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Haibun: Lessons


Two of the lessons that my fifth-grade teacher taught me I’ve never forgotten. That’s because Mrs. Pearl Shirley liked to speak in aphorisms, which, as far as I know, she made up herself, and which she drummed into my brain by quoting them in her classroom several times a day.
 
“You’d better get on the stick before the stick gets on you,” Mrs. Shirley said to students who were dawdling or off task. She meant that there would be consequences for inaction.
 
That aphorism came to mind a few years ago when I was planning where to travel. I found airfare to Copenhagen for the bargain price of $678 in March, while airfare at that time to most other European capitals was running $800-$900. But I didn’t get on the stick, and by the time I had finally decided to purchase the tickets, they were no longer available.
 
“You’d better use your head for something besides a hat rack,” Mrs. Shirley said to students who shrugged their shoulders and said, “I don’t know,” when she asked them a question about the lesson. Mrs. Shirley meant that one’s head is more than a decorative appendage; it’s to be used for a high and noble purpose—thinking. A mind, some wise person said, is a terrible thing to waste.
 
From the ripened plum,
from the raven’s tailfeather,
let there be stories!

 

Haibun © by Magical Mystical Teacher

Long Before Daybreak

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A great horned owl perches in a tree in the Sonoran Desert, Yuma County, Arizona.
 


Long before daybreak
an owl in my backyard oak
tells me its secrets.

 
Haiku and photo © by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
  
More SkyWatch Friday
 
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon 
 
More Weekly Scribblings #10 at Poets and Storytellers United

Plague


I have a contagious disease;
It’s bringing me down to my knees.
I’ll probably die;
It’s no secret why:
I’ve caught the plague from my dog’s fleas.

 
 
Limerick © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Writers’ Weekly Scribblings #9 at Poets and Storytellers United


 

First Flowers of Spring: A Haibun

For weeks I stumble through dark clouds of grief, after losing my little point-and-shoot camera to an ignominious death. My constant companion on nature walks no longer functions—the lens will not retract—and I slog through my beloved wilderness with unseeing eyes.
 
Yet a new day dawns, with a new camera, and I am ready again to romance the little things that others spurn.
 
I slip through a fence with a sign that warns against trespassing, my heart beating wildly. Will this be the day that my transgressions are discovered?
 
But I have no time to worry, for at my feet I spy some tiny, reddish-purple flowers. Willing the wind to pause in its pummeling of the delicate blossoms, I fish my camera from my pocket, kneel, and focus the lens for the first photo of the day.

 
First flowers of spring
nourished by underground streams—
gratefully I drink.

 

Haibun © by Magical Mystical Teacher
 

Myth


An old myth extols
the beauty of border walls—
doves dismiss the lie.

 
Haiku © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon
   
More Weekly Scribblings #2 at Poets and Storytellers United

Anything Is Possible: A Haibun


If I could touch the sound of a dove with my fingertips, I would. But my hopes are dashed; the little songster flees as I draw near. The dove calls again. Surely this time! Stealthily I move forward, but a dry leaf crackles underfoot. Hush now, I say to myself, you’re making too much noise; surely she hears you. But, no, there on a branch of the plum is the dove, and there is her song, pouring from her beak like a silver waterfall. Slowly, ever so slowly, I approach, I reach, I touch the sparkling notes. The dove does not stir, though she knows full well what I’m doing. You doubt my story? In the Age of Donald Trump, anything is possible.

An old Buddhist monk,
who never tells me his name,
visits me in dreams.

 
  

Haibun © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #248
 
More Writers’ Pantry #2 at Poets and Storytellers United

 

Labyrinth

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Shadowy vegetation surrounds a labyrinth in Phoenix, Arizona.
 


Deep in thought I walk
round and round the gravel path,
ignoring the sky.

 
Haiku and photo © by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More SkyWatch Friday
 
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon
   
More Weekly Scribblings #1 at Poets and Storytellers United

Grapefruit

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A grapefruit clings to its tree at Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden, Yuma, Arizona.
 


Even in darkness,
touch the ripening grapefruit,
for it is holy.

 
Haiku and photo © by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
   
More Weekly Scribblings #1 at Poets and Storytellers United