Sunday, December 30, 2012

Carpe Diem #83, Narcissus (suisen)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is it ... the last day of the year 2012 and the last day of our Carpe Diem month December with all those wonderful classical Japanese kigo. I have read wonderful haiku this month, but I haven't had the time to 'Look Back' on all your entries. I hope that I can write the Look Back Carpe Diem Preview on December next week. And than I will also grant someone with our Carpe Diem Award for most valuable haiku poet this December month.

Today our prompt is 'Narcissus (suisen)' a late winter kigo, because Narcissus are early Spring (or late winter) flowers.

I have found a few nice haiku written by Buson on Narcissus:

suisenya bijin koubewo itamurashi

and a lovely woman
with a headache

(c) Buson (1769)

And this one written by Buson in 1777:

suisenya samuki miyakono kokokashiko

In the chilly capital,
some here, some there

(c) Buson

And of course there is the story of the youngster Narcissus who only had eyes for himself and was in love with his reflection in the pond.

in love with his reflection
vainglorious guy

Credits: Narcissus

Well ... that was our last prompt of December. Have fun, be inpsired and share your haiku with us on Carpe Diem.

This prompt will stay on 'til January 1st 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new prompt and the first one for January around 10.00 PM (CET). That prompt will be 'Fireworks'.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Carpe Diem Special #14, Ancient Road

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Our Carpe Diem month of classical Japanese kigo is always ready. Today on December 30th we have our last Special of this month and of course of Buson. I have hosted this daily meme with a lot of pleasure and joy. And I am almost ready with our new list of daily prompts for our next month.

Today the following haiku by Buson, which he wrote in 1782, is our Special for today. The haiku is meant to be a source of inspiration. So be inspired and creative and share your haiku with Carpe Diem.

furumichito kikeba yukashiki yukino shita

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

Buson's Grave

This prompt will stay on 'till December 31 th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will publish our last episode of 2012 later on today around 10.00 PM (CET), that will be 'Narcissus'.

By the way: I am a bit behind with reading your posts and comment them ... I hope to catch up the next days. So don't be dissapaointed when I haven't visit your post already.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Carpe Diem #82, Withered Mums (karogiku)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another day in Carpe Diem's Paradise. Today our prompt is 'Withered Mums (karogiku)'. Chrysanthemums are also a kigo for late winter. In our first month of Carpe Diem we also had Chrysanthemums for prompt, because Chrysanthemums are kigo for Autumn and Winter.

Have fun and enjoy your new Carpe Diem episode. Be inspired and creative and share your haiku with us.

fresh fallen snow
the yellow Chrysanthemums look
more yellowish

This prompt will stay on 'til December 30th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new prompt later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Carpe Diem #81, Nearly Spring (haru chikashi)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What an awesome day I have had today. I had all my grandchildren visiting at my home ... really those Five kids are very busy, but I enjoyed it very much. Yes ... I am a granddad and I am proud on my grandchildren.
I already posted two new episodes of Carpe Diem and I stated that I publish the following episode on December 28th, but I am on a roll and so I publish our next Carpe Diem episode also today. I am sorry ... I can't help it ... haiku is my passion next to my work as an oncology nurse.
We are busy with kigo of 'late winter' and 'nearly Spring' is one of them.

'Look granddad!'
my granddaughter points
at snowdrops

little white flowers
at the feet of the snowman
snowdrops blooming

snowdrops blooming
waving goodbye to Winter
nearly Spring

I love these small white flowers. Snowdrops meaning back to basic, stay strong on earth ... isn't it wonderful?

This prompt will stay on 'til December 29th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode later on today. That will be 'Withered Mums (karogiku)'. Have fun and enjoy writing your haiku and please share your wonderful verses with us all on Carpe Diem.

