Heat ripples

A gogyohka for Frank Tassone’s ‘smouldering’ challenge.

Photo©Brocken Inaglory


heat ripples

not water in movement

the surfacing of a fish cool boughs shading

this air is brittle

smouldering with sun-fire


Haibun for a footprint


An achievement worth celebrating, that giant step, the impossible dream realised. Yet closer to my heart is that first step on the trail of tears, the bamboo raft setting out across the world ocean of a flat earth, the hundred mile walk across a desert carrying a sick child, cattle trucks rattling to foul death, all journeys of a lifetime, a death, an inspiration.


in undisturbed dust

reminding us that where we tread

a trace remains—

tread softly.

So much to do, so little time

This satirical piece started as the response to a twitter prompt  (the final stanza).


There are so many sights, routes to travel,

So many trinkets to buy,

Before it all starts to unravel,

And the acid clouds cover the sky.

One day there will be no more ice caps,

No picturesque polar bears, so

Get in there, take plenty of great snaps

To post, for why else would you go?


That fabulous beach, a rare dream treat,

Where fishing boats sailed close to shore,

Before it was covered in concrete—

Fishing’s not allowed anymore.

You locals can wait now at table,

Serve pleasure to foreign folks who

Globe-trot as much as they’re able,

But back home they won’t have folks like you.


We can fly to far-flung reaches,

Leave our very own trails in the sky;

We can walk on exotic beaches,

Gather memories so when we die

Our mark will live on in the bruises

That poison the air and the sea,

And the waste from our luxury cruises,

Monuments to the lands of the free.

Red sails, peaceful dawn

The Oracle’s message was clear and sustained this week.


Give me your lips, red sails filling,

come with me over the night ocean,

let its waves bathe us in fire,

lie among glassy billows at the heart of time,

rise slowly to the dancing stars.


Meet me where roses fall and blood boils

in a crucible of light,

swim with me over a rain-filled sky

where an unseen sun sings,

listen to the sad whispering

of a restless sea beneath a red moon,

then sleep.


Through this night,

follow where love leads,


listen to the birds sing the dawn,

watch how the earth wakes,

and walk in the quiet light

of tree-peace.


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White cattle on a green plain

I came across this painting on Wikimedia , Storm on the Great Hortobágy, and found it fascinating. The white long horn cattle, the shaggy Hungarian sheep dog, the great river plain, and…. the sailing ship.


The plain

white speckled with cattle

and the river rolls.

Long horns watch the painter

herd dogs bark

through their corkscrew curls.

Blue sky.

Broad plain speckled with white

and the sky thronged with grey


storm coming.

Herd dogs bark

long horns raise their heads.


Placid plain,

blue sky in the river,

white horns listening and in the distance


Herdsmen shatter the placid plain silence

with barked orders

corkscrew curls bounce

dogs weave in and out of white legs





and white specks of cattle

roll into one single movement



and white light ricocheting

across the placid river plain.



the river

and the plain sails on forever.


For the dverse prompt, a dizain. Another tough one.


High summer, golden sun, and brazen sky

Is scattered with the darts of narrow wings

Of swallows, forked of tail with piercing cry.

Black dots against the blue, their presence brings

As much joy as the song the blackbird sings.

And when the summer sun gives way to night,

Their arabesques are over, in their flight,

A pause. Beneath the flutt’ring sleepy eaves,

With folded wings they wait for morning light

To toss them to the sun like autumn leaves.