Monday, October 5, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #171 Cor van den Heuvel's "baseball"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to bring another wonderful (well known) haiku poet to your attention, Cor van den Heuvel. Of course I will give credits to his work used here. I have asked him for permission to use his haiku (of course I hope he will grant me that permission), I however had already planned haiku written/composed by him for this festive third anniversary month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Let me tell you a little bit more about Cor van den Heuvel:

Cor van den Heuvel, born and brought up in New England, has been writing haiku since he first discovered the genre in 1958 in San Francisco, where he heard Gary Snyder mention it at a poetry reading in North Beach. Though he is considered one of America's leading haiku poets, van den Heuvel is best known as the editor of The Haiku Anthology, generally considered the definitive collection of American and Canadian haiku.
After learning about haiku, van den Heuvel soon returned to the east coast and by early 1959 was writing his own haiku in a small cottage in Wells Beach, Maine. That summer he got a job reading them, along with translations of Japanese haiku, at the Cafe Zen in nearby Ogunquit. In the fall he moved to Boston where he gave readings of haiku and other poetry in Beat coffee houses.
Cor van den Heuvel
At the beginning of the 1970s, van den Heuvel, joined the Haiku Society of America and became friends with William J. Higginson, Anita Virgil, and Alan Pizzarelli. The poet's association with the society was close for many years. While he was its president in 1978, the society's magazine, Frogpond, began publication and haiku poet Sumio Mori and haiku scholar and critic Kenkichi Yamamoto were invited from Japan to speak on haiku in New York City.
In 2000 he was named Honorary Curator of the American Haiku Archives at the State Library in Sacramento, California, and at the World Haiku Festival held in London and Oxford, he received a World Haiku Achievement Award.
On December 1, 2002, he was awarded The Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Prize in Matsuyama. The prize, for outstanding contributions to haiku as poet and editor, included a cash award of 500,000 yen (about $4,000) and an all-expenses-paid week in Japan. Van den Heuvel is presently in the process of putting together a volume of his collected haiku, The Ticket-Taker's Shadow. A book of his haibun, A Boy's Seasons, which was serialized in Modern Haiku, is to be published by Press Here.

I first thought that Cor van den Heuvel was a fellow dutchman, but it turned out that he wasn't a dutchman, but as I look at his name ... than he must have had Dutch ancestors ... maybe I will have the chance to ask him that.

Credits: Baseball player

Cor van den Heuvel has written wonderful haiku, but especially I was pleasantly surprised by his poetry-book "baseball", one of the most famous American sports. So I had to find a few of his haiku from "baseball".

conference on the mound
the pitcher looks down
at the ball in his hand

pitcher and catcher
head for the dugout
the batter stares at his bat

© Cor van den Heuvel (from: baseball)
But of course he has written a lot of other gorgeous haiku as we saw in one of our earlier Utabukuro episodes and now I love to share a few other haiku written/composed by Cor van den Heuvel to inspire you.

shading his eyes
the wooden Indian looks out
at the spring rain

late autumn-
sunlight fades from a sandbank
deep in the Woods

© Cor van den Heuvel
shading his eyes
the wooden Indian looks out
at the spring rain

© Cor van den Heuvel
Wow what a wonderful haiku to read and re-read. Cor van den Heuvel's haiku have a very strong quality and I hope to write/compose my inspired haiku to become "in his shadow", I think I will never be that a great haiku poet as Cor van den Heuvel has become.

As you all know it's the goal to write an all new haiku (tanka or other poetry form) inspired on the haiku by the featured haiku poet trying to become close to the same sense, tone and spirit. Not an easy task ... but I love to challenge you (as you all know) and myself.

Here is my attempt to write an all new haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the haiku by Cor van den Heuvel:

old farmer
inhales the fresh morning air
rain today

© Chèvrefeuille

Another one, this time inspired on the "baseball"- haiku. I am a big fan of basketball and I thought "maybe I can write a haiku inspired on basketball", so here is my very first "basketball - haiku" ever.
he dribbles to the other side
three points!

© Chèvrefeuille

I remember that we had a Jack Kerouac haiku on basketball last year in May. I love to share that haiku here again:

playing basketball
– the lady next door
watching again

© Jack Kerouac
Another wonderful CD Special has come to its end and I hope it will inspire you all to write an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form. It was really fun to create this episode and I hope you all will feel that joy and fun too.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 8th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, a new episode of Haiku Writing Techniques, later on.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Carpe Diem #833 Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month we are celebrating our third anniversary and during this month we are visiting all Japanese Festivals following the calendar. We have seen already a few wonderful Festivals and the Festival of today ... well ... what can I say ... is one of the most wonderful and magical ones. This Festival, Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival, is situated around Sapporo. Let me tell you a little more about Lake Shikotsu first and than I will "show" you the beauty of the Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival.

