Best girls ever!!

(c)clr’16 Heidi and Mia

I’m their nana and my son is gone on a short trip to the Maritimes…so these poor dears were left at 6am Wednesday morning and I was stuck in traffic and did not get to them from work until 2:30am….they never messed up their little rest area and waiting patiently for me. What amazing girls they are.

It is nice to be in the country and admire that full moon.

(c)Clr’16 Heidi
(c) Clr<16 Mia





More Than Words (Song Lyric Sunday)

I can think of many songs that remind me of great memories with a friend or a lover. I heard one of those first songs that Karuna chose for this prompt at LivingLearningAndLettingGo.  The Byrds’ Turn Turn Turn was a song I played so often. I really should have purchased the 45 record but I suppose it would not have made the moment special playing it over and over for a week by the lake with my friend. Our first crushes, first motorcycle rides, first boat rides with someone that was not our relative. Yep, that`s what that song conjures up for me.

The first song that popped in my mind when I saw this prompt however, is what love truly means to me and this particular song says it all. I first heard it on the radio in the early ’90’s and I decided to buy the CD. Boy was I shocked when I heard the other songs were not quite as soft. My kids got a kick out that one, so I gave the CD to my son and my children made a mixed tape for me with More Than Words playing on both sides of the tape…perfect for my trips from Montreal to Toronto when I dared to sing out loud on the drive home.

I used to post music every Thursday or Friday a while ago, so this  Song Lyric Sunday Theme prompt is a nice return to that exercise.

Have a great week!

©Oliana 20216/07/17


Extreme – More Than Words


More Than Words


Sayin’ I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It’s not that I want you
Not to say it, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
Cause I’d already know

What would you do if my heart was torn in two?
More than words to show you feel
That your love for me is real
What would you say if I took those words away?
Then you couldn’t make things new
Just by saying I love you

More than words
(lad di da da di da)

Now that I’ve tried to talk to you and make you understand
All you have to do is close your eyes
And just reach out your hands and touch me
Hold me close don’t ever let me go
More than words is all I ever needed you to show
Then… Full lyrics on Google Play


Dear Emma,

It was a nice sunny day, Saturday. The humidity was still up but the temperature was tolerable and a great day to go for a bike ride. I lathered my face, neck and shoulders with 60 SPF sunscreen, dressed in my bike outfit and went for a ride. It is always easier having a destination, so to the bank where I have only one account for my mom. It is amazing how cooler it is on bike even if you are wearing a helmet.

I took a different route following a bike path that goes under the overpass of the highway leading to the bridge. Underpasses are always interesting; granted I find them creepy late at night but in the daytime I can slow down and look at the graffiti. Speaking of street art, I must take photos of the commissioned artwork on the concrete wall leading up to the bridge. There are so many and when I think of all the time drivers are stuck in traffic crawling like a caterpillar to get across this bridge, at least there will be art to admire along the way.

The bank had closed when I got there but I took advantage of the fact I was at another mall to pick up a few groceries and items at the pharmacy. I had come prepared with my backpack and removable basket.

I took my time riding back home. I find riding is great to get to places further away, but I still prefer walking. I can stop more often and have time to take in the sky, the trees and flowers. So later I walked over to a restaurant nearby for supper, and walking back I was amazed how beautiful the sky was. The sun had already set (it was 20:40) but the after show sunsets give in the sky with magentas and mauves continued even where I was. The clouds gave the impression we were expecting rain and yet the spots of blue and magenta told me otherwise. What first caught my attention were the dark clouds but as I turned to my left, the moon was already greeting me. I waited for the clouds to drift by so I could get a shot before crossing the street to my apartment.

All in all this ordinary day turned out to be quite extraordinary. Nite, Emma.


moon says hello


secure (free verse)

are you secure
in your love
and relationships?
are you secure
in your career
and financial wellbeing?
are you secure
in your every move
of the day?
do you truly find to be secure
is something so sure
when you’re locked
in a form of straight jacket
never open to knowing more
learning how the grass will grow
on another type of soil
never free to roam the world
in your mind on starry journeys
accepting what life brings to you
the good or the bad
yet, bad teaches you so much more,
and good is earned
from lessons learned.
secure in faith
secure in love of life
people near you
… around the world
then that is good!
but not quite
what I define as secure
it’s called freedom of mind and soul
and that is my lifelong goal
every day along this path
I try to feed and enhance my soul

©Oliana 2016/07/15

Secure is the prompt for Tuesday at Ten and I thought rather than write a story, I wrote in a stream of consciousness to form this free verse.




She’d been visiting a dying man in her neighbourhood. He’d requested the volunteer office friendship visits,to talk about life and dying;  he wanted to spare his family such  upsetting conversations.  He was disappointed and saddened,  his  parish priest hadn’t visited him despite his requests.  A priest from another parish gave him his last rites.

