Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Carpe Diem #1360 Along The Silk Road - Introduction

!! I have published a new Haiku Shuukan episode !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome to the first episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai February 2018 in which we will go on a journey along the ancient Silk Road while we are reading Hermann Hesse's "Siddhartha", a story about the quest for personal enlightenment following the you Brahman son Siddhartha.

To start this first episode of our journey along the ancient Silk Road I love to share a tanka about "silk". Silk was the reason of creating this Silk Road. Trading started on the Silk Road first with silk and later on with a lot of more products like pottery and spices.

Albizzia Julibrissin (Silk Tree)
silk tree blossoms
in a soothing summer rain
trembling in silence
so fragile,
in a summer breeze

© Chèvrefeuille

Of course the silk that was one of the highly things to trade along the Silk Road, wasn't the silk from the Silk tree, but the silk made from the cocoons of the silkworms.

Another one, a haiku this time, that in a way points us towards our theme for this month "Along The Silk Road":

kimono slipping
fingertips discover silk road
ecstatic sigh

© Chèvrefeuille

Our Logo for this month in which we will go on a journey "Along the Silk Road"

[...] Siddhartha, was not a source of joy for himself, he found no delight in himself. Walking the rosy paths of the fig tree garden, sitting in the bluish shade of the grove of contemplation, washing his limbs daily in the bath of repentance, sacrificing in the dim shade of the mango forest, his gestures of perfect decency, everyone's love and joy, he still lacked all joy in his heart. Dreams and restless thoughts came into his mind, flowing from the water of the river, sparkling from the stars of the night, melting from the beams of the sun, dreams came to him and a restlessness of the soul, fuming from the sacrifices, breathing forth from the verses of the Rig-Veda, being infused into him, drop by drop, from the teachings of the old Brahmans. [...] (Source: Siddhartha by Hermann Hess)

Siddhartha had no joy in his heart. He only had questions and doubts in his mind. His life didn't give him the inner peace he needed so much. One day he decided to leave his family home to find inner peace. His quest started ... as does our journey start too ... Let us go on our way. Pick up your things and belongings. Pack your suitcases or ... your backpack ...

[...] The gods seem to have possessed my soul and turned it inside out, and the roadside images seemed to invite me from every corner, so that it was impossible for me to stay idle at home. [...] (Source: The Small Road Into The Deep North by Matsuo Basho).

through the sands of time
I walk towards a caravanserai
to refresh my mind

© Chèvrefeuille (August 2013)

Along The Silk Road
The Silk Road was a network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce. As the Silk Road was not a single thoroughfare from east to west, the term 'Silk Routes’ has become increasingly favored by historians, though 'Silk Road’ is the more common and recognized name. The network was used regularly from 130 BCE, when the Han officially opened trade with the west, to 1453 CE, when the Ottoman Empire boycotted trade with the west and closed the routes.

"I can smell the pepper, the cinnamon and other spices already".

at the bazaar
the perfume of spices
overwhelms me
all those colorful people 
at the bazaar

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope this month will be like the above tanka ... a journey that overwhelms us and brings us the inspiration for our haiku, tanka or other kind of Japanese poetry.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 7th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Chang'an (Northern route), later on. For now .... have fun!

Carpe Diem #1359 The Tea Kettle

!! Our New Promptlist is online, it's not yet fully complete !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's with a little bit of sadness that I create our last episode of January 2018. Time passed fast and we already are entering February 2018. Next month we will go on a journey along the ancient Silk Road and during that journey we will read Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, a wonderful novel about a spiritual journey of the young Brahman son, Siddhartha, but that's for tommorrow. Today we have our last fairytale, an other nice Japanese story, "The Tea Kettle", but first I love to share a few haiku about Tea here:

crystal clear water
ghostly curls of steam -
the perfume of tea
cleaning the tea bowls
while the water is cooking
ah! that silence
drinking tea
together with friends
what a party
being part of Rykyu's tea ceremony
drinking tea is art
© Chèvrefeuille

The Tea Kettle:

Long ago, as I’ve heard tell, there dwelt at the temple of Morinji, in the Province of Kotsuke, a holy priest. Now there were three things about this reverend man. First, he was wrapped up in meditations and observances and forms and doctrines. He was a great one for the Sacred Sutras, and knew strange and mystical things. Then he had a fine exquisite taste of his own, and nothing pleased him so much as the ancient tea ceremony of the Cha-no-yu; and for the third thing about him, he knew both sides of a copper coin well enough and loved a bargain. None so pleased as he when he happened upon an ancient tea-kettle, lying rusty and dirty and half-forgotten in a corner of a poor shop in a back street of his town.
“An ugly bit of old metal,” says the holy man to the shopkeeper; “but it will do well enough to boil my humble drop of water of an evening. I’ll give you three rin for it.” This he did and took the kettle home, rejoicing; for it was of bronze, fine work, the very thing for the Cha-no-yu.

(Japanese) Tea Kettle

A novice cleaned and scoured the tea-kettle, and it came out as pretty as you please. The priest turned it this way and that, and upside down, looked into it, tapped it with his finger-nail. He smiled. “A bargain,” he cried, “a bargain!” and rubbed his hands. He set the kettle upon a box covered over with a purple cloth, and looked at it so long that first he was fain to rub his eyes many times, and then to close them altogether. His head dropped forward and he slept.

