Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #47 flowers

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Wednesday again and so it's time for a new episode of our former Ghost Writer, Tokubetsudesu, feature. This week I love to take you on a trip along flowers and challenge you to write an all new haiku following the classical rules on flowers and by using images. This week's Tokubetsudesu episode will bring CD Imagination, one of our special features, back to your attention.

Flowers ... there are a lot of haiku (classical, non-classical, ancient and modern) about flowers. Sometimes flowers as a bigger picture, sometimes more specific e.g. violets or sunflowers. This week I have gathered a nice series of haiku on flowers for your inspiration and a few beautiful images to help to awaken your muses ...

kobi bito no   kokoro ni mo niyo   shii no hana

the traveling heart
should be like
hidden blossoms

shii no hana no   kokoro ni mo niyo   kiso no tabi

hidden flowers
the heart resembles
a trip to Kiso

© Basho (1644-1694) (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

The preface of these two was:

'As Kyoriku leaves for Hikone by the Kiso Route".

The name of the tree (Shii) is the castanopsis cupsidata (or fake, apparent, chestnut) which bears inconspicuous flowers. Well ... let me go with the flow and look a bit closer to these haiku. Both are about traveling, both speak about 'hidden flowers'. The line 'hidden flowers' is about the inconspicuous flowers of the Shii, but can easily be seen as a line that points to hidden meanings, or secrets.
Credits: Castanopsis
Another nice haiku, this time composed by Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827):

na no hana ni yotsu no naru made asa cha kana

amid mustard flowers
till the ten o'clock bell...
morning tea

jiji ga yo ya kare-gi mo yuki no hana no haru

an old man's world--
flowers of snow on bare trees
spring's blossoms

© Kobayashi Issa (Tr. David G. Lanoue)

Or what do you think of this gorgeous Morning Glory haiku by Chiyo-Ni (1703-1775) who says of her own haiku:

"When beauty is expressed in terms of Buddhism, it is a form of self- enjoyment of the suchness of things. Flowers are flowers, mountains are mountains, I sit here, you stand there, and the world goes on from eternity to eternity, this is the suchness of things."

The morning glory!
It has taken the well bucket,
I must seek elsewhere for water.

© Chiyo-Ni (Tr. Patricia Donegan)

The above haiku is very famous and in Chiyo-Ni's words above we can easily see and feel the strong influence of Basho, who was admired by Chiyo-Ni.

Another classical haiku-poet which I love to share a haiku of is Yosa Buson (1716-1784), he not only was a great haiku poet, but also a great painter of haiga.

cha no hana ya shiro nimo ki nimo obotsu kana

The tea-plant flowers--
whether white or whether yellow,
hard to tell

© Yosa Buson

Let me now look at a few modern haiku poets' haiku on flowers.

For example this one by Dolores, one of our haiku kai family members:

as shadows grow
blossoms close their petals
awaiting dawn

© Dolores

Or this one by another haiku kai family member, Maniparna:

tender touch of color
ushering spring’s arrival
bare branches come alive

© Maniparna
And to close these examples of modern haiku poets a haike cascade by Leslie and by Jane Reichhold:

petals velvet smooth
reaching up toward the sun
your smile welcomes home

your smile welcomes home
elegant dress for the night
outlined by the moon

© Leslie

one flashlight
in the daisy meadow

 All wonderful haiku written by classical and modern haiku poets. I think I will share a few more haiku on flowers for your inspiration. What do you think of this one by Garry Gay, one of our featured haiku poets last year.

Dandelion seed--
in his beard

© Garry Gay

Next to his haiku, Garry Gay is a respected photographer and the following photo goes with this above shared haiku:

Credits: Dandelion Seed © Garry Gay
Or this one by Jack Kerouac (1922-1999):

one flower
on the cliffside
nodding at the canyon

© Jack Kerouac (from: Book of Haikus by Jack Kerouac)

Flowers ... a great topic in haiku which brings wonderful and beautiful haiku. Here is a "troiku" which I wrote myself in which a peony plays the lead:


pink flowers bloom
between green dewy leaves
a double peony

(horse 1):

pink flowers
as far as man can see -
purple sea

(horse 2):

between green dewy leaves
hides a little green frog
for the blue heron

(horse 3):

a double peony
in full bloom in my garden -
a dawning sun

© Chèvrefeuille

!! More about the "troiku" you can find in the menu at the top of our Haiku Kai. "Troiku" is a haiku-form which I created at the start of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Well .... it's much to take I think, but I enjoyed creating this episode of Tokubetsudesu (former Ghost Writer) and I hope it will inspire you to write all new haiku, tanka of haibun. You can use the haiku and the images for your inspiration. Have fun!

This episode of Tokubetsudesu is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until June 12th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, eagles, later on. For now .... have fun, be inspired and share your inspired poem with us all.


  1. Wonderful post today - great choice of haiku, and letting them speak for themselves. I do find myself drawn to Basho's 'travel' haiku, rather mysteriously, as he is in illustrious compan, Maniparna, too, stands out with a beautiful touch, again in the midsts of some really nice haiku. The troiku, what can I say, fits you like a glove, is a superb creation, so finely, smoothly shown here, and yet, secretely, so hard to do just right!

  2. Kristjaan ..... what a treat! what a post!. I want to write dozens of haiku on this.
    I''l try to restrain myself to only a handful.

  3. A feast! Thanks for including mine :)

  4. A magnificent post, Chevrefeuille! I am thrilled to see so many voices here --- classical, Kerouac, your troiku, and even our own haijin. Chapeau!

  5. Wonderful examples...all of them inspirational....excellent post Kristjaan !

  6. Hi Kristijaan,

    So glad that you've included my haiku here. A great honour for me. :-)

    Also, thanks to Hamish for letting me know. I'm travelling so was not able to reply earlier.