we are oak, our roots travel deep, our leaves rustle winds

we are birds, we surf the clouds, we dive far below

we are fish, we rule the ocean, we leap to the sun

we are seeds released by fire, born to rise again


©️2018 Ontheland

A quadrille for dVerse…a poem of 44 words…this week the challenge is to include ‘fire’.


The Thursday dVerse challenge posted by Jill Lyman was to write a poem in response to another poem. I have chosen Leonard Cohen’s poem “Elegy” published in his first poetry book, “Let us Compare Mythologies” in 1956. Since I couldn’t find a copy of it on the internet, I took the above photo of a print version.

I find Leonard Cohen’s poem to be open to a few interpretations. This allowed me to respond, as we often do in conversation, as if my understanding fits with his:

I shall not search for him

along cold city streets,

through lowland mists, nor

where hawks swoop for their prey.

I will turn from gunfire

and wanton cruelty,

from parched wastelands

and scarred tar sands,

to places of comfort.

I will embrace sustenance

contemplate continuity,

the warm caress of sun as

chimes sing in gentle breezes and

seeds nestle in fertile ground,

kind words of love resonating still.


©️2018 Ontheland


From life you stepped,

your cancer-sieged body

no longer a home.

We were standing near

close to life’s questions,

close to you, your courage

your humour,

your memories,

so present,

knowing the time

would soon be here.

When your hour came

you bid the white flag to rise

to penetrate flesh,

releasing breath

from all painful fight.

You who survived war,

hid in marshes,

saved children from slaughter,

sailed schooners on rivers across the sea,

surrendered in different times —

forever brave while poppies weep.


©️2018 Ontheland


‘Silent night, holy night’,
composed 200 years ago,
a song of Christmas,
longing for peace and light
cradled by a story
that captivated
a descant soaring,
a gowned choir
draped in white surplices,
angel voices pouring
love into fluted tones,
for an infant and mother,
wrapped in
a vessel
of hope,


candle flame
story of a
winter night


fresh snow
no sleigh bells ring
all is bright


© 2017 Ontheland

Inspired by Chèvrefeuille’s recent prompts, including A choir of angels, and by my connections to the carol, Silent Night, an ‘intangible cultural heritage’.