Long after sunset I drive slowly watching for gleaming eyes….a rabbit’s sudden dash, a wandering kitten, a raccoon or even a grazing deer … tonight is different … a tiny shadow in my path brings me to a sudden stop. I rub my eyes in disbelief:

Night robin stands

upon dirt road fast asleep 

Awakened he flies


©2017 Ontheland

Journey to freedom

First an earthbound seed,

tendrils grasp, vines wind high

on path to open sky


egg-cradled feathers

escape their shell, find a nest

life yearns to fly


focus, defocus,

touch unfathomable space—

from earth to sky


This series of haiku emerged from Suzanne’s On the Road prompt of July 28 (a new one came out yesterday). The prompt touches on an enigmatic Zen koan.

©2017 Ontheland

dinner time

Timid neighbours roam

past my open window,

wild turkey brood

from an in-between world—

they sleep in trees at night.


The wild turkeys around here are so shy that I can only take photos from far away, sometimes through a window. If I open the door they run away.  The photo here shows part of a family that includes more babies and another adult who took up the rear.

I wrote this tanka thinking about the writing of Tagami Kikusha (1753-1826) featured in the July 21 On the Road prompt.  If you like writing or reading haiku and related forms, you may enjoy Suzanne’s essays on this prompt site.  There are no time limits for participation.


©2017 Ontheland 

macabre lullaby

A quadrille for dVerse: Be not Afraid:

Hush my dear

hear this tale:

Nuclear bombs

will end night terror,

Earth will flash the sky—

 a spectacular splash 

like firework flowers

on a national holiday—

and a mushroom cloud 

will trail the Milky Way

gathering stardust,

then fear will be

no more.


©2017 Ontheland


Attribution below

The perfect lawn:

trim green symbol

of decency

no place for rabbits

frogs or snakes

no rabid wildflowers

or thistle outbreaks

In a kingdom of mowed grasses 

propriety reigns

only dress suits and ties

in its domain

A path through wildness

posed as the only way

dines on fuel and pesticides

a toxic buffet.


Many of us, including myself, are in recovery from the illusion of lawns, a human artifact.

This Wikipedia excerpt provides some background:

A lawn is an area of soil-covered land planted with grasses or (rarely) other durable plants such as clover which are maintained at a short height with a lawnmower and used for aesthetic and recreational purposes. Common characteristics of a lawn are that it is composed only of grass species, it is subject to weed and pest control, it is subject to practices aimed at maintaining its green color (e.g., watering), and it is regularly mowed to ensure an acceptable length, although these characteristics are not binding as a definition. Lawns are used around houses, apartments, commercial buildings and offices. Many city parks also have large lawn areas. In recreational contexts, the specialised names turf, pitch, field or green may be used, depending on the sport and the continent.

The term “lawn”, referring to a managed grass space, dates to no earlier than the 16th century. Tied to suburban expansion and the creation of the household aesthetic, the lawn is an important aspect of the interaction between the natural environment and the constructed urban and suburban space. In many suburban areas, there are bylaws in place requiring houses to have lawns and requiring the proper maintenance of these lawns…

Photo credit: “Svenska: Lötstugan i Bärbo socken, Nyköpings kommun” by T.S. Eriksson, Creative Commons License CC BY-SA 3.0.

©2017 Ontheland

Summer nights

Thursday night:

Late summer drive

wind roars in my ears

cool breath of night


Tonight’s moon is lost 

though mists unveil the stars

an eerie feeling


Friday night:

As last embers glow 

quiet suspends in coolness

moonlight cups the sky


Not visible in this photo is the crescent shape of the almost quarter moon. One of many benefits of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai prompts is their encouragement to absorb the outdoors. The prompt ‘cool’ nudged me to closer enjoyment of summer night air—touched in two of these haiku.

©2017 Ontheland