Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Carpe Diem #830 New Year

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

... with our third anniversary of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and a Happy New Year. Welcome at our third anniversary month October 2015. Time to look back, but not to long. We are not living in the past or in the future, we are living NOW.
Back in October 2012 I started Carpe Diem Haiku Kai (than it was only called "Carpe Diem") to share my love for haiku and other Japanese poetry forms with the world. Back than the only thing I thought was "let me give it a try and start with a daily haiku meme". I never had thought that CDHK would be alive and kicking three years later, but ... we are here growing from toddler to teenager and with a lot more special features.
Our first Logo September/October 2012
Back in 2012 I only had the regular prompts and the CD-Specials in which I introduced and shared haiku composed by a featured haiku poet/ess (classical and non-classical). In the first month that was (of course) Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), my haiku master.
During the time I created new features, some of them still in use and others vanished or landed in the closet. Last year (2014), following the warm-hearted family feeling of our Haiku Kai, I mentioned for the very first time our Kai "Carpe Diem Haiku Family" and in the mean time that "family"- idea landed in your hearts and in the hearts of my visitors and travclers by. I created several new parts for our "Carpe Diem Haiku Family" e.g weblogs on Wordpress. And I created places for our Carpe Diem Haiku Family at Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr and more recently I created a place at Pinterest and a new weblog at Sim-diff. This last weblog on Sim-diff is especially for Troiku.
This year we started with our CDHK kukai from which we have had four (the judging for our 4th kukai "peace of mind" is running at the moment) and we had our first Renga Party. We have really grown ... we have our e-books and (I hope) to launch our own CDHK-M, our merchandise webshop, soon.

Our logo September 2014

Than we had of course that event that Jane Reichhold, a very famous haiku-poetess, became a kind of co-host for CDHK and gave me the exclusive rights to publish her e-books at our Haiku Kai. I am grateful that she gave me that opportunity. During the excistence of CDHK I had the honor to bring haiku by several well known, famous, haiku poets/esses from all around the globe e.g. Kala Ramesh, Jim Kacian and Garry Gay and this month, in which we celebrate our third anniversary, I have the honor that two well known and famous haiku poets have granted me permission to use their poetry and an essay, Michael Dylan Welch and Tom D'Evelyn. Both have gained their place in the world wide haiku community and I am grateful that they will be here (in words) at CDHK.

Earlier in this post I said that we are living now in the present ... I have looked back and now I love to give you a Sneak Preview of the future of our Haiku Kai.
This month I hope to open our CDHK-M webshop (Carpe Diem Haiku Kai-Merchandise) and I hope to open our own You Tube Channel. I am struggling with that channel, so this will take a little bit more time I guess.

Troika (the base on which the Troiku is created)

I will create another weblog especially for Troiku, because the Sim-Diff weblog is just a kind of showcase, to give you the opportunity to respond on themes given with a Troiku. I also will create an all new feature Troiku World here at our Haiku Kai and also an all new feature about the Fibo-ku, both creative ways to write haiku which I invented.
Next month November we will go back to Central Asia, to Mongolia, the Altai Mountains were we will have a journey while riding on a horse. That month we will "read" another wonderful novel written by Paulo Coelho, The Zahir. The Zahir is one of his most beautiful novels and the story takes place in and around The Altai Mountains.
In December we will have all classical kigo for Winter based on the Japanese Saijiki's.

I hope to create two new e-books, one for our prize-winning poetess Ese, for the kukai "juxtaposition", and a special E-book about Troiku.
As you maybe know this month it's all about Japanese Festivals ... and Japan has a lot of them.

What can I tell you more ... at the moment nothing more I think, so I will end this episode New Year with the following haiku:

yesterday's wind
on New Year’s Eve
still the same

carpe diem haiku kai

a gathering of creative spirits

colorful fireworks

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 3rd at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, Ohmato Taikai, later on. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Carpe Diem Extra 35 - 2015 Judging our fourth kukai "Peace of Mind" starts !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The judging for our fourth kukai "Peace of Mind" is NOW OPEN. You may give 6 points (3 for the best haiku, 2 for the second best haiku and 1 point for the third best haiku). As from now on (as we have discussed earlier) the judging is also open for those who didn't participate in this kukai.

Please send your votes before October 15 th 2015 midnight (CET) to our emailaddress:

Don't forget to write "judging kukai "peace of mind" in the subject line.

Good Luck!

Chèvrefeuille, your host.

PS. You can find the anonymous list of submitted haiku in the menu above or by clicking HERE.

