Thursday, September 18, 2014

Carpe Diem #564, Vineyards

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Yesterday we had an "out of box" post about 'river' and today the prompt brings us back to earth. Today our prompt is Vineyards and there is a lot to tell about vineyards, but I am not going to do that. I am just giving you the prompt and that's it ... (smiles)

No ... I can't do that. Vineyards are e very specific prompt for autumn October is the harvesting month for grapes and that's a lot of work. The Vineyards are giving us wine and that's a lot of work too. I am not someone who drinks wine, I am more of beer, yes I know that's maybe a bit to normal, but I don't like wine really. Of course I love to have sometimes a glass of wine at dinner or on a romantic evening, but I am not someone that drinks a lot.

Credits: Vineyard
Vineyards we find everywhere on earth even in my flat country The Netherlands. In our southern region we have vineyards, but were I live ... in the polder, in the midst of my country we have vineyards too, because of the soil here.

walking in the vineyard
with the one I love to share a glass with -
the scent of grapes

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... as I said ... not a long post for today. Now it's up to you to write a haiku inspired on this prompt. Jane Reichhold gave the following example(s):

pale fog
yellow vineyards over
champagne cellars

at the family-run vineyard
a cat too

Wonderful examples on Vineyard ... let those haiku inspire you.

Credits: Vineyard
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 21st at noon (CET). I will publish our next episode, cutting wood, later on. !! PS. I am behind with visiting and commenting I will catch up a.s.a.p. !!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Carpe Diem "Little Creatures" #5, Ants

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

"Time flies when you have fun" they say and I think that's true. I have vacation, so no rush to work or something. Time is on my side and that's a nice thing to know.
As I mentioned in the last "preview" I am busy creating a few new features and a new website. In the next weeks I will present and introduce the Carpe Diem Ginko in which we will take a walk through my neighborhood with pencil and paper in hand. So ... you will learn a little bit more about me and the place I am living.

In this episode of "Little Creatures" the leading role is for the ants those wonderful little creatures that work so hard, they are always busy (as I am, maybe I am an ant?) We will look at them in admiration and awe. Of course there will be a few examples of haiku written by classic haiku poets about ants e.g. Buson, but that's later in this episode. First I will look at a wonderful saying about ants in the Holy Scripture:

[...] "Go to the ants, you sluggard, see their ways and become wise". (Proverbs 6: 6) [...]

or what to say about this verse (also from Proverbs):

[...] "(Ants) which having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest." (Proverbs: 30: 29) [...]

That first verse from Proverbs is one of the most known and in my country it has become a "saying". The haiku examples I will share here are not that well known, maybe the one by Buson, but I don't know that for sure.

Credits: Leaf Cutter Ants (photo © Gail Shumway/Getty Images)

yudachi ni hashirikudaru ya take no ari

an evening shower:
the ants are running down
the bamboos

© Joso

The touch of Zen is in the unexpressed and therefore all the more poignant feeling of the unity of our life with that of nature. This is felt in the ants' agitated running back down the trunks of the bamboos, the same ants that seem to have been climbing up the bamboos all day.

ari nagasu hodo no oame to nari ni kiri

it became a rain
heavy enough
to wash the ants away

© Kuson

This is not so much an expression of pity for the ants as a description of the summer rain. We may say the same even of the following, by Gyodai:

yakue naki ari no sumika ya satsukiame

nowhere to go;
the dwellings of ants
in the summer rain

© Gyodai

To endorse this row of classical haiku I have a haiku by Buson:

haari tobu ya fuji no susano no kore yori

winged ants fly
from a small house
at the foot of Mount Fuji

© Buson

This may be reminiscent of the beginning of Soshi. Winged ants, a small house, Mount Fuji, here is a gradation of size, a relativity which shows the meaningless of mere quantity. There is a mystery in this verse which is like that of Alice in Wonderland, but not so obvious. (Source: R.H. Blyth, Haiku Vol. 3)

Credits: Bull Ant (© J.Green, Photographer)

And now ... the goal of this "Little Creatures" episode: You don't have to use the classical rules. You have to write an all new haiku about ants or another little creature, but ... you have to write a six (6) linked renga about it, so your response starts with one of the given haiku (you may choose which one you will use as the starting verse (hokku) of your six (6) linked renga), than a two line stanza, a three line stanza, a two line stanza, a three line stanza and the last stanza (ageku) has to be a two line stanza and must have a link or association on the first three line stanza (hokku).

