Saturday, July 14, 2018

Carpe Diem Summer Retreat 2018 Finding The Way


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's time again for our traditional seasonal retreat. A period of 30 days in which the goal is to write haiku or tanka about a theme every day. This is the Summer Retreat 2018 Finding The Way.
Here at CDHK we have had several themes about Finding The Way for example we have been on a pilgrimage along the 88 temples on Shikoku Island, the once in a lifetime to do pilgrimage for Buddhists. And we have done the pilgrimage to Santiago The Compostela. Both were actual pilgrimages, but the theme "Finding The Way" is inspired on our inner pilgrimage to Find Our Way or Find Our Path or Finding Our Inner Peace ... or whatever you will name it.

Finding The Way (Spiritual Journey)
It's Summer ... and it can be summer in your heart and mind ... find your way ... write a haiku or tanka every day on the theme "Finding The Way" for a period of 30 days. Take your time. If you haven't enough inspiration to write every day than ... don't worry ... here at CDHK are "no strings attached".

Let me give you an example of a haiku that fits this theme. This haiku is written by Yozakura, The Wandering Spirit:

lost in the woods
not enough light to find the path -
the cry of an owl

© Yozakura

Well ... I hope you will enjoy this year's Summer Retreat. The Summer Retreat is open for your submissions next Sunday July 15th at 10:00 PM (CEST) and will run to August 14th at 10:00 PM (CEST). Enjoy the Retreat.


Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge 2018 #1 shadows on a sunny porch (Jane Reichhold)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope your weekend started with a smile on your face. My weekend started certainly with a smile, because I have a week off. That gives me some time to challenge you a little bit more. Maybe you can remember that I had a "tan renga challenge" back in our rich history. We even created a few months full of Tan Renga. The Tan Renga Challenge started once on every Friday and I love to bring that challenging feature back here at our wonderful Kai. So today I have a Tan Renga Challenge for you, but let me first tell you what the goal is.

The goal is to create a Tan Renga from a haiku. A Tan Renga is a short chained verse written by two poets. One wrote the haiku (3-lines) and one wrote the second stanza (2-lines) through association on the scene of the haiku.

For this first "rebirth" of the Tan Renga Challenge I have a wonderful summer haiku by our beloved Jane Reichhold. Your task is to create a Tan Renga with it. A Tan Renga looks similar with the tanka, but instead of written by one poet it's written by two poets.

Shadows On A Porch (image found on Pinterest)


between boards
shadows on a sunny porch
a slender coolness 

© Jane Reichhold (taken from her online dictionary of haiku)

Read the haiku several times and than create your two-lined second stanza with approximately 7-7 syllables. Have fun!

This episode is Now Open for your submissions and will remain open until July 21st at noon (CEST).
I hope to bring a weekly Tan Renga Challenge for you.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #41 Soliloquy no Renga "ancient warriors ghosts"




!! Open for your submissions next Sunday July 15th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our special feature "Carpe Diem's Weekend Meditation", the feature that gives you (and me) time to meditate and contemplate before submission. This special feature gives me more time and some time off, because there is no need for me to publish every day. Of course that doesn't mean that I never will publish something in the weekend.

Recently I started with our new feature "Renga Challenge" in which I challenge you to create a renga together with Basho (or as planned later some other classical haiku poet). It looks like you all enjoy that feature a lot, so I have chosen to challenge you this weekend to create a so called "Soliloquy no Renga" (or solo-renga). Maybe you can remember that feature that I launched several years ago here at CDHK.


For this weekend "challenge" I will give you a hokku (or starting verse) to work with. The goal is to create a renga on your own and not as is common with another or more haiku poets. A renga is built from 3-lined and 2-lined stanza as you all will know. It makes a "chained verse" through association on the verses.

Today's hokku is the following, created by myself:

ancient warriors ghosts
mists over the foreign highlands -
waiting for the full moon

© Chèvrefeuille

The goal is to create a Soliloquy no Renga of a minimum of six (6) verses or a maximum of 24 verses. Try to create your solo-renga as if it was a book. That means try to bring a "preface", a "centerpiece" and an "afterword". In that way you create a renga like the classical haikupoets, because every renga had such a "grouping" (lay-out).

