Monday, August 31, 2015

Carpe Diem #809 Andromeda

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, the place to be if you like to write and share haiku, tanka or another nice Japanese poetry form.
This month we will leave our beloved planet Earth to go on 'a space odyssey' a trip to the stars to encounter a wonderful range of constellations. There are 88 registered constellations and they all have their own story, their own mythology, and we are going to explore them.

I love watching the night sky all those stars close by and far off our earth, or those neighboring planets far away from us, but we can see them like little stars. Will there be other life out there in the universe? Will we maybe encounter them? In a way we will encounter other life, alien life, because there are constellations named like mythological creatures and people, or gods and godesses. We will 'read' their life ... through the stars ... the constellations.

Credits: Andromeda Galaxy

Today we will 'visit' a young woman whom was chained to the rocks because she was a sacrifice for a seamonster. She was rescued by Perseus. Here is the story, the myth behind this constellation "Andromeda".

The Myth of Perseus

Perseus is the son of Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, and a mortal woman. The woman's husband, Polydectes, king of Seriphos, was naturally angry, but when your wife has an affair with a god, what can you do? So, instead, when Perseus grew up Polydectes sent him on what he believed was an impossible quest. The king sent his step-son out to kill Medusa, one of three sisters called the Gorgons who were so ugly, anyone who looked at them would turn to stone. He appealed to the gods for help and was given a mirrored shield by Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and a pair of winged sandals by Hermes (also known as Mercury), the messenger of the gods. Perseus flew using the sandals to find Medusa. When he found her, he did not look at her. Instead, he used the reflection in the shield to guide his sword so he could behead her as she slept. As she died, the white, winged horse Pegasus sprang from her neck.
On his way back from his victory against the Gorgons, Perseus came across a woman chained to a rock, waiting to be sacrificed to a sea monster, called either Cetus or Draco, depending on which version of the myth you believe. This woman was Andromeda, the Princess. Her mother, Cassiopeia boasted that she and her daughter were more beautiful than the Nereids (or sea nymphs), which were the daughters of Poseidon (or Neptune), the god of the sea. Angered by the insult to his daughters, Poseidon sent floods to the lands ruled by Cassiopeia and her husband, King Cepheus. Cepheus consulted an oracle who told him that the only way to quell Poseidon's anger was to sacrifice his daughter.
Luckily, Perseus came on the scene just in the nick of time and killed the sea monster and saved the princess.

Credits: Perseus rescues Andromeda (Oil by Joachim Wtewael 1611)

First encounter
i lay in the arms of beauty
saved from a serpent

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... we started with our "space odyssey" ... I hope you did like this episode.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 3rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, our first Tokubetsudesu episode of this month, later on.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Carpe Diem Extra 32 - 2015

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's time to bring an all new episode of CD-Extra to you all, because I love to ask you all something and of course there are some other things to share ...

First, I have published our new promp-list for September, you can find it in the menu above.
Second, last week I have published our new CDHK e-book "Bare Bones School of Renga" by Jane Reichhold exclusively for CDHK. It's a first edition and I think it has become a wonderful e-book. Jane already has read it and maybe she will bring in some changes. If she does than I will create a new edition.
Third, The judging of our third kukai "Juxtaposition" is running, you may vote for your favorites and email them to our carpe diem email-address until September 8th 10.00 PM (CET). About this judging there were a few questions. As you all know you may only vote/judge if you have submitted haiku for the kukai, but ... there was a question by one of our family members if it was possible to open the judging also to family-members who didn't submit haiku for the kukai. I have given it a thought and I have no problem with that, but I would like to hear your opinion too about this issue. So let me know how you think about that.
Fourth, As you all could have read, our new kukai "Peace of Mind" has started. You can submit your haiku (only haiku and a maximum of three haiku) to our carpe diem email-address until September 25th 10.00 PM (CET)

Ok ... the preparations for our third anniversary next October are running. I have contacted a few other haiku poets to participate in our anniversary month and I am busy with preparing our new prompt-list for our third anniversary. October will be a wonderful festive month I think and I am looking forward to it.

Our CDHK logo for October 2015

Than a last few things I love to share with you all here. I am busy to create a You Tube channel for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and I have an idea to create a T-shirt for CDHK ... it's just a small idea yet, because I have to find the right company and so on to create it.

