Wandering

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Lesser Ury, London in Fog, 1926

 

You wander, winter spirits,

in air dusk-dark,

blooms now covered by brown wind-rustle

as I walk, listening to the river

carrying secrets

 

~and poetry of if and why~

 

flows in cycles with the moon–

our world, a song rooted in hope

burning bright,

following stars to the dawn,

rising in birdsong of spring

 

Yesterday was dreary—it looked like twilight all day long, and this morning it’s foggy, and I can’t get myself to do much of anything. I used the nature set from the Oracle this time, and we collaborated on this Puente.

 

Remembering the Light

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Monday Morning Musings:

 

“I have forgotten that dark Berlin winter.

I will not forget the light of the horses.”

–from Pablo Neruda, “Horses.” 

 

Winter has its own beauty–

bright holiday baubles and candle light

glowing flickers within window frames

stars twinkling in December night,

their glow a memory from the past

 

and we remember, too, the past

celebrations in other places with people now gone

but stop we say, we are here, and now

with family and friends gathered together

we cook, we open gifts, we light the candles

 

first night

second night

each night one added

until finally, eight candles burn

and if there is no miracle, at least there is light

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My mother does not remember–

how many candles? Ten? she asks.

But she sings along in Yiddish with the rabbi,

songs from her childhood

songs of another world, now gone.

 

We walk in twilight through city streets

winter here, a different kind of beauty

of lines, reflections, and angles

people on holiday time without the frenzy–

the train at rush hour, not so crowded.

Philadelphia December Cityscape, Merril D. Smith, 2019

Philadelphia, Lines, Angles, and Reflections

 

Winter has its own allure–

dramatic grey clouds and stark, elegant branches.

We drink mulled wine and eat Christmas cookies,

we watch a show of space exploration and new worlds–

love and war the constants of human experience.

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Reflections at Red Bank Battlefield, December 2019.

 

Winter holds its secrets tight–

rising behind the clouds, the sun blazes and the moon shimmers,

beneath the snow, green sprouts watch and wait

beyond the darkness, comes the prancing light of horses,

carrying yesterday into tomorrow, and I remember

 

the light.

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Older daughter made this ornament for me.

 

Last night we watched a movie on Amazon Prime called Remembrance (original title: Die verlorene Zeit or The Lost Time) 2011. It’s loosely based on a true story of a couple who meet and fall in love in Auschwitz. He’s a Polish Christian, and she’s a German Jew. He smuggles photographs out of the camp, and he helps her escape. The movie toggles back and forth between her remembering the 1940s and the present (set in the 1970s.)  It seemed a fitting movie for the last night of Hanukkah–and I suppose their escape was a bit of miracle, too.

We’re also nearing the end of The Expanse.

The Almost Was

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Winslow Homer, Eastern Point Light

 

She almost remembers sailing over open seas,

a symphony of waves and skies, singing

of a universe of tomorrows,

with the wind whispering when—

she almost remembers

though it wasn’t her life

 

~and if her heart wonders~

 

and wanders through the never was,

she imagines by his bed a picture

of past celebrations, and lingering kisses,

embraces, poetry in the night–

and time, an open window

of what might have been

 

A collaborative poem with the Oracle.

The Little Things

Monday Morning Musings:

My mother washes her hands

I flashback to a memory–

my grandfather, her father

rubbing his hands over and over

to dry them

 

We’d been out walking in the woods–

was this the day we were startled by riders on horseback?

(A magical sight.)

My sister and I were little

my grandfather was wise,

 

in the way that grandparents are

to young grandchildren

who see beyond the surface

to the hearts beneath

beating with love.

 

And there’s an understanding

that time exists in the now–

the autumn of one life,

the spring of another

co-existing in this moment

 

I tell my mother about this memory

and we talk of this and that

I go through her old cards

reading portions to her

as I clean out a drawer

 

a past, relics, consigned to a trash bag.

Who was this person?

Where was this photo taken?

My mother can’t see and can’t remember—

all the little things that make up a life.

 

All the little things that make up a city, a world–

the reindeer on a roof display

the stone carvings on a building

the snowflake on a lamppost

the candle burning in a window

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We celebrate the first night of Hanukkah,

fry the latkes,

light the candles

toast “L’Chaim!”

I dance to “Ocho Kandelikas.”

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My husband and I watch the candles burn.

We talk of this and that–

old memories and to-do lists,

the little things that make up a life,

the everyday ordinary and the magical exceptional.

 

 

Every year, Santa comes through town on a fire engine. I have no idea how this started, but his helpers give candy canes to the children (and adults) who come out to see him.

There are a bunch of movies I want to see, but I haven’t had a chance, and I don’t know if I will have any time in the next week. It’s a crazy time of year, isn’t it? I had an anxiety dream the other night, which I haven’t had in a long time. But–we finished watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and we’re on to the finally season of The Expanse. And there are latkes and candles and cuddly cats. . .so life may be stressful, but not awful.

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Thank you to all of you who take the time to read my writing. I truly appreciate you. I feel like I’m Mr. Rogers saying “It’s you I like,” but it’s true. Happy Holidays to all of you!

Here’s Pink Martini performing “Ocho Kanelikas.” Feel free to dance along!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you Blame Me?

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Moon language drifts down from the sky–

a hum, fierce and gentle

known to all who listen—

shhhhhh!—

hear the glow as it falls

lingering on treetops and river surfaces,

 

~poetry of the night~

 

vanishes as I wake

to celebrate flowering cloud-breath,

morning magic flitters in, a bird-winged song,

filling the day with possibility, and if

I smile as the universe blushes,

can you blame me?

 

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A puente from my collaboration with Oracle—I accidentally clicked out of the site, then something else came up. . .and well, it’s one of those days. Still, each day begins with promise and possibility.