There is no schedule

no dress code

ever-greens, still-greens

crinkly browns and riot reds

all inhabit this autumn world—

half-dressed under-dressed


full leaf skirts

bare tops show lines and gnarls

limbs of all shapes etch sky,

naked along roadways

on top of hills

elegance across and below.


In whimsical mind

I ponder



©2016, Ontheland


Words take flight


Thunderous waters splash and tumble,

cedars soar above jagged rock,

heartsong ripples, soft feet tread.


Red-tailed hawks chase the sun,

busy spiders trail silken strands,

thunderous waters splash and tumble.


Ferns sparkle under forest tresses,

ancient gnarled roots embrace,

cedars soar above jagged rock.


Wonder multiplies with abandon,

water, sun, shimmering cascades,

heartsong ripples, soft feet tread.

The painting reproduction entitled ‘Silence’, provided by Jane Dougherty as a  poetry prompt, reminds me of the temperate rainforest in British Columbia.  The challenge this week was to write a Cascade poem using the painting and the following words for inspiration: Cascade, Tresses, Eagle, Abandon, Rippling.

©2016, All rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com

Sparrows on a rainy morning

I like trying to record small moments of wonder in haiku. On May 1st morning I was surprised and delighted to see birds visiting our bird feeder, despite a vigorous rain shower.

Rain showers in sheets,

Sparrows flutter at feeder,

A new day dawning.

May showers,

sparrows flit and feed,

grey clouds lift.

©2016, All rights reserved by Ontheland.wordpress.com

Forests, trees, and people–Writer’s Quote Wednesday

forest-411491_640.jpgIt suddenly came to me: ‘This week I will post quotes about trees.’  A  TreeHugger article had presented itself in my email —it was about a book to be released in English in September, The Hidden Life of Trees by  German forest ranger, Peter Wohlleben. Applying experience and science, he talks about how trees communicate and cooperate with each  other. I have no quotes from his book as the English version is not out yet.  Instead, here is an example of  what scientists are saying about trees from The Secret Life of Trees by Colin Tudge:

The revelations build by the week: ….. how they speak to one another, warning others downwind that elephants or giraffes are on the prowl, how they mimic the pheromones of predatory insects that are eating their leaves.  Every week the insights grow more fantastical—trees seem less and less like monuments and more and more like the world’s appointed governors, ultimately controlling all life on land…but also the key to its survival.

Colin Tudge, The Secret Life of Trees: How they Live, and Why they Matter, 2005, Crown Publishing Group, New York.

forest-56930_640.jpgA second tree-themed discovery: a  recent blog post by Your Nibbled News called Caring for trees the ultimate job–Taking care of the future today.  It opens with a photo with this caption:

Caring for trees would be the ultimate job for me. This desire has no direct relationship to the biblical Garden of Eden. Trees protect the planet and humanity from imminent disaster. They should be protected, respected, groomed and nurtured. They are this planet’s oldest sentinels. They deserve our care and consideration.

Warmed by these ideas and words, I found two more quotes  to feature. In the first, Sylvia Earle, scientist, speaks about the intricate web of life visible to those who have the opportunity, time, and inclination to look.

Look at the bark of a redwood, and you see moss. If you peer beneath the bits and pieces of the moss, you’ll see toads, small insects, a whole host of life that prospers in that miniature environment. A lumberman will look at a forest and see so many board feet of lumber. I see a living city.

Sylvia Earle, American Scientist, 1935-

I have lived in cities most of my life.  The house I grew up in had one maple tree in front and one maple tree out back.  The whole yard, except the part facing the road, was surrounded by a tall cedar hedge regularly trimmed by my father. Sometimes in the autumn my father took us for walks in the woods; and for three weeks in the summer, I explored the woods near a rented cottage.  These were exciting times.

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.

William Blake, 1757-1827

robin-534826_640.jpgThese words, written so many years ago seem to still reflect the world–there are many people who see the natural world as a backdrop to be utilized and organized by humans.  Yet there are many people who care about nature.  I believe everyone has the capacity for imagination and experiencing joy in the natural world (and of course, having imagination isn’t necessarily tied to appreciation of trees).   I  believe that both imagination and connection to nature are desirable human qualities that can flourish or fade away. These potentials can be eroded by pressures of survival, ambition, religious worldviews, and economic philosophies.  Whether or not people connect with trees, birds, and so on, is influenced strongly by life experiences  and choices from birth onwards.

