Thursday, October 17, 2019

Carpe Diem #1765 Squirrel ...

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful festive Carpe Diem anniversary month October 2019. This month we are celebrating our 7th birthday with a tribute to the small creatures and today I have another sweet creature ... the squirrel.

I ran through my archives and surfed around on the WWW, but I couldn't find any haiku about Squirrels, ofcourse I could not search the whole WWW, so maybe there are haiku or tanka about Squirrels and if not ... well than we can fill that gap, wouldn't that be awesome?

autumn day
squirrels plunder the oaks -

winter stock

© Chèvrefeuille


This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 24th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... have fun!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Carpe Diem #1764 Ants ...

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are halfway our celebration month for our 7th birthday and I think it's a wonderful month already and I hope the 2nd half will be as good too. This month we are not only celebrating our 7th birthday, but also the beauty of the small creatures on our Earth. We create poetry in honor and tribute of those small creatures ...

I don't have enough time for a big episode, so today I will give you only the theme. The theme (prompt) for today's episode is "ants", those hard working small creatures.

yudachi ni hashirikudaru ya take no ari

an evening shower:
the ants are running down
the bamboos

© Joso

A beautiful haiku I would say ... a nice tribute to the ants.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 23rd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday #1 wedded rocks

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to bring back a weekly feature about Tan Renga. This new feature I have titled "Tan Renga Wednesday" and as the title already says, this feature will return every Wednesday, so a new weekly feature has been born.

As you all know Tan Renga is a short renga of two stanza, similar with the Tanka, but instead of been written by one poet, the Tan Renga is written by two poets. The first stanza has three lines (approx. 5-7-5 syllables) and the second stanza has two lines (approx. 7-7 syllables). The goal is to create the second stanza by associating on the scenes and images in the first stanza.

In this new weekly feature Tan Renga Wednesday, I will give you the starting verse, or "hokku", your task is to create the second stanza. Ofcourse sometimes I will create a "hineri" version, in that version I will give you the second stanza and than you have to create the first stanza, but for starters ... this time I will give you the first stanza.

Oku No Hosomichi (Narrow Road Into The Deep North)

In the logo of this new feature you see a Japanese Woodblock Print of the so called "Wedded Rocks", a Shinto religious place. The first haiku to work with in this new weekly feature is a haiku by my master, my sensei, Matsuo Basho:

hamaguri no   futami ni wakare   yuku aki zo

a clam
torn from its shell
departing autumn

This is the last verse in Basho's 'Oku no Hosomichi' 'The Narrow Road to the Far North'. Because there are several word plays at work here, the Japanese maintain that there is no way for the poem to be rendered into another language. So here goes: hama (beach); hamaguri (a clam) however 'guri' is also (a chestnut) or (a pebble). And that is only the first line! 'Futami' (place name of the port where the famous Wedded Rocks (two large rocks considered to 'married' which are considered to be sacred) are such an attraction) is made up of the words 'futa' (lid, cover, shell) and 'mu' (body, meat, fruit, nut, berry, seed, substance, contents). The word 'wakare' can be either (to part or to split) or (to leave). Added to the last line (departing autumn) 'wakare' can mean either that it is autumn which is leaving or a person who is departing. In Ogaki, Basho was met by many of his disciples, including Sora who rejoined him, for the end of the trip back to Tokyo. This verse, and the second one in 'Oku no Hosomichi' are considered the 'book-ends' of the work with partings of Spring and Autumn.

This haiku is in my opinion a masterpiece. Re-read all those different words and their different meanings again above and let them guide you to your second stanza.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 22nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Carpe Diem #1763 Little Creatures ... free styling

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize for being late, a little time problem (smiles). Therefore I have chosen the easy way this time. As you all know we are celebrating our 7th birthday with a month full of prompts on "little creatures" to honor them as being part of Creation.

Today you may choose your own "little creature" to work with. Tell us why you have chosen your specific "little creature" and than create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form, with it.

Enjoy this task, it's your choice and you can go "free-styling".

Little Creatures Of Nature (photo © Moon Robo; Instagram)

Enjoy your day.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 21st at noon (CEST). I will try to post our first "new" episode of our weekly Wednesday Tan Renga Challenge later on. For now ... have fun!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Carpe Diem #1762 Mosquitoes ...

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration ... in a relaxed mode. I had a wonderful weekend, the last of my vacation. Monday October 14th I have to work again, I am glad, because four weeks vacation is awesome, but caring for my mother took a lot of my free time, but well ... I love my mom and she and I are the only living two of our family (my brother and my dad have passed away) so we have to be there for eachother.

We are celebrating our 7th birthday this month through honoring the small creaters of nature. Today I have chosen for those small creatures that can be such a pain in the ass ... mosquitos, but there are several wonderful haiku about them. So let me give you a few examples:

summer melting
mosquitoes' sound
in a harmonica

© Jane Reichhold

in and out of raindrops
falling from the eaves they swarm...

© Issa

The Mosquito Hums

A mosquito buzzes
Every time flowers
of honeysuckle fall

© Buson

Searching storehouse eaves, 
rapt in plum blossom smells, 
the mosquito hums 

© Basho

Four beautiful haiku on mosquitoes. The beauty of these haiku makes the mosquito no longer a pain in the ass.

