Saturday, July 4, 2015

Carpe Diem #768 tsuyu (rainy season)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our daily haiku meme Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This month we are discovering all classical Japanese kigo (seasonwords) for summer and today that will be tsuyu (rainy season).

This episode will be a short one, because it's just to hot to be inside the house behind the PC, therefore I only will share a few examples of this kigo to inspire you, but I think you all are very familiar with the theme "rainy season".

tsuyu-ake ni kokoro harebare aoi sora

rainy season is over -
my heart is all shining
the sky so blue

(c) anonymous

waniguchi no nibuki hibiki ya hashirizuyu

the sound of the temple gong
so different -
rainy season is coming

(c) Uchiyama Teruhisa (Tr. Gabi Greve)

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 7th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, niji (rainbow), later on. For now ... have fun!

Friday, July 3, 2015

On The Trail With Basho Encore #7 butterflies

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I love butterflies, they're so fragile and I find them very beautiful. However I didn't write a lot of haiku about butterflies. I don't know why, but it could be a lack of inspiration.
I love to share haiku on butterflies for this episode of our special feature “On The Trail With Basho Encore” for example this haiku which he wrote for a woman named Butterfly when he was asked for.

ran no ka ya   cho no tusubasa ni   takimono su

orchid fragrance

from the butterfly's wings
scenting the clothes

(c) Basho

My first response on this haiku:

in the Buddleia
fluttering of fragile wings
waving on the wind

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Another one:

waving on the wind
butterflies resting in the sun
on the Buddleia

(c) Chèvrefeuille
In this episode I will look at a few haiku by Basho  in which he used butterfly as season word. (A season word is particular for one of the seasons, butterfly is a season word for summer).

cho no ha no   ikutabi koyuru   hei no yane

wings of a butterfly

how many times do they flutter
over roof and wall

kimi ya cho   ware ya Soji ga   yume gokoro

you are butterfly?

I am Chuang-tzu's
dreaming heart

Chuang-tzu is a well known classical author of China and Basho wrote this one for one of his friends named Dosui who was an enthusiastic reader of Chuang-tzu's work. According to Jane Reichhold however this one is an unconfirmed haiku by Basho.

Another butterfly haiku:

cho mo ki te   su wo suu kiku no   namasu kana

a butterfly also comes

to sip the vinegar from mums (*)
and pickles

(*) ‘mums’ is short for Chrysanthemums

With this one came a preface: 'While I was staying in Awazu, a man who liked tea ceremony very much, invited me and served vinegar boiled chrysanthemum flowers picked from a nearby beach'. He wrote this one for his host, a physician.

okiyo okiyo   waga tomo ni se n   nuru ko cho

wake up wake up
I want you for a friend
sleeping butterfly

This one is discussed by several authorities and they came to the conclusion that this one must be seen in relationship to the famous story of Chuang-tzu who dreamed he was a butterfly and then wondered which was real, his dream or his life as a human. (Source: Jane Reichhold's Old Pond: Basho's (almost) thousand haiku).
Others say that this haiku refers to one of Basho's (male) lovers. The truth will stay in the middle I think.

A last example of haiku on butterflies by Basho:

cho no tobu   bakari nonaka no   hikage kana

a butterfly flies
only in the field
of sunshine

What an awesome picture. A tiny butterfly dances in the wide field in the light of the sun.

Because I love the butterfly haiku by Basho. I will give another example. This is an impromptu verse.

monozuki ya   niowa nu kasa ni   tomaru cho

how curious
on grass without fragrance
perches a butterfly

Well ... I rest my case :-) All wonderful haiku by Basho about butterflies. To write myself a new one in the Spirit of Basho will not be easy, but ... I have to do what I have to do.

the cobweb scattered
by the fluttering of wings
a blue butterfly

on the veranda
a yellowish butterfly
the light of sun down

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Butterflies ... I love those tiny creatures, so fragile and yet so strong. I bow my head and thank the Gods for the butterflies.

I hope you did like this episode of "Encore" and that it will inspire you all to write an all new haiku or tanka and share it here with us.

This episode of "Encore" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Friday 10th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Carpe Diem Time Machine #11 Kawasemi (Kingfisher)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to present a new trip along memory lane with our special feature "Carpe Diem's Time Machine. This episode takes you back to June 2013. In that month we had all classical kigo (seasonwords) for summer (as we have now in our present time). One of those classical summer kigo was Kawasemi or Kingfisher. This time I will not introduce the episode as I am mostly doing. Why? Well today is a very busy for me, so I have decided to share the episode of June 2013 here again as it was published than.


