Peter Rabbit: haibun

Illustration of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (public domain)

Beatrix Potter purists may not approve of 2018’s computer-animated Peter Rabbit film. I enjoyed it.

in winter cold

we gather around

the glowing TV

Human actors (starring Bea and Mr McGregor) interact with animated wildlife, propelled by an upbeat soundtrack, sprinkles of humour and wholesome sentiments.

Peter Rabbit talks

with no taradiddles*

he can admit fault


*word used in the film during a Scrabble game (not to be confused with paradiddle)

©️2018 Ontheland

in-between times: haiku

Winter has its in-between times. Dazzling crystal snow melts, exposing open fields. Moisture fills the air.


grasses glisten

every shade of brown


sedges rest

pines hold the sky

ever green*


After a warm spell, below-freezing cold returns—winter once more:


the crisp smell

of winter air

feels like Christmas


*some sedges and grasses stay green under snow

The felt sense of winter varies depending on where you live. Having lived in Ontario all my life, it feels like winter when there is snow and/or freezing cold.

©️2018 Ontheland

A stroll down Princess Street: haibun

I live 30 minutes west of a small city of 150,000 people. Walking down the main drag, called “Princess Street”, I remember my previous life in Toronto, my home for over 30 years.

It is early twilight on a November afternoon. I am in town to take a ‘haiku stroll’ for this week’s Sense of Place writing event. The air is biting cold. Not fully prepared, I promise myself to wear warmer gloves and a scarf next time.

In the descending dusk I feel caught in a void between the warmth of daylight and the glitter of night lighting. I beg the street lamps to turn on. After a few blocks I sigh with relief as they do, but there is still a lackluster feel to this outing. Is it me or the people around me?

Cold dusk

eyes barely lift

along the sidewalk

In the summer, baskets of flowers liven up the street but today the only signs of vegetation are barren trees.


lone sapling

by the curb

This small city is not spared from homelessness, a worse predicament here than in a larger city with more services, I imagine. I marvel at how people are panhandling with no blankets or chairs.

hands clench

seated on frozen cement

by her cardboard sign

My walk is a short “U” down towards the lake and up again to my target, a warm coffee shop.


©️2018 Ontheland

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.

a cherita haibun: lamplight

We shiver awake in late autumn

As the sun sleeps

we make breakfast and tea

Until the sky brightens

with enough solar glow

to light our way.

more dark than light

in this somnolent time

my lamp flickers



Note: I have combined a cherita with a haiku to create a “cherita haibun” for Carpe Diem #1544 which features “autumn lamplight” a kigo (season word) for Japanese haiku.

©️2018 Ontheland

a window of memory: haibun

The wood fire, a girl guide log cabin lay, is a miracle of flame and heat in a deep pit of snow. Bundled trekkers huddle in the dappled clearing knee deep in fresh powder. Our frozen faces, fingers and toes tingle as the long day winds down with a winter cookout, a WINTER cookout, how amazing are these foil packets we cradle in our hands!

hot s’mores

at trail end

sweet melts in snow

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

A s’more is campfire treat of roasted marshmallow on chocolate between graham crackers.

My haiku, that concludes this haibun, appears with others on the theme of ‘taste’ in Kathy Munro’s November 14, 2018 post on Troutswirl: “A sense of place: HIKING TRAIL – taste”.

©️2018 Ontheland