A Famine of Ink

Daily I explore the wash, always finding something new—or old.
Some days I find stones, trying to turn to jelly in the sun. (Edgar Lee Masters penned that delicious image in Spoon River Anthology.)
Other days, little husks filled with ripe seeds remind me of gardens I planted and harvested long ago.
Today an odd-shaped metal contrivance, swept downstream from a distant farmstead, seems to be whispering, “Here I am.”
I pause and kneel in wonder before this piece of civilization’s jetsam. Is it the base of a kerosene lamp? Is the farmhouse kitchen now without light, except for the sun by day and flickering flames leaking from the wood cookstove by night?
Is it an empty inkpot? Does the poet who lost it now write with a twig in the sand or her finger in the air?

long apprenticeship
one haiku in fifty years—
a famine of ink

Text and photo © 2012 by Magical Mystical Teacher
Photo: Northern Arizona
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon
More The Haiku Challenge 2012: “Famine”
More Straight Out of the Camera Sunday
More Shadow Shot Sunday 2

Posted on February 18, 2012, in Arizona, haibun, Haiku My Heart, Northern Arizona, Shadow Shot Sunday 2, Straight Out of the Camera Sunday, The Haiku Challenge 2012. Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. A poeatical post, an intriguing photo and a lovely haiku.. thanks! Enjoy your weekend!

  2. I love your take on this prompt. Very interesting!

  3. Wow…but in mind hundreds of haiku must have been born… I liked your haiku MMT..

  4. beautiful photo…fantastic haiku!

  5. Maybe it’s part of a piece of farm equipment, or an old vehicle. I think part of the beauty is that we may never know for sure!

  6. Lots of messages here ~ great haiku ~ namaste, carol (A Creative Harbor)

  7. Whatever the metal monstrosity is, its coiled shape leaves a cool shadow. Its original reason for being has now past, now we see it changed into modern art…

  8. You sure do find some of the best ShadowShots in those washes! Stones melting like jelly in the sun is SO descriptive of the way the heat feels in the desert in summer.
    Have a great weekend.

  9. Wow. What a wonderful thought process you went through here! I love the results!

  10. my first thoughts were of a metallic beetle that got it’s leg caught up in the grass. this is a wonderful picture that sets the imagination to go.

  11. Terrific shadow shot as always, wonderful thoughts and I love the words of Edgar Lee Masters! Hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy!


  12. Life is full of mysteries and you find the most photogenic ones!

  13. I immediately thought of an piece of farm machinery, but your ideas suggest that it is smaller than that …… whatever it is, it provides an excellent shadow shot!

  14. It certainly is a very curious artifact! One that I would pick up and take home thinking that it will someday become a part of a mixed media piece.

    That is such a fun wash that you get to visit so often!

  15. how marvelous! this intrigueing haiku around this beautiful, rusty find!


  16. …a famine of ink! Such insight and expression in such a small phrase. I love it!

  17. Very good and interesting composition.

    Regards and best wishes

  18. Wonderful shadow shot..

  19. Whatever could it be? Very interesting shot.

  20. Interesting take on the prompt MMT!

  21. Love your imagination, MMT! This is such an interesting old rusted thing.

    Cool Haiku.

  22. Excellent, the lonely object trapped in emptiness.

  23. This is strange … what is it ?

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      As I wrote in my haibun, I really don’t know what this object is, but I had fun imagining various possibilities. I hope you’ll use your imagination too!

  24. Really beautiful SOOC work!!!!

  25. Carol@Swallowcliffs

    Love the haiku, the photo, and that you visited me on MY blog!

  26. imagination is a gift and a blessing 🙂

  27. I like the composition, great light and shadows in this beauty.

  28. An intriguing piece of discarded metal! So many possibilities for its real identity! And love the writing style you have adopted for this post! It has a sensitive warmth that appeals to the imaginative mind and the creative spirit!

  29. However did you see an ink pot???
    I am so glad you did though…far more imaginative than a beetle.
    Writing poetry with her finger
    in sand or in the air…
    like a fairy would do, I imagine♥♥♥

  30. too profound to even form words.
    thank you.

  31. Something like this would always leave me wondering, with interest, who it belonged to…and what was its use…mine is at:


  32. You have a way of adding an interesting spin to your photos. Always a pleasure visiting your Blog.

    As for the subject of this photo, whatever the item may be, it casts interesting shadows for a shadow seeker to find. Nice Job!!

  33. I really like both your words and photo in this post.

  34. Whatever it is it makes for a most interesting subject. It also provided you with a great shadow.

  35. I think it’s the last piece of Skylab that finally fell to earth.

  36. Now this photograph got me thinking. Hmmm . . .

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