Every Story Ever Told

Monday Morning Musings:

There’s a story in the birth of stars,
and in their ending, too,

bangs, flashes, ashes, wind,
the stellar songs carried within–

these are tales we tell of all the seasons,
the birdwing flaps of storm and breeze

the reasons why the sky is blue,
but dawns with rosy laughter,

Gulls flying over the Delaware River around sunrise. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

and tips a glass of wine at dusk
for spirit souls to savor

as owl feathers brush the canvas,
there!

Late afternoon sun over the Delaware River ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

The moon sighs and sings
a lullaby of hope, peace, and observation

be wary, beware
and listen–

to the messages Crow brings;
watch for what secrets the river carries

as it flows.

History knows–
it is repeated in the curves of time,

where the light of stars, shimmer and gleam
in every color,

Morning Awe ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

in endless combinations merged,
every story ever told—and those never heard.

We’re still in a pandemic, and I still have not gone anywhere, but spring is coming! It was still icy at the beginning of last week, but now the snow and ice is gone.The sunshine and beauty of nature has definitely lifted my spirits—and I’m scheduled for my first vaccine. I’m not sure why I received a notice to schedule an appointment, but my husband did not; however, I’m not going to argue.

Merril’s Movie Club: We paid for a movie this week—still less money than going out—and it was so worth it. I like to tell you about movies you’ve never heard of, and probably never will see, but if you get a chance, do see this one, Night of the Kings. It’s set in a prison, La MACA, located in the jungle of the Ivory Coast. The prison is ruled by the prisoners, and the leader, Blackbeard, is dying, and others are ready to take over. To buy himself some time, he declares a new arrival to the prison must tell them a story. As the “Roman” spins his tales, you see some of it unfold—a battle between a queen and king and the story of an outlaw hero—but the inmates also serve as a sort of Greek chorus and act out portions of the story. It’s really magical, allegories and real-life prison. I rented from filmforum.org. (I also made a small donation, and they sent a very nice note.) This is really a Merril movie, and I would definitely watch it again.
We also watched Capitani (Netflix), a mystery series that stands out because it’s from Luxembourg. We had to look up the languages spoken there: French, German, and Luxembourgish. The show has familiar elements—the outsider detective in a small town—but it also has a few twists. It’s very bingeable because each episode is about a half hour. We watched the entire series in a few days, and it looks like there will be a second season.

Also, Purim was last week. I baked lot and lots of Hamantaschen, and I still have filling left, so I’m baking some more today. Stay safe and well, Everyone!

Hamantaschen

Spring Dreams

If gods of darkness devour the brilliance of the sun,
and secret sadness lingers long into always—

recall the blush-dance of the vast world waking
to the healing laughter of birdsong
carried on a kiss of blue-sky breath,
and watch the flower-fire dazzle red and pink—

a thousand dreams dreamt, a thousand dreams waiting
for you.

My poem from the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. She knows that my spirits were lifted by seeing signs of spring this week.

A Promise

if after heart-haunted nights, I ask for light,
then so do the blue-shadowed trees, their whispers
a symphony in my head–
spring waking–a rhythmic poem winged
in exuberant crow-dance,
a promised gift,
carried on diamond-sparkled water.

I ask, I listen, I watch, I believe

stars sing, soaring through time,
reborn in bird and berry, bloomed in rose.

My poem from the Oracle. She made me work a bit, so I gave her the Redon painting. We’ve had snow, sleet, ice, and rain this week, and today the wind is gusting–but the sun is shining, and each day it rises a bit earlier and sets a bit later.

Robin Searches Here: Tanka

Robin searches here

beneath the snow-covered grass

new life is sprouting

in renewed light seeding hope

replenishing Earth again

 

 

This is a tanka for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday.  Colleen asked us to write a poem using synonyms for “renew” and “fresh.” I was walking by this window that looks out at our back yard, just as the snowstorm on Wednesday was starting to pick up. This robin by the oak tree caught my eye, and I quickly took a photo through the window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing is Fixed

Monday Morning Musings:

“For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.”

