Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Carpe Diem #870 prologue: a door of grass; spring departing; how glorious

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first episode of December 2015. This month we will walk the narrow road to the deep north together with Matsuo Basho. As I have promised I will bring all the 50 haiku from "The Narrow Road Into The Deep North" this month, so for starters I have the first three haiku of this world famous haibun by Basho for you all and for your inspiration. I also will try to bring Basho's world alive again ... through telling you all a little bit more about the places Basho visits in his haibun.
By the way all haiku within the episode are by Matsuo Basho in a translation by Jane Reichhold.


Days and months are the travelers of eternity. So are the years that pass by. Those who steer a boat across the sea, or drive a horse over the earth till they succumb to the weight of years, spend every minute of their lives travelling.
There are a great number of the ancients, too, who died on the road. I myself have been tempted for a long time by the cloud-moving wind- filled with a strong desire to wander. It was only toward the end of last autumn that I returned from rambling along the coast. I barely had time to sweep the cobwebs from my broken house on the River Sumida before the New Year, but no sooner had the spring mist begun to rise over the field than I wanted to be on the road again to cross the barrier-gate of Shirakawa in due time. The gods seem to have possessed my soul and turned it inside out, and the roadside images seemed to invite me from every corner, so that it was impossible for me to stay idle at home.
Even while I was getting ready, mending my torn trousers, tying a new strap to my hat, and applying moxa to my legs to strengthen them, I was already dreaming of the full moon rising over the islands of Matsushima. Finally, I sold my house, moving to the cottage of Sampu, for a temporary stay. Upon the threshold of my old home, however, I wrote a linked verse of eight pieces and hung it on a wooden pillar.
kusa no to mo   sumi kawara yo zo   hina no ie
a door of grass
the resident changes for a time
a house of dolls

It was early on the morning of March the twenty-seventh that I took to the road. There was darkness lingering in the sky, and the moon was still visible, though gradually thinning away. The faint shadow of Mount Fuji and the cherry blossoms of Ueno and Yanaka were bidding me a last farewell. My friends had got together the night before, and they all came with me on the boat to keep me company for the first few miles. When we got off the boat at Senju, however, the thought of three thousand miles before me suddenly filled my heart, and neither the houses of the town nor the faces of my friends could be seen by my tearful eyes except as a vision.

Credits: Cherry Blossoms in Yanaka
spring departing
birds cry and in the fishes'
eyes are tears

With this poem to commemorate my departure, I walked forth on my journey, but lingering thoughts made my steps heavy. My friends stood in a line and waved good-bye as long as they could see my back.
I walked all through that day, ever wishing to return after seeing the strange sights of the far north, but not really believing in the possibility, for I knew that departing like this on a long journey in the second year of Genroku I should only accumulate more frosty hairs on my head as I approached the colder regions. When I reached the village of Soka in the evening, my bony shoulders were sore because of the load I had carried, which consisted of a paper coat to keep me warm at night, a light cotton gown to wear after the bath, scanty protection against the rain, writing equipment, and gifts from certain friends of mine. I wanted to travel light, of course, but there were always certain things I could not throw away either for practical or sentimental reasons.  
Credits: The shrine of Muro no Yashima
I went to see the shrine of Muronoyashima. According to Sora, my companion, this shrine is dedicated to the goddess called the Lady of the Flower-Bearing Trees, who has another shrine at the foot of Mt.Fuji. This goddess is said to have locked herself up in a burning cell to prove the divine nature of her newly-conceived son when her husband doubted it. As a result, her son was named the Lord Born Out of the Fire, and her shrine, Muro-no-yashima, which means a burning cell. It was the custom of this place for poets to sing of the rising smoke, and for ordinary people not to eat konoshiro, a speckled fish, which has a vile smell when burnt.
I lodged in an inn at the foot of Mount Nikko on the night of March the thirtieth. The host of my inn introduced himself as Honest Gozaemon, and told me to sleep in perfect peace on his grass pillow, for his sole ambition was to be worthy of his name. I watched him rather carefully but found him almost stubbornly honest, utterly devoid of worldly cleverness. It was as if the merciful Buddha himself had taken the shape of a man to help me in my wandering pilgrimage. Indeed, such saintly honesty and purity as his must not be scorned, for it verges closely on the perfection preached by Confucius.

Credits: Mount Nikko Shirane

On the first day of April, I climbed Mt. Nikko to do homage to the holiest of the shrines upon it. This mountain used to be called Niko. When the high priest Kukai built a temple upon it, however, he changed the name to Nikko, which means the bright beams of the sun. Kukai must have had the power to see a thousand years into the future, for the mountain is now the seat of the most sacred of all shrines, and its benevolent power prevails throughout the land, embracing the entire people, like the bright beams of the sun. To say more about the shrine would be to violate its holiness.

how glorious
young green leaves
flash in the sun


I wonder how would it be to really live in his time and see the beauty of ancient Japan? Of course I can imagine that, but ... well it would be awesome to walk in his footsteps for real. I hope to bring that feeling into this month's episodes.

Several years ago, and I think I have told you this earlier, I read "Narrow Road" and wrote my own "Narrow Road" inspired by Basho's famous haibun and this was my first haiku which I wrote after the preface of my own narrow road:

the last night
I couldn't sleep -
a Nightingale sings

© Chèvrefeuille

followed by a verse with farewell words:

a farewell verse
scribbled on a receipt
don't forget me

© Chèvrefeuille

This last haiku I used also in one of my novels I wrote several years ago.

As you all know these episodes are to inspire you to write all new haiku. Of course no obligations this month to follow the spirit of Basho, but it would (of course) be great to read all new haiku inspired on "Narrow Road", which can be seen as Basho's path to enlightenment ... this famous haibun has a very deep spiritual meaning and I hope to bring that spiritual meaning to life also.

This episode (published a little bit later than planned) is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 4th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, a new episode of Haiku Writing Techniques, later on.  

Monday, November 30, 2015

Carpe Diem #869 Tavn Bogd

[...] "We started climbing one of the dunes, and as we proceeded the noise grew more intense and the wind stronger. When we reached the top, we could see the mountains standing out clearly to the south and the gigantic plain stretching out all around us." [...] (The Zahir - Paulo Coelho)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's with sadness and pain in my heart that I am writing the last episode of CDHK for November. 2015 Runs to an end and next month we will go on "the Narrow Road to the Deep North" following in the footsteps of Matsuo Basho. I am looking forward to that wonderful journey.

But first ... Tavn Bogd (or the Five Mountains or Five Saints) five snow-capped mountains who are sacred in the Altai .. vistas are gorgeous here and the snow-capped peaks are mirrored in the pools and lakes around them. Must be a real holy experience to sit there taking in the view and the power of the mountains. Listen to the wind over the steppes, listen to the sweet sound of the grasses waving, listen to the birds ... listen to the eagle, king of the skies, and Messenger of the gods.

Credits: Tavn Bogd (Five Mountains)

The Tavn Bogd (lit. "five saints") is a mountain massif in Mongolia, on the border with China and Russia. Its highest peak, the Khüiten Peak (formerly also known as Nairmadal Peak) is the highest point of Mongolia at 4374 meters above sea level. The Tavn Bogd massif is located mostly within the Bayan-Olgii Province of Mongolia; its northern slopes are in Russia's Altai Republic, and western, in China's Burqin County.
Besides the Khüiten Peak, the Tavn Bogd massif includes four other peaks: Nairamdal, Malchin, Bürged (eagle) and Olgii (motherland). 
To inspire you a little bit more I have found a nice video on You Tube about Tavn Bogd:
Wow ... what a beautiful place ... really a holy place where you can feel the spirit of the Altai Mountains ... must be awesome to walk there and experience the magnificent nature of Mongolia .. the land of shamanism and Tengrism ... I can hear the drums of the shaman to reach his/her trance to be a mediator between the spirit wortld and us.

resonating drums
the five saints ... impressive beauty
spirit world opens

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... not a very strong one, but I like the feeling of it ... it's a (real) shaman haiku I think ...

PS. I have published our