Friday, July 31, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #159 Lolly's 1st "spring tidings"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai full of wonderful prompts and adventure. This month we are exploring "in the footsteps of the pharaohs" The Nile and are going deep into Africa to find its source.

As you all know the winner of our CDHK kukai is granted with a prize, next to an e-book, the winner becomes the featured haiku poet/ess of CDHK. This month our CD Specials will all be haiku or tanka composed by Laura Williams a.k.a. Lolly of Lovely Things. You can find her e-book "Lovely Things" at the right side of our Haiku Kai. Its free for download. I think Lolly and I have done a great job with this e-book. As you can see I have chosen the cover of her e-book as the logo for the CD Specials this month.

Lolly won our second kukai "summertime"with the following haiku:

gathering seashells
the sound of summer jingles
inside my pockets

© Lolly

This is a wonderful haiku in which she has touched the deepest feeling of "summertime" I think and I really think she had to be the winner.
Lolly is a very talented haiku poetess and I am glad that she is part of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. She writes wonderful haiku and tanka. I even think that her tanka are more beautiful than her haiku. She has truly mastered this wonderful Japanese poetry form. 

Credits: Bee on a Sunflower

For this first CD Special by Lolly I have chosen a tanka to inspire you.

spring tidings ...
a message of the flowers
to decipher
a secret little alphabet
that begins with a bee

© Lolly

This tanka is awesome. In this tanka Lolly has touched the deepest intention of bees, finding their way to those tasteful places of honey ... without thinking they find their way and make us happy, because as they are gathering honey they are the start of our fruits ...
Do they have their own language? Can we find that tiny little alphabet?

The goal of these CD Specials is to write a haiku or tanka in the same sense, mood and spirit as the one given. I have chosen an oldie, a haiga which I made several years ago and which I love to share here another time.

photo-haiga © Chèvrefeuille

Well .... this was our first episode of our new CDHK month. I hope you did like this episode in which we got inspired by a tanka of our featured haiku poetess Lolly.

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until August 4th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, a reprise of The Lighthouse of Alexandria, to start our journey over The Nile in our papyrus-boat, later on. For now have fun!

Carpe Diem's Like A Pebble #1, a new feature

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you can recall our "analyze that haiku" CD-feature in which I asked you to analyze a haiku. I remember that I have done that feature once or twice, but it didn't worked out I think. So I have created another CD feature "Like A Pebble". In this new feature I will ask you to do the same as in the above mentioned CD feature, but now you have to do it backwards. Now you have to write a haiku (or tanka) inspired on a scene I will tell you, describe to you. It's a kind of "training" to write a haiku after reading the scene. In this "training" you are the haiku poet/ess who writes a haiku based on a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water. It's a short moment, an eye-blink, which inspires you to write a haiku. As you know I see CDHK as a family of haiku poets and so I love to ask you to (if you want to of course) email me a short scene to inspire our family members for the next episode of CD "Like A Pebble". Our next episode will be on August 14th. If you would like to write the scene for our next episode of "Like A Pebble" you can email your scene to our email address:

Please write "Like A Pebble" in the subject line. You have until August 10th to email your inspirational scene for "Like A Pebble".

For this first episode of "Like A Pebble" I will describe a scene of autumn, a nice experience while being outside with my grandkids. Here is the scene which you have to use for your inspired haiku or tanka:

Laughter resonates through the city park. The trees starting to become colorful, leaves decaing slowly and rustle in the wind. I smell the sweet perfume of decay and wet earth. The sun shines brightly sometimes hiding behind darkening clouds. A few meters in front of me my grandchildren are playing in an amount of fallen leaves.
"Look granddad!"
My youngest grandson shows me a chestnut he has found.
"Awesome Sem", I respond.
I kneel in front of him. The chestnut is almost glowing in the sunlight and as I look closer I can see a faint reflection of my face on the shining skin of it.
"That's a beauty Sem. Where did you find it?"
He points to the leaves. His two brothers are laughing aloud and are throwing with the colored leaves. It looks like it is raining leaves.
After a while we walk further through the park. It starts raining. Raindrops are falling, painting circles in the pond. the circles are slowly widening, becoming larger and larger. The circling waves finally faint away, but the rain makes new ones over and over again until ... the rain has stopped and the sun appears from behind the, now rainless, clouds. At the Western horizon the colors of an ending day become visible.
I take my grandsons by the hand and we walk home. As we cross a bridge Sem stops takes his chestnut out of his pocket and throws it into the water.
"Look granddad ... my chestnut makes circles."

