Sunday, October 6, 2013

Carpe Diem #316, Strangers (provided by Patricia)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

"Strangers in the Night" came immediately in my mind as I was preparing our anniversary prompt-list of October 2013, so this song by Frank Sinatra is already for two months in my subconsciousness. It's a great song, but not to have it for almost two months in my head. I hope it will disappear after publishing this episode of Carpe Diem's daily haiku meme. Herafter I will share part of the songtext and a music video with this song.
First part of the lyrics:

Strangers in the night, two lonely people
We were strangers in the night
Up to the moment
When we said our first hello.
Little did we know
Love was just a glance away,
A warm embracing dance away and -

Ever since that night we've been together.
Lovers at first sight, in love forever.
It turned out so right,
For strangers in the night

I think this part is very meaning full for us all here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, because we were all strangers to eachother, but now ... a year later it feels like I know you all, and in a way there is love and safety in our Haiku Kai. So this song ... has meaning for us ... I think.

In our daily life we are surrounded by starngers passing. We watch them and they watch us. We try to formulate their lives without asking them. In the summer (or on another sunny day) I love to go downtown and sit on a terrace of a cafe, coffeeshop or restaurant, enjoying a cold drink and watch the people who are walking there. I like watching people while on a terrace. All those different people ... fascinating to watch them.
I recall a haiku by Matsuo Basho in which he sees a stranger disappearing in the mist, but in his haiku, the stranger becomes known. It's (in my opinion) a strong haiku. I love to share that haiku here.

chanting mantras
the shadow of a monk disappears
into the brume

(Tr. Chèvrefeuille, your host)

Basho saw a monk maybe with his portable altar or shrine bound on his back, as was very common behavior of monks in his time. The monk is on a journey to tell the world about his believes while he holds the praying beads in his hand he chants mantras. He is surrounded with the vague perfume of incense. The monk goes on with his journey, he's just a passer-by, like a stranger. The mist surrounds him and he becomes a shadow and then he disappears completely in the mist. Only his chanting is what remains, but soon he will be that far that his chant also disappears in the mist. Then there is only the mist and Basho's memory of an encounter with a stranger. It's very Zen-Buddhistic theme, but also a sad theme. Basho, on one of his journeys, is alone again and only his haiku shows us that he had an encounter with a stranger, who turned out to be a monk.

Monk with shrine on his back

Strangers, our prompt for today is provided by Patricia and I think it's a wonderful prompt to write haiku about. So enjoy, be inspired and share your haiku on strangers with Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

morning rushhour
buses packed with strangers -
spider in her web

And a cascading haiku trio:

strangers in the night
passing eachother in hurry -
shelter for the rain

shelter for the rain
clochards crowding together
in an old barn

in an old barn
not knowing eachother
strangers in the night

This prompt will stay on 'till October 8th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode provided by Bjorn Rudberg, Ivory, later on today around 7.00 PM (CET)
!! Strangers is now open for your submissions !!


  1. Your cascading haiku is such a beauty, Kristjaan - like waves revealing more every time they reach the sand, letting me notice another new filigree detail...

  2. A very rich, personable and sensitive write-up Kristjaan...the second haiku with the clochards is a haiku that stands beautifully on its own...clochards...monks...dreamers...travellers....

  3. I really like the haiku today, especially the bus one. That's the first thing I thought of with the word "stranger". I also feel the friendship we've all gained through haiku. Also, I wanted to tell you that sometimes you can get a song out of your head by just telling yourself that you've heard the song and don't need to hear it again. Sounds weird, but it often works.

  4. Wonderful but difficult prompt. I have a feeling we had a similar prompt a long while ago....

    1. You're right we had the same prompt at the end of this year's february. I wasn't aware of that, but it doesn't matter I think.

    2. The tough part about writing people haiku is getting in the season reference. I enjoyed looking around the house and yard (not to mention some old memories and really bad lines) to find the strangers.... You do good work and thanks to Patricia for the prompt............opie

  5. Love Frank Sinatra!

  6. this one seems to prompt a personal response
    A very good prompt and thank you Kristjaan for creating a place where people can enjoy each other and their work

  7. How much I love that song... I loved your interpretation of Basho's haiku. Lovely!
    And your haiku are wonderful as well.

  8. My apologies for not commenting over the last few days. I have had to post my haiku from my iPhone and it doesn't seem to like commenting on blogspot blogs.
    Anyway, as always thank you for the wonderful prompts and your haiku for inspiration my friend.

  9. I don't mind repeat indeed this was one.
    Stretches the creativity for me.
    I drew a blank at first, but did manage to find inspiration and write THREE !