Sunday, January 31, 2016

Carpe Diem #908 Hearing

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This month its all about senses. As you all know there are five senses (and sometimes people have a 6th sense), but as we will see this month we have more than five senses.
This month its all about sharpen the senses or anata no kankakuwo migaku and our prompt-list has been created by one of our CDHK family-members, Hamish Managua Gunn (a.k.a. Pirate). Hamish has provided me with a wonderful prompt-list and he also provided me with his notes about all the prompts this month.
February will be a little bit different than we are used to. I will write a short introduction for every prompt and than I will share Hamish' notes with you. So let me start with the first introduction of February.


This month its all about the senses as you all know we have five senses (hearing, touching, seeing, smelling and tasting), but this month we will explore several other senses. As I started with this introduction there was immediately a haiku which I had to share here in which "hearing" is the theme. I think you will remember this haiku, because I used it not so long ago.

shichikei wa kiri ni kakurete mii no kane

seven views
hidden in the mist -
the (temple) bell of Mii

© Basho (Tr. Jim Kacian)

This haiku was a kind of bet which Basho accepted and it's about the Eight Views of Omi and the bet was to catch all those views in one haiku. Basho succeeded, as we can read in the above haiku, but in this haiku we also see "hearing" in the last line the (temple) bell of Mii. Basho refers here to the sound of the temple bell of Mii. 

I love to share an oldie by myself here also with "hearing" in it:

wedding bells sound
through the autumn haze
early this morning

© Chèvrefeuille

A nice "oldie" I would say in which we can see "hearing" in the first line wedding bells sound

Hamish Managua Gunn

Hamish on hearing:

Those who work with people who are blind, or deaf, or mute report consistently that whereas blind people are often to be admired for their peace of mind, deaf people are often frustrated and tense. Why is this so?  Perhaps sounds are the most beautiful and important sense in our lives, maybe, just maybe even more important than sight. Hearing allows us to communicate with each other by receiving sounds and interpreting speech, as well as listening to wonderful music and communing with nature's many soft sounds. Hearing loss means a certain kind of loneliness when among people.
A sense of hearing can be divided simply into two separate categories: listening, and hearing. Listening is, of course, voluntary, but hearing is not. When we listen to a Beethoven concerto, we are consciously listening to it, but when a baby hears sounds, the baby's mind processes these sounds subconsciously into language. In a somewhat similar way to when you hear a car beep its horn and you automatically jump back, without analyzing the situation, and even when you do not see the car.
Animals like bats, porpoises, dolphins and whales have the ability to determine orientation to other objects through interpretation of reflected sound (like sonar). They most often use this to navigate through poor conditions or to identify and track prey. Blind people report they are able to navigate and in some cases identify an object by interpreting reflected sounds (especially their own footsteps), a phenomenon known as human echolocation.
Your haiku today should include 'sound' in it. Let us hear your haiku!

My response

creaking doors
this old mansion is alive
the Sakura
* blooms

© Chèvrefeuille

* A kind of Cherry tree

Credits: Temple Bell

Another one picked from my archives:

from far away
the sound of the temple bell
echoing through the mist

echoing through the mist
the strong sound of a temple bell -
scared butterfly

scared butterfly
flies in from far away
temple bell - dreams

© Chèvrefeuille

The above (cascading) haiku was inspired on a haiku by Yosa Buson (1716-1784):

tsuriganeni tomarite nemuru kochoukana

on a temple bell
alights and naps
a butterfly

© Buson

I hope you did like this first episode of February in which we will sharpen our senses together with Hamish Managua Gunn.

This episode is OPEN for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 3rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, sweetness, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku (or tanka) with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Carpe Diem #907 meditation

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's a bit sad, but also a little joy I think, because this is our last episode of January and we are going in to another month in which we will sharpen our senses together with Hamish Managua Gunn (a.k.a. Pirate). Next month will not be an easy month I think, but it will for sure be a challenge to work with all those wonderful senses. If you like to see what February is bringing than you can find the prompt-list in the menu above. I am looking forward to February and I hope you all will do ...

Today we have our last prompt of January in which we explored classical and modern kigo for winter and it was a joy to make this month. Our last prompt is meditation and it's a modern kigo for winter extracted from Jane Reichhold's "A Dictionary of Haiku" (the online version).

