Saturday, January 20, 2018

Carpe Diem Extra January 20th 2018, The Results of the Departure kukai

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize because I am very late with publishing the results of our Departure kukai of last year 2017.

The Winner of this kukai, with 12 points, is Isabel Caves with the following beauty:

on the autumn breeze
one last leaf

© Isabel Caves

With this winning haiku Isabel has won the opportunity to create her own E-Book together with Chèvrefeuille's Publications.

And the "runner-up", with 6 points, is a beautiful haiku written by Laura Williams (a.k.a. Lolly):

the last butterfly 
hesitates before take-off --
Indian summer 
© Laura Williams

The "runner-up" will be featured in a special episode at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.
Both haiku poets ... CONGRATULATIONS ...
Here are the results of all the haiku:
12 points: haiku 10
6 points: haiku 14
5 points: haiku 13 & 15
4 points: haiku 4
3 points: haiku 7, 11 & 16
1 point: haiku 6
All other haiku didn't get points
Chèvrefeuille, your host

Friday, January 19, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation #16 Only The First Line "steel blue night"

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

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another week has gone by ... time for a new episode of our Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation, the feature for the weekend that gives you a few days to meditate and contemplate about a given challenge. To me this weekend-meditation is a kind of relief, because it gives me the possibility to taken some time for myself.

This weekend-meditation is about (as you have read in the title) "Only the First Line". It's one of the historical special features here at CDHK as I have created a lot. This feature it's all about completing a haiku (or tanka) that starts with only a given first line.

The Logo of this special feature
I remember that I was busy with our Tarot month (back in 2013) when I got the idea to create this special feature. In one of the Tarot-episodes I used the first line of the Bible "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (NIV) With that first line the Creation once started, with that first line life on earth unfolded ... and that gave me the idea to create "Only The First Line".

Let me give you an example. In one of the episodes of this special feature I used the following line:

"with bare feet"

And here is the haiku (from my archives), inspired on a quote by Khalil Gibran, from which I extracted this first line:

with bare feet
dancing on Mother Earth's grounds
wind plays with my hair

© Chèvrefeuille

I think the goal of this special feature is very clear and needs no further explanation. So let me give you a few "first lines" to work with this weekend:

"a walk through the city"
"hot summer day"
"the passing spring"
"steel blue night"

And here is a special "first line" to challenge you a little bit more. Create a haiku with the given first line and than create a Troiku with it (more on Troiku you can find in the menu).

"lost in the corn fields"

Well I think I have given you enough for this weekend. The goal is to create haiku (or tanka) starting with the given first lines except of course that last one ... it's clear what you have to do with that one. You may choose from the given lines or maybe your are inspired enough to do them all ... that's up to you my dear Haijin.

Enjoy your weekend!

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday January 21st at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 28th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Horaizan (Japanese fairy-tale), around that same time. Have a great weekend!

Carpe Diem #1351 Theme Week ep. 5: The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at this last (belated) episode of our CDHK Theme Week about the Voyages of Sindbad. Today we will read about Sindbad's Fifth Voyage and I hope it will inspire us to create Japanese poetry.
This is the last regular prompt about the Arabian Nights' fairytales as told by Scheherazade to save her life. Next Monday we will read Japanese fairytales, so we are going back to the Motherland of haiku ... Japan. I am looking forward to the upcoming days of January.

To relate already to the new series about Japanese fairytales I love to share a haiku by Yozakura:

fujisan no yuki no hi no owari ni ha sakura

through cherry blossoms
at the end of the day -
snow on Mount Fuji

© Yozakura

Well ... that's after the weekend, let us go on with the last episode of our CDHK Theme Week.

The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad:

Not even all that I had gone through could make me contented with a quiet life. I soon wearied of its pleasures, and longed for change and adventure. Therefore I set out once more, but this time in a ship of my own, which I built and fitted out at the nearest seaport. I wished to be able to call at whatever port I chose, taking my own time; but as I did not intend carrying enough goods for a full cargo, I invited several merchants of different nations to join me. We set sail with the first favorable wind, and after a long voyage upon the open seas we landed upon an unknown island which proved to be uninhabited. We determined, however, to explore it, but had not gone far when we found a roc’s egg, as large as the one I had seen before and evidently very nearly hatched, for the beak of the young bird had already pierced the shell. In spite of all I could say to deter them, the merchants who were with me fell upon it with their hatchets, breaking the shell, and killing the young roc. Then lighting a fire upon the ground they hacked morsels from the bird, and proceeded to roast them while I stood by aghast.

