Where There’s a Will

Monday Morning Musings:

Sunrise

Will you walk with me
through clouded pink–
the light diffused, brushing wings
to make them glow—this sight, the morning rites
of nature bound by the seasons,
the revolutions round the sun, the wax and waning of the moon.

Heron in the dawn clouds
Coy Morning Moon

Where there’s a will, is there a way
to hold these moments close and tight
to heart and brain? Mindfulness or determination
to see and feel and listen—
do you hear
the sound of secret things?

I wonder—do even vultures dream?
They mate for life, finding the perfect husband or wife.
Do they hope for the future—croon
to their young? This I leave you,
this is yours—the sky, the trees–
the scent of death you smell on the breeze. Circle and fly.

Where there’s a will, is there a way
to make the sweetness stay—
away the aches and nightmare shadows! Come tomorrow.
Will you? Won’t you? Seek joy with friends and family,
share food and wine, linger in a moment–
the season of the in-between

Cloud reflections on the Delaware
Sun giving birth

the twilight dawning, the morning of a new day,
a mockingbird is singing, the leaves are falling.
And there’s the moon, she’s calling,
bewitching you, it’s true. But she’s asks, will you,
is there a way? Will you both love
and do what’s right? Will you walk with me? Look! That light.

Morning Mist over the Delaware River

We had brunch with friends over the weekend and signed their wills as witnesses. We enjoyed wine and pizza again at Blue Cork Winery in Williamstown, NJ, where our daughter, who has left teaching, at least for the time being, is now the Wine Development Manager.


If you like epic historical novels, The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray tells the story of three women in three different time periods. Two are real women, the third is a fictional character—but all with the will to fight for what was right. I knew nothing of Adrienne Lafayette or the Chateau, so I found that very interesting—and also to learn that the Chateau continued to be a place of rights and freedom even during WWII, when it served as hiding place to protect Jewish children.

What Else Could I Do?

Morning Moon Over The Delaware River

The moon rose through shadows,
to sing a farewell song
over forests and rocks turning softly pink
in the dawn. And I watched—
what else could I do? Ask
if I am moon-mad to hear the whispers
in the wind. Red-tipped trees sigh
in the breath of ancient cycles,
as time passes like the soft brush of heron’s wing.
The geese in flight call, savor this,
and the river murmurs through light and darkness–
listen.

The Oracle obviously comes with me on my early morning walks. The last few days have been beautiful.

How Would I Tell You?

Early morning light on the Delaware River. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

How would I tell you—
the beauty of the morning sky,
the bird-swept clouds, the hummed goodbye
of moon still high

there, my eyes
reflect the shine. To be or not,
is not my question–here I am, not angsty youth,
but rather longer in the tooth—

how would I explain,
how the colors fill me
with joy and light—
grey or bright, the taste, the sight
tawny gold, rose, and peach, the foamy white
of churning waves?
The winter river’s cool mint blue?
The delight

of it–me and you.

My thoughts—my mind’s eye–
how do I explain? There is no why—
only what is
the beauty of the sky, the light,
the birds in flight

winging, singing
star-breathed dreams, the colored streams
web-woven in my head, released someday to fly
in iridescent blues and greens—peacock-eyed—
around the sun, then seeded in the ground–

how would I tell you any of this–
thoughts, if not profound, yet unbound—the bliss.

This is the kind of stuff that goes through my head, so I guess it can be considered a soliloquy for Victoria’s prompt at dVerse.

To Every Season

Monday Morning Musings:

“For nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.”
–Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby

Heron at dawn. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield.

I remember that spring, the winter of despair,
the flow of river into spring again

and again, the earth blooms,
and birds come and go, soaring into clouds

that move across the sky–
the constancy of sun and moon, the ephemerality of life,

insistent green sprigs emerging from driftwood,
bleached and beached.

Driftwood with new growth.

Each day the same and different,
each sunrise a threshold to the unknown.

Driftwood, Sunrise on the Delaware River

In dreams, my mother asks for chocolate–
she says there’s more for them that wants.

This is how it is—
this is who we who are, full of ifs and when

there is both laughter and the aches
of time and memory–

we are here. Now
I watch the bees,

and I remember too late,
to tell them my secrets and wishes–

but perhaps they already know,
telling their own dreams in buzz waltz,

remembering a day of endless sweet nectar,
and brilliant colors that we cannot see,

yet can imagine, reflected
in a sunrise yet to come.

Sunrise with Cloud Reflections. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. August 2021

This week has been a strange and strangely beautiful week of clouds, rain, and sunshine. I suppose that’s how August is. We’re supposed to get a return of the high heat and humidity. Yesterday, some family members got together at my sister’s house for the first time since the pandemic. It wasn’t everyone, and even though it was right before my mom’s birthday, it wasn’t really a memorial, though we did have a Sunday brunch fish tray, with fruit, and my Mandelbrot and brownies for dessert. For those who don’t know, we used to have lox and other smoked fish with cream cheese and bagels–plus a whole lot more–fairly often when I was growing up. Every so often, my grandfather, my father’s father, would bring the delicatessen food, which also included herring, rye bread, and coffee cake, to my mom’s (even though my parents were divorced). My mom would supply the juice, coffee, boiled red potatoes, and sometimes I’d bake something. Then, it became a special family brunch occasion because it has become very expensive, plus more difficult to get together. Mindful of the Delta strain–even though we’re all vaccinated–we stayed masked indoors, except for when eating—and we tried to stay far apart then. Fortunately, the weather cleared up enough for us to go outside for dessert. My parents were there in spirit and ash.

When we got home, we took a brief walk, and pulling into the driveway were surprised by this.

Literal deer in the headlights.

For When

Egret, the Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

I don’t ask the moon for what she cannot give,
enough her silver gleam on fields and streams,
the night-shadowed things
that vanish in dawn’s rose-petal glow.
I know the universe’s music and light
go beyond the who and when,
circling through time’s beginning and its end–
but if I stop to sit–
even when the wind urges me to go—
I’ll watch the clouds
wing across the sky–
egret white and heron grey–
and here, I’ll dream of you.

My poetic collaboration with the Magnetic Poetry Oracle.

Ships of Dreams

River flows to the sea
with chants on feathered winds
that in repeated rhythms sing

of now, or when–and if
in breath–almost held–
you hear the beat of ancient things,

the whispered sighs, like fiddle strings
played softly in the night–ask,

but don’t expect an answer
from moon’s hum or the finned-filled tide,

except in dream-song laughter,
when silver light meets rosy dawn

in rainbow-clouded slide

and beauty
sails on echoes of the osprey’s cry–

a lullaby to earth from sky.

Today’s collaborative poem with the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. She obviously knows how the river and river birds inspire me, even if she doesn’t have all the words in her tiles.

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.