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.


  1. I learn more not only from haiku on your page, but about everything around haiku, and nature - I should have looked at the age before writing the haiku and learnt more about the Christmas connection, but then maybe I would have been influenced. Great haiku there on this page, really good.

  2. I had a lot of fun with this prompt and I learned a lot.

    What's interesting is that we wrote almost the same haiku with the sparrows picking the berries from the snow. It's uncanny, really. I swear I didn't even read your haiku until just now.

    Needless to say it's my favorite of your set. hahahaha.

  3. another great day ^^ thanks for challenging our minds! ^^

  4. Thanks for the information you provide everyday, Kristjaan.
    I didn't know this beautiful shrub either.
    Your four haiku shine with the spirit of Christmas. This is my favorite line: sparrows picking them from the snow, lovely winter image.

  5. This is certainly an interesting prompt.. is there any prompt you can't write about?? I adore these!!! And I love how you wrapped them around a Christmas theme.. It's almost here!!!

  6. Sparrows picking them from the snow...wonderful line. Another day of learning and exercising the mind. Tank you :)

  7. Thank you all for kind words which you're sprinkling on me. And to answer your question Crystal ... I don't think there isn't any theme on which I can't write haiku. As far as I know of course (smiles).

  8. Wonderful post, Kris! Thank you!

  9. Hello, I am very late with my contribution today. Found this very difficult (or maybe I was uninspired). The last haiku in your cascade was by far the best.

  10. What shall I say, I'm even much later! I always have to link twice. Maybe I'll be starring in "You only link twice" as "My name is Haiku, James Haiku". :-))

  11. My link did not come up again http://planetcyberluz.com/2012/12/19/spear-flower/
    Is it moderation ? (you approve the posts first) or is it something I am doing wrong ?

    1. I will link your post Tigerbrite. I don't what's going wrong. Maybe your link is to long.

    2. I have linked your 'spearflower' post. I didn't know your email so I have used one of my own. Hope you don't mind.

  12. The haiku were sooo good that you posted,
    I had a difficult time getting a grip on this one.
    Thank you for the excellent post...inspiring haiku.

    The red berries are coveted here for winter decorations
    especially during the holidays. When I first moved to
    Maine 40+ years ago, one of my first memories of the
    local traditions was hearing people talk about knowing
    where the red berries could be found since the plants
    aren't very noticeable til they bloom...and the florist
    would buy the stems of berries at a good price.