Category Archives: Poetry Pantry

Haibun: Grief Work


My grief over my father’s death has become my life’s work. Some days I drink from a bitter cup. Other days I choose to spread my bread with honey. And sometimes I lay myself down on the anvil of sorrows and let the hammer fall, shaping me as it will. Sheer stubbornness drives me to try to understand why a tear leans into the wind, hoping to dry itself; or why the dead enter our world saying nothing, giving neither comfort nor counsel, but simply watching and waiting. So far, I have failed in my quest, but I will not quit. Stubbornness, remember?

Walking through the woods
on an autumn afternoon—
this is song enough.

 
  

Haibun © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #239
 
More Pantry of Poetry and Prose #3 at Poets United

Haibun: Wisdom Is Waiting


I am following a path that leads, they say, to Willow Woman, who stands in solitude. How will I find her? Stooped and ungainly? Or singing songs that she learned from her ancestors? Songs of leaf and twig. Songs of root and branch. Songs of drought and disease. In the absence of answers to my questions, I keep moving, as I have done year after year. My one desire—I have no other—is to see Willow Woman at last, for in her, wisdom is waiting.

Autumn afternoon—
in my neighbor’s tiny yard
one red rose still blooms.

 
  

Haibun © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #238
 
More Pantry of Poetry and Prose #2 at Poets United

Release the Horses


Release the horses into the deep,
Water the foxes until they sleep.
 
Necks of the foxes? Smell them with fear!
Horses’ hooves pounding? Get out of here!
 
Things that you’ve owned? Not destined to stay!
Things that you cherish? Fading away!
 
Sending this quickly, only one time—
May you find truth somewhere in this rhyme.

 
  
Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #237
 
More Poetry Pantry #498 at Poets United
 

A Bit of Sunday Morning Nonsense


Minus your face, dear, you bring me to tears.
A spot of confetti seems to last years.
The grit in the ashes soon turns to brass;
Shelves in my memory shatter like glass.
Come here, my darling, and bring me more wine;
Bear with my foolishness, make my face shine!

 
  
Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #236
 
More Poetry Pantry #497 at Poets United
 

Do Not Menace Me


Do not menace me with rope, swaying from a tree,
Even though the hangman winks, while phantoms laugh with glee.
Cheer me as I’m sleeping, darling, underneath the sod;
Hear me through the casket’s keyhole as I pray to God,
Begging that the creep who hanged me won’t outlast this day;
Quiet now, the storm winds welter, wailing on their way!

 
  
Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #235
 
More Poetry Pantry #496 at Poets United
 

Six Takes on ‘Autumn Afternoon’


Autumn afternoon—
softly a cat mounts the steps
leading to the porch.
 
Autumn afternoon—
rows of red automobiles
mimic maple leaves.
 
Autumn afternoon—
she waters red begonias,
careful to miss none.
 
Autumn afternoon—
a man in a dirty suit
blends in with the leaves.
 
Autumn afternoon—
one stitch in the white doily
keeps unraveling.
 
Autumn afternoon—
I assist an old woman
hobbling with a cane.

 
  
Haiku © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #233
 
More Poetry Pantry #495 at Poets United

Small Doses


Wanderer, painter, or potter—which role is the best for me?
A clay pot follows the end of a straw into the roiling sea.
All who are guilty cause chaos; things without names cannot be;
Mercy comes in small doses to sinners who sin without glee:
Number them, mercy’s particles, number them One, Two, and Three!
From darkness create something of light and savor the mystery.

 
  
Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #232
 
More Poetry Pantry #494 at Poets United

The Apartment: a Fictional Haibun


Until I rented this apartment (pink flamingos flank the door!), I had to walk up three long flights of stairs. Now I’m on the ground floor, and even have a little kitchen garden, where I grow basil, chives, and parsley. I’ve squeezed in one tomato plant and one pepper. After supper each night, I set aside my sorrows (who knew that life could be so difficult?), and pore over maps of far-off places, dreaming of cruises that last for years, not weeks. Could there be a better way to spend my twilight days?

 

Burn down, white candle,
veer off course, distant planets—
my wineglass is full!

 
  

Haibun © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #231
 
More Poetry Pantry #493 at Poets United

In the Riverbed


In the riverbed I listened while the fishes swam and spoke;
The tales that they were weaving made me want to have a smoke
Of something much more potent than a Winston or Pall Mall,
But the room beneath the water had no butler and no bell.
Thus I could not call for hashish, so I tried to calm myself
By burning fragrant incense that I found upon a shelf.
The smoke set me to dreaming, and my arms fell limp at last,
I felt empty as a daydream from my mother’s distant past.
I fear you won’t believe me, nor the story that I tell,
So here’s the final word, my friends: I bid you all farewell.

 
  
Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #230
 
More Poetry Pantry #492 at Poets United

Welcome Every Word


Face the other way and write, write these words down fast:
Seizes, eases, water, gathers; then, write current last.
 
Other words than these might do, or possibly, might not.
Thus be ready always, friend, to change your poem’s plot.
 
In pursuit of poetry, you take what fate doles out.
Welcome every word’s arrival with a joyful shout!

 
  
Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #228
 
More Poetry Pantry #491 at Poets United