Wednesday, July 1, 2015

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

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tokubetsudesu #50 one-bun

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

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

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

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

Credits: Universal Light
The light

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

dark space the red shift of my mind

(c) Jim Kacian

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

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


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

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

(c) Chèvrefeuille

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

The second week

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

on the surface of dark water my face

(c) Jim Kacian

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

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Carpe Diem #766 departing summer

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

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

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

a shriveled leaf
still hanging on
to summer's end

end of summer
beyond the garden gate
mist turning to rain

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

end of summer
tall and bright in the fields
of thistle

summer passing
the path to the beach
where no one goes

(C) Jane Reichhold

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

abandoned beach
finally I can find peace
summer has gone

(C) Chèvrefeuille

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

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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Carpe Diem Time Glass #33 The Wall Berlin

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Our time challenging feature for this Sunday, June 28th, Time Glass, is The Wall Berlin. Why? My youngest son was at Berlin this weekend, because a friend of him has his bachelor-party there. They had fun and unknowingly he (and his friends) brought me this Time Glass prompt. You have just 24 hours to respond on the prompt given, The Wall Berlin, and the given photo with a haiku. Have fun!

Prompt: The Wall Berlin

Credits: The Wall Berlin

Open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open for just 24 hours until Monday June 29th at 7.00 PM (CET). Have fun!

Carpe Diem #765 leaves

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful month we have had all those wonderful modern summer kigo as compiled by Jane Reichhold in her saijiki "a dictionary of haiku" and what we have in front of us next month .... wow I think ...
Kigo or seasonwords are essential for haiku they give the reader the opportunity to really be in the same moment as the poet, at least in the same season. Haiku is the only poetry form who uses that seasonword, however ... tanka is also known for its use of seasonwords, but not that specific as with haiku.

We have still a few days to go in June and today we enter a little bit a new season, autumn, because our prompt for today is leaves. Leaves has multiple meanings, it can mean "leaving" or "leaves of trees" so this prompt we can use in a different way in the haiku ...

Credits: summer leaves
Let us take a look at the haiku Jane shares as example for this kigo, this seasonword:

smoke shaking
from its folds leafy trees
along the railroad

summer departs
all the warmth left
in leaf fires

out of earth
the heart shapes

(C) Jane Reichhold

All three are favorites of mine, but that second haiku is in my opinion the haiku who says it all. It has summer in it, but also a little bit of autumn, really awesome haiku. Jane is really one of the most gifted haiku poets I know.

Here is my attempt to compose an all new haiku inspired on this wonderful prompt leaves:

waves come and go
like the seasons
summer leaves

(C) Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... I am not satisfied with this one, but in a way it says all what I would like to say ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, departing summer, later on.

Carpe Diem Utabukuro #3 how it all started

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a day late with this new episode of "Utabukuro", but I just had to make a new episode. As you all know this special CDHK feature is about haiku (or tanka) you like. Use a favorite haiku or tanka and explain why it's so special for you and to write an all new haiku (or tanka) inspired on your favorite. No prompt or something, but this time a theme "how it all started".

I discovered haiku in the late eighties and I remember that I wrote my first haiku themed Honeysuckle. I became addicted to haiku and several years later, as I became more known worldwide I choose the "nom de plum" Chèvrefeuille, French for Honeysuckle. I think I have written a lot of haiku (and tanka) during the years and so my archive grew to at least 10.000 haiku (and tanka) I think. So a rich archive as I may say it myself (smiles).

In 2005 I wrote my first English haiku, which you could have read in our first episode of "Utabukuro". That haiku brought me in a way worldwide fame, but that's not my place to say so, sounds to immodest.
As the years went and come I realized that there was more to promote haiku, my beloved haiku, and so I started several weblogs on haiku, but the greatest development was our Carpe Diem Haiku Kai which I started in October 2012. I love to share the first haiku I wrote for CDHK here again.

waterfall of colors
leaves whirl through the street -
departing summer

(c) Chèvrefeuille

I wrote it to inspire my first visitors at Carpe Diem (as CDHK was titled than) with the first prompt ever "waterfall".

waterfall of colors
It was the start of one great adventure and that adventure is still going on. We are running towards our third anniversary .... as I started with CDHK I didn't know it would become as great as it already is and of course I hope that CDHK will grow further. There were several occasions that brought to a point to stop with CDHK, but I couldn't, I just couldn't. Why stop with a great formula?