And then, believe me, the wonderful thing happened. The tea-kettle moved, though no hand was near it. A hairy head, with two bright eyes, looked out of the spout. The lid jumped up and down. Four brown and hairy paws appeared, and a fine bushy tail. In a minute the kettle was down from the box and going round and round looking at things.
“A very comfortable room, to be sure,” says the tea-kettle.
Pleased enough to find itself so well lodged, it soon began to dance and to caper nimbly and to sing at the top of its voice. Three or four novices were studying in the next room. “The old man is lively,” they said; “only hark to him. What can he be at?” And they laughed in their sleeves.
Heaven’s mercy, the noise that the tea-kettle made! Bang! bang! Thud! thud! thud!
The novices soon stopped laughing. One of them slid aside the kara-kami and peeped through.
“Arah, the devil and all’s in it!” he cried. “Here’s the master’s old tea-kettle turned into a sort of a badger. The gods protect us from witchcraft, or for certain we shall be lost!”
“And I scoured it not an hour since,” said another novice, and he fell to reciting the Holy Sutras on his knees.
A third laughed. “I’m for a nearer view of the hobgoblin,” he said.
So the lot of them left their books in a twinkling, and gave chase to the tea-kettle to catch it. But could they come up with the tea-kettle? Not a bit of it. It danced and it leapt and it flew up into the air. The novices rushed here and there, slipping upon the mats. They grew hot. They grew breathless.
“Ha, ha! Ha, ha!” laughed the tea-kettle; and “Catch me if you can!” laughed the wonderful tea-kettle.
Presently the priest awoke, all rosy, the holy man.
“And what’s the meaning of this racket,” he says, “disturbing me at my holy meditations and all?”
“Master, master,” cry the novices, panting and mopping their brows, “your tea-kettle is bewitched. It was a badger, no less. And the dance it has been giving us, you’d never believe!”
“Stuff and nonsense,” says the priest; “bewitched? Not a bit of it. There it rests on its box, good quiet thing, just where I put it.”

The Tea Kettle (painting by Warwick Goble)

Sure enough, so it did, looking as hard and cold and innocent as you please. There was not a hair of a badger near it. It was the novices that looked foolish.
“A likely story indeed,” says the priest. “I have heard of the pestle that took wings to itself and flew away, parting company with the mortar. That is easily to be understood by any man. But a kettle that turned into a badger—no, no! To your books, my sons, and pray to be preserved from the perils of illusion.”
That very night the holy man filled the kettle with water from the spring and set it on the hibachi to boil for his cup of tea. When the water began to boil—
“Ai! Ai!” the kettle cried; “Ai! Ai! The heat of the Great Hell!” And it lost no time at all, but hopped off the fire as quick as you please.
“Sorcery!” cried the priest. “Black magic! A devil! A devil! A devil! Mercy on me! Help! Help! Help!” He was frightened out of his wits, the dear good man. All the novices came running to see what was the matter.
“The tea-kettle is bewitched,” he gasped; “it was a badger, assuredly it was a badger … it both speaks and leaps about the room.”
“Nay, master,” said a novice, “see where it rests upon its box, good quiet thing.”
And sure enough, so it did.
“Most reverend sir,” said the novice, “let us all pray to be preserved from the perils of illusion.”
The priest sold the tea-kettle to a tinker and got for it twenty copper coins.
“It’s a mighty fine bit of bronze,” says the priest. “Mind, I’m giving it away to you, I’m sure I cannot tell what for.” Ah, he was the one for a bargain! The tinker was a happy man and carried home the kettle. He turned it this way and that, and upside down, and looked into it.
“A pretty piece,” says the tinker; “a very good bargain.” And when he went to bed that night he put the kettle by him, to see it first thing in the morning.
He awoke at midnight and fell to looking at the kettle by the bright light of the moon.
Presently it moved, though there was no hand near it.
“Strange,” said the tinker; but he was a man who took things as they came.
A hairy head, with two bright eyes, looked out of the kettle’s spout. The lid jumped up and down. Four brown and hairy paws appeared, and a fine bushy tail. It came quite close to the tinker and laid a paw upon him.
“Well?” says the tinker.
“I am not wicked,” says the tea-kettle.
“No,” says the tinker.
“But I like to be well treated. I am a badger tea-kettle.”
“So it seems,” says the tinker.
“At the temple they called me names, and beat me and set me on the fire. I couldn’t stand it, you know.”
“I like your spirit,” says the tinker.
“I think I shall settle down with you.”
“Shall I keep you in a lacquer box?” says the tinker.
“Not a bit of it, keep me with you; let us have a talk now and again. I am very fond of a pipe. I like rice to eat, and beans and sweet things.”
“A cup of saké sometimes?” says the tinker.
“Well, yes, now you mention it.”
“I’m willing,” says the tinker.
“Thank you kindly,” says the tea-kettle; “and, as a beginning, would you object to my sharing your bed? The night has turned a little chilly.”
“Not the least in the world,” says the tinker.
The tinker and the tea-kettle became the best of friends. They ate and talked together. The kettle knew a thing or two and was very good company.
One day: “Are you poor?” says the kettle.
“Yes,” says the tinker, “middling poor.”
“Well, I have a happy thought. For a tea-kettle, I am out-of-the-way—really very accomplished.”
“I believe you,” says the tinker.
“My name is Bumbuku-Chagama; I am the very prince of Badger Tea-Kettles.”
“Your servant, my lord,” says the tinker.
“If you’ll take my advice,” says the tea-kettle, “you’ll carry me round as a show; I really am out-of-the-way, and it’s my opinion you’d make a mint of money.”
“That would be hard work for you, my dear Bumbuku,” says the tinker.
“Not at all; let us start forthwith,” says the tea-kettle.

