Monday Morning Musings:
“My baby takes the morning train
He works from nine till five and then
He takes another home again
To find me waitin’ for him”
Florrie Palmer, “Morning Train (Nine to Five),” (Recorded by Sheena Easton)
“Why do you write like you’re writing out of time?”
Lin Manuel Miranda, “Non Stop,” Hamilton
“Legacy. What is legacy?
It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”
Miranda, “The World Was Wide Enough,” Hamilton
“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?”
–Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Blue wind soars
into a day of pink and peach
recall this picture– or forget
how the rhythm of earth
turns grey to dazzling bright,
and the magic of a cat
in a long, liquid stretch
with a purr that transfers
burrowing into your soul
How does it happen—
that the light of ghost stars
dances into your morning horizon
and you vow to remember this
how it travels
in light years
and it’s gone.
We catch the train
walk a cobblestone lane
and past the willow tree
where Hamilton’s bank peeks softly
through branches still green
past, present, what might have been
but here we are
to watch women on trapeze bar
climbing silks, twirling on a hoop
they move in the air, dance, swoop
in transit, a search
for love, a perch
above offers reflection
(and they are perfection)
in strength and skill
traveling without a spill
from any apparatus
and those hearts grab us
the emotions she carries
with colors that vary
red, black and blue
well, we understand, do you?
The red given to lovers, the black
weighing her down, from the lack–
but friends help with the burden
though life is still uncertain.
We so enjoy the show
then it’s time to go
past a wedding
from where the Founding Fathers’ prayed
bridal party and guests all finely arrayed
and we walk and people-watch
from a little swatch
with drinks and apps
it’s time to walk
down streets and alleys
where people have rallied,
where a Revolutionary generation
fought, died, and built a nation–
to reflect on light
as we travel into the night.
We catch the train
the next day—again
over the bridge, high
above where boats sail by
eat a pre-theater meal
and I’m so excited, I feel
happy to be here
(Hamilton walked near)
lucky to be alive right now–
the show lives up to every expectation
believe the hype, what they say is true
it’s brilliant through and through.
I cry a bit after Philip dies
but laugh and clap, too, and time flies
till we’re heading home on the train
And though moon peaks from a cloud
humming—not too loud
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
I dream of things I don’t understand
of Hamilton, and far off lands
of immigrants who get things done–
well, my grandfather was one.
But where does a dream go
between slumber and slowed
breathing and thinking
and winking in your mind
till you wake to find
the dream’s traveled far
beyond time, and where are
they? Where do they go
when they’ve flowed
from your brain,
but sometimes appear again?
My mother asks if my father’s alive
and I ponder and strive
to find a way
cause he died
years ago, not alive
but I’m helpless when she insists
and the dreams twists
then falls away.
So, I write, prose and rhyme
because I’m running out of time
planting seeds, a legacy
she’ll never get to see.
We saw In Transit, a show that’s part of the Philadelphia Fringe line-up this year. We both really enjoyed it, and this group of women of Tangled Movement Art who we’ve seen perform before. They combine theater and circus art. “Morning Train” was a song that was repeated throughout the show. Then, of course we saw Hamilton. The show is a bit of a love song to NYC, but Philadelphia knows Hamilton walked here, too.
I’m delayed today because my computer decided to eat my file, but fortunately, I was able to recover it. Moment. Of. Panic.
Your line “because I’m running out of time” resonates so much with me, Merril. It leaves me feeling so empty inside. But on a lighter note, I loved this post. I’d completely forgotten that song “Morning Train.” I remember playing that all the time on my Walkman. 🙂 The weeping willow is magnificent! It’s always been my favorite tree. Have a great Monday!
Thank you very much, Jill! I have so many photos of that willow in every season. I always try to walk past it when we’re in Old City.
I love the rhyming couplets! So jealous you got to see Hamilton. “Everyone” has seen it but me haha. When my daughter was living in NYC she was friends with someone in the cast and got to see it for, wait for it, free! 🙂 Phoenix had it so early on that there was no way to get tickets. It’s coming again, but not this coming season, the one after (20-21).
Thank you so much, Luanne. I’m glad you liked the couplets! I actually bought the Broadway series a year ago (like other people I know), just to get the Hamilton tickets. It was worth it. But then also I got an early access code, so my niece and her daughter were able to get tickets and see it, too, on another night. That’s amazing that your daughter got to see it for free! Maybe you’ll get to see it the next time it comes.
I was already thinking about season tickets for that season. They are doing Frozen, too, I think. That might be fun. The only problem is our main tour theatre is the Gammage at ASU. It’s a Frank Lloyd Wright design, but he apparently didn’t understand acoustics at all. The acoustics pretty much suck. And they had to redo the bathrooms because he thought women don’t pee either.
