Thursday, May 31, 2018

Carpe Diem #1444 barley autumn (mugi no aki)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... it's time for a new month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, the place to be if you like to write and share haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form. This month I love to inspire you through the classical seasonwords (kigo) for Summer (and Winter). Why have I chosen for this theme? Well ... as you all know haiku has several classical rules as you can read above in Carpe Diem Lecture One (1), This month I hope to read wonderful haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form that are following the classical rules as you can find above in the menu.

Why two seasons this month well that needs no real explanation, but I will give you it ... On the Northern Hemisphere, where I am living, we are entering Summer, but on the Southern Hemisphere they enter Winter. Because my part of the world is entering Summer all the prompts will be of Summer, but I will give you also a classical prompt for Winter. For this first episode of June 2018 that will be Indian summer (koharu).

Barley Autumn (mugi no aki)
The first prompt for this month of Summer kigo is barley autumn (mugi no aki) and it refers to the time in which barley ripens. In Summer this cereal grain ripens to the form in which we know it and use it after harvesting it.

Around my hometown we have several farms that produce this cereal grain and it is always awesome to see how it is harvested. My dad, he rests in peace, was once a farmer so I grew up with this cereal grain and the time of harvesting. As my dad was harvesting the barley he was almost the whole day on the fields and we (my brother and I) missed him. But in the weekends he wasn't busy with harvesting and did all wonderful things with us. Yes ... I have wonderful memories of that time.

I found a nice haiku by my sensei, Matsuo Basho, in which this summer kigo is used and I love to share that one with you here in this first episode of June:

these ears of barley
that redden now in the tears
of crying skylarks

© Matsuo Basho (summer 1691)

A wonderful haiku I think in which you can see, hear and feel the essence of this classical kigo for summer.

Field of Gold (barley field in summer)

It inspired me to create the following haiku:

greenness disappears
like waves of the ocean change
barley autumn starts

© Chèvrefeuille

It has become a nice haiku I think, but I don't really know if I did right to the kigo given to use.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 7th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired, create and share.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Carpe Diem #1443 Music to close our journey

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the last episode of this month in which we were on a journey into the High Mountains of the Andes. I am busy with preparing our new CDHK month. Next month we will find our inspiration in the classical saijiki for seasonwords in haiku. Every day I will give you a nice kigo (seasonword) for summer and I will (try to) tell you a little bit of background on those kigo, but that's for next month.

May was a wonderful month and to conclude this wonderful month I have another nice piece of music from the Andean Mountains.

It's a beautiful piece of music "El Condor Pasa" and it's played on the renown music instrument of the Andean Mountains ... the panflute.

Enjoy the music and let your muse awaken to grant you with her / his energy for inspiration.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 6th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode, the first of June, later on. Have fun!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Carpe Diem #1442 almost at the end of our journey

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the penultimate episode of our journey into the high mountains of the Andes. It was a wonderful journey and I hope that you all did enjoy this month at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. It wasn't an easy month to create, but I think the journey was awesome.

This journey is almost over ... finally we will arrive at our end-station Huancayo, '(place) with a (sacred) rock') is the capital of Junín Region, in the central highlands of Peru.

Huancayo is located in Huancayo Province, of which it is also the capital. Situated in the Mantaro Valley at an altitude of 3,271 meters, it belongs to the Quechua region. Depending on delimitation, the agglomeration has a population between 340,000 and 380,000 and is the fifth most populous city of the country. Huancayo is the cultural and commercial center of the whole central Peruvian Andes area. Huancayo Metropolitano is made up of seven districts that form the urban center of Junin's region. This region is considered Peru's economic and social hub.

Huancayo Cathedral
almost there
exploring the Andean Mountains
a time machine

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 5th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our last episode of this month later on. For now ... I hope you will find your muse ...

Monday, May 28, 2018

Carpe Diem #1441 La lluvia (The Rain)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize. My excuses for not publishing an episode for Monday May 28th there were a few circumstances that made lack of time. So I am sorry for that. But those circumstances are over now and I have time again to publish a new episode.

This month is almost over and next month we will go back to basic, because June will be a month full of classical kigo (seasonwords) for Summer (and maybe Winter). We are almost at the end of our journey into the high mountains of the Andes, but ... I don't know what I can tell more about this wonderful part of the world, and I have a so called "writer's block". So I have chosen the easy way this time.

A wonderful piece of music from the Andes. This song is called "La lluvia" - The Rain. And I think this music can be a great source of inspiration.

It's up to you ... listen to the music and let it take you into the high mountains of the Andes.

