Monday Morning Musings:
Scarlet, russet, orange, green—
the colors bright against the sky
pewter, lead, as clouds fly
one day bluster, one day calm
gulls and geese mind the storm
of swirling wind, cold and warm
or do they simply fight
in thunderous rumbles, a response to flight.
In darkness, we seek light,
in longest night, the dawn
apricot and pink, shy sparkle then gone
but where do we go
when hate comes again
cycles of not if, but when
in endless journeys,
ships in the night, dreams
of a future— streams
of thought from the past,
ancestral visions caught or checked?
What happened, what comes next?
We need both bread and roses
to survive, to thrive
beyond existence, life and alive
to hope and beauty–
to plants seeds, then wait
for others to germinate
tender buds, well-nourished—
bread and roses, not
blood and lies, a nation fraught
with dangerous thoughts
bread and roses, not mobs and guns—
who shout loudest attract a crowd,
but circles and seasons, round and round
the sun rises, beams from sky to ground,
even if we’re not here, even if no one is around,
the star-birds twinkle and sing, wing light
into the future, red and blue shifts bright beyond our sight—
some travelers in some time hence
may see not only relics of destruction and fear,
but traces of love sown and grown, still echoing here.
The weather has been strange, and the news has been frightening.
We took a trip to Longwood Gardens last week just to get out of the house. We wore masks indoors, though some did not. We had a recent COVID scare, but fortunately my husband and I both tested negative. Yet some people still refuse to wear masks or get vaccines and believe the pseudo-science they hear.
My theme was also inspired by this Marginalian post about Rebecca Solnit on George Orwell’s Roses. Bread and Roses was a poem set to music and used as a union marching song.
Last night we watched an interactive streaming play called Witness by the Arlekin’s Zero Gravity (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab. It shares the experiences of the Jewish refugees on the St. Louis, which left Germany in 1939, only to be turned away in Cuba, and then other countries, and combines them with stories from more recent Jewish immigrants from Russian and Ukraine, along with discussions of recent acts of anti-Semitism. It was interesting and thought provoking. My grandparents came from what is now Belarus and Ukraine.
This morning I saw so many vultures just down the street from where I live. I could hear their wings flapping. It was thrilling.
Lovely musings today, Merril. Your photographs are so beautiful. Longwood Gardens looks like a space to linger for the day.
Thank you so much, Jill! It does cover a large area with various types of gardens, as well as a meadow, and there was construction going on at the conservatory.
So many birds, and such skies! Though what the clouds are brewing we can never know.
Yes, you’re right.
I don’t know why, but I love seeing the vultures, and it was so cool how I could hear their wings flapping.
They seem so graceful. I’ve never seen one. They have them in the Pyrenées and they apparently get this far but it’s exceptional.
I guess they’re not a graceful as eagles, but I like to watch them. They’re silent, too. Older child saw condors in California. They’re the largest vultures. You must have some other bird that eats dead things. 😀
We have buzzards kites, crows, ravens, but I think most raptors will eat carrion. Foxes and badgers will clean up dead things. I think they even prefer meat that’s a bit ripe 🙂
The news has been very frightening. I can’t take much more of these shootings.
Thank you, Liz. The shootings are so horrible–even more so that they’re so commonplace. And the political news is frightening, too.
You’re welcome, Merril. I hate the thought of what’s going to happen with the 2024 presidential election.
I’m trying not to think about it, but the signs are there.
Beautiful photos, Merril! I love these lines (although it was hard to choose which lines I loved the most):
“even if we’re not here, even if no one is around,
the star-birds twinkle and sing, wing light
into the future, red and blue shifts bright beyond our sight—”
This feels hopeful to me, despite the horror of our times.
Thank you so much, Marie. When I write, I always find hope seeps in. 😀
That’s good 😊
Your images are absolutely stunning this week, Merril! Love the flow of your words also 😊 it still looks autumnal where you are 🍁
Thank you so much! The branches are definitely much more bare, but there does seem to be autumnal color around, too. 😀
So interesting that your relatives came from the exact same places as the gardener’s–Belarus and Ukraine! Maybe you’re related . . . .
Lots of beauty here though. You are a breadmaker and your poems are roses!
Aww–that’s so kind, Luanne! Thank you!
Did the gardener’s relatives come from anywhere near Gomel? Paternal grandfather left from Kiev, but they may have come from somewhere else.
I don’t think so. Vasilishki in Belarus. Odessa, Kiev, Kaminisk-Podolsk in Ukraine. Tiraspol in Moldova.
What a fantabulous post, Merril! Love the photos and the poem.
“bread and roses, not___________” (fill in negative blank)
Thank you so much, Dale! I’m so pleased you liked photos and words.
You always do such a beautiful job!
I appreciate that! 💙
I did not know that was the origin of Bread and Roses.
The natural world is still spectacular, despite our best efforts to cover it in blood. I too am dreading the next elections and everything leading up to it. (K)
Yes, that’s the origin. Judy Collins recorded a version of the song.
And you are right about nature and the world.
Such STUNNING pictures and a wonderful poem! A very wholesome post. The sceneries in the images are so ethereal and EXQUISITE! The sky is captured so masterfully.
A phenomenal post! 👌😀
Thank you so much for your enthusiastic comment!
Lovely post Merril thank you … those colours not just at Longwood Gardens – all the other one too. Yes, not if any longer but when – it’s as well that we appreciate the simple and fine things of life like bread and roses. Glad that your tests were negative. I pray for Belarus & Ukraine …
Thank you so much, Susan. I hope all is well with you and yours.
You pack so much into a post, Merril! Solid thoughts and considerations.
Thank you very much!
Such a beautiful poem…and awesome photographs!!! You are right…we must keep planting seeds of love and light. We each make a difference and everything counts!
Thank you so much, Linda! 💙
Stunning photography; powerful poetry; all in all a thought-provoking post
Thank you so very much, Derrick!
Yes, we need both bread and roses. And we need poems…poems and musings as we try try try to make some sense out of this world. Or at least within ourselves. Going to Longwood Gardens was a wonderful idea. Walking through (well-trimmed and tended) nature is a natural high. When I Iived in DE long long ago with little babies, I got an annual pass and drove the 30 minutes to LG to de-stress and relax. Walking around all of those acres, breathing in the air, listening to the bells ringing, watching the fountain streaming (with on ein a stroller and one a frontpack) – it all helped me be a better mother! Now, when we drive down to MD to visit family, we spend a day at LG – an amazing place that so few know about. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you! It is a beautiful place. We would probably go more often if it was a little bit closer, but we picked a good day to go.
“ traces of love sown and grown, still echoing here.” Yes! Troubling times, so your last line is a lovely observation, Merril. We all need to sow more love.
Thank you so much, Rose. I agree. I hope all is well with you.
Beautiful, Merril. I love your photos and your poetic reflections. 😊
That’s very kind. Thank you, Gwen!