after the ice storm

It’s been freezing rain forever it seems. Vast puddles behind the house have frozen, melted, and frozen again. The first day of spring was in March and now, in mid-April, winter still lingers having teased us with dramatic reappearances and sudden exits. In the rain I hear birds laugh and chatter. They know spring is here despite her white frozen disguise.  Wielding a shovel to chop soft ice, I chuckle with them.

Ice storm is over
rain rinses snow
in the gutter


©2018 Ontheland

Two kigo prompts helped me create this small haibun:  Haikai Challenge #29: warm (atataka) and Chijitsu: Lingering Day—dVerse Haibun Monday.



to live life with passion and colour to the end of my days…to nurture lightness, curiosity, generosity, playfulness, endeavour…fortunate are those who retain a well of stamina in their elder years…

may a youthful spirit dwell in denial? perhaps, yet to tread nowhere or somewhere in this moment is a choice…a choice to thrive until the end.

a rainbow of light
flames rich autumn splendour—
the sun slips away

©2018 Ontheland

In Carpe Diem #1410 Rainbow, Chevrefeuille asks us to write a short haibun (100 words or less) using this haiku by Issa or a revision of it:

evening’s fall colors –
the rainbow in the valley
fades away

© Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)

‘Issa’ is a pen-name meaning ‘cup of tea’…the autumn photo is from

Come from away

Shock waves from the September 11 attacks spread far and wide. Gander, a small town in Newfoundland, faced a surprise landing of 38 flights diverted from United States airspace. The musical “Come from Away”, tells their story…how townsfolk sheltered thousands.

when terror sundered heaven
candles in the dark

©2018 Ontheland

Newfoundland and Labrador, a large island in the North Atlantic Ocean, is the easternmost province of Canada. It is nicknamed the “Rock”. I chose to feature this broadway musical “Come from Away” for Carpe Diem #1409 Broadway (extreme haibun). Limiting myself to 55 words or less for this extreme haibun was a challenge.

Below is a performance of “Welcome to the Rock”:


“What will you be?”

Adults asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most of us find ourselves buffeted between dreams, plans, and opportunity… and there are different types of opportunity. Being born is first, second are the circumstances you are born into and then the possibilities that arise each day. In a grade 7 writing assignment I wrote that I would live in a house by the ocean in Scotland and write books about the lives of classical composers…a romantic thought, inspired by vinyl records I listened to at home. My vision was a fantasy of the moment, not something pursued. Yet decades later, once given the means, I moved out of the city, closer to nature and now, almost every day, I pick up a pen and write.

branches snap

in capricious wind storms

a buffeted being

tossed in many directions

held steady by sturdy roots

©️2018 Ontheland


A haibun in response to Carpe Diem #1407 Opportunity (haibun without rules)

April 7

Though winds crack old limbs and send buckets rolling into the unknown, though nighttime temperatures dip below freezing, the sun is warm, its golden light shines the afternoon. And gazing out upon rolling contours of yellow fields I see subtle shades of green.

evening songs

cello breathing wordless notes

new life moves my pen


©️2018 Ontheland

In response to Carpe Diem #1405 New Life, I have written an ‘extreme’ haibun which can consist of no more than 55 words.

A ‘one-bun’ for April 4

A crow navigates savage winds as branches conduct a symphony of snow and rain that scatters waves from gullies out to open fields.

sun behind the clouds daffodils safe in their womb below ground

©️2018 Ontheland


This is my one-bun attempt for Carpe Diem #1402 Daffodils.

“The ‘one-bun’ is invented by Jim Kacian. The one-bun is an ultra-short haibun which has just one line of prose (including the title) and a (one-line) haiku.”

From Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

“show me the way to the Ocean!”

who is it?

who thirsts for all this

these transient things

that bind the spirit?

Take me to the sky

wrap me in music,

the gentle silence of dawn

false spring?

it’s the fire of life

the roar of the sea

©️2018 Ontheland


Today I respond to Carpe Diem #1391: A Great Silence featuring an ode of Jalaluddin Rumi…perhaps one could call my piece an experimental haibun. Rumi’s poem has so much to savour:

I don’t get tired of You. Don’t grow weary

of being compassionate toward me!

All this thirst-equipment

must surely be tired of me,

the waterjar, the water-carrier.

I have a thirsty fish in me

that can never find enough

of what it’s thirsty for!

Show me the way to the Ocean!

Break these half-measures,

these small containers.

All this fantasy

and grief.

Let my house be drowned in the wave

that rose last night out of the courtyard

hidden in the center of my chest.

Joseph fell like the moon into my well.

The harvest I expected was washed away.

But no matter.

A fire has risen above my tombstone hat.

I don’t want learning, or dignity,

or respectability.

I want this music and this dawn

and the warmth of your cheek against mine.

The grief-armies assemble,

but I’m not going with them.

This is how it always is

when I finish a poem.

A Great Silence overcomes me,

and I wonder why I ever thought

to use language.

© Rumi, Coleman Barks translation