Laboring

Monday Morning Musings:

Sunrise over the Delaware River

We labor, belabor, debate, defend
fend for ourselves, hope for trends

to alter course, reverse, against the wind
we traverse, carrying the past in heart and mind,

find that light is a constant, but time is not—
still we dine and drink some wine

Friday Night, Wine, Challah, Candles

without the rhythm and beats of city streets
reflections found in river, not in town—

I find beauty all around.

It doesn’t change what is, or what may be—
catastrophe, democracy’s fall, more plagues

all this or other. I read horror tales of ghosts
less scary than most of what is real, or almost–the boasts

of the fascist chiefs, the spreading of so many false beliefs
rumors can be deadly, and I think of the imposter priest

who despite his flaws, gets at the truth, and heals
a village. So many maligned, but is there is goodness in us all?

Perhaps. Though it may be hard to tell. Crimes of passion,
crimes of war, crimes of vengeance—so many more—

the people we neglect, the things we regret.
And yet, the moon shines silver in the night,

the sky is blue, the sun is bright. I walk through shadows,
and into light. Watch as birds take sudden flight—soar, unbound—

beauty all around.

Water Lilies, West Deptford Public Library Rain Garden

Today is Labor Day here in the U.S. I took a look at my post from last year. So much has changed. This is a bit of a response to that, I suppose. I kept the format of couplets, though not ending rhymes.


Merril’s Movie, TV, and Whatever Club: We saw the Polish movie, Corpus Christi. It was Poland’s entry this past year for the Academy Awards. We had seen previews for it. I’m not sure if it made it to the theater in Philadelphia before they closed or not. In any case, we both thought it was excellent. Almost like old times, we discussed it over wine and dinner—though our discussion was the next day at a local winery.

Wine and Grilled Cheese at William Heritage Winery.

We watched the French mystery series, Le Chalet with an earworm of a title song—even for those of us who don’t really speak French. It seemed like it was going to be a horror story at the beginning, but it turned out to be similar to an old-fashioned mystery, a Ten Little Indians sort of tale though with two timelines. We both liked it, though it was a bit confusing sorting out the characters for a while. We’re currently watching a Finnish mystery, Deadwind. It’s good, and I think we will become more involved with it as it goes on. There are lots of twists and turns—what seems like a straightforward murder case is not (of course). Both of these are on Netflix.

I just finished reading The Invited by Jennifer McMahon, a ghost story and also a mystery with different timelines and connecting stories. So, you know, a good Merril book. And my favorite podcast Ghost in the Burbs is back. Yay!

Oh, but speaking of favorite podcasts, the delightful Damien Donnelly now has a podcast. So. . . I guess that’s also my favorite (different genres). 😀

Fairy Tale or Dream?

She sleeps, wishing her black dress gone,
an elaborate gown to take its place,
her hair honey-spun and shiny, the air
rain-scented in a sky washed clean–


(she can almost recall this life)

deeper in her wandering vision,
it’s purple-shadowed forests, chanting
beasts, repulsive, steaming hot and streaming fire–
red clouds against the blue-black sea–

she wants to wake to a magic kiss,
feel desire, sighs “if only,”
and a thousand ghost voices answer, “in time.”
The moon hums

a spray of silver light soars,
she follows, a bird in flight
over a river, spirits murmur in the dawn-glow,
she breathes, inhales secrets–

all the versions of herself, there.
Awakens, or does she?
The wind whispers, “why wait?”
This, then, the after-when.

My message from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle today.

John Collier, The Sleeping Beauty.

A Laugh Wings

A laugh wings–
flies through memories and
dreams. Sings like a mockingbird, repeats
again, imprinted in our minds, within our genes–
well, who’s to say? We remember a
glance, words said—heart-haunted—
we grasp, hold.

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, I’m trying a triquain, a form I found on Shadow Poetry. “The Triquain, created by Shelley A. Cephas, is a poem with several creative variences and can be a rhyming or non-rhyming verse. The simpliest form is a poem made up of 7 lines with 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, and 3 syllables in this order.” [Misspellings in original.]

My Mom had the best laugh.

I’m also linking this to dVerse, Open Link Night, where Grace is hosting.

Wonders

Since the pandemic, my walks have been confined mainly to my neighborhood. I began my almost daily morning walks as the spring buds were beginning to bloom, and now the days are growing shorter and hints of red, orange, and yellow leaves are appearing. But I’m fortunate to live near the Delaware River and a beautiful park. I’ve discovered how the river’s color changes with light and tides, and how a red-winged blackbird chirps as it flies by from a marsh. Without a hike into the wildness, I find wild wonders nearly every day—wildflowers, hawks, turkeys, and deer. Yesterday, I saw a bald eagle so close, perched on a bare treetop. I gazed at him in awe, and he dismissed me as unimportant and probably soon forgotten. It doesn’t matter. I had a moment of magic to remember, while he was looking for his next meal to survive.

Bald eagle pauses,
keen eyes survey his kingdom—
treetops turning gold

A Haibun for Frank’s prompt on dVerse using the word hike.

Bald Eagle at Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ

Creating and Recreating

Monday Morning Musings:

Sunrise and Clouds, Delaware River at West Deptford, NJ

Eagles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I dream of eagles
soaring high, circling in the cerulean sky
over the rippling river, rushing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

away from life’s ferocious frosts and fevers,
the fripperies, the vain vagaries of the villain
the anxiety, angst, and annoyances of the now.

