New Beginnings

Monday Morning Musings:

Inaugurate, we celebrate–
hesitate–we speculate,
on what might have been.

Hope rising with the sun and clouds. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

Auspicious signs, windswept sky
through which geese fly
across bouclé textured-white—soaring high,

winging up the vibrant blue,
and astride the grey,
Pegasus gallops straight away

launching thunderbolts and bringing springs–
Bells ring,
hope sings

Windswept Dawn. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

a refrain to the moon’s lullaby—
We sigh. We cry.
We wonder why

things came to this. The insurrectionists still kiss
and venerate their leader, they miss
the never-was, and foment hate, lurk, and wait.

But, for now, we celebrate–
and there’s a glow. We inaugurate,
new chiefs of state,

and new beginnings. Truth flows
over lies that decompose
with the swamp things—please go.

There are never shadows without light,
the future is brighter, if not bright.
The snow will melt; we’ll vaccinate,

and activate

our antibodies and gleaming dreams.

Reflections. The Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

We’re still in a pandemic. I haven’t gone anywhere or done anything special, but we have a new president and vice-president! Already the inauguration seems far in the past, but it’s been less than a week. People report finally having a good night’s sleep, and there’s a sense of hope and optimism in the air. Nevertheless, we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and it’s been revealed by multiple legitimate news sources that the now twice-impeached former resident of the White House, had no plan for vaccine distribution. And the business of governing goes on.

Meanwhile, it’s been cold and blustery here. I made borscht and baked.

Merril’s Movie/TV/Book Club: We watched White Tiger (Netflix). It’s a movie that I’m definitely thinking about. Though it’s about caste and culture in India, it also makes some sly jabs about corrupt governments, class, and race elsewhere. We’ve all seen corruption and politics going hand-in-hand, and the idea that those at the top don’t even really see those who toil for them is part of the history of the U.S. The point is also made in Lupin, the highly bingeable French Netflix show that we just began. It’s also a bit sly, and a very entertaining look at a French “gentleman thief,” who is trying to solve a mystery involving his father.

I read Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. It’s a fiction, highly speculative account of the Shakespeares’ marriage and the death of their son. Her language is stunningly beautiful and descriptive. Despite the sadness—yes, I cried—I was transported to this world. It’s a gorgeous book.

Magic is Coming

Monday Morning Musings:

The week has been busy with chores and long with anticipation. The solstice has come and gone. Full moon and winter sun are concealed behind the clouds—but they are there.

winter moon hidden,

she hums of spring a-coming

dreams bloom like flowers

Almost Full, Almost Solstice

A tsunami crashes upon a beach. Seething like volcanoes, protestors erupt, striking and burning. Children starve. Our government shuts down. Our leader is not one, and he grows increasingly erratic. When will his enablers realize he is a wannabe emperor? When will they finally realize he has no clothes? I look for the helpers. I need to be a helper. I look for the light.

long winter darkness

broken by dawn’s blushing sighs

dormant dreams awake

Solstice--Merril D. Smith, 2018

Our older daughter and her wife arrive from Boston. Our other daughter comes over to eat Wawa hoagies with us and to decorate cookies. We drink warm spiced wine, and they watch a bad movie they asked me to record. I go upstairs to watch the “In Excelsis Deo” episode of The West Wing, my own holiday tradition. I wrap presents and sing along to “Little Drummer Boy.”  My cat lifts his head, then snoozes.

caroling voices

sing in joyful harmony,

Pa rum pum pum pum


I think about the ghosts of Christmas past–our young girls whispering on Christmas morning waiting for 6 A.M. when they can finally get up. We lie in bed, then hear them sing, “Christmas Time is Here.”  Happy memories. Over the next few days we’ll be seeing family—laughing at jokes and eating and drinking too much. I’ll be enjoying the magic that is now different–but still here.

lights and music now

break December’s silent night–

dreams of magic come


Wishing all of you a most wondrous holiday season! I’m linking this to Frank’s Haikai Challenge with the prompt Christmas.


Santa riding through town in a fire engine.


Grounded, but Ready to Soar

We lie on our backs on the wide green expanse between dorms. Soon we’ll be starting classes here–a future scary, uncertain, and suffused with what ifs. We’re filled with the ardor and fire of youth. But in this moment, we’re still and content, bodies grounded, yet spirits soaring as we watch the feathered clouds fly across the late summer sky. They’re blown by a wild wind miles above us. My boyfriend points out some constellations–the Big Dipper, Orion. I make a wish and send it sailing into the night.

River of heaven,

flowing light in ink-blue sea

carries dreams onward

Embed from Getty Images


This Haibun is for Frank’s Haikai challenge, using Milky Way (amanogawa), which he notes is an early autumn kigo. He says “the literal translation of amanogawa is ‘river of heaven.’”

And for Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday, using synonyms for vigor and energy.

And for dVerse’s Open Link night, where Mish is hosting.





The Maiden and the Dragon

From a tower, a maiden weeps

lost in grief, broken-hearted,

by her hand, a dragon sleeps,

before them both, a land uncharted.


She needs to rally and raise her voice,

to be a leader, to trump the hate

with love and light, it is her choice

she hopes that now it’s not too late.


Across a field, she sees them gather

the dragon rises, ready then with fire to slay

“Steady, she says, “let them blather,”

“let’s try to provide an alternative today.”


And so, as the haters hate some more

they sing together the dragon song

of beauty, kindness, not of war,

and the haters know that they are wrong


to judge a dragon by how he appears,

the maiden spins light, it opens a door

(slowly their minds are shifting gears)

as through the door goes hate and fears,

and life resumes, much better than before.


If only. . .

This is for Secret Keeper’s Weekly Prompt.

The prompt words were: Dragon/Provide/Heart/Field/Hand