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)

Renga with Basho Hineri #8

This 8th episode of Carpe Diem’s Renga with Basho features six of Basho’s haiku, as translated by Jane Reichhold, including one that was unfinished—I have completed the first haiku by adding a third line. Basho’s writings are shown in boldface type and my additions are in regular type (hopefully the Reader does not alter this).


missing a wife

putting on bamboo grass

I step out the door


into the blazing sunlight

a dusty road before me


above all else

a dependable chinquapin tree stands

in a summer grove


shade welcomes wanderers

a place of rest for weary feet


path of the sun

the hollyhock leans into

early summer rain


another cool blessing

I lower my grateful head


each with its own light

fireflies in the trees

lodge in flowers


no darkness this summer night

my way well-lit from above


a dragonfly

unable to settle

on the grass


wherever I am is home

until the wind calls my name


an early winter shower

a rice paddy with new stubble

darkens just a bit


this bamboo hat keeps me dry

as winter wind nips my cheeks


©️Matsuo Basho haiku shown in boldface type (taken from Basho, The Complete Haiku by Jane Reichhold)

©️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.

Renga with Basho

In this special edition of Carpe Diem’s Renga with Basho series Chèvrefeuille asks us to commence with a greeting verse (‘hokku’) actually used by Basho to commence a Renga Party. The other verses by Basho were written as stand alone haiku. As usual I have bolded Basho’s haiku (translated by Jane Reichhold) and italicized my two-line responses.


autumn coolness

each peeling with our hands

melons and eggplant


last embers of summer

lodge under our fingernails


swinging bridge

lives are intertwined

in ivy vines


the trellis has been transformed

brimming with succulent fruits


with young leaves

I would like to wipe away

the tears in your eyes


a blur of joy and sadness

ushers in each season


blossoms at their peak

the mountain the same as always

at day break


a mist of whitening dew

blades of grass sparkle at sunrise


a clear night

cooling myself under cherry trees

waves of flowers


I peel my eyes to glimpse

a shooting star flash the night sea


©️2018 Ontheland (bolded haiku are authored by Basho as translated by Jane Reichhold).

Renga with Basho #6



The Basho haiku for this Carpe Diem Renga challenge are translated by Robert Hass. The two-line responses in italics are mine. A true exchange of stanzas would be done in real time. This challenge is an opportunity to appreciate the haiku of a master and to practice writing two-line 7 syllable responses (I use the syllable count as a guide but don’t force my responses to comply).


cedar umbrellas, off

to Mount Yoshimo for

the cherry blossoms



our favourite rite of spring

don’t forget the wine glasses



attached to nothing,

the skylark singing



crescent moon lingering to

enjoy a dawn serenade


with every gust of wind,

the butterfly changes its place

on the willow



bamboo chimes clack and sway

a lullaby in rustling leaves


the dragonfly

can’t quite land

on that blade of grass



dewdrops shimmer and scatter

sunbeams bounce in beryl green


when the winter chrysanthemums go,

there’s nothing to write about

but radishes



pink like mountain hanami

flowers tint my winter dreams


©️2018 Ontheland

Hanami is the Japanese custom of blossom viewing.

Pink radishes courtesy of

Renga with Basho #5

Wren, courtesy of


In this Renga with three haiku of Matsuo Basho, translated by Jane Reichhold, the three line stanzas in bold italics are written by Basho and the regular typeface responses are mine.

what kind of tree

with the unknown flower

such a fragrance


is that a brown-headed crow

snapping air for flying fare?


with a fan

drinking wine in the shadow

of scattered blossoms


wren on the pedestal bath

sipping flower-flavoured tea


melting away

the brush draws up the water

of a spring


swift strokes over rice paper

unveiling a waterfall


blossoms at their peak

the mountain the same as always

at daybreak


floral scents infuse the dawn

bird songs trill to greet the day


©️2018 Ontheland

Carpe Diem Renga with Basho #5

Carpe Diem Renga Challenge #4

Another Renga Challenge of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai featuring six haiku by Matsuo Basho, shown in bold type. The challenge is to create a Renga by writing two-line responses, shown in italics.

sleep on a journey

then you will understand my poem

autumn winds

whisper delights and sorrows

rain spatters my reflection

into the sea

throwing my sandals

rain on my hat

playing hopscotch with bare feet

relishing schoolyard pastimes

village kids

don’t break all the plum branches

for cattle whips

compose haiku with carved nibs

pausing to inhale the dawn


a crane on the rice paddy

in a village in autumn

farmers rush out to the fields

winter chores haunting their thoughts

polished again

the mirror is as clear as

flower-like snowflakes

lace shawls drape the mountain peaks

pine branches dazzling white

falling to the ground

a flower closer to the root

bidding farewell

we’ll meet again in springtime

when verses are fresh like dew


©️All haiku in bold type are written by Basho (1644-1694) as translated by Jane Reichhold

©️Couplets in italics, 2018, Ontheland

Ancient warrior ghosts—soliloquy no renga

Ancient warrior ghosts

mists over the foreign highlands

waiting for the full moon



legends of our ancestors

our questions unanswered


wind-spun leaves falling

barren branches touching sky

taste the autumn rain


here is yesterday’s footpath

buried under winter snow


full moon rising

blood surges in beating hearts

silver lights the night


M L King’s sword of courage

host of heroes standing by


©️2018 Ontheland

This short Solo Renga is for Carpe Diem’s Weekend Meditation #41 Soliloquy no Renga “ancient warrior ghosts”. The opening haiku is written by Chèvrefeuille. In a regular Renga people take turns in writing alternating two-line and three-line stanzas. In a solo renga one person writes all that follows the opening haiku.

Renga #3 with Bashō

Why a video featuring pheasant sounds? Read on and it should make sense. This is my response to Carpe Diem’s third Renga Challenge featuring, once again, Japanese Haiku Master, Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694).

The three-line haiku in bold print are written by Bashō (as translated by Jane Reichhold). My couplet responses are in italics. Here goes:

passing through autumn

a butterfly seems to lick

chrysanthemum dew


a long pilgrimage begins

with sweet wine and sad farewells


five or six

sitting with tea and cakes

a fireplace


under Cold Moon, drumbeats sound

the caroller’s descant soars


a skylark sings

the pheasant’s voice is

the instrumental music


snow geese call in urgent tones

flying to their far North home


how glorious

young green leaves

flash in the sun


a child sage writes in the sand

an old poet lifts her pen


early summer rains

falling so heavily they cover up

the waterfall


chrysanthemum blooms live long

tending hopes and memories

©️2018 Ontheland (as noted, haiku are written by Bashō)

Chrysanthemum image is from Pixabay.

Renga with Bashō #2

still alive

under the slightness of my hat

enjoying the coolness

©️Bashō (1644-1694)

stones glisten with morning dew

birds awake as ghosts depart

©️2018 Ontheland

early summer rain

the green of a rock cypress

lasting how long


an artist under the ledge

mixes paint and prays for sun


rainy season

sea glow lights held up

by the night watchman


spirits of the mist wander

whiffs of woodsmoke call them home


the blue sea

in waves smelling of saké

tonight’s full moon


a rabbit sails in moonlight

are there answers in his pot?


logged tree

see the larger cut end is

a harvest moon


forests reaped like fields of corn

pockets fill with golden coin


on a bare branch

a crow settled down

autumn evening


still alive, planet quivers

spinning towards destiny



The challenge here was to create a Renga using six haiku written by Bashō. After each haiku of Bashō I have inserted two lines of seven syllables each. Many thanks to Chèvrefeuille , host of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, who created this Renga challenge.

Image Source: Rabbit in themoon