May rains

We’ve had an unusual stretch of rain and clouds. 


such abundance!

the creek is now a river

tumbling to the lake


city pond

new willow tresses

fill mirror 

After days of rain

faithful gardener returns

to kneel, sprinkling seeds

©2017 Ontheland

Sleepwalking—Cinquain poems

Marc Chagall. Sleep-Walker (LE SOMNAMBULE). 1911

Marc Chagall. Sleepwalker (LE SOMNAMBULE). 1911 courtesy of

A few cinquain poems in  response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge, based on this intriguing painting by Marc Chagall, Russian-French painter living from 1887 to 1985:



moon’s hypnosis

lures lovers longing to

conquer life’s eternal maelstrom

with love.


You wave,

cry out my name,

urging me to come yet

I hesitate, my love frozen

by fear.



bright summer moon

love beckons in a dream.

At the edge of passion’s flow, I




towards passion

under golden moon glow.

Serpents rise as I accept your




from death’s slumber,

she whispers at midnight

over shimmering cool waters,

long lost.

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Summer Solstice Full Moon


Two evenings after the official date of the summer solstice full moon (June 20) I was out in the car an hour before midnight. Low on the horizon I saw a huge golden moon.  The lingering experience led me to write these haiku.  My view wasn’t of a cityscape, but this image (public domain) is the best portrayal I could find of the type of moon I saw.

Rare lunar vision,

Majestic orb lights the night,

Golden solstice moon.

Summer night flower,

glowing on the horizon,

a gigantic moon.

©2016, all rights reserved by

Fresh Winds–a collection of haiku for Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge

Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge Image.

Soft fresh breeze,

felt, heard, yet unseen,

Tree tops sway.

Facing cold wind gusts,

bent forward, trudging into

 sparkling morning chill.

Windswept life,

ready for fresh start,

ghosts return.

Gale force winds of change,

State-of-the-art invention,

Old ways in disguise.

In response to Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge #101, ‘fresh’ & ‘wind’.  Ronovan’s challenge is to write haiku that include the two prompt words or their synonyms.  The prompt words this week stimulated a few themes for me.

©2016, All rights reserved by

Tragedy and rebellion at sea

File:Rylov Blue Expanse.jpg
‘Blue expanse’ by Arkady Rylov (1870–1939)

From their aerial realm

what tragedies have they seen?

Migrating feathered beings,

so free above the ocean.


A two-masted schooner,

sails flying freely in the wind,

holds captives, chained, taunted,

ripped from their homelands.


Fire, screams, blood, garbage,

excrement sprays overboard

Guns boom, acrid smells reek,

from the waters below.


Desperate souls leap

to waiting sharks,

while others remain to rot and waste,

three steps away from death.


And aghast, I sit centuries away,

reading about these horrors,

profound depths of cruelty and suffering,

knowing I must ‘listen’.


War, mayhem, cruelty

pierces souls and flesh,

sending barbed spears

to many generations beyond.

File:La Amistad (ship).jpg
Painting of the sailing vessel La Amistad off  Long Island, New York, on 26 August 1839, when slave captives took over the ship.  Public Domain, author unknown.

Splitting timbers,

Splintered lives,

Shrieks,  gun blasts,

Heat so profound.

Amistad embers burning

shooting aerial sparks,

flashing memories,

murmuring shame.

Flickers of

human greatness,

and despair.

These thoughts about slave ship voyages and rebellions emerged from a book that I am still reading–by award-winning Canadian author, Lawrence Hill:  The Book of Negroes (also titled: Someone Knows my Name).  The novel traces the life of a young African girl who is kidnapped in 18th century Africa, survives a slave ship passage across the Atlantic and is sold as a slave in South Carolina.  The cruelties portrayed are very hard to read about, but I stick with it in honor of those who had to endure it in real life.  The dignity and goodness of the main character, Aminata Diallo, are also compelling.

The spark that helped me get this post rolling was the snow geese painting offered by Jane Dougherty as poetry prompt #34.  She also offered prompt words, which I sampled in the first poem and fully used in the second: Aerial, Profound, Murmur, Splintering, Spark.

©2016, All rights reserved by

Haiku for early April


Frog kingdom silence,

Swollen marsh gently ripples,

April snow flying.

Patience frays

veiled feelings exposed

truth comes out.

Frozen mantle frays

secret dormant life awakes

nourished by spring light.


These three haiku are inspired by recent days in a Northern spring (44.3° N).  The second and third incorporate prompt words from Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge #91: ‘fray’ & ‘veiled’ (secret=veiled).  Please follow the link if you have the urge to read more haiku or to write your own haiku poetry.

©2016, All rights reserved by

Want or need?

Armaments-universal-debt quote huxley.jpg
In boardrooms
In legislative corridors
Hiding in ivory towers
Smiling from promo game prizes
Promising health, pushing toxins
Lurking in virtual spaces 
Grasping gadgets
(Obsolete in a year)
Insatiable want.
consumerism quote 1.jpg
Feelings of lack
Need, scarcity 
Memories passed on
from past generations
Need became wanting
more, more, more
Shopping, discarding 
Shopping, discarding
Repair and durability,
Simplicity and frugality,
faint quaint memories.
Were-consumers-We-are quote.jpg
Famous role models
prestigious beauty stars 
As close as a finger tap
All day, all night
Ads everywhere
absorbing through hungry pores
Tickling, entertaining
NEW, better, faster
‘All natural’, ‘Green’
Descriptors unquestioned
Plastic bottles in spiral pink
Shrink-wrapped delicacies
Vacuum-sealed scissors
Waterproof cardboard, 
Recycle arrows appease 
flickering consciences,
sooth doubting whispers:
A-shopping-cart-flipped kintz quote.jpg
Published in  1962, Island was Aldous Huxley’s last novel ; Chuck Palahniuk is a contemporary American author; and Jarod Kintz is a contemporary American author known for his humour. I discovered these quotes on Goodreads.
This is a Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge post hosted this week by Ronovan Hester.  The optional theme is ‘trust’, touched on indirectly by my consumerism theme (or perhaps the ‘touch’ is on mistrust or overtrusting?).
©2016,  All rights reserved by