Still Soaring

Monday Morning Afternoon Musings:

 

Between the misty amethyst

and the brilliant blue—there’s a pause

in the morning’s soft pink music, a rest

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

 

before the restart of staccato cardinal chirps,

the flute of robin trills,

and the crescendo of crow caws

 

burst through the feathered clouds,

with the bright blue of belonging—

here and now

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Delaware River, West Deptford, NJ. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

 

I walk

along the day’s determined path,

yet debating

 

both path and determined,

the ifs, whens, and whys

of going further, beyond

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I found an almost hidden path.

to find something else

hidden

like words within

 

waiting to be spoken.

 

“Eat chocolate,” my sisters say,

and share the thought of our mother’s laugh

echoing from the past,

 

flowing like a river through time,

all the versions of me and you,

the world

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in both the radiance of the sun

and the silvery shimmer of the moon,
pale blue and green,

 

and when I wish upon the ghost glow

of a thousand stars

I feel the dust of dreams

 

within and without,

as feathers fly from the sky

to land at my feet in trails of white light

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silent, at rest,

here, now

bits of something larger, still soaring.

A late edition of my Monday musings. I think Jane and I challenged each other to use the Love set of tiles from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. The Oracle and I once again collaborated, with more inspiration from my morning walks.

I’ve been baking with summer fruit, but I do indeed have a chocolate stash.

 

Merril’s Movie Club: We watched Radioactive (Amazon Prime, 2020), a new movie about Marie Curie. I wanted this to be wonderful, but it wasn’t. It was OK, but she was such a brilliant woman, and this, sadly, is not a movie that shines. We also watched Straight Up(Netflix), a sort of rom com where a young man who may be gay, but isn’t sure, finds his soul mate is a woman. It was enjoyable, but not great.

So we went back to darker stuff: we started watching Bordertown, a Finnish series on Netflix. So far, it’s very good. I like “Scandi-noir,” and shows that explore family life as well as the crimes.

 

 

 

 

 

The Universe in Motion

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Comet Hale-Bopp Attribution: Philipp Salzgeber / CC BY-SA 2.0 AT (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/at/deed.en)

Born before our before,

traveling till after our after,

ice and dust of timeless time,

 

the molecules of cosmic gases,

atoms of our world, forever

and after

 

the comet revolves through space

around the sun–our shining star–

our light-filled center, we circle it

 

year after year, through revolutions,

revelations in art, technology, war

to peace and back to war, revolve, resolve

 

to see this ball of light,

the icy comma tail–

it comes and goes

 

and we continue, revolving

electrons within us spin,

looking to connect

 

to something,

We’re attracted, we’re repulsed–

between darkness and light,

 

revolving

revolving

revolving.

 

I’m hosting dVerse Poetics today. The prompt is revolution.Come join us!

Never Fixed, the Ever Changing Light

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Sun above and below, reflections and shadows on the Delaware River

Monday Morning Musings:

“For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have.

The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.”

–James Baldwin, “Nothing is Fixed,” quoted on Brainpickings, where you can also listen to his words set to music.

 

A constant, the sun rises and sets

to the left of my window in summer, to the right in winter

ever shifting, as we rotate and spin, never fixed

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the light changes, shining through clouds and trees

reflected on rivers and sea

and prismed in a sprinkler’s passage, never fixed

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Sprinkler rainbow and puddle reflection

 

the birds fly, the flowers bloom, fall, drop their sees, and grow again

the snapping turtle’s slow crawl, the gracile deer’s leap into the shadows

they pause, then move, live, then die, never fixed

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Maybe a snapping turtle? I saw him on the side of the road by the river during a morning walk.

 

as the moon moves through her phases,

do you hear her fiercely humming?

Reminding us in silvered streams, never fixed,

 

our stories. We choose to sit or fight

against the dying of the light

to witness gleaming through the cracks, never fixed,

 

forever light comes from stars extinguished

we see it, or we don’t.

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My shadow reflecting–light and shadows

 

This has been a difficult week for the world, though it is also been inspiring in some ways.

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A grown daughter’s childhood companion.

