Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Carpe Diem #1763 Little Creatures ... free styling


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize for being late, a little time problem (smiles). Therefore I have chosen the easy way this time. As you all know we are celebrating our 7th birthday with a month full of prompts on "little creatures" to honor them as being part of Creation.

Today you may choose your own "little creature" to work with. Tell us why you have chosen your specific "little creature" and than create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form, with it.

Enjoy this task, it's your choice and you can go "free-styling".


Little Creatures Of Nature (photo © Moon Robo; Instagram)

Enjoy your day.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 21st at noon (CEST). I will try to post our first "new" episode of our weekly Wednesday Tan Renga Challenge later on. For now ... have fun!


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Carpe Diem #1762 Mosquitoes ...


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration ... in a relaxed mode. I had a wonderful weekend, the last of my vacation. Monday October 14th I have to work again, I am glad, because four weeks vacation is awesome, but caring for my mother took a lot of my free time, but well ... I love my mom and she and I are the only living two of our family (my brother and my dad have passed away) so we have to be there for eachother.




We are celebrating our 7th birthday this month through honoring the small creaters of nature. Today I have chosen for those small creatures that can be such a pain in the ass ... mosquitos, but there are several wonderful haiku about them. So let me give you a few examples:

summer melting
mosquitoes' sound
in a harmonica

© Jane Reichhold

in and out of raindrops
falling from the eaves they swarm...
mosquitoes

© Issa

The Mosquito Hums

A mosquito buzzes
Every time flowers
of honeysuckle fall


© Buson

Searching storehouse eaves, 
rapt in plum blossom smells, 
the mosquito hums 

© Basho

Four beautiful haiku on mosquitoes. The beauty of these haiku makes the mosquito no longer a pain in the ass.

I was triggered by the haiku by Buson, so here is my attempt to create a haiku themed "mosquitoes":

honeysuckle flowers fall
one by one, awakening mosquitoes,
covering the Earth

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until October 20th at noon (CEST). Have fun!


Friday, October 11, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #106 Turn Back Time (2) Revise That Haiku by Taigi


!! Open for your submissions next Sunday October 13th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend meditation here at our wonderful Haiku Kai were we are celebrating our 7th birthday. Last weekend I introduced a special feature for this festive month "Turn Back Time". In this special feature I will take you back in time ... or in other words "I will turn back time" into our amazing CDHK history.




This week I love to "turn back time" to another wonderful special feature we have had here at our wonderful Haiku Kai. In October 2013 I started our special feature "Revise That Haiku" with a haiku by Taigi (1709-1771). Taigi was a contemporary and friend of Buson. I will first give the haiku (including the Japanese Romaji) and then I will give the description of the moment which led to the haiku.

umi ikete tsuki to mo wabin tomoshikage

arranging the plum-flowers,
I would enjoy them in the light of the lamp,
as if in the moonlight

© Taigi (1709-1771)

The brevity of haiku is not something differnt from, but a part of the poetical life; it is not only a form of expression but a mode of living more immediately, more closely to life as may be illustrated in the above haiku by Taigi.

Flourishing Plum Blossoms in the Moonlight

The original of the above haiku is even more difficult, literally: "arranging the plum, as if the moon, I would savour, lamp-light" (Wabiru translated 'enjoy', 'means' to live a life of poetry in poverty). The poet has arranged the flowers in a vase, and wishes to see them in the light of the moon, but there being no moon, he lights the lamp instead, and adds its light to the poetry and the beauty of the flowers.
The whole of the poet's life is shown in this action and the essence of the verse in wabin. This poverty, this asceticism of life and form in haiku, this absence of luxury and decoration finds its philosophical and transcendental expression in Emanuel Swedenborg's (a Swedish philosopher who lived from 1688 until 1772) "Heaven and Hell" (paragraph 178); after he has described the garments of the angels, some of which glow with flame, some of which shine with light, he adds:

"But the angels of the inmost heaven are not clothed".

Well ... with the desciption of the moment I think you can revise that haiku ... so ... "break a leg", have fun, be inspired and share your revised Taigi-haiku with us at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Ofcourse I than gave it a try, so here is the "revised" haiku by Taigi created by me, your host:

shadow on the wall
flourishing plum blossom
in the moon light

© Chèvrefeuille (October 2013)

Enjoy your weekend. This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday October 13th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until October 20th at noon (CEST). Have fun!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Carpe Diem #1761 Sparrows (Renga With ...)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful month this is ... our 7th anniversary ... I like it. I am so glad to see that you all are celebrating with me that CDHK exist seven years ... I never could have dreamed that CDHK would be alive and kicking after 7 years ... but here we are ... celebrating our 7th birthday. We have seen participants from all over the world. The most participants from the start are still here, but we also seen participants leave to never come back, but those who left and returned ... thank you.

