Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #27, Yozakura, the Unknown Haiku poet

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at our new month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, October 2014. This month we will celebrate our second anniversary with all wonderful prompts, Special features and new features to come. You can find this month's prompt-list above in the menu-line or HERE.

Today it's Ghost Writer Wednesday and I think I have a wonderful Ghost Writer for you. He will introduce himself in his GW-post and I hope you will like his story and the task he will give you. Are you ready?



My name is Yozakura, which means "Blossoms in the Moonlight" and I am an unknown Soloku poet or as you call it nowadays, haiku poet. I was born in the Midsummer night of 1640 at Kyoto as a son of a high ranked samourai and a geisha named Fujiko which means "Child of the Wisteria". I can't remember her, because she died as I was born, but my father told me she was as beautiful as the Wisteria.

Credits: Wisteria (or Blue Rain)
My dad raised me alone and thought me all I know about art and poetry. When I was around 20 years old my dad passed away ... I was an orphan now. Being an orphan brought me strong feelings of sadness and sorrow, but it also made me who I am now. To forget my loneliness I started wandering around begging and sometimes I had the luck that I could work for a few weeks, but after my dad's death I never became the same Yozakura again until I met this wonderful man that composed wonderful poems together with his friends and other poets.
He was a great man, a specialist in composing hokku for renga. He was really great and had a revolutionary thought about hokku. I remember one night at his home, if you could call it a home, it was just a hut, that we had a renga party. He suddenly had a revelation of some kind.
"Yozakura!" He said. "I have a wonderful idea". I looked at him, with a kind of adoration in my eyes. He smiled at me and said: "Listen ... Yozakura, what do you think of this idea?" I waited breathless. He had an amazing charisma, it was like he had a lightness around him. "I am gonna make a new poetry form of this hokku. Why we use hokku only to start a renga? Why don't we use it as an alone-standing peom? Listen to this one Yozakura:

an old pond
frog jumps in -
water sound!

"It would be a great hokku, but also on it's own its a great poem. I will call this poetry form 'Soloku'". He looked at me. "Well ... what do you say Yozakura?"
"I don't know master Basho ... but you are right. This is a wonderful stand alone poem and I like that name you have given it 'Soloku'. It's somewhat like myself. My parents died and I am an orphan, but I have done it so well. My life as an orphan has brought me so much happiness and joy and of course there is sadness and sorrow too, but I managed being alone and have become who I am now". Tears rolled over my cheeks. Basho embraced me. "You have done well Yozakura. I am proud to be your friend and your master as I am proud to be your disciple too Yozakura. You have teached me a lot too. I love you". Than he gave me a kiss on my forehead and said: "Come on Yozakura we have something to celebrate ... the birth of a new poetry form, 'Soloku'".

It was great to experience this and I stayed a long time at Basho's home. Maybe I was in love with him, maybe I wasn't, but I know for sure there was a kind of love in our friendship.

How did you became involved with 'Soloku' or as you call it nowadays haiku? Will you tell me? And please will you do me the honor to write a 'Soloku' about that moment?"


During the years I have been your host already I have told you a lot about how I became involved with haiku. So I think there is no need for me to tell you that again, but of course I have to write a haiku to honor Yozakura, the Unknown Haiku poet, who died in the autumn of 1716. He survived Basho, but has never forgotten him. Yozakura has not a lot 'Soloku' left behind, but I have to share a beauty written by him:

yoake ni arau tsuyude watashino ashisaichoubi

at dawn
I wash my feet with dew
the longest day

© Yozakura (1640-1716)

A wonderfully composed haiku very much in the smae spirit as Basho once wrote. I will try to find more 'soloku' written by Yozakura and maybe I will introduce him in November's CD-Specials ... I will give it a thought.

Here is my response on Yozakura's question:

in the moonlight
Wisteria flowers look fragile -
a gust of wind

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this GW-post by Yozakura, the Unknown Haiku poet, and I hope you will be inspired to share your story about becoming 'addicted' to haiku with us all. Have fun!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 3rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, Rough Sea, later on.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Carpe Diem "Time Glass" #4, sunrise

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's "Time Glass"-Monday again and today I will challenge you again to write a haiku within 12 hours. A haiku which is inspired on a photo and a prompt. Today this prompt is Sunrise.
The goal of CD's "Time Glass" is to write a haiku within 12 hours, so it's a feature which is close to the saying "a haiku is a description of a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water".

