Category Archives: poetry

At the Moon’s Rising

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Shed lock, Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden, Yuma, Arizona
 
 

At the moon’s rising
we will eat soft candy
and sing lilting songs,
songs that bastards and buggers
never take on their tongues.
Yet sylvan maidens know them,
singing them at midnight
to the tree that rots in the forest
and to the blind lieutenant
who, now that it’s peacetime,
wonders why
they sent him to war.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Macro Monday 2
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #108
   
More Poetry Pantry #350 at Poets United

The Dance

Dandelion
Dandelion, Apache County, Arizona
 

Noon.
A stone by the road
sets the scene
for the dance.
Farther down the road
a man without elbows
plays a flute
with his feet,
panting out wild notes,
and the desert,
which has waited
since it was created,
begins to stir.
Could anything
be harder
than shrugging off the eons
to shimmy in the sun?

 

Poem © 2017 and photo © 2012 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Macro Monday 2
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #106
   
More Poetry Pantry #348 at Poets United

Hummingbird Country

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Barrel cactus fruit, Yuma Conservation Garden, Yuma, Arizona

 

We live in hummingbird country.
We know how to survive.
Like tiny creatures
flitting here and sipping there,
we scan the sky.
Storm clouds hang heavy in the west,
where thunder is heard.
Can anything good come from thunder
or the burden that both of us bear?
You compare your pain to mine
to see whose is greater.
You say that the doctor’s poking
and prodding was not proper,
because it stirred up something inside you—
a storm that may destroy you.
But aren’t we stronger than storms?
We live in hummingbird country.
We know how to survive.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Macro Monday 2
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #97
   
More Poetry Pantry #339 at Poets United

A Way Out

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Debris floats in a backyard fountain.

 

Trying to breathe in this place,
close to the source of my grief,
while coins thrown in the wishing well
are glimmering and turning—
such madness!
I feel my right foot slip, and then my left,
something tightens in my chest.
Be still, my heart!
You will find a way out!

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Macro Monday 2
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #94
   
More Poetry Pantry #336 at Poets United

Blurry

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A blurry photograph of someone’s fingertips
 


old woman’s vision—
not quite what it used to be
forty years ago

 
Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Vision”

Confidence

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A small bougainvillea brightens the new year in Yuma County, Arizona.
 


In the year ahead,
as long as there are blossoms,
we shall be all right.

 
Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 

The Sane Thing to Do

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Native American Virgin and Christ Child, Mission San Antonio de Pala, Pala, California

 

Wait!
This is not the season to rejoice.
Shame and scorn draw near to touch—
perhaps to torch—
the edges of your life.
There is no one to shield you
from unseemly words,
words tarnished by layers of grime,
words that will not mesh together now
or ever.
You steer an unsteady course;
seaweed tangles your rudder.
The sane thing to do?
Abandon this enterprise
of being an unwed mother!

 

Poem © 2016 and photo © 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #89
   
More Poetry Pantry #332 at Poets United
 
More Twelve Days of Mary at Recuerda Mi Corazon

No Going Back

 

Languid autumn afternoon—
does she know a loss is coming,
a loss so devastating
that longing to die will consume her days?
After it happens,
there will be no going back.
He hinted at this, the angel,
who told her she was exceptional
among women.
If only she could see the outline
of some small joy beyond what she will suffer,
then she could bear what is to come
and more.

 

Poem © 2016 and photo © 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #88
   
More Poetry Pantry #331 at Poets United
 
More Twelve Days of Mary at Recuerda Mi Corazon

Displays

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Yuma Pioneer Cemetery, Yuma, Arizona
 


no neutrality
in these riotous displays
of grief and mourning

 
 
Poem and photo © 2016 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Neutrality”

My Father’s Blessing

When I toddled into the kitchen one Saturday morning,
my father was eating breakfast.
I stared at him, rubbing my eyes in astonishment.
“You comed back!” I exclaimed.
He opened his arms and I ran to him,
not quite believing he was real
until his arms closed around me
and he nuzzled my face with his stubbly cheek,
ten thousand tiny whiskers prickling my skin.
 
Dad was a student minister then,
and I saw him only on weekends.
He spent the week in Denver, studying theology,
then on Friday night he rode the bus back home
to our lonely outpost somewhere in Kansas.
His absence was like the absence of God:
“He’s there, but you just can’t see him,”
my father explained.
 
When he was older and wiser,
my father shocked me by saying,
“I don’t need to defend God;
God can take care of himself.”
He put his Bible on the bookshelf
and started preaching from The Denver Post.
One day he raged that another convicted murderer
had been executed in a neighboring state’s electric chair.
He ended his sermon on Sunday with a question:
“Would Jesus Christ pull the switch?”
 
Of all my father’s sermons,
I remember only this fragment,
and I hold on to it fiercely,
the way I once held the blessed bread
of Holy Communion, so I wouldn’t drop it,
or the way my young father held me
when he came home on weekends,
nuzzling my face with his stubbly cheek,
ten thousand tiny whiskers prickling my skin.

 
© 2016 by Magical Mystical Teacher