Credits: Lake Shikotsu

Lake Shikotsu is a caldera lake in Chitose, Hokkaidō, Japan. It is a part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park.
Lake Shikotsu is located in the south-west part of Hokkaidō. It has an average depth of 265 metres (869 ft) and a maximum depth of 363 metres (1,191 ft), making it the second deepest lake in Japan, after Lake Tazawa. It is the 8th-largest lake by surface area in Japan and the second largest of Japan's caldera lakes, surpassed only by Lake Kussharo. It is surrounded by three volcanos: Mount Eniwa to the north and Mount Fuppushi and Mount Tarumae to the south. The caldera formed in the holocene when the land between the volcanos subsided.
Due to its depth, the volume of Lake Shikotsu reaches 3/4 of the volume of Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake, despite of having only 1/9 of that lake's surface area. Due to the small surface area to depth ratio, the water temperature remains quite constant throughout the year, making it the northernmost ice-free lake in Japan. The Bifue, Okotanpe, Ninaru and Furenai rivers feed into it, and its main outlet is the Chitose River.

Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival is an ice festival held in Lake Shikotsu hot springs in Shikotsu-Toya National Park. There are lines of ice sculptures made by spraying water from Lake Shikotsu, which boasts some of the clearest water in Japan, and freezing it. The ice slide, the rink where you can slide around in boots, and the horse rides around the venue are popular with children. From 18:30 on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays during the event period, there is the launching of around 300 fireworks, as well as Wadaiko drum performances. It's just a very attractive festival and there is no specific meaning behind it. It's just for fun and pleasure ... and of course it's a wonderful sight to see those sculptures made by Mother Nature.
ice sculptures
frozen beauty -
breathtaking fragility

© Chèvrefeuille
I think this festival just had to be on our route ...

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

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Carpe Diem #832 Wakakusa Yamayaki (Burning down Mount Wakakusa)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you did like our CD Special episode, the first by Michael Dylan Welch, and that it has inspired you to write/compose wonderful haiku. I have read already a few submissions and they were awesome.
In this festive month of CDHK in which we celebrate our third anniversary we will visit all Japanese Festivals through out the whole country. Japan has a wonderful history of celebrations and festivals and there over 100.000 festivals all around Japan. Every town, every little village, every prefecture has it's own festivals and celebrations. A lot of those celebrations have to do with fire and today we are visiting a festival in Nara (former capital of Japan, back in the 8th century).

Japan's first permanent capital was established in the year 710 at Heijo, the city now known as Nara. As the influence and political ambitions of the city's powerful Buddhist monasteries grew to become a serious threat to the government, the capital was moved to Nagaoka in 784.
Nara is located less than one hour from Kyoto and Osaka. Due to its past as the first permanent capital, it remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples. 

Credits: Todaiji Temple Nara

The festival of today starts at Todaiji Temple and is called  
Wakakusa Yamayaki  (Burning down Mount Wakakusa). Let me tell you a little bit more about this festival.
The Wakakusa Yamayaki is a late January festival that burns down Mount Wakakusa in Nara. There's a single word for burning down a mountain in Japan: yamayaki.

The Wakakusa Yamayaki began in a dispute over territory between Kofukuji and Todaiji temple. Someone ended up burning down Mount Wakakusa as part of the dispute.

Today the Wakakusa Yamayaki is a little less passionate. A group of priests from Todaiji temple, Kofukuji temple and Kasuga shrine are given the honor of burning down the mountain. Over time, symbolic ritual has been attached to the burning.

Yamayaki is practiced all over Japan. In other regions the story is often that the mountain was traditionally burned to ward off insects, bears or wild boars. Mountains that are the target of yamayaki grow a green grass in summer. This is arguably aesthetically pleasing. Trees are nice too. Directly beside the burn area is the Kasugayama Primeval Forest, a sacred forest that has been strictly off limits to the public for more than 1000 years.

Fire is a common theme of Japanese festivals. Feats of bravery with fire are common. Japanese history is filled with devastating fires. Mastery of large or dangerous fires is something that seems to intrinsically appeal to people in Japan. The festival begins around noon. Things start off slowly. Festivities include a senbei (a kind of baked or grilled Japanese rice crackers) throwing competition.

