Category Archives: The Poetry Pantry

Places

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~~ 1 ~~
 
A place of her own,
where she can dabble in words—
this is all she asks.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
Three blasts of the horn—
again she loses her place
reading Hemingway.
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
She loses her place,
yet a new pathway unfolds,
tugging at her feet.
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
In her stained blue dress
she is not sure of her place
among the sisters.
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
In this hallowed place
she rests for an hour or two
before moving on.
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
A place of shining
in the center of darkness—
this is all she asks.
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
The thrill of the hunt
to find a place of her own
keeps driving her on.
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
Knick-knack paddy-whack—
isn’t there another place
that she could call home?
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
She devotes her skill
to finding the perfect place
to keep her secrets.
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
Her secrets in place,
she resolves not to reveal
them to anyone.
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
In this shallow place,
where nothing is asked of her,
she has found a home.

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #211
 
More Sunday Scribblings 2: “Place”
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 171

How Many Badgers

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How many badgers are wise enough to thrive on city streets?
Can things that hum and swarm in the forest live without tasting blood?
Are there passions storming the heart’s dark corners that no one dares mention?
It is enough, child, to believe in the magic of unicorns.
It is enough, old man, to walk through the desert at night, singing to the stars.
 
 
How will the bat that hangs in the belfry elude the tolling bell?
How will the creature with no legs jump to safety when the owl drops from the sky?
How can Jesus calm the surging sea with words when he has no tongue?
It is enough, child, while I am with you, to keep hunting the elusive unicorn.
It is enough, old man, to sing every night to the stars.

 

© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #210
 
More Sunday Scribblings 2: “Wise”
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 170

Whirling All Over

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~~ 1 ~~
 
over the yogurt
she lays a piece of muslin
to keep flies at bay
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
seven flavors of
manufactured excuses
dripping from her tongue
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
tonight’s harvest moon
on this side of the river—
such a tiny coin
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
geese in the millions
drowning the eastern flyway
with their plaintive honks
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
an ancient pilgrim
forgetting her arthritis
on the sacred hike
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
feathers of brown birds
shot from black cannons at dawn—
how the West was won
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
perhaps the turtle
making low sounds in its throat
thinks dogs will cower
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
The storytellers
make room for one another,
using fragrant words.
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
writing a letter
with lackluster paragraphs—
the same dusty words
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
In his own country
no one honors the prophet—
even ravens mock.
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
One cry from the crow
beguiles the lunar eclipse
into shrinking back.
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
Cheeky ones go pale
whenever Jesus appears,
circumcising hearts.

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #209
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 169

Whirling with Walt

168 photo 168_zps5cb68022.jpg
 
The first line of each three-line snippet comes from “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman.
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
the eyes of the dead,
blind to beauty and blessing,
staring at nothing
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
knowing the perfect
candle to banish darkness—
only damp matches
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
eddies of the wind
on a mission for the storm
rising in the west
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
The shelves are crowded
with things simple and complex—
have you need of more?
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
choosing a safe spot,
perhaps your arms for the night,
before moving on
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
She owns the fine house
at the tip of the cape, where
no one is welcome.
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
on the granite floor
rivers of fresh blood flowing
from the killing spree
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
In the little wells
where the prairie meets the hill,
blind creatures huddle.
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
with me on the grass
seven ragged musicians
playing haunting tunes
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
Leaving me baskets
filled with ripe apples and rain,
she slips out to sea.
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
The little one sleeps,
caring nothing for the ghosts
that would torment her.
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
Stall in the market—
an image of St. Joseph
stirs among the spoons.

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #208
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 168

Seeking One Ripe Plum

167 photo 1671_zpsf79ecbb4.jpg
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
Seeking one ripe plum,
I approach the laden tree
with a grateful heart.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
seeking one ripe plum
behind the blue pantry door—
no one has a key
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
Seeking one ripe plum
to split among my children—
each will taste a slice.
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
seeking one ripe plum
to the east of the grain field—
three crows menace me
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
seeking one ripe plum
to give to the single mom
in Apartment 3
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
Seeking one ripe plum
I scratch my head in wonder
before the gnarled tree.
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
seeking one ripe plum—
depending on the moon’s phase
I might find seven
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
seeking one ripe plum
while the player piano
rolls out tinkly tunes
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
seeking one ripe plum
for the youngest of my sons—
his birthday present
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
Seeking one ripe plum—
the glint in her eye tells me
she’ll split the bounty.
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
seeking one ripe plum
on a level garden path
wingless butterfly
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
seeking one ripe plum
while spiders attach their webs
to my eyes and ears

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #207
 
More Sunday Scribblings 2: “Plum”
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 167

Dreadful

Sunset Crater lava bed photo Sunsettreelava_zps74ef4f06.jpg
Hardened lava flow, Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Northern Arizona
 


dancing and praying
dark and dreadful shadows kiss
creature, cloud and stone

 
Text and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Blue Monday
 
More Poetry Pantry #206
 
More Shadow Shot Sunday 2
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 166: “Dark, Praying, Dancing, Creature, Dreadful, Kiss “

Quirky Quartet

165 photo 1652_zps5f883d88.jpg
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
drilled into the cliff
six holes filled with misfortunes
borrowed from the trolls
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
a wish, a whistle,
a pit in which to drink ale—
chimneyside dreaming
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
porcelain habits
shatter into deadly shards—
caveat emptor
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
Split the percale sheet,
rip out the mattress stuffing—
darkness comes at noon.

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #205
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 165

Quick Takes

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Each little poem-breath begins with a phrase purloined from Paul Theroux’s Ghost Train to the Eastern Star.
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
In a stack of books
she finds a list of numbers—
pi comes at the end.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
plump picture album—
placing it back on the shelf
to gorge on more dust
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
the little notebook—
holding it in her right hand
while the words quiver
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
shivering sparrows—
children say hello to them
but offer no cloaks
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
on a rusty bridge
she contemplates existence—
freight train bearing down
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
rain pelting sideways—
the monsoon’s monstrous power
lashing passersby
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
streets thick with traffic
not a single horn muffled—
such cacophony
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
an unlikely place
for a band of stomping monks—
the Doge’s palace
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
in a sacred place
the clamoring of pilgrims
not a whiff of prayer
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
praising the fish soup
in some strange piscine language—
old man of the sea
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
Amid the squalor
she hears the sizzle of fish
on an open fire.
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
in a yellow dish
a single shriveled lemon—
Van Gogh dips his brush

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #205
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 164

Variations on ‘Caged Bird’

163 photo 163_zpsc8a0516a.jpg
 
Each little poem-breath begins with a phrase purloined from Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird.” Maya Angelou died on 28 May 2014.
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
On the grave of dreams
place a thousand paving stones—
let no wraiths escape.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
the fat worms waiting
as the tractor keeps plowing—
hundred-acre field
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
on the distant hill
a fireworks launch at bedtime
children ooh and ah
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
the back of the wind
carrying a pungent scent
through my open door
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
with a fearful trill
and flapping of sturdy wings
cormorant nabs fish
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
Through the sighing trees
a lean and fluid roebuck
flees the hunter’s bow.
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
Till the current ends,
I have no need to propel
my raft with a pole.
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
He opens his throat,
spilling out jovial notes,
gracing all who hear.
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
Through his bars of rage
he glimpses freedom’s terrain—
one breath out of reach.
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
In the orange sun
seven crows chase each other,
crying raucously.
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
of another breeze
piping countless melodies—
why the caged bird sings

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #204
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 163

Grotesqueries: Take Three

162 photo 162_zps9d3d65bb.jpg
 
Each grotesquerie begins with a phrase purloined from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist who died 17 April 2014.
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
dusty iguana
without a squeak advancing
on a hapless fly
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
wind from the graveyard
a treat for ghouls and goblins
how their nostrils twitch
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
Leave the whitewashed walls
to mate with floor and ceiling—
reproductive rights.
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
To play the zither
you need the skill of David,
the patience of Job.
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
With a gardenia
perfuming the kitchen’s pores,
all the saucers smile.
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
in his burning bed
a moth begins to flutter—
messenger of grace
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
the holy scriptures
where gods are meeting mortals
on unleveled fields
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
fabulous nightmare
according to the report
written in shorthand
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
jugglers with six arms
losing face when they fumble
and the balls go down
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
covered by strange maps
of fantastical places—
north wall of her room
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
at the desk scribbling
the old woman’s rueful laugh—
all her unpaid bills
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
In the sewing shop
the owner takes a survey
of the mannequins.
 
~~ 13 ~~
 
More baskets of bread
are stuck in Danish doorways
than in London lanes.
 
~~ 14 ~~
 
preaching in Latin
to pigeons in the town square—
gibbering old priest
 

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #203
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 162

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