Les Parapluies (Umbrellas)

Photographic reproduction of oil painting by Renoir, 1886, in the public domain

an umbrella sky

scalloped curves of blue

my empty basket

open to the day

It may rain

on our ‘parapluies’

our shelters held in hands

to lift in summer winds

to paint a second heaven

fine brushes of a town

bustling in the open air


©️2018 Ontheland

A quadrille for dVerse’s Quadrille #57: Don’t rain on my parade!

learning to flow

I woke up to the sound of chuckling rain. what a relief, a break from the urgent calls of the sun: come fork mounds of straw off the garden beds! come plant seeds–it’s early spring! come let the seedlings under indoor lamps breathe outside air! come out to mow the grass! I raise the blind and see young blades rising from the earth … they’ll be twice as hard to mow after their feast but what can I do? my body has rebelled, compelled me to rest and so I must.

Easy advice

put to the test again

slow down

Later sunlight returns, fresh leaflets shimmer, birds twitter…no be-twixt and between for them…nor for the cardinal calling from the highest branch.

Kitty cat purrs

Sprawled on resting legs

taking it easy


Today Lillian at dVerse invites us to write any kind of poem incorporating two or more brand names. I chose the chocolate category: Chuckles (chuckling rain), Mounds (mounds of straw), Twix (be-twixt) and Kit-Kat (kitty cat). I folded these references into a haibun about my current experience of spring. I am also linking to Haikai Challenge #33: spring rain.

©️2018 Ontheland

spring visitors

The red-domed lady bug makes its way around the edge of the washroom sink. Lower down, near the drain, another one shuffles. I find a piece of paper and lift the second one to a safer place on the window sill. Then I reach for my toothbrush and toothpaste and turn on the tap. What do these tiny bugs feel I wonder. Do they suffer like us if overwhelmed by a torrent of running water?

spring sunshine

life throngs through the window seams

miniature beings


©️2018 Ontheland

In response to dVerse Poet’s Pub Haibun Monday: Compassion


Amaya at dVerse gave us an interesting challenge tonight—to select two quotes, each from a different book, and use them as the first and final lines of a poem— in other words ‘bridge the gap’.

there, from spitting on the sidewalk

to chewing gum in class

from picking peas off her plate

to treading on the parlour carpet

from cycling down to the creek

to sassing her superiors

loomed a forbidden world

once alive with wonder

now a flattened minefield—

she felt crushed

as a gleaming metal sheet being

forced into a furnace


©️2018 Ontheland

Our choice of quotes could be intentional or random. I took the random route and used lines from page 111 of each book.

The first quote is: “there, from spitting on the sidewalk to chewing gum in class” from Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson.

The final line of the poem is derived from “the way a sheet of metal might be forced into a furnace”, found in The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert.

“How good it would be” a quadrille response to a poem from Dick Allen’s “Zen Master Poems”

How good it would be to not question.”

to glide

to just be

never minding psychic puddles

and rational muddles

to just be still

Does a dog question its tail?

Does a tree question its leaves?

Does the moon wish for a new path?


My quadrille is based on a poem by Dick Allen (1939-2017) published in 2016 in his book “zen master poems” . In this collection of poems Allen writes from within the persona of a Zen Master.

My first line quotes the first line of his poem and my concluding questions mimic his use of questions. To read his poem please follow this link to the Google Books preview, page 6.

For some reason I counted the words in Allen’s poem and discovered that it is exactly 44 words (in other words, it’s a quadrille). My quadrille uses the word ‘muddle’, this week’s quadrille prompt at dVerse Poets Pub.

Spring walk


I walk our two dogs on this warm spring day of firsts— my first time out with no coat, just a long sleeved flannel shirt, jeans and sturdy boots. There, beside the ditch hugging the ground, the first dandelion flowers and everywhere fresh sprouts of grass emerging out of the gully water and fresh gravel thrown by the township this winter. My feet land happily on soft ground still moist and pliant after weeks of rain and snowmelt. Bentley turns his head back and I see he is laughing as he pulls us forward. I snap a picture of him as I scan the brush for new buds and I am not disappointed. Tiny catkins have multiplied and droopy green ones hang from another branch.

dog walk heaven

delicious buffet of scents

jarred by distant guns


©2018 Ontheland

Dverse Haibun Monday—Take a Walk


Nagging worries

gather and cling

like lint, cat hair, glue

or stain like grease

and spaghetti sauce

I say toss them all —

all those messy details

and annoyances

Like an expert tidier

store only what

makes you happy

(let me know if it works)


©️2018 Ontheland

A quadrille (44-word poem) for dVerse using the word ‘gather’