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Six Ways of Blackbird

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A cactus wren made of wood, mounted on particle board used to cover a window, Ajo, Arizona

~~ 1 ~~
late winter morning—
blackbird surveys his domain
from a chimney top
~~ 2 ~~
In weakness and woe
a weary pilgrim wanders,
blackbird at her side.
~~ 3 ~~
Blackbird on the wing
hears the hapless harlot’s cry
as her night begins.
~~ 4 ~~
A blackbird ignores
the blasts and blights of fortune
as she builds her nest.
~~ 5 ~~
a trickle of blood
from the blackbird’s open beak—
early morning crash
~~ 6 ~~
a curse and a cry—
and the blackbird disappears
for another year

Haiku © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Macro Monday 2
More Sunday’s Whirligig #102
More Poetry Pantry #344 at Poets United


A Thorn in the Flesh


a thorn in the flesh—
blood from the sudden puncture
trickling down her leg
~~ ~~ ~~
a thorn in the flesh—
how it will cripple her soul
is anyone’s guess
~~ ~~ ~~
a thorn in her flesh—
something numinous lurking
in the painful wound

© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Sunday Scribblings 2: “Thorn”
More Three Word Wednesday: “Blood, Cripple, Lurk”

One More Whirl with Basho

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Each haiku or senryu begins with a phrase culled from Basho: The Complete Haiku.

~~ 1 ~~
the lingering moon
tests my patience this evening—
my room is too small
~~ 2 ~~
in a rice paddy
your words coming to fullness
with the harvest moon
~~ 3 ~~
fading temple bell
the seeker’s anxiety
slips into silence
~~ 4 ~~
the smell of young grass
untainted by blood and gore
this April morning
~~ 5 ~~
four gates and four sects
one of them the hospital
at the ocean’s edge
~~ 6 ~~
to the wooden clogs
in the center of the court
setting up a shrine
~~ 7 ~~
still served with flowers
rosettes of orange Jell-O
blooming in my bowl
~~ 8 ~~
how pleasurable
holding three words on my tongue
until they mingle
~~ 9 ~~
the lay-monk’s thinness—
we know he won’t be with us
after the first frost
~~ 10 ~~
snow-covered mountains
sharing a meal together
fifty miles away
~~ 11 ~~
first wintry shower—
fluff from shattered milkweed pods
drifting from the north
~~ 12 ~~
an early winter
beggars pester passersby
for a few spare coins

© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Poetry Pantry #218
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 178



liberated leaves
falling to the forest floor—
first frost of autumn
~~ ~~ ~~
muddy from the storm—
sacred threads and marigolds
in the temple court
~~ ~~ ~~
deep in the forest
vicious creatures slavering
for a taste of blood

© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Carpe Diem: “Forest”
More Three Word Wednesday: “Liberated, Muddy, Vicious”
More Sunday Scribblings 2: “Sacred Threads and Marigolds”

Whirling with Walt

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The first line of each three-line snippet comes from “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman.

~~ 1 ~~
the eyes of the dead,
blind to beauty and blessing,
staring at nothing
~~ 2 ~~
knowing the perfect
candle to banish darkness—
only damp matches
~~ 3 ~~
eddies of the wind
on a mission for the storm
rising in the west
~~ 4 ~~
The shelves are crowded
with things simple and complex—
have you need of more?
~~ 5 ~~
choosing a safe spot,
perhaps your arms for the night,
before moving on
~~ 6 ~~
She owns the fine house
at the tip of the cape, where
no one is welcome.
~~ 7 ~~
on the granite floor
rivers of fresh blood flowing
from the killing spree
~~ 8 ~~
In the little wells
where the prairie meets the hill,
blind creatures huddle.
~~ 9 ~~
with me on the grass
seven ragged musicians
playing haunting tunes
~~ 10 ~~
Leaving me baskets
filled with ripe apples and rain,
she slips out to sea.
~~ 11 ~~
The little one sleeps,
caring nothing for the ghosts
that would torment her.
~~ 12 ~~
Stall in the market—
an image of St. Joseph
stirs among the spoons.

© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Poetry Pantry #208
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 168