The Tea Kettle (haiga-like drawing)

So they did. The tinker bought hangings for a theatre, and he called the show Bumbuku-Chagama. How the people flocked to see the fun! For the wonderful and most accomplished tea-kettle danced and sang, and walked the tightrope as to the manner born. It played such tricks and had such droll ways that the people laughed till their sides ached. It was a treat to see the tea-kettle bow as gracefully as a lord and thank the people for their patience.
The Bumbuku-Chagama was the talk of the countryside, and all the gentry came to see it as well as the commonalty. As for the tinker, he waved a fan and took the money. You may believe that he grew fat and rich. He even went to Court, where the great ladies and the royal princesses made much of the wonderful tea-kettle.
At last the tinker retired from business, and to him the tea-kettle came with tears in its bright eyes.
“I’m much afraid it’s time to leave you,” it says.
“Now, don’t say that, Bumbuku, dear,” says the tinker. “We’ll be so happy together now we are rich.”
“I’ve come to the end of my time,” says the tea-kettle. “You’ll not see old Bumbuku anymore; henceforth I shall be an ordinary kettle, nothing more or less.”
“Oh, my dear Bumbuku, what shall I do?” cried the poor tinker in tears.
“I think I should like to be given to the temple of Morinji, as a very sacred treasure,” says the tea-kettle.
It never spoke or moved again. So the tinker presented it as a very sacred treasure to the temple, and the half of his wealth with it.
And the tea-kettle was held in wondrous fame for many a long year. Some persons even worshipped it as a saint.

mystical tea kettle
worshipped like a saint
sacred treasure

© Chèvrefeuille

With this fairytale our mysterious and magical month is over. Next month we will go on a journey along the ancient Silk Road.

All the fairytales used in January were extracted from the website fairytalez, a wonderful website full of wonderful fairytales. For sure worth a visit if you like to read more fairytales.

By the way The Tea Kettle is used fully here, so there is no follow-up at our "The Story Goes On" page.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 7th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, the introductory episode to the Silk Road, later on. For now .... have fun!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

In The Spotlight At Carpe Diem Haiku Kai -- An Open Stage #1 Wrapped in a leaf blanket

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first episode of a new special feature here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This new special feature I have titled "In The Spotlight At Carpe Diem Haiku Kai -- An Open Stage" and I think you all understand what I mean. In this special feature I will share Japanese poetry that was send to our Kai's e-mail address. Those haiku poets don't participate on regular base or don't have the opportunity to link their poetry to our Haiku Kai.

Recently I found a nice email by Rosemarie Horvath Iwasa and she asked me if I would consider publishing of her haiku at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Of course I love to do that. As you all know I have a vision ... every haiku poets deserves to be published, because they all create / write their poetry straight from the heart and I love to give them a stage, a place to be published.

And that's what I a going to do in this new feature ... publishing haiku or other Japanese poetry forms send to me by email. So here is our first "an open stage haiku poet", Rosemarie Horvath Iwasa:

Wrapped in a leaf blanket                                                          
the wind carries me into autumn
Melancholia sings her lullaby.     

The theatre crumbles                                                    
with each blow of the wrecking ball.                              
Are the ghosts trembling?         

Speaking softly to me                                                    
His gentle voice                                                            
Is a pheromone over the phone.

© Rosemarie Horvath Iwasa

Of course you may respond on this series of haiku by Rosemarie. And if you are inspired ... than you can share your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on these three nice haiku through the linking widget.

If you love to share your inspired Japanese poetry than you can do that until February 6th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Carpe Diem #1358 Green Willow

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the penultimate episode of January 2018. Today I have another nice Japanese fairy tale for your inspiration, Green Willow, and I love to share a few "willow" haiku first, but first a tanka:

autumn departs
in deep silence willow leaves fall -
tears on this grave
as the willow is green again
another year has gone

© Chèvrefeuille

And here a few haiku themed "willow":

to sweep the garden
before I leave
falling willow leaves

© Basho (1644-1694)

tears of a geisha
her virginity lost to a soldier -
pussy willow blooms

© Chèvrefeuille
And to close this "introduction" a renown Tanka by Saigyo. A Tanka that inspired a lot of haiku poets, classical and non-classical, to create haiku.

along side the path
fresh water flows, and
in the willow’s shade
just for a little while
would I take my ease..

© Saigyo (1118-1190)

Green Willow:

Tomodata, the young samurai, owed allegiance to the Lord of Noto. He was a soldier, a courtier, and a poet. He had a sweet voice and a beautiful face, a noble form and a very winning address. He was a graceful dancer, and excelled in every manly sport. He was wealthy and generous and kind. He was beloved by rich and by poor.Now his daimyo, the Lord of Noto, wanted a man to undertake a mission of trust. He chose Tomodata, and called him to his presence.“Are you loyal?” said the daimyo.“My lord, you know it,” answered Tomodata.“Do you love me, then?” asked the daimyo.“Ay, my good lord,” said Tomodata, kneeling before him.“Then carry my message,” said the daimyo. “Ride and do not spare your beast. Ride straight, and fear not the mountains nor the enemies’ country. Stay not for storm nor any other thing. Lose your life; but betray not your trust. Above all, do not look any maid between the eyes. Ride, and bring me word again quickly.”Thus spoke the Lord of Noto.

