Saturday, June 25, 2016

Carpe Diem #984 Malta

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new "stage" in our Carpe Diem Europe Ginko, in which we will visit a large part of the countries that are part of the European Union (EU). Maybe you have followed the new about the so called "Brexit" about the British referendum to stay in the EU or leave the EU. This referendum took place on June 23rd and a small majority voted to leave the EU, with 52% the UK will leave the EU. So as for today on the UK will be no longer an active member of the EU. It's for sure not very clear what will happen to the EU or the UK after the Brexit ... we will see in time.

Okay back to our "stage" today. Today we will visit Malta (once a part of the UK) were the people speak English and Greek. Let us take a brief look at the Maltese history.

Malta's location has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base, and a succession of powers, including the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French and British, have ruled the islands. 
Maltese flag
King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the George Cross to Malta in 1942 for the country's bravery in the Second World War. The George Cross continues to appear on Malta's national flag. Under the Malta Independence Act, passed by the British Parliament in 1964, Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom as an independent sovereign Commonwealth realm, officially known from 1964 to 1974 as the State of Malta, with Elizabeth II as its head of state. The country became a republic in 1974, and although no longer a Commonwealth realm, remains a current member state of the Commonwealth of Nations. Malta was admitted to the United Nations in 1964 and to the European Union in 2004; in 2008, it became part of the Eurozone.
Malta has a long Christian legacy and its Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Malta is claimed to be an apostolic see because, according to the Acts of the Apostles, Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked on Malta. Catholicism is the official religion in Malta.
Let us take a closer look at the Maltese nature ... 
Harbor of Valletta, capital of Malta
moving forward
© Chèvrefeuille

As I was doing research for this episode I ran into a wonderful "creature" named Velella. The velella is found in all warm and temperature waters of all the oceans. The organism is like an oval, translucent, deep-blue plastic with a transparent sail on top.  It lives on the water surface and is at the mercy of the wind, tides and currents for transport. It is often found in large numbers and sometimes hundreds of thousands become stranded along the coast. This beautiful "creature" is found often in the waters around Malta.
small creatures
fighting against the wind
© Chèvrefeuille
floating plastic?
is the water polluted?
no ... Velella!

© Chèvrefeuille
Landscape of Malta
green meadow
as far as I can see
colorful flowers
© Chèvrefeuille
Malta ... paradise? I think so ... it's really a beautiful country. Must be awesome to live there. By the way ... I told you about the history of Malta and there are several ancient remains, so called megalithic temples, on Malta. One of those megalithic temples is Tarxien Temple:
Tarxien Temple
praying to the gods
offering them the gifts of nature
peace of mind
© Chèvrefeuille
With the beauty of Maltese nature and its rich history there have to be haiku poets on the Island. I searched for them on the Internet and found only one Maltese haiku poets, John P. Portelli (I couldn't retrieve an emailaddress or something to ask permission, but as always I credit the poet):
çass il-˙amiem
lil sidu jistenna –
ma jici qatt
the pigeons stare
awaiting their master —
he never comes
ri˙et ix-xita
fuq bjut im˙allba friski:
taqtig˙ il-qalb
the smell of rain
on terraces newly sealed:
losing heart
ri˙et ix-xita
fuq ˙axix mixwi sfajjar:
fer˙et il-qalb
the smell of rain
on scorched and jaundiced grass:
heart’s delight
g˙ollieq inigge!
jispunta kullimkien –
ming˙ajr avvi!
stinging thorns
growing everywhere —
no prior notice
tqattar ix-xita
ixiddu l-˙mura s-sicar
oqbra mg˙ottija
dripping rain
trees blushing
covered tombs
taqbe! il-˙uta
jin˙eba f’˙alqha l-ganç
ba˙ar ka˙lani
the fish leaps
in mouth the hook is hiding
azure sea
Azure Sea Malta
id-dell tad-dielja
jinfirex, jo˙loq kenn –
jg˙annu l-imrie!aq
the vine’s shadow
spreads, makes shelter —
the cicadas sing
il-weraq waqg˙u
qrie˙u s-sicar bla g˙ata
erwie˙ mitlufa.
the leaves have shed
bald the trees uncovered
lost souls.
waslet ix-xitwa
bil-ckieket u l-irwejja˙:
boççi tal-kamla
winter’s here
with jackets and scents:
moth balls!
u jg˙anni bikri
il-kardinal ˙amrani
u l-qattus jong˙os
he sings so early
the crimson bird –
the cat is dozing
tqattar ix-xita
jifir˙u !-!rincijiet
f’g˙adira niexfa
dripping rain
the frogs rejoice
in a dry pond
© John P. Portelli
Well I hope you did like this episode about Malta and of course ... I hope to have inspired you to create haiku yourself.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 30th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Austria, later on. For now .... have fun!


  1. Carpe Diem European Ginko # 984 Malta:

    warm breezes
    lifting the lapwing's crest
    Malta beach