Thursday, June 30, 2016

Carpe Diem 988 Birch

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month we are going to discover the beautiful mysterious nature. I hope to inspire you through nature, as a true haiku poet, and bring the deeper meaning of nature closer to you. There are a lot of great thinkers that created all kinds of ideas about the spiritual meaning of trees, flowers and so on. This month ... I hope to tell you more about this and I hope to inspire you to create wonderful new haiku, tanka and other Japanese poetry forms.

I don't have the prompt-list ready, but I hope to publish it later this week. For this first episode I have a wonderful tree for you ... the Birch ...

Birch (Alley)
"Listen closely and you will detect whispers of transformation and growth in the midst of the birch groves within your soul."  The birch is a very strong tree and is able to adapt to its environment. If a forest has been destroyed by fire the first tree you will see return is the birch. The birch is a pioneer and takes root again to revive the landscape, it will even be a more beautiful landscape than it was before it was destroyed. 
In this strong tree we can see a metaphor for our lives. If something has disturbed your life, for example death of a beloved one, than the birch will "push" you to go on with your life, to explore your emotions and how to give them a place in your life. Or if you loose your job … than birch can help you to find new goals in your life or to settle in a new job. The birch sings to us: "Shine, take hold, express your creative expanse, light the way so that others may follow".  Birch in this way seen can be your prophet to help you to find your way or a new path for spiritual growth. 
The birch is great symbol of renewal, but it also is a symbol of stability and structure. The Celts saw the birch as the keeper of long-honored traditions. 
Paradoxically, while the birch is a brilliant symbol of renewal, it is also symbolic of stability and structure. The druids also held the birch as the keepers of long-honored traditions. 

It's a wonderful tree, so strong and beautiful ... we just have to honor it.

birch alley
brings light to the world
starting again

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this new (first) episode of July. Sorry for not having the prompt-list ready, but I hope to publish it later this week.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 5th at noon (CET). I hope to publish our new episode later on. For now .... have fun!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Carpe Diem #987 Portugal

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today our last stage on our Europe Ginko. We will end our ginko in Portugal, which became a member of the European Union (EU) in 1986. Let me tell you something about Portugal's history.

The territory of modern Portugal has been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times. The IberiansCeltsPhoeniciansCarthaginians and the Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigothic and the Suebi Germanic peoples, who were themselves later invaded by the Moors. These Muslim peoples were eventually expelled during the Christian Reconquista. Portuguese nationality can be traced back to the creation of the First County of Portugal, in 868. In 1139, Afonso Henriques was proclaimed King of Portugal, thus firmly establishing Portuguese independence, under the Portuguese House of Burgundy.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, under the House of Aviz, which took power following the 1383-85 Crisis, Portugal expanded Western influence and established the first global empire, becoming one of the world's major economic, political and military powers. During this time, Portuguese explorers pioneered maritime exploration in the Age of Discovery, notably under royal patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator and King João II, with such notable discoveries as Vasco da Gama's sea route to India (1497–98), Pedro Álvares Cabral's discovery of Brazil (1500), and Bartolomeu Dias's reaching of the Cape of Good Hope. Portugal monopolized the spice trade during this time, under royal command of the Casa da Índia, and the Portuguese Empire expanded with military campaigns led in Asia, notably under Afonso de Albuquerque, who was known as the "Caesar of the East".
Flag of Portugal
The destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, the country's occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, the independence of Brazil (1822), and the Liberal Wars (1828-1834), all left Portugal crippled from war and diminished in its world power. After the 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, the democratic but unstable Portuguese First Republic was established, later being superseded by the "Estado Novo" right-wing authoritarian regime. Democracy was restored after the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution in 1974. Shortly after, independence was granted to all its colonies, with the exception of Macau, which was handed over to China in 1999. This marked the end of the longest-lived European colonial empire, leaving a profound cultural and architectural influence across the globe and a legacy of over 250 million Portuguese speakers today.

