Friday, October 9, 2015

Carpe Diem #835 Hanami (blossom viewing)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

In this festive Carpe Diem Haiku Kai month I just had to make an episode about the blossom viewing festivals or Hanami. These festivals are everywere in Japan and there are also a lot of other countries who have special blossom viewing festivals e.g Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (Canada).
And of course ... you know that I have my own little cherry blossom viewing festival as my Sakura is blooming. I have told you all several times about that hanami festival in my own backyard and shared several haiku and haibun about "my" hanami.

Today Hanami (blossom viewing) is our source of inspiration. Let me first tell you a little bit more about Hanami by sharing a waka by Ki no Tomonori (c. 850 – c. 904):

In these spring days,
when tranquil light encompasses
the four directions,
why do the blossoms scatter
with such uneasy hearts?

© Ki no Tomonori
Credits: Under The Cherry (woodblock by Utagawa Kunisada)

The practice of hanami is many centuries old. The custom is said to have started during the Nara Period (710–794) when it was ume blossoms that people admired in the beginning. But by the Heian Period (794–1185), sakura came to attract more attention and hanami was synonymous with sakura.[5] From then on, in both waka and haiku, "flowers" meant "sakura."
Hanami was first used as a term analogous to cherry blossom viewing in the Heian era novel Tale of Genji. Although a wisteria viewing party was also described, the terms "hanami" and "flower party" were subsequently used only in reference to cherry blossom viewing.
Sakura originally was used to divine that year's harvest as well as announce the rice-planting season. People believed in kami inside the trees and made offerings. Afterwards, they partook of the offering with sake.
Emperor Saga of the Heian Period adopted this practice, and held flower-viewing parties with sake and feasts underneath the blossoming boughs of sakura trees in the Imperial Court in Kyoto. Poems would be written praising the delicate flowers, which were seen as a metaphor for life itself, luminous and beautiful yet fleeting and ephemeral. This was said to be the origin of hanami in Japan.
The custom was originally limited to the elite of the Imperial Court, but soon spread to samurai society and, by the Edo period, to the common people as well. Tokugawa Yoshimune planted areas of cherry blossom trees to encourage this. Under the sakura trees, people had lunch and drank sake in cheerful feasts.
The teasing proverb “dumplings rather than flowers”  (hana yori dango) hints at the real priorities for most cherry blossom viewers, meaning that people are more interested in the food and drinks accompanying a hanami party than actually viewing the flowers themselves. 
Credits: Hanami pic-nic Himeji Castle, Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture Japan
Hanami is still a wonderful festival and that makes me happy. Hanami can not be missed it's the start of spring and points to the light part of the year.

such sadness
the spring wind has molested
cherry blossoms

© Chèvrefeuille
The Japanese were very anxious as the Cherry trees began to bloom and the wind of spring came. A last "cherry blossom" - haiku from my archives (september 2012) on cherry blossoms and their fragile beauty.

cherry blossoms
looking so fragile in the moonlight -
ah! the spring breeze
fading moonlight
caresses the fragile blossoms
finally spring

© Chèvrefeuille
I hope you did like this episode about Hanami or blossom viewing and I hope it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 12th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Hina Matsuri (Girls Day), later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Carpe Diem Perpetuum Mobile #2 rainbows sparkle (or movement in haiku)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had some spare time, so here is (against my earlier thoughts) an episode of one of our special features.

A while ago (somewhere in July 2015) I introduced CD Perpetuum Mobile to you. A special feature about movement in our beloved haiku. Movement? What is movement? How do I catch movement in my haiku? To catch movement in your haiku you can try movement as in "driving a car" or "the swirling of autumn leaves", but movement can also be "the change of seasons" or "the erosion of pebbles through water or sand". All examples of movement. To catch movement in a haiku is not easy, because sometimes it can look artificial and that, my dear Haijin, is something you and I don't want to see/read in our haiku.

Haiku is the poetry of nature and nature is always in motion. Seasons come and go, the moon changes every 28 days and so on, the only thing which is steady and without clear motion is our sun, that big star of our Milky Way around which the planets are rotating.

