Thursday, December 31, 2015

Carpe Diem #887 Returning home: between the waves, a clam

!! our new promptlist is ready you can find it in the menu !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... this is it ... our last episode of 2015 and the last stage of our "Narrow Road". We have had a wonderful journey together with Basho and Sora, but now it is time to return home. We are returning home today ... we can look back on a joyful journey ... and we can look back on a wonderful 2015 in which we celebrated our third anniversary and discovered wonderful places, haiku writing techniques and a lot more. We have found each other in a warm embrace all with just one goal ... writing and sharing haiku, tanka and other Japanese poetry forms.

a little verse
brought together a family of love -
Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

© Chèvrefeuille

between the waves
small shells mingle with
bits of bush clover

 © Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

I asked Tosai to make a summary of the day's happenings and leave it at the temple as a souvenir.

As I returned to Tsuruga, Rotsu met me and accompanied me to the province of Mino. When we entered the city of Ogaki on horseback, Sora joined us again, having arrived from the province of Ise; Etsujin, too, came hurrying on horseback, and we all went to the house of Joko, where I enjoyed reunion with Zensen, Keiko, and his sons and many other old friends of mine who came to see me by day or by night. Everybody was overjoyed to see me as if I had returned unexpectedly from the dead. On September the sixth, however, I left for the Ise Shrine, though the fatigue of the long journey was still with me, for I wanted to see a dedication of a new shrine there. As I stepped into the boat, I wrote:

a clam
torn from its shell
departing autumn

©Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

With this haiku ends the journey into the deep north. In the first printed publication of “Narrow Road” the publisher wrote a postscript, which you can read hereafter:

In this little book of travel is included everything under the sky - not only that which is hoary and dry but also that which is young and colorful, not only that which is strong and imposing but also that which is feeble and ephemeral. As we turn every corner of the Narrow Road to the Deep North, we sometimes stand up unawares to applaud and we sometimes fall flat to resist the agonizing pains we feel in the depths of our hearts.* There are also times when we feel like taking to the road ourselves, seizing the raincoat lying nearby, or times when we feel like sitting down till our legs take root, enjoying the scene we picture before our eyes. Such is the beauty of this little book that it can be compared to the pearls which are said to be made by the weeping mermaids in the far off sea. What a travel it is indeed that is recorded in this book, and what a man he is who experienced it. The only thing to be regretted is that the author of this book, great man as he is, has in recent years grown old and infirm with hoary frost upon his eyebrows.

Early summer of the seventh year of Genroku (1694), Soryu.


Well ... I hope you all did like this gorgeous journey straight into the deep north of Honshu (the Southern Island of Japan) and that it has brought you what you hoped. I have tried to make it a journey full of joy and I think in a way I have succeeded, but that's not up to me to decide, but up to you.
I really enjoyed this journey and it has brought me even more closer to Basho than I already was. Did I grow? I don't know, but I feel that there as been a kind of transformation ... maybe next year this will be more clear ... I don't know.

To close this month and this year I wish you all a wonderful, healthy and inspirational New Year and I hope to see you all again here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 3rd at noon (CET). I hope to publish our first episode of 2016 later on. I have the promptlist ready you can find it HERE.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques #25 The Technique of Narrowing Focus

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

2015 Is running towards its end and so every post here at CDHK is the last of this year. This episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques is the last of this year and this time I have not chosen to create a resume, but to share another nice haiku writing technique.

As you all know these series of CD-HWT I couldn't have made without the love and support of Jane Reichhold. So I love to say "Thank You Jane" for being my co-host for these series of haiku writing techniques.

This week I have the following haiku writing technique for you: The Technique of Narrowing Focus it's a technique which was often used by Buson (1716-1784) who looked in a different way to nature ... as an artist, he created a lot of haiga, and as a painter you look in another way to your surroundings.