Credits: children are playing in an amount of fallen leaves

I hope you liked this scene and that it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku or tanka which gives words to the short moment I have painted in the above scene. That short moment of the sound of a chestnut thrown into water.

Here is my attempt to catch that short moment "like a pebble" ..... thrown into water:

laughter of children
searching for chestnuts between leaves
Ah! what a joy

© Chèvrefeuille

A nice haiku, if I may say so. I think it shows the scene as I described. That one moment ... of joy.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 14th at noon (CET). I hope to read wonderful haiku or tanka in which the scene is captured "Like A Pebble".

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #95 "lilies of the valley" by Adjei Agyei Baah

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have a nice Tan Renga Challenge for you. I had a last haiku by Adjei Agyei Baah, our featured haiku poet in July 2015 which I hadn't used yet. Adjei wrote this haiku in response on Suzuran or Lilies of the Valley

The goal is to write a second stanza towards it. Here is his "hokku" :

stuck to the mountainside
like ribbons

(c) Adjei Agyei Baah

Well ... a short episode, but I hope it will inspire you to complete this Tan Renga. Have fun!

This Tan Renga Challenge is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will be open until next Friday August 7th at noon (CET).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Carpe Diem #786 buruu muun (blue moon)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First this: I am hopelessly behind with commenting and I don't think I can catch up, so if I didn't visit or comment your response than please forgive me. I will try to do it better next month.

Second: As you all know our third CDHK kukai is running and you can submit your haiku for this kukai "juxtaposition" until August 16th. You can email your submission (a maximum of three never published earlier haiku) to our email address:

Please write kukai "juxtaposition" in the subject line.

Third: Yesterday I introduced an all new feature CDHK's Renga Party. If you would like to participate in this Renga Party please let me know through the comments field of that post. You can register until August 5th.

This is our last episode of July in which we explored classical Japanese kigo (seasonwords) for summer and got to know a talented haiku poet from Ghana, Adjei Agyei Baah.
Today our prompt isn't a classical kigo, but let me say ... a special treat, because today we have the second full moon of July, so we have a so called "blue moon". It's a special occasion, because we have had not a single blue moon during the existence of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. The last blue moon before starting CDHK was on August 31st 2012 and I remember that I wrote a post about this blue moon on my personal weblog Chèvrefeuille's Haiku blog.

Blue Moon is a phenomenon that occurs not so many times. It’s a second full moon in one month.
I am close to the Wiccan tradition and live with the lunar calendar. It is amazing to see that sometimes we have twice a full moon in one month. In the Wiccan tradition we call that Blue Moon this will occur today (July 31st). Blue Moon is for Wiccans worth a celebration and it will be a great celebration.

Moon above Seta

Basho wrote a haiku on this event of the Blue Moon. It occurred in the Autumn of 1692 as we may belief, but I did some research on this and came to the conclusion that in Basho's lifetime a Blue Moon had occurred twenty times. According to the year in which the following haiku was written, the Blue Moon, wasn't in Autumn but on April 30th (or in March, as we follow the lunar calendar).
In 1689 a Blue Moon occurred on August 30th and as we know, according to the lunar calendar, this has to be July and that's in the midst of summer. I think Basho was impressed of the Blue Moon and wrote this haiku later. Until now, in my lifetime (1963 - now) a Blue Moon occurred 21 times.
Matsuo Basho has written a wonderful haiku on this event of the Blue Moon.

meigetsu wa futatsu sugite mo Seta no tsuki

Harvest moon
even coming twice in a month
the moon of Seta 

© Matsuo Basho

It's really awesome to experience the beauty of a second full moon in one month ... it's magical I think. 

wonderful event
another full moon in one month

to witness this Blue Moon
wonderful event

© Chèvrefeuille

Blue Moon

it's a mystery
today a second full moon occurred
awesome ... Blue Moon

© Chèvrefeuille

Back in 2012 (September) I wrote a "haibun" about the occurrence of a Blue Moon. I love to share that here again.
A Blue Moon occurred on August 31th 2012, a second full moon in one month. It’s magical and mysterious to see that Blue Moon. A Blue Moon occurs not many times. As I look at my lifetime (over 50 yrs) there were 20 Blue Moons and the next Blue Moon will occur on July 31 2015. So I had to see this event of course. Well I did saw it.
I was wandering through my neighborhood when I saw just a circle of light at the night sky, but several minutes later the clouds moved away from the full moon and then I could see the Blue Moon. It was a mysterious and magical moment which I will cherish like a treasure. Ah! What a richness! I have seen the Blue Moon.

she is hiding
in a circle of light
the Blue Moon

© Chèvrefeuille

Well .... I hope you all did like the read and I hope it will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka.

