Monday, June 23, 2014

Carpe Diem #498, butterfly

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have another nice modern summer kigo (seasonword) for your inspiration. Again it is based on Jane Reichhold's 'A Dictionary of Haiku', a Saijiki full of wonderful kigo. Today our prompt is butterfly. Butterflies wonderful fragile creatures who are the completion of the most extraordinary metamorphosis. First it's just a tiny egg, which grows to a caterpillar. Than it becomes a 'doll' in a silken cocoon to become finally a butterfly.

There are a lot of haiku written about butterflies and I am quit sure that all of our haiku-family members have written haiku about butterflies. Our classical haiku-masters have done that too and I am pretty sure that I have written more than one haiku about butterflies. So this post will have a few examples of butterfly-haiku next to the examples of Jane Reichhold.

end of summer
following it out of sight
a butterfly

before the hot sun
white on the butterfly's wing
melted transparent

a face among the flowers
then the butterfly
folds its wings

Credits: Butterfly
wake, butterfly -
it's late, we've miles
to go together

© Basho

a dandelion
now and then interrupting
the butterfly’s dream

© Chiyo-Ni

butterfly in my hand --
as if it were a spirit
unearthly, insubstantial

© Buson

Butterfly (2)
sharing tree shade
with a butterfly...
friends in a previous life

© Issa

on a horse-ball
to catch his breath,

© Shiki 

Or what do you think of these haiku on butterfly:

dew drenched petals.
butterfly tears fall softly.
nectar from the gods

the leaves are dancing,
like a thousand butterfly wings
the wind is master

And here a few written by myself:

Pygmalion's lesson
every man and woman has to be
like a caterpillar

like a caterpillar
growing to the next level
become a butterfly

dancing butterflies
the scent of a sunlit meadow
ah! the summer breeze

© Chèvrefeuille


A nice series of wonderful haiku, don't you think so? Butterflies have inspired a lot of haiku-poets as we have seen above. How is that possible? Why do haiku-poets write haiku about butterflies? Are butterflies that special or maybe it has to do with the spiritual meaning of butterflies?

I have sought the Internet and ran into the following spiritual meaning of butterflies:

What is the meaning of the butterfly? The butterfly is primarily associated with symbolism of change and transformation. A secondary meaning of the butterfly is about finding joy in life and lightness of being.

Awesome! What a lovely creatures butterflies are. Let us do some haiku-ing on butterflies. I am looking forward to all of your wonderful haiku. Here is a new haiku on butterflies composed by myself.

fragile wings
pointing the way to transformation -
the summerbreeze

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... now it is up to you ... this episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 26th at noon. I will try to publish our next episode, a new Ghost Writer post, later on. Have fun!


  1. it's really an interesting prompt to write haiku. and thanks for sharing a bunch of wonderful haiku.

  2. I have written a butterfly poem long time back but its definitely not a haiku... i was wondering if i can link it here??

  3. You can link yourbutterfly poem here Arushi, maybe we can help you to re-do it into haiku if you would like that.

    1. i would love that turns out m not so good at haiku... but will try again...

  4. Magical transformation in metamorphosis. Butterflies guide us to the fairy paths illuminated by both golden sun and silver moon :) Hmmm... maybe I should incorporate that into my haiku? :)

  5. That first haiku of your three is extra special Kristjaan, and the last is very much your style! Brilliant post - and I remember that haiku of Basho's! What a haiku, eh!...

  6. So many gems together and each of them special in their own way...a beautiful source of inspiration!

  7. I am new to this game, but really enjoying it, so just wanted to say 'hi' and thanks for the inspiration. I know very little about haiku so am probably getting it a bit wrong here and there, but I'm loving having a new 'toy' to play with, so to speak.

  8. Back to blogging and so glad you are still doing this !
    hope to get back my haiku skills ;)

  9. What a wonderful post.. so many exquisite haiku.. so I'm almost hesitant to post any.. hmm yes I still tried.

  10. Lovely haiku you have written and wonderful post ~ Do hope your Dad is doing well and will be home soon ~ lots of healing hugs to you and your family ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol ( A Creative Harbor)

  11. What a beautiful collection you have found. And written. of yours, the last one carries my off. When I think of them, I think another thing that feels symbolic is their fragility and vulnerability and yet, they just go about their business, carefree.
    And of course I love this wonderful piece from Zhuangzi:

    'Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.'

  12. Hello! I loved that you offered so many examples here - both classical and contemporary - and your own haiku are beautiful. I'm especially fond of the 3rd one. :) An inspiring post!

  13. my second take on a haiku... hope it reads well!!

  14. My second take on a hiaku.. i hope it readswell...

  15. The butterfly offers inspiration as we can see in the wealth of beautiful haiku!
    Thanks Kristjaan

  16. This was an exceptionally beautiful post ... enjoyed the series of haiku very much!