The Single Pancake

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This week’s words: habits, create, however, virtue, regard, gap, cycle, undoing, lessen, choice, gathering, suffering
The first line of each 5-7-5 snippet is taken from “My Uncle’s Favorite Coffee Shop” by Naomi Shihab Nye.

~~ 1 ~~
When he found one note,
he knew that he could create
something of beauty.
One note that rang true
detailed years of suffering
in the old country.
He sang it over
and over to the children
gathering round him.
In the old country
the cycle of poverty—
how endless it was!

For an immigrant
the choice is not always clear:
go home or stay here.

How I love this place!
However many its faults,
it is now my home.

He never became
the undoing of others,
only of himself.
~~ 2 ~~
I cannot tell you
the way to lessen your pain—
you already know.
~~ 3 ~~
It would be peaceful
to live near Cumberland Gap
in a log cabin.
~~ 4 ~~
My heart has settled
on three habits to abjure,
and perhaps a fourth.
~~ 5 ~~
The single pancake
has no regard for virtue
other than its own.

© 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Poetry Pantry #177
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 136

Posted on November 24, 2013, in 5-7-5, Naomi Shihab Nye, The Poetry Pantry, The Sunday Whirl and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Oh, now see what you’ve done – I want a pancake…!

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      A single one is all you shall have. Slathered with butter and drowning in maple syrup, if you wish. But only one—and probably a very small one, at that! 😉

  2. The first pancake’s always lumpy. Can you give that one to the dog and I’ll have the second one? Just sugar and lemon juice please!

  3. I cannot tell you
    the way to lessen your pain—
    you already know.

    This is so wise….

  4. …some real wise thoughts here i so really enjoyed… smiles…

  5. very nice. I like that you mixed some serious thoughts with a pancake….

  6. I liked how you initially wrote about the early immigrant experience and how difficult it was…and the choice to go or to stay. The last haiku with the pancake made me smile.

  7. Two and Five made me smile..but in different know.. 😉

  8. ha. i like the pancake one…it breaks the tone, but carries just as much if not more truth…
    even those presumed righteous can be so self absorbed
    their message gets lost

  9. I can’t eat just one pancake, so I’m better off not starting!

  10. Even if we know the right answers, it’s a matter if we listen to ourselves!
    Now, can I have a pancake?

  11. Lovely writing…and now I want a pancake. 🙂

  12. Thank you for reminding me of the uniqueness of ones own experience…and of one single pancake. Love it,


  13. Love the beautifully poetic story of the immigrant, the idea that all one needs is one note… & the rest is up to us.

    but the one I feel deepest is this:

    I cannot tell you
    the way to lessen your pain—
    you already know

  14. I imagine 3 and 5 together–linked in simple pleasures. Very enjoyable.

  15. I most love verse 2: “you already know.”

  16. Dear Magical, I like to come here first because I know I’m in for a treat with your ability to weave words. Today, I was enchanted again. With the story of the immigrant to the single pancake. I love it!

  17. Curiously the Immigrant set will probably affect readers in different ways. Even a opportunistic migrant like myself that ran from nothing still has that urge to return just to see what has happened. The other haiku gives us your usual range of humour and poignancy. You are always a delight to visit.

  18. I particularly enjoyed #1 and #2.

  19. This ‘undoing’ has so many meaning, isn’t it? ~ Enjoyed the reading!

  20. mmt, as always a lovely collection. I love the image of the single pancake. Seems my visits are getting later and later. I never have time to read others poems during the week, so I am here now. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


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