Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Celebrates Its 9th Anniversary: #1852


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our Haiku Kai's celebration month, October 2021. We are celebrating our 9th anniversary with a "trip along memory lane" and today I have (another) nice episode in which we look back into our rich history.

As you all know there are several features here on CDHK and today I have a nice one. I don't know if you remember this special feature, but back in time it was one of my better creations "Carpe Diem's Time Travel, Ancient Japanese Poetry To Inspire You".

Let me give you a piece of one of the episodes of "Time Travel":

[...] In the Hyakunin-isshu are themes such as nature, the round of the seasons, the impermanence of life, and the vicissitudes of love. There are obvious Buddhist and Shinto influences throughout.

An example of the Tanka in Hyakunin-isshu created by Emperor Tenchi (7th century):

Aki no ta no
Kari ho no iho no
Toma wo arami
Waga koromode wa
Tsuyu ni nure-tsutsu.

OUT in the fields this autumn day
They're busy reaping grain ;
I sought for shelter ’neath this roof,
But fear I sought in vain,—
My sleeve is wet with rain.

A very nice Tanka I would say. It's written in a very sophisticated style that fits the Emperor. I especially like the rhyme in the last two lines. As you all know (maybe), it is "not done" to use rhyme in Tanka, but in this one it seems that it had to be that way. It gives the Tanka "style". [...]

Mount Yudano

The above tanka brought a (not so well known) haiku by Basho in mind.

katara re nu   yudano ni nurasu   tometo kana

forbidden to say
how sleeves are wetted
in the bathroom

© Basho

Mount Yudano was a sacred and secrative place for the Shinto sect. More about this haiku by Basho you can find at Basho Revisited, one of my other personal weblogs.

There are a lot of haiku (and tanka) in which several myths and secrets are hidden. For example in a lot of haiku and tanka the poets hide sexuality and the beauty of human body.

So for this episode I love to challenge you to create a haiku or tanka in which you hide sexuality and the beauty of the human body. I will give you an example, which you maybe remember:

what has happened?
petals of red roses around
the morning glory

© Chèvrefeuille (2012)

"Morning glory" points to a certain male part. So in this haiku you find hidden sexuality and the beauty of the human body.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 24th at 10:00 PM (CEST). You can add your submission to the linking widget hidden in our logo below.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Celebrates Its 9th Anniversary: #1851 A Wandering Spirit

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have to make excuses again, one way or the other, it seems like I don't have time to create our posts. I really had hoped that I could bring an episode every day, but through several personal circumstances, it didn't work out.

This month we are celebrating our 9th anniversary and this month we are looking back into our rich and creative history. Today I love to look back at a nice new feature I started back in October 2016. Maybe you can remember Yozakura (1640-1716), the Unknown Haiku Poet? In that month I started his story with an introduction. I will replicate that first episode here.


Wandering Spirit --- intoraddakkushan (Introduction)

Maybe you can remember me I once was your guest at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai as a ghostwriter. I told you a little bit about my life and my sensei, Matsuo Basho, whom I still miss very much. Master Basho taught me how to write soloku (or as you call it now, haiku) and I am still grateful that he accepted me as one of his disciples. Until that moment my life was a complete disaster.

I was an only child and I lived in Edo (or Kyoto) with my dad. I never had the chance to got to know my mother, because she died as she gave birth to me. My father raised me alone. He was a high ranked samurai and taught me all that I know about going to battle, but also about art and poetry.

When I was about 17 years old my dad passed away in the Great Fire of Meireki, a major city-fire in which Edo was destroyed for more than 60 %. I not only lost my dad, but also all of my family's belongings. After that major disaster I became an outcast and a wanderer under the sun, moon and stars of my beloved Japan.

Of course there is no urge to tell you about me and the life I had, but ... hidden deep inside me there is a kind of longing, a kind of hope, a kind of urge to tell you more about my life and so ... here I am again ... this is the story of my life, Yozakura, the Unknown poet.

Yozakura (1640-1716)


roosuto ando aroon a wandaaingu supiratto biniisu za san

lost and alone
a wandering spirit
beneath the sun

© よざくら (Yozakura)


In our rich history we have seen a lot of Unknown Haiku Poets, but Yozakura was one of a kind. The feuilleton Wandering Spirit is about him and I created (I believe) 12 chapters, but those 12 chapters haven't told the whole story. I hope to write the story further.

The goal for this episode is to create a new haiku or tanka, or other Japanese poetry form, inspired on the Introduction of Wandering Spirit as replicated above.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 24th at 10:00 PM (CEST). Enjoy!
Add your submission to the linking widget hidden in our logo below.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Celebrates Its 9th Anniversary: #1850 dried grass


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new (a bit belated) episode in our Anniversary month October 2021. I had a busy day, so hadn't time to publish earlier. As I told you yesterday, this month we will "dive" into our (very) rich history to reprise older episodes to inspire you with.

Today I love to share (again / reprise) the first episode of November 2019. Back than we didn't know about Corona and lived our life as we all do in our own way. Maybe it was an episode that looked into the future, because it was an episode inspired on the deadpoem of Matsuo Basho. We all know what Corona did to the world, and still does.

Here is the first haiku for your inspiration, it's the haiku that is seen as Basho's deadpoem, his last poem or Jisei:

tabi ni yande yume wa kareno wo kake meguru

falling sick on a journey
my dream goes wandering
over a field of dried grass

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

A wonderful haiku for your inspiration I would say. Become one with the scene, become Basho as he wrote haiku while laying on his grass mat ... surrounded by his most close followers ... try to imagine the scene ... and create your own haiku.