Credits: Priests preparing Wakakusa Yamayaki

Around 17:30 a large bonfire is lit at the base of Mount Wakakusa. Priests gather around the bonfire for a while. At 18:00 there's a fireworks show. Afterwards, the priests use the bonfire to light torches. They proceed a short distance up the mountain in a procession and light the grass on fire. 

burning the mountain
smoke swirls from the green grass
pleasing the gods

© Chèvrefeuille

Here is a short video (15 minutes) about this year's Wakakusa Yamayaki at Nara.

I like this festival. I never had heard from this festival, but it sounds and looks great. I hope it will inspire you to write an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

Have fun!

(Sources: Japan Talk and Japan Guide)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 6th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival, later on.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Carpe Diem Haiku Experiment #1 an introduction

© shutterstock-content "liquids"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What the h... is this? I can almost hear you say or think that, just joking (smiles). I love to introduce an all new feature to make Carpe Diem Haiku Kai even more a Haiku loving family. Let me tell you what this new feature "Carpe Diem Haiku Experiment" means and what I hope to realize here.

A while ago, don't ask me were I read it, I read about a classic custom in ancient Japan (and maybe elsewhere on the planet). I think I read it in one of the books written by Jane Reichhold, but that I don't know for sure. That classic custom was the following:

A haiku poets writes a haiku for, say ..., a close friend. He sends that haiku (or gives it in person) to that close friend, the recipient, and than the custom was to respond on that haiku with a, by the recipient written, poetry answer. For example:

haiku poet:

a lonely flower
my companion
for one night

recipient's response:

not alone
tonight the moon is bright

It's in a way a Tan Renga like custom, but I would like to challenge you in this experiment to write a poetical response on the haiku (only haiku) by writing a two lined response (than you "complete" a Tan Renga) or with a three lined response (a haiku associated on images in the "send" haiku).

Let us just give it a try. The goal of this new feature is to respond on the haiku given here with a two- or three lined stanza. Than write an all new haiku yourself to let your visitors do the same, writing a response on your haiku.

Here is the haiku which I love to share here for this first time Carpe Diem Haiku Experiment:

light of the full moon
shines through colored leaves
at last ... autumn

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope this new feature makes us even more a haiku loving family by responding with a poetical response on the haiku written and shared here and on all of your wonderful weblogs.

This Carpe Diem Haiku Experiment is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open for two weeks (October 16th at noon (CET)). It's just for fun ...

Carpe Diem Special #170 Michael Dylan Welch's 1st roar of the midway

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It is my pleasure that I can introduce our first featured haiku poet for this festive month in which we celebrate the third anniversary of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Our first featured haiku poet is the well known haiku poet Michael Dylan Welch. He has written wonderful haiku and he emailed me a list of haiku which I can/may use this month. Let me tell you first a little bit about him.

Michael Dylan Welch has been writing haiku since 1976, when he first learned about the genre in a high school English class. He joined the Haiku Society of America in 1988, and has been an officer of the society numerous times. Michael cofounded the Haiku North America conference in 1991, and the American Haiku Archives in 1996. He also founded the Tanka Society of America in 2000 (serving as its president for five years), and National Haiku Writing Month (NaHaiWriMo) in 2010. Michael's latest books are True Colour, Becoming a Haiku Poet, and Fire in the Treetops. He recently completed a two-year term as poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, where he also curates two poetry readings. His own poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies in at least twenty-one languages. Michael's personal website, devoted mostly to haiku, is, and you can visit the NaHaiWriMo website at

Michael Dylan Welch
For this episode of our CD Special I have chosen one of my favorite haiku written/composed by Michael.

roar of the midway—
the toddler's balloon
rises in moonlight

© Michael Dylan Welch

In this haiku the scene was touching me, of course triggered by "the toddler's balloon", because the image I saw immediately in front of me ... my youngest grandson in tears because of loosing his balloon.
What I like further in this haiku is the use of the contrast between "roar of the midway" and "rises in the moonlight" (loud and quiet). A really nice haiku in my opinion.
Credits: Balloons in the sky

As you all know the goal of the CD Special is to write/compose an all new haiku (or tanka) inspired on the given haiku and trying to catch the spirit of the haiku poet. For sure not an easy task, but I think I succeeded.

fragile dewdrops
glisten in the light of the rising sun -
a rooster crows

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 5th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Wakakusa Yamayaki, later on. For now ... have fun!

Carpe Diem Extra #36 temporarily changes October 2015

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month we will have no special features like "My favorite haiku by ..." and "Utabukuro", because I love to create special regular prompts and CD-Specials and by doing that I will not have time to bring the other special features this month.

So this month we will have our regular prompts, the CD Specials (featured haiku poet) and the Haiku Writing Techniques only. Maybe I will launch a new special feature, Carpe Diem Troiku World, this month, but that I am not sure about yet.