(For example) I will start my six (6) linked renga with the haiku by Joso:

an evening shower:
the ants are running down
the bamboos

(In renga this starting verse is called "hokku")

as the day ends in the west
the last sunbeams disappear

the cool summer night -
I have restless dreams next to you
the one I love

nightmares torturing me
attacked by mosquitos

the first sunbeams
cherishing my naked body
blankets have fallen

awakened by rustling bamboo
a new day rises for the ants

(In renga this closing verse is called ägeku")

© Chèvrefeuille

Credits: Ants on Bamboo

And now it's up to my dear friends and family-members ... not an easy task I think, but for sure it will be fun. So "become" the ant (or any other little creature) and look around you ... nature will inspire you ...

This episode of Little Creatures will be open for your submissions Thursday 18th at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Thursday September 25th at noon (CET). Well .... have fun!
!! Soon to come an all new feature related to renga !!

Carpe Diem #563, River

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we have river for prompt and I will 'write out of box' because I love to go in to a deeper layer. Why? I will tell you ... Herman Hesse wrote the wonderful, fictive, novel titled 'Siddhartha' in which he describes the story of a young Brahman-son named Siddhartha ... the same as the Buddha ... After a long time he ends up at a river becoming the ferryman ... Siddhartha learns a lot from the older ferryman and finally finds "his truth" in the river from which he says:

[...] "It is this what you mean, isn't it: that the river is everywhere at once, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the rapids, in the sea, in the mountains, everywhere at once, and that there is only the present time for it, not the shadow of the past, not the shadow of the future?" [...]

River's well
As the time passes Siddhartha encountered his son and lost him again, because the boy wouldn't live in poverty, because he had a life in richness. As his son has gone he (Siddhartha) sat down at the river together with his 'master' Vasudeva, the old ferryman, and they listen to the river.

[...] They listened. Softly sounded the river, singing in many voices. Siddhartha looked into the water, and images appeared to him in the moving water: his father appeared, lonely, mourning for his son; he himself appeared, lonely, he also being tied with the bondage of yearning to his distant son; his son appeared, lonely as well, the boy, greedily rushing along the burning course of his young wishes, each one heading for his goal, each one obsessed by the goal, each one suffering. The river sang with a voice of suffering, longingly it sang, longingly, it flowed towards its goal, lamenting its voice sang. [...]

Siddhartha discovers that he has to be like the river, and that time not exists, that's what he learns from the river ... and that, my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, is how I see the river as a metaphor for life itself, for not being on one place ... the river ... from it's well to it's delta is the greatest teacher we have in the nature around us ... look at the river, look really to the river ... and than ... well ... it will be magical.

A last quote from Siddhartha, as he is speaking with his old friend Govinda while sitting at the river I love to share here ... it's something Siddhartha tells about his master Vasudeva:

[...] "He had noticed that the river's spoke to him, he learned from it, it educated and taught him, the river seemed to be a god to him, for many years he did not know that every wind, every cloud, every bird, every beetle was just as divine and knows just as much and can teach just as much as the worshipped river. But when this holy man went into the forests (a metaphor for dying), he knew everything, knew more than you and me, without teachers, without books, only because he had believed in the river." [...]

Isn't it a wonderful thought? To see the river as a teacher, just by listening to its gurgling, look at it's clearness, it's everlasting journey ... the river has been everywhere and brings far away places to us ... as we listen to the river ... it can tell us wonderful stories.

I hope you did like this post and I hope you didn't see it like a sermon, because I am not a preacher, I am just a humble man who listens to the river, or ... to nature. In nature we can find knowledge, wisdom ...

