Monday, February 29, 2016

Carpe Diem Extra February 29th 2016 Now Available our 2nd volume of Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Now Available at the left side of our Kai our second volume of Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Carpe Diem #929 wind bag

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. In this month we will explore the writing skills of Basho as you can see in the "subtitle" of this month. Basho used a lot of Haiku Writing Techniques in his haiku and this month we will explore 22 of them. In every episode I will start with a haiku by Basho and than I will tell you about the technique he used ... and than it's up to you ... create a haiku in the way of Basho.

Basho's haiku:

hating flowers
the mouths of talkative people
and the wind bag

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)


As I read this haiku I was a little bit confused, because of the first line 'hating flowers' ... I thought that was a to strong line, but after reading and re-reading I started to understand ... in this first line 'hating flowers' Basho speaks of the fragile beauty of flowers. For example: cherry blossoms are fragile and the Japanese were (and still are) anxious that that fragile beauty will be destroyed by the wind ... or even by people who don't have respect for the beauty of nature.

cherry blossoms in the moonlight so fragileah! the Spring breeze

© Chèvrefeuille
In the way of Basho

In this haiku "hating flowers", Basho uses the association technique. This method of linking can be thought of as "how different things relate to or come together".
One of Basho's major objectives was to find new and apt associations that made the reader rethink reality and the connectedness within. This technique Basho used very often. In the above haiku by Basho he says that the mouths of people who talk too much and the bag of winds, a fanciful expression of the place were the spring winds come from, have something in common. The both must hate the cherry blossoms because each reduces a person's pleasure in enjoying the flowers. The talkative person distracts from one's appreciation of the beauty of the scene and the wind blows the petals off the tree.

Nature Chandelier

My response in the way of Basho

This looks familiar with the disturbance of a cell-phone going of in a museum or a movie theater. and  that inspired me to write the following haiku:

cell phone rings
as the soprano reaches the highest tone
the chandelier breaks

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... a nice one I would say, not really my style I think, but I think I succeeded to write a haiku in the way of Basho.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 3rd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, a new Tokubetsudesu episode, later on. For now ... have fun ... and let's go write haiku in the way of Basho.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Carpe Diem #928 Extra-Sensory Perception (and Common Sense)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... this is it, our last episode of February, a last chance to sharpen your senses. This month was very special, we had our first Theme Week and we had all wonderful essays by Hamish, who also was our featured haiku poet this month.
I love to thank Hamish for his hard work and interesting essays for our Haiku Kai. Thank you Hamish.

Today our last episode Extra-Sensory Perception (and Common Sense) is a nice one and I hope it will inspire you all to write new verses.

Hamish on Extra-Sensory Perception (and Common Sense)

Ever answer a phone call, only to hear the person you were just thinking of on the other end? Ever had a dream about something that later actually happened? Ever felt like somebody read your mind? Some people may interpret these sorts of experiences as extrasensory perception, or ESP. ESP is defined as an awareness of the world that occurs through some mechanism other than the known senses — mind reading, sensing when a far-off friend is in trouble, foreseeing the future, and other phenomena more commonly associated with illusion artists than with science. So what does science have to say about ESP? Though ESP might not seem like something scientists would examine, the results of ESP — knowledge of events in the world — are well within the realm of science, and so we can use the tools of science to study phenomena sometimes attributed to ESP.


Using these tools, scientists have studied whether ESP exists. Their experiments have explored all kinds of ESP, but most have focused on mind reading. In the most typical of these experiments, one person, the sender, goes through a deck of cards, each depicting one of five symbols (like a star or cross), while another person, the receiver, tries to determine what symbol the sender is looking at. To eliminate any tips from body language, the sender is often shielded from view. If the receiver were to correctly identify the symbol more often than could be explained by chance, it would suggest that ESP does indeed exist. However, researchers have found that receivers aren't particularly accurate in these experiments; no evidence of mind reading or any other sort of ESP has been found.2 Since science hasn't uncovered any evidence that ESP even exists, no scientific investigations of its potential mechanisms have been undertaken.

ESP itself is neither scientific nor unscientific — but it can be studied scientifically or unscientifically, and scientific studies. Those who ignore the evidence and insist that ESP is a real, natural phenomenon fail to meet one of the key aspects of scientific behavior: assimilating the evidence. But maybe these people are looking from the wrong direction, that of Common Sense, which although relies on facts and logical outcomes, misses much for many of the same reasons. Would it not be better to look at the prism of ESP with an open mind, given what we already know about the senses in nature?
So now, your hardest haiku yet, an ESP haiku! Focus on Carpe Diem. What kind of haiku do you think Carpe Diem Haiku Kai would like from you? Write it.

My response

This was really a challenging essay and Hamish's question at the end of his essay I didn't expect ...
I like to see all of your responses on this question, before I will respond myself ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 2nd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode later on.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Carpe Diem #927 Synesthesia

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

February is running towards it end and we have just two episodes to go and than ... a new month will start however I can not publish our new prompt-list, because I haven't yet created it. I hope to publish it late Sunday February 28th.

Today we are going on with sharpening our senses and this time it's all about synesthesia and I will only "do" the essay by Hamish in this episode, because of lack of time. So here is his essay.

Hamish on synesthesia

Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.

Difficulties have been recognized in adequately defining synesthesia: Many different phenomena have been included in the term synesthesia ("union of the senses"). A more accurate term may be ideasthesia.

In one common form of synesthesia → color synesthesia or color-graphemic synesthesia, letters or numbers are perceived as colored. In spatial-sequence, or number form synesthesia, numbers, months of the year, and/or days of the week elicit precise locations in space, or may appear as a three-dimensional map (clockwise or counterclockwise).

Only a fraction of types of synesthesia have been evaluated by scientific research. Synesthesia was the topic of intensive scientific investigation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Psychological research has demonstrated that synesthetic experiences can have measurable behavioral consequences, and functional neuroimaging studies have identified differences in patterns of brain activation. Many find that synesthesia aids the creative process.
Buddhist literature, both sutra and tantra, contains extensive discussions on mind and its nature. Tantra, in particular, discusses the various levels of subtlety of mind and consciousness. Tantric literature is replete with references to the various subtleties of the levels of consciousness and their relationship to such physiological states as the vital energy centers within the body, the energy channels, the energies that flow within these and so on. The tantras also explain how, by manipulating the various physiological factors through specific meditative yogic practices, one can effect various states of consciousness. Synesthesia is said to be the state shamans reach when going into a trance. See if you can write your shaman haiku, meditating a bit first, perhaps, or if you have shaman feelings, going into a trance! Now is the time for your shaman haiku!

Fly Like An Eagle

My response

I love the idea of shaman-haiku and I have written several of them. I love to share a few here as a response on this essay by Hamish.

resonating drums
the five saints ... impressive beauty
spirit world opens

whispering leaves
telling all wisdom of the steppes -
cry of an eagle

And a cascading haiku:

lying down on my back
watching the deep blue night sky -
feeling my spirit

feeling my spirit
wishing to be free forever
like an eagle

like an eagle
free and high in the blue sky
my Inner Path

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our last episode of this month, Extra-Sensory Perception (and Common Sense), later on.

Carpe Diem Extra February 27th - Shinrin-Yoku, the art of Forest Bathing

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to announce the release of a new CDHK e-book. As you all know the winner of the CDHK kukai wins the opportunity to create an e-book. The winner of our "winter'- kukai, Hamish Managua Gunn (a.k.a. Pirate) has created a wonderful e-book in which he has gathered a series of kikobun, a kind of haibun, he titled this e-book "Shinrin-Yoku, the art of Forest Bathing".

I am proud and honored that I may announce that "Shinrin-Yoku" is NOW AVAILABLE here at our Haiku Kai. You can find this new CDHK e-book free for download at the right side of our Kai.

Happy reading!

Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Carpe Diem Special #199 Hamish's 5th a teaser

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First this: Yesterday I got an email by Georgia (a.k.a. Bastet). She told me that Jen (a.k.a. Paloma) is in the hospital. She couldn't tell me why, but Jen had said not to worry. So I wish to ask you all to pray for Jen's recovery. From my side "Get well soon Jen, I will send you my love and prayers".

Today we have the last CD-Special by Hamish Managua Gunn (a.k.a. Pirate) and for this CD-Special I have chosen a kikobun from his new CDHK e-book "Shinrin-Yoku (the Art of Forest Bathing)" which I hope to make available this weekend here at our Haiku Kai. You can see this kikobun from "Shinrin-Yoku" as a teaser.

Here is what Professor Peipei Qiu, The Author of Bashô and the Dao says about kikôbun:

[...] ‛The Japanese literary travel journal (kikôbun) has been closely related to poetry. It characteristically weaves poems and the introductory narratives in a sequential order. The travel journals that existed before Bashô were often written in a first-person voice, with the traveler's itinerary revolving around the classical poetic toponym (utamakura or meisho) and the narrative centering on poems composed about them. This fusion with poetry simultaneously enriched and limited the literary representation of the landscape of the kikôbun; when centering on classical poetic diction, the geographical imagination of the travel journal was often defined by conceptions and conventions that had been molded by classical poetry rather than by the physical qualities of landscape.’ [...]
Pine Tree

The aroma of pine, a kikobun

It is true that my own log cabin in the wilderness has no lock. No lock means a certain feeling of freedom. But freedom must be fed to flourish. It is not something you can give up, when your health suffers, or finances run low. You must build up your beliefs and values and experience them, and learn to learn them from others. That is the real reason get in touch with nature, for walking in a forest also means stepping away from civilization and its many pitfalls.
With my bag over my shoulder, I pause at my front door and carefully put a haiku in three lines on the wood for the departure, with small paintbrush and dark paint.

the aroma of pine
and the young morning’s fresh rain
reach my words

© Hamish Managua Gunn

A wonderful kikobun. Hamish is really a master in this Japanese genre of poetry. In his forest he finds his inspiration and that's why he has chosen "Shinrin-Yoku" as the title of his CDHK e-book.

