Category Archives: Naomi Shihab Nye

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

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A Weird Quartet

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The first line of each haiku or senryu comes from “Blood” by Naomi Shihab Nye.
 
 


Today the headlines
scream of a bend in the lane
where fallen birds lie.
 
~~ ~~
 
Languages can reach
the bird, the rock, the meadow,
in peculiar ways.
 
~~ ~~
 
To plead with the air
to retreat from the island—
who can bear the thought?
 
~~ ~~
 
Can the crying heart
become wild and unstable,
a bridge to nowhere?

 
© 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Carpe Diem’s Freestyle #1
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 115

My Father

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The first line of each senryu comes from “Blood” by Naomi Shihab Nye. (The father in these vignettes is strictly the product of my imagination.)
 
 


My father would say
that the tracks at the pond’s edge
can yield no answers.
 
~~ ~~
 
My father told me
not to mess with simple things,
only complex ones.
 
~~ ~~
 
My father would say,
“When the car’s out of gas, you
gotta start walking.”
 
~~ ~~
 
My father told me
that some people have no class,
so steer clear of them.
 
~~ ~~
 
My father would say,
“Kid, you cannot build a house
with lie upon lie.”
 
~~ ~~
 
My father told me
where he kept important files,
so that when he died…
 
~~ ~~
 
I call my father
to tell him that the forest
now lies pale and still.
 

 
© 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 114