Saturday, June 23, 2018

Carpe Diem Crossroads #12 young birds are raised

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you all can see I have changed the logo of this Crossroads feature. The original image I used was by a photographer Martin Liebermann and he has asked me to remove the image from Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Of course I am sad that I had to change the logo of our Crossroads feature, but I understand the question by mr. Liebermann. I will search for another image to use as a logo for Crossroads, but for now I have changed it to the above shown logo.

For this episode of Carpe Diem Crossroads I have another nice set of haiku for you to work with, but let me explain the task again for Crossroads. The task is to create a so called "fusion"-haiku from the given haiku. With that task you create a symbiosis bewteen the two haiku. Every set of haiku used here in Crossroads are always by the same haiku poet, because I don't think it's possible to create a "fusion"-haiku from two haiku by two different haiku poets.

This episode I have chosen two haiku written by Ryokan (1758-1831). Let me tell you a little bit about him:

Ryokan was born in 1758, the first son in a noble family in Izumozaki in the Echigo District. He entered the priesthood at the age of 18 and was given the Buddhist name "Ryokan" when he was 22 years old. He kept searching for the ultimate truths through his life. Leaning the Chinese classics and poetry at Entsu Temple of the Soto Sect in Tamashima in the Bichu District, he practiced hard asceticism under Priest Kokusen for 20 years. After this, he traveled all over the country on foot and returned to his home village just before the age of 40. He lived at the Gogoan hut in Kokujyo Temple on Mt. Kugami, and then moved down to a thatched hut in Otoko Shrine at the foot of the Mountain. It is said that he enjoyed writing traditional Japanese poetry, Chinese poetry and calligraphy all through his simple, carefree and unselfish life.

Ryokan (painting by Yasuda Yukihiko)

He was also called "Temari-Shonin (The Priest who Plays with a Temari ball)" and was much loved by children, since he often played with a Temari ball (Japanese cotton-wound ball), Ohajiki (small glass counters for playing games) together with children in the mountain village. Much of his poetry and letters which still remain, all of which are full of his sympathy and affection for children, describe his joyful times with children and also reveal his high personal qualities as a man who devoted his life to meditation. Ryokan was a Zen priest, but he never established his own temple, and lived by alms. Instead of preaching, he enjoyed companionship and conversation with many ordinary people. In 1831, he ended his 74-year life as an honest priest respected and loved by all he knew.

Here are the two haiku to work with and create your "fusion"-haiku:

river in winter 
soaring over peaks
an eagle spots its prey

hedge branches 
young birds are raised 
morning snow 

© Ryokan


Two nice haiku, but it will not be an easy task to create a "fusion"-haiku with it I think. Of course I have given it a try myself and this is what I came up with:

first snow falls
old birds nest covered with a blanket
the eagle without vision

© Chèvrefeuille

Awesome to wotrk with these two haiku, but for sure it wasn't easy. Now it is up to you my dear Haijin ...

This Crossroads episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 30th at noon (CEST). Have fun!

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