“I’m too tired to be grateful,” I growl, and sip a third cup of coffee. I listen to my watch ticking. I remember the scent of the tangerine I peeled on a long-ago Thanksgiving Day. The citrus oils stung my chapped fingers, making me wince. But that was the best tangerine I have ever tasted. And the longer I live, the more clearly I see that I can choose how my day will go by changing my attitude. “Don’t be fooled,” I say to myself, “gratitude is the path to contentment. Make every day a holy day. Give thanks.”
making my way toward twilight
with a few detours
Sheltered by a stand of willows, I watch a young boy giving his pet turtle a scrub in the pond. Obviously this turtle’s well cared for, and no disease will carry it away. Such empathy! I fight the urge to cry out, “What a great kid!” If only I had some flowers to leave to show my appreciation for this boy’s tenderness. But I must go. Thankful for this little diversion from the day’s bad news, I turn toward home. It’s a long walk. If I’m lucky, I’ll get there before dark.
All my bitter tears
vanish in a single note
from the blackbird’s throat.
First great change of spring—
the coronavirus spreads
all over the world.
On the patio
six feet away from my friend
we share springtime tea.
first nibble of spring—
a handful of raw almonds
with my morning tea
Through a small window
I watch the first spring robins
foraging for worms.
First possum of spring—
I’m inclined to think he’s dead
till his tail twitches.
Spring sneaks through my yard—
the first blossom’s opening
brings me to my knees.
Haiku © 2019 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More The Whirligig #259
More Writers’ Pantry #13 at Poets and Storytellers United
Watch the dog leaping and learn from the monk;
Not all meditation needs to be junk.
Cowardice protects you when the tigers come:
Jump the paddock wall, my friend, and run like hell, just run!
Those who sit together and those who sit apart,
Know that sitting shiva is a quiet art.
Poems © by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Sunday’s Whirligig #211
More Poetry Pantry #478 at Poets United
Windmill, Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden, Yuma, Arizona
on a cloudless day
watching the endless whirling
of the windmill blades
Haiku and photo © 2016 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Blue Monday
Sometimes I think I can teach forever.
Sometimes the dark circles under my eyes
tell me that it’s foolish to try to teach one more hour.
Last night the angels of sleep
interrupted my erotic dream,
laughed at me in my distress!
Now it’s five o’clock Monday morning
and I’m propping up my head with one hand
while writing this lament with the other.
I’d like to forget my lesson plans
and start reading a good book
until I fall asleep again,
waking up around noon
to write fragments of poetry
or a letter to a friend.
Instead, I have to eat breakfast, shower
and change into something suitable for work.
Then I have to drag my weary body
into my classroom where sixteen sullen students
with learning disabilities
will watch me impassively as I try to teach them
about figurative language:
Simi—what? Meta—who? Personifi—why?
We don’t care.
Is their theft of my time worth it,
their theft that leaves me wasted?
Today, probably not.
But tomorrow or the day after
something might change.
And that is the hope that keeps me going,
the grace that spurs me on,
even when all the light is gone
and all I want to do
is crawl back under the covers.