One Sunday at  church,  this same priest who never visited that dying man, said  sarcastically, “Oh, Mrs. R, how nice of you to join us …it’s been so long!”

“Yes,Father, I’ve been busy lately and  visiting one of your parishioners, Mr. K.”

The priest blushed. (99 words)

© Oliana 2016-07-13

Written in honour of a very special man I visited for one year.  He was instrumental in founding the English Catholic Parish in our small community where my children were raised. He inspired me to continue getting involved in the community and encouraged me to voice my opinions if they were to make positive changes. He said, “We don’t need paper pushers and yes men on committees…sometimes you just have to be a shit disturber.”


Dear Emma,

Finally a productive day today! I only slept two hours last night since I have been sleeping in way too late on this week’s vacation.  So tonight I will be sleeping like a baby…IF the thumpers above don’t thump all night!  It is 2:15am and now and then I hear the little guy running.  So far, the white noise I put in my bedroom with the air purifier is helpful…let’s hope I can sleep at least 6 hours straight.

Today, I invited my son over for dinner.  I had to do a few errands before and in the hot sun today, I decided biking was the only way to get anything done in a timely manner without dying of heat.

So off to the bank to get some statements to send to the government regarding my mother’s estate.  Then onto the grocery store to pick up some vegetables and trying to consider the weight of my purchases so I could bike back.

I separated part of the groceries in my cool bike basket that clips on and off to do my shopping and part in my backpack.  What would have taken me normally one hour walking or even taking a bus due to the schedules, took me 30 minutes total!  I had time to pick up a few more items at the mall across the street, set the table and set aside a surprise for my son tonight.

He arrived ten minutes after I had finished everything. I like timing like that.

I had told him last year I would not mind his dogs if he went away on vacation if I had to work because he lives an hour away from my work and I live 20 mins away and driving late at night, makes for a very long day.

I took this week off hoping his girlfriend would take this week off but she is taking next week…darn!  my son has no problem with fitting into my schedules since he has the whole summer off…he’s a teacher.  So today, he was trying to figure out if I could still help out somehow…was willing to take only 4 to 5 days off to travel to the Maritimes (Prince Edward Island).  Of course I gave in…I love staying at his place and this time he is arranging to leave at a time that I will only be working 2 out of the 5 days he will be away…that I can handle.

Before dinner, I gave him my surprise. I gave him my mother’s wedding ring she gave me years ago.  And another a sapphire with diamonds on it that a former boyfriend gave me years ago. I never wear them now and I wanted to give him this now while I am still alive.

We had a nice dinner and visit and I feel good about my day.  Tomorrow I have a few more errands and in the evening my daughter is taking me to my hometown to visit my step-father in the nursing home where my mother used to be.  If she does not have time to come to my mother`s house in the next few days to start cleaning and packing, I just may take a few days to go to Toronto to get the last day of Amma’s retreat…Thursday is Devi Bhava and truly that is the highlight of the retreat.  I am hoping to take the midnight bus Wednesday or Thursday morning at 6am.  Now, Emma this is all hoping I feel I can make it…We shall see.  I would be back home for the weekend.

Well, for now I am just taking things one day at a time.  I mentioned to my son I would like to take off on a nowhere trip for a few days this summer and I just may do that with him as well.

I am quite pleased though despite my lazy days on vacation, I have written a lot more than usual and feel good about that. I do enjoy writing and am slowly trying to visit a few blogs I missed reading in the past few months.

Well, that’s it for now, Emma…nite.

P.S.  I noticed an old couple walking hand in hand at the mall today.  I had to take a photo, which I will post on Wordless Wednesday.


vulnerable souls troiku

Tournesol dans un Jardin

all those wasteful years
addicted to evil deeds
bruising poor souls

all those wasteful years
searching in murky places
losing precious time

addicted to evil deeds
losing your heart and soul
Satan smiles

bruising poor souls
their only sin

© Tournesol’16
Three Word Wednesday: addicted bruise wasteful

View original post


daily moments July 12 2016 owl’s head (haiku)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

like an old owl
taking in the world
sleepless night

(c) Tournesol’16

daily moments July 12 2016 owl’s head haiku

View original post


remembering ash trees (Solo no Renga)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

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

View original post


Daily Moments – silence of the night (troiku)

Tournesol dans un Jardin


quiet of the night
wrapped in solitude
dreams of long ago

quiet of the night
even the ash stands still
only a heartbeat

wrapped in solitude
tends to distance from reality
weight of unrest

dreams of long ago
fill her heart for a moment
lips curl up

Written for Haiku My Heart

The Troiku is a Haiku created by Chèvrefeuille at CarpeDiemHaikuKai

Daily Moments July 11 2016 Silence of the night (Troiku)

View original post


overrated clocks (Troiku)