Let me share what Jane wrote about this Technique of Narrowing Focus:

The Technique of Narrowing Focus is something Buson used a lot because he, being an artist, was a very visual person. Basically what you do is to start with a wide-angle lens on the world in the first line, switch to a normal lens for the second line and zoom in for a close-up in the end. It sounds simple, but when he did it he was very effective. Read some of Buson's work to see when and how he did this.

the whole sky
in a wide field of flowers
one tulip

(c) Jane Reichhold

Credits: Jellyfish

An example of a haiku by Buson in which he uses this technique:

ake yasuki yo wo iso ni yoru kurage kana

the short night ending--
close to the water's edge
a jellyfish

(c) Yosa Buson

And another one, also by Buson:

amenohiya madakini kurete nemuno hana

A rainy day
Quickly falls the night--
Silk-tree blossoms

(c) Yosa Buson

A nice way to write haiku I think and I even think this technique is very common used, but we aren't always aware of using it. Here is an example by myself:

in the moonlight
Wisteria flowers look fragile -
a gust of wind
© Chèvrefeuille

Is this "narrowing focus"? I think so. I will try to explain it. "In the moonlight", far away, high up in the sky; "Wisteria flowers look fragile", down to earth; "a gust of wind", that's very close to the body if you can feel that.

This episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 2nd at noon (CET). Have fun!
I will try to publish our last post of 2015 later on today and I hope to have our new prompt-list ready. In January we will explore classical and non-classical kigo (seasonwords) for winter and of course the Tokobetsudesu feature will return.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Carpe Diem Extra December 29th CDHK's own e-zine "Souchou"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am proud to present to you a new part of our Carpe Diem Haiku Family, our own e-zine "Souchou" (Japanese for "early morning") in which you can find articles, haiku, tanka and more. For this first edition (Volume 1 Number 0 try out) I have used publications from CDHK and I have enclosed a few new items.

Let me know what you think of this new part of our CDH-family. I hope to publish our first real number of "Souchou" upcoming spring and if it does become a success I will publish "Souchou" once per season, so "Souchou" will be published 4 times a year.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

PS. You can find "Souchou" ready for download at the left side of our Kai.

Sign up for our second Renga party

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Last August we had our very first Renga Party and I love to create another Renga together with you all. This time I love to create a

“yoyoshi”, a renga of forty-four links. Maybe you can remember this "yoyoshi" from Carpe Diem #884, I shared a note about it in that post.

Our first Renga was a so called "kasen-renga" and had 36 links, so it was slightly shorter than the "yoyoshi".

For this "yoyoshi" I have asked Georgia (a.k.a. Bastet), our featured haiku poetess of this month, to write the starting verse or "hokku".

Here is the "hokku" of this "yoyoshi":

white dusted meadow
remembering spring’s glory
tufts of pampas grass

© Georgia (a.k.a. Bastet)

tufts of pampas grass

As you maybe remember you had to sign up for participating in the Renga Party. I will prolong that idea here again.

So if you would like to participate in this new edition of our Carpe Diem Renga Party "white dusted meadow" than please sign up and let me know it through the comments field of this post.
You can sign up for this new Renga Party until January 12th 2016 10.00 PM (CET)

I hope to see you all participating in this new Renga Party.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Carpe Diem Special #189 Georgia's 5th strolling yesterday (tanka)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am in the nightshift, so this post and the posts to come will be not published on the scheduled date and time I think, but I know that you all don't have a problem with that.

Today's CD Special is the last of December and so it's the last by our featured haiku poetess Georgia (a.k.a. Bastet) of Bastet and Sekhmet's Library. I hope you enjoyed these CD-Specials by Georgia. She is a very gifted poetess and is, as we have seen this month, writing several poetry forms e.g. the Japanese long peom "choka".

For this CD-Special I have chosen a tanka which Georgia wrote in May 2013. I especially was caught by the beauty of the photos shared in that post. And as I read and re-read this beautiful tanka "strolling yesterday" I had to share it here with you.

strolling yesterday
astonished by the pine trees.
they seemed to copy
the heavy rain laden skies
imitating it’s wet lay.

© Georgia (a.k.a. Bastet)
Credits: Tree in the park
A beauty ... don't you think so too? As you all (maybe) know I am not that good in composing tanka, so I have chosen to share a few haiku inspired on this tanka.
a new day rises -
the weeping willow on the piazza
a birds' gathering

weeping willow
in the autumn sunlight
a golden tree

under the willow
on the city's graveyard
weeping silhouette

 © Chèvrefeuille
Credits: Weeping Willow

This was our last CD-Special of 2015. Next year we will have (of course) new episodes of CD-Special, and I hope that I can share wonderful poetry by very gifted poets/esses next year ... I wish you all a very inspirational 2016.

