Thursday, July 16, 2015

Carpe Diem #777 kingyo (goldfish)

Dear Haijin, visitors, and travelers,

This is Paloma from Blog It or Lose It, helping Chèvrefeuille for the weekend. 

Our prompt for today is “kingyo” – or, goldfish. 


     hikkoshi no tabi ni ookiku naru kingyo

     every time we move
     the goldfish

     grows bigger 

In researching for this prompt I discovered very few haiku about goldfish!  At first I was puzzled – especially in finding that kingyo / goldfish is a kigo for “all summer”.    And not just “goldfish” – many members of the goldfish family:  wakin, ranchuu, ryuukin, maruo, gingyo – and on and on - they are all seasonal kigo. 

     samidare ni kingyo ginyo no kigen kana

     in Fifth Month rain –
     feeling like silver
     or goldfish


Ohara Buson.  Carp and Bee, 1910. WikiArt.

It turns out that “carp” and “koi” are also kigo for “all summer”, which led me to these haiku written by our host in 2013:

     along the canal
     gazing at the mirror-like water
     my first catch

     my first catch
     the line almost breaks
     a gold carp

     a gold carp
     hooked at my fishing line -
     mouth watering

     Chevrefeuille (2013)

If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll be happy to note that “carp in the cold” is a kigo for late winter.

Here is a fun haiku from Gabi Greve: 

     鯉さんも 恋煩いあるか 夜熱し
     koi san mo     koi wazurai aru ka      yoru atsushi

     can a carp
     get love-sick?
     hot summer night

This haiku is chock-full of word play – as “koi” can be “koi, the carp 鯉”or “koi, the love 恋”. 

Hokusai. Carp in a Cascade. WikiArt.

Here is my lighthearted offering – because sometimes it is good for haiku to be a bit playful, don’t you think?

     an orange flash
     and then – only green –
     was that a koi?


So for today I give you your choice – you may write about koi, carp, or goldfish – wherever the muses lead you. 


Before you link up today, I have a request – as a student and a fellow haijin. 

Since discovering Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, I’ve grown as a writer and have enjoyed being a member of this family.

Our host deserves our immense respect.   Not only does he provide food for inspiration on a daily basis – he writes thoughtful haiku to go along with his posts.  In the comments today, please leave a note to thank our host Chevrefeuille for his hard work, time, and dedication to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 19th at noon (CET).                                       



  1. Thank you Paloma for your post! Thank you Chevrefeuille for all your daily hard work to provide prompts for us. I love all the background information and range of poems you provide as inspiration. Again thanks! Your work is really appreciated.

  2. Thank you very much, Kristjaan - for being not only an amazing host on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai but also an inspiring teacher and mentor! Your devotion, energy, imagination and love for haiku are admired and appreciated.
    PS: Great post, Jen - thank you.

  3. Enjoy your weekend, Chev, and a big thank you to Paloma for writing a great post. I love koi.

  4. Thanks Paloma, and as always I appreciate all the hard work you do on Carpe Diem, Kristjaan!

  5. generous writer
    encourager of haikus
    grateful thanks to you

  6. Good prompt Jen. Congratulations on your competition win !

    1. Thanks so much --
      And I'm glad you enjoyed the prompt. Tough subject! :)

  7. Jen, a lovely post.

    Kristjaan, you are a gem in many ways and I can only pray that your genius continues to inspire and make better poets of us. Thank you and God bless you.

  8. Kristjaan, CDHK is my morning wake-up and joy. Your research and prompts have given pleasure to our group and inspired some really great haiku and related poems...Thank you, thank you.......and thanks to all who congregate here for your heaping servings of shared and often deepest thoughts....A final thanks to all who pitch in and help Kristjaan in these know who you are...

  9. Thanks, Kristjaan, for inspiration and dedication to your art!

  10. Thank you once again Kristjaan, for your dedication and passion for haiku!

  11. It was through reading the posts at CDHK and Blog It or Lose It that my interest in haiku was reawakened and I was finally encouraged to try writing some of my own - so, thanks to both of you :)

    1. I'm so glad you joined in at CDHK :)