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In the Riverbed


In the riverbed I listened while the fishes swam and spoke;
The tales that they were weaving made me want to have a smoke
Of something much more potent than a Winston or Pall Mall,
But the room beneath the water had no butler and no bell.
Thus I could not call for hashish, so I tried to calm myself
By burning fragrant incense that I found upon a shelf.
The smoke set me to dreaming, and my arms fell limp at last,
I felt empty as a daydream from my mother’s distant past.
I fear you won’t believe me, nor the story that I tell,
So here’s the final word, my friends: I bid you all farewell.

 
  
Poem © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #230
 
More Poetry Pantry #492 at Poets United

Raven

 photo PoudreRiver_zpsce02b3c7.jpg
Cache la Poudre River, Fort Collins, Colorado
 

Even in autumn
raven follows the river
as far as the sea.

 
Haiku © 2015 and photo © 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Herons

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Herons at El Charco del Ingenio conservation area, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, México
 


how long the white necks
of herons fishing at dawn
at the river’s edge

 
 
Text and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Wednesday Waters
 
More Carpe Diem: “Basho’s ‘How Long'”
 
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon

Tanka Time

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Of this week’s dozen words I have used: bones, river, teeth, reveal, emerge, reel
 


~~ 1 ~~
 
In the wilderness
the ancient tree women sing
with fire in their bones—
ravens joining the chorus
cannot quench the fierce burning.
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
resting for an hour
in the shadows of the pines—
river in her heart
flowing toward restoration
flowing away from despair
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
Hurry, they are here,
the ones you have waited for,
teeth sharp, eyes aglow,
disguised as clowns and donkeys,
but eager to devour you.
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
secrets of the moth
revealed in graphic detail—
the old druid sings
and in his singing new wings
form between his broken teeth
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
Fishing from the bridge
with a stolen rod and reel—
Egypt lies downstream
where ten thousand hapless souls
still wait for deliverance.
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
God of the kitchen,
may nothing dreadful emerge
from my pots and pans,
but only savory things,
filled with the spice of wonder.

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 210

Cottonwoods

Animas River, Aztec photo AztecAnimascottonwoods_zpsba64b543.jpg
An old cottonwood tree, framing the Animas River, Aztec, New Mexico
 


at the river’s edge
not the slightest breeze riffling
the cottonwood leaves

 
Text and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More SkyWatch Friday
 
More Carpe Diem: “Basho’s ‘A River Breeze'”

Another Whirl with Fay

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Each haiku begins with a phrase shamelessly purloined from various haiku in Fay Aoyagi’s In Borrowed Shoes. (The first whirl with Fay Aoyagi is available here.)
 
 


 
~~ 1 ~~
 
hole in my sweater—
yearning for a scrap of yarn
for mending the gap
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
shadow with no name
perched atop the robin’s head
daring it to sing
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
snip of the scissors—
desecrating the blue dress
he gave her last year
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
a custody case—
burning the uncut transcript
seven years later
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
day for flying kites—
tiny specks in the distance
fighting their restraints
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
heat of the stone wall—
even my white umbrella
is wilting today
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
first dandelions
going to seed in my lawn—
delicate subject
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
for the butterfly
a post for a resting place
till the next milkweed
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
a praying mantis—
matins under the petals
of a yellow rose
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
red quince blooming
until the drunk gardener
misses with his shears
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
morning glory seeds
their plight remaining hopeless
while they lie on stone
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
a story inside
one dark stone in the river—
druidic voices

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #240
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 200

Halcyon

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Yuma East Wetlands, Yuma, Arizona
 


halcyon river
neither ducks nor leaping fish
parting the waters

 
Text and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More SkyWatch Friday
 
More Our World Tuesday
 
More Carpe Diem: “Movement”
 
More Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

Rough

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Cache la Poudre River, Fort Collins, Colorado
 


a river flowing
endlessly to the rough sea
storm songs day and night

 
Text and photo © 2014 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Carpe Diem: “Rough Sea”

Plainsong

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Animas River near Cedar Hill, San Juan County, New Mexico
 


old river chanting
making its way to the sea
an ancient plainsong

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

Muted

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A glimpse through trees at the Cache la Poudre River, Fort Collins, Colorado
 


The river Kiang—
how distant from the Poudre,
how muted its song!

 
Text and photo © 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More SkyWatch Friday
 
More Ein Stück Himmel
 
More Carpe Diem’s Distillation: “Ezra Pound’s ‘The River Merchant’s Wife'”