These Days

Monday Morning Musings:

“Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.”
–Walt Whitman. “Song of Myself,” Leaves of Grass

Early Morning, Light through the Clouds. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield.©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

These are liminal days,
when twilight lingers
as death drifts, in a falling russet leaf,
and bee-buzzed blooms, purple and gold,
wave farewell to cloud-nestled moon
then reach for waking sun–
who timidly, then finds her voice
to sing away the grey.

These days of soft cat-paw-tread
transform, eagle-sharp talons tear away
the foggy gray, leaving crystal blue—

Sunrise over the Delaware River. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

and there, white flowers grow, clinging to life
on dead wood–

Early morning Reflections. ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

and we? Here, in this in-between–
embracing ghosts and color–
looking toward the stars,
remembering they are part of us,
and we of them, all–

Geese at Sunrise ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

see where the light shines through,
then know, this is where the song begins and ends–
re-formed, reprised, again and again.

October is such a transitional time of year here. One day grey, the next so bright. One day cool, then next summer-sticky. The leaves are turning, but we still have flowers. There are still too people getting sick and dying of COVID, and people who still refuse to get vaccinations or wear masks. I know WAY too many people who have pets who have died recently or are dying. My husband’s uncle died on Friday. It was not COVID, and he’s been sick for a long time and also suffering from dementia, so in the case, though still very sad, there’s a sense of relief that he and his family are no longer suffering.

Today began with a before dawn rejection e-mail. I hope that’s not the way the week’s going to go. It put me in a bad mood, but my morning walk raised my spirits, as it usually does.
This week we watched Midnight Mass (Netflix). It’s horror, but not the super-gory type. There’s more talk than action, which doesn’t bother me, and it actually ends on a very Merril-like note. I liked it. We also watched a Danish mystery called The Chestnut Man (Netflix), another “Scandi-noir” show. We both liked it and got caught up in it. I guess kids making chestnut men is a thing in Denmark? It made me look up American chestnut trees. There are streets named Chestnut in almost every town around here, but it seems the millions of American chestnut trees were killed by a blight. One interesting fact I learned is that the blight does not kill the roots, so they still exist below ground, and there are chestnut trees that continue to sprout up and then die.

It was a good week for cooking comfort food.

25 thoughts on “These Days

  1. Your river is looking lovely today. We seem to be living in a liminal time right now, more so than the usual passing of summer into fall.

    I’m sorry to hear of the passing of your husband’s uncle. There certainly is too much suffering and death these days.

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your uncle, Merril. I can see why your walk lifted your spirits. Your photographs are beautiful. The sky in the sunrise over the river is absolutely stunning. I’m sorry about the rejection, but good for you for submitting!

  3. I love the idea of the sun ‘singing away the grey.’ Sorry to hear about the rejection: I got one last week and then some good news today – a bit like the weather this time of year, where I am too! 😊 hope you get plenty of sunshine ☀️

  4. Glorious poem Merril and your description of the month is spot on. I’m sorry about your husband’s uncle, though glad the suffering has ended. I’m also sorry about your rejection email. Perhaps their day started badly. There are other publishers, other agents. Have a great rest of the day, I love the way the food looks, especially the (pork?) pie. The last picture in the group look just like Welsh cakes.
    Hugs Galore

  5. I’ve seen your table and heard of your celebrations before now. I think the problem is my very lapsed best friend who enjoys his bacon sandwiches and other things without a care in the world. My first look should have ben the same as my second when I realised my friend had made bread. I had no wish to offend such a beautiful person
    Gigantic Hugs.

  6. Excellent food and amazing skies. I took a bunch of flower photos in the park this weekend too–i was very surprised by the abundance.

    I hate those rejection letters. The week will improve. (K)

    • Thank you very much, Kerfe.
      The flowers seem more abundant, but I saw a photo from last year at this time of a butterfly on a flower, so I suppose not.
      It was nice rejection, as far as rejections go. 😀

  7. It’s already Thursday… About time I get to Monday’s readings, don’t you think?
    I agree with Derrick!
    October is all about extremes – in pretty much everything! Your poem and pictures denote that.

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