Monday Morning Musings:


“Straight up through the sky above this road right now,
The galaxies of the Cygnus A cluster
Are colliding with each other in a massive swarm
Of interpenetrating and exploding catastrophes.”

—From, Pattiann Rogers, “Achieving Perspective”

Hoaxes dropped like scat—
watch where you walk—
rabid creatures lurk waiting to infect
the gullible. They wear chips on their shoulders,
bray like donkeys, wait to crush all non-believers.

Toothsome treats
savor them, as if there will be no more
fruit brought from away, cooked and sweetened,
no essence of grapes harvested and fermented.
Then and now intersect. For a moment, it’s everything.

Dirt is what a worm knows—
the feel, the taste, the way wet and dry particles
cling differently–soil, mud, earth—it’s the world.
The robin is a giant who knows sky, trees, ground,
catches the worm, swallows it.

Geese squabble like Jets and Sharks
Turkeys look surprised to cross the road
Is it truly spring because I heard a mockingbird sing?
Crows know the answers
to the questions we never ask.

Here is magic, river-caught sparkle,
blue-sky where branches reach up to catch bird-beats
and wing-brushes—here,
where feathered clouds sweep away haze,
and you and perfect daffodils raises your faces to the light.

I used some of Kerfe’s random words for this cadralor.I should mention, that hopefully if you click on the photos in this post, you’ll see captions.
Spring is definitely on the way, despite this past week’s cooler temperatures. I really did hear a mockingbird putting on a concert a few days ago. I’ve seen some around, but this was the first medley-of-my-greatest-hits concert I’ve heard since last summer.
Oh—just now—birds singing pre-dawn, even as the heat clicking on.

We’re getting rain today, and possible snow tomorrow, though I think that will probably be north or west of us.

We walked at Tall Pines yesterday.

Merril’s Movie/Book Club

We watched the new Luther movie, but really you shouldn’t. (You’re welcome.) So many good actors wasted in a movie that’s mediocre at best. Some movies you like more when you think about them later, not this one.

We also watched Women Talking, which both of us thought was excellent. But you know, it was women talking, so if you only watch action films, it’s not for you. A brilliant ensemble cast with deft direction by Sarah Polley. Although the story is loosely based on events that occurred in an extremist Mennonite colony in Bolivia, in the movie, the place and religion are never named. This gives it a timeless feel—these could be women almost anywhere in any time. The violence is never shown, only some blood, a black eye, and a pregnancy. Women Talking was free on Amazon Prime this past weekend.

I didn’t watch the Oscars, but I was pleased that Everything Everywhere All at Once won best picture, and Michelle Yeoh, best actress. I will watch this one again—and it is sort of an action film, but so much more.

Books: I finished the most recent Louise Penny book, A World of Curiosities. I haven’t read all her books, but this one was on the shelf at the library, so I picked it up. The librarian told me that she didn’t care for this one in the series, which she thought was all over the place. The beginning does jump back in forth in time, but that doesn’t bother me. Penny uses a real-life event that took place in Canada, and one that she covered as a young journalist to argue for anti-gun measures and discuss systemic misogyny. The mistaken identity plot device seems a bit thin here. It’s probably not her best, but I still enjoyed it. It’s the humanity of Gamache and his friends that comes through to me once again.

One last thing. I’m participating in a launch of Our Own Coordinates this Friday (3 PM my time). I’ll be reading my poem, “Sylvia.” You can get a free ticket here.

61 thoughts on “Perspectives

  1. Hi, Merril,

    Fun time with this post. Hoaxes in particular. Also, here in Iowa, I’ve read that the real harbinger of spring is not robins but vultures. Vultures only eat fresh carrion (not frozen), so they don’t show up until spring is assured. I’m a big fan of Louise Penny. Thanks for letting me know she has a new book out. I’ll read even if it’s not her best. Love the whole series. I expect you’ve come across “Three Pines”, a series on Prime based on the books. Much darker, though.

    Be well! Carol


    • Hi Carol! It’s good to see you. Thank you for reading and commenting.
      We had such a mild winter this year in NJ that not too much was frozen for long. The vultures are definitely around. You’ve probably noticed that I have a bit of a vulture obsession.
      I hope you enjoy the book. I did see the series, and my husband, who has not read the books, enjoyed it, too. There is a dark legacy of how First Nation people were treated. Here, too, of course.

  2. Your cadralor is all about spring, Merril! Wonderful.
    I actually did stay up to watch the Oscars. It was, as usual, long but boy was Everything, Everywhere the big winner!
    Thanks for the heads up on Luther – I had been considering it and now shall refrain. I watched “Faraway” – lovely movie mostly in English but with German, Croatian, Turkish, as well.
    Happy Monday!

  3. I recognised ‘scat’ 🙂
    Lovely photos, though it still looks cold where you are. The blue of that sky!
    The photo of the clump of daffodils could be one of ours. So much space and only two clumps. They are everywhere round here, thousands of them 😦

    • Thank you!
      Scat is not a word I ever use, but I know you have. 🙂
      In between rainy cloudy days, we had some gorgeous blue skies! Those daffodils are by the road on a wooded patch. Probably some animal dug up the bulbs from a nearby yard. Soon we will have masses of daffodils in bloom at the side of our house.

