Sunday, August 2, 2015

Carpe Diem #788 Rosetta's Stone

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are on our way to discover the regions around The Nile. Yesterday we took off in the Nile delta with our papyrus boat with full sails to find the source of The Nile. We will have a great journey, an adventure, but to find our way over The Nile we will have to "learn" the language, the written language, of Ancient Egypt ... the Hieroglyphs will be needed to find our way. Therefore today I have a nice prompt for you all in which we will "learn" to understand the Hieroglyphs. Today we are using Rosetta's Stone to decode this wonderful written word of the Hieroglyphs.

Credits: Rosetta's Stone
mysterious script
piece by piece, image by image,
hidden beauty

© Chèvrefeuille

The Rosetta Stone is a granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt, in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences among them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Although it is believed to have originally been displayed within a temple, possibly at nearby Sais, the stone was probably moved during the early Christian or medieval period and was eventually used as building material in the construction of Fort Julien near the town of Rashid (Rosetta) in the Nile Delta. It was rediscovered there in 1799 by a soldier, Pierre-François Bouchard, of the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt. As the first Ancient Egyptian bilingual text recovered in modern times, the Rosetta Stone aroused widespread public interest with its potential to decipher this previously untranslated ancient language. Lithographic copies and plaster casts began circulating among European museums and scholars. Meanwhile, British troops defeated the French in Egypt in 1801, and the original stone came into British possession under the Capitulation of Alexandria. Transported to London, it has been on public display at the British Museum almost continuously since 1802. It is the most-visited object in the British Museum. (Source: Wikipedia)

It has been an enormous task for scientists to find the decoding of the Hieroglyphs, because it's a very complex language, but it gave us more insight in the life of all day in ancient Egypt. I have "translated" my penname Chèvrefeuille into an ancient Egyptian cartouche at a wonderful website:

Chèvrefeuille in Hieroglyphs 
painted language
no secrets

© Chèvrefeuille

Another haiku which I wrote inspired on this episode:

mysteries resolved
walking the path of Basho
nature becomes alive

© Chèvrefeuille (in Japanese: ハニーサックル )

Well .... we have decoded the hieroglyphs and now we can go on with our journey, our adventure, to find the source of The Nile.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 5th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Lotus flowers, later on. For now .... have fun!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Carpe Diem #787 Lighthouse of Alexandria (reprise)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have an announcement to make, maybe a few, last Monday my dad was released from the hospital. He's ok, but has to be careful and taking his time to recover fully from his major heart attack. Thank you all for your love, thoughts and prayers.
Than ... after long consideration ... I have decided that the CD Time Glass feature will stop. I know that there are several family-members who loved the time challenge. I made that feature with all my heart and love to challenge you, but it takes to much time to create several CDHK episodes on one day. In the upcoming weeks I also will look to all the other features we have on a weekly base. After long consideration I will "cut" several weekly features to make them a bi-weekly feature. Of course I will create new features to challenge you all, so don't worry ....

Ok ... back to this episode of CDHK. Today we will board on a papyrus boat to sail The Nile and of course we have to start somewhere ... and that's in Alexandria, a large city in the Nile's delta. Maybe you remember our trip along the Seven Ancient World Wonders back in 2013. One of those World Wonders was The Lighthouse of Alexandria. You can find that episode, I belief it was episode 333 HERE.

Lighthouse of Alexandria
The Lighthouse of Alexandria ... it's light flashes over the Mediterranean Sea and The Nile delta as a beacon to guide us on this new adventure deep into Africa as we are on our way to the source of The Nile.

Back in 2013 this prompt inspired several of you, my dear family-members, and I thought "Wouldn't it be a beautiful idea to reproduce a few of the haiku written in response of this prompt?" Well ... here they are ... I hope you maybe remember them or otherwise I hope they will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka and "re-live" that historical fact that we were inspired in October 2013 by The Lighthouse of Alexandria.

