always hope (solo no renga)

(c)Clr’16 coming Home










even through grey skies
sun still shines brightly
above those clouds

despite life’s quagmires
moon shines down on me

never give up hope
even through thunder storms
the Great Spirit knows





Inspired by a tanka  Olga wrote at Stuff and What If   in reponse to a prompt for Suzanne’s On the Road: travelling with the moon

Daily Moments – July 5, 2017 – living beauty (haibun)

Reading a list on Facebook of things we Canadians are known for inspired me to write something today.  The 10th item that says each Canadian has frozen his tongue on something metal and lived to talk about it.  My grandson’s tongue was stuck on a fudgsicle the other day…I told him to spit on it but he was panicking, so I brought him to the sink and told him to let the water run over his tongue and his fudgsicle, which solved the problem with no scars.

I wish someone had told me growing up how valuable my spit could have been under these circumstances.  When I was 7, I was at the top of a wooden slide in our town and leaning over the metal railing, my tongue stuck! It was a cold January day and the kids at the bottom kept screaming to me to do this or that but I panicked and was wailing…so I just yanked that tongue off…OUCH! But you see how well I still remember so I can tell my tale! [Chuckles]  Well, that list made me think of the things I was taught growing up.

Birth to 7 years old:

  • Never talk to strangers
  • Be nice to your family and parents’ friends
  • It is rude not to kiss a family member or family friend back (even if they stink)
  • Don’t ever take the name of the Lord in vain
  • Never say shit or maudit.
  • Always play quietly in the house.
  • Jumping is for outside only
  • Crying is for babies
  • Alcoholism is a disease
  • Always be nice to your peers (even the boys who stink and have dirty hands)
  • Children should be seen but not heard in the house
  • NEVER talk back to your parents or a grown-up.
  • Sexy means a woman wearing a tight skirt
  • Never use the F word (sure rolled nicely off my tongue at 7, only learned the meaning at 11)
  • Don`t chew gum in public, you’ll look like a cow
  • Never tattle-tale
  • Always obey your parents and elders

from 8 years old to 18:

  • Say an Act of Contrition, 3 Hail Mary’s in case you die in your sleep=free pass to heaven
  • Be kind to someone less fortunate than you
  • You need a man to take care of you
  • You can do anything and be anything you want if you work hard
  • Don’t smoke in public because you will look “cheap”.
  • The F word means a guy who forces you to make out in a park
  • Never buy retail
  • Dressing with class means plain and no frills
  • When the going gets tough, Go Shopping!
  • Cleanliness is godliness
  • Status is important
  • Help others
  • Only adults can be depressed, for youths it’s just self-pity
  • Going to church gets you indulgences (extra free pass to heaven)
  • Praying a novena to Saint Anne gets you favours and indulgences! (yay, more free passes)
  • Ambition will get you a nice house and good life
  • Count sheep if you can`t sleep
  • Say Hail Mary’s if you still can’t sleep
  • Never let a boy touch your body, he’ll think you are “cheap”.
  • French Kissing might get you pregnant
  • Some boys and men cheat
  • Prostitutes make the best wives because they know how to please their man
  • Having a baby doesn`t hurt that much, it`s like when you’re constipated
  • Wear gloves and wool socks in your boots to avoid getting frostbitten
  • Sex before marriage is living in sin
  • Only leave your husband if he beats you or cheats on you
  • If you don’t take care of your appearance your husband might just jump over the fence
  • Always please your husband in the bedroom if you don’t want him to jump the fence
  • Always dress pretty, style your hair and put on make-up when you go out in public
  • Dressing up always makes you feel better about yourself
  • Study hard and work hard

What I learned growing up:


A beautiful house is not always a happy home.  Money cannot buy happiness no matter how hard you try because it is not outside of you but within.  Love hurts only when you hang on to what was not yours to begin with.  Souls come and go in our lives for a time, for a reason and some just for a season.  Embrace those moments.


Not all Fathers know best.  Some men and women can be cruel but don’t give up; their only weakness is being human.  Racism is limiting self-growth.  The only race that truly exists is the human race.


Children and youths allow you to relive moments you missed out on.  Children teach us more than we know.  You cannot demand respect from your children if it was not earned in the first place.   Children model more on how you behave than by what you say.  Older children may break your heart at times but it is not about you, they are struggling on their own path.


Some say you should work to live but not live to work. What if your work is a part of who you are and what you live?  Gratitude and appreciation triples your paycheck, passionate about your work quadruples it.


It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved before…yep, that’s true!


Dance like no one is watching.  Love like a child with all your heart.  It’s worth the risk.  Savour those moments and experiences to remember later and perhaps share with your grandchildren. Playing is taking care of your soul.  Praying, chanting or meditating keeps you in the present and stops the worrying.