Green Willow (painting by Warwick Goble)

So Tomodata got him to horse, and away he rode upon his quest. Obedient to his lord’s commands, he spared not his good beast. He rode straight, and was not afraid of the steep mountain passes nor of the enemies’ country. Ere he had been three days upon the road the autumn tempest burst, for it was the ninth month. Down poured the rain in a torrent. Tomodata bowed his head and rode on. The wind howled in the pine-tree branches. It blew a typhoon. The good horse trembled and could scarcely keep its feet, but Tomodata spoke to it and urged it on. His own cloak he drew close about him and held it so that it might not blow away, and in this wise he rode on.

autumn tempest burst
rain poured down in a torrent
howling wind

© Chèvrefeuille

The fierce storm swept away many a familiar landmark of the road, and buffeted the samurai so that he became weary almost to fainting. Noontide was as dark as twilight, twilight was as dark as night, and when night fell it was as black as the night of Yomi, where lost souls wander and cry. By this time Tomodata had lost his way in a wild, lonely place, where, as it seemed to him, no human soul inhabited. His horse could carry him no longer, and he wandered on foot through bogs and marshes, through rocky and thorny tracks, until he fell into deep despair.

lost souls wander and cry
voices from times long ago
seek for inner peace

© Chèvrefeuille

“Alack!” he cried, “must I die in this wilderness and the quest of the Lord of Noto be unfulfilled?”
At this moment the great winds blew away the clouds of the sky, so that the moon shone very brightly forth, and by the sudden light Tomodata saw a little hill on his right hand. Upon the hill was a small thatched cottage, and before the cottage grew three green weeping-willow trees.

Green Willow

“Now, indeed, the gods be thanked!” said Tomodata, and he climbed the hill in no time. Light shone from the chinks of the cottage door, and smoke curled out of a hole in the roof. The three willow trees swayed and flung out their green streamers in the wind. Tomodata threw his horse’s rein over a branch of one of them, and called for admittance to the longed-for shelter.
green willows
swaying in the wind like dancers
owls cry

© Chèvrefeuille

At once the cottage door was opened by an old woman, very poorly but neatly clad.
“Who rides abroad upon such a night?” she asked, “and what wills he here?”“I am a weary traveller, lost and benighted upon your lonely moor. My name is Tomodata. I am a samurai in the service of the Lord of Noto, upon whose business I ride. Show me hospitality for the love of the gods. I crave food and shelter for myself and my horse.”
As the young man stood speaking the water streamed from his garments. He reeled a little, and put out a hand to hold on by the side-post of the door.
“Come in, come in, young sir!” cried the old woman, full of pity. “Come in to the warm fire. You are very welcome. We have but coarse fare to offer, but it shall be set before you with great good-will. As to your horse, I see you have delivered him to my daughter; he is in good hands.”

Green Willow

At this Tomodata turned sharply round. Just behind him, in the dim light, stood a very young girl with the horse’s rein thrown over her arm. Her garments were blown about and her long loose hair streamed out upon the wind. The samurai wondered how she had come there. Then the old woman drew him into the cottage and shut the door. Before the fire sat the good man of the house, and the two old people did the very best they could for Tomodata. They gave him dry garments, comforted him with hot rice wine, and quickly prepared a good supper for him.
Presently the daughter of the house came in, and retired behind a screen to comb her hair and to dress afresh. Then she came forth to wait upon him. She wore a blue robe of homespun cotton. Her feet were bare. Her hair was not tied nor confined in any way, but lay along her smooth cheeks, and hung, straight and long and black, to her very knees. She was slender and graceful. Tomodata judged her to be about fifteen years old, and knew well that she was the fairest maiden he had ever seen.

combing her hair
graceful and full of sensuality
her firm breasts

smiling like a god send being
she embraces her lover

© Chèvrefeuille

Rice Wine

At length she knelt at his side to pour wine into his cup. She held the wine-bottle in two hands and bent her head. Tomodata turned to look at her. When she had made an end of pouring the wine and had set down the bottle, their glances met, and Tomodata looked at her full between the eyes, for he forgot altogether the warning of his daimyo, the Lord of Noto.
“Maiden,” he said, “what is your name?”She answered: “They call me the Green Willow.”“The dearest name on earth,” he said, and again he looked her between the eyes. And because he looked so long her face grew rosy red, from chin to forehead, and though she smiled her eyes filled with tears.
Ah me, for the Lord of Noto’s quest!
Then Tomodata made this little song:
“Long-haired maiden, do you know
That with the red dawn I must go?
Do you wish me far away?
Cruel long-haired maiden, say—
Long-haired maiden, if you know
That with the red dawn I must go,
Why, oh why, do you blush so?”
And the maiden, the Green Willow, answered:
“The dawn comes if I will or no;
Never leave me, never go.
My sleeve shall hide the blush away.
The dawn comes if I will or no;
Never leave me, never go.
Lord, I lift my long sleeve so….”
“Oh, Green Willow, Green Willow …” sighed Tomodata.


And the story goes on ... you can find the last part of this fairytale on our "The Story Goes On" page above in the menu.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 5th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our last episode of this month, The Tea-Kettle, later on. For now ... have fun!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Carpe Diem #1357 The Flute

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy this weekend was. It was a busy weekend but I had no worries. We moved our daughter back in with her boyfriend. They had a tough time and they needed to be separated for a few weeks, but it turns out that the both of them need each other. So it was a joy this weekend.