This CD-Special is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 1st at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, our last episode of the 2nd series of Haiku Writing Techniques, later on. For now ... have fun!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Carpe Diem #886 the journey continues: writing something, the moon clear, harvest moon, loneliness

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas and that you all are ready for the last days of this year. The "Narrow Road" continues and we are walking together with Basho towards the end of the "Narrow Road".


I went to the Tenryuji Temple in the town of Matsuoka, for the head priest of the temple was an old friend of mine. A poet named Hokushi had accompanied me here from Kanazawa, though he had never dreamed of coming this far when he had taken to the road. Now at last he made up his mind to go home, having composed a number of beautiful poems on the views we had enjoyed together. As I said good-bye to him, I wrote:

writing something
pulling apart the fan
missing someone

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Making a detour of about a mile and a half from the town of Matsuoka, I went to the Eiheiji Temple. I thought it was nothing short of a miracle that the priest Dogen had chosen such a secluded place for the site of the temple.

The distance to the city of Fukui was only three miles. Leaving the temple after supper, however, I had to walk along the darkening road with uncertain steps. There was in this city a poet named Tosai whom I had seen in Edo some ten years before. Not knowing whether he was already dead or still keeping his bare skin and bones, I went to see him, directed by a man whom I happened to meet on the road. When I came upon a humble cottage in a back street, separated from other houses by a screen of moon-flowers and creeping gourds and a thicket of cockscomb and goosefoot left to grow in front, I knew it was my friend's house. As I knocked at the door, a sad looking woman peeped out and asked me whether I was a priest and where I had come from. She then told me that the master of the house had gone to a certain place in town, and that I had better see him there if I wanted to talk to him. By the look of this woman, I took her to be my friend's wife, and I felt not a little tickled, remembering a similar house and a similar story in an old book of tales. Finding my friend at last, I spent two nights with him. I left his house, however, on the third day, for I wanted to see the full moon of autumn at the port town of Tsuruga. Tosai decided to accompany me, and walked into the road in high spirits, with the tails of his kimono tucked up in a somewhat strange way. 
Credits: Mount Shirane

The white peak of Mount Shirane went out of sight at long last and the imposing figure of Mount Hina came in its stead. I crossed the bridge of Asamuzu and saw the famous reeds of Tamae, already coming into flower. Through the barrier-gate of Uguisu and the pass of Yuno, I came to the castle of Hiuchi, and hearing the cries of the early geese at the hill named Homecoming, I entered the port of Tsuruga on the night of the fourteenth. The sky was clear and the moon was unusually bright. I said to the host of my inn, 'I hope it will be like this again tomorrow when the full moon rises.' He answered, however, 'The weather of these northern districts is so changeable that, even with my experience, it is impossible to foretell the sky of tomorrow.' After a pleasant conversation with him over a bottle of wine, we went to the Myojin Shrine of Kei, built to honor the soul of the Emperor Chuai. The air of the shrine was hushed in the silence of the night, and the moon through the dark needles of the pine shone brilliantly upon the white sand in front of the altar, so the ground seemed to have been covered with early frost. The host told me it was the Bishop of Yugyo II who had first cut the grass, brought the sand and stones, and then dried the marshes around the shrine, the ritual being known as the sand-carrying ceremony of Yugyo.

the moon clear
on sand carried over here
by a saint

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

It rained on the night of the fifteenth, just as the host of my inn had predicted.

Harvest moon
weather in the northern areas
is unsettled

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

It was fine again on the sixteenth. I went to the Colored Beach to pick up some pink shells. I sailed the distance of seven miles in a boat and arrived at the beach in no time, aided by a favorable wind. A man by the name of Tenya accompanied me, with servants, food, drinks and everything else he could think of that we might need for our excursion. The beach was dotted with a number of fisherman's cottages and a tiny temple. As I sat in the temple drinking warm tea and sake, I was overwhelmed by the loneliness of the evening scene.
clarity is only out done
by an autumn beach

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)


I wonder ... how would Basho have felt as he was on his journey? Was he happy? Sometimes sad? Anxious to explore this part of his wonderful country?

As I read "Narrow Road" again ... than I can almost sense how much he loved being on the road looking for the beauty of nature, the beauty of his country, the beauty of the religions and so on. And than I feel almost one with him ... really awesome.