For this episode I decided not to use a haiku by Jane Reichhold, because it wouldn't fit into this post, but I love to share a poem here by Julian Mann on

River feeling is
As simple as
Closing your eyes
For a moment.

Everything flows like river

River feeling is
As smooth as
Everything after
The first step.

Everything flows like river

River feeling is
easy as forgetting
Walking boots.

Everything flows like river

River feeling is
nice as
iron ties
Coming off.

Everything flows like river
Everything flows like river
Everything flows like river
Everything is good and flows
like river

As I read this poem by Julian Mann ... I think that he knew the story of Siddhartha and his river, but maybe that's not true, I don't know, but what I can say ... this poem is very similar to the feeling I got form reading Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. (!! the quotes from Siddhartha are from the Project Gutenberg version of Siddhartha !!)

high in the mountains
crystal clear water gives birth to a river -
I light a candle

© Chèvrefeuille

Wow! ... the river has done me a favour ... it inspired me in a strange way almost magical ....
!! All three photos are from Free Big Pictures !!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 20th at noon (CET). I will post our new episode, Vineyards, later on. For now ... listen to your inner river of wisdom and find the right words to compose a haiku inspired on this post.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #25, Björn Rudberg on "Haiku and Humor"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have a nice GW-post for you all. This time it's a Ghost Writer post by Björn Rudberg of Björn Rudbergs Writings and he invites us to bring humor into our haiku. Humoer in haiku isn't my "cup of tea", but sometimes I try it of course. I will look for a few examples and post them in response on this GW-post. Have fun!


Humor in Haiku and renga

One thing we use to little in haiku is the dry humor you can sometimes find in classical haiku. Maybe we are too respectful to the form sometimes, still when reading through I see (often with apologies) attempts in this direction. Today I would like you to take an approach to the dry wit of haiku writing, 

We have had even classic example previously here, consider for example this one by Issa:

spring peace -
a mountain monk peeks
through the hedge

The combination of the monk and peeking through the hedge removes some of the respect for the monk and make him a human of flesh and blood, and spring is an excellent time when this might happen to a monk full of hormones.

Another way of doing humor in haiku is a concept of renku haikai no renga (俳諧の連歌, "comic linked verse"),. This is similar to renga in the sense that we create a comic effect in collaborative poetry.

A classic example is:

The robe of haze is wet at its hem

to which the disrespectful response was:

Princess Sao of spring pissed as she started

Imagine, a deity like the princess of spring gets wet by peeing on herself.

So today I want you to either, write a classic haiku with humor embedded, or take a classic haiku (maybe from our earlier challenges), and to a tan renku, where your second stanza create an effect of humor through coarseness and disrespect. 

Do not be afraid, this is a day to be merry.


Well ... let us have a smile on our faces or let us laugh out loud ... it's up to you my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers.

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 19th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, river, later on.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Carpe Diem's "Time Glass" #2 a time-challenge "Buddha"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Are you ready for a new time-challenge? It's Monday again and so it's time for a new "Time Glass" episode, in which the goal is to write a haiku inspired on a photo and a given prompt within 12 hours. So in this feature I challenge you all to write a haiku in 12 hours, comparing to the short moment of the sound of a pebble thrown in water, as is haiku ... Haiku is just a painting with words about a moment as short as an eye-blink.
I was a very lucky man as I saw how you all responded on our first "Time Glass" episode and so I think this "time-challenge" I will do every Monday. The "time-challenge" starts at 7.00 PM (CET) and ends at the next day 7.00 AM (CET), so just 12 hours to respond!!

Here is the photo for your inspiration:

© Chèvrefeuille, your host
And this is the 'prompt':


Well ... I think this will inspire you all to write a haiku and share it within 12 hours ... so ... be on time!

