Blog Archives

Ask the Bucket


Ask the bucket what it knows;
Ask the water where it flows.
Call the fish forth from the stream;
Call the widow from her dream.
 
Tap the teapot, swirl the tea;
Tap the night dreams, flowing free.
Wash the dishes, light the lamp;
Wash your face, but leave it damp.
 
Climb the stairs up to the roof,
Climb, because you need no proof
That your life’s about to end—
Ah, I wish you well, my friend!

 
Poem © 2018 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #180
 
More Poetry Pantry #421 at Poets United

Dreaming

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One of many ducks at the pond, Yuma Conservation Garden, Yuma, Arizona
 


Resting on one leg,
a duck near the garden pond
dreams of the next fish.

 
Haiku and photo © 2016 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Shadow Shot Sunday 2
 
More Carpe Diem’s Summer Retreat 2016: “One with Nature”

Plotlines

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Midwinter sunrise, Sonoran Desert, Southern Arizona
 
Each breath-of-a-poem begins with a phrase purloined from A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller by Frances Mayes.
 


~~ 1 ~~
 
on a yellow plate
a stack of toast tall enough
to touch the full moon
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
Against a stone wall
the notes from a temple bell
cling like morning mist.
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
adorned with flowers—
some scarlet, some lavender—
his daughter’s casket
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
a tall limestone cross—
seven dead chrysanthemums
scattered at its base
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
a few splats of rain
and her daydream is ruined—
midsummer morning
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
searching for a house
where three children play jump-rope
till the supper call
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
Under an awning
the desperate lovers touch
and kiss each other.
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
plotting the places
where she might run from his threats—
not enough to count
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
The man who sells forks
hides them from a group on tour—
his suspicious eyes.

 
Haiku © 2016 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 240

Teaching Forever

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Sometimes I think I can teach forever.
Sometimes the dark circles under my eyes
tell me that it’s foolish to try to teach one more hour.
Last night the angels of sleep
abandoned me,
interrupted my erotic dream,
laughed at me in my distress!
Now it’s five o’clock Monday morning
and I’m propping up my head with one hand
while writing this lament with the other.
I’d like to forget my lesson plans
and start reading a good book
until I fall asleep again,
waking up around noon
to write fragments of poetry
or a letter to a friend.
Instead, I have to eat breakfast, shower
and change into something suitable for work.
Then I have to drag my weary body
into my classroom where sixteen sullen students
with learning disabilities
will watch me impassively as I try to teach them
about figurative language:
Simi—what? Meta—who? Personifi—why?
We don’t care.

Is their theft of my time worth it,
their theft that leaves me wasted?
Today, probably not.
But tomorrow or the day after
something might change.
And that is the hope that keeps me going,
the grace that spurs me on,
even when all the light is gone
and all I want to do
is crawl back under the covers.

 

© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #272
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #27

Nap

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A deep depression near The Citadel, Wupatki National Monument, Northern Arizona
 


last days of summer
settling in an earthen bowl
for an ursine nap—
about the dreams to follow
not even stars know the time

 
Text and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Carpe Diem: “Nap”
 
More Haiku Horizons: “Follow”

Stripping Flesh from Bones

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~~ 1 ~~
 
What am I to do
with this blank sheet of paper
and an empty pen?
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
A dream at midnight—
someone mumbling Basho’s name
imitates a frog.
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
three clay pots—
white chrysanthemums
in full bloom
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
three stolen plums
stuffed in his left pocket
to eat later
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
wild roses
blooming on roadsides
in Georgia
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
She speaks in tongues
that no one understands
except her god.
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
lying down to sleep
in different beds each night—
her long loneliness
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
powers of darkness
gathering near the hedgerow
disguised as egrets
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
As the signpost burns,
I take off my tattered shoes
to walk barefoot home.
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
at my journey’s end
laying down my faithful staff
to take up a cross
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
stripping flesh from bones
through every kind of weather—
Dr. Death at work
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
Beginnings are hard—
ask the chick trapped in the shell
or the child in school.

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Poetry Pantry #244
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 204

Buds

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Beavertail Cactus (Opuntia basilaris) blossom buds, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Southern California
 


in her latest dream
a cactus with no blossoms
only tiny buds
 
~~ ~~ ~~
 
first the buds, then the blossoms

 
Text and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Macro Monday 2
 
More Six-Word Saturday
 
More Carpe Diem: “Dream”
 
More Shadow Shot Sunday 2
 
More I Heart Macro at Shine the Divine

Nine Dreams

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first dream of the year
mulberry tree near the gate
heavy with new fruit
 
~~ ~~ ~~
 
first dream of the year
white honeysuckle blossoms
perfuming my door
 
~~ ~~ ~~
 
first dream of the year
seven unanswered questions
under her pillow
 
~~ ~~ ~~
 
first dream of the year
asking the homeless woman
the way to my home
 
~~ ~~ ~~
 
first dream of the year
trying to follow the geese
through a field of stars
 
~~ ~~ ~~
 
first dream of the year
the pauper wakes up playing
a lute with no strings
 
~~ ~~ ~~
 
first dream of the year
in houses made of harvests
not one crust of bread
 
~~ ~~ ~~
 
first dream of the year
trampling the neighbor’s melons
in a fit of rage
 
~~ ~~ ~~
 
first dream of the year
pistachios from Iran
filling a blue bowl

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher

 
More Carpe Diem: “First Dream”
 
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon

Waiting

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Sunset, Sonoran Desert, Southern Arizona
 


waiting for a dream
underneath the wisdom tree—
still I clutch a twig

 
Text and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More SkyWatch Friday
 
More Carpe Diem: “Trees”

Summoned

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Castoffs from the sea, Puerto Nuevo, Baja California Norte, México
 


riches from the sea
summoned by a shaman’s dream
in the fallow months

 
Text and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Macro Monday 2
 
More Ruby Tuesday Too
 
More I Heart Macro at Shine the Divine
 
More Carpe Diem: “Flight of the Eagle (or The Shaman)”