Tournesol dans un Jardin


in its dimness – still, 
swallows announce a new day
clocks are optional

in its dimness – still,
early bird catches the worm
one peep echoes

swallows announce a new day
purple clouds transforming
pink splash in the sky

clocks are optional
as the night lifts its dimness
pup wines at the door

© Tournesol’16/07/11

HaikuHorizons “clock”

A Troiku, it is a new form of Haiku created by Chèvrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

View original post


earning desert (tanka)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

bobbing straw hats
tiny hands pick strawberries
red smeared lips
still room in their tummies
shortcake for desert

(c) Tournesol’16-07-11

Written for The Daily Post “desert”

View original post


coming together (haibun – Song Lyric Sunday)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

Song Lyric Sunday theme today is to choose a song that gives us guilty pleasures.  I do listen to some songs that I may not feel guilty for enjoying but I am selective with whom I want to share these songs and mantras.  Some songs are just too close to the heart and the soul.  It is a bit like sharing a precious prayer or poem you have written.  Having someone dismiss it or mock it would be disrespectful but also hurtful.  Perhaps that is why we must be vigilant with whom we share meaningful and private things.

There are two persons at work where I may share some songs;   after talking with the, for instance,  they may share how stressed they are and under a lot of pressure at work.  Recently I sent this link which is a mantra I discovered by chance.  Then again, perhaps it was…

View original post 399 more words


Guests are like fish (Flash fiction 99 words)

Auntie Mae had cooked and cleaned for weeks before her cousin from Africa arrived. Father McGee visited Canada three months, every five years.  He first stopped  at his sister’s for two months and then onto friends and relatives. Auntie Mae’s was his last stop.

He joined the mission thirty years ago however, with each visit he’d become more demanding.  She dreaded the last few days and being treated like a servant. He couldn’t  even put a kettle on for tea! Auntie Mae whispered under her breath, “Guests are like fish, after three or four days they begin to smell.”   (99 words)

© Oliana 2016-07-12

Written for The Daily Post – Prompt “guest”


scents of tobacco (Flash fiction 99 words)

MindLoveMisderysMenagerie Collage Special Edition

Emily hated those dreadful music lessons  at the lake. This year she stood her ground and her mother acquiesced to  her tearful pleas.  She  was so relieved she no longer had to walk the three kilometres to Monsieur LaBonté’s home off Broomfield Crescent .

She was six the first time she started her summer piano lessons.    He was tolerable then but the following summers he’d sit on the bench next to her, way too close for comfort… scents of mint and tobacco breathing down her neck.  She remembers her body seizing but now, the rest is just a blur. (99 words)

(c) Oliana 2016-07-12

Written for Writing Prompt #167 “Collage Special Edition” at MindLoveMiserysMenagerie


The group of seven (flash fiction for aspiring writers)

Photo provided by Phylor

The  bell rang as Michelle opened the door to Chez Claudette.  There were so many people cramped in the small diner that could barely fit eight small tables.  Jean-Paul stood up and waved her over to their tables. They had moved two together to seat their Tuesday morning group.

Most of the group were listening to Emile describe his trip up North. He had had to settle the estate  of his mother in  Baie Comeau.  The group fell silent for a moment out of respect for Emile.

“Bon! Puisque nous sommes tous ici” Jean-Paul cleared his throat, “I have the itinerary for the picnic to Lake Massawappi next Tuesday. “ Emile invited  Michelle to sit next to him.

For the past ten years,  since their retirement, they met  every Tuesday for morning coffee.  They were seven who’d supported each other over the years.  Michelle had lost her son to suicide five years ago, Évelyne lost her grandson in a skidoo accident and Jean-Paul lost his wife to Alzheimer;  they each took turns visiting her in le Centre d’Acceuil Rouville. Almost all of them survived on les Rentes (but their friendship had accrued substantial interest  that no pension could ever match. (200 words)

©Oliana 2016-07-12

*“Bon! Puisque nous sommes tous ici” = «Well!! Since we are here. »
“les rentes” = Old age security.



those emerald eyes (Flash Fiction 99 words – The Carrot Ranch)

How does one explain solitude, aloneness and satisfaction can be synonymous?  Some seem to perceive living alone may mean a person is lonely.  I suppose after days and weeks being alone and not talking to anyone, might throw an air of loneliness on a person. But then again, if one has a pet talk to, then are they really alone?  If one reads poetry or stories aloud, does that not fill that silent void?

I treasure my alone time and still get that guilty feeling for enjoying my solitude.  I suppose partly because I get tired of trying to explain myself.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy people…love seeing my family and friends,  but they have their lives and I don`t need to be part of it all the time.  They need to live their own experiences and what joy to hear them talk about it.  It brings me great pleasure hearing their stories, sad ones too because that is living.

I have been in the apartment four days now and have only stepped out once. So I do feel a need to get out to maybe,  people watch, walk or ride my bike and when I get home, I know I will be happy to be home alone…but not alone.