Carpe Diem #80, The Last of Winter (setsubun)

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... as I promised earlier this week I will post today two episodes of Carpe Diem. Than we are on track again. Earlier today I posted an episode on 'Winter Moon' and now I will post our second episode 'The last Day of Winter (setsubun)'.

The last day of winter, entering Spring is our goal hereafter, but we have still a few days to go with prompts of classical Japanese kigo for Winter, late Winter.
The last day of winter ... will bring joy I think, because I am not such a big fan of Winter. In Spring new life will come and the days will become longer ... Light is coming back after the dark period of Autumn and Winter.

covered with snow
winter is coming to an end
Narcissus blooming

almost Spring
the last snow is melting
snowman disappears

finally Spring
cherry blossoms blooming
last snow melts

Aren't they wonderful? I love these haiku on departing Winter ... looking forward to Spring.

longing for Spring
while the last snow melts
Narcissus bloom

This prompt will stay on 'til December 29th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode of Carpe Diem 'Nearly Spring (haru chikashi) on December 28th around 10.00 PM (CET). Be inspired and share your haiku on Carpe Diem.

Carpe Diem #79, Winter Moon (fuyu no tsuki)

Dear haijin. visitors and travelers,

Two days of joy and happiness ... and rest ... I have had wonderfull Christmas days and I hope you all have had wonderfully days. Here in The Netherlands we had a green and very rainy Christmas, but together with my beloved family we had the warm and cozy feeling of a real family Christmas. Our last days of this month Carpe Diem are running by and before you know we have a new year ahead of us, but 'til than we have to go a few days.

Today our prompt is Winter Moon and as I promised earlier this week I will post another episode today with the prompt The Last Day of Winter (setsubun).

Winter Moon (fuyu no tsuki)

In Japan they find the moon of Autumn the most wonderful, and I do think that's so, but here in my country we find the Moon of Winter the most wonderful. As I write this post we have full moon and everywhere around my home Christmas is still going on with wonderful Christmas decorations in the gardens and wonderfull Christmas trees in the homes. I love this time of year ...

winter moon rising
above the Fuyi no Yama
what a beauty

what a beauty
the full moon of December
and Christmas trees

Enjoy this post and I hope to read wonderful haiku on Winter Moon (fuyu no tsuki). This prompt will stay on 'til December 29th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post another episode of Carpe Diem later on today. That new prompt will be 'The Last Day of Winter (setsubun)'.

Be inspired and share your haiku with us ... thank you all for your daily effort to write and share your haiku with us.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Carpe Diem's short break during the Holidays





Winter Moon (fuyu no tsuki)


The Last Day of Winter (setsubun)

OK, just a treat for the Holidays, say ... a Christmas present ...

Christmas tree standing
In front of the old mansion
Bringing joy to the world

Have wonderful Holidays.

Chèvrefeuille, your host

Monday, December 24, 2012

Carpe Diem #78, frost (shimo)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I will wish you all a Merry Christmas. Second I am proud ... I have read wonderful haiku on the Special by Buson ... makes me even a little bit jealous, because I couldn't write a haiku inspired on the one I gave by Buson, well ... no that's not true, sometimes lack of inspiration can be a pain in the ass.
Maybe later on this year or in the New Year that I find the inspiration to write a haiku inspired on the 'Millionaire' by Buson.

Today is Christmas day and our new prompt for Carpe Diem is 'frost'(shimo). As I 'tried' to write this post I thought about that lovely Christmas song 'Frosty the Snowman'

I had to share this lovely song ... sorry ...

Well back to the purpose of this post writing a haiku on 'frost'. What is 'frost'?
Frost forms when water vapor freezes into ice crystals on cold surfaces. In winter, temperatures are usually low as the sun is low in the sky during the day and the nights are long. On clear nights, when there is no blanket of clouds to keep the warmth in, then any heat received during the day quickly escapes. The temperature will therefore drop considerably and as the moisture in the air freezes, the ground will be covered with frost.
There are several haiku written on 'frost'. For example this one by Issa:

asa shimo ni ushio o chirasu miyai kana

morning frost melts
in the floodtide...
Shinto shrine


Or this one by Buson, our haiku master for this month:

asatsuyuya mada shimo shiranu kamino ochi

Morning dew--
Though by frost untouched
A hair fell.