This was it ... July 2015 has gone by in one heartbeat .... we are preparing us for an all new month of Carpe Diem in which we will follow in the footsteps of the pharaohs and explorers to find the source of The Nile ... it will be an adventure I think and I hope you all will be part of this adventure.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our first episode of August, the first CD Special by Lolly of Lovely Things, our winner of the "summertime" kukai and our featured haiku poetess this month, later on.


Carpe Diem's On The Trail With Basho Encore #10 a bush warbler

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have a new episode of "Encore" for you to inspire you to write in the same sense, tone and spirit as Basho.

Basho knew his classics and used that knowledge frequently in his haiku. The following haiku is, as Jane Reichhold says, a pseudo-science haiku.

Let us look at the haiku on the Bush warbler.

uguisu no   kasa otoshi taru   tsubaki kana

a bush warbler
has dropped his hat
a camellia

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Taiwan Bush Warbler

In old (classic) poems (e.g. waka) there was a phrase about the bush warbler (looking similar to our cuckoo) stitching a hat from plum blossoms. Basho changed the hat to a camellia and had the bird dropping it - which was much more natural than stitching. If birds wore hats the camellia would be the right size and shape. Maybe you can visualize the picture of the bush warbler wearing a camellia for a hat. It looks like a cartoon I think, but why not. Humans wear hats so why shouldn't birds and animals don't wear them. Maybe you lost your hat in a storm or something, so also the bush warbler could lose his hat in the storm or dropping it.

a gust of wind
a hat tolls around and around -
camellia flower

© Chèvrefeuille

Pink Camellia

A haiku with a smile? I think so ...

This episode of "Encore" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Thursday August 6th at noon (CET). Have fun ... be inspired and share!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Carpe Diem Renga Party an Introduction to a new feature

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I think I have a nice new feature for our loving family of haiku poets. Maybe you can remember that we had a renga session feature at CDHK, but it died a silent death, and for a while I thought that renga cannot be done at CDHK.
Recently I have read Jane Reichhold's "Writing and Enjoying Haiku" and in that book Jane has written a chapter about renga. As I read that chapter I thought "maybe I have to try this again, because renga was the "birthplace" of haiku". That's the reason why I have created a new CDHK feature which I love to introduce here ... this new CDHK feature is titled "Carpe Diem Renga Party".

Credits: Renga platform (worth visiting)
Let me tell you how I see this Renga Party in front of my eyes or in my mind ... what ever (smiles). As you all know Renga is written with a group of haiku poets whom are writing alternately a stanza (link) of the Renga. It's a pleasant time passing acitivity and it can help you to improve your haiku skills or associative skills to become an even better (haiku)poet.

For this Carpe Diem Renga Party you have to register. After the registering period, say one week, I will create a list in which you can see when it's your turn to write a stanza and which stanza you have to write.

For example:

1. 5-7-5, the hokku which I will provide the first Renga Party

2. 7-7, Jen (Blog It Or Lose It)

3. 5-7-5, Hamish (Haiku Forest)

and so on

You have to follow the stanza, so you have to wait until your predecessor has written his/her stanza, because you need the stanza before your turn to write your stanza.
The stanza you have to post in the comments field. There will not be a linking widget in this feature, because that's to complicated to create.
After all the registered participants have written (and posted) their stanza I will create the Renga which is the result of this Renga Party and publish it at our Haiku Kai.

The time to write the Renga will be approximately four (4) weeks.

I hope you all understand the meaning of this new feature and that I have explained the way it works in clear words (I hope so).

For our first Carpe Diem Renga Party the subscription starts today and will run until August 5th 2015. So if you would like to participate in our first Renga Party ... let me know it through the comments field of this post.