Thank you all for your rich poems, your active participation and the love you share with us in that small Japanese poem ... haiku. This month we are celebrating this beautiful small poem with a tribute to all small creatures on Earth and today I love to challenge you with another small, sometimes a real pain in the ass, bird ... the sparrow.




Sparrows ... those small little (pricks), but there are a lot of haiku written about them. One haiku master especially created a lot of haiku about the sparrows ... and I think you all know him, Kobayashi Issa. Issa is one of the "big five" haiku masters next to Basho, Buson, Chiyo-Ni and Shiki. He had a very tough life, he lost several of his kids to death and his wife too. He was a Buddhist-Shinto believer and honored nature in a great way. Issa honored even those mosqitos and other smal creatures like the sparrows.

For this episode I love to challenge you to create a Renga, or better said: a Junicho. The Junicho is a renga of 12 stanza, this is the renga format we always use in the Renga With specials ... so I will give you six (6) haiku written by Issa to work with. Your task is to add your two-lined stanza (approx. 7-7 syllables) and create a Junicho with him. (By the way, the name Junicho came in use in the 20th century, so it's a young form of renga).


Kobayashi Issa

I will give you the six haiku by Issa. You can create your own "line-up" and the first stanza (hokku) and the last stanza (ageku) have to be connected with each other, this is "to close the chain".

spring peace--
after rain, a gang war
garden sparrows

don't let the plum blossom guard
cut your tongues...
Sparrows! *

(* note: Issa alludes to an old Japanese fairy tale in which a mean old woman cut a sparrow's tongue with scissors because the sparrow pecked at her starch. Here, Issa warns the chirping sparrows that their tongues might be in similar jeopardy, hinting that the guard is a mean old grouch.)

are the sparrows too
having a private party?
plum blossoms

while I watch
he's off to make a living alone...
baby sparrow


Sparrows on Bamboo (woodblock print by Ohara Koson)

living in harmony--
the sparrow has
both parents!

on the tip of the
newly sprouted bamboo...
a baby sparrow

© Kobayashi Issa (Tr. David G. Lanoue)

Six beautiful haiku crafted by Issa for your enjoyment and inspiration. Create your renga with Issa today and share it as a tribute to the sparrows and to celebrate our 7th birthday.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 17th at noon (CEST). Have fun!



Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Carpe Diem #1760 Butterfly (a Tan Renga challenge)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Kai. As you all know I didn't publish an episode on Wednesdays, but next week I will publish again on Wednesday, but not a regular episode, but a special one ... From next week on I will challenge you every Wednesday with a Tan Renga, as we do today.



Today I love to challenge you to create a Tan Renga with a given haiku. As you all know the goal of a so called "Tan Renga Challenge" is to add your 2nd stanza of two lines (approximately 7-7 syllables) to complete or continue the given haiku through association on the scenes and images in the haiku.

Here is the haiku to work with:

on the Honeysuckle
the fragile wings of a butterfly
a fluttering sound

© Chèvrefeuille (October 2012)

Butterfly On Honeysuckle (image found on Pinterest)

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

Monday, October 7, 2019

Carpe Diem #1759 Grasshopper (a haiku by Issa)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are celebrating our 7th birthday and I am happy that we can celebrate it ... As I started with CDHK back in 2012 I wasn't aware of what I started ... but I love it. I am so glad to be your host and I am happy that I can inspire you through all the wonderful prompts we have seen here and will see in the future.



Today another wonderful prompt, another wonderful but sometimes dangerous small creature ... the Grasshopper.

Here is a haiku written by Issa inspired on this small creature:

giddy grasshopper
take care...do not leap and crush
these pearls of dewdrop

© Issa

When the grasshopper spirit animal comes leaping into your life, it signifies your need to make a tremendous leap of faith.
Just like the cricket symbolism, the grasshopper symbolism wants you to know that if you aim high and go where others are scared to go, you will accomplish amazing feats and achieve incredible results!

