Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Carpe Diem #443, Ghost-Writer 4, Belinda

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you all know this week is 'Ghost-Writer'-week, so the posts of this week are all written by members of our haiku-community Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.
There is some confussion about this week, because this week the prompts of our April prompt-list aren't all used, because I have given the 'Ghost-Writers' the opportunity to choose their own prompt or to use the given prompt. So today I had planned a Carpe Diem Special (number 86) by Soen Nakagawa, our featured haiku-poet, but our 'Ghost-Writer' Belinda has chosen another prompt as you will read here after.

We live in a free world so I will give the haiku written by Soen Nakagawa also, so you have the opportunity to choose if you will write a haiku in response of Belinda's post or will write a haiku inspired on the haiku by Soen Nakagawa. (The goal of the CD-Special is to write a haiku in the same sense, tone and Spirit as the one given.

Soen Nakagawa (1907-1984)

Here is the haiku by Soen Nakagawa for your inspiration:

Into the zendo
Twilight maples
Come dancing

(c) Soen Nakagawa

Soen—perhaps the zaniest Zen master of modern times—was, among other things, an accomplished haiku poet, and this was one of his favorite verses. It is featured in his book "Ten Haiku of My Choice." Soen often recalled the crimson leaves dancing in the twilight of the meditation hall at Ryutaku-ji in Japan, and he frequently brushed this poem. Here the character for dance forms a one-word barrier that is really moving.



And here is the post by Belinda of Belinda Broughton, have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.

Raw Life

Think of an emotionally charged situation that you witnessed or participated in. (e.g. birth, death, argument, sickness, new love, etc.) The power of these situations is to do with the cycles of life, birth, growing, dying, death, and regeneration what I call “raw life”.
Take some time to re-encounter, reimagine, and relive tangible details of the happening: the surroundings, scents, sounds, sights, touches, or tastes.
Take two “images” that seem integral to, or sum up, or suggest, the situation. e.g. the smell of disinfectant, sound of breaking glass, touch of grass, etc. You can use “images” from a person too: a pale face, shaky hand, shy eyes, dancing step.


Present these two “images” and allow them to do the work of recreating the situation and its emotions for your reader.

Don’t worry about syllable count or making sentences.
Avoid unnecessary descriptors (eg the sour smell of disinfectant, everyone knows what it smells like).
Don’t say what it means, or how you feel. Allow your reader to experience it first hand. They will respond. Trust them.
Cut any redundant articles, but keep necessary ones. i.e. if it sounds silly without them, keep them in, even if it takes you over the traditional syllable count. It’s got to sound good and keep its poetry.
Keep it pared back and simple, just the two images. Later you can flesh it out to fit 17 syllables if you want, but notice if doing so weakens the impact. And please share the original too!

Haiku asks a lot of readers, that they will make connections, that they have had similar experiences. I think this involvement is why we love it so much.

I do hope you enjoy and are challenged by this prompt. Please forgive me if I don’t respond immediately; there are some health issues happening in my family.

Cheerfully yours,


This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 12th 11.59 AM (CET). I will post our last ''Ghost-Writer" post by Bjorn later on today. Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with our haiku kai.


  1. Sorry to hear of the health issues Belinda. This was an interesting post.

    1. All ok so far Hamish, When I wrote this I thought my husband would be recovering from quadruple bypass surgery, but he is still to go in.

  2. We can wait, Belinda -- just take care of your family first. :)
    All the best -- a great post -- this will be quite challenging.

  3. Thanks for the inspiration, Belinda, and best wishes that the health issues resolve soon.

  4. Thank you for the post...I will get back later to read.. best wishes for a rapid recovery once the operation is due.

  5. Interesting prompt, Belinda. Wishing you good health.