Category Archives: Poets United

A woman wrapped in water

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Reflections in the duck pond, Yuma Conservation Garden, Yuma, Arizona
 
 

A woman wrapped in water
will try to surprise you
summer afternoons
as you are cultivating bean rows
in your long-neglected garden.
She will come,
bearing a blade in her hand,
from the place across the road,
where ice melted months ago.
Gulp at her appearing, if you must,
but do not let her speak.
Cut her off,
or with subtle words
and artifice and craft
she will begin turning you
into a pond or puddle, and laugh
when the deed is accomplished.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
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Floods

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Lockett Meadow Campground, Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, autumn 2016
 


floods of memories—
revisiting photographs
taken years ago

 
Haiku © 2017 and photo © 2016 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
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Flood

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August sunrise, Sonoran Desert, Southern Arizona
 


Lonesome little dove,
you flood the desert with song
morning by morning.

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

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
 
 
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More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Kintsugi: Art of Mending” 

Kintsugi

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Broken dinnerware, littering the desert near Yuma, Arizona
 


Kintsugi master,
gather up these scattered shards,
and with your lacquer,
glue them together again,
more beautiful than before.

 
Photo and tanka © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
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More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Kintsugi: Art of Mending”

Blue Monday: Shoe

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Lost shoe, somewhere in California
 


A runner slipped out of her shoe—
A pity, because it is blue.
Her foot is now bare,
She’s nothing to wear
Until she buys footwear anew.

 
Photo and limerick © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #366 at Poets United
 
 
 

Writing letters

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Detail from a mural in Artists Alley, Ajo, Arizona
 
 

I would work harder
at writing letters
if I thought someone
would open the envelope.
There’s something satisfying
about going to my desk,
sweeping aside the rejection slips
from my latest failed poem,
and writing to friends,
a different one each day.
Despite my devotion
to penning words on paper,
few friends reply,
and I have to remind myself
that letter writing
is about to pass away
into that realm where
rotary dial telephones,
carbon paper, and chalkboards
are of blessed memory.

 

Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
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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
 
   
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