Distances

Monday Morning Musings:

Distances

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
–Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

Morning Moon, October

Morning Moon

1.
Always the moon—
even in far-flung places, she rises
gleaming, her hair silver-streaming,
to answer questions we haven’t yet asked.

2.
It is the season of falling leaves and
demonic connections. Remember
heartbreak, look for truth—be aware–
of lies and hate. I’ll vote blue.

Autumn Scenes

3.
The brief pause
before you grin, lopsided,
a crooked crescent, the smile of your ancestors,
lights up your eyes.

4.
The mist rises in a glorious ring,
even under a fretful sky
the river flows on, her melody
constant and ever-changing, nature’s paradox.

Morning Mist at the River

5.
The hawk whistles in red-feathered flight,
the squirrels scurry beneath golden boughs
the geese soar in V-flight, a journey
through space and time, the future becomes now.

Golden glow on abandoned ferry terminal, Delaware River, West Deptford

I used Jane’s random words again for this Cadralor.

It has been such a busy week. Work assignments due, the Folktober Challenge, a broken washing machine, now a clogged drain, dealing with a credit card transferred to a bank that seems totally incapable of handling service, the probably final televised hearing of the January 6 Committee, and two plays in theaters this weekend! On Saturday we saw The Glass Menagerie at the Arden Theater in Old City, Philadelphia. I had forgotten how sad and moving the play is, and the actors were all excellent. I enjoyed it very much. It was a beautiful day, so we took a long walk first, and then afterwards, we were able to sit outside at Tria to enjoy wine (mine, a Syrah blend from South Africa), stout (his, some dark something), a seasonal cheese tray of local artisan cheeses. Delightful!

Old City and Tria

On Sunday, we saw Those With 2 Clocks at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. It was a completely different sort of play. And yet, perhaps both plays dealt with some universal truths. This would not be a play for many of my friends and readers. As the pre-show announcement said, this performance will hit all the triggers. There were jokes about sex acts, butts, and there was full nudity—and also interactions with the audience. The performers explored humor and what makes us laugh–and attempt to dismantle the patriarchy. I was worried that I would not enjoy it at all, but I did, even as I cannot really explain what I saw. You can read more about it here.

Rittenhouse Square and Area

October, Bright and Yearning

Monday Morning Musings:

Autumn Leaves

October Bright and Yearning

1.
The wind thrusts open the curtains of rain
now the understudy enters, so nervous
he chokes when it’s time to speak,
Then the sun steps in with fierce-rayed concentration
the star, he commands attention.

Sunlight, Red Bank Battlefield

October Morning

Sunrise Over the Delaware River

2.
Ruthless questions—
reflect, refute if you can, why we treasure armies
and the damage that they do—
ghosts wander over blood-soaked ground,
mothers remember.

3.
Knotty letters swim to the surface
we catch them with hooks,
straighten them with poetic authority
toss back the redundant,
bind the true.

4.
Thoughtful threads converge,
sparkling stars,
moons, and planets
statements and questions,
circle like satellites in infinity.

5.
Now we gather, spicy, salty, sweet—
daughters, granddaughters, offspring
the past topples into now
without a break—almost accidental–
we let the birds fly free.

Autumn Puddle Reflections

This and That:

This may not be a true cadralor, but then something similar from Jane’s words from Oracle II. Our older child is visiting. Their visit coincided with a Zoom memorial Saturday evening for my mom’s cousin who died recently. Then my two children spent some time together.

There is a definite feel and look of autumn now. This past week, as people are actively seeking to destroy my country and democracies everywhere, and death seems all around, the birds have been putting on shows. I know this is a migratory period, so perhaps that’s the reason, but after days of rain, the sun finally came out, and the sky was a deep, perfect blue. Vultures danced in the sky, while mockingbirds, cardinals, sparrows, and other birds sang from trees, poles, and bushes.

The park by the river where I often walk is the site of an American Revolutionary War battle. It was fought in October 1777, and in a couple of weeks, they’ll have the annual reenactment event there.

Last night, my husband and I watched Catherine, Called Birdy. I can’t get away from birds! 🙂
It’s a delightful movie, and just what I needed to see. Even the closing credits are fun.
(In contrast, I would not recommend the Norwegian horror film, The Innocents. Hidden within it, is a film of forging bonds between children and siblings. I like that part, and the young actors are all excellent. BUT, the movie is very disturbing—and includes scenes of animal cruelty, as well as cruelty against humans.) And we’re still watching The Extraordinary Attorney Woo on Netflix. It’s so good.

This August or Another? Stuck in Time That Passes in a Flash

This August or Another? Stuck in Time that Passes in a Flash

1.
She says eat the cherries,
they’re yummy,
but as she sneezes,
and I look at the dirty bowl,
I don’t feel neighborly anymore.

2.
Promises are scattered,
like crumbs for fish
in the pond–
Gabby Giffords* is still fighting
for gun control

3.
My cat rubs with pleasure,
his chin to my chin
sleek-bodied, silky-furred,
he watches me with giant eyes
attentive as a mind-reader.

4.
At the precipice,
do we accept the inevitable,
or turn to stride through dust clouds
looking for the trail
marked “Love”?

