Monday, June 3, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #40, Kikusha-Ni's 'in the teabowl'

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

When we read haiku, we realise that haiku is a way of living. It offers itself to mankind, not as a substitute for Christianity or Buddhism, but as their fulfilment. It is 'Love one another' applied to all things without exception. And this 'love' is not that impossible love of repulsive and odious things, but something far deeper, an entering into the life of fish and reptile and bacteria through that very emotion of aversion. It is:

"Arouse the mind, without attachment to anything".

Haiku at first sight may seem rather slight or thin. This is partly because they avoid any parade of depth, and indeed mask their profundity under a characteristic humour or apparent simplicity; it is partly because of insufficient cooperation by the reader.
The brevity of haiku is not somethging different 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.

Kikusha's parents

Today our first Special haiku written by Kikusha-Ni, (this means 'Hut of the Chrysanthemums'), a nun of the Shen sect of Pure Land Buddhism, ther same sect to which the haiku poetess Chiyo-Ni belonged. 'Ni' in her name means that she is a nun.

tenmoku ni koharu no kumo no ugoki kana

in the teabowl
this motion of the clouds
of 'Little Spring'

'Little Spring' in the last line is another name for Ko-haru (Indian Summer) on which we have written haiku in last December when we had all classical kigo for Winter. 'Little Spring' are those beauteous weeks in November and December, when the burden and heat of the year are over, when the sky is constantly blue and the atmosphere golden, and the maple-trees put on their damask robes.

The goal of these Specials is to try to write a whole new haiku in the same sense, tone and Spirit as the one given. So here I go ...

Let me take a closer look to this haiku by Kikusha-Ni: She holds her tea-bowl filled with tea in her hands. In the tea she sees the reflection of the moving clouds through the blue sky of "Little Spring" or the Indian Summer. This places the haiku in early Winter (or late Autumn).
Kikusha was a Buddhistic nun of the Shen sect of the Pure Land Buddhism. So she lives with her environment without any exceptions. She is one with nature in body, heart and soul, as I am. So I can relate to this verse, this haiku and now I can compose a new haiku in the same tone, sense and Spirit as Kikusha-Ni.

At first I wrote a cascading haiku:

in my mind
I see birds taking a bath
in the fountain

in the fountain
looking at themselves
clouds contemplate

clouds contemplate
thoughts hidden deep in my heart
rise up to my mind

But I wasn't satisfied with these, and asked myself if they were in the same Spirit as the one by Kikusha-Ni. I couldn't give an answer for 100% on that question so I wrote another one.

in the rain puddle
the beauty of moving clouds
beneath my feet

Well ... I hope you all did like this episode, this Special by Kikusha-Ni, and I hope it inspires you to write a whole new haiku in the same sense, tone and Spirit.

This prompt will stay on 'til June 5th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, Tango (the Boy's Festival or Boy's Day), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET)



  1. I especially like the one about the rain puddle. It inspired mine today.

  2. Your cascade and additional haiku are all very beautiful! Will try to make you proud.

  3. Wow, we ended up writing similar haiku of reflecting clouds in puddles.

  4. It was a very challenging haiku to write something in the same tone of ... I think your last one really did a lot of justice to the original...

  5. Absolutely stunning write-up Kristjaan - and great last haiku. A page like this is a classic.

  6. Love your puddle haiku!

  7. Another inspiring episode and lovely haiku by you, Krisjaan.
    Thank you