Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Carpe Diem #1535 Zarathustra (or Zoroaster) "the first footstep" (Use That Quote)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a the last episode of our festive 6th anniversary. As I already said in the post earlier today I will conclude this festive "alphabet" month with the letter Z. I have chosen a wonderful quote by Zarathustra (or Zoroaster), an ancient Persian Philosopher.

Here is the quote for your inspiration:

[...] "Taking the first footstep with a good thought, the second with a good word, and the third with a good deed, I entered paradise." [...] (Quote by Zarathustra)


Your task: Create a haiku or tanka (or other form of Japanese poetry) inspired on the quote by Zarathustra.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 7th at noon (CET). I will publish our first episode of November, autumn, tomorrow, 

Carpe Diem #1534 Yaha ... one of Basho's ten greatest disciples (crossroads)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the penultimate episode of this month in which we celebrated our 6th anniversary. It was a really nice month, a festive month I think. All our themes / prompts followed the alphabet and today we arrived at the letter Y and Z.

As you all know I see Basho as my sensei, my master, but in his life (1644-1694) Basho had several disciples. Some sources say more than 1000 disciples, but he had ten disciples he appreciated the most. One of those disciples was Yaha (or Yaba) who lived from 1662 to 1740. Yaha and Basho were very close and Yaha, for sure, loved his master very much.

Yaha (or Yaba)
I had to search the Internet to find a few of his haiku to inspire you and I have found a few beauties. I love to share them here:

asajimo ya shi no sune omou yuki no kure

morning frost -
I think of the shins of my master
on a night with snow

chikara na ya hiza o kakaete fuyugomori

no strength left -
I wrap my arms around my knees
in winter solitude

© Yaha

Yaha was a master in using the Karumi-style as invented by Basho. In a letter Basho wrote to Yaha he writes:

. uguisu ya mochi ni fun suru en no saki . 

Ah! the uguisu
Pooped on the rice-cakes
On the verandah. 

© Basho

The master’s new poetic ideal in this poem had a deep impact on his disciples, as Yaba wrote:

[...] "I am utterly impressed by the exceptionally wonderful combination of the warbler and the rice cake. I don’t think one can find any other verse like this. The effect cannot be achieved without the words “excreting on a rice cake.” 
The juxtaposition is so magically marvelous that it can only be compared to the masterpiece of the Natural. There may be more combinations like the warbler and rice cake later, but we will never see a line like “excreting on a rice cake.” In these words lies the soul of the poem." [...]

Uguisu (Bush Warbler)

From that same letter Yaha wrote in response of Basho's letter I have taken the above two haiku, in each of them I think you can find the Karumi-style.

The task for today is to create a fusion-haiku from the both haiku by Yaha, so this penultimate episode is a "crossroad" episode.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 7th at noon (CET). I will publish our last episode of our celebration, the letter Z, immediately hereafter.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Carpe Diem #1533 Xenolith

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of CDHK. This month we celebrate our 6th anniversary with prompts following the alphabet. During our existence I have created several other weblogs for our CDHK family. One of those weblogs is titled Haiku Shuukan and was a weekly haiku meme. This weblog is still open, but I am not publishing there at the moment. As I started Haiku Shuukan I started with the alphabet also and so for today I have chosen a prompt I used there; Xenolith.

Let me tell you all a little bit more about Xenolith: This prompt will not be an easy one. I had to search on the Internet to find something about this prompt. And I found the following about Xenolith at Wikipedia.

A xenolith (Ancient Greek:  “foreign rock”) is a rock fragment which becomes enveloped in a larger rock during the latter's development and hardening. In geology, the term xenolith is almost exclusively used to describe inclusions in igneous rock during magma emplacement and eruption. Xenoliths may be engulfed along the margins of a magma chamber, torn loose from the walls of an erupting lava conduit or explosive diatreme or picked up along the base of a flowing lava on Earth's surface. A xenocryst is an individual foreign crystal included within an igneous body. Examples of xenocrysts are quartz crystals in a silica-deficient lava and diamonds within kimberlite diatremes.
Although the term xenolith is most commonly associated with igneous inclusions, a broad definition could include rock fragments which have become encased in sedimentary rock. Xenoliths are sometimes found in recovered meteorites.