(June 18th, 2013)

Are you all in for a new nice Carpe Diem episode? Well I am (smiles). Today we share haiku on Kawasemi (Kingfisher). In my opinion it's one of the most colorful water birds. For sure here in The Netherlands. This little Kingfisher is a wonderful fisherman and fast as the wind. I think this wonderful bird can inspire you all to write nice haiku.

Kingfishers are a group of small to medium sized brightly colored birds in the order Coraciiformes. They have a cosmopolitan distribution, with most species being found in the Old World and Australasia. The group is treated either as a single family, Alcedinidae, or as a suborder Alcedines containing three families, Alcedinidae (river kingfishers), Halcyonidae (tree kingfishers), and Cerylidae (water kingfishers). There are roughly 90 species of kingfisher. All have large heads, long, sharp, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. Most species have bright plumage with little differences between the sexes. Most species are tropical in distribution, and a slight majority are found only in forests. They consume a wide range of prey as well as fish, usually caught by swooping down from a perch. Like other members of their order they nest in cavities, usually tunnels dug into the natural or artificial banks in the ground. A few species, principally insular forms, are threatened with extinction.

Kawasemi (Kingfisher)

Wow! What a wonderful bird, really a King.

colorful reflection
throws shadows on the brook -
Kingfisher attacks

Kingfisher attacks
silver comes to live in the brook -
circles in water

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Well ... did you like this episode which I published back in 2013? I think so. I hope it will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka and share it with us all. I have (of course) given it a try too.

a blueish flash
in crystal clear water
only circles left

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This Time Machine episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 6th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, Tsuyu (rainy season), later on.

Carpe Diem Ask Jane # 11 Male and female emotions in haiku and tanka

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's a while ago that I published an episode of Ask Jane and this episode is about tanka. I asked Jane about tanka 'triggered' by a question of Jen (blog it or lose it).

Here is my question:

Tanka is mostly love poetry, but as I read tanka by female or male poets I sense a little difference in emotions. Those differences I also detect in haiku. Is it possible that tanka or haiku are that different in emotions comparing female and male poets?

And this is her answer on my question:
Tanka is mostly love poetry, but as I read tanka by female or male poets I sense a little difference in emotions. Those differences I also detect in haiku. Is it possible that tanka or haiku are that different in emotions comparing female and male poets?
Jane Reichhold

For a while we considered haiku as 'male' and tanka as 'female' poetry forms. It is true for Japan that all of their famous writers of tanka were women (even though some males have occasionally championed some male in their own circles) and we have only Chiyo Ni as one famous Japanese haiku writer among all those haiku masters - so that tells you something. I find it interesting that it is male writers who make the rules for tanka writing, but it IS the women who use the form best (at least in Japan). In the past 15 years, however, in English, many men have gotten in touch with their female sides (or access their emotions more easily) so this is changing. Also it used to be that haiku were mostly centered on events or things of nature but also in recent English haiku history, more and more the haiku have centered on humans and their relationship to nature - a facet of poetry that was entirely tanka-like but the division between the two forms is blurring for us due to this change. I do feel there should be a difference to haiku and tanka other than the number of lines. When I judge a haiku contest I take out all the haiku that focus on people and what they do or think or feel as much as I can as I feel this inspiration belongs in a tanka. The opposite is also true. When I read a tanka that only draws a picture (all the parts of the tanka are about the event or picture) I see it as an elongated haiku. If there is a switch from describing a fact of nature to one of persons or their feelings in  1/2 the lines, then this is tanka no matter how long or short the poem. I feel it is a misconception to think of tanka as only 'love poetry' because  tanka also includes all human emotions, excluding only hate and violence. I do think that any feeling we humans have belongs in tanka. Probably even the violent and hateful stuff although I know I do not enjoy reading poetry (which traditionally is the best of our lives) on those subjects. Also when one uses the English term 'love poetry' it usually implies the lust between lovers, but our "loves" cover many subjects and territory beyond that. The Japanese allowed themselves to handle only certain aspects of lover love poetry - like missing a lover, hoping to find one, and less about the mechanics of love-making as you well know. Let me know if I missed answering what you need to know.

