Category Archives: The Poetry Pantry

Whirling for Good or Ill

201 photo 201_zpsicgp6ah1.jpg
 
 


 
~~ 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

 photo 200_zpsf29e218c.jpg
 
 
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

198 photo 198_zps5af75095.jpg
 
 


 
~~ 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

Pilgrims Awhirl

197 photo 197_zps4d5b751c.jpg
 
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
her knitting needles
ticking out a little tune
on the sweater neck
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
a small hymn of praise
too small for mice to measure
except crumb by crumb
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
crimson kimono
worn by her erstwhile patron
now a tattered rag
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
even in the heat
the urge to spend consumes her
emptying her purse
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
inns along the road
tables spread with bread and wine
hungry pilgrims, come
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
the path before her
uncertainty and raven
her sole companions
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
the arduous trek
a cloud guiding her footsteps
to her journey’s end
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
setting out alone
in a tattered state of grace
for her odyssey
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
prowling holy ground
looking for the host to come
with some bread and wine
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
a sacred story
told by day and dreamed by night—
the pilgrims’ footsteps
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
fifth year on the road
still hoping for a rescue
from the stones and snares
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
votive offering
a race to see who gives it
to the holy one

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Poetry Pantry #237
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 197

Whirling On

 photo 196_zps9de814c5.jpg
 
Each haiku begins with a Wordle word.
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
Maybe a raven
knows more about nasturtiums
than ever I will.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
miles beyond this place
thirty or forty or more
a ruined garden
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
words lost long ago
under bison bones bleaching
on Kansas prairies
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
scorch marks on his shirt—
first signs of her defiance
of his tyranny
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
chime and tambourine
and incense in the temple—
bridges between worlds
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
trite conversation
over day-old glazed doughnuts
at the sad café
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
spell of cold weather—
taking out of the closet
her wool kimono
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
land covered with snow—
corn hidden from hungry geese
and foraging mice
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
spirit of the quilt
wrapping her in dreams of peace
though she sleeps alone
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
aim of the hunter
sighting a mandarin duck—
how his bow trembles
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
mind of the pilgrim
distracted by the bedbugs
in the wayside inn
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
sign of good fortune
the year’s first calligraphy
brushed in crimson ink

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #236
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 196

Whirling with Fay

 photo 195_zps0ed3b3f0.jpg
 
 
Each haiku begins with a phrase shamelessly purloined from various haiku in Fay Aoyagi’s In Borrowed Shoes.
 
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
Hole in my sweater—
the shopping list I scribbled
slips between loose threads.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
shadow with no name
in a channel of the shelf
holding holy books
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
snip of the scissors—
her seven-years-long ennui
resisting the cut
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
A custody case
condemns their children to death
by separation.
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
day for flying kites—
an inky one soars higher
than all the others
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
heat of the stone wall
still warming the lone fly’s wings
long after day’s end
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
first dandelions
and the smell of fresh-mown grass—
snow-day memories
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
For the butterfly
a single open blossom
will suffice for lunch.
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
A praying mantis—
will he soon capitulate
to the bumblebee?
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
Red quince blooming—
further delay makes no sense
to the hungry bee.
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
Morning glory seeds—
one of them will generate
a thousand blossoms.
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
a story inside
to render children speechless—
pomegranate seed

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #234
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 195

Whirling in the New Year

 photo 194_zps63d7af48.jpg
 
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
filling with shadows
little mountainside shelter
lays claim to the night
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
a stand of lime trees
dedicated to the bee
and all her helpers
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
burying the dead
after the revolution—
no one knows their names
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
flipping tortillas
abuela begins to sing
thanks to Corn Maiden
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
the sudden raging
of her old belief in God—
three harsh commandments
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
Smallpox and typhus—
she takes a turn for the worse,
while the angels stare.
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
nothing but cacti
featured in the rug’s design—
weaver’s little joke
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
Ethereal chimes
from seven little chapels
ring in the new year.
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
after ten winters
her resolve to move southward—
inexorable
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
gate to the orchard—
she comes each day at twilight
to shine the hinges
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
her survival kit—
time to review the contents
and add or subtract
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
the road into town
where he hopes to win a doll
at the carnival

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #233
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 194

Christmas with Ted

 photo 192_zpsa6e45f84.jpg
 
 
Each tiny poem begins with a phrase taken from “Christmas Mail” by Ted Kooser.
 
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
the plaintive bleating
of a thousand frightened sheep
after shepherds flee
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
into the distance
always following the star—
resolute Magi
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
Wise men, the donkeys
with their sure feet and keen eyes
will guide your camels.
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
clopping of camels
how they perform their slow dance
for the manger child
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
Who chews and muses
after the right choice of hay?
Mary, do you know?
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
shuffle of sandals—
small talk before the manger,
the mother, and child
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
deep in the shadows
trembling at the presence
unwashed shepherds sweat
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
cup white as a star
no snag in the smooth surface—
she sips her latte
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
her Styrofoam cup—
as long as she clutches it,
no need to panic
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
perched on the dashboard
to help drivers in distress—
good St. Anthony
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
hint of hazelnut
in her vanilla latte—
hoping for a high
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
then a touch of myrrh
to burn the tip of her tongue
with mortality

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #232
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 192

A Tiny Whirlwind

191 photo 191_zps026f7f00.jpg
 
 
Each tiny poem begins with a phrase taken from the opening sentences of the Gospel According to Saint John (King James Version).
 
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
In the beginning,
they say, the planets’ spinning
made angels dizzy.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
Sent to bear witness,
three beings from a spacecraft
endeavor to speak.
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
the will of the flesh—
a tangle of deception
net forever spread
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
full of grace and truth
both lunatic and loser
hanging out with Christ
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
A man sent from God
will tread wherever he must
to spread the good news.
 

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #231
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 191

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