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #63 Troiku (reprise)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

To celebrate that CDHK has a new part on Troiku I love to challenge you all to write (again) a troiku. This time however with a small twist ... you have to use the haiku which I will give you in this episode.
By the way I am busy with creating a new feature here at CDHK in which we will, on a bi-weekly base, have two different creative ways of writing haiku. That feature is about Troiku and Fibo-ku, two creative ways to write haiku which I invented.

Ok ... back to this Tokubetsudesu episode. I have a wonderful haiku by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), one of the "big-five" haiku poets (Basho, Issa, Chiyo-Ni, Buson and Shiki), to start your Troiku with. In short you have to write three new haiku using the three separated lines of the given haiku as the first line. To read more about Troiku, please see the menu above.

Credits: A Troika the base of the Troiku

The haiku which you have to use ("the sleigh") is a haiku by Basho in a translation by Jane Reichhold.

Here is the haiku ("the sleigh") to use to create the three new haiku ("the horses"):

butterflies and birds
restlessly they rise up
a cloud of flowers

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

This is what Jane tells us about this haiku by Basho written in spring 1684: This verse is ambiguous enough that the reader does not know if the butterflies and birds look like a cloud of flowers or if they fly up into a cloud of blossoms.

This is the "blue-print" of the troiku:


butterflies and birds
restlessly they rise up
a cloud of flowers

(horse 1):

+ starts with: butterflies and birds

(horse 2):

+ starts with: restlessly they rise up

(horse 3):

+ starts with: a cloud of flowers

I will of course create a troiku from this haiku by Basho myself and I have already the "third horse":

a cloud of flowers
on the shoulders of the wind
they rise to heaven

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't it awesome to create a troiku? I even created a weblog especially for this new form (you can find the link at the left of our home-page) and I will create a new CDHK special feature for this creative way of writing haiku.

Well ... good luck .... have fun!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 2nd at noon (CET). Have fun!

Carpe Diem Special #169 Autumn's colors

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another CD Special is on. This month we had no featured haiku poet, but a featured season, autumn, and today we have our last CD Special episode of this month.

To conclude this wonderful month in which we were on a space odyssey and had all beautiful CD Specials about autumn. I love to challnege you to write a haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on the following image (as you maybe can remember from our rich history we had a special feature Carpe Diem Imagination):

Here is my attempt to write a haiku inspired on the above image ....

amazingly colorful
tears fall

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode of our CD Special feature is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to pubklish our new episode, New Year, later on. It's the first episode of our festive month in which we celebrate our third anniversary through visiting Japanese Festivals and Celebrations.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Carpe Diem #829 Vulpecula (Fox)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a little bit late with this episode ... my excuses for that tiny delay.

Last night (September 27th/September 28th) we had an event that occurs not that often ... a total super blood moon eclipse, sadly I missed it. I was awake around the time of the eclipse, because I was anxious to witness this event ... sadly it was a very cloudy night here in The Netherlands at that time so I missed it. Now I have to wait until 2033 to see this event again ... maybe I am Lucky than. Must be awesome to see a super blood moon eclipse.

missing it again
only heavy clouds and a faint red
no super blood moon

© Chèvrefeuille

We are on a journey among the stars and today we have our final encounter with one of the 88 known constellations, Vulpecula (Fox), its also a not so well known constellation. Let us take a closer look at this constellation:

Credits: Vulpecula (Fox)

About this not so well known constellation I couldn't really find a lot of information, but there was a small amount of information which I love to share here with you.

Vulpecula is a faint constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for "little fox", although it is commonly known simply as the fox. It was identified in the seventeenth century, and is located in the middle of the Summer Triangle (an asterism consisting of the bright stars Deneb, Vega and Altair).
In the late 17th century, the astronomer Johannes Hevelius created Vulpecula. It was originally known as Vulpecula cum ansere ("the little fox with the goose") or Vulpecula et Anser ("the little fox and the goose"), and was illustrated with a goose in the jaws of a fox. Hevelius did not regard the fox and the goose to be two separate constellations, but later the stars were divided into a separate Anser and Vulpecula. Today, they have been merged again under the name of the fox, but the goose is remembered by the name of the star Vulpeculae: Anser.
Credits: Vulpecula (Fox)

And with this constellation Vulpecula (Fox) we are back on Earth and proud that we have visited all those constellations and have been writing haiku about them. It was really fun to make this space odyssey for you all and I hope you all did enjoy "the ride".

Tomorrow we will have our last episode(s) of this month, a CD Special and a Tokubetsudesu episode, and than we will start with our third anniversary month ...

Vulpecula hunts
amidst the stars
goose escapes

© Chèvrefeuille

Recently I started a new weblog "Carpe Diem Troiku World" it's, as you cvan understand from it's title all about Troiku .... feel free to visit. It's under construction, but there are already a few posts to read.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 1st at noon (CET). I will try to post our next (and last) episodes of this month, Carpe Diem Special and Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu, later on. For now ... thank you for flying with Carpe Diem Haiku Kai to the stars and I hope it will inspire you.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Carpe Diem #828 Sculptor

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I started to create this episode I let my thoughts go a bit. I asked myself ... what does the sculptor mean to me? I first thought it's another name for our Creator, but at second thought I thought we are all our own sculptors. We all have shaped our life and our environment following our ideas and dreams. And after those thoughts I hoped to find that same idea in our constellation (a not so well known one) Sculptor.

I really hadn't heard about this constellation and several of the other constellations we have encountered already. So I am anxious to find/read more about this constellation. By the way ... did you know that our former queen, princess Beatrix is a sculptor herself? She is a really great artist and a lot of people don't know that I think.

Credits: Jantje Beton made by princess Beatrix
That was just a little side step ... so back to our constellation of today Sculptor. Let us take a closer look at this "unknown" constellation. And there is not a lot to find about this constellation, so this will be a short episode.

Sculptor is a faint constellation south of Cetus and Aquarius, invented by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille during his mapping of the southern skies in 1751–52. His original name for it, given on his planisphere of 1756, was l’Atelier du Sculpteur, the sculptor’s studio. It consisted of a carved head on a tripod table, with the artist’s mallet and two chisels on a block of marble next to it. On Lacaille’s 1763 planisphere the title was Latinized to Apparatus Sculptoris. In 1844 the English astronomer John Herschel proposed shortening it to Sculptor.

sculpting a world
full of wonderful poetry
like bright stars

© Chèvrefeuille

Not a strong haiku I think, but in a way ... the deeper layer is the most important in this haiku. Isn't that what our goal is? To make a better world through poetry? If we can succeed in that ... I would be proud ....

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 30th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Vulpecula (Fox), later on.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Carpe Diem #827 Phoenix

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy ... another month of CDHK is running to it's end and we have just a few days before we are starting with our third anniversary month. Incredible that CDHK is still here alive and kicking. I am proud to be your host and that makes me humble too, because who am I that I may make CDHK for a worldwide family of haiku poets. Thank you all for being part in this haiku loving family.

Today we are going further on our space odyssey to encounter another (not so well known) constellation Phoenix. The Phoenix rises from its ashes and I hope that CDHK will never come to the point that it will die and has to be reborn like a phoenix.

Credits: Rise like a Phoenix

Let us first take a look at the mythology of this mythical creature. In Greek mythology, a phoenix or phenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. According to some sources, the phoenix dies in a show of flames and combustion, although there are other sources that claim that the legendary bird dies and simply decomposes before being born again. According to some texts, the phoenix could live over 1,400 years before rebirth. Herodotus, Lucan, Pliny the Elder, Pope Clement I, Lactantius, Ovid, and Isidore of Seville are among those who have contributed to the retelling and transmission of the phoenix motif. The phoenix was adopted as a symbol in early Christianity.

As you maybe know I am a fan of Harry Potter and in that movie series appears several times a phoenix to rescue Harry e.g. in "The Secret Chamber" and "The Order of the Phoenix". So a lot of us have grown up with this mythical creature.

like a phoenix
the sun rises every day again
conquering the night

© Chèvrefeuille

Maybe that's the deeper meaning of this creature. Resurrection and renewal every day again. Maybe you have conquered illness and came out of it like a Phoenix. I think that in everyone of us, in every human there is something like a Phoenix. As I look at myself than I sure think that's true. I have conquered several periods of illness and came out stronger as ever. So ... we all are Phoenixes ...

Ok ... back to our constellation, because that's where its all about this month. Let us take a closer look to this, not so well known, constellation.

Credits: Phoenix

Phoenix was the largest of the twelve constellations established by Petrus Plancius from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman. It first appeared on a 35-cm diameter celestial globe published in 1597 (or 1598) in Amsterdam by Plancius with Jodocus Hondius. The first depiction of this constellation in a celestial atlas was in Johann Bayer's Uranometria of 1603. De Houtman included it in his southern star catalog the same year under the Dutch name Den voghel Fenicx, "The Bird Phoenix", symbolising the phoenix of classical mythology. One name of the brightest star Alpha Phoenicis—Ankaa—is derived from the Arabic ‘anqā’ "the phoenix", and was coined sometime after 1800 in relation to the constellation.

