Wishing upon a star

Do you believe in Walt Disney’s message: ‘When you wish upon a star…anything your heart desires will come to you?’ Using this week’s haiku prompts from RonovanWrites (star & child) I composed two haiku on this theme (the two prompts words are in the second haiku).

Youth’s optimism:
‘If my heart is in my dreams,
they’ll all come true.’

♦        ♦        ♦

As a child I looked
up to the stars for magic–
It was always here.

Listen to this video for a bolt of Disney magic.  It features Christina Aguilera–apparently she appeared on Mickey Mouse Club episodes in the 90’s.  If you wish, you can follow the tune with the lyrics below.  I actually enjoy the words more than any rendition of the song that I’ve found–the words are enticing and for a moment can wrap you into a feeling of magic.

Christina Aguilera sings ‘When you wish upon a star’ live at Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary (May 4, 2005).

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do.

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of their secret longing.

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of their secret longing.

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true.

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Your dreams come true

When you wish upon a star was written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for Walt Disney’s 1940 adaptation of Pinocchio.  The song has since become the Walt Disney Co. theme song.

Canaries in the coal mine–haiku and quotes

Fumes seep and spiral,
Canaries in the coal mine
Chirp their last faint song.

RonovanWrites’ prompts of the week (trill and final) made me think of canaries in a coal mine.  Initially, I had an image of canaries singing to warn of danger.  However the canary warning is not their chirping–it’s their death.  Miners used to bring caged canaries into mines to warn them of dangerous gas leaks. When their feathered friends passed out, they knew it was time to get out of the mine.

As Wednesday is the day I do a quotations post, I searched for  a ‘canary in the coal mine’ quote.  I was not disappointed.  I found three interesting candidates–the first two have an environmental theme and the third one offers artistic inspiration.


“Whales are humanity’s canary in the coal mine,…As ocean pollution levels increase, marine mammals like whales will be among the first to go.”

Roger Searle Payne (born January 29, 1935) is an American biologist and environmentalist famous for the 1967 discovery (with Scott McVay) of whale song among humpback whales. Payne later became an important figure in the worldwide campaign to end commercial whaling.



“I believe that these sea lions that are washing up along the coast are actually acting as important canaries in the coal mine, warning us of some ocean changes that contribute in fact to human health.”

Dr. Frances Gulland is the Director of Veterinary Science at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA. Dr. Gulland has been actively involved in the veterinary care of stranded marine mammals and research into marine mammal diseases since 1994.

State of California Ocean Protection Council

I-sometimes-wondered kurt vonnegut

I sometimes wondered what the use of any of the arts was. The best thing I could come up with was what I call the canary in the coal mine theory of the arts.  This theory says that artists are useful to society because they are so sensitive.  They are super-sensitive. They keel over like canaries in poison coal mines long before more robust types realize that there is any danger whatsoever.”

What do you think about Kurt Vonnegut’s theory?  I believe he was pondering human survival and asking ‘how do the arts promote the survival of humankind?’  His answer, quoted above, is that artists (writers, painters, photographers, dancers, actors, musicians, etc) are more sensitive; in touch with feelings, senses, imagination, intuition, and such.  Artists notice more of what is going on in the world.

A bit elitist or grandiose?  Perhaps, but Vonnegut may have been onto something.  Another approach would be to attribute sensitivity to artistic endeavour rather than to those who pursue it full-time.  In other words, people are more fulfilled and aware when they can incorporate the arts into their lives. We all have the potential to be canaries in the coal mine.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American novelist known for works blending satire, black comedy, and science fiction.



In the mood for more quotes? Visit RonovanWrites and SilverThreading.


Evening tweets–haiku for RonovanWrites Challenge #81

Public domain photo courtesy of Pixabay.com
Public domain photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Lately I’ve noticed clouds of tiny birds swooping in fluid formations. This week’s prompt words from RonovanWrites, ‘trill’ and ‘final’, inspired this haiku:

Birds swoop and trill as
sun splashes final colours
across evening sky.

