Sunday, September 20, 2020

Carpe Diem Time Challenge #3 Moorland


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had some spare time, so I thought I create a little teaser for you. So therefore I choose an episode of our special feature "Carpe Diem Time Challenge", that unique feature in which I challenge you to create a haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form with a theme within 48 hours. Normally I give you only 24 hours but today's Time Challenge you can respond to within 48 hours.

This Sunday I have chosen a nice theme I think ... "Moorland" ... In this time of year, at least on the Northern Hemisphere the moorlands are in full bloom. I love the moorlands ... it's a joy to roam about the moorlands. I love all those colors, the silence and the vistas ...

the moorlands
just me

© Chèvrefeuille

Wandering the moorlands ... so relaxing, being one with nature, its beauty and the silence. I can smell the heather, hear the birds sing, touch the fragile flowers of the heather ... all my senses open up again.

ah! the silence
only the birds and me
wandering the moorlands

© Chèvrefeuille


And now ... it is up to you to create your masterpiece within 48 hours.

This Time Challenge is NOW OPEN and will remain open until September 22nd at noon (CEST). Enjoy! You can add your submission to the linking widget below (click on the CDHK logo).

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Carpe Diem Preview: A taste of Basho's school for haiku, our new feature, soon to come: Hosomi


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I just had to publish a post, just ... because it has been a while. As I told you in our recent CDHK Extra post I will start with a new feature here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. That new feature is titled "Basho's School at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai".

In this new feature I hope to share the knowledge of Basho, as he taught at his school. I am looking forward to that new feature, and today I love to give you already a "taste" of it.


Poets are often seen as highly sensitive people, people that can hear and see what ordinary people don't hear or see, as if poets have a thin thread bound to the heart of the essence of life, connected with all and everything around them. Poets have the gift to see the most tiny things around them, think for example about that gorgeous haiku by Basho about "Shepherd's Purse":

furu hata ya nazuna hana saku kakine kana

if you look closely
a Sheperd's Purse flowering
underneath the hedge

© Matsuo Basho (1686)

In Basho's School this hyper-sensitivity is called "hosomi". Poets who are enlightened can find that inner spot to become one with their surroundings, one with nature, as if they are becoming part of it. A kind of hyper-sensitivity for that what you cannot see and that's not visible for others.

Part of this "hosomi" we can see in several haiku by classical haiku poets. An example:

a breath of fresh air -
the voice of the pine trees
fills the empty sky

© Ueshima Onitsura (1661-1738) (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

In this beautiful haiku by Onitsura we read, what is called "hosomi" ... "the voice of the pine trees, fills the empty sky". This is what "hosomi" is. 

In Western poetry, "hosomi", is the same like "hyperbole" or "exaggeration". Exaggeration is used already several decates to create haiku with. So let us look at another example, maybe you can see the "hyperbole" or "exaggeration".

is that the murmur of the mist -
that almost imperceptible
there among the birches?

© Mizuhara Shuoshi (1822-1981) (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

I think this "hosomi", this "hyperbole" is a wonderful technique to use in your haiku (or tanka). The goal for this "taste of Basho's School" is to create a haiku (or tanka) in which you use this "hosomi" or "hyperbole".

Here is my haiku in which I hope you can see this "hosomi", this "hyperbole":

deep silence
I can hear the grass grow -
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille, your host.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions. You can click on our logo (at the bottom of this episode) to submit your haiku in which you use this "hosomi", this "hyperbole" haiku writing technique.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Carpe Diem Extra - September 17th 2020


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize for not being present here the last few months. I had hoped to restart after Corona, but we have had another outbreak in the facility were I am working as an oncology nurse. So there was no time to be productive for CDHK.

I hope to restart our CDHK on October 1st 2020, that will be our 8th anniversary month. Eight years ago I started this website to spread the haiku and other Japanese poetry forms and I am glad that CDHK is still here.

Next month as we will celebrate our 8th anniversary all our prompts will be prompts we have had in our rich history.

I will however change a few things. I will only publish on weekdays. So there will not be a weekend-meditation anymore. Ofcourse several special features like "Renga With ..." and the "Tan Renga Wednesday" will be present. I also hope to start a new feature titled "Basho's School of Haiku".

I hope to see you all again here at CDHK and I hope we can continuing with the joy of writing haiku and other Japanese poetry forms.

Our New Logo For October 2020

Hope to see you all again in our anniversary month.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday #17


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at CDHK's Tan Renga Wednesday. First I have to apologize for not publishing. It's still busy with Covid here at work and with the "cleaning out" of my Mom's home, so I hadn't time to publish ... ofcourse that makes me sad, but ... well I can't help it.

I promised back in July that I would publish our Tan Renga Wednesday as an extra feature, so today I have a wonderful haiku for you to work with. The goal is to add the 2nd stanza of the Tan Renga that has two lines of approx. 7-7 syllabes. 
At the moment we have a heat wave here in The Netherlands with temperatures rising to 35 degrees Celsius and a very moist air, so it's really hot here. So for this Tan Renga Wedensday I have chosen a haiku themed "heat wave". Here is the haiku to work with:

such a hot day
my shadow needs to cool down
under the willow

© Kyoshi Takahama (1874-1958)

A wonderful haiku to work with I think. Have fun!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 17th at 10:00 PM (CEST). You can add your submission through the linking widget below (our CDHK logo).