Ancient Warriors Ghosts (Japanese Woodblock) (image found on Pinterest)
This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday July 15th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until July 22nd at noon (CEST). Have a great weekend with a lot of inspiration.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Carpe Diem #1474 path into oblivion



Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our beautiful inspiring Haiku Kai were we are having a great time with our July -theme "Imagination Without Limits" or in other words ... creating Japanese poetry inspired on a given image.

path into oblivion (photo (c) Chèvrefeuille)
Another nice scene from one of the many parks in my hometown. Look at that light play through the leaves, the fading colors of the pond and the disappearing of the blue sky into a kind of vague white. It's a crossroad ... which direction will I take? Were does that path lead me to? Does that path lead me into oblivion? It's up to you now ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 19th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode, a new weekend-meditation, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your Japanese poetry with us all.




Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Carpe Diem #1473 Fragile Beauty



Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. This month it's all about imagination and I think that's one of the pillars of haiku. Why? Because as a haiku poet you have to imagine the scene you try to catch in your haiku, but it also 'triggers' the imagination of the reader.

Again I have a lack of time, so again I have made it myself easy. I only will give you an image to inspire you.
Plum Blossom (photo © Chèvrefeuille)
scent of plum blossoms
mingles with the scent of the hearth
winter departure


© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 18th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!


Carpe Diem Crossroads #13 chilly coolness


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our CDHK feature "Crossroads", the feature in which I challenge you to create a so called "fusion"-haiku from two haiku and to create a Troiku with your "fusion"-haiku. More on Troiku you can find above in the menu.

For this episode I have returned to the beautiful haiku by (my sensei) Matsuo Basho. I have chosen two nice haiku created by him to work with. I have taken these two haiku from Jane Reichhold's "Basho, the complete haiku".

feet on the wall (image found on Pinterest)

Here are your two haiku to work with:

chilly coolness
my feet on the wall
for a midday nap

the color of wind
planted artlessly
in a garden of reeds

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

A nice challenge I think.

This "crossroads" episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 18th at noon (CEST). Have fun!


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Carpe Diem Renga Challenge #3 Chrysanthemum Dew


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am under the impression that you all love this Renga Challenge feature and I think it's awesome to write a renga together with one of the classic masters. For this third episode I have again six beauties written by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) in a translation by Jane Reichhold. I still miss her, but I know that her spirit is still dwelling here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. As I think of her I only can smile and be gratefull that I have known her and have worked with her.

The goal is to create a renga with a minimum of six stanza and a maximum of 12 stanza. You can use the haiku I give in any order, the only thing you have to do is create the two-lined stanza between the haiku through association on the images/scenes in the haiku.

A Girl Collecting Chrysanthemum Dew by the stream (woodblock print)
Here are the six haiku by Basho to work with:

the image shows
an old woman weeping alone
my friend the moon


passing through autumn
a butterfly seems to lick
chrysanthemum dew


five or six
sitting with tea and cakes

a fireplace

Skylark

a skylark sings
the pheasant's voice is
the instrumental music


how glorious
young green leaves
flash in the sun


early summer rains
falling so heavily they cover up
the waterfall


© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold, taken from "Basho, The Complete Haiku")

 All great haiku ... enjoy your renga-party together with Basho.

This Renga Challenge is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 24th at noon (CEST). Have fun!


Carpe Diem #1472 emptiness


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

My apologies for being late. I had a very busy day on our chemo-therapy unit. So I hadn't time earlier to create this new episode of our Imagination Without Limits month, July 2018. So ... because of being late I will only give you the image for today to inspire you. I think it's another beautiful image and I hope it will inspire you to create your Japanese poetry.

Emptiness
what happened?
left coffee cup
her perfume

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 17th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!


Monday, July 9, 2018

Carpe Diem #1471 Summer Breakfast


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new challenge for you Imagination Without Limits ... all beautiful images with a hidden message maybe, but all beautiful. I am still busy with retrieving the ownership of several images I will use this month. That search is almost ready, but is now on hold, because I am very busy with other things and my work.

I have a nice image today to inspire you and awaken your muse.