This "Time Glass" episode is OPEN for your submissions at 7.00 PM (CET) and closes within 12 hours. Have fun! Be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

Carpe Diem's "Remember This Music?" #1, "Take this Waltz" by Leonard Cohen

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A little while ago one of our family members gave me an idea for a new feature in which the leading role is for "Musical Memories" and I think I have a nice new creation for you all. Today I will introduce to you an all new feature and I have called it "Carpe Diem, Remember This Music?" And as the title already said this new feature is all about memories of music. I think every one has memories in which music plays a role. For example: My wife and I married on a song by Engelbert Humperdinck and I remember the first CD which I bought when the CD-player was introduced. That CD was by Leonard Cohen. Recently I saw a commercial for our Dutch National Railway Company in which a song by Leonard Cohen was used.
That commercial 'triggered' my memory and I love to share that song "Take This Waltz" here with you all.

I hope you did enjoy this wonderful song. I was inspired to write this haiku after listening again to this nice song by Leonard Cohen:

the last waltz -
I saw her again after a while
my first love

© Chèvrefeuille

But that's not all about this new feature .... The goal is to write a four (4) stanza renga inspired on the song you have chosen yourself. You don't need to use this song I shared ... you can take your own song which brings sweet (or sad) memories to you to write that four stanza renga .... So I have to change my haiku above into a four stanza renga ... let me try ...

the last waltz -
I saw her again after a while
my first love

her blond hair waves in the wind
looks like golden sunlight

in the first daylight
as I awake next to her
she looks so beautiful

"take this waltz", she whispers in my ear
and cuddles her naked body to mine

© Chèvrefeuille

Credits: Cuddling
Well ... I hope you don't mind the strong sense in this post ... and now it's up to you to share your "musical memories" for our CD "Remember This Music?" feature. So have fun, be inspired and share your memories with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

This episode of "Remember This Music?" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 30th at noon (CET).

Carpe Diem Special #107, Words said by Francis of Assisi

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a nice day we had today (Sunday, September 14th). My youngest daughter and her boyfriend and Myron (our youngest grandson) came visiting us. I enjoyed it a lot and ofcourse had to 'shoot' photo's of Myron. He's almost 6 months now and has always a smile on his face ... it's really a joy to see him.

Today we have our second quote by Francis of Assisi for your inspiration. Here it is:

[...] "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” [...]

As I read this quote a haiku by Yosa Buson came in mind directly ... it's a nice haiku and I have here a "modern" translation:

the light of a candle
is transferred to another candle—
spring twilight

© Yosa Buson

Credits: Buson's Candles
What to say more? This episode speaks for itself.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 18th at noon (CET). I will publish our next post, a new GW-post, later on. For now ... have fun!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Carpe Diem #562, Hot Springs

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are almost halfway this wonderful month full of modern kigo of autumn based on the modern Saijiki compiled by Jane Reichhold and today we have a very nice prompt, not a regular one, because today we have Hot Springs. In my country we don't have such a kind of Hot Springs, but I know that in several countries they have. For example in Japan you can find a lot of Hot Springs (in Japanese "onsen") as e.g. this one in Chiba Prefecture:

Credits: Yamato no Yu onsen, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
There are several haiku written about Hot Springs and one of them I love to share here with you. It's a haiku written by Matsuo Basho, my master.

Basho wrote the following haiku on Mount Yudano (bathroom). On this mountain was a spectacular waterfall which had been a Shinto place of worship since early times. Only men could visit it and only after a rigorous climb with several rituals and services in various temples. At the gate, after purification rites, they must remove their shoes to climb the rocks barefoot. In addition, before being allowed to view this wonder, each men had to swear never to reveal what he witnessed there. In modern times, in interests of disclosure, the secret of Mount Yudano has been revealed.

Due to the wearing away of the rock and the reddish minerals in the thermal-warmed water, the waterfall looks exactly like the private parts of a woman complete with sounds and gushing water. The practice can be thought of as worshipping the reproductive aspect of the feminine earth.

The priest Ekaku had asked Basho to write some poems on his visit to the three holy mountains of Dewa. Basho couldn't do that because it was an awesome experience for him and so he couldn't find the words. Also it was forbidden to talk about what he had witnessed on the mountain.