Or this one, also by Buson:

ejino himo shirashira shimono yoakekana

The guards' fire
Whitish turns
a frosty daybreak.

Well, enough haiku by the great haiku masters, time for the 'modern haiku master' to write his haiku on 'frost (shimo)' (how immodest).

frozen flowers
this late winter day -
longing for Spring

frozen windows
the Almighty painted
wonderful flowers

deep in my bones
I feel the icy cold of frost -
my heart still warm
That's it my dear friends. During Christmas I haven't time to post our new episode of Carpe Diem. So I will post two new episodes on December 27th around 11.59 AM (CET). So you all can have a rest for writing and composing haiku.

Have fun with this post and have a wonderful Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Carpe Diem Special #13, Millionaire as he is

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another day has passed by. Our Earth has survived the Mayan Calendar and we live right on, maybe there is something changed, but I think it's more something of the mind and our connected consciousness. As we can see all around the globe ... people become stronger and speak out their feelings on governements and politics and so on. Maybe you have heard from the Pakistan outrage on assaulting a young girl by a group of young guys. That's something never heard of in the last decennia. And what to think of all the changes in the Middle East ... well enough on that ... Today we have a Carpe Diem Special written by our Haiku Master for this month Yosa Buson.

Enjoying three bowls of zoni  (*)
At the New Year's breakfast;
Millionaire as he is!

(*) 'Zoni' is a soup containing mochi (rice cakes), vegetables and other ingredients. To cook zoni was very expensive for the common people in the Edo period (1603-1868). To eat three bowls of 'zoni' at a time for breakfast was beyond all imagination of theirs.
Credits: Selfportrait by Yosa Buson 1771

Some information on Zoni:
Many cultures have certain foods traditionally eaten at the new year, believed to bring luck to the next 365 days. In the American south, it's Hoppin' John made with black-eyed peas; Spaniards eat a dozen grapes for every strike of the clock at midnight; and other cultures consider pork, greens, or lentils lucky, the last because of the way the legumes swell when cooked, symbolizing prosperity.

Japan has a whole set of ritual foods for the new year, called osechi. These dishes are often arranged together in bento boxes and include herring roe, brightly colored boiled fish paste, various fruits and vegetables, and red sea bream.

One of the most important osechi dishes is o-zoni, hot broth floating with mochi cakes.

Zoni (Kansai "sumashi" style)
Ingredients: (for 4 servings)

4 pieces of cut mochi, 100 g chicken leg meat, 1/4 bunch komatsuna, 3-4 cm carrots, 3 cups of dashi (ichiban dashi), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon usukuchi (light flavored) soy sauce, yuzu (citron).
How to make:

Mix and heat up dashi, salt and soy sauce.
Wash komatsuna, boil stems down, cut into 3 cm pieces.

Divide meat into 4 pieces.
Lightly peel carrots. In intervals cut 5 triangular pieces out of the carrot lengthwise. Slice into 7-8 mm flower-shaped pieces.

Grill mochi on broiler net until toasted and inside is puffy.
Gently pour dashi over mochi, meat, and komatsuna and carrots. Garnish with yuzu peel.

Well ... enjoy the read and I hope you are inspired by the haiku of Buson. I however couldn't find the inspiration to write a haiku inspired on the one given. Unique? I don't know, maybe it's the tiredness of the nightshift in which I am when I write this post.

