The Unimaginable Magic

 

Monday Morning Musings:

“There are moments that the words don’t reach

There is suffering too terrible to name

You hold your child as tight as you can

And push away the unimaginable. . .

 

There are moments that the words don’t reach

There is a grace too powerful to name. . .

 

It’s quiet uptown”

-Lin Manuel Miranda, “It’s Quiet Uptown,” Hamilton

 

“The atoms that huddled for a cosmic blink around the shadow of a self will return to the seas that made us.

What will survive of us are shoreless seeds and stardust.”

–from Maria Popova, Figuring.

 

 

 No human voices break the silence,

but robins and mockingbirds sing, a woodpecker pecks,

crows caw wise warnings, geese honk greetings

I hear a whoosh above and a shadow flits before me, gone

IMG_6509

my own shadow remains, long-legged, invincible goddess–

if only,

she could push away the unimaginable,

the suffering, the families who will never hear a familiar voice.

She can’t. I can only I look for beauty and share

IMG_3088

the way sunbeams sift through early morning clouds,

the astounding variety of flowers in a multiplicity of hues,

rainbows revealed in sprinkler sprays, the sight of a deer family

the charcoal splendor of thunderclouds, the intense blue of the cloudless sky,

color and light, physics and magic, charm and fury—

EB1959E1-61F5-46B9-AF47-69E2947BE5F0

36CE87D6-B235-490A-9563-5CD7C9F9517A

life itself, cycling love and loss,

we never imagine, don’t expect

plagues, freak accidents, revolutions—

we push away these thoughts

because to do otherwise, we could not go on

 

and on, we go,

craving life, survival

seeds of hope sprouting in unlikely conditions

growing, reaching for light,

for grace

413B4290-0BF6-4B32-B803-2FB1CED0F948

The tenacity of plants. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield, July 2020. ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

perhaps unimagined,

silence can be comfortable;

it can be lonely, too–

equal and opposite reactions,

we’re pushed and pulled

 

from the womb to ashes and dust

we ebb and flow

like the tides of river and sea

and yet traces of us survive forever

in shoreless seeds and stardust—

 

this is the unimaginable magic of the universe—

that in the sparkle of light on water

the past and future exist together,

holding love, loss

and hope.

9DF18A5D-F282-41F0-B5D2-A57CDEEAA7D6

Delaware River

 

Merril’s Movie/Theater Club: We watched the Taiwanese movie A Sun (2019, Netflix). I don’t know if it’s the same in Mandarin, but in English, the title plays on the words sun and son. The movie is about family dysfunction and tragedy; the favored golden son who is working towards entering medical school and the younger son who predictably ends up in juvenile detention. But each member of the family has secrets and depths. After a tragedy, the family dynamics change. Though this movie is perhaps a bit too long, the acting is excellent, and the cinematography is beautiful.

0F7F8316-D5B4-4790-8402-1772B5C01EFA

Whitall House with a tree decorated for the Fourth of July. Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

We celebrated Independence Day, the Fourth of July by watching Hamilton (Disney+). I don’t know if this is available outside the U.S. I subscribed to Disney+  for a month just for this, which was a bit annoying, but I don’t plan to keep it, since there’s not much else I’m interested in on that platform. Still, at $7 and change, it’s worth it. We’d pay more for a movie ticket at a theater. This film is compiled from two performances of the original Broadway cast production, but it includes camera angles that you would never see from sitting in the theater. I’ve discussed Hamilton before. Believe all the hype, it really is a wonderful show, and most likely I’ll watch it again while I can.

The excerpted lyrics above are about after Alexander Hamilton and his wife Eliza’s son Philip is killed in a duel. Alexander and Eliza have been estranged, but in this aftermath of their personal tragedy, they grow close again. Life goes on in the midst of revolutions and tragedies—people fall in love, babies are born, children die. History is never simply about battles and elections.

We ate and drank a glass to freedom (that’s a glass of sangria, banana chocolate chip cake with cream cheese frosting) Ricky was not interested in the first act, but enjoyed the second half. 😏

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Never, Always

104225450_3386046818075224_637008837160051026_o

 

My mother sings in dreams,

not of death, but light

holding promises of if–

soar, she cries,

why whisper what you want

when your words can fly,

 

~reaching~

 

for you, I wake,

as the robins rouse the sun

to blossom in apricot splendor.

Their voices carry on the wind–

a song that makes the flowers dance,

and I watch, at peace

 

~in this moment~

 

the world searches

for hope,

sending out wishes on stars

with a laugh,

time sings through a thousand rivers,

not of never, but of always.

 

I tried several sets of tiles, and the Oracle kept giving me the same words. I hope I interpreted her message correctly. A Puente is technically two stanzas connected by a bridge stanza, but the Oracle had more to say, so this is a double Puente.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And All Is

Guillermo_Gómez_Gil_-_Salida_de_la_luna

Guillermo Gómez Gil, “Moonrise,” Public domain

 

These storms pound, over and over

the wind screams, the sea moans,

recalling what?