Water Bearer

For this episode I love to share a haiku which I have published several years ago:

The next haiku is based on the Hawaiian mythology and astrology. The Hawaiians thought that when the moon was in its first quarter in January and February that the moon was a bowl in which the Gods gathered rain water for spring. In that period of the year the Hawaiians can see what they call the Water Bearer (a constellation) the name of the moon in that same period is Kulua.

dripping wet moon
the Water Bearer spills
water from the bowl

© Chèvrefeuille
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and it will remain open until  December 31st at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, the last CD-Special by Georgia, our featured haiku poetess, later on.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Carpe Diem #885 without you: Stone Mountain, at Yamanaka, from this day on

!! double episode !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

During the holidays I will bring a few prompts together in one post, because this time of year is very dear to me and my family. We love to have time together and that makes that I have decided to bring another "double episode" today. Of course you all are part my family of haiku loving people and I just had to make this episode for you all.


On my way to Yamanaka hot spring, the white peak of Mount Shirane overlooked me all the time from behind. At last I came to the spot where there was a temple hard by a mountain on the left. According to the legend, this temple was built to enshrine Kannon, the great goddess of mercy, by the Emperor Kazan, when he had finished his round of the so-called Thirty- three Sacred Temples, and its name Nata was compounded of Nachi and Tanigumi, the first and last of these temples respectively. There were beautiful rocks and old pines in the garden, and the goddess was placed in a thatched house built on a rock. Indeed, the entire place was filled with strange sights.

Stone Mountain
whiter than its stones
autumn wind

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Credits: Yamanaka Hot Springs

I enjoyed a bath in the hot spring whose marvelous properties had a reputation of being second to none, except the hot spring of Ariake.

at Yamanaka
it’s not necessary to pluck chrysanthemums
hot spring fragrance

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

The host of the inn was a young man named Kumenosuke. His father was a poet and there was an interesting story about him: one day, when Teishitsu (later a famous poet in Kyoto but a young man then) came to this place, he met this man and suffered a terrible humiliation because of his ignorance of poetry, and so upon his return to Kyoto, he became a student of Teitoku and never abandoned his studies in poetry till he had established himself as an independent poet. It was generally believed that Teishitsu gave instruction in poetry free of charge to anyone from this village throughout his life. It must be admitted, however, that this is already a story of long ago.

My companion, Sora, was seized by an incurable pain in his stomach. So he decided to hurry, all by himself, to his relatives in the village of Nagashima in the province of Ise. As he said good-bye he wrote:

no matter where I fall
I will be buried between
flowering bush-clovers

© Sora (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

I felt deeply in my heart both the sorrow of one that goes and the grief of one that remains, just as a solitary bird separated from his flock in dark clouds, and wrote in answer:

from this day on
dew will erase the writing
on my hat

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

(Note: Basho refers to “a party of two”, which he wrote on his hat as he and Sora started their “Narrow Road”)

Credits: Zenshoji Temple near the castle of Daishoji

I stopped overnight at the Zenshoji Temple near the castle of Daishoji, still in the province of Kaga. Sora, too, had stayed here the night before and left behind a poem.
Sora and I were separated by the distance of a single night, but it was just the same as being separated by a thousand miles. I, too, went to bed amidst the howling of the autumn wind and woke up early the next morning amid the chanting of the priests, which was soon followed by the noise of the gong calling us to breakfast. As I was anxious to cross over to the province of Echizen in the course of the day, I left the temple without lingering, but when I reached the foot of the long approach to the temple, a young priest came running down the steps with a brush and ink and asked me to leave a poem behind. As I happened to notice some leaves of willow scattered in the garden, I wrote impromptu,

sweeping the garden
I want to leave in the temple
scattered willow leaves

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

and left the temple without even taking time to refasten my straw sandals.

Credits: Pine tree (woodblock print Ogata Gekko)

Hiring a boat at the port of Yoshizaki on the border of the province of Echizen, I went to see the famous pine of Shiogoshi. The entire beauty of this place, I thought, was best expressed in the following poem by Saigyo.

inviting the wind to carry
salt waves of the sea,
the pine tree of Shiogoshi
trickles all night long
shiny drops of moonlight.