I hope you will enjoy the read and of course ... Shinrin-Yoku can also be performed in your own neighborhood or a forest close by.

Shinrin-Yoku cover designed by Ese of Ese's Voice 

The goal of the CD-Specials is to write / compose a haiku, or maybe in this case, a kikobun in the same spirit as the featured poet.

This kikobun inspired me to write a "double tanka" (as Georgia calls it):

in touch with the gods
pine trees reaching for heaven -
skylarks sing their song
high against the bright blue sky
in honor of the gods

in honor of the gods
pine trees and skylarks together
reaching for heaven
sending up my prayers and become
in touch with the gods

© Chèvrefeuille

This CD-Special is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 29th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Synesthesia, later on. For now, have fun!

Carpe Diem Extra February 26th - New CDHK e-book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Our first CDHK Theme Week has ended and as I have promised at the start of the first Theme Week I have gathered all the Theme Week post and your responses in a new CDHK e-book.
In this new CDHK e-book you can find the posts and the responses on those posts by you my dear Haijin. I have tried to create a nice e-book, but I cannot guarantee that I have used all the responses in their form as published by you, maybe I have forgotten someone's response ... if that has happened than I apologize for that.

You can find our new CDHK e-book, free for download, at the left side of our Kai. I hope you will enjoy the read.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Carpe Diem #926 Nature

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

My excuses for being this late with publishing our new episode. I am in the nightshift and I hadn't time to publish this episode earlier.
Today we are going further with sharpening our senses through the wonderful essays by Hamish Managua Gunn (a.k.a. Pirate). By the way ... I hope to make his E-book "Forest Walk" available this week.


One of my co-workers has been on a holiday to Iceland and came back with wonderful stories, but I was mostly amazed by her photo of the "Northern Lights" or "Aurora Borealis". It's really the magical and mystical mysterious beauty of our wonderful nature to which we are "hooked" through our love for haiku.

Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) photo © Marleen Duimstra

The photo of the "Northern Lights" inspired me to write the following tanka:

sign of the gods
the night painted in thousand colors -
cracking snow
reflects the 'dance of the spirits'
aurora borealis

© Chèvrefeuille
Hamish on nature 

Howard Gardner sees the sense of Nature as an Intelligence, and has added it as his 8th intelligence to his Theory of Multiple Intelligences, where he names 7 other different intelligences (Intrapersonal/Interpersonal/Audio-Musical/Kinesthetic/Spatial/Linguistic/Logical-Mathetmatical) A sense of nature, the rhythms of nature and its beauty is perhaps not only an intelligence, and not merely an appreciation, either.
The connection of haiku to nature is important, deep, and vivid. It is hard to imagine writing haiku that are not about nature. And in nature there is so much to explore. When we look at the life of plants in more detail, for example, we can see how they sense light, gravity, temperature, humidity, chemical substances, chemical gradients, reorientation, magnetic fields, infections, tissue damage and mechanical pressure. The absence of a nervous system notwithstanding, plants interpret and respond to these stimuli by a variety of hormonal and cell-to-cell communication pathways that result in movement, morphological changes and physiological state alterations at the organism level. This is quite amazing.
In the animal world there is also electroreception (or electroception), the ability to detect electric fields. The platypus has the most acute sense of electroception. A dolphin can detect electric fields in water using electroreceptors. These electroreceptors can detect electric fields as weak as 4.6 microvolts per centimeter, such as those generated by contracting muscles and pumping gills of potential prey. This permits the dolphin to locate prey from the seafloor where sediment limits visibility and echolocation. Several species of fish, sharks, and rays have the capacity to sense changes in electric fields in their immediate vicinity. For cartilaginous fish this occurs through a specialized organ called the Ampullae of Lorenzini. Some fish passively sense changing nearby electric fields; some generate their own weak electric fields, and sense the pattern of field potentials over their body surface; and some use these electric field generating and sensing capacities for social communication.
Nature is so full of mystery, science, beauty and art and patterns. What a beautiful topic for another haiku about the beauty and wonder of our natural planet!

Aurora Borealis (source: Wikipedia)

My response

What a beautiful essay Hamish. You are a talented writer and poet and I am glad that you have done this for CDHK this month.
This prompt especially had my attention, because of the title "nature" .... because our beloved haiku is real poetry of nature and learns us to watch closer and with love to our surroundings trying to catch her beauty in three lines.

treat of Mother Earth
coloring the skies
Aurora Borealis
a palette of colors
treat of Mother Earth

© Chèvrefeuille

What a joy, what a spectacle ... Aurora Borealis ... magic.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, the last CD-Special by Hamish Gunn, our featured haiku poet, later on. For now ... have fun!