Photos are CCO Public Domain, courtesy of Pixabay.com.
In response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday and Be Writing on Wednesday (BeWoW).


John Trudell: Crazy Horse

I am happy to have been tagged by Sana of  My Journey with Hijab for a  3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge’.  This is Day #1. Many thanks to Sana for inviting me to participate. If you haven’t already visited her blog you might want to take a look–you’ll find humour, thoughtful reflections, spiritual quotes, words of compassion and more.

The rules for the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge:

1. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

2.  Choose three consecutive days to share a new quote on your blog.  They can be from anywhere, anyone, or anything that inspires you… Which means, it can be from yourself, too!

3. On each of the three days, nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this mission impossible endeavor (if they dare!).

Today’s challenge nominees are:  the secretkeeper, in medias res, Stuff and what if…

♦ ♦ ♦

 John Trudell was a Native American activist, author, poet, actor and musician. He recently passed away on December 8, 2015.  A spiritual man, he viewed nature and man as one. A false dichotomy between human beings and the natural world has contributed to our ability to pollute the land, water, earth and air.

Crazy Horse
We Hear what you say
One earth one mother
One does not sell the earth
The people walk upon
We are the land
How do we sell our mother
How do we sell the stars
How do we sell the air

Crazy Horse
We hear what you say

Too many people
Standing their ground
Standing the wrong ground
Predator’s face he possessed a race
Possession a war that doesn’t end
Children of god feed on children of earth
Days people don’t care for people
These days are the hardest
Material fields material harvest
decoration on chain that binds
Mirrors gold the people lose their minds

Crazy Horse
We Hear what you say
One earth one mother
One does not sell the earth
The people walk upon

Today is now and then
Dream smokes touch the clouds
On a day when death didn’t die
Real world time tricks shadows lie
Red white perception deception
Predator tries civilising us
But the tribes will not go without return
Genetic light from the other side
A song from the heart our hearts to give
The wild days the glory days live

Crazy Horse
We Hear what you say
One earth one mother
One does not sell the earth
The people walk upon
We are the land
How do we sell our mother
How do we sell the stars
How do we sell the air

Crazy Horse
We hear what you say
Crazy Horse
We hear what you say
We are the seventh generation
We are the seventh generation

Crazy Horse, We hear what you say.

John Trudell:  spoken word
Quiltman:  Traditional Vocals
Mark Shark:  slide guitar and percussion
Ricky Eckstein:  Keyboards and percussion
Billy Watts:  Electric guitar

‘Crazy Horse’ is the first track on John Trudell’s Bone Days album.

Nesting Instincts–a poem

Frogs in window well,
how innocently they fell
to a dungeon deep,
held captive by walls so steep.

Turtles’ nest on road,
not safe for any abode,
By the creek, high and dry,
she laid her eggs where trucks go by.

Nest in cedar tree,
what flaw did birds not foresee?
Robust bushy spot,
growing in a transplant pot.

Rabbit brood nestled,
tucked into shrubs they nuzzled,
until a loud tread
shook their driveway border bed.

How humans collide
with natural agendas,
we seem out of sync.


I had the images for this poem scribbled down, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to shape them into a poem.  The answer came with the launch of a new poem form, called a ‘freku’, by Ronovan of RonovanWrites. (The above link will take you to Gasps of Breath, Ronovan’s first freku, which links to another post describing the form in detail).

If I understand correctly, a freku consists of two parts.  The first part has an optional number of four-line stanzas, with each pair of lines rhyming (AA-BB-CC-DD and so on).  The second part is a haiku which, in some way, captures the essence of the preceding poem.


© 2015, all rights reserved by ontheland.wordpress.com



Nature’s Extravagance–Weekly Photo Challenge: ‘Ornate’

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: Ornate.

Ben Huberman of the Daily Post invites us to “embrace the breathtakingly extravagant”, to show the opposite of  ‘minimalist’ where “creators pulled no stops and went all out”.  My second inspiration was the submission of Spirit in Politics whose photo shows the abundance of summer in a post entitled “Photo Challenge: Thy Eternal Summer”.  I suggest you click his link and take a look at his photo.  My photo, taken in October, shows nature’s extravagance: twisting vines, an abundance of red berries, a multi-trunked tree–growth and more growth. To see greater detail, please click on the picture.