“Unfold your own myth”


The following haiku could be ‘digested’ separately or as a related series. They are responses to Rumi’s call: “…don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth, without complicated explanation, so everyone will understand the passage, we have opened you.”  Rumi’s full poem “Unfold your own Myth”, feature of Carpe Diem #1396, is reproduced following my three haiku.


on a summer night
swinging over Buckhorn Lake
flying to the moon


sheltered by sand dunes
serenading the wind
alone on the shore


candle flame flickers
words scribble on paper
in the dying light

©2018 Ontheland


“Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins?

Who finds us here circling, bewildered, like atoms?

Who comes to a spring thirsty

and sees the moon reflected in it?

Who, like Jacob, blind with grief and age,

smells the shirt of his son and can see again?

Who lets a bucket down

and brings up a flowing prophet?

Or like Moses goes for fire

and finds what burns inside the sunrise?

Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies,

and opens a door to the other world.

Solomon cuts open a fish, and there’s a gold ring.

Omar storms in to kill the prophet

and leaves with blessings.

Chase a deer and end up everywhere!

An oyster opens his mouth to swallow one drop.

Now there’s a pearl.

A vagrant wanders empty ruins

Suddenly he’s wealthy.

But don’t be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth,

without complicated explanation,

so everyone will understand the passage,

We have opened you.

Start walking towards Shams.

Your legs will get heavy and tired.

Then comes a moment of feeling the wings you’ve grown, lifting.”

Jelaluddin Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)

**Photo sourced from Pixabay’s public collection, tagged “swing”

spring rain

I saw hawks and tiny birds out in the rain yesterday…and then I read another poem by Rumi.  I hope my readers are enjoying Rumi month at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai as much as I am! Below, my haiku is followed by an excerpt from the inspirational Rumi poem.

first cold rain of spring

birds soar with forgotten joy

a dreamer awakes

©2018 Ontheland

….The dust of many crumbled cities
settles over us like a forgetful doze,
but we are older than those cities.

We began
as a mineral. We emerged into plant life
and into animal state, and then into being human,
and always we have forgotten our former states,
except in early spring when we slightly recall
being green again.
That’s how a young person turns
toward a teacher. That’s how a baby leans
toward the breast, without knowing the secret
of its desire, yet turning instinctively.

Humankind is being led along an evolving course,
through this migration of intelligences,
and though we seem to be sleeping,
there is an inner wakefulness
that directs the dream,

and that will eventually startle us back
to the truth of who we are.

©Jalaluddin Rumi, from ‘The dream that must be interpreted’ as translated by Coleman Barks

a kiss

cello voice murmurs

love beyond words resounding

a window opens

©️2018 Ontheland


There is some kiss we want with 

our whole lives, the touch of

spirit on the body. Seawater

begs the pearl to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately

it needs some wild darling! At

night, I open the window and ask

the moon to come and press its

face against mine. Breathe into

me. Close the language- door and

open the love window. The moon

won’t use the door, only the window.

© Rumi (taken from: Soul of Rumi by Coleman Barks)

In response to Carpe Diem 1394: Some kiss we want

still waiting

tulips! daffodils!
in surreal sleeping dreams—
in daylight, green moss
hugs the earth along my path
another world stirring near

©2018 Ontheland


Reading the Jalauddin Rumi poem below literally coloured my dreamworld last night. Though the landscape here is bleak, there are ‘green ones’ rising from below—such as the moss out back.

Again, the violet bows to the lily.
Again, the rose is tearing off her gown!

The green ones have come from the other world,
Tipsy like the breeze up to some new foolishness.

Again, near the top of the mountain
The anemone’s sweet features appear.

The hyacinth speaks formally to the jasmine,
“Peace be with you.” “And peace to you, lad!
Come walk with me in this meadow.”

Again, there are sufis everywhere!

The bud is shy, but the wind removes
Her veil suddenly, “My friend!”

The Friend is here like water in the stream,
Like a lotus on the water.

The narcissus winks at the wisteria,
“Whenever you say.”

And the clove to the willow, “You are the one
I hope for.” The willow replies, “Consider
These chambers of mine yours. Welcome!”

The apple, “Orange, why the frown?”
“So that those who mean harm
Will not see my beauty.”

The ringdove comes asking, “Where,
Where is the Friend?”

With one note the nightingale
Indicates the rose.

Again, the season of Spring has come
And a spring-source rises under everything,
A moon sliding from the shadows.

Many things must be left unsaid, because it’s late,
But whatever conversation we haven’t had
Tonight, we’ll have tomorrow.

© Jalauddin Rumi

 In response to Carpe Diem #1393: Spring is Coming

“show me the way to the Ocean!”

who is it?

who thirsts for all this

these transient things

that bind the spirit?

Take me to the sky

wrap me in music,

the gentle silence of dawn

false spring?

it’s the fire of life

the roar of the sea

©️2018 Ontheland


Today I respond to Carpe Diem #1391: A Great Silence featuring an ode of Jalaluddin Rumi…perhaps one could call my piece an experimental haibun. Rumi’s poem has so much to savour:

I don’t get tired of You. Don’t grow weary

of being compassionate toward me!

All this thirst-equipment

must surely be tired of me,

the waterjar, the water-carrier.

I have a thirsty fish in me

that can never find enough

of what it’s thirsty for!

Show me the way to the Ocean!

Break these half-measures,

these small containers.

All this fantasy

and grief.

Let my house be drowned in the wave

that rose last night out of the courtyard

hidden in the center of my chest.

Joseph fell like the moon into my well.

The harvest I expected was washed away.

But no matter.

A fire has risen above my tombstone hat.

I don’t want learning, or dignity,

or respectability.

I want this music and this dawn

and the warmth of your cheek against mine.

The grief-armies assemble,

but I’m not going with them.

This is how it always is

when I finish a poem.

A Great Silence overcomes me,

and I wonder why I ever thought

to use language.

© Rumi, Coleman Barks translation


The flute weeps


flame embraces wick

wax melts to vapour


distant owl calls

nearby, high voices chatter

the match has been struck!


Sometimes poems will come while listening to music. This time I wrote after reading a poem by Rumi…the first lines are: ‘The flute weeps, to the pacing drum’. For the full text of Rumi’s poem please visit Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

©️2018 Ontheland

breeze at dawn


Today I offer more haiku/tanka reflections inspired by verses of 13th century poet, Jalaluddin Rumi, as curated by Chevrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

© Rumi

My responses:

at rest
bathed in lidded light
consciousness awakes


thoughts whisper
solutions hover
in morning breeze


at daybreak
awareness dawns
in realm of
peaceful consciousness…
the door is always there


©2018 Ontheland


my mind is light
as words flow to the page
an empty carafe


spring sky
wondrous blue


©2018 Ontheland

The sweetness of silence between times of storytelling, talk, and worldly concerns is proposed by Rumi in “Two Days of Silence”:

After days of feasting, fast.
After days of sleeping, stay awake
one night. After these times of bitter
storytelling, joking, and serious
considerations, we should give ourselves
two days between layers of baklava
in the quiet seclusion where soul sweetens
and thrives more than with language.

© Rumi (taken from The Book of Love)

In Carpe Diem #1386, Chevrefeuille invites haiku in response, creating scenes that do not use the word silence.

Baklava, courtesy of Pixabay