Have you ever heard the sounds of bird chatter emanating from a tree or bush?  Here is a 3-5-3 haiku incorporating this experience:

Clouds ripple
in sun’s final glow
cedars trill.

Many thanks to Ronovan for this week’s prompts.  Please visit his blog at the link above–to find information about writing haiku and links to more poems written for this week’s challenge.  Enjoy!

©2016, All rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com

Hyperloop–RonovanWrites #weekly#haiku#challenge #80


Hyperloop Elon Musk/Public Domain

Solar-powered train,
Swooshes faster than the wind,
New mode of transport.


 Hyperloop Elon Musk/Public Domain

Elon Musk, business executive,engineer, and investor, known in connection with Tesla Motors, Solar City, and SpaceX, came up with a new form of transportation that could replace trains, cars, and airplanes for commutes between cities less than 1000 miles apart.  Called ‘Hyperloop’, it would reach speeds over 750 mph and would run on solar energy.  A trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco would be about 35 minutes. What a concept!  He released detailed plans to the public in 2013, to facilitate project design and development.
My haiku was written in response to RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge #80. The prompt words were ‘style’ and ‘fresh’, and  I used synonyms: ‘mode’ and ‘new’.  For other takes on the prompts, please visit RonovanWrites at the link above.

©2016, All rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com

Frazil ice–haiku #2 for RonovanWrites Challenge #79

Frazil ice flow in Yosemite Creek, courtesy U. S. National Park Service

Frazil needles sink,
River dreams of warmer days,
Ice crystals cluster.

Millhaven Creek, Ontario:  prone to frazil ice–Ontheland photo

I enjoy learning the names of phenomena that I’ve seen, but never had a word for. Recently, I found such a word while reading a Conservation Authority press release warning people to watch out for ‘frazil’ ice along the banks of streams, on lakes, and on rivers.  I have read several definitions of frazil ice.  Basically I have gathered that it is new ice formed in moving waters, in extremely cold conditions (-6° C or less). Needle-shaped ice crystals multiply, forming slush or thin plates of ice floating on the surface.  The shores of the creek above are probably quite slushy with frazil ice.  It takes prolonged periods of cold for the creek to appear frozen over, and even then, one would want to be very careful stepping out onto it–you could fall through.

My post is in response to  RonovanWrites Haiku Challenge.  The prompt words this week are ‘crystal’ and ‘hope’.  Synonyms are allowed so I used the word ‘dream’ instead of ‘hope’.  To read more haiku or to find out how to participate, please visit the RonovanWrites link above.

©2016 All rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com

Ice dreams–Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge #79

The haiku I am posting today is in response to Ronovan’s prompts: ‘crystal’ and ‘hope’. We recently had heavy rainfall, followed by  temperatures below zero degrees centigrade.  Portions of land around the house flooded and then froze into large patches of ice. With ice on my mind, I wrote this haiku.

Skater on Rummelsburg Bay, Berlin. CC0 Public Domain, courtesy Pixabay.com
Skater on Rummelsburg Bay, Berlin. CCO Public Domain

Ice shines crystal clear,
Skater glides on smooth expanse,
Dreams and reflections.

To read more haiku using these prompt words, please visit RonovanWrites to enjoy the creativity of challenge participants. The challenge is open to one and all–posted on Mondays and closes by noon on Sunday.

©2016, all rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com

Vast opportunities–Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge #78–last two haiku


This is my final offering for Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge.  The prompts are ‘vast’ and ‘clear’.  It’s been quite a week of  mind and closet clearing; and today, I’m going to broach list clearing.  There are a few ways of clearing ‘To Do’ lists, such as re-scheduling tasks for a later date;  getting things done and checking them off; or simply deleting or ripping them up.  I find the last approach quite satisfying.  Or, have you ever felt bored, with no shortage of things you feel you ‘should’ do, recorded on a mental list?  Deleting  ‘shoulds’ can open up a day in a whole new way.  These are my haiku:

Clearing to do lists,
hoping for new adventures
waiting in the wings.

All lists deleted,
Endless opportunities
spark my excitement.

© 2016, All rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com