Whirling with Robert and Me

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The first line of each haiku or senryu comes from various poems in My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy by Robert Bly

~~ 1 ~~
We are still brooding
over the noonday shadow
that eclipsed our lunch.
~~ 2 ~~
Our ancestors knew
how to use needle and thread
to patch a torn moon.
~~ 3 ~~
It is not yet dawn
and already the old shoes
clamor for a walk.
~~ 4 ~~
In a dead man’s shoes
the women are sprinkling salt,
poems on each grain.
~~ 5 ~~
The potato bin
has other plans for winter—
emptiness, perhaps.
~~ 6 ~~
Why does the sleeper
dream of a desert landscape
here in Cozumel?
~~ 7 ~~
the smell of coffee
takes the old man’s breath away—
his trembling fingers
~~ 8 ~~
At any second
gravity may lose its grip
and send us flying.
~~ 9 ~~
The potato fields
sense that winter’s teasing them,
but open their skirts.
~~ 10 ~~
A thousand oak leaves
will not make a loaf of bread
or a jug of wine.
~~ 11 ~~
A year in heaven,
if you have an ass’s head,
is quite long enough.
~~ 12 ~~
Have nothing to say
to the one who sends for you
without a reason.

© 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More The Sunday Whirl

Posted on August 4, 2013, in haiku, Robert Bly, senryu, The Sunday Whirl and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Oh I LOVE this. It’s brilliant. It feels slightly irrevelent yet utterly true. A happy piece. and I love the asses head one!

  2. If I was the potato bin, I would be having warm dreams on a beach somewhere.

  3. Can’t wait for winter… and those potato fields… 😉

  4. Great idea…Writing 12 haiku…easier than weaving in one long..poem…well done MMT..each one is a gem…I paused on this..

    In a dead man’s shoes
    the women are sprinkling salt,
    poems on each grain.

    I spent some time focused on this…yes..

    Well my wordle here:

  5. Lots of twists and turns here…again I would be hard pressed to name my fav.

  6. “have nothing to say to the one who sends you” … as always lovely evocative – creative – today this line stays with me… Beautiful work.

  7. Love the grains of salt holding poems. Salt is a preservative, what better place for poems? Don’t have a favorite, would rather savor each grain of salt as it comes. And you always satisfy that urge. Thank you,


  8. I love this. Cool that potatoes showed their eyes more than once.

  9. I am holding on to my seat very tightly, planning a seat belt too!! 😉 Those ancestors were really marvelous people and knew how to weave their lives!!Me too missing your desert landscape and pics!!

  10. These caught me, one after another! I think you missed your calling , Teacher, you are a philosopher! Thanks for 12 today!

  11. each poem carries her own gravity, however 4, 6, 7 spoke to my sensibilities the most.
    wow. your very good to write all of these haiku.

  12. The Potato fields gave me a good laugh. However it is always fun to read your selection.

  13. Have nothing to say
    to the one who sends for you
    without a reason

    The above has a lot going. Very philosophical take and even educational. Great haiku set MMT!


  14. mmt, I love 6 and 7, very nice.


  15. Our ancestors knew
    how to use needle and thread
    to patch a torn moon.

    So true,

    these were simple brilliant. So full of truth too. 🙂

  16. enjoyed the entire response; #12 though is my favorite

    much love…

  17. It’s been awhile since I’ve had the good fortune to visit your site…always delightful to see the number of different short poems you can come up with to fit each week’s whirl words and this one’s no different…too hard to pick a favourite (I know, probably too many of us say that, but it’s so true)…I will admit, I love the idea of gravity losing its grip (remember seeing graffiti once in a bathroom that said “there is no gravity, the world sucks”) How’s that for a non-sequiter? Enjoyed your work as always.


  18. Number 5 reminds me of the movie that was based on the painting ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ – At one point the mother used all the good potatoes – sold them just to have the painting and all winter used the seed potatoes for supper… her husband was not please when the bin was found … empty.

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      Thanks for making the connection! I love it when readers see common threads between bits of literature/movies/stories.

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