Mary Magdeline Haiku

Guess what?! Our wonderful host @DoctorMikeReddy let me choose this week’s theme! Yay!

For those who don’t know, Ticckle Tuesday is a group of writers who, once a week, rise to the challenge of writing micro fiction that can be read aloud in thirty seconds or less. Our auspicious host has graciously allowed for sixty second stories to be posted as well.

Join in the fun over at our Facebook group, or you can go to the Ticckle website to respond directly to any of our weekly recordings. Questions about Ticckle? Ask @ticckle.

Check out Mike’s website, Play in Progress,  for more details. You can find the group on Twitter as well. @TicckleTuesday

#TicckleTuesday #7: This week’s theme is maudlin. (This link provided by Ticckle Tuesday member Catherine Russell, a master of flash fiction in fantastically fast fashion.)


I decided to go with a haiku this week. The text version is below.


Harbor love softly, maudlin Mary Magdalene, or be charged with sin.

I realize this haiku requires a great deal of inference on the part of the reader. Please allow me a moment to elucidate.

I was referring to the etymology of maudlin {Middle English form of Mary Magdalene (typically depicted weeping)}

Also to the adjective maudlin meaning affectionate or sentimental in a tearful manner.

Also, addressing what some believe to be Mary Magdalene’s profession as a prostitute and her reformation after falling in love with Jesus.

It’s basically a story of a woman who falls in love, but is not permitted to be with the man she loves. She must “harbor her love softly”, meaning (1) it must be kept secret and (2) when she is with her lover, she must do so in a safe place. If anyone finds out, she’ll be scorned, possibly even physically punished (charged with sin). The use of “charged” implies that she would be judged and found guilty. Also, from the link provided by Ticckle Tuesday member Catherine Russell,

maudlin (noun) A Magdalene house; a brothel.

“harbor love softly” is a reference to providing a safe place for her lover to meet her discreetly. She the owner of the brothel, he visiting under the (credible) guise of a benevolent healer.

Stating the haiku as a warning, I hoped to imply that they were not wrong to love, but would have been poorly regarded had they loved openly.

Just the workings of my little mind. It is an awful lot to pack into a haiku.

maudlin – Wiktionary

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