evading denotation

(A ) 


not eliminating


looking for that —

that which cannot be named,

it tugs, 

itches, rumbles, 

oozes, clicks, grumbles,

sighs, flickers, etches,

tickles, brushes, stretches …

Evaded generalities

rarely escape




smears, stains

anchors, excavates 

hairy ropes descending,

fibrous starch swelling

to be to be eaten

launching from earth to light



spurts that which

belongs within 


spreads bleeds

firing bewildered 


massacre evil tragedy

terror not terror

guns controlled not controlled 

automatic semi conversion

why what why oh why

this incomprehensibility

named and unnameable


©2017 Ontheland

A recent dVerse Poetics prompt invites us to write poems that play with grammar rules. Paul offers an example from Gertrude Stein’s ‘Tender Buttons’.  I decided to experiment with reducing nouns and relying more on verbs and adverbs as suggested by Stein in her essay on Poetry and Grammar. Current events,  like nouns, are hard to evade.

Not comparable

I see orange 

pumpkins, crimson 

beets and wine

chrysanthemums, feel 

crisp autumn air,

but not 

in the hospital room, 

an oxygen machine

drones, an alert button 

droops helpless, near a

fig newton


the small plastic cup—

waiting for winter is 

not comparable

to witnessing a tender soul,

his long life fading away.


©2017 Ontheland


Brown blotches

on shrunken leaves

aged beauty


Withered stalks 

still bear sweet beans

the end is near


Three seasons

growth, decay, then death 

a rustic mirror


‘Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death.’ ~ Japanese Architect, Tadao Ando

In response to Embracing Wabi Sabi an Ontheroad haiku prompt.
©2017 Ontheland


When entering a sapphire,

sip blue curaçao 

gaze at aquamarine 

night eyes

while humming “Am I blue?”,

In early summer

lounge under azure sky,


to wild indigo sea


lavender and wisteria,

singing your rhapsody

in sweet minor key.


©2017 Ontheland

In response to DVerse Tuesday….Lillian invited us to write a poem of any form including the name of our birthstone.


I glimpsed history

in a cinnamon bun.


cassia, tamale…

millennia murmur

of an evergreen bark

born in tropical lands,

tender quills

traded across oceans, deserts 

for Gods, monarchs and feasts

Today: a stick for hot cider, or brown powder in a spice jar.

©2017 Ontheland

This was a quadrille for dVerse using the word ‘spice’.  For cinnamon, Cinnamomum is the plant genus. Cassia and Tamale are two species names. The photos are offered for public use through Pixabay: cinnamon sticks and spice jars.

On the river

Floating candles


On the river

lights float to the horizon

the dead rejoice

© Basho


On the river

we return to the ocean

borne by the flow


lights float to the horizon—

spirit dreams flicker

memory in the mist


the dead rejoice 

release, reunion with

ocean’s vast embrace


Carpe Diem’s Weekend Meditation #3 offers Basho’s above haiku for writing a Troiku  (poem consisting of three haikus each starting with a line of a chosen haiku poem).  

© 2017 Ontheland