Saturday, May 31, 2014

Carpe Diem #482, After Loving (A Dictionary of Haiku - Jane Reichhold)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This month all our prompts are modern kigo (seasonwords) for summer based on Jane Reichhold's "A Dictionary of Haiku". Jane has created a nice Saijiki (list of kigo) with all modern kigo and I have made a selection for this month's prompts.
In every episode I will share a haiku by Jane Reichhold as an example of the prompt. Today our prompt is After Loving and these are a few haiku by Jane Reichhold as an example:

sweeping the floor
sunrise on papers
left by lovers

where lovers laid
a shallow depression

lying naked
open to summer stars
this old couple

Awesome haiku, in a way, erotic and sensual. I have asked myself why has Jane chosen to create this kigo for summer, because in my opinion this kigo can be used in all seasons. Ofcourse in summer there is more making love outside, but if that's the reason why she created this summer kigo?

Here is my response on this modern kigo of summer:

walking in moonlight
hand in hand with my love
the sound of the sea

the sound of the sea
accompanies a French kiss
her delicious scent

© Chèvrefeuille

And now it's up to you my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers ...

Another haiku written by me in response of this prompt:

laying in the sand
with the love of my life
totally naked

totally naked
sharing body fluids
sand on my buttocks

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 3rd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. That will be, being lazy.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Carpe Diem #481, Helpful (Mongolian Mythology ... in a way)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is our last day of our month in which we discovered world wide legends, myths, saga and folktales. And this is our last Mongolian Mythology post in which we will discover how helpful we can be  to others. In a way this is a new Mongolian Myth ... I have written it myself inspired on a real Mythology story of Mongolia.

Credits: Altai Mountains
The Cry of an Eagle

A long time ago, in a faraway place somewhere on the steppes, there lived a Mongolian shaman named Batbayar. He was known through out the steppes and many people came to him for counseling and healing. His yurt was made of deerskin and on the floor there were several colorful tapestries.  Underneath those tapestries he had a secret room hidden where he performed magical and alchemical rituals. No one knew about that secret room, because in there was his true wisdom hidden.
One day a young man, Maidar, come to Batbayar with a very heavy burden or problem weighing on his shoulders. As he came to Batbayar's yurt he bowed deep. "Batbayar?" he said. Batbayar looked at him with his deep blue eyes. "What's your name?" he asked with a voice full of music and love. He invited Maidar to his yurt. They sat down on the colorful cushions and looked at eachother a few minutes.
"My name is Maidar", Maidar said after a while, breaking the holy silence in the yurt. "I have a problem and I hope you can help me wise Batbayar". Batbayar had already seen his problem which laid as a burden on the young man's shoulders. He had noticed his sad aura, but didn't mention that. he waited until Maidar would have told him his problem. "Tell me your problem Maidar", Batbayar said.

Credits: Altai Yurt
Maidar looked at him and saw those loving and caring eyes. "If there is someone who can solve my problem than this wise man can do that", he thought.
"One day I was riding through the steppes on my horse, as I do often, because I love the steppes. I came along a young woman, somewhere on the steppes around my village. She sat on a rock and was crying, her face hidden behind her hands. I knelt before her and asked her why she was so sad and crying. She told me that she had met a nice guy and they had fallen in love. Her boyfriend did everything for her and treated her like a queen, but some day he had bought a very nice necklace for her. She looked at me, still crying, but she had no more tears to cry. She only had that sad look in her face. "I lost my necklace", she said. "My boyfriend became very angry and left me as I had told him that I lost the necklace he had given me". I asked her if she could remember were she could have lost it. She nodded. "Somewhere around this rock I am sitting on", she answered. I looked at her redstained face and said: "I will find it for you and than we go to your boyfriend and tell him". "Will you really do that for me?" She asked me with a bright smile on her face.

Her Necklace

I started searching the surroundings of the rock and after three days I finally found her necklace. It was broken near to the tiny lock of it and gave it back to her. She was overwhelmed with joy and kissed me. Right on that moment her boyfriend came to her on his horse and saw her kissing me. He saw the necklace and became very angry. He jumped of his horse and started to fight with me. I lost, because he was a muscled man, very strong and fast ... a real warrior with an athletic body. After our fight he yelled at me. "You thief. I will haunt you forever and I will kill you one day!" This is almost a year ago and he is still haunting me. Maidar looked at Batbayar with tears in his eyes. "And I only helped her to find her necklace back". Batbayar had listened and was impressed that this young man, who looked so strong was crying.
"As I can see, you have still problems with that and you only did what was good, you helped someone in need". Maidar nodded and would say something, but Batbayar shook his head. "No need to tell me more Maidar. I know how I can help you and I know your problem". Maidar looked at him. He had still tears in his eyes. "You know?" he asked. Batbayar nodded. "You are afraid to be helpful again and that makes you sad, because that's why you are here ... to help others". Maidar smiled. "Yes you are right. After that fight I only did things for myself, but in a way it felt empty, it felt like I was incomplete". "You can help me if you want to Maidar. I am getting old and soon I will go to my ancestors. I have no relatives left. So will you help me? In change for your help I will teach you all my secrets, all my wisdom I will give to you. I will teach you Tengriism and shamanism".

Credits: Altai Eagle-hunter

Several years later somewhere high in the Altai Mountains an old shaman and his apprentice sat down on a rock. They sat there for a few days looking over the steppes and the mountains. "Maidar". The apprentice looked at his old master. "It's time. Can you hear the cry of the Eagle?" Maidar nodded. "Yes my master I can hear the cry of the Eagle". As he looked at his master he saw that his spirit was already gone, had left his body. Than he heard and saw the Eagle. In his mind he heard the last words of his master, Batbayar. "You have become a great shaman Maidar and I know that you have finally regained your helpful strength and a lot more ... use it well ..."
Maidar stayed for a few days in the mountains and than returned to the yurt of Batbayar, which was now his yurt.

Credits: Mongolian Shaman
Maidar became a great shaman, even better than his beloved master Batbayar, and returned every year to the mountains to the place were he had lost his master to talk with the Eagle.

whispering leaves
telling all wisdom of the steppes -
cry of an eagle

(c) Chèvrefeuille

I hope you did like this "new Mongolian myth" and I hope it will inspire you to write new haiku and share them with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 2nd at noon (CET). I hope to publish our first episode of June,  after loving, later on today. For now ... have fun!
PS.: My dad is home again ... yesterday he was released from the hospital, now it's time to heal for him. We don't know yet if the tumor was good or bad ... so we have to wait for that result.

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #37, Celestine's "ribbon of colours"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It was a real joy to make this month of Carpe Diem and it's a joy to read all of your comments and submissions. As we have every week it's time for a new Tan Renga Challenge.

This week I have chosen a haiku written by Celestine of Reading Pleasure. Celestine wrote this haiku in response on the Haiku Shuukan weekly meme's prompt festival. I think it's a wonderful haiku and it's a nice one to start a Tan Renga with.

The goal of this Tan Renga Challenge is to write a second stanza (classical 7-7 syllables, but that's no obligation) to it by associative thinking. The goal to make the Tan Renga complete. It's a nice way of writing together. Tan Renga looks very similar to Tanka, but it's written by two poets and not by one.

Here is the haiku composed by Celestine to create a second stanza for:

ribbon of colours
streaks across the endless sky
dance of the spirits

Credits: Colorful ribbons
And here is my attempt to write a second stanza towards it.

ribbon of colours
streaks across the endless sky
dance of the spirits

mystical drums resonate
through the ancient city streets

This Tan Renga Challenge will stay on until June 6th 12.00 (CET) and is NOW OPEN for your submissions. Complete the Tan Renga and make it whole ... have fun!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Carpe Diem #480, Dragon (Mongolian Mythology)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to tell you something. My dad is coming home from hospital today. He went in surgery last monday to take away a tumor on his back. After a few days hospital he may return home today. We don't know yet if the tumor is good or bad, but my dad is feeling ok again and will recover.

Than second, I have published a new episode of "Suikazura No Retsu", which you can find on the left side of our Haiku Kai. And I have launched a new weblog in which I will gather all the episodes of "Suikazura No Retsu".

Today our prompt is dragon and it's referring to a Mongolian Folktale titled "Hunter Boy" which I will share next. It's a bit long tale, but I hope you all do like it and that it will inspire you to write haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka or haibun.


They say that, in this remote beauty, there is a game wealthy Hunter-Boy. His winter camp is in the Altai Mountains and his summer camp in the back tablelands. When he rides his chestnut colored pony eastward he hunts buck and doe, after heading westward there is always an antelope tied to his saddle, if traveling south he tracks deer, if galloping to the north he kills fox and wolf. After hunting he always comes back with something strapped to his saddle. He is never selfish with his catch, whenever around his neighbors he shares the meat. Hunter-Boy is a grown man, able to reach the saddle ties and put his foot into the stirrups. Therefore, over these years, the neighboring families there have never gone without.

Credits: Altai Mountains

One day, when Hunter-Boy was on his way to go hunting, a hawk came flying over and swooped down to catch a thin white snake curled up in the tall grass near the river shore. As the hawk flew back by, the small snake called out, "Hunter-Boy, help! Help!" Hunter-Boy feeling sorry for the snake thought to himself, "Poor thing, the little creature has run into trouble and is pleading me, how can I refuse to help!" He pulled out an arrow and shot the hawk and the thin white snake fell to the ground. "Hunter-Boy, your grace must be repaid!" said the little snake as it disappeared into the tall grass.
That evening, after strapping a roebuck to his saddle, Hunter-Boy headed back along the river shore. On the way he happened upon a multitude of snakes lying criss-cross along the path. "Are you having a gathering today?" asked Hunter-Boy out of curiosity. Then just ahead the thin white snake came out, saying to everyone, "This is Hunter-Boy, the one who graciously saved my life." All of the snakes circled around Hunter-Boy in a loud commotion, "Our master has invited you to visit him." Then the small white snake said, "I am the Dragon Master’s youngest daughter, yesterday you saved my life and my father wishes to show his appreciation by inviting you to visit his palace." "How can I ever get to the Dragon Master’s palace?” asked Hunter-Boy. "Close your eyes and I will lead you there." replied the thin white snake.

