Thursday, April 24, 2014

Carpe Diem #456, Crane

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy ... I have read wonderful haiku in response on all of these modern spring kigo and that makes me happy. In the classical haiku kigo were a ''must'' and through these kind of ''kigo''-months I hope that we cherish these kigo, because they are part of haiku, every haiku.
Today we have another wonderful modern kigo for spring namely, Crane. The Crane is a majestic bird and it has a very important meaning. Crane stands for a long and happy life, or in other words Crane means 1000 happy years, that's more tahn a lifetime and so it means eternal life.
Last Sunday it was Easter and isn't that the ultimate truth that we all will have eternal life? After we have died we will live eternal, live forever. So can I say that Crane and Easter are the same? I think so.
As I do every day I will give a haiku by Jane Reichhold which she used as an example for the modern kigo, so let us look at the haiku she wrote for this kigo, Crane.


raising his foot
a crane scatters stars
sunk in the pond

(c) Jane Reichhold

WOW! This is a gorgeous one, could have been written by one of the classical masters .... really this is a beauty, a masterpiece. I can even hope that will become close to this masterpiece with my haiku ...
For today's prompt I have another challenge for you all. !!! Your haiku for this prompt has to be a classical one, so you have to use the syllables-count 5-7-5 !!!

And then there is that other kind of crane, the machine. I recall that I once (very long ago) have read a book titled 'The Lost Language of Cranes' by David Leavitt. It's about a father and his son and their struggle with life especially their sexuality. I couldn't understand why David Leavitt took this title, but after a while I understood it. It resonates with the thought of a youngster who only could see cranes from his sleeping room window and who is personifying itself with it, because he has not a good relationship with his parents.

Both, father and son, in the novel, have that same feeling about sexuality.


I wonder ... can I write a haiku with ''crane''? Well ... I have to try don't you think so?

the sound of old cranes
resonates through the harbour -
as if they're talking

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This one was inspired on the second meaning of 'crane' which I gave above, but there is also that first meaning, crane the bird, so let me think ... what to do with that one?

thousand thoughts a day
while writing haiku for the world -
the cries of a White Cranes

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Pff ... that wasn't easy. I can feel how difficult it is to write haiku in the classical 5-7-5 syllables way. I had to use a Syllables-counter to compose these haiku for you.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 27th 11.59 AM (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. That will be Sparrows. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.
!! I have published our new prompt for this week at Haiku Shuukan, our weekly haiku-meme !!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Carpe Diem #455, photographing

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another day has risen and it's time to prepare a new episode in our wonderful (addictive) Haiku Kai. This month it's all about Modern Spring kigo based on Jane Reichhold's "A Dictionary of Haiku" and today that prompt is photographing. Next to writing haiku I love to photograph and I see many of you have that same kind of urge to make photos or paintings or other kinds of art.
I think that photographing not especially is meant for spring, but I can relate to that choice of Jane to make it a modern kigo for spring, because nature's coming to life again and that gives wonderful photos.
Jane wrote the following haiku as an example for this prompt:

bright colors
of her photograph
when he lived

(c) Jane Reichhold

A nice one I think, but not that strong for the prompt, but that's just my feeling.

To give you inspiration I have chosen to share a photo for your inspiration (as I do in our CD Imagination feature). The photo can be of help to write a new haiku ...

Well ... I hope you all did like the read and I hope that it will inspire you to write nice haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka or haibun.

after snow and frost
cherry blossoms start to burst open -
the spring breeze

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 26th 11.59 AM (CET). Later on I hope to have time to publish our new episode, Crane.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Carpe Diem #454, midday nap

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to prepare an all new episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Today our prompt is midday nap and it brought a haiku by Basho into my mind. So after I have shared the haiku by Jane Reichhold I love to share that haiku by Basho.

beach nap
plugged into the power
of incoming waves

A lovely haiku based on our prompt for today. Not entirely a midday nap, but I can imagine how it feels to fall asleep on the beach. The warm sun, the crying of seaguls, the soft ocean breeze and the sound of the waves ... really all things to become sleepy and overwhelmed ...

Credits: frog pond

To return to what I said earlier in this post, the haiku by Basho.
As you all should have noticed Basho's my 'role-model', my 'idol'. Several fellow haiku poets have told me that my haiku are touched by Basho's Spirit. In other words my haiku according to fellow haiku poets, are in the same tone and sphere as Basho's. I am honoured that fellow haiku poets are so positive about my haiku.
Basho wrote almost thousand haiku in his lifetime, mostly in the last ten years of his life. A big part of those haiku he wrote during renga sessions and while he was travelling through Japan. He wrote several haibun about his travels. His most well known haibun is titled "Oku No Hosomichu", "The Narrow Road to the Deep North". "The Narrow Road" was and is still a classical one.
One of his most known haiku "the old pond" he wrote shortly after he moved to Edo in 1682:

furu ike ya kawaza tobi komu mizu no oto

the old pond
a frog jumps into
the sound of water

(c) Basho

It's a famous haiku of Basho and it was one of the first haiku I ever read. It stimulated me to write haiku myself.

hiya hiya to kabe wo fumae te hiru ne kana

a midday nap
putting the feet against the wall
it feels cool

(c) Basho (translation by  R.H. Blyth)

chilly coolness
my feet on the wall
a midday nap

(c) Basho  (translation by  Jane Reichhold)

Basho wrote this one in the midst of July 1694. Several months later he died on October 12.

