Category Archives: poetry

Look at the women


Look at the women
in their enormous jackets.
Some are writing
and some are drawing
on this crisp autumn morning.
They have stories to tell,
some short and some long,
in words or in charcoal.
You see them here
and elsewhere,
and think:
I will tell my story too.
Even if it falls flat,
it will be worth the effort.

 

Poem © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #129
   
More Poetry Pantry #371 at Poets United 

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Press One for English

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A palm tree near the duck pond, Yuma Conservation Garden, Yuma, Arizona

 
 

The palms,
filled with songbirds,
bow low to the earth.
Butterflies ravage
the carcass of a fox.
A farmer,
dazzled by his tomatoes,
flows in and out
of the here and now,
munching something
hallucinogenic.
The end is near,
and all the players know it.
Press One for English.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #127
   
More Poetry Pantry #369 at Poets United

One-Eyed Crow

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Caged bird for sale, Mercado San Juan de Dios, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México
 
 

A one-eyed crow
glares at me from atop
the roadside birch.
If it had hands,
it would be waving me on,
disgusted by my clothes and hair,
which are caked with mud.
But crows have no hands,
and they cannot wave,
nor can they carry sabers
to cut down their foes.
If I could capture that crow,
I’d put it in a cage
lined with newspapers
and sell it—cheap—
at Saturday’s flea market.
Instead, I am retreating
from its mocking tongue.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #126
   
More Poetry Pantry #368 at Poets United

Flood

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Detail of a carpet in a church in Wellton, Arizona
 


If a mighty flood should come,
Sweeping through the church’s doors,
Carpets would be overwhelmed
As would all the parquet floors.
 
When the mighty flood subsides,
Just as in the Bible lore,
There will come an olive branch
From the One who makes waves roar.

 
Photo and poem © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Macro Monday 2
 
More Ruby Tuesday Too
  
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Flood”

Brown-eyed girl

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Detail from a mural in Artists Alley, Ajo, Arizona
 

A penny for your thoughts,
brown-eyed girl.
Can anyone grow wise
thinking only of the stars?
When shadows nestle in your hair,
becoming bent and crooked—
is that how wisdom begins?
What about the young boy
who loops himself around
the boa constrictor
and survives to tell the tale?
Will you be like him?
Will you have a tale to tell?
How will you begin?
A penny (that’s enough)
for your thoughts,
brown-eyed girl.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
  
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #124

The worst of your poems

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Fallen leaves along the Cache La Poudre River, Fort Collins, Colorado
 
 

Take the worst of your poems
and put them in the bottom left drawer
of the wooden desk that once
belonged to your grandmother.
Lock them away for at least
a year and a day.
Do not think about them,
do not try to revise them
in your mind
as you wash the supper dishes
or take the dog for a walk
or withdraw cash from the machine.
Leave them alone,
leave them for a year and a day,
and when you take them out again
you will see their flaws and imperfections
and you might change a word or two
but your regrets for having written them
will fall away
just as the red leaves
fall from the backyard maple
after autumn’s first hard rain.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Macro Monday 2
  
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Kintsugi: Art of Mending” 

Lucky

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Detail from a mosaic on a community wall, Ajo, Arizona

 

We’re a lucky family.
We crossed the border at night,
escaping dogs and guns
and human traffickers,
to find a refuge with friends.
But our neighbor Juana,
who crossed only one night later?
We hear she’s in El Paso,
working as a maid in a hotel
that rents rooms by the hour.
But “maid” is just another word for “slave,”
and Juana owes her soul and body
to the man who rescued her
from the border patrol.
She’ll be lucky
to leave that motel alive.
But what can we do?
We have no papers,
and if they find us here,
they will send us back.
We can only pray for Juana,
hoping that someday she can join us
in this little desert town,
where no one bothers us,
and no one challenges our right to be.

 

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

Laughter

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A mural in Artists Alley, Ajo, Arizona
 
 

Listen to girls laugh—
no two are alike.
One’s laughter is sweet,
the other’s rings of deceit.
The best laughter
(think of someone you know)
surprises you
like hair falling
across your eyes
just as the blackbird
lifts off to fly
and all you can see
is a wingtip
and then it is gone.
Yet of life’s ten thousand joys
this is only one.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #122
   
More Poetry Pantry #364 at Poets United

Sanctuary

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A seaside sanctuary, Puerto Nuevo, Baja California Norte, México
 
 

I will build a sanctuary,
using nothing but a piece of string
a beam, and a post.
It may seem inadequate,
or a mean affair,
but it will not shake
during times of earthquake,
nor will it leave me poor,
for in it my soul will be reborn
as old, familiar prayers trigger
freshets of new meaning
into my everyday life.
It will carry me through
flood and fire, locust and hail,
or any other plague that comes.
This is what a sanctuary is for,
and this is why I pick this place
beside the sea.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
  

When I was a girl

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A mural on a house in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, México
 


When I was a girl
I wanted to be someone’s wife,
washing his dirty clothes,
then hanging them out to dry
on leafless bamboo poles.
But the day I saw a blackbird
in the backyard bath,
its eyes aflame with fire,
I felt within my skin a stirring
to make paintings
envied by both monk and nun.
Now masked, with brush in hand,
I steal out every night
to splash the darkened city walls
with light, and then more light.

 
Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #120
 
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Masks”