What is meditation? I can tell that myself, but my ideas are different as it concerns meditation. To me it's just a way to find peace in my heart, soul and mind and to me it's not
necessary to do that in complete silence or with the use of a mantra or something. So I have sought the Internet an ran across a wonderful explanation of meditation on Wikipedia:


Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.

The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.

The word meditation carries different meanings in different contexts. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs. Meditation often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way. Meditation is often used to clear the mind and ease many health concerns, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. It may be done sitting, or in an active way—for instance, Buddhist monks involve awareness in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training. Prayer beads or other ritual objects are commonly used during meditation in order to keep track of or remind the practitioner about some aspect of that training.
Meditation may involve generating an emotional state for the purpose of analyzing that state—such as anger, hatred, etc.—or cultivating a particular mental response to various phenomena, such as compassion. The term "meditation" can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state. Meditation may also involve repeating a mantra and closing the eyes. The mantra is chosen based on its suitability to the individual meditator. Meditation has a calming effect and directs awareness inward until pure awareness is achieved, described as "being awake inside without being aware of anything except awareness itself." In brief, there are dozens of specific styles of meditation practice, and many different types of activity commonly referred to as meditative practices. (Source: Wikipedia)

I think you all will have ideas about meditation and every one of you will have experienced meditation through haiku composing. To me creating haiku is a kind of meditation and that is (in my opinion) what Jane meant with this modern kigo for winter. Meditation is not specific for winter, but the air of winter is maybe the purest to breath and makes your mind clear and open for the influence of the "haiku spirits".

Jane gives several wonderful examples and I love to share a few of her haiku on meditation here in this post:

incense burns
inside a moon shell
whorls of smoke

monks chanting
the crooked pine
wind straightened

the balance of chi
in two hands

ascending heaven
monks chant

alone in the forest
closing one gate
opening the other

tapered prayer
a lone pine points
into heaven

Zen garden
patterns raked by falling rain
still the dust

© Jane Reichhold

All beauties I would say and I think these are great examples on meditation.
Credits: Meditating Monk
We are all haiku poets and we are all one with nature, with the seasons, with the elements ... we are all one with our ancestors, our past, our present, but also one with our future ... so I think this prompt can be great one ...
deep silence
sunbeams breaking, fresh snow diamonds -
the silence deepens

© Chèvrefeuille

Sorry ... I am a little bit to late with publishing ... enjoy the read and let your muse inspire you to create new and wonderful haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry forms.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, hearing, later on. For now .... have fun!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Carpe Diem #906 Ume-no-hana (ume flower)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

January is running towards its end. We have only two episodes to go and than ... classic meets modern will be over. I hope you all did like this month ...

Today our prompt is Ume-no-hana (ume flower) and it's a classical kigo for the end of winter, or the last part of winter. Ume-no-hana (ume flower) is mostly translated as "plum" but it's more an "apricot".

I have a little background about the "ume-flower" for you:

Next to the Cherry blossom, the plum blossoms are loved by Japanese poets and where enjoyed even more than the cherry in the Heian peroid.

They are a symbol of refinement, purity and nobility and also a reminder of past love. Japanese tradition holds that the ume functions as a protective charm against evil, so the ume is traditionally planted in the northeast of the garden, the direction from which evil is believed to come.

I have found a lot of beautiful haiku and tanka (waka) about/on plum blossoms. First a tanka (waka) written by Sugawara Michizane:

When the east wind blows,
Send me your perfume,
Blossoms of
the plum:
Though your lord be absent,
Forget not the spring.

© Sugawara Michizane (845 – 903) (Tr. G. Bownas A. Thwaite)

Really a wonderful tanka (waka). This tanka I read for the very first time several years ago on the wall of one of the buildings of the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden (The Netherlands).

Here are a few haiku about/on Ume (plum) blossoms:

even the heavenly gods
crowd' round
plum blossoms

© Kobayashi Issa (Tr. David Lanoue)

ume ichi-rin ichirin hodo no atatakasa

one plum blossom
brings us just one more
step to the warmth

© Hattori Ransetsu (1654-1707) (Tr: Gabi Greve)

Credits: shira ume ni akuru yo bakari to nari ni keri

shira ume ni akuru yo bakari to nari ni keri

The night almost past,
through the white plum blossoms
a glimpse of dawn.