Nature is always moving and so it's like a perpetuum mobile. As I look at haiku on it selves than haiku is always changing too. As long as haiku exists the rules of writing them have changed like the waves, they have come and go and come again. So our beloved haiku is a perpetuum mobile in it's pure form I think.

seasons come and go
the everlasting motion of nature -
perpetuum mobile

© Chèvrefeuille

Credits: The Oceans are always in motion

A haiku must be fluid, it has to flow, but how can we bring that fluid, that flow into haiku? I think the only way to do that is being one with the scene, the moment, we have to describe in our haiku, but ... I can almost hear you think "haiku is an impression" as I love to call it.
Maybe you can remember our first series of Haiku Writing Techniques or our Impressionism month in which I stated that haiku is an impression, a surprise, but if we look at haiku that way and we have to bring movement into our haiku than we cannot be non-artificial, but still ... This sounds like a koan, that Zen question that enlightens you as you find the unexpected answer, the unexpected deeper meaning and beauty of your haiku.
Most haiku can be seen/read as such a koan, because you describe a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water that touched you and gave you a kind of insight ... or maybe a revelation.

dew drops shimmer
on colorful leaves
rainbows sparkle

© Chèvrefeuille

Do you see/read the movement? The light of the sun, the shimmering dew drops in which rainbows sparkle, and those colorful leaves making the sensational movement even better.

Credits: whirling leaves

Or what do you think of this one, from my archives:

waterfall of colors
leaves whirl through the street -
departing summer

© Chèvrefeuille (2012)

In this haiku the movement, the motion is very clear present "leaves whirl through the street" ... all movement. Haiku becomes very lively through using movement ... so try it sometimes ... or just now.
The goal of this feature is trying to catch the perpetual motion of the seasons, of nature. This feature has no prompt, sometimes a theme, but mostly I will challenge you to catch movement in your haiku, movement of nature in specific.

This CD Perpetuum Mobile episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 22nd at noon (CET). Have fun!

Carpe Diem Special #172 Michael Dylan Welch's 2nd Tulip festival

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

How do you like this anniversary month until now? I am really excited about all the wonderful prompts I have chosen, but more than those prompts I am grateful that I may use haiku written by wonderful well known haiku poets.

Today's CD Special is another beautiful haiku by Michael Dylan Welch and it triggered me because of the first line "tulip festival", a pure Dutch (cliche) image and that's the reason why I choose this haiku for the second special by Michael Dylan Welch.

I have written a lot of haiku myself about tulips, so before I publish the haiku by Michael Dylan Welch I love to share a few haiku by myself:

First an acrostic haiku in which I have brought two world together by using the acrostichon "poetry" and the liaison "east" (more on this form HERE):

Perfect way
Of writing haiku
Eastern thoughts
ulip bulbs
Redder than red
Year by year
© Chèvrefeuille

And another haiku, not an acrostic one, but just a haiku:

white blanket
spotted with colors
tulips bloom

© Chèvrefeuille
I wrote the above haiku impromptu, I had read several haiku on tulips and was anxious to share a new one, so this haiku was the result.
Credits: Tulip Festival

Ok ... back to our CD Special a haiku by Michael Dylan Welch about, as I told you already, tulips. His haiku triggered me to share the above haiku and here is the haiku by Michael:

tulip festival—
we talk about everything
except the flowers

© Michael Dylan Welch

What a lovely haiku ... I can see the image in front of me and how strong the scene is. How sad to talk about tulips without seeing their beauty, but I can emphatize with that. As I look at myself I love to talk and sometimes while talking I am losing contact with my surroundings and yes ... than I don't see the tulips or cherry blossoms. I think that's human ...

The goal of the CD-Specials is to write/compose an all new haiku inspired on the given haiku by our featured haiku poet and trying to stay close to the emotion, sphere and spirit of the haiku given. Here is my haiku, an oldie from my archives:

on wooden shoes
the farmer plows his fields
a sea of tulips

© Chèvrefeuille
To conclude this CD Special I have another haiku from my archives:

reach for the sun -
tulips burst through the earth
colorful rainbow
© Chèvrefeuille

This CD-Special is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 11th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Cherry Blossom viewing, later on. For now ... have fun!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Carpe Diem #834 Setsubun Mantoro (Lantern Festival)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... we have had a nice episode of CDHK HWT yesterday and it was a joy to create that episode, because I had to look back at other episodes of our CDHK HWT and other episodes (as for example our GW-posts) to find some background and examples.
Today we are exploring another Japanese Festival as part of our anniversary month. Today we have Setsubun Mantoro as prompt and I love to tell you something more about this festival.
Credits: Setsubun Mantoro (Lantern Festival)

Setsubun is an annual Japanese festival on February 3rd. Setsubun is the beginning of Spring according to the old Japanese lunar calendar. It's traditionally believed that the spirit world comes closer to our world at this time of year. Strips of paper with people's wishes inscribed on them are placed over the lanterns. It's thought that wishes may be granted on Setsubun, but they also think that, through the idea of having the spirit world closer by at this event, demons can escape to our world..

