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Our Lady of the Dust, Yuma Pioneer Cemetery, Yuma, Arizona

Blackbird on the wing,
how many songs of sorrow
are there yet to sing?

Haiku and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Twelve Days of Mary

Seeking Sugar

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~~ 1 ~~
last year’s ornaments
still shining in their splendor
for a few more hours—
a luxury to see them
among the pots and kettles
~~ 2 ~~
Where do they come from,
these poems at break of day,
wild as mists rising
high above the balcony?
Even ravens flap away.
~~ 3 ~~
brown wicker hampers
with dirty clothes poking out
spilling to the floor—
you’ve seen them in apartments
where the water’s been shut off
~~ 4 ~~
Behind closed windows
someone is brewing coffee—
a curtain flutters
and dancing daydreams scatter
like a flock of frightened hens.
~~ 5 ~~
Even coming twice
the horses seeking sugar
do not get enough
to satisfy their hunger—
they press against the railing.
~~ 6 ~~
Whose old singing voice
nestles in the empty pot
in front of the redbrick wall?

Tanka and haiku © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Poetry Pantry #271
More Sunday’s Whirligig #26


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Ocotillo, blossoming after winter rains, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Southern California

After winter rain,
even the ocotillos
seem to sing for joy.

Text and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Carpe Diem
More Ruby Tuesday Too


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Ocotillo, greening after winter rains, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Southern California

After winter rains,
even the ocotillo
seems to sing for joy.

Text and photo © 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More SkyWatch Friday
More Haiku My Heart at Recuerda Mi Corazon

Whirling in the New Year

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~~ 1 ~~
filling with shadows
little mountainside shelter
lays claim to the night
~~ 2 ~~
a stand of lime trees
dedicated to the bee
and all her helpers
~~ 3 ~~
burying the dead
after the revolution—
no one knows their names
~~ 4 ~~
flipping tortillas
abuela begins to sing
thanks to Corn Maiden
~~ 5 ~~
the sudden raging
of her old belief in God—
three harsh commandments
~~ 6 ~~
Smallpox and typhus—
she takes a turn for the worse,
while the angels stare.
~~ 7 ~~
nothing but cacti
featured in the rug’s design—
weaver’s little joke
~~ 8 ~~
Ethereal chimes
from seven little chapels
ring in the new year.
~~ 9 ~~
after ten winters
her resolve to move southward—
~~ 10 ~~
gate to the orchard—
she comes each day at twilight
to shine the hinges
~~ 11 ~~
her survival kit—
time to review the contents
and add or subtract
~~ 12 ~~
the road into town
where he hopes to win a doll
at the carnival

© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Poetry Pantry #233
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 194


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Cistern at an abandoned house, Southern Arizona

the puddles on the pavement
carry the moon, the stars
and cherry blossoms

Who shall sing to the cistern
of all the things it has lost?

*Opening gambit © by Hando (Fr. Thomas Hand)
Final two lines and photo © 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Straight Out of the Camera Sunday
More Carpe Diem: “Puddles on the Pavement”

To Build a Poem

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To build a poem, you need stones—
some call them words—
and you need the right ones.
Some, like seditious and tremor, are not suitable;
they will crumble in your hands like old mortar—
it’s no use trying to build with them.
Set them aside and choose something else,
something simple, yet sturdy and enduring,
something you will still be proud to hold
twenty or fifty years from now.
Choose words of granite.
In building a poem, you undertake a sacred task,
let no one hinder you;
no stigma can be attached to those who choose
each word with care.
Remember: The nether regions are filled with those
whose work is shoddy and sporadic—
cast in plaster, not carved in stone—
be not one of them.
Pledge to me—or to yourself, at least—
that you will not enmesh your work in words
that waste away to dust at the merest touch,
but that you will choose words that dance and chant and sing of all that is holy.
Then you will be able to show us the single tuft of grass gracing the desert wash,
and the fire of mercy blazing down from ten thousand-thousand stars.


© 2013 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Sunday Scribblings: “Poem”