5.
The air is electric,
we wait for an exciting answer
to the sky’s question–
lighting to thunder,
the illumination of mystery.

*Gabby Giffords is a former representative from Arizona who was shot in the head in January 2011 in a mass shooting that killed six people and injured others. She and her husband have become outspoken advocates for gun control.

Early morning brain-starter using Jane’s Random Words. This is perhaps not imagist enough to be a cadralor? I’m never certain.

Behold what blossoms

Odilon Redon, “The Muse on Pegasus”

Behold what blossoms

1.
Men stormed and crushed what was
beauty died in a thousand deaths.
Do you recall?
The TV elaborated in detail,
lingering, a voyeur at the window
savoring sweat and blood.

2.
We waited for the aliens to come,
to connect, to repair our corrupted hard drive,
to find the correct interface—
a galactic effort
to find the lost password
stored in a safe, but unknown location.

3.
The stars whispered,
and I caught the thoughts,
planted them like seeds
and when the flowers bloomed,
I placed them in vases,
to light the dark corners of the world.

4.
The moon sang a symphony
as she soared higher and higher–
first the trees noticed
silver drifting up from swaying boughs,
then birds, and then dolphins and whales,
but we slept on.

5.
After the dream-ships sailed into shadows,
dawn came
as if the goddess, delirious, and drunk on joy
sprayed peach champagne onto the clouds
to drip and puddle on the river’s surface,
and time flows on. Behold, what blossoms.

I really struggled to get a poem from the Oracle this morning. I finally ended-up with this cadralor.

Summer Stories

Monday Morning Musings:

Early morning in July at Red Bank Battlefield

Summer Stories

1.
Today, the clouds seem unnecessary,
like a rhetorical flourish
they ask questions we’re not meant to answer
about the future, the tense of what might be,
not what is.

2.
I’m frightened by the rabid, purple beast,
the stuff of nightmares—
all in my brain, perhaps,
yet he seems to be whipping the world bloody–
he has no regrets.

3.
The geese, deer, and rabbits feast now
on clover. There are flowers everywhere,
nature is not tightfisted in summer,
but balanced, the growth comes,
so, also the shedding—feathers, fur, leaves, virus.

Geese, turkeys, deer, and flowers at Red Bank Battlefield and around the neighborhood


  1. It might be unsuitable,
    but I’ll join you—let’s be festive,
    order some wine,
    in the shade of the sycamore trees,
    we’ll pretend to be offbeat artists.

On the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

5.
Here the water overflows,
but there is a bridge, a thread
that carries us to the rest of the story
bathed in orange sunlight,
we cross.

Tall Pines State Preserve

I used the random words Jane generated yesterday for my musings today. I’m not certain if these stanzas are all different enough to be a cadralor, but I’ll call it one anyway. This week we walked at Tall Pines on what was a beautiful early summer morning before it got too hot.

Tall Pines

On Saturday, we went to Philadelphia Museum of Art. Since we’re members and can go anytime, we don’t feel like we have to see everything on each visit. Masking was optional, so we left when it began to get more crowded. We did see some fascinating exhibits though. The Elegy of Grief was very moving, the Waiting for Tear Gas (covering protests from around the world at different periods of time) was powerful, and as you might suspect, I love Picture in a Picture. I will write more about that idea another time.

Swann Fountain and Philadelphia Museum of Art

We found a place on the Parkway to eat lunch outdoors (photos in gallery above).

Merril’s Movie Club: In my quest to bring you movies you’ve never heard of, 😏 this week we watched a movie that was a lot of fun, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes,:

“Café owner Kato discovers that his PC monitor shows what will happen two minutes in the future. Another screen downstairs in his café shows the past of two minutes ago. His friends decide to place the two mysterious devices opposite each other, which creates a loop to see into the future. Naturally, chaos ensues. BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES is a delightfully light hearted flick shot in one take about five innocent heartwarming friends who discover the art of time traveling!”

It’s only a bit over an hour. It’s a low-budget movie shot on cell phone cameras (watch the credits at the end). It’s available on Amazon and other platforms.

Infinite, Alternate Ifs

The Kiss – Gustav Klimt

Infinite, Alternate Ifs

1.
What if peace came
from the storms, or fell
gently, like spring rain,
would we welcome it,
or squirrel-scamper to treetops
to watch and scold?


  1. The woman gazes in the mirror,
    all her selves are there
    stretching back, leaning forward
    in an endless line. She wonders
    what they know, what they remember.

3.
Stun me with bytes,
we interface by chance in chaos theory,
here the migration of people, there a spark–
if streams from many sources
in our multiverse.

4.
Now ask how the moon chants
for thousands of years,
or how the fiddler plays, echoing the stars—
it is the loneliness of souls
seeking others.

5.
Once a boy asked, and a girl said yes–
arm in arm and heart to heart
hours passed, then days and years
a rhapsody, a waltz–and syncopated beats
aligned in a steady march together. This way, home.

I’m posting yesterday’s poem from the Oracle. It was our wedding anniversary, and the Oracle gave me this cadralor. It’s an odd love poem, but I suppose that fits us–and this week. I don’t know why WP thinks #2 should be indented.

I hope Mr. Knight will be pleased with the ifs. 😏

Aubade, Serenade

Monday Morning Musings:

Aubade, Serenade

Just past sunrise.

1.

A brush with green,
Earth-spirits, forest soul beckons
absorb the magic, it vanishes quickly
as orange sherbet sky melts
into the blue expanse

Early Morning Magic–she appeared and then disappeared

2.
Lies bait the hook
they swallow eagerly
as they swim to shore,
emerging with myopic eyes
fins turned to fists, grasping at shadows.

3.
Statement of the day,
or afterthought?
Dust off your father’s memory,
what if you saw your parents as children?
Love rekindled. Turn the page, again.

4.
Dreams of motors and motion–
helicopters, airplanes, buses, trains.
Something insidious you fear, but wait
there’s a twist–a cat purrs in your ear,
a snore from the pillow beside you.

5.
Light transported, prismed colors soar
and sing, celestial harmonies,
secrets we’re born knowing, but forget
even stars die,
I breathe their sparkle, hear their song.

As the crow flies

I generated another set of words, different from Jane’s set yesterday, and used them to write a cadralor.


After heat, storms, and humidity, this weekend we got some cool, dry, sunny weather. The January 6 Committee Hearings continue, and their revelations are even more awful than I thought they would be. However, nature has brought magic in the form of deer, eagles, and some beautiful days. We went to Auburn Road Winery for a pre-Father’s Day celebration. I baked my husband his favorite cookies for Father’s Day and gave him a pillow to replace one I ruined.

Merril’s Movie, Theater, TV Club:
We watched Petite Maman, a new movie by French director Céline Sciamma. (Her highly acclaimed Portrait of a Lady on Fire has been in my queue for ages, so I will need to watch it soon.) There’s not much of a story, but it’s a sweet, tender film—just what I needed to see. The title is a clue. I really liked it.

We saw another strange version of The Cherry Orchard, this one called The Orchard. We saw the virtual version. I really loved Mikhail Baryshnikov as Chekhov and Firs. Madame Ranevskaya was also excellent. I liked the virtual opening and closing, and the acting was good, but if I didn’t know the story, I probably would have been lost. Was the robotic arm/camera symbolic? Were there allusions to the current invasion of Ukraine? Perhaps. Here’s one review.

We finished the current episodes of Stranger Things (two more episodes drop on July 1). We both have enjoyed this new season. We started the latest Star Trek, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. It’s a prequel to the original Star Trek, and it follows Capt. Pike and his crew, including intern Uhura.

A Summer Day, on Repeat (with audio)

A Summer Day, on Repeat

1.
When we were young, yet women,
we danced—almost cool—
the universe smiled and breathed
with champagne breath, effervescent,
a symphony of light-sound.

2.
We go about our days
oblivious to the coming storm.
though the wind moans, and
the sky becomes a blackened chimney—
then a chandelier.

3.
Fish leaps, a sparkle and a splash,
green frog with banjo-string-pluck, jumps–
the mayfly darts away.
The pond tastes of anything
can happen, if only, make a wish.

4.
Tech plays with sinister access,
the world wants you to be hard—
perhaps everything must crash.
You open the program,
hit re-set, complete.

5.
Dream diamonds float amidst the rocks—
tiny ships without a compass or chart,
in the after and before,
as time spins, always
she lives in you.

The Oracle gave me an almost Cadralor. Then we went out for a walk in a nature preserve, and when we got back home, I decided to try to make it a true Cadralor. I think. I’m sharing this with dVerse Open Link Night.

Criss-Crossings in Deep Time

Odilon Redon, L’arbre

1.
Cross the forest threshold
covered in squirrel-scattered leaves.
Acorns, chestnuts, cones, and seeds
buried amidst ancient, tangled roots,
resurrected.

2.
Three cats—curled, colored knots
white, tortoiseshell, and grey-striped.
Descendants of tigers, purrs with sharp claws,
gone–save the shadow
pressed against my warmth.

3.

Driftwood, weathered and bleached white,
a venerable creature beached
waiting for the tide.
What stories could it tell of its journeys–
of time and beyond?

4.

Red flowers rise to a rosy sky
Hello, they cry, and wave.
From wooded umbra,
white striped tail rises, too, leaving his scent—
not a perfumed calling card, but a warning.

5.

The clouds grumble,
their secrets burst out and light the sky
Your arm across me in the night, I reach to catch
a glittering fragment before it vanishes—I laugh
and hear an echo from the in-between.

A cadralor for dVerse. I hope I’ve done this correctly. To me, the form seems like a dream, in which you understand it as it goes along, and when you wake you feel something’s been resolved, though you can’t explain how or why. You can read about the form here, but briefly from the journal Gleam:

“the cadralor consists of five short, unrelated, highly-visual stanzas. The fifth stanza acts as the crucible, illuminating the gleaming thread that runs through all the stanzas and bringing them together into a love poem. By “love poem,” we mean that the fifth stanzaic image answers the question: “For what do you yearn?” Please see sample poems and editor statements on the cadralor to get a feel for this new form.”