Saturday, November 29, 2014

Carpe Diem #615, Exodus

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a bit sad because this will be our last episode of November 2014. I loved making this months posts and I am so proud of all your wonderful posts I have read, even re-read, it's really a honor to be your host at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and I just feel the warmth of a loving family of haiku-poets ... thanks to you all ... Carpe Diem Haiku Kai has become what it is now and I hope to be your host for a long time and I hope that CDHK will evolve further and that it will growth to an even more greater and loving family of haiku-poets.

Arigato (Thank You)
Today our last prompt of November is Exodus, as we know it from the Israelites as they fleed Egypt with Moses, but it's also a kind of feeling ... of leaving, departure ... and as you all know December 1st winter is starting according to meteorologists. So today is saying goodbye to autumn and welcoming winter.
Welcoming winter in December means in this part of the world (Northern Hemisphere) that we will have frost, snow and coldness and in December we will have all modern kigo for Winter as compiled by Jane Reichhold in her "A Dicitionary of Haiku", a modern Saijiki.

a last leaf
swirls on the wind towards the east -
first snow falls gently

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode, the very last of November, is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 2nd at noon (CET). I will (try to) post our new episode, the first of December, accepting the finite, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your inspired haiku with us all here at our Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Carpe Diem #614, Paradise

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a gorgeous haiku I have read in response on our Little Creature episode and the last haiku by Tranströmer. Really awesome. I have visit you almost all, but I haven't commented yet, because I am to busy right now. I will try to comment on all your wonderful posts a.s.a.p.

Today we have a nice prompt, paradise, and I remember that I have written more haiku about paradise, but today I just will give a reprise of a haiku which I once have written at my personal weblog Chèvrefeuille's Haikublog.


Here that haiku is:
tropical island
returning to the Garden of Eden
paradise is here

© Chèvrefeuille

 And what do you think of this one? Also a reprise haiku:

listen to the cock
he crows at sunrise every day
join our Paradise
© Chèvrefeuille
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Exodus, later on. That will be our last prompt of November and than we start again with a new month. You can find our new promptlist in the menu above.

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #61, Georgia's "a dream in a dream"

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another week has gone by and we have had a wonderful Tan Renga Challenge last week. Today I present to you another Tan Renga Challenge based on a haiku by Georgia of Bastet and Sekhmet's Library which she wrote in response on the GW-post on Poe.
It was really a wonderful haiku and I was immediately caught by it as I read it the very first time. So here is the haiku, our first stanza of the Tan Renga, composed by Georgia:

a dream in a dream
sand slipping through old fingers
autumn leaves turn red

© Georgia

Credits: Sand Slipping Through Old Fingers

To complete, continue this haiku will not be an easy task I think, but on the other hand ... there are several ways, images to do something with in this haiku. So I think it will bring us a lot of joy to see how this Tan Renga Challenge will unfold ...

a dream in a dream
sand slipping through old fingers
autumn leaves turn red   (Georgia)

blown away on the shoulder of the wind
delusory hopes caught in sand     (Chèvrefeuille)

Hm ... a nice continuation I think. It has become what I thought it would be. Strong and in balance.

And now it's up to you to do the same ... make the Tan Renga complete by writing a second stanza (classical or non-classical) towards the first stanza. That second stanza has two lines which follow the 7-7 syllables count, but that isn't an obligation.

This episode is open for your submissions today at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Friday December 5th at noon (CET). Have fun!
PS. Do you have a haiku which you would like to share for this Tan Renga Challenge? Than please let me know or send an email to our emailaddress:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Carpe Diem Special #119, Tomas Tranströmer's 5th "a wild boar plays the organ"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy it was to discover the haiku by Tranströmer this month. I am a bit sad today, because today we have our last Carpe Diem Special with a haiku written by Tranströmer our featured haiku-poet this month. By the way next month we will have another wonderful haiku-poet to discover namely Richard Wright (1908-1960), but that's for next month.

Today I love to share the following haiku by Tranströmer:

then the leaves whispered:
a wild boar plays the organ.
and the bells all rang

© Tomas Tranströmer

This haiku feels like a fairytale ... it's a fairytale in its own ... so maybe it's an idea to try to write a fairytale-like haiku in response on this one by Tranströmer ... well it's up to you my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers.

And to give that idea a try myself I love to reproduce a haiku which I once wrote in response on the fairytale "The Nightingale":

what a sadness
artificial Nightingale's broken -
faraway birdsong

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 30th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, paradise, later on. For now ... have fun!