Credits: Matsuo Basho's tumbstone, Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan

'A midday nap' is not a well known haiku of Basho, but in my opinion it's a wonderful one. He goes back to the essential element of summer heat ... to cool down. In this haiku the cooling down comes from the cool wall to which he is putting his feet. It's just the simple experience of the cool wall on a hot summer day.

this summerday
the heat makes me drowsy -
the cool stone wall

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this episode. If you would like to read more about the haiku by Basho, you can visit Basho Revisited, one of my other weblogs.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 25th 11.59 AM (CET). I will try to post our new episode, photographing, later on today. That episode will be a semi-Carpe Diem Imagination post with a photo for your inspiration.(By the way, I am hopelessly behind with commenting on all of your wonderful posts. I hope to catch up asap.)
For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Carpe Diem Special #88, Soen Nakagawa's "boundless autumn"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am busy with creating our prompt-list for May and I have a new idea coming up in which I hope to challenge you all ... to challenge your creativity and maybe yous haiku skills (if I may say that). It's another way to look at Tan Renga, but I think it's a joyfull challenge. It was inspired by a post once by I think it was Patricia of High Five and Raspberries.
Ihave called it Tan Renga Squared and I have created an even bigger challenge Tan Renga Double Squared. I will try to post the first episode of this new feature later on this week.
Ok ... back to this Carpe Diem Special.

Soen Nakagawa (1907-1984)

As you all know our featured haiku-poet this month is Soen Nakagawa (1907-1984). Until today we have had already wonderful spiritual haiku composed by him and today we have another nice haiku by Nakagawa.
All the haiku by Soen Nakagawa have a strong, deeper, Zen layer and in this one Zen is also clearly in there. The goal of this CD Specials is to write a haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the one by the featured haiku-poet.

endless is my vow
under the azure sky
boundless autumn

(c) Soen Nakagawa

Nakagawa wrote this haiku when he was bowing to Hakuin's stupa at Ryutaku-ji in Mishima. Ryutaku-ji is a Rinzai Buddhist Temple located in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, that was founded by Zen Master Haikuin Ekaku in 1761. Soen Nakagawa was one of the Abbots of this temple until he died in 1984.

Credits: Ryutaku-ji temple Mishima

During the mid Twentieth century Ryutaku-ji was led by a number of influential Abbots, who encouraged and supported the study of Zen by Westerners. Soen Nakagawa was one of them. Soen was highly regarded as a calligrapher and haiku-poet, often referred to as the '20th century Basho'.

departing summer
trees loosing their green leaves -
thousand colors in return

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 24th 11.59 AM (CET). I will post our new episode, midday nap, later on today. At least I will try to be on time (smiles). Have fun!

Carpe Diem's ''Only the First Line'' #6, ''reaching for the sun'''

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It is time for a new episode of CD's "Only the First Line" in which I challenge you all to write a haiku starting with the given first line. It's really a joy and a challenge to be part in this special feature.

For this episode I have chosen the following first line:

reaching for the sun

I think you can write several new haiku starting with this first line and here is my attempt:

reaching for the sun
stretching towards the bleu sky -
field of sunflowers

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Credits: Sunflower Field

This episode of Carpe Diem's "Only the First Line" is now open for your submissions and will remain open until May 5th 11.59 AM (CET). Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku starting with the first line reaching for the sun.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Carpe Diem #453, kite

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today our prompt is kite and I think you all know enough about kites, so no big post today, because of a busy birthday today, I became 51, with all my family. So I only will post a haiku inspired on this prompt. And ofcourse share the one by Jane Reichhold.

a kite
raising from sea mists
rainbow colors

watercolor class
the painted blue sky
becomes a kite

Credits: Kite

What a beautiful haiku Jane wrote about kites and I found that picture somewhere on the Internet. 
When I was a child I loved kiting and nowadays it's a joy to go out kiting with my grabdchildren. Mostly we try to make one ourselves, but ... well ... sometimes we have to go shopping for a kite (smiles).

against the blue sky
climbs an ancient dragon-kite
towards the sun

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Credits: Children kiting

Kiting is an ancient Japanese or Chinese kind of play and in those countries they make the best and the most beautiful kites on earth I think.

between green leaves
the colorful face of a dragon
kite-line broke

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Credits: Caught in a tree

Well ... it has become a not so short post as I had planned, but well ... it was a joy to make it for you all.
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 23th 11.59 AM (CET). I will try to post our next episode, another CD Special by Soen Nakagawa, later on today. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.
!! Visit also my new weekly haiku-meme at Haiku Shuukan !!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Carpe Diem #452, fishing

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Spring is almost gone for one quarter and here in The Netherlands the spring weather is great. Today we have almost 20 degrees Celsius, feels like summer. The most of the early blossomming trees are blossom-less, but the tulips are starting to bloom and the late cherry trees are in their most beautiful out-fits. So ... spring is really on.