–James Baldwin, Nothing Personal

 

“they remember that autumn worked

until the barrels were filled with wine

and let the obscure man learn,

in the ceremony of his business,

to remember the earth and his duties,

to propagate the canticle of the fruit.”

–from Pablo Neruda, “Ode to Wine” (Full poem here. )

 

The moon shines brightly–

full-faced, gleaming,

whispering. . . spring is coming–

she beams, she’s humming

a tune for us to drink by.

Spinach-Mashed Potato and Cheese Hamantaschen

Hamantaschen!

 

For time passes, the seasons fly,

with wine, on this holiday of topsy-turvy fun

the uncertainty of life, a king could kill his wife

another could save her people

the sometimes-thin line between good and evil,

the need to look for joy when we can

(age-old questions of when things began)

generations come and go,

a brilliant moon becomes clouded with snow

nothing is fixed or forever,

the light comes and goes,

and time flows

 

Between glowing moon and the nor’easter

we visit my mom, bring food and wine, hear stories from her

of grandparents and cousins, people from the past,

and though none of us lasts

we live on through records and tales

some though are lost, absent, adrift

but still we try to make sense, sifting

through the flotsam of time and dreams

(sometimes nothing is as it seems)

and my mother laughs as we sit and talk

not able to see much of what’s about her

but seeing in her mind, the things that were

as the light comes and goes

and time flows

(like the wine)

nothing is fixed or forever

 

The beaming moon is shaded by clouds

covering the stars like shrouds–

on this day, the sun stays away

as frosted gusts wail and blow

and back to winter we’re forced to go

the birds retreat, sheltering in bending trees,

and the world around us sighs in deep freeze

the house creaks and branches fall

(my husband will later haul them all)

then the clouds will part, the sun will rise

and spring winds blow over melted snow

good and bad are always mixed

because nothing is forever or fixed

 

We hear about wine-making–

the canticle of the fruit

the cultivation of vine, and at the root

the importance of the grapes,

how the workers traipse

tasting and picking,

Mother Nature can’t be rushed,

work to be done before grapes are crushed

though time is ticking, through the sorting and picking

we hear the story over time, sipping and tasting wine

about the couple who moves from city to farm

(he speaks well, with warmth and charm)

Scott, Co-owner of Auburn Road Vineyards

 

praising the winemaker, his wife,

who is instrumental in the success of this life,

science and intuition, mixed with a bit of luck,

requiring the cleaning from vats of the muck

we also learn, the importance of the bottling truck.

and so, we taste, and drink, and savor

enjoying wine and pizza (a new flavor!)

Ravello Wood-Fired Pizza, operates within the winery

 

knowing that nothing is fixed to remain forever the same

the moon glows and sets, the sun rises and flames

in the morning we see clouds like waves on the sea

I hear the robin sing, waiting to see what is—

and what will be.

 

We did a “wine tour” at Auburn Road Vineyards in Salem County, NJ. Reservations are required.

Also–I absolutely loved The Shape of Water, which one best picture last night at the Academy Awards, and last week I wrote about A Fantastic Woman, which won Best Foreign Film. I also liked that one very much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Blooms: Tanka

In February, spring comes temporarily to New Jersey, and we rejoice to see yellow and purple crocuses open to the light. In Florida, families bury their dead, while youthful hearts, watered with blood, swell and join together to cry out against the darkness.

 

Rising above ground

bulbs thrust tendrils to surface,

seeking warmth and light

 

we gather, remembering

seeds of kindness, blooms of love

 

This is for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday. Colleen asked us to use synonyms for breakthrough and movement.  I don’t know if a Haibun can include a tanka instead of a haiku. So this is either a Haibun or a tanka with a poetic introduction. Maybe someone can let me know. 🙂

I’m also linking this to Open Link Night at dVerse.