!! PS.: I am busy with creating the anonymous list of our "Time" - kukai and I hope to publish it this weekend !!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Carpe Diem #925 Love

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Earlier this day I published a new CDHK e-book on Troiku, you can download it for free at the right side of our Kai. I think it has become a beauty ... I wish you all a happy read ...

Today our new episode on senses is Love and earlier this month we had an episode of Tokubetsudesu about love ... so maybe this continues that post or opens your eyes to look in another way at love. I did like the essay on love which Hamish wrote.


I love to share a quote from the above mentioned Tokubetsudesu episode:

[...] "Haiku is love, a love that grabs you by the throat and takes you into an adventure to discover the beauty of our world in all her beautiful details and bring that into the tiny form of haiku that shows us a scene, a moment that lasts only one heart beat." [...] 

And here to introduce love ... a haiku which I wrote several years ago:

the last steps taken
to find universal love -
the sound of rain

© Chèvrefeuille (2014)

Hamish on love

Is love an emotion? If this was so, would it not change constantly, like other emotions? The concept of love might be chemical, and scientific, but it could also be defined as one of the senses. "What is love" was the most searched phrase on Google in 2012. Biologically, love is a powerful neurological condition like hunger or thirst, only more permanent. We talk about love being blind or unconditional, in the sense that we have no control over it. But then, that is not so surprising since love is basically chemistry. While lust is a temporary passionate sexual desire involving the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and oestrogen, in true love, or attachment and bonding, the brain can release a whole set of chemicals: pheromones, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin. However, from an evolutionary perspective, love can be viewed as a survival tool – a mechanism we have evolved to promote long-term relationships, mutual defense and parental support of children and to promote feelings of safety and security.

Spiritual Love

Unlike us, the ancients did not lump all the various emotions that we label "love" under the one word. They had several variations, including Philia which they saw as a deep but usually non-sexual intimacy between close friends and family members or as a deep bond forged by soldiers as they fought alongside each other in battle. Ludus describes a more playful affection found in fooling around or flirting. Pragma is the mature love that develops over a long period of time between long-term couples and involves actively practicing goodwill, commitment, compromise and understanding. Agape is a more generalized love, it's not about exclusivity but about love for all of humanity. Philautia is self love, which isn't as selfish as it sounds. As Aristotle discovered and as any psychotherapist will tell you, in order to care for others you need to be able to care about yourself. Last, and probably least even though it causes the most trouble, eros is about sexual passion and desire. Unless it morphs into philia and/or pragma, eros will burn itself out. Love is all of the above. But is it possibly unrealistic to expect to experience all six types with only one person. This is why family and community are important. What love is depends on where you are in relation to it. Secure in it, it can feel as mundane and necessary as air – you exist within it, almost unnoticing. Deprived of it, it can feel like an obsession; all consuming, a physical pain.

Love ... renew it every day ...

Love is the driver for all great stories: not just romantic love, but the love of parent for child, for family, for country. It is the point before consummation of it that fascinates: what separates you from love, the obstacles that stand in its way. It is usually at those points that love is everything. Love is more easily experienced than defined. Can you show love through a haiku?

My response

Love ... we all know what it is and what it can be ... Love can be caught in haiku too. Here are a few haiku from my archives to show that love can be caught in haiku.

watching a geisha
monk from high up in the mountains
he's also a man

© Chèvrefeuille

she ... the moon
affectionate love for ever
illuminates my path

© Chèvrefeuille

She ... the moon ... once it was said that same gender love belonged to the night, they had to hide, so their love was only seen in the light of the full moon. She ... the moon ... their only friend.

affectionate love
shared between two similar hearts
in full moonlight
they finally could kiss each other
She ... the moon ... their only friend

© Chèvrefeuille

As I look at our time now, than we see / hear here in The Netherlands that same gender love is accepted, but there are growing signs that the acceptance of same gender love is in heavy waters. Let us hope (and pray) that this will not be a time in which unconditional love will be lost forever ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 27th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, nature, later on. For now ... have fun!

Carpe Diem Extra February 24th 2016 New E-book

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have published a new CDHK e-book "Flamingo Clouds" it's the first anthology of Troiku published on our Haiku Kai. You can download it NOW at the right side of our Kai. I hope you will like this all new CDHK e-book. I think it has become a beauty.

I will not publish a Tokubetsudesu episode today, I think you had noticed that I was somewhat confused due the nightshift.

I will publish our new episode later on. During lack of time it will not be possible today.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Carpe Diem #924 humour (reprise)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you can see above we are having a "reprise" episode of humour and Hamish has written this essay especially for this publication, because we both were not aware of the double prompt, so Hamish wrote an all new essay on humour which I will share beneath.


