In the Telling it Becomes Clear

Franz Marc, “Dreaming Horse” (1913)

In the telling, it becomes clear

the universe sneezes, and

the door smashes–
with the thunder of hooves, a jump—
into far-flung tomorrow—

jump again—
there are no pauses,
and though the colors never cease

galloping through space,
still, we’re always surprised

to find them
where they’ve always been
in the dream pastures within.

I wasn’t sure where I was going with this poem from Kerfe’s Oracle 2 words, but it ended up wanting to be part of Jane’s herd.

All the Stories Waiting

Monday Morning Musings:

All the Stories Waiting

“Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand.”
–Pablo Picasso, in an interview in “The Arts: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine Covering All Phases of Ancient and Modern Art” (1923). Source: Quote Investigator

The fog yawns, and
February arrives, but the robins
ignore the powdered sugar-dusted boughs,
in a round they sing, spring is coming.

The numberless praise the murky,
present theories, make them facts,
drag faint, insidious lines to a bonfire,
boast in the smoky air, despite no escape hatch.

The sounds of a city,
the acoustics of brick and steel
layered beats and melodies, birds and booms,
shadows and reflections, there and gone.

A sip of wine, local or imported,
a bite of cheese—small pleasures—
the writer writes, the curtain drops,
she disappears—reappears in the next chapter.

Look! And again. See how blue
attracts blue—river and sky merge,
a call and response. The breeze smells of messy possibility,
the future, like inchoate clouds, a story waiting to be told.

Another cadralor attempt. This time using Jane’s Random Words.
The weather was all over the place this week—mild to very, blustery cold,
then milder again. I took note of some architectural details for Kerfe as we walked in Philadelphia.

We saw two good plays this weekend,
Clyde’s By Lynn Nottage, at the Arden Theater

And Lifespan of a Fact by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell at the Lantern Theater.

We liked both plays, but we both preferred Lifespan—the play itself and the acting. Excellent. I’m still thinking about it.

The above was written before I heard the news–
My thoughts go out to the many people affected by the earthquake in Turkey last night. Horrific news. And now I’ve seen there’s been a second earthquake there.

I am the river

Monday Morning Musings:

Delaware River with early morning clouds

I am the river

Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river. . .”
Jorge Luis Borges

Step by step, I travel,
the river my guide, an eagle far above
with broad wings outspread, glides out of sight—
I am envious, the music of a thousand shadows
is a whispered song.

We clutch at alluring promises
with unguarded hands, seize the cards,
moon and stars—hopeful–but
we are merely passengers—trust
is a guess, nothing sanctified.

Bread, thick and toasted,
spread with butter and blueberry jam
while the wind bites and the dry air crackles–
I’m surprised by the taste of summer,
sweet and blue.

Now the air
is cinnamon and peppermint,
wax drips from candles,
warm and pliable,
how quickly it becomes cold and stiff.

Azure June days become
December’s violet nights.
Giddy romance turns practical,
but still, your hands, your smile–
which is afterthought, dream or reality?

Another almost-Cadralor from Jane’s Random Words. The start of December has been fitful.
Sunny, then miserable. My husband came down with something VERY suddenly on Friday night. Itchy nose, sneezing, congestion. He took two COVID tests, but both were negative, and he feels better now. The morning is all off–our Ricky is at the vets having his teeth cleaned. I’m hoping that is it. It makes me anxious. I think Ricky and I both like our routines.

We watched The Souvenir, Part II. I liked it, but since my husband was not feeling well and didn’t remember Part I, it didn’t make much sense to him. The director, Joanna Hogg, has a new movie out, so I wanted to finally see this one.

Now that the third and final season of Dead to Me (Netflix) is out, we’re re-watching the first two seasons (already into the second).

Brilliant Things

Monday Morning Musings:

Brilliant Things

Path by Dock Creek and Carpenter’s Hall

“One day is there of the series
Termed “Thanksgiving Day”
Celebrated part at table
Part in memory –“
Emily Dickinson

A whimsical stream
reflecting autumn leaves
and wild turkeys clucking,
cooing, preening their feathers
in early morning light.

The sky is still adjusting,
it suggests peace, then trouble,
ever adaptable, vultures understand
its challenge, a caressing cover
that evaporates over time.

Autumn’s stained-glass light
and long shadows overtake
summer’s dawn choir and rabbits,
the graceful melancholy beauty, an expression
of loss and remembrance.

By the river’s edge
a coyote dashes
on powerful legs, she doesn’t
glance at the irate honking geese–
I’m encircled by tangible wonders.

A Thanksgiving table
our family gathered
with food and wine, telling stories, laughing,
and around us our ghosts smile,
yes, they are with us still.

I used some of Jane’s Random words for this almost Cadralor.
Last week was strange and stressful. It was good to see family at Thanksgiving. Who was able to come kept changing throughout the day.