Now we know a little bit more about Portugal's history, but history is not a big part of haiku, nature however is. So let us take a look at the nature of Portugal.

Portugal has a long beach-line it is almost surrounded 1005 by water and the West Coast of Portugal is really stunning.

West Coast of Portugal
waves come and go
hidden between mountains -
love on the beach

© Chèvrefeuille

But of course Portugal has forests too:

Forests of Portugal (this image was taken on Madeira, part of Portugal)
cover the mountains
deep silence
the rustling of leaves in the breeze
birds praising their Creator

© Chèvrfeuille

Wandering through Portuguese nature
babbling brook
I breath the fresh morning air
and smile

© Chèvrefeuille

Wow ... what a beautiful country Portugal is. I know I have said this often this month, but as I look at these images ... than Portugal is like paradise.

In every episode of our Europe ginko I introduced haiku poets from the countries we visited. So in this last episode of this month I will do that too. I have searched the Internet but couldn't find haiku poets from Portugal, but I love to share a few haiku in Portugese, so I had to "take the airplane" to Brasil. In Brasil they speak Portugese. So I have a series of Brazilian haiku for you.

Esta corola de lírio
Quer continuamente
Me voltar as costas

This lily’s corolla
wants continuously
to turn its back to me

Sem pedir, o vento
Derruba as flores do chão . . .
Eu nunca ousei.

Without asking, the wind
Sheds the flowers on the ground . . .
I never dared.

© Afrânio Peixoto (1876 – 1947)

Desfolha-se a rosa
parece até que floresce
o chão cor-de-rosa
The rose sheds its petals
it seems that there blooms
a pink colored ground
© Guilherme de Almeida (1890-1969)

Sobre a laje fria
diz adeus à primavera
uma rosa murcha

On the cold slab
says goodbye to spring
a withered rose

© Fanny Luíza Dupre (1911 – 1996) 
embalante alas
lento bailado a lembrança
enlaçando almas
rocking wings
slow ballet to memory
entwining souls
© Pedro Xisto
começo de outono
cheia de si
a primeira lua

early fall
full of herself
the first moon

fim do dia
porta aberta
o sapo espia

end of the day
open door
the frog peeps

© Alice Ruiz
Well ... it has become a nice last episode I think, however it is sad that I couldn't find Portugese haiku poets, but I hope you did like the Brazilian haiku.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 4th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, the first of July ... , later on.
By the way I hadn't time to create the new prompt-list for July, but we are exploring the mysterious, mystical and magical nature.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #85 Back in time: Use that quote

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to bring a new episode of our Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu feature. Last week we traveled back in time and this week I love to do that again.

This week I love to challenge you with a quote. There was a special feature at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, titled "Use that Quote". As you will understand the goal is to create a haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on a quote.

I love to challenge you with a quote by Lord Byron:

" There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where 
none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more." 

Quote by: Lord Byron 

Lord Byron (1788-1824)
Here is my attempt to create a haiku inspired on this quote

all senses open
a forest walk

© Chèvrefeuille

This Tokubetsudesu episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 3rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Portugal, later on. For now ... enjoy the challenge.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Carpe Diem #986 Poland

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the penultimate "stage" of our Europe Ginko. It was really a joy to create this month and we have seen a lot of Europe, virtually. Today we will visit Poland. Poland, once part of the Warsaw Pact, became a member of the EU in 2004. Let me give you a brief overview of Poland's history.