© Saigyo (Tr. Nobuyuki Yuasa)

Should anyone ever dare to write another poem on this pine tree it would be like trying to add a sixth finger to his hand.


What a sad story. Basho and Sora have been on this journey so long together and now Basho has to say goodbye to his travel companion, because of illness. It's "double sad", because Basho wasn't healthy himself, he had a chronic diseases of the intestines. He once has said "I will die on one of my travels as a result of my illness", and now Sora had to leave him because of an illness.

How sad it is to look around you and see how people are alone or lonely without family or friends ... no one has to be alone with Christmas ... but ... well we all know that there are a lot people alone and lonely now. Let us think a while of them ... and than look at ourselves.

underneath the bridge
warming their hands at a fire basket
those ... lost and alone

© Chèvrefeuille

I hadn't planned to create a wonderful episode and leave you all with such a sad toned haiku ... but that's our reality, our world is lost and alone ... but there is a power, a great power, to overcome that ... unconditional love.

Merry Christmas

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until December 28th at noon (CET). I will (try to) post our next episode, 
writing something; the moon clear; harvest moon; loneliness, next Sunday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #7 don't be afraid (meditation)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Here it is our last episode of our special feature "Seven Days Before Christmas", and in this last episode I love to look back to 2015 and try to give a "meditation" on Christmas. I hope you don't think that this will be a kind of sermon, if so .... please forgive me.

Looking Back:

As I look back on 2015 I realize myself that 2015 was another wonderful year of haiku in which we had wonderful months. As I have heard from several of you the months of "deeper meaning" were most appreciated. So we had "On The Trail With Basho" this month and earlier in May in which we followed Basho on his journeys. Than there was our "trip" through the world of the Altai Mountains and of course our month in which we read the Bhagavad Gita ... that month was by the way my favorite and brought me the idea to prolong "peace of mind" also in one of our kukai this year.
It was really a joy to create Carpe Diem Haiku Kai for you and I am looking forward to another wonderful year of CDHK. Of course there will be circumstances again (maybe) that I will not have time enough ... please forgive me ...
As I look back than I see how you all have grown in your haiku writing skills and I am grateful that I could have a role in that. Thank you all for being part of our haiku loving family.

Don't be afraid:

Recently I read a wonderful sermon-like article written by a preacher. That article touched me and I love to reflect on that here ...

When Jesus was born the circumstances weren't good, Israel was part of the Roman Empire and it wasn't a joyful country to live. Under those circumstances Mary and Josef had to go on their way to Bethlehem for a census. Along the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem they had to conquer difficulties, but they finally reached Bethlehem were Mary gave birth to her son Jesus. It wasn't a great place to give labor to her child, but she did ... in the strong belief that God would help her.There in that stable laid in a manger shepherds and wise man came to pay Him honor ... Jesus, the Son of God would bring peace and love back to Israel, but Herod was afraid that this Jesus would "steal" his throne so he (Herod) ordered his guards to kill all first born boys.
Mary, Josef and their son Jesus fled to Egypt.

The circumstances than are the same circumstances now, because in great parts of our world there is war, war based on religion or on new ideas. Jesus was born under bad circumstances and now more than 2000 year later it seems like there has nothing changed.
Peace on Earth is still not there and however we pray for peace every day ... that world peace is far away. Why is there war based on religion? Are we not all the same in nature? Are we not all children of God, Allah, Buddha, Krishna and so on?

One of my beliefs is that only unconditional love for all and everything can bring peace to the world and I hope ... that there will be one day this peace will be there ... maybe I will not be here, but than our children and grandchildren can rejoice with whole the world that peace is finally there.
Don't be afraid ... there is a peaceful future ahead of us ...

Peace be with you.



This last episode of "Seven Days ..." will be open for your submissions tonight at 10.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 26th 10.00 PM (CET). Merry Christmas to you all.

Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques #24 movement (undou)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I wrote in an earlier "extra" this new episode of CD-HWT has been delayed because of lack of time, but I finally have found a little spare time to write this new episode. As I did in the first series of CD-HWT I created another Haiku Writing Technique myself. This time I have tried to built further on our special feature "Perpetuum Mobile" or  "everlasting movement". This new haiku writing technique I have called "undou" or "movement". Before I created this technique I asked Jane Reichhold if there was a haiku writing technique like "undou", but according to her there was not such a technique ... so with this all new technique I hope to improve yours and mine haiku writing skills.