Summer breakfast
Take your time to look at this image. Let it come alive in your mind and heart. I think that the most of you will have had a wonderful summer breakfast once in your lifetime, so let the image speak to you.

after a steamy night
my love and I enjoy breakfast
naked and aroused


© Chèvrefeuille (love-haiku)

Awesome what a beauty (how immodest), but it is true. I have really nice memories to a summer breakfast somewhere back in history. I still can feel the love, the heat, her body, her soul, her soft skin scented with the perfume of Honeysuckle. Yeah ... a sweet memory.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 16th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... enjoy!


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Carpe Diem #1470 A Wild Ride, the story of the Batavia


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. I have had for sure a wonderful weekend. The Netherlands is "suffering" from a heatwave. Temperatures are rising towards 30 degrees Celsius and no rain at all. With all the dangers going with that of course, but that's not our theme for today.

I love to tell you a little bit more about my hometown, Lelystad The Netherlands. Lelystad is the capital of the province Flevoland. Flevoland is all polder (land created from the bottom of the sea). It's a huge province, but our history isn't very long. It goes "only" back to the sixties. My parents, me and my brother moved to Lelystad in 1968 and my family is still living here. We have seen our hometown grow to the city we are now.

One of the great prides of my hometown is a replica of the V.O.C ship Batavia. It was built on our coastline and even now the shipyard were the Batavia was built is still in business and is now building a replica of another ship of the VOC, The Seven Provinces.

Let me first give you the image you have to use for our Imagination episode of today. It's a photo taken just around the corner were I live on the shipyard of the Batavia.

Batavia shipyard at Lelystad The Netherlands (photo © Chèvrefeuille)
The above image shows how the Batavia rests at our coast just around the corner were I live. It's a wonderful ship and it's open for the public. I have been on it several times and for sure it feels like you are back in time, but the story behind the Batavia isn't something to be proud on as Dutch people. Let me tell you a little bit about Batavia's history.

Madness, mutiny and murder. The story of the Batavia is a wild ride.

The history of the Batavia Shipwreck is one of great intrigue not only for its brutality and gore but the 'Lord of the Flies' esque feel the story has. So much so, that countless books and films have retold the horrific event. The most recent venture coming from Russel Crowe after he bought the rights to Hugh Edwards' book "Angry Ghosts."

It might sound like the plot of an implausible Hollywood blockbuster, but the terrible tale of the Batavia is frighteningly real.
In October 1628, the Dutch East India Company’s Batavia set sail from the Netherlands to Batavia on her maiden voyage, with a cargo that included vast amounts of jewels and coins.
After making her way south, the Batavia struck a reef just 40 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia, near the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, in June 1629.
As the ship began to sink, most survivors made their way to a nearby island, which would later become known as Batavia’s Graveyard.
But the Batavia’s Commander Francisco Pelsaert surfaced on a smaller island nearby.
After discovering the islands were barren, Pelsaert, his skipper and 35 other men left the islands for Batavia, now known as Indonesia, in search of help, food and water.


Batavia on full sail

Once his commander had departed, Under merchant Jeronimus Cornelisz began to plot a mutiny.
His original plot to mutiny and seize the ship had been made before the wreck, but the Batavia had sunk before Cornelisz could put his plan into action.
Cornelisz and his motley crew of mutineers sent anyone who might oppose their plans to other islands in search of water.
Beginning with the weak and injured, Cornelisz and his men began their mass murder. With their bloodlust still not satisfied, the mutineers hunted down the men sent to other islands. In total, 125 men, women and children were massacred.
Cornelisz kept some women alive to be repeatedly raped and tortured.
One man managed to escape and swim to the men sent to find water on Wallabi Island.
With the alarm raised, word was sent to Pelsaert when he returned from Batavia in a rescue ship.

While still on the island, the mutineers were tried for the murders. After ten days of torture, they confessed and were convicted. Seven men were hanged and two were sentenced to marooning on the Australian mainland, making them the first ever recorded European settlers. (Source: National Geographic Channel)

It's not a story were we the Dutch are proud off, but it's nevertheless part of our history. The replica of the Batavia is one of the most attractive sightings in my hometown and millions have visited her.