© Yosa Buson

Of course I had to find a haiku by my master Basho to honor him and I found the following haiku about/on plum blossoms:

scent of plum blossoms
on the misty mountain path
a big rising sun

© Matsuo Basho

And next to my love for Cherry blossoms I also wrote several haiku about/on Plum blossoms, here are a few haiku from my archive. These are all written at the start of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai back in 2012:

red plum blooming
while the last snow is melting -
finally Spring

the shivering cold
creeps into my old skeleton -
white plum blossoms

what a feast!
finally winter has gone
early plum blossoms

covered with snow
the fragile plum blossoms
longing for Spring

For closure:

scent of plum blossoms
mingles with the scent of the hearth
winter departure

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 1st at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our last episode of January 2016, meditation, later on. For now ... have fun!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Carpe Diem #905 Throw That Pebble #3 drinking tea

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It is time again for our special feature "Throw That Pebble" with (of course) the regular prompt. Today that prompt is "drinking tea" and it is a modern kigo extracted from Jane Reichhold's "A Dictionary of Haiku". By the way ... recently I got a very uplifting email from Jane and I love to share a quote from that email with you.

Quote from email by Jane Reichhold:

[...] "You simply amaze me with the wealth of information you have on your website! You have one of the best sites on Japanese poetry you know! I am proud of you and pleased to be associated with you! Thanks for letting me tag along." [...]

I am honored that someone, that famous, like Jane Reichhold, says this about Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. I am just your humble host and I am glad and proud to be your host and to glorify the beauty of haiku and all those other wonderful Japanese poetry forms.

Today our prompt is drinking tea and as you all know the Japanese have drinking tea raised to an art-form. Tea ... a lovely hot drink, but also as ice-tea a good drink. Tea is worth a ceremony as we can see in classical Japan.

Japanese green tea

In Japan (even now) the tea ceremony is wonderful. I have once written a haibun on the tea ceremony of Rykyu, unfortunately that haibun I have written in my maiden language Dutch. The tea ceremony is full of spirituality and aesthetic.
Tea ... what about tea? Just tea ... enjoy it ... so blessed when you drink tea (it's not my kind of drink, I am more of coffee). Take a cup and be inspired to write a haiku.

drinking tea
together with friends
what a party

what a party
being part of Rykyu's tea ceremony
drinking tea is art
© Chèvrefeuille

And here are a few haiku written by Jane Reichhold about tea for your inspiration

morning light
the taste of snow
in thin tea

handle of a cup
of herb tea

clear tea
holding a calm
in the storm

out of the cup
cold air giving steam
a shape
© Jane Reichhold

Ah! That wonderful and very spiritual tea ceremony ... awesome isn't it?

As you know for "Throw That Pebble" you have only 24 hours to respond. Why such a short time? Well ... because haiku is the impression of a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water. That's why I challenge you to respond within 24 hours ... to learn to stay in the moment ... that short moment of time which is described in haiku.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 29th 7.00 PM (CET), that's only 24 hours! I will (try to) publish our new episode, Ume-no-hana (ume flower), later on.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Carpe Diem Special #194 A Trip Along Memory Lane -- with a twist

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the last CD-Special of January. This month our CD-Specials were all about special features which I have created during the liftime of CDHK. I started with one of my favorites, Carpe Diem Imagination, in which the goal was to write a haiku inspired on a photo, image or something else. And to close our Trip Along Memory Lane I have another special feature for you all, but this one I have never published earlier here at CDHK.

Let me tell you which special feature I am talking about. This feature I created shortly after our first month of inspirational music, but I never dared to publish it, because of its likeness with Imagination.

This special feature I had titled "Carpe Diem Awakens your Muse" and the goal was to share a video for your inspiration. These videos would be all about nature and so ... after thinking and re-thinking this I decided to bring this special feature in our last CD Special of January.

Credits: Sparrow on Lotus (logo CD Awakens Your Muse)

The goal of this CD-Special is to watch a video, look at the images, listen to the music and become one with the scene(s) in the video and awaken your muse and write/compose an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

Watch the video ... experience the beauty of the Japanese Spring and enjoy the music by Karunesh, one of my favorite musicians. Through this video I can only hope that your muse will awaken and that she will inspire you to write an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

fragile beauty
the shining wind
* from the east
plays with cherry blossom

from far away
the sound of a temple bell
welcomes spring

cherry blossoms bloom
bare branches in designer cloths
children's laughter

© Chèvrefeuille

* "the shining wind" (a classical kigo) refers to the sparkling of spring sunshine and a gentle wind on a sunny spring day.