This month we are exploring and sharpening our senses together with Hamish Managua Gunn (a.k.a. Pirate). He provides us with all the posts this month together we Ese and me.
Today we are exploring humour and as I have told you in an earlier post ... I am not a haiku poet who uses humour in his haiku. Of course I have tried it and you could have read those haiku in earlier posts at CDHK. Today, however, I love to share (in tune with Hamish's essay) a tanka inspired on clowns or in this case ... a so called Merry Andrew:

painted face
hides his sad life -
every day again wearing his mask
making the world laugh

© Chèvrefeuille

Hamish on humour

A sense of humor, and the sense of the absurd . well, they are topics to vast to cover in just one post, and on this second one, we should look a little behind humor to see what it might be. In fact, that question can be answered in one sentence: humor is tragedy.

The best way to explore that concept is by exploring the clown. Let's see if we can write haiku about the clown to show the different ''sides'' of humor. To outline this post please play the music in the video below while you read, to perhaps put you in the mood. Funnily enough, while choosing a version of this song, I finally settled on one without singing, as I thought the piano conveyed the mood beautifully, as well as who was playing it.

There is so much we can identify with in a circus clown - and so much we can identify about our cultures, and about life. In many ways, the topic of ''clown'' begs for an extraordinary haiku. How can we capture that pathos, the jester, joker, who paints on his happy face, bounds out into the circus ring to laughter and applause and then after the show sits in his empty caravan wiping the paint off.

There is a certain male identity with being  clown, and female clowns have been very rare in history. That is nothing to be ashamed of - on the contrary, because the clown sometimes shows us characterizations of the male psyche.

For your haiku about humor today, focus on a clown, and see how you are able to portray him, or her. This is a difficult haiku, as a dose of too much sadness takes us too far down the road of sentimentalism, yet a haiku about only a laughing clown seems to lack depth.

Clown (Original Oil on Board Painting)
It is a difficult challenge, but I think a fascinating one for many reasons. 

I thought I would try a couple here, to see what I could come up with. When I think of all the famous portrayal of clowns, from Jack Nicholson in Batman, to an inexplicable Ronald McDonald, Charlie Chaplin, Marcel Marceau, and so many in the circuses and TV shows of our youth, I can see a lot of material as reference.

the show is over
a clown stands in the night rain
make-up dripping off

I wanted to get autumn into that haiku, thus the rain, but found it hard to really get to grips with the pathos.

at her caravan
the clown offers a red rose
the acrobat laughs

Well I managed to get those syllables down - good thing, too, the first versions were a rambling tale. I kind of want to put ''just'' after ''acrobat'' in the last line, but it doesn't feel like a ''haiku word'' to me, and may just push the haiku too far. Your turn now. I look forward to reading what you come up with, in this theme.

Venice Carnival
My response

I love clowns, but I also feel the double-life in a clown. The most clowns are hiding their life behind their mask and that inspired me to write the following cascading haiku (with a twist at the end):

dark green eyes
hidden behind a mask -
she's mysterious

she's mysterious
breathtaking glamorous mask
attractive force

attractive force
mystical and magical
who is she?

who is she?
thrills of unmasking at midnight
exposed to the world

exposed to the world
she turns into a man with
dark green eyes

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you did like this reprisal of humour and I hope it will inspire you too as it did Hamish and me. 

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 26th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, a new episode of our special feature Tokubetsudesu, later on.

PS. Something went wrong I think, because I am a day behind with creating the posts, must be due the nightshift. My excuses for this inconvenience.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Carpe Diem #923 desire

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another nice episode about senses provided by Hamish. During lack of time I will only publish his essay about desire and that essay is a wonderful one which he created together with Ese of Ese's Voice. Here is the essay on desire.

Hi everyone, Ese here for this post:

For the topic of 'Sense of Desire,' I was asked to submit the first page of my planned upcoming book, 'Butterfly Thy Name.' Please find the (true) story's start below, and use this as your inspiration for your haiku!
I rarely get the butterfly effect deep inside me that I feel when I see Ponto Veccio in Firenze, or walk through the small street labyrinths of Rome. Yet I felt them, too, when I stood barefoot on the warm beach, Porto’s heritage, with its vintage trams and red roofs, its cobblestones and orange trees behind me, and the ocean breathing in my face. The sea at Porto that awoke me, and set my senses free was an indigo dream, a deep blue on the edge of Europe, as far from Latvia one can get without jumping continents. This sea that frothed on the beach and pulled back, sliding with a shushing sound around my toes, with its accompanying breeze that wrapped my hair around my face, lulled me into the belief that I could sail oceans, and hushed me when my thoughts became too practical. Instead I watched the horizon beyond the villas pressed against seashore, blinking with the lights of Porto in the dusk, and let the sea air play.
I felt exhilarated, and far from the distant meadows of scented grass beneath me, in those summers of long Baltic days and short thunderstorm bursts, that soaked to the seams of my dress. And in those early summer mornings, when the last dewdrop on a blade of grass had yet to fall, I dreamt so often of journeys, a desire rippling, dawned, as the last notes of a strummed guitar by the embers of another campfire faded, a need, yearn for adventure, to lie back and be swept up, taken. At those moments, with sun rays reaching from as far as I could see, I knew that for those flutters of beautiful, exotic butterflies I needed to seek the summers of horizons unseen.
When the tides came in I was drinking coffee, the sea air spraying me, across the magnificent beach. The fishermen jumped from the boats riding up onto the beaches. They wore overalls and big boots, their chests bare, and pulled the fishing boats up onto the wet sand with capable arms. The masculine view rippled through me, and goosebumps sprinkled on my skin in a chilly sort of way. I did not avert my gaze, as they wrapped up ropes, fishing nets and boxes, before walking up the beach past me. It took one glance from one of the men, his overalls loose and strapped on one shoulder over his bare chest. Just that one glance and smile in those charcoal eyes for me to feel that warm desire between my legs...