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

Friday, May 25, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #34 Revise That Haiku ... Kikaku's Dragonfly

!!! Open for your submissions next Sunday May 27th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the last weekend-meditation of this month. The weekend-meditation is a feature that gives you (and me) time to meditate and contemplate before submitting to our Kai. Every weekend I choose another feature (from our rich history or newly created) for you to work with.

This weekend I love to challenge you to revise a haiku by a classical haiku poet. Try to make the haiku better without loosing the scene the haiku is about. For this "revise that haiku" I have chosen a haiku by Kikaku (1661-1707), one of Basho's disciples.

Takarai Kikaku also known as Enomoto Kikaku, was a Japanese haikai poet and among the most accomplished disciples of Matsuo Bashō. His father was an Edo doctor, but Kikaku chose to become a professional haikai poet rather than follow in his footsteps.

Red Dragonfly (photo © Michael Hawk)

Kikaku is best known for his haiku, such as the one in this anecdote about him and his master:
One day, Kikaku composed a haiku,

Red dragonfly / break off its wings / Sour cherry

which Bashō changed to,

Sour cherry / add wings to it / Red dragonfly;

thus saying that poetry should add life to life, not take life away from life. His master is known to have denigrated Kikaku's 'flippant efforts'. Kikaku wrote of coarser subjects than Bashō, and in this respect his poetry was closer to earlier haikai. Kikaku set the tone for haikai from Bashō's death until the time of Yosa Buson in the late 18th century.

Kikaku left an important historical document, describing Bashō's final days, and the immediate aftermath of his death, which has been translated into English.

(By the way the above photo is made by Michael Hawk, he has a wonderful website about Nature. For sure worth a visit. website: )

Red Dragonfly haiga

Here is the haiku to revise, can you re-create this haiku as for example Basho did?:

red dragonfly
break off its wings
sour cherry

© Kikaku

A lot to meditate and contemplate about ... well you have a whole weekend to think this over and create your revised haiku ...

Have fun!

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday, May 27th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until Sunday June 3rd at noon (CEST).

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Carpe Diem #1440 Lake Titicaca

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at one of the last regular episodes of this wonderful month of Carpe Diem. We traveled through the Andean Mountains and dived into the gorgeous history of these mountains. Today I have another wonderful prompt for you. A prompt I think of ... this one had to be made ...

Today we visit Lake Titicaca (Bolivia) one of the world's most high lakes I think. Let me tell you a little bit about Lake Titicaca, also known as "the birthplace of the Sun".

Lake Titicaca

In Andean belief, Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun. In addition, it’s the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable body of water in the world. Banner blue skies contrast with bitterly cold nights. Enthralling and in many ways singular, the shimmering deep blue Lake Titicaca is the longtime home of highland cultures steeped in the old ways.

Pre-Inca Pukara, Tiwanaku and Collas all left a mark on the landscape. Today the region is a mix of crumbling cathedrals, desolate altiplano and checkerboard fields backed by rolling hills and high Andean peaks. In this world, crops are still planted and harvested by hand.

In this world, crops are still planted and harvested by hand.

Isn't it a wonderful place? It feels magical and mysterious and there are even people that say that Lake Titicaca is a holy lake full of spirituality and that it gives in a way energy to the spirit, the mind, the heart and the soul ...

Enjoy ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 31st at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. Have fun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Carpe Diem #1439 mountain(s)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today, I also have a very busy day, so I have made it myself easy. As you maybe know next month we will have all classical kigo (seasonwords) for Summer. Seasonwords are words that point towards a season. In our rich history here at CDHK we have had also modern kigo based on Jane Reichhold's Dictionary of Haiku. And today, because of lack of time I have chosen a modern kigo of Spring that fits this month's theme "journey into the high mountains of the Andes". I choose a modern kigo from Jane's Saijiki as mentioned above: mountains and I have a few nice haiku by Jane Reichhold to awaken your muse.

soul shape
between soft evening peaks
a valley cradle

folding into a valley
bird wings

© Jane Reichhold

The goal is to create haiku, tanka or another form of Japanese poetry inspired on this kigo. Create your poem by using the prompt. That doesn't mean you have to use the word, but your reader must understand that the season is Spring.

Enjoy this episode and I hope it inspires you all. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 30th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.
For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Carpe Diem #1438 Chachani (Imagination-episode)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a little bit busy today and the upcoming days, so I have chosen to make it myself a little easier. For today I have (another) imagination-challenge for you all. It's an image of Chachani and Misti two wonderful mountain peaks in Peru.

Chachani and Misti
This image is your source of inspiration. Create your Japanese poetry inspired on this image ... awaken your muse.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 29th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Carpe Diem #1437 Nazca Culture

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This journey into the high mountains of the Andes is almost done. We have only one week to go, so what can I tell you more on this journey? Well ... the Andes has a very rich history and there were several cultures e.g. the Inca, as we have seen already. But as I was preparing this episode I ran into an article on National Geographic about the so called Nazca lines, once created by the Nazca culture (300 B.C - 600 A.D.).

Nazca lines (monkey)
It's a spectacular sight all these geometric forms. There are still a lot of questions about these figures, but it's said that the Nazca people carved them. There are a lot of these figures, not only figures like the above Monkey, but also geometric figures like the one hereafter.

Hindu Mandala in Nazca lines
There are really a lot of ideas about these lines, but the Nazca culture itself isn't really known. So I just have to tell you a little bit about the Nazca culture.

The Nazca culture was developed on the coast of Ica department, with the main center of the city of Cahuachi in the Rio Grande Valley. Nazca was an ancient civilization that emerged in the province of Nazca, around the first century and into decline in the sixth century. It was located along the Rio Grande between the years 300 BC to 600 A.D. Had an area of influence that extended to the north Pisco to Arequipa in the south and east to Ayacucho. Until the sixth century increased their contacts with the Andes, reaching even into the highlands of Ayacucho. This contact was especially important in the formation of the Huari culture.

An outstanding feature is its polychrome pottery with figures of men, animals, plants, etc. In many of these ceramics, mutilated men are represented. The textile art flourished as much as in the time of the Paracas. They had an own style of metalworking, although of lesser quality at the time of Chavin.

According to many researchers Nazca culture would be a continuity of Paracas culture (Necropolis period), as both peoples had developed customs and advanced farming techniques. It was a society based on agriculture, although located in one of the most deserted areas of the Peruvian coast. To produce their foods use fully the river flows in summer, using reservoirs and canals. They were also militarist States. The military of the Nazca culture were very courageous and so gained a special place in the social pyramid with the priests. The peasants were at the service of a warrior aristocracy and theocracy residing in beautiful pyramid-shaped ceremonial centers. Examples of adobe architecture are the ruins of Kahuachi, the Tinguiña, Tambo Viejo, Huaca Dos Palmos and Chaviña. Also they built with thick trunks of Huarango as shown in the Estaquería.

Nazca architecture at Cahuachi (Peru)

The most impressive of this civilization are the lines made in the Pampas of Nazca and other sites on the southern coast of Peru. The Nazca lines are located in a geographical area with little rainfall, demonstrating knowledge of geography and meteorology. Twenty miles from the city of Nazca is located Chauchilla Cemetery, an open air cemetery where despite the looting you can still see mummies in good condition and pottery.

Must have been an awesome culture ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 28th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

For now ... have fun! Be inspired and share your wonderful poetry with us all.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Carpe Diem Crossroads #10 Jane Reichhold's "rainbows of high tide"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I look back into the not so long ago past of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai than I see how much joy you all have in creating haiku, tanka and other Japanese poetry forms, but I was really surprised to see all your responses on Carpe Diem's Crossroads, our special feature in which you have to create a so called "fusion"-haiku from two given haiku.

This episode of Crossroads I love to challenge you to create a "fusion"-haiku from two haiku by our beloved Jane Reichhold (1937-2016). She was one of our co-hosts and she is still missed dearly. So let's say this Crossroads episode is a small tribute to Jane Reichhold.

Spiritual Rainbow (Sacred Geometry) (image found on Pinterest)

I have chosen two beautiful haiku from her online dictionary of haiku:

coming to sea cliffs
the off-shore breeze raises
a flower fragrance

out of a wave
rainbows of high tide
arching wind

© Jane Reichhold

Two beauties I think to work with ... it is up to you now ...

This Crossroads episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 27th at noon (CEST) ... have fun!

Carpe Diem #1436 Machu Picchu ... imagination-episode

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. It was a weekend with a tough challenge I think, but I have seen already several responses on our weekend-meditation. It also was a time to rest before going further on our journey into the high mountains of the Andes (South America, Peru).

The last two regular episodes we stepped into a time-machine back to the time of the Inca. We visited a few wonderful sights of this ancient culture, but ... the most beautiful sight in my opinion is renown Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows.

Machu Picchu
high in the mountains
a city built for the beauty of the Sun -
Machu Picchu

© Chèvrefeuille (2013)

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas", it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. (Source: Wikipedia)

A wonderful sight I think. For today's episode I have a photo for your inspiration, say this episode is an Imagination episode. You can use both photos, the one above or the one hereafter.

Machu Picchu (2) overview
spiritual place
feeling in touch with the Inca -
Machu Picchu

Well ... enjoy this episode. Become inspired through the images of this wonderful Inca sight Machu Picchu.

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #33 Troiku ... Two White Butterflies

!!! Open for submissions next Sunday May 20th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's almost weekend and that means time for another Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation. This weekend I love to challenge you in a special way. As you all know I am the inventor of the Troiku (more on Troiku above in the menu) and I know that you all like to create Troiku. This weekend meditation you have to create a Troiku, but in another way than usually. A while ago I started Carpe Diem Crossroads, the "fusion"-haiku challenge, also a great new feature and I know you all like that feature too.


So for this weekend I will give you two haiku, as in Crossroads. You have to create a "fusion"-haiku from those two haiku and than create a Troiku with your "fusion"-haiku. A nice challenge I think fortunally you have the whole weekend to create it.

Here are the two haiku to make your "fusion"-haiku from, both haiku are by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694):

temple bells die out
the fragrant blossoms remain
a perfect evening

will we meet again
here at your flowering grave -
two white butterflies

© Basho

This weekend I challenge you to create a "fusion"-haiku with these two haiku and than create a Troiku from your "fusion"-haiku. A nice challenge for this weekend meditation I think and I am looking forward to all of your beautiful submissions.

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday May 20th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until May 27th at noon (CEST). Have fun ... and I hope you all will have a wonderful weekend ... enjoy it to the max!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Carpe Diem #1435 Coricancha - The Temple of the Sun

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Yesterday we had our first encounter with the ancient Inca Empire. In this Empire the Sun was worshipped and in a lot of buildings like e.g. temples we can see that. All the Inca buildings were created with help of Astronomers, they could tell how the building, a city or a temple had to be built according to the mathematics of the Universe.

The Inca, like the religion of Aton in ancient Egypt, was a one god religion, but there were always smaller deities. Every Inca Emperor was seen as God, and so they were the Sun ...

One of the most beautiful temples of the Inca Empire was situated in Cusco, where we were yesterday, and was called "The Temple of The Sun" or "Coricancha". It was the most important temple of the Empire.

remains of Coricancha in Cusco
Let me tell you a little bit more about this important temple:

Coricancha, the Incas' temple of the sun built in the shadows of the Andes. The thin air and harsh, rocky slopes of the Peruvian Andes wouldn’t seem to be a likely locale for the capital of an extensive pre-Columbus empire. Any community seeking to thrive under these conditions would need to be equipped with tremendous ambition – and no small amount of political and mechanical ingenuity.

Luckily for the Incas, they had these in abundance, and were able to tame the harsh landscapes to create the largest empire in South America before the arrival of the Europeans, using a blend of religious belief, political will and clever design. Nowhere is this more evident than at Coricancha – the temple of the sun – which they built as the crown jewel of their capital city of Cusco, and the centrepiece of an empire that revolutionised city planning in South America.


When Pachacútec assumed the Incan throne in 1438, he began to reform the city of Cusco by restructuring the street grid, which remains to this day. The city is said to be designed in the shape of a puma, with Coricancha located in the animal’s tail, and considered the holiest site in Incan mythology.

The location of Coricancha within the city was very important. Placed at the convergence of the four main highways and connected to the four districts of the empire, the temple cemented the symbolic importance of religion, uniting the divergent cultural practices that were observed in the vast territory controlled by the Incas.

Inca priest

As well as housing more than 4,000 priests, the positioning of the temple in relation to the nearby Andes mountains meant that Coricancha functioned as an enormous calendar. Shadows cast by stones placed on the foothills could be seen from the temple, marking out the solstice and equinoxes observed by the Incan empire.

The temple complex consisted of four main chambers, each dedicated to a different deity of the moon, stars, thunder and rainbows. Much of Coricancha was filled with gold, with one chamber containing a giant sun disc, reflecting sunlight that illuminated the rest of the temple. The disc was aligned so that during the summer solstice it illuminated a sacred space where only the emperor himself was allowed to sit.

The Sun disc was aligned so that during the summer solstice it illuminated a sacred space where only the emperor himself was allowed to sit. In this we can see how the Emperor of the Inca  was worshipped as a god.
high in the mountains
the sun shines bright and always
eyes of the Inca

© Chèvrefeuille (senryu)

What a richness ... a temple plated with gold to honor the sun and his human form ... the Emperor of the Inca Empire. 

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 24th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend-meditation later on.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Carpe Diem #1434 Cusco ... first "contact" with the Inca Empire

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are on a journey into the high mountains of the Andes. We are traveling by train and have seen already the beauty of Peru and the rich history of this region. We discovered a few ancient races like the Huanco people and today we will make our first "contact" with the renown race of the Inca people.

