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January Whirl

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~~ 1 ~~
 
casting my anchor
in some faraway harbor—
perhaps Rotterdam
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
winter’s first full moon
keeping her awake for hours
in her lumpy bed
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
a buffeting wind—
three fragile little sparrows
fight to stay aloft
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
raising her wineglass
at her lonely sojourn’s end
among the living
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
first dream of the year
mulberry tree near the gate
heavy with new fruit
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
sudden gust of wind—
three facts fly out the window
landing in the street
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
action, inaction—
even the undertaker
stops to eye the wound
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
breaking the needle
so she will not be able
to get her next fix
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
a scathing letter
sent from a neighboring state
ten cents postage due
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
her favorite team
tasting defeat once again—
winter’s first full moon
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
willing to risk all
for the sake of one blossom—
gardener in spring
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
hit with aftershocks
from shifting tectonic plates
an old house crumbles

 
© 2016 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 235

Pilgrims Awhirl

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~~ 1 ~~
 
her knitting needles
ticking out a little tune
on the sweater neck
 
~~ 2 ~~
 
a small hymn of praise
too small for mice to measure
except crumb by crumb
 
~~ 3 ~~
 
crimson kimono
worn by her erstwhile patron
now a tattered rag
 
~~ 4 ~~
 
even in the heat
the urge to spend consumes her
emptying her purse
 
~~ 5 ~~
 
inns along the road
tables spread with bread and wine
hungry pilgrims, come
 
~~ 6 ~~
 
the path before her
uncertainty and raven
her sole companions
 
~~ 7 ~~
 
the arduous trek
a cloud guiding her footsteps
to her journey’s end
 
~~ 8 ~~
 
setting out alone
in a tattered state of grace
for her odyssey
 
~~ 9 ~~
 
prowling holy ground
looking for the host to come
with some bread and wine
 
~~ 10 ~~
 
a sacred story
told by day and dreamed by night—
the pilgrims’ footsteps
 
~~ 11 ~~
 
fifth year on the road
still hoping for a rescue
from the stones and snares
 
~~ 12 ~~
 
votive offering
a race to see who gives it
to the holy one

 
© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
More Poetry Pantry #237
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 197

Whirling with Basho

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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
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #216
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 176