We saw Every Brilliant Thing at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia on Saturday. It deals with the painful topics of depression and suicide, but it is not a depressing play. There is humor and joy, and ultimately it asks us to consider the brilliant things of every day. Audience members who agree are given cards with words to call out when during the play, the actor calls out the number. Other audience members were given roles in the play. This is the fourth time the Arden Theatre has presented this play with actor Scott Greer. It’s the first time we’ve seen it, but my husband and I both agreed we’d see it again.

Almost and Being So

Monday Morning Musings:

Almost and Being So

“An answer is invariably the parent of a great family of new questions.”

“The truest reason for anything’s being so is that it is.”
–John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez (quoted here)

November passes in brilliant color
and black and white
in clouds that gather in ominous grey,
then glow as if to say, stay

for this is the call of ancient light
without, within,
despite hateful lies and
the punch-drunk, punchline, punching sting
of voters’ votes and natures’ flinging
rain and fog and morning moons
that sail through blue
to you–

and you shiver in the cold
and delight in the sun—
ignore alarms, embrace the charm
and glory of an eagle swooping by
and vultures dancing in the sky—

Vultures, Eagle, and Turkeys

you wonder about the almosts—and fate—
questions without answers, and answers that can wait

as you tread, momentarily awake,
through leaves of brown and red.
crunching dead, but hearing life
in squirrel rustle and birdsong,
the existence of because it is.

I used some of Jane’s Random Words for my poem.

On Saturday, we had planned to go into Philadelphia to visit the art museum and see a show. Unfortunately, our car hit a rock or piece of concrete on the road. It ruined our transmission, but my husband managed to get the car off the highway to a side street. We are fine, and things could have been much worse.

Theater, Movies, TV:

On Sunday, we took my husband’s car to the train station, and went to see a different play at a different theater. The Lantern Theater Company’s production of The Royale. I was not particularly excited to see this play, which I thought would be only about boxing and boxers. I have zero interest in boxing and no desire to see men hit each other. However, this play, inspired by the life of Jack Johnson, the first Black heavyweight champion of the world, was about racism, Jim Crow, and family dynamics. The acting was powerful, and the staging and choreography were outstanding. I’m still thinking about it.

We watched Enola Holmes 2 (Netflix), a totally delightful movie with a message about female empowerment. I think this second one was better than the first one.

We also watch the new show, Inside Man (Netflix). It’s only 4 episodes. Stanley Tucci as a murderer on death row who solves cases, and David Tennant as a vicar in England. Their lives become entwined. There are other fine actors involved, too. A bingeable show.

We started the new Interview with a Vampire (AMC). Two episodes in, and it’s very good. Much better than the movie was. It’s a new present-day (re)interview, and Louis is a gay Black man/vampire.

Pre-theater Walk in Philadelphia:


Monday Morning Musings:


“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
–Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

Morning Moon, October

Morning Moon

Always the moon—
even in far-flung places, she rises
gleaming, her hair silver-streaming,
to answer questions we haven’t yet asked.

It is the season of falling leaves and
demonic connections. Remember
heartbreak, look for truth—be aware–
of lies and hate. I’ll vote blue.

Autumn Scenes

The brief pause
before you grin, lopsided,
a crooked crescent, the smile of your ancestors,
lights up your eyes.

The mist rises in a glorious ring,
even under a fretful sky
the river flows on, her melody
constant and ever-changing, nature’s paradox.

Morning Mist at the River

The hawk whistles in red-feathered flight,
the squirrels scurry beneath golden boughs
the geese soar in V-flight, a journey
through space and time, the future becomes now.

Golden glow on abandoned ferry terminal, Delaware River, West Deptford

I used Jane’s random words again for this Cadralor.

It has been such a busy week. Work assignments due, the Folktober Challenge, a broken washing machine, now a clogged drain, dealing with a credit card transferred to a bank that seems totally incapable of handling service, the probably final televised hearing of the January 6 Committee, and two plays in theaters this weekend! On Saturday we saw The Glass Menagerie at the Arden Theater in Old City, Philadelphia. I had forgotten how sad and moving the play is, and the actors were all excellent. I enjoyed it very much. It was a beautiful day, so we took a long walk first, and then afterwards, we were able to sit outside at Tria to enjoy wine (mine, a Syrah blend from South Africa), stout (his, some dark something), a seasonal cheese tray of local artisan cheeses. Delightful!

Old City and Tria

On Sunday, we saw Those With 2 Clocks at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. It was a completely different sort of play. And yet, perhaps both plays dealt with some universal truths. This would not be a play for many of my friends and readers. As the pre-show announcement said, this performance will hit all the triggers. There were jokes about sex acts, butts, and there was full nudity—and also interactions with the audience. The performers explored humor and what makes us laugh–and attempt to dismantle the patriarchy. I was worried that I would not enjoy it at all, but I did, even as I cannot really explain what I saw. You can read more about it here.

