Once and for Now


The only tree on the block in bloom, Walnut Street, Philadelphia.


Once the moon hummed

in a dazzling glow

and we who wanted–

and longed for if–

walked through now

listening to our own hearts



~in time~


death comes

but now

beneath sweet budding branches,

as pink and red blooms burst open,

the music of life

plays a symphony,

luscious and sweet



The Oracle gave me this puente today. It’s been a crazy week. The world still seems to be tilting while we’re holding on. I thought we were in lock down today, but it was a false alarm.

I apologize for the delay in reading posts. I’m going to take the opportunity to get some errands done today while I still can, but I’ll be catching up on reading this weekend.

Poem in Black Bough Poetry, Winter Edition

My poem, “Origami Winter” has been published in Black Bough Poetry’s special Christmas/ Winter issue of micropoems. I’m pleased and honored to be among the fine poets in this issue. Thank you to Matthew M.C. Smith and the guest reader team. Grab a hot beverage of your choice, snuggle under a blanket, light some candles or sit before a fireplace, if you have one, and enjoy this issue!

I want to thank my sister for giving me the inspiration for the closing lines. 🙂  Love you!

Tradition, or How a Squirrel Came to Define our Thanksgiving

Many people are curious about the squirrel mold we use for our cranberry sauce. This is a post that I wrote about it–I guess when I first began my blog. For the very first time, my mom won’t be with us at the table this Thanksgiving.

Yesterday and today: Merril's historical musings

In the opening monologue of Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, the Jewish milkman with five daughters who lives in a Russian shetl called Anatevka, says, “You may ask, how did this tradition start? I’ll tell you. I don’t know. But it’s a tradition.” I suspect most people seldom think about how for every tradition there had to have been a first time it took place—before it was a tradition.  Most of us never consider how a tradition started.  There are many different types of traditions. There are all encompassing cultural and religions traditions, destructive traditions that label particular groups or people as inferior and deny them rights, and there are fun cultural traditions. Groups of friends and families also have their traditions.

In my family, the cranberry sauce squirrel is one of our most cherished traditions. Every Thanksgiving the squirrel makes his appearance on our table . . .except for…

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