The prompt today is to write a story of 99 words, no more, no less with “cat” in it.  Here is my flash fiction.

best feline friend
Haiga created by Tournesol’15 (Clr)


“Josée used to be such a social butterfly!”  says overly concerned Aline.

“Yes, and now she is so alone,” Gertrude, the office gossip, responds.

Aline sighs, “It’s not as though I have not tried”, she, feigns an air of suffering, “I suppose she will die all alone now.”

Meanwhile, Josée is seated at her desk, laptop glaring at her blue eyes…the heat from the fan soothing her dearest friend, Trésor, a Sibarian cat.  She stops typing for a moment and looks at those emerald eyes and smiles.  “It’s just you and me, kiddo, against the whole world.” Trésor purrs.

©Oliana 2016/07/11

Written for the The Carrot Ranch,  a literary on-line community and the flash fiction challenge is to write a story 99 words, no more, no less with the word “cat” in it.  Check out Charli Mills writing as well. It WILL inspire you.


Under the bridge (Weekly Photo Challenge)

© Clr'16 under Victoria Bridge, Montréal, Qc.
© Clr’16 under Victoria Bridge, Montréal, Qc.

Riding the bus to work, on the Bonaventure highway I took a few shots of the Victoria Bridge.  This photo is for the Weekly Photo Challenge “look up” at the Daily Post.


guilty pleasure (haibun – Song lyric Sunday)

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s my body does seem to be more flexible to Motown music.  I have a list of songs I told my children to play when I die.  One song they will not play (I must put that in my living will) to make sure they do play it no matter what, is Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing.  Of course my list consists of songs by the Spinners, The Temptations and Stevie Wonder.

This was not an easy prompt this week. We are asked to choose one “guilty pleasure” song.  At my age, I don’t think I feel much guilt about listening to any song now.  (chuckles).  Yet there are some songs I do not particularly share why I am so attached to it.

Music brings you right back to that time you first heard it.  You experience in your mind the good times or the sad times…just for a moment, while listening to that special song.  I can tell you by listening to many songs in my past what I was doing, the relationship I was in and if they were happy times or not so happy times.

Three years ago I decided I was going to try dating again after a 10 year hiatus.  It didn`t last longer than a few months but still.  It was the reason I started this blog at Tracesof thesoul, to have an anonymous place to write my thoughts…I started writing poetry and well, maybe some of the hardships were all worth it.  Some great poetry comes out of suffering.  And I also flirted with writing some erotic poems here as well…who knew?

I wrote several  poems about my black knight in shining armour on this blog.    One night I was feeling upset about a family situation.  There was a snowstorm and I felt stuck at home and feeling sorry for myself.  My shining knight spoke with me briefly on the phone and I knew he would have preferred snuggling on his comfy couch in front of an open fire and watch his movie.  But he got in the car and drove through the almost deserted snow filled streets and picked me up and brought me to his place.  He was not much of a talker but a great listener…not a huge fan of display of affection but that night is imprinted in my mind forever.

He turned on the music when we went to bed and this song was playing that touched me…and still when I hear it, I am right back there…moments I love to “replay” in my mind.

in tangled limbs
for just a moment

for just a moment
locked in sultry embrace
I loved you

©Oliana 2016/07/10

Related poetry: He Stays Throughout the Night by Oliana, 2013

Posted for Song Lyric Sunday – guilty pleasures




All along it was a fever
A cold sweat, hot headed believer
I threw my hands in the air I said show me something
He said, if you dare come a little closer

Round and around and around and around we go
Oh now tell me, now tell me, now tell me now you know

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can’t live without you
It takes me all the way
I want you to stay

It’s not much of a life you’re living
It’s not just something you take, it’s given
Round and around, and around, and around we go
Oh now tell me, now tell me, now tell me, now you know

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can’t live without you
It takes me all the way
I want you to stay


SoCS “concentration” (a memoir)

SoCS “concentration” is the Friday reminder, word prompt this week at Stream of Consciousness Saturday


The first thing that comes to mind when I see the word “concentration” are the tragedies of concentration camps that I still feel ill when imagining the devastating afflictions ever to be seen in human history.  I mourn those who died, mourn those children who had to grow up too fast and are left with such travesties in their memories.

The first time I ever read anything about the Jewish faith was at thirteen…reading books hidden in the walk-in closet of my parents.  There were great novels in there as well as “dirty” pocketbooks my mother and father did not want my sister and I to read.

My father was an avid reader and it was through novels, I first learned a bit about different faiths…through novels.   My mother knew very little having been blind sighted by the French Canadian Catholic priests…and it made little sense to me starting at 8 years old to say anyone who was not Catholic was a sinner.  To hate other people seemed to go against what we so righteously say, “the Christian thing to do” and yet I was also told not to go to the Anglican Church, next door to our house,  with my friends whose father was a minister.  My mother finally did let me attend services a few times after begging her as I was so fascinated to be in a church where there were prayer books and hymn books all in English!! I could finally understand what the heck that man in the black robe was saying…which incidentally was the exact same thing the French Catholic services were saying except this minister did not spew “you are all going to hell!”  Hence the beginning of my doubting, questioning and finding only in books and history books that I could find most of my answers.  It surely is not in a small town 95% French Canadian nor was it at St Patrick’s High School, I could satisfy my curiosity.