I hope you all will like this month in which we are celebrating the third anniversary of our Haiku Kai.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Carpe Diem #831 Ohmato Taikai (Festival of the Great Target)

!! My apologies for being this late with publishing !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy ... after such a long time of being patient I can start with our third anniversary month. Today I have a wonderful festival for you ... this festival is called: Ohmato Taikai, Festival of the Great Target, and (as you will understand) it's a festival especially for archery (Kyudo) and it takes place around January 10th, say around the Japanese (classical) New Year.

Let me tell you a little bit more about this Festival:

 “Ohmato Taikai”, our prompt for today is a 400 year old archery competition held at the Sanjūsangen-dō Temple in January. This temple in Kyoto has always attracted Kyudo (Japanese archery) enthusiasts. The main hall building is the longest wooden building in Japan — it is 120 meters long.
Credits: Sanjūsangen-dō Temple

The competition, called Tōshiya (lit. passing arrow)  started in 1606 when a Samurai gave a demonstration of his Kyudo prowess — shooting 100 arrows in rapid succession the entire length of the temple. He hit the target 51 times.
Since this, an annual Kyudo contest has been held at the Sanjūsangen-dō Temple with various archery marathons events:

The Hyakui
Most target hits with 100 arrows.

The Seni
Most target hits with 1000 arrows. In 1827, an 11 year old named Kokura Gishichi successfully hit the target 995 times firing from half the distance of the hall.

The Hiyakazu
Boys who had not yet celebrated their Genpuku, or coming-of-age ceremony, could compete in this event. Archers would shoot as many arrows as possible for a 12 hour period during the day. In 1774, Masaaki Noro, a 13 year old from Kishū, shot 11,715 arrows with almost all of them hitting the target. That’s an average of 16 arrows a minute for 12 hours with no break. 
Credits: Ohmato Taikai
The Oyakazu
The number of target hits in 24 hours. In 1686, Wasa Daihachiro from Kishū successfully shot 8,133 out of 13,053 arrows averaging 544 arrows an hour, or 9 arrows a minute, and became the record holder.
The Tōshiya competition ceased being held in 1861, after 255 years. Since then, a contest based on it, the Ohmato Taikai, or Festival of the Great Target, still continues today, drawing roughly 2,000 participants from throughout Japan. The sight of all these 20 years old woman participants in colorful kimono with hakama is awesome!  Archers shoot arrows into targets approximately 50 – 100 centimeters in diameter and 60 meters away. The contestants are all 20 years old and there are also demonstrations by older, more experienced archers.
The archers shoot in groups of six. There are only 4 targets. Each archer has two arrows and two minutes. Archers that hit the target with both arrows go on to the next round.(Beneath you can find a video about this festival). 
I hope you did like this episode of our Haiku Kai and I hope it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 4th at noon (CET). I will (try to) post our next episode, our first CD Special of this festive month, later on.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Carpe Diem #830 New Year

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

... with our third anniversary of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and a Happy New Year. Welcome at our third anniversary month October 2015. Time to look back, but not to long. We are not living in the past or in the future, we are living NOW.
Back in October 2012 I started Carpe Diem Haiku Kai (than it was only called "Carpe Diem") to share my love for haiku and other Japanese poetry forms with the world. Back than the only thing I thought was "let me give it a try and start with a daily haiku meme". I never had thought that CDHK would be alive and kicking three years later, but ... we are here growing from toddler to teenager and with a lot more special features.
Our first Logo September/October 2012
Back in 2012 I only had the regular prompts and the CD-Specials in which I introduced and shared haiku composed by a featured haiku poet/ess (classical and non-classical). In the first month that was (of course) Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), my haiku master.
During the time I created new features, some of them still in use and others vanished or landed in the closet. Last year (2014), following the warm-hearted family feeling of our Haiku Kai, I mentioned for the very first time our Kai "Carpe Diem Haiku Family" and in the mean time that "family"- idea landed in your hearts and in the hearts of my visitors and travclers by. I created several new parts for our "Carpe Diem Haiku Family" e.g weblogs on Wordpress. And I created places for our Carpe Diem Haiku Family at Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr and more recently I created a place at Pinterest and a new weblog at Sim-diff. This last weblog on Sim-diff is especially for Troiku.
This year we started with our CDHK kukai from which we have had four (the judging for our 4th kukai "peace of mind" is running at the moment) and we had our first Renga Party. We have really grown ... we have our e-books and (I hope) to launch our own CDHK-M, our merchandise webshop, soon.