Rounded, yellow, weathered peridotite xenolith in a nephelinite lava flow at Kaiserstuhl, SW Germany
Here is an example of a Tanka by Georgia also known as Bastet:

war and poverty push
social cataclysms drive
human lava flows
into established homelands
creating new xenoliths

© Bastet

I remember that I couldn't come up with a haiku or tanka inspired on this prompt so I am looking forward to your responses.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 6th at noon (CET). I hope to publish our new episode (a double one) later on. For now ... have fun!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Carpe Diem Extra October 29th 2018: 2nd Troiku Kukai

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

During the circumstances I am in now, unployment and so on, I will not publish the results of our 2nd Troiku Kukai this week. I hope to publish the results and the starting of the judgement a.s.a.p.

My excuses for this inconvinience.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Carpe Diem #1532 Richard Wright's "A Red Sinking Autumn Sun"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... this 6th anniversary month is almost over, so the end is near of our celebrations. Next month I have chosen the theme "Autumn". I think that theme says enough. Next month we are celebrating Autumn, in my opinion the most beautiful season, but that's for later this week.

For this episode I looked back into our rich history and I ran into an episode about Richard Wright in our Ghost Writer feature back in 2014. And than I thought ... maybe I can bring him back for one day here at our Haiku Kai.

Richard Wright (1908-1960)
Richard Wright (1908-1960), one of the early forceful and eloquent spokesmen for black Americans, author of "Native Son," and "Black Boy", was also, it turns out, a major poet. During the last eighteen months of his life, he discovered and became enamored of haiku, the strict seventeen-syllable Japanese form. Wright became so excited about the discovery that he began writing his own haiku, in which he attempted to capture, through his sensibility as an African American, the same Zen discipline and beauty in depicting man's relationship, not to his fellow man as he had in his fiction, but to nature and the natural world.

Cover: Haiku: This Other World by Richard Wright

In all, he wrote over 4,000 haiku, from which he chose, before he died, the 817 he preferred. Rather than a deviation from his self-appointed role as spokesman for black Americans of his time, Richard Wright's haiku, disciplined and steeped in beauty, are a culmination: not only do they give added scope to his work but they bring to it a universality that transcends both race and color without ever denying them.

Wright wrote his haiku obsessively--in bed, in cafes, in restaurants, in both Paris and the French countryside. His daughter Julia believes, quite rightly, that her father's haiku were "self-developed antidotes against illness, and that breaking down words into syllables matched the shortness of his breath." They also offered the novelist and essayist a new form of expression and a new vision: with the threat of death constantly before him, he found inspiration, beauty, and insights in and through the haiku form. The discovery and writing of haiku also helped him come to terms with nature and the earth, which in his early years he had viewed as hostile and equated with suffering and physical hunger. Fighting illness and frequently bedridden, deeply upset by the recent loss of his mother, Ella, Wright continued, as his daughter notes, "to spin these poems of light out of the gathering darkness."

For this episode I love to challenge you to create a Renga With Richard Wright. That means: I will give you six haiku. You may choose your own line-up and add your two-lined stanzas. Here are the six haiku to work with:

I am nobody:
A red sinking autumn sun
Took my name away.

Keep straight down this block,
Then turn right where you will find
A peach tree blooming.

Make up you mind, Snail!
You are half inside your house,
And halfway out!

You moths must leave now;
I am turning out the light
And going to sleep.

One Magnolia

All right, You Sparrows;
The sun has set and you can now
Stop your chattering!

One magnolia
Landed upon another
In the dew-wet grass.

© Richard Wright

I hope you did like this episode about Richard Wright and I am looking forward to your Renga With Richard Wright. Have fun!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 5th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on, but I have a very busy day tomorrow.

Carpe Diem #1531 Vanilla ...

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Sorry for this delayed post of yesterday, but I had unexpected appointment with the medical staff of the hospital to create a few scenarios to save the hospital. That appointment took more time than I had expected, so that's the reason why I hadn't the opportunity to publish yesterday. Today I only will give you the theme with a task.

The theme today is Vanilla and the task is to create a haiku, tanka or other kind of Japanese poetry inspired on that theme.

Vanilla (by the way this website is very interesting)
An example of a haiku on Vanilla:

simple vanilla
plain beyond ordinary
blandish my dessert

© Merlinspielen

What a wonderful haiku this is.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 5th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode immediately hereafter.

Carpe Diem Extra October 28th 2018 -- delayed post

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

During circumstances I will publish our new episode at October 29th. My excuses for this delay.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Carpe Diem's Leafless Tree #2 through our torn paper doors (Sokan)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our feature "Leafless Tree" in which I introduce not so well-known haiku poets. This episode I have a nice haiku poet for you who lived in the 16th century, Yamazaki Sokan. I had never heard of him, but recently I ran into a few haiku by him in a Dutch Haiku Anthology compiled by J. van Tooren's relatives.

Let me tell you a little bit more about Sokan:

Yamazaki Sōkan (1465–1553) was a renga and haikai poet from Ōmi Province, Japan. His real name was Shina Norishige, and he was also called Yasaburō; "Yamazaki Sōkan" was a pen-name (haigo).

Originally serving as a court calligrapher for the ninth Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshihisa, the poet became a Buddhist monk and entered seclusion following the shogun's death in 1489. Traveling through Settsu and Yamashiro provinces, he finally settled in a place called Yamazaki. Establishing his hermitage, which he named Taigetsu-an, he adopted the name Yamazaki Sōkan. The location of this hermitage is debated, since the town of Shimamoto, Osaka, claims to contain its remains, as does the Myōkian, a temple in Ōyamazaki, Kyoto.

Yamazaki Sokan (1465-1553)

Sōkan left Yamazaki in 1523 and settled five years later in the town of Kan'onji in Sanuki province. On the grounds of Kōshōji, he made a hermitage for himself called Ichiya-an, where he spent the rest of his life composing poems.

Though his poems were not widely distributed at first, they were soon compiled into a text called Daitsukubashū. He also compiled and edited the Inu-tsukuba-shū, another important anthology of renga and haikai. His unrefined style came to be influential and inspired the development of the danrin style of poetry, which emerged in the early 17th century.

Sōkan died in 1553, after gaining a degree of fame and wealth for his poems and calligraphy. (Source: wikipedia)

His haiku in my opinion are very pure, but look more like senryu, because of the unrefined style. Here are a few haiku / senryu written by him:

Sahohime no haru tatsu nagara shito o shite

Princess Saho
stands when pissing
at the beginning of spring

waga oya no shinuru toki ni mo he o kokite

even when 
my father lay down dying 
I kept farting 

kaze samushi yabure-shooji no kannazuki

cold wind
through our torn paper doors
in the month without gods *

© Yamazaki Sokan (Tr. Gabi Greve)

* The 10th lunar month, nowadays November, was known as the "month without gods"

These haiku are beauties, the first two more hilarious, but that third on is in my opinion a masterpiece worth reading often and aloud.

I hope you did like the read, but now your task ... I love to challenge you to create a new haiku inspired on the given haiku trying to touch the same tone and sense. And than ... I love to challenge you to create a Troiku with the haiku you have created. Have fun ...!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 4th at noon (CET).

Friday, October 26, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #56 Crossroads

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

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a week I have had, but I am so glad that the weekend is coming, because it gives me the possibility to find my peace again. Thank you all for your warmhearted words.

This weekend I love to challenge you to create a "fusion" haiku from two given haiku. So this weekend meditation it's a Crossroads episode. Maybe you know that at the FB-page "The Haiku Pond Academy" has a contest to create a "fusion" haiku and it's still open for submissions.

Okay ... back to our weekend meditation ... a Crossroads challenge. For this challenge I have chosen four haiku, so in a way this is a Crossroads "hineri" (with a twist). You can choose your two haiku to use or you may choose all the four haiku to use. I have chosen four haiku, one haiku by Basho, one by Issa, one by Buson and one by Shiki. Tough challenge I think to fuse haiku from two different haiku poets.

Here are the four haiku I have chosen:

a strange flower
for birds and butterflies
the autumn sky 

© Basho

the pheasant cries
as if it just noticed
the mountain

© Issa

the winter river;
down it come floating
flowers offered to Buddha 

© Buson

just outside the gate 
the road slopes downward 
winter trees 

© Shiki

A wonderful series of beauties I would say. This will be a real challenge, because of the fact that I have given you four haiku by four different haiku poets. But ... for sure I think you can do this.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday October 28th at 7:00 PM (CET). Have fun ... and have an awesome weekend.

Carpe Diem #1530 Universe ... Soliloquy No Renga (solo-renga)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Thank you all for your kind words according to my unemployment. It's hard, but the love and warmth I get from so many people around me are giving me strength to go on. Of course it will take time to recover from this, but I am so glad that I can change my thoughts to haiku and our warmhearted family of Haiku Poets, because I love you all for being part of this family.

