Category Archives: Sunday’s Whirligig

Uncommon Questions


What do night, an owl, and a rose
have in common?
Do the birds know what caused
the sun to rise this morning?
If you found the caws of crows
in an oak tree,
would you leave them there
or put them in your pocket?
Why are you perched in the oak,
ready to flee?

 

Poem © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #133
   
More Poetry Pantry #375 at Poets United

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Six Aphorisms


No true patriot is petty.
 
Yesterday’s cauldrons are not meant for today’s soup.
 
She who broods lives only to hate.
 
The dust will endure long after you are gone.
 
It is clear that no one will miss the sarcastic person.
 
Athwart is a word seldom used, for obvious reasons.

 

© 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #132

A girl is marching


A girl is marching
through secret gardens,
pounding a drum
with silver sticks
stolen from carnivals.
Her imaginary parrot
is rattling its beak—
no talking is allowed
on the gardens’ paths.
The girl and her parrot
find it comforting
to make sounds together,
and lemon trees
lining the pathways
seem to blossom more freely
as they lean toward
the silvery beat of the drum.

 

Poem © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #131
   
More Poetry Pantry #373 at Poets United

The cup


The sprinklers go round
and round and round.
You smell the water
as it streams over the lawn
over the flowers,
over your afternoon languor,
over you.
How damp you are!
How tangled your hair!
You undress yourself,
and find that you are thirsty.
Someone fills a cup
sitting empty on the shelf.
Someone fills a cup
with salt and lemons,
setting your mind aflame
with poetry, not prose.
Someone fills a cup,
and you drink deep
and deeper.
Someone fills a cup,
and the cup
is
you.

 

Poem © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #130
   
More Poetry Pantry #372 at Poets United 

Kick the Song

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Fishing boat, Puerto Nuevo, Baja California Norte, México

 
 

Kick the song ahead of you,
kick it into the mist and spume,
even though you are shaking,
and three women spinning yarn
are laughing at you.
Kick the song of ruin,
kick it over the boat
where the grey-headed vagrant
slips into sleep
under the spell of opioids.
Kick the song out of the way,
so that no one ever hears it again.
Do not be afraid.
Kick.
Kick.
Kick.

 

Poem © 2017 and photo © 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #128
   
More Poetry Pantry #370 at Poets United

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

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
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #125
   
More Poetry Pantry #367 at Poets United

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

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
 
   
More Sunday’s Whirligig #123
   
More Poetry Pantry #365 at Poets United