Blog Archives

Way Station

The shadow of an ironwood tree offers relief from the heat in Yuma County, Arizona.

Desert way station—
I rest in a shady place
before moving on.

Haiku and photo © by Magical Mystical Teacher


A broken-down farm wagon finds its final resting place at Yuma Conservation Garden, Yuma, Arizona.

for my journey home
nothing but a broken wheel
and a rasping crow

Haiku and photo © by Magical Mystical Teacher

Shadow Shot Sunday 2: Mountains

Shadows nestle in crevices in the Catalina Mountains as the sun sets in Tucson, Arizona.

Photo © by Magical Mystical Teacher

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My Companions

Words are my companions,
I take them everywhere:
Stone and pine and blackbird,
Porcupine and bear.
Words are my companions,
I hug them to myself:
Fork and spoon and teacup,
Honey, pantry, shelf.
Words are my companions,
I treasure every one;
Verbs and prepositions
Roll right off my tongue
Along with a salacious
Adjective or two;
Words are my companions—
I love what they can do!

Poem © 2021 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Palm Sunday Walk

Palm Sunday. While out for my routine walk, I meet a local author on the bridge. “I admire your latest book, the one you signed and dated at the bookstore a few weeks ago. It was a good read,” I say. He smiles faintly, but says nothing—a stony silence. Perhaps his arthritic legs are stiff from the morning chill. Maybe he needs help negotiating the crosswalk at the intersection. No, for without even waving goodbye he resumes his limping gait. Bemused, I look for a coffee shop. Caffeine might clear my head.

Overcast spring day—
the tulips seems reluctant
to flaunt their colors.


Haibun © 2021 by Magical Mystical Teacher 



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The pond at Yuma Conservation Garden, Yuma, Arizona reflects trees growing at its edges.

Morning by morning
a blackbird comes to the pond
to drink and then sing.

Haiku and photo © by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon
More Writers’ Pantry #56 at Poets and Storytellers United

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

Version 2
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


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