This day, this oft-ignored escape, this place
The nascent dawn breathes calm and dewy chill,
I’m beckoned, enter in this backyard space,
By fluttering finches: “Come, enjoin the trill!”
Sudden scramble – feeders newly filled,
Squirrels resume their tussling, chipmunks fussing
Scurry scuffling soon erupts anew,
Cooing mourning doves renew their fluttering.
Lachrymose and languid, whispered utterings,
Consolations ease our troubled minds,
And all the while the waning moon hangs, hovering,
Silently observing humankind.
The ever constant moon, when spied at dawn,
Reminding: “Don’t be blue…just carry on.”
March 28, 2020
Today, my daughter got married.
It was a rainy, otherwise depressing day, but today, my daughter got married.
It wasn’t a typical catered affair, with florists, musicians, and photographers, as she’d planned so many months ago. The statewide shutdown made that impossible. Even the last minute plan to wed outdoors, overlooking her parents’ backyard, was foiled by chilling rains that drenched the beribboned makeshift aisle.
Instead, she and her beloved joined hands and hearts in the family room of her childhood home – our home. Her sons gave her away, and we, her parents, bore witness. In keeping with the spirit of social distancing, there were no invited guests.
I’d crocheted a wedding shawl to accompany her lovely bridal dress, but the modified dress code was PJs and slippers. The lacy shawl will be set aside for another day. The flowers were arranged by Mom (me) and the furniture was arranged (and rearranged) by Dad. Her bridal bouquet was a single yellow, long-stemmed rose and Somewhere Over the Rainbow was her entrance anthem, as she walked arm in arm with her sons.
It was unpredictable, spontaneous and a bit chaotic. And yet, it was the most sincere expression of commitment, love and hope in the future…yes…even in these days of viral foreboding…that I’ve ever seen.
I shed a few tears of joy.
Today, my daughter got married.
In times gone by, we’d take the family car
‘cross rural backroads, farmlands on display,
Expanse of nature’s palette, fields afar
from madding crowds that often swarmed our days.
These days the world has changed; we shy away
from bear hugs, kisses, handshakes, social clubs,
These niceties forbidden, long-delayed,
No end foreseen, instead our hands we scrub.
This afternoon, attempting to bear up,
Escape the endless strain of sheltering,
Green Village Farm became our healing cup,
The great outdoors and spring buds blossoming.
I strolled around the pond, and breathed a sigh,
And weeping willow breathed my heart’s reply.
Yesterday, In an attempt to get out of the house and yet remain safe we drove to The Farm at Green Village, reminding me of the days when, my father would load us in the family station wagon, to drive through Llewellyn Park on a Sunday afternoon; just to get some fresh air and green trees and escape from the closed-in environment in which we lived.
My daughter and her fiancé, dealing with their now-postponed wedding (which was to have been next Saturday), followed us in their car, so as to comply with social distancing recommendations.
The Farm, though open, made it well known that they were enforcing social distancing. The best thing about The Farm at Green Village is that while you can stock up on all of your herbs and gardening supplies (which will be put to good use over the next few weeks, one might imagine), they have wonderful grounds with walking paths around the pond, serene peacocks and beautiful flowering trees and shrubs. We hoped it would offer a welcomed respite from the tensions of the day. It did not disappoint.
I wrote this poem because as I glanced towards the pond, I paused for a moment at the weeping willow. Further across the water I spied my daughter walking hand in hand with her beau, no doubt pondering their dwindling alternatives. The willow seemed to express my emotions, as words could not.
Winter’s veil is ever surely lifting
from top-iced, frozen birdbath in my yard,
Crackling, melting, straining wavelets shifting,
While finches perch like sentries standing guard.
Perhaps it’s spring thawed days for which I long,
For balmy breezes wafting o’er my face,
To wake once more to robin’s sparkle song,
Presaging shining morns of dew-dropped lace.
Reflections on my pond of budding blooms,
Tips of dogwood frame the mourning doves
soft chanting; nature’s symphony resumed,
Beyond, the blue-sky backdrop hangs above.
Complex simplicity – how can it be,
A tiny birdbath so inspires me.
As Jack Jones advised ”…Keep them handy, flowers and candy…Roses and Lollipops”.
It’s concert day and for as long as I can remember, every time I sing in a concert Bobby always surprises me with flowers and candy. And surprisingly, I’m usually surprised!
This afternoon Choral Art Society of NJ will present “Americana,” and once again, my wonderful husband will be sitting in the audience. I won’t be next to him, but he’ll be with me for every note of every song.
This morning, music’s running through my mind,
Unending fragments, strains of melodies
that play incessant, just beneath – behind
my consciousness, a chorister’s peculiarity.
Now full awake, I finally realize,
Ahead this week, there lies the rationale,
Rehearsals, repetitions, parts revised,
For many voices, raised as one chorale.