Wish you all a great week,


Carpe Diem Special #164 Lolly's 6th "another anchor thread"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a little bit sad, but I am also happy ... why? Well this is our last episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai's August 2015. We made a wonderful trip over The Nile and we had (including this CD-Special) six (6) wonderful CD-Specials in which I shared haiku and tanka written by Laura Williams (a.k.a. Lolly of Lovely Things) the winner of our second kukai "summertime".
Lolly had the privilege to be the central person of 6 CD-Specials, because of the length of this month. So for this last CD-Special of August I asked Laura which of her own written/composed haiku or tanka she would like to be the theme for this CD-Special.
Lolly is a very gifted haiku poetess and several of her haiku and tanka were published, of course not only in her e-book which I created for and with her. She emailed me a wonderful tanka and this is why she chose this tanka in particular to share here in her last CD-Special.

sifting through
the personal effects
of a spider's web
an autumn wind loosens
another anchor thread

© Laura Williams (a.k.a. Lolly)


American Tanka; Issue #13

Spider web © Chèvrefeuille

[...] "This tanka was inspired by a Carpe Diem prompt "spider web." I like its dark, gothic mood and the alliteration in the last two lines. It definitely suggests death and grief as we all have to go through a loved one's personal items when they pass. I remember doing so for my mother-in-law as well as my mother and both grandmothers. The last two lines really bring the thought home. After the death of a parent it seems one's "anchor"  or security or a part of what made us feel secure is loosened or even gone.
It's a sad tanka, but I love for it because it expresses what I often feel when I think of all the women in my family that have passed away" [...]

I think Lolly says it in a beautiful way and I can see the beauty of this tanka notwithstanding the sad mood in which it is written. Thank you Lolly for sharing this beautiful tanka with us and all the other beautiful poems you have written and shared here. I am honored that I had the opportunity to bring your poetry here in the CD-Specials of August 2015.

Of course there is the "challenge" to write an all new haiku or tanka inspired on this beauty I have, however, chosen to write/compose an all new dodoitsu, as we learned about recently. It's another nice short Japanese poetry form and I love to try this form more often. So here is my response on this beautiful tanka by Lolly.

frail crystalline beauty at sunrise
hidden between bare branches
a blue butterfly struggles for life
spider waits patiently

© Chèvrefeuille

Credits: Cobweb

Well ... this is it, this was our last episode of August 2015. We are going on with a new adventure between the stars ... A Space 
Odyssey ... 
This CD Special is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 2nd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, the first of September 2015, Andromeda, later on. For now ... have fun!


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Carpe Diem #808 Ripon Falls, the source of The Nile?

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We have arrived at our final destination of our trip over The Nile. This month we made in a way a time-travel along The Nile, we visited historical places in Egypt, Sudan and Uganda. Finally we are there .... at the source of The Nile.
Today our prompt is Ripon Falls, the source of The Nile, there is a long history about the exploration and discovery of the source of The Nile. Several explorers tried to find it. Here is an overview of that history.

Owing to their failure to penetrate the sudd wetlands of South Sudan, the upper reaches of the Nile remained largely unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Various expeditions failed to determine the river's source. Agatharcides records that in the time of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, a military expedition had penetrated far enough along the course of the Blue Nile to determine that the summer floods were caused by heavy seasonal rainstorms in the Ethiopian Highlands, but no European of antiquity is known to have reached Lake Tana.

Credits: Tabula Rogeriana (upside down)

The Tabula Rogeriana depicted the source as three lakes in 1154.
Europeans began to learn about the origins of the Nile in the 15th and 16th centuries, when travelers to Ethiopia visited Lake Tana and the source of the Blue Nile in the mountains south of the lake. Although James Bruce claimed to be the first European to have visited the headwaters, modern writers give the credit to the Jesuit Pedro Páez. Páez's account of the source of the Nile is a long and vivid account of Ethiopia. It was published in full only in the early 20th century, although it was featured in works of Páez's contemporaries, including Baltazar Téllez, Athanasius Kircher and by Johann Michael Vansleb.

Europeans had been resident in Ethiopia since the late 15th century, and one of them may have visited the headwaters even earlier without leaving a written trace. The Portuguese João Bermudes published the first description of the Tis Issat Falls in his 1565 memoirs, compared them to the Nile Falls alluded to in Cicero's De Republica. Jerónimo Lobo describes the source of the Blue Nile, visiting shortly after Pedro Páez. Telles also used his account.

The White Nile was even less understood. The ancients mistakenly believed that the Niger River represented the upper reaches of the White Nile. For example, Pliny the Elder wrote that the Nile had its origins "in a mountain of lower Mauretania", flowed above ground for "many days" distance, then went underground, reappeared as a large lake in the territories of the Masaesyli, then sank again below the desert to flow underground "for a distance of 20 days' journey till it reaches the nearest Ethiopians." A merchant named Diogenes reported that the Nile's water attracted game such as buffalo.

Credits: John Hanning Speke (1827-1864)

Lake Victoria was first sighted by Europeans in 1858 when the British explorer John Hanning Speke (1827-1864) reached its southern shore while traveling with Richard Francis Burton to explore central Africa and locate the great lakes. Believing he had found the source of the Nile on seeing this "vast expanse of open water" for the first time, Speke named the lake after the then Queen of the United Kingdom. Burton, recovering from illness and resting further south on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, was outraged that Speke claimed to have proved his discovery to be the true source of the Nile when Burton regarded this as still unsettled. A very public quarrel ensued, which sparked a great deal of intense debate within the scientific community and interest by other explorers keen to either confirm or refute Speke's discovery. British explorer and missionary David Livingstone pushed too far west and entered the Congo River system instead. It was ultimately Welsh-American explorer Henry Morton Stanley who confirmed Speke's discovery, circumnavigating Lake Victoria and reporting the great outflow at Ripon Falls on the Lake's northern shore. Ripon Falls at the northern end of Lake Victoria in Uganda was formerly considered the source of the river Nile. In 1862–3 John Hanning Speke was the first European to follow the course of the Nile downstream after discovering the falls that his intuition had marked as the source of the Nile. (Source: Wikipedia)

Credits: Ripon Falls, according to J.H.Speke the source of The Nile (photo by J.H. Speke)

Wow .... what a story ... it's still not clear that The Nile starts there by the way. It's still a mystery ... maybe this mystery will be solved once ...

This was our last "regular" episode of this month. Tomorrow (August 31st) we will have our last CD Special by Laura Williams (a.k.a. Lolly of Lovely Things), the winner of our last kukai "summertime".

After that last CD Special of August we will start with our new journey ... a space odyssey ... we will explore space trying to understand the mythology behind several constellations. I have published our new prompt-list you can find it in the menu.

we conquered The Nile
back to the future

© Chèvrefeuille

Not a very strong haiku, but it gives closure to this wonderful journey in our full sailed papyrus boat over The Nile .... I hope you all did like the trip ....

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 1st at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, Lolly's 6th CD Special, later on. For now, have fun!

Carpe Diem Time Machine #15 Jade

Credits: image

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful journey we have made over The Nile and with that journey we went back to the time of pharaohs and that was a joy and it gives me the opportunity to "built a bridge" to this special feature of Carpe Diem ... our Time Machine, in which we visit prompts from our rich CDHK history. Today we are going back to November 2012. One of our prompts in that month was "Jade", you can find that episode HERE. And I love to share a few of the haiku which were written in response on that prompt:

His hanging shoulders
The jaded eyes say it all
Pocket is empty.

© Tarun Mazumdar

Or what do you think of this beauty by Becca Givens:

Jaded thoughts
Nix positive growth
Jolt of verve

© Becca Givens

Or this beauty by Mark R. Redfearn, who already was part of CDHK at the beginning:

Wise are the women
consorting with the foxes,
coaxing jade to sing.

© Mark R. Redfearn

CDHK Logo November 2012

And for closure of this Time Machine episode my inspired haiku in which I also refer to our regular prompt “waterfall”:

roaring thunder
water colored like jade
mingles with sunlight

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this little trip along memory lane and that it will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka ...

