Sunday, March 8, 2015

Carpe Diem #683, Brush

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have an announcement to make ... I have already published our new prompt-list for April 2015, you can find it in the menu. And I promised you a "Vision Quest" this month (March), but I have decided to skip the "Vision Quest", because (as you all maybe know) I am also one of the co-hosts of MindLoveMisery's Menagerie were I am hosting the weekly Fairy Tale prompt on Fridays, and I think I don't have enough time to prepare the "Vision Quest". And, to close this announcement, I am already busy with creating our prompt-list for May 2015, because that will become a month full of haiku written/composed by Matsuo Basho as we are going that month "On the Trail with Basho".

Ok ... back to our prompt for today. Today I have a really nice prompt for you I think. It's in a way very close to our Haiga-theme this month ... today our prompt is brush ... As I was preparing this episode I wasn't certain of the right choice for this prompt, but it brought me immediately a "death haiku" in mind which I have shared in one of our earlier posts here at CDHK. And I love to share that "death haiku" here again with you all.

Death poem by Shinsui (* - 1769)
This "death haiku" was written by Shinsui. During his last moment, Shinsui's disciples requested that he write a death poem. He grasped his brush, painted a circle, cast the brush aside, and died. The circle— indicating the void, the essence of everything, enlightenment— is one of the most important symbols of Zen Buddhism.

He wrote this with a brush and it was a revelation ... he finally was enlightened. This death poem was the major idea for this prompt, brush. And I love to challenge you to create a haiga with just one stroke of a brush ... and compose a haiku to go along with it.

I have given it a try too .... but I am not that great with the brush ... so don't expect a wonderful painting ... it even has no haiku with brush in it ... I painted with one stroke of a brush and that's the only connection with our prompt for today.

brush-paint © Chèvrefeuille
I will reproduce the haiku in this haiga here again:

her smile
more beautiful than a sunflower
in the mirror

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I am looking forward to all of your beautiful haiga. This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until March 12th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, a new CD-Special with a haiku by our featured haiku poet, later on.


  1. fascinating prompt. I was thrown by the one brush circle but didn't want to use black. Too ominous. Mine is heartlike and a bit cheerier :-)

  2. Lovely post. I looked at your haiku, which is so warm, and tried a variant -

    her smile
    -a sunflower
    in the mirror