For this week's Time Glass challenge I have a little extra pressure .... your haiku has to follow the classical rules as there are e.g. 5-7-5 syllables, a kigo (seasonword) and a kireji (cuttingword, mostly interpunction in Western haiku). More about those classical rules you can find in our Carpe Diem Lecture 1, which you can find in the menu-line above.

Sakura blooming (photo © Chèvrefeuille)
And here is the prompt:


You have to use both, the photo and the prompt, for your inspiration. Have fun ... and ... be on time, you have only twelve (12) hours to respond. Good Luck!

This Time Glass challenge starts tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 30th 7.00 AM (CET), so you have just 12 hours to respond.

Carpe Diem #572, Sage

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a bit sad ..., because this is our last episode for this wonderful month of Carpe Diem with all those gorgeous prompts by Jane Reichhold and Francis of Assisi. But ... it's also a joy to look forward to our next month in which we will celebrate our second anniversary. That will be a great month I think, and the first "surprise" I have already shared with you all! Our new Carpe Diem "Ask Jane ..." feature in which Jane Reichhold will give answers on your questions and ideas about haiku, tanka and renga. There will be a few more surprises next month ... you will see ...

Our last prompt of Carpe Diem September 2014 is now at hand and today we share haiku on sage. There are several different meanings according to sage, but sage in this episode is about that gorgeous little plant. Sage is considered a nearly universal magical cure-all, able to dispel curses and bestow wisdom, clarity, health, and prosperity. A sage leaf kept with a Tarot deck will preserve it uncontaminated by negative, distracting forces. One way to break a curse with sage is to light a leaf (or handful of leaves) and then blow out the flame, allowing the embers to continue smoking. Then use the smoldering sage to draw large, counter-clockwise circles in the air. The smoke will banish the curse and bring a blessing in its stead.

Credits: Sage in bloom
Here are two examples of haiku composed by Jane Reichhold:

evening stretches
over desert gold
purple sage

Cathedral Canyon
under Christ's picture
wild sage

© Jane Reichhold

I especially like that second one, because of the contrast with that what I wrote above about Sage. Well ... my friends ... this was the last episode of Carpe Diem September 2014 and tomorrow I will publish our first Ghost Writer post for October 2014 in which we will celebrate our second anniversary. I hope to publish our prompt-list as soon as possible ...

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

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Carpe Diem #571, Mushrooms

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's a real joyful day today, because I have published our new Carpe Diem Haiku Kai feature "Ask Jane ..." and have introduced it to you all. I hope this new feature will bring a lot of joy to you all and I hope to read wonderful questions and answers about haiku by Jane Reichhold.

As this month is running to it's end I am still excited about this all new feature above I even slept really bad because of my excitement. As we are on our way to our second anniversary next month we have still a few prompts to go based on Jane Reichhold's "A Dictionary of Haiku", a modern Saijiki in which Jane has compiled a lot of modern kigo (seasonwords) for all seasons.
This month we are exploring her modern kigo for autumn and today our prompt is Mushrooms. Mushrooms are really an autumn feature, because in this season we can see a lot of mushrooms coming up. So I think this prompt has no need for a long introduction or post ...

Here are a few of Jane's example-haiku for this prompt:

looking closely
under the mushroom
a desert landscape

woman in the woods
touching mushrooms
touching the base

© Jane Reichhold

I like these, but that first one is really my favorite. It shows me wonderful memories and new memories made just in the last few years. My grandchildren are exploring nature and are discovering also the mushrooms in autumn ... and that's great to see and be part of it.

Credits: Fly Agaric
"look granddad!"
he points at a Fly Agaric -
the home of a gnome ...

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't it wonderful ... to see how children are exploring their world and live in it? What a phantasy they have. And what a gorgeous idea to see the home of a gnome in a mushroom ... awesome.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 1st at noon (CET). I will publish or new episode (the last of this month), Sage, later on. For now, have fun!
!! Tomorrow it is time again for our Carpe Diem Time-Glass challenge in which you have to challenge time by writing a new haiku within 12 hours !!

Carpe Diem's "Ask Jane ...", an introduction to a new feature!