These ‘worms’ reside within my ear canal
Where only I can hear and oft repeat
those tricky parts and passages, et al
I’m ready, though, will soon be bittersweet.
It’s concert week, the climax of our song,
Anticipation, joy, then set aside, ere long.
This week The Choral Art Society will fine tune our “Americana” program, rehearse in concert spaces and present this collection of choral settings of American music. I love concert week! But this time next week it will be over and I’ll be removing my music from my black folder and filing it away. It’s wonderful and yet, strangely bittersweet; like a long-anticipated vacation that is over all too soon.
But for now: Rejoice – it’s concert week!
I hardly notice anymore or check
His soft-click pitter-patter, at my side,
My challenge: “stay” when leaving for a sec,
Seems all for naught, he hears “stay near” instead.
Or if perchance I move from couch to bed,
He pounces up to snuggle in “his” lap,
My skeins are oft upended, tossed in shreds
As he secures the spot on which to plop.
And yet I’m helpless to resist this pup,
I gladly let him redefine my space,
Pushover to his charms, his wags, his crop
of wavy fur, and, oh, that funny face.
Some say I am his owner, he’s my pet,
I say “no”, he owns me! I’m content.
Blooming outward, scrolls ‘tween swirls embed,
Simplicity of form each rounded side,
In shades of palest blue and pastel red,
Each going its own way yet unified.
Symbolic of the majesty it hides
beneath its vault, the chambers of our state,
Tempestuous tempers, diff’rences magnified,
But always striving to elucidate.
Through sessions bearing witness: freedom’s fate
enwrapped in fervent promises fulfilled,
‘t was touted loud – the people’s common slate,
Debated endlessly t’ward laws and bills.
This dome inspires all who pass beneath,
A prayer is raised for wisdom’s wreath bequeathed.
While en route to a Seton Hall – Georgetown game, we stopped at the Capitol. I was speechless viewing the dome, and thought how unifying it seemed. These days we need a unifying message. I hear it and I share it here.
Chocolate chip or double ginger cakes,
Oven temps do rise to make them fine,
Otherwise these beauties ne’er could flake, though
Kitchen stoves of yore might gleam and shine.
I wonder how my grannies did their bakes,
Ensuring morsels, chewy, soft, sublime.
Official Dogwood Photography Challenge
Week 40 Story Telling: Modern Convenience
What modern convenience of 2019 can not you live without? Create an image that looks like an advertisement for your favorite Modern Convenience.
Around the wide, wide world this afternoon,
‘neath searing sun and darkening shade, a storm,
It gathered, silent, ominous, it loomed,
So sudden, interrupting mindless norms.
We journeyed on, ignoring what could come,
No choice but journey on to foreign shores,
With backward glancing, hopeful we had time,
But we were wrong, the black clouds billowed more.
As calm skies disappeared, we grew unsure,
We questioned which the wiser path would be,
To linger longer, waiting for “all clear”
Or hurry faster ‘cross the EPCOT sea.
Water, earth, wind, fire – nature’s curtains,
We only know, uncertainty is certain,
I’d watch him early mornings, pre-work hours,
Examining his plot aside the fence,
He’d smile to see the haze of yellow flowers,
That patience soon would bear some evidence.
I wondered how the psyche of this man,
His fingers slaked and bruised with mason’s glue,
Could find contentment, purpose from his land
that ‘fore and after work, he’d tend and hoe.
With pride, when harvest came, he’d reap the gift,
These beauties, filling bushels from the shed,
His chore of love became his evening shift,
We’d marvel at the bounty, rife and red.
Decades hence, with Romas from a stand,
I put up stores of fruit, with him in mind.
Each August, I devote several weekends lovingly coring, peeling and processing Jersey tomatoes from the farmers’ markets. I cannot help but think of Dad, a hardworking tile man, and remember how proud he was of his garden in the back – especially his crop of tomatoes. I remember, too, the Sunday visits home, when he and Mom would load us up with cans of tomatoes from the shelf on the way to the basement. This photo is more than just a bunch of tomatoes…it’s evidence of a treasured legacy.
Official Dogwood Photography Challenge
Week 37 Storytelling: Seasons
The weather is changing! Find inspiration in the seasons.
Great photographers can tell a story with an image.
There doesn’t seem
to be a glimmer,
No sun to be seen.
It’s hidden high,
beyond the gathering
My lonely dockside bench
Side-casts a looming shadow
upon the slaking slats,
As if waiting,
against the choppy,
It’s at these moments
of intersecting time and space,
Of place celestial yet earthbound.
brew-pot of storms,
Week 37 Storytelling: Seasons
The weather is changing! Find inspiration in the seasons.Great photographers can tell a story with an image.