I pulled away more and more from the church (but never from G-d)  and still wanted to know more about Judaism…after all, Jesus was a Jew, right?  I knew only one couple in our small town of Jewish faith. In fact it was Mrs. B., who was the head social worker at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital that encouraged me to become a counsellor.  My mother styled her hair every Thursday evening after work.    She was originally from New York and married her husband who was originally from East Berlin…he had fled in time I was told but could never learn more of what and why.   We never talked about religion, race or politics in public, however, as my mother said it was impolite to question anyone about that. How else would I ever learn?!

So it was not until I started working in 1974 in another small town for a steel company owned by a Romanian family of Jewish faith who had fled in the early 50`s and invested all their money  in German manufacturers before immigrating here.  Over the years they hired family and friends from all over the world, giving their relatives hope for a better life.  I worked for the founders and was embraced as part of the family.

I heard stories some managers and foremen shared with me which only added to my admiration for their resilience and especially their faith.  I treasure those moments they trusted me with some of their memories and how they started all over.

As I saw this word “concentration” I thought simultaneously of the word, dementia.  When concentration becomes such a difficult task, when one gets lost in a haze and the mind slips slowly.  Like a monstrous snake is slithering slowly into the brain and munching away a tiny bit at a time laughing as his prey’s brain becomes mulch.

Sadly, “concentration” reminds me of powerlessness and suffering.

(c) Oliana 2016-07-09



mourning ash (haibun)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

(c)Clr'16 Rougemont, Qc. (c)Clr’14 Rougemont, Qc.

In spring I was delighted to see so many lilac trees lined along the streets in front of commercial areas.   I wonder if that is an arrangement with businesses. Whatever the deal, it is simply breathtaking when they are blossoming at the same time.

Our city has ash trees lined on the side of streets and all along the boulevard in front of my home.  These are the trees that shade the backyard of my son’s home as well,  and I, along with his German Shepherd and Golden,  like to cool off in their shade.

This year will not be one of those times, however.  The ash trees in southern parts of Québec, Montreal adult emerald ash borerand Ottawa  are being attacked by Emerald Ash Borers from Asia.  They were first spotted in Detroit in 2002 and quickly crossed the border to Windsor, Ontario. Scientists say they have been around…

View original post 117 more words


moonlight serenade (tan renga)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

snow melting–
where ducks are nesting
soft moonlight © Issa
last romantic rendezvous
lovers skate on frozen pond


View original post


Daily Moments July 8 2016 maritime dance (haibun)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

Inspired by a video of rolling waves on a deserted beach, her muse wanders to lands of frivolous fancy.

rolling waves moan
ruffled crinolines reel
cancan of the sea


daily moments July 8 2016 maritime dance

View original post


Daily Moments July 7 2017 Heatwave (Troibun)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

Her head is a bit foggy theses days with the  heatwave this week.  No matter how many hours of sleep, it still never seems to be enough. She thinks about her neighbours upstairs and wonders if they are finally resting after a month of fasting…Ramada is over, they too need to catch up on sleep.


humid dense air
heavy breathing

children squealing
splashing water

humid heavy air
piercing through
cicadas songs

heavy breathing
coolness of the night breeze
lovers play

© Tournesol’16-07-07

Daily Moments July 7 216 Heatwave Troibun

If you are interested in learning more on how to write a “troiku” check out Chèvrefeuille’s blog at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, who created this new form of haiku.

View original post


Casse-Noisette (haibun)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

The Charlesbois Post – Nutcracker – Montréal

Every Christmas Place des Arts is filled with parents and children, especially little girls sitting and watching with awe.

small feet dance
each move is part of a love story
filled with wonder


The Secret Keeper (5) Words: | MOVE | SMALL | WONDER | DANCE | PART |

View original post


Daily Moments July 4/16 Watch the day float by (Troibun)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

Tossing and turning she rises despite a few hours of sleep.  The quietness of the morning is a stranger to her wakefulness.  Every moment is in slow motion. Suddenly the words pour on her screen.  Now she understands why sleep could not return.


perfect day
sunshine and butterflies
tranquil ease

perfect day
mind filled with verse
writing pleasure

sunshine and butterflies
another day of rest
sits and watches

tranquil ease
untangles cobwebs
words released


Daily Moments July 4 2016  watch the day float by Troibun

View original post


silken soft (tan renga)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

coming to sea clifs
the off-shore breeze raises
a flower fragrance © Jane Reichhold

shoulders wrapped in Fabergé
softer than cashmere


View original post


friendly visits (haibun)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

We are asked to choose a favourite haiku, explain why we chose it and rewrite another haiku inspired from our choice.  I chose one from a chapter on Karma from David G. Lanoue’s book Pure Land Haiku: The Art of Priest Issa)