My muse was awake for sure ... but ... well you all know that cherry blossoms are my favorite theme for haiku. I hope you all did like this CD-Special and that you will forgive me that I never used this special feature in our CDHK lifetime.

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

!! By the way I have published our new prompt-list for February which has been created by Hamish Managua Gunn. (You can find the new prompt-list above in the menu or HERE) !!

!! Note to Hamish: I have changed the consecution of your list a little bit. I hope you don't mind !!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #67 Van Gogh's Shoes: Thingness in Haiku by Jim Kacian (an article about commodity)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Last week I had a wonderful article on tanka for you (written by Jane Reichhold) and this week I have another nice article for you, but now more specific for haiku. This article is by Jim Kacian and it's about "Thingness in haiku".


This article was published earlier in:

Valley Voices: A Literary Review 8:1
Mississippi Valley State University
Spring 2008, pp. 60-61.

Van Gogh’s Shoes: Thingness in Haiku
Jim Kacian

How does haiku differ from other kinds of poetry? This is a vast subject, and of course cant really be answered haiku is very like other kinds of poetry, at times, and at other times nothing like it at all. Which poetry it is, and which haiku, makes all the difference.
One characteristic of haiku that contrasts with other poetry is lack of story. That is, haiku are not generally in the business of trying to narrate a tale, though of course there may be a tale involved, either in the content of the poem, or in its discovery. If one is attempting to tell the story of the Trojan War, one might opt for a kind of poetry in which to tell it, but it assuredly won’t be haiku. (And so, naturally, a story, attributed to Basho: challenged by a man to include the Eight Views of Omi in a single verse (merely listing the names of the eight views would require more than 60-on), the poet produced shichikei wa kiri ni kakurete mii no kane  // seven views / hidden in the mist / the (temple) bell of Mii  // returning story once again to poetry).
Haiku are not so much opposed to narrative as beyond it not telling tales, but encompassing them. Haiku have neither past nor future, and are not strictly narratable. As narrative fails, description takes over, bits and pieces obtrude. A description of bits and pieces is concerned with neither memory nor desire. It insists on the presence of that presented.
Of course bits and pieces may stir memory for an instant: they are signs. But they are never inclusive, and though selected, cannot aspire to conjuring the world whole in any individual poem. They are, instead, the meaningfully random, and only taken as a whole that is, the entirety of all haiku ever written does anything like comprehensiveness arise. The bits and pieces are not more than bits and pieces they will remain for the duration of the poem exactly what they already are. But in accumulation they approach fractally the sum of reality, of mind. As I’ve written elsewhere, haiku, the world’s shortest poetry, agglomerates to haiku, the world’s longest poem. Read enough haiku, then, and the world will work in that special sense that literature permits.
Narrative keeps fresh the capacity for memory and desire that, in turn, freshens narrative. What bits and pieces keep fresh is something else again, something we might term sensibility. The Japanese coined special words for elements of this: sabi, for instance, and wabi, karumi, yugen. These collectively amount to a sort of nostalgia, a state which is not memory, is not desire, but requires access to them in order to work. These bits and pieces, these objects, were not considered worthy of description until they had acquired the patina of sensibility. This is considered to be revealing not only of the condition of objects, but of their owners or perceivers. There must be a sense of having been used that conveys worth. Poets are expected to spend some time in the presence of such detritus, in order to achieve tone. When the poet stops writing the stories of these objects and begins to describe them (or, as we are wont to say, permit them to speak for themselves), s/he is ready for haiku.
To make the abstract concrete: recall your favorite pair of jeans. You can’t quite throw them away, in part because they are enmeshed with your memories and desires, but also in part because they still work. You can wear them (to some places, anyway) without embarrassment and with physical and psychological comfort. Their utility has not been used up. They remain commodities in the real world sense.
But should you remove this commodity from the real world and make of it something else an element in a painting or a poem, say you have changed its meaning. This is precisely what Van Gogh does in his famous painting A Pair of Shoes (painted in Paris in 1886, just as the first wave of Japonisme was seizing the French avant-garde).
Credits: A Pair of Shoes (painting by Van Gogh 1886)
In this painting the shoes are immortalized not for their utility but for their affect. (Another tale: the story is told that Van Gogh bought these shoes at a flea market for use in a still life, but found them unready only a long walk in the Parisian rain made them fit for paint.)
More generally, this commodification in haiku is an important element in its conveying of meaning. A commodity is an object worthy of exchange that is, containing value in two minds. But it need not be the same value, and in fact in haiku objects are seen to be removed from their utility (although it was utility which created their worth) and elevated to the status of idea. This is an old conceit, here and abroad in the west Karl Marx in Das Kapital defines commodification as a kind of transcendence; in the east, we have haiku.
The value of an object (in haiku, in Marxism) is not in its continued usefulness that is, in its ability to contribute to the furtherance of a narrative that includes it but rather simply as itself in its current state. Such an object has no past and no future it simply is, and now. But haiku values this not in commercial (that is, real) terms, but on its own terms. In haiku, matter survives commodification intact, even inside the idea that has made it a commodity, where it can be grasped by a theory: not Marx's theory, but literature’s. One might say there are two kinds of commodification: the real, theorized by Marx, which raises matter into meaning and value but always the same hard currency meaning and value; and the abstract, theorized in literature, which raises it, oddly, yet further, into a compelling particularity (in fact, into a type of particular). That is, it re-objectifies the object. This is precisely haiku’s method.
There are western analogues, of course, most specifically suggested in the philosophy of Heidegger, and by William Carlos Williams's “No ideas but in things.” This does not suggest that there should be no ideas at all, but rather that objects be the necessary condition for ideas. This is an important extension of our understanding of haiku, in that it permits it to grow beyond a simple listing of objects to the repository of idea, and so a greater claim to inclusiveness. The best haiku, Japanese and western, arise from the “thingness” of their elements that suggests breadth of thought and possibility. It is in this “(post-)modern sense of the object that we are to find the direction for growth in haiku. Not just knowing the difference between an object and a thing, but also the sense of things having nothing to do with the sensation of thingness. The being of things lies no more in the details of their mere physicality than does the being of humans. Objects are to be reobjectified not by an accretion of details but by their powers of allusion, the accumulation of meanings and feelings which people have found therein.
If haiku is to remain viable, it must not be a catalog poetry, but a poetry of emanation. This flies in the face of most supposed definitions of haiku as “moments keenly perceived” if we take perception to be the close noticing of attributes. Rather it must become what Wallace Stevens suggested in “The Plain Sense of Things” when he anticipates the wearing thin of meaning imbued in things, but recognizes that in reality such is inexhaustible, even if it must rebound upon ourselves: “Yet the absence of the imagination,” he continues, “had / Itself to be imagined.

