Up and Down

© 2020 Frank J. Tassone

 

We stand on a precipice, nation and world. Fissured by plague and threats to democracy, we are faltering, close to tumbling into an abyss. Is this the beginning of the end? Or merely a ripple in the waves of time? I leave the angry and weary voices to walk, looking for beauty in the bright colors around me. A chipmunk scurries by. Deer shyly graze, turkeys strut through the long grass, and blackbirds give a trilling chink as they fly overhead.

I watch the sun rising over the river, making it sparkle. It know it’s physics, but I can also see the magic. We need both.

 

bare branches turn green,

brown leaves fall into river–

past floats to future

 

F9A07115-F532-4266-AF85-B5C8005CA8AC

©️Merril D. Smith 2020

A Haibun for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Haibun prompt, using Frank Tassone’s photo at the top for inspiration, and my photo at the end.

 

 

 

Soar, Crash, Burn, Rise

Monday Morning Musings:

Once my sister and I were chicks,

we sucked honeysuckle from vines,

and danced with bees on hot summer days.

101501968_3341711045842135_1364437133422493696_o

Wild honeysuckle

Then I became many birds. . .

 

a robin, who sings in morning

a mother goose, swimming with her mate

telling stories to her children

IMG_1320

IMG_2438

 

and teaching them to swim and fly.

 

I became a heron,

standing at the water’s edge

as the frogs jump and ripples

IMG_4533

100577111_3341705672509339_471323857022615552_o

Frog ripples in the upside down world.

flow in expanding circles

 

like raptors in the sky,

on a quest,

for sustenance–

IMG_5777 2

we all fly this path,

 

ignoring the owl’s night warning–

danger is coming, danger is here!

We burn

 

and hope like the phoenix, we’ll rise again.

 

So, I become the golden peacock, a light-seeker,

even as my many eyes cry for the lost,

I fly to worlds only imagined. . .

IMG_3140

imagine them now–

 

and listen

for my star songs

I give them to you–

 

reach high,

 

hold them near your heart,

feel them flutter

with life.

 

8B6C402D-81E4-478D-AAC5-48B32DB3AEAA

Reaching

Like most people I’m heartsore and weary. Since November 2016, the majority of Americans have been in shock, but the situation in our country, and in the world, continues to deteriorate. I know I’m fortunate to have a home, a loving husband, daughters, sisters, and friends, and food to eat. I have places where I can walk without fear. But, I’m worn from taking care of my mom, worn from her dying, worn my cat dying, of so many people dying. . .while the lies and the lack of leadership here have led to more deaths. I don’t know how to express all this. There are others who can say it better, but I write in poetry. So this was today, my musing. (Some of the photos come from this week, and some are older photos.)

 

On an entirely different note because we all need escapes, Merril’s Movie Club:  The Vast of Night, a new movie on Amazon is a lot of fun. We ordered takeout Saturday night and had a movie night. It’s sort of a retro sci-fi movie that pays homage to The Twilight Zone and old sci-fi movies. One review I read said something about how you’ve seen the story lots of times before, but it’s the way it’s told. We both enjoyed it a lot.

We also watched the show Undone on Amazon, and even though I’m not normally a fan of animated shows, this is such a Merril show. I learned that this type of animation is called rotoscoping. The show is funny, profound, weird, moving, and deals with moving through time and space, mental illness, deaf culture, indigenous cultures, family. . .each episode is less than half an hour.

 

 

 

 

 

Cabarets and Conviviality

Monday Morning Musings:

“Life is a cabaret, old chum

Come to the Cabaret!”

–John Kander and Fred Ebb, “Cabaret,” from Cabaret

 

“Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?”

–Jane Austen, Letter to her sister Cassandra, June 15, 1808

 

On a summery autumn day,

we left the sunlight

to enter the smoky den–

(the Cabaret, old friend)

Germany in the 1930s

but goose steppers are looming

the winds of war are moving

soon the guns will be booming

but for now, there is consuming

beer and goods,

here in the night,

the women are beautiful

the men are beautiful

they slink and glide

in barely-there wear

the Emcee, in heels and gowns

feather boa and garters,

looming

grooming the audience

flirting and diverting

we’re there, but here

then, but now

I’m surprised–

though why–

startled at my own emotion reaction

because it’s no longer an abstraction,

“Tomorrow Belongs to Me”

and Nazi insignia–

my throat constricts,

the body knows what the mind refuses to accept

(more goose steps)

I hear “some very fine people” gather

drivel and blather

echoes of then and now

the need to fight and disavow

what do politics have to do with us

the characters ask

We’re Germans,

(We’re Americans)

that can’t happen here,

our rights will never disappear

people standing tall and proud

arms held straight in devoted salute

They worship him

(no matter what he says)

small steps with profound consequences

(build a wall and many fences)

the slippery slope

and where’s the rope to pull us back

to ring the warning bell

to tell us now that all is well

So, what would you do

My brave young friend?