This month we are celebrating our 6th anniversary. All our prompts / themes are following the alphabet and today we have arrived at the letter U ... I have chosen the theme "universe" and I love to challenge you to create a Soliloquy No Renga (solo-renga) inspired on the following haiku:

circle of life
seasons come and go ... always
the Cosmos leads us

© Chèvrefeuille

The Universe
As I wrote above the goal is to create a Soliloquy No Renga or solo-renga. You have to create a solo-renga starting with the given haiku. Your solo-renga may have a maximum of 12 stanzas and a minimum of six stanzas.

More about Soliloquy No Renga you can find HERE.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 2nd at noon (CET). I will publish our new weekend-meditation immediately hereafter.

Carpe Diem Extra October 25th post delay

Dear Haijin,

I have to apologise for not publishing our new episode. During circumstances I hadn't time to create our new episode.
The hospital were I work has been closed during bankruptcy and so I am unemployed now. I hope to publish later .


Chèvrefeuille your host.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Carpe Diem #1529 Together ... (Tan Renga Challenge)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a proud host. In our six years we have become a warmhearted family of haiku poets. We did this together ... Together is our theme for today and to celebrate "being together" I have chosen to challenge you to create a Tan Renga ... one of the nicest forms of Japanese poetry. Tan Renga is a real example of "together", because we are creating "together" inspired on a given haiku.

For this post, this Tan Renga challenge, I have chosen a renown haiku by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) taken from his renown haibun "Oku No Hosomichi" (The Small Road Into The Deep North).

Here is the haiku to work with and create your Tan Renga:

hitotsuya ni yuujo mo netari hagi to tsuki

courtesan and monk,
sleeping  under one roof together,
moon in a field of clover

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Red Light District
Create your Tan Renga by adding your second stanza of two lines (approximately 14 syllables) through association on the scenes in the given haiku.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 31st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

PS. I am still in uncertainty of the future of the hospital I am working at, because the hospital has big finacial problems ... so that's the reason why my posts are maybe short and sometimes sad of tone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Carpe Diem #1528 Shasei

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope this will be a nice episode to inspire you. I had a sad day today. Today the hospital were I work as an oncology nurse told its personnel that the hospital is running towards bankruptcy, so the future has become very uncertain today, but ... there is no need to share this sadness with you all and it certainly cannot influence my passion for CDHK, because you all deserve that I inspire you every day.

Maybe you have read our CDHK E-book Haiku Writing Techniques Volume 2, I hope so, because I have taken a chapter from that 2nd volume to inspire you today. Maybe you can remember "shasei", it's a haiku writing technique inventened by Masaoka Shiki. Let me give you an explanation of this haiku writing technique.

A Stormy Sea (painting by Monet, 1884), this is what "shasei" means "the real thing, as you see it".

The word "shasei" has not yet been invented at the time of Basho, but the idea was there according to what Basho tells his disciples:

[...] Matsuo Basho advises his disciples: “Learn from the Pine!”To do that you must leave behind you all subjective prejudice. Otherwise you will force your own self onto the object and can learn nothing from it. Your poem will well-up of its own accord when you and the object become one, when you dive deep enough into the object, to discover something of its hidden glimmer. [...]

An example of "shasei", a haiku by Shiki:

Come spring as of old. 
When such revenues of rice. 
Braced this castle town! 

© Masaoka Shiki

Though this technique is often given Shiki's term Shasei (sketch from life) or Shajitsu (reality), it has been in use since the beginning of poetry in the Orient. The poetic principle is "to depict the thing just as it is". The reason Shiki took it up as a poetical cause, and this made it famous,  was his own rebellion against the many other techniques used in haiku. Shiki was, by nature it seemed, against whatever was the status quo - a true rebel. If older poets had overused any idea or method, it was his personal goal to point this out and suggest something else. This was followed until someone else got tired of it and suggested something new. This seems to be the way poetry styles go in and out of fashion.

Thus, Shiki hated associations, contrasts, comparisons, wordplays, puns, and riddles - all the things we are cherishing here! He favored the quiet simplicity of just stating what he saw without anything else happening in the haiku. He found the greatest beauty in the common sight, simply reported exactly as it was seen, and ninety-nine percent of his haiku written in his style. Many people still feel he was right. There are some moments that are perhaps best said as simply as possible in his way. Yet, Shiki himself realized in 1893, after writing very many haiku in this style, that used too much, even his new idea could become lackluster. So the method is an answer, but never the complete answer of how to write a haiku.

waves (© unknown)