E-mail by Jane Reichhold which I got yesterday September 27th:


Yes, let's do this! Put up a note asking for questions. When one arrives I will do my best to answer it. If the question is one I have answered I will rewrite my previous answer to fit your site and person. Otherwise I will answer as soon as I can get something new written.  Here we go. Blessings on the endeavor.
I will write for you and your site as long as the questions come in and my health holds out!
\o/ Jane
Jane Reichhold

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you all could read in the above e-mail by Jane Reichhold she has decided to become our host for a Special feature here at our Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. I had asked her, earlier this year, if she would be Ghost Writer for our second anniversary month next October. She has given it a thought and accepted my invitation to be a Ghost Writer. A while later she emailed me again with the question that wouldn't be "a ghost" and if it was an idea to start an all new feature hosted by her at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.
You all will understand that I was (and still am) excited as I realized myself that Jane actually said: "I love being part of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, but not as "a ghost", but as a real person, hosting a new feature".
That's why I had to publish the Carpe Diem Extra episode of yesterday and now I will first introduce Jane Reichhold to you all with a brief biography, than I will re-publish a short interview I had with her, when our contact started (last year, 2013). And third (and last) I will tell you what the goal will be of this new Carpe Diem "Ask Jane ..." feature and how it's gonna work.

A brief biography of Jane Reichhold:

Jane Reichhold is a haiku personality. There's a lot to know about her, as well as to learn from her. On her page (AHA!POETRY!) we learn that she was born in Lima, Ohio, in 1937, and studied Art and Journalism at Bluffton College, Ohio, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, Fresno State University, Fresno, CA, and San Francisco State University, San Francisco. She lives now in Gualala, CA, USA.

She's also a mother of three children and taught art classes for children (1962-1966). She owned a pottery workshop studio in Dinuba, CA (1967-1971) and then she moved to Hamburg, West Germany, in 1971. There, she made sculpture from ropes which was exhibited throughout Europe. She became the first American woman artist accepted into the Deutsche Kunstlerbund [German Artists' Organization] and has written free-lance magazine articles and poetry since 1963 which, have been published in USA, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Romania and Croatia.

She published a lot of books, so here are a few examples of her books:

# Shadows on an Open Window, 89 pp., 1979.
# From the Dipper...Drops, 125 pp., 1983.
# Cherries/Apples, 52 pp., 1986.
# Tigers in a Tea Cup, 344 pp., 1988. Haiku Society Merit Book Award
# Narrow Road to Renga, 364 pp., 1989.
# Silence, 32 pp., 1991. Haiku Society Merit Book Award
# A Dictionary of Haiku, 396 pp., 1992. (Which you all know from our promptlist this month (September 2014)
 # And recently Jane published “Symbiotic Poetry”, 282 pp., 2014 (with her husband Werner)

Among her many achievements are:

## Leader of the Haiku Writers of Gualala Arts and publisher of their monthly Haiku Sharing for seven years.
## Founder of AHA Books, Publishing Company, in 1987.
## Publisher of Mirrors - International Haiku Forum, a magazine distributed worldwide 1988 - 1995.
## Editor of the Geppo, the periodical for the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society of United States and Canada, 1991 - 1994.
## Co-Editor of LYNX, a journal for linking poets with renga and tanka since 1993.
## In December 1995 she  (and her husband Werner) launched  AHA!POETRY on the web.
## Member of the Haiku Society of America, Haiku Poets of Northern California, Haiku Canada, Haiku International, Tokyo, Japan; the German Haiku Society, and Poetry Society of Japan.

Her Awards:

### Twice winner of the Museum of Haiku Literature Award [Tokyo].
### Three-time winner of an Haiku Society of America.
### Merit Book Award: Tigers In A Tea Cup, Silence, and A Dictionary of Haiku.
### Winner of numerous haiku awards, including second place in the 1987 JAL contest and in the Itoen Tea Company Award in 1992.
### Her papers are being archived at the American Haiku Archives in the State Library of California, Sacramento, CA

art-work © Chèvrefeuille

A short interview I had with Jane Reichhold as our contact started back in 2013:

1.) When did you start writing haiku and was there a reason for that you decided to start with composing haiku?