Grasshopper

The grasshopper spirit animal chooses those who want to move ahead in life with their innovative thinking and progressive approach.
When you are inspired by the grasshopper totem, jump forward and get past whatever is trying to keep you or hold you back.

What a tragic thing:
'Neath a mighty warrior's helm
Grasshoppers chirruping! 


© Basho (Tr. Dorothy Britton)

(note: In the most translations of this haiku by Basho, the Grasshopper is mentioned  Cricket)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 14th at noon (CEST). As you all know during my vacation, this is my last week, I don't publish a new episode on Wednesday.


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Carpe Diem #1758 Hummingbird


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. I had a great weekend, we had our grandchildren to visit together with their dad (our eldest son) and it was a very nice and fun weekend. I also visited my mom who has been diagnozed with vasculair dementia recently. She can live with care in her own home, but ofcourse as her only son I visit her often. It's always a joy to visit her, but it is not easy to see is losing her memory.




This month we are celebrating our 7th anniversary with a tribute to the small creatures and creations of Mother Nature. Those small creatures are not only insects, but also lottle birds, like the Hummingbird ... our prompt for today. To inspire you I have a wonderful short video for you (Source: You Tube Channel NGC).




I ran through my archives and found a few haiku themed "hummingbird":

a passionflower
opens her heart with golden nectar
for the hummingbird

what a pretty sight
a hummingbird searching for nectar
Lily's cup

the hummingbird
his wings waving away the wind
looks for nectar

© Chèvrefeuille (2012)

Three beauties I think, but I think you all can create haiku that are far more better than the three created by me.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 13th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #105 Turn Back Time ... a special feature for our 7th brithday


!! Open for your submissions next Sunday October 6th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first weekend meditation of our anniversary month October 2019. This month we are celebrating our 7th anniversary ... and especially for this month I have created a new feature for our weekend meditation. I have titled it "Carpe Diem's Turn Back Time". I think you all will understand that this special feature will bring us back in time ... In this special feature I will challenge you with a few features we have had here at our wonderful Haiku Kai during our existence. For this special feature I have created a new logo also:


credits
In this first weekend meditation I love to take you back in time to one of the first special features I created, Carpe Diem Special. That feature I created to bring the so called "big five haiku masters" to your attention and for your inspiration. The "big five" are: Basho, Buson, Chiyo-Ni, Issa and Shiki ... they all have been the theme for that first special feature "Carpe Diem Special" and I love to Turn Back Time to December 29th 2012 to an episode titled "Ancient Road". This title was taken from a haiku by Yosa Buson (1716-1784):

furumichito kikeba yukashiki yukino shita

"An ancient road," they say
How charming
Though beneath this snow.

© Yosa Buson


The Samurai's Mountain Road

Maybe Buson walked on this Samurai Moutain Road in the middle of winter. The road beneath a blanket of snow isn't seen very well.

Let me tell you a little bit about the "Samourai's Mountain Road": In the days of the samurai, two ancient roads linked Japan’s great cities of Kyoto (the home of the sacred emperor) and Edo (the seat of the shogun and the place we now call Tokyo). One road followed the sea coast; the other wound its way through the forested hills of central Japan and was simply called the Nakasendo – the road within the mountains. Both bore regularly the tramp of marching feet as armies of samurai, dressed in their finest, accompanied their lords on their way to pay his annual respects to the shogun. Should two marching columns meet the social inferior was required to dismount and his men pull respectfully back to one side to allow the nobler lord to pass by.

Nowadays these roads are frequented by a lot of feet, but not of Samurai anymore, but of tourists and hikers.

Somewhere Along the Samourai's Mountain Road

What a joy to Turn Back Time ... this brings sweet memories back to me. I wasn't sure if I would continue with Carpe Diem Haiku Kai back in December 2012, because of the time I had to spend to it. An every day post wasn't always possible back than, but (as you all know) that's a problem sometimes too in our recent time.
The goal of this special feature is to create a Japanese poem, like haiku or tanka, inspired on the haiku by Buson (or the one by Basho).

If you would like to read the mentioned CD Special than you can find it HERE.

To conclude this first weekend meditation I have a nice haiku by Basho for you that in a way has to do with the Samurai's Mountain Road:

waving long grass
all that remains of ancient warriors
trace of dreams

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

(This is a translation of the original by myself: the original haiku in romaji is: natsukusa ya / tsuwamono domo ga / yume no ato)

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday October 6th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until October 13th at noon (CEST). Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Carpe Diem #1757 Dragonfly ...