Beyond the lighthouse
to some strange and distant land?
All you need is here.

© Magical Mystical Teacher (MMT)

bright beacon
in a stormy squall

© Cathy Tenzo (Haiku Plate Special)

passing over
the lighthouse again ...
fish shadow

ancient ship sailors’ night light
procession beacon

Procession beacon
glow for lovers’ evening strolls
solar garden lights

© Sun (Simply Charming)

Credits: Brandaris on Terschelling (NL), the oldest lighthouse of my country The Netherlands

Well .... did you like this short trip along memory-lane? I certainly did enjoy it and it inspired me to write an all new 

over the harbor
a lightflash

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until August 4th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Rosetta's Stone, later on. For now .... have fun!

Utabukuro #6 moonflowers

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's Saturday and time for a new episode of CD's Utabukuro in which I ask you to share a haiku or tanka which you love. Maybe you have a memory to it or you just like it for it's beauty. Tell us your story and write a new haiku or tanka inspired on the poem you have chosen. That new poem ... well ... put it in the Utabukuro, the poem bag.

Here is my choice for this week's Utabukuro-episode. It's a haiku by my master Basho at the age of almost 22. This haiku touched me just through it's quality. Basho wrote this haiku in the summer of 1666 and it's one of his haiku in which he hided his love for man ...

This is what Jane Reichhold says about this haiku:

The yugao ("evening face", Lagenaria siceraria) is also called "moonflower" because the large, white blooms open in the cool of the evening on vines of dark, green leaves. The connection here is the ambiguity of whether the author or some unknown lover is floating by the flowers. An additional clue comes with ukari ("to float" or "to be high spirits").

Credits: Lagenaria siceraria ("evening face" or "moonflower")

Yugao ni mitoruru ya mi mo ukari hyon

by moonflowers
a fascinating body
floats absent-mindedly

© Matsuo Basho age 21 penname then 'Sobo'.

Maybe you are familiar with the idea of "moon love" it was very common several decades ago, that homosexual man could only show their affection and love at night "as the moon shone". If you are familiar with that idea, than maybe this haiku by Basho (than writing under the penname "Sobo") says more about the hidden layer.

It's a beauty I think in which I see already his greatness he gathered during his life. It will not be easy to write/compose an all new haiku (or maybe a tanka?), but ... ah you know me ...

hidden beauty
the buds of the honeysuckle
start to open

© Chèvrefeuille

A wonderful haiku written by a very young Basho. At that age he was the personal servant of the the son of a high-ranked samourai, Yoshitada. In that same year, in which he wrote this haiku, his beloved young master and friend died. By the way, in Japanese the penname of a haiku poet was called "haigo".

I hope this haiku will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka to share here at our Haiku Kai. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Saturday August 8th at noon (CET).

Friday, July 31, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #159 Lolly's 1st "spring tidings"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new month of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai full of wonderful prompts and adventure. This month we are exploring "in the footsteps of the pharaohs" The Nile and are going deep into Africa to find its source.

As you all know the winner of our CDHK kukai is granted with a prize, next to an e-book, the winner becomes the featured haiku poet/ess of CDHK. This month our CD Specials will all be haiku or tanka composed by Laura Williams a.k.a. Lolly of Lovely Things. You can find her e-book "Lovely Things" at the right side of our Haiku Kai. Its free for download. I think Lolly and I have done a great job with this e-book. As you can see I have chosen the cover of her e-book as the logo for the CD Specials this month.

Lolly won our second kukai "summertime"with the following haiku:

gathering seashells
the sound of summer jingles
inside my pockets

© Lolly

This is a wonderful haiku in which she has touched the deepest feeling of "summertime" I think and I really think she had to be the winner.
Lolly is a very talented haiku poetess and I am glad that she is part of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. She writes wonderful haiku and tanka. I even think that her tanka are more beautiful than her haiku. She has truly mastered this wonderful Japanese poetry form. 