 

Days of blue sky,

summer friends,

a thousand ships sailing into the mists of time?

 

And then, if whispers, “please.”

 

But the moon chants from above

this is could, not always, or never,

 

they do not see or listen–

we dream of light and beauty. . .

and all is.

 

My poem from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle.

Any War, Every War

512px-Comet-Hale-Bopp-29-03-1997_hires_adj

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

 

Any War, Every War

affects

the heart and mind–

bodies weak, spirits dark

waiting for illumination,

succor

 

within

the downtrodden,

aided by the helpers–

they fight their own weariness, yet

they smile,

 

offer

hope like beacons–

fog lights glowing through murk,

beams cutting through storms, resisting

always

 

with deeds

as well as words

carried in their hearts–peace,

justice, truth, freedom–and then, hope

rising

 

rising

sun, moon, and stars

shoot through the sky, falling

in brilliant clouds, surrounding us

with light

 

and so,

we look again,

up to the sky, seeking

beauty, if not hope, shooting light

at us.

 

 

For Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday using the theme I chose, this quotation from The Merchant of Venice:

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

This is a cinquain sequence where each stanza can stand alone, but also connects to form one poem. I’ve used the syllable/line form of a Crapsey Cinquain, though I don’t think the meter is right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Light

Feeding Time--NGC 4651

“This remarkable spiral galaxy, known as NGC 4651, may look serene and peaceful as it swirls in the vast, silent emptiness of space, but don’t be fooled — it keeps a violent secret. It is believed that this galaxy consumed another smaller galaxy to become the large and beautiful spiral that we observe today. Although only a telescope like the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, which captured this image, could give us a picture this clear, NGC 4651 can also be observed with an amateur telescope — so if you have a telescope at home and a star-gazing eye, look out for this glittering carnivorous spiral.” Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency) Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Leonard

 

Listen—

ask a ghost

how the universe wakes

with icy champagne kisses

spiraling in time,

feeding between sound

 

~and light~

 

drifts from the stars

you wish upon–

you dream of if

and promises made

with smiles and tears

in the language of hope.

 

Another puente from my collaboration with the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. I used words from two sets of tiles.

 

 

 

 

 

The Heart of Today

 

Away the bitterness of aching hearts,

the shadowed mist of fears

 

that cycle with brown and blossom

with dreams of honey-gold

 

as you watch the moon glow silver after spring storms

gust with purple fury

 

and grey clouds sail across the indigo night sea

till the sun rises—

 

now you can almost smell the scent of peaches

in her rays, hear the tinkling bell-voices of jonquils

 

sensing if. . .breathing,

beating in the heart of today.

 

Today’s message from the Oracle. The world is very scary now and filled with hate and ignorance, but at least there are spring flowers that rise predictably from bulbs year after year.

 

 

 

Waiting

512px-Beatrice-1885

Odilon Redon, Beatrice

 

She remembers the day her daughter was born and died. One of those things, the doctors said. There’s nothing anyone could have done. They named her Ailana, light bearer. She was a brief beacon of hope. For her and her husband. For their country. For their planet.

She never had another baby. No one did.

But. . .there are moments caught between heart-beats, when she senses her, this ghost-baby, growing like a golden flower, glowing in the shadows. Waiting to bring the light to their dark world.

 

A wisp of flash fiction for Kim’s dVerse prosery prompt. She asks us to use the line

“There are moments caught between heart-beats.” From Louis MacNeice’s poem “Coda.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen

512px-SN1994D--Super Nova

Hubble Space Telescope-Image of Supernova 1994D (SN1994D) in galaxy NGC 4526 (SN 1994D is the bright spot on the lower left). NASA/ESA, The Hubble Key Project Team and The High-Z Supernova Search Team

 

Twinkle, bang—a star explodes, sending its dust into space. We’re made of that dust, ephemeral and eternal. Everything connected, nothing ever truly extinct. Listen—

stars shimmer and sing

treble and bass symphony,

bestowing beauty

in bright notes of stellar light

tumbling into space

 

At dVerse, Linda has asked us to use the word “extinction” (or some form of the word) in a quadrille, a poem of 44 words. The extra challenge is not to discuss climate change.

This is a haibun tanka quadrille. Maybe a haibun tanka is not a thing, but oh well. I’ve also used synonyms for fall and give for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge. I was joking with someone about stars “singing,” but here’s an article about the sounds they make.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rising Storm

512px-Ernst_Ferdinand_Oehme_-_Mondnacht_auf_dem_Golf_von_Salerno

 

Sea screams a storm

of purple winds blowing wild

cool salty spray

 

rising

 

as we rose up together–

and after, in luscious light

the moon whispers, “if” . . .

 

. . .and we dream

 

I got a bit over 1,500 words written for my book, so I’m taking a quick poetry break before I get back to work. (Slow going when you’re researching at the same time.)  The Oracle knows what’s going on.