Category Archives: poetry

When I was a girl

masked girl
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”

At the festival

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A dog explores the weeds and grasses near Lake Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico
 
 

at the festival
she wore only poems
that she had listened to before…
before the wine
before the fruit
before the shades of night
came without warning
to spirit her away
from where she walked
with her favorite dog
the two of them together
clad only
in poems

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #119
   
More Poetry Pantry #361 at Poets United

The middle child

Masked girl mural photo DSC_0024_zpsniik1fw3.jpg
Section of a mural in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, México

 
 

The middle child,
feeling lost and upset,
goes for treatment
one day a week.
In the waiting room,
her older brother
chants nursery rhymes
and tells stories
in a vain attempt
to comfort her.
“Wait till you see the lunches
they serve at school next week,”
he says.
“Seven kinds of ice cream!”
But the disconsolate middle child
cares nothing for ice cream lunches.
All she wants is to rise up
out of her wheelchair
and walk.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #117
   
More Poetry Pantry #359 at Poets United

Angel

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A winding path, Yuma Conservation Garden, Yuma, Arizona

 
 

A father bends
to help his little girl
who has skinned her knee
while running.
Somehow her legs gave way
and she stumbled in the gravel
at the sidewalk’s end.
He kisses the wound
again and again, murmuring,
“It’s all right, angel, it’s all right.”
Smiling back at him
through tears, she says,
“Thank you, Daddy.
You’re an angel too.”
Then the big angel spreads his wings
and carries his little angel home.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More SkyWatch Friday
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #116
   
More Poetry Pantry #358 at Poets United

Scintillating music

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Cactus needles, Yuma Conservation Garden, Yuma, Arizona
 
 

scintillating music
carries her into most nights
with a flagrant disregard
for what her neighbors think
a leap of faith
that’s how she found her way
and it dawns on her
each time she prays late at night
that the spill that might have happened
did not
the end that might have come
did not
the leap that might have killed her
did not
she knows she owes everything
to that leap
and is not nonchalant
but
grateful

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Macro Monday 2
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #115
   
More Poetry Pantry #357 at Poets United

Her birthday

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Painting of a grand celebration (maybe a birthday!), Prescott Public Library, Prescott, Arizona

 
 

Her birthday,
crammed with memories,
one in particular:
rising at the meadowlark’s song
to walk across the dew-drenched grass,
her feet bare and cold and wet,
humming little nonsense tunes
to greet the light, bolder now
than when she’d left the house,
turning to see him at the window,
her ancient father;
how small he looks,
how like a cattail reed,
brown and brittle
at summer’s end—
and then he is falling,
clutching at his breast,
sailing off beyond the morning light,
the midday light, every light
there ever was or will be.
Pulling her phone from her skirt
pocket, she calls her friend:
“It’s over now. Come.
Come quickly.”

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Ruby Tuesday Too
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #114
   
More Poetry Pantry #356 at Poets United

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