An example of a shasei haiku by Jane Reichhold:

waves come into the cove
one at a time

© Jane Reichhold

In Basho's time shasei wasn't a known word, but this haiku shows what shasei means. Just the real scene caught in a haiku. An example of a shasei haiku by Basho:

ame no hi ya seken no aki o sakai-cho

a rainy day
the autumn world
of a border town

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

The play of words, something Shiki hated, comes with sakai ("boundary" or "border") and sakai-cho, the name of the theater district of old Tokyo. Because of its questionable reputation the district was placed at the edge of town.

hazy heath

I think this shasei is a nice Haiku Writing Technique and worth "playing" with. So here is a haiku by myself in which I have used shasei:

at sunrise
wandering over the hazy heath
the cry of an owl

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... the goal is clear for this episode I think "write a haiku in the shasei style" promoted by Shiki. Have fun!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 30th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

More about this "shasei" you can find HERE

Monday, October 22, 2018

Carpe Diem #1527 Rustling Leaves (extreme haibun)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our festive 6th anniversary month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This month all themes are following the alphabet and today we have arrived at the letter R. Today I have a nice challenge for you.

This episode I have titled "Rustling Leaves" and rustling we can use for spring and for autumn, so the whole world can easily sense the meaning of this theme. I love to challenge you to create an extreme haibun. What does that mean ... an extreme haibun?
Well let me tell you ... to create an extreme haibun I have a few rules you have to use:

1. Your haibun may have a maximum of 60 words (tenfold our 6th anniversary) including your haiku or tanka;
2. Your haiku or tanka has to follow the classical rules as you can find above in the Carpe Diem Lecture One (1).
3. Try to create your haibun with a lay-out of leaves (of course this rule is free to use, if you don't want to use this 3rd rule than that's okay.)

Rustling Leaves

I have tried to create a haibun titled "the voice of the wind":

"Listen, listen. Do you hear that mysterious sound? It's the voice of the wind, the gods are talking with us. Listen to the sound of the wind, the birds, the young leaves, listen with your heart not with your mind.
The rustling leaves have something to tell you ... do you hear them whisper?"

rustling leaves
the voice of the wind ... listen
"love each other"

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... it's just a small story, a small haibun and now it is up to you. Listen to the voice of the wind ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... just listen to the voice of the wind.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Carpe Diem #1526 Quote ... impressionism

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration. Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Kai were we are celebrating our 6th anniversary with all prompts following the alphabet. Today we have arrived at the letter Q. I had some difficulties to find a theme for this episode, but than I realized that we have our "Use That Quote" feature so I have chosen "quote" and I have a nice quote for you to work with.

Maybe you can remember that we had a month about "impressionism" and I have chosen a quote from that month, but first this wonderful painting by Claude Monet, the "Godfather" of impressionism.

Water Lillies (Claude Monet)
A wonderful painting I think and in this one you can see what "impressionism" means. The Water Lilies are just a faint image of the reality, but you can see that it are Water lilies. It's done with strong short brush-lines and when you look at it from a distance than those strong brush lines are flowing together to become a wonderful image/painting.

[...] "Haiku are very similar with Impressionism, because in the three lines of a haiku we have to catch a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water, this is very similar with the idea of painting with the light of the day during the day as is one of the major rules in Impressionism." [...] (Chèvrefeuille)

Maybe it's a bit immodest to use a quote by myself, but I think this quote gives you the inspiration you need to create a haiku (or tanka) as if you were an impressionist painter.

strange perfume
from a faraway place
morning haze

© Chèvrefeuille

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

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Carpe Diem Extra - October 20th 2018 - invitation to participate in a new contest

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you can remember our collaboration with the FB-Group "My Haiku Pond Academy" last year. We had a contest with Troiku and as you know Celestine Nudanu won that contest. Today "The Haiku Pond Academy" and Carpe Diem Haiku Kai have organized a new contest together. In this new contest you are invited to create a "fusion"-haiku from two given haiku.

You all are invited to participate in this new contest, here is the URL of this new contest:



Chèvrefeuille, your host

Friday, October 19, 2018

Carpe Diem's Leafless Tree #1 introduction "beautiful waves"


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

You all are familiar with that one unknown haiku poet I introduced to you here at CDHK, Yozakura. Yozakura was a contemporary of Basho and one of his disciples.. Yozakura taught me that there is always a possibility to become a haiku poet. Yozakura's life wasn't easy, but he was driven by a dream ... to become an apprentice of Basho. And as we all know he became a disciple of the master.