The goal of this new HWT is to bring the everlasting movement of nature into your haiku. How do you bring movement into your haiku? I will try to explain that:

As we look at nature, than we see the everlasting circle of growth (of life); bare branches, buds, sprouting leaves and flowers/blossom, full grown, all kinds of green colors (or red, yellow), blossoms decaying, the growth of the fruits. Fruits ripe ateable and ready for harvest. Then decay during autumn and the hibernation in winter and than the everlasting circle of starts all over again.
Can we bring that into our haiku? Must be possible I think, don't you think so too?

Let me give it a try with an example:

seasons come and go
transformation of nature
the moon always the same

© Chèvrefeuille

Movement can also be used in what sometimes is called "senryu", here is an example:

driving on
wheels turn round and round
finally at home

© Chèvrefeuille
This is "movement" used in a senryu. Can we find another use in our beloved haiku for "movement" and maybe we can bring the both examples together.
like wheels
always turning around
seasons come and go

© Chèvrefeuille
Did we bring "movement" into haiku? I think so. Try this new Haiku Writing Technique and bring "movement" into your haiku.

This CD-HWT is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 26th at noon (CET). Our scheduled part of "Narrow Road" I have already published in the "triple"-episode which you can find HERE.

Carpe Diem Special #188 Georgia's 4th, another choka

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Here is our belated fourth CD-Special by Georgia, winner of the "peace of mind" kukai. As you maybe know Georgia has re-discovered the choka (Japanese long poem) and she is, in my opinion, the queen of choka. She has written a lot of choka through the years and she also has experimented with this beautiful Japanese long poem.
For this episode I have chosen an experimental choka which rhymes ... I hope you all like this experimental choka and maybe it triggers you to experiment too with this form, or with one of the other Japanese poetry forms.


Bastet’s Choka Experiment: Meditation – Rhyming Choka : 7-6-7-6-5 repeated 3 times…rhymes in couplets until the last line.


reflecting, meditating
my thoughts contemplating,
watching the leaves blow around
without hearing a sound
looked at in simplicity
observing the east and west
there I began my day’s quest
thus I discovered death
with a baby’s breath!
I think babies born today
have just finished dying
from the world that they knew well
living that awful hell
we call being born
then, I saw death everywhere
for which I have no care
leaves and insects, passing days
a simple passing phase
why then should I fear

© Georgia (a.k.a. Bastet, 2013)

This CD-Special is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 26th at noon (CET).

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #6 mistletoe

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a little bit late with publishing this episode of 'Seven Days ...', but here it is. By the way without linky widget, because I can't create the linky widget on my tablet. So please share your link in the comment field.

This episode it's about the mistletoe ... that wonderful plant underneath you may kiss another one. I think mistletoe is part of Christmas, because of it's symbol for love, unconditional love. Isn't that a wonderful idea? Christmas is not only about peace, but also about love your neighbor like yourself.

under mistletoe
I kiss the ones I love
God as my witness

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 25th 10.00 PM (CET).

Sending my love to you all.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #5 Peace

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are counting down to Christmas and today we are just a few days apart from Christmas. In my opinion one the most beautiful holidays we have. Very classical said "Around Christmas we are all talking about Peace all over the world and pray for that to happen. As we look to the world nowadays than ... peace is far away ... remember for example the terrorist attack in Paris and that's just one example. I think there will be several more, but than this would become a depressed post and that's not what I want to happen.

I love to look back ... for a moment ... we had a whole month full of posts about "peace of mind" and we had that wonderful kukai "peace of mind". In my opinion we only can reach peace as we have peace of mind, because than our intentions are real and honest ... than we can bring peace into the world ... starting with our own neighborhood.

Starting in our own neighborhood will bring world peace a little bit closer and in this time of year ... Christmas time we are all hoping for the same ... peace that will last forever in which we all can live in harmony with nature and with each other ...

That is my message for you all and for the world around us .... peace that will last forever in harmony with nature and with each other ...

Credits: Peace
And here is my gift for you all:

scent of Jasmine
sound of a gurgling brook
peace of mind

© Chèvrefeuille

And for closure I love to share a music video (created by: Very Sweetify) ... for sure you will know this song ....

This episode of Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 23rd 10.00 PM (CET). Have fun!

