In early Starhawk days,

when ‘Spiral Dance’

trickled consciousness,

we were soundmakers

a musical community —

a collective we called it,

in basements and flats

hand drum drummers

reed tone wailers

guitar string strummers

keyboard ramblers

bursting with passion,

bursting with sound,

an oasis

in disparate lives

an alternate reality


like seeds in the wind,

we dispersed

leaving wistful memories.

Now I sense your spirits

in this cyber world.

Poet wordcrafters,

we span the globe,

imaginations soar

ink sticks roar,

keys tap dance,

cursors out-pour


being human in

a material world.

©2017 Ontheland

‘Community’ is the theme of Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, hosted by Paul Scribbles, his first night as member of the dVerse facilitating team.  In his post Paul includes a Starhawk quote describing a beautiful vision of community which reminds me of parallels I feel between a musical community of my past and, in my present, dVerse and the broader blogosphere.


Patterns emerge over time:

ebb, flow

snag, stall,


Tonight my meditation

cushion called.  I heard

computer hum,

crickets chirp,

dryer drone

and all that and

this, swarming

like a cloud of shadflies

settled to pleasant


a feeling of sitting

low and true.

‘Still’  is this Monday’s quadrille prompt at dVerse Poets Pub.  Grace included a quote by Ram Dass: “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”

©2017 Ontheland


After the rain

After the rain

anointed with perfection

grass blades glisten

Morning once more,

hidden behind grey clouds

soft sunlight glows

High on hilltops,

haze of swelling buds,

rose-brushed branches

I wrote these three haiku yesterday morning.  Up until now I have adhered to syllable patterns 5-7-5 and 3-5-3.  Intrigued by an awareness that not all haiku writers confine themselves to these counts, I have been reluctant to branch out without a better understanding.  Finally an explanation has been provided in Carpe Diem Universal Jane #15 Birdcage which reproduces an essay by Jane Reichhold called: ‘Building an Excellent Birdcage’.  Her article provides an introduction to writing haiku in English.  The following words inspired me to experiment with breaking out of exact syllable patterns:

Many people think haiku are not real haiku unless they have 17 syllables – but this does not have to be. In Japan if you’re counting the sound units there should be 17, but English syllables and Japanese sound units are different. The sound units are much shorter, and so if you would write a 17-syllable haiku it would come out about one-third too long. For instance, if you say “Tokyo” it has 3 syllables, but in Japanese it has 4 sound units.


When the Japanese tried to translate English haiku into Japanese they ended up with big, clunky poems and way too many words. So we’ve taken the idea of using short-long-short lines and this conforms to the haiku form, but it allows us a little more freedom in how many words we use.

from ‘Building an Excellent Birdcage’ by Jane Reichhold

©2017 Ontheland.wordpress.com



High on a counter,

bronze glass buttons watch closely,

a jar of biscuits

On a recent trip to the vet I noticed the unique doll-like button eyes of Princess, the office cat.  Busy with our pets and paying the bill, I didn’t think of trying to take a photo.  This image from Pixabay, gives some idea of the scene that inspired me to write a haiku.

©2017 Ontheland.wordpress.com

Packets of hope: Chamomile

By Alvesgaspar (via Wikimedia commons)


fairy dust and

April rain, dream white stars

with golden hearts, entice

scents of yellow teas,

seduce and dream

sweet chamomile.

I’m planting German chamomile seeds for the first time this year.  The seeds are so tiny you can barely pinch them for sprinkling (I let them slide off a piece of paper).  The dried flowers, alone or combined with other herbs, are steeped to make relaxing teas.


©2017 Ontheland.wordpress.com


Not knowing

Worry about nuclear theatre

may be a sign of privilege,

having something to lose.

Jet fumes accent grey yellow sunset sky,

dog nails patter on bare wood floor,

cats sit near guarding opposite directions.

In war zones bombs blitz everyday

death is near, some say they’ve lost all fear,

my distant mind strains to comprehend.

I always wonder about my fur friends,

their reliance on us, not privy to our plans

yet much goes on in sky above and earth below,

down the road and millions of miles away

and I know nothing of it.

Darkness has fallen into steady gnawing and

this human mind calms knowing about

not knowing much at all.

©2017 Ontheland



A haiku variation

The other evening I read about Allen Ginsberg’s 17-syllable American Sentences—a variation on the 17-syllable (5-7-5) haiku.  If you have time sample some of his sentences as they are priceless.  That same evening I sketched a few ideas…they came from my current thought stream and media environment.

Chocolate rabbits and flying reindeer may hold all of the answers.

Hot radio topics: cheating, profiling, cultural genocide.

I am returning to Music as the News threatens my sanity.

Chocolate rabbits and flying reindeer may explain everything.

 ©2017 Ontheland