The Light I see

Monday Morning Musings:

I dream poems
of misty November mornings
and blue rivers tinged with shimmery pink,

Dreamy. Foggy November morning. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

of wine-dark skies, I drink
from half-full glasses filled with hope
and watch opalescent glow breaking bright–

last night, I dreamt of glass-ceilings shattered–
not store-front windows–
of people raised, not battered

in coordinated terror, fleeing sharp shards
of cutting hate, and the coming conflagration to annihilate–
but I dream not of bonfire flash and ashes,

of books and people burned, but autumn peace,
watching the sun sink behind russet leaves,
knowing the flaming eaves are an illusion,

William Heritage Winery

without any confusion, simply beauty,
the way it should be.
And so, my poetry dreams

lucid, drifting through timeless place,
with pellucid water rippling through space and time-
expanding circles

Ripples, a stone tossed into the river on a misty morning. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

that never end, from sand to horizon,
rising whispers to stars and sea, see me–
the light burns through fog to capture shadows and gild the trees.

My shadow caught in a tree.

So, I guess this is really meta, since I really did dream poems last night of misty November mornings and blue rivers.
Today is the anniversary of Kristallnacht (Night of crystal), November 9-10, 1938, also called the Night of Broken Glass when Nazis and supporters carried out pogroms on the Jewish population and businesses in Germany and annexed areas. You can read more here.

Probably everyone reading this knows that Joe Biden is now the official president-elect of the US, and Kamala Harris is the first woman, first Black woman, and first Asian woman in the US to become vice-president elect of the US. We listened to them speak on Saturday night, and I was particularly moved by Harris’s speech.

Merril’s Movie Club: Prior to the listening to the speeches, we watched the movie, Sometimes Always Never, a sweet, quirky little movie starring Bill Nighy as a father searching for his lost son who vanished during a Scrabble game years before. There is a lot about Scrabble and words in the film. We both enjoyed it, but definitely not for the action, blockbuster crowd. It’s on Amazon.

We have had unseasonably warm days, and we managed to get reservations for outdoor wineries twice this week, William Heritage Winery, and the Auburn Road Winery Wine Garden at Hill Creek Farms. I’m afraid we may go into lockdowns soon, and even if we don’t, I won’t be sitting indoors, so I thought we’d enjoy it while we can.

There Might Be Ghosts

Monday Morning Musings:

There might be ghosts in this story–
a tale of family secrets, a haunted house,
nightmares and night terrors

(what if they came for you?)
the spirits, specters, demons, and devils–
a frisson of fear, a shiver and a quiver

as you hear the tale,
it’s not real (you tell yourself)
these things don’t exist

(unless they come for you)
the secret police, the armed agents
to detain, to torture, to turn your life

upside-down, the world we live in now,
where we see the light reflected and wonder how
it is here and there, and wanders

Puddle Reflection, Upside-down World. ©️Merril D. Smith, October 2020

from shore to distant horizon
between what we see
and what we think we see

Autumn refracted and reflected through the mist. Red Bank Battlefield,.©️Merril D. Smith October 2020

in the fog, all is a blur,
sound is distorted, it echoes,
a soft purr of distant cars, the honk of a goose

Heron in the misty ripples of the Delaware River. Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2020

here birds stop, then soar,
but I stand, rooted like the trees,
in the midst of autumn splendor

(I like to think)
still rising, still growing,
knowing that roots connect underground–

so be it. And healthy cells grow, too,
though the malignant tumors stand out,
they are not the entire body (politic),

Still, I sigh, watch the birds fly,
read the horror tales, feel the feels,
they’re not as scary as what is real–

the ghosts of 215,000, rising, plus,
and thus, what’s to come with the scary clown,
while the Constitution is whittled down

we ache, body and soul,
as the fluff-headed victors sound the death knell
to tell of democracy’s demise—yet the story to tell

is that the moon still hums, the stars still sing,
and scatter the light brightening
all, it radiates, falls

in ripples, like the stone I cast
into the river, watch the ripples pass
flowing on, the present an illusion, it doesn’t last,

past to future, goes, in ridges and waves
like light, with colors we won’t ever see,
an essence remaining, like a ghost of ancestors, or you, or me,

the whispers of earth, the songs of the sea.

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

Merril’s Movie/Theater/Book Club:
We watched a live-streamed production this week, STATE VS. NATASHA BENINA, which you probably won’t be able to access, but if you do get a chance, it’s well-worth it. I wondered how a production done live on Zoom would be (the audience was muted, and I turned off my camera, as I didn’t want people to see me in pjs in our living room). The actress was so good, portraying a Russian teen, who was raised in an orphanage, and now is accused of a crime. The audience is judge and jury, and votes at the end, but that serves more as a lead-in to discussion.

We were going to go out to a winery in the late afternoon yesterday, but the weather was not very nice, so we cancelled. I made a dinner, similar to one we might have had after Philadelphia theater dates, and we watched a filmed play, which is now on Amazon Prime. What the Constitution Means to Me is Heidi Schreck’s award-winning play, and it is excellent. I have heard pieces of it on the radio, as she discussed how she paid for her college education by giving speeches as a teen on the Constitution, but the entire play is really wonderful, as she weaves her personal history, her family’s history of domestic violence, women’s rights, and other issues into the narrative.

We also watched the new version of Rebecca on Netflix. We both enjoyed it. I like Lily James, though she seems rather more attractive and charming than the book character, and Kristin Scott Thomas is very good as Mrs. Danvers. From what I remember, this version does not have the overall menacing, Gothic feel of the Hitchcock movie or the book. I think it’s better to take it as it is, and not compare it to either.

We’re also started watching Borgen on Netflix, a Danish political drama. I like it, though it took a couple of episodes for me to get into it (and to understand the Danish political system).

And I finished The Year of Witching, and I’m almost finished with Home Before Dark. Horror reading—not nearly as scary as reality.

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.