In whatever way you can, speak out, donate, and help others. Here is a short list of things to read, support, and follow

Merril’s Movie Club: We watched Just Mercy, which is streaming free (in the U.S) during the month of June. I was afraid it would be a sort of feel good Hollywood movie, but both my husband and I thought it was a good movie with excellent acting. There are additional facts and statistics at the end. We also watched Uncut Gems, which was good in a different way. It’s available on Netflix now.

I’ve written about the musical Ragtime before. It’s one of my favorite musicals, and it seems particularly relevant during this presidency, and right now, the song, “Make Them Hear You” resonates. Here is Ricky the Cat listening to it. (And yes, I may have made him a little bed by my computer.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Rains and Summer Storms

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Birds sing from leafy trees

and verdant banks beside the streams–

from gentle rain in spring a droplet gleams

 

on iris and rose, and petrichor rises in the air

washed clean, carried on a crisp, fresh breeze

(with pollen that makes us cough and wheeze)

 

but beautiful the shades of green

in days that lengthen, until the sun’s heat

bakes ground and street.

 

Summery steam rises in air that’s sticky and thick,

and the sky darkens, the clouds turn black,

as the stormy wind enters, blows pages from their stack,

 

I close the window when the rain comes—plothering, not pitter-pat,

there’s thunder and lightning, and gusts that sway the trees about–

then the power goes out—

 

the temperature falls and rises again, the rain clouds part,

and through them, the sun casts a glow

across the sky–look, a double rainbow.

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Rainbow at Pitman Golf Club, Pitman, NJ June 2020

 

For Sarah’s rain prompt on dVerse. Earlier this morning, my husband saw this rainbow at the golf course where he’s working. Later, we got a severe thunderstorm, and our power went out, but it’s been restored. So, I reversed the order for the poem.

 

 

 

 

But At Last We Ask: Covid Poetry

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But at last we ask

in dreams,

as days fast-wane–

 

we ask

what we must recall

of sun on rocks,

 

and sprays of petals pink

against an impossible blue–

we ache–asking

 

does the moon hum

of if

or never?

 

We ask without language

for more words;

we ask to start over.

 

The Oracle knows what is going on around us. I decided to also incorporate the “More Words” “Start Over” message at the bottom of the magnetic poetry screen. The photo was taken last April.

Impermanent and Fine

 

Sunset over the Delaware River, Feb.2020

Sun and clouds reflected on the surface of the Delaware River, Feb. 24, 2020     Merril D. Smith

 

I watch the apricot sun settle

in feathered-grey clouds

reflected in the water

 

the rocks on the shore–

with time,

they’ll crumble

 

washed by the river,

polished by the rain,

burnished in the golden glow

 

I walk with long shadow legs

into the twilight,

as the geese honk farewell.

 

Scientists say

Betelgeuse may soon explode–

but I look up at the moon, waxing,

 

it will be here long after I’m gone,

but now, it lights my way

home to you.

 

This poem is for my dVerse prompt, Impermanence. So, I didn’t come up with anything particularly unique because I was inspired by this photo I took yesterday while walking by the river. Come join us with your thoughts.

 

 

 

From There to Here

Ghost of Cassiopeia, NASA

“Powerful gushers of energy from seething stars can sculpt eerie-looking figures with long, flowing veils of gas and dust. One striking example is “the Ghost of Cassiopeia,” officially known as IC 63, located 550 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen.” Image Credits: NASA, ESA and STScI; Acknowledgment: H. Arab (University of Strasbourg)

 

Beneath the brown,

a seed grows green,

see?

 

Beneath the frost,

nature murmurs a song,

listen

 

as after the rain,

spring sings of time

in a fall of pink petals

 

and ghosts sail

through a universe

of if

 

with star rhythms

they dazzle—

and we embrace the fire

 

from a champagne cloud,

remembering

like a night kiss,

 

the brilliance of eternity

lingering

in our blood.

 

I took words from three sets of tiles, and the Oracle and I collaborated on this poem. Mostly her, I just added the articles and such. I think the link is still open for Open Link Night on dVerse, where Lillian is hosting from her vacation retreat, so I’m linking this there.