we glide the chess board

from dark to light, night to day

castles rise and fall


©2017 Ontheland

Photo credit: Pixabay


Life as a game of chess is a metaphor often used in past centuries:

‘Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days

Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:

Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,

And one by one back in the Closet lays.

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)

This is my response to Carpe Diem #1308 — A Game of Chess.

seventh gate

In this quatrain Omar Khayyam attempts to comprehend life and our place in the universe. He regards death and human fate as mysteries he cannot decipher. His pondering highlights our human predicament—awareness that death of our physical bodies is certain. Birds on the other hand are free of such thoughts:

at sunrise
birds praising their Creator
without questions

© Chèvrefeuille

at sunrise
a human being
welcomes dawn
gazes at the sky
wonders about life

©2017 Ontheland

My tanka is in response to the above quatrain from the Rubaiyat and to the haiku by Chevrefeuille.  Carpe Diem #1304 The Seventh Gate.

the cup

Ah! my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears

Today of past Regrets and future Fears –

Tomorrow? – Why, Tomorrow I may be

Myself with Yesterday’s Sev’n Thousand Years.”

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)


Thinking about this quatrain, I wrote two haiku and a shadorma:


lines we write
fill pages like cups
cares take flight


lighten heavy hearts
sips of joy


I want to
know the cup that clears
all regrets
all terror,
live in a Flow of being,
taste the depth of Now

©2017 Ontheland

Many thanks to Chèvrefeuille who has been providing posts that illuminate Rubaiyat quatrains of 12th century poet Omar Khayyam. Today I respond to Carpe Diem #1232–past regrets and future fears.  I am also appreciating  Shadorma November, a community opportunity to explore the shadorma, a poem of 6 lines of 3-5-3-3-7-5 syllables.