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Haibun: True Tale


Every tale I tell is true, although they may not have happened exactly the way I tell them. I embellish a detail here to emphasize a point. I subtract a detail there so it doesn’t detract from the narrative. I once held an old tabby cat until she died, feeling the blood rise and fall in her veins, and the faint purr of gratitude in her throat. No one wants to die alone, not even a cat. After her death I walked along the beach and picked up a shell. Everyone knows you can hear the ocean in a seashell. I heard my cat. She seemed to be whispering to me as she often did at midnight when she lay beside me in bed. “One day the current will carry you to me forever. Until then, I will speak to you as the wind or the waves. Listen.”
 

My first memories
burned to ashes long ago,
yet I still sift them.


 

Haibun © 2021 by Magical Mystical Teacher 

 

In the Riverbed


In the riverbed I listened while the fishes swam and spoke;
The tales that they were weaving made me want to have a smoke
Of something much more potent than a Winston or Pall Mall,
But the room beneath the water had no butler and no bell.
Thus I could not call for hashish, so I tried to calm myself
By burning fragrant incense that I found upon a shelf.
The smoke set me to dreaming, and my arms fell limp at last,
I felt empty as a daydream from my mother’s distant past.
I fear you won’t believe me, nor the story that I tell,
So here’s the final word, my friends: I bid you all farewell.

 
  
Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
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Seasons

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~~ 1 ~~
 
summer’s first new moon
keeping her awake for hours
in a bed of stars
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
first night of the year
her modest white kimono
falling to the floor—
in a separate chamber
soft notes from a bamboo flute
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
little hanging lamps
connected to the plum trees
with frayed bungee cords—
asleep beneath the blossoms
a beggar takes his last breath
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
drought-stricken pasture
a signal to the horses
that smoke will follow—
even now you can hear them
bickering amongst themselves

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
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Bed

Photobucket
Kuan Yin Temple, Chinatown, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
 


In the temple court
a tub to house the lotus—
the homeless man weeps,
remembering his own bed
behind the big blue dumpster.

 
 
Text and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
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Feigning

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Abandoned amphitheatre, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, México
 


on his shadow bed
feigning health and heartiness
one of Shakespeare’s kings
 
~~ ~~ ~~
 
Plays past echo in the stones.

 
Text and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
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