Today we are visiting Cusco, the former capital and center of the Inca Empire.

Cusco, often spelled Cuzco, is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cusco Province. In 2013, the city had a population of 435,114. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cuzco, its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft).

The indigenous name of this city is Qusqu. Although the name was used in Quechua, its origin is found in the Aymara language. The word is derived from the phrase qusqu wanka ('Rock of the owl'), related to the city's foundation myth of the Ayar Siblings. According to this legend, Ayar Awqa (Ayar Auca) acquired wings and flew to the site of the future city; there he was transformed into a rock to mark the possession of the land by his ayllu ("lineage"):

The Legend of Ayar Auca

“Then Ayar Oche stood up, displayed a pair of large wings, and said he should be the one to stay at Guanacaure as an idol in order to speak with their father the Sun. Then they went up on top of the hill. Now at the site where he was to remain as an idol, Ayar Oche raised up in flight toward the heavens so high that they could not see him. He returned and told Ayar Manco that from then on he was to be named Manco Capac. Ayar Oche came from where the Sun was and the Sun had ordered that Ayar Manco take that name and go to the town that they had seen. After this had been stated by the idol, Ayar Oche turned into a stone, just as he was, with his wings. Later Manco Capac went down with Ayar Auca to their settlement...he liked the place now occupied in this city Cuzco. Manco Capac and his companion, with the help of the four women, made a house. Having done this, Manco Capac and his companion, with the four women, planted some land with maize. It is said that they took the maize from the cave, which this lord Manco Capac named Pacaritambo, which means those of origin because...they came out of that cave.”

What a wonderful story. This is just the beginning of our next stage in this journey ... visiting the ancient grounds of the Inca Empire.

a miracle
without wings attached
mankind grew

© Chèvrefeuille

Cusco ... image found on Pinterest

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 23rd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our next episode later on.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Carpe Diem #1433 Cerro de Pasco

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A wonderful place we visited yesterday one of the National Parks of Peru somewhere along the Peruvian Railway we are traveling this month. Today we will make a stop in Cerro de Pasco, the capital of Pasco Region Peru.

I ran through the Internet and found a nice article about this city at Wikipedia. I will share part of it here.

Sunset at Cerro de Pasco
Cerro de Pasco became one of the world's richest silver producing areas after silver was discovered there in 1630. It is still an active mining center. The Spanish mined the rich Cerro de Pasco silver-bearing oxide ore deposits since colonial times. Sulfide minerals are more common in the Atacocha district however.
Francisco Uville arranged for steam engines made by Richard Trevithick of Cornwall, England, to be installed in Cerro de Pasco in 1816 to pump water from the mines and allow lower levels to be reached. However, fighting in the Peruvian War of Independence brought production to a halt from 1820 to 1825.

Cerro de Pasco (population 70,000) is a city in central Peru, located at the top of the Andean mountains. It is the capital of the Pasco region, and an important mining center. At 4,330 metres (14,210 ft) elevation, it is one of the highest cities in the world. (Source: wikipedia)

on top of the world
black smiths create beauty
the silvery moon

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 22nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Carpe Diem #1432 Yanachaga–Chemillén National Park

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful journey this is. We are traveling by train straight through the Andean Mountains. A region in the world with a very rich history, as we already have seen. Today we are visiting Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park. This National Park is situated in the so called Pasco Region Peru. Let me tell you a little bit more about this National Park.

Yanachaga-Chemillén National Park
The Yanachaga–Chemillén National Park is located in the Pasco Region in Peru. It preserves part of the Peruvian Yungas and Ucayali moist forests ecoregions. The Palcazu River, Huancabamba River, Pozuzo River and their affluents flow through this national park. Some native communities still live in here. There are also some archaeological fields from the Inca and Yanesha cultures.

It looks awesome this National Park and it's home to the Ctenophryne Barbatula, one of world's most tiny species of frogs. Another species that you can find in this National Park is the Andean cock-of-the-rock, a kind of bird.

Andean Cock-Of-The-Rock

The Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus), also known as tunki (Quechua), is a large passerine bird of the cotinga family native to Andean cloud forests in South America. It is widely regarded as the national bird of Peru. It has four subspecies and its closest relative is the Guianan cock-of-the-rock.