Would you pay the price?

What would you do?

What should we do?

What will you do?

 

 

We walk and talk

a wonderful production

the set well-designed,

the orchestra well-tuned and engaging

the voices delightful

the direction, insightful

altogether, quite a show

but—

(rightfully so)

a little too close to current events

(Maybe this time)

we’ll be lucky

maybe this time

he’ll go away

 

We wander some more

through old city streets

encounter wedding parties

one right after the other

brides, grooms, sisters, brothers

“the wedding stalker,” my husband says,

but it makes me happy to see love and joy

(where some want only to destroy)

affirmations of love and life

after the violence, hate, killing, and strife

 

We drink coffee

stroll across the cobblestones

IMG_7090

where men met to create a nation

to establish here a firm foundation

(remember the ladies, Abigail said)

but no, they simply went ahead

We’ve come a long way, baby

but still and all–

life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

flawed men with lofty ideals

feet of clay

and yet they found a way

it’s still the best we have

pledges made then and now

pledges these couples make in wedding vows

to love and cherish

to pursue life and happiness together

to do their best

we must do our best

(to join together)

 

After the play, we join our friends

friends of years

through love and tears

FullSizeRender 221

kindred spirits

saying farewell to one couple’s house

not their first

but one where babies were born and nursed

here a family gathered

here we’ve shared many meals

often, like tonight Chinese food

IMG_7096

viewed one way

something we’ve done before

but there’s always something new and something old

moments to cherish and hold

close here to heart and mind

to bring out and remember

should we ever find the need to,

we say farewell to the house

but not the friendship,

remember that time, we say?

That day?

And then?

Remember when?

“What do you talk about? one friend’s daughter asked.

How do you describe the talk of old friends?

We talk of all our important nothings

and then we talk some more

of children, homes, work, and retirement

of travel, plays, movies, and books

of bats in our houses

and grandchildren in our beds

of catching mice

and stalking cats

of coffee cups and chocolate cake

of food and wine

and all the time

of then

and now

and all things fine

(and some things not so)

until finally it’s time to go.

We part with hugs effusive

despite the hour

and as the moon peeks from her cloudy bower

FullSizeRender 214

 

we part–

Auf Wiedersehen,

but not goodbye

À bientôt

Enjoy life’s show–

it may be a cabaret

but if so, the set changes every day

and yet love, the light, true friends remain

and all our important nothings

in turns out

are really something

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angels and Magic: Magnetic Poetry

austrian_-_angel_-_walters_27571_-_right

Walters Art Museum [Public domain, CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-4-20-25-pm

 

There are fools surrounding a god

of smoke & poison

remember angel voices caramel breath linger long,

listen–

“it is I,

time to wake”

embrace this desire & live no prisoner

fever haunted

laugh open our secret magic

never let peace go

 

 

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-4-20-53-pm

in warm night

a marble boy is born

the star bleeds

delicious colors

and will heal him

it is salt-rhythm poetry

glass and fire

for a wild heart

 

Saturday Magnetic Poetry. The Oracle decided to go with some magical realism, or surrealism, or perhaps it’s time for Angels in America (again).  The Oracle is cryptic.

 

Peace Dream

“Imagine all the people

Living life in peace”

–John Lennon, “Imagine.”

When I was young,

maybe seven or eight,

I went to bed one night,

and dreamt about The Mummy,

Boris Karloff with his shuffling gait,

walking in my backyard

trailing bands of white linen

arms outstretched,

a nightmare image,

but somehow then, my dreamself knew,

I could change the story.

And so, in my dream world

that mummy played ball with me.

Standing in my backyard tossing it gently,

he cracked a smile

beneath his layered wrappings.

Now I wish I had that power

to change the world I see,

to turn bombs and guns

into birds and flowers,

to turn darkness to light,

to change hate

into love.

Animated_dove_holding_an_olive_branch

By Ayuugyi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons