Monday, March 27, 2017

Carpe Diem #1180 departure


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Recently I read a wonderful weblog on spiritual growth and I hope that is a little bit the task of CDHK too. Maybe you are familiar with the idea of spiritual growth and if not .... well no problem at all. We are now living in what is called "the time of Aquarius" this is the time in which (according to astrology) humankind is ascending to another state of spiritual life. This is the time of spiritual growth. As we look around us than we can see that in so many things. For example we can see this in nature, global warming, makes us aware that we have to do something, we have to care for nature. Without nature we as humans cannot live. We need nature, not just for our food, but also for our spiritual health and physical health. Nature ... the major theme for us as haiku and tanka poets. We are the keepers of nature or as I stated earlier this month we are the keepers of Earth. We need her ...

This month I choose for the beauty of Persian poetry and themed this month "praise to the emptiness" and I think that theme was in almost all the poems we have read this month.  What is "emptiness"? Well it's one of the pillars of Zen Buddhism and for haiku (and tanka). Every haiku (or tanka) needs that emptiness, not only in its words, but also in its lay-out. In one of my first haiku anthologies I published (back in 1998) I had only one haiku a page ... That emptiness places the haiku at the most important spot ... in the center.



Today I have a wonderful poem by Rumi. This poem titled "departure" is extracted from 'Persian Poems', an Anthology of verse translations edited by A.J.Arberry, Everyman's Library, 1972 and translated by R.A. Nicholson. As I read this poem I saw dervishes swirl and maybe that makes this poem that awesome. Dervishes swirl, a Sufi way of meditating, to make contact with the Higher Power, with God or Allah or what ever name you will give it.

As I wrote earlier in this post emptiness is very important, but of course there is also need for a nice post to read I think, so I didn't choose for a lay-out with emptiness, but maybe you can use that idea of emptiness in the lay out for your response.

DEPARTURE

Up, O ye lovers, and away! 'Tis time to leave the world for aye.
Hark, loud and clear from heaven the form of parting calls-let none delay!
The cameleer hat risen amain, made ready all the camel-train,
And quittance now desires to gain: why sleep ye, travellers, I pray?
Behind us and before there swells the din of parting and of bells;
To shoreless space each moment sails a disembodied spirit away.
From yonder starry lights, and through those curtain-awnings darkly blue,
Mysterious figures float in view, all strange and secret things display.
From this orb, wheeling round its pole, a wondrous slumber o'er thee stole:
O weary life that weighest naught, O sleep that on my soul dost weigh!
O heart, toward they heart's love wend, and O friend, fly toward the Friend,
Be wakeful, watchman, to the end: drowse seemingly no watchman may.

© Rumi (Tr. R. A. Nicholson)

What can this poem mean? Reading it and re-reading it It brings me the idea of leaving this world, or in other words ... death. Is this what is meant here? I think it is, but maybe it is also a way of telling that you have to leave your common path and take another route ... or even more in other words ... it is time for changing your path ... to grow spiritual.

Departure (Image found on Pinterest)

Here at CDHK we have had "departure" earlier as prompt. As I was preparing this post I ran into the history of CDHK and found a few nice posts about "departure".

farewell verse
as I depart from the train station -
forget me not

© Chèvrefeuille 

Or what do you think of this haiku by Basho which he wrote at the beginning of "Narrow Road", his most famous haibun?

the passing spring
birds mourn, fishes weep
with tearful eyes

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Or this one by myself which I wrote (and published) earlier this month:

reborn again
leaving all behind
first spring day

© Chèvrefeuille

Departure ... is something we see very often in our daily life, not only real departure, but also spiritual departure (as it is meant in the poem by Rumi). Departure is part of our lives. Its included in our life.

autumn departure (Japan)

Maybe this tanka fits the poem by Rumi more than I first thought, so let's give it a try as a response on this poem by Rumi:

autumn departs
in deep silence willow leaves fall -
tears on this grave
as the willow is green again
another year has gone

© Chèvrefeuille

Departure ... it's part of our life ... 

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, broken heart, later on. For now ... have fun!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Carpe Diem #1179 Arise


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The weekend is almost gone and as I am publishing this new episode the submissions also start for our "weekend meditation". I must admit that I am grateful that I have chosen to be free in the weekends. It gives me time to relax and the opportunity to do the private things I need. For example: visiting relatives or just sit back and read that novel that I started to read but never brought to its end. So these weekends off are a blessing.

This month we are exploring the beauty of Persian poetry and today I have a well known poetess for you. Her name is Tahirih and she was a Baha' i believer. Her being Baha'i was the reason that she was executed, because she had left Islam and became Baha'i. After her death her poetry became almost holy for the Baha'i. Let me tell you a little bit more about her.

Tahirih (photo found on Pinterest)
Táhirih ("The Pure One"), also called Qurratu l-ʿAyn ("Solace/Consolation of the Eyes") are both titles of Fatimah Baraghani (1814 or 1817 – August 16–27, 1852), an influential poet and theologian of the Bábí faith in Iran. Her life, influence and execution made her a key figure of the religion. The daughter of Muhammad Salih Baraghani, she was born into one of the most prominent Azeri families of her time. Táhirih led a radical interpretation that, though it split the Babi community, wedded messianism with Bábism.

As a young girl she was educated privately by her father and showed herself a proficient writer. Whilst in her teens she married the son of her uncle, with whom she had a difficult marriage. In the early 1840s she became familiar with the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad and began a secret correspondence with his successor Kazim Rashti. Táhirih travelled to the Shi'i holy city of Karbala to meet Kazim Rashti, but he died a number of days before her arrival. In 1844 aged about 27, she became acquainted with the teachings of the Báb and accepted his religious claims. She soon won renown and infamy for her zealous teachings of his faith and "fearless devotion". Subsequently exiled back to Iran, Táhirih taught her faith at almost every opportunity. The Persian clergy grew resentful of her and endeavoured to have her imprisoned and stopped. She battled with her family throughout her life who wanted her to return to the traditional beliefs of her family.

Táhirih was probably best remembered for unveiling herself in an assemblage of men during the Conference of Badasht. The unveiling caused a great deal of controversy and the Báb named her "the Pure One" to show his support for her. She was soon arrested and placed under house arrest in Tehran. A few years later in mid-1852 she was executed in secret on account of her Bábí faith. Since her death Bábí and Bahá’í literature venerated her to the level of martyr, being described as "the first woman suffrage martyr". As a prominent Bábí (she was the seventeenth disciple or "Letter of the Living" of the Báb) she is highly regarded by Bahá'ís and Azalis and often mentioned in Bahá'í literature as an example of courage in the struggle for women's rights. Her date of birth is uncertain as birth records were destroyed at her execution.

Shrine of the Bab in Haifa
The poem I have chosen is in my opinion one of her best.

Arise 

O slumbering one, the beloved has arrived, arise!
Brush off the dust of sleep and self, arise!
Behold the good will has arrived,
Come not before him with tears, arise!
The mender of concerns has come to you,
O heavy-hearted one, arise!
O one afflicted by separation,
Behold the good tidings of the beloved’s union, arise!
O you withered by autumn,
Now spring has come, arise!
Behold the New Year brings a fresh life,
O withered corps of yesteryear, up from your tomb, arise!

© Tahirih (Tr. Farzaneh Milani)

Well ... I think I didn't say to much ... a real beauty. It inspired me to create the following poem:

awake
the darkness has gone
awake
cherry blossoms, plum blossoms, daffodils
awake and praise the Creator

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you liked this post and of course I hope it will inspire you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form. 

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 31st at noon (CET). I will try to post our new episode, departure, later on. For now ... have fun!


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Carpe Diem Universal Jane #13 Sijo the Korean poem


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend meditation this week I love to introduce through the work of Jane Reichhold the beauty of Sijo, the Korean poem. I found a wonderful article on Jane and Werner Reichhold's website AHA Poetry which I love to share here with you. As you all know I am still a big fan of Jane Reichhold and still miss her every day. That's the reason why I have created this special feature for CDHK. Jane has done a lot for us and for me. So in honor of this great poetess, the queen of haiku and tanka, and as it turns out also a big creator of Sijo.


Sijo

The spring breeze melted snow on the hills then quickly disappeared.
I wish I could borrow it briefly to blow over my hair
And melt away the aging frost forming now about my ears.

© U T'ak (1262-1342, author of this oldest surviving sijo)

More ancient than haiku, the Korean SIJO shares a common ancestry with haiku, tanka and similar Japanese genres. All evolved from more ancient Chinese patterns.

Sijo is traditionally composed in three lines of 14-16 syllables each, totaling between 44-46 syllables. A pause breaks each line approximately in the middle; it resembles a caesura but is not based on metrics.

My body, in its withering, may become a lovely swallow.
Under the eaves of my loved one's home I'll build my nest of twigs.
After dusk I'll fly aloft and glide gently to his side.

© Anonymous

Mind, I have a question for you - How is it you stay so young?
As the years pile up on my body, you too should grow old.
Oh, if I followed your lead, Mind, I would be run out of town.

© Anonymous

Each half-line contains 6-9 syllables; the last half of the final line is often shorter than the rest, but should contain no fewer than 5.

A drum beats in the far temple; I think it's in the clouds.
Is it above the meadow and hill, perhaps below the sky?
Something sends a veil of mist, I cannot heed the drum.

© Anonymous

Oh that I might capture the essence of this deep midwinter night
And fold it softly into the waft of a spring-moon quilt
Then fondly uncoil it the night my beloved returns.

© Hwang Chin-i (1522-1565) most revered female Korean classical poet



The sijo may be narrative or thematic, introducing a situation or problem in line 1, development or "turn" in line 2, and resolution in line 3. The first half of the final line employs a "twist": a surprise of meaning, sound, tone or other device. The sijo is often more lyrical, subjective and personal than haiku, and the final line can take a profound, witty, humorous or proverbial turn. Like haiku, sijo has a strong basis in nature, but, unlike that genre, it frequently employs metaphors, symbols, puns, allusions and similar word play.

You ask how many friends I have? Water and stone, bamboo and pine.
The moon rising over the eastern hill is a joyful comrade.
Besides these five companions, what other pleasure should I ask?

© Yon Son-do (1587-1671)

Printing restrictions often cause Western sijo to be divided at the natural break and printed in 6 lines. Some translators and poets have adopted this technique, so modern sijo may appear in either 3 or 6 lines;

Under our oak the grass withers,
so we plant petunias;
We water them, we coddle them,
burn their youth with chemicals.
Digesting their timely death,
the oak renews our summer shade.

Because it was meant to be sung, and because of the nature Hangul (the Korean script), the structure of sijo often resembles biblical phrases. In English, it may resemble Hopkins' sprung rhythm. To achieve this phrasal quality, each long line, once divided, is divided again, into quarters averaging 3 - 5 syllables, as indicated by the slashes:

Without the pines / the wind is silent;
without wind / the pines are still;
Without you / my heart is voiceless,
without that voice / my heart is dead.
What potent power / of yang and yin
pairs us / before we sleep?

Though quarter lines are seldom divided so obviously, a discernible (even if slight) pause is usually evident. Sijo may be highly repetitive. Phrases may be repeated or echoed, a trait revealing the sijo's heritage to be sung or chanted. Meter is not vital, but that musical link should not be overlooked.



The 6-line form was preferred by William Kim (Unsong) in his translation of 100 classical sijo (Poet, An International Monthly, March, 1986). Kim experimentally employed end rhyme and broke the verse into three separate couplets, two conventions not usually used by other translators. Take care in using such devices. They can result in a poem that looks, sounds and acts so Western that it obscures its unique heritage. I have written both 3-line and 6-line patterns, but usually prefer the former when format allows. Poets are always free to make choices, but Elizabeth St Jacques, a leader in the sijo movement, offers good advice: never lose sight of the three characteristics that make sijo unique: basic structure, musical/rhythmic elements, and the twist.

Let me ask you, butterfly, do you remember your cocoon?
Perhaps you recall spinning thread, a caterpillar's ungainly crawl?
If we can jog your memory, maybe there is hope for me.

© Jane Reichhold

Well this is a wonderful kind of poetry and I hope I have inspired you to try it yourself. Here is an attempt I once made to create Sijo:

Cherry trees blossoming for the very first time
spreading their branches, reaching for the sun
thunderstorms raging, fragile blossoms scattered

© Chèvrefeuille

As you all know this "weekend-meditation" is open for your submissions next Sunday, March 26th at 7.00 PM (CET) and will be open until March 31st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new post, arise, around 7.00 PM (CET) next Sunday Match 26th.

Have fun!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Carpe Diem #1178 Theme Week Hafiz (4) knowledge



Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is the last post for the Theme Week about Hafiz, the most beloved poet from the Persian (Iranian) people. Almost every one, young and old, can recite the poems of Hafiz. His poems are really beautiful and full of wisdom. The Persian people know that, they are using his poetry to get answers on their questions and today's poem is one of the most wonderful in my opinion with a great message.

The poem is titled: "The School of Truth" and is extracted from "Drunk On the Wind of the Beloved" in a translation by Thomas Rain Crowe.

School of Truth

O fool, do something, so you won't just stand there looking dumb.
If you are not traveling and on the road, how can you call yourself a guide?
In the School of Truth, one sits at the feet of the Master of Love.
So listen, son, so that one day you may be an old father, too!
All this eating and sleeping has made you ignorant and fat;
By denying yourself food and sleep, you may still have a chance.
Know this: If God should shine His lovelight on your heart,
I promise you'll shine brighter than a dozen suns.
And I say: wash the tarnished copper of your life from your hands;
To be Love's alchemist, you should be working with gold.
Don't sit there thinking; go out and immerse yourself in God's sea.
Having only one hair wet with water will not put knowledge in that head.
For those who see only God, their vision
Is pure, and not a doubt remains.
Even if our world is turned upside down and blown over by the wind,
If you are doubtless, you won't lose a thing.
O Hafiz, if it is union with the Beloved that you seek,
Be the dust at the Wise One's door, and speak!

© Hafiz 

In this poem I read something interesting which brought me the idea to dive into the ancient secretive knowledge of the Alchemists.

Alchemist's Laboratory
Maybe you know Paulo Coelho's novel "The Alchemist", it was his first novel and one of the best he wrote in my opinion. In this novel Paulo describes the story of a young man on a quest to find a treasure on which he had a dream. His quest brings him finally to Egypt and its pyramids. During his quest he encounters an Alchemist who is on a quest to find the fountain of life or the elixer of life. The young man is caught immediately by that idea, but he also is caught by the search for the stone of wisdom to turn everything into gold (like the story of that Greek king Midas).

As I was reading "The Alchemist" I was caught by the secretive knowledge of the Alchemists. So let me tell you a little bit more about that. By the way ... while diving into this matter I ran into a muslim Alchemist, so maybe that fits our theme too.

Alchemy is a philosophical and proto-scientific tradition practiced throughout Europe, Egypt and Asia. It aimed to purify, mature, and perfect certain objects. Common aims were chrysopoeia, the transmutation of "base metals" (e.g., lead) into "noble" ones (particularly gold); the creation of an elixir of immortality; the creation of panaceas able to cure any disease; and the development of an alkahest, a universal solvent. The perfection of the human body and soul was thought to permit or result from the alchemical magnum opus and, in the Hellenistic and western tradition, the achievement of gnosis. In Europe, the creation of a philosopher's stone was variously connected with all of these projects.
Jabir ibn Hayyan, the father of Chemistry
As I mentioned above I ran into an alchemist from Persia. Let me tell you a little about him. His name was Jabir ibn Hayyan and he lived from 712 until 815, so he lived for over 100 years. He is nowadays known as "the father of chemistry".
Jabir was a natural philosopher who lived mostly in the 8th century; he was born in Tus, Khorasan, in Persia, well known as Iran then ruled by the Umayyad Caliphate. Jabir in the classical sources has been entitled differently as al-Azdi al-Barigi or al-Kufi or al-Tusi or al-Sufi.
In total, nearly 3,000 treatises and articles are credited to him. The scope of the corpus is vast: cosmology, music, medicine, magic, biology, chemical technology, geometry, grammar, metaphysics, logic, artificial generation of living beings, along with astrological predictions, and symbolic Imâmî myths.
The 112 Books dedicated to the Barmakids, viziers of Caliph Harun al-Rashid. This group includes the Arabic version of the Emerald Tablet, an ancient work that proved a recurring foundation of and source for alchemical operations. In the Middle Ages it was translated into Latin (Tabula Smaragdina) and widely diffused among European alchemists.
The Seventy Books, most of which were translated into Latin during the Middle Ages. This group includes the Kitab al-Zuhra ("Book of Venus") and the Kitab Al-Ahjar ("Book of Stones").
The Ten Books on Rectification, containing descriptions of alchemists such as Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.
The Books on Balance; this group includes his most famous 'Theory of the balance in Nature'.
Jabir states in his Book of Stones (4:12) that "The purpose is to baffle and lead into error everyone except those whom God loves and provides for". His works seem to have been deliberately written in highly esoteric code, so that only those who had been initiated into his alchemical school could understand them. It is therefore difficult at best for the modern reader to discern which aspects of Jabir's work are to be read as ambiguous symbols, and what is to be taken literally. Because his works rarely made overt sense, the term gibberish is believed to have originally referred to his writings .

It is said that Jabir ibn Hayyah has influenced the Weestern world is a great way. And that makes this little "circle" complete, because with this sentence I am back at the poem by Hafiz. Hafiz's works are renown around the globe and I think his poems have influenced the Western world as much as did Jabir ibn Hayyan.

Alchemy (phot found on Pinterest)

I think the poem by Hafiz describes the alchemy between God, Allah, Higher Self, Great Spirit or what ever name you will give it. Without an open mind and a heart full of love you cannot have a relation with that Higher Power. I think that we, haiku poets, are also a kind of alchemists, because we can tell a lot in just a few words, with those few words we describe the beauty of the Creation and through that we are the alchemists ... through that we know that our love for nature can be a "trigger" to find the Philosopher's Stone to help the world to appreciate nature and its beauty to the max.

alchemy
strong medicine for love
nature smiles

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you did like this episode, it wasn't an easy task to create it, because I love this Alchemy and all that has to do with it, so ... if this episode was to long than my excuses for that.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, a new weekend-meditation with Universal Jane, later on. For now .... have fun!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Carpe Diem #1177 Theme Week Hafiz (3) morning breeze

 

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I like to create these posts here at CDHK. It is always a joy to make them and to see how everyone is responding. I am truly proud to be your host here at CDHK and I am glad to see how you all are responding this month and especially this week.
In this Theme Week I introduce beautiful poems by Hafiz to you and today I have another beauty to share, but first I love to share a few "morning breeze" haiku and tanka here:

A haiku by Yosa Buson:

see the morning breeze
ruffling his so silky hair -
cool Caterpillar


© Buson
And a tanka by Chenou Liu:

the morning breeze
turns maple leaves to song...
alone at my desk
I hear how Mother's words
'come home' have aged
  


© Chenou Liu (source: poemhunter)
And here are two haiku I once wrote in which I used "breeze":

young cherry trees -
morning breeze caresses
fragile blossoms


cherry blossoms bloom
such a fragile beauty -
morning breeze
© Chèvrefeuille

Cherry blossoms
Well ... let us take a look at the poem by Hafiz for today's inspiration. Another beauty I would say. This poem is titled "Like The Morning Breeze" and is taken from "Drunk on the Wind of the Beloved" in a translation by Thomas Rain Crowe.


Like The Morning Breeze

Like the morning breeze, if you bring to the morning good deeds,
The rose of our desire will open and bloom.
Go forward, and make advances down this road of love;
In forward motion, the pain is great.
To beg at the door of the Winehouse is a wonderful alchemy.
If you practice this, soon you will be converting dust into gold.
O heart, if only once you experience the light of purity,
Like a laughing candle, you can abandon the life you live in your head.
But if you are still yearning for cheap wine and a beautiful face,
Don't go out looking for an enlightened job.
Hafiz, if you are listening to this good advice,
The road of Love and its enrichment are right around the curve.

© Hafiz
A wonderful poem and I hope it will inspire you to create haiku, tanka or another Japanese poetry form. Have fun!
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 26th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, knowledge, later on.

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Carpe Diem #1176 Theme Week Hafiz (2) lover

 

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today is the second day of the Theme Week for this month in which we are exploring the beauty of Persian (Iranian) poetry especially through the poems by Rumi, Hafiz and Saadi. In this Theme Week Hafiz plays the "leading role" because of the fact that he is one of the most loved Persian poets nowadays. His poetry is used by a lot of Persian (Iranian) people to get answers on "burning" questions.
As we saw yesterday in our first Theme Week episode ... the poems by Hafiz can give certain answers on deeper questions ... and today I think that's also true.

The title of this episode "lover" is extracted from a wonderful poem title "Let Thought Become Your Beautiful Lover" (part of "The Gift"). In this poem Hafiz describes the meaning of prayer through the idea of a beautiful woman. And if you read this poem again (and again) than it's almost a prayer. A prayer in praise of the Creator. Hafiz describes praying as a kind of love.

Persian Lovers (painting)

Let Thought Become Your Beautiful Lover

Let thought become the beautiful Woman.
Cultivate your mind and heart to that depth

That it can give you everything
A warm body can.
Why just keep making love with God's child--
Form


When the Friend Himself is standing
Before us
So open-armed?
My dear,
Let prayer become your beautiful Lover


And become free,
Become free of this whole world
Like Hafiz.

© Hafiz taken from “The Gift” translated by Daniel Ladinsky
A wonderful poem don't you think so too? In this poem I read Hafiz's strong love for all and everything and through his love for God ... he has become free ... Is this what he means in this poem? Praying can set you free ... I think that is possible, but I think not everyone will "learn" that from this poem ... it's maybe not the answer on your question ...

Praying
I dived in to my archives and found a few haiku and a tanka in which the "answer" from the poem by Hafiz can be found. I realised while I was searching through my archives that I had written a lot of haiku (and tanka) about praying and prayer.

praying hands
stronger than weapons
I believe
praying to a Higher Power
gives me strength


© Chèvrefeuille

in deep prayer
eyes closed in devotion -
Lotus starts to bloom
deep silence
only whispered prayers -
the scent of incense


Praying Eagle

praying hands
seeking the wisdom of the Lord -
cry of an eagle
scent of Jasmine
the sound of a gurgling brook
my mind in peace


praying to the gods
offering them the gifts of nature
peace of mind

© Chèvrefeuille
Another beautiful poem by Hafiz we have explored in this episode. Hafiz is really one of the greatest Persian poets I think. I hope you did like this episode and that I have inspired you.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 25th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, morning breeze, later on. For now have fun!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Carpe Diem #1175 Theme Week Hafiz (1) potted plant

  

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first episode of the Theme Week (new style) in which I bring a week of specific prompts. This Theme Week I love to share only poems by Hafiz and maybe tell you something more about his background, but that's not certain as I am creating this episode.

This Carpe Diem month we have read already beautiful poems by Hafiz and I hope this week will bring you all a little bit more beauty by Hafiz. As you could have read in the earlier posts this month the Persian people often seek answers for their questions in the poems of Hafiz ... so maybe the poems in this Theme Week will give you answers on questions or thoughts you have. If that's what is going to happen than I am glad ... I think the spirit of Hafiz moves around here at CDHK and maybe he will give you the answers you need, but mostly this week is meant to bring the beauty of Hafiz's poems closer to you.

potted plants to decorate the fench
The first poem for this Theme Week is titled "potted plant" and it is taken from "The Subject Tonight Is Love", translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

In this poem we can read how Hafiz is honoring and praising God by taking care of a the earth. In this poem that "potted plant" is synonymous with caring for and cherishing the Earth. He praises the beauty of the moon ... she ... my love too.

A Potted Plant
I pull a sun from my coin purse each day.

And at night I let my pet the moon
Run freely into the sky meadow.

If I whistled,
She would turn her head and look at me.

If I then waved my arms,
She would come back wagging a marvelous
tail
Of stars.


There are always a few men like me
In this world
Who are house-sitting for God.
We share His royal duties:
I water each day a favorite potted plant
Of His--
This earth.
Ask the Friend for love.
Ask Him again.
For I have learned that every heart will get
What it prays for
Most.

© Hafiz (or Hafez) taken from:  'The Subject Tonight Is Love' Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Persian nature (photo found on Pinterest)
What can this poem mean, is there an answer for your questions? Let me take a closer look at this poem. As I read and re-read this poem than I read a song of praise for our Creator. In a way in this poem Hafiz shows us the beauty of the creation, and that we have to care for it.
In this poem I also read that our Creator loves us and cherishes us and that He will give us what we need. The earth provides us with all we need, we have to take care of her ... That's a very important issue by the way nowadays.

I could ask the following question: "What can we do to take care of our surroundings, our neighborhood? And ... read this poem again and it gives me the right answer. So ... this is maybe what the Persian (Iranian) people experience as the ask their questions ...

Well ... a poem with a message I would say, a message to us all ... "take care of Mother Nature" and I think that we, haiku poets, can bring that message too. Haiku is ... the poetry of nature.

I dived into my archives and made a little "gathering" of haiku and tanka that fits this poem by Hafiz I think.

wandering through the woods
no paved paths to walk on
bare footed I feel
in the arms of nature
resting like a little child -
scent of fallen leaves


as far as I can see
the blue sea surrounded by mountains
black like the night
 © Chèvrefeuille
Aurora Borealis (photo found on Pinterest)
sign of the gods
the night painted in thousand colors -
cracking snow
reflects the 'dance of the spirits'
aurora borealis
rustling bamboo -
song of a Nightingale fades away
a new day rises
in the mystery of the dawn
the sound of rain


© Chèvrefeuille
I hope I have inspired you with this post.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 24th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, lover, later on.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Carpe Diem Extra March 18th 2017 judging the cherry blossom kukai


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have gathered all the entries for the "cherry blossom" kukai. There were nine contestants who submitted a total of 25 haiku for this kukai.

The judging starts today right now and will run until April 1st 2017 at 10.00 PM (CET).

See the list of beautiful haiku HERE.

Good Luck!

Email your judging to: carpediemhaikukai@gmail.com Please write judging cherry blossom kukai in the subject line.

Namastè,

Chèvrefeuille, your host.

PS. Maybe you have noticed it already, but in menu above you can now find a preview of one of our exclusive CDHK E-books. I will change that preview once a month. This time you can read a preview of "In The Way of Basho", an e-book about the haiku writing techniques used by Basho.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Carpe Diem Extra - March 17 2017


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

With this month (March) I started to "re-organize" Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. I am only posting on weekdays and the weekends I use to recover and to meditate and contemplate about the next moves here at CDHK.
I love to hear from you how you think about this new "re-organized" CDHK, more for my own health maybe, but I can understand that several of you are missing the daily posts. So please let me know.

The submissions time for the Cherry Blossom kukai has closed last week, so I am busy with the gathering of the haiku. I will publish them for judging after the weekend.

Than a last question I have: Do you have ideas for the prompts here at CDHK? Please let me know.

To conclude this CD-Extra I love to announce our CDHK Summer Retreat 2017. Of course not yet, but I have "set" the date. The CDHK Summer Retreat 2017 Unconditional Love starts April 15th 10.00 PM (CET) and will run until May 15th 10.00 PM (CET). 30 Days of writing haiku or tanka once a day themed unconditional love. I am looking forward to this new Summer Retreat and I hope you will too.

Logo Summer Retreat 2017 Unconditional Love (photo found on Pinterest)

a little verse
lighted a fire in my heart
addicted to love
© Chèvrefeuille

Have a great weekend ...

Namaste,

Chèvrefeuille, your host

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Carpe Diem Namasté The Spiritual Way #5 self consciousness


!! Open for your submissions Sunday 19th 7.00 PM (CET) until March 22nd at noon (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our "weekend-meditation", this week I have a (I hope) nice episode of Namasté to inspire you. I had some trouble to find a theme this week for Namasté, but than I ran into a nice poem by the English poet Thomas Hood (1799-1845) and I thought "maybe I can stay a little in tune with our regular prompts this month ... poems by Persian poets".

At first I thought this will become a tough episode to write because in the first lines of the poem Thomas Hood speaks about "the cold grave", but as I read on I saw the broader perspective of the poem. So here it goes ...

In one of my earlier posts this month I talked about existentialsm based on Nietzsche. I tried to explain existentialism with the following phrase:

[...] "Existentialism is the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual. While the predominant value of existentialist thought is commonly acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point is characterized by what has been called "the existential attitude", or a sense of disorientation, confusion, or dread in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world." [...]


Thomas Hood's poem can be read as an existentialism poem, because he describes the "spiritual ways" of human kind. He describes man in his / her world in which they exist ... but during his poem his "theme" changes to the spirit, our the self consciousness.
We are all conscious, we have all self-consciousness ... and through that you can find your own "hiding place", "your own safe haven", "your own place to find the silence and come in tune again with your self-consciousness and mayb "tap-in" in that bigger "thing" ... the collective consciousness of all mankind, of all his / her surroundings. Self consciousness is a great good, but to be part of the collective consciousness is better. We are all one, we are all one with evrything and everyone ... together we can bring the silence back in our world ...

Here is the poem by Thomas Hood:

There is a silence where hath been no sound,
There is a silence where no sound may be,
In the cold grave—under the deep deep sea,
Or in the wide desert where no life is found,
Which hath been mute, and still must sleep profound;
No voice is hush’d—no life treads silently,
But clouds and cloudy shadows wander free,
That never spoke, over the idle ground:
But in green ruins, in the desolate walls
Of antique palaces, where Man hath been,
Though the dun fox, or wild hyena, calls,
And owls, that flit continually between,
Shriek to the echo, and the low winds moan,
There the true Silence is, self-conscious and alone.


(c) Thomas Hood

A wonderful poem I would say. Full of spirituality and full of inspiration ... here is my attempt to create a poem inspired on this post.

old barn
in the middle of the field
so desolate
a playground for the wind
deep silence of no where


(c) Chèvrefeuille

Not as strong as I had hoped, but I think in this tanka there are several layers, maybe not all spiritual, but there certainly are more than one ways to "explain" this tanka.

This episode of Namasté is, as you all know, open for your submissions Sunday March 19th at 7.00 PM (CET), so you have time to meditate and contemplate before you respond on this Namasté episode. I will post our new episode, potted plant, the first episode of our Theme Week about Hafiz (or Hafez) later on Sunday March 19th around  7.00 PM (CET). Have fun! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Carpe Diem #1174 silence


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This month we are exploring the beauty of Persian poetry through reading poems of Rumi, Hafez (or Hafiz) and Saadi. We have read already wonderful poems, but the one for today is ... well I think this is a difficult poem to understand by Saadi, but maybe I just have to share it already now ...

Silence
Nothing is better for an ignorant man than silence, and if he were to consider it to be suitable, he would not be ignorant.
If thou possessest not the perfection of excellence
It is best to keep thy tongue within thy mouth.
Disgrace is brought on a man by his tongue.
A walnut, having no kernel, will be light.

A fool was trying to teach a donkey,
Spending all his time and efforts in the task.
A sage observed: "O ignorant man, what sayest thou?
Fear blame from the censorious in this vain attempt.
A brute cannot learn speech from thee.
Learn thou silence from a brute".

Who does not reflect what he is to answer
Will mostly speak improperly.
Come. Either arrange thy words like a wise man
Or remain sitting silent like a brute.
© Saadi (From: The Gulistan - Chapter 8 – Tr. Omar Ali-Shah (?))
Saadi in the Rose Garden (Gulistan)
After some research I found a complete translation of Saadi's "The Gulistan", I couldn't find a name of the translator (I think it is the translation done by Omar Ali-Shah), but it was a beautiful translation and a very rich book to read. Let me tell you a little bit background of "The Gulistan".
The Gulistan ("The Rose Garden") is a landmark of Persian literature, perhaps its single most influential work of prose. Written in 1258 CE, it is one of two major works of the Persian poet Saadi, considered one of the greatest medieval Persian poets. It is also one of his most popular books, and has proved deeply influential in the West as well as the East. The Gulistan is a collection of poems and stories, just as a rose-garden is a collection of roses. It is widely quoted as a source of wisdom. The well-known aphorism still frequently repeated in the western world, about being sad because one has no shoes until one meets the man who has no feet "whereupon I thanked Providence for its bounty to myself" is from the Gulistan.
The minimalist plots of the Gulistan's stories are expressed with precise language and psychological insight, creating a "poetry of ideas" with the concision of mathematical formulas. The book explores virtually every major issue faced by humankind, with both an optimistic and a subtly satirical tone. There is much advice for rulers, in this way coming within the mirror for princes genre. But as Eastwick comments in his introduction to the work,  there is a common saying in Persian, "Each word of Saadi has seventy-two meanings", and the stories, alongside their entertainment value and practical and moral dimension, frequently focus on the conduct of dervishes and are said to contain sufi teachings.
What to say about this poem? I think, after reading and re-reading, I think the essence of the poem is in the last lines:

"Who does not reflect what he is to answer / Will mostly speak improperly. / Come. Either arrange thy words like a wise man / Or remain sitting silent like a brute."

Or as we say here in The Netherlands "Bezint eer ge begint" (English: Think twice before you start)

I think this is the lesson of Saadi in this poem ... think twice before you react ... and I know what that means. I certainly know that I am not always that wise man ... there are situations in which I respond immediately and than afterwards I regret what I have said or done. But ... I think that's what makes me (us) human ... we are humans responding from our heart and not from our mind. That by the way makes us haiku poets too. We are in the moment, we are one with all and everything and we create our poems right from our heart.


I wasn't inspired enough, but I created the following haiku:

deep silence
sunbeams breaking through the water -
shadow of a willow


in deep silence
thoughts tumbling through my mind
awakening
(c) Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 20th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, our "weekend-meditation", a new "Namasté:, later on. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Carpe Diem #1173 leaving


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I already shared on our facebook page, next month we will dive into the classical (and maybe modern) kigo (seasonwords) for spring. As you know one of the classical "rules" for haiku is the use of a kigo, or in other words a word that refers to the season in which the haiku "plays". I am aware that we did this earlier here, but in April I love to challenge you in an other way ... you have to follow the classical rules of haiku (or tanka), so that makes it a challenging month I think.

Okay back to today's post. This month we are exploring the beauty of the Persian poetry by Rumi, Saadi and Hafiz and I think this month is already a big success, because I have read wonderful poems and ... I am almost on pace with your submissions.

Today's post is titled "leaving" and it's about a poem by Hafiz (or Hafez). As I told you in an earlier post, the Persian (Iranian) people are using his poems to get answers on their "burning" questions. I don't know if that's also with this poem, but you never know.

"Leaving" or "going away", "departure", "say goodbye" or simply "goodbye". We use it often I think in our daily lives, but what is the meaning of "leaving" at its essence? Leaving, in this word we can also find "leaf" or "leaves", so "leaving" can also mean "the movement of the leaves in the wind" or "the movement of the cherry blossoms in the wind". Leaving ... saying goodbye to someone or to the time of year. We are almost "leaving" winter and we will encounter spring, the season in which the light will grow and life is returning to nature. As I look at my backyard than I can already see a few young leaves and as I told you earlier cherry blossoms. The leaves and blossoms "wave" in the wind they are "leaving" or ... no they are welcoming spring.

Young Leaves (photo found on Shutterstock)
The poem for today is by Hafiz and it is extracted from "The Gift" and it is titled "No More leaving" and it is about the following: "You can not escape from your destiny. You cannot escape from God, Allah, Higher Self or what ever name you give that spiritual power you feel in your life. That power will always find you. If you are sad, it will find you, if you are happy it will find you, there is no escape. Maybe that's one of the questions asked by the Persian (Iranian) people ... I don't know, but if that's one of the questions they have than in this poem by Hafiz they will find their answer.

No More Leaving

At 
Some point
Your relationship
With God
Will
Become like this:

Next time you meet Him in the forest
Or on a crowded city street

There won't be anymore

"Leaving."

That is,

God will climb into
Your pocket.

You will simply just take

Yourself

Along!

© Hafiz (taken from: 'The Gift' - tr. by Daniel Ladinsky)

leaving
This is what "leaving" can mean also. Look at this photo. This man all alone on a station or an airport somewhere around the globe. He has no one, look how sad he is, head bend resting on his arms. His suitcase in front of him ... What has happened? Maybe he and his girlfriend or boyfriend broke up and now he is leaving. Maybe his boss kicked him out ... Leaving in this case is a sad emotion, but leaving as I told you above or that you have read in the poem can also bring happiness and joy ... so this guy ... well his spiritual guide will find him and lead him to his new path, towards a new life, towards happiness and love again.

I remember a post I wrote last January while we were on a pilgrimage to Santiago. That post was about "leaving all behind" (HERE) and I love to share a quote from that episode to conclude this episode:

reborn again
leaving all behind
first spring day

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't that what we do every day again? Every day is a new day, what is in the past doesn't exist anymore in the present, don't look forward ... be there right in the moment. Isn't that what we try to accomplish with our haiku or tanka? Isn't that what we tell in our haiku and tanka? Be part of the present, be in the moment, be one with the moment ... be the moment.

Don't leave that moment, be part of it. My dad always said: "God has never said your journey will be calm and easy, but He promises you that you will bring it to the end save".

With those wise words of my dad I conclude this episode. Don't leave the moment ... be the moment.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 19th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, silence, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form with us all.