“Shortly before he died, Shinran wrote the following note to a friend: “Even when my life comes to an end and I am reborn into the Pure Land, I will come back again and again, like the waves dashing on the beach of Waka-no-ura”(Tran. Kurata247) Reincarnation, especially in relation to the bodhisattva myth of enlightened being returning to the world of suffering to enlighten others, was a favourite theme for the founder of Jôdoshinshû and, consequently, for his followers. Issa writes, then rewrites, a haiku about himself and a butterfly under a shady tree.

in tree shade
relaxing with a butterfly…
friends in a previous life

View original post 100 more words


spring winds (haiku)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

Whitecaps on the bay:
A broken signboard banging
In the April wind. © Richard Wright

©Clr’16 les rapides de Chambly

Inspired by Richard Wright’s haiku…

roar of the rapids
dulls clang of autumn’s debris
moan of spring winds


Carpe Diem Haiku Special

View original post


heavenly skies (troiku)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

© Clr '16 © Clr ’16

day ends
sun dips beyond rippling waves
with grace

day ends
glow of crescent moon
last performance

sun dips beyond rippling waves
gentle journey
reaching eastern seas

with grace
and quiet contemplation
savours nature’s gift


A troiku is a new haiku form created by Chèvrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

Written for Haiku Horizons “wave”

View original post


underrated (tanka)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

©Clr&quot;16 ©Clr”16

viewed as a weed struck down
despite golden hues
tenacious flora springs back
resilient dandelion


“ Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Confucius

View original post


Dear Emma,

Never and I mean NEVER accept to have a job performance evaluation on the day before leaving on vacation. And especially when the supervisor was not prepared. Not good for the ego and certainly not good thoughts the last hour of work when you are off for 10 days. One of the jobs she evaluated me, I could have done something different earlier in the call. I agreed and in fact mentioned that is why I chose this one as I felt bad about it at the end.  And I wanted to learn how I could have improved.  So what does she do? She mentions not one time I could have done the same thing better, not two, nor three but 7 places and the positive comments seemed rushed and forced.  Am I disappointed? Yep!! Indeed I am especially since it was a very busy day preparing for this clinical supervision last minute. But hey, I did choose something I knew needed work and that is how you learn. Right?

Now if I were a supervisor I may have mentioned 4 times not 7 that I could have made a change since it was obvious I felt bad enough and was aware from the beginning where I could have improved  and well, shoot, the reason is to learn but not knock down the person into the ground, right?

So I felt really bad on the bus coming home,  thinking on how I did not do that well…felt bad when I got home listening to my little guy upstairs  at 1am who is running around still and do not dare try to get to bed until he is tucked in and not thumping over my head to wake me up suddenly.

So now I have 10 days that I wish I could just get a way from everything here and I am not sure I can. My daughter is on vacation until Monday and then I guess I will be faced with things to be done regarding my mom`s house/estate and the conflict from my family that goes along with it…cleaning, packing and fixing the place.  So yeah, I don’t want to do that..I want to get away for at least 3 to 5 days and not be contacted by anyone.

Emma, I know I may feel a bit better tomorrow…or go for a bike ride early enough…then maybe write a while…but for now, I don’t feel too chipper…thanks for listening.

lessons learned
through trial and error
ego put aside

(c) Tournesol ’16-07-07


A place called home   ~ a memoir


A sixty something woman lives alone in her humble apartment.  Walls boast with photos of family generations including her children and grandchildren.  Oil paintings adorn the walls whose artists are only family and friends.

A mishmash of furniture, modern mixed with family keepsakes from five generations ago fill her flat.  A cherry wood tea wagon holds a silver tea set from long ago sits in the dining room along with an old oak cabinet filled with Old Auntie May’s collection of porcelain cups and saucers.

A modest abode where she’ll never be alone that she can truly call home.  (99 words)

© Oliana 2016/07/06

Written for the Carrot Ranch where the prompt is “home” and we can write a story of 99 words, no more, no less.


Don’t get old if you’re human


© Yinglan

“Hey Muffin, they’re outside!!”

(scratch-scratch) “Who’s outside, Goldie?”

“Stop that, Muffin, you’re gonna lose your beautiful coat at the rate you’re scratching!  The old folks are outside!  It`s been months we haven’t seen anyone but boy oh boy, the screams we heard.”

“I know and no matter how much we howled to get someone’s attention, no one paid attention to us.”

“Yeah, you’re right. No one takes us seriously…oh my gosh, look!!

“Yuck! poor old guy is drooling like a St-Bernard.  Oh, look at that lady in the wheel chair!”