Well ... it has become a short episode, but that can work too for your inspiration.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 21st at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our next episode later on.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Carpe Diem Crossroads #9 Ozaki Hosai's "on the field"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to bring you a new episode of our "fusion" feature Crossroads. This week I have chosen two nice haiku created by one of the classic haiku poets. For this episode I have chosen two haiku created by Ozaki Hosai. He was one of the haiku poets that embraced the free-haiku movement, like for example Santako Taneda. Ozaki Hosai wrote his haiku only as one-line verses, as is one of the classic ways of writing haiku. The both haiku I have chosen I have "re-done" into the more Western way of three lines.

Ozaki Hōsai (1885 - 1926) was the haigo (haikai pen name) of Ozaki Hideo, a Japanese poet of the late Meiji and Taishō periods of Japan. An alcoholic, Ozaki witnessed the birth of the modern free verse haiku movement. His verses are permeated with loneliness, most likely a result of the isolation, poverty and poor health of his final years.

Ozaki Hosai
Ozaki Hosai has written nice haiku in my opinion, but I think you, my dear haijin, visitors and travelers, can create a wonderful "fusion" haiku with the following haiku by him:

on the field 
where evening has died out, 
my footsteps

the heart 
that seeks something 
I release to the sea

© Ozaki Hosai (revised by Chèvrefeuille)

footprints at the beach (image found on Shutterstock)
As you all (maybe) know the goal is to create a new haiku (only haiku) from the both given haiku or in other words ... to create a "fusion" haiku. I have given it a try too. 

left in the sand of time
sound of waves

© Chèvrefeuille

And now it is up to you ...

This episode of Carpe Diem Crossroads is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 20th at noon (CEST). Have fun ... !

Carpe Diem #1431 Chavin Culture

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful weekend I have had. First there was the International Nurses Day and second today (May 13th) was Mother's Day. Of course I visited my mother. She was released from hospitial and is doing great now. Tomorrow we will celebrate her 88th birthday. Thank you all for being so kind to pray for her health. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend too and especially those of you who are mother, grandmother and mother-in-law. I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day.

Okay ... back to our journey into the high mountains of the Andes. Last Friday I challenged you with an image of Paron Lake and told you already a little bit about our theme for today ... the Chavin Culture, a prehistoric culture that was far ahead on their time.

Chavin de Huantar (photo © Martin St. Amant
The above image shows you an archaeological site of the Chavin Culture. This photo I found on Wikimedia and is made by Martin St, Amant. Let's go and find out some nice information about the Chavin Culture.

The Chavín culture is an extinct, prehistoric civilization, named for Chavín de Huantar, the principal archaeological site at which its artifacts have been found. The culture developed in the northern Andean highlands of Peru from 900 BCE to 200 BCE. It extended its influence to other civilizations along the coast. The Chavín people (whose name for themselves is unknown) were located in the Mosna Valley where the Mosna and Huachecsa rivers merge. This area is 3,150 metres (10,330 ft) above sea level and encompasses the quechua, suni, and puna life zones. In the periodization of pre-Columbian Peru the Chavín is the main culture of the Early Horizon period in highland Peru.

The Chavin Culture has reached wonderful achievements for example they were wonderful goldsmiths.

Chavin Gold Crown
The chief example of architecture is the Chavín de Huantar temple. The temple's design shows complex innovation to adapt to the highland environments of Peru. To avoid the temple's being flooded and destroyed during the rainy season, the Chavín people created a successful drainage system. Several canals built under the temple acted as drainage. The Chavín people also showed advanced acoustic understanding. During the rainy season water rushes through the canals and creates a roaring sound and creates a noise like a jaguar, a sacred animal. The temple was built of white granite and black limestone, neither of which is found near the Chavín site. This meant that leaders organized many workers to bring the special materials from far away rather than use local rock deposits.

The Chavín culture also demonstrated advanced skills and knowledge in metallurgy, soldering, and temperature control. They used early techniques to develop refined gold work. The melting of metal had been discovered at this point and was used as a solder.

The people domesticated camelids such as llamas. Camelids were used for pack animals, for fiber, and for meat. They produced ch'arki, or llama jerky. This product was commonly traded by camelid-herders and was the main economic resource for the Chavín people. Chavín people also successfully cultivated several crops, including potatoes, quinoa, and maize. They developed an irrigation system to assist the growth of these crops.

More about this Culture? At Wikipedia

A Stela found in Chavin that looks somewhat like a bird
As I look at the above image ... something odd happens. My mind works in a very fast way ... this "stela" looks very much like the "steles" found of Ithe nca and Mayan culture. It seems like in the Andes the spirit is giving its inspiration through the same way. Isn't that odd? Or am I delusional? 

high in the mountains
an eternal creature is dwelling
cultures entwined

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... what a wonderful forgotten culture this is ... the Chavin I never had heard of them.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 20th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #32 Use That Quote ... Florence Nightingale

!!! Open for your submissions next Sunday May 13th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend-meditation. This time I have chosen for an episode of our special feature "Use That Quote". This weekend nurses all over the world are celebrating the International Nurses Day initiated by the International Council of Nurses (ICN). This special day for all nurses takes place on Saturday May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

Florence Nightingale was a trailblazing figure in nursing who greatly affected 19th- and 20th-century policies around proper care. She was known for her night rounds to aid the wounded, establishing her image as the 'Lady with the Lamp.'

