a pause – – haibun

I stand on the deck to keep Diesel company while he performs his outdoor rituals. In the sun the air is just above freezing—almost warm. I am there with slippers on, my usual busyness on pause. At this moment there will be no running out to fill the bird feeder or shovel snow away from the wooden steps.

only the dog

rolling on the hard snow

a bluejay cries



©️2019 Ontheland

Prompted by Frank Tassone’s November with Basho, Day 4:

Set out to see the Murder Stone, Sessho-seki, on a borrowed horse, and the man leading it asked for a poem. “Something beautiful, please.”

The horse turns his head–

from across the wide plain,

a cuckoo’s cry

Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior,” Translated by Sam Hamil, The Essential Basho, pg. 8-9

sparkle – – tanka

the sparkle of frost

capping each frozen stem

winter’s touch

a kindness

under the distant sun



©️2019 Ontheland

I am continuing to tag along with Frank Tassone’s November journey with Basho. This is the quote he offers for Day 3:

On the first day of the fourth moon, climbed to visit the shrines on a mountain once called Two Wildernesses, renamed by Kukai when he dedicated the shrine. Perhaps he saw a thousand years into the future, this shrine under sacred skies, his compassion endlessly scattered through the eight directions, falling equally, peacably, on all four classes of people. The greater the glory, the less these words can say.

Ah–speechless before

these budding green spring leaves

in blazing sunlight

Basho, “Narrow Road to the Interior.” translated by Sam Hamill, The Essential Basho, p. 5

life plans

life plans

trailing the sun

few birds twitter

this cold November night

a shift to C minor



©️2019 Ontheland

Inspired by November with Basho Day 2:

Very Early on the twenty-seventh morning of the third moon, under a predawn haze, transparent moon barely visible, Mount Fuji just a shadow, I set out under the cherry blossoms of Ueno and Yanaka. When would I see them again?…

Spring passes

and the birds cry out– tears

in the eyes of fishes

Sam Hamill (Trsl.), The Essential Basho, page 4