Thursday, June 27, 2019

Carpe Diem #1691 Troiku Month (20) The Snow Of Yesterday

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Troiku Month here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Today I love to bring in a little bit of the zen buddhistic background of haiku. Not by giving you a lot of information, but just by a small piece of text I ran into today.

A tradition among Zen monks was to write a last haiku when they were about to pass out of this life to the next. This haiku by Gozan was written by him at the age of 71 in 1789.

the snow of yesterday
that fell like cherry blossoms
is water once again

© Gozan (1789)

It shows the circle of life a popular belief in Zen Buddhism. It also has the metaphorical meaning of transience as well with the cherry blossoms lasting a week, and snow melting almost immediately upon touching the ground.

Cherry Blossom With Mt. Fuji in the background

This kind of "death haiku" or "jisei" was and is still used by a lot of haiku poets around the world. For example ... Jane Reichhold wrote her last haiku short before she died, so even in modern times the jisei is used. Here is Jane's jisei:

with the moon
night too disappears
into the ocean

© Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)

It's a nice tradition and I hope it will be that forever ... I hope that when I have left this world one of my haiku, my jisei, will be there forever on my tombstone or plate on my urn. Ofcourse I don't have written it yet, because I was planning to become at least 100 yrs (smiles).

Well ... I have given you two haiku. First I would ask you to only use the haiku by Gozan, but feel free to create a Troiku with both haiku. It's your choice ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 4th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... have fun!

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