Strong Rose

alive again
after the summer storm
strong rose


© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until July 15th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #40 Sparkling Stars ... "the autumn full moon"


!! Open for your submissions next Sunday July 8th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend meditation, our special feature for the weekend. The weekend before last weekend I introduced to you a new feature "Along Memory Lane A Trip Back In Time" in which I will take you back into the rich history of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This weekend I love to go back in time to a special feature in which I shared masterpieces written by the classic and non-classic haiku poets ... Sparkling Stars ... In that feature I not only shared haiku by classical and non-classical haiku poets, but all those haiku were in a way my favorite.


Sparkling Stars is a bit similar with the CD-Specials, but there is a little difference. I will introduce a 'masterpiece' of one of the classic haiku-poets (well-known and less-known) to inspire you to write a new haiku. Here is the difference with the CD-Specials. Those new haiku, inspired on the 'masterpiece', have to follow the classical rules of haiku:

1. 5-7-5 syllables
2. a kigo (or seasonword)
3. a kireji (or cutting word, in Western languages mostly interpunction)
4. a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water
5. a deeper meaning (could be Zen-Buddhistic or other spiritual or religious thought)
6. and the first and the third line are interchangeable.

For this weekend meditation "along memory lane, a trip back in time" I have chosen one of the haiku I used in this feature earlier here at CDHK ... I even had the guts to reproduce the whole episode ... sorry for that. I like to take the easy way sometimes.


Sometimes I am an a melancholic mood, mostly after a busy day at work, than I have to go outside in the late evening to smell the perfume of the coming night, to look at the stars and if she, the moon, is there I look at her in pure adoration. I love her. Sometimes she stands there high in the sky in full regalia, sharing her sun-reflected light with me. Sometimes she looks a bit sad and ashamed than she hides her beautiful face behind a veil of clouds. She doesn't know that I love her and that I adore her beauty. Her beauty is the best as she hides behind a thin veil of clouds. Than she is surrounded with a beautiful halo which is so colorful and bright ... than she looks like a queen, a goddess ...
Not so long ago I had such a melancholic mood. I went outside and looked up to the dark sky ... there she was, my love, almost full and clothed with a gorgeous light orange gown ... "Wow", I thought. "You're looking great my love!"

the night deepens
darker and darker the sky
without the streetlights
the night sky looks like a light show
the full moon and thousands of stars

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't it a wonderful tribute to her, the moon, whom I love so much? As I look at my loving wife ... than I see her everlasting beauty, than she, is my full moon.


Why such a long introduction? Well ... I will explain that. To the Japanese, ancient and modern, the moon of autumn is the most beautiful gift of Mother Nature. There are countless haiku written inspired on the beauty of the autumn moon.
As I look at my own haiku-archive I can almost say that at least one third of them is about the moon in all her occurring images.

Basho also has written a lot of haiku about the moon and for sure the most 'moon'-haiku are about the moon of autumn. The haiku which I have chosen for this episode of "Sparkling Stars" isn't the best haiku by Basho, but it needed this long introduction, because it tells you more about my love for the moon and the love for the moon by Basho.

The Way of Haiku requires not only a Franciscan poverty, but the concentration of all the energies of mind and body, a perpetual sinking of oneself into things. Basho tells us, and it is to be noted, we believe him:

meigetsu ya ike o megurite yo mo sugara

the autumn full moon:
all night long
I paced round the lake.

© Basho

All night gazing at the moon, and only this poor verse to show for it? But it must be remembered that Basho was a teacher. And thus we too, when we look at the moon, look at it with the eyes of Basho, those eyes that gazed at that moon and its reflection in the placid water of the lake.

Full Moon of July (photo © Alison Hale)
Call me a nutcase, a dreamer or a fool, but I think that I am like Basho, that we all are like Basho, because we all are gazing at the beauty of our planet. We all are in love with the beauty of Mother Nature ... and that makes us all moon-lovers.

tears of joy
spilled into the old pond -
the moon's reflection

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like the read and that it will inspire you to write an all new haiku about the moon maybe or about the beauty of Mother Nature. Have fun, be inspired and share your "sparkling star" with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday July 8th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until July 15th at noon (CEST). Have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Carpe Diem #1469 Finding The Path


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at this belated episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. This month it's all about finding inspiration through images. Images found on the Internet and made by myself. According to the images I use from the Internet, ... as you all know I always give credit, but as I was preparing this month I forgot to make a list from all the credits, so I am searching for the images again to give credits. If you are the owner of the images used here please let me know through our emailaddress: carpediemhaikukai@gmail.com

For today I have a beautiful image of a compass ... A compass we use to find our way and by finding the way through a compass .... you can give it a spiritual or religious meaning. In the image I share the compass lays on the Bible and points toward "finding the way" ... Well enough to tell about this image.

