How shall

I detain you,

captivate you?

But wait—

is this the question 

I want to ask? or

should I feather

my own words and

hope a fledgling

will take flight?


Today (Tuesday) at dVerse Poet’s Pub Bjorn Rudberg challenges us to write a poem consisting of questions. My first question is inspired by another short but longer poem by Cid Corman.

©2017 Ontheland

chasing butterflies

Summer showers,

prisms of awareness

splash lines on this page


Galaxies repeat,

lights scatter my darkness,

one world my home


Responding to Ontheroadprompts:  “For this week’s prompt let the life and work of Hisajo inspire your creative explorations of haiku and related forms.” Hisajo is a Japanese poet of the early 20th century (1890-1946). To read about her life and writing visit Suzanne’s post at the link above. Her essay includes the following quote and haiku which I found particularly inspiring:

I would like to make a haiku out of what touches my life, what my eyes see, ears hear, what my heart speaks to myself in a strong voice… I want to sketch things that left an impression in the depth of my soul.“

From a Letter Written In Daybreak, 1922 by Sugito Hisajo

chasing butterflies

deep into spring mountains

I have  become lost

                     – Hisajo 


©2017 Ontheland

Soaking up the rays


Soaking up the rays

after choosing ‘right’ cushion

communal pleasure

Moments before this peaceful scene they jostled and jumped from cushion to cushion until everyone settled down.  The fourth cushion could have been occupied, but our orange-haired cat tends to shun community events and the elderly dog currently visiting backed off when cushion selection became hectic (despite my efforts to help out).

I decided to write a haiku today after reading an essay by the late Haiku poet, Jane Reichhold (1937-2016) about composing haiku with a fragment and a phrase.  Her fragment and phrase theory makes sense to me.  Perhaps even more interesting are her words about how she related to haiku writing guidelines.  Here is a small excerpt:

There is, thank goodness, no one way to write a haiku. Though the literature has haiku which we admire and even model our own works on, there is no one style or technique which is absolutely the best. Haiku is too large for that. Haiku has, in its short history been explored and expanded by writers so that now we have a fairly wide range of styles, techniques and methods to investigate.

To read her full essay please visit Carpe Diem Universal Jane #17 fragment and phrase.

©2017 Ontheland

about haiku (2)

Writing about ‘writing haiku’ captured my imagination.  I woke up scribbling yesterday morning:

Poems float gently

in a breeze of syllables

haiku-dusted sky

From hill to valley

rushing waters stir my heart—

cleansing tears bear joy.

A word plops

on a silent pond

haiku ripple.

This is my second response to Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu Special #1 “The Poet’s Craft”. In this Carpe Diem Haiku Kai episode, guest writer, Kim Russell, invites us to write haiku about writing haiku.

Geese on a country road

Earlier this fall I came upon two domestic geese biding their time in the middle of the road.  They had wandered from a nearby farm yard.

Two white geese,

honking on side road,

mild stand-off.

My feeble car honks had no impact, except to inform the driver behind me that there was a reason I had stopped. In moments, the other driver gaily walked by my window informing me she was ‘experienced’.  It was a pleasure to behold:  she waddled towards the geese and they promptly marched off the road.

Feathered tourists gaze,

 unruffled sightseers,

waddling moves webbed feet.

©2016, Ontheland

I put this event on a back-burner about a month ago.  When I saw a classical haiku writing tip on Heeding Haiku by Chèvrefeuille  I decided to revisit a haiku I had scribbled.  While I don’t always aspire to abide by classical form, I feel there is much to be learned from Masters. The writing tip is called ‘mixing it up’:

What is meant here is mixing up the action so the reader does not know if nature is doing the acting or if a human is doing it. As you know, haiku are praised for getting rid of authors, authors’ opinions, and authors’ action. One way to sneak this in is to use the gerund (-ing added to a verb) combined with an action that seems sensible for both a human and for the nature/nature to do. Very often when you use a gerund in a haiku you are basically saying, “I am. . . ” making an action but leaving unsaid the “I am”. The Japanese language has allowed poets to use this tactic so long and so well that even their translators are barely aware of what is being done. It is a good way to combine humanity’s action with nature in a way that minimizes the impact of the author but allows an interaction between humanity and nature.

From Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, December 14th 2016, Mixing It Up, a Haiku Writing Techniques