Carpe Diem "Little Creatures" #13, "The Whirligig "

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you know I have change some things at our Haiku Kai. One of those changes is the bi-weekly special feature in which "Little Creatures" and "Sparkling Stars" will appear in turns. So this week it's an episode of Little Creatures. And I have found a nice haiku written by Tan Taigi (1709 -1771).He became famous through Masaoka Shiki, who took up his haiku. Taigi was a haiku poet who lived in the mid Edo-period. At the age of 40 he became a priest at the temple Daitoku-Ji  in Kyoto. Later in his life, he stayed in a hermitage called Fuya-An (Hermitage with no night) in the precincts of the courtesan pleasure quarters Shimabara  in 1748 and lived as a friend of Yosa Buson. He liked to socialize and drink sake and used to say

 “When praying to Buddha I write haiku,  when praying to the Shinto gods I write haiku”.
Because of his heavy drinking he suffered a brain hemorrhage and died in the Year Meiwa 8. He is burried at the temple Korin-ji in Kyoto.

shizumareba nagaruru ashi ya mizusumashi

the whirligig;
when it stops skating,
the legs float away

© Taigi

Credits: Whirligig or pond-skater

The amembo, the pond-skater, seen skating in summer, has a long slender body, long legs, and wings at certain times. When for a moment it ceases its perpetual gyrating and figure-skating, the current pulls his legs along and the whole posture of the insect becomes assymmetrical. This is all there is in this haiku, but we feel in and through it just as much of the power of nature, law, inevitability, as in the rising of the sun or the procession of the seasons.

It's a very nice and fragile insect this Whirligig (pond-skater) we see it very often here in The Netherlands and it's a sign that the waters (ponds, rivers and so on) are clean, because to skate upon water the surface of that water has to have a certain tension. That tension is only seen in very clean water (with a lot of oxygen).

The goal of this "Little Creatures" feature is to look closer to our surroundings and try to write/compose a haiku in the classical way (5-7-5; seasonword; cuttingword; a short moment; in a way a spiritual or deeper layer and the first and third line have to be interchangable). So here is my attempt to write a haiku inspired on this one by Taigi (by the way I am not that familiar with Taigi).

This episode is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Thursday December 4th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Carpe Diem #613, Solace

!! I publish this episode earlier than I normally do, because I am in the nightshift !!
Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Our prompt for today could have been part of our last Vision Quest, it's very much in tune with that Quest's deeper goal, because our prompt for today is Solace (or consolation). This is a really nice prompt and I love to tell you a little bit more about my past.
As you all maybe know I have written a novel (a kind like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings) and I remember that I wrote that novel in a way of seeking for solace or consolation next to my busy (and often very sad) job as an oncology-nurse. That novel gave me the feeling of "hiding for the sadness and sorrow of my oncology-patients" I could create my own world without that sadness and sorrow.
As I published the novel and read the whole story again I certainly realised myself that I had written about my own life in a certain way. And that's also what I heard from my readers. It was very comforting, soothing to hear that, because I wrote it for solace and consolation ... and I realised that I had reach the goal which I had set for myself ...

As I look at me being a haiku poet I have that same feeling again. It's comforting, soothing and giving me solace as I write/compose my haiku and share it with the world. I think every haiku I write/compose is part of a proces of consolation. I can give words to the thoughts and feelings I have and bring them back to that little poem, we all love so dearly ... haiku ...

Today's prompt, solace, will not be an easy theme to write haiku about, but of course I have to try it ...

smooth touch of velvet
her soft white skin, her blond hair,
Golden Retriever

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... something I hadn't thought that it would come to my mind inspired on solace ... but I think it's quit well ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 29th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, the fifth haiku by Tomas Tranströmer, our featured haiku poet, later on. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #35,

!! I am in the nightshift so I publish this GW-episode earlier than I normally do !!
Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

For this week's GW-post I have used a nice new article written by Jen of Blog It or Lose It. Jen has done several GW-post and I think you all do like her articles, so it's my pleasure to publish another nice article by her.

Have fun!


The Cold within the Sound:  Otagaki Rengetsu

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

One evening – when the muses were being particularly stingy with their inspiration – I started to look for new voices in haiku.  I stumbled across a great site full haiku and tanka written by Japanese women – and fell in love with the poetry of Otagaki Rengetsu (1791-1895) (1).

looking out over the bay 
I see clouds of cold rain 
summoning winter 
and hear the wind in the pines 
whisper its name 

Hopefully you will visit and read some of her work – and you will fall in love with her writing, too. 
Photo © Jen R.

Here is some background on Rengetsu (birth name, “Nobu”), who was born in 1791.   [Source: (2)]

Rengetsu was probably the secret daughter of a geisha and a high official.  The Otagaki family adopted her as an infant.  At 8 years old she was sent to Tamba-Kameyama castle, where she stayed until she was 14.  She learned calligraphy and the arts associated with the nobility.  Here, Rengetsu learned the basics of classical waka – 5-lines, 31-syllables. 

