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Haibun: Give Thanks


“I’m too tired to be grateful,” I growl, and sip a third cup of coffee. I listen to my watch ticking. I remember the scent of the tangerine I peeled on a long-ago Thanksgiving Day. The citrus oils stung my chapped fingers, making me wince. But that was the best tangerine I have ever tasted. And the longer I live, the more clearly I see that I can choose how my day will go by changing my attitude. “Don’t be fooled,” I say to myself, “gratitude is the path to contentment. Make every day a holy day. Give thanks.”
 

autumn meander—
making my way toward twilight
with a few detours



 

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
 
 
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Whirling with Basho

Banner photo BANNER.jpg
 
Each haiku or senryu begins with a phrase gleaned from Basho: The Complete Haiku.
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
gazing at buckwheat
seven crows collaborate
on a thieving plan
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
a singing skylark—
I listen without breathing
to the joyful sound
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
the melon flower
after the children throw stones
who will care for it
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
a year of troubles
lived without compromising
her integrity
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
Are you the butterfly
that will serve to guide my steps
on the long journey?
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
the source of sadness
in their small community—
receding river
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
a white azalea
blooming in a state of grace—
my neighbor’s garden
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
the muddy melon
they chat about its sweetness
in the market stall
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
to admire the wind
she must have had no contact
with it since childhood
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
by winter showers
decades of matrimony
washing down the street
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
a vendor of greens—
concerns about the collards
make for sleepless nights
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
souvenir paintings
no time to buy one before
the next train departs

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
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Ancestors

Bandelier ruins photo Bandelierruins_zpse7fe9393.jpg
Ruins of an ancient village, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
 


Our ancestors knew
how to listen to squashes,
pry secrets from beans.

 
Text and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
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Listen

Wupatki National Monument photo Wupatkiruin2_zpsbec814cf.jpg
One of many ancient ruins at Wupatki National Monument, Northern Arizona
 


Old ruins tell new stories. Listen!

 
Text and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
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Grotesqueries

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Each grotesquerie begins with a phrase purloined from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist who died 17 April 2014.
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
dusty almond trees
all the fruit turns into glass
bitter little shards
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
hand-painted flowers
remnants of the midget’s dreams
tossed to the bridesmaids
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
box of dominoes—
two pieces rub each other
in just the wrong way
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
place of burial
the earth begins to settle
after three amens
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
a wicker basket
hides a broken battle axe
under cloth of gold
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
houses with zinc roofs
shattering expectations
rusting overnight
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
glass beads for macaws
flung into the April sky
snatched by hungry beaks
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
a bulging suitcase—
the clumsy woman drops it
on the railroad track
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
clocks made of carved wood
vanish just before midnight
tick again at dawn
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
invisible paths
some on land, some on sea
Moses knows the game
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
clothing left behind—
an old man without a name
tries on the trousers
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
sticks of balsa wood
listen as the cotton string
tightens on a kite
 

 
© 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
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