For Us All

Monday Morning Musings:

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”

―Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

“Of what is past, or passing, or to come.”

–W.B. Yeats, “Sailing to Byzantium”



A breeze drifts from blushing sky,

Robin sings reveille, a new day wakes

carrying time’s perfume,

a scent of days blended over and over

in a soft voice

the woman asks the day

and wonders where time has gone,

but it is still here—

she gazes through a window,

a young woman looks back


In these last days of August

as summer goes a-rambling,

and we go scrambling–


in this odd uneven time

of thunderstorms and brilliant sun

we see summer almost done


when temperatures fall,

as do a few leaves,

but it deceives


we’ll have heat rise again,

even as vultures soar

high above the shore

and insects skitter

and crawl–

but that’s not all


Cicada-eating wasp

Great Horned Caterpillar

Great Horned Caterpillar at Red Bank Battlefield, NJ


we see as we walk

in parks and city streets,

hearing the beats


of different drums

people, creatures, machines strum

and hum, but come


see fountains glittering

with diamond droplets flying

and spirits sighing

Swann Memorial Fountain Glittering in the Sun, Philadelphia

as they dance to the sky

where sun-stippled,

and wind-rippled


they form clouds

that cross the far expanse

of blue, and dance


into the night

and daughters come with smiles

across the miles


to visit. We drink wine

on a beautiful day

wishing days like this would stay

Wine Down Summer Wine Festival, Riverwinds, NJ 2019



and winter never come.

When flowers and bugs will die

and Persephone in darkness sigh


for light and mother-love.

But in the now we celebrate–

never too late, to grab a plate


to dine and drink

to talk

to walk

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to give heart-felt wishes

to laughs and kisses

to be happy for all of this


And so,

on her 97th birthday I write:

“On this day,

this is what I wish for you–


the love in memories,

the love in now.”


And for us all

the moon hums a lullaby,

a wish for love and gentle goodbyes.


I went a bit overboard with photos, but my mom turned 97 this weekend. Since a few weeks ago, we thought she wouldn’t reach this event, it was extra-special. Older daughter came from Massachusetts, and we went to a wine festival, then visited her sister at her new part-time job at Blue Cork Winery. Then yesterday was my mom’s party. For once, the weather cooperated, too–what a beautiful weekend!

35 thoughts on “For Us All

  1. Maybe it’s my own revisiting the past recently, but ghosts again came to mind in your words. Looks like good ones, though, here. Happy Birthday to your mom and best wishes to everyone, past, present, and future selves.

    • Thank you so much, Claudia.
      I’ve been visiting and re-visiting the past quite a bit, too, recently. There are many ghosts I’ve been seeing and thinking about it–so we’re on the same wavelength here. Yes, it was a good day, and fortunately my mom was alert and able to enjoy it. I appreciate your comment and good wishes!

  2. I love how you used the Plath quote! Great pix, too. This time of year does not feel quite the same in Arizona as in the east, but the feeling of the time is in my bones from years 0 to 35 when I lived in four seasons. So glad you are able to enjoy time with your mom.

    • Thank you very much, Luanne. I was happy that we had such beautiful weather this weekend, especially since the weather has been so crazy and changeable. We didn’t think my mom was going to make it to her birthday, so this celebration was extra special.

  3. It was indeed a beautiful weekend, all the more so for you, I think, because of the time with family. Beautiful images, beautiful words. I especially like your wish for your mother and in particular, this: “the love in now.”

    • Thank you very much, Robin. It was a special weekend. Older daughter decided at the last minute to come, and she rode back with her sister, who had been visiting her. So we got to see both daughters, as well as my mom, who had a very good day. It was nice of the weather to cooperate.

  4. Truly a celebratory poem! Happy Belated Birthday to your mom ❤️ By the way, am reading this on my phone so the slideshow (?) didn’t work, I think. Instead, following this line, “wishing days like this would stay,” there’s a long series of photos and then the line “and winter never come.” I thought that was perfect, this long meander through the day you want to stay, capped by the wish that winter would never come. 🙂

  5. And extra special this post certainly is – vibrant photographs; dynamic rhyming poetry. You have captured the essence of the sense of waiting – for the seasons and the inevitable end to come end to come. From the blazing entrance to the gentle lullaby

  6. Oh my dearest, ‘a wish for love and gentle goodbyes’ what more can be asked for. Your words and photos are filled with joy of every colour, may your hearts be too for as long as possible xxx

  7. This was simply beautiful, Merril. Your photos will be forever cherished. They were so fun to look through! 🤗
    So glad everyone was able to celebrate a special, resiliant woman: your mother. ❤️ 🎉 💜

  8. Yes, tears here. I feel what you feel. I celebrate what you celebrate, I wish also for the winter to not come, or at least to make it here slower. Winter I mean, of course, literally and figuratively. How great that your mom was able to celebrate her 97th birthday. My mom is not able to understand birthdays now, and was quite scared of the balloons we brought. Such different perspective from her confused mind. But …. I visited her last week and she held my hand. Smiled. Said “I love you.” My heart sings. To our moms and their hearts – may they beat on with their memories.

    • Thank you for your lovely and heart-filled comment, Pam. We were not sure a few weeks ago if my mom would know her birthday, but she seems to have rallied, at least for now. We’re still dealing with the broken system that affects the healthcare and the elderly, which is a strain. I’m glad your mom is still smiling! ❤

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