Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Carpe Diem #184, Tarot (regular)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to prepare the first episode of our new Carpe Diem month May 2013. A little different than all other months I think, because of the prompt-list ... all prompts about Tarot. Tarot ... it sounds occult, but that isn't true. Tarot is just a deck of playing-cards and it's roots are somewhere around the Mediterranean Sea. The Tarot-cards became somewhat occult by the use of the cards by Gipsy Fortune-tellers. Hereafter I will share a picture of the Tarot-cards which I mentioned.

And to complete that deck of playing cards you've just to think about modern playing cards. This month we will explore the true meaning of the Tarot cards ... and that's not as occult as the most people think.
For example: The ancient wisdom of the Kabbalah and Tarot are super intwined with eachother and the Tarot has a rich history ... let us go on a journey through the Tarot cards a simple deck of playing cards which became divine.

just simple cards
becoming mysterious through history -
divine Tarot

Well ... this was our first step in our journey through the Tarot ... hope you enjoyed it ... and please don't be shy or anxious to write and share your haiku on Tarot ...
This prompt will stay on 'til May 2nd 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next step in our journey through the Tarot cards, The Fool (0), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Monday, April 29, 2013

Carpe Diem #183, Honey (provided by KZ)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today our last prompt for April. It was a great month of Carpe Diem and I am glad that you all enjoyed it and participated in it. Today our prompt is Honey (provided by KZ of The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic ), but first I have to tell you all something else.
April 30th is the day on which the people of The Netherlands are saying goodbye to Queen Beatrix. She steps back from the throne after a reign of 33 years. Her oldest son, the Crownprince of Oranje Nassau, prince Willem Alexander, will be our new king and today he will be crowned a king. Today is a great holiday for us all here in The Netherlands.

Queen Beatrix, Crownprince Willem-Alexander and princess Maxima

OK ... enough about this memorable day for the people of The Netherlands back to our prompt for today.

As I was preparing this episode of Carpe Diem the first thing I thought of was a song by Abba titled 'Honey, Honey'. It was their 2nd single after Waterloo and it was published in 1974. I love their music and I was a great fan and admirer of their wonderful music. So I love to share that song here with you.

Well ... did you like it? OK than ... back to the prompt for today, but now the natural meaning of this prompt or the spiritual meaning or use. Let's go on a quest for honey (smiles).

Honey (pron.: /ˈhʌni/) is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to, as it is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties.

At Araña Caves in Spain.Honey collection is an ancient activity. Humans apparently began hunting for honey at least 8,000 years ago, as evidenced by a cave painting in Valencia, Spain. The painting is a Mesolithic rock painting, showing two honey-hunters collecting honey and honeycomb from a wild bee nest. The figures are depicted carrying baskets or gourds, and using a ladder or series of ropes to reach the wild nest.

Painting of Honey-seekers found in a Spanish cave. (Cueva Araña)

Some cultures believed honey had many practical health uses. It was used as an ointment for rashes and burns, and to help soothe sore throats when no other practices were available.In Hinduism, honey (Madhu) is one of the five elixirs of immortality (Panchamrita). In temples, honey is poured over the deities in a ritual called Madhu abhisheka. The Vedas and other ancient literature mention the use of honey as a great medicinal and health food.
In Jewish tradition, honey is a symbol for the new year, Rosh Hashanah. At the traditional meal for that holiday, apple slices are dipped in honey and eaten to bring a sweet new year. Some Rosh Hashanah greetings show honey and an apple, symbolizing the feast. In some congregations, small straws of honey are given out to usher in the new year.
The Hebrew Bible contains many references to honey. In the Book of Judges, Samson found a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of a lion (14:8). In Old Testament law, offerings were made in the temple to God. The Book of Leviticus says that “Every grain offering you bring to the Lord must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the Lord” (2:11). In the Books of Samuel Jonathan is forced into a confrontation with his father King Saul after eating honey in violation of a rash oath Saul made (14:24-47). The Book of Exodus famously describes the Promised Land as a "land flowing with milk and honey" (33:3). However, the claim has been advanced that the original Hebrew (דבש devash) actually refers to the sweet syrup produced from the juice of dates. Pure honey is considered kosher even though it is produced by a flying insect, a nonkosher creature; other products of nonkosher animals are not kosher. 
In Buddhism, honey plays an important role in the festival of Madhu Purnima, celebrated in India and Bangladesh. The day commemorates Buddha's making peace among his disciples by retreating into the wilderness. The legend has it that while he was there, a monkey brought him honey to eat. On Madhu Purnima, Buddhists remember this act by giving honey to monks. The monkey's gift is frequently depicted in Buddhist art.

