At the Crossroads

Monday Morning Musings:

“Standin at the crossroad babe
eee eee eee, risin sun goin down
I believe to my soul now,
Poor Bob is sinkin down”
–from Robert Johnson, “Cross Road Blues”

Clouds over the river ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

Hawk flight in dim light, the trees still green–
summer clings, but autumn slings
a cool grey arm, and shadows fall across it all.

Now, the sun’s a sleepy golden ball

when I hear—something—sing
winged hope soars from that throat—to bring

Waiting for the Sun. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

comfort as the days go by, and dawn rises–
what will come—the future surprises.
The sky is cantaloupe and peach—

the eagles fly, high out of reach

Sunrise over the Delaware River ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

of those below
where time moves fast, then slow
in the beat of heron wings

a fish is gone. Do his fish brethren grieve?
Or do they notice? Do they believe
in monsters from above?

Do they love?

Or feel sorrow? What bargains would you make,
come tomorrow? For the sake
of family or self—for fame or fortune, or for glory?

Bargains with the devil–an age-old story.

But for some, the price they must pay,
to live a night, and into the next day

you stand at the crossroads to survive,
to see that cantaloupe sun arrive

then watch the harvest moon–revived
now humming, full and ripe–and you’re alive
in a world both glorious and banal–

rainfall and rainbows, fireballs

In the neighbor–sunlight, rainbows, and flowers. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

in the night. The moon has heard the call
of dinosaurs and seen the flight of pterodactyls–
and all of nature’s fractals,

patterns repeating, parallels, and lines that intersect
and here, we meet again and again—connect
the dots. We’re at the crossroads,

we rise and fall,
but the moon has seen it all.

We had warm sticky days last week, then the humidity dropped, and it’s starting to look and feel like autumn. Climate change means we will most likely continue to experience extreme weather. Right-wing fanatics are trying to overthrow our democracy, and anti-mask and anti-vax crazies are prolonging the pandemic. We know now that the “dark ages” were not as dark as they used to be portrayed, but it certainly seems like we’re heading into them.

And yet. . .there is still beauty, love, friendship, and people who speak the truth. And cats, food, and wine. Tonight is the September full moon, the Harvest Moon.

The Lantern Theater Company in Philadelphia is beginning this season with two digital plays. We streamed the first one, Me and the Devil, this past weekend. Tickets and information here.
There’s a legend that blues legend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his extraordinary talent. It made me think about how throughout time, people have had to make bargains with evil in order to survive. In Johnson’s case there’s a mystery, and that he died young, adds to his mystique—he may have been poisoned by a jealous husband, as he was known as quite a ladies’ man.

NaPoWriMo: Railways

They changed history, the railroads.

They changed time, scheduling it with preciseness,

a new conciseness,

connecting towns, connecting people.

Clickety clack, clickety clack

the tracks of the Transcontinental Railway,

connecting a nation

Elation!

Refrigerated cars, carrying meat and produce

connecting farm and city,

Railway cars and urban gritty.

Clickety clack, clickety clack

Freight train

Freight train

going so fast

Salesmen selling goods and schemes

connecting consumers with products and dreams.

Clickety clack, clickety clack.

The Great Migration and Depression blues

changing where we lived, what we choose.

Clickety clack,  clickety clack.

Hobos and the Scottsboro Boys,

lonesome blues, lonesome noise,

justice denied,

hop a freight—

Wait,

will we ever get back home?

No, only forward.

Don’t look back.

Don’t look back.

Clickety clack,  clickety clack

The trains must run on time,

Up they climb,

to the halls of hell.

Well,

take a breath.

Come greet, Death.

Clickety clack,  clickety clack

Blood on the tracks

Blood on the tracks

Auschwitz, Dachau–

we wonder how,

how?

Can we stop it now?

Freight train, freight train,

going too fast.

Not so fast, not so fast, not so fast, not so fast

Clickety clack,  clickety clack

The mournful sighs

the tearful cries,

people and trains

remains

bound for glory.

You can hear the whistle

blow one hundred miles,

clickety clack, click clack

fading, fading, fading with time.

 

NaPoWriMo Day 6 . I used the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt, using these words

town/train/fade/hear/hall