy, open a WP new post, don’t bother choosing a block, just paste using…

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Hate, Love, Hate, Love


Blue Mood with Pegasus clouds racing across the sky. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ ©️ Merril D. Smith 2020

Monday Morning Musings:

“Your voices matter, your dreams matter, your lives matter. Be the roses that grow in the concrete.” –Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

“There’s a saying in Hebrew, ‘No matter how dark the tapestry God weaves for us, there’s always a thread of grace.”—Mary Doria Russell, A Thread of Grace


Glowing ships on the aquamarine sea,

Moon and Venus shine their beacons–


Farewell night!

The moon smiles a crooked grin,


and Venus titters

such fools, these mortals be.




I hate everyone, she says to me.

Well, not you—not my family—


and I know what she means, because I feel it, too,

the constant barrage of evil and ignorance,


people who refuse to wear masks,

who spread misinformation,


and insist they’re not racist while sharing racist posts—

the people, who like black holes, swallow the light,


but not all of it.


Sigh. Breathe. Walk. Begin again—


as each day does–

the sun rises, even if we don’t see it


shining over the horizon

waking the world


again and again,

though some never awaken


to see the world around them,

its beauty


flowing on a river of hope

reflected over and over


Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ. ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

a dream

of what was and what could be.


Some of the things I’ve seen on my morning walks this week:

These mushrooms that look like umbrellas set up for fairies.



Deer and red-tailed hawks this morning.


On Friday nights, we get together virtually with our children and their spouses. We light the Sabbath candles and share the things that we’re grateful for.

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Saturday night homemade pizza and movie night


Lots of baking

Merril’s Movie Club: We watched The Hate U Give. (Amazon Prime with an additional slight fee, but I believe it’s on other streaming platforms.) We both thought it was a very good movie, and I highly recommend it. It’s based on a YA novel of the same name. It gets very intense, but in a thoughtful, nuanced way. Here’s a review in The New Yorker. We finished Season 3 of Bordertown, which I mentioned last week. I’m happy that apparently Season 4 is in the works.

I’m rereading Mary Doria Russell’s A Thread of Grace, a historical novel set in WWII Italy. She’s an author who does her research, but also tells a good story with captivating characters. Another story that seems timely when read now.

And this–unconditional love.

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