This Special will stay on 'till December 25th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode later on around 10.00 PM (CET). The prompt for December 25th (Christmasday) will be 'frost (shimo)'

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Carpe Diem #77, Icicles (tsurara)

Dear Haijin, Visitors and Travelers,

As you  know we are having a wonderful Carpe Diem month with classical Japanese kigo for Winter and we are busy in the last part of the month ... so our prompts are all of 'late winter'. With the prompt for today Icicles (tsurara) that's not completely true, because Icicles we see through whole winter, but well ... it's a kigo for 'late winter'.

I have found a wonderful haiku on 'icicles' written by Issa:

yûkaze ya yashiro no tsurara hi no utsuru

night wind --
the shrine's icicles
reflect the lights

Well ... now it's my turn ...

icicles hanging
at the gutter of the old mansion
sun's reflections

green pine tree branches
looking like a Christmastree
shining icicles

This prompt will stay on 'till December 24th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new Carpe Diem Special by Buson later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Have fun, be creative and share your haiku with Carpe Diem.

I will give the new Carpe Diem Special by Buson hereafter.

Enjoying three bowls of zoni  (*)
At the New Year's breakfast;
Millionaire as he is!

(*) 'Zoni' is a soup containing mochi (rice cakes), vegetables and other ingredients. To cook zoni was very expensive for the common people in the Edo period (1603-1868). To eat three bowls of 'zoni' at a time for breakfast was beyond all imagination of theirs.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Carpe Diem #76, Quilt (futon)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another day in Carpe Diem's paradise. I have read wonderful haiku on 'Early Plum Blossom' and 'Fireplace'. It's a joy to see that there are more haiku poets that come and share their haiku on Carpe Diem's daily haiku meme. It makes me proud and also humble that I am able to host Carpe Diem for you all.

Today we have Quilt (futon) for prompt. I think this one doesn't need explanation. A quilt is a kind of blanket made of several patches of cotton and stuffed with fuzz or wool. I have sought for a few haiku on this prompt and found these:

Written by Buson:

waga hone no futon ni sawaru shimoyo kana

right to my bones
through the quilt pierces
the frost tonight

Or this one also by Buson:

teshokushite yoki futon dasu yosamu kana

with lantern in hand
taking out a heavy quilt -

a cold night!

Japanese Quilt (futon)

And what do you think of this one written by Issa?

korogi no kanshuku to suru fusuma kana

the cricket's
winter residence ...
my quilt

There are a lot of other examples I think, but I have to compose my own haiku on 'Quilt (futon)', so here I go:

quilt up to my head
laying beneath the open window
this icy cold night

her old hands
sewing another quilt for me
my grandmother

Japanese Quilt (futon)

this cold winter night
laying naked under my quilt
feels like summer

Not an easy prompt to write haiku on, but ... well ... be inspired and creative and share your haiku with us here on Carpe Diem.

This prompt will stay on 'till December 23th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode later on today around 10.00 PM (CET) ... that will be 'icicles (tsurara)' another nice 'late-winter' kigo.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Carpe Diem #75, Early Plum Blossoms (soobai)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you can see our today's prompt is 'Early Plum Blossoms (soobai)', this is a late winter kigo (or seasonword) and it's the start of our third part of this Carpe Diem month on classic Japanese kigo for winter, late winter. The coming days we have all 'late winter' kigo. Late winter in classical Japan starts around January 5th and ends around February 2nd, it's called 'Rushing about (shiwasu)'.

Early Plum Blossom

Let's look at some background on Early Plum Blossom as provided by: World Kigo Data Base the blogspot of Gabi Greve, a rich source for information on kigo.

Next to the Cherry blossom, the plum blossoms are loved by Japanese poets and where enjoyed even more than the cherry in the Heian peroid. They are a symbol of refinement, purity and nobility and also a reminder of past love. Ume, Prunus mume, is biologically of the apricot family.