setting sail
towards unknown worlds
high heeled waves

© Chèvrefeuille

The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad
Scarcely had they finished their ill-omened meal, when the air above us was darkened by two mighty shadows. The captain of my ship, knowing by experience what this meant, cried out to us that the parent birds were coming, and urged us to get on board with all speed. This we did, and the sails were hoisted, but before we had made any way the rocs reached their despoiled nest and hovered about it, uttering frightful cries when they discovered the mangled remains of their young one. For a moment we lost sight of them, and were flattering ourselves that we had escaped, when they reappeared and soared into the air directly over our vessel, and we saw that each held in its claws an immense rock ready to crush us. There was a moment of breathless suspense, than one bird loses its hold and the huge block of stone hurtled through the air, but thanks to the presence of mind of the helmsman, who turned our ship violently in another direction, it fell into the sea close beside us, cleaving it asunder till we could nearly see the bottom. We had hardly time to draw a breath of relief before the other rock fell with a mighty crash right in the midst of our luckless vessel, smashing it into a thousand fragments, and crushing, or hurling into the sea, passengers and crew. I myself went down with the rest, but had the good fortune to rise unhurt, and by holding on to a piece of driftwood with one hand and swimming with the other I kept myself afloat and was presently washed up by the tide on to an island. Its shores were steep and rocky, but I scrambled up safely and threw myself down to rest upon the green turf.

garden of delights
trees laden with flowers and fruit
crystal stream babbles

© Chèvrefeuille

When I had somewhat recovered I began to examine the spot in which I found myself, and truly it seemed to me that I had reached a garden of delights. There were trees everywhere, and they were laden with flowers and fruit, while a crystal stream wandered in and out under their shadow. When night came I slept sweetly in a cozy nook, though the remembrance that I was alone in a strange land made me sometimes start up and look around me in alarm, and then I wished heartily that I had stayed at home at ease. However, the morning sunlight restored my courage, and I once more wandered among the trees, but always with some anxiety as to what I might see next. I had penetrated some distance into the island when I saw an old man bent and feeble sitting upon the river bank, and at first I took him to be some ship-wrecked mariner like myself. Going up to him I greeted him in a friendly way, but he only nodded his head at me in reply. I then asked what he did there, and he made signs to me that he wished to get across the river to gather some fruit, and seemed to beg me to carry him on my back. Pitying his age and feebleness, I took him up, and wading across the stream I bent down that he might more easily reach the bank, and bade him get down. But instead of allowing himself to be set upon his feet (even now it makes me laugh to think of it!), this creature who had seemed to me so decrepit leaped nimbly upon my shoulders, and hooking his legs round my neck gripped me so tightly that I was well-nigh choked, and so overcome with terror that I fell insensible to the ground. When I recovered my enemy was still in his place, though he had released his hold enough to allow me breathing space, and seeing me revive he prodded me adroitly first with one foot and then with the other, until I was forced to get up and stagger about with him under the trees while he gathered and ate the choicest fruits. This went on all day, and even at night, when I threw myself down half dead with weariness, the terrible old man held on tight to my neck, nor did he fail to greet the first glimmer of morning light by drumming upon me with his heels, until I perforce awoke and resumed my dreary march with rage and bitterness in my heart.

Garden of Delights

It happened one day that I passed a tree under which lay several dry gourds, and catching one up I amused myself with scooping out its contents and pressing into it the juice of several bunches of grapes which hung from every bush. When it was full I left it propped in the fork of a tree, and a few days later, carrying the hateful old man that way, I snatched at my gourd as I passed it and had the satisfaction of a draught of excellent wine so good and refreshing that I even forgot my detestable burden, and began to sing and caper.

sparkling wine
arouses the senses
again in love

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... this is another nice fairytale ... the story continues at our "The Story Goes On" page above in the menu.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 26th at noon (CET). I will publish our new weekend-meditation later on today.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Carpe Diem Extra January 18th 2018 post delay

Dear Haijin,

Our new post is delayed. I will publish it later today or tomorrow.


Chèvrefeuille,  your host.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Carpe Diem #1350 Theme Week ep. 4: The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad

Dear Haijin, visitor and travelers,

This CDHK Theme Week is almost over, this is the penultimate episode of this week. Of course this week is to short to share all the Seven Voyages of Sindbad, I share only five of his voyages, because we have only five days a week here at CDHK.

