Category Archives: Poets United

Cactus Woman

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Detail from a wall of mosaics, Ajo, Arizona.
  


Cactus Woman has nothing to lose
By walking for weeks without wearing shoes.
 
She’s toughened her feet on thorns and stones,
And carries the wilderness in her bones.
 
Her eyes are afire, her heart’s ablaze;
She loves the desert’s unsociable ways.
 
Cactus Woman is someone, they say,
Who’ll walk in the wilderness, come what may.

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

Haibun: I Am a Gardener


Several years ago excruciating back pain kept me out of my classroom for the three days. Much can happen, not all of it good, in three days.
 
According to the biblical story of creation, green growing things appeared on Earth on the third day: “…the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind…” (Genesis 1:12).
 
I thought of my students as plants that needed to be watered with praise and nourished with kindness so that they would grow and develop. But for three days they were without water and nutrients. For three days, they had to fend for themselves.
 
Plants that have to fend for themselves often don’t thrive. Weeds may creep in and suck away essential moisture and nutrients. Careless passersby may trample delicate plants. Thieves may jump over the garden wall and steal fruit. Untoward things are bound to happen when the gardener’s away from the garden—even for three days.
 
I remember thinking: I don’t want my students to wither. I don’t want the weeds of apathy to steal their joy of learning. I don’t want their knowledge to be stolen like ripe fruit. I am a gardener. I belong in my garden.
 
Overcast morning—
a blackbird in the orchard
stealthily pecks plums.


 
 

Haibun © by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Gardens”

They Gave Me Words to Work With


They gave me words to work with,
I knew not what to do.
The words were fried and swirling,
Lips, chicken, certain, stew.
 
I looked at my reflection,
While writing couplets down;
I looked not like a poet,
But like some silly clown.
 
The more I wrote, I hungered
To write some lasting stuff;
Then I threw my pen away
And shouted, “That’s enough!”
 
This lull in fevered writing
Will give me time to think
Of how to spread my table—
Forget the pen and ink!
 
I’m grateful that my table
Holds something that tastes sweet,
For writing leaves me famished,
And now it’s time to eat!

 
  
Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Crossing the Bridge

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Visitors may cross a bridge to enter Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden, Yuma, Arizona.
 


I crossed a wooden footbridge through shadows dark and bold,
In search of buried treasure that lay there from of old.
Some said the place was Eden, but others would not tell,
And so I sought the wizard, who lived beside the well:
“O wizard full of wonder, I seek for coins of gold;
Will I find them buried here among the shadows bold?”
It seemed a thousand minutes until the wizard spoke:
“You are the victim, I’m afraid, of a cruel joke.
The only treasures waiting for those who cross the bridge
Are desert plants that bloom in sight all along the ridge.”
I looked and saw a cactus with yellow blossoms bold,
And knew I’d found a treasure worth more than any gold.

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

Plastic Bag

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A discarded plastic bag mars the desert landscape in Yuma County, Arizona.
 


A plastic bag’s dragging the sand,
And marring this beautiful land.
It’s not the bag’s fault,
But that of the dolt
Who tossed it aside with his hand.

 
Photo and limerick © by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 

Blue Monday: Hammer

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A worker wields a hammer in this detail from a mural, Prescott Public Library, Prescott, Arizona.
 


The hammer comes down with a crash!
Watch out, worker, and do not smash
Your fingers or toes,
For everyone knows
You can’t buy replacements with cash.
 
Photo and limerick © by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #482 at Poets United

 
BLUE MONDAY BADGE

 
 
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Peace

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“Bones” of a long-dead saguaro cactus, Sonoran Desert, Southern Arizona.
 


Hush your scolding, crow!
Leave these bleaching bones in peace
for eternity.

  
Photo and haiku by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
  
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Peace”

Twilight

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Evening descends on mountains near Ajo, Arizona.
 


Crow on the mountain,
must you shatter twilight’s peace
with your wagging tongue?

  
Photo and haiku © by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
  
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Peace”

The Darksome Poet


What rhymes with blue erasers? Nothing that I know.
Ask the thirty thirsty pencils that live down below.
 
Perhaps the smallest pencil is longer than you think,
And knows the word you’re looking for, written in red ink.
 
I believe that snips and scraps, at least not more than three,
Can be used to slit your throat, or make poetry.
 
I know my tale has ended in a dark and somber way,
But I am a darksome poet, so what more can I say?

 
  
Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #215
 
More Poetry Pantry #481 at Poets United

Fresh

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A sunflower blooms at Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden, Yuma, Arizona.
 


When sunflowers bloom,
sparrows light up the garden
with fresh morning songs.

 
Haiku and photo by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More SkyWatch Friday
  
More Midweek Motif at Poets United: “Light”
  
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon