The Heart’s Reflections, Weighed


Geese practicing social distancing on the Delaware River.


Monday Morning Musings:

“Neither the spider has planned for the leaf nor the leaf for the spider — and yet there they are, an accidental pendulum propelled by the same forces that cradle the moons of Jupiter in orbit, animated into this ephemeral early-morning splendor by eternal cosmic laws impervious to beauty and indifferent to meaning, yet replete with both to the bewildered human consciousness beholding it.”

–From Maria Popova, Figuring, quoted in Brainpickings


“The heart’s reasons

seen clearly,

even the hardest

will carry

its whip-marks and sadness

and must be forgiven.”

–Jane Hirshfield, “The Weighing”



I dream of the oak tree

its roots tunneling

expanding through darkness

linking to other roots

in connections we never see


even as I do see—

do you?–

the branches saluting the sun,

the buds opening, sleepy-eyed

to greet the sun


and do you gaze, dazzled

to see how bushes, flowers, trees

literally bloom overnight—

do you hear the robin’s scolding–

“Look around you!”

One crow flies,

then another

calling, gathering in a tree,

“Now” they say.



And I do look–

to the sky

and the ground below.

Which is the reflection, I wonder,

perhaps reality is the upside-down world,


The World in a Puddle. Photo of a puddle in the parking lot at Red Bank Battlefield, National Park, NJ. March 2020.  Merril D. Smith


perhaps this is the dream?

Shadow-me drifts

moving with the river currents

fading with sun

and tides


the ebb and flow

of life–

sun and moon,


the planets


move through our skies.

Once they were gods

now only so in name,

but is their power and beauty decreased,

or only different?


[See this photo of Jupiter.]


News of my mom comes–

she is isolated,

as if in space–

my dead father comforts her,

and I see the heart weighs,



the upside-down

and the shadows,

feels the ebb and flow

and forgives.


Another puddle reflection, March 2020 Merril D. Smith


Like the rest of the world, we’re at home. We’re on Season 3 now of Babylon Berlin. We had a homemade pizza and movie night. We watched a new movie on Amazon Prime, Blow the Man Down. There’s a definite Coen Brothers vibe, complete with a Greek chorus of sea shanty-singing fishermen.

























30 thoughts on “The Heart’s Reflections, Weighed

  1. Beautiful post, Merril. I giggled at the geese practicing social distancing. 🙂 Homemade pizza just makes everything seem right in the world, doesn’t it? Thanks for brightening my morning!

    • Thank you. The crows have seemed very active. I saw groups of them at daughters, at home, and at the park. I started to think they were following me. I just read the results of your consultation. I’m not sure if I saw Damien’s. I’ll go look.

  2. Uplifting – thank you! My heart goes out to you and all who have loved ones “locked away for safety” … prayers that those isolated can feel the remote love vibes … in a way, we are all in the same barricaded state. Thank heaven for poetry and imagination and dreams flowing freely!!

  3. Love those puddle reflections. An upside down world indeed. Goodness, another challenge for you and your mother with the need to isolate her. My heart goes out to all of you.

    • Thank you very much, Claudia. This must be a crow year.
      I hope you and yours stay safe and well, too. You’ve been in the hot zone in Montco, but NJ is not doing too well either.

      • Seems like things have slowed down here some, I think because they seemed to get a slightly earlier start on closing things. School has been out more than 2 weeks and we’ve been closing down almost 2 weeks. I hope it works out. I did see NJ racheting up, I am keeping you and other NJ friends in mind.

  4. A day late but hey.. I’m here, right? 😉
    Love the crows calling “Now!” and your reflection images are insanely gorgeous.
    So, you mention you saw “Blow the Man Down” but you don’t say if you liked it or not… It may be my movie date night for Friday if you say it’s worth it 😉

    • Thank you very much Dale.
      “Blow the Man Down” was fun. I wouldn’t say great, but my husband and I both thought it was entertaining. Margo Martindale is always worth watching. (My husband, “Is she the Russian spy?” He meant from The Americans.) 😀 If you like movies like Fargo, you’ll probably like it.

      • Always a pleasure.
        I love Margo Martindale so she is the only reason I would watch. She was also on “Justified” She is so good. I’m thinking it’s gonna be one of the possibilities, then!

  5. It does feel as if the world is upside down. I’ve felt that way for a long while now. I love your puddle reflections. They are so beautiful, especially the first one that looks as though it is reflecting the galaxy. The robins and crows are right.
    Beautiful musings, Merril. Lovely to read on this rainy day. 🙂

  6. The world, in general, becomes another world when you’re required to view it remotely. At times, the news looks like it could have been written by the Coen Brothers.

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