This Wondrous Truth

Monday Morning Musings:

“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars”
Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, 31

“Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines”
–Maya Angelou, A Brave and Startling Truth

Venus, just before Sunrise

Not yet dawn, the robins sing
in twinkling tones that answer stars–
light becoming sound,
the call for love all around,

a song that runs through nature
carried in secret whispers of the wind
heard even in fog-obscured morning
a sun-bright melody pinned

to the coming of spring.

Forsythia in the Fog

Am I the river that murmurs,
the breeze the rustles leaves and grass,
the perfect blue of sky, and the white peony clouds
floating past–

My willow, Dock Creek, Old City Philadelphia, US Custom House in the background

I hear their sigh–
I am everything
the bloom of life, the garden’s laughter, the love the flies
on dragonfly wings, gossamer, then gone–

Reflections, Doubletree Hotel, Broad Street, Philadelphia

the flash of mirrored light
the echoed song

the transformation of grape to wine,
that ephemerality that lingers through
the shape of time
the triangles and circles,
the nebulae of cells
the marvel of blooms
that call birds and bees
in colors beyond what we can see—
the echo of an empty room,

the startling truth of us and stars
in mingled dust, brave as a leaf–
the contradiction of belief,
a tangle of shades and sounds–
a wondrous mess, this existence is ours.

We actually went out this past week! We sat outside at a winery on Wednesday.Purim started that night, and I made Hamantaschen, the triangular filled pastries. We went to a Judy Collins concert on Friday night. That day began with dense fog, then turned to bright sunshine, then got cloudy again. We saw a play on Saturday afternoon. It was a play we were supposed to see the previous Saturday—when it was snowing. What a change in a week! It was almost summery as we walked around Old City Philadelphia before the show. March is living up to its reputation.

Concert, play, wedding stalking, and murals and street art for Resa.


Meanwhile, the craziness of the world continues. The concert venue, the Scottish Rite auditorium in Collingswood said that vaccination/proof of negative Covid tests were required, but they didn’t check. The ushers were masked, as were we, but most people were not. On the Patco train, masks were required, but we were in the minority wearing ours. At the Philadelphia Arden Theater, however, we had to show our vaccination cards and ID, and remain masked.
The war in Ukraine goes on, and the GOP extremists are still peddling Russian disinformation. Sigh. But spring is beautiful.

Judy Collins was wonderful. She can still sing and write, and she’s gracious and funny. The play Tracking Back, was funny and heartwarming—just what we needed.

A Desire for Magic

Monday Morning Musings:

“I don’t want realism. I want magic! . . .I don’t tell the truth, I tell what ought to be truth.”
Blanche , Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

Foggy winter morning. The river is completely obscured.

Fog-clad river flows,
unseen gulls laugh and call, trains
whistle lonesome morning blues,
ghost sounds from a cloud realm,
lull beak-tucked geese in fitful sleep,

and do they dream? In
bird-soul night do they recall
hopes and dreams, or seek magic
in the everyday?
Imagine river-worlds beyond this

clouded grey expanse?
Tomorrow’s sun will erase
the smudges, reveal azure—
there all along–science
of light, magic of perception

how I hear moon-song,
see time rippling like a wave
caught in glass, there a reflection
reveals what could be, or
perhaps what never was. Is this truth–

Merchants Exchange Building, Philadelphia
Carpenters’ Hall, Philadelphia

a poem of rays
that sing in distant domain,
warbled notes of space-time strike
the window, the water,
the river gulls, and streetwise squirrels,

Old City Squirrel, Philadelphia

connecting them all.
Magic and realism both,
the dance of earth, moon, sun, stars
creating life and vision
of colors, all that we can see–

and those beyond our dreams.

Walt Whitman Bridge at Sunset, taken from the car

This is a wayra chain, in case you’re wondering. 😉

We’ve had a week of cold and warm weather, fog and light. The snow has melted, though a little wintry mix fell early this morning, icing sidewalks and coating the cars. We braved the elements and Covid to go to a live theater performance on Saturday afternoon. We saw A Streetcar Named Desire at the Arden Theater in Philadelphia. They checked vaccination cards and IDs, and they required all in the audience to remain masked throughout the performance. It was fun to be out, and the story is moving, even if this was not the best production. We both thought the secondary characters were excellent, and much better than the leads. The man sitting next to my husband couldn’t hear the actors, but for some reason decided to stay for the entire performance.

Today is my daughter’s birthday. She and her now husband were in a wonderful college production of Streetcar—she was Blanche and he was Stanley. Desire struck that Streetcar. When they got married a few years later, the director of the production officiated.

Random Food Photo

Mixed- Berry Crisp for dessert last night

Beyond

A foggy January morning. The Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith 2021

Say there were shadows—there
whispering beneath the fog—and–
say there were blue-sprayed shapes
watching with silent sea-tongues
who wanted you to see

~beyond~

and after,
and if, the bitter blows come,
there is still the luscious scent of summer rain
and a dream of light,
of moon-song’s lingering silver after a storm.

Today’s message from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. She always knows. The photo is from my walk earlier this morning.

Silence Comes on Morning Fog

Silence comes on morning fog

shrouding life in grey and white

drifting in, an epilogue

to what has come before, at night,

the starry skies and canorous moon

hidden behind the shadowy clouds–

but listen–silence sings a tune

sometimes soft, sometimes loud,

in the susurration of wind and rain,

in the scurrying from dusk till dawn,

in hearts that beat again and again

there’s never silence till we’re gone.

Caspar David Friedrich, “Sea Beach in the Fog, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dwight, guesting hosting the dVerse poet’s bar, has asked us to write about silence.

 

 

Is it, Was it, Ever Thus?

Show me the beauty

beneath mist a thousand pictures,

in shadow whispers

time’s music urges, please

recall when,

and if—

was it so

or no?

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 12.23.12 PM

 

512px-Monet,_Claude_-_Waterloo_Bridge._Effect_of_Fog

Claude Monet, “Waterloo Bridge, Effect of Fog,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

The Oracle was being coy today. It took me a few attempts to coax anything from her, and then apparently she looked outside my window to see the misty day.