This CD Time Machine episode is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Saturday September 5th at noon (CET). have fun!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Carpe Diem #807 waterfall (reprise): Murchison Falls Uganda

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have a prompt for you all, that we have had several times already, waterfall, but it fits The Nile really great, because in The Nile we will encounter several waterfalls. Yesterday we had "Lake Victoria" and I know for sure that you all have heard of the Victoria Falls, but today we will visit the Murchison Falls in Uganda. It's situated in a National Park with the same name. It's, according to several sources, the most beautiful and exciting waterfall of Africa.

Credits: Murchison Falls Uganda

What a beauty don't you think so too? What can I say more, maybe this video which I found on You Tube will help you to become inspired. I just had to share this video, because I think "an image tells you more than a thousand words can do. So enjoy this video. (Source: video)

Wow ... impressive ... I really can see and understand why there are sources who are excited about these falls. Awesome.

roaring thunder
resonates through the jungle
power of nature

 © Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope this short episode 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 31st at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, Ripon Falls, the source of The Nile?, later on. Have fun!

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #97

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Recently I decided to change something in the time of publishing of several of our special features. One of those changes was the decision to make a few features appear online on a bi-weekly base. One of those special features is Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge, which will be published on a bi-weekly base on Fridays. I thought ... "it's time to change the logo too". So from this week on I will use te above logo for the Tan Renga Challenge. I hope you all do like it.

Let me tell you in short what the goal is of this Tan Renga Challenge. Tan Renga is a short chained poem which has two stanza written by two poets. The goal of the Tan Renga Challenge is to write/compose the second stanza of two lines with approximately 7-7 syllables per line towards a given first stanza.
This week however I love to challenge you a little bit more. Instead of giving you the first stanza I will give you the second (two-lined) stanza and you have to write the first (three lined) stanza or hokku of this Tan Renga.

So here is our Tan Renga Challenge of this week:


where the waters flow afar
the village glows with sweet plum flowers

This will not be an easy task I think. You have to fill in the "empty" lines (-----) with a haiku that could be the "predecessor" of the given two lined stanza. How can you do that? Well ... you have to associate on scenes/images in the given stanza to create the first stanza.

Credits: Plum Flowers

Here is my attempt:

in the twilight
as stars twinkle bright and clear
Honeysuckle perfume

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... I think this is a nice first stanza for this Tan Renga. Now let me re-produce the whole Tan Renga here:

in the twilight
as stars twinkle bright and clear
Honeysuckle perfume

where the waters flow afar
the village glows with sweet plum flowers

As I re-read this Tan Renga than it's really a beauty (how immodest), but it wasn't for sure easy to think "backwards".

And now ... it's up to you to complete this Tan Renga in the "backwards way".

This episode is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and it will remain open until next Friday September 4th at noon (CET). Have fun! Break a leg!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Carpe Diem #806 Lake Victoria

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Our journey over The Nile is almost over and we are nearing the source of The Nile. Today we sail up to Lake Victoria the greatest lake in Africa. I love to tell you a little bit more about Lake Victoria.

Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named after Queen Victoria by the explorer John Hanning Speke, the first Briton to document it. Speke accomplished this in 1858, while on an expedition with Richard Francis Burton to locate the source of the Nile River.
Lake Victoria receives its water primarily from direct precipitation and thousands of small streams. The largest stream flowing into this lake is the Kagera River, the mouth of which lies on the lake's western shore. Lake Victoria is drained solely by the Nile River near Jinja, Uganda, on the lake's northern shore.

Credits: Lake Victoria

A little geology history about lake Victoria:

During its geological history, Lake Victoria went through changes ranging from its present shallow depression, through to what may have been a series of much smaller lakes. Geological cores taken from its bottom show Lake Victoria has dried up completely at least three times since it formed. These drying cycles are probably related to past ice ages, which were times when precipitation declined globally. Lake Victoria last dried out 17,300 years ago, and it refilled beginning about 14,700 years ago. Geologically, Lake Victoria is relatively young – about 400,000 years old – and it formed when westward-flowing rivers were dammed by an up thrown crustal block.
This geological history probably contributed to the dramatic cichlid speciation that characterizes its ecology, as well as that of other African Great Lakes, although some researchers dispute this, arguing while Lake Victoria was at its lowest between 18,000 and 14,000 years ago, and it dried out at least once during that time, there is no evidence of remnant ponds or marshes persisting within the desiccated basin. If such features existed, then they would have been small, shallow, turbid, and/or saline, and therefore markedly different from the lake to which today's species are adapted.
The shallowness of Lake Victoria, its limited river inflow, and its large surface area compared to its volume make it vulnerable to the effects of climate changes.