Here is mine:

a last breath
taken by the wind of Autumn -
leaves dance on

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Saturday October 9th, 10:00 pm (CEST). You can add your submission to the linking widget hidden in our logo below.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Celebrates Its 9th Anniversary, October 2021: #1849 Peace Within


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I tried several times to restart Carpe Diem Haiku Kai again, but every time there is something that needs my time more. This time, it were especially private things that needed my attention, but now ... I hope I really can restart CDHK. 

As you all know I started CDHK back in October 2012, so next year we will celebrate our 10th anniversary, I hope to have the possibility to create that nice anniversary. I really wouldn't have thought that CDHK would be here still after almost 10 years, but it is still here.

The last two years it wasn't possible to be very active on CDHK, we all know why, so no need to tell you again about this pandemic.

Today I hope to make a new start and I need that new start so hard. I missed creating CDHK and that made me sad and almost depressed, ofcourse with all those bad things happening at the moment around the world, you (we all) need to be strong. 

Okay ... let's go and celebrate our 9th anniversary. This month we will look back into our rich history and I hope you all will be active and again sharing your most beautiful Japanese poetry.

The above music video is of a song by Karunesh, it is titled "Peace Within" and I think we all need that peace. Here is part of our "Seven Days Before Christmas 2019" to inspire you all to create a new haiku or Tanka, or maybe some other wonderful kind of Japanese poetry.

'The Peace Within' is referring to the balance in your life which brings peace within. To me that's what haiku does. I write haiku since the late eighties and I have grown to a balanced person with a heart full of joy and love. I even think that haiku has a positive influence on my work as an oncology nurse. I am more balanced through haiku and I hope haiku does that also to you all.

gentle breeze
refreshes my troubled mind -
finally peace within
my head completely empty
through the gentle breeze

© Chèvrefeuille

Peace Within ... is what I love to wish you all during this Holiday season and let us hope that the Peace Within will become once also a Peace On Earth. We are enetering a new decade and I hope and pray that everyone and everything on Earth will get that Peace Within.

Your task? Create a new haiku inspired on the music by Karunesh. Enjoy! You can add your submission to the linking widget hidden in our logo below. This episode is NOW OPEN and will remain open until Friday October 5th 10:00 pm (CEST).

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Carpe Diem #1848 Harvest


Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

Golden crops swaying
Sickles flash under the sun
A rewarding year

© Laila S

What a beautiful haiku. I ran into it while I was doing some research for our theme this month, Harvest. As I entered "harvest" as a search option into Google Search, and added haiku to it, there were a lot of haiku about the Harvest Moon (the full moon of September), but not that much about Harvest itself.

Harvesting crops is an activity we see at the life of farmers. It goes back to the ancient times that the harvesting took place at the end of Summer and start of Autumn to have enough to eat during Winter. Harvesting ... yeah it's a busy time for the farmers.

Oat Harvesting

In our "rich" regions, harvesting is done with machines, but in the less rich regions harvesting is done manual and will take a lot of time and hands to do the work.

harvest time
sickles flash in the sunlight -
reciting prayers

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I imagine this scene. How I wish to be part of such a scene, enjoying the sun while harvesting for winter.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 5th at 10:00 pm (cest). You can add your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form to the linking widget hiding in our CDHK logo here below.

Carpe Diem Extra - July 31st 2021 - August 2021 will be our return.


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Again I broke my promise to publish here again. We have another Covid-19 outbreak here, that Delta Mutation, and that gives us healthcare workers a lot of work, but ... I miss creating posts for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, so I am going to give it a try again, notwithstanding the busy times at work.

Next Sunday August will start. Here in The Netherlands we call that month  Harvest Month, so it has to do with the agriculture business here. So I choose the theme "Harvest" for August. I don't have a list of "kigo" for this month, but I will try to give every day (except in the weekends) a post with a connection to our month theme "Harvest".

I created the above logo for this "Harvest" month, August 2021. I will publish our first post for August right now.

Here is one "harvest-haiku" from my archives:

at dawn
farmers harvesting their fields -
overcoming winter

© Chèvrefeuille (2018)

Well ... I hope to see you all again here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and I hope that I can hold my promise this time.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Carpe Diem #1847 Renga With Jane Reichhold +++ Dancing Lights (Renga: Juunichoo)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... I am getting the vibe again and I hope you all will have fun and joy again here at our wonderfull Haiku Kai. Earlier today I published our first episode for July 2021 and I hope to be here every day again, except de weekends.

Today I was reading in one of Jane Reichhold's Poetry Collections and immediately thought "It's Time Again For A Renga With Jane". So I took a dive into her wonderful dictionary of haiku and extracted a nice series of haiku from "Summer", "Celestial". I gathered six (6) beautiful haiku about clouds to challenge you all with.

Renga, or chained poem, is a nice way of collaborate poetry. The goal is to add your six(6) two lined strofes to the given haiku written by Jane through association.

I will give you six(6) haiku, you can decide which haiku you use to start with, the hokku. Remember that the goal of a renga is to create a "closed circle" of haiku, so the ageku (closing verse) has to be related to the first haiku you used.

Here are the six (6) haiku by Jane Reichhold:

beach tent billows
in the summer blue
white clouds

desert sounds
out of the sun's way
clouds moving

morning downpour
raised to new heights
afternoon clouds

dancing lights
clouds sprinkle the sun
across water

colored by open wall
a driftwood lair

curving with the land
a rainbow of clouds
moves out to sea

© Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)

By adding your two-lined strofes you create a so called "Juunichoo", a 12 verse renga.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 9th at 10:00 pm (CEST). You can add your Juunichoo, your Renga with Jane, to the linking widget hidden in our logo below. Enjoy!