      • The blue of your skies is much more intense than ours. I wonder if the temperature changes something in the atmosphere?
        Everywhere is full of daffodils (except here) they really are lovely. Lucky you to have it to look forward to 🙂

      • I think we often have haze, especially over the river. I guess the wind has blown some of that away.

        We planted a bunch of daffodil bulbs when we first moved in, and since then, have occasionally planted some more.

      • I’m not sure. I know that some plants like aquilegia and pansies self-seed and spread everywhere, but they revert to the wild form. It might well be true for daffodils.

      • It’s possible. We find opened walnut shells everywhere, even where there are no walnut trees and when it’s not the season for walnuts anyway. It’s either jays or squirrels, but why would they carry a nut for miles to crack it open in the middle of nowhere?

      • I have found bread rolls that I think squirrels left in a flower box–but maybe scared away. At least I hope it was left by animals.

        I suppose a bird might drop a nut–maybe on a way up to a nest?

      • Ha ha! I have an image now of a burglar climbing up the outside of your building and stopping at your window to have a sandwich.

        Maybe, but birds don’t use nests in winter, and the nuts are always very neatly split open and eaten. Could be burglars, run out of sandwiches…

      • That’s funny. We’re in a house, and the flower box is outside the back door on the step railing. Though now that I think about it, years ago I also found some in flowers in the front of the house. Kind of freaks me out.

        Did I tell you that my husband found what he thinks is BB gun in the yard?This was a month or so ago. He called the police who came and got it.
        Sandwich-eating not-burglars just roaming about. . .

      • Now I will have to totally rethink where you live. Image completely wrong. I probably shouldn’t mention the steps leading up to the street door of the building, with half a dozen kids sitting on it, watching James Stewart striding past…

        What’s BB gun? For me BB stands for Brigitte Bardot. I take it the gun wasn’t hers 🙂 What happened?

      • Haha. I know you keep thinking I live in the city. No, I’m in a house with a big yard and lots of trees. It’s a pretty quiet area, residential street. I think James Stewart’s ghost wanders some nearby towns. 😏

        I had to look up what it is–an air gun that shoots little metal things called BB’s. I guess they’re not as dangerous as a “real” gun, but still they can do damage. I have no idea why someone would be in our backyard with one. It did concern me. Nothing happened after the police officer took it. Scary though.

      • It’s going to be a hard notion to kill, but I’ll try to remember, house, garden flowers…

        They’re dangerous enough if you get one in your eye! I think they’re what unpleasant people in towns use to shoot cats and pigeons with. I wonder why they dumped it in your yard? Intended to come back for it later?

      • There’s no good reason why the person would have been in our yard with it. I don’t care if a kid comes into our yard looking for a ball, but why would they have a BB gun?

      • Shooting squirrels? When I was growing up, a lot of the boys had air rifles. It’s probably the same where you are. Maybe some kid had taken it out when he wasn’t allowed and hid it in your place until it was safe to sneak it home. I’m probably way off mark, but it’s a theory 🙂

  4. Those skies! and the world full of birds. I heard a mockingbird a few weeks ago, but not since, and I’ve been hearing a flicker for the past few days, but this morning, a cardinal! I saw the red, too, a few roofs over. Even the thought of snow can’t suppress that. (K)

  5. An effective cadralor, I’d say. I’ve been hearing random birdsong for the past several weeks, very random. This morning, we had the same sunrise as the one in your third photo. My husband woke me up before the alarm when off to see it. I hope you have a good week! We’re set for a big nor’easter tomorrow, new generator at the ready.

  6. A lovely sober musing on the coming of spring, Merril. Lol, it was simply lovely until the robin ate the worm. Then all angles of reality crept in.
    “Women Talking” sounds excellent. Sarah Polley won best original screenplay for it.
    When I started out in film, I worked in the sewing room, as a seamstress. I worked on “Avonlea”. Sarah was the star, and I sewed many costumes for her.
    I watched the Oscars until Jamie Lee Curtis won. YAY!!!

  7. Oh, your photos are so very lovely! You definitely know where to point your lens 🙂 Of course, our spring has arrived a bit too soon, but we’re enjoying the blooms. Down here, the major downside to early spring is an early summer 😦

    I appreciate your view of Louise Penny’s latest. I have listened to each of her novels. I really enjoyed the first several (I think she’s written 15 (?) so far), but the last few haven’t been as good. In my humble opinion, those books could have been edited better, but I think Penny’s stature is such that her publisher knows her books will be snatched up no matter what. I don’t fault Penny, especially when it seems like she’s expected to churn out a novel a year. A few years ago she came to our backwater to promote one of her books. She seems like a genuinely kind and generous person. Wonderful sense of humor. All these books and she still seems surprised that she’s so successful.

    • Thank you so much, Marie!
      I hope we don’t get an early summer, too. It’s not very spring like right now though, and yesterday we had snow showers.

      Yes, I think you’re right about her books, and often many big-name authors. Then, too, she was writing while her husband was sick and then died, and their dog died. . . (all stuff in the acknowledgements). Maybe that has given her a different perspective on what she wants to say and get across. Forgiving was big in this book. I think the editing could have been better, but I still enjoyed the book.

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