Credits: Water Hyacinth

Lake Victoria is a beautiful lake, but it is sometimes overgrown with Water Hyacinth which damages its shores. It's possible that this "pest" of Water Hyacinth is the result of climate change.

Credits: Lake Victoria overgrown with Water Hyacinth

clear cool night
the pale light of the full moon
ripples on Lake Victoria

© Chèvrefeuille

her beauty
takes the life of the Lake
Water Hyacinth

© Chèvrefeuille

And now it's up to you my dear haijin ....

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 30th at noon (CET). I will publish our next episode (a reprise one), Waterfall, later on. For now ... be inspired and share your all new haiku or tanka with us all.

Carpe Diem My favorite haiku by ... #3 Adjei Agyei Baah "peak of Kilimanjaro"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

"My favorite haiku by ..." is a wonderful feature here at CDHK and I am glad to present to you an all new episode of this feature.
Recently we had Adjei Agyei Baah, a haiku poet from Ghana, as our featured haiku poet  and I am still in contact with him. Not so long ago he emailed me a series of new haiku and I love to share a few of them here with you ... and I will tell you a little bit more about my favorite haiku written by Adjei.

one nature’s beauty
observed in a single look
peak of Kilimanjaro 

© Adjei Agyei Baah

Credits: Mount Kilimanjaro

Adjei has already shared beautiful haiku, or as he calls them, afriku, with us all at CDHK. I think that Adjei is a very talented haiku poet and I just had to bring him in here again.
Why is this one of my favorite haiku by Adjei? Well ... it's a magnificent scene as you look at the image of Kilimanjaro. This mountain is really beautiful with its peak covered with eternal snow rising above the green-yellow land of Africa. Adjei has caught that beauty in a great way ... it feels like a holy moment, here you can feel the greatness of the Creator.

Kilimanjaro, the name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don't even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, the summit of Africa.
Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 meters – to an imperious 5,895 meters (19,336 feet).

Credits: Mount Kilimanjaro (Mountain of Light)

How to catch the beauty of Kilimanjaro (or any other mountain) in a haiku? I really don't know. I have never seen it in real, but as I look at the images I am overwhelmed with emotions. Look at its beauty, its greatness ... it really is a Mountain of Light or as other sources call it Mountain of Greatness.

Adjei's haiku catches that beauty, that overwhelming greatness in a wonderful way ... it makes me speechless and humble. I am imagining standing at the foot of Kilimanjaro ... nailed to the ground, because of its mighty features ... I just have to make it to the peak to adore the beauty of Africa ...

tears rolling down my cheeks
Africa seen from the sky

© Chèvrefeuille

Awesome ... I can almost sense that moment ... standing on the peak of Kilimanjaro, it feels so real and I have never been there. Thanks to Adjei I can feel Africa, I can feel how magnificent the view is from the top of Kilimanjaro. It feels like Heaven ...

!! More haiku by Adjei Agyei Baah you can find at his weblog Afrikuland !!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Thursday September 3rd at noon (CET).

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Carpe Diem #805 White Nile

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are nearing the end of our journey over The Nile and today we are sailing towards the White Nile. 

The White Nile is a river of Africa, one of the two main tributaries of the Nile, the other being the Blue Nile. In the strict meaning, "White Nile" refers to the river formed at Lake No at the confluence of the Bahr al Jabal and Bahr el Ghazal Rivers.
In the wider sense, the term White Nile refers to the approximately 3,700 kilometres (2,300 mi) of rivers draining from Lake Victoria into the White Nile proper. It may also, depending on the speaker, refer to the headwaters of Lake Victoria.
The 19th century search by Europeans for the source of the Nile was mainly focused on the White Nile, which disappeared into the depths of what was then known as 'Darkest Africa'. The White Nile's true source was not discovered until 1937, when the German explorer Dr. Burkhart Waldecker traced it to a stream in Rutovu at the base of Mount Kikizi.
When in flood the Sobat tributary carries a large amount of sediment, adding greatly to the White Nile's color.