Credits: Altai Mountains (2)

While walking along the thin white snake whispered into Hunter-Boy’s ear, "My father is going to offer you precious objects of silver and gold, but don’t accept them. Instead, ask for the small round precious stone which my father always keeps in his mouth, once you place it in your mouth you will be able to understand the languages of all four-legged and winged creatures. However, I will warn you about one thing. After you have put the precious stone into your mouth, can understand the language of the flying creatures and know what they are saying, what ever you do, you cannot tell what you have heard to any human being. If you do, your body will immediately turn to stone. Please, don’t ever forget this." Hunter-Boy, understanding what she had said, nodded his head. After walking a ways further he opened his eyes only to find that they had already arrived at the Dragon Master’s palace.
The Dragon Master, wanting to express great thanks to Hunter-Boy, opened the doors to his one-hundred and eight treasure houses saying, "Hunter-Boy, you may choose anything from among these treasures of mine." Hunter-Boy walked up to the door of the treasure house to peer inside. Gold and silver glittered in his eyes and the pearls were piled high like mountains. Treasures to revive the dead, to bring sight to the blind, to bring sound to deaf ears and speech to the speechless. There was enough for a lifetime of grains, for garments which the sun and wind could not penetrate; the universe would never lack from these treasures.
Hunter-Boy bowed to the Dragon Master and said, "Dragon Master, I live as a hunter, a guardian of the remote spaces, I have need of the small round stone which you keep in your mouth. Please bestow that upon me."

Credits: Mongolian Dragonmaster

The Dragon Master, looked to the right and laughed, looked to the left and cried, took the precious stone from his mouth and gave it to Hunter-Boy. From that time on Hunter-Boy, able to understand the languages of the four-legged and winged creatures, became an even more successful hunter.
One day, as Hunter-Boy went up the mountain to go hunting, he overheard the mountain birds in discussion, "Tomorrow, they say that Sir Tiger, our mountain creature king, will be celebrating his birthday. They also say that he is going to eat the flesh of those two children who always come up the mountain to fetch firewood...the two of them don’t know that they will die tomorrow."
Hunter-Boy was very surprised to hear this and wanted to tell those two children, however, he remembered that if he were to tell them his own body would turn to stone. But then, if he didn’t tell them, when the two poor children go to gather firewood and are eaten by the tiger...the fear tore at him all night. Suddenly, at the break of dawn, an idea came to him. He took his bow and arrows and headed up the mountain, he arrived at a cliff and sat down to wait. Shortly after, the two children came up the mountain gathering firewood and were paying no attention to what was going on around them. All of the sudden the fierce tiger jumped out roaring, “MEAT! MEAT!". They say just as the tiger hurled himself toward the two children, Hunter-Boy, with a single arrow, shot the tiger through the neck killing him instantly. The two children bowed down in front of Hunter-Boy, their lifesaver, thanking him. All of the mountain animals who, time and time again, had been humiliated and taunted by the tiger also came to show their appreciation at his deed.
As the days and nights passed, Hunter-Boy became more and more skilled at hunting on horseback, and at the same time continued to answer to the needs of the neighboring families. One summer day, it is said, Hunter-Boy went to a far off mountain behind his home to go hunting. The Emperor and Empress of the bird kingdom were leading their subjects on a long journey to a faraway place. All of the four-legged animals were growling and quarreling, they say even the bunnies and gophers were grouping together fleeing in excitement. At this, Hunter-Boy, in a state of wonderment, got down from his horse and sat in the shadow of the trees to listen to the birds in conversation.
"Tomorrow this mountain is going to burst and create a large flood. All creatures must take their belongings, not leaving anything behind in the village, and head out." they exclaimed.
At that instant, Hunter-Boy, jumped up and took off toward home. As soon as he reached the village he began, "Quickly we all have to move away from here! Tomorrow the mountain behind us is going to burst and there is going to be a dangerous flood..." As he spoke, it is said, not even one person believed his words. He moved away and thought to himself, "I am an orphan and these people have cared for me since my birth they have taught me the difference between right and wrong. How can I just leave them with this threat of death?" He spoke up "Hurry, get away from here! Hurry! There is really a flood coming!" Hearing this the people badgered him asking over and over. "How do you know about this flood? Who told you?" They say not even one person was prepared to flee.

Credits: Mongolian Vulcan

At this, very worried and excited, he thought to himself, "How can I be afraid of turning to stone and let all of these people and animals die". Then Hunter-Boy began by telling them about saving the thin white snake, and the Dragon Master summoning him to visit his palace to show his gratitude. About the precious stone which the Dragon Master kept in his mouth and how he begged the Dragon Master to give him the stone. How, once he placed the stone in his own mouth, he could understand the languages of all creatures, therefore killed the tiger and saved the two children gathering firewood. He explained how today he overheard the mountain animals talking. He told them that the Dragon Master’s youngest daughter strictly told him not to tell any of this to any other humans otherwise his body would change into stone. As he was speaking his body slowly began to harden
and just as he stood he turned to stone. Everyone around blinked as they watched in disbelief, then their eyes grew larger and larger. Only after witnessing this did the people believe what Hunter-Boy had said. All of the sudden, as everyone began frantically running to and for to get away, there was a loud noise, "Ka boom". The mountain behind them had really burst and they could hear the sound of the rushing water crashing down toward them.
The people gazed at the stone figure of Hunter-Boy from afar as it stood firm in it’s place, not even the water caused it to budge. At a safe distance, everyone sobbed and cried saying, "Hunter-Boy turned to stone for us!". From this time on the people who were saved from the flood continue to pass the memory of Hunter-Boy on from generation to generation.

Hunter's Boy Spring, a blue rock formation in the Altai Mountains, a natural sacred site

There in the Altai Mountains, standing upright next to the source of a natural spring, is a blue rock formation, and they call this spring “Hunter-Boy’s Spring”.