Sorry–hope it works out! I didn’t get the new Broadway season because there were too many plays I didn’t want to see (like Sponge Bob), and it’s expensive–and we have two theater series for Philadelphia theaters. We’re seeing “our” favorite Ragtime next month at the Arden. I wonder if your daughter’s friend is in it?
She hasn’t said anything about it, so I doubt it. I love Ragtime. One of my favorite musicals and favorite novels. I used to teach the novel.
I remember. One of my favorites, too, though I’ve only seen it once before.
My neighbor had a willow tree that I loved to sit against when I was a child. It was my favorite spot to read, the dripping fronds gave me privacy.
This here choked me up: “So, I write, prose and rhyme / because I’m running out of time / planting seeds, a legacy
she’ll never get to see.” No words. Just ❤️
Thank you so much, Marie. ❤
Willows were a common 19th century mourning motif, and they were often planted in cemeteries.
Oh, I didn’t know that. Very interesting!
I saw that sense of time fall away with my mother too. But maybe they have the right point of view. I was thinking this morning how my memories are so entangled now I often can’t figure out what I did, dreamed, or read or heard about from someone else. Maybe it doesn’t matter in the end.
I have not seen Hamilton yet. Maybe the movie? (K)
My mom has no sense of time now–it doesn’t help that she can’t see a clock–but her memories are as you describe.
I hope if there is a Hamilton movie it lives up to the show.
I hope so too. Looking forward also to the new West Side Story movie–they’ve been filming it around here.
I hope that one is good, too.
Such a beautiful willow tree. I love it when it shows up in your posts (here and on IG). Weeping willows remind me of childhood, a sense of safety. I really want to see Hamilton. I’ve heard so many good things about it.
I enjoyed the rhythm and rhyme in your post, and the thoughts that provoke. I love the picture of the quote where we can see your reflection. It’s as if you are part of the quote, in a non-literal way that I can’t explain.
Thank you very much, Robin! Have you listened to the soundtrack? I’ve listened to it a lot, but seeing it, put a lot in perspective.
I like that photo, too. I didn’t even notice the reflection until I downloaded it. I might “gram” it. 😉
I’ve always loved trains, a motif in my memoir. Oh, I do wish I could see Hamilton. Envy you!
Thank you, Marian. Hamilton was wonderful.
The poem runs and runs like a train on rails, and then those last lines bring me up short and I catch my breath. Beautiful.
Thank you so much. That’s a lovely comment! It wasn’t conscious or planned, this was kind of stream of consciousness that kept on going–until it stopped. 😉
Like the train 🙂
What a wonderful week you had! Hamilton! Lucky devils…
Every time I visit my mother-in-law, she asks me how her son is. I simply lie and say he’s fine and is working so he couldn’t come to visit. She’ll ask me 3-4 times per visit. Every question is posed thrice at least. It serves no purpose to hurt her and say he is gone. She’ll cry, get over it, ask again.
I agree with Jane! Loved the rhythm and the end!
Thank you very much! There’s a lot going on here. It was fun to go out and see two very different shows. I’m sorry about your mother-in-law.
There was! Must have been fun.
Thank you. I just wanted you to know I understand ..
I know. I appreciate it!
Trains, trees, seeds – so beautifully containing such depth of thought
Thank you very much, Derrick!
I’m so glad the computer recovered so you could re-hover over your memories of some amazing times. Time is a nemesis, is it not? I write fast also, because I never will have enough time to write it all, although my legacy may be hundreds of well-worn notebooks hidden in the bottoms of closets and drawers of file cabinets.
And lastly, my grandfather’s name was Philip Schuyler. My mom’s family comes from a long line of Schuylers, and Elizabeth is a great great great something-or-other. And. Yet. I still have not seen HAMILTON! (I think they should give me front row seat, don’t you? 🙂
Thank you, Pam. I don’t have notebooks–or tons of letters like the Hamiltons.
Oh–Philip was a family name–the name of “the Schulyer’s sisters'” father, and Eliza and Alexander’s son. I’d give you a free ticket. 🙂 Are you going to try to see the show?
How I’d love to see the show. It’s such a hard one to get tickets for. It’s already been to Boston once – hope it comes again.
We bought the Broadway series, just to get Hamilton tickets. 🙂 And then we got a special access code before the tickets were opened to the general public, so my niece and daughter were able to get tickets. Otherwise, it is quite a process to get tickets, but we have friends who got them in Philadelphia.
Limited time for all of us, but always a legacy, from Hamilton to now, and forward.
I enjoyed this, Merril.
Thank you very much, Ken.