JR: I first discovered haiku in 1967 by reading a Peter Pauper book, Haiku Harvest, translated by Peter Beilenson and Harry Behn in 1962. I was leery about the shortness of the poems, because I had been writing much longer free-verse, but the transfiguring moment came to me when I realized I could experience something like the Old Masters of Japan were describing in their haiku.
I was a potter at the time and to try out a newly-made kick wheel I was throwing pots outdoors. Just at the moment when my thumb and fingers began to draw the clay upwards, a mockingbird sang a trill. I felt as if it was the bird’s sound that made the clay rise up into a vessel. I instinctively felt this was the kind of experience should be preserved in a haiku. At that time, following the example in the book, I wrote my haiku using 5, 7, 5 syllables. And I thought I was the only non-Japanese writing in the form. I firmly believed that only the Japanese could write a haiku.
I few years later I moved to Germany and I continued to write what I called ‘haiku’ and shared them with my daughter. One day, while at the village dentist, I met Sabine Sommerkamp who was interning as an assistant to earn money to travel to the USA to meet haiku writers. From her I learned that there were several groups in the States as well as such well-known poets as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg who were writing haiku in English. Sabine and I discovered we lived only blocks apart and I began to learn from her while she wrote her doctorate on the subject and she later headed the feature for haiku in the magazine Apropos. Within a year Werner and I had begun living back in the States part-time and it was easier to meet with other haiku writers, to find the books they were reading and writing, and to subscribe to magazines here. [This is taken from an interview by Ami Kaye]

2.) Which classical haiku-master or haiku-poet do you like the most? My role-model is Matsuo Basho.

JR: I would agree with you there. I read and studied every translation of his work I could find. By working with Hatsue Kawamura on our own translations of Japanese tanka, I was finally able to do my own translations of all of Basho’s haikai which was published by Kodansha as Basho The Complete Haiku. Anyone reading the book, and especially the notes, would understand how and why I admire Basho so much.

3.) I have read wonderful haiku written by you, but do you have a particular haiku written by you, which is your special favorite?

JR: That is like asking a mother who is her favorite child.

4.) A last question: I write in Kanshicho-style. Are you familiar with that style which was used several years by Basho? Do you like that style?

JR: I never heard of Basho’s Kanshicho-style unless this name has been given to the poems he wrote in the Chinese style. Can you point me to some works mentioning this. A Google search only brings up your name.

The goal of this new Special feature Carpe Diem's "Ask Jane ...":

Jane is an authority on haiku, tanka and several other forms of poetry. As you can read at AHA! POETRY! she also knows a lot about renga (chained-poem). She has written a lot of books and articles about haiku and she really does know a lot about haiku which she loves to share with Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and the world.
The goal for this feature? Well ... there is no goal just an opportunity to ask Jane all about haiku, senryu, tanka and renga. She will answer all of your questions about haiku and will write also new articles about haiku. She is a great haiku-poetess, maybe the greatest modern haiku-poetess, and can be a source of information and knowledge for you all.
So ... if you have questions for Jane than you can email them to the following email-address which I have created especially for this new Carpe Diem feature "Ask Jane ..." I will forward them (your questions) to Jane and she will answer your questions and email them back to me ... than I will publish them here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

You can email your questions to:

I hope this new Carpe Diem Haiku Kai feature "Ask Jane ..." will become a great success. I am looking forward to your questions and I promise that I will forward them to Jane and publish the answers as soon as possible on our Haiku Kai.


Chèvrefeuille, your host at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Carpe Diem Extra 10-2014

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have a wonderful announcement to make. Carpe Diem Haiku Kai evolves further. I am excited to tell you all that Jane Reichhold will be hosting a new feature here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. As you all maybe know I have contacted Jane last year to ask her permission to use her haiku. Since than Jane and I have been in contact on a regular base and have become friends for life.
Tomorrow I will introduce that all new feature to you all.

Have a nice weekend,


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Carpe Diem Special #109, Words by Francis of Assisi 4

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This is our last CD Special of this month. I have found another nice quote by Francis of Assisi for your inspiration. I hope you do like it and that it will inspire you to write an all new haiku, senryu, tanka or kyoka.

[...] “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” [...]

This is a great quote and I think it's almost a haiku ... here is my attempt to write an all new haiku inspired on this quote by Francis.

moving shadows
as the sun climbs to his throne -
Peter Pan was here

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... not a strong one, but I have tried to bring some humor in it. And ... humor isn't my "cup of tea".

Credits: Disney's Peter Pan
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 30th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, mushrooms, later on. For now ... have fun!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars #7, Koyu-Ni's "Tranquil"

Credits: logo image
Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A new episode of Sparkling Stars (with a new logo) in which I will introduce a classical haiku-poetess named Koyu-Ni, she was (as e.g. Chiyo-Ni) a Buddhistic nun (as can be seen at her name "ni" stands for "female monk".) There aren't many haiku known by her. I ran into this one as I was preparing this episode which I started last Sunday. It's a joy to prepare every episode of Carpe Diem, but it takes time. (smiles)

hana chirite shizuka ni narinu hito-gokoro

the blossoms have fallen:
our minds are now

© Koyu-Ni (Tr. R.H. Blyth)

[...] Koyu-Ni died in 1782, her family name was Matsumato. She is on of the more prominent woman poets of the Edo period. She learned haiku from Songi the First. [...]