The establishment of a Polish state can be traced back to 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of a territory roughly coextensive with that of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin. This union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th-century Europe. The Commonwealth ceased to exist in the years 1772–1795, when its territory was partitioned among Prussia, the Russian Empire, and AustriaPoland regained its independence (as the Second Polish Republic) at the end of World War I, in 1918.

flag of Poland

In September 1939, World War II started with the invasions of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (as part of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact). More than six million Polish citizens died in the war. In 1944, a Soviet-backed Polish Committee of National Liberation was formed and, after a falsified referendum in 1947, it took control of the country and Poland became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, as People's Republic of Poland. During the Revolutions of 1989 Poland's Communist government was overthrown and Poland adopted a new constitution establishing itself as a democracy. Despite the large number of casualties and destruction the country experienced during World War II, Poland managed to preserve much of its cultural wealth. (Source: Wikipedia)

I once had a colleague from Poland and she told me that she missed her country, of course. As I asked her why she missed her country, she told me that she not only missed her family, but also the beautiful nature of Poland. As a haiku poet that triggered my attention and I think she is right ...

Tatra Mountains Poland
Look at these gorgeous mountains ... awesome don't you think so too?

mountains with their top down
clear blue water

© Chèvrefeuille

Or what d you think of this wonderful reserve, Bolechowicki Gully Nature Reserve:

Bolechowicki Gully Nature Reserve
rocks rising
to the clear blue sky
a skylark's song

© Chèvrefeuille

It's not all mountains and hills of course in Poland, but as I was doing research for this episode I ran into a wonderful image of a Polish winery on a hill-side. I didn't know that Poland had a winery culture, but the wineries are really beautiful.

Polish winery
in front of the fireplace
dreaming of wonderful Poland
with the one I love

© Chèvrefeuille

I really didn't know about Polish wine. I thought the Polish were of Vodka and Beer, but in the last few decades the Polish have discovered wine and the producing of it.
Next to the wine ... will there be haiku poets in Poland?

Poland has its own International Haiku contest, so there will be haiku poets living there I think. I found a few examples of haiku by Polish haiku poets:

Between one raindrop
And just the following one—
It is not raining

© Alina Kizierowska 

fourth anniversary—
only the wind sweeps the leaves
from the grave

© Robert Kania

Indian Summer
on my lips
Indian summer

© Marta Chociłowska

wind chill
among trembling leaves
more and more sky

© Maria Kowal-Tomczak

All haiku examples from Poland retrieved from HERE:

Poland ... a fantastic country ... worth visiting once ....

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

!!! I couldn't retrieve a possibility to come in contact with the above haiku poets, but as always I have credited them all !!!

Carpe Diem Special #212 Joyce Lorenson's 4th "a glint of mica"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is the last CD-Special of this month. This month all the CD-specials were by Joyce Lorenson, she was the winner of the "New Life" kukai. Joyce is a very gifted haiku poetess and maybe you have already read her exclusive CDHK E-book "A Glint of Mica" which you can download at the right side of our Kai.

cover of "A Glint of Mica" by Joyce Lorenson

I think this E-book has become a beauty. In "A Glint of Mica" you will find haiku and haiga by Joyce. For this last CD-Special I have chosen the "title"-haiku of her E-book "A Glint of Mica" to share with you here.

a glint of mica
the swaggering strut
of a raucous magpie
© Joyce Lorenson 
As you all know the goal of the CD-Specials is to create a new haiku in the same tone, sense and spirit as the one given. So here is my attempt to try to write a haiku in the spirit of the haiku by Joyce:
screaming peacock
walking around the farm
like a watchdog
© Chèvrefeuille
Not as strong as I had hoped, but I think this haiku is somewhat in the same tone, sense and spirit as the one by Joyce.
Here is another "peacock" haiku from my archives, this is what is called a cascading haiku: 
king of the farm
spreads out his gorgeous tail -
feathers on a vase

feathers on a vase
eyes looking deep into mine -
again in love
again in love -
the first day of Spring has come
listen to the breeze
© Chèvrefeuille
I hope you did like this CD-Special and that I have inspired you together with Joyce.
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Poland, later on. For now ... have fun! 