When Rengetsu was 13 she lost her adoptive brother and mother; over the course of 30 years she lost almost all of her close family members.  This includes five children, two husbands, two adoptive siblings, and her adoptive father.  

She married a man named Mochihisa around 1808; they had three children, all of whom died.  The marriage was dissolved around 1815 due to his drinking and visiting the pleasure quarter.  Rengetsu married Juujirou when she was 29; he died soon after.  In grief, she cut her hair and renounced the world, becoming a nun to follow the Buddha.  She was initiated into the Pure Land Sect and took the name “Rengetsu” (lotus/ren + moon/getsu).  

When Rengetsu’s adoptive father passed away in 1832 she needed to support herself on her own.  She began to write poems, which she either brushed on paper or carved into pottery.  She gained respect and a following.  In time her skill as a calligrapher also increased and she inscribed the paintings of many famous painters in Kyoto. 

Like Basho, Rengetsu was a traveler at heart (2):

“Her journeys brought her clay for her work, grist for reflection and, through some unpleasant incidents, inspiration for her poems. It seems every situation was a chance to feel and express, every blossom, animal or person on the road precious to her. Like Matsuo Basho and some other great poets before her, she accepted the hardships of the road, and the states of her own heart. Rather than push them away, she blended them with the nature she encountered, the seasons, the weather and the atmosphere of new places. The results are poems and artwork that never feel merely clever or decorative, but are infused the spirit of one who has seen and experienced life with her whole being.”  (

At age 75 Rengetsu was forced to give up traveling.  She accepted sanctuary with Abbot Wada Gozan.  It was peaceful there, and she and Gozan collaborated in art and poetry.  At one point, she and Gozan produced 1000 images of the Bodhisattva of Mercy and sold them to raise money for flood victims.

Two volumes of Rengetsu’s work were printed during her life:   A Poetry Album of Two Ladies (Rengetsu Shikibu Nijo Wakashuu), 1868; and A Seaweed Diver’s Harvest (Ama no Karumo), 1871.  Today she is considered a forerunner of modern tanka.


Imagine my joy to find this poem – not only is it beautiful, but it mentions arrowroot (kudzu, one of the seven flowers of autumn we learned about at Carpe Diem) (3):

frost-withered arrowroot
vying hailstones—
the cold within the sound.

Isn’t this an amazing poem?  And what a wonderful phrase – “the cold within the sound”.

Photo © Jen R.

Here is my attempt to write in the same spirit as Rengetsu’s waka:

daggers of sleet –
this sharp sound
cut sideways

I like this haiku but it’s definitely not in the same tone.  Perhaps a tanka would be closer?

this November sleet –
it shreds the birch leaves
in the dead grass –
a sharp sound, cut sideways
tossed to the hungry wind

Where does Rengetsu’s “cold within the sound” lead you?  Please share your haiku or tanka inspired by Rengetsu here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai!  And – while you’re at it – please visit Carpe Diem Haiku Shuukan.  


Well ... I hope you all did like this new GW-post by Jen. Are you into writing articles? Than maybe you can write a GW-post for our haiku family. I can use a few new GW-posts ... so feel free to write your article and email it to our email-address: or

It's great to be a Ghost Writer for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai ... so come on ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 28th at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, Solace, later on. For now ... have fun!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Carpe Diem "Time Glass" a time challenging feature #11, "Rainbow"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Last week I hadn't enough time to publish a "Time Glass" episode, but this week I love to challenge you again to write a haiku in 18 hours (instead of 24 or 12 hours).
The goal for this feature is to write a haiku inspired on a photo, image, painting or something and a given prompt. To respond on this Time Glass ... you have just 18 hours ... As I started this feature you had to respond within 12 hours, the last time you could respond within 24 hours, but now I have taken the golden middle way ... 18 hours ... I think 18 hours will give you all the possibility to respond.

This week's Time Glass prompt is: RAINBOW and I have the following photo (a haiga by myself) for you all for your inspiration:

I am looking forward to all of your wonderful responses and remember ... you have only 18 hours to respond. You don't have to use the classical rules, but if you want to ... please feel free to use them.

This "Time Glass" episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 25th 1.00 PM (CET). Have fun! !! Don't forget our regular prompt published a little bit earlier than this Time Glass episode !!

Carpe Diem #612, Lantern

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am in the nightshift (the next five nights) so I don't have a lot of time to write big posts, but of course I will publish every day, maybe sometimes very early or later than I normally do.

Today our prompt is lantern and the first thing which comes in mind is those wonderful Japanese Garden-lanterns, the classical ones as you can see everywhere in Japanese Gardens. So I think I will just leave you all with a wonderful picture of a Japanese Garden lantern. So this episode is a kind of Carpe Diem Imagination. Let the picture inspire you to write an all new haiku ...