over to you!
Credits: desire

Well ... I hope you have enjoyed the read and of course I hope it will inspire you to create an all new haiku in which desire is caught.
I ran through my archive and I found a nice tanka, which fits this prompt very well I think:

Lilies of the valley
their sweet perfume makes me drowsy
hot summer night
between silken sheets her warmth
honeysuckle coolness
© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February25th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, humour, later on.

Carpe Diem Theme Week #1 episode 7: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Insight 6 balance isn't always necessary

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the last episode of our first Carpe Diem Theme Week in which we explored The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche. We discovered that life and dead belong to each other and that we can learn from dead how to be in our life. In this last episode we learn that balance isn't always necessary.


This month our regular prompts are all about senses and in one of the first (regular) episodes of this month Hamish asked us to look at "equilibrium / balance" and I think this introduction I already have written, so I will quote myself here:

[...] "Balance ... it has not only to do with movement, but I think it also has to do with "inner balance". You have to be "in balance" mentally to stay focused on the things you have to do in your life. As I look at myself than I need "inner-balance" to do my work as an oncology nurse. I have very ill patients who need my care and attention and my love, so I can only give that to them if I am in balance myself.

To stay in balance myself I use to write. First novels and later I wrote more and more haiku to keep myself in balance. In my poetry I can find that balance through the scenes in my haiku, but also through being your host here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. I wonder ... what if I had not the opportunity to write or being your host? Then I think I would be less successful in my job as an oncology nurse.

in the light of dawn
sunflowers reach to the blue sky
praising their Creator

© Chèvrefeuille

A nice haiku in which I see "balance" in the strength of the Sunflowers reaching to the blue sky. As I "analyze" this than I associated on "light of dawn" to come to "sunflowers". And on "blue sky" to come to "Creator" in the third line. A nice "baransu"-haiku I would say." [...] (original post HERE)

Balance isn't always necessary.

Disappointment. It's one of the things which can bring us out of balance. Just like sadness and e.g. loss. The realization that we will not be here anymore about, say one hundred years, brings us out of balance. Questions like "How do my children and grandchildren survive as I am not there anymore?" or "What's next?" are crawling into my mind.

After reading and re-reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying we have learned one thing for sure: "Life isn't easy, but we have live it to the fullest". The book makes us think about all and everything. Out of balance? What does that mean? We loose our balance through all kinds of things. Things were we care about such like art and love. Losing our balance can be positive too. It makes us stronger, because we are searching for ways to regain our balance. Losing our balance and regaining it makes us human. We are flexible beings. We adapt ourselves constantly as we find ourselves in new, unexpected situations. Just through all those things we learn to develop balance.

As we discussed in one of the earlier posts for this first Theme Week, Rinpoche sees life as a bardo (a kind of transition station) and that's not a such bad idea in my opinion. It shows us that our consciousness has senses, lives in a world, observes, starts relationships, living life. Rinpoche says: "Life is to discover the goodness of life, an exercise to realize that life is good and that also means ... accepting dead as part of our life."

Look at yourself with compassion from the depth of your consciousness, your soul. It's a peaceful thought to know that our daily personality has a deeper Inner Self to whom we can listen always. Our Inner Self is our tower of strength. A lovely Inner Voice, that whispers: "Yes you are out of balance, but don't worry you will regain your balance. You need this difficult time to grow and become stronger and more balanced. So don't worry, don't be afraid, I am there, I am with you. I travel with you". Isn't that a reassured idea? Isn't that the reason to live your life to the fullest?

Seeking The Inner Self
My response

This Theme Week was awesome. It was (at least to me) an eye-opener to discover that life and dead belong together, that life and dead are siblings ...

