A Morning Walk: The Ducks

A quack and a dash,
a soar, and a splash

off with a quiver
into the river–

only the ripples remain.
Each different, multi-planed,

dappled shadows, growing bright
everything changes in the light,

once from stars, then into the sea–
all connected –ducks, ripples, sky, me.

For dVerse Open Link Night, where Lisa is hosting. She shared a wonderful duck video on the prompt page, which made me think of the ducks I see at the park where I walk. The next OLN will be on June 24, and it will be LIVE at 3:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time. As with all dVerse prompts, anyone can join in. Then dVerse will take a two-week vacation.

The Seals: Ekphrastic Challenge, Day 9

Sleek pelts silvered in moon-spray,
brown eyes see only each other, in this monochrome world
the slivered crescent’s too high, and the twinkling birds
too far away,
though their lullabies soothe
the midnight sea. There are only whispers, the susurration of the wind, the dreams of fish
that arc above the surface,
nocturnal mutterings—no danger tonight,

they touch nose to nose, then swiftly, fin-footed,
in graceful pas de deux, they dance beneath the waves.

For Day 9 of Paul Brookes Ekphrastic Challenge. You can see all the art and read all the poems here.

Serenity

In shadowed mood, I river-walk
see heron in the gloaming-light,
and deer that shyly peer, then sprint
in white-flashed flight to rock-strewn beach.

Is this happiness, or calm release
of anger stored, of finding peace
in the susurrous wind sighs–
a promise, hope’s rise.

Lillian has asked us to use the word happy–or some form of it–in a quadrille for dVerse. It usually makes me feel better when I take a walk, and especially if I see “my” heron or some deer.

Shelter for Dreams

Monday Morning Musings:

Heron at Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

Dawn blush lightens the grey
over the rippling river
heron poses in sunrise salutation

in silvered blues
beauty comes
through shadows to light

waves roll out and slide back in
the moon waxes and wanes,
and time flows,

through tide pools
reflecting clouds and light,
giving shelter to dreams.

Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

Today is Yom Kippur, so I’m not going to do a usual MMM post. I don’t want to discuss politics, or even my past week. With so much awfulness in the world–and more likely to come–I felt an especial need for beauty this morning. I was fortunate. As soon as I walked into the park, I saw these two young deer. Then I saw the heron, and the beauty of the sky took my breath away. Magic moments. Wishing some beauty, love, kindness–and magic, too, to all of you in the coming year.

Love, Loss, and Dancing Through It

Monday Morning Musings:

Beat away the aching time
in river blues, see serene, sublime

Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield

in those rippling rhythms. The tide rolls in, and thus begins
another round of what and when and who wins

the life and death struggles, the eagle soars, swoops, a pounce
there goes the fish, squirrel, another ounce, but we can’t denounce

an avian predator who wants to eat,
but human ones, we must unseat.

I see the lawn-stuck signs of misguided fools who think
freedom comes with soundbite slogans–but we’re on the brink

standing on a precipice, tottering, about to fall
while they embrace the treacherous, Russians and all–

the lies they think are fine, wish them away, spin, deny
in sheep-like flocks they gather, unmasked, I sigh

as I walk, watch the geese honk and fly
greeting each other, hello, goodbye

I say, wonder what it’s like to twirl and soar
and then, I go home to bake some more,

to dip bread and apples in honey’s sweetness
to wish for good to flourish, feeling a completeness

of life with loved ones, though from afar
with a world increasingly troubled and bizarre.

Every day more and more, surpassing–
we’re saddened by news of a hero’s passing.

More wine, more honey
talk of this and that, find something funny—

hold on to love (is love is love is love is love is love)
dance when you can, look for beauty above

and all around, fight for justice and truth—
remember our heroes, remember Ruth.

We celebrated the first night of Rosh Hashanah with a Zoom dinner with our daughters and their spouses. I don’t know how to make a small holiday meal, even though there are just two of us here. We heard about the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg when the news flashed on a daughter’s phone.

Merril’s Movie Club: We saw And Then We Danced, which now is free on Amazon Prime. We had seen previews for it before the pandemic hit, and though I enjoyed the movie, it would have been wonderful to see it on a big screen. The film is about Merab, a member of Georgia’s National Dance Ensemble. It’s an art form that is beautiful, but rigid, and steeped in tradition. Merab and a new dancer, Iralki are first rivals, but then attracted to each other. It is dangerous to be gay in Georgia (the country, not the state). The government would not finance the movie, and there were bodyguards on the set. The choreographer remains anonymous. I fear this is what it could be like here.
My husband and I both liked the movie very much. The drumming music is great. The subtitles could be better, and they even though I watch subtitled movies all the time, I had to full with the settings.

Laboring

Monday Morning Musings:

Sunrise over the Delaware River

We labor, belabor, debate, defend
fend for ourselves, hope for trends

to alter course, reverse, against the wind
we traverse, carrying the past in heart and mind,

find that light is a constant, but time is not—
still we dine and drink some wine

Friday Night, Wine, Challah, Candles

without the rhythm and beats of city streets
reflections found in river, not in town—

I find beauty all around.