Who Was Florence Nightingale?

Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, on May 12, 1820. Part of a wealthy family, Nightingale defied the expectations of the time and pursued what she saw as her God-given calling of nursing. During the Crimean War, she and a team of nurses improved the unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital, greatly reducing the death count. Her writings sparked worldwide health care reform, and in 1860 she established St. Thomas' Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. A revered hero of her time, she died on August 13, 1910, in London.

Florence Nightingale
Background and Early Life

Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Italy, the city which inspired her name. The younger of two daughters, Nightingale was part of an affluent British clan that belonged to elite social circles. Her mother, Frances Nightingale, hailed from a family of merchants and took pride in socializing with people of prominent standing. Despite her mother's interests, Florence herself was reportedly awkward in social situations and preferred to avoid being the center of attention whenever possible. Strong-willed, she often butted heads with her mother, whom she viewed as overly controlling.

Florence's father was William Edward Nightingale (having changed his original surname, "Shore"), a wealthy landowner who would be associated with two estates—one at Lea Hurst, Derbyshire, and the other at Embly, Hampshire. Florence was provided with a classical education, including studies in mathematics along with German, French and Italian.

From a young age, Nightingale was active in philanthropy, ministering to the ill and poor people in the village neighboring her family’s estate. Nightingale eventually came to the conclusion that nursing was her calling; she believed the vocation to be her divine purpose.

When Nightingale approached her parents and told them about her ambitions to become a nurse, they were not pleased and forbade her to pursue appropriate training. During the Victorian Era, where English women had almost no property rights, a young lady of Nightingale's social stature was expected to marry a man of means to ensure her class standing—not take up a job that was viewed by the upper social classes as lowly menial labor.

In 1849, Nightingale refused a marriage proposal from a "suitable" gentleman, Richard Monckton Milnes, who had pursued her for years. She explained her reason for turning him down, saying that while he stimulated her intellectually and romantically, her "moral…active nature" called for something beyond a domestic life. (One biographer has suggested that the rejection of marriage to Milnes was not in fact an outright refusal.) Determined to pursue her true calling despite her parents' objections, Nightingale eventually enrolled as a nursing student in 1850 and '51 at the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses in Kaiserswerth, Germany.

The Lady With The Lamp
Crimean War

In the early 1850s, Nightingale returned to London, where she took a nursing job in a Harley Street hospital for ailing governesses. Her performance there so impressed her employer that Nightingale was promoted to superintendent. Nightingale also volunteered at a Middlesex hospital around this time, grappling with a cholera outbreak and unsanitary conditions conducive to the rapid spread of the disease. Nightingale made it her mission to improve hygiene practices, significantly lowering the death rate at the hospital in the process.

In October of 1853, the Crimean War broke out. Allied British and French forces were at war against the Russian Empire for control of Ottoman territory. Thousands of British soldiers were sent to the Black Sea, where supplies quickly dwindled. By 1854, no fewer than 18,000 soldiers had been admitted into military hospitals.

At the time, there were no female nurses stationed at hospitals in the Crimea. After the Battle of Alma, England was in an uproar about the neglect of their ill and injured soldiers, who not only lacked sufficient medical attention due to hospitals being horribly understaffed but also languished in appallingly unsanitary conditions.

Notes On Nursing, Florence Nightingale's thoughts about nursing. One of the most important books on nursing.

Pioneering Nurse

In late 1854, Nightingale received a letter from Secretary of War Sidney Herbert, asking her to organize a corps of nurses to tend to the sick and fallen soldiers in the Crimea. Given full control of the operation, she quickly assembled a team of almost three dozen nurses from a variety of religious orders and sailed with them to the Crimea just a few days later.

Although they had been warned of the horrid conditions there, nothing could have prepared Nightingale and her nurses for what they saw when they arrived at Scutari, the British base hospital in Constantinople. The hospital sat on top of a large cesspool, which contaminated the water and the building itself. Patients lay in their own excrement on stretchers strewn throughout the hallways. Rodents and bugs scurried past them. The most basic supplies, such as bandages and soap, grew increasingly scarce as the number of ill and wounded steadily increased. Even water needed to be rationed. More soldiers were dying from infectious diseases like typhoid and cholera than from injuries incurred in battle.

