thanksgiving – – haibun

A second Thanksgiving is on its way. The first was our Canadian holiday on the second Monday of October. The second, the American holiday, arrives this week on the 4th Thursday of November.

I find myself embracing another reminder to contemplate gratitude, a source of solace when loss rears its head. I may be declining in some ways, but my mind is still intact, I am still active, I am free of chronic pain. I was born after two world wars in a peaceful part of the globe with clean tap water, indoor plumbing, ample electricity, fresh food, access to medical care, a public school system and much more. My childhood may not have been perfect but my parents were good responsible people. I was born with and retain the capacity to love, to breathe, to hope for another day. Today my glass is more than half full.

snowmelt . . .

leaf rot and mud underfoot

I count my blessings

inside this warm house

with soup on the stove



©2019 Ontheland

Haikai Challenge #114 Thanksgiving

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