Credits: White Nile
turns the Blue Nile
into white

© Chèvrefeuille

What a journey this has been until now ... we have just a few days left before we will finally encounter the source of The Nile ... and than we will take another trip .... into space, the universe as we are starting to explore the boundaries of the universe in our Space Odyssey ... I hope to publish our new prompt-list this week ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until August 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Lake Victoria, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your "White Nile" haiku (or tanka) with us all.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Carpe Diem Extra #31 2015 "Juxtaposition" kukai judging

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It took some more time, but I finally have the anonymous list of our third kukai "juxtaposition" ready. I have published it on the kukai page which you can find in the menu above.

This kukai was not an easy one I think. There were lesser submissions than we had in our second and first kukai. It was really a challenge this time ... well it doesn't really matter, because the kukai is just for fun.

Of course there will be a winner and a runner-up this time too and you all know what that means. If you are the winner than you have won the opportunity to create an e-book with a maximum of 50 haiku or 30 pages and you will be the featured haiku poet/ess in November 2015. And our runner-up will the central poet in the first Tokubetsudesu-episode of November 2015. Why November? Well ... September is almost there and in October we are celebrating our third anniversary and that will be a great month. So this time the winner and the runner-up have to wait a little bit longer.

Today I will start our fourth kukai. This time I hope that there will be more contributors to the kukai, because I have chosen the following theme:


You can submit a maximum of three (new) haiku, only haiku, inspired on "Peace of Mind" and email them to: please write "kukai peace of mind" in the subject line. You can submit your haiku until September 25th at noon (CET), so you have one month to respond.

Than I have another announcement to make. I have created the e-book "Bare Bones School of Renga" by Jane Reichhold and it's now available at our Haiku Kai exclusively. You can find it at the right side of our Kai. (By the way: it's the first version)


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #58 Dodoitsu

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Recently we decided, as a family of haiku poets, to open CDHK for other Japanese poetry forms. And to "warm-up" I have another Tokubetsudesu episode for you. This week I will tell you something more about a, not so well known, Japanese poetry form, dodoitsu.

Dodoitsu is a form of Japanese poetry developed towards the end of the Edo Period. Often concerning love or work, and usually comical, Dodoitsu poems consist of four lines with the syllabic structure 7-7-7-5 and no rhyme or metre.

One Night

one night I searched for a star
what I found was a full moon
now my every day is
full of shooting stars

© Ben Gieske (2012)

Credits: Shooting Stars

And this is what Jane Reichhold tells us about dodoitsu:

Recently there has been some interest in a minor Japanese genre called the "dodoitsu" that has a small following among English writers. It was a traditional form for popular and folk songs and the name ("quickly city to city") appears to refer to the speed with which such new songs spread. In Japanese, the "dodoitsu" contains twenty-six sound units (onji) composed of four phrases in 7-7-7-5 sound units. Its hard to find examples of "dodoitsu" among literature because most of these songs, sung in the accompaniment of the shamisen (a banjo-like instrument with three strings), relied on the oral tradition and are therefore lost to us. Since the subject matter was either love or humor as viewed by inhabitants of the pleasure quarters, the existing works have attracted very little attention in English.

The above "dodoitsu" however is a nice example. As I sought the Internet I ran into a recently written "dodoitsu" which I love to share here:

Love Like Raindrops

Love, like raindrops falling down
Embraced the dried barren earth
Each drop a soothing caress
That softens... and wins.

I think this a nice poetry form which (maybe) needs more attention, because it's fun to compose them and it helps to make you maore creative and that will also have its influence on your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry forms.


Of course I had to try it myself and this is what it has become:

her shadow on the white wall
her nude silhouette arouses me
I smell her fragile perfume
Honeysuckle blooms

© Chèvrefeuille

Wow ... what a nice dodoitsu (with a twist) I know, I know ... that sounds immodest, but I am really proud on this very first dodoitsu ever composed by me. I think this poetry form can become another addiction of mine ...

I hope you all like this episode and this "new" poetry form, dodoitsu, and I hope to read your dodoitsu soon. Have fun!

This Tokubetsudesu episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until August 28th at noon (CET). I will (try to) post our next episode, White Nile, later on. For now ... have fun!