I have already selected a haiku to start our first Carpe Diem Renga Party with, the hokku:

in the twilight
mist creeps over the fields -
stars twinkle

© Chèvrefeuille, your host

I am looking forward to be your host for our first Renga Party "in the twilight".


Carpe Diem #785 goraikou or sunrise seen from a mountain top

!! Our new prompt-list for August 2015 is ready, you can find it in the menu !!

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

We have only two days left of July and I think we had a wonderful CDHK month with all beautiful classical Japanese kigo (seasonwords) for summer, based on the ancient Japanese saijiki, a list of kigo.
As I was preparing this month's prompt-list I was looking for special kigo and I think I succeeded in that, but the kigo for today ... is (in my opinion) very special, because it's a kigo about an action. Today we share haiku inspired on goraikou or sunrise seen from a mountain top ... what can I say? This sounds like a really nice kigo and I have sought the Internet and found not a single haiku with this kigo in it. So I have chosen a few haiku in which Mt. Fuji is mentioned.

There is something to tell about this kigo. "Goraikou," is the special name given to the sunrise when seen from the top of Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji). It's a very special kigo, because of it's link with the holy mountain of Japan, Mount Fuji. As we all know the Japanese are very close to nature and they honor nature with whole their hearts. It is said that seeing the sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji brings good fortune.

Credits: Mt. Fuji Goraikou
asakusa ya asahan mae no fuji môde

before my breakfast plate
pilgrims climb Mount Fuji

© Kobayashi Issa

As for many Muslim is the once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca so is the climb to the top of Mt. Fuji a classical task for Buddhists and Shinto-believers (at least that was the task in classical Japan). However this climb is to strong for several believers there were miniature Mt Fuji in almost every shrine. In the above haiku by Issa, he is referring to pilgrims who are climbing such miniature Mt. Fuji.

Another haiku by Issa about Mt. Fuji:

waki muite fuji wo miru nari kachi sumô

turning aside
to look at Mount Fuji...
sumo champion

© Kobayashi Issa

Credits: Otome Pass woodblock print by Hiroaki (Shotei) Takahashi (1871-1945)

The highest and most sacred of Japan's peaks, Mount Fuji was the home of the great kami-sama or gods. Buddhists believed it was a mystical gateway between earth and heaven.

fuji no kaze ya oogi ni nosete Edo miyage

the wind from mt. fuji.
I brought it on my fan.
a souvenir from Edo

© Matsuo Basho

Written in 1676, Basho Age 33. On the way to Iga Ueno. Probably written at the home of Shi-in.This is a greeting hokku to his host, who maybe presented him with a fan to keep cool during the summer heat.

kumo o ne ni fuji wa suginari no shigeri kana

clouds for roots,
Mt. Fuji's green foliage,
the shape of a cedar

© Matsuo Basho

And here is a haiku by Kato Shuson, a modern haiku poet who died in 1993:

fuji no kon sude ni happoo kiri ni fusu

the blue of mount Fuji
on all the sides
covered by the fog

© Kato Shuson (1905-1993)

I really had hoped to find a haiku with our kigo for today in it, but ... it just had to be that way I think. So I have tried to imagine goraikou to write an all new haiku based on this kigo.

Credits: Mt. Fuji seen from Mizukubo woodblock print by Hiroaki (Shotei) Takahashi

after a steep climb
I get my prize
sacred sunrise

© Chèvrefeuille

falling in love
is like climbing Mt. Fuji
Ah! that sunrise

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't it awesome! How would that be ... after climbing the sacred mountain getting the prize, falling in love with the amazing sunrise as seen from the top of Mt. Fuji.

It wasn't an easy task to create this episode, but it turned out to be a nice one and I hope it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku or tanka.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 1st at noon (CET). I hope to publish our new episode (a special one), buruu moon or Blue moon (a second full moon in one month), later on. Have fun!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #54 lost in the woods about tanka

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Recently we have decided together to open our Kai for other Japanese poetry forms e.g. Kikobun, tanka and kyoka and many more. In the upcoming Tokubetsudesu episodes I will try to tell you all more about the other Japanese poetry forms starting today with tanka, the grandmother of haiku, as Jane Reichhold calls tanka.