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Carpe Diem Extra August 1st, 2020 update

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you all know the plan was to publish every day after the corona crisis, but as you have experienced, that plan didn't work. At the moment I am very busy, not only at work, but also in private. Last Monday July 27th, I started to clean up the house of my mom. It's sad but she is becoming more confused and her dementia is starting to become worse. It's not possible anymore for her to return to her own home, so we are cleaning her house to give our youngest son the opportunity to start his own life.

It is a sad and very emotional time for me (and my family) so I cannot follow the plan I had to publish on a daily base. I hope that you all are understanding this. It is just not possible to hold on to my promise. It really makes me sad ...

fading away more and more
she ... a child again

© Chèvrefeuille, your host

Have a great weekend.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Carpe Diem Exploring The Beauty Of Haiku #1828 Baransu (balance)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Kai. This month we are exploring the beauty of haiku. That means I challenge you to create haiku (only haiku) with certain kinds of haiku writing techniques, as we have seen here many times.

For this episode I challenge you to create a haiku with the so called "baransu" (balance) haiku writing technique. Let me explain the "baransu" technique in short. As you maybe know we are familiair with the Tan Renga, the two stanza Renga, in which we try to create the second stanza through association on the scenes in the first stanza.

With the "baransu" technique we are doing the same thing, but than through association on the separated lines of the haiku. With the "baransu" technique we can bring balance in our haiku.

Let me give you an example:

'a walk through the city' ... in this line we see already a few possible things to associate on e.g. "walk" and "city". I have chosen to use "walk" to associate on.
'step by step I discover' ... in this line the possible associations can be on "step" and "discover". I have chosen to use "discover" and came to this third line:
'a newly built world'
Let me bring the three lines to each other, than the following haiku will be formed:

a walk through the city
step by step I discover
a newly built world

© Chèvrefeuille

The above haiku is, in my opinion, Baransu, in balance. That balance I have reached through associating on the different images in every line of the above haiku.

Another example, this time I use that renown haiku by Basho, "frogpond":

the old pond
a frog jumps into it
sound of water

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

I will start by re-producing the first line here: the old pond. What are the possibilities to associate on? I think "old" and "pond" will do. "Old" has to do with 'classic', 'yesterday', 'age', 'a long time ago'. Which one can I use? I think I will try 'yesterday' to start creating the second line of this "baransu"-haiku.
'yesterday ... Irises bloomed' .. hm nice line, but what to use to associate on? In this line I can associate on 'yesterday'. 'Irises', and 'bloomed'. 'Yesterday' has to do with time; 'Irises' are purple mostly and 'bloomed' can mean 'blossoming' or 'decay' too. I will use 'Irises' to associate on and than this line 'pops-up' 'only a faint purple'.

Now I will bring the three lines together:

the old pond
yesterday ... Irises bloomed
only a faint purple

© Chèvrefeuille

What do you think? Are these lines 'baransu', in balance? I think so, but that's just my humble opinion.

What a beautiful and challenging haiku writing technique this "baransu" is. So now it's up to you to create a "baransu" haiku. Enjoy the challenge.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 25th at 10:00 PM (CEST). You can submit your haiku by clicking on our logo below.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Carpe Diem Exploring The Beauty Of Haiku #1827 Paradox

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wondeful Kai were we are exploring the beauty of haiku this month. After the Covid-19 crisis we finally can go outside again, not only for the most important things to do like work and groceries, but also to enjoy nature again. Nature ... our most important ingredient of our haiku.

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” -  Plato, The Republic

Why this quote by Plato to start this episode? Well ... as we look at that quote we immediately see the paradox in this and I think what Plato says is true for every one. We are all intelligent people, we  are all wise, but ... we know nothing. That's sounds more negative then I meant it to be, because I think we are wise people, but we learn new things every day again.

Paradox, optical illusion (image found on Pinterest)


[...] "Paradox is the life of haiku, for in each verse some particular thing is seen, and at the same time, without loss of its individuality and separateness, its distinctive difference from all other things, it is seen as a no-thing, as all things, as an all-thing." [...] (Chèvrefeuille)

Jane Reichhold (1937-2016) wrote in her book "Writing and Enjoying Haiku" the following about "paradox":

One of the aims of haiku is to confuse the reader just enough to attract interest. Using a paradox will engage interest and give the reader something to ponder after the last word. Again, one cannot use nonsense but has to construct a true, connected-to-reality paradox. It is not easy to come up with new ones or good ones, but when it happens, one should not be afraid of using it in a haiku.

Here is an example by Jane herself:

waiting room
a patch of sunlight
wears out the chairs

© Jane Reichhold

And here is an example written by Basho (1644-1694) in which he uses paradox:

black forest
whatever you may say
a morning of snow

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Let us explore "paradox" a little bit further.  Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), writes the following about paradox, in the Philosophical Fragments:

[...] "...that one must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow. But the ultimate potentiation of every passion is always to will its own downfall, and so it is also the ultimate passion of the understanding to will the collision, although in one way or another the collision must become its downfall. This, then, is the ultimate paradox of thought: to want to discover something that thought itself cannot think." [...] (Source: Wikipedia)

And what do you think of the paradox in a great painting by one of my favorite Dutch painters, M.C. Escher. Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) is one of the world's most famous graphic artists. His art is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world, as can be seen on the many web sites on the Internet. One of his most beautiful paintings (in my opinion) is titled "Paradox".

M.C. Escher's Paradox
But ... can we create a haiku with this "paradox"? Let me give it a try:

reaching for the sun
tulips bursting through the earth -
colorful rainbow

© Chèvrefeuille

Is this a "paradox"? I think so, but maybe you have another idea about it. Feel free to share it with us.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 11th 10:00 PM (CEST). You can add your submission by clicking on our logo below. Have fun!