What’s in a name?

I notice the scalloped leaf edges, how each leaf attaches to the base of a flower stem. I see a royal lady’s collar and remember a name: ‘Lady’s Mantle’.

border plant

imagining a story

for her name

I later read that a ‘mantle’ is not a collar, but a sleeveless cloak. The name Lady’s Mantle was inspired by the leaves. It refers to their resemblance to a scalloped cloak shown in images of the Virgin Mary.

lady’s mantle

her royal collar holds

a cluster of stars

©️2021 Ontheland

COVID winter – – haibun

the news is a cacophony of stress … more COVID variants, more positive tests, more deaths, talk of ICU triage guidelines, and the vaccine rollout slowing to a trickle. What can I say? What can I do?

deep snow

on the deck and

it’s still snowing

But who wants to read gloomy observations? Most of us are wanting to be soothed, to forget.

darning

blue mittens

the colour of spring

©️2021 Ontheland

scrabble – – haibun

Another day at home for the two of us and the dogs. The wind knocks over a shovel on the porch and 55 pound Diesel barrels across the floor barking urgently. The other two dogs chime in, their madness continuing as snow blows its quiet storm.

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playing scrabble

from opposite ends of the room

on smart phones

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©️2021 Ontheland

January 14, 2021 – – haibun

As another grey day winds down, I hide in a new writing corner. This is my first, and hopefully, last pandemic winter. Last year, the infamous 2020, covid 19 may have been lurking in January, but no whistle had been blown. It wasn’t until mid-March on the cusp of spring that the World Health Organization declared a world pandemic.

Cold, damp, and dry, winter is our flu season, the time people typically get colds and flu so it is no surprise that COVID numbers are skyrocketing. I have been staying home but as of today it’s mandatory in Ontario…the pressure on society and the suffering of many is palpable, my salvation being gratitude for food, shelter, a home and so far, good health.

COVID winter

in the deep freeze dreaming

a Pfizer jab

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©️2021 Ontheland

the visit – – haibun

The other day I was towelling off after a shower when I noticed a shape at the window. I lifted the curtain and there before me was a white hen. She had clearly wandered from someone’s coop. With a gaze, both casual and intense, she pecked at the glass as if she wanted to come in. Though unsuccessful in finding her owner, we found a family willing to add her to their flock.

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winter night

I wonder about

the visiting hen

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©️2021 Ontheland

The Great Conjunction – – haibun

Last night, December 21, 2020, was the night of a rare astronomical event. Some were calling it the ‘Christmas Star’ or ‘Solstice Star’ but neither description is quite right as the ‘Great Conjunction’ refers to the alignment of two planets, Jupiter and Saturn. They were to be bright lights in the southwestern sky near the moon. One writeup compared their brightness to the star followed by the three Wise Men thousands of years ago.

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my winter solstice . . .

moon and stars

cloaked by clouds

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Though not a surprise after a day of rain, it was a disappointment. Today the sun has returned. Perhaps I will see Saturn and Jupiter tonight.

©️2020 Ontheland

is it snow? – – haibun

Is it snow? It floats, it blows…I extend my arm…no flakes land, but yes, tiny flakes are falling …very tiny flakes landing as wet slush … no white icing on the deck or grass, but yes, snow is falling!

And now, the flakes are bigger, landing in white splotches.

loud barks

break my reverie

a parcel at the door

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©️2020 Ontheland