Haiku: Blessed Rain

the backs of two whippets in black jackets sniffing wet spring grass

blessed rain –
how earth creates
its own miracles

© Xenia Tran

a smiling blue and white whippet in a black jacket ankle-deep in lush green grass with a black whippet behind her

Wishing you all a happy Thursday and a peaceful rest of the week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #197: The Rule of Thirds

Word of the Day Challenge: Bliss

Wordless Wednesday: Earth Stories

Cairngorms National Park

two whippets in winter jackets on a forest trail
dappled light filtering through the trees along a mountain river

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #192: Earth Stories

Word of the Day Challenge: Irresistible

Haiku: Spring Breeze

a blue and white whippet in a winter jacket climbing through the dunes

spring breeze –
our shadows weave through
dunes and grasses

© Xenia Tran

a blue and white whippet in a winter jacket climbing through the dunes

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #191: Curves

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Cluster

Wordless Wednesday: Close to the Stones

a blue and white whippet walking across the beach towards the camera
close up of stones resting on crumbling WW2 defences on the beach

Wishing you all a peaceful Wednesday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #190: Close and Closer

Haibun: Lines of Vulnerability

WW2 defences crumbling and sinking into tidal sands

World War Two defences along our coast are tilting and sinking into tidal sands. Blocks of cement filled with local stone were here to stop tanks arriving via ship and water. After the war, these lines were left here, just in case. Today, some are used to rest towels of swimmers and surfers. Others become picnic tables or a shelter from the wind. When you touch them with your hand you feel the vibration of wind and waves, the pulse of the earth in the local stone. There is a lot to be grateful for when we remember all those who helped us live in peace.

how soon
a stream flows out
to sea

© Xenia Tran

close up of a black whippet in a winter jacket sniffing paw prints in the sand

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #185: Change

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Fragile

Wordless Wednesday: A Smile in Your Step

a blue and white whippet in a winter jacket stepping onto the beach
Findhorn Bay in the Winter sun

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Wordless Wednesday

Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge: Step by Step

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #181: Double Dipping

Looking Back at 2021 with Love and Gratitude

a black and white whippet in a winter jacket on a sun-lit forest trail

First of all we want to say a huge thank you to all our blogging friends, fellow poets, photographers and prompters who make this such a wonderful space to meet and share in these extraordinary times.

We are also grateful to the health service, rescue services and the large number of volunteers who continued to provide support for people and animals in need throughout the year – your work has been amazing.

We’ll reflect on the year season by season, listing the posts you liked the most.

two whippets in winter jackets on the beach in the snow

The year began with new travel and meeting restrictions in place and we enjoyed a rare covering of snow. With less traffic, the air quality improved and wildlife moved into town.

all is quiet
in winter’s lockdown
nature gives
and we gratefully receive
the deer near our windows

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2021, Volume 17, Number 2

The most popular posts in Winter were Shapes and Shadows (also featured in EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaboration 2021), Blanket of Snow, Light in the Glen (first published in Autumn Moon Haiku Journal), Festive Memories, Stepping Stones (later featured in Poetry Ireland’s Weekly Prompt Series), and Serendipity.

Travel restrictions were gradually lifted throughout Spring and we had more freedom of movement. The season of fresh growth and flowers also brought the unexpected loss of one of our much loved vets in a mountain accident and the sudden loss of a dear friend who died of a condition she did not know she had. Our thoughts and prayers are with their family and friends for whom this is the first Christmas and New Year without them and with all of you who have lost loved ones this year too.

shenandoah
a shaman plays
the piano
past the sorrows, new rivers
flow into this world

© Xenia Tran

Ribbons, Fall 2021, Volume 17, Number 3

The most popular posts in Spring were Faery Spotting, Ancient Harmonies (featuring the Baglama Saz), Earth Tones, Wild Voices, Sometimes the Wind and Flower Moon, a tribute to our vet Martina.