Finding The Path (image found on Dreamtime)
without compass
I rely on the stars
and she ... the moon


© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 12th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode, a new weekend meditation, later on. For now ... have fun! Find your Path ....


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Carpe Diem #1468 fragile


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

My apologies for being late with publishing. I am on the nightshift so I couldn't be on time today. This month I hope to inspire you through beautiful images I found on the Internet or have made myself.

Today I have a wonderful image for you. I have given it the title "fragile" and I think you all will understand why I have chosen this image.

fragile
faded beauty
returned fragility
dandelion seeds


© Chèvrefeuille

Not as strong as I had hoped ... I didn't really found a connexion with this image. Of course I like the image. I see a good looking guy, muscled I think, laying in the grass with a faded dandelion in his hand ... the title I chose has to do with the contrast between the muscled guy and the fragile dandelion's seeds.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 11th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Carpe Diem #1467 bench in the park


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month I hope to inspire you through images I found on Internet, but also images made by myself. This month I hope to show you sometimes images taken in my hometown, Lelystad The Netherlands, for example today I love to inspire you through an image taken in a park just around the corner in my neighborhood. I hope this image inspires you.

Bench in the park

This park is just around the corner of my home. It's a nice park to walk the dog and go out fishing, but this park to me is also a place to meditate and contemplate. I often sit down on one of the benches and let my thoughts go where ever they want to go. Just sitting there in silence ... it gives me new energy and inspiration.

without thoughts
the sun cherishes my naked body
day dreaming


© Chèvrefeuille

I can hear you think ... "really? naked in the middle of the neighborhood?" Yes it's true of course without offending other people in the park. (smiles)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 10th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... enjoy the peace and silence of the park.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Carpe Diem #1466 Contemplation


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you did like our first Imagination Without Limits episode "the blue door" and that it inspired you to create your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form. Today I have a wonderful new image for you that I have given the title "contemplation". Look at the image, let it speak to you, become one with the scenen and awaken your muse.

Here is your image for today:

contemplation
The above image of a young monk praying I use as the wallpaper for my smartphone. It gives me a kind of inner strenght, silence and the feeling that I am following the right path. By the way I find this young monk very attractive. I don't know if you can accept that a guy says this about another guy. Look at his face .... smooth serene soft devoted in deep contemplation he prays for the world and for his own wellness ... He has his eyes open ... with a clear loving and acceptation of all and everything around him. It's a strong face ... full of gratitude ...

his eyes
radiating love
in silence


© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 9th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun ... awaken your muse.


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Carpe Diem #1465 The Blue Door


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration. Welcome at the first (regular) episode of a new month full of prompts, themes and wonderful images. July 2018 starts with a nice image to kick off this wonderful new month full of Imagination Without Limits.

This month all the prompts will be images for your inspiration. Last year we had also a month full of Imagination Without Limits and that was a big success. So I hope this month, this 2nd edition of Imagination Without Limits will also be a great success.

In every episode I will share an image for your inspiration. If possible use the image given, but if you like to use your own images than that's okay too.

Here is our first image to work with:

The Blue Door
Look at this image. I ran into it while surfing around on the Internet and I was caught by the mystery of this Blue Door. What's behind it? Who lives there? How will the house behind this Blue Door look? Where will it bring me too .... imagine that you enter through this Blue Door ....

sound of water
behind the blue door
a garden of peace


© Chèvrefeuille

Let the image speak to you and let your muse help you to find the inspiration ... step into the mystery behind the Blue Door.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until July 8th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode, another inspiring image, later on. For now ... have fun!