Madhu Purnima

In Islam, there is an entire Surah in the Qur'an called al-Nahl (the Honey Bee). According to hadith, Prophet Muhammad strongly recommended honey for healing purposes. The Qur'an promotes honey as a nutritious and healthy food.

Honey ... a natural product with a nice background on divers religions and spiritual ways. Awesome ... honey so pure ... and delicious.

I have sought for a few examples of haiku with honey in it. I found this nice one written by Khalid:

Flowers have bloomed
Bees have sucked the sweet nectar
But bear's stolen the honey

Or this one, I couldn't retrieve the name of the author/poet of this haiku, but it's a nice one:

Honey sweet honey
tirelessly bees make you.
So sweet is this treat

I love to share a cascading haiku which I wrote last year somewhere in April. In that time a strange illness under honeybees did bring death to honeybees worldwide. I wrote than a kind of  'in memoriam' for the honeybees.

all over the world
honeybees are dying -
flowers never bloom again

flowers never bloom again
Mother Earth's face will be

no more fruits to eat
all over the world

Honeybee on Calyx

OK ... I just have to write a new haiku ... it's an obligation ...

divine Champagne
pure fluid gold of Mother Nature
honey heavenly honey

honey heavenly honey
thanks to those little honeybees
divine Champagne

Well ... this concludes our last episode of Carpe Diem for this month April. Hope you enjoyed the read and I hope that this episode will inspire you all to write new haiku and share them with us all.
If you would like to look forward to our new prompt-list for May 2013 than see it HERE

This episode will stay on 'till May 1st 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our first prompt for our new Carpe Diem month, Tarot (regular), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET). Have fun!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #34, Chèvrefeuille's 'under the willow'.

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another Special episode of Carpe Diem. It's the last Special of this month in which I celebrated my 50th birthday, my 22th wedding anniversary and 25th anniversary as a haiku poet. So today I share my Special haiku for the last time this month. Next month I will introduce to you Kyoshi Takahama (1874-1958), another haiku master, but that's for May 2013.

The haiku which I love to share with you is the following:

such a hot day
my shadow needs to cool down
under the willow

under the willow

It's a haiku which I published in 2011 on my 'home-weblog' Chèvrefeuille's Haiku-blog it was inspired on a haiku by Matsuo Basho, 'my haiku-master'. That haiku of Basho was:

essential to life
the little space under my hat
enjoying the coolness

(c) Basho (1676)

In this haiku by Basho the 'hat' is a 'kasa' (see image). Someone with such a 'kasa' on his head has always a little shadow at least enough to protect the eyes against bright sunlight.

A 'kasa'

Well ... as I did in every Special I will try to compose another haiku in the same tone as the one I gave above.

another hot day
wandering around on the heath
no shadow at all

hot Summer day
people seeking for coolness
at the seaside

Hm ... I like these ... I enjoyed the Special sharings for this month, I am glad that you all could write new haiku inspired on the ones I gave in these Carpe Diem Specials. So I hope that this last Special with a haiku written by myself will inspire you all to write new haiku.
This prompt will stay on 'til April 30th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our last episode for this month of Carpe Diem, Honey (provided by KZ), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Carpe Diem #182, Awakening (provided by Cathy)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are soon coming at the end of this month of Carpe Diem and we have to go a few episodes. Today a very special episode. Why? This episode is on 'Awakening' (provided by Cathy of Haiku Plate Special) and haiku was to me an awakening to become a better man who didn't have need for a lot of words to say what his feelings are. Haiku became to me a kind of drug ... I cannot without this wonderful Japanese poetry and have to write (almost) every day a haiku or few.