Yozakura was an unknown haiku poet, but there are more unknown haiku poets and I love to introduce these unknown haiku poets to you. Therefore I have created this new feature "Carpe Diem Leafless Tree". In this new feature I will introduce them to you and I challenge you to create haiku inspired on their "unknown" haiku.

This new feature I hope to publish every Sunday as a kind of treat for you my dear CDHK family members ... You All are the purpose of my life to inspire you with the beauty of Japanese poetry especially haiku and tanka ... For this first episode I have chosen for a contemporary of Shiki. I really didn't know this haiku poet, a disciple of Shiki, and I couldn't find some background about him. After a long evening of surfing the Internet I finally found a little bit of background.

Beautiful Waves (image found on Pinterest)

For this first episode of "Leafless Tree" I have chosen Heiro Yaezakura (1879-1945), the title is taken from one of his haiku:

The boats 
Escaping the heat at night 
Move the beautiful waves 

© Yaezakura

Yaezakura (sounds familiar ?) was a disciple of Shiki, but he also was a haiku poet who wrote a lot of haiku for Shiki’s column in the Japanese newspaper “Nihon”, but Shiki didn’t appreciate his haiku. Two years before Shiki died he started to write several journals. One of those journals was titled Bokuju Itteki “A Drop Of Ink” and in that journal he writes the following about Yaezakura:

[...] “Mr Yaezakura may be said to write the most. He sends in thousands of poems every season, and usually writes from twenty to fifty on each subject. But he puts them together at random, oblivious of whether they are banal mediocrities or no more than plagiarisms, as though he lusted for quantity at any cost. It makes me feel rather sick.” [...] (Source: Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Autumn, 1975)

Here are two other nice haiku by Yaezakura:

The coldness 
Of a broad road
In the mountain country 

In the deep mountains 
Men awaiting the salmon, 
Burn the grasses 

© Yaezakura

Yaezakura an unknown haiku poet who was a disciple of Shiki and I never had heard of him, but now he is out in the open. I like these three haiku he wrote, are those masterpieces? I don't know, but I like them.

seaguls cry against the wind
it seems that they admire the beautiful waves

the horizon turns red

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you do like this new feature. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 26th at noon (CEST).

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #55 Renga With Basho Hineri ... picking flowers in the rain

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday October 21st at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our weekend meditation our special feature for the weekend to meditate and contemplate before submitting our inspired poems. This weekend meditation I have chosen to challenge you with a new "Renga With Basho Hineri" episode. As you (maybe) know "hineri" means "with a twist", so there is a "twist". This time that "twist" is to start with a haiku that is original the "hokku" of a renga Basho attended. The "hokku" to start with is the fifth haiku of the given series. In that haiku you also find the title of this "Renga With Basho" episode "picking flowers in the rain".

Here are the haiku to use. Except the hineri-hokku you can choose your own "line-up" of the haiku. Create a renga together with Basho by adding your two lined stanza between the haiku and try to complete the "chain" in your "ageku" (closing verse).

Here are the haiku to use:

more reassuring
than in a dream
the real hawk

now farewell
for snow viewing we'll fall down
until we get there

frozen dew
a dry brush draws
clear water *

wine cup
don't drop in any dirt
village swallows

wearing a paper robe
even if it gets wet
picking flowers in the rain

go naked
one needs to wear more clothes
in February's storm **

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold; taken from "Basho, the complete haiku")

* In ink paintings, the white of the paper is used to indicate water. Because the dew is frozen, Basho cannot moisten his ink and brush and thus can only draw clear water on his painting.

** This one is based on the legend of Saint Zoga (917-1003), a Buddhist priest who gave away his clothes and went naked after receiving a divine message from the god of Ise Grand Shrine that he should throw away fame and wealth.

Enjoy your weekend.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday October 21st at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until October 28th at noon (CEST).

By the way ... I have to apologize to you all, because I am far behind with commenting. I hope to visit all of your wonderful contributions a.s.a.p.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Carpe Diem #1525 Perpetuum Mobile ... everlasting movement ("undou")

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had a very busy day today. I had an education-day at the hospital especially for oncology nurses, so I am a bit tired therefore I have chosen to make it myself easy.
In our CDHK history we explored Haiku Writing Techniques and I even had the guts to create two HWT's myself. For this episode "Perpetuum Mobile" I have chosen to give you a "reprise" of the "undou" writing technique or "movement".

waterfall of colors
leaves whirl through the street -
departing summer

© Chèvrefeuille (2012)

In this haiku the movement (undou), the motion is very clear present "leaves whirl through the street" ... all movement. Haiku becomes very lively through using movement ... so try it sometimes ... or just now.