By the way ... today's episode and the episode of Friday are the last two in which I challenge you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry forms inspired on the fairytales by Scheherazade, because after the weekend we will find our inspiration in Japanese fairytales. So next week we will read fairytales from the Motherland of Haiku, but that's for next week.

vague images
I feel the Garden of Eden
sailing The Nile

© Chèvrefeuille

Just a haiku from my archives, maybe you remember our journey to the source of The Nile (2015). The haiku speaks about sailing The Nile, and as Sindbad did ... he sailed into the unknown world with a group merchants and discovers several strange islands (or lands).
Let me give you another peep into the close future. In April we will take sail again, than we will go on a journey straight through India while sailing the Holy River ... The Ganges, but that's later this year.

Oké ... back to our Theme Week about the voyages of Sindbad as told by Scheherazade to save her life. Today I love to share Sindbad's Fourth Voyage.

The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad:

Rich and happy as I was after my third voyage, I could not make up my mind to stay at home altogether. My love of trading, and the pleasure I took in anything that was new and strange, made me set my affairs in order, and begin my journey through some of the Persian provinces, having first sent off stores of goods to await my coming in the different places I intended to visit. I took ship at a distant seaport, and for some time all went well, but at last, being caught in a violent hurricane, our vessel became a total wreck in spite of all our worthy captain could do to save her, and many of our company perished in the waves. I, with a few others, had the good fortune to be washed ashore clinging to pieces of the wreck, for the storm had driven us near an island, and scrambling up beyond the reach of the waves we threw ourselves down quite exhausted, to wait for morning.

paradise regained?
every morning as the sun rises
birds praise their Creator

© Chèvrefeuille

At daylight we wandered inland, and soon saw some huts, to which we directed our steps. As we drew near their black inhabitants swarmed out in great numbers and surrounded us, and we were led to their houses, and as it were divided among our captors. I with five others was taken into a hut, where we were made to sit upon the ground, and certain herbs were given to us, which the blacks made signs to us to eat. Observing that they themselves did not touch them, I was careful only to pretend to taste my portion; but my companions, being very hungry, rashly ate up all that was set before them, and very soon I had the horror of seeing them become perfectly mad. Though they chattered incessantly I could not understand a word they said, nor did they heed when I spoke to them.

Bowl of Rice

thrown away bowl
once filled with rice
dances on the wind

© Chèvrefeuille

The savages now produced large bowls full of rice prepared with coconut oil, of which my crazy comrades ate eagerly, but I only tasted a few grains, understanding clearly that the object of our captors was to fatten us speedily for their own eating, and this was exactly what happened. My unlucky companions having lost their reason, felt neither anxiety nor fear, and ate greedily all that was offered them. So they were soon fat and there was an end of them, but I grew leaner day by day, for I ate but little, and even that little did me no good by reason of my fear of what lay before me. However, as I was so far from being a tempting morsel, I was allowed to wander about freely, and one day, when all the blacks had gone off upon some expedition leaving only an old man to guard me, I managed to escape from him and plunged into the forest, running faster the more he cried to me to come back, until I had completely distanced him.

For seven days I hurried on, resting only when the darkness stopped me, and living chiefly upon coconuts, which afforded me both meat and drink, and on the eighth day I reached the seashore and saw a party of white men gathering pepper, which grew abundantly all about. Reassured by the nature of their occupation, I advanced towards them and they greeted me in Arabic, asking who I was and whence I came. My delight was great on hearing this familiar speech, and I willingly satisfied their curiosity, telling them how I had been shipwrecked, and captured by the blacks. “But these savages devour men!” said they. “How did you escape?” I repeated to them what I have just told you, at which they were mightily astonished. I stayed with them until they had collected as much pepper as they wished, and then they took me back to their own country and presented me to their king, by whom I was hospitably received. To him also I had to relate my adventures, which surprised him much, and when I had finished he ordered that I should be supplied with food and raiment and treated with consideration.