Friday, June 29, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #39 Troiku Challenge "a distant mountain"


!!! Open for your submissions next Sunday July 1st at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend meditation here at our wonderful Haiku Kai, the place to be if you like to write and share Japanese poetry. Every weekend I have a wonderful challenge for you. You can respond on Sunday July 1st at 7:00 PM (CEST), so you have time to meditate and contemplate on the given challenge before responding.

This weekend I love to challenge you again with a Troiku Challenge. In this Troiku Challenge you have to create first a so called "fusion"-haiku and than you have to create a Troiku (more on Troiku you can find in the menu above) with your "fusion"-haiku.

Paulownia Tree

For this Troiku Challenge I have chosen two haiku by Takahama Kyoshi (1874–1959) to work with. Kyoshi is not a renown haiku poet, but he has written wonderful haiku. (You can find more of his haiku HERE).

a distant mountain
seen in the sunlight:
a desolate field

a leaf of a paulownia tree
has fallen
in the sunlight

© Takahama Kyoshi (Tr. Katsuya Hiromoto)

Two nice haiku. Not easy to work with I think, but ... I think you can do it. Create a "fusion"-haiku from these two haiku and than create a Troiku with your "fusion"-haiku.

Have a great weekend and remember ... this episode is open for your submissions next Sunday July 1st at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until July 8th at noon (CEST). Have a great weekend.


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Carpe Diem #1464 wind in the verdure (aoarashi)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome to our last regular episode of June. This month it was all about the beauty of the classical kigo for summer that nice little word to point towards the season in which the scene took place. We have seen beautiful kigo and I applaud you all for creating the most wonderful verses with them.

Next month I will challenge you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry inspired on images. So ... July will be a month to "imagine without limits". I have already gathered images to use. Images I took myself and images found on the Internet. I am looking forward to this upcoming month.

Green Waves
Okay ... back to our last episode of this month, the last regular episode to be precise. Today's classical summer kigo is: wind in the verdure (aoarashi). What does this kigo mean. It's about the wind through the green leaves, or the greeness of summer's nature. It wasn't easy to find a haiku in which this kigo is used, but I have found one:

the wind in the green
helps to soothe their shattered nerves
and old rivalries


After a stronger search I found a haiku by Issa in which this classical kigo for summer is used:

aoarashi waga ya mi ni deru asahi kana

wind on the greenery--
coming to see my house
the morning sun

© Kobayashi Issa

Or these two by Shiki:

kisha miru-miru yama wo noboru ya aoarashi

the steam train very quickly
climb the mountain
the wind blow through fresh verdura

shiroyama no ukami agaru ya aoarashi
castle hill
high above
breezy green

© Masaoka Shiki

wind in the verdure (aoarashi)
fragile beauty
the summer breeze
plays with the grass

© Chèvrefeuille

A wonderful kigo to conclude this wonderful summer kigo month with I think. I hope you all did like this month and I hope to see you all again in July as we are going to create our verses through imagination.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 5th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend-meditation later on. For now ... have fun!

And here is the last classical winter kigo for all of our friends on the Southern Hemisphere: snowflakes (kazahana). Lit. wind-flowers.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Carpe Diem's Renga Challenge #2 logged tree


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy it was to read all your wonderful renga in response on our first episode of Carpe Diem's Renga Challenge. I am glad that this new feature has found it's way to your heart. Let me give you the goal of this feature again.

In this new feature "Renga Challenge" I challenge you all to create a renga of at least six (6) verses and with a maximum of 12 verses. Sounds easy ... well that's not true I think, because there is a rule. You have to create a renga by using haiku I will give you. It's your task to write the two lined verses (7-7 syllables approximately). With those two-lined verses you complete the renga. You may use the haiku in the order you like, so there is no need to use the order in which I will share them with you.

For this second "Renga Challenge" I have chosen again six (6) haiku written by Basho and translated by Jane Reichhold. So in a way you create a renga together with Basho.