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode in our celebration month. This month we celebrate our 7th brithday. I started with CDHK back in October 2012, just for fun and giving people the opportunity to create haiku (or other Japanese poetry form) on a daily base.
There were times in our 7 years that I thought of closing the website. For example there was a discussion about using the published poetry in our exclusive CDHK E-book line. That discussion wasn't a nice one and we lost several of our CDHK family-members. As you all know here at CDHK we have now a publishing policy which you can find at the bottom of our Kai.




Today I have another beautiful "small creature" for you. I think we have seen that "small creature" earlier here on CDHK ... today our prompt, our "small creature" is Dragonfly.

dragonfly dances
above the old pond of Basho -
the sound of water
wings reflecting sunlight
on young green leaves

© Chèvrefeuille

This above tanka is one of the first I wrote, because tanka is not my cup of tea, as you all know. And this one I found (back) in my archives.
As you know we read a lot of haiku by classical and non-classical masters. Here are a few haiku themed "dragonfly" written by classical masters:




I found a nice haiku written by Buson about a dragonfly:

Its tail un-dyed
How charming--
A red dragonfly

And a nice one by Kobayashi Issa:

the dragonfly
settles to sleep...
on the scarecrow

Really wonderful haiku about dragonflies and to enclose this introduction to our new prompt I love to share a haiku by "my master", Matsuo Basho:

Crimson pepper pod
add two pairs of wings, and look
darting dragonfly

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 10th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on.


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Carpe Diem #1756 Fly ...


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy ... we are celebrating our 7th anniversary and I am so glad that I can celebrate that with you all, ... my dear friends and haiku-family-members. This month we will look at the small creatures in nature, and than I don't mean only insects, but also small plants, flowers, fishes and more ... The choice was easy ... haiku is the smallest poetry form on Earth, so it's the perfect way to honor the small creatures of Creation ... Mother Nature cherish not only the big creatures, but also the small creatures ... so why not do a whole month about the small things of nature.




In our first episode I took a wonderful haiku by Basho and I have read beautiful haiku inspired on the first prompt "Sheperd's Purse". Today I love to look at another small creature in nature ... Issa wrote a lot of haiku about this small creature ... the fly. Here are a few examples of haiku by Issa:

don't be mean
to that horsefly
skylight!

let him pass
like a mosquito, a fly...
solitary priest

thin legs--
while cooling myself appraised
by a horsefly

© Issa (Tr. David G. Lanoue)

Three beautiful haiku by Issa in which he clearly shows that he is appreciating all matters of nature great and small. Issa wrote a lot of haiku on small creatures ... so we will see him often this month.


Horsefly
Let us celebrate our anniversary with a wonderful haiku in tribute of  the fly ...

between lettuce
I spot a mating pair of flies -
no salad today

© Chèvrefeuille

I just had to bring a little joy or humor in this one.

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


Monday, September 30, 2019

Carpe Diem #1755 Sheperd's Purse (1st anniversary prompt)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Happy anniversary to you all ... today the celebration of Carpe Diem's 7th anniversary ... starts. What a joy to bring this first episode of our 7th anniversary ... I started CDHK in October 2012, just for fun and to give it a try to give an all day prompt to create haiku with. It turned out to be a big success ... so I decided to go on with CDHK. Ofcourse there were several changes during the seven years of our existence. The most recent change was my choice to give you the CDHK weekend meditation. This weekend meditation feature gives me, your host, a moment to relax. I even have chosen to take a week off, but I couldn't help it ... I missed creating CDHK in those free weeks, so I decided to quit that free week.

It's really a joy to create CDHK and I am so glad that you all are participating in this wonderful community of haiku loving poets ... we have become a warmhearted family and I thank you all for that. Without you all I can not create CDHK. So ... this anniversary is not only the celebration of our 7th birthday, but also the celebration of friendship and love.

I hope you all will celebrate this month with me ...




As I told you in an earlier post this month no special guests to celebrate with us, but all small creatures like flies, bugs, sheperd's purse, little birds and little animals. Just to celebrate the beauty of the smallest poetry form on Earth ... haiku.