Rittenhouse Square and Area

Truth and Myth

Sunrise Clouds

Truth and Myth

Incandescent miniature–
the sun caught in a wave
bobs up and down, drowning, reborn, a small god

ignored by garrulous geese and laughing gulls
who punctuate the sky with white-feather questions–

but the spotted deer, stoops his head at the shore,
glows as he sips the splendor.

I saw “incandescent miniature” in Jane’s Random Words, and this image popped into my head. I’ll have to use more words in another poem. I shared this poem with Top Tweet Tuesday.
I’m hosting dVerse Poetics today, so I’ll be back later!

They’re Still Here

Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, Cretaceous Life of New Jersey, 1877, Princeton University (I’m amused by the disclaimer that the painting is not an accurate depiction of dinosaurs.)

They’re Still Here

In this marvelous country, dinosaurs hunt
the weak and dispensable—well, the prisons are full,
and there’s cash to be made.
Here, sign the contract.

In this marvelous country, mammoth buildings
line the ocean, displaying themselves—so lively!
They flash their décolletage glass—so desirable!
But you must pay for the pleasure of their company.
Verify your credentials. Here’s your key.

In this marvelous country, frogs jump
and some still look to see, some still draw, read books,
eat dinners together and converse.
This truly is an amazing place—
except for the dinosaurs

bent on destruction
with tiny brains and stomping feet–
we thought they were gone, extinct,
but monsters only hide in the shadows,
they never truly go away.

Not my usual sort of thing, but there’s no arguing with Oracles. From Jane’s random words from a couple days ago.

Present in Beauty

Monday Morning Afternoon Musings:

Present in Beauty

“Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.”
Walt Whitman, Song of Myself, 48

“In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again”
–from “Walking in Beauty”: Closing Prayer from the Navajo Way Blessing Ceremony

Storm Clouds

After the storm

First, a billowy sea of clouds,
then thunder, crash crash crashing–
shock and awe from the heavens,
ending in a hush,
the cat yawns.

History moves on,
I sleep and my hair turns grey.

Now this place, a speck, a blink
in the eye of the universe, does it matter
to the stars or time? Yet
here I walk—beauty before me, and all around.

Heron, deer, and ospreys converge.
The sky is the blue of wishes, the sun an apricot
I can almost taste—like the most luscious wine
I drink-in the daybreak, my soul cool and composed,
I savor this moment, knowing it is evanescent,
a sparkling bubble, no less beautiful
as it passes into memory,
the past another universe, an umbrella
to open for protection, or to cast shade when needed.
Bird-dawn has given way to cricket sunrise,
summer light has slanted—autumn on its way,
I adjust my sight line.

This sunrise! Sunrise over the Delaware.

A late musings today. It’s been a busy week, and I’m finishing some work. I used Jane’s Random Words. We celebrated what would have been my dad’s 103 birthday with Chinese food on Tuesday, and our friends insisted we have a toast to him. (Wonderful friends!) We had more hot and humid weather, then one night with some thunderstorms, and then perfect weather over the weekend. We met our daughter and son-in-law at a new winery on Saturday. Stokelan Winery is a beautiful place. The Stokelan House dates from about 1853. We sat outside. I liked all of the wines, but I didn’t love any of them. Since it’s a new place, they’re still working out some issues. It’s a distance for us to travel, so we probably won’t go back there for a while, but it was still a lovely afternoon.

Toast to Dad and Stokelan Winery

We watched the TV show Dark Winds. It’s based on the series of novels by Tony Hillerman, which take place on Navajo land. It seemed like a good series to watch this week because my dad enjoyed Hillerman’s books. Once my father wrote him a letter, and Mr. Hillerman replied. Although Tony Hillerman was not Native American, much of the cast, the writers, and crew are. A character recites the lines above in the final episode.

This August or Another? Stuck in Time That Passes in a Flash

This August or Another? Stuck in Time that Passes in a Flash

She says eat the cherries,
they’re yummy,
but as she sneezes,
and I look at the dirty bowl,
I don’t feel neighborly anymore.

Promises are scattered,
like crumbs for fish
in the pond–
Gabby Giffords* is still fighting
for gun control

My cat rubs with pleasure,
his chin to my chin
sleek-bodied, silky-furred,
he watches me with giant eyes
attentive as a mind-reader.

At the precipice,
do we accept the inevitable,
or turn to stride through dust clouds
looking for the trail
marked “Love”?

The air is electric,
we wait for an exciting answer
to the sky’s question–
lighting to thunder,
the illumination of mystery.

*Gabby Giffords is a former representative from Arizona who was shot in the head in January 2011 in a mass shooting that killed six people and injured others. She and her husband have become outspoken advocates for gun control.

Early morning brain-starter using Jane’s Random Words. This is perhaps not imagist enough to be a cadralor? I’m never certain.