Here are the six (6) haiku to use:

still alive
under the slightness of my hat
enjoying the coolness


rainy season
sea glow lights held up
by the night watchman


logged tree
see the larger cut end is
a harvest moon



Logged Tree (I couldn't retrieve the owner of this image. If you know the owner or are the owner of this image
please let me know)
the blue sea
in waves smelling of saké
tonight's full moon

early summer rain
the green of a rock cypress
lasting how long


on a bare branch
a crow settled down

autumn evening

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Six nice haiku by the master to work with. Create your renga together with the master himself. Enjoy!

This Renga Challenge is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 11th at noon (CEST). Have fun!


Carpe Diem #1463 old bush warbler (oiuguisu)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Good evening fellow Carpe Diem poets. Time again for a new episode in a month full of classical kigo for summer and winter. And today's classical kigo for summer is a nice (and easy) one I think. Today I challenge you to create a haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form with old bush warbler (oiuguisu). And there are several haiku and tanka known with this kigo for example, this tanka:

If not for the call
of the bush warbler coming
out of the valley,
who then would be aware of
the arrival of springtime?

© Ôe no Chisato

Original by Ôe no Chisato, nephew of Ariwara no Narihira and another poet who flourished from the 890s to around 920 but whose birth and death dates are unknown.

Or what do you think of this beautiful haiku by my master Basho:

uguisu ya mochi ni fun suru en no saki

this damned warbler !
it left his droppings on the ricecakes
on the veranda

© Basho (Tr. Gabi Greve)

(old) Bush Warbler (oiuguisu)

Another one also by Basho, however I cannot say with 100% certainty:

uguisu ya yanagi no ushiro yabu no mae

this bush warbler !
behind the willows
in front of the thicket

© Basho (?) (Tr. Gabi Greve)

I also found a more recently written haiku with this kigo. This haiku is from 2013 and is written by Naotaka Uematsu:

guide the old bushwarbler
with your hands, please,
young cuckoos

© Naotaka Uematsu (2013)

To conclude this episode, I have also a haiku by Yosa Buson:

uguisu ya ume fumikobosu nori darai

this bush warbler -
it scatters plum petals
around the glue tub

© Yosa Buson

The (old) bush warbler is a kind of nightingale, so you can also use nightingale in your haiku or tanka.

Okay ... a last one, this time by Issa with an explanation by Chris Drake:

uguisu ya kaki funde mite mo hito koe

a bush warbler
steps carefully on the fence
and sings again

© Kobayashi Issa (Tr. Chris Drake, incl. the explanation)

This hokku is from the third month (April) of 1818, when Issa was in and around his hometown. A bush warbler (Horornis diphone) has been singing in a strong, clear voice. It apparently fell silent when it reached a fence, perhaps made of bamboo or brushwood, but after it cautiously walks along the top of the fence and finds it a safe place, and one strong enough to hold its weight, it sings once more. Perhaps it still isn't used to the strange barriers humans erect in arbitrary places. Issa seems to be praising the energy and powerful voice of the rather shy and wary warbler, which doesn't give up when it meets an obstacle but examines it carefully and finally deals with it.

All beautiful verses inspired on our classical summer kigo for today. I have tried to create one myself with this kigo and this is what I came up with:

hot summer night
only the breeze brings coolness
a nightingale's song


© Chèvrefeuille

I hope I have inspired you with this episode and I am looking forward to all of your beautiful responses.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 4th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our last regular episode of June later on.

Waterfowl (mitzutori)

And for our friends on the Southern Hemisphere I have a nice classical winter kigo: waterfowl (mizutori).


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Carpe Diem #1462 thin clothes (usumono)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

In winter we are wearing warm clothes, mostly made from thick fabrics, but as summer comes we change our clothes to more thin fabricated ones, because in the warmth, heat of summer that will keep us cool. Nowadays that custom is still in use I think, but ... maybe you are not someone that uses this custom.

Today's classical summer kigo is thin clothes (usumono) and I think it's an kigo we can work with. Today's episode will not be a long one, because of lack of time. So I leave you with this classical summer kigo: thin clothes (usumiono).

butterflies on summer-lilac

butterflies attend
the flowers of summer lilac (*)
nothing more, nothing less

© Chèvrefeuille

(*) Buddleia or Butterfly-bush

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until July 3rd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. Have fun!

For our friends on the Southern Hemisphere I have another nice winter kigo: yellowtail (buri). Seliola quinqueradiata