Celestial historian Richard Allen noted that unlike the other constellations introduced by Plancius and La Caille, Phoenix has actual precedent in ancient astronomy, as the Arabs saw this formation as representing young ostriches, Al Ri'āl, or as a griffin or eagle. In addition, the same group of stars was sometimes imagined by the Arabs as a boat, Al Zaurak, on the nearby river Eridanus. He observed, "the introduction of a Phoenix into modern astronomy was, in a measure, by adoption rather than by invention."

The Chinese incorporated Phoenix's brightest star, Ankaa (Alpha Phoenicis), and stars from the adjacent constellation Sculptor to depict Bakui, a net for catching birds. Phoenix and the neighboring constellation of Grus together were seen by Julius Schiller as portraying Aaron the High Priest. These two constellations, along with nearby Pavo and Tucana, are called the Southern Birds.

phoenix spreads its wings
after the dark cold winter night
finally spring

© Chèvrefeuille

That's something to see spring arriving like a Phoenix ... maybe the Phoenix is very real ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Sculptor, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

Carpe Diem Renga Party #1 In The Twilight (completed)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have finally found time to publish our first Carpe Diem kasen-renga “In The Twilight”. It was an experiment, but I think it has become wonderful. It was really a joy to follow the growth of this renga and I am so glad that it has become a beauty. Thank you all for participating in this first Carpe Diem Renga Party.

A Renga, as we have created here is called a kasen-renga of 36 links. But ... there were (of course) strict rules. As we look at ancient kasen-renga than there were for example links in which you had to use kigo (seasonwords) like moon and in a kasen-renga there was always the whole year, in fact in every renga you will find all seasons.


startdate: August 9th 2015
end-date: September 9th 2015

participants: Ese (es); Candy (ca); Hamish (ha); Paloma (pa); Sky (sk); Lolly (lo); Georgia (ge); Christy (chr); Usha (us); Dolores (do); Celestine (ce); Gillena (gi); Milan (mi); Ruchi (ru); Jazzy (ja); Nimi (ni); Chèvrefeuille (chè)


in the twilight
mist creeps over the fields -
stars twinkle

climbing vines of honeysuckle
scented breeze lures out the moon (es)

moonglow touches earth
sparkles brightly on still water
diamonds on the pond

sudden rainfall scatters the light
-a lightning flash makes a frog jump (ha)

brittle rings break
amid drifting leaves -
Luna, eclipsed

swaying branches dance
with the autumn wind (sk)

two silhouettes
under umbrella
at the bus stop

navigating by instinct
on the road to Shangri-La (lo)

love echoes
in the halls of paradise
a blackbird's song

Umbrella eclipses kiss
Stolen amongst sweet whispers (chr)

Day meets night
my love lost in dark,
feel his aura
. (us)

his skin kissed in the scent
of autumn dreams (do)

witching hour
shimmer of the moon
caressing her curves

there in the gentle ripples
their hearts speak one language (gi)

~celestial bodies
envious of the lovers -
twinkle each other . ~

spiritual lantern whisper
chorus of eternal love (ru)

scent of hyacinth
mingle with the cool moonlit air
nights to remember

purple beauties wink merrily
lovers drink in the mystique (ni)

holding hands
light spring in step
- swing sways

on the children's playground
memories grabbing me by the throat (chè)

early temple bell
young monk shudders in his sleep
dream interrupted

strutting rooster crows
as farmer sips his morning tea (ca)

and the hunter, he waits
he waits as the sun rises
in the Azalea grass

plea and answer, eye to eye
and the bow is lowered (pa)

trampled pride
on a trembling lip
it's dawning

morning wood fuels the fire,
he wants coffee, tea and me (lo)

arrow pierces flesh
quivering quarry succumbs
passion springing forth

a dark night moon and stars hidden,
are they with you behind the clouds? (us)

sturgeon moon appears
wearing a soft red cast
stained in guilt

corn stubble cast in red light
under the sturgeon moon (ge)

red autumn leaves fall
remember sweet caresses
ah - lost summer love

taste of your lips lingering
with jasmine smells of autumn (ce)

blowing kisses -
fragrance of blossoms
trails along the path

intoxicating cherries
how I miss you ,beside you ! (mi)

scent of wisteria
spring confetti blooms
piñata as tall as green grass


remnants of the day kin to
impressionist's spring canvas (ja)

I love to thank you all for participating. I am looking forward to our next Renga Party which I have planned for upcoming winter. More to come when the time is there.