Carpe Diem Modern Times Haiku #3 Jerry Kilbride (1930-2005)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to present a new episode of our Tuesday feature "Carpe Diem Modern Times Haiku". This week I have a male haiku poet who sadly already has gone to heaven. His name is Jerry Kilbride (1930-2005). I couldn't find a brief biography of him, so I will give you a link to read more about him after the haiku which I have chosen to share here.

still in the taste
of afternoon tea . . .
my grandmother's brogue

the cool surface
of each potato planted -
dark of the moon

the old soldier's fingers
tighten on his crutch

the wheelchair child
reaches for bubbles
she just blew

© Jerry Kilbride (1930-2005)

A biography of Jerry Kilbride you can find in: The "Bulletin"of the Californian State Library Foundation (Number 84 - 2006 pages 17-22) It's a nice story with a lot of information about Jerry Kilbride and lots of photos. 

Jerry Kilbride (1930-2005)

As you all know the goal is to write an all new haiku or tanka, or another Japanese poetry form, inspired on one (or more) haiku given above. I however wasn't inspired so I pass this time. Maybe I will come up with something later. Than I will link up.

!!! By the way: During lack of time I wasn't able to publish our anonymous list for our third kukai "juxtaposition" I hope to publish it later this week. Sorry !!!

This episode of Modern Times Haiku is open at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Tuesday September 1st at noon (CET). Have fun!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #163 Lolly's fifth a peony bush (tanka)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to present to you Laura Williams' (a.k.a. Lolly) fifth CD Special. Lolly is the winner of our second kukai "summertime" and the following tanka I extracted from her E-book "Lovely Things". It's one of her published tanka (a Spring tanka) and it's a beauty. Lolly is a very gifted poetess and I am honored that she is part of our CDHK family.

The goal of this CD Special is to write/compose an all new haiku (or tanka) inspired on Lolly's given poem.

a peony bush
heavy with flowers ...
trying to pick
from a long list of names
for the full spring moon

© Laura Williams (a.k.a. Lolly of Lovely Things)

Credits: Peony bush

Here is my attempt inspired on the tanka:

pink flowers bloom
between green dewy leaves
a double peony

© Chèvrefeuille

Not a very strong one, but I like it.

This CD Special is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 27th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, a new Tokubetsudesu episode, later on. For now ... be inspired and share your all new haiku (or tanka) with us all, of course you also may respond with a haiku or tanka from your archives.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Carpe Diem #804 Yellow Nile (Wadi Howar)

!!! I am in the nightshift, so I have a short episode for you !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we arrived at what was called the Yellow Nile or Wadi Howar. Let me tell you a little bit more about the Yellow Nile.

Wadi Howar (Wadi Howa) is a wadi in Sudan and Chad. It travels approximately 400 kilometers in a northeasterly direction from the Ouaddaï highlands in Chad across the North Darfur state of Sudan, before losing itself in the Libyan Desert. Towards its western end it forms a part of the international boundary between Sudan and Chad, separating the West Darfur state of Sudan and the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti Region of Chad.

Credits: Ouaddai Highlands with remains of the Ouaddai Empire

The wadi is the remnant of the ancient Yellow Nile, a tributary of the Nile, during the Neolithic Subpluvial, it was one of the largest rivers, lasting until 1500 BC, when the Sahara Desert returned to it present point. It met the Nile near the southern point of the Great Bend. the present extremely arid western part of Upper Nubia (northern Sudan)was temporarily linked to the Nile by way of a hitherto unknown 400 kilometer long tributary. From about 9500 to 4500 years ago, lower Wadi Howar flowed through an environment characterized by numerous ground water outlets and freshwater lakes. Savanna fauna and cattle-herders occupied this region, which today receives at most 25 millimeters of rainfall per year. At that period the southern edge of the eastern Sahara was 500 kilometers further north than today and ground water resources were recharged for the last time.

once a year
the Yellow Nile returns
rainy season

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 26th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, the fifth CD Special by Lolly, later on.

Carpe Diem Utabukuro #8

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a bit late with this episode, because I am in the nightshift.
It's time again for an episode of Utabukuro in which I ask you to choose a favorite or special haiku or tanka with memories. You can choose a haiku or tanka by yourself, a classical or non-classical haiku or tanka by the poet or poetess of your own choice. No prompt or theme to follow just free choice.
After sharing your favorite haiku or tanka please tell us why you have chosen that haiku or tanka. And than write an all new haiku or tanka inspired on the haiku or tanka you have chosen.