Carpe Diem #884 on our way home: the scent of early rice, the tomb also shakes, autumn coolness, red more red, a lovely name, how pitiful

!! triple episode !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have an announcement to make: this will be a "triple episode", because I hadn't time to create our episode of today, so I decided to bring you two episodes in one. This can mean that this episode will be a little bit longer than I usually do, but than we will be "back on track".
Second: Thank you all for your kind words and prayers for my dad. Just a few hours ago I heard that he will be released from the hospital. This afternoon we will have a conversation with his cardiologist.
Third: It's almost Christmas and the end of 2015 is almost there. I love to ask you all something. Please share with me, with us, with our Haiku Kai your thoughts about 2015. Which were the highlights, which prompts did you like and maybe you have ideas for new prompts or making our Haiku Kai even better than it is already.

Okay ... let's go to our "triple episode" of our "Narrow Road" which we are walking together with Basho and his companion Sora. Have fun!


the scent of early rice
coming in from the right
the Ariso Sea

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Across the mountains of Unohana-yama and the valleys of Kurikara- dani, I entered the city of Kanazawa on July the fifteenth, where I met a merchant from Osaka named Kasho who invited me to stay at his inn.


There was in this city a man named Issho whose unusual love of poetry had gained him a lasting reputation among the verse writers of the day. I was told, however, that he had died unexpectedly in the winter of the past year. I attended the memorial service held for him by his brother.

the tomb also shakes
my weeping voice is
the autumn wind

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

A visit to a certain hermitage, were I was invited to attend a rengaparty. I wrote the following greeting verse, which we used to start the renga with:

autumn coolness
each peeling with our hands
melons and eggplant

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

red more red
in spite of the indifferent sun
an autumn breeze

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

(note: normally the autumn wind was thought of as white)

Credits: Hiyoshi Shrine (Little Pines)
At a place called Little Pines:

a lovely name
at Little Pines blows
bush clover and thatch reeds

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

(note: As you all know (I think) Basho was a very important and famous renga-master in his time. He attended a lot of renga parties and was often the haiku poet who wrote the hokku. The above haiku was the starting verse of a so called “yoyoshi”, a renga of forty-four links. This haiku which was used as the hokku, was the greeting verse to the host of this “yoyoshi”, Kosen, the chief priest of the Hiyoshi Shrine at Komatsue (which means “little pines”).

I went to the Tada Shrine located in the vicinity, where I saw Lord Sanemori's helmet and a piece of brocaded cloth that he had worn under his armor. According to the legends, these were given him by Lord Yoshitomo while he was still in the service of the Minamotos. The helmet was certainly an extraordinary one, with an arabesque of gold chrysanthemums covering the visor and the ear plate, a fiery dragon resting proudly on the crest, and two curved horns pointing to the sky. The chronicle of the shrine gave a vivid account of how, upon the heroic death of Lord Sanemori, Kiso no Yoshinaka had sent his important retainer Higuchi no Jiro to the shrine to dedicate the helmet with a letter of prayer.

how pitiful
under the armored helmet
a cricket

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Credits: Tada Shrine
An awesome part of the "Narrow Road" and while we are leaving Tada Shrine ... we also leave Carpe Diem Haiku Kai for today.


I have sought all over the Internet for an example of the poetry by Issho as mentioned in the above episode and finally I only found one haiku written by Issho. Issho was a very famous haiku poet in his own region, but he died in 1688. Basho loved to visit him, but the only thing he finds is the grave of Issho, who passed away a year before Basho arrived at the village were Issho lived.

Here is the only haiku which I could find written by Kasugi Issho. I have tried to translate it and honor Issho with that translation.

mi tsukushita me wa shirgiku ni  modori keri

seen with my eyes
white chrysanthemums
again I saw them

© Kasugi Issho (1652-1688)

A wonderful haiku I think, but Issho was more famous for his love poems, however I haven't sought the Internet for his love poems ...


finally spring
one tulip after another blooms
rainbow garden

© Chèvrefeuille

What a joy it was to create this episode. I hope you did like it and ... I hope it inspires you to write an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 24th at noon (CET). I hope to publish our new episode, a new episode of our Haiku Writing Techniques and the fourth CD special by Georgia, later on. For now .... have fun, be inspired and share.