Haiku ... once called "hokku" or "Haikai", but as you all (maybe) know, Shiki gave haiku it's name as we use it nowadays. As you all know I see Matsuo Basho as my sensei (my master) and therefore I have chosen to start this celebration-month with a nice haiku by him. This haiku you know all ...

yoku mireba nazuna hana saku kakine kana

looking closely:
a shepherd’s purse blossoming
beneath the hedge

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Barnhill)


Sheperd's Purse

And this is the haiku I once created inspired on this real beauty by Basho:

shepherd’s purse
trembles in the summer breeze –
bees seek for honey

© Chèvrefeuille

A nice one I think (how immodest) and in it you can find (unconditional) love too I think. We have to love nature even a little herb like Shepherd’s purse. It is worth to look at it and appreciate it. It’s part of nature.

And of course in a way “bees seek for honey” is very clear about (unconditional) love.

Well .... this was the "kick-off" of our 7th anniversary ... let's go celebrate!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 7th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

PS. Tomorrow Wednesday October 2nd there will be no episode, I am still having vacation.


Sunday, September 29, 2019

Carpe Diem #1754 "An Act Of Devotion" ... the pilgrimage ends


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Wow what a wonderful month September was. We traveled around the world and walked several pilgrimages ... a pilgrimage is "an act of devotion" as we all have seen this month and therefore I have chosen to end our pilgrimage=month with our theme "an act of devotion".

You can use it like you want ... feel free to give words and meaning to your feeling of "an act of devotion".

Tomorrow I hope to publish our first episode of our celebration month October. We will celebrate our 7th anniversary together with all prompts of "little ones". Ofcourse "little ones" is not only small insects, but also small birds and animals and even small people. I think this celebration will become awesome and I hope you all will celebrate it with me ... Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is a wonderful community of lovers of Japanese poetry and I am grateful for all your love and participation.




This last episode of September is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 6th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our first episode of our anniversary month later on. For now ... have fun ... our "act of devotion" has ended .... time to relax.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #104 Photo-shopping Haiku "Camellia" (Yosa Buson)


!! Open for your submissions next Sunday September 29th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend meditation here at our wonderful Haiku Kai. This weekend I have chosen for an episode of our so called "Photo-shopping Haiku", that wonderful special feature in which I challenge you to "photo-shop" a renown haiku to make it (maybe) better.

For this "photo-shopping" episode I have chosen a (not so) renown haiku by Buson (1716-1784). Buson is one of the so called big five (next to him we have Basho, Issa, Shiki and Chiyo-ni) and he has written wonderful haiku. He was also an awesome haiga painter and he illustrated the first official print of Basho"s "Small Road Into The Deep North".

Illustrated version of Basho's "Narrow Road Into The Deep North" with haiga by Buson

What a wonderful haiga Buson created for this printed version of Basho's "Narrow Road Into The Deep North", but the haiku to photo-shop is not taken from this haibun by Basho, but a haiku by Buson.

Here is the haiku to "photo-shop":

tama-suri-no zayu ni hiraku tsubaki kana

Unfolding at the
hand of the glass polisher:
a camellia!

© Buson (1716-1784)

More about "photo-shopping haiku".

Well .... a nice challenge I think. This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday September 29th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until October 6th at noon (CEST). Have a wonderful weekend full of inspiration and joy.




Thursday, September 26, 2019

Carpe Diem #1753 Trail of Saints, Krakow, Poland


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Yesterday we were in Maastricht, The Netherlands, a beautiful city in which Saint Servatius is very important. It was a real joy to tell you a little bit more about my country, but now it's time to go on again on "an act of devotion", or pilgrimage-routes around the world.

Today I will tell you a little bit about the so called "Trail of Saints", it's a city pilgrimage in the city of Krakow, Poland. Poland has a very rich history on Catholic belief and in Krakow you can find a lot of Catholic churches and cathedrals ... these are the main goal on the "Trail of Saints".

Let me tell you a little bit more about the "Trailof Saints":

There is no other city in this part of Europe with so many graves of people recognised as saint or blessed by the Catholic Church. It was not without a reason that Jan Mucante, master of the ceremony in the delegation of Papal Legate Cardinal Gaetano, wrote in 1596: "If there was no Rome, Krakow would be Rome." Currently, the local churches hold the earthly remains of nine saints, seven blessed and a similar number of Servants of God who died in an aura of sanctity.


Church of Our Lady of the Snows and the Convent of Dominican Nuns

The prayer at the graves of people recognised as saints has been practised in Christianity for two thousand (and in Krakow for almost nine hundred) years. Individual centuries witnessed the lives of great characters enjoying special veneration and attracting thousands of tourists who wanted to pray at their graves. Such persons included St Stanislaus, St Hyacinth, and recently - St Mary Faustine Kowalska.

