How fire led us astray

Once there was a girl who loved to watch her father light his pipe. One morning when her parents were still in bed she climbed the kitchen counter and took matches from the top cupboard. She burned a hole in her shirt.

I once wondered how humans learned to make fire. Forest rangers are probably not amazed. They know about cycles of growth, decay, flame, ash. Early man saw burning bushes.

Folks escaping wildfires know

about scorched breath,

that fire melts, turns all to dust.

How tragic that, over the centuries,

flames that warmed us,

lit our cabins, cooked our food

burned fuel in engines,

empowered us to multiply, travel vast distances at unimagined speeds, clear acres of land and run factories

are slowly cooking the planet.


©️2018 Ontheland

For dVerse Tuesday Poetics: Fire up that Creativity

grey afternoon: haibun

Waiting for her to wake up from an afternoon nap, I think of the small thing I need to mention when she wakes up. I move quietly in the kitchen. The cupboard bangs and I flinch with regret, but her slumber is undisturbed and Bentley continues to lick his paws. I sigh with relief.

grey dampness chills

my grip on this metal pen

warmed by silence


©️2018 Ontheland

For dVerse Haibun Monday: Waiting

when there is smoke: haibun quadrille

To blame is to disown. My cereal curdles as California wildfires turn homes to ash and, yet again, power trumps empathy and expertise. The vitriol and forest management tales emanating from Washington threaten to spoil my breakfast.

shovelling snow:

the President’s fire fighting



©️2018 Ontheland

New York Times:
Trump Says California Can Learn From Finland on Fires. Is He Right?

In response to dVerse Poets Pub Monday quadrille prompt (‘spoil’) I have written this 44-word haibun.

not winking: a quadrille

Closing one eye

I am not winking

I am blinded by sunlight

Posing on one leg

I am not avian

I am practicing yoga

Singing the blues

I am not downhearted

I am indigo

Closing both eyes

I am not tired

I am listening


©️2018 Ontheland

The Monday afternoon dVerse challenge from WhimsyGizmo is to write a quadrille (44-word poem) using the word “wink”.

Image source

persuasion: a quadrille

Early autumn is gone,

dried leaves scattered,

marigolds dead from frost,

yet, Sun sparkles ochre colours,

pulses from behind grey clouds,

at night, waxing Moon lingers low,

two matches striking,

begging sparks of happiness

from cold bones who mourn

that what has been departs.


©️2018 Ontheland

A quadrille (a 44-word poem) for dVerse Poets Pub using the word ‘early’.

Autumn memories

Autumn leaves scatter on the sidewalk a block from home

Back from a first day of school inhaling musty maple

Cool breeze, long sleeves, polished shoes and a flutter of news

Days of firsts dangling fresh books, a new teacher and friends

Etched in memory, each September of slanting light

Fuel for a spirit treading toward dark December nights.


©️2018 Ontheland

Lillian at dVerse challenged us to write an ‘Alphabet Sestet’, a six-line poem using any consecutive series of alphabet letters to commence each line. I went with ABCDEF.