Haiku is the poetry of the moment ... it is the beauty of that moment and that moment, as you all know, is as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water. Just an eye-blink, a heart beat ... And if you would bring that short moment into haiku there is no movement at all. Haiku is a static response on that short moment. You catch the moment and that is it.
As we bring "movement" into our haiku, than it's no longer a static scene, but than it's a dynamic scene. The scene is no longer a short moment (like the pebble), but it becomes a longer, bigger, broader scene.
Because "movement" is not longer an eye-blink or a heartbeat.

That's why this idea of "movement" in haiku intrigues me. Why bring that dynamic into haiku? I think ... dynamics make the haiku more lively, more exciting ... catching movement in haiku is in my opinion awesome. Dynamics caught in three lines ... wow.

Nature is always moving and so it's like a perpetuum mobile. As I look at haiku on it self than haiku is always changing too. As long as haiku exists the rules of writing them have changed like the waves, they have come and go and come again. So our beloved haiku is a perpetuum mobile in it's pure form I think.

seasons come and go
the everlasting motion of nature -
perpetuum mobile

© Chèvrefeuille

That famous haiku "frog pond" by Basho comes in mind. As Basho created that haiku he did something else than everyone before him. Everyone before him used frogs in their poetry because of their croaking and not because of their movement.

old pond
frog jumps in
water sound

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

In that famous haiku by Basho lays the birth of "undou" (movement), that HWT I created. "Undou" (movement) however is more than only the movement of a frog. It's the movement of nature, of our world, movement that is everlasting like a "perpetuum mobile" and that, my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, is why I created "undou" (movement) as a new haiku writing technique.

apple blossom falls
scattered by the late spring breeze
apple blossom falls 

© Chèvrefeuille

This is "undou", this is movement.

Today's goal is trying to catch the perpetual motion of the seasons, of nature, the "undou" of nature. I challenge you to catch movement in your haiku.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 25th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... have fun!

More about Undou

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Carpe Diem #1524 O-Henro Shikoku pilgrims (memory lane)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

At CDHK we have done a lot of pilgrimages, one of the pilgrimages was on Shikoku Island along the 88 temples of Kobo Daishi, the once in a lifetime pilgrimage of Buddhists. I love to look back at that beautiful pilgrimage.

I remember that we first travelled with Trans Siberian Railway straight through the former USSR and read that wonderful novel by Paulo Coelho, Aleph. At the end of that journey we arrived on Shikoku Island and became O'Henro or pilgrims of Shikoku. What a wonderful time that was here at CDHK. We visited all the 88 temples in two months and (maybe) found peace of mind.

To become real O-Henro we had to change clothes (virtualy) without those special clothes we couldn't do the Shikoku Pilgrimage. I remember that we experienced the beauty of all the temples and for sure, as I look at myself, that changed my life.

O-Henro traditional clothing
At every temple we said the Heart Sutra ... to become silent and open-minded for changing:

Heart Sutra:

Heart of the Great Wisdom Sutra

When a sincere truth seeker attains the wisdom of enlightenment, he realizes that all the five senses are empty and he transcends every suffering.
Listen: All things are no different from emptiness; emptiness is not different from all things. Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. Feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness are also like this.
Listen: The original nature of all things is neither born nor extinguished. There is no purity, no defilement; no gain, no loss.
In this world of emptiness there is no form, no feelings, perceptions, impulses, or consciousness. No eye, ear, tongue body, or mind. Therefore, no color, sound, smell, taste, touch, or thought. The world of form does not exist, nor the world of the mind or of ignorance; no old age and no death.
Yet there is continuous ignorance, old age, and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no cessation of suffering; no wisdom and no attainment because there is nothing to be attained. The compassionate truth-seeker depends upon the wisdom of enlightenment.
When the mind does not become attached to anything, there are no obstacles and fear does not exist. This mind goes beyond all disruptive views and attains Nirvana. All the Buddhas of the past, present and future depend upon the wisdom of enlightenment--and so attain the supreme, wisdom of enlightenment as the great unexplainable true word, the great shining true word that is able to remove all suffering. It is true, not false. This true word of wisdom says:
Gyate Gyate Hara Gyate Hara So Gyate Bodhi Sowa Ka.