Krakow owes its genius loci above all to the people that used to live here. The graves of some of them, located in nineteen beautiful churches in Krakow, compose the "Krakow Trail of Saints" and invite tourists to contemplate not only the magnificent architecture of the city, but also its spiritual history marked by the lives of saint bishops, missionaries, preachers, kings and princes, humble priests, ordained sisters and brothers, as well as the so-called lay people. The trail also includes three martyrs of the Second World War, whose graves can be found neither in Krakow's not in other sanctuaries. These people are still remembered in Krakow's churches in which they lived and worked. (Source)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 3rd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now .... have fun!


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Carpe Diem #1752 Pilgrimage of the Relics, Maastricht (The Netherlands)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode in our "an act of devotion" month in which we are traveling around the world to visit (and walk) pilgrimage routes. This day I have chosen a very special pilgrimage.

As you all know I live in the Netherlands and maybe you know that the Netherlands were once an exclusive Catholic country under the Spanish rulers. So in my conutry, now multi-religious, I have chosen a pilgrimage route I never had heard of ... The Pilgrimage of the Relics (or Maastricht Septennial Pilgrimage). Let me tell you a little bit more about this pilgrimage route.


Basilica of Saint Servatius (Maastricht, The Netherlands)

The Basilica of Saint Servatius is a historical church dedicated to Saint Servatius, an Armenian missionary who died and was buried in Maastricht in 384. The grave of the saint, as well as the many relics in the church treasury made the basilica a popular pilgrimage site. Heiligdomsvaart, is a pilgrimage tradition that occurs once in seven years and which started in the 14th century.


Saint Servatius

The Legend of St. Servatius:

The first stone churches in Maastricht were built after the arrival of Saint Servatius in the fourth century AD. After his death, Maastricht became a popular destination for pilgrims. According to the legend, Saint Servatius was the first bishop of Maastricht and a small chapel was build on the spot where he was buried. In the centuries that followed, this chapel grew into the St. Servatius Church.

The Treasury:

The mortal remains of Servaas are kept in a box, which is on display in the Treasury of Saint Servatius Church.

The Pilgrimage of the Relics goes to the Saint Servatius Basilica and is a pilgrimage that is only done once in the seven years.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 2nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... be inspired and have fun!


Monday, September 23, 2019

Carpe Diem #1751 Lough Derg, Donegal (Ireland)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month we are following our spiritual path through walking several different pilgrim's routes around the world. Yesterday we were in Peru and today we are back in Europe, in Ireland. Ireland, that beautiful small country next to the UK. Ireland is known for it's deep mystic history ... but there are also several pilgrim's routes in Ireland. Just like in Australia, these pilgrim's routes are young.

In 2013 a group of people started to create pilgrim's routes through Ireland and one of those routes we will walk today ... Lough Derg, Donegal. Let me tell you a little bit more about this pilgrimage.

The Lough Derg pilgrimage route from  Station Island Visitor Centre to Saints Island, Co. Donegal is a timeless pilgrim route that is far removed from roads, houses and other signs of modern day living. It has many echoes of its early Christian past along the 12 Km (7 miles) long path. The old pilgrimage road to Lough Derg follows in the footsteps of the medieval pilgrims — not to Station Island where pilgrims normally go today, but to the threshold of the larger Saints Island, which acted as its gateway several hundred years ago. The focus of the legendary St Patrick’s Purgatory, Station Island, was a deep pit in which those who spent a day and a night would allegedly be purged of their sins, experiencing both the torments of the damned and the delights of the blessed. The walk starts at the visitor centre near the pier where boats bring pilgrims across to Station Island. Information about the pilgrimage may be obtained at the centre.


Lough Derg, Donegal

At about 1.15km, there is a wooden fingerpost pointing down to the right along a stepped path to St Brigid’s Chair, a naturally weathered boulder of banded gneiss. A little further along the route, another sign points to St Daveoc’s Chair. Associated with a local hermit, the ‘chair’ is partially natural, but seems to have had one or two large blocks added to it, hinting that it may once have been a Bronze Age burial place. This is the point where the modern route joins the old pilgrimage road that would have brought the medieval pilgrims from Templecarne.

