autumn memory: haibun

My father left this world almost 30 years ago.

Strolling an autumn path inhaling its fragrance, hearing its rustle, I remember the hills near my childhood home.

in the Gatineau

time unwinds in autumn winds

hiking with father


©️2018 Ontheland

For Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, November 7th 2018 the voice of the wind

“Haibun” is a literary form originating in Japan traditionally composed of prose and haiku.

travelling back in time: a haibun

It’s early morning, my half awake middle aged mind returns to grade nine, an opaque blur: no faces, no objects, just a sense of door, teacher, the front of the classroom being next to the door, windows at the back…I hand the teacher my scribbled line “if they don’t care why should I?”…all is in shadows except her response: “of course you care.”

The debate led by “M” was in the same classroom…she said “he” had a superiority complex…I thought perhaps the boy discussed felt inferior…my head mulled over this question many times…decades later I ponder it once again…not remembering the “he” we were debating, only that he was troubled, troubling, or both. Perhaps feeling superior or inferior are similar modes…both mistakes about self, both experiences of precipice. And then the final fragment of memory: in the hallway, just outside the classroom door, the tall shadow of the girl who would be the leader in this new school.

lost in an ocean

just learning how to swim



©️2018 Ontheland

circle of life a solo-renga


circle of life

seasons come and go…always

the Cosmos leads us

©️ Chèvrefeuille


not knowing where we are

searching for words to find us


clearing autumn leaves

they return by morning

in capricious winds


whispering of darkness

starlings dance in wintry air


agony abounds

kindness easing sorrow

like winter blossoms


murmurations in the mist

woolly caterpillars curl


waves rise to the moon

guests come unannounced

why resist the flow?


born of the universe

we lead and surrender


©️2018 Ontheland

Carpe Diem #1530 Universe: Soliloquy no Renga (solo-renga)


to savour fresh air, to work, hum, take naps

thankful for love and absence of pain

for surprising rays of sunlight

that leap over dappled clouds

glinting dying colours

a simple peace this

a landing place

to choose thoughts




Many thanks to Annika Perry who recently wrote two etherees and invited others to give it a try. This is a reverse etheree with the following syllables-per-line count: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Recently I told Annika that I am not doing syllabic poems these days (other than Japanese forms) but I’m finding myself going through a kind of ‘phase’ lately and thought I would give the form a try.

This weekend is Thanksgiving Weekend in Canada, with Thanksgiving Day being on Monday.

©️2018 Ontheland

autumn winds

Inspired by Frank’s 50th Haikai Challenge, I explore some of my recent encounters with autumn winds. They herald the gradual shift from summer to fall:


a subtle coolness

whiffs of air through the window

autumn is moving in


the green tarp is gone

did a thief pass by today?

gusts of autumn wind


close to heatstroke

cleaning the shed at summer end

I catch a breeze


new winds are blowing

autumn into everything

porch chimes singing


©️2018 Ontheland

Renga with Basho #7

It’s time for another Renga with Basho. For this challenge the haiku offered by Chevrefeuille, our Carpe Diem host, are translations by Robert Hass. The bold three-line stanzas are by Basho, renowned  Japanese poet (1644-1694), and the italicized two-line stanzas are mine.


by the old temple

peach blossoms;

a man treading rice


golden manna from the storehouse

each grain a nourishing pearl


all the day long

yet not long enough for the skylark

singing, singing


old farmers toil and hum

whispering paddies rustle


the shallows

a crane’s thighs splashed

in cool waves


an evening in the rice fields

quiet moments bathed in peace


the dragonfly

can’t quite land

on that blade of grass


we shall spread a blanket

under the shady willow 


I’m a wanderer

so let that be my name

the first winter rain


when peach leaves are falling

my staff will be by my side


Thank you to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai for this challenge.  As mentioned above, the bolded stanzas are by Matsuo Basho, as translated by Robert Hass, and the two-line italicized stanzas were written by me.