During the years of CDHK I created several special features and since late 2014 I have built my own publishing house "Chèvrefeuille's Publications" and I started to make/create e-books. Of course I was delighted as I got the exclusive rights to publish the e-books of Jane Reichhold at CDHK .... yes CDHK has grown to a community in which unknown and wellknown haiku poets and poetesses have opportunity to share their haiku, tanka, haiga and haibun ... isn't it awesome. This is not only my merit, but we have accomplished it together and that makes Carpe Diem Haiku Kai the place to be if you like to write and share haiku (and other Japanese poetry forms).

As I told you above I have an outgrown archive of haiku and I just love to share here several haiku which I wrote on Honeysuckle. Hamish once wrote "Chèvrefeuille's favorite theme for his haiku are Cherry blossoms". That's very true, but next to the Cherry blossom I have another favorite theme ... yes Honeysuckle. I have written a lot of haiku themed Honeysuckle and so here are a few examples from my archive:

Honeysuckle (in French Chèvrefeuille)
midsummer night -
the scent of Honeysuckle
tickles the senses

fortuneteller touches
the heart of Honeysuckle
the path to wisdom

midsummer night
Honeysuckle in full bloom
Ah! that perfume

scent of Honeysuckle
the smell of dew on her flowers
Holy incense

my dreams wander
along the path of my life ...
Honeysuckle blooms

Honeysuckle blooms
sharing her sweet perfume
I dream away

(C) Chèvrefeuille

Of course I have to create an all new haiku inspired on this favorite(s) ao here I go:

closing the garden
no one to disturb my thoughts -
Virginia Creeper

(C) Chèvrefeuille

Credits: Virginia Creeper

All haiku themed with Honeysuckle. I will make a compilation of all my haiku on Honeysuckle this month and will make it available here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

This episode of Carpe Diem Utabukuro is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Saturday July 4th at noon (CET). Have fun! Share your favorite haiku, tanka or haibun with us all and write an all new one inspired on that favorite haiku (or tanka, or haibun).

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Carpe Diem #764 stones

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

June is almost at its end, we have just three days to go and than a new month will start. I am busy with creating our new prompt-list for July and maybe you can remember one of my earlier posts. Next month we will go on further with exploring summer kigo only this month all our prompts will be classical Japanese kigo. (OUR NEW PROMPT LIST IS READY ABOVE IN THE MENU)

Today our prompt is stones I had some difficulties to relate to summer with this prompt, but finally, as I was walking along the seashore I saw why Jane has chosen this modern summer kigo. Wet stones are looking fabulous and like gems or crystals. As the sun shines on the wet stones the stones shimmer like diamonds and I think that wonderful sight you can only have in summer. Jane has chosen very well here are a few of her haiku she uses as an example for this prompt:

words of god
spoken softly by
river stones

where the water was
a white stone

beach nap
the afternoon covers me
with stone shadow

(C) Jane Reichhold

I especially like the first one of these examples, but that's personal of course.

Credits: stones
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 30th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, leaves, later on. For now .... be inspired and share your haiku with us all.

Carpe Diem Time Machine 10 Indian Summer (Koharu)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's time for another trip along memory lane with our Carpe Diem Time Machine in which we will re-visit prompts we have had earlier in our rich history. Today we go back to December 2012. Back than Carpe Diem Haiku Kai started it's third month, a month with classical Japanese kigo, and Indian Summer or Koharu is such a classical kigo. I will reproduce a part of that episode here:

An Indian summer is a heat wave that occurs in the autumn. It refers to a period of considerably above-normal temperatures, accompanied by dry and hazy conditions, usually after there has been a killing frost. Depending on latitude and elevation, it can occur in the Northern Hemisphere between late September and mid November.
The expression 'Indian summer' has been used for more than two centuries. The earliest known use was by French-American writer John Hector St. John de Crevecoeur in rural New York in 1778: "Then a severe frost succeeds which prepares it to receive the voluminous coat of snow which is soon to follow; though it is often preceded by a short interval of smoke and mildness, called the Indian Summer."In British English St. Martin's Summer was the most widely used term until the American phrase became better known in the 20th century. In the United Kingdom, the term Indian summer is used loosely for a period of unseasonable warmth and sunshine in late September, October, or November. In former times in English-speaking regions of Europe, 'Indian summer' was called Saint Martin's Summer, referring to St. Martin's day, November 11. An alternative was Saint Luke's summer. Another alternative was "All-hallows summer", as All Hallows' is November 1. In the United Kingdom Indian summer is often used to describe warm weather that comes late in the year after unusually cool summer months.In the Netherlands it is sometimes called "oudewijvenzomer" or "sint-michielszomer" ("St. Michael's Summer"), although the term "nazomer" ("late summer") is used more often.

