Thursday, March 21, 2019

Carpe Diem #1631 A new chapter ... leaving the Kumano Kodo

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you have read the CD Extra already than you know that I am a bit sad that the Kumano Kodo doesn't bring you what I had hoped for so I have decided to leave the Kumano Kodo and go on another trail. That trail ... I already mentioned in our CD Extra of today. I will give you new themes for the rest of this month ... those themes have all to do with Spring, New Life, Nature coming to life again and the light returning back to us.

It's maybe an unexpected turn this month, but it really makes me sad that the responses are in a downfall ... Every day I try to create posts to inspire you ... creating those episodes takes my time. Don't understand me wrong, I like to give my time for you ... but as I see the downfall of your responses than I have difficulties to take time in creating for your inspiration.

It's the second time in our wonderful CDHK history that I decide to change the theme in a running month. Maybe you can remember that I did that earlier in the month about the Quran ... it feels like failure ... to change our theme, but ... well it had to be that way I think.

For today I have chosen to inspire you with a wonderful sonnet by William Shakespeare titled: From you have I been absent in the spring. So you can see this as an episode of that special feature "Distillation" in which I challenged you to create a haiku or tanka inspired on a longer poem. Or create a haiku or tanka from the given poem.

Here is the poem by William Shakespeare:

Sonnet 98: From you have I been absent in the spring

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight
Drawn after you, – you pattern of all those.
    Yet seem’d it winter still, and, you away,
    As with your shadow I with these did play.

© William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

A wonderful sonnet by renown Shakespeare. Shakespeare is one of my favorite poets and I hope he can inspire you to create haiku or tanka.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 28th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... have fun!

Carpe Diem Extra March 21st 2019 ... sneak preview 2nd quarter 2019

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I love to give you a sneak preview for our 2nd quarter of 2019, but first I have a question for you all. This month we are on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage, but it seems like you all have not enough inspiration for this month. So I love to hear from you what is the matter? CDHK was a blossoming group of poets that share their love for Japanese poetry, but ... I don't know what is happening but it looks like CDHK has no future anymore.

As you all know I love to create CDHK, but if enthousiasm starts to become smaller than I don't know if I will go on with CDHK. Ofcourse there will be all kinds of reasons why the responses are not that much anymore. Maybe it's the theme for this month or maybe it takes to much of your time. So please let me know what I can change to bring back your enthousiasm. Maybe you have ideas for new themes, new features or maybe another way of making CDHK.

Okay ... let me tell you my ideas for the 2nd quarter of 2019.

April 2019:

I have ran through our rich history and I found a few months in which there was an awesome response. Those months were all about classical and non-classical kigo (seasonwords). So in April all our prompts will be classical and non-classical kigo for Spring.

such a sad event
young cherry blossoms frozen
in a cold spring night

© Chèvrefeuille (2016)

May 2019:

Another theme on which your responses were wonderful were the Tan Renga Challenge months. That wonderful kind of chained verse that brings poets together. In May I will create a month full of Tan Renga Challenges with ofcourse also several hineri (with a twist) episodes.
Tan Renga is a chained verse of two stanza, the first stanza has three lines and the second stanza has two lines. The second stanza is created through association on the scenes in the first stanza. Tan Renga looks similar with Tanka, but is written by two poets (as in a renga).

morning sun
the twinkle of stars
still in the dew                                                      (Jane Reichhold)

her bright shining eyes
she unpacks her new doll                                     (your host)

June 2019:

In June I will challenge you (again) because in that month I hope to bring a month full of Troiku, that creative new way of haiku-ing that I invented back in 2012. In June I hope to challenge you to create a Troiku Hineri every week.

morning dew
vanished in a second as the sun rises -
life is short

morning dew
makes the spiderweb crystaline
nature's treasure

vanished in a second as the sun rises
the fragile hoarfrost on the branches -
ice skating

life is short
I see the thin grey hair of my parents
I become grey too

© Chèvrefeuille

I am looking forward to this 2nd quarter and I hope you will too.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Carpe Diem #1630 Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage ...The Kohechi Trail

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have to apologize (again) for not publishing yesterday, but sometimes ... time is not at my side. Today however I had time to create a new episode of this wonderful pilgrimage month.
As I told you earlier this month the Kumano Kodo (Ancient Road) is a complex of five different pilgrimage route and today I love to take you on another Kumano Kodo trail ... The Kohechi trail.

Let me tell you a little bit about this Kohechi trail: Kohechi connects Kumano with Koyasan. This mountaintop route is long and challenging, and consequently should not be undertaken without careful preparation. Inns are rarely found without zigzagging up and down the mountainsides into valley towns, greatly increasing the distance traveled. Kohechi was used mainly by Buddhist monks from the temple complex of Mount Koya.

a fallen cocoon
in the first rays of the morning sun -
a butterfly rises
drying it's young blue wings
to live fully

© Chèvrefeuille (2014)

About the temple complex of Mount Koya there is a lot to tell but of course that;s not possible, but I just had to tell you a little about it.

Mount Koya (Kōyasan) is the center of Shingon Buddhism, an important Buddhist sect which was introduced to Japan in 805 by Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai), one of Japan's most significant religious figures. A small, secluded temple town has developed around the sect's headquarters that Kobo Daishi built on Koyasan's wooded mountaintop. It is also the site of Kobo Daishi's mausoleum and the start and end point of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage.