Our logo September 2014

Than we had of course that event that Jane Reichhold, a very famous haiku-poetess, became a kind of co-host for CDHK and gave me the exclusive rights to publish her e-books at our Haiku Kai. I am grateful that she gave me that opportunity. During the excistence of CDHK I had the honor to bring haiku by several well known, famous, haiku poets/esses from all around the globe e.g. Kala Ramesh, Jim Kacian and Garry Gay and this month, in which we celebrate our third anniversary, I have the honor that two well known and famous haiku poets have granted me permission to use their poetry and an essay, Michael Dylan Welch and Tom D'Evelyn. Both have gained their place in the world wide haiku community and I am grateful that they will be here (in words) at CDHK.

Earlier in this post I said that we are living now in the present ... I have looked back and now I love to give you a Sneak Preview of the future of our Haiku Kai.
This month I hope to open our CDHK-M webshop (Carpe Diem Haiku Kai-Merchandise) and I hope to open our own You Tube Channel. I am struggling with that channel, so this will take a little bit more time I guess.

Troika (the base on which the Troiku is created)

I will create another weblog especially for Troiku, because the Sim-Diff weblog is just a kind of showcase, to give you the opportunity to respond on themes given with a Troiku. I also will create an all new feature Troiku World here at our Haiku Kai and also an all new feature about the Fibo-ku, both creative ways to write haiku which I invented.
Next month November we will go back to Central Asia, to Mongolia, the Altai Mountains were we will have a journey while riding on a horse. That month we will "read" another wonderful novel written by Paulo Coelho, The Zahir. The Zahir is one of his most beautiful novels and the story takes place in and around The Altai Mountains.
In December we will have all classical kigo for Winter based on the Japanese Saijiki's.

I hope to create two new e-books, one for our prize-winning poetess Ese, for the kukai "juxtaposition", and a special E-book about Troiku.
As you maybe know this month it's all about Japanese Festivals ... and Japan has a lot of them.

What can I tell you more ... at the moment nothing more I think, so I will end this episode New Year with the following haiku:

yesterday's wind
on New Year’s Eve
still the same

carpe diem haiku kai

a gathering of creative spirits

colorful fireworks

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 3rd at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, Ohmato Taikai, later on. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Carpe Diem Extra 35 - 2015 Judging our fourth kukai "Peace of Mind" starts !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The judging for our fourth kukai "Peace of Mind" is NOW OPEN. You may give 6 points (3 for the best haiku, 2 for the second best haiku and 1 point for the third best haiku). As from now on (as we have discussed earlier) the judging is also open for those who didn't participate in this kukai.

Please send your votes before October 15 th 2015 midnight (CET) to our emailaddress:

Don't forget to write "judging kukai "peace of mind" in the subject line.

Good Luck!

Chèvrefeuille, your host.

PS. You can find the anonymous list of submitted haiku in the menu above or by clicking HERE.

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #63 Troiku (reprise)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

To celebrate that CDHK has a new part on Troiku I love to challenge you all to write (again) a troiku. This time however with a small twist ... you have to use the haiku which I will give you in this episode.
By the way I am busy with creating a new feature here at CDHK in which we will, on a bi-weekly base, have two different creative ways of writing haiku. That feature is about Troiku and Fibo-ku, two creative ways to write haiku which I invented.

Ok ... back to this Tokubetsudesu episode. I have a wonderful haiku by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), one of the "big-five" haiku poets (Basho, Issa, Chiyo-Ni, Buson and Shiki), to start your Troiku with. In short you have to write three new haiku using the three separated lines of the given haiku as the first line. To read more about Troiku, please see the menu above.

Credits: A Troika the base of the Troiku

The haiku which you have to use ("the sleigh") is a haiku by Basho in a translation by Jane Reichhold.

Here is the haiku ("the sleigh") to use to create the three new haiku ("the horses"):

butterflies and birds
restlessly they rise up
a cloud of flowers

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

This is what Jane tells us about this haiku by Basho written in spring 1684: This verse is ambiguous enough that the reader does not know if the butterflies and birds look like a cloud of flowers or if they fly up into a cloud of blossoms.

This is the "blue-print" of the troiku:


butterflies and birds
restlessly they rise up
a cloud of flowers

(horse 1):

+ starts with: butterflies and birds

(horse 2):

+ starts with: restlessly they rise up

(horse 3):

+ starts with: a cloud of flowers

I will of course create a troiku from this haiku by Basho myself and I have already the "third horse":

a cloud of flowers
on the shoulders of the wind
they rise to heaven

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't it awesome to create a troiku? I even created a weblog especially for this new form (you can find the link at the left of our home-page) and I will create a new CDHK special feature for this creative way of writing haiku.

Well ... good luck .... have fun!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 2nd at noon (CET). Have fun!