At 1.75km, a fingerpost points down to St Brigid’s Well, marked by a modern metal cross which is festooned — like the bush above it — with pilgrims’ votive rags. The goal of the pilgrimage is the edge of the lake opposite Saints Island where one can still see the stones that formed the foundation of the wooden bridge that would have brought medieval pilgrims across to Station Island. The path continues full circle to the visitor centre where the walk began.

deep silence
heart and soul bound together
Lough Derg


© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you did like this small pilgrimage ... and I hope it will inspire you to create Japanese poetry. This "an act of devotion" month is running towards its end ... soon we will celebrate our 7th birthday and I hope you all will celebrate this anniversary with me.

By the way, as I told you last week, next Wednesday we will not have a regular episode, because of the fact that I am celebrating my summer vacation.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 30th at noon (CEST). I will publish our next episode (for Thursday) later on. For now ... be inspired and have fun!


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Carpe Diem #1750 Señor de Huanca, Peru


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration. Today we are going on with our "act of devotion", pilgrimages around the world. Today I have chosen a not so well known pilgrimage route in Peru.

Every year thousands of pilgrims from all over South America visit the Chapel of Señor de Huanca, near Cusco, high above the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Its two water sources are believed to have miraculous healing powers. On September 14, the most important day of pilgrimage, a traditional hike is made overnight starting from just outside Cusco and taking around six hours.


Chapel of Señor de Huanca (Cusco, Peru)

A wonderful idea to read about this pilgrimage high in the mountains of Peru were once the Inca ruled.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 29th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #103 The Quest For A New Masterpiece Continues ... Start Of Autumn


!! Open for your submissions next Sunday September 22nd at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend meditation, that special feature that gives you more time to contemplate and meditate before you post your responses. This weekend I love to challenge you to create a new masterpiece, so The Quest For A New Masterpiece Continues.

Maybe you know what I mean with this challenge. Go and find that gem, that beautiful diamond ... your masterpiece, your evergreen like Basho's "Old Pond". Go ... and create your masterpiece themed "start of autumn" and share it with us all here at our wonderful Haiku Kai ... where we are almost creating haiku together for seven years.


Start Of Autumn

nights become longer
while Mother Nature starts to color
loneliness grows


© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions next Sunday, September 22nd, at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until September 29th at noon (CEST). Have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Carpe Diem #1749 Aussie Camino


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Did you know that Australia hadn't a pilgrimage route until 2013? I didn't know that. I thought that Australia, with its rich history of Aboriginals would have a pilgrimage, but ... well there was no pilgrimage route until 2013.

This young pilgrimage is called "Aussie Camino" after the most famous pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Let me tell you a little bit more about this young pilgrimage route in Australia:

The Aussie Camino is a pilgrimage route running from Portland in Victoria to Penola in South Australia, inspired by the life and journeys of Australia’s Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop and her mentor Fr Julian Tenison Woods. Based on the traditions of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, pilgrims receive a guidebook, passport, scallop shell and stay in the local towns along the way.


Aussie Camino

But there is more ... the Aussie Camino is (I think) the youngest pilgrimage route on Earth. Ofcourse there is a story behind the Aussie Camino. Let me tell you a little background:

In April 2013, three workmates set out on a pilgrimage they called the ‘Aussie Camino’.  On the way they discussed the history, customs and traditions of the ancient pilgrim trails and asked ‘Why are there only caminos in Europe and the Holy Land? Why can’t  we have one here? Now that we have a saint of our own, St Mary MacKillop. Where would it begin and end?’

Mary MacKillop was a traveller. Her work took her all over Australia and New Zealand. It was decided it should be from Portland to Penola. Mary MacKillop traveled widely but her last teaching post as a lay teacher was in Portland. From there, she was called by her mentor and co-founder priest Fr Julian Tenison-Woods back to Penola, where they had met a few years before. Penola is widely accepted as the birthplace of St Mary MacKillop’s order, the Sisters of St Joseph. A town with a population of only 1300, it is 383 kilometres from Adelaide and 412 kilometres from Melbourne. It was when Mary was called from Portland to Penola on 19 March 1866 that she wore her black habit for the first time and declared herself Sr Mary. (More about St. Mary MacKillop)


St. Mary MacKillop

What a wonderful story this is ... I hope you did enjoy the read.

Aborignal country
finally their own pilgrimage
Aussie Camino


© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 26th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... enjoy your Aussie Camino.