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.

Never again

The A-bomb Dome, remains of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, located about 175 yards from the bomb’s hypocenter


Here I sit on the other side of an ocean and on the far side of North America, 73 years after the United States dropped two atomic bombs at the end of the Second World War— destroying Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945 and exploding over Nagasaki three days later on August 9. Hundreds of thousands of people, animals and other life dissolved in an instant.


On Hiroshima Memorial Day, August 6, 2018 I endeavour to expand my awareness beyond stock images of a massive mushroom cloud, the horrors of mass death and years of radiation sicknesses. I scroll through online articles grasping for nuggets of hope.


life returns

in a field of death



In 1949 the mayor of Hiroshima proclaimed his city to be a ‘City of Peace’. From there the city blossomed as a hub of memorials and advocacy for world peace and nuclear disarmament. In 2017 an International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for achieving a global agreement for banning nuclear weapons. What a concept! It has no legal force but the fact that a large number of nations agreed to ban nuclear weapons from the planet is a first step.

My third nugget of hope is that a United States President, Barack Obama, visited Japan in 2016 and spoke peaceful words of reason:

“That is the future we can choose…A future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are known not as the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening.”

The whole world needs to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki and recognize that mass destruction cannot resolve the world’s problems.



shadows of steel and flesh

signify the void


Oleander, the official flower of Hiroshima, the first flower to bloom from the bomb-scorched earth


©️2018 Ontheland

dVerse Poets Pub, Haibun Monday: Peace Memorial

Remembering Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for a better day

Martin Luther King’s words still resound with relevance 50 years after his murder on April 4,1968. At the time he was preparing to lead a protest in Washington called the ‘Poor People’s Campaign’. Bruce Witzel’s memorial, featuring quotations and photographs, is well worth a read.

through the luminary lens

Martin Luther king Jr. - photo by Dick DeMarsico - reproduction rights transferred to Library pf Congress. No copyright restriction known

MLK bumper sticker - bruce witzel photo

Art from Tubac Arizona (edited) - painting entitled Grief Knows No Boundaries - artist unknown

Or the full 53 min. audio recording ]

Living Memorial Sculpture Garden - created by Vietnam veteran and sculptural artist Denis Smith - photo by Bruce Witzel

Martin Luther King Jr. statue at Fresno California May 29, 2010 - bruce witzel photo

Memorial at Weed, California - bruce witzel photo

Living Memorial Sculpture Garden near Weed california

Girl in Mexico City, Oct. 1991 - Bruce Witzel photo

MLKJrQuote abour service edited

At the Getty Villa - bruce witzel photo

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