Awakening brought at first the movie 'Awakening' in my mind. It's a wonderful movie with Rebecca Hall and Dominic West. It's a movie on exposing the hoaxs of paranormal sightings. A short take on the movie:
In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.

Filmposter for Awakening

Another kind of Awakening is more likely for use in haiku and that is Bodhi (Enlightenment or Awakening) a strong part in Buddhism.

Bodhi  in Buddhism is the understanding possessed by a Buddha regarding the nature of things. It is traditionally translated into English with the word enlightenment and literally means awakened. Bodhi is knowledge of the causal mechanism by which beings incarnate into material form and experience suffering. Although its most common usage is in the context of Buddhism, bodhi is also present as a concept in other Indian philosophies and traditions.
Bodhi is an abstract noun formed from the verbal root budh (to awake, become aware, notice, know or understand) corresponding to the verbs bujjhati (Pāli) and bodhati or budhyate (Sanskrit). Also from the same root are the Sanskrit words bodha (also meaning knowledge or intelligence) and buddhi which is the exact equivalent to the Greek word nous.
The soteriological goal of Indian religions is liberation or moksha (also called mukti). Liberation is simultaneously freedom from suffering and the endless round of existences. Within the Sramanic traditions one who has attained liberation is called an arhat (Sanskrit; Pali: arahant), an honorific term meaning 'worthy' acknowledging the skill and effort required to overcome the obstacles to the goal of nirvana.

Source: Awakening

According to the Buddha the path to liberation is one of progressively coming out of delusion (Pali: Moha). This path is therefore regarded as a path of awakening. Progressing along the path towards Nirvana one gains insight into the true nature of things. A Buddha is one who has attained liberation and an understanding of the causal mechanism by means of which sentient beings come into existence. This mechanism is called pratitya samutpada or dependent origination. The knowledge or understanding of this is called bodhi.

Enough ... science for today. I love sharing knowledge, but sometimes I go on to long. So enough on Awakening ... let's go do some haiku composing on Awakening.

at dawn
refreshed and full new energy

haiku brought Buddhism closer
in a few words

in a few words
writing how you feel and think
that's haiku

that's haiku
a strong way to be creative
at dawn

Hm ... not a very strong cascading haiku, but I enjoyed writing it. So I hope you all are inspired to write and share new haiku on our prompt for today 'Awakening'. This prompt will stay on 'til April 29th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our fifth Carpe Diem Special, a haiku written by myself, later on today around 10.00 PM (CET). Here after I will give already the haiku which I love to share with you.

kono you na atsui hi watashino kageworeikyakusuru hitsuyouga ari masu yanagino shitade

such a hot day
my shadow needs to cool down
under the willow

Carpe Diem's Kamishibai

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I love to introduce a new feature on Carpe Diem, the place to be if you like writing and sharing haiku, it came in mind when I was preparing our 181th episode 'Storyteller'. In that episode I asked you all to write a haibun and I shared one myself.
In this new feature, which I named Kamishibai, I will give a theme, a quote, painting or something else on which you can write a haibun. Maybe I have to explain what a haibun is, but first I will explain Kamishibai.

Kamishibai (紙芝居), literally "paper drama", is a form of storytelling that originated in Japanese Buddhist temples in the 12th century, where monks used emakimono (picture scrolls) to convey stories with moral lessons to a mostly illiterate audience.
Kamishibai endured as a storytelling method for centuries, but is perhaps best known for its revival in the 1920s through the 1950s. The gaito kamishibaiya, or kamishibai storyteller, rode from village to village on a bicycle equipped with a small stage. On arrival, the storyteller used two wooden clappers, called hyoshigi, to announce his arrival. Children who bought candy from the storyteller got the best seats in front of the stage. Once an audience assembled, the storyteller told several stories using a set of illustrated boards, inserted into the stage and withdrawn one by one as the story was told. The stories were often serials and new episodes were told on each visit to the village.

