Category Archives: The Whirligig

Praise the Lord: A Haibun


This is my morning ritual, taught to me by the elders—women I met on holy ground. Turning to the east, I place a poem on my tongue, as though it were a communion wafer. Like the wafer melting in a faithful person’s mouth, I know the poem on my tongue will die if I do not sing it aloud, whether anybody hears it or not. So I sing: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Five times I sing the ancient words. And after the fifth time I laugh, for things all round me have joined the song: chickadees and caterpillars; butterflies and blacksnakes; mosquitos, mergansers, and marigolds. Everything with breath is praising the Lord. And the song is glorious.


Unexpected rain—
the old stone Buddha’s broad lap
now holds an ocean.

 

Haibun © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #268
 
More Writers’ Pantry #22 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Four Haiku for Sunday


1
Maple, poplar, oak—
the names of my forest friends
linger on my tongue.
 
 
2
Women keep weeping
because roots of war grow deep,
and church bells go mute.
 
 
3
In the plum tree’s shade
my skinny little daughter
rubs two shiny coins.
 
 
4
Mother Earth, sounding
oddly like my own mother,
says, “Mend your ways, child.”

 

Haiku © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #267
 
More Writers’ Pantry #21 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

My Hopes Are Dashed and Scattered


My hopes are dashed and scattered,
There’s no more grace to spare,
For flyaway potatoes
Have landed everywhere!
They’ve landed on my shoulders,
They’ve landed on my knee,
They’ve landed in the ocean,
They’ve landed in the sea.
Some folks would call it bounty,
But I call it bad luck
To live in Tater County
And drive a tater truck.
Perhaps I should be grateful
For taters, lanes, and such,
But after three bad crashes,
I am not grateful much.


 

Poem © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #266
 
More Writers’ Pantry #20 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Four Couplets in Plague Time



Everything stirs up my blood:
Leaves and grass, and squishy mud.
 
 
Dancers in the field don’t need
Anything but chicken feed.
 
 
Don’t give garbage to your cow!
Stop this nonsense, stop it now!
 
 
I wish I could see the light;
Hear bees whisper, “It’s all right.”

 

Rhyming couplets © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #263
 
More Writers’ Pantry #17 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Mystic Signs


(NOTE: Nothing profound here. Just enjoy the sounds of the words as you read them aloud.)

 

Chocolate muffins linger on,
Tingling tongues until they’re gone.
Wasted apples clog the sink
Quicker than a rat can think.
 
Asked to whirl through vats of dye,
Pinwheels stop and wonder why.
“What’s in it for us?” they ask.
“What an idiotic task!”
 
Blueberry pie, tasty treat!
Reading tea leaves—oh how sweet!
Mystic signs of grit and grace—
Scrub your hands and wash your face!

 

Poem © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #262
 
More Writers’ Pantry #16 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Field of Strange Surprises


In a field of strange surprises, one chipped cup appears;
Yellow roses near the lip have faded with the years.
 
A clothesline pinned with tables, along with rusty tools,
Earns heaps of raw derision from mouths of Sunday fools.
 
They say the world is flooding and seas are black with ink.
But who knows what the truth is, and who knows what to think?
 
The end of time’s upon us, and dust coats every shelf.
But what’s the use of cleaning? Just leave that to the elf.

 

Poem © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #260
 
More Writers’ Pantry #14 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

In This Morgue


In this morgue, this dismal place,
A blind beggar hangs his face
By the mirror on the wall
In the stinking bathroom stall.
Sipping brandy in the loo,
He remembers what to do:
Look for a new walking stick,
One that will not clack or click.

Sideways now he tilts his head,
Living man among the dead,
Happy man with no tattoo—
Love will show him what is true!


 

Poem © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #254
 
More Writers’ Pantry #8 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Let the Lint Fall Where It May


Let the lint fall where it may,
In the dirt or in the hay.
The clock is stuck at half-past one,
Desolation has begun;
Now the table won’t be set
For the meal I’d hoped to get.
Things have turned out to be worse
Than this twisted, tortured verse.
All my feelings go awry
When a stick’s poked in my eye,
And the sound of heavy metal
Grinding every flower petal
Seems to last for forty years—
Who will wipe away my tears?

 

Poem © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #253
 
More Writers’ Pantry #7 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Onion Sandwich: A Haibun of Imagination


My mother used to say, “It’s hard to improve on an onion sandwich.” She’d peel three small beauties, slice them, and lay the slices between thick slabs of buttered brown bread, sprinkling them with salt and pepper. She chewed slowly and thoughtfully until she had eaten every pungent morsel. Then brushing the crumbs from her lips, she’d reach across the table for her garden catalog, delve into it and dream of planting peas—and more onions—in several parts of her garden.


Winter afternoon—
two jays at the bird feeder
fight over one seed.

 

Haibun © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #252
 
More Writers’ Pantry #6 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Cups of Tea


Cups of tea increase our pleasure.
Moments that we cannot measure
Suddenly turn dark as coffee—
Are we craving English toffee?
Down we go, the house is shaking!
Moved by snow, there’s no mistaking
That an avalanche is sliding
Into places we’d be hiding
Were they splashed with gin or rum.
Aloud we pray: “Let no harm come!”


 
DISCLAIMER: This ditty is strictly the product of my overactive imagination.
  

© 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Whirligig #249
 
More Writers’ Pantry #3 at Poets and Storytellers United