Mount Yudano

katara re nu   yudano ni nurasu   tometo kana

forbidden to say
how sleeves are wetted
in the bathroom

© Matsuo Basho

It's a strange story, but it has also something ... spiritual. To write a haiku in the same tone and sense as Basho did ... looks like climbing a mountain barefoot, but I will try.

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

© Chèvrefeuille

Morning Glory

an other haiku (with a bit of humour) inspired by the one of Basho:

secret admirer -
petals of red roses around
my morning glory

© Chèvrefeuille

As we are discovering "A Dictionary of Haiku" the modern Saijiki by Jane Reichhold I have to bring in her example(s) for this kigo. So here they are:

mineral baths
at night the many colors
in dreams

around the hot springs
dried salt

soul bathing
in hot springs
desert stars

© Jane Reichhold

What a wonderful prompt ... don't you think so too? I hope it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku. Have fun, be inspired and share your new haiku with us all.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 17th at noon (CET). I will publish our next episode, the second quote by Francis of Assisi, later on.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Carpe Diem #561, Harvested Fields

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

Autumn ... time for harvesting and bring in the supplies for winter. In autumn farmers are harvesting their fields to supply their selves and us with food ... Harvesting time is as old as humanity is. And it is still what we do today.
For today our prompt is Harvested Fields and it points directly to that common way of living. Jane provides us with the following example(s):

autumn blooms
soft white cotton balls
a harvest field

brown harvest field
the balls of white cotton
polka dots

Credits: Harvested Fields (partial)
at dawn
farmers harvesting their fields -
overcoming winter

© Chèvrefeuille

It's a great time .... harvesting ... and I hope it will inspire you to write haiku.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 16th at noon. I will publish our next episode, hot springs, later on.

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #5, Kishu's "a crow passes"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another week with wonderful posts has gone by and it's already time for a new episode of CD's "Sparkling Stars" in which haiku come by of both classic and modern haiku-poets. This week I have chosen for a haiku by a not so wellknown haiku-poet named Karakoromo Kishu (1743-1802).

[...] "The fall of the year is not merely the fall of the leaves but the fall of the vital powers in all natural things including man. We feel it ourselves and are thus and thus only able to see it in things outside." [...] (R.H.Blyth)

aki no kure  karasu mo nakade  tori keri

an autumn evening;
without a cry,
a crow passes

© Kishu

How well this illustrates that which is neither silence nor speaking! In the relative world, a bird must either sing or be silent, but in the world of poetry, either may be something which is neither. Its song or its soundlessness may have a meaning beyond these opposites. That is to say, the world of poetry is not the absolute, what ever that may be; it comes into being when the absolute and the relative are one. As the poet stands there in the autumn evening, a crow flies by without haste. It utters no sound, and this very fact seems to draw the soul out of him, to take away her breath. Somehow or other, at that moment, a depth is opened up within and without her.

Credits: Crows Japanese Woodblock Print by Kyosai (1831-1889)

What a wonderful haiku Kishu has written. Kishu wasn't a wellknown haiku-poet. He grants us a glimpse of his world with this haiku ... the autumn evening, maybe it was such an evening in which the earth shares her perfume after a heavy rainstorm or maybe it was an autumn evening in the period we call Indian Summer, or the aftermath of summer. No one knows it, only Kishu knows. As I see the scene of his haiku ... I think he was in awe with the beauty of that autumn evening and the deep silence of it ... suddenly a crow passes ... he expects sound, but nothing is heard ... the crow passes in silent devotion of the wonderful autumn evening.

The goal of CD's "Sparkling Stars" is similar to our regular CD-Specials: write a haiku inspired on the given one and in the same mood, sense and spirit as that given one. So to write an all new haiku ... you need to become one with the scene and the feeling it gives you ... be part of the scene ... live the scene and become inspired.

the moon reflects in the pond
this autumn evening - deep silence
the rustling of leaves

© Chèvrefeuille

And now it's up to you my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, to write an all new haiku. Have fun!

This episode of Carpe Diem's "Sparkling Stars" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will be open until next Saturday September 20th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode of CD's "Sparkling Stars" around that closing time.