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Carpe Diem Renga Party #3 Summer Moonlight

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to start with our Third Renga Party "Summer Moonlight". This Renga Party has 10 participants and the "hokku" is written by Dolores Fegan.
This Renga Party we are creating a traditional "summer" kasen-renga of 36 links. You have to try to respond within 24 hours by writing your link (stanza) in the comment field. As you have written your comment please ask in your comment your successor to write his / her link by "saying": Your turn (name of successor).

Between [ ] you find how much lines you have to write and which "theme" you have to use.

Some of you have to write two links on a row, because of a "turn" in the kasen-renga. The following participants have to write two links on a row: Candy, Kim M. Russell and Nimi Arora.
I hope that this Renga Party will be a success. Have fun!

Summer Moonlight

A Traditional Summer Kasen Renga
Started - Finished: June 27th
Written by / between: Dolores Fegan (DF); Joyce Lorenson (JL); Rallentanda (Ra); Kyle TM (KTM); Christy Draper (CD); Candy (Ca); Kim M. Russell (KMR); Nimi Arora (NA); Humbird (Hu) and Chèvrefeuille (Ch)
[SU = summer; A = autumn; W = winter; SP = spring; Misc. = non-seasonal references -- usually about people or feelings or places; Love = well you can decide... Moons are always autumn unless you name it a summer or winter or spring moon]

Here is the line-up for this Renga Party:


1. summer moonlight
steals my sleep again
I stroll down the lane (DF)

2.[2] [SU] Joyce Lorenson
3.[3] [Misc.] Rallentanda
4.[2] [Misc.] Kyle TM
5.[3] [MOON / A] Christy Draper
6.[2] [A] [also write link #7] Candy

7.[3][A] Candy
8.[2] [Misc. / Love] Kim M. Russell
9.[3][Misc. / Love] Nimi Arora
10.[2][Misc. / Love] Humbird
11.[3] [Misc.] Chèvrefeuille
12.[2] [Misc.] Dolores Fegan
13.[3] [MOON / W] Joyce Lorenson
14.[2] [W] Rallentanda
15.[3] [Misc.] Kyle TM
16.[2] [Misc.] Christy Draper
17.[3] [FLOWER / SP] Candy
18.[2] [SP] [also write link #19] Kim M. Russell

19.[3] [SP] Kim M. Russell
20.[2] [Misc.] Nimi Arora
21.[3] [Misc.] Humbird
22.[2] [Misc.] Chèvrefeuille
23.[3] [SU] Dolores Fegan
24.[2] [SU] Joyce Lorenson
25.[3] [Misc. / Love] Rallentanda
26.[2] [Misc./ Love] Kyle TM
27.[3] [Misc./ Love] Christy Draper
28.[2] [Misc.] Candy
29.[3] [MOON / A] Kim. M. Russell
30.[2] [A] [also write link #31] Nimi Arora

31.[3] [A] Nimi Arora
32.[2] [Misc.] Humbird
33.[3] [Misc.] Chèvrefeuille
34.[2] [Misc. / SP] Dolores Fegan
35.[3] [FLOWER / SP] Joyce Lorenson
36.[2] [SP] Rallentanda (ageku or closing verse to connect the end with the start, like a chain)
I am looking forward to your creative links .... have fun!


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Carpe Diem #985 Austria

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's a wonderful month, travelling through the European Union is awesome and today we will visit one of the European countries which I visited myself once long time ago. Today we will visit Austria. Austria became a member of the European Union (EU) in 1995. Let me tell you a little bit about the history of Austria.