The plum blossom, which is known as the meihua
, is one of the most beloved flowers in China and has been frequently depicted in Chinese art and poetry for centuries.
The plum blossom is seen as a symbol of winter and a harbinger of spring. The blossoms are so beloved because they are viewed as blooming most vibrantly amidst the winter snow, exuding an ethereal elegance, while their fragrance is noticed to still subtly pervade the air at even the coldest times of the year.
Therefore the plum blossom came to symbolize perseverance and hope, but also beauty, purity, and the transitoriness of life.
In Confucianism, the plum blossom stands for the principles and values of virtue. More recently, it has also been used as a metaphor to symbolize revolutionary struggle since the turn of the 20th century.
Because it blossoms in the cold winter, the plum blossom is regarded as one of the "Three Friends of Winter", along with pine, and bamboo.
Japanese tradition holds that the ume functions as a protective charm against evil, so the ume is traditionally planted in the northeast of the garden, the direction from which evil is believed to come.
The eating of the pickled fruit for breakfast is also supposed to stave off misfortune.


Plum blossoms come in different colors. So we have the White Plum, gives a feeling of winter, and the Red Plum, who's more giving a feeling of Spring through it's warm color. So we can say: 'when the plum blooms Spring is near and Winter has almost gone'.

A few examples of haiku written by Issa on Plum Blossoms:

kado shishi ya shishi ga kuchi kara ume no hana

lion puppet (*) at the gate -
from his mouth
plum blossoms

(*) a lion puppet play (shishima) is a popular 'New Year's entertainment

ume ga ka ni shoji hirakeba tsuki yo kana

plum blossom scent -
when I open my paper door
a bright moon

Aren't they wonderful!


OK ... let's go do some haiku composing myself on Early Plum Blossoms (soobai).

red plum blooming
while the last snow is melting -
finally Spring

the shivering cold
creeps into my old skeleton -
white plum blossoms

what a feast!
finally winter has gone
early plum blossoms

covered with snow
the fragile plum blossoms
longing for Spring

For closure:

scent of plum blossoms
mingles with the scent of the hearth
winter departure

This prompt will stay on 'till December 22th 11.59 AM (CET) (if the Earth has survived of course   (smiles) and I will post our new episode of Carpe Diem around 10.00 PM (CET) today. Than our new prompt is quilt (futon).

Have fun, be creative and inspired ... and share ... share your haiku with Carpe Diem.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Carpe Diem #74, Fireplace (ro)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A day is to short I think. I have the feeling that I just have posted our 'spearflower'- prompt, but it's already time for our next prompt. A prompt of which I think it can be very inspiring. It's really a prompt for this time of year in which we can see snow, frost and coldness, but also this is the time of the long evenings with your loved ones.
Our prompt for today is fireplace (ro) and I love it very much. I have sought the WWW for haiku on fireplace by our classical masters, but I couldn't find one. So I sought on 'hearth' and found a nice haiku written by Issa.

hettsui no kado ni okasuru wakana kana

laid out
at the hearth's door
New Year's herbs

(c) Issa

As I am busy today I just share a few archived haiku by myself on fireplace.

Christmas stockings
hanging above the fireplace
awaiting presents

in loving memory -
above the fireplace
my brother's urn

making love
in front of the fireplace -
finally home

drinking red wine
lying in front of the fireplace
cherish my love

A last one, I can't help it, a new one (smiles):

winter feeling -
lying on the bearskin
before the hearth

OK ... ok .... I was on a role ....

This prompt will stay on 'till December 21th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode 'early plum blossoms (soobai)' later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Have fun, be creative and inspired ... and share your haiku with us on Carpe Diem. Thank you all for your participation and daily effort to share your haiku on Carpe Diem.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Carpe Diem #73, Spearflower (manryoo)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I was very surprised as I read all of your new haiku on the Special by Buson. And I have read even new contributors, wonderful ... it makes me humble as I see that new contributors are posting on Carpe Diem's daily haiku meme. Really ... when I started this daily haiku meme I gave myself three months to the max, but as I see how this Carpe Diem daily haiku meme has evolved than I think I can go on in the coming year(s).

