Category Archives: The Poetry Pantry

Beginnings and Endings

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~~ 1 ~~
 
A night with no wind—
the novice lights three candles,
dreading the first gust.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
the sun for a while
hovering over the oaks
then plunging earthward
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
a night with no wind—
the sound of gravel shifting
on the garden path
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
The whore’s rose perfume—
for a while the prodigal
misses his mother.
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
a night with no wind—
grieving the loss of the last
white chrysanthemums
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
for a while at dusk
an unexpected longing
for him she once loved
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
a night with no wind—
hoping to find a willow
for a resting place
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
For a while at dawn
the tavern at the corner
shuts down for cleaning.
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
a night with no wind—
the young monk hoping to learn
something from the stars
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
treasure for a while—
three golden melon blossoms
melting in the sun
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
a night with no wind—
mice rushing through the melons
music in their feet
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
for a while the roar
of the melons in the field
startling the farmer

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #252
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #7
 
More Carpe Diem: “Basho’s ‘For a While'”
 
More Sunday Scribblings 2: “A Night with No Wind”

Small Consolations

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~~ 1 ~~
 
in a field of maize
southward seven miles or more
three marauding crows
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
puzzling over why
the brown donkey at daybreak
still sleeps in the straw
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
a Kansas farmer
still leaning into the wind
after forty years
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
planting a garden
twenty years in the same place—
corn pollen poems
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
a famished people
looking to depleted soil
for their daily bread
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
a strand of brown hair
the width of a dying breath
caught in the wren’s mouth
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
an open Bible
warning of the pestilence
that lurks at noonday
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
her longing to be
a mystic on the mountain—
no more scrubbing floors
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
her feeble attempts
to stay her wandering feet—
one more trip to Rome
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
hollow promises—
tongues clattering empty vows
on their wedding day
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
purple rebozo—
trying to ward off the chill
after the bad news
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
on the pilgrim way
consolation of ravens
and comfort of stones

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #251
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #6

The Corner Thrift Store

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She wears simple clothes
with not a tear in the fabric,
with not a single button missing,
bought from the corner thrift store—
a scarf the color of buckwheat honey;
a skirt as black as a bell at midnight;
a chemise beaded with row upon row
of tiny white shells
gathered just before dawn.

I never tire of watching her
in her element:
the thrift store at the corner,
where the sidewalk is almost level,
and a sign in the window
says they have an opening
for someone who speaks Latin—
perhaps she will apply.

 

© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #250
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #5

Signs and Wonders

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~~ 1 ~~
 
an old leather purse
abandoned by the roadside
now the mouse’s home
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
a pot of black ink
to welcome the empty pen
for one more comma
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
the clip in her hair
holding every strand in place—
blast of April wind
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
spreading coffee stain
turning a white tablecloth
the color of dust
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
lying in the shade
of a spreading live oak tree
the naked lovers
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
on the old whore’s mouth
iridescent pink lipstick—
her seductive moue
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
turbulent weather
brewing in the house next door
their angry voices
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
dissonant voices—
gleaners in the barley field
squabbling over grain
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
on the blue velour
a dozen signs and wonders
none of them explained
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
diaphanous veil
shrouding an empty doorway—
the flyspecked fabric
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
Why every grass blade
is mottled with rusty specks
the grasshoppers know.
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
winter solitude—
closing the white lace curtains
to the raging storm

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #249
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #3

Whimsies

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~~ 1 ~~
 
waking one more time
to the familiar nightmare—
seven years of drought
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
her whole life askew
all her dreams in disarray—
end of their affair
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
a steady right hand—
the helmsman at the tiller
guiding the ship home
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
In the fairy tale
about the furry creature,
not one hair is lost.
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
learning the dark side
as three unhappy sisters
trade sinister tales
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
sanguinary song
upon withdrawing his sword
from his vanquished foe
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
the pull of the moon
tugging the sea from the shore
closer to the stars
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
weary white flowers
drooping over the gilt edge
of the purple vase
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
behind the guesthouse
a path leading to nowhere
in particular
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
these fleeting moments
in which to scribble haiku—
unexpected gift
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
locked forever
in the cage of her longing
for things out of reach
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
in apple harvest
agile pickers in the trees
plucking crimson fruit

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #248
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #3

Little Things

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~~ 1 ~~
 
cracking one more tooth
on a piece of hard candy—
her bittersweet tale
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
breaking the last plate
in her mother’s collection
to vent her anger
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
selecting a brush
one with a broken handle
for her self-portrait
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
weight of her secret
driving her down to her knees
in utter despair
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
elegant mirror
studded with pearls and rubies—
spider web of cracks
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
at the kitchen sink
humming little hymns of praise
for each daily chore
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
(Still thinking about how to ravish you!)
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
orange marmalade—
licking the last sticky bit
from the silver knife
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
the sigh of the spoon
stirring the seventeenth batch
of pancake batter
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
stop-and-go traffic
wearing out my Chevy’s brakes
one foot at a time
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
fresh load of cement
churning on the truck chugging
toward the building site
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
after the frog jumps
another page of haiku
in Basho’s manner

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #247
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #2

Bits and Pieces

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~~ 1 ~~
 
A dispute with stone—
who can understand the tongue
with which granite speaks?
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
Save your arguments
with wind and stone and raven
for another day.
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
Honoring birdsong,
the women at the river
pause between each skirt.
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
At war with herself,
she plans the next great battle,
hoping she will win.
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
pounding enough maize
to contrive her only meal—
one thin tortilla
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
crack in the window
rain seeping in from the storm—
a thousand questions
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
someone’s lost suitcase
lying beside the freeway
spilling shirts and socks
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
ripening breadfruit
attacked by ravenous birds
shredding twilight’s calm
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
how careful the child
licking the lollipop down
to the stiff white stick
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
parable of grace—
from a tiny mustard seed
a plant oak-tree tall
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
a fathom or two
under the Mississippi—
something sinister

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #246
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #1

Stripping Flesh from Bones

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~~ 1 ~~
 
What am I to do
with this blank sheet of paper
and an empty pen?
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
A dream at midnight—
someone mumbling Basho’s name
imitates a frog.
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
three clay pots—
white chrysanthemums
in full bloom
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
three stolen plums
stuffed in his left pocket
to eat later
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
wild roses
blooming on roadsides
in Georgia
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
She speaks in tongues
that no one understands
except her god.
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
lying down to sleep
in different beds each night—
her long loneliness
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
powers of darkness
gathering near the hedgerow
disguised as egrets
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
As the signpost burns,
I take off my tattered shoes
to walk barefoot home.
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
at my journey’s end
laying down my faithful staff
to take up a cross
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
stripping flesh from bones
through every kind of weather—
Dr. Death at work
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
Beginnings are hard—
ask the chick trapped in the shell
or the child in school.

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Poetry Pantry #244
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 204

Conversation

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Cache la Poudre River, Fort Collins, Colorado
 


among river stones
a lengthy conversation
lasting to the sea

 
Text and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More SkyWatch Friday
 
More Our World Tuesday
 
More Poetry Pantry #243
 
More Carpe Diem: “Santoka Taneda’s ‘There Is Buddha'”

Whirling in Baja California

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Each breath-of-a-poem begins with a phrase taken from The Forgotten Peninsula: A Naturalist in Baja California by Joseph Wood Krutch


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
to adorn the tale
she attaches a red string
to one paragraph
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
romantic story
its sensual images
titillating her
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
forlorn and empty
except for a wayward wind—
house on the corner
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
another ghost town
where we begin to trample
spirits in the dust
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
an English sparrow
making excuses at dusk
for having no nest
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
the great sparkling sea
lurking below the surface
a deadly stingray
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
no longer flowing
where she hoped to plant orchards
the underground streams
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
an English sparrow
kneading the morning with song
until it rises
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
So many mountains—
which will she begin to climb
before the day ends?
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
a long history
of brandishing his war club
near his neighbor’s house
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
The hard way will come
if we drive or take the train—
the same old story.
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
the journey’s mishaps—
despite the pain that lingers
planning one more trip

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #242
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 202

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