This episode is titled "The Flute" and it brought a nice haiku in mind by Jane Reichhold, I still miss her, that I love to share here again:

shadows of leaves
cover the open holes
her flute forgotten

© Jane Reichhold

Maybe you can remember this haiku. I used it in one of our Tan Renga Challenge months, I think it was the year 2016. Here is another haiku in which "flute" is used:

dreams come alive
the old monk plays the bamboo flute
becomes young again

© Chèvrefeuille

The Flute:

Long since, there lived in Yedo a gentleman of good lineage and very honest conversation. His wife was a gentle and loving lady. To his secret grief, she bore him no sons. But a daughter she did give him, whom they called O’Yoné, which, being interpreted, is “Rice in the ear.” Each of them loved this child more than life, and guarded her as the apple of their eye. And the child grew up red and white, and long-eyed, straight and slender as the green bamboo.

weeping willow
slender as the green bamboo
child's laughter

© Chèvrefeuille

When O’Yoné was twelve years old, her mother drooped with the fall of the year, sickened, and pined, and before the red had faded from the leaves of the maples she was dead and shrouded and laid in the earth. The husband was wild in his grief. He cried aloud, he beat his breast, he lay upon the ground and refused comfort, and for days he neither broke his fast nor slept. The child was quite silent.
Time passed by. The man perforce went about his business. The snows of winter fell and covered his wife’s grave. The beaten pathway from his house to the dwelling of the dead was snow also, undisturbed save for the faint prints of a child’s sandalled feet. In the spring-time he girded up his robe and went forth to see the cherry blossom, making merry enough, and writing a poem upon gilded paper, which he hung to a cherry-tree branch to flutter in the wind. The poem was in praise of the spring and of saké. Later, he planted the orange lily of forgetfulness, and thought of his wife no more. But the child remembered.

Bamboo flute

Before the year was out he brought a new bride home, a woman with a fair face and a black heart. But the man, poor fool, was happy, and commended his child to her, and believed that all was well.
Now because her father loved O’Yoné, her stepmother hated her with a jealous and deadly hatred, and every day she dealt cruelly by the child, whose gentle ways and patience only angered her the more. But because of her father’s presence she did not dare to do O’Yoné any great ill; therefore she waited, biding her time. The poor child passed her days and her nights in torment and horrible fear. But of these things she said not a word to her father. Such is the manner of children.
Now, after some time, it chanced that the man was called away by his business to a distant city. Kioto was the name of the city, and from Yedo it is many days’ journey on foot or on horseback. Howbeit, go the man needs must, and stay there three moons or more. Therefore he made ready, and equipped himself, and his servants that were to go with him, with all things needful; and so came to the last night before his departure, which was to be very early in the morning.
He called O’Yoné to him and said: “Come here, then, my dear little daughter.” So O’Yoné went and knelt before him.
“What gift shall I bring you home from Kioto?” he said.
But she hung her head and did not answer.
“Answer, then, rude little one,” he bade her. “Shall it be a golden fan, or a roll of silk, or a new obi of red brocade, or a great battledore with images upon it and many light-feathered shuttlecocks?”
Then she burst into bitter weeping, and he took her upon his knees to soothe her. But she hid her face with her sleeves and cried as if her heart would break. And, “O father, father, father,” she said, “do not go away—do not go away!”
“But, my sweet, I needs must,” he answered, “and soon I shall be back—so soon, scarcely it will seem that I am gone, when I shall be here again with fair gifts in my hand.”

The Flute - Warwick Goble (image found on Pinterest)

“Father, take me with you,” she said.
“Alas, what a great way for a little girl! Will you walk on your feet, my little pilgrim, or mount a pack-horse? And how would you fare in the inns of Kioto? Nay, my dear, stay; it is but for a little time, and your kind mother will be with you.”
She shuddered in his arms.
“Father, if you go, you will never see me more.”
Then the father felt a sudden chill about his heart, that gave him pause. But he would not heed it. What! Must he, a strong man grown, be swayed by a child’s fancies? He put O’Yoné gently from him, and she slipped away as silently as a shadow.

Ah! the beauty of nature -
geisha, peonies in her hair,
playing the Shakuhachi

© Chèvrefeuille

But in the morning she came to him before sunrise with a little flute in her hand, fashioned of bamboo and smoothly polished. “I made it myself,” she said, “from a bamboo in the grove that is behind our garden. I made it for you. As you cannot take me with you, take the little flute, honourable father. Play on it sometimes, if you will, and think of me.” Then she wrapped it in a handkerchief of white silk, lined with scarlet, and wound a scarlet cord about it, and gave it to her father, who put it in his sleeve. After this he departed and went his way, taking the road to Kioto. As he went he looked back thrice, and beheld his child, standing at the gate, looking after him. Then the road turned and he saw her no more.

The city of Kioto was passing great and beautiful, and so the father of O’Yoné found it. And what with his business during the day, which sped very well, and his pleasure in the evening, and his sound sleep at night, the time passed merrily, and small thought he gave to Yedo, to his home, or to his child. Two moons passed, and three, and he made no plans for return.


The story goes on above in the menu

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 4th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Green Willow, later on.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #17 Out of The Carpe Diem Box ...

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday January 28th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have a new Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation feature for you. I have named it "Out Of The Box" and I think you all will understand what I mean, but ... of course ... I will explain the idea behind this new feature for our Weekend-Meditation.

On the above logo (image source) you see a cardboard box opened ... you can say you are on the bottom of this box and you look up to the sky ... you look outside box ... or "Out Of The Box". In this feature I love to give you all a look "out of the box" or in other words: I love to challenge you with a kind of poetry that's not special for Japan.

Recently I "spook" with Celestine Nudanu, maybe you remember our extra episode earlier this week about her. Celestine is busy with creating her new poetry book, but she hasn't chosen to create a new poetry book with haiku and tanka, but with a poetry form I am not that familiar with ... the Cherita.

Designer Garden
Let me first tell you a little bit more about the Cherita.