Tanka allows the author to play with time, it also allows one to move out of reality into fantasy, imagination, and other thought processes. In tanka one is not bound by just what is, but is open to the emotional life of the author. By being able to switch times, the author can work with memories, and memories are always loaded with emotion, so the following tanka by Jane Reichhold fits the genre perfectly:

too old for new love
the moon rises each night
as I remember
the backseats of strange cars
its helpful light afterwards

© Jane Reichhold

Tanka has five lines following the syllables count 5-7-5-7-7 and I think you all recognize this "sequence", it's similar with the Tan Renga, as we have here every Friday.
One of the "Ask Jane" episodes was about tanka. Let us look to that episode again. Jane calls tanka, the grandmother of haiku. I think she is right, because haiku once was part of renga, a chained poem, and as we look at renga we immediately are observing the "tanka"form.

Recently I started to write/compose tanka myself, because there are several haiku poets (including Jane) who are saying that I could be a tanka poet. I don't know that for sure, because my first love is for haiku and tanka, a very nice poetry form too, isn't really my kind of poetry, but ... I have tried it of course.

departing geese
King Winter is on his way
snow and frost will come
cherry blossoms bloom again
the sound of geese returning 

© Chèvrefeuille (from my archives)

Ot this one, also from my archives:

lost in the woods
desperate and anxious
elderly people
just seeking for a bit of privacy
to live their newly found love

© Chèvrefeuille

Ok ... another one .... I am going to love the tanka, can that be true? Am I starting to become addicted to tanka?

after the rainstorm
reflections of blue sky and clouds
in muddy waters
raindrops - rhythmic art of nature
in the pond circles fade

© Chèvrefeuille

And to close this Tokubetsudesu episode I found a really nice haiga with a tanka:

As I re-read this Tokubetsudesu episode I realize that I have written several tanka ... and that it maybe will be my second love ...

Share your tanka inspired on this post with us all here at our Haiku Kai. I am looking forward to all of your wonderful responses on this Tokubetsudesu episode.

This Tokubetsudesu episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until July 31st at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, goraikou or sunrise seen from a mountain top, later on. For now ... have fun!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Carpe Diem #784 hirune (nap)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month full of classical kigo for summer is running to its end and we have only a few days left this month. Right now I am busy with preparing our new prompt-list for August. In August we are going on an adventure ... we will sail the Nile from its delta to its well and during that journey we will see a lot of beauty .... I hope you all will like that journey, that adventure. We will explore the "afriku" further as invented by Adjei Agyei Baah, our featured haiku poet from Ghana. Next month our featured haiku poetess will be our winner of the second kukai "summertime", Laura Williams a.k.a. Lolly and of course we will have a special Tokubetsudesu episode about Jen (a.k.a. Paloma) of Blog It or Lose It. But that's all for next month. I hope to publish our new prompt-list later on this week. Here is our logo for next month already:

Ok ... back to our prompt of today. Today our classical kigo (seasonword) is hirune or nap. A nice kigo I think and I think you all will understand that this is a wonderful kigo for summer. For this episode I have gathered a nice series of haiku by different haiku poets. Our first haiku is one which Basho wrote a while before he died on October 12th 1694.

hiya hiya to kabe wo fumae te hiru ne kana

a midday nap
putting the feet against the wall
it feels cool

© Basho (Tr. R.H. Blyth)

chilly coolness
my feet on the wall
a midday nap

© Basho  (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

'A midday nap' is not a well known haiku of Basho, but in my opinion it's a wonderful one. He goes back to the essential element of summer heat ... to cool down. In this haiku the cooling down comes from the cool wall to which he is putting his feet. It's just the simple experience of the cool wall on a hot summer day.

this summerday
the heat makes me drowsy -
the cool stone wall

© Chèvrefeuille

And here are the other haiku which I would like to share here to inspire you:

hiru neru ni yoshi to iu hi ya niji hajime

a noon nap
on a good day...
first rainbow

© Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)

lying on the beach
dreaming away in a midday nap
departing spring

© Chèvrefeuille

midday nap
a hot summer day break
against the cool wall

© Chèvrefeuille

hana ni kite hana ni ineburu itoma kana

viewing cherries,
he takes a nap;
what a leisure time!

© Yosa Buson (1716-1784)

kyarakusaki hito no karine ya oborozuki

fragrance of incense
around a man while he naps--
a cloudy moon.