The no-nonsense Nightingale quickly set to work. She procured hundreds of scrub brushes and asked the least infirm patients to scrub the inside of the hospital from floor to ceiling. Nightingale herself spent every waking minute caring for the soldiers. In the evenings she moved through the dark hallways carrying a lamp while making her rounds, ministering to patient after patient. The soldiers, who were both moved and comforted by her endless supply of compassion, took to calling her "the Lady with the Lamp." Others simply called her "the Angel of the Crimea." Her work reduced the hospital’s death rate by two-thirds.

In addition to vastly improving the sanitary conditions of the hospital, Nightingale instituted an "invalid's kitchen" where appealing food for patients with special dietary requirements was prepared. She also established a laundry so that patients would have clean linens. as well as a classroom and library for intellectual stimulation and entertainment.

Recognition and Appreciation

Nightingale remained at Scutari for a year and a half. She left in the summer of 1856, once the Crimean conflict was resolved, and returned to her childhood home at Lea Hurst. To her surprise she was met with a hero's welcome, which the humble nurse did her best to avoid. The previous year, Queen Victoria had rewarded Nightingale's work by presenting her with an engraved brooch that came to be known as the "Nightingale Jewel" and by granting her a prize of $250,000 from the British government.

Nightingale decided to use the money to further her cause. In 1860, she funded the establishment of St. Thomas' Hospital, and within it, the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. Nightingale became a figure of public admiration. Poems, songs and plays were written and dedicated in the heroine's honor. Young women aspired to be like her. Eager to follow her example, even women from the wealthy upper classes started enrolling at the training school. Thanks to Nightingale, nursing was no longer frowned upon by the upper classes; it had, in fact, come to be viewed as an honorable vocation.

Based on her observations during the Crimea War, Nightingale wrote Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army, a massive report published in 1858 analyzing her experience and proposing reforms for other military hospitals. Her research would spark a total restructuring of the War Office's administrative department, including the establishment of a Royal Commission for the Health of the Army in 1857. Nightingale was also noted for her statistician skills, creating coxcomb pie charts on patient mortality in Scutari that would influence the direction of medical epidemiology.

Florence Nightingale, The Lady With The Lamp, as she is often portraited.

Later Life

While at Scutari, Nightingale had contracted the bacterial infection brucellosis, also known as Crimean fever, and would never fully recover. By the time she was 38 years old, she was homebound and routinely bedridden, and would be so for the remainder of her long life. Fiercely determined and dedicated as ever to improving health care and alleviating patients’ suffering, Nightingale continued her work from her bed.

Residing in Mayfair, she remained an authority and advocate of health care reform, interviewing politicians and welcoming distinguished visitors from her bed. In 1859, she published Notes on Hospitals, which focused on how to properly run civilian hospitals.

Throughout the U.S. Civil War, she was frequently consulted about how to best manage field hospitals. Nightingale also served as an authority on public sanitation issues in India for both the military and civilians, although she had never been to India herself.

In 1907, she was conferred the Order of Merit by King Edward, and received the Freedom of the City of London the following year, becoming the first woman to receive the honor. In May of 1910, she received a celebratory message from King George on her 90th birthday.

Death and Legacy

In August 1910, Florence Nightingale fell ill, but seemed to recover and was reportedly in good spirits. A week later, on the evening of Friday, August 12, 1910, she developed an array of troubling symptoms. She died unexpectedly at around 2 p.m. the following day, Saturday, August 13, at her home in London.

Characteristically, she had expressed the desire that her funeral be a quiet and modest affair, despite the public's desire to honor Nightingale—who tirelessly devoted her life to preventing disease and ensuring safe and compassionate treatment for the poor and the suffering. Respecting her last wishes, her relatives turned down a national funeral. The "Lady with the Lamp" was laid to rest in her family's plot at St. Margaret's Church, East Wellow, in Hampshire, England.


Sorry .... for this maybe long episode, but as you all know I am an oncology nurse, so Florence Nightingale is one of my most cherished examples of how to be a nurse.

Today (May 11th) we celebrated the International Nurses Day at the hospital were I am working. It was a real celebration and all my colleagues (of course only those who are nurses too) enjoyed it in my opinion.

This weekend-meditation I love to challenge you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on a quote by Florence Nightingale.

[...] "Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift. There is nothing small in it. Far the greatest things grow by God's law out of the smallest. But to live your life, you must discipline it." [...] Florence Nightingale

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday May 13th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until May 20th at noon (CEST). Have a great weekend!