Today we have another new modern spring kigo based on Jane Reichhold's 'A Dictionary of Haiku', fishing, fishing is not my cup of tea, but my youngest son is addicted to fishing so he goes almost every day out fishing and sometimes he takes our grandchildren with him. Mostly he goes fishing in the city-park just around the corner and he can sit the whole day there watching, contemplating and do some talking with his friends (also addicted to fishing).

Credits: Ancient Japanese Fishing boat

Jane gives the following haiku examples for 'fishing':

the river full of fish

dusk lake
sinking into darkness
fishermen's voices

the blue boat
a hole in the sea
filled with fish

(c) Jane Reichhold

I recall a haiku by Matsuo Basho about fishing and I love to share that one here. Maybe you know this one written by Basho.

cormorant fishing boat
how exciting! but after a time
I felt saddened

(c) Basho

Cormorant fishing boat
Ukai or cormorant fishing is a traditional method of catching freshwater fish, such as the ayu ( sweet fish ).  The fish are lured towards the boats by torches and then caught by manipulating a trained cormorant.
Cormorants used for fishing are wild Temminck's cormorants.  They are naturaly very agile, smart and adaptable to new circumstances.  Usho ( cormorant fishing masters ) live with them and train them for two or three years to be full-fledged stars of cormorant fishing.

Temminck's Cormorants (used for Cormorant fishing)

Isn't it an unique way of fishing? In some regions of Japan this kind of fishing is still in use. The Cormorants have a small ring around their neck so they cannot swallow the fish. It's a not so nice way of fishing I think.

at the seashore
the fishing-boats are overgrown -
playground for children

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 22th 11.59 AM (CET). I will try to post our next episode, kite, later on today. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.
!!! No time to write an every day haiku on a given prompt? Maybe my new weblog Haiku Shuukan is something for you. There I give every Friday a new prompt on a weekly base ... so feel free to visit !!!

Haiku Shuukan, a new weekly haiku-meme

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Yesterday I have launched a new weekly haiku meme for those who find it difficult to write haiku every day on a given prompt. I have named it 'Haiku Shuukan'. Shuukan is the Japanese word for week.
Yesterday I posted the first prompt 'agony'. I will post a new prompt every Friday around noon. The 2nd prompt will be 'blossom' and will be posted Friday 25th around noon.
If you're interested? Please visit Haiku Shuukan at: you are invited.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #31,

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another week has gone by and I have read wonderful continuations on our last Tan Renga Challenge ... so it's time for a new Tan Renga Challenge ...
By the way: first this ... I have asked several of you, my dear Haijin, if I may use their haiku for this Tan Renga Challenges, but ... and I am terribly sorry ... I have lost my list of whom I have asked and which haiku. Please if I have asked you if I may use your haiku? Please let me know.
Second: I am hopelessly behind with commenting, but I will catch up asap.

For this Tan Renga Challenge I have chosen a haiku written by myself. It's a 'revision' of a haiku by Kikaku which I published lately on my new weblog "Ancient Haiku-poets Revisited".
I challenge you all to write a second stanza to this haiku, traditionally that second stanza is 7-7 syllables, but that ... as you all know ... is not an obligation.

Credits: Rainbow

Here is the first stanza of our 31st Tan Renga Challenge:

in the backyard
the rainbow in the birdbath breaks -
a sipping Magpie 


Well ... I like this haiku and I think that it's an inspiration to write a second stanza to it, because Tan Renga is written by two poets, I couldn't write a second stanza to make this Tan Renga complete, but ... I turned it into a Tanka and here it is:

in the backyard
the rainbow in the birdbath breaks -
a sipping Magpie

raindrops shimmer on green leaves
thousand sparkling colors

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This Tan Renga Challenge episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until April 25th 11.59 AM (CET). Have fun, be inspired and share your completed Tan Renga with us all.

Carpe Diem #451, fasting

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I am preparing this episode it's the Friday before Easter, which we call 'Good Friday'. On this day we are looking back at the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ and we are looking forward to Easter to re-live His resurrection. In the time towards Easter, I believe 50 days, a period called 'Lent', we are fasting in honor of Him and all He has Created. This brings us to our prompt for today, fasting. Jane Reichhold wrote the following haiku as an example for fasting:

the sunrise brings
nothing to eat

(c) Jane Reichhold

Credits: Good Friday
I was a child as I saw for the very first time a picture of the crucified Lord and I can remember that I was sad and the first thing I asked my father than: "Why do people this to other people?"

That question was never answered, because my father said: "You will learn that through life. Know this my son 'God has never promised us a save ride through life, but He for sure will give us a save return home'.
Well ... I am not a strong believer, but that I will return Home save that I know for sure. And maybe ... that's why they once crucified the Lord.

silent prayer
deep down inside my heart
Save Our Souls

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Not really a haiku in response on our prompt today, but ... well it's almost Easter.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until April 21st 11.59 AM (CET). I will try to post our next episode,fishing, later on today. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka or haibun with us all here at our Haiku Kai.