Category Archives: The Whirligig

Haibun: Imagine


Imagine that you can go back in time to when you first loved the sound of rain in the night, or when you first identified the singing of the thrush. I know what you’re thinking: I’ll always be stuck in the here-and-now. But you don’t have to be. Imagine!
 
In the autumn woods
a tree stump becomes a throne
for an aging queen.


 

Haibun © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher

 

Troubling Questions


What defines your life:
an open or a closed door,
the day or the night?
 
 
How well can you know
the rain’s checkered history
in a thirsty land?
 
 
Their ways are not yours,
so why expect the screendoors
to listen to flies?
 
 
When the leaves grew mean,
did you almost drop your rake
and scream in terror?

 
 
Haiku © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #288
 
More Writers’ Pantry #42 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Haibun: Bathing the Turtle


Sheltered by a stand of willows, I watch a young boy giving his pet turtle a scrub in the pond. Obviously this turtle’s well cared for, and no disease will carry it away. Such empathy! I fight the urge to cry out, “What a great kid!” If only I had some flowers to leave to show my appreciation for this boy’s tenderness. But I must go. Thankful for this little diversion from the day’s bad news, I turn toward home. It’s a long walk. If I’m lucky, I’ll get there before dark.
 
All my bitter tears
vanish in a single note
from the blackbird’s throat.

 

Haibun © by Magical Mystical Teacher

 

We Strained the Honey


We strained the honey, it flows like light
On our bread’s darkness; we take a bite,
Lost in the glorious mystery
Of wilding sweetness that sets us free.
 
How precious to set aside our shrugs
Of unbelief and squash them like bugs!
Minds that are closed can open anew;
Eat of our bread now—we break it for you.

 
 
Poem © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #285
 
More Writers’ Pantry #39 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Six Shorts


midafternoon snack
of juicy watermelon
ripe and red and sweet
 
 
stepping back quickly—
a rattler ready to strike
warns me just in time
 
 
a change in her luck
after the sunflowers bloom—
retreating cancer
 
 
adjusting the light
while using the cutting board
for chopping veggies
 
 
Something in the room,
perhaps dust in the closet,
seems to call my name.
 
 
geranium pots
arrayed on a stepladder—
summer afternoon

 
 
Haiku © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #282
 
More Writers’ Pantry #36 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Four Haiku


at the water’s edge
the saved wait to be baptized—
old-time religion
 
 
shadows by the bridge
sculpted from hollowed-out light—
great blue heron’s cry
 
 
feet follow cinders
leading to the temple gate
a place of great grace
 
 
fingers framed by light
clutching an old rosary
carved of human bone

 
 
Haiku © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #281
 
More Writers’ Pantry #35 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Flee From the Kitchen


Flee from the kitchen, live on the porch;
August is glowing hot as a torch.
Cover yourself with rags or with strips,
Drink from a bucket, smacking your lips.
Dream of crisp apples, cinnamon toast,
A knife too dull to carve Sunday’s roast.
As the Earth turns and takes you along,
Make up a ditty, sing a new song!

 
 
Poem © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #280
 
More Writers’ Pantry #34 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

To Flatten the Curve


To flatten the curve, don’t go anywhere—
Not the hills or the plains; get used to long hair.
Maybe you’ll tango, and maybe you won’t,
But when nighttime comes, don’t go out, just don’t.
Tell your young nephew: “I want to stay here;
It’s safer that way, you know it is, dear.
This won’t last forever, though now it seems black;
But here’s where we are, dear, there’s no turning back.
Let’s brush off our tears, child; now give me your hand—
We’ll pray that this Covid will flee from our land.”

 
 
Poem © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #278
 
More Writers’ Pantry #32 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Four Aphorisms for a Time of Plague


1
Unforeseen disasters wait
Just outside the garden gate
 
2
Pity those who lose their smiles
On the heartless COVID miles.
 
3
Comfort for tormented eyes
Is what doctors all advise.
 
4
If you let your lungs get wet,
You may drown in deep regret.

 
 
Rhyming couplets © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #277
 
More Writers’ Pantry #31 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Dementia: A Haibun


Tonight my longtime friend will try to explain to me why her dementia (still in the early stages) sometimes makes her incoherent. She’s tried this before. She knows that halfway through her explanation she will find words getting harder to form, and she will quit in mid-sentence. She doesn’t want me to give advice. She just wants someone to listen, someone like me.


Midsummer mishap—
I stumble on the pathway
leading to the gate.

 

Haibun © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #276
 
More Writers’ Pantry #30 at Poets and Storytellers United