I love to share a translation of my own for this haiku:

tranquility -
finally I have found peace,
blossoms have fallen

© Koyu-Ni (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Sakura blooming © Chèvrefeuille
I think that in this translation the peace of mind is stronger present. With every gust of wind I am anxious that the fragile Cherry blossoms will be scattered and torn apart, but as all blossoms have fallen than my heart and mind are at peace, there is no anxiety anymore and that gives me that feeling of tranquility.

Not that this tranquility is superior to the excitement of our hearts while the Cherry blossoms were blooming. It is neither better nor worse. It is simply inevitable, like the blooming, like the falling of the Cherry blossoms themselves.
There is a Waka of Narihira (825-880), which may well have been the original of this haiku:

were there
no cherry blossoms
in this world
our minds might know
serenity in spring

© Narihira

A humorous verse, by Basho (1644-1694), of the same import, is the following:

hana ni nenu kore mo tagui ka nezumi no su

is it not like a mouse's nest, -
this being unable to sleep
for the flowers?

© Basho (Tr. R.H. Blyth)

That is to say, the poet is unable to sleep at night because of the excitement of the Cherry blossoms, and compares his heart to the nest of the mice who are squeaking and scuffling all night long.

One more, by Shado (died 1737), who was a student under Basho:

hana chitte take miru noki no yasusa kana

the flowers having fallen,
looking at the bamboos,
it is restful under the eaves

© Shado

All wonderful haiku I think, tributes to the beauty of the Cherry blossoms, and the anxiety to see them fall and be scattered.
Life and dead are living together just on a thin line of silk, so close to one another, but that's the circle of life, the beauty of Mother Nature. This is what haiku is ... writing about nature and mankind as being part of it's beauty.
Sakura blooming © Chèvrefeuille
The goal of this Sparkling Stars episode is to write a classical haiku, following the classical rules of haiku, about the circle of life of the fragile Cherry blossoms (or any other fragile blossom). So good luck, have fun, be inspired and share your haiku, following the classical rules (as you can read in CD's Lecture 1) with us all here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. The place to be if you like composing haiku and sharing them with the world.

This episode of Carpe Diem Sparkling Stars will be open for your submissions Saturday September 27th at noon (CET) and will remain open until October 4th at noon (CET). For now ... have fun!

Carpe Diem #570, Fallen Leaves

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Fallen Leaves are the image of autumn and today that's our prompt. Autumn a time of loss and beauty. Nature starts to go in hibernation for the cold winter and we (humans) are preparing us for winter. I love autumn ...

in the city park
all kinds of colors together
rainbow leaves

© Chèvrefeuille

A short post this time ... what can I tell more about this prompt ... it speaks for itself.

Credits: Fall Foliage
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 29th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, a new CD Special with words of Francis of Assisi, later on. Have fun!

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #51, Becca Givens' "Red Leaf Falls"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to present our new Tan Renga Challenge episode to you all. Tan Renga is a short-chained verse with two stanzas respectively with 5-7-5 and 7-7 syllables. It looks very similar to the Tanka, but isn't written by one poet (as Tanka is), but by two poets.
In this Carpe Diem feature the goal is to write a second stanza to the given first (three-lined) stanza or 'hokku'. The second (two-lined) stanza can be a completion or a continuation of the scene in the first stanza. You have to associate on themes from the first stanza to write the second stanza.
This week I have chosen a haiku written by Becca Givens of "On Dragonflies wings with Buttercup tea". She wrote this haiku in response on a quote by Francis of Assisi.

nature sleeps
carpet of silent snow
red leaf falls

© Becca Givens

The goal is to write the second stanza of this Tan Renga, a two-lined stanza, by associating on themes in Becca's given haiku.

Credits: Red Leaves
Here is my Tan Renga starting with Becca's verse:

nature sleeps
carpet of silent snow
red leaf falls                             (Becca)

in the middle of the night
bad dreams torturing me               (Chèvrefeuille)

A strange 'twist', but I like the sensation in this one ... what do you think?

This episode of our Tan Renga Challenge is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Friday October 3rd at noon (CET). Have fun, be inspired and share your continuation or completion of this Tan Renga with us all.