on the road: haiku and tanka

retro radio

I catch up

with my teen era


autumn slush rain

fresh colour on the road

lemon puddles


defog on high

no heat on the floor

the wipers squeak

a doleful autumn preview

of winter driving


©️2018 Ontheland

I wrote the closing tanka in response to Carpe Diem #1543 Rainstorm which challenges us to write haiku or tanka about a rainstorm without referring to it directly.

Fort Fright

On top of the hill

where two rivers meet

a Halloween event

lighted up by Hunter’s Moon,

warm wood smoke and History.


I have been hoping to witness the second full moon of autumn for the last few days. The official full moon day was Wednesday but viewing can be good a few days before and after the official date. Unfortunately my moon view was blocked by cloud cover until Thursday night when I was at Fort Henry, an historical site on the St Lawrence and Cataraqui Rivers, for an event called ‘Fort Fright’.

©️2018 Ontheland

turkey vultures

we saw them twice

their winged magnificence and

yellow-hooked beaks

circling high in autumn sky

en route to a winter home


Photo credit: bones64 posted on Pixabay

Bird migration is the theme of this week’s Haikai challenge. Not being a bird expert, I can only guess that the vultures I saw lately were on their way south, but it seems to be an explanation for their recent appearance. Turkey vultures are listed as birds on the move in Ontario at this time of year.

©️2018 Ontheland


In wealthy nations such as Canada homelessness has been with us for quite a while. It is an invisible problem to many but not to those on 10-year waiting lists for an affordable apartment or room.

How did we get here? We still trust that a market economy will do what is right while ignoring unemployment, wages that do not cover basic food and shelter, and inadequate stocks of affordable housing. Belief in the wisdom of the marketplace has led us to blame individuals for their misfortune and to neglect community responsibility.

Another issue has reared its head: statelessness. Millions of people across the globe flee war and natural disasters. Again we are challenged to consider our responsiblity for the basic needs of human beings in our midst.


moving from place to place

with no fixed address

invisible souls

in this broken society

only an old myth matters


In the rural county where I live I have noticed an increasing attention to the plight of people without shelter. A landowner who invited a couple in need to live in a trailer on his land found himself helping out more people. He is now in trouble with the municipality as trailers he set up on his property violate zoning bylaws.


hidden survivors

like ants under a boulder

their lives unknown


©️2018 Ontheland

Reflections about a cause for Haikai Challenge #48 Causes

late summer, autumn near

Anise Hyssop, August 19, 2018, 10 am


late August mornings

the weight of exhausting heat

no longer deters

sleep-ins, strolling out at nine

in soft zephyrs, dewy light


In late summer the pressure to get out to the garden before 8 a.m. is easing up. It is still cool enough to harvest and tidy after 9.

A tanka for Haikai Challenge #47, autumn near.

©️2018 Ontheland