Cherita (pronounced CHAIR-rita) is a linked poetry form of one-, two-, and three-line stanzas.
Cherita is the Malay word for “story” or “tale”.
A cherita consists of a one-line stanza, followed by a two-line stanza, and then finishing with a three-line stanza. It can either be written solo or by up to three partners.
The cherita tells a story. It was created by ai li (A UK poet and artist) on June 22, 1997 in memory of her grandparents who were raconteurs extraordinaire. It was also inspired by Larry Kimmel’s sensitive recognition of a shorter form contained within the opening three-verse stanza of ai li’s LUNENGA, which was created May 27, 1997.
The cherita arose out of the English-language haiku and tanka tradition, but is more anecdotal, or nano-narrative, in nature than are the “momentary” haiku and the more lyrical tanka, though it is easily adaptable to lyrical expression. It is imagistic and depends on conciseness and suggestion for its effect. (Source: The Cherita)

It can be written solo or with up to three partners. It is not titled. The Cherita tells a story, an example:

after seeing you off
taking the path along 
the canal
a rustle of

© Larry Kimmel 2007  (Source:

Taking The Path Along The Canal
I think this is a very nice "out of the box" created poetry form that derived from haiku and tanka. So in a way it's not that far from Carpe Diem Haiku Kai ... but it is a form we will not see very often at CDHK, because of the idea that CDHK is exclusively about Japanese poetry forms, but I love to challenge to "find new ways for your creativity" and the Cherita can provide you that.

For this Weekend-Meditation I love to challenge you to create Cherita, maybe just one or a few that's up to you, but I also love to challenge you to create Cherita from a given theme ... that theme is for our participants on the Northern Hemisphere, Winter Time; and for our participants on the Southern Hemisphere, Summer Time. Well ... I wish you all a wonderful creative weekend and I am looking forward to your Cherita.

Of course I have given it a try too, here is my first attempt to create a Cherita:

waving goodbye
my best friend leaves me
alone I stand on the platform
only the sweet song of birds
to comfort me
and give me strength again

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... I don't know ... maybe this is not my "cup of tea".

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday January 28th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 4th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, The Flute (Japanese fairy-tale), later on. For now ... have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Carpe Diem #1356 The Peony Lantern (Japanese fairy-tale)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our Haiku Kai. This month we are reading fairy tales together and I hope you all find your muse to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on these fairy tales. Today I have a nice Japanese fairytale for you "The Peony Lantern", but first I love to share a few haiku themed peony.

For example this cascading haiku which I wrote back in 2013:

deep mysteries
hidden in the Peonies -
secret lover

secret lover
face behind a bouquet of Peonies -
the first step

the first step
sending Peonies to my love
deep mysteries

© Chèvrefeuille (2013)

Peonies (Shosei Takahashi)

Or this one written in 2015:

pink flowers bloom
between green dewy leaves
a double peony

© Chèvrefeuille

The Peony Lantern:

In Yedo there dwelt a samurai called Hagiwara. He was a samurai of the hatamoto, which is of all the ranks of samurai the most honourable. He possessed a noble figure and a very beautiful face, and was beloved of many a lady of Yedo, both openly and in secret. For himself, being yet very young, his thoughts turned to pleasure rather than to love, and morning, noon and night he was wont to disport himself with the gay youth of the city. He was the prince and leader of joyous revels within doors and without, and would often parade the streets for long together with bands of his boon companions.
One bright and wintry day during the Festival of the New Year he found himself with a company of laughing youths and maidens playing at battledore and shuttlecock. He had wandered far away from his own quarter of the city, and was now in a suburb quite the other side of Yedo, where the streets were empty, more or less, and the quiet houses stood in gardens. Hagiwara wielded his heavy battledore with great skill and grace, catching the gilded shuttlecock and tossing it lightly into the air; but at length with a careless or an ill-judged stroke, he sent it flying over the heads of the players, and over the bamboo fence of a garden near by. Immediately he started after it. Then his companions cried, “Stay, Hagiwara; here we have more than a dozen shuttlecocks.”
“Nay,” he said, “but this was dove-coloured and gilded.”
“Foolish one!” answered his friends; “here we have six shuttlecocks all dove-coloured and gilded.”
But he paid them no heed, for he had become full of a very strange desire for the shuttlecock he had lost. He scaled the bamboo fence and dropped into the garden which was upon the farther side. Now he had marked the very spot where the shuttlecock should have fallen, but it was not there; so he searched along the foot of the bamboo fence—but no, he could not find it. Up and down he went, beating the bushes with his battledore, his eyes on the ground, drawing breath heavily as if he had lost his dearest treasure. His friends called him, but he did not come, and they grew tired and went to their own homes. The light of day began to fail. Hagiwara, the samurai, looked up and saw a girl standing a few yards away from him. She beckoned him with her right hand, and in her left she held a gilded shuttlecock with dove-coloured feathers.
The samurai shouted joyfully and ran forward. Then the girl drew away from him, still beckoning him with the right hand. The shuttlecock lured him, and he followed. So they went, the two of them, till they came to the house that was in the garden, and three stone steps that led up to it. Beside the lowest step there grew a plum tree in blossom, and upon the highest step there stood a fair and very young lady. She was most splendidly attired in robes of high festival. Her kimono was of water-blue silk, with sleeves of ceremony so long that they touched the ground; her under-dress was scarlet, and her great girdle of brocade was stiff and heavy with gold. In her hair were pins of gold and tortoiseshell and coral.
When Hagiwara saw the lady, he knelt down forthwith and made her due obeisance, till his forehead touched the ground.
Then the lady spoke, smiling with pleasure like a child. “Come into my house, Hagiwara Sama, samurai of the hatamoto. I am O’Tsuyu, the Lady of the Morning Dew. My dear handmaiden, O’Yoné, has brought you to me. Come in, Hagiwara Sama, samurai of the hatamoto; for indeed I am glad to see you, and happy is this hour.”
So the samurai went in, and they brought him to a room of ten mats, where they entertained him; for the Lady of the Morning Dew danced before him in the ancient manner, whilst O’Yoné, the handmaiden, beat upon a small scarlet-tasselled drum.
Afterwards they set food before him, the red rice of the festival and sweet warm wine, and he ate and drank of the food they gave him.