We were blessed with a long, warm Summer. People travelled from far and wide to spend time in the Highlands and most of us stayed close to home to avoid the crowds. In the season where it barely gets dark the days were long enough to make a few day-trips to quieter places.

waiting or leaving
the choices we make
when we’re free

© Xenia Tran

The Asahi Shimbun, 31 December 2021

water flowing down through a rocky gorge

We were delighted to be able to continue to support three charities close to our heart with the proceeds of Sharing Our Horizon and Between Heather and Grass:

The most popular posts in Summer were Dreamtime, which was also the most popular post for the year, Waves of Grass, Walking Back in Time, Kinship, Waterfall (later featured by Catherine Ann Cullen in Poetry Ireland’s Poet in Residence Blog) and A Fair Wind.

The warm temperatures from Summer continued into the first half of Autumn before the weather turned. With fewer tourists, this was the perfect time to roam again.

cinnamon tea –
the warmth that fills
an autumn evening

© Xenia Tran

Autumn Moon Haiku Journal Volume 5:1, Autumn/Winter 2021-2022

two whippets climbing over rocks on a hilly forest trail

The most popular posts in Autumn were Autumn Sun, Soul to Soul, Moon Gazing, Autumn Turns, Trees for Life (about our new involvement with the Trees for Life Conservation Project) and One Breath.

We want to say a warm-hearted thank you to the international haiku and tanka journal editors who featured my poems throughout the year.

Special thanks to Mr Hidenori Hiruta of the Akita International Haiku Network, who translated ten haiku poems by me into Japanese for the World Haiku Series 2020.

We were honoured to contribute to three anthologies in 2021:

… and delighted to contribute to two calendars for 2022:

Thank you again for all the love and support throughout the year.

two whippets by a dog bed looking up at the camera

As we wrap up and prepare to sing Auld Lang Syne, we send you our warmest wishes for a healthy and happy 2022.

May you be blessed with joy, peace and wellbeing!

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Finale

Word of the Day Challenge: Auld Lang Syne

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #180: Favorite Images of 2021

Sestina: Soul Circle

For Catherine Ann Cullen

A generous poet brings us a gift
of prompts and words and musings.
Raven nest with eyes that see
a circle of souls who share their quest
to nurture the earth and keep her wild,
when Imbolc gives rise to new voices.

Ideas that float can find a voice,
the shrine is lined with gifts.
In Heritage Week thistles in the wild
breathe with butterflies, amused
by truths in prickly questions
fallen from a paradise Dante could see.

The stepping stones we climb to see
eavesdrop on oceans’ voices.
They encourage a parallel quest
to both receive and share each gift
pulled from a hat by the muses
and marbled deep waters of the wild.

Autumn glitters in the wild.
The scattered leaves we see
by the gate are gathered by a muse.
The wind whistles through her voice.
There appears to be no limit of gifts
carving the path of this quest.

A blinding light eggs on our quest
and barbed beginnings in rewilding.
The saplings of poems are also a gift
that follows the moon and sees
a healthy world laced with voices
as ageless as that of our muse.

Thin ice and forbidding shallows spark the muse.
Our pockets are lined with questions
on love and nature’s survival. The voice
of the wind is a friend in the wild,
old pains are soothed by the sea,
each cushion of moss is a gift.

On an epitaph for the wild we can see we tried
guided by spirit and muses. Their voices remain
a sacred gift that shapes our soul circle’s quest.

© Xenia Tran

Catherine Ann Cullen, Poet in Residence at Poetry Ireland, has been hosting a weekly Poetry Prompt on twitter throughout the pandemic and inspired forty three new poems I would otherwise never have written.

As her residency is drawing to a close I have attempted to incorporate all the prompt words I responded to with individual poems in the above Sestina.

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a wonderful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

PI Poetry Prompt: Gift

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #179: Serene




Tanka: Festive Memories

a blue and white whippet in a winter jacket on a forest trail

melting snow
a twinkle of light
in every tree
memories of seasons past
we shared in distant places

© Xenia Tran

melting beads of frost on the trees and patches of snow on the brown grass in an ancient pine forest

Wishing you all a happy Monday and a peaceful new week,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #178: You Choose

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Festive Memory

Haiku: Moon Gazing

two whippets in the dunes with a driftwood tree planted in the sand

moon gazing
even a driftwood tree
stands tall

© Xenia Tran

silvery light reflected on the sea behind the dunes

Wishing you all a blessed Monday and a peaceful week ahead,

with love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #175: Follow Your Bliss

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Experiment