I was triggered by the haiku by Buson, so here is my attempt to create a haiku themed "mosquitoes":

honeysuckle flowers fall
one by one, awakening mosquitoes,
covering the Earth

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until October 20th at noon (CEST). Have fun!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #106 Turn Back Time (2) Revise That Haiku by Taigi

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday October 13th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend meditation here at our wonderful Haiku Kai were we are celebrating our 7th birthday. Last weekend I introduced a special feature for this festive month "Turn Back Time". In this special feature I will take you back in time ... or in other words "I will turn back time" into our amazing CDHK history.

This week I love to "turn back time" to another wonderful special feature we have had here at our wonderful Haiku Kai. In October 2013 I started our special feature "Revise That Haiku" with a haiku by Taigi (1709-1771). Taigi was a contemporary and friend of Buson. I will first give the haiku (including the Japanese Romaji) and then I will give the description of the moment which led to the haiku.

umi ikete tsuki to mo wabin tomoshikage

arranging the plum-flowers,
I would enjoy them in the light of the lamp,
as if in the moonlight

© Taigi (1709-1771)

The brevity of haiku is not something differnt from, but a part of the poetical life; it is not only a form of expression but a mode of living more immediately, more closely to life as may be illustrated in the above haiku by Taigi.

Flourishing Plum Blossoms in the Moonlight

The original of the above haiku is even more difficult, literally: "arranging the plum, as if the moon, I would savour, lamp-light" (Wabiru translated 'enjoy', 'means' to live a life of poetry in poverty). The poet has arranged the flowers in a vase, and wishes to see them in the light of the moon, but there being no moon, he lights the lamp instead, and adds its light to the poetry and the beauty of the flowers.
The whole of the poet's life is shown in this action and the essence of the verse in wabin. This poverty, this asceticism of life and form in haiku, this absence of luxury and decoration finds its philosophical and transcendental expression in Emanuel Swedenborg's (a Swedish philosopher who lived from 1688 until 1772) "Heaven and Hell" (paragraph 178); after he has described the garments of the angels, some of which glow with flame, some of which shine with light, he adds:

"But the angels of the inmost heaven are not clothed".

Well ... with the desciption of the moment I think you can revise that haiku ... so ... "break a leg", have fun, be inspired and share your revised Taigi-haiku with us at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Ofcourse I than gave it a try, so here is the "revised" haiku by Taigi created by me, your host:

shadow on the wall
flourishing plum blossom
in the moon light

© Chèvrefeuille (October 2013)

Enjoy your weekend. This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday October 13th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until October 20th at noon (CEST). Have fun!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Carpe Diem #1761 Sparrows (Renga With ...)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful month this is ... our 7th anniversary ... I like it. I am so glad to see that you all are celebrating with me that CDHK exist seven years ... I never could have dreamed that CDHK would be alive and kicking after 7 years ... but here we are ... celebrating our 7th birthday. We have seen participants from all over the world. The most participants from the start are still here, but we also seen participants leave to never come back, but those who left and returned ... thank you.

Thank you all for your rich poems, your active participation and the love you share with us in that small Japanese poem ... haiku. This month we are celebrating this beautiful small poem with a tribute to all small creatures on Earth and today I love to challenge you with another small, sometimes a real pain in the ass, bird ... the sparrow.

Sparrows ... those small little (pricks), but there are a lot of haiku written about them. One haiku master especially created a lot of haiku about the sparrows ... and I think you all know him, Kobayashi Issa. Issa is one of the "big five" haiku masters next to Basho, Buson, Chiyo-Ni and Shiki. He had a very tough life, he lost several of his kids to death and his wife too. He was a Buddhist-Shinto believer and honored nature in a great way. Issa honored even those mosqitos and other smal creatures like the sparrows.

For this episode I love to challenge you to create a Renga, or better said: a Junicho. The Junicho is a renga of 12 stanza, this is the renga format we always use in the Renga With specials ... so I will give you six (6) haiku written by Issa to work with. Your task is to add your two-lined stanza (approx. 7-7 syllables) and create a Junicho with him. (By the way, the name Junicho came in use in the 20th century, so it's a young form of renga).

Kobayashi Issa

I will give you the six haiku by Issa. You can create your own "line-up" and the first stanza (hokku) and the last stanza (ageku) have to be connected with each other, this is "to close the chain".

spring peace--
after rain, a gang war
garden sparrows

don't let the plum blossom guard
cut your tongues...
Sparrows! *

(* note: Issa alludes to an old Japanese fairy tale in which a mean old woman cut a sparrow's tongue with scissors because the sparrow pecked at her starch. Here, Issa warns the chirping sparrows that their tongues might be in similar jeopardy, hinting that the guard is a mean old grouch.)

are the sparrows too
having a private party?
plum blossoms

while I watch
he's off to make a living alone...
baby sparrow

Sparrows on Bamboo (woodblock print by Ohara Koson)

living in harmony--
the sparrow has
both parents!

on the tip of the
newly sprouted bamboo...
a baby sparrow

© Kobayashi Issa (Tr. David G. Lanoue)

Six beautiful haiku crafted by Issa for your enjoyment and inspiration. Create your renga with Issa today and share it as a tribute to the sparrows and to celebrate our 7th birthday.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 17th at noon (CEST). Have fun!