Wild wind rained last night 

lashing remains of summer

golden leaves dangle

waiting for a gentle breeze

to shimmer late autumn days


©2017 Ontheland

In response to Robert Frost’s “October”:

 “O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

To-morrow’s wind, if it be wild,

Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call.

To-morrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild,

Begin the hours of this day slow,

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled, 

Beguile us in the way you know;

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our trees, one far away;

Retard the sun with gentle mist;

Enchant the land with amethyst.

Slow, slow!

For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,

Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,

Whose clustered fruit must else be lost

For the grapes’ sake along the wall.”

(By Robert Frost; www.poets.org)

My tanka is inspired by Carpe Diem #1272 October (Robert Frost), an invitation to speak to the essence of Frost’s beautiful poem in haiku or tanka.


When I saw this image I thought of a young adult I heard about recently.  He is so sad and depressed he doesn’t care about the work he does and how his lack of attention and effort affects people who are unwell.  These are people who need the products he assembles.  I imagine he may once have been a tormented child born into a world that didn’t care.

A child alone 

bent over in despair 

kissed by soft winds 

warmed by spring sunlight 

his heart needs love to grow 


Notes:  This evocative photo was discovered by Chèvrefeuille on Tumblr and is his prompt for Carpe Diem #1249 Despair

© 2017 Ontheland

wandering (2)

August 20, 2017 in Brockville by ontheland
I took the course

ran the race, 

passed tests, and

as many times before, 

earned the certificate of completion.

Yet something was missing.


      self discoveries

             on fresh path 

              each dawn, shift of light

              bird song changes key

                           ~  ~  ~

Reading Suzanne’s Ontheroad Prompt: The Haijun on the Road led me to these thoughts….a haibun of sorts, having a brief intro and a closing tanka…

© 2017 Ontheland

milkweed and monarch butterflies

Black-dotted borders 

upon peach-bright wings proclaim:

monarch revival!


in magic meadow,

striped larva,

destined to grow wings

and sip sweet nectars

Milkweed pod,

green curves echo



A monarch caterpillar’s magic meadow is the milkweed plant. Mother butterfly lays an egg on the underside of a leaf and the larva feeds on the milkweed plant, the only food it can eat.

When mature, the caterpillar migrates away from its milkweed to a high hidden spot where it transforms into a tiny green pupa or chrysalis. It is from this pod that a new butterfly will soon emerge.

As a species, monarch butterflies have been considered endangered for quite a while. This has in part been caused by human destruction of milkweed (directly and indirectly). In recent years increased protection and planting of milkweed has had a positive impact.

For a summary of the monarch butterfly life cycle and the crucial role of milkweed see mission-monarch.org.

©2017 Ontheland 

Solar eclipse

Today’s solar eclipse was only partial in Ontario, Canada. I was outside tuning into any changes around me and wrote two small poems (tanka and haiku):

Daylight shifts 

to evening grey as

crickets buzz—

I dare not look as

dark moon clips the sun


Earth and sister moon

companions in orbit—

obstructions are rare


Some of you will remember the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon (1973). This video of the song ‘Eclipse’ shows the moon moving across the sun and if you last to the end, there is an interesting conclusion.



Ontheroadprompts: “Travelling with the Moon”

©2017 Ontheland

dinner time

Timid neighbours roam

past my open window,

wild turkey brood

from an in-between world—

they sleep in trees at night.


The wild turkeys around here are so shy that I can only take photos from far away, sometimes through a window. If I open the door they run away.  The photo here shows part of a family that includes more babies and another adult who took up the rear.

I wrote this tanka thinking about the writing of Tagami Kikusha (1753-1826) featured in the July 21 On the Road prompt.  If you like writing or reading haiku and related forms, you may enjoy Suzanne’s essays on this prompt site.  There are no time limits for participation.


©2017 Ontheland