Jim Kacian
Jim Kacian

In the above article Jim shares a haiku by Basho, which Basho wrote as a response on a challenge which he was asked for, a kind of bet so to say.
shichikei wa kiri ni kakurete mii no kane 
seven views
hidden in the mist -
the (temple) bell of Mii
© Basho (Tr. Jim Kacian)

A nice one I would say, especially the idea of the challenge behind it, And that brings me to your challenge for this episode of Tokubetsudesu. In the haiku by Basho he describes the 8 views of Omi in just a few lines, and the painting by Van Gogh shows you how simplicity can work. That brings me to the following challenge:

Try to tell a story, like the haiku by Basho and using the simplicity of the description of the painting by Van Gogh, for a haiku ... only a haiku!

I have given it a try too, but I don't know for sure if I succeeded.

snowflakes fall gently
slowly the black earth becomes white
even the scarecrow
© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you all did like this Tokubetsudesu episode and that it will inspire you to write a haiku.
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, the last CD Special of this month, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all. 

Carpe Diem Kukai #6 Time

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to announce the start of our 6th kukai. This kukai has the theme "TIME" ... and I invite you all to send haiku (new and not early published, a maximum of three) inspired on the theme "time" to our emailaddress: Please write "kukai time" in the subject line. To help you to become inspired I have a nice quote by Khalil Gibran for you.