Carpe Diem Time Machine #17 Tsuyujimo (dew frost)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

September 2015 is running to it's end and next week we will have our first day of our third anniversary. And that makes me happy. Today it is time for an all new CD Time Machine episode and this time I have chosen for a prompt which closed September in 2013. In September 2013 we had all classical kigo for autumn and the prompt than was "Tsuyujimo (dew frost)".

"Haiku isn't only a form of poetry, but it's also a way of life". And that is what haiku is ... haiku is a kind of lifestyle entwined with Zen-Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and other ancient philosophies. All those religious/spiritual ways of life are all a piece of Basho's work and life.

I remember what I wrote than and I love to share that here again. This is what I wrote and while looking back to the start of Carpe Diem ... it makes me proud that CDHK is still here alive and kicking.

Blossoming Cherry blossom

[...] "The above picture shows a cherry tree starting to blossom (photo © Chèvrefeuille '15) and that's what we are here at Carpe Diem ... just starting to bloom. As our next month starts, we start to grow further in a new year of Carpe Diem. To make that second year a way to grow I have changed our groups name a little bit. I have added "kai" to it. "Kai" means "group in Japanese", so we have grown to a Haiku Kai and that makes me happy. So from this day on our haiku-community is called: Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. And with that name I hope we will blossom further and that we will become a full grown cherry tree. [...]

Imagine ... we are here almost three years. I really couldn't have dreamed that as I started our Kai, but we are still here. Did we grow? Are we already grown up? I don't know what you think, but this is what I feel today:

I am proud that we have come this far and I think we are starting to become an adult group of haiku loving poets. In our "life" as a Kai we have seen changes come and go. We are a steady group of poets and we also can say we have published our Kai's haiku in several e-books. We have our own traditions ... think about our kukai, our renga party and all those other beautiful features. I am proud and that makes me humble too. Who am I that I may do this ... being your host and mentor ...!

a little verse
brings people together
without rivalry

© Chèvrefeuille

During the years of our existence we have accomplished a lot, and that's not only my merit, but it's your merit too. I am happy that through our Kai we have promoted haiku all around the globe. We have encountered a lot of wellknown haiku poets e.g. Jane Reichhold, Garry Gay, Jim Kacian, Michael Dylan Welch and Tom D'Evelyn. And they all are cherishing Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and are glad to be part of it. 

Dew Frost
 "Dew frost" is a kind of thin layer of frost on branches, grasses and so on. It's the first signal for the upcoming winter cold, but it also is a wonderful fragile kind of frost which changes Mother Nature's face in to a mysterious and magical world. I love to walk through nature as this dew frost occurs and the early sunlight starts to shine. The trees look somewhat like crystal or diamonds, so fragile in it's beauty. Really awesome ...

What a wonderful sight ... look at those dew drops frozen, like pearls ... nature can be that beautiful, that fragile, that transient ... just like life itself.

early morning walk
through the park that looks so fragile -
sunrise and dew frost

cobweb sparkles
prince winter has made his round
through the city-park

© Chèvrefeuille

Dew frost ... so fragile and so beautiful ... so transient ...

As I started CDHK that was one of my anxieties that this daily haiku meme would be transient like the dew frost, but ... look at us ... we are still here ....

haiku poets
write about transience ... a short moment
lasting in time

© Chèvrefeuille

I am looking forward to our third anniversary and I hope to read wonderful haiku ... tanka ... or other Japanese poetry forms ... and (I hope) according to my idea ... to open our CDHK-Merchandise webshop.

This episode is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and will remain open until September 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, phoenix, later on today. For now ... have fun!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Carpe Diem #826 Pyxis (Mariner's compass)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

On our space odyssey we have encountered several known an unknown constellations and today we have another "unknown" constellation, Pyxis (Mariner's compass). I haven't heard from this constellation and I think most of you also will not know this constellation. So it will not be easy to write an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on this constellation. Maybe the description can help us. Let us take a closer look at this "unknown" constellation.

Credits: Pyxis (Mariner's compass)
And here is the story behind this constellation:

The constellation Pyxis was created by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1751-52 during his exploration of the southern skies. He named the constellation la Boussole and later Latinized the name to Pixis Nautica. The constellation appeared under this name in the second edition of Lacaille’s chart in 1763. The name was eventually shortened to Pyxis.

