Monday Morning Musings:
“God, how we get our fingers in each other’s clay. That’s friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of each other.”
–Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Come
“And Guy felt it again—the sense of hostility in the clump of woods east of the house. . .
What chance combination of shadow and sound and his own thoughts had created it?”
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
So now, my mother feels her age
and shadows walk on either side
both before and behind, this stage
of life, some accept, others rage.
My own walk, confident, with pride
stepping fast and firmly to ground
with thoughts in clouds and eyes now wide
to watch my mom and match her stride.
This fake spring day, a shy half-smile
timid, like a deer, before it flees
and can’t be seen, but for awhile
we’ll bask in light, as it beguiles
though my mom unaware, she sees
but doesn’t, knows winter is here
leaves dropped and then tossed in the breeze
is age a stage, or a disease?
We go for drinks, daughter’s birthday,
we talk and laugh, I’ve baked a cake
we’ll sit awhile, no lengthy stay
work tomorrow, always the way
I value moments with my child
a beautiful woman, she’s become
with students now that she has styled
wisdom and laughter reconciled
We watch a film set in a war
where women have to hide their hair
and people flee to basements for
there is danger, bomb threats, and more.
Did djinn arrive somewhere upstairs
flying on missiles in the wind?
But look, what is real, what nightmares–
shapes in shadows, sounds on the stairs?
A date day to play with some clay
cold outside, but it’s warm inside,
we turn the wheel, and learn the way
clay becomes bowl–or thrown away.
I say to him look at the moon
as we walk into the light of night,
city to train, and then home soon
for shadow-dreams to lunar tune.
Secret language, a potter’s wheel
spins, shaping it, and us anew
through heartache, and then all we feel
as spring to fall, to age we kneel.
I’ve attempted something different for my Monday Morning Musings—a Rubaiyat. This is part of the poetry forms series on dVerse. I’m not sure if this works.
We watched the movie, Under the Shadow, an Iranian movie set during the 1980s in Tehran. I liked it—it’s billed as a horror movie, but there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s on Netflix. Trailer here. We went to the Clay Studio in Philadelphia for a date day. There was wine, beer, food, and instruction. Each person gets to make two pieces (you can actually make more and keep your best two). I’ve never used a potter’s wheel before. We weren’t too good at it, but it was fun. On Tuesday, it was in the 60s F. Today, it’s snowing.
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This made me look up rubaiyat for the first time – even though I’ve read Omar’s one often enough. It works for me
Thanks, Derrick! 🙂
Wow! Ambitious -and also effective use of this form.
Thank you very much!
Nice subtle shift of rhyme scheme from AABA to ABAA. I am going to have to try it. I like the description of your mother in the Tuesday poem and the question at the end about age.
Thank you very much, Frank. I think it was ABAA to BCBB, but then back to ABAA because I couldn’t keep up the interlocking. Maybe if I play around with it more. . .
I think it definitely works, Merril! “This fake spring day.” We had a few of those last week, too. Nicely done!
Thank you very much, Jill!
You do this so well, I didn’t even notice the form until you mentioned it at the end (which shows how the title went in and out of my mind as well). It suits the way you presented your days as a series of vignettes too. I especially like the one about your mother. (K)
Thank you very much, Kerfe. I’m glad you think it flowed and worked well. I thought why not try it? 🙂 We took my mom for a check up on Tuesday, and it was an effort for her to get to his office that was just downstairs off the lobby of her building.
You are a close observer…not just of action, but emotion.
Oh–that is a lovely thing to say. Thank you so much!
Well, I for one, enjoyed your Rubaiyat!
How fun to try pottery, as well. Those cakes looked yummy.
And I thought of you yesterday when I went to see “Edmond” – I don’t know if they will translate it to English but it is the story of Edmond Rostand and how he created “Cyrano de Bergerac” – funny and poetic 😉
Thank you, Dale! It was a fun experience.
I will look to see if “Edmond” comes around here, or is streamed. I haven’t heard of it. If Under the Shadow is on your Netflix it was definitely worth seeing. Now there’s a German movie I want to see that should be out this week. 😉
I enjoyed your rubaiyat and you kept it going so well, with its theme of clay (going back to the earth). I must admit I prefer your musings in that lovely loose style you have developed with the scattered rhymes and half rhyme, making a chain of thoughts.