© Yosa Buson

suwari taru fune ni neteiru atsusa kana

in a boat grounded at low tide,
taking a nap
in the summer heat!

© Yosa Buson

utataneno samureba haruno higuretari

a short nap,
then awakening--
the spring day darkened.

© Yosa Buson

And for closure I love to share a haiku by Soen Nakagawa, one of our featured haiku poets last year. I think you will remember this one:

aiming my penis
out over the steppes
awoken from a nap

© Soen Nakagawa (1907-1984)

To this haiku he adds, “The word penis had never been used before in a haiku, and I was criticized for exposing such a thing! But a penis is just a penis. Nowadays there is confusion regarding sex. But in truth, sexual energy, like digestive energy, is God’s fine energy, Buddha’s energy, cosmic energy.”

All wonderful haiku on hirune or nap and I hope this episode will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka ... I have given it a try too, so here is my attempt:

in the arms of a stranger
after a nap

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 30th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, a new Tokubetsudesu, later on. For now ... have fun!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Carpe Diem #783 Tentoumushi (Lady bug)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have another nice classical summer kigo for you all. Today our kigo is Tentoumushi or Lady bug. Lady bugs are little wonders and in summer you can see them often. My grandchildren love to catch them and play with them.
My roses are always welcoming these little Lady bugs especially when they are suffering of aphids (plant lice), because those little ones are milking them lice. It's for sure a nice little insect and of course very colorful, as is e.g. our haiku family (smiles).
Lady bugs can refer to love and to good luck. I have tried this time to write a haiku with a kind of sensuality in it. The next haiku is a revised version of a tanka which I composed. Tanka however isn't really my kind of poetry. I don't know several of you, including Jane Reichhold, told me that I just have to try tanka, because of my warmhearted and loving character ... Jane even said "you have it in you to become a great tanka poet".
Tanka and emotions are almost synonymous with each other they say, so it could be my kind of poetry ... I have tried it several times, but ... I don't know ... tanka doesn't fit me at all. The ones I composed weren't strong, at least not as strong as my haiku.

A Hand Full of Lady Bugs
This following haiku I wrote a while ago and it is published on my personal WP weblog:

arm full of lady bugs
my grandson, one with nature,
enjoys his childhood

© Chèvrefeuille

And here is the new haiku which I promised you above in which I have tried to bring some sensuality into:

white almond flesh
ladybug climbs the mountains
blanc breasts move

© Chèvrefeuille

Well .... what do you think? It's a nice haiku full of sensuality I think ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 29th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, hirune (nap), later on.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #158 Adjei Agyei Baah's 5th special "Afrikuland"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First ... my dad is doing well Next Monday he will be released from the hospital ... I am grateful that he survived his major heart attack. Thank you all for your thoughts, warm words and prayers.

Today we have our last CD Special of July. It was really a joy to introduce Adjei Agyei Baah here at CDHK and I am grateful that he would be our featured haiku poet this month. Thank you Adjei. I am glad that we had the opportunity to meet eachother trhough haiku. It feels great to have an African haiku poet here at CDHK.

Adjei has recently launched his own weblog Afrikuland it looks great and I have complimented him with his weblog. His weblog is certainly worth a visit.

The following haiku he emailed me before the launch of his weblog, I know for sure that he also will publish them at his own weblog, but of course I have to "fill" this CD Special.

amenbou (water strider)

slowly unseating the pond skater
from his water throne
harmattan winds

in his world alone
a water strider resting
on his shadow bed

Origami frog (Utabukuro)

origami frog
plead the kids to find your voice
when the night come

origami frog
frozen in its trail
no jump over the moon

On Strawberry

planting kisses
of strawberry breath
summer waves

filling her dimples
with strawberries
summer camp

two flavors
on our wild romance
vanilla & strawberry


just be mine


midsummer blues–
the wild memories of
a skirt-chaser

© Adjei Agyei-Baah, Ghana

Credits: Afrikuland
Adjei wrote a wonderful Soliloquy No Renga for our last Tokubetsudesu episode. I think he has done a great job on it and I am glad to share it here with you ...

Soliloquy No Renga Challenge


Ah! those cherry blossoms
their beauty amazes me again -
finally spring is here

visitors bask in fragrance
of white confetti showers

birds chirp in frenzy
as hearty chat fills benches
Cupid’s arrow flies by

busy hands penning hokku
as cameras seize the moment

the leaden skies add
background to the artist’s pen
no need for abstract

ah! cherry blossoming blast–
come take a white carpet walk!