Khalil Gibran, a modern times (end 19th and begin 20th century, must be modern heh) philosopher, has written really awesome books. His thoughts were very different as those of the government in his country Lebanon and so he had to fled to the United States were he became a great man and author in the same league as Shakespeare. It's awesome to read his thoughts and ideas ... I can empathize with him, because he has in a way the same thoughts and ideas as I have, but ... I cannot really give the right words to it ...
[...] "We measure time according to the movement of countless suns; and they measure time by little machines in their little pockets. Now tell me, how could we ever meet at the same place at the same time?" [...]
A lack of time is an "illness" of modern times ... I am a guy who lives in the modern time, but does that mean that I have to confirm to the fastness and lack of time? I don't think so.
I think I have an idea to become rid of my problem ... I just throw my watch away and let those countless suns make my day. I have to adapt to nature's time, I don't need to stay awake until 2 o'clock in the night. I just have to go to my bed as the evening falls and get out of bed as the morning rises. Wouldn't that be awesome? Just going with nature and the way of the sun ... That's the time of a haiku-poet. As I stated in another episode at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai haiku-poets are the poets of nature, they are the keepers of nature ... so I have just to listen again to my own words and the words of our classical haiku-poets. We just have to listen to our ancestors ... Did they have a shortness of time? I don't think so.
From this moment on ... no time problems anymore. I just go with the flow, just go with the movement of countless suns and with the tides.

changing tides
my restlessness has gone
time is at my side

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope this will help your inspiration. This new CDHK Kukai "time" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will run until February 14th 10.00 PM (CET). I am looking forward to your submissions. Please feel free to invite others to participate in this kukai.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Carpe Diem Extra January 26th (2nd) Magical line of 700.000 visitors reached

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Awesome Carpe Diem Haiku Kai has passed the line of 700.000 visitors/views yesterday. All thanks to you my dear Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Family members.

Carpe Diem Extra January 26th 2016 Results of the Winter Kukai

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful series of haiku were submitted for our Winter Kukai. It wasn't easy to Judge, as I may believe several of you, all the beauties. I think every haiku in this kukai is wonderful and written with a lot of love. However there can be only one winner and a runner-up ...

The winner of the Winter kukai wins the opportunity to create an E-book with a total of 30 pages or 50 haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form and will be our featured haiku poet for February 2016.  Our runner-up wins the opportunity to write one of the Tokubetsudesu episodes of February, or will be the "subject" of one of the Tokubetsudesu episodes written by myself.

Hamish Managua Gunn (a.k.a. Pirate) you are the winner of our Winter kukai with your haiku:
a dark sky's lights dance
in the wolf's eyes

© Hamish

This haiku scored 13 points.
You have the opportunity to create an E-book and you will be our featured haiku poet of February 2016.

Our runner-up, with 7 points, is dt.haase with the following haiku:

inviting silence
the ring of a brass bell

© dt.haase

You will be the subject of one of the Tokubetsudesu episodes of February.

Here are the other results

13 points: haiku 12
7 points: haiku 16
5 points: haiku 7, 9, 11 & 27
4 points: haiku 3 & 8
3 points: haiku 10, 14, 15, 23 & 33
2 points: haiku 18, 19 & 30
1 point: haiku 2 & 28
0 points: haiku 1, 4, 5, 6, 13, 17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32 & 34

Congratulations to our winner and runner-up and thank you all for participating in the winter kukai.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Credits: congratulations

Monday, January 25, 2016

Carpe Diem #904 Kazahana (snowflakes)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are exploring classical and modern kigo this month and today I have a nice classical kigo (seasonword) for you, Kazahana (snowflakes).

I was a little bit confused as I sought the internet for the translation of snowflakes, all translations gave another Japanese word for snowflakes except the website of Gabi Greve. So it wasn't easy to find a few nice examples of this classical kigo, but here are a few by Issa:

little straw mat--
the cat comes with a coat
of snowflakes

snowflakes flitting down--
a winter solstice

© Kobayashi Issa

Two nice haiku I think to inspire you all. This time a short episode ... maybe it gives you all a little bit "space".

Credits: The beauty of snowflakes

cover the red roses
on a new grave

© Chèvrefeuille

falling gently
fragile beauty

© Chèvrefeuille

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

Carpe Diem Vernacular #2 autumn rains (herfstregenbuien)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

In our first episode of Carpe Diem Vernacular I promised you to publish an episode of this new feature every Saturday, but through lack of time I couldn't publish the second episode so I will do that today.