Garan Temple

Kobo Daishi began construction on the original Garan temple complex in 826 after wandering the country for years in search of a suitable place to center his religion. Since then over one hundred temples have sprung up along the streets of Koyasan. The most important among them are Kongobuji, the head temple of Shingon Buddhism, and Okunoin, the site of Kobo Daishi's mausoleum.

pilgrims chanting
the Heart Sutra to honor Kukai -
cry of a Vulture
breaks through the serene temple -
pilgrims chanting

© Chèvrefeuille (2014)

Here we make a connection with one of our earlier pilgrimages here at CDHK ... the Shikoku pilgrimage. Back in 2014 we digitally walked this pilgrimage for two months visiting the 88 temples on Shikoku Island. The above tanka I wrote back in those months.

I have wonderful memories of that Shikoku pilgrimage and I hope, you my dear Haijin, have those memories too.

deep meditation
high up in the mountains
chanting Buddhist monks

© Chèvrefeuille

What an awesome feeling this episode gives me. Here we can feel how all the post on CDHK are connected with each other ... isn't that awesome?

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. Have fun!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Carpe Diem Extra March 19th 2019 Delay

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

During circumstances and lack of time I hadn't the opportunity to create and publish our new episode. I hope to create our new episode later on on March 20th 2019. My excuses for the inconvenience.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Monday, March 18, 2019

Carpe Diem #1629 Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage ... the East route

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode in our journey straight through the Kii peninsula were we are on the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage. As I told you earlier the Kumano Kodo is not just one route, but five different routes and today I love to follow the East route better known as Iseji the Eastern route to Kumano.

Let me tell you a little bit more about this Eastern route: The Iseji route runs along the east coast of the Kii Peninsula between Ise-jingu Shrine and the Kumano Sanzan. The use of this trail rose dramatically in the Edo period (1603-1868) with the increasing number of pilgrims to the Ise-jingu Shrine. After paying homage in Ise, devotees would continue on the Iseji route to Kumano. To prevent erosion from heavy rains, extensive sections were paved with picturesque cobblestones. This route has a diversity of mountain passes, bamboo forests, terraced rice fields, and beaches.

In the Edo period lived a haiku poet who we all know, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694). In the last ten years of his life Basho went on several journeys and one of them was a journey to the Ise-jingu Shrine. So let us look at a few haiku by Basho about the Ise shrine.

Ise-jingu Shrine (also known as Ise Grand Shrine)

from what tree's 
blossoms I know not:
such fragrance

© Basho (Tr. Barnhill)

month's end, no moon:
a thousand year cedar
embraced by a windstorm

© Basho (Tr. Barnhill)

These haiku are written during Basho's visits to the Ise shrines. He didn't actually used the name of the shrine, but in these haiku we see a Shinto touch, because (as you know) Ise shrine was a Shinto temple.

Ise Grand Shrine is one of the renown Shinto temples that are part of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage and it's the most important Shinto Shrine.

Well ... this episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 25th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Carpe Diem #1628 Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage ... by boat

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration. I had a very relaxed weekend and have new energy for a full new week.

This month we are on a pilgrimage straight through the Kii peninsula, the Kumano Kodo (ancient road) pilgrimage. The Kumano Kodo has five different routes and we have seen already two of those routes this month.

The Kumano river is an important part of this pilgrimage. 1000 yrs ago pilgrims had to cross Kumano river to reach their pilgrimage goal ... the Great Ise Shrine, but this Kumano river has also a deeper meaning in Shinto. The Kumano river was the last stage of someones life before he entered Paradise. This kind of idea we also see for example in the ancient history of Egypt. Pharaohs had to cross the river of death, the river to the stars, so in many religions we see the river also as being part of the last stage to Paradise.

Kumano Kodo ... by boat on the Kumano River

For over 1000 years pilgrims have been making the journey to Kumano. The Kumano-gawa River was a vital section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route between Kumano Hongu Taisha in Hongu, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha in Shingu. The pilgrims used wooden flat-bottom boats. As I wrote above this part of Kumano Kodo was a deep spiritual experience and it gave the pilgrims the opportunity to meditate and contemplate before going on to Ise Grand Shrine.

Isn't it a wonderful pilgrimage? I like that deeper spiritual meaning in this part of the Kumano Kodo ... especially because of the deeper meaning of the river ... the last stage to Paradise.

at the horizon
faint impression of paradise
the sound of water

© Chèvrefeuille

Not a very strong one I think, but it fits the theme for today.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 24th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Carpe Diem Time Glass 2019-02 shimmering dew

!! This Time Glass episode is open for your submissions until Monday 18th 6:oo AM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had some spare-time so I thought I will give you a new CD Time Glass episode. As you all know a while ago I changed the responding time of our Kai into seven days, a whole week, but (as you all know) haiku is an impression of a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water. That short time can help you to create your haiku (or tanka) based on that single moment.

I love to improve your haiku (and tanka) writing skills so I think this "Time Glass" feature can help you with that. But ... we are a haiku loving family from all over the world and we live all in different time zones, so I think it's a good thing to extend the (original) 24 hours of the "Time Glass" feature to 36 hours to respond on the theme.

That theme can be a haiku, a tanka, a waka, an image or just a word. For this Time Glass episode I have chosen a haiku written by myself to inspire you:

Shimmering Dew
dewdrops shimmer
in the flower of the Morning Glory
a diamond necklace

© Chèvrefeuille (2014)

Well ... a nice time challenge I think. Try to create your haiku or tanka inspired on this given haiku and share it with us within 36 hours. That means this episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 18th 6:00 AM (CET). Have fun!