© Adjei Agyei-Baah, Ghana

All wonderful poems as I may say so. Adjei is a very talented haiku poet and I hope to read a lot more of his work in the future ...
Lilies of the Valley

lilies of the valley
their sweet perfume makes me drowsy
hot summer night

hot summer night
between silken sheets her warmth
honeysuckle coolness

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you did like this CD-Special and that it will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 28th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, tentoumushi or Lady bug, later on.

PS.: During lack of time I will not publish a new episode of our special feature "Utabukuro" and there will be also no "Time Glass" episode ... I hope to do them next week again. I hope you all will forgive me ...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Carpe Diem #782 Suzuran (Lilly of the Valley)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First of all ... thank you all for your love and prayers for my dad and my family. My dad is recovering from his heart attack and we hope he can be home after the weekend.
Than this ... I haven't had time to create a Tan Renga Challenge and a new episode of "On The Trail With Basho Encore". Next week I hope to do them again.
Than I have another announcement to make. As you maybe know I am also a co-host at MindLoveMisery's Menagerie (MLMM) where I hosted the Fairy Tale prompt. Yes you read it right "hosted". Because of changes in the hosting team of MLMM I will be the host for their haiku feature starting July 29th.
Than another announcement ... as I told you all earlier there will be a new version of ous CDHK e-book "On The Trail With Basho" ... well that new version is NOW Available at the left side of our Haiku Kai.
Suzuran (Lilly of the Valley)

Back to our episode of today. We are exploring classical kigo (seasonwords) for summer and today our prompt is Suzuran or Lilly of the Valley. I have spend a lot of time to find haiku with this classical kigo suzuran, but couldn't find one. So I took another path. Lilly of the Valleys is a kind of orchid, so I have a few haiku by Issa for your inspiration:

kaza shimo no ran ni tsuki sasu ka yari kana

downwind, an orchid
in moonlight...
smudge pot smoke

ran no ka ya ikoku no yô ni mika no tsuki

scent of orchids--
like a foreign country
the sickle moon

© Kobayashi Issa

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, our last CD Special by Adjei Agyei Baah, later on. Have fun!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Carpe Diem #781 Ichigo (Strawberry)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

My dad has had a major heart attack yesterday and he is in the hospital at the ICU. His bloodlevels were very high according to the Cardiologist and we hope he will survive this major heart attack. Today, around noon (CET), my dad was replaced to the Cardiac unit. He is ok and will stay in the hospital until next Monday. Heart-revalidation started today. I am glad he has survived this major heart attack. Thank you all for your love and prayers. I am grateful for all of your support.

Today our prompt is Ichigo or Strawberry another beautiful classical Japanese kigo for summer. I remember that I had a strawberry prompt last year (June 2014). In that month we had all modern kigo based on Jane Reichhold's "A Dictionary of Haiku", so this new episode (more than a year later) we can see as a "reprise-prompt".

A little bit history can be on its place here. So I have searched they Internet and ran into the following piece of history:

Strawberries have been introduced to Japan by the Dutch merchants during the Edo period, at that time they were called "Holland Strawberries" (oranda ichigo). The season started in early summer, so they became a kigo of that period. Later they were grown in large hothouses, along many coastal areas in Japan. Now the strawberry season starts before the New Year, since they are used as a decoration for the whipped cream Christmas Cake. They are also used as Birthday Cake decorations. I tried to grow them in the garden, but the strong weeds are no match for these delicate plants, you need a hothouse indeed. (Source: World Kigo Base)

hi no yoo ni ichigo narabete tabe-ni-keri

like flames
I arrange the strawberries
and eat them . . .

© Gotoo Takashi (1968 - )

Strawberries ... I like them very much. In my country (The Netherlands) they are called "zomerkoninkjes" or in English "summer kings/queens". It's that name that inspired me to write the next haiku (from my archives):

little red queens
tasteful and attractive
strawberry field

© Chèvrefeuille

And to conclude this episode I love to reproduce the haiku by Jane Reichhold which I used in the above mentioned episode of CDHK.

strawberries tasting
open fields
on the tip of his tongue
a strawberry

our tongues
strawberries tasting
each other

© Jane Reichhold

Aren't they wonderful? Strawberries have a nice sensual and erotic meaning for a lot of us. These haiku by Jane are responding on that feeling.