A Setsubun related event in Nara involves the lighting of Kasuga Taisha's 3000 stone and bronze lanterns. The shrine (traditionally rebuilt every 20 years (until the Edo-era)  to symbolize continual renewal) dates back to the year 768 AD and is surrounded by a primeval forest. The lighting of the lanterns makes the place feel ancient and mysterious. They are only lit twice a year. (With Setsubun and Obon).
Kasuga Taisha Shrine (Nara)
dispelling the darkness
after the long cold winter
welcoming the light

© Chèvrefeuille

What a wonderful festival this is. As you have read above I was inspired and that haiku I wrote is awesome and fits the theme for today so well. I am looking forward to your responses. Have fun!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 10th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, our second CD Special by our featured haiku poet Michael Dylan Welch, later on.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques #13 Riddle

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to start with our second "book" on Haiku Writing Techniques. At the start of this year I wrote 12 episodes on Haiku Writing Techniques and in this month (until the end of this year) I will publish a new series on Haiku Writing Techniques starting today with a nice, somewhat strange Writing Technique, riddle.I love to start with a very famous haiku by Moritake in which this technique is very clear. I think you all know this haiku:

A fallen blossom
returning to the bough, I thought --
But no, a butterfly.

© Arakida Moritake (1473-1549) (Tr. Steven D. Carter)
In this haiku you can read immediately the "riddle"- technique. In this scene it seems like blossoms are returning to their branches, but as we look closer than the blossoms are butterflies. This is what we call the "riddle"- technique.

Credits: butterfly
The technique of the riddle is one of the oldest poetical techniques. Early spiritual knowledge was hidden in poetry in which the riddle technique was used to make sure the secrative wisdom wasn't lost or would fall in the wrong hands.
Nowadays, for sure there will be poetry in which secrets are hidden, but as today there is no need to hide secret knowledge in our haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form, but this "riddle" technique is still used and I think there is nothing wrong with. It's just great to write/compose haiku with this "riddle" technique to let the reader decide how he/she experiences the scene in the haiku.

Here is an example by Jane Reichhold:

where do they go?
these flowers on a path
by summer's passing

© Jane Reichhold

The trick is to state the riddle in as puzzling terms as possible. What can one say that the reader cannot figure out the answer? The more intriguing the setup and the better the correlation between the images, the better the haiku seems to work as written with the "riddle" technique. There is only one difficulty in using this "riddle" technique ... don't overdo ... your haiku will fail.

As we saw in the example above by Moritake ... than the "riddle" is clear and it's one of the classical masters favorite tricks. Of course we have to experiment with this "riddle" technique, to do that you have to ask yourself the question "if I saw snow on a branch, what else could it be besides blossoms?" or seeing a butterfly going by, you ask yourself what else besides a butterfly could you have caught in the corner of your eye?

Here is another example of the "riddle"technique, written by one of the classical masters:

komo wo ki te   tare bito imasu   hana no haru

wrapped in a straw mat
who can this great one be?
flowers of spring
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

And here is another nice haiku by Basho, but it's in a different way written with the "riddle" technique. There have been several disputes about this haiku by Basho, but the truth will stay in the middle I think.
Which truth, you ask? The following haiku could be explained in two ways, the first is that it points to the story of Chuang-tzu, who dreamed he was a butterfly; the second explanation (more in the "riddle" way) is that this haiku refers to one of Basho's (male) lovers. It's up to you which "riddle" you follow.

okiyo okiyo   waga tomo ni se n   nuru ko cho
wake up wake up
I want you for a friend
sleeping butterfly

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

It's a very nice Haiku Writing Technique I think and it makes it possible to bring something mysterious into your haiku. Yes I like that "riddle"-technique, but it will not be an easy task to write/compose an all new haiku with this "riddle"- technique.

blossoms fall
entering the realm of the clouds
muddy puddles

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... not a strong one I think, but at the other hand I think it's truly a haiku written with the "riddle" technique.

This first episode of our Second (book) part of Haiku Writing Techniques is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 9th at noon (CET). Have fun! 

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!