Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Carpe Diem #461, Ghost

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to make our first post for our new Carpe Diem Haiku Kai month May. This month all our prompts referring to worldwide Myths, Legends, Saga and Folktales. And this month will bring us to several places on our planet. Today our prompt is ghost and it starts with a folktale from Japan titled "Kintaro the Wonderboy and His Ghost Mother". The tale goes as follows:

Yamamba is a ghostly, female,  mountain hag who has an unkempt appearance — long messy hair and a dirty, disorderly kimono. She eats children.There are many variations of the story. E.g.: 

[...] A pregnant woman is traveling through the mountains alone and goes into labor. A old woman appears and helps the mother deliver the baby. Halfway through the delivery the mother realizes in horror that the old woman is Yamamba. Despite her child eating ways, Yamamba raises an orphan — Kintaro. Kintaro is a popular hero of Kabuki dramas. His name is often translated as "Golden Boy". He has superhuman strength.Being raised on a mountain by a ghost had its advantages — Kintaro understands the ways of the animal kingdom and possesses many animal-like abilities. [...](Source: Japan-Talk )

Credits: Kintaro rides a Carp

A wonderful folktale I think, something worth reading and knowing as a haiku-poet. It wasn't easy to write a haiku with our prompt, but I think I have succeeded with the following:

high up in the mountains
Yamamba plays hide and seek
waiting for children

(c) Chèvrefeuille

golden carp
rushes through the mountain stream
fleeing a spirit

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This was our first CDHK prompt for May ... I hope you enjoyed it and I hope it will inspire you all to write/compose wonderful haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka or haibun. Just have fun ...!

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 3rd 11.59 AM (CET). I will try to post our new episode, Crystal, later on today. Don't be sad if the posts are a little bit later than planned ... I am in the nightshift so I don't have much time.


  1. An interesting month ahead, two great haiku to start it with...especially that 2nd one, truly a classic.

  2. "The rumors of my demise are highly exaggerated".....Will be home bound (mostly) for a month with a hole in my stomach healing.... gall bladder operation with complications....Glad to be back...... opie