For this episode of Utabukuro I have chosen a tanka which I wrote myself recently. It was one of my first tanka which I dared to publish on the website were my International carreer as a haiku poet started in 2005. Here is the tanka.
Lilies of the valley
their sweet perfume makes me drowsy
hot summer night
between silken sheets her warmth
honeysuckle coolness

© Chèvrefeuille

Lilies of the Valley
And this is the reason why I have chosen (immodest maybe) this Tanka, because of the response of Narayanan Raghunathan (co-founder of Wonder Haiku Worlds) and the wonderful comment as I will reproduce here:
[...] "I take the personal liberty, say literary freedom and tentatively meta cultyuro-anachronistically call this Tanka a neo-wordsworthian version of Tanka ~ It is done with care and blessed freedom ~ Well, as we know Tanka was essentially originally a genre of Japanese poetry about "love" ~ Here, that too gets exemplified very elegantly in this modern tanka ~ People who care to know about Tanka as a genre may venture to procure the first Wonder Haiku Worlds Anthology the large beautifully designed "Spasms Of Light" ~ available at and check the elaborate introduction ~ Our next Anthology is possibly expected to be published by June ~ 2016 We will surely be honored to have this Tanka in its contents, of course if you permit Chèvrefeuille ~ ` [...]

Narayanan Raghunathan  
As I read this comment I really was overwhelmed with feelings of pride and happiness. As you all know I have just recently started to write Tanka and than this kind of comments ... I am really proud.

And now I have to write an all new Tanka or Haiku inspired on this one ... I don't know if I can ... I have tried it, but I only could come up with a haiku:

midsummer night -
the scent of Honeysuckle
tickles the senses

© Chèvrefeuille
Well I hope you don't find me immodest, but I just had to share this with you all.

Try to choose a favorite haiku or tanka and tell us why you do like it and try to write/compose an all new haiku or tanka to share with us.
This episode of Utabukuro is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Saturday August 29th at noon (CET). Have fun! 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Carpe Diem #803 Lake Tana

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to create another episode of CDHK. We are on our way to the source of The Nile and yesterday we sailed on the Blue Nile and now we are arriving on Lake Tana.

Lake Tana (also spelled T'ana, an older variant is Tsana, sometimes called "Dembiya" after the region to the north of the lake) is the source of the Blue Nile and is the largest lake in Ethiopia. Located in Amhara Region in the north-western Ethiopian Highlands, the lake is approximately 84 kilometers long and 66 kilometers wide, with a maximum depth of 15 meters, and an elevation of 1,788 meters. Lake Tana is fed by the Lesser Abay, Reb and Gumara rivers; and its surface area ranges from 3,000 to 3,500 km, depending on season and rainfall. The lake level has been regulated since the construction of the control weir where the lake discharges into the Blue Nile. This controls the flow to the Blue Nile Falls (Tis Abbai) and hydro-power station.
The lake was originally much larger than it is today. Seven large permanent rivers feed the lake as well as 40 small seasonal rivers. The main tributaries to the lake are Gilgel Abbay (Little Nile River), and the Megech, Gumara and Rib rivers.
Lake Tana has a number of islands, whose number varies depending on the level of the lake. It has fallen about 6 feet (1.8 m) in the last 400 years. According to Manoel de Almeida (a Portuguese missionary in the early 17th century), there were 21 islands, seven to eight of which had monasteries on them "formerly large, but now much diminished." When James Bruce visited the area in the later 18th century, he noted that the locals counted 45 inhabited islands, but stated he believed that "the number may be about eleven."  A 20th-century geographer named 37 islands, of which he believed 19 have or had monasteries or churches on them.

The monasteries are believed to have been built over earlier religious sites. They include the fourteenth-century Debre Maryam, and the eighteenth-century Narga Selassie, Tana Qirqos (said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant before it was moved to Axum), and Ura Kidane Mehret, known for its regalia.
Credits: Lake Tana
Well ... it's a beautiful lake I think, must be awesome to visit it once for real.

Lake Tana
religious site of Ethopia
church isles

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 25th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Yellow Nile (Wadi Howar), later on.