The Peony Lantern (Painting by Warwick Goble)

It was dark night when Hagiwara took his leave. “Come again, honorable lord, come again,” said O’Yoné the handmaiden.
“Yea, lord, you needs must come,” whispered the Lady of the Morning Dew.
The samurai laughed. “And if I do not come?” he said mockingly. “What if I do not come?”
The lady stiffened, and her child’s face grew grey, but she laid her hand upon Hagiwara’s shoulder.
“Then,” she said, “it will be death, lord. Death it will be for you and for me. There is no other way.” O’Yoné shuddered and hid her eyes with her sleeve. The samurai went out into the night, being very much afraid.

being afraid
in the dark alley
tough Samurai

© Chèvrefeuille

Long, long he sought for his home and could not find it, wandering in the black darkness from end to end of the sleeping city. When at last he reached his familiar door the late dawn was almost come, and wearily he threw himself upon his bed. Then he laughed. “After all, I have left behind me my shuttlecock,” said Hagiwara the samurai.

Peony Lantern (image found on Pinterest)

The next day Hagiwara sat alone in his house from morning till evening. He had his hands before him; and he thought, but did nothing more. At the end of the time he said, “It is a joke that a couple of geisha have sought to play on me. Excellent, in faith, but they shall not have me!” So he dressed himself in his best and went forth to join his friends. For five or six days he was at joustings and junketings, the gayest of the gay. His wit was ready, his spirits were wild.

on a quest
to find his love
morning dew shimmers

© Chèvrefeuille

Then he said, “By the gods, I am deathly sick of this,” and took to walking the streets of Yedo alone. From end to end of the great city he went. He wandered by day and he wandered by night, by street and alley he went, by hill and moat and castle wall, but he found not what he sought. He could not come upon the garden where his shuttlecock was lost, nor yet upon the Lady of the Morning Dew. His spirit had no rest. He fell sick and took to his bed, where he neither ate nor slept, but grew spectre-thin. This was about the third month. In the sixth month, at the time of niubai, the hot and rainy season, he rose up, and, in spite of all his faithful servant could say or do to dissuade him, he wrapped a loose summer robe about him and at once went forth.
“Alack! Alack!” cried the servant, “the youth has the fever, or he is perchance mad.”
Hagiwara faltered not at all. He looked neither to the right nor to the left. Straight forward he went, for he said to himself, “All roads lead past my love’s house.” Soon he came to a quiet suburb, and to a certain house whose garden had a split bamboo fence. Hagiwara laughed softly and scaled the fence.


This fairytale continues on our "The Story Goes On" page above in the menu.

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

Carpe Diem Extra January 25th 2018 Troiku kukai - last call for submissions

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you all know our special Troiku kukai is running. I have had a lot of response and I think it will not be easy to make a selection ... I am looking forward to your judging, but that's not the right moment today. The submission period is almost over therefore this is the last call for submissions for this special Troiku kukai. You can send your Troiku created from that beautiful haiku by Claire Vogel Camargo:

no spring sprouts
in the herb garden
his heart attack

© Claire Vogel Camargo

You can send your Troiku to: before January 28th 10:00 PM (CET). Please write "Troiku kukai" in the subject line.

More about Troiku you can find above in the menu. In that same menu you can also find a special CDHK E-book about Troiku "Flamingo Clouds".

I am looking forward to your responses. feel free to invite others to participate in this special Troiku kukai.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

(Chèvrefeuille is the pseudonym of Kristjaan Panneman)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Carpe Diem #1355 The Sea King and the Magic Jewels (Japanese fairytale)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joyful month this is. All those wonderful fairytales from 1001 Nights and now those beauties from the Motherland of Haiku, Japan. I have read wonderful fairytales a lot of them I hadn't heard of or read. I think that same idea you all will have. Today I have another nice Japanese fairytale for you. A long tale I have to say, so this one I have split in two parts. It's a story that is loved by children and adults like you and me will enjoy it too.

The Sea King and the Magic Jewels:

Prince Rice-Ear-Ruddy-Plenty loved a beautiful and royal maiden, and made her his bride. And the lady was called Princess Blossoming-Brightly-as-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees, so sweetly fair was she. But her father was augustly wrath at her betrothal, for his Augustness, Prince Rice-Ear-Ruddy-Plenty, had put aside her elder sister, the Princess of the Rocks (and, indeed, this lady was not fair), for he loved only Princess Blossoming-Brightly. So the old King said, “Because of this, the offspring of these heavenly deities shall be frail, fading and falling like the flowers of the trees.” So it is. At this day, the lives of their Augustnesses, the Heavenly Sovereigns, are not long.
Howbeit, in the fullness of time, the lady, Blossoming-Brightly-as-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees, bore two lovely men children, and called the elder Fire Flash and the younger Fire Fade.