The island on which I found myself was full of people, and abounded in all sorts of desirable things, and a great deal of traffic went on in the capital, where I soon began to feel at home and contented. Moreover, the king treated me with special favor, and in consequence of this everyone, whether at the court or in the town, sought to make life pleasant to me. One thing I remarked which I thought very strange; this was that, from the greatest to the least, all men rode their horses without bridle or stirrups. I one day presumed to ask his majesty why he did not use them, to which he replied, “You speak to me of things of which I have never before heard!”
Saddle (like the one Sindbad created, maybe) (Image found on Pinterest)

This gave me an idea. I found a clever workman, and made him cut out under my direction the foundation of a saddle, which I wadded and covered with choice leather, adorning it with rich gold embroidery. I then got a lock-smith to make me a bit and a pair of spurs after a pattern that I drew for him, and when all these things were completed I presented them to the king and showed him how to use them. When I had saddled one of his horses he mounted it and rode about quite delighted with the novelty, and to show his gratitude he rewarded me with large gifts. After this I had to make saddles for all the principal officers of the king’s household, and as they all gave me rich presents I soon became very wealthy and quite an important person in the city.

One day the king sent for me and said, “Sindbad, I am going to ask a favor of you. Both I and my subjects esteem you, and wish you to end your days among us. Therefore I desire that you will marry a rich and beautiful lady whom I will find for you, and think no more of your own country.”

As the king’s will was law I accepted the charming bride he presented to me, and lived happily with her. Nevertheless I had every intention of escaping at the first opportunity, and going back to Bagdad. Things were thus going prosperously with me when it happened that the wife of one of my neighbors, with whom I had struck up quite a friendship, fell ill, and presently died. I went to his house to offer my consolations, and found him in the depths of woe.
“Heaven preserve you,” said I, “and send you a long life!”
“Alas!” he replied, “what is the good of saying that when I have but an hour left to live!”
“Come, come!” said I, “surely it is not so bad as all that. I trust that you may be spared to me for many years.”
“I hope,” answered he, “that your life may be long, but as for me, all is finished. I have set my house in order, and to-day I shall be buried with my wife. This has been the law upon our island from the earliest ages–the living husband goes to the grave with his dead wife, the living wife with her dead husband. So did our fathers, and so must we do. The law changes not, and all must submit to it!”

The Fourth Voyage of Sindbad

As he spoke the friends and relations of the unhappy pair began to assemble. The body, decked in rich robes and sparkling with jewels, was laid upon an open bier, and the procession started, taking its way to a high mountain at some distance from the city, the wretched husband, clothed from head to foot in a black mantle, following mournfully.

When the place of interment was reached the corpse was lowered, just as it was, into a deep pit. Then the husband, bidding farewell to all his friends, stretched himself upon another bier, upon which were laid seven little loaves of bread and a pitcher of water, and he also was let down-down-down to the depths of the horrible cavern, and then a stone was laid over the opening, and the melancholy company wended its way back to the city.

You may imagine that I was no unmoved spectator of these proceedings; to all the others it was a thing to which they had been accustomed from their youth up; but I was so horrified that I could not help telling the king how it struck me.

in the backyard
the old Sakura has lost his blossom
until next spring

© Chèvrefeuille

What a sad tone this story has ... not all fairytales are happy ending ... This story continues by the way at our "The Story Goes On" page above in the menu.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 24th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, The Fifth Voyage of Sindbad, later on. Have fun!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Carpe Diem #1349 Theme Week ep. 3 The Third Voyage of Sindbad

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are halfway this Theme week in which we read about the Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor as told by Scheherazade to save her life. Today we will read about Sindbad's Third Voyage. I am hoping to inspire you all through this fairytale. Enjoy the read ...

The Third Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor:

After a very short time the pleasant easy life I led made me quite forget the perils of my two voyages. Moreover, as I was still in the prime of life, it pleased me better to be up and doing. So once more providing myself with the rarest and choicest merchandise of Bagdad, I conveyed it to Balsora, and set sail with other merchants of my acquaintance for distant lands. We had touched at many ports and made much profit, when one day upon the open sea we were caught by a terrible wind which blew us completely out of our reckoning, and lasting for several days finally drove us into harbour on a strange island.
“I would rather have come to anchor anywhere than here,” quoth our captain. “This island and all adjoining it are inhabited by hairy savages, who are certain to attack us, and whatever these dwarfs may do we dare not resist, since they swarm like locusts, and if one of them is killed the rest will fall upon us, and speedily make an end of us.”

These words caused great consternation among all the ship’s company, and only too soon we were to find out that the captain spoke truly. There appeared a vast multitude of hideous savages, not more than two feet high and covered with reddish fur. Throwing themselves into the waves they surrounded our vessel. Chattering meanwhile in a language we could not understand, and clutching at ropes and gangways, they swarmed up the ship’s side with such speed and agility that they almost seemed to fly.

