Rise and Fall

Monday Morning Musings:


Through thousands of timeless changes

she’s slept, awakened, and wondered when, why–

and if—whispering wisdom in the pink petals of dawn—

in the shining silver strands of moonlight–

as the tides rise and fall

and waves tumble, wearing down rocks

and towns crumble,

she sighs at the shadows,

sings a song of healing, knowing

it may not be enough.



These are things that fall—



cherry blossoms,

my mother, over and over


again, the text or call,

she’s bruised, confused

about what happened

yet nearly blind,

she sometimes sees


these things that rise—

the volume of a laugh,

the sun and moon

spring flowers



at the sound of bird songs

drifting from dawn-lit trees

in the lengthening days

that sing of hope

and the renewal of life–


there the crocuses bloom

glowing in radiant amethyst

now jonquils tinkle their tiny bells

and soon sunny daffodils smile

and say hello, always friendly

robins frolic

as the worm moon lingers,

and the mockingbird sings

an aria of love and longing

from a budding tree branch.


From the buds

come leaves or flowers

and fruit–

and so, an impromptu late lunch

we drink the fermented fruit


when other plans fell through

but the sun is shining

and so, we sip and reflect

and take this time

to laugh and talk


and then another evening, we walk

in the city awake in the almost-spring

despite the looming threats

it’s a Saturday night

we listen to the comedian


and we laugh,

even while she talks of hand-washing

she is funny,

and we needed this

we all need this–


my mother sees my dead father,

sometimes they talk

she asks me to see if he’s in the lounge

I don’t see him, I say

maybe he will be here later.


The comedian says there is no rainbow bridge,

her dead pets are buried in the ground, gone

but remembered,

perhaps we carry these ghosts within us

do we hear them whisper? I don’t know.


These are things that rise and fall and rise again

a baby,






again and again.


The only tree on the block in bloom, Walnut Street, Philadelphia.


No movies this week, but Paula Poundstone was very funny, and it was a fun night out, and our little date lunch was a wonderful little mid-week break.

29 thoughts on “Rise and Fall

  1. Poems are healing songs … definitely keep “singing”! (If it can’t hurt and might help … DO it.) Healing, like decline, is almost always incremental … may we all keep singing incremental hope.

  2. Sorry to hear about your mother falling, Merril. It’s a challenging season we are in, isn’t it? The tree in bloom is gorgeous. Unfortunately, many of our trees are blooming which isn’t good timing as we often have a hard freeze or two around Easter. I’m loving all of the bird action!

  3. I didn’t see you poem until now. There are similarities with the one I’ve just posted. I love the gentle rise and fall of this and the optimistic note at the end.
    (a secret, don’t tell anyone, but my dad lived on Walnut street).

  4. Our moms are in between the here and there. Once when I was visiting my mom she looked behind my shoulder and said, “Oh, there’s Betty.” Betty is/was her sister. Betty had died two weeks earlier, which my mom did not know (she wouldn’t have understood, and why confuse more). But Betty’s death didn’t matter, since she was with my mom anyway.
    Glad you had some fun in your week. We need to relax. to laugh, to dream and to love.

  5. Always a lovely read, Merril. The time spent with your mom is precious no matter how much she is there or not. Wish she didn’t fall so much, though.
    Glad you enjoyed Paula Poundstone… she’s a riot!

    • Thanks so much, Dale. Yeah my mom is in rehab in the nursing home area now–and there’s a good chance that now she’s going to stay there. Also–no visitors are allowed now.
      We saw Paula Poundstone a few years ago, and she was good, but kind of strange. This time she was just non-stop funny.

      • Probably best for her to be in a safer environment. And it’s so difficult this no visitor thing, though completely understandable.
        I’m being ostracized at work by one chef in particular. And we got an email from the cruise ship telling us a Canadian that was on board during our week has tested positive. I did tell my boss and he told me to keep mum about it. He’s not particularly worried (besides being short-staffed).
        She is that type of comedienne. Glad she was non-stop funny this time.

      • My hands are so dry from my constant washing. I am being more than careful as yes, I might have been in contact – like EVERYONE else! Oh well… this shall pass. Eventually.

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