In this special feature the goal is to share haiku, tanka or another Japanese poetry form in your mother tongue or vernacular. And today I love to share a haiku on autumn rains with you.

just like last year
colourful leaves falling –
autumn rains

net als vorig jaar
vallen kleurrijke bladeren –

© Chèvrefeuille

I am looking forward to read all of your wonderful haiku in your mother tongue or vernacular, of course with an English translation.

This episode of Carpe Diem Vernacular is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 1st at noon (CET). Have fun!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Judging kukai winter

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The time to judge our kukai winter entries is almos over. If you haven't judged the kukai winter then this is your last chance. You can email your judging-points until January 25th 10.00 PM (CET) to our cdhk emailaddress: don't forget to write 'judging winter kukai' in the subject line.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Carpe Diem #903 hot springs

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

January is running to its end and so is our prompt-list with classical and modern kigo for winter, running towards its end. Today I have a nice prompt for you based on Jane Reichhold's "A Dictionary of Haiku", in which she gathered modern kigo for all seasons. Today the modern kigo is hot springs and maybe you can remember that we have had this prompt earlier on CDHK, because of the haiku by Basho.
A hot spring is a spring produced by the emergence of geothermal heated groundwater that rises from the Earth's crust. There are geothermal hot springs in many locations all over the crust of the earth. While some of these springs contain water that is the correct temperature for bathing, others are too hot to do so and immersion can result in injury or death. Of course in this episode the good geothermal hot springs are our theme.

Yamanaka Hot Springs

In Basho's time there were several wonderful hot springs which were frequently visited by the Japanese people and by Basho himself. One of the hot springs Basho visited was in Yamanaka. In his wonderful haibun "Oku no Hosomichi" Basho says the following about this well known hot spring in Yamanaka: 
“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.”

And another nice haiku which he wrote as he says farewell to his host at Yamanka hot spring:

yuno nagori   kayoi wa hada no   samukara n

tonight my skin
will miss the hot spring
it seems colder

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Credits: Cougar Hot Springs

Let us now take a look at the examples which Jane gives for this modern kigo.

crystal waters
warmed with the scent
of earth

ancient earth
tiredness of my old body
in hot springs

from hot mineral baths
a bright lava flow

winter night
joining us in the bath
foggy stars

© Jane Reichhold

Secret Hot Spring

It wasn't easy to create haiku with this theme in it, but I had to try it. So first I found one in my archives and I wrote two new ones.

hot springs hidden
deep inside the holy mountain
giving new life

© Chèvrefeuille (April 2014)

hidden in the forest
I ran into a secret hot spring -
Ah! that sweet scent

falling in love
while enjoying the warm water -
secret hot spring 

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... not bad, not bad at all ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 27th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, 
Kazahana (snowflakes), later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.

Carpe Diem #902 Kangetsu (cold moon)

!!! Sorry ... lack of time, so this post is a little bit later than planned !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are exploring classical and modern kigo for winter. One of the characteristic features of a haiku is the use of a kigo or seasonword. This seasonword (kigo) points towards the time of year in which the haiku was written (or seen and later written). There are a lot of kigo and those kigo are all bound together in what is called a Saijiki. Today I have a classical kigo for you  Kangetsu (cold moon), and I have a few nice haiku for you with this kigo, all written by Buson, and starting with the same line "this cold moon":

kangetsu ya kaisandoo no ki no ma yori

this cold moon -
among the trees
of the founder's hall

kangetsu ya kareki no naka no take sankan

this cold moon -
among the bare trees
three stalks of bamboo

kangetsu ya koishi no sawaru kutsu no soko

this cold moon -
the soles of my shoes
touch small pebbles

kangetsu ya matsu no ochiba no ishi o iru

this cold moon -
fallen needles of pines
shoot into stones

kangetsu ya mon o tatakeba kutsu no oto

this cold moon -
after knocking at the (temple) door
the sound of wooden clogs

kangetsu ya zoo ni yuki-au hashi no ue

this cold moon -
I meet a monk
on the bridge

© Yosa Buson
Credits: Winter Wolf

All beauties I would say and full of inspiration I think. Here is my humble try to write a haiku on Kangetsu (cold moon):

silent winter night
the full moon of January -

howling wolves

howling wolves
giving me the shivers -
praying for strength

 praying for strength
as I see the bright Wolf Moon -
silent winter night

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 27th at noon (CET). I will (try to) post our new episode, hot springs, later on.