Credits: Stone Garden Lantern (Toro)
The above photo is a so called "Tooroo" lantern and I have found some background about these Garden lanterns at Wikipedia which I love to share here with you all.

In Japan a tōrō (灯籠 or 灯篭, 灯楼 light basket, light tower?) is a traditional lantern made of stone, wood, or metal. Like many other elements of Japanese traditional architecture, it originated in China, however extant specimen in that country are very rare, and in Korea they are not as common as in Japan. In Japan, tōrō were originally used only in Buddhist temples, where they lined and illuminated paths. Lit lanterns were then considered an offering to Buddha. During the Heian period (794-1185), however, they started being used also in Shinto shrines and private homes.

Tōrō can be classified in two main types, the tsuri-dōrō (釣灯籠・掻灯・吊り灯籠 lit. hanging lamp?), which usually hang from the eaves of a roof, and the dai-dōrō (台灯籠 lit. platform lamp?) used in gardens and along the approach (sandō) of a shrine or temple. The two most common types of dai-dōrō are the bronze lantern and the stone lantern, which look like hanging lanterns laid to rest on a pedestal.
In its complete, original form (some of its elements may be either missing or additions), like the gorintō and the pagoda the dai-dōrō represents the five elements of Buddhist cosmology.The bottom-most piece, touching the ground, represents chi, the earth; the next section represents sui, or water; ka or fire, is represented by the section encasing the lantern's light or flame, while fū (air) and kū (void or spirit) are represented by the last two sections, top-most and pointing towards the sky. The segments express the idea that after death our physical bodies will go back to their original, elemental form.

Credits: Hanging Toro
As you have read above the Japanese Garden lantern had a very spiritual background based on the five elements. And it is said that the light of the Toro will point you the way to Nirwana and can even point you the way back to life. I don't know if that's true, but I like the idea that there is a light on our path to Heaven and even the possibility that it will point us the way back.

at the graveyard
next to a new grave ... the light of a lantern
standing guard

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 27th at noon (CET). I will try to post our new episode, a new GW-post, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share. !! Also ONLINE NOW our new Time Glass episode !!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Carpe Diem #611, Sylph, spirit of the wind

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you did like our little Vission Quest of the last three days. I liked it a lot and I have seen, read and re-read wonderful haiku, however ... I am behind with commenting on all of your nice posts, so be patient, because I will comment a.s.a.p.

Today we are going to explore the realm of spirits and the one I like the most, because of my country I think, we have here a lot of windy days, I have chosen for Sylph, spirit of the wind. I am a big fan of Celtic culture, spirituality and religion (I even have written a novel in which I have used a lot of this wonderful culture) ... so I have "dived into" the Celtic culture of spirits and Sylph, the spirit of wind, I have found the following about:

Sylphs are the spiritual beings that inhabit the spirit realm of the element Air. Their activities are manifest in the gatherings of clouds, in the blowing of the wind, the downpour of rain and the formation of snow. They are also responsible for the growth and maturity of all the plant life we see around us. In folklore, Sylphs appeared in many myths and legends. Some tales tell us that if you listened carefully, they would talk to you on the wind as it passed through caves and caverns.
It’s been suggested that the Muses of Greek mythology were Sylphs who had assumed human form in order to guide humans on a spiritual path. They are associated with the activity of the mind and can influence and inspire human actions. It is generally though that they are attracted to poets and artists and instills them with visions of spiritual beauty. Sylphs are ruled by a King being (known as Paralda), and in form they appear to humans as in the classic image of the fairies.

Credits: Sylph, the spirit of the wind
The name Sylph comes from the Greek word "silphe", meaning "butterfly" or "moth". They were first named by the Rosicrucian's and Cabalists in their folklore. The sylph is a female spirit of the element, air. Sylphs are like invisible angels, whose voices could be heard in the wind. Sylphs defend the high mountain peaks and wilderness mountains that are home to them. Sylphs look like tall, lithe humans with huge, feathered wings sprouting from their backs. These wings are almost two times it’s body length, but they fold up behind the sylph. They have large, hawk-like eyes and sharp, angular faces. A sylph can live to be hundreds of years old, often reaching one thousand, but never seeming to grow old. The smaller sylph are sometimes called cherubs or fairies. Sylphs are loners, and are content to fly with the birds.
Air is traditionally assigned to the East, the direction of dawn. The Goddesses Danu, Arianrhod, Athena and the God’s Mercury and Buddha, among others, are associated with Air.
Air represents intelligence, inspiration, freshness and freedom.

What an awesome creatures they are, Sylphs ....

whispering through leaves
the sweet sound of the spirits of the wind -
butterflies dance

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you did like this episode about Sylph, the spirit of the wind. Sylphs stand also for inspiration .... so let the Sylphs inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku ...

This episode will be open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 26th at noon (CET). Have fun!