The constellation represents the magnetic compass used by navigators and seamen and should not be confused with Circinus, which was named after a draftsman’s compasses. Pyxis lies in the vicinity of the three constellations that were once known as Argo Navis, a single large constellation that represented the ship of the Argonauts. Lacaille was the one who divided the constellation into three smaller ones – Carina, Puppis and Vela – and this might be the reason why Pyxis is sometimes mentioned as the fourth constellation that was part of Argo Navis, even though it wasn’t. The Greek astronomer Ptolemy had catalogued the stars from Alpha to Delta Pyxidis, but not as part of Argo Navis, but as stars located on or around the ship’s mast.

look at the stars
while on the way to fulfillment
pyxis leads

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 28th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Phoenix, later on.

Carpe Diem On The Trail With Basho Encore #14 "falling willow leaves"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's time again for an all new episode of our special feature "Encore" in which I present haiku written by Basho to inspire you to write an all new haiku (or tanka). This week I have chosen a beautiful haiku which Basho wrote while he was on his journey into the deep north.

When travelers stayed in a temple, they were expected to perform some work like sweeping out their rooms and or sweeping up the garden or make a payment in some kind. Basho was now alone, because Sora had traveled on ahead of him. When Basho went to leave the temple, some monks stopped him by asking for the payment of at least a poem. Sora had stayed the night before in the same temple and had left the following verse for Basho.
yomosugara   aki kaze kiku ya   ura no yama

all night long
hearing autumn winds
in the mountain behind

© Sora
One wonders if 'the mountain behind' was Basho, and if he 'autumn winds' were Basho's cold feelings. It is easy to see, how on a journey of this length (2400 km) two friends could get very tired of each other.

The following haiku by Basho, he wrote as a payment for his stay at the temple.
niwa hou te   ide baya tera ni   chiru yanagi

to sweep the garden
before I leave
falling willow leaves

© Basho

Basho and Sora

A wonderful haiku I think. I love this verse and I have written the next one. I hope that my haiku will be in the same tone and sense as Basho's.
tears in my eyes
I give Honeysuckle blossom
when I leave

© Chèvrefeuille

In 'My Narrow Road' I have used some of the traditions as they were used in ancient Japan. This verse I wrote for friends as payment for staying at their home.
It's for sure in Chevrefeuille's Spirit and I think ... also in the Spirit of Basho.

Another one also from 'My Narrow Road'.
a bound verse (*)
farewell gift for my host
and blossom petals

© Chèvrefeuille

 (*) a renga was also called a 'bound verse'.
I wrote this one to thank the host of a bed and breakfast in Nikko. He was very pleasant and friendly.

This episode of "Encore" is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and it will remain open until next Friday October 2nd at noon (CET).

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Carpe Diem #825 Pegasus

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Our space odyssey was on hold a few days, but today we will go on with this exploration of our universe. Today we will encounter the constellation Pegasus. I didn't know this constellation, but Pegasus I do know. This winged horse is a gorgeous myth from the Greeks.

Let us take a closer look at Pegasus:

Credits: Pegasus

The Babylonian constellation IKU (field) had four stars of which three were later part of the Greek constellation Hippos (Pegasus). Pegasus, in Greek mythology, was a winged horse with magical powers. One myth regarding his powers says that his hooves dug out a spring, Hippocrene, which blessed those who drank its water with the ability to write poetry. Pegasus was the one who delivered Medusa's head to Polydectes, after which he travelled to Mount Olympus in order to be the bearer of thunder and lightning for Zeus. Eventually, he became the horse to Bellerophon, who was asked to kill the Chimera and succeeded with the help of Athena and Pegasus. Despite this success, after the death of his children, Bellerophon asked Pegasus to take him to Mount Olympus. Though Pegasus agreed, he plummeted back to Earth after Zeus either threw a thunderbolt at him or made Pegasus buck him off.
In ancient Persia, Pegasus was depicted by al-Sufi as a complete horse facing east, unlike most other uranographers, who had depicted Pegasus as half of a horse, rising out of the ocean. In al-Sufi's depiction, Pegasus's head is made up of the stars of Lacerta the lizard.
By the way al-Sufi was one of the famous nine Muslim astronomers. His name implies that he was from a Sufi Muslim background. He lived at the court of Emir Adud ad-Daula in Ispahan, Persia, and worked on translating and expanding Greek astronomical works, especially the Almagest of Ptolemy. He contributed several corrections to Ptolemy's star list and did his own brightness and magnitude estimates which frequently deviated from those in Ptolemy's work. He was a major translator into Arabic of the Hellenistic astronomy that had been centered in Alexandria, the first to attempt to relate the Greek with the traditional Arabic star names and constellations, which were completely unrelated and overlapped in complicated ways.
Credits: Pegasus (upside down)
A wonderful story and a wonderful constellation I think. I couldn't write a haiku at first, but after reading and re-reading I thought maybe I can do something with Hippocrene the spring dug out through Pegasus's hooves, which blessed those who drank from it with the powerful skill to write poetry. So here is my attempt inspired on Hippocrene:

after the rainstorm
horses galloping through puddles
droplets of poetry

© Chèvrefeuille

Credits: Hippocrene on Mt.Helicon

Hippocrene  was the name of a spring on Mt. Helicon. It was sacred to the Muses and was formed by the hooves of Pegasus. Its name literally translates as "Horse's Fountain" and the water was supposed to bring forth poetic inspiration when imbibed.

There are several poems in which "Hippocrene" is mentioned. An example:

John Keats (1795-1821), an English poet, mentions "Hippocrene" in his wellknown poem "Ode to a Nightingale", what is following is part of that poem. If you would like to read Keats' whole poem than follow the link above.
O for a beaker full of the warm South
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the forest dim

I hope you did like this episode about Pegasus and of course I hope that it will inspire you to write an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Pyxis (Mariner's Compass), later on. For now ... be inspired and share your inspired haiku with us all.

Carpe Diem My Favorite Haiku By ... #4 Buson's sleep with "daki kago"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to see new names appearing at CDHK, and to see the return of haiku poets who were part of CDHK in earlier days of our Kai. That makes me really happy and ... maybe ... proud, because I just try to promote our beloved haiku ...

It's a little while ago (August 27th) that I published an episode of this beautiful special feature in which I ask you to share your favorite haiku written by a classical or non-classical haiku poet and this time I love to ask you which haiku is your favorite written by Yosa Buson (1716-1784), one of the "big-five" haiku poets.

I have read a lot of haiku written by Buson and I have a few favorites, but there is just one which I love to share here. And (of course) I will try to write an all new haiku (as is the goal of this special feature) inspired on that favorite haiku.

Daki Kago

daki kago ya hitoyo fushimi no sasame goto

sleep with "daki kago"!
as with a one-night harlot at Fushimi
exchanging lovers' talks.

© Yosa Buson

(Daki kago = is a body pillow woven from thin strips of bamboo. It was used to sleep away the heat of summer night in the Edo period (1603-1868). To use it means figuratively sleeping together, that is to say, love affairs with a woman. There was an unlicensed district at Fushimi in the Edo period and there lived a lot of harlots. Hitoyo fushimi intimates that a man sleeps with a harlot one night. The place name Fushimi has a pun: fusu means going to bed.)

An extraordinary haiku I think in which Buson uses an extraordinary attribute, a "daki kago" or "bamboo wife" (or "Dutch wife"). In the summer heat, the open bamboo structure is cooler to the touch than fabric pillows or sheets. The daki kago is embraced by the user, as one would have a sleeping companion—this position exposes the maximum amount of the body to cooling breezes.

It will not be easy to write an all new haiku inspired on this beauty by Buson.

sleeping alone
the spring breeze
comforts me

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... not as strong as I had hoped, but well ... "the spring breeze" as my "daki kago" nothing wrong with I think.

This episode is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Thursday October 1st at noon (CET). Have fun!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #168 Autumn "tonight's moon"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First this: In one of the posts of this week I mentioned that I am busy with a merchandise-project. This project starts to become real. Just several hours ago I have created our "Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Merchandise (CDHK-M)" webshop. Thanks to Hamish, who pointed me at Ticail, a Swedish website that gives people the opportunity to create their webshop. At this moment the CDHK-M webshop is under construction, but later this week I hope to open it ... I will start with the (free) e-books of CDHK. I will keep you posted on this CDHK-M project.

Ok ... it's time again for a CD-Special and this time I love to focus on thé kigo (seasonword) of autumn, Moon. As you all know I am a real "moon-lover". The moon is one of my favorite themes for haiku and I have written a lot of "moon"- haiku. Why "moon" for this CD-Special?

To the Japanese the moon is at her brighest and beautifuls in autumn. Every haiku poet will agree on that. "Moon" is not a kigo in other seasons. As haiku poets write haiku on "moon" in other seasons they will always mention the season too e.g. "moon of summer", "moon of spring".

Maybe you can remember that I published earlier this year an anthology with "moon"- haiku, you can find that anthology in our Library (in the menu).

