Monday, April 7, 2014

Carpe Diem #441, Ghost-Writer Managua

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Our second Ghost-Writer is Managua Gunn of Hamish Gunn. He takes us to the world of the gypsies. Have fun and be inspired.


Think of a people, who never planted a bomb, never took over a territory or country, indeed never invaded a country, who love to sing and dance, and indeed are great dancers and musicians. Think of a people who are Europe's largest minority, who are 1 Million strong in United States and Brazil.

An ethnic people originally from Rajastan. A people who love freedom yet have been routinely denied it throughout history. A people who lost 1.5 million of their own in the Porajmos, the Holocaust, for which they receive nothing. A people whose love of family is strong, as strong as their pull of the road.

Romani women sing and dance

They are easily the most abused minority in Europe, and always have been. To be a roma a few hundred years ago in some European countries meant having your nose cut off. Nowadays you can still be murdered in Hungary by a militia group, or ethically isolated and fingerprinted in Italy, or thrown out of France with a few hundred euro stuffed in pocket.

Romani Flag

Today April 8
th is International Romany Day. Expect it to be routinely ignored as usual, by companies like google, who despite changing their logo for numerus other festivities stil refuse to do so for International Romani Day, an act of blatant racism. But who cares? Who will speak for the roma?

Proposed google logo for International Romany Day 8th April

I don't remember not feeling an affinity for gypsies, or the roma people, so have chosen this as my topic for my ghostwriter post at Carpe Diem Haiku. I have known a few roma people, and once shared love with a roma woman in Hungary. We didn't speak each other's language but shared real happiness, a lot of fun and a few roads together.

I also stayed with a romany family in Romania – the country's name is not connected to theirs – for a few weeks. What a wonderful family they were. A US Peace Corps friend of mine called Dave and I were travelling in Romania, and a roma woman and her daughter just stopped us and invited us to their home for lunch. We stayed weeks. They were not a rich family at all, and were poor even in Romania, which itself is a poor country. But I have never seen so much love and miss them dearly to this day.

Here's a sampling of romani music:

and here's two roma haiku, or senryu for the first, to be precise:

we are silent
but our hearts are full
of unuttered words

from Dezider Banga

wheel turns
road calls
-home again

by Janos Balog

and following are my haiku for this theme of roma, or gypsy.

by the campfire
she dances to the violin
only the stars are still

I am not claiming this is a good haiku, but it does do what I think is important in a haiku – the stars might dance in poetry, but in haiku no – the flames move, the violin plays, the grass weaves in the breeze and even the wagon wheels creak as the temperature changes. But the stars are.

I look forward to your haiku on the theme of the roma/romani or gypsy! Thanks again to Kristjaan.
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 10th 11.59 AM (CET). I will post our new Ghost-Writer episode, this time by Ese of Ese's Voice, later on today. For now have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.


  1. Wonderful post, Sir! I am so glad you are featuring them -
    Beautiful haiku, and the music is haunting.

  2. Hi there! I think my computer is acting weird -- I can't find the link-up for this post. Not sure what I am doing incorrectly - but - here is my submission. :)

  3. I'm a little confused. I thought the theme for today was "clouds." At least, that's what it says on the April theme list. (scratching head)

    1. We as ghost-writers where given the freedom to choose of writing to the word... or write freely.

    2. Chèvrefeuille gave the Ghost-Writers a wonderful possibility - freedom to choose either to go with the kigo word from the April list or something of the writer's choice. No confusions - just wonderful surprises instead!

  4. Excellent post and had deaf student from Romania and he was so smart ~ I have been busy with my solo Photography show and another group show coming up this week ~ I did post a haiku on Friday on Dreams and guess I forgot to link up ~ c'est life ~ Will try get a haiku ready for this post ~ Being in Europe you are so far ahead that I sometimes have trouble keeping up ~ Keep up the great work ~ xoxo ~ carol and artmusedog

  5. This is so apt.. and yes I know how they have been treated worst among all people during history... I think it works great together with cloud. Just give me a little while

  6. Brixton Market
    She reads palm lines -
    The long queue

    This is one of my vacation haiku, my first and only encounters with gypsies , but i''ve always read about them and loved them in stories

    Much love...

  7. What a lovely post Managua! I have met several Roma people here in the U.S., and I have always felt an affinity for them from afar. Thanks for sharing!