What a story don't you think so too? Of course it's ''to long'' for a blog post, but I just had to share it with you all. (Credits story:

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 1st at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, helpfull, later on today. For now have fun!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Carpe Diem #479, Greed (Mongolian Mythology)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we start at our last three days of this month of Legends, Myths, Saga and Folktales and we end our journey in the Far Eastern region of Mongolia. Earlier this year we travelled straight through the Soviet Union on the Trans Siberian Railway (TSR) and we had also some Mongolian influences during that journey with the TSR.
In the upcoming folktale it's all about Greed and that is our prompt for today. This prompt refers to the story of The Greedy Dog, a Mongolian Tale. Here it is, thanks to :

Credits: Altai Mountains (Mongolia)

"The Greedy Dog"

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, there was a greedy dog living in the Altai Mountains. One day while the greedy dog was walking along he found a nice bone on the ground near a bridge. He stopped to pick up the bone and looked across the river to the other side. He thought it looked nicer on the other side of the river and decided to go on across the bridge. As the greedy dog was walking across the bridge with the bone in his mouth he looked down into the water. There in the water he saw his own reflection and thought it was another dog with a bone. The greedy dog thought to himself “I am going to take that bone away from the other dog as it is bigger than the bone I have”. So the greedy dog jumped off the bridge into the water, he splashed around for a while but never found the other dog and lost his own bone at the same time.
Credits: Greedy Dog
What a nice little story ... as I was doing my research for this episode I came along several other "Greedy Dog"-stories ... it's not a very special story for Mongolia, but I ran into this story as I was preparing our prompt-list for May. I really thought that it was a specific folktale from Mongolia ...
I hope you did like this story an that it inspired you to write new haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka or haibun.
My inspired haiku:
broken reflection
throwing a pebble into the pond -
scattered full moon
(c) Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 31st at noon (CET). I will try to post our new episode later on today. That will be Dragon. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Carpe Diem Update!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Once in a while I change something at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, sometimes little things, new features or (as I did a little while ago) creating a new piece in our lay-out.
For all those changes I have created this new feature "Carpe Diem Update". For the "badge" I have used a Japanese Woodblock print of Hanakyaku or "admiring the blooming Sakura" (Cherry Tree) by Hirokazu Fukuda (1944-2004). It's a gorgeous woodblock-print and (of course) very Japanese as our haiku is.

In this "update" I will bring our new column "Suikazura No Retsu" under your attention and the new background and lay-out. As I already have heard this new background and lay-out are great, but ... I have done it. It would be nice to make the background and the lay-out together with you my dear haiku-family-members. Why? Well in my opinion it's a community of us all and that grants you all the permission to create it with me as your host.
So ... do you have ideas to change the features of our weblog? Than let me know.

"Suikazura No Retsu" (which means: Chèvrefeuille's Column) you can read at the left side of our weblog and I will write twice a week a new column of course if time is at my side (smiles), but I will try to write twice a week a new column.

As I have told you in our Kerouac-post for today I have created a new prompt-list for June and that said ... we will have new Ghost-Writer posts every wednesday ... so if you will be our Ghost-Writer ... than let me know. For June I need two other Ghost-Writers ... so ... is that you?

Well ... that's it for this first edition of Carpe Diem Update. 


Your host

Carpe Diem Special #94, Jack Kerouac's 5th "the butterfly wings"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

With this last CD Special episode of May I become a bit sad, but also I feel joy. Sad because this is the last haiku by Jack Kerouac we will read here, but a joy that I had the possibility to share Kerouac's wonderful "Beat-Generation" haiku with you all. I have read wonderful responses on his haiku in our other CD Specials of May and that makes me proud, proud to be your host and proud that I can see how you all are growing in your haiku-skills. Thank you all for being a member of this wonderful and loving haiku-family Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

The goal for this CD Special is to write a haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the one by Jack Kerouac ... so let me go on with this last Kerouac episode.

Credits: Church Rose-Window
What has this photo of a Rose-Window of a church to do with the haiku by Kerouac? We will see ...

Jack Kerouac said the following about haiku:
[…] “The "haiku" was invented and developed over hundreds of years in Japan to be a complete poem in seventeen syllables and to pack in a whole vision of life in three short lines. A "Western Haiku" need not concern itself with the seventeen syllables since Western languages cannot adapt themselves to the fluid syllabic Japanese. I propose that the "Western Haiku" simply say a lot in three short lines in any Western language. Above all, a Haiku must be very simple and free of all poetic trickery and make a little picture and yet be as airy and graceful as a Vivaldi Pastorella”. […]
Kerouac looked at haiku as a distilled form of poetry. The idea of presenting an entire image in just three lines appealed to him. It also helped him in his study of Buddhist teachings, which would become very important to him later in life. Here is the haiku by Kerouac for this last CD Special of May:

In the sun
the butterfly wings
Like a church window

© Jack Kerouac 
Credits: Butterfly Glass in lead

I think what is interesting about this haiku is the wording of "butterfly wings". Kerouac does not give the butterfly possession of its wings; instead, they are just objects unto themselves, which I think works really well in this haiku for the comparison. Or, he could be talking about many different butterflies, flying all at once, their wings making the stained-glasslike appearance. Either way, the unique wording of "butterfly wings" sets this haiku apart. By objectifying the wings, I begin to wonder who those wings belong to, and therefore who should get credit for their beauty. The obvious answer is alluded to in the last line- God, in the reference to church windows. The butterfly did nothing to create those beautiful wings, the Creator did. Normally, I do not like poetry or haiku with church or religious reference, for personal reasons, but I like this haiku despite that for two reasons. First, I can appreciate the beauty and artistry of "church" windows merely for their artistic value, not religious. And second, understanding that Kerouac let Buddhist teachings influence his religion, I can see that this haiku might have been symbolic of his two faiths coming together. The nature image (Buddhism) compared with the church image (Catholic) shows how one can influence the other, and vice versa. This poem seems like a way for Kerouac to begin to meld his two religions together. He was a fervent Catholic, despite his lifestyle, though he later tempered his Catholicism with Buddhism. Though simple on the surface, this haiku has a lot going on with it, and is most definitely a true haiku, when compared to Kerouac’s definition. (Source: Klein On Kerouac)
Credits: Hummingbirds (glass in lead)

I ran into the above piece of text and I just had to use it, because it describes Kerouac's haiku in an awesome way. Kerouac is one of the best modern haiku-poets ...

This CD-Special episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET), I know I am a bit early with posting, but I am in the nightshift. This episode will remain open until May 30th at noon. And I will try to post our next episode, greed, later on today (if possible). With this new episode we are entering the last days of our journey along worldwide legends, myths, saga and folktales. By the way in these last days we will discover Mongolian Mythology.
!! I have published our prompt-list for our next month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. You can find that prompt-list above in the menu or HERE !!

Carpe Diem #478, Rascal (Mayan Mythology)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy and a lucky day (I hope), I have found time to prepare our new episode, notwithstanding my busy day. I am in the nightshift the two upcoming nights and I hadn't thought I would have enough time to prepare this episode. My dad has been in surgery today (May 26th) to remove a tumor on his back. All went ok, but we don't know right now if it was a good or bad tumor ... so the coming days will be tensive for my mom and me ... well ... I am a positive guy and I think it's all ok.

Today we going on with the Mayan Mythology and today our prompt is rascal and it refers to the story of "The Disobedient Son", a Mayan folktale.

The Disobedient Son

There was once a boy who was rude and wouldn't obey his mother. He would go out for a walk, without having eaten. He wouldn't come back until late, about ten or eleven o'clock at night. At ten o'clock his mother was still waiting up and worrying about him.
"What have you been doing, son?" his mother asked him. "I'm going to bed because it's late and I have just been waiting for you. You don't pay any attention to anything I tell you. I'm going to send you to your godfather. You don't pay any attention to what I tell you. The boy's mother went to see her Godfather the priest.
"Godfather, what can be done about your godson? He is quite a scoundrel and doesn't obey me. You're a priest, and you can counsel and discipline this godson of yours; I can't do anything with him. This godson of yours is a rascal, Godfather. Let him come to stay here with you to see if he will learn to behave."
"All right, Godmother, have him come here. Why shouldn't he do what I tell him? I'm indeed a priest. I'll teach my godson to work. Don't worry, Godmother, my godson is going to obey me." The woman said to her son:
"Go with your godfather, my son. He'll teach you. Since you won't obey me, go and work there."
"All right, mother, I'll go to my godfather's. Since I'm not of any use to you, I'll go and work with my godfather."
"I have come, godfather. What can I do for you? 'Go stay with your godfather', my mother said. That's why I came here to you. My mother is the one who sent me. 'Go to your godfather, you're no longer of any use to me,' my mother said."
"All right, godson," the priest said to him, "You're going to work for me."
"All right, godfather, I'm going to work. I'm going to do whatever you tell me to do; everything you tell me, I will do, godfather."
"All right. Now I'm going to tell you something," said the priest. "Godson, tomorrow morning early you're going to sweep; at three o'clock in the morning. I'm not going to awaken you, I'm just telling you now."
"All right," said the boy. At dawn he went and swept. When he was finished sweeping he went to tell his godfather the priest.
"Godfather, I've finished sweeping all of the church. So I've come to tell you."
"All right, godson, I'm glad you've finished. Now rest." Another day passed and the godfather gave him his next task:
"Now godson, I'm going to tell you what you have to do tomorrow morning. You're going to ring the bell at six o'clock. I want you to ring three times and when you're finished, come and tell me and I'll go to say Mass."
"All right," said the boy. When the next day was over the boy went to ring the bell. He went to tell his godfather:
"Godfather, I rang the bell three times. It's time to get up and go and say Mass," he told his godfather.
"All right," said the godfather. Another day was over and the priest spoke once more to the godson:
"Now I'm going to tell you once more what you have to do tomorrow."
"All right," said the boy.
"Ring the bell again early at three o'clock in the morning."
"All right," said the boy. The boy got up and remembered to ring the bell. He went to ring the bell in the belfry, but the priest, his godfather, had given the boy a test. He had left a skeleton in the belfry. The boy got there at three o'clock in the morning and found a skeleton standing in his way.
He said to the skeleton: "Get out of my way! I'm coming to ring the bell. Don't get in my way. Get out of my way, for my godfather sent me to ring the bell. Get out of my way or I'll kill you!" He didn't get out of the way, he didn't move and he didn't answer. "Answer, or do you want me to kill you?" the boy asked the skeleton. "If for the third time you don't answer me, I'm going to smash you to pieces. That's what you want. That's why you got in my way, so now you're going to die. I'm going to throw you all the way down from here." And he pushed the skeleton out of the belfry. When he had smashed the skeleton he rang the bell and came down from the belfry. He went to his godfather's bedroom and knocked on the door to awaken him. The godfather woke up and answered the door:
"What is it?" the priest asked the boy.
"Get up, I've already rung the bell," the boy told the priest. The priest heard this and was surprised.
"Oh, did you ring the bell?" asked the priest.
"Yes, I rang the bell, godfather," the boy said.
"Didn't you see anything in the belfry?" asked the priest.
"Yes, godfather," the boy answered, "I saw something."
"What did you see?" the priest asked the boy.
"I saw someone who was standing in my way who wouldn't let me get by to ring the bell," the boy answered.
"Oh, so what did you do?" asked the priest. "Weren't you afraid of him?”
"No, godfather."
"So what did you do?"
"I pushed him and he fell and broke into pieces on the floor."