“She is bent forward so far, she surely will fall…”


“Ah gee!! the man in the white coat is beating all of them…okay, Muffin…time for action. We need to get the attention of the parking attendant across the street. Run over there and draw him here…you know the drill…go NOW!!”

(three minutes later, a man in a dark brown uniform looked through the fence open mouthed…dialing his mobile 911)

“Muffin, remind me how much better it is NOT to be human whenever I complain of not eating steak.” (188 words)

©Oliana 2016/07/05

Written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers


Young and old bond (Tanka)

©Clr'16 Great-grandson looking at his past
©Clr’16  My mother in her home with my grandson, Tristan.

an innocent child
of fourth generation
steals her heart
love flows with the current
la rivière Yamaska

© Oliana ’16/07/05

Posted for Photo Challenge “Opposites” The Daily Post


Autonomy (flash fiction – 99 words)

© Clr`15 Dec 2 2014 Family home...view from the kitchen and bedroom
© Clr`15 Dec 2 2014 Family home…view from the kitchen and bedroom

The sun rose above the river glaring through his bedroom window.  “How the nights seem shorter” he thought, “but, at least I am alive and still in my home.”  He pointed his toes, lifted his arms over his head and stretched, then curled over to the side, hugging his knees as tightly as possible feeling his spine curve and pull slightly.

He closed his eyes, imagining her next to him. He sighed. “How I miss her annoying snore now!”

Shuffling to the kitchen, a sharp pain to his chest made him crash to the floor, kissing his autonomy goodbye.  (99 words)

© Oliana 2016/07/04

This was written for The Daily Post and the prompt was “autonomy”.   The goal is to write 100 words, but I try as much as possible to follow the rules of The Carrot Ranch where flash fiction must be 99 words, no more, no less.

History: My mother died in December 2014 and my step-father has lived alone in our family home since. Two long difficult winters in Québec can be a slow death for anyone one at 85 years old.  Last March was the last time he woke up in our family home…the house by the river.  He suffered a heart attack but during his recovery, he had a stroke in hospital and as he is mending and has all his facilities, he can no longer live alone. He just moved into a nursing home last week.  






Dear Emma, (haibun)

I just had to get up and out today. Enough already!! reading, veging, chilling is all fine and dandy but  I am wasting indoors on these summer days that are so numbered in our province.  I went to bed late again…my neighbours upstairs are night owls. They have a 2 year old who does not go to daycare, so he follows his mother’s regime…thumping overhead with a volley ball at one or two or five in the morning.  I realize  this month the reason for staying up later than usual is Ramadan and I get that but even in Àpril and May at 2 or 3 am, he was up jumping and playing.  It`s not his fault and I love that his mother plays with him and they are such nice people but still…I sleep a few hours and when the thumping wakes me up I cannot get back to sleep. I do not want to complain to my landlord but I must sit down and chat with the mother…she is a lovely person…very young mother and perhaps needs to be reminded in an apartment when you are  on the second floor, you cannot walk like you are outside going for a walk past midnight.

Heck, I tiptoe after ten and listen to the tele with a headset not to disturb my neighbours. Yes, I am a night owl too because of my late shift work but still…3am, 5am…really?   One night I was awakened so much that at 6 am, I got up did some house chores, and by 11am. I was ready for a nice snooze but I had to get ready for work… even if I get up early I try to stay quiet as I know she and her son sleep in until past noon.  I do realize this is partly why I needed to sleep so much these past two days.

I got up after 5 hours of sleep today and vacuumed first thing in case it was going to get warmer during the day. Fortunately, it is only 19 C today which is fine by me. It is partially cloudy and windy and perfect for walking which is what I did a lot of today. I had to do errands and since I don’t have a vehicle I made three trips so as not to load up with too many heavy bags.

I started at 3pm. and got home on my last trip at 5:30 PM…I walked 5km (a little over 3 miles) I would like to walk at least 8km a day when I can, and my body is not too achy which is 10,000 steps and what is recommended to stay healthy.  When I work I routinely walk 5km and if I walk during my mealbreak, I can easily reach my goal.

On my walk I took a few photos of the crab-apple tree next door.  I love that tree…in spring the flowers are just stunning and these turned out pretty nice I think.


They look like cherries, don’t they?


On my way home I noticed while cutting across the parking lot of the mall across from my place lovely daisies. It was a challenge to photography due to the wind but some turned out ok.

tiny ant
holding for dear life
braving the wind

It was really nice to see them swaying in the wind.

I think it will be a good year for daisies this year as we are getting nice sunny days but the heat has not gone past 35 yet…and every other day a nice cool rain day.

free spirited youths
strutting their stuff
dancing in the breeze

Now I could sure sleep…boy could I sleep!. I had better put my alarm for 40mins from how so I don’t sleep too long…my dad used to call this type of a nap …40 winks.

fresh air
brisk walk
lulls me

(c)Oliana 2016-07-02


it won’t be long now (free verse)

It won’t be long now
when I will have free time
writing at will
read anytime
it won’t be long now
taking a day off a week for six months
getting used to the idea
maybe stretch this another year
it won’t be long now
take two days off a week by next year
ah,yes, time will be on my hands
volunteer finally at will
doing what I still love
feeling I can still help
even when I am retired,
yes, it won’t be long now
in three or four years
I should be ready to settle down
it won’t be long now
much sooner than I think
since time really does fly.