Credits: Bee on a Sunflower

For this first CD Special by Lolly I have chosen a tanka to inspire you.

spring tidings ...
a message of the flowers
to decipher
a secret little alphabet
that begins with a bee

© Lolly

This tanka is awesome. In this tanka Lolly has touched the deepest intention of bees, finding their way to those tasteful places of honey ... without thinking they find their way and make us happy, because as they are gathering honey they are the start of our fruits ...
Do they have their own language? Can we find that tiny little alphabet?

The goal of these CD Specials is to write a haiku or tanka in the same sense, mood and spirit as the one given. I have chosen an oldie, a haiga which I made several years ago and which I love to share here another time.

photo-haiga © Chèvrefeuille

Well .... this was our first episode of our new CDHK month. I hope you did like this episode in which we got inspired by a tanka of our featured haiku poetess Lolly.

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until August 4th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, a reprise of The Lighthouse of Alexandria, to start our journey over The Nile in our papyrus-boat, later on. For now have fun!

Carpe Diem's Like A Pebble #1, a new feature

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you can recall our "analyze that haiku" CD-feature in which I asked you to analyze a haiku. I remember that I have done that feature once or twice, but it didn't worked out I think. So I have created another CD feature "Like A Pebble". In this new feature I will ask you to do the same as in the above mentioned CD feature, but now you have to do it backwards. Now you have to write a haiku (or tanka) inspired on a scene I will tell you, describe to you. It's a kind of "training" to write a haiku after reading the scene. In this "training" you are the haiku poet/ess who writes a haiku based on a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water. It's a short moment, an eye-blink, which inspires you to write a haiku. As you know I see CDHK as a family of haiku poets and so I love to ask you to (if you want to of course) email me a short scene to inspire our family members for the next episode of CD "Like A Pebble". Our next episode will be on August 14th. If you would like to write the scene for our next episode of "Like A Pebble" you can email your scene to our email address:

Please write "Like A Pebble" in the subject line. You have until August 10th to email your inspirational scene for "Like A Pebble".

For this first episode of "Like A Pebble" I will describe a scene of autumn, a nice experience while being outside with my grandkids. Here is the scene which you have to use for your inspired haiku or tanka:

Laughter resonates through the city park. The trees starting to become colorful, leaves decaing slowly and rustle in the wind. I smell the sweet perfume of decay and wet earth. The sun shines brightly sometimes hiding behind darkening clouds. A few meters in front of me my grandchildren are playing in an amount of fallen leaves.
"Look granddad!"
My youngest grandson shows me a chestnut he has found.
"Awesome Sem", I respond.
I kneel in front of him. The chestnut is almost glowing in the sunlight and as I look closer I can see a faint reflection of my face on the shining skin of it.
"That's a beauty Sem. Where did you find it?"
He points to the leaves. His two brothers are laughing aloud and are throwing with the colored leaves. It looks like it is raining leaves.
After a while we walk further through the park. It starts raining. Raindrops are falling, painting circles in the pond. the circles are slowly widening, becoming larger and larger. The circling waves finally faint away, but the rain makes new ones over and over again until ... the rain has stopped and the sun appears from behind the, now rainless, clouds. At the Western horizon the colors of an ending day become visible.
I take my grandsons by the hand and we walk home. As we cross a bridge Sem stops takes his chestnut out of his pocket and throws it into the water.
"Look granddad ... my chestnut makes circles."

Credits: children are playing in an amount of fallen leaves

I hope you liked this scene and that it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku or tanka which gives words to the short moment I have painted in the above scene. That short moment of the sound of a chestnut thrown into water.

Here is my attempt to catch that short moment "like a pebble" ..... thrown into water:

laughter of children
searching for chestnuts between leaves
Ah! what a joy

© Chèvrefeuille

A nice haiku, if I may say so. I think it shows the scene as I described. That one moment ... of joy.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 14th at noon (CET). I hope to read wonderful haiku or tanka in which the scene is captured "Like A Pebble".

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #95 "lilies of the valley" by Adjei Agyei Baah

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have a nice Tan Renga Challenge for you. I had a last haiku by Adjei Agyei Baah, our featured haiku poet in July 2015 which I hadn't used yet. Adjei wrote this haiku in response on Suzuran or Lilies of the Valley

The goal is to write a second stanza towards it. Here is his "hokku" :

stuck to the mountainside
like ribbons

(c) Adjei Agyei Baah

Well ... a short episode, but I hope it will inspire you to complete this Tan Renga. Have fun!

This Tan Renga Challenge is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will be open until next Friday August 7th at noon (CET).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Carpe Diem #786 buruu muun (blue moon)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First this: I am hopelessly behind with commenting and I don't think I can catch up, so if I didn't visit or comment your response than please forgive me. I will try to do it better next month.

Second: As you all know our third CDHK kukai is running and you can submit your haiku for this kukai "juxtaposition" until August 16th. You can email your submission (a maximum of three never published earlier haiku) to our email address:

Please write kukai "juxtaposition" in the subject line.

Third: Yesterday I introduced an all new feature CDHK's Renga Party. If you would like to participate in this Renga Party please let me know through the comments field of that post. You can register until August 5th.

This is our last episode of July in which we explored classical Japanese kigo (seasonwords) for summer and got to know a talented haiku poet from Ghana, Adjei Agyei Baah.
Today our prompt isn't a classical kigo, but let me say ... a special treat, because today we have the second full moon of July, so we have a so called "blue moon". It's a special occasion, because we have had not a single blue moon during the existence of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. The last blue moon before starting CDHK was on August 31st 2012 and I remember that I wrote a post about this blue moon on my personal weblog Chèvrefeuille's Haiku blog.

Blue Moon is a phenomenon that occurs not so many times. It’s a second full moon in one month.
I am close to the Wiccan tradition and live with the lunar calendar. It is amazing to see that sometimes we have twice a full moon in one month. In the Wiccan tradition we call that Blue Moon this will occur today (July 31st). Blue Moon is for Wiccans worth a celebration and it will be a great celebration.

Moon above Seta

Basho wrote a haiku on this event of the Blue Moon. It occurred in the Autumn of 1692 as we may belief, but I did some research on this and came to the conclusion that in Basho's lifetime a Blue Moon had occurred twenty times. According to the year in which the following haiku was written, the Blue Moon, wasn't in Autumn but on April 30th (or in March, as we follow the lunar calendar).
In 1689 a Blue Moon occurred on August 30th and as we know, according to the lunar calendar, this has to be July and that's in the midst of summer. I think Basho was impressed of the Blue Moon and wrote this haiku later. Until now, in my lifetime (1963 - now) a Blue Moon occurred 21 times.
Matsuo Basho has written a wonderful haiku on this event of the Blue Moon.

meigetsu wa futatsu sugite mo Seta no tsuki

Harvest moon
even coming twice in a month
the moon of Seta 

© Matsuo Basho

It's really awesome to experience the beauty of a second full moon in one month ... it's magical I think. 

wonderful event
another full moon in one month

to witness this Blue Moon
wonderful event

© Chèvrefeuille

Blue Moon

it's a mystery
today a second full moon occurred
awesome ... Blue Moon

© Chèvrefeuille

Back in 2012 (September) I wrote a "haibun" about the occurrence of a Blue Moon. I love to share that here again.
A Blue Moon occurred on August 31th 2012, a second full moon in one month. It’s magical and mysterious to see that Blue Moon. A Blue Moon occurs not many times. As I look at my lifetime (over 50 yrs) there were 20 Blue Moons and the next Blue Moon will occur on July 31 2015. So I had to see this event of course. Well I did saw it.
I was wandering through my neighborhood when I saw just a circle of light at the night sky, but several minutes later the clouds moved away from the full moon and then I could see the Blue Moon. It was a mysterious and magical moment which I will cherish like a treasure. Ah! What a richness! I have seen the Blue Moon.

she is hiding
in a circle of light
the Blue Moon

© Chèvrefeuille

Well .... I hope you all did like the read and I hope it will inspire you to write an all new haiku or tanka.