The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire. From the time of the Reformation, many Northern German princes, resenting the authority of the Emperor, used Protestantism as a flag of rebellion. The Thirty Years War, the influence of the Kingdom of Sweden and Kingdom of France, the rise of the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Napoleonic invasions all weakened the power of the Emperor in the North of Germany, but in the South, and in non-German areas of the Empire, the Emperor and Catholicism maintained control. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria was able to retain its position as one of the great powers of Europe and, in response to the coronation of Napoleon as the Emperor of the French, the Austrian Empire was officially proclaimed in 1804. Following Napoleon's defeat, Prussia emerged as Austria's chief competitor for rule of a larger Germany. Austria's defeat by Prussia at the Battle of Königgrätz, during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, cleared the way for Prussia to assert control over the rest of Germany. In 1867, the empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary. After the defeat of France in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War, Austria was left out of the formation of a new German Empire, although in the following decades its politics, and its foreign policy, increasingly converged with those of the Prussian-led Empire. During the 1914 July Crisis that followed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, Germany guided Austria in issuing the ultimatum to Serbia that led to the declaration of World War I. 
Flag of Austria
After the collapse of the Habsburg (Austro-Hungarian) Empire in 1918 at the end of World War I, Austria adopted and used the name the Republic of German-Austria (Deutschösterreich, later Österreich) in an attempt for union with Germany, but was forbidden due to the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919). The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919. In the 1938 Anschluss, Austria was occupied and annexed by Nazi Germany. This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Germany was occupied by the Allies and Austria's former democratic constitution was restored. In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that the Second Austrian Republic would become permanently neutral.
I remember that I visited Austria as a young guy of 18 years, it was an educational tour to learn German. I was housed in the home of an Austrian family, the best way to learn German. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the Austrian nature. I had never seen mountains in reality, I only knew mountains from pictures. It was amazing ...

As a haiku poet nature is one of the main themes, so it must be easy to create haiku about the Austrian nature ... the clean mountain air, the mountains, the mountain flora and fauna ... awesome. Let us take a look at the beauty of the Alps.

The Alps
clear blue sky
embraces the mountains
cry of an eagle

© Chèvrefeuille

sound of water
babbling mountain stream

deepens the silence

© Chèvrefeuille

Austrian National Park (Hohe Tauern National Park)

In the heart of the Austrian Alps, Hohe Tauern National Park provides endangered animal and plant species with a protected habitat. 1800 km² in area, Hohe Tauern National Park is actually the second largest in Europe. Here you can experience Mother Nature at her most beautiful: Austria’s highest peaks and biggest glaciers, meadows strewn with colorful alpine flowers, imposing crags and refreshing waterfalls. A centuries-old natural and cultural landscape, formed by the Ice Ages and the forces of the seasons, is just waiting to be discovered.
Mother Nature
dances in her Paradise
the sound of water
© Chèvrefeuille
As I was doing my research for this episode I ran into a wonderful, spiritual and mysterious almost mystical photo of the Alps. I just had to use it in this post today ... look for yourself.
Mystical Alps
serene beauty
the gods cherish Mother Nature
blessing her

© Chèvrefeuille
cloud cover breaks open
sun rays finding their way to the mountains
like blessing hands
© Chèvrefeuille
It wasn't easy to find haiku poets from Austria, but I finally found a few examples of haiku from Austria.
Eine Wasserrose,
Die aus der Tiefe auftaucht.
Kräuselt sich das Wasser.
A water lily
Emerging from the depth
Ripples of water
© Paul Ernst (1898) (one of the first haiku written in Austria)
And I found a few haiku by Dietmar Tauchner, a modern Austrian haiku poet, who has won several prizes and is also a member of the American Haiku Society. To read more haiku by Dietmar Tauchner please visit his website Bregengemme. (The German translations are my own)
Autumn Colors
Herbst Einbruch der Nacht
Die Eiche ist ein wieder
mit seinem Schatten
autumn nightfall
the oak is one again
with its shadow
Wiese Safran
die rohen Schreie von Staren
beziehen sich auf mich
meadow saffron
the raw cries of starlings
refer to me
© Dietmar Tauchner
Austria ... a wonderful country ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, the last CD-Special by Joyce Lorenson, later on.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Carpe Diem Extra June 25th 2016 "Chained Together"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I downloaded our new CDHK e-book "chained together" I discovered a few lay-out problems so I have erased the possibility to download this new e-book. I have to redo it. My excuses for the inconvenience.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.