That is such a lovely comment, Jane. Thank you! Yes, this is much more formal, and I think it limited some of what I wanted to say. Interesting experiment though. 🙂
As a long poem it worked. Maybe musings need that looser style that makes me think of clouds drifting.
Thank you. I appreciate the thoughtful honesty. 🙂
I don’t believe in dishing out wows and awesomes with no precisions. Just what I feel 🙂
Well, you did give me a sort of wow–so much appreciated. 🙂
But that is a wow with precisions about why it’s a wow. A wow and an exclamation mark doesn’t really shed much light on what’s so good about the poem 🙂
While age is still in the background throughout, I like how your rubaiyat works back to it from the beginning.
Thank you, Ken. Yes, I thought I should try to tie it all together. 🙂
An ambitious word play for Monday morning, but then you are capable of “making” so much! The first rubaiyat I’ve heard of was by Omar Khayyam, which like yours tells a story.
Thank you very much, Marian. Yes, that is mentioned in Frank’s dVerse post, as is Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which also used the form.
You know I’ve starting jotting down the titles of the movies you’ve seen on Netflix 🙂 Lovely poem whatever its form. I see “age as a stage,” not as a disease, but I’m getting older too so I’m biased. That said, there’s the elements of aging that make it feel like a disease, like now when I’m slow to rise from my chair to keep my knees from protesting too much 😉
I hope you like the movies. Blogger friend, Dale, has been watching some of the ones I mention, too. Cold War will be on Amazon Prime, if you have that. If you don’t mind a bit of horror, I think you’ll like Under the Shadow.
I see age as a stage, too, but some of it seems just wrong, you know? 😉 And my mom used to be so active and full of life.
Indeed, my mom is still active but definitely not to the extent she used to be. It doesn’t take much to take a lot out of her these days.
It is sad to see.
Your Date Night looks like fun. I think scientists have been asking the same question about age. I wonder if it’s optimism or fear of death that makes them want to lean towards disease rather than a stage of life? I don’t suppose it matters. They haven’t “cured” it yet.
Thank you, Robin. Our date was fun–different. I would do it again. Yes, there’s a lot to be said about wisdom gained and experience and all, but then there are the infirmities.
I appreciated your collection of musings, each shedding a little more about you and your life. The form did not feel awkward and I almost forgot about it, reading through your interesting days. I resonated with the second stanza of Tuesday as I now watch my mom suddenly suffer from painful sciatica and other health issues. It’s heartbreaking to see the effects of age on those you love and scary to know that we must face them too.
Thank you for your lovely comment, Mish! I’m glad my rubaiyat did not seem awkward. 🙂
I hope your mom is feeling better soon. It’s so difficult to watch someone we love in pain.
Yes it is. Thanks, Merril. 🙂
Learn the way of the clay – your last entry pulls the thread of them all together – nicely executed!
Thank you, Jilly!
I really love the way you used the form as a way of making notes… it felt very nice to follow you in pictures and words.
Thank you so much, Björn. It was a fun experiment to do my musings in this form.
A joyful journey indeed, and how wonderful that your notebook musings were written this form. I liked /the fake spring day–timid like a deer/.
Thank you very much, Glenn. I’m glad you enjoyed my musings.
i feel it fitted the form so well, like the stories from One thousand and One Nights, each story interlocking with the other. very nice Merril!
Thank you so much, Gina. What a lovely compliment!
it was a pleasure Merril, i really enjoyed the musings.
Hi Merril. I like this journey through your week. I felt welcome and included by your writing in this piece. I really enjoyed the way the change of day walked with different stages in life as represented in your sharings regarding your family. This was like being invited to peek into your personal journal. Very intimate and engaging! Enjoyed it very much!
Thank you very much, Rob. Every Monday I write a similar type of thing–but not usually as a rubaiyat. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed this!
This works very well, Merril. I love the parts about your mother.
Thank you so much. It’s difficult–she’s not the woman she was.