This was it ... July 2015 has gone by in one heartbeat .... we are preparing us for an all new month of Carpe Diem in which we will follow in the footsteps of the pharaohs and explorers to find the source of The Nile ... it will be an adventure I think and I hope you all will be part of this adventure.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 2nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our first episode of August, the first CD Special by Lolly of Lovely Things, our winner of the "summertime" kukai and our featured haiku poetess this month, later on.


Carpe Diem's On The Trail With Basho Encore #10 a bush warbler

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have a new episode of "Encore" for you to inspire you to write in the same sense, tone and spirit as Basho.

Basho knew his classics and used that knowledge frequently in his haiku. The following haiku is, as Jane Reichhold says, a pseudo-science haiku.

Let us look at the haiku on the Bush warbler.

uguisu no   kasa otoshi taru   tsubaki kana

a bush warbler
has dropped his hat
a camellia

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Taiwan Bush Warbler

In old (classic) poems (e.g. waka) there was a phrase about the bush warbler (looking similar to our cuckoo) stitching a hat from plum blossoms. Basho changed the hat to a camellia and had the bird dropping it - which was much more natural than stitching. If birds wore hats the camellia would be the right size and shape. Maybe you can visualize the picture of the bush warbler wearing a camellia for a hat. It looks like a cartoon I think, but why not. Humans wear hats so why shouldn't birds and animals don't wear them. Maybe you lost your hat in a storm or something, so also the bush warbler could lose his hat in the storm or dropping it.

a gust of wind
a hat tolls around and around -
camellia flower

© Chèvrefeuille

Pink Camellia

A haiku with a smile? I think so ...

This episode of "Encore" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Thursday August 6th at noon (CET). Have fun ... be inspired and share!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Carpe Diem Renga Party an Introduction to a new feature

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I think I have a nice new feature for our loving family of haiku poets. Maybe you can remember that we had a renga session feature at CDHK, but it died a silent death, and for a while I thought that renga cannot be done at CDHK.
Recently I have read Jane Reichhold's "Writing and Enjoying Haiku" and in that book Jane has written a chapter about renga. As I read that chapter I thought "maybe I have to try this again, because renga was the "birthplace" of haiku". That's the reason why I have created a new CDHK feature which I love to introduce here ... this new CDHK feature is titled "Carpe Diem Renga Party".

Credits: Renga platform (worth visiting)
Let me tell you how I see this Renga Party in front of my eyes or in my mind ... what ever (smiles). As you all know Renga is written with a group of haiku poets whom are writing alternately a stanza (link) of the Renga. It's a pleasant time passing acitivity and it can help you to improve your haiku skills or associative skills to become an even better (haiku)poet.

For this Carpe Diem Renga Party you have to register. After the registering period, say one week, I will create a list in which you can see when it's your turn to write a stanza and which stanza you have to write.

For example:

1. 5-7-5, the hokku which I will provide the first Renga Party

2. 7-7, Jen (Blog It Or Lose It)

3. 5-7-5, Hamish (Haiku Forest)

and so on

You have to follow the stanza, so you have to wait until your predecessor has written his/her stanza, because you need the stanza before your turn to write your stanza.
The stanza you have to post in the comments field. There will not be a linking widget in this feature, because that's to complicated to create.
After all the registered participants have written (and posted) their stanza I will create the Renga which is the result of this Renga Party and publish it at our Haiku Kai.

The time to write the Renga will be approximately four (4) weeks.

I hope you all understand the meaning of this new feature and that I have explained the way it works in clear words (I hope so).

For our first Carpe Diem Renga Party the subscription starts today and will run until August 5th 2015. So if you would like to participate in our first Renga Party ... let me know it through the comments field of this post.