Is there really a generation gap or it’s just priorities and needs differ from one age to the next?  Saying, “been there, done that” sometimes rains on another’s parade.


Death is just another journey and it must be pretty awesome since no one wants to come back.

Compassion makes the world turn…be kind to someone today…just a smile will do!


beauty everywhere
even beneath the murky pond
a lotus appears

on the ink black water
frog  on a lily pad

breaking the silence
splashing in the water
a raven caws


Daily Moments – July 5, 2017 – living beauty (haibun)


breeding compassion (Waka) Daily Moments June 13, 2016


©Karuna Poole (cropped pics)

thimbleberry shrub
overcome by freeloaders
choked by greedy arms

blackberry vines overstay
morning glories take over

human’s helping hands
unwinding weeds and vines
free the choking stems

greenbelt lovers lend a hand
disentangling carefully

digging at the root
removing each stake – claimed
by jealous lovers


bindweeds breed – only
unhealthy relationships
nature’s oppressor


world disputes – only,
farm famine and poverty
breeding ground of war

greed lingers at the root
breeding lust for wars

if compassion
could lure like greed and lust
man would be set free

the Golden Rule would become Law
the breeding ground of love


Daily Moments – June 13, 2017  breeding compassion  (waka)

This waka (solo no renga and haiku/senryu) were inspired by Mystery, Adventure and Reward by Karuna’s post at LivingLearningAndLettingGo where she works tirelessly in the Greenbelt behind her home freeing the thumbleberry shrub from bindweeds (morning glory) and blackberry vines.   This post reminded me of one thing, “if only only compassion ruled the world.” I’ve taken the liberty to post a few of her photos to illustrate the meaning of the poem.



friendship (haibun)

Our host , Chèvrefeuille, writes a very moving post at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, about friendship before continuing on to the lesson in The Pilgrimage on acknowledging friends and support around us.
In times of sorrow or personal strife, I have found solace in my solitude, my writing and my readers. The latter have become friends from afar, who have read my words and “got it”, felt it and embraced it.
I love this passage we are referred to on friendship:

[…] ‘Once, a poet said that no man is an island. In order to fight the good fight, we need help. We need friends, and when the friends aren’t nearby, we have to turn solitude into our main weapon. We need the help of everything around us in order to take the necessary steps toward our goal. Everything has to be a personal manifestation of our will to win the good fight. If we don’t understand that, then we don’t recognize that we need everything and everybody, and we become arrogant warriors. And our arrogance will defeat us in the end, because we will be so sure of ourselves that we won’t see the pitfalls there on the field of battle.’ […](Source: The Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho)

How true! Amma, (Mata Amritanandamayi) says, “We are all beads strung together on the same thread of love”.

Image may contain: text
Amma’s Facebook page

As much as I love to help others, be supportive and it is part of my work as a counsellor as well, I find it difficult to ask for help. I am working on that. It is not arrogance but perhaps the attitude, “I can do it on my own” may be my giving into vanity which is really the same thing.

on pebbled roads
my walking stick breaks
a rest is due

watching travellers go by
humbly ask a stranger’s help

limping’s not so bad
free of a heavy knapsack
a comrade now carts


habits of the times (solo no renga)


echoes linger
mocking in the shadows
mid barren trees

tendencies of souls at risk
symbolic of this season

leaving far too many


Three Word Wednesday: symbolic tendency unhinged

Daily Moments October 21, 2016  habits of the times   Solo No Renga

remembering ash trees (Solo no Renga)


traveling from afar
hunt their own tree as a host
slowly sucks out life

emerald ash borers thrive
turning hope to disrepair

star shines in reverence
through bare branches
lost leaves of ash

  • ©Tournesol’16/07/11
  • Written for TheSecretKeeper 5 word prompt  OWN TURN SHINE TREE STAR
  • In honour to ash trees in Southern Québec

Irish eyes are smiling (haibun)

My great-great-grandfather, Michael O’Donnell was born in Ballybunion, County Kerry, Ireland and emigrated to Québec, Canada at the beginning of the great famine. His daughter, my great-auntie Mae returned to Ireland several times and shared slides of her journeys. We used to tease her since she never married and how a man holds her by the waist as she is lying on her back kissing the Blarney Stone. She would get a good chuckle out of that.

I would love to visit my roots one day and check out the castle ruins in County Kerry. Maybe I would be inspired to write a fairy tale or two.


emerald eyes gleam
hanging on his every word
tales of yore

County Kerry castles thrive
now – mere stone walls here and there

claims royal heirlooms
ripped from his ancestors
at Blarney Castle


Carpe Diem “Ireland”