I hope (know) that you all did enjoy it, but it wasn't easy to create these posts or write haiku about it. Haiku inspired on The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying ... it really wasn't easy, but we did it. Through the six Insights we have discovered ... learned a lot. And every lesson can inspire you to create the beauty of haiku ... thank you all for being here.

deep silence
the spring breeze whispers
"life is great"

© Chèvrefeuille

This last episode of our first Carpe Diem Theme Week is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 24th at noon (CET). I am looking forward to your responses and I hope you will be here again next month as we will have another wonderful Carpe Diem Theme Week.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Carpe Diem Special #198 Hamish Gunn's 4th Petal lanterns

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Last year I started with our CDHK kukai's and created anthologies with the submissions. In our first anthology "Petal Lanterns" I gathered all the haiku submitted by you for the kukai "wisteria" and "summertime". The title of that first anthology "Petal Lanterns" was extracted from the submitted haiku by Hamish Managua Gunn (a.k.a. Pirate), our featured haiku poet this month and the provider of all the essays this month on "senses". To honor and thank him for what he is doing for CDHK this month I have chosen the haiku "Petal Lanterns" to inspire you with for this episode of CDHK's Special.
Credits: Petal Lanterns (this was the cover of the first kukai anthology)
Maybe you can remember that anthology and the above image I used for the cover of our first CDHK kukai anthology "Petal Lanterns". Which you can find HERE).

And this is the haiku by Hamish from which I extracted the title of the first CDHK kukai anthology:

petal lanterns —
a waterfall of flowers
her lips touch mine

© Hamish

A very nice (delicate) haiku by Hamish to inspire you to write a haiku or tanka trying to catch the spirit of the haiku by Hamish.

Here is my attempt:

her sweet perfume
overwhelms my senses
Honeysuckle blooms

© Chèvrefeuille

It has become a short CD Special this time, but to say more would be a sin ...

Thank you Hamish for all you do (and have done) to make CDHK a success. This month is really awesome.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 24th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, desire, later on. For now ... have fun!

Carpe Diem Theme Week 1 episode 6: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Insight 5 The Teacher isn't holy too

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to present to you a new episode of our first Theme Week here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. In this first Theme Week we are exploring and discovering the beauty of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying written by Sogyal Rinpoche.
Today our 5th Insight is the prompt. This episode is titled "The Teacher Isn't Holy Too". It's an Insight which I hadn't expected, but after reading and re-reading it I think it's true.

just one leaf
struggles with the wind
like Basho

© Chèvrefeuille


Some of you have called me "Master" or "Sensei", I feel honored that you see me as your master, but I am just a humble guy, who happens to love haiku and is (damn) good in writing them. I am grateful for the love and kindness you sprinkle on me and have sprinkled on me during our existence, but I am still that guy who launched a daily haiku meme to promote his love for haiku ... I am just your humble host.

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), my master

The Teacher isn't holy too

Over the years several spiritual teachers became entangled in not such nice situations. Rinpoche also was one of them. He is / was a great spiritual teacher, but he also fell for the desires of the flesh. Well the mind is strong, but the flesh is weak.
In the case of a spiritual teacher "the flesh is weak" impairs all their beautiful and spiritual words if enlightenment finally ends between the sheets of the master, the teacher. Yes ... the flesh is weak.

A spiritual teacher is just a human like you and me and not a god. For spiritual teachers also counts the idea of "nothing human is them strange". And if you cannot find the ultimate truth and wisdom in the teachings of a spiritual teacher than stay close to yourself ... you are a spiritual teacher yourself ...

As I wrote above ... several of you have called me "master" and I thank you for that, but I am just a humble guy who fell in love with haiku more than 25 years ago. I am glad that I have found haiku and that I could evolve to a well known haiku poet with his own haiku family, but I am only grateful to be of help to improve your haiku writing skills.

Basho was a real haiku master, but he also said: "Now you have learned the rules, you have to forget them immediately and just enjoy the writing / composing of haiku". In this we can see that Basho was a humble man, full of compassion. He was glad to be of help, but told his disciples to explore their world and their creativity. Basho was just the "living manual" and his disciples could interpret that manual in their own way.

That's what I love to say to you too: "Look around in your world, experience the beauty of nature and be creative in your own way. I am only your "living manual".

My response

I bow my head
in front of Basho's statue
whispering "thank you"

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode of our first Theme Week is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 23rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our last episode of this first Theme Week, Insight 6 balance is not always necessary, later on.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Carpe Diem #922 sight (colors)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

February is running to its end and we are facing the last week of this month of CDHK in which we discovered the beauty of our senses and tried to sharpen them. Today we are looking at sight (colors). As we look around us we see the beauty of our world, mostly full of colors, but for those who are color-blind, the world is only red and green if they are partial color-blind, but if they are 100% color-blind their world is black and white ...