Let's go on to our next prompt. Today our prompt is 'Spearflower (manryoo)'. I didn't know this flower, so I had to search the Internet and I found this picture:

Credits: Spearflower (manryoo)
A bit scientific maybe, but I had to share some background on Spearflower :

The Ardisia Crispa is a shrub that will grow between 2 feet high and 2 feet in thickness. It is semi hardy plant quite suited to temperate climates. It is an evergreen plant and keeps its leaves during Winter. It will grow well in any location including shaded areas of the garden. Situated against a north wall would be a good place for it to . The plant can produce a beautiful scent in the evenings that evokes a certain exotic ambience. The scent of the plant is seems most present on humid evenings after a warm day.


The Spear Flower (Ardisia) originates in China and Malaya and is very common in Japan.


It produces white flowers in Autumn followed by small red fruits. The flowering usually takes place from July through to September.

Credits: Spearflower flowers

The Spearflower is also know as Christmas Berry, that's why it's a kigo for winter. Well ... now we know a bit more about the Spearflower and maybe you can write a nice haiku on this Classical Japanese Kigo (seasonword).

Of course I love to share some haiku written by Haijin which I have found on the Internet. I am so glad that I also found a haiku written by Shiki (our next month haiku master for the Special) on spearflower.

a red berry
spilled on the white frost
of the garden

(c) Masaoka Shiki

And I also found a few 'modern' haiku on spearflower:

its red berries, a lost bee
at the dawn window

(c) Narayanan (one of the hosts of Wonder Haiku Worlds )

And this one written by Masaaki Oka on a haiku meeting this year:

red berries of spear flower
adorning my room
right into the new year

(c) Masaaki Oka (2012)

All wonderfully composed. I love the one written by Shiki the most, but ... well ... Shiki is one of the four greatest haiku masters and of course one of my favorites.
OK ... let's do some haiku composing myself. This will not be an easy one I think, but ... well I have said that several times and always succeeded. 

deadly beauty
red berries covered with snow -
Christmas decoration

(The berries of the Spearflower are poisonous)

decorating my home
with the red berries of the spearflower
almost Christmas

almost Christmas
as I am sowing the seeds of Manryoo
in early Spring

spearflower berries
sparrows picking them from the snow
in my backyard

Well ... do you like them? It was really a joy to write this episode of Carpe Diem. I hope to see and read wonderfully composed haiku on this prompt spearflower. 


This prompt will stay on 'till December 20th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new prompt fireplace (ro) later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Have fun, be inspired, be creative, be happy and share your creativity with Carpe Diem. Thank you all for your daily effort to write haiku for carpe Diem. You're all very appreciated.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Carpe Diem Special #12, Buson's Scarecrow

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another Special Carpe Diem with a haiku by Buson (our haiku master for this month). I couldn't find a nice haiku to use earlier this week so this Special will be a surprise I think. Buson has written wonderful haiku on a lot of themes. He even made haiga with them, because he was next to poet also a painter. He was searching for beauty in his surroundings and tried to pin it with his haiku and paintings.
As common in a lot of countries all over the world ... peasants are placing scarecrows in their fields to scare of the birds. The haiku I would like to use for this Carpe Diem Special is the following:

Buson wrote this one in 1708. First I will give the haiku in romanji and there after the English translation.

hatakenushi kagashini oute modorikeri

the owner of the field
goes to see how his scarecrow is
and comes back


I do like this haiku for it's simplicity. The peasant goes to his field, not to look at his field, but to look at his scarecrow. Is the scarecrow ok? When he concludes that his scarecrow is alright he goes back to his house. He is proud on his scarecrow and knows that his fields are guarded.

A little background on 'scarecrows':

With all the crows and sparrows around, we need these useful "little people" in our fields. They come in many forms nowadays, usually made from sticks, straw and old cloths. A scary face is often painted on a white sack.