Prince Fire Flash was a fisherman, who got his luck upon the wide sea, and ran upon the shore with his august garments girded. And again, he tarried all the night in his boat, upon the high wave-crests. And he caught things broad of fin and things narrow of fin, and he was a deity of the water weeds and of the waters and of the fishes of the sea. But Prince Fire Fade was a hunter, who got his luck upon the mountains and in the forest, who bound sandals fast upon his feet, and bore a bow and heavenly-feathered arrows. And he caught things rough of hair and things soft of hair, and he knew the trail of the badger and the wild cherry’s time of flowering. For he was a deity of the woods.

The Sea King and the Magic Jewels (Warwick Goble painting)

Now Prince Fire Fade spoke to his elder brother, Prince Fire Flash, and said, “Brother, I am aweary of the green hills. Therefore let us now exchange our luck. Give me thy rod and I will go to the cool waters. Thou mayest take my great bow and all my heavenly-feathered arrows and try the mountains, where, trust me, thou shalt see many strange and beautiful things, unknown to thee before.”
But Prince Fire Flash answered, “Not so … not so.”

And again, after not many days were past, Prince Fire Fade came and sighed, “I am aweary of the green hills … the fair waters call me. Woe to be a younger brother!” And when Prince Fire Flash took no heed of him, but angled with his rod, day and night, and caught things broad of fin and things narrow of fin, Prince Fire Fade drooped with desire, and let his long hair fall untended upon his shoulders. And he murmured, “Oh, to try my luck upon the sea!” till at last Prince Fire Flash, his elder brother, gave him the rod for very weariness, and betook himself to the mountains. And all day he hunted, and let fly the heavenly-feathered arrows; but rough of hair or soft of hair, never a thing did he catch. And he cried, “Fool, fool, to barter the heavenly luck of the gods!” So he returned.

And his Augustness, Prince Fire Fade, took the luck of the sea, and angled in sunshine and in gloom; but broad of fin or narrow of fin, never a fish did he catch. And, moreover, he lost his brother’s fish-hook in the sea. So he hung his head, and returned.
And Prince Fire Flash said, “Each to his own, the hunter to the mountain, and the fisherman to the sea … for thou and I have brought nothing home, and this night we sleep hungry. We may not barter the luck of the gods. And now, where is my fish-hook?”
So Prince Fire Fade replied, saying softly, “Sweet brother, be not angry … but, toiling all day with thy fish-hook, broad of fin or narrow of fin, not a fish did I catch; and, at the last, I lost thy fish-hook in the sea.”
At this his Highness, Prince Fire Flash, flew into a great rage, and stamping his feet, required the fish-hook of his brother.
And Prince Fire Fade made answer, “Sweet brother, I have not thy fish-hook, but the deep sea, whose bottom no man may search. Though I should die for thee, yet could I not give thee back thy fish-hook.”

The Sea King and the Magic Jewels (image found on Pinterest)

But his elder brother required it of him the more urgently.
Then Prince Fire Fade burst the wild wisteria tendrils which bound his august ten-grasp sword to his side. And he said, “Farewell, good sword.” And he broke it into many fragments, and made five hundred fish-hooks to give to his brother, Prince Fire Flash. But Prince Fire Flash would have none of them.
And again Prince Fire Fade toiled at a great furnace, and made one thousand fish-hooks; and upon his knees he humbly offered them to his brother, Prince Fire Flash. For he loved his brother. Nevertheless Prince Fire Flash would not so much as look at them, but sat moody, his head on his hand, saying, “Mine own lost fish-hook will I have, that and no other.”
So Prince Fire Fade went grieving from the palace gates, and wandered lamenting by the seashore; and his tears fell and mingled with the foam. And, when night came, he had no heart to return homewards, but sat down, weary, upon a rock amid the salt pools. And he cried, “Alas, my brother, I am all to blame, and through my foolishness has this come upon me. But oh, my brother, together were we nursed upon the sweet breast of our mother, Princess Blossoming-Brightly-as-the-Flowers-of-the-Trees, for almost hand in hand did we come into the world.”
And the moon rose so that the sea and the Central Land of Reed Plains was light. But Prince Fire Fade ceased not to lament.
Then Shiko-Tsuchi-no-Kami, the Lord of Sea Salt, came with the rising tide, and spoke, “Wherefore weeps the Heaven’s Sky Height?”
And Prince Fire Fade made answer: “I have taken my brother’s fish-hook, and I have lost it in the sea. And though I have given him many other fish-hooks for compensation, he will have none of them, but desires only the original fish-hook. Truly, the gods know, I would give my life to find it; but how should that serve?”

sea fruits

And Shiko-Tsuchi-no-Kami took him by the sleeve to where a boat moved upon the water, and set him in the boat and pushed it from the shore, saying, “My son, pursue the pleasant path that Tsuki-Yomi-no-Kami, His Augustness, the Moon Night Possessor, has made for thee upon the waters. And, at the end, thou shalt come to a palace made of fishes’ scales, which is the palace of the great King of the Sea. Before the gate there is a clear well, and by the well-side there grows a cassia tree with many spreading branches. Therefore climb thou into the branches of the cassia tree, and there wait for the King’s daughter, who shall come to give thee counsel.”
And Prince Fire Fade, standing up in the boat, made obeisance, and thanked the Lord of Sea Salt. But this one girded his august garments and pushed the boat before him, till he was thigh-deep in the water. And he said, “Nay, nay, fair youth, no thanks, only do my bidding.”
So his Augustness, Prince Fire Fade, came to the Sea King’s palace. And he forthwith climbed the cassia tree and waited among its green branches.


What a nice story, an adventurous one I would say. But this story goes on at our "The Story Goes On"page above in the menu.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 31st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, The Peony Lantern, later on. For now ... have fun and be inspired.