Ups and Downs, Time Lost and Found

Monday Morning Musings:

“That you are here—that life exists, and identity;

That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”

–Walt Whitman, “Oh Me! Oh Life!”

“There is regret, almost remorse,

For Time long past.”

–Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Time Long Past”



Months ago, in summer weather,

when temperatures were up,

I walked down,

and saw a watch

left on the stairway

of the parking garage,

black band

(digital, no hands)

encircling the red railing, like a wrist.

Was it an object lost, then found?

Or a statement perhaps—we are time bound?

A metaphor, let me expound–

the passing of time

or of us passing while time stands still—

make of this what you will,

but I think of it still.


This has been a strange week

of ups and downs

in life and weather,

one day snow and one day spring

not knowing what the next will bring

the stock market rises and falls

the calls hidden behind the White House walls

(well, what isn’t Twittered

from a president who needs a babysitter!)

life seems so unstable


things I once took for granted,

now it’s arguments and views slanted.


On a cold morning,

I take the train into Philadelphia

the day after The Big Game

and though to me, sports are all the same

still, it’s good to see people happy

sharing, caring,

instead of being mean and snappy.

Walking in the cold

looking at the new and old

I’m anxious about a meeting,

but I feel joy in my heart,

as I suddenly notice, then stop—

to take photos of public art.



During this week of ups and downs

we look for papers to document my mother

(to prove she is not some other)

her existence in black and white upon a page

to prove—at this stage—

she is who she is.

She needs them for government services,

and we are filled with anxiety, nervousness

that we will not be able to prove she is who she is—

till we find them in a box

events dated, time stopped

on this day born

on this date married

documents of a life lived and varied,

while time is carried

through ninety-five years

of laughter and tears–

the ups and downs of joy and fears.


We go to a movie about verbal abuse and life,

men insulted, but they’ve lived in strife

and though one claims he does what he does

not for himself, but for his child and wife,

it is all about him

(as it always is,

women learn to live with this

the catcalls, the taunts, even physical abuse

now suddenly, in the news).

We learn that both men are more than who they seem

at first

(as are we all)

both have nursed

fears and sorrows,

have wanted better tomorrows,

and though the film takes place in Lebanon

there are universal feelings and issues that we understand

and may or may not agree upon–

house repairs, urban renewal, and immigrants—

the costs of war—

there is more,

as up and down,

the movie becomes a courtroom drama—

with family issues—and if not karma,

then resolution, of a sort.


From there we go to taste wine

paired with chocolate

anticipating Valentine’s

we sip, and smile, and feel fine

(understand, it’s not just the wine).

All who pour

smile, as if it’s not a chore,

a woman says her mother knows my husband

her brother is at the other table,

We leave them tips

because we’re able

and life goes up and down, unstable.

Then we buy chocolate and wine to have later,

perhaps we’ll debate, which is greater—

but only after taken, do I see the watch in the photo—

time’s message of  then or when,

And I wonder again. . .


In the night, I dream

of finding blue glass and paintings,

in a post-apocalyptic world,

beauty and art–

the message there,

time passes on

through ups and downs–

I take them to share–

contributing my verse.


We saw the movie, The Insult, which is nominated for best foreign film.

We went to William Heritage Winery.

I’m having an issue with WP. It won’t save unless I use the old format editing, so everything seems a bit off. Sigh.












22 thoughts on “Ups and Downs, Time Lost and Found

  1. I LOVE this post! What a terrific poem (and an intimate glimpse into your recent life challenges and thoughts and feelings)! Thank you for ruminating and writing and rhyming so well. I especially like: “Or a statement perhaps—we are time bound?”

  2. The older I get the more it seems like time passing us as we stand still.

    I’m seeing more and more reports of WP weirdness.

    Keeping those documents organized is so important. My father was meticulous when it came to records – something that was necessary in applying for and tracking his disability payments. So when he died early, at sixty, I was able to take over that responsibility and keep everything in place, including pretty much managing my mother’s taxes and medical bills. That doesn’t mean I’m overly efficient with my own paperwork. I know where things are, but that doesn’t mean they’re organized – or even in one place. I really need to do something about that.

    • Thanks, Ken. The reports of WP weirdness is weird, too–don’t you think?
      That is fortunate that your father kept everything so organized. My mother-in-law does, too. And actually, it turned out that my mom had all of these documents together. It’s just that she didn’t remember where they were, and she can hardly see, so she couldn’t look for them herself.

  3. Surreal is the world we now know.
    All things (art, politics, sports, wine, etc) came together beautifully in your poetry. I have missed a few of your masterpieces these past few weeks. I’ll return soon. Things are starting to be less chaotic, and I should be able to visit more regularly again.

    All your words thrilled me; especially:
    “we sip, and smile, and feel fine
    (understand, it’s not just the wine).”

    Cheers, dear Merril!

  4. This was such a wonderful glimpse into the ups and downs of life these days. I’m so glad you found your mother’s papers. It’s a scary thing, in this age of needing to prove who we are and that we are where we belong.
    I still use the old editor. I found the new one awkward. If WP is being weird, it usually means a big change or two. Change, usually, for the sake of change (or to justify someone’s job, which I don’t begrudge because we all need a job of some kind).

      • I use my desktop (so I can see what I’m doing with the photos). I think you’re right about the type of device, browser, etc. The new editor is fine when I’m on my tablet. I like to spread out when I’m on the desktop computer (since I have this big screen). 🙂

  5. I liked this post and felt your fear. It was a little bit like holding my breath (I took shallow breaths) until the end reveals, it may be all fine. I like wine a lot, mainly reds. I enjoy chocolate, too. . . The movie is one I have heard of, I tend to wait to get the foreign film award nominated movies from the library. I hope all goes smoothly with your mother’s care and well- being (also yours! 💕 )

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