Monday Morning Musings:
“It is summer-gone that I see, it is summer-gone.
The sweet flowers indrying and dying down,
The grasses forgetting their blaze and consenting to brown.”
From Gwendolyn Brooks, “A Sunset in the City”
“Therefore—we do life’s labor—
Though life’s Reward—be done—
With scrupulous exactness—
To hold our Senses—on—”
Dawn comes with a song colored in a blush of dusty pink
I am light
glowing honey gold
through rose-tinged clouds.
I am sound,
the buzzing drone
of a cicada,
the eager chirping of a sparrow
looking for love.
soon come the shadows
black in the moonlight–
soon comes the silence,
save the skittering of night creatures
over dry brown leaves.
It is a week of reflection
abjection and affection
and love that stays
true in hue
though the world’s askew.
Hurricanes and guns,
the loss daughters and sons
to senseless violence
and no defenses
do we have for either wind
or fury underpinned
by those in power—
but here in a bower
a garden of flowers
we sit for hours.
My mother naps
as the sparrow flaps
his wings to no avail–
though he chirps and flails
the lady sparrow ignores him
as he follows from limb to limb
and along the concrete wall
calling, calling to all
“I am here,
my beauty, appear!”
On this Labor Day weekend
we labor and bend
to the inevitable end
of summer and life, we send
thoughts outward with the breeze
joy for moments when we can
flowers, family, pets, wine—and
I remember how my mother worked
and didn’t shirk
her duty to home or even nation
bucking rivets, no vacation
I’m sure, she tells me of a woman there
who stands up for her—the righteous everywhere—
when the haters hate
six million dead does not set them straight.
Still, she worked all her life
in stores, as mother and wife
and after. An aunt worked sewing
and I wonder, not knowing
what the factory was like,
and if they ever went on strike,
but my mother got to borrow her clothes
and so, it goes
she met my father who lives in her dreams–
he lives on in seams
stitched with invisible thread
in memories real and false, but we tread
lightly because what else can we do–
as we sit under a sky of September blue
knowing that autumn is coming,
but the moon will keep humming,
and we will labor, love, and play
life beyond us will go on, each day
green or barren, this earth
laboring, revolving, giving birth
to new possibilities, hopes, and fears
in endless cycles over thousands of years.
Today is Labor Day here in the U.S. The Mormon Temple near where my mom lives has a lovely little garden square that is open to the public. We enjoyed wine and cheese at Tria, where on Sunday’s they offer specials that they call “Sunday School.” My mom recently told me that a woman defended her when a man or men uttered anti-Semitic slurs at her–while she was working as a “bucker” for riveters during WWII.
Most lovely Merril, capturing what needs to be, the labours among life and loves and the seasons – may you and family be safe –
Thank you very much, Susan.
Wow. Absolutely beautiful.
Thank you very much!
It seems to me the poem reflects the content, it doesn’t flow like a dream, it drums like rivets going in. The wheel keeps turning, but it’s hard. Harder for some than others.
Thank you, Jane. That’s interesting. I shall have to ponder. 🙂
You make me look forward to Monday with your beautiful musings, Merril. I loved all of the quotes and your photos were wonderful! I especially love the one with your mother, she looks so happy to be with her daughter. ❤️
What a lovely comment! Thank you, Jill! ❤
What history your mother holds
Thank you, Derrick. Yes–unfortunately the common refrain holds here–that I didn’t ask her enough when she could really remember.
We all have those regrets I think…so much history lost. Do we always realize this too late?
Probably. Otherwise, we wouldn’t think about it, I guess.
This is a very end-of-summer meditation. So many parallels with a life, with the way the world is turning. And yet grace and gratefulness for what is. (K)
Thank you very much. I wasn’t sure at all how or what I was going to write this morning, so I just started. . . 🙂
Always the first step.
So love this: “he lives on in seams / stitched with invisible thread” You know, I always try to pick one or two favorite lines from your poems. It’s really hard to do when I love all the lines 😉
My mom occasionally blurts out a memory, something I might not have heard before, and I always want her to elaborate but she can’t. She had never been one for talking about “the past” as she calls it. She’s always been a “here and now” kind of person. The last time she talked at any length about the past was the last time she was with a younger sister who was in hospice. My sister sat and listened to them, told me later she wished she’d had a tape recorder. I imagine they were talking about the life they had shared growing up on the farm. My aunt was ten years younger, and they didn’t share a lot in their adult lives.
I’m hoping your mom is doing well. At least when she shares those bits of history, you record them. Your poetry does the rest.
Thank you so much for your very kind comment, Marie! At this point, my mom only offers snippets, and she doesn’t remember so much or she is confused a lot. Even though she and my dad were divorced, he was the love of her life, and I think she was of his, too. She’s been talking about him a lot lately.
Beautifully done, Merril.
I love Mondays because they bring your musings.
Awwwww! Thank you, Dale! 🙂
Merril, this is a beautiful meditation on life and labor. And I love the reflection photo. And your mom :).
Thank you so much, Luanne. I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by reflections–I think it’s related to my fascination by time. I had a sudden urge to have my husband take a photo of me and my mom–not sure how many more we’ll have like that.
I’m so glad that you asked him to do so!
I too love reflections. We have a pool that has natural coloring (not that bright blue), and the reflection of the trees and flowers in the pool amaze me every single day. My favorites are old buildings reflected in new buildings.
Well, I’m glad I gave you one then! 🙂
So well done, Merril!
Thank you very much, Robert!
You’re very welcome.
This is a wonderful tribute to both your mother and Labor Day – and the passing of time.
Thank you so much!
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