The forests moan,
the seas seethe,
we mourn mothers, grandmothers—

generations gone
and wisdom withered, lost forever,
but passed along

are rituals, even as new ones
are created in novel circumstances–
in strange new worlds

we recreate, renovate, and originate—
old and new combine, migrants
become established

citizens of settled worlds. No need
to fly south, or north, east, west—
until the predators come, once again.

Still, the sun rises, rousing us with repeated rhythms,
the familiar and the strange merge in each day,
a deer leaps over a fence in front of you,

You never know who you’ll see during a morning walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a flower blooms where there was nothing the day before,
the geese honk, rise in synchronized rhythm,
to settle, sailing further down the river, both seeming endless,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and over them, the eagles soar, sharp-clawed, fierce,
but mated for life, dancing in the air,
the way we can only dream of,

 

and yet, I’m rooted
like the giant oak, my branches spread wide, sheltering
my dreams and memories

that fall, scattered
like acorns, perhaps carried to new places,
to grow and live again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a strange week or so—or perhaps a strange few months. Last week began with the anniversary of my mom’s birth. Everything is so unsettled. We never gave her a real memorial, but I did bake a chocolate cake (her favorite), and we had a virtual dinner with our daughters with a meal I thought she would have liked, lasagna, garlic bread, and good bottle of wine I’d been saving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had days that went from sun to storms, sometimes within a few minutes. Then yesterday, the weather was absolutely beautiful, and my mood was much better, too. We went to Hillcreek Farm, where they opened a wine garden—reservations required to limit the number of people, and the servers were masked, as were we when we left the table.

I can’t get the spacing right, and I can’t spend any more time on this today. Sorry!

Auburn Roads Vineyards Wine Garden at Hillcreek Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watching the Breakers

Bitter at after, done with
his red rose lies revealed–
ripping her raw,
till she became wind, water–
a purple storm surging,
crashing on the rocks

~in shadowed mist~

dreams are created,
embracing all the ifs
born of hope—or despair—lingering
like the caress of the sea
in the touch of a salt breeze, recalling
what once was and the words that would never be said.

My message from the Oracle took some work today, but it finally came through, and then a bit of added inspiration from Winslow Homer. Thanks to Jane Dougherty for sharing a fix for the formatting.

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…

View original post 35 more words

Signpost

Odilon Redon, Panneau décoratif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A signpost

symbol-scarred but faint,

faded from

time’s passage.

But on your heart, ancestors

created a map

 

of past words

and worlds, crisscrossed, or

parallel?

Infinite

possibilities exist—

light-time blends and bends

 

and you know

the road circles round

with tangled,

never straight lines.

There –the traces of stars’ dust

shimmers at your feet.

 

Now has passed,

the future’s ahead

like headlights

on night roads,

a guide. Turn into the spin,

drive to tomorrow.

 

This is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday where the theme word is map. Ken’s poem inspired mine. I had intended to write a gogyohka in response, but instead ended up with another shadorma sequence, which is not exactly a response, but when I read his,  I thought of signposts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Poem in Ekphrastic Review Challenge

The New Bucephalus, Edgar Ende

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My poem “A Dream” is up in the Ekphrastic Review’s Challenge using the above painting, “The New Bucephalus” by Edgar Ende. My thanks to editor Lorette C. Luzajic. I’m in good company this time with friends Kerfe Roig and Kim Russell. You can read all of the poems here (mine is near the end).

Remembering

Monday Morning Musings:

My mom and me. I’m about 3 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“History says don’t hope

On this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up

And hope and history rhyme.”

–Seamus Heaney, “Doubletake”, The Cure of Troy

Lines quoted by Joe Biden at DNC 2020

 

My Mom’s Last Birthday Party
Remember when blowing out candles on a cake was something we did?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother would be ninety-eight today–

we’d hug and kiss, and smile in the way

 

you do with people you love–when we could and did,

we never thought it all would end, we’d bid

 

farewell to normal hopes, and sail into tomorrow

on boats barely afloat, fueled by sorrow

 

and a bit of hate. Yes, for the dissembler and enablers

who’ve made the situation worse. The world’s more unstable,

 

increasing so every day. And yet they play with clichéd lines–

heavy-handed, rabble-rousing—creating conspiracies, signs

 

of the time and getting worse. The storms come, the fires burn

still the seasons, turn, turn, turn—

 

I walk and think of flowers, our year of sitting amidst blooms,

the garden a refuge of sort from boredom, doom, the rooms

We spent a lot of time in this garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

that confined you—and us–as we kept you company,

week after week, watching for changes, hungrily

 

asking you to remember the past, but wanting you to see

what you could of now, of me,

 

and we ached, all of us,

and we’d discuss

 

each change, each day, the words you’d say

of imaginary pets and our dead father, weigh

 

hope, laughter, grief in equal measure

and still remember and treasure—

 

a gift you’ve given me, to lift my face to the sun

to see that there are many, not just one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

way to see color, beauty, light

the way it changes on the water and fades slowly into night

 

Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

where perhaps I’ll hear a mockingbird sing farewell–

a lullaby rather than a knell–

 

a song of love, of peace, of rising up–it’s time,

it’s time, that hope and history rhyme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As some of you know, my mother died in April from Covid-related complications. Today she’d be ninety-eight. We couldn’t be with her when she died, and we haven’t really had a memorial. Tonight my husband, daughters, their spouses, and I will have a virtual dinner get together. I baked my and her favorite cookies over the weekend, and I’m baking a cake today.

Madelbrat (aka, Mommy Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Thursday, my husband and I had a date night at a winery. We bought tickets a month before, but we were fortunate that the humidity was gone that day, and it was beautiful.