I have already selected a haiku to start our first Carpe Diem Renga Party with, the hokku:

in the twilight
mist creeps over the fields -
stars twinkle

© Chèvrefeuille, your host

I am looking forward to be your host for our first Renga Party "in the twilight".


Carpe Diem #785 goraikou or sunrise seen from a mountain top

!! Our new prompt-list for August 2015 is ready, you can find it in the menu !!

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

We have only two days left of July and I think we had a wonderful CDHK month with all beautiful classical Japanese kigo (seasonwords) for summer, based on the ancient Japanese saijiki, a list of kigo.
As I was preparing this month's prompt-list I was looking for special kigo and I think I succeeded in that, but the kigo for today ... is (in my opinion) very special, because it's a kigo about an action. Today we share haiku inspired on goraikou or sunrise seen from a mountain top ... what can I say? This sounds like a really nice kigo and I have sought the Internet and found not a single haiku with this kigo in it. So I have chosen a few haiku in which Mt. Fuji is mentioned.

There is something to tell about this kigo. "Goraikou," is the special name given to the sunrise when seen from the top of Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji). It's a very special kigo, because of it's link with the holy mountain of Japan, Mount Fuji. As we all know the Japanese are very close to nature and they honor nature with whole their hearts. It is said that seeing the sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji brings good fortune.

Credits: Mt. Fuji Goraikou
asakusa ya asahan mae no fuji môde

before my breakfast plate
pilgrims climb Mount Fuji

© Kobayashi Issa

As for many Muslim is the once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca so is the climb to the top of Mt. Fuji a classical task for Buddhists and Shinto-believers (at least that was the task in classical Japan). However this climb is to strong for several believers there were miniature Mt Fuji in almost every shrine. In the above haiku by Issa, he is referring to pilgrims who are climbing such miniature Mt. Fuji.

Another haiku by Issa about Mt. Fuji:

waki muite fuji wo miru nari kachi sumô

turning aside
to look at Mount Fuji...
sumo champion

© Kobayashi Issa

Credits: Otome Pass woodblock print by Hiroaki (Shotei) Takahashi (1871-1945)

The highest and most sacred of Japan's peaks, Mount Fuji was the home of the great kami-sama or gods. Buddhists believed it was a mystical gateway between earth and heaven.

fuji no kaze ya oogi ni nosete Edo miyage

the wind from mt. fuji.
I brought it on my fan.
a souvenir from Edo

© Matsuo Basho

Written in 1676, Basho Age 33. On the way to Iga Ueno. Probably written at the home of Shi-in.This is a greeting hokku to his host, who maybe presented him with a fan to keep cool during the summer heat.

kumo o ne ni fuji wa suginari no shigeri kana

clouds for roots,
Mt. Fuji's green foliage,
the shape of a cedar

© Matsuo Basho

And here is a haiku by Kato Shuson, a modern haiku poet who died in 1993:

fuji no kon sude ni happoo kiri ni fusu

the blue of mount Fuji
on all the sides
covered by the fog

© Kato Shuson (1905-1993)

I really had hoped to find a haiku with our kigo for today in it, but ... it just had to be that way I think. So I have tried to imagine goraikou to write an all new haiku based on this kigo.

Credits: Mt. Fuji seen from Mizukubo woodblock print by Hiroaki (Shotei) Takahashi

after a steep climb
I get my prize
sacred sunrise

© Chèvrefeuille

falling in love
is like climbing Mt. Fuji
Ah! that sunrise

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't it awesome! How would that be ... after climbing the sacred mountain getting the prize, falling in love with the amazing sunrise as seen from the top of Mt. Fuji.

It wasn't an easy task to create this episode, but it turned out to be a nice one and I hope it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku or tanka.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 1st at noon (CET). I hope to publish our new episode (a special one), buruu moon or Blue moon (a second full moon in one month), later on. Have fun!