Warm greetings Jane

A wonderful answer ... Thank you Jane for answering my question. As a kind of thank you gift to you, dear Jane ... a tanka:

crystal cobweb
sparkles in the early sun
dewdrops vaporize
just a little while
I felt a rich haiku poet

© Chèvrefeuille

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #92, Chiyo-Ni's "Morning glory"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Friday again ... so it's Tan Renga time. This week's Tan Renga to complete is a haiku by Chiyo Ni, a wellknown haiku poetess who wrote her haiku in the way of Basho.
For this Tan Renga challenge I have chosen one of her most known haiku 'morning glory'. A real beauty.
It's your task to complete the tan renga by writing the second stanza towards it. This 2nd stanza has two lines with approximately 7 syllables each. A completed Tan Renga looks like a tanka, but is written by two poets.

asano eikou yoku baketto entanguru watashiha mizuwo motomeru

morning glory!
the well bucket-entangled,
I ask for water

© Chiyo-Ni

just a day,
along the path to the cloister,
a single Morning Glory

(c) Chèvrefeuille
This Tan Renga Challenge is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Friday July 10th at noon (CET).. Try to complete the Tan Renga by writing the second stanza. Have fun!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Carpe Diem #767 natsuake (summer morning)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

July started with a new Tokubetsudesu episode and the first CD-Special of this month with haiku composed by Adjei, an African haiku poet from Ghana, but today we have our first classical Japanese kigo, seasonword, to inspire us.

Today our prompt is natsuake (summer morning). This can refer to every summer morning, but mostly this kigo was used for the first summer morning after the summer solstice. (To place it in this time, that would have been June 22th). I have sought the Internet and found several haiku which can be used here as an example. Here are a few example-haiku about natsuake:

ge no ake ya ushi ni nete yuku magusa kari

summer dawn--
riding an ox, asleep
the hay cutter

dan-dan ni natsu no yoake ya hito no kao

little by little
the summer night turns dawn...
people's faces

(C) Kobayashi Issa

Both give an image to this feeling of awakening on the first summer morning (or other summer morning).
And this is my haiku inspired on natsuake:

warm summer night
without having slept - the sun rises
a nightingale's song

© Chèvrefeuille

This has happened this morning. We had every warm night (around 20 degrees Celsius) so i couldn't sleep. After trying it for a few hours i still couldn't sleep. I decided to get up. As i was sitting on the veranda this morning to cool down, the sun already started to rise and a nightingale started to sing. It gave me an aubade and his song sounds crystal clear and very soothing ... really a great summer morning ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 5th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, a new CD Time Machine episode, in which we will go back to June 2013 with kawasemi (Kingfisher), later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Carpe Diem Extra #21 July-2015

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you have seen I have published another CD Special than planned, sometimes that happens, but I just had the feeling (thank you Mark) that I had to publish a episode about "full moon" as planned in our prompt-list.
So here is that episode, as a Carpe Diem Extra episode. I have a haiku (written by myself) to inspire you. Today (July 2nd) its "full moon" and of course that can inspire you already, but here is my haiku for your inspiration:

The next haiku is based on the Hawaiian mythology and astrology. The Hawaiians thought that when the moon was in its first quarter in January and February that the moon was a bowl in which the Gods gathered rain water for spring. In that period of the year the Hawaiians can see what they call the Water Bearer (a constellation) the name of the moon in that same period is Kulua.

Water Bearer (constellation)

dripping wet moon
the Water Bearer spills
water from the bowl

© Chèvrefeuille

This CD-Extra episode "full moon" is NOW OPEN for your submissions. Have fun! You can submit your haiku until July 4th at noon (CET)

Carpe Diem Special #154 Afriku, haiku from Africa, an idea of Adjei Agyei Baah. "Stones"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We haven't yet a new winner of our "summertime" kukai, so I have another wonderful haiku poet from Ghana, Africa, for you this month as our featured haiku poet. His name is Adjei Agyei Baah and his is the co-founder of the Poetry Foundation Ghana. He has "invented" the (as he calls it) Afriku, the haiku from Africa.
Yesterday Adjei emailed me to ask me if I would publish his haiku (afriku) at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Of course I was immediately enthusiastic and we had a little chat. It's a great honor that I may use his haiku for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Here are his "stones"-haiku/afriku which he would like to share here at CDHK:

shoreline pebbles...
a reminder of how far
we have come

daddy's delicacy-
taking stones out of gizzard
stone temple
leftover boulders
add to reverence
© Adjei Agyei-Baah, Kumasi, Ghana

I think Adjei is a very gifted haiku poet. This month I will tell you all more about him in our CD-Specials.

To read more about his afriku please visit the website of the Poetry Foundation Ghana. (By clicking HERE you can read his article about afriku)

This CD-Special is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 4th at noon (CET). I am looking forward to your haiku inspired on the above haiku/afriku by Adjei.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tokubetsudesu #50 one-bun

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to present a new episode of Tokubetsudesu (former Ghost Writer feature) to you and as you can see in our logo ... it's the 50th episode ... a little celebration worth. Without you all I couldn't do this ... so thank you all for being part of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Maybe you can remember our special CDHK feature "Little Ones" in which I presented other little poetry form as for example tanka and cinquain, but there was never a kind of "little" haibun-like form until Hamish introduced kikobun to us in one of our Ghost Writer posts.

This week's Tokubetsudesu episode is inspired on an article I read in this year's summer edition of "Vuursteen" (Fire stone) the seasonly magazine of the Dutch Haiku Circle (Haiku Kring Nederland). In this summer edition, one of the editors, discusses the one-bun invented by Jim Kacian. The one-bun is an ultra-short haibun which has just one line of prose (including the title) and a (one-line) haiku. I will give an example of this one-bun written by Jim himself.

Credits: Universal Light
The light

of the most distant stars, which describes for us the size and age of the universe, won't reach us for aeons, leaving us to imagine ...

dark space the red shift of my mind

(c) Jim Kacian

A wonderful one-bun, but it leaves us with more questions and riddles. For example: What does Jim mean with "the red shift of my mind"?
I am not that familiar with physics, but I know the idea of "red shift"; it means that the red color of the stars shows us that the universe is expanding and that the light of the stars takes more time to reach our beautiful planet, but what does Jim mean with his words "the red shift of my mind"? Can our mind shift from us? Or our soul, our spirit? Or our mood or our attention? Can our thoughts depart from us? Or our memories, our feelings? I don't know .... I will give it a thought, maybe I will come up with an explanation ... or will I let go this idea and leave you with the mystery?

Isn't it a beautiful new "haibun-form"? I had to try it myself and here is my first ever one-bun:


shares its sweet perfume as this summer day runs to an end, while I enjoy the coolness and the warmth of her naked body next to mine ...

hot summer day the sweet scent of Honeysuckle and the one I love

(c) Chèvrefeuille

I found another example of a one-bun written by Jim Kacian which I love to share here too, to conclude this Tokubetsudesu episode.

The second week

traveling by myself I cross the continental divide, and everything that once ran in one way now runs in another, down and down

on the surface of dark water my face

(c) Jim Kacian

Well .... I hope you did like this 50th Tokubetsudesu episode and maybe you are caught by the one-bun as invented by Jim Kacian.

This Tokubetsudesu episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 3rd at noon (CET). Have fun ... be inspired and share your one-bun with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Carpe Diem #766 departing summer

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is our last episode of June ... it makes me a bit sad, but it also makes me happy. For sure it was a lot of work, but it was really worth it. You all are great and gifted haiku poets/esses and it's really a pleasure to be your host here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Thank you all for being part of this wonderful loving haiku family ... without you all I couldn't make Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Really ... I am your host, but we are making CDHK together and that's something to be grateful for ....

Our last prompt is departing summer ... but here in The Netherlands summer has started last weekend. We are heading towards a heat wave, the weather guys (and girls) say we will have tropical heat this week, almost 40 degrees Celsius ... so for us Dutchmen ... summer isn't departing, but June is. We have had wonderful modern kigo as compiled by Jane Reichhold in her saijiki "A Dictionary of Haiku" and it was a joy, it was really a joy. I am grateful to Jane because she has given me the opportunity to use her saijiki and her haiku ... so ... I bow to you Jane and honoring you with my love and gratefulness ... you are really the best haiku poetess I know.

a shriveled leaf
still hanging on
to summer's end

end of summer
beyond the garden gate
mist turning to rain

end of summer
in the cool morning air
at the open door

end of summer
tall and bright in the fields
of thistle

summer passing
the path to the beach
where no one goes

(C) Jane Reichhold

Credits: Blue Thistle
Tears are rolling over my cheeks I feel the departure of summer deep in my guts, my heart and soul are aching ... summer has gone ... we say goodbye to this wonderful month, goodbye June .... see you again next year.

abandoned beach
finally I can find peace
summer has gone

(C) Chèvrefeuille

I am looking forward to our next month in which we will explore classical Japanese kigo (seasonwords) for summer ... and I hope you all will be there too.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 2nd at noon (CET). I will publish our first new episode of July later on. That will be an episode of our Tokubetsudesu feature and I think I have a wonderful theme for that new Tokubetsudesu episode ... you will see.