©Oliana 2016/07/02

Friday reminder for Saturday Stream of Conciousness  (SoCS) at LindaGHill “long”


Daily Moments – July 1 2016 life is good (haibun)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

(c)Clr'16 (c)Clr’16

I just remembered this morning, I have 5 days off in a row instead of 3! Being a slow poke and not a planner, I realize that I can just relax one more day and not feel guilty.

and other morrows
shall follow

In the interim, washing the slip-covers of my couch seems like a good start of a day of leisure…the machine does all the work.

reading `tween times
an autobiography
one cousin’s past

fragrant shampoo
drops of Argan oil combed through
waist long hair
rousing my best feline friend
savours scents from each lock

sipping slowly
Colombian brew
Ah! life is good!


Daily Moments, July 1 2016 “Life is good” (haibun)

Haiku my Heart

View original post


belonging to something bigger (tanka – haiku)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

Headset on- check
volume blasting – check
try to dull thumps
failed attempts – I chant in peace
Om Namaha Shivaya

I am we
detaching from my ego
let go, let be
still need to practice
belong to something bigger

10pm, midnight
5am, no difference
so tired

I am we
detaching from my ego
let go, let be
need to practice
belong to something bigger

inner turmoil creates

I am we
detaching from my ego
let go, let be
Om Namaha Shivaya
belong to something bigger

©  Tournesol’16/07/02

Daily Moments July 2 – belonging to something bigger

View original post


Daily moments, July 1, 2016 nature never fails (tanka)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
there is rapture in the lonely shore,
there is society where none intrudes,
by the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” Lord Byron

Inspired by Lord Byron’s poem

©Clr’16/06/30 Chambly Rapids, Chambly, Qc.


seeking solace
humankind may fail, unless
compassion rules
nature never disenchants
rapids’ roar soothes the soul


View original post


mountain rendezvous (haibun)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

They ran up the mountain into the forest laughing like children. He took her hand tenderly and smiled.

letters in a heart
carved on mountain white birch
after their first kiss

© Tournesol’16/06/30

View original post


Daily moments – lost innocence (haibun)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

Today, she sits in quiet contemplation. A day of rest for the body and yet, the heart remembers stories of untold secrets that remain silenced. Too many pieces to that puzzle missing, she sighs, wishing she could do more…

no one could resist
 lost innocence

no one could resist
dancing to wise women’s song
free the children

Somehow, that song and action to free other children around the world soothed her…for today.

Daily moments also written for the secret keeper: (5) Words: | SONG | WOMAN | FREE | NO | LOST |

View original post


letting loose (haibun) Song Lyric Sunday – Daily Moments June 26 2016

Tournesol dans un Jardin

She can’t help it. Every time she hears that song, she is reminded of the gas bar scene, the footloose extravaganza and pure, innocent bliss.

head starts shaking
foot tapping and shoulder rolls,
smile forms on my lips


What a treat to see this prompt on LindaGHill’s blog – Song Lyric Sunday Theme “happiness”

Daily Moments June 26 2016 – letting loose  (Haibun)

View original post


twilight’s symphony (troiku)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

blistering heat
cicadas together in concert
summer music

blistering heat
welcomes nightfall – and,

cicadas together in concert
swamped by deep throated moos
a bullfrog’s call

summer music
sudden breeze moves wind chimes
shivers down her spine


Written for HaikuHorizons “music”

A troiku is a new haiku form created by Chèvrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

View original post


scent of roses (haiga)

Tournesol dans un Jardin

sunny afternoon
smell the roses
beauty beckons

(c) Tournesol’16-06-24

View original post


bonne Saint Jean (haiku) daily moments

Tournesol dans un Jardin

(c) Clr'16 (c) Clr’16

children squealing
school`s out
time to play

time to play
dancing in the street
fireworks at night

fireworks at night
summer’s here – celebrate
Bonne Saint-Jean

(c) Tournesol’16-06-24

Daily Moments – Bonne St Jean (haiku)

June 24 2016

View original post

Will I miss the rain?


(c) Clr’16

I decided to take the bus rather than walk the short walk to the bus terminus when I saw those daunting clouds.  Good thing too …when I stepped off the bus it started to pour … Hopefully it will stop once I get off the Métro 

Night rider 

Ah, now I feel safe to ride my bike at night.  Sometimes I get home late at night and I’d like to unwind with a bike ride.  Well, now I can.   Being home to accept deliveries in the afternoon from Purolator has its perks!

(c) Clr’16