Kamishibai performer

Haibun  is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and frequently includes autobiography, diary, essay, prose poem, short story and travel journal.
The term "haibun" was first used by the 17th century Japanese poet, Matsuo Bashō, in a letter to his disciple Kyorai in 1690. Bashō was a prominent early writer of haibun, then a new genre combining classical prototypes, Chinese prose genres and vernacular subject matter and language. He wrote some haibun as travel accounts during his various journeys, the most famous of which is 'Oku no Hosomichi' (Narrow Road to the Deep North). Bashō's shorter haibun include compositions devoted to travel and others focusing on character sketches, landscape scenes, anecdotal vignettes and occasional writings written to honor a specific patron or event. His 'Hut of the Phantom Dwelling' can be classified as an essay while, in 'Saga Nikki' (Saga Diary), he documents his day-to-day activities with his disciples on a summer retreat.
Traditional haibun typically took the form of a short description of a place, person or object, or a diary of a journey or other series of events in the poet's life. Haibun continued to be written by later haikai poets such as Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa and  Masaoka Shiki
A haibun may record a scene, or a special moment, in a highly descriptive and objective manner or may occupy a wholly fictional or dream-like space. The accompanying haiku may have a direct or subtle relationship with the prose and encompass or hint at the gist of what is recorded in the prose sections.
Generally, a haibun consists of one or more paragraphs of prose written in a concise, imagistic haikai style, and one or more haiku.

A fragment from 'Oku No Hosomichi', 'the narrow road to the deep north', a
haibun written by Matsuo Basho.

I will give an example of a haibun. This haibun I published on my haibun-weblog. It's just a short haibun, but it's showing what a haibun is or can be.

The Hot Summer of 1998, a haibun

Somewhere in the hot Summer of 1998 it was I  thought, but it easily could be in another hot Summer. I was on a holiday with my family in Benidorm (Spain).
My wife and I were walking along the beach late on an evening. It was still warm and we were very much in love. We walked hand in hand, sometimes stood still to kiss eachother. Somewhere along the beach there was a group of palmtrees with a nice little bench. We sat down and watch to the sea and Isla de Benidorm.
It was told that once a giant had broke a piece of the mountains in the backland of Benidorm and had thrown it into the sea. I wonder ...
Isle of Benidorm

In the backlands of Benidorm I saw a mountain with a gap that looks very similar with the Isla de Benidorm. In front of my eyes I saw the giant brake of the big piece of the mountain and threw it into the sea. What a sight. That big piece of rock made the sea rise and a Tsunami rolled towards the seashore breaking on the beach. The foam swirlled every where.
A little smile on my face made my wife laugh. 'What are you thinking of?' she asked. I shook my head. 'Nothing my dear'. I answered. 'Nothing'. Hand in hand we walked back to our appartement and drank a little wine ... afterwards ... well ... it's up to you to fill in this gap. (smiles)

thrown into the sea
a pebble bounches a few times
I feel a giant
Puig Compana (do you see the gap?)

Writing haibun is fun and it's really a joy to let flow your ideas in haibun. Using more words than you do as you are writing haiku.
You can share your haibun for this episode of Carpe Diem's Kamishibai 'til May 5th 11.59 AM.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Carpe Diem #181, Storyteller (provided by Sigrid)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today our new (soon to be) King Willem Alexander has his 46th birthday so I would like to offer him my congratulations with his birthday and with his crowning on April 30th. That he may live long in good health and happiness with his family.

OK ... back to our prompt for today. Today we share haiku on Storyteller (provided by Sigrid of Siggi of Maine ) a wonderful prompt as I look to myself of course. I am a 'storyteller' here and I have written two novels once, but this isn't a blog to promote my 'story telling skills', Carpe Diem is a place for inspiration and for writing and sharing haiku by others than me. I am a happy man ... you all are great haiku poets and I am glad that I may be your host here and that I can read wonderful haiku on all your wonderful websites and weblogs. I am honored that I may, and can be, your host ...


I think we are all storytellers. In our haiku we share little stories and big stories or sometimes we write a haibun (prose and haiku) in which we conclude a haiku. Storytellers are masters in telling stories think of all the wonderful authors we have around the world, or all the fairytales written by H.C. Andersen or the Brothers Grimm. I especially am a fan of fantasy-stories as e.g. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan or the novels by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), but I also like the mysteries as written by Dan Brown. I am looking forward to Brown's new novel Inferno and I know that it will be worldwide on May 14th.

Matsuo Basho, the first haiku-master that wrote a haibun

Matsuo Basho, one of the four Great Haiku Masters, wrote a very well known haibun 'the narrow road to the deep north'. I have read that haibun several times and I even have written my own 'narrow road' inspired on a dream I had about following Basho's footsteps on the narrow road to the deep north.

We are all storytellers so I would like to challenge you in this episode of Carpe Diem to write a haibun. Write a haibun on a theme you have chosen yourself. I think it's fun and it gives you a new challenge to look in another way to the haiku you share here on Carpe Diem.


A strange morning

Just a day as any other day it was. I woke up early in the morning and took a shower. I am not a early-riser, but sometimes I have too. This day, after a bad night, I wasn't rising shine, but ... a shower does miracles. I slipped on my housecoat and went downstairs. I opened the curtains giving the sun room to shine into my house. Birds sang their song, leaves rustled in the Spring breeze and the Cherry Tree in full bloom. Just a morning in Spring as any morning in Spring, but today something was different. I felt somewhat weird ... 'First coffee', I thought. 'And than maybe I feel different'. I shivered, I never had had such an uncannily feeling.

a strange morning
flowers blooming, rustling leaves,
uncannily feeling

After my coffee the uncannily feeling continued ... 'The bad night breaks me up', I thought. I shook my head, shrugged my shoulders and straightened my back. 'This will be a good day. A day like any other day', I said firmly to myself.
That day went on and at the end of the day finally I lost my uncannily feeling ... 'tomorrow you will be seeing Abraham, you become 50', my wife said to me. I looked at her ... smiled ... 'This whole day I felt strange, but now I understand ... tomorrow I will gain respect for my wisdom and high age. So this day was the last day of my youth. Tomorrow I will be a mature man'.

saying goodbye
my youth has gone by
I am an old man


Well ... I hope you liked this episode of Carpe Diem and that it inspired you to write your own haibun. By the way ... no obligations ... if you don't want to write a haibun ... a haiku on storyteller is also ok.
This prompt will stay on 'till April 28th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode, Awakening (provided by Cathy of Haiku Plate Special), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Carpe Diem #180, Chocolate (provided by KZ)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Time flies when you have fun ... it's already April 26th and our Carpe Diem month is crawling to her end and looking forward to a new month of wonderful prompts to write and share haiku about.
Today we have a nice prompt I think. Several weeks ago I posted a haiku on my home-weblog Chèvrefeuille's haikublog with the same prompt. It's a delicious prompt. Today we share haiku on Chocolate (provided by KZ of The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic ). I like chocolate and the first thing which came in mind was Forrest Gump, that wonderful movie with Tom Hanks, in which Forest is sharing choclates from it's choclate-box.

Credits: Forrest Gump

I have seen that movie several times and every time I like it again. Look at him ... sitting there with his box of chocolates on his knees ... awesome.

Yesterday I got a present from my colleagues in the hospital for my 50th birthday and that present was, next to a nice perfume, body paint with chocolate ... (smiles) ... maybe I will use it sometime ... , but it brought me the following haiku:

my sweet love
covered in chocolate
arouses my senses

Maybe a bit to much ... and not my style, but I just had to share this one with you. Chocolate ... heavenly ..., but what is it? Let's look for a little background on chocolate.

Chocolate i/ˈtʃɒklət/ is a processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central America and Northern South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC. The majority of the Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl [ʃo'kolaːt͡ɬ], a Nahuatl word meaning "bitter water". The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor. 

Cocoa Pods

Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world. Chocolate chip cookies have become very common, and very popular, in most parts of Europe and North America. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have become traditional on certain holidays. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages, to produce chocolate milk and hot chocolate.
Cocoa mass was used originally in Mesoamerica both as a beverage and as an ingredient in foods. Chocolate played a special role in both Maya and Aztec royal and religious events. Priests presented cacao seeds as offerings to the deities and served chocolate drinks during sacred ceremonies. All of the areas that were conquered by the Aztecs that grew cacao beans were ordered to pay them as a tax, or as the Aztecs called it, a "tribute".

offering cocoa
to please the deities -
hot chocolate drink

hot chocolate drink
arouses my senses, opens my mind
my deities pleased

Well ... I hope you liked the read and that it inspired you to write haiku on Chocolate. Have fun and share your haiku with Carpe Diem, the place to be if you like haiku.

This prompt will stay on 'till April 27th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode of Carpe Diem, Storyteller (provided by Sigrid), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Carpe Diem #179, Full Pink Moon (the full moon of April)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we have a full moon and this full moon of April is sometimes called Full Pink Moon and that's our prompt for today. But why is this full moon called 'Full Pink Moon'?

This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

Wild Ground Phlox

The Wild Ground Phlox is a ground covering flower and it looks awesome as it's in full bloom. It looks like a pink carpet in your garden. Around the full moon of April, this Ground Phlox, is in full bloom. That's why the full moon of April is called 'Full Pink Moon'.

Full Pink Moon (the full moon of April)

Isn't it wonderful? Let's go compose a few haiku on 'Full Pink Moon'.

full pink moon
as above, so below
pink garden

pink garden
the scent of ground phloxes
under a pink moon

This prompt will stay on'til April 26th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode of Carpe Diem, chocolate (provided by KZ), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Carpe Diem #178, Pigeon (provided by Cathy)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today another nice prompt provided by Cathy of Haiku Plate Special Today we share haiku on pigeon. Pigeons and doves constitute the bird clade Columbidae, that includes some 310 species. They are stout-bodied birds with short necks, and have short, slender bills with fleshy ceres. Doves feed on seeds, fruits, and plants. This family occurs worldwide, but the greatest variety is in the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones.
In general, the terms "dove" and "pigeon" are used somewhat interchangeably. In ornithological practice, "dove" tends to be used for smaller species and "pigeon" for larger ones, but this is in no way consistently applied, and historically, the common names for these birds involve a great deal of variation between the terms. The species most commonly referred to as "pigeon" is the Feral Rock Pigeon, common in many cities.
Doves and pigeons build relatively flimsy nests from sticks and other debris, which may be placed in trees, on ledges, or on the ground, depending on species. They lay one or two eggs, and both parents care for the young, which leave the nest after seven to 28 days.[1] Unlike most birds, both sexes of doves and pigeons produce "crop milk" to feed to their young, secreted by a sloughing of fluid-filled cells from the lining of the crop.
Young doves and pigeons are called "squabs".

I think it's a great prompt to write and compose haiku with. I have sought in the archives of my haiku range of the last 25 years and I found a few nice haiku on Pigeon.

spring day
walking along the river
cooing of a pigeon

cooing pigeons –
petals of cherry blossom fall
in muddy waters

Well .... I hope you all will be inspired to write, compose and share your haiku on pigeon with us all here on Carpe Diem, the place to be if you like writing and sharing haiku.

This prompt will stay on 'til April 25th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode, Full Pink Moon (the full moon of April), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET). Have fun.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #33, Chèvrefeuille's 'the cool rain'.

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

April is almost over and this is the fourth Special of this month. As you all (maybe) know I am writing haiku 25 yrs now, so it's my anniversary as a haiku poet. Therefore I have chosen haiku written by myself for this month's Specials. Today I love to share a winning haiku which I wrote in 2010.
Every year in Spring the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is taking place. And every year they organize a haiku-contest for this Festival. Until now I have contributed haiku to this contest for five years I think. I did that also in 2010. That years contribution to the haiku-contest was the next haiku:

hato saku sakura-kuuru na ameno ma kuukuu (*)

the cooing of pigeons
between blooming cherry trees -
the cool rain

(*) translated by Romaji.Me

It was one of two which I contributed, but this one won a honorable mention that year. I was very proud to hear from that winning haiku. It's a haiku which I shared also on Wonder haiku Worlds, a worldwide website for haiku-poets and poets of other Japanese poetry. It's translated in several languages and that I am proud of. By the way ... today I contributed two new haiku for this haiku contest of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. I hope (again) that they will be a winning pair (or maybe one, or another honorable mention).

The Sakura in my backyard

As you all know I am 'addicted' to cherry blossoms and cherry trees it's to me the most wonderful theme to write haiku about and I am always happy when I see the first blossoms bloom. To me it's also one of the saddest days as I see how the last cherry blossoms fall, but than later on in the year end Summer and starting Autumn I enjoy the tasty cherries of my own Sakura. Than the leafs fall and the Cherry tree is than full-circle as Mother Nature like it to see. Well ... that's nature ...

cherry blossom petals fall
without sound

without sound
cherry blossom petals ride
on gusts of wind

on gusts of wind
cherry blossom petals, full circle,
the taste of cherries

the taste of cherries
helping me through the cold winter
Sakura blooms again

A wonderful cascade of haiku on the 'full life circle' of Cherry trees ... what a joy to share this with you all, my dear haijin, visitors and travelers.
Be inspired and share your haiku with us all here on Carpe Diem the place to be if you like writing and sharing haiku.

This prompt will stay on 'til April 24th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post, Pigeon (provided by Cathy), our next episode later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Carpe Diem #177, Coffee (provided by Cathy)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we share haiku on Coffee (provided by Cathy of Haiku Plate Special). It is a wonderful prompt I think especially to me, because I am a 'coffee-addict', without coffee my day isn't good. In my opinion coffee is the drink of the gods, it's tasty in all it's varieties and it's black only, but what is it?

Ripe Coffee berries

Coffee is a brewed beverage with a distinct aroma and flavor, prepared from the roasted seeds of the Coffea plant. The seeds are found in coffee "berries", which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, India and Africa. Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Coffee is slightly acidic (pH 5.0–5.1) and can have a stimulating effect on humans because of its caffeine content. It is one of the most consumed drinks in the world.

Wild coffee's energizing effect was likely first discovered in the northeast region of Ethiopia. Coffee cultivation first took place in southern Arabia; the earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen.

In East Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in native religious ceremonies that were in competition with the Christian Church. As a result, the Ethiopian Church banned its secular consumption until the reign of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. The beverage was also banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons  and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.
Coffee berries, which contain the coffee seeds, are produced by several species of a small evergreen bush of the genus Coffea. The two most commonly grown are also the most highly regarded Coffea arabica, and the "robusta" form of the hardier Coffea canephora. The latter is resistant to the coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix). Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. The seeds are then roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor, before being ground and brewed to create coffee. Coffee can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways.

Coffee Arabica

Coffee, the most used beverage in the world ... it's wonderful.

the scent of coffee
in every place I come -
an addictive drink

an addictive drink
brewed from Arabica berries
the scent of coffee

A nice set, a bit scientific maybe, but that also was done by our classical haiku masters. They also used sometimes their knowledge in their haiku. Coffee ... yeah make me another cup my dear! 

Take a cup of coffee! Cheers!

Well ... it was really a joy to prepare this episode on Coffee and I hope you enjoyed it yourself. This prompt will stay on 'til April 23th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode later on today around 10.00 PM (CET). That will be our 4th Carpe Diem Special for this month. Hereafter I will already share the haiku I have chosen from my (big) body of works. It's the one which won a honorable mention in a worldwide haiku contest in 2010.

hato saku sakura-kuuru na ameno ma kuukuu (*)

the cooing of pigeons
between blooming cherry trees -
the cool rain

(*) translate by Romaji.Me

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Carpe Diem #176, Blue Bonnet (provided by Jennifer)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I love to thank you all for your wonderful wishes for my 50th birthday and I hope that I am able to be your host of Carpe Diem for another long time. I have had a wonderful day filled with the love of my family and friends ... and it was a very sunny day also and as I look around in my neighborhood filled with thousands of blossoming trees and bushes, really it was a Spring day here in the Netherlands. Thank you all again for all the wonderful wishes and thoughts you have granted me with today.

it's a joyful day
brithday wishes sprinkled upon me -
cherry trees in full bloom

As I was preparing this episode of Carpe Diem I realized that Bluebonnet couldn't be one word, because I couldn't find the meaning of it. So it had to be two words Blue Bonnet, but also than I couldn't write a haiku with it. So I sought for the Dutch translation of this 'Bonnet', it came out to be a hood or hat or barret. So today we share haiku on 'Blue Hood'.

The first thing which came in mind was the legend of Robin Hood, but also I thought of Little Red Riding Hood, the fairytale by Charles Perrault (1628-1703). "Little Red Riding Hood", also known as "Little Red Cap" or simply "Red Riding Hood", is a French and later European fairy tale about a young girl and a Big Bad Wolf. The story has been changed considerably in its history and subject to numerous modern adaptations and readings. The story was first published by Charles Perrault,  a French author and member of the Académie française. He laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from pre-existing folk tales.
I like to make a connection between Little Red Riding Hood and Blue Bonnet. Why is that little maiden called 'Red Riding Hood'? As we look at that fairy tale we see a big bad wolf who eats the grandmother of Red Riding Hood. So is the 'Red' referring to blood? Or does it refers to 'Love'? I don't know, but I think it's referring to Love. But, as I recall our Carpe Diem 'Rainbow-week', green was the color of Love, so makes that that the name of the little maiden had to be 'Little Green Riding Hood'?

What has this to do with Blue Bonnet? Nothing (smiles) it's just the introduction to this episode of Carpe Diem.

Back to our prompt, Blue Bonnet, for today. Can I write a haiku with this prompt? We will see ...

in the crowd
moves a little blue bonnet
the queen visits the town

Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands

Crown prince Willem Alexander and his wife princes Maxima

This is a little tribute to our queen Beatrix, who will step back as our queen on April 30th, in favor of her oldest son crown-prince Willem Alexander and his lovely wife princes Maxima. Queen Beatrix always wears a hat and yes it even was sometimes a Blue Bonnet with a veil. By the way ... blue is the color of royalty and power, but it's also a very spiritual color.

the guru
wears his little blue hood -
third eye open

third eye open
letting in the Power of Spirits
to see the future

to see the future
he wears his blue gown with pride
tearing Tarot cards

tearing Tarot cards
laying them on the blue table-cloth
predicting the future

predicting the future
for the new King of the Dutch -
I feel a guru

Well ... not a strong set, but I loved composing it for today's prompt Blue Bonnet, (provided by Jennifer of A Full Cup of Tea ). I hope you enjoyed the read and that you are inspired to write your own haiku on Blue Bonnet. By the way when I was searching for photos and pictures for this episode I ran into a flower called 'blue bonnet', I had never heard from such a flower so I love to share a picture of it and a last haiku for this episode.

little blue bonnet
a small hat for a mouse,
maybe Mickey Mouse?

This prompt will stay on 'til April 22th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode of Carpe Diem, Coffee (provided by Cathy of Haiku Plate Special), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).
Hope to see you all again tomorrow here on Carpe Diem, the place to be if you like writing and sharing haiku.