Some villages have scarecrow festival and competitions, these are called kakashi matsuri.

kakashi matsuri

In the Edo period, this word was pronounced "kagashi", meaning something that smells heinously, because the farmers used to hang up rotten fish or hides from animals. Sometimes they hang up dead crows or even small wild boars to let them rot .. and smell.
Nowadays bird clappers or other devices with noise are also used. 

A nice haiku for your inspiration and mine of course. Let's do some haiku composing on scarecrow(s).

alone in the field
smelling of rotten fish
the old scarecrow



the old scarecrow
has lost his battle with the storm
laying on the field

laying on the field
pieces of old clothes and paper
the birth of scarecrow

Well ... that was fun. Another one:

katashi matsuri
everywhere I look in the fields
scarecrow parade

Awesome ... just awesome. Buson brought me a lot of inspiration. So thank you Yosa Buson (smiles).

Yosa Buson

This Special will stay on 'till December 19th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode of Carpe Diem 'spearflower (manryoo)' later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).
PS.: I hope to read all of your entries and comment them, but I have a busy week this week, so if I haven't commented on your haiku ... please forgive me I will surely read all of your wonderful haiku.

Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with Carpe Diem's daily haiku meme. And please leave a comment after linking if possible.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Carpe Diem #72, Mandarin Ducks (oshidori)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

In our first Carpe Diem Special by Buson of this month I shared a haiku by Buson on Mandarin Ducks. And today that Mandarin Duck is in the reprise. So it will be a bit difficult to write a new one on Mandarin Ducks, but ... well ... be inspired. For your inspiration I have sought they internet for another nice haiku on Mandarin Duck. This one is written by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694).

furu ike no oshidori ni yuki furu yuube kana

at the old pond
snow falls on Mandarin ducks
in twilight

Let me tell you something more about this kigo Mandarin Ducks (oshidori). By the way the scientific name for Mandarin Duck is ' Aix galericulata' .

Mandarin Duck (male or 'drake')

The adult male (sometimes called 'drake' for his colorful feathers) is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange "sails" at the back. The female is similar to female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill.
The Mandarin ducklings are almost identical in look to Wood ducklings, and appear very similar to Mallard ducklings. The ducklings can be distinguished from Mallard ducklings because the eye-stripe of Mandarin ducklings (and Wood ducklings) stops at the eye, while in Mallard ducklings it reaches all the way to the bill.

Mandarin Duck (pair)

Pillows with mandarin duck design make great wedding gifts in China, so do curtains and bed-covers.
When one duck carries a lotus flower and the other animal a lotus fruit, this expresses the wish for a marriage blessed with many sons.

"Mandarin ducks in the dew" is a Chinese expression for unmarried lovers, though.
Even in the world of the Chines sexual intercourse instructions, there is the position "Mandarin Duck Union".

Mandarin Ducks, which are referred to by the Chinese as Yin-Yang ducks, are frequently featured in Oriental art and are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity. A Chinese proverb for loving couples uses the Mandarin Duck as a metaphor:

"Two swimming mandarin ducks".

The Mandarin Duck symbol is also used in Chinese weddings, because in traditional Chinese lore they symbolize wedded bliss and fidelity. In reality, though, the ducks find new partners each year. Mandarin Ducks are symbol for happy couples.

Isn't it a wonderful bird this Mandarin Duck? Great for kigo, and of course it is a kigo for winter (smiles).

in the moonlight 
Mandarin Ducks making love
happily together

brilliant colors
reflecting in the old pond
Mandarin drake

Mandarin Ducks (pair)

This prompt will stay on 'till December 18th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will share our new Carpe Diem Special by Buson later on today around 10.00 PM (CET). That will be a surprise haiku I think, because I haven't found a nice haiku which I love to use. So ... be prepared (smiles).

Have fun, be inspired and creative. And share your haiku with us here on Carpe Diem's daily haiku meme.