Saturday, March 1, 2014

Carpe Diem #411, Ryuko-ji (Temple 41)

Dear O-Henro ... Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First this ... my dad has been released from hospital yesterday and is home again. He is still recovering, but can recover now in his own surroundings. Thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and prayers for his good health.

Ryuko-ji (Temple 41)

Today we will visit Ryuko-ji, temple 41 on the Shikoku Trail and we will look at another Zen state for haiku, wordlessness. Ryuko-ji is devoted to Juichimen Kannon the Buddha of Compassion, Juichimen Kannon is often portraited as female, but there also sources who say that Juichimen Kannon was both male and female. This can mean what it says, but it also can mean that Juichimen Kannon had integrated both hemishperes of the brain, male and female.

Juichimen Kannon, Buddha of Compassion
As I told you several episodes ago ... haiku is a state of Zen and therefor we have to look at a few Zen states, until know we had Selflessness, Loneliness, Grateful Acceptance and now Wordlessness.

Wordlessness ... well I think that's haiku as a whole, because in haiku we are painting with words as less is possible. So haiku is in a way ''wordless''. Maybe you can re-call our CD episode with ''circle'' as prompt and maybe you can remember than that I used the deathpoem of a haiku-poet ... just a plain calligraphed circle (symbol for Enlightenment) ... that is Wordlessness to the max.

Deathpoem by Shinsui (* - 1769)

As I was preparing this episode I ''ran'' into a few nice haiku composed by Kobayashi Issa (Kobayashi Issa (小林 一茶?, June 15, 1763 - January 5, 1828), was a Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest of the Jōdo Shinshū sect known for his haiku poems and journals. He is better known as simply Issa (一茶?), a pen name meaning Cup-of-tea (lit. "one [cup of] tea"):

hitori cha ya cho wa mainichi kite kureru

drinking tea alone--
every day the butterfly
stops by

(c) Issa

Blue Morning Glories

asagao wo fuwari to ukasu chawan kana

softly floating...
in the teacup

(c) Issa

Aren't they beauties? He says (in my opinion) a lot with so few words. Haiku is really the ''ART'' of ''wordlessness''. Saying a lot with a minimum of words caught in just three short lines. The haiku-poet has an ''AHA''-erlebnis and tries to catch that in a few words ... leaving the reader to his/her own ... haiku ... wordlessness to the max.

Let me try to compose a haiku as is meant here ... ''say a lot with a minimum of words'', not an easy task I think, but ofcourse I have to try (smiles).

A Hermit

at the seashore
between foot prints of man
shell of a hermit

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Or what do you think of this one ...:

the cooing of pigeons

between blooming cherry trees -
the cool rain

(c) Chèvrefeuille

My Sakura is starting to bloom

Well ... I hope this post will inspire you to compose your haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka or haibun ... try to say a lot with just a few words ... practicing wordlessness.

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and I will (try to) post our next episode, Meiseki-ji (Temple 43), later on today. This episode will remain open for your submissions until March 3rd 11.59 AM (CET). Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.


  1. Please to hear that your father has returned home..I wish him a full recovery.

  2. A true kaeru...a returning. Your father home again. May his recovery be swift and easy.

  3. Sorry to hear about your father's illness....glad that he's home and recovering ....hope he gets well soon...God bless...

  4. Lovely haiku that help to feel Spring coming ~ glad your Dad is home ~ he will recover better at home I think ~ Have a good weekend ~ xxx

  5. luv those morning glories, here in Trinidad, i have only seen the lavender coloured ones; so happy to hear your dad is improving

    much love...

  6. Nice to hear that your father is back home recovering, my prayers are with you for patience and courage are needed to help somebody heal ..:-) and your father for a speedy recovery.

  7. Thank you all for your kind words and prayers ... they have given us the strenght we needed in the past few weeks.

  8. Very good health service in Netherlands....sounds like recovery is on its way...this page was beautiful. Well selected haiku that yours again fit so well with. The blood of these haiku masters seeps in your veins! Very interesting prompt.

  9. May your Dad's recovery be swift and complete! Your hermit crab evokes such a feeling of loneliness!

  10. I am so glad your father is home - at last! May the rest of his recovery be a swift one.