I am lucky, because I can see all colors, but (and that's maybe a kind of color blindness too) I like black and white photographs, because black and white shows no differences, every one and everything looks alike and that is awesome ... maybe in a way ... this refers to compassion, as was the theme of todays Theme Week post.

fresh fallen snow
sprinkled with the colors of autumn

© Chèvrefeuille


Hamish on sight (colors)

A rainbow. A rose. A beautiful view over a landscape. A sunset. Where would we be without sight? And yet, NLP — Neuro-Linguistic Programming maintains that we are divided into 3 categories as people, predominantly Visual,Auditory (sound) and Kinesthetic (moving/touch/feeling). Are we all predominantly Visual, using sight as our 'main' sense? Well, take this short quiz we have devised and find out!

The minimum points for each answer is 0 — The maximum points for each answer is 5 — you may choose any number between 0 and 5 as many times as you want while answering. 5 indicates strong agreement.

VAK Survey

Section One — Visual

_____ 1. I draw mind maps when taking notes.
_____ 2. When talking to someone else I have a difficult time understanding those who do not maintain good eye contact with me or at least glance often.
_____ 3. I doodle when talking on the phone, or draw pictures.
_____ 4. When reading a novel, I pay a lot of attention to passages that picture the clothing, description, scenery, setting, etc.
_____ 5. I need a map for directions, drawn or printed, so that I can remember them.
_____ 6. I need to see the person I am taking to in order in order to keep my attention focused on the subject.
_____ 7. When meeting a person for the first time, I notice the style of dress, visual characteristics, and neatness first.
_____ 8. When I am at a party, one of the things I love to do is stand back and people-watch.
_____ 9. When recalling information I can see it in my mind and remember where I saw it.
_____ 10. If I had to explain a new procedure or technique, I would prefer to use lots of visuals.
_____ 11. In my free time I am most likely to watch television or read.
_____ 12. If my boss has a message for me, I am most comfortable when she sends a memo.
Total For Visual _______ (note: the minimum is 0 and maximum is 60)

Section Two — Auditory

_____ 1. When I read, I read out loud or move my lips to hear the words in my head.
_____ 2. When talking to someone, I have a difficult time understanding those who do not talk or respond with me.
_____ 3. I do not take a lot of notes but I still remember what was said. Taking notes often distracts me from the speaker.
_____ 4. When reading a novel, I pay a lot of attention to passages involving conversations, talking, speaking, dialogues, etc.
_____ 5. I like to talk to myself when solving a problem or writing.
_____ 6. I can understand what a speaker says, even if I am not focused on the speaker.
_____ 7. I remember things easier by repeating them over and over.
_____ 8. When I am at a party, one of the things I love to do is talk in-depth about a subject that is important to me with a good conversationalist.
_____ 9. I prefer to receive information from the radio, rather than read a newspaper.
_____ 10. If I had to explain a new procedure or technique, I would prefer telling about it.
_____ 11. With my free time I am most likely to listen to music.
_____ 12. If my boss has a message for me, I am most comfortable when he or she calls me on the phone.

Section Three — Kinesthetic

_____ 1. I am not good at reading or listening to directions. I would rather just start working on the task or project at hand.
_____ 2. When talking to someone, I have a difficult time understanding those who do not show any kind of emotional or physical support.
_____ 3. I take notes, but I rarely go back a look at them.
_____ 4. When reading a novel, I pay a lot of attention to passages revealing feelings, moods, action, drama, etc.
_____ 5. When I am reading, I move my lips.
_____ 6. I often exchange words, such as places or things, and use my hands a lot when I can’t remember the right thing to say.
_____ 7. My desk appears disorganized.
_____ 8. When I am at a party, one of the things I love to do is enjoy the activities such as dancing, games, and totally losing myself in the action.
_____ 9. I like to move around. I feel trapped when seated at a meeting or a desk.
_____ 10. If I had to explain a new procedure or technique, I would prefer actually demonstrating it.
_____ 11. With my free time I am most likely to exercise.
_____ 12. If my boss has a message for me, I am most comfortable when she talks to me in person.


Please put your scores down, and relate your scores to your personal experience. Why is it that when you are asked to bring home potatoes you never do? Is it because you were only and orally asked, not given a paper with ‘’potatoes! don't forget!’’ on it to look at? What other situations have you noticed where communication has been less than successful?

VISUAL ________ AUDIO_________ KINESTHETIC_________

Well, even if you do not score predominantly Visual, write a haiku that shines in different colors or hues. If you are not predominantly Visual, or are predominantly another sense on the VAK scale, it is useful to know, as you may be using too much of one of the 3 senses in your haiku.

Well .... a extraordinary post this time. What was the outcome of your NLP related test?

My interpretation of Mondriaan (art work © Chèvrefeuille)

My response

Sorry I didn't take the test, but I think I use all my senses, not only in my daily life, but also in my haiku. Here are a few examples of haiku from my archive:

waterfall of colors
leaves whirl through the street -
departing summer

deep silence
sunbeams breaking through the water -
the silence deepens

colorful leaves
everywhere I look ... autumn -
Ah! that sweet perfume

through the open window
riding along with the cold winter wind
the scent of Forsythia

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 23rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, Hamish's 4th CD Special, later on.