O-Henro at one of the 88 temples on Shikoku Island
In our first episode of the Shikoku Pilgrimage I shared a so called "cascading haiku", but for this episode I have "redone" that "cascading haiku" into a tanka.

pilgrims chanting
the Heart Sutra to honor Kukai -
cry of a Vulture
breaks through the serene temple -
pilgrims chanting

© Chèvrefeuille

This pilgrimage took us two whole months (February & March 2014) and I love to share part of the first episode of March 2014, about the 40th temple Kanjizai-ji.

Kanjizai-ji (temple 40)
[...] Kanjizai-ji is situated in the town called Ainan and is devoted to Yakushi Nyorai or the Buddha of Medicine and Healing. He is still one of the most important Buddhas especially during rituals which are performed at funerals, because he is also the Buddha who leads the buddhists to Nirvana.

Nirvana calling
Yakushi Nyorai guides you
to Enlightenment

© Chèvrefeuille

With Kanjizai-ji temple we are on our way to the last temple of the Shikoku Trail. Than we will have seen and visited the 88 temples who are inspired on the life of Kobo Daishi (774-835) who was born on Shikoku Island and was one of the founders of Shingon Buddhism. [...]

It was really an honor to be on the Island of Shikoku as your guide and inspirator. Thank you all.

The task for this episode is to look back into our rich CDHK history and share your favorite episode. Please share with us why you did like that specific episode and maybe you can share a new haiku or tanka inspired on your favorite episode.

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Carpe Diem #1523 H.F. Noyes' ... rusty toy truck (Renga With ...)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had some trouble with finding a theme / prompt for today, but after some surfing over the WWW I found a wonderful modern haiku poet, H.F. Noyes (1918-2010). I honestly had never heard of him, but as I ran into his haiku I was immediately caught by the beauty of his poems. So let me share a little bit background about him. (Source: The Living Haiku Anthology)

H.F. Noyes

H. F. Noyes (1918 – 2010)

The poet, editor, and psychotherapist H.F. "Tom" Noyes was born in 1918 on a farm in Oregon to which he attributes his love of nature. He attended Yale and Columbia, majoring in Anthropology and Social Psychology. He also studied Developmental Psychology at the Rousseau Institute and the University of Geneva. Immediately after graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as an ordnanceman and torpedoman, and then as an ensign in the Scouts and Raiders (U.S.Marines). After the war he obtained a Doctorate in Counselling, as well as training in Gestalt Therapy and Jungian Psychoanalysis. He practiced psychotherapy in New York City for 25 years, retiring in 1970 to live the simple life in Politia, outside Athens, Greece.

Tom’s interest in haiku began through study of R. H. Blyth’s four-volume Haiku. Noyes' work appeared in poetry journals worldwide and in many anthologies, including collections published in the USA, Canada, Slovenia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, India, Romania, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and England. His favourite authors were Thoreau, D.H. Lawrence, and Dostoevsky, and his favourite poets were Frost, Jeffers, Yannis Ritsos, Francis Ponge, the T'ang and Sung Dynasty poets, and the old masters: Basho, Buson, and Issa of Japan. In Modern Haiku (2008, 39:1, p.125) H. F. Noyes wrote: “Re definitions of haiku, I honor Basho’s, ‘Do not follow in the footsteps of the ancients. Seek what they sought.’ If they could speak from beyond the grave, Basho, Buson and Issa would caution that a haiku is not a product of mind, but of heartmind. The most precious ingredient in a haiku that ingratiates itself with us is likely to be spontaneity . . . an unselfconscious catching of the haiku spirit as it flies. The depth reflected is chiefly through afterthought in readers’ minds. The writer is content to convey a sense of wonder.”


This episode I love to challenge you all to create a renga together with H.F. Noyes as we do in that special feature "Renga With ..." I have chosen six haiku to work with. You can make your own "line-up" and than add your two lined stanza to make it a wonderful renga in honor of Noyes.

Here are the six haiku I have chosen:

as if nothing happened
the crow there
the willow here

rusty toy truck
stuck on the mudbank
a cargo of blossoms

full moon rising
nowhere on the empty beach
to hide our love

Empty Beach in the Moonlight

raking aside leaves
on the backyard pond
I release the moon

bright fall day
the brook wanders off 
its shimmer lingers

evening walk
the creak of my boots 
invades the stars

A wonderful series of haiku to work with I think. You may decide your own "line-up" and try to complete the "circle" with a nice "ageku" (closing verse).

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 23rd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... enjoy the challenge!