Well I hope you did like this Mayan folktale and I hope it will inspire you to write haiku.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 29th at noon. Later on I will post our new episode. That will be our last CD-Special with a haiku by Jack Kerouac, our featured haiku-poet of May. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Carpe Diem #477, Hunting (Mayan Mythology)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are going further with our journey through Mayan mythology. Today our prompt is hunting and it refers to the Mayan folktale 'The Jaguar and the little Skunk. It's a nice story with a great lesson hidden in it.

“The Jaguar and the Little Skunk” from the Mayan tribe shows a valuable life lesson that is known and understood throughout
the culture: one should never go out by their self to do a difficult task that one doesn’t have the right ability or experience because it may end up hurting loved ones around them.
People normally go about their daily lives not thinking about what might happen or who they might hurt due to their actions.
Whether we go out thinking we can do something we cant and end up hurting ourselves and upsetting the people we love or by taking to much of a medicine thinking that it will help but ends up as
not waking up the next day only leaving someone we care about finding the mistake we made. One should never go out by their self to do a difficult task that one doesn’t have the right ability or experience because it may end up hurting loved ones around them".

That's the lesson we will learn out of this folktale ... and here is the story itself:

Credits: Jaguar and the little Skunk

The Jaguar and the Little Skunk

Once there was a gentleman jaguar and a lady skunk. Mrs. Skunk had a son, who was baptized by Mr. Jaguar, so Mrs. Skunk became his comadre (godmother). And as Mr. Jaguar had baptized the little skunk, he was Mrs. Skunk's compadre (godfather).

Mr. Jaguar decided to go looking for food and came to
Mrs. Skunk's house.
"Well, compadre, what are you looking for? What have you come here for?" the skunk asked the jaguar.
"Comadre, what I have come to do is to look for some food," said Mr. Jaguar.
"Oh," said Mrs. Skunk.
"I want my godson to come with me so that he can learn to hunt," said Mr. Jaguar.
"I don't think your godson ought to go; he's still very small and something could happen to him. He better not go, compadre," said Mrs. Skunk. But the little skunk protested:
"No, mother, I had better go. What my godfather says is true. I need to get some practice, if I'm going to learn to hunt," said the little skunk.
"But if you go, you'll be so far away," said Mrs. Skunk.
"I'm going, I'm going. Come on, let's go." So they set
off on a long walk.
"We're going to where there's a river. That's where we're going," Mr. Jaguar explained to the little skunk, his godson.
"When are we going to get there?" asked the little skunk.
"We're getting close. Follow me so you won't get lost," said Mr. Jaguar.
"All right," answered the little skunk. They finally came to the river.
"This is where we're going to eat," said Mr. Jaguar to the little skunk.
"All right," said the little skunk.
"Come on over here. I'm going to sharpen my knife," said Mr. Jaguar.
"All right," said the little skunk, looking at his godfather.
Mr. Jaguar sharpened his claws, which he called his "knife."
"I sharpened my knife. Now you're going to be on guard, because I am going to sleep. When you see them come, wake me up," said Mr. Jaguar.
"All right," said the little skunk, "all right, godfather."
(Skunk wakes Mr. Jaguar when prey is sighted)

Credits: The Jaguar and the little Skunk

Then Mr. Jaguar told him: "Don't shout. Just scratch my belly when they come. Scratch my belly, so I won't alarm them. But don't wake me up if just any little old animals without antlers come along, only when the one with big antlers gets here. That's when you'll wake me up."
"All right," said the little skunk. Then the one with the big antlers came, and the skunk awakened Mr. Jaguar. He scratched his belly, and pointed out the deer to Mr. Jaguar, who attacked the animal with big antlers. He went after him and seized him.
"All right, my godson, let's eat. We're going to eat meat," said the jaguar.
"All right," said the little skunk. And so they ate and ate.
"Now we're going to take whatever leftovers there are to your mother," said the jaguar.
"Since we are full, we can take something to your mother. Your mother will have meat to eat, just as we did. We will take some to your mother," said the jaguar.
When they came back to the mother's house, he told the
lady: "Look at the food here. Look, we've brought you some
food, the food that we hunted. Eat your fill of the meat,
comadre," the jaguar said to Mrs. Skunk.
"All right," said the skunk, and ate the meat.
"I'm full," she said.
"It's good that you're satisfied. I've seen that you are, so I'll be leaving now," said Mr. Jaguar to Mrs. Skunk. And so he left.
After the jaguar left, the little skunk stayed with his mother.
When they ran out of meat, Mrs. Skunk said to her son:
Dear, our meat is all gone."
"Yes, the meat is all gone. I better go and get us some
more food," said the little skunk.
"How can you, son? Do you think you're big enough? You're very small. Don't you think you'll be killed?" asked Mrs. Skunk.
"No, mother, I already know how to hunt, my godfather taught me how," replied the little skunk. "I'm leaving now." He left, and Mrs. Skunk was very worried.
Her son came once more to the river, the place to which he had come with his godfather to get the meat.
"This is how my godfather did it. Why shouldn't I be able to do the same thing?" said the little skunk.
"This is how you sharpen a knife," said the little skunk. He sharpened his "knife."
"This is the way my godfather did it. I'm not going to hunt the little animals, I'm just going to hunt the one with the great big antlers. I'm going to hunt one for myself just like the one I ate with my godfather. I have my knife here and I'm going to sleep for a little while."
The little skunk lay down to sleep, but then he awakened. He was waiting for the one with the big antlers, and when he came, he attacked him, thinking he was as strong as his godfather. But he just hung from the neck of the one with big antlers. His claws had dug into his skin. He was hanging from his neck and was
carried far away and fell on his back. He was left with
his mouth wide open.

Credits: Little Skunks

Since he had not come home to his mother, she wondered: "What could have happened to my son? Why hasn't he come back yet? Something must have happened to him. I better go and look for him."
And so Mrs. Skunk went as far as the bank of the river. She was looking everywhere for her son, but couldn't find him. She began to cry when she found the tracks where the one with the big antlers had come by running.
"They must have come by here," said Mrs. Skunk, and began to follow the tracks. She came to the place where her son had been left lying on his back. When the mother caught sight of him, she noticed that his teeth were showing and shouted at him: "Son, what are you laughing at? All your teeth are showing," she said to him before she had gotten very close. When she did get close she told him: "Give me your hand. I've come to get you, but you're just laughing in my face." She put her hand on him, thinking that he was still alive, but when she noticed that he was already dead, she began to cry.

I hope this folktale will inspire you to compose haiku and to share them here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Have fun, be inspired and share. It inspired me to write this haiku:

lessons of nature
told by an ancient tribe -
lotus blooming

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 28th at noon. I will try to post our new episode, rascal, later on, but I don't know if that episode is on time, because I have a very busy Monday ... so I hope I will be on time. If not ... please forgive me and be patient.

Carpe Diem's Kamishiba #9, Pampasgrass Ocean

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers ,

It's a long time ago that I challenged you to write a haibun. So it's time for a new episode of CDHK's Kamishibai (Storyteller) feature in which the goal is to write haibun. A haibun is a short story or travalogue in which poetry and prose are intwined.

For this episode I have a 'great' challenge for you. No special words to use or a maximum of words or something. Only a haiku, written by myself, for your inspiration or to write a haibun towards.

Here is the haiku for your inspiration:

swaying in the breeze
like waves on the ocean
pampasgrass plums

© Chèvrefeuille

And here my inspired haibun:

Pampasgrass Ocean

One day, not so long ago, I was on vacation in Spain. I think it was last year, but I don't know that for sure. I like to have active vacations so I walk a lot through the surrounding nature of the hotel were I am staying.

Credits: Pampasgrass Ocean

This day, it was really hot and there was a little breeze that didn't give coolness. As I was walking in the backlands of my hotel I ran into a field of pampasgrass ... it looked awesome and as I closed my eyes a bit ... the scene seemed to change into waves on the ocean. I had to dive in to cool down. So I took of my clothes and ran naked into it. It was really a feeling of freedom, but than ... some other guy yelled at me: "senior!" I looked around me and saw the guy standing. He laughed bright and pointed to me. "Senior, what are you doing? This is not the ocean, but a field of Pampasgrass". It felt as if I awoke as I saw my stupidity and my nudeness. I felt how I blushed .... and than I laughed bright.
I walked out of the pampasgrass, hiding my private parts behind my hands, and put on my clothes. "I thought it was the ocean", I said. " I just had no clue that it was just a field of pampasgrass".

swaying in the breeze
like waves on the ocean
pampasgrass plums

© Chèvrefeuille

What a shame don't you think so? But at the other hand it was an adventure ... I am not a prude, but this was ... to much (smiles).

This episode of CDHK's Kamishibai is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 15th at noon. For now ... have fun, be inspired and let the words flow and bring a haibun together. As rivers run into the ocean.

Carpe Diem's "Little Ones" #11, Tilus, a new form of micro-poetry

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Not so long ago Björn introduced a new 'little one' at Carpe Diem. It's an extraordinary poetry-form created by 'Kelvin S.M.' ... this poem is called 'tilus' and is in a way similar to haiku. The 'tilus' works with counting syllables and has nature and humans as part of it.

It's a great form, but not an easy one, but ... well ... never walk away from a good challenge heh ...!
Kelvin S.M.

Tilus [tee-loo-hz] is a form created by Kelvin S.M. and falls under the category of micro poetry. The form is divided into two parts: the first part is composed of two lines following a 6-3 syllable
count; the second part, a one-syllable word to close and/or complete the subject layered in the first part.
The whole piece must, only, contain 10 in overall syllable count. The main focus of Tilus is on the world of Nature, and how it can open a new door to a wider understanding of life and beyond. The form aims to be epic in emotions expressed, more importantly,than to be epic in words.

A few examples by Kelvin S.M.:


Life ... let me fall in you
clean as a



Old crow wears red; night has
settled on



River blue: I quaff clouds
on river


As you can see and read this isn't an easy form of micro-poetry ... it's even shorter than a haiku and shorter as an 'eye-blink' ... so this is a real challenge.

A first try:

after a rainy day


Or another one, in celebrating the full moon, my love, as you all know.

almost full flower moon
behind clouds


(*) 'full flower moon' is the one of the names for the full moon of May.

This is really not an easy form. Mostly my haiku are flowing from my pencil, but tilus ... more time needed thinking and re-thinking ... I like it and I hope you all will like it or least try it once.

Another one:

reaching for the spring sun


Credits: Sunflowers - Van Gogh

Awesome! What a nice poetry form ... I think I will become addicted to this form ... or ... no, haiku will stay my addiction!

This episode of CD's "Little Ones" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 25th at noon. For now have fun, be inspired and try this Tilus at least once!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Carpe Diem #476, Popol-Vuh (Mayan Mythology, Creation story)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are leaving Down Under and are sailing to the East were we will arrive at the Middle- and South American continent. here we will discover the ancient stories, myths, legends and saga of e.g. the Mayan culture. Our first prompt of this part of May is Popol-Vuh.
Every ancient culture has its own Creation-story as we saw e.g. in the Aboriginal culture last days and at the start of this month in Europe. In this part of the world, were we are the coming days, there are also Creation stories and we start with the Creation story of the Mayan culture.

Credits: Mayan Culture
The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period (c. 2000 BC to AD 250), according to the Mesoamerican chronology, many Maya cities reached their highest state of development during the Classic period (c. AD 250 to 900), and continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish.
The Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultural diffusion that characterized the region. Advances such as writing, epigraphy, and the calendar did not originate with the Maya; however, their civilization fully developed them. Maya influence can be detected in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and western El Salvador to as far away as central Mexico, more than 1,000 km (620 mi) from the central Maya area. The many outside influences found in Maya art and architecture are thought to have resulted from trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest.
The Maya peoples survived the Classic period collapse and the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and sixteenth-century Spanish colonization of the Americas. Today, the Maya and their descendants form sizable populations throughout the Maya area; they maintain a distinctive set of traditions and beliefs resulting from the merger of pre-Columbian and post-Conquest ideas and cultures. Millions of people speak Mayan languages today.
Credits: Popol-Vuh (1)

The Popol-Vuh is a manuscript in which the Creation and other Mayan Mythology stories are described. This episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is about the Creation according to the Popol Vuh.

Creation myth (described in the chapters 1 to 3 of the Popol-Vuh)

There are four deities, three in a celestial realm collectively called Tepeu and Heart of Heaven and another on the terrestrial plane called Gucumatz.

"This is the first account, the first narrative. There was neither man, nor animal, birds, fishes, crabs, trees, stones, caves, ravines, grasses, nor forests; there was only the sky. The surface of the earth had not appeared. There was only the calm sea and the great expanse of the sky. There was nothing brought together, nothing which could make a noise, nor anything which might move, or tremble, or could make noise in the sky. There was nothing standing; only the calm water, the placid sea, alone and tranquil. Nothing existed. There was only immobility and silence in the darkness, in the night. Only the creator, the Maker, Tepeu, Gucumatz, the Forefathers, were in the water surrounded with light. [...] Then Tepeu and Gucumatz came together; then they conferred about life and light, what they would do so that there would be light and dawn, who it would be who would provide food and sustenance. Thus let it be done! Let the emptiness be filled! Let the water recede and make a void, let the earth appear and become solid; let it be done. Thus they spoke. Let there be light, let there be dawn in the sky and on the earth! There shall be neither glory nor grandeur in our creation and formation until the human being is made, man is formed. [...] First the earth was formed, the mountains and the valleys; the currents of water were divided, the rivulets were running freely between the hills, and the water was separated when the high mountains appeared. Thus was the earth created, when it was formed by the Heart of Heaven, the Heart of Earth, as they are called who first made it fruitful, when the sky was in suspense, and the earth was submerged in the water." 

Credits: Popol-Vuh (2)

Together, gods attempted to create living beings so that they may be praised and venerated by their creation. Their first attempts (animals, mud man, and wooden man) proved unsuccessful because they lacked speech, souls, and intellect.

"This the Forefathers did, Tepeu and Gucumatz, as they were called. After that they began to talk about the creation and the making of our first mother and father; of yellow corn and of white corn they made their flesh; of cornmeal dough they made the arms and the legs of man. Only dough of corn meal went into the flesh of our first fathers, the four men, who were created. [...] And as they had the appearance of men, they were men; they talked, conversed, saw and heard, walked, grasped things; they were good and handsome men, and their figure was the figure of a man."

Women were created later while the first four men slept. (Source: Wikipedia)

Credits: Popol Vuh (3)
What a wonderful story ... in a way similar with our Western thoughts about Creation, but in a way also very different. I liked this story and the Popol Vuh is for sure worth reading completely.

gods of the sun
creating a world to rule over -
sunflowers reach for the sky

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope that you are inspired by this post and that it will help you to compose haiku ... Have fun! This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 29th at noon. I will try to post our new episode, hunting, later on today.