To inspire you I have a few "moon"- haiku by Basho which I love to share here. All haiku are translated by Jane Reichhold.

the moon so pure
a wandering monk carries it
across the sand

blue seas
breaking waves smell of rice wine
tonight’s moon

© Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Maybe you know that I am also co-hosting at MindLoveMisery's Menagerie (MLMM). At MLMM I am hosting the Wednesday feature "Heeding Haiku With ..." and this week's "Heeding Haiku With .." is also about autumn.

Here are a few haiku to inspire you written by (former) CDHK family-members:

autumn moon
soft veils enhance
her beauty

© Georgia

ancient warriors ghosts
mists over the foreign highlands -
waiting for the full moon
© Chèvrefeuille

feeling shadows –
and yet
I thought the moon was hidden

© Paloma
noisy moon
declarative geese
© Jules
voluptuous night
under the transient moon
gone too soon

© Cathy Tenzo
bright little full moon
evening to rejoice the light
praise the universe

© Anmol (a.k.a. HA)
Stars blink amidst clouds
All gazes hushed in thrill
Harvest Moon fulfills us.

© Mariya Koleva

All wonderful haiku ... really a joy to read them and re-read them. I hope these haiku will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku (or tanka).

This CD-Special is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 26th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Pegasus, later on.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #62 Troiku

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to present you an all new episode of our special feature Tokubetsudesu. This time I love to challenge you to write a troiku.

Troiku is a haiku form which I have invented and I will give a brief description of this way of writing haiku. Troiku is a compound word which I distilled from the Russian sleigh "troika" and the Japanese poetry form "haiku".
The goal is to write a haiku (the sleigh) and to write three new haiku (the horses) by using the three lines of the haiku (the sleigh). I will give an example:

In the above troiku "Old Pond" is the famous "frog pond" haiku by Basho "the sleigh". The "horses" in the right of the image are based on the separate lines of that haiku by Basho. "Horse 1" starts with the first line; "horse 2" starts with the second line and "horse 3" starts with the third line.
The complete four stanza are called troiku. More about this Troiku you can read in the article mentioned in the above menu or by clicking HERE.

Credits: Troika

The challenge of this Tokubetsudesu episode is clear I think ... you have to create/compose a Troiku.

Here is a new Troiku written by myself. This troiku is inspired on one of the Tarot cards, part of the Great Arcana, The Hermit (IX). More about The Hermit (IX) you can read HERE.

Here is my Troiku "seeking knowledge":

seeking knowledge
getting deeper insight
hermit’s choice
seeking knowledge
contemplating under the Bodhi Tree
like Buddha

getting deeper insight
while listening to the silence
the sound of rain

hermit’s choice
seeking refuge high up in the mountains
closer to the gods
© Chèvrefeuille
Well .... I hope you did like this Tokubetsudesu episode and I hope you will try to create/compose a Troiku. I am looking forward to your responses and I hope those responses are many ...

This CD Tokubetsudesu episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 25th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, a new CD Special themed Autumn, later on. For now ... have fun!

Carpe Diem Modern Times Haiku #5 Richard Wright's "an autumn evening"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Tuesday again and that means ... time for an all new episode of our special feature "Modern Times Haiku". I have a wonderful haiku for you written by Richard Wright (1908-1960). Not that long ago he was the featured haiku poet here at CDHK (November 2014), but he has written a lot of beauties (all in the last 2 years of his life).

Richard Wright (1908-1960) was introduced to haiku in the summer of 1959 when he borrowed R. H. Blyth's four volumes of Haiku from a young South African and began his intensive research of the Japanese masters.
By March of 1960, Wright went into high gear composing haiku. During the final months of his life, he practically lived and breathed haiku, always carrying his haiku binder with him under his arm everywhere he went. He wrote haiku in Parisian cáfes and restaurants; in Le Moulin d' Anduve, a writing community in the French countryside; but many, like Shiki, were written while he was bedridden during his period of convalescence.
In Paris, he transferred his poems written on paper napkins to sheets of paper and then hung them up on long metal rods and strung them across his dingy studio to examine, similar to Paul Reps' idea of hanging his haiku up on lines stretched between bamboo poles.

This is one of my favorite haiku written by Richard Wright and I have turned it into a haiga ...

Credits: autumn evening
What do you think? Is this a beauty or is this a beauty? Will it inspire you to write an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form? I am looking forward ...

Here is my response on this beauty by Richard Wright.
moon reflects in the pond
this autumn evening - deep silence
rustling of leaves
© Chèvrefeuille
This episode of Modern Times Haiku is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Tuesday September 29th at noon (CET). Have fun!