It doesn’t change what is, or what may be—
catastrophe, democracy’s fall, more plagues

all this or other. I read horror tales of ghosts
less scary than most of what is real, or almost–the boasts

of the fascist chiefs, the spreading of so many false beliefs
rumors can be deadly, and I think of the imposter priest

who despite his flaws, gets at the truth, and heals
a village. So many maligned, but is there is goodness in us all?

Perhaps. Though it may be hard to tell. Crimes of passion,
crimes of war, crimes of vengeance—so many more—

the people we neglect, the things we regret.
And yet, the moon shines silver in the night,

the sky is blue, the sun is bright. I walk through shadows,
and into light. Watch as birds take sudden flight—soar, unbound—

beauty all around.

Water Lilies, West Deptford Public Library Rain Garden

Today is Labor Day here in the U.S. I took a look at my post from last year. So much has changed. This is a bit of a response to that, I suppose. I kept the format of couplets, though not ending rhymes.


Merril’s Movie, TV, and Whatever Club: We saw the Polish movie, Corpus Christi. It was Poland’s entry this past year for the Academy Awards. We had seen previews for it. I’m not sure if it made it to the theater in Philadelphia before they closed or not. In any case, we both thought it was excellent. Almost like old times, we discussed it over wine and dinner—though our discussion was the next day at a local winery.

Wine and Grilled Cheese at William Heritage Winery.

We watched the French mystery series, Le Chalet with an earworm of a title song—even for those of us who don’t really speak French. It seemed like it was going to be a horror story at the beginning, but it turned out to be similar to an old-fashioned mystery, a Ten Little Indians sort of tale though with two timelines. We both liked it, though it was a bit confusing sorting out the characters for a while. We’re currently watching a Finnish mystery, Deadwind. It’s good, and I think we will become more involved with it as it goes on. There are lots of twists and turns—what seems like a straightforward murder case is not (of course). Both of these are on Netflix.

I just finished reading The Invited by Jennifer McMahon, a ghost story and also a mystery with different timelines and connecting stories. So, you know, a good Merril book. And my favorite podcast Ghost in the Burbs is back. Yay!

Oh, but speaking of favorite podcasts, the delightful Damien Donnelly now has a podcast. So. . . I guess that’s also my favorite (different genres). 😀

Butterflies and Theories

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Butterfly flying about the colonial garden. Whitall House, Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

Look, there!

A butterfly

flits from bloom to bloom, she

flaps her wings, and you stand still

watching–

thus, missing the snake in the grass

who slithers by unseen.

No step, no bite-

random

           

changes,

chaos theory,

nothing predetermined–

the comet races by, but still

you see

the comma tail, inviting a

sequence. What will come next?

So, you wonder,

what if?

 

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A snake slithered across the path in front of me at Red Bank Battlefield Park.

 

I decided to have a bit of fun with Colleen’s poet choice challenge,which must be some sort of syllabic poetry. I wrote a double butterfly cinquain to joke about the butterfly effect. 😏

I’m also linking this to dVerse’s Open Link Night, which of course, was last night, but that’s how I roll these days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impermanent and Fine

 

Sunset over the Delaware River, Feb.2020

Sun and clouds reflected on the surface of the Delaware River, Feb. 24, 2020     Merril D. Smith

 

I watch the apricot sun settle

in feathered-grey clouds

reflected in the water

 

the rocks on the shore–

with time,

they’ll crumble

 

washed by the river,

polished by the rain,

burnished in the golden glow

 

I walk with long shadow legs

into the twilight,

as the geese honk farewell.

 

Scientists say

Betelgeuse may soon explode–

but I look up at the moon, waxing,

 

it will be here long after I’m gone,

but now, it lights my way

home to you.

 

This poem is for my dVerse prompt, Impermanence. So, I didn’t come up with anything particularly unique because I was inspired by this photo I took yesterday while walking by the river. Come join us with your thoughts.

 

 

 

At Dawn, I Heard the Mockingbird Sing

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At dawn, I heard the mockingbird sing

his songs and those of his brothers,

I watched the flash of white on wing

as he flew away from others.

 

His songs (and those of his brothers)

combined and sounded from another tree–

as he flew away from others,

one song became more than two or three.

 

Combined and sounded from another tree,

notes trilled and warbled now under the moon,

one song became more than two or three

and in my dreams, I heard his tune,

 

these notes trilled and warbled now under the moon.

I watched the flash of white on wing

in my dreams. But still I heard his tune

at dawn. Still, I heard the mockingbird sing.

 

I haven’t written a pantoum in a while, so I just decided to write one. It seemed like a good way to procrastinate. 😉  This is for Open Link Night tonight at dVerse, where Grace is hosting.

 

 

 

Wandering

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In this sanctuary here

I wander, take quiet breaths

as squirrels rustle

in harmony with wind and water,

and if I feel the storm coming—

 

~there’s a soft shine in the distance~

 

as we stroll, night lights

in a world of when, its own poetry

where spirits watch over us

in the cold night

and if they feel the storm coming—

 

still, there the light shines soft in the distance.

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I collaborated with the Oracle for this variation on a Puente. (Yes, that’s what I’m going to call it.)  I was thinking of taking a walk in the park this moring, but the rain is pounding on my windows right now.