I hope you liked this episode and I hope it will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until July 26th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Suzuran (Lilly of the Valley), later on. Have fun!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Carpe Diem #780 Kuchinashi (Jasmine)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This episode will not become a long one, because of certain circumstances. My dad has had a heart attack last night and is now in hospital. So you will understand that I have to concentrate on something else than CDHK, but of course I will try to keep CDHK running, because you all are such wonderful haiku poets and you have a right, as being part of our CDHK family, to get the episode as planned.

As you all know I have gathered all of our "On The Trail With Basho" episodes into one CDHK e-book, which is available for download at the left of our Haiku Kai. It's the first edition, but there will be another version of that same e-book soon. In that new version I will share a few new episodes/chapters with haiku by Basho and of his disciples/students.
We are busy with exploring the classical Japanese kigo for summer and today our classical kigo will be kuchinashi or Jasmine. In the "On The Trail With Basho"- episodes we had already a nice haiku in which this kigo is used:

This one you can find in chapter 14 of our "On The Trail With Basho" e-book:

shaded by blossoms
it is like song in a play
resting on a journey

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

And I found another nice haiku written by an Indian modern haiku poetess:

buds huddle by day
fragrance comes alive at night
affair with the moon

© Manjula Reddy

Credits: Kuchinashi or Jasmine
Isn't it a beauty? I can almost smell that sweet perfume of Jasmine and maybe you can remember the haiku which I composed in response of the above haiku by Basho.

scent of Jasmine
sound of a gurgling brook
peace of mind

© Chèvrefeuille

A wonderful haiku in what I think is what Basho mentioned karumi.

Well ... I hope you did like this short episode and I hope it will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka. Have fun!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 25th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Ichigo (strawberry), later on. Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku (or tanka) with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Carpe Diem Extra #27 On The Trail With Basho

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to present our newest Carpe Diem Haiku Kai e-book "On The Trail With Basho". In this e-book I have gathered all the episodes of "On The Trail With Basho" as published here in May 2015.

You can download this new e-book at the left side of our weblog. I hope you all like it. Enjoy the read!


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #53, Soliloquy no Renga "Ah! Those Cherry Blossoms"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another week has gone and it's time (again) for a new Tokubetsudesu episode in which I will bring the so called "Soliloquy no Renga" again for your inspiration. (You can find more about the Soliloquy no Renga HERE).

As you all know haiku came from 'hokku' the opening verse of a Renga or chained verse ... Renga was a collaborative kind of poetry in which several poets were participating. Basho, one of the four greatest haiku-poets (next to Buson, Issa and Shiki) transformed the 'hokku' into a poetry-form on itselves, the haiku ...I love to bring you back to the roots of our beloved haiku and created what I will call 'Soliloquy no Renga', a Renga written by one poet. Soliloquy means monologue and is a synonym for it.
Logo of Soliloquy no Renga
The goal of this feature is to write a Soliloquy no Renga, a Renga composed by one person. With this feature it is possible to help you to be more associative, because you have to compose an all new renga with at least six (6) links.As you all know a renga has stanzas of three and two lines. The first verse "hokku" gives the title to the renga and sets the entire image of your renga. By association on the verse before the verse you have to write you can make the renga a complete story. The Soliloquy no Renga is just for fun and I hope it will bring you the fun and inspiration as I had in mind. You can choose on your own how much links you use, but at least (as I said above) six (6) links. The last link has to make the "circle complete" and in that way has a link with the first verse. That last verse is called "ageku".
For this Soliloquy no Renga I have chosen a haiku written by myself in January 2015, so it's a very recent haiku to work with. This haiku is the "hokku" (starting verse) of this Soliloquy no Renga.
Credits: Woodblock print "Sakura" by Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950)
Ah! those cherry blossoms
their beauty amazes me again -
finally spring is here
© Chèvrefeuille
The following stanza have two lines, three lines, two lines and so on. You can make the Soliloquy no Renga as long as you would like, but it has to have at least six (6) stanza.

I am looking forward to all of your responses ... have fun!
This Tokubetsudesu episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 24th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Kuchinashi (Jasmine), later on. For now ... have fun!