after a warm day
a thin layer of fresh fallen snow
covers the garden

(c) Chèvrefeuille
Indian Summer
Well this was our little trip along memory lane and I hope that it will inspire you to write/compose all new haiku and share them here.

I love to share a few haiku which were written in response on this prompt Indian Summer back in 2012:

the lazy bones yearn,
late summers refuse to move
winter knocks on door

(C) Nimue

on a wintry day,
summer blooms in my heart-
the radiance of hope

(C) Loredana

Warm fingers
Plunged in icy pool
Hummers rove

(C) Becca

Indian summer—
brief respite from the burden
of firewatch at night.

(C) Mark M. Redfearn

Logo Carpe Diem Haiku Kai December 2012

Wind from Lake Michigan
Hitting trees in November
Foliage still bright red

Steady wind, no rain
Bright colors of the Indian summer
Soft sound of falling leaves

(C) Rheumatologe Lothar

 As you can see Mark M. Redfearn was already participating than, so he is one of our very first CDHK family members.

This episode of CD Time Machine is open for your submissions today at noon (CET) and will remain open until June 30th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Carpe Diem #763 outdoor concerts

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have two different episodes for you all. First there is this regular episode outdoor concerts and second we have another episode of Carpe Diem Time Machine, the feature in which we dive into the rich history of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Indian Summer (Koharu). This is our regular episode.

"Outdoor concerts" are really something for summer. Here in The Netherlands we have that kind of concerts very often and not only in summer, we have them also in spring and autumn of course if the weather is good.

One of the most known outdoor concerts is Woodstock back in the late sixties and I love to share a video of this outdoor concert hereafter.

It just brings memories back ... sweet memories and a lot of joy. I wasn't there of course, but as became a teenager I enjoyed the music of Woodstock very much.

Here are the haiku which Jane uses as examples for this modern kigo of summer:

after the concert
my souvenir is the tune
I can hum

call of the flute
answer of drums
among redwoods

flute concert
in the surf sea stones
move at sunset

flute concert
speaking Japanese fluently
the shakuhachi

island fishermen
singing with foreigners
learning to clap

calling through the trees
with two notes

© Jane Reichhold

All wonderful haiku inspired on the theme "outdoor concerts". To close this episode I love to share a piece of shakuhachi music:

Awesome ... I love the sound of the Shakuhachi to me this is really Japanese culture, next to haiku of course. I think this kind of music can inspire to write new haiku too. So here I go ....

sultry summer night
the sound of the shakuhachi
deepens the silence

(C) Chèvrefeuille

I can see the above picture, the scene, in front of me .... I hope we will have such summer nights this summer ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, stones, later on.

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #91, Basho's boiled rice slop

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Friday again and so it's time for a new Tan Renga Challenge, in which the goal is to write/compose the second stanza of the Tan Renga to continue the scene or complete it. This week I have chosen a haiku by Basho to inspire you for this Tan Renga challenge.

This is what Jane says about this haiku which will be the first stanza ("hokku") of this Tan Renga Challenge:

[...] "1694-summer. Basho uses less than elegant terms to describe both the rice dish and the man's wife. Notice how the sense varies as the second line twists so that there are two meanings. This is what Basho considered "lightness" or karumi." [...]

meshi angu kaka ga chiso ya yu suzumi

boiled rice slop
his old lady fans the treat
with evening coolness

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Let me give it a try to make this Tan Renga complete:

boiled rice slop
his old lady fans the treat
with evening coolness                            (Basho)

together with friends
enjoying a summer night                         (Chèvrefeuille)

Not as strong as I had hoped, but well ... I have tried.

This Tan Renga Challenge is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and will remain open for one week, until next Friday July 3rd at noon (CET). Have fun!