dVerse Poetics: Magic

Today Paul Scribbles is prompting our Poetics at dVerse.  He is asking us to write about magic. Magical, magician, magic in all its forms and permutations. And so, I did!

Sweet Magic
the door to another universe opened
and he walked out –
his hair in a warrior’s knot
and wearing a black on black silk hakama
and wide shouldered black kataginu
embroidered with cherry blossoms – black on black.
he told me later he wore all black for
martial arts demoonstrations.
he carried daisho – katana and wakizashi and
on his right hip he wore the tanto – dagger.
I was 25 and he was 28 and already had two Ph.D.s
He was almost through with his third.
He moved light and deadly and quick as a hawk.
Taller than your average Japanese but then,
his homeworld was the mountainous region
in Hakone. I watched him draw his katana –
one pure movement of silver and death – magic.
I was dating a jerk at the time and had gone
to the Kendo competition with the jerk.
He rescued me from the jerk and won the competition.
His voice was soft and husky
and his hands and arms were knicked and scarred –
Swords are sharp he said when he saw me looking.
I fell head over heels in love with him but…
Greater older magic was at work –
He fell in love with plain short me.
His hands were soft and sure
And his lips were full and curved.
He taught me forms and Kendo
And gave me a wakizashi because I was too short –
“Your opponent will behead you before you have your
sword half-way out.
The wakizashi’s name is Minamikaze – South Wind.
This my love will make you formidable.”
I held the wakizashi and gave it a slight swish.
He smiled. “Take your death as a given,
Accept it and you will be free to live.”
Then he smiled and sang to me
holding me close:
“All our times have come
Here but now they’re gone
Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain, we can be like they are
Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper*”
I took the leap. Down the rabbit hole.
Pure sweet magic.

old snapshot taken in Duke U Medical Library 1979

  • Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

54 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. erbiage
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 04:51:17

    i don’t think it was the wakizashi that made you formidable.


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 10:33:18

    Love this story… I think I can hear it told over and over…. it still has all the magic i need.


  3. Laura Bloomsbury
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 16:36:34

    The magic here is as fresh as the day the spell was woven – must beware your south wind


  4. Frank Hubeny
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 16:46:28

    Skillfulness can appear magical and the sword probably helps as well.


  5. paul scribbles
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 17:05:02

    Magic from beginning to end. It fizzles.


  6. sarahsouthwest
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 17:07:44

    This is the most amazing start to a love story. No wonder you fell for him – and his culture…


  7. sarahrussellpoetry
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 17:18:26

    “Take your death as a given. Accept it and you will be free to live.” Yes! Yes! An amazing love, Toni. We all have one, I think.


  8. whippetwisdom
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 17:35:07

    We are so lucky when we can experience this type of magic in our lives, when a connection feels so deep it is almost like meeting a long lost friend again :o) xxx


  9. whimsygizmo
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 19:02:02

    I love this, Toni. Especially:
    “Greater older magic was at work”

    This says it all. Beautifully.


  10. Beverly Crawford
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 19:02:30

    What a lovely love story!


  11. thotpurge
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 21:57:24

    Take your death as a given,
    Accept it and you will be free to live…. the philosophy of a warrior indeed!


  12. Glenn Buttkus
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 23:16:00

    This slice of your life is magical, incredible–it reads like a preface to a novel, or a treatise on metaphysics, bushido & love that transcends continents, stitches & weaves together cultural differences. It is fascinating, read thrice.


  13. Jim
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 23:26:00

    Wooed to doom. I wasn’t expecting the ending, but infatuations can end like that.


  14. Sherry Blue Sky
    Sep 05, 2017 @ 23:28:12

    Oh, pure magic, from beginning to end…………dazzling. I want to read the book!!!! Smiles. To have had such a love – what a gift!


  15. kim881
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 03:14:07

    I love your autobiographical poems, Toni. They fizz with sensuality and other-worldliness.


  16. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala)
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 06:47:01

    Petite but formidable! A great combination to have. Your poem is an education in self-defense and things Japanese.! Thanks for sharing Toni!



  17. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 09:34:28

    The poem is magical too. I loved every word.


  18. Vandana Sharma
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 10:30:05

    The magical land that resides on the other side, how we al s ometiems wish to go there!!


  19. charliezero1.wordpress.com
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 12:15:51

    Magic radiates throughout this whole poem that sparks beauty. 🙂


  20. Imelda
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 12:59:44

    The Magic of love, the magic of the south wind, the magic in the names – thanks for sharing. 🙂


  21. Marian
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 14:38:04

    Wow, wow… I’d say this is magical and pure. Love it, thank you for sharing.


  22. Sanaa Rizvi (@rizvi_sanaa)
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 14:40:33

    Your autobiographical poems are such a delight to read, Toni!❤️ This is beautifully deep and heartwarming 🙂


  23. alisonhankinson
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 16:37:30

    So…Wow. Totally wonderful. I don’t even have one PHD….maybe one day..


  24. merrildsmith
    Sep 06, 2017 @ 19:40:32

    A beautiful love story!


  25. coffeecatspoetry
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 08:24:28

    Wow, what a great love story, I love all the details, very immersive. Also, ‘he rescued me from the jerk’ made me laugh 😉


  26. nosaintaugustine
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 08:40:03

    Gorgeous. The poem and the man.


  27. sreeja Harikrishnan
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 09:49:36

    Loved that story….magic resides in such stories!!!


  28. Mary (tqhousecat)
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 12:05:17

    I fel the magc here. “He rescued me from the jerk”. Magic does wonderful things.


  29. jade0207
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 16:06:08

    Beautiful descriptions. The story has some magic in it too. Lovely read 💖


  30. Mish
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 20:15:05

    WOW…this felt like an excerpt from a novel….a very good novel, but I know it to be true as you have eluded to this gentleman before in your work. I could visualize it all. Wonderful, Toni.


  31. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Sep 11, 2017 @ 13:39:54

    Such love makes one’s life full and meaningful… obviously the memory lives inside of you. Wonderful writing.


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