Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Carpe Diem Modern Times Haiku #1 mother’s scarf

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It’s my pleasure to introduce an all new feature to you. Mostly we, at CDHK, are focused on classical haiku masters, but I think in our time we have also great haiku poets. I would like to introduce to you on a bi-weekly sequence to modern haiku poets, say from 1900 until now. As I thought about this feature I sought the Internet for a long time and I have found a few wonderful websites to extract my information about these modern haiku poets from.

As always there is a kind of task bound to every new feature. For this feature I love to ask you to write an all new haiku (or tanka) inspired on the given haiku, but they have to follow the rules of the classical haiku:
  • 5-7-5
  • a kigo or seasonword
  • a kireji or cutting word (: ; , and so on)
  • nature as it’s theme and humankind as part of it
  • a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water
  • interchanging the first and third line
  • and (if possible) a deeper meaning, based on Zen Buddhism or another religious or spiritual kind of belief.
For this first episode of  “Carpe Diem Modern Times Haiku“ I have a haiku poetess for you, Peggy Willis Lyles (1939-2010). In every episode I will try to give a brief biography of the poet and so here I have a brief biography of Peggy Willis Lyles.

Peggy Willis-Lyles (1939-2010)

Peggy Willis Lyles was born in Summerville, South Carolina, on September 17, 1939. She died in Tucker, Georgia on September 3, 2010. A former English professor, she was a leading haiku writer for over 30 years—helping bring many readers and writers into the haiku community. Her voice and guidance will be missed in the community, but we know that her haiku will continue to touch so many souls in the future.

And of course I will share a few of the haiku which were written by these modern haiku poets. Here I have a few written/composed by Peggy. The first haiku was for me the reason to create this feature, because that haiku touched me deep ...

mother’s scarf
slides from my shoulder . . .
wild violets

a cool current
where the river deepens
summer sky

gray morning
the weight of mist
in Spanish moss

Credits: Spanish Moss

summer stillness
the play of light and shadow
on the wind chimes

the tai chi master
shifts his stance

© Peggy Willis Lyles (1939-2010)

All wonderful haiku with a nice and strong scene. I hadn’t heard of Peggy Willis Lyles until a few days ago, but I fell in love with her haiku. With her the world lost a wonderful poet in 2010. She will be missed forever ... leaving an enormous heritage of gorgeous haiku.

I became inspired to write a haiku about "Spanish Moss" after reading her haiku. I never had seen Spanish Moss ... so as the above image came along on the Internet I just thought "this is worth a new haiku".

between green leaves
a waterfall without sound
Spanish Mosses fall

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't it awesome! What a beautiful haiku Peggy Willis Lyles has written ... for sure worth reading more of her work. I hope you did like this new CDHK feature and I hope 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 August 18th at noon (CET). Have fun, be inspired and share your all new haiku or tanka with us all here at our Haiku Kai


  1. I was reading your nice post, and came to your haiku - and time stopped...........thank you for such an amazing haiku, Chèvrefeuille. And I mean amazing.
    Great write.up as well.

    1. Thank you Hamish, my friend, you make me blush ...


  2. Your line:
    "a waterfall without sound"
    such an apt phrase for this haiku.

    Also: Thank you for introducing us to this poet: Great choice.

  3. I do love that you expand my horizons through the beauty of haiku- your haiku is so lovely in its image of the Spanish Moss as a waterfall- a silent one at that!

  4. Great new feature, Chevrefeuille! I'm so glad we'll be looking at recent haiku poets' work.
    And -- your haiku is *exquisite* !

  5. What a great new challenge, Kristjaan! Your haiku is truly exceptional. Sheer beauty to read, re-read and let it...sink in.
    And thank you for introducing to the haiku of Peggy Willis-Lyles - unknown to me but a beautiful (and educational) discovery.