The Third Voyage of Sindbad

You may imagine the rage and terror that seized us as we watched them, neither daring to hinder them nor able to speak a word to deter them from their purpose, whatever it might be. Of this we were not left long in doubt. Hoisting the sails, and cutting the cable of the anchor, they sailed our vessel to an island which lay a little further off, where they drove us ashore; then taking possession of her, they made off to the place from which they had come, leaving us helpless upon a shore avoided with horror by all mariners for a reason which you will soon learn.

anxiety takes over
giants like Ulysess' Cyclops
a hail storm

© Chèvrefeuille

Turning away from the sea we wandered miserably inland, finding as we went various herbs and fruits which we ate, feeling that we might as well live as long as possible though we had no hope of escape. Presently we saw in the far distance what seemed to us to be a splendid palace, towards which we turned our weary steps, but when we reached it we saw that it was a castle, lofty, and strongly built. Pushing back the heavy ebony doors we entered the courtyard, but upon the threshold of the great hall beyond it we paused, frozen with horror, at the sight which greeted us. On one side lay a huge pile of bones–human bones, and on the other numberless spits for roasting! Overcome with despair we sank trembling to the ground, and lay there without speech or motion. The sun was setting when a loud noise aroused us, the door of the hall was violently burst open and a horrible giant entered. He was as tall as a palm tree, and perfectly black, and had one eye, which flamed like a burning coal in the middle of his forehead. His teeth were long and sharp and grinned horribly, while his lower lip hung down upon his chest, and he had ears like elephant ears, which covered his shoulders, and nails like the claws of some fierce bird.

The Giant enters the hiding place of Sindbad

At this terrible sight our senses left us and we lay like dead men. When at last we came to ourselves the giant sat examining us attentively with his fearful eye. Presently when he had looked at us enough he came towards us, and stretching out his hand took me by the back of the neck, turning me this way and that, but feeling that I was mere skin and bone he set me down again and went on to the next, whom he treated in the same fashion; at last he came to the captain, and finding him the fattest of us all, he took him up in one hand and stuck him upon a spit and proceeded to kindle a huge fire at which he presently roasted him. After the giant had supped he lay down to sleep, snoring like the loudest thunder, while we lay shivering with horror the whole night through, and when day broke he awoke and went out, leaving us in the castle.

When we believed him to be really gone we started up bemoaning our horrible fate, until the hall echoed with our despairing cries. Though we were many and our enemy was alone it did not occur to us to kill him, and indeed we should have found that a hard task, even if we had thought of it, and no plan could we devise to deliver ourselves. So at last, submitting to our sad fate, we spent the day in wandering up and down the island eating such fruits as we could find, and when night came we returned to the castle, having sought in vain for any other place of shelter. At sunset the giant returned, supped upon one of our unhappy comrades, slept and snored till dawn, and then left us as before. Our condition seemed to us so frightful that several of my companions thought it would be better to leap from the cliffs and perish in the waves at once, rather than await so miserable an end; but I had a plan of escape which I now unfolded to them, and which they at once agreed to attempt.

below the cliffs
rough waves call out "jump! jump!"

fly away like an eagle

© Chèvrefeuille

“Listen, my brothers,” I added. “You know that plenty of driftwood lies along the shore. Let us make several rafts, and carry them to a suitable place. If our plot succeeds, we can wait patiently for the chance of some passing ship which would rescue us from this fatal island. If it fails, we must quickly take to our rafts; frail as they are, we have more chance of saving our lives with them than we have if we remain here.”


strolling over the beach
beach-combing lovers
looking for driftwood
secret place for lust
tasting her salty skin

© Chèvrefeuille

This story continues at our "The Story Goes On" page above in the menu.

What a stroy this is. As I started reading it my thoughts went to that other "hero" Ulysses and I just had to create a haiku referring to his journeys. As a kid I read all the stories about Ulysses and I even had the possibility to watch the TV-series about him, back in the (I believe) Seventies. Awesome!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 23rd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Sindbad's Fourth Voyage, later on. For now ... have fun!

PS. I have "replaced" our exclusive CDHK E-book "Christmas Stockings" to our Carpe Diem Library.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Extra January 15th 2018 new prompt Haiku Shuukan

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have published our new prompt at Haiku Shuukan (our weekly meme). This week at Haiku Shuukan I challenge you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on a nice piece of music.

Visit Haiku Shuukan HERE.