Category Archives: The Poetry Pantry

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

Whirling for Good or Ill

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~~ 1 ~~
 
her passport photo
veins bulging in her forehead
from the night before
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
ocean on the floor
the toddler’s howl of dismay
as she spills her milk
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
tangled old orchard
filling her with fear and dread—
the fruitless plum trees
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
a secret language
spoken only by bruised flesh
women understand
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
a silver whistle—
the weight of it in my hand
greater than my life
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
in the stone circle
waiting to welcome the moon—
the owl calls my name
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
empty begging bowl
not a single grain of rice
gracing the bottom
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
on a blue table
bouquet of yellow roses
dropping their petals
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
ghost of a corn stalk
blasted by hot winds and drought—
this crop of ruin
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
smashing a spider
with a granite paperweight—
the terrified child
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
names of the war dead
chiseled in a granite wall
stray dog lifts his leg
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
old haiku poet
sadness drifting through her words
still she dips her pen

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #241
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 201

Another Whirl with Fay

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Each haiku begins with a phrase shamelessly purloined from various haiku in Fay Aoyagi’s In Borrowed Shoes. (The first whirl with Fay Aoyagi is available here.)
 
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
hole in my sweater—
yearning for a scrap of yarn
for mending the gap
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
shadow with no name
perched atop the robin’s head
daring it to sing
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
snip of the scissors—
desecrating the blue dress
he gave her last year
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
a custody case—
burning the uncut transcript
seven years later
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
day for flying kites—
tiny specks in the distance
fighting their restraints
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
heat of the stone wall—
even my white umbrella
is wilting today
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
first dandelions
going to seed in my lawn—
delicate subject
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
for the butterfly
a post for a resting place
till the next milkweed
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
a praying mantis—
matins under the petals
of a yellow rose
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
red quince blooming
until the drunk gardener
misses with his shears
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
morning glory seeds
their plight remaining hopeless
while they lie on stone
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
a story inside
one dark stone in the river—
druidic voices

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #240
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 200

Sticking

Cholla.February.2015 photo AnzaBocholla2015_zps0e10ba17.jpg
Cholla cactus, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Southern California
 


not even a scream
can dislodge desert shadows—
a fine sticking point

 
Text and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Blue Monday
 
More Poetry Pantry #239
 
More Shadow Shot Sunday 2
 
More Carpe Diem: “Scream”
 
More Haiku Horizons: “Point”

Bits

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~~ 1 ~~
 
another country
without a single border
touching the Black Sea
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
fleece of the black sheep
tossed on the shearing room floor
among the white ones
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
Fill the empty cup
with your broken promises
and your hollow words.
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
seal beneath the pier
keeping out of the limelight
till the tourists leave
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
glass jar of pickles—
summer captured in a quart
for the winter feast
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
clown on the corner—
no one pays him any mind
except on Sundays
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
wound round her forehead
a crimson strip of muslin
stained with her own blood
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
sound of glass breaking
in ten thousand Jewish shops—
Hitler’s thugs at work
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
burst of energy
just before the finish line
claiming victory
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
tumbleweeds rolling
down deserted avenues
heralds of despair
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
(instill)
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
(emit)

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Poetry Pantry #238
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 198

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