Category Archives: The Sunday Whirl

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

 photo 164_zps809c65fd.jpg
 
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

Grotesqueries: Take Two

 photo 161_zps20628dff.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 ~~
 
Bottom of the pot—
why are the lobsters keening
about their karma?
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
Nights in the courtyard—
seven tattered people snore
underneath the limes.
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
The rear of the house—
are there any hollyhocks
wedded to the yard?
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
secrets of the moth
revealed in graphic detail—
the old druid sings
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
adobe houses
at the altitude of geese
Marc Chagall at work
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
faded velvet vest
not mine but the general’s
stained with soup and wine
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
tree in the courtyard
becoming alabaster
at the prophet’s word
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
where the gypsy girl
sews chaos to confusion
with a fraying thread
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
looking for the bag
to carry home a loaf of bread
and a pound of bones
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
fermented cane juice
served in blue plastic bottles—
champagne for the poor
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
Upset by the news
of the latest disaster,
she made friends of gnats.
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
When she could not sleep,
she would force herself to read
from Leviticus.
 

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #202
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 161

Grotesqueries

 photo 160_zps008d5aa2.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 almond trees
all the fruit turns into glass
bitter little shards
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
hand-painted flowers
remnants of the midget’s dreams
tossed to the bridesmaids
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
box of dominoes—
two pieces rub each other
in just the wrong way
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
place of burial
the earth begins to settle
after three amens
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
a wicker basket
hides a broken battle axe
under cloth of gold
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
houses with zinc roofs
shattering expectations
rusting overnight
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
glass beads for macaws
flung into the April sky
snatched by hungry beaks
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
a bulging suitcase—
the clumsy woman drops it
on the railroad track
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
clocks made of carved wood
vanish just before midnight
tick again at dawn
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
invisible paths
some on land, some on sea
Moses knows the game
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
clothing left behind—
an old man without a name
tries on the trousers
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
sticks of balsa wood
listen as the cotton string
tightens on a kite
 

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #201
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 160

Tiny Tales

 photo 159_zps08036c16.jpg
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
twenty months of drought
the fortitude of pine trees
blackbird’s plaintive song
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
At the nursing home
the moody night shift nurses
wait for the next death.
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
a broken platter—
crickets jumping at the chance
for dabs of jelly
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
on gossamer wings
mist stealing through the forest—
fragile little bird
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
Though your life is brief,
you may take a stone in hand
while you are weeping.
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
the simple brilliance
of this singular moment—
blue iris blooming
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
Spontaneity—
from the dust of wilderness
healing pools arise.
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
inevitable—
the birds that followed Jesus
pecking at my eyes
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
birth pangs at midnight
the poem in my belly
kicking to be free
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
in a barren land
no pattering of raindrops—
plethora of light
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
difficult to see
on the dark and stormy way—
stories no one tells
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
first evening shadows
creeping into dead men’s shoes—
blackbird turns to ash
 

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #200
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 159

If

Dead Indigo Bush photo deadindigobush_zps27ada9ce.jpg
Indigo Bush (Psorothamnus fremontii), Sonoran Desert, Southern Arizona
 


If the branch could speak,
it might become a channel
to release new truths.

 
Text and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Shadow Shot Sunday 2
 
More Straight Out of the Camera Sunday
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 158: “Branch, Speak, Become, Channel, Release”

Fishing Tales

 photo 157_zps56d52a1a.jpg
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
seven fishing boats
rocking imperceptibly
in a gentle swell
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
fishing line tangles
twice around the willow limb—
Elijah returns
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
fishing through the mess
in the middle desk drawer—
pages torn from Psalms
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
fishing from the bridge
with a stolen rod and reel—
Egypt lies downstream
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
how her heart aches
fishing for compliments
that never come
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
deep-water fishing—
nothing God says in mercy
keeps Jonah on land
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
sharp prongs of lightning—
a fleet of fishing trawlers
limping back to shore
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
fishing boots with holes—
watching prophets weave and sway
limping round puddles
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
guts bloody the sink
from this morning’s fishing trip
to Lake Galilee
 

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #198
 
More Carpe Diem: “Fishing”
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 157

Convoluted Whirl

 photo 156_zps11a26a93.jpg
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
Three redwing blackbirds
swear an oath to the north wind:
We will outlast you.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
To be in fifth grade
is to sip from a dry brook—
your tongue turns to wood.
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
Through an April fog
three strange women are stumbling—
one begins to chant.
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
a porcelain doll
without a stitch of clothing—
enigmatic smile
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
singed with fires of hope
a dozen souls in limbo
crying out to God
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
on her wrists and palms
a dozen faces held fast
by tattooer’s ink
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
tumbleweed heaven—
ten thousand miles of fences
on the Kansas plains
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
three crickets chirping
papers littering hallways
my house is too small
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
gaudy little gifts
clutched by desperate tourists
for the folks back home
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
Park bench at midday—
the bag lady rests briefly
before shuffling on.
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
listening deeply
hearing a cry of distress—
from her eyes falls frost
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
moonlit this evening—
Jaffa, the port where Jonah
runs away from God
 

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Sunday Whirl #156

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 495 other followers