Saturday, August 30, 2014

Carpe Diem #550, beggar

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is it ... the last episode of August. We have read a wonderful little book by Khalil Gibran and it was a joy to make this month for you all. I have read wonderful haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka and haibun inspired on "Sand and Foam" written by Khalil Gibran. This month started with the first 'verse' of "Sand and Foam".

I am forever walking upon these shores,
Betwixt the sand and the foam,
The high tide will erase my foot-prints,
And the wind will blow away the foam.
But the sea and the shore will remain 

And I will end with it too. We all have left our footprints in our haiku on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, those footprints we will be there forever, they will not be erased ... not by the high-tide, not by the wind, not by the rain and not by the hands of people. They will be here forever. We can look back at them and we can read them again. Those footprints will be there forever .... and I thank you all for that.

Credits: Arigato (Thank You) calligraphy by Nao
Ok ... back to our prompt for today, beggar, which is based on the following 'verse' by Khalil: 

[...] "We are all beggars at the gate of the temple, and each one of us receives his share of the bounty of the King when he enters the temple, and when he goes out. But we are all jealous of one another, which is another way of belittling the King". [...]

As I was preparing this last episode for August a episode of Carpe Diem "Sparkling Stars" came in mind in which I used a haiku by Kikaku "the beggar":

the beggar!
he has Heaven and Earth,
for his summer clothes

© Kikaku

And to share a few other haiku on 'beggar' I have chosen for a few haiku by Issa.

kimi ga yo wa kojiki no ie mo nobori kana

Great Japan!
even a beggar's house
has a summer banner

kiji naite ume ni kojiki no yo nari keri

pheasant crying--
it's a plum blossom-filled
beggar's world now!

hatsu yuki ya asaebisu suru kado kojiki

first snowfall--
early morning at my gate
a beggar

Issa has written quit a lot of haiku about beggars, maybe he felt in the same way he is a beggar and it fits his way of life. Issa was a devoted monk of Amida Buddha and he was strong in his belief and saw only the good in people. Of course in ancient Japan (and maybe in modern Japan too) every-one had a kind of compassion with other people and they honored all religious people, like priests and monks, and they shared with them to keep the spirits happy. Hoping to once enter Nirvana.

at the temple gate
I bow in front of beggars
honoring their spirit

© Chèvrefeuille

beggar's bowl,
chased by the autumn wind,
enters the temple

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... this is it ... the last episode of August. I hope you did like this Carpe Diem Haiku Kai month and I hope you all are looking forward to our next month. At least I am looking forward to it. September will be a month with modern kigo (seasonwords) for Autumn based on Jane Reichhold's "Dictionary of Haiku" and we will visit the mind of Francis of Assisi by seeking inspiration in his words ... I hope you all will come along with me to enter this new month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 2nd at noon (CET). I will publish our next episode, our first modern kigo for autumn, abandoned, later on.
!! I will publish our new "Sparkling Stars"- episode tomorrow !!


  1. Thank YOU, Kristjaan, for offering this site - it's been a great journey this month - and your energy and skill are amazing. And both of your haiku here are wonderful - but the second one is a classic - it could stand with Basho's work. Just beautiful.

  2. Your haiku are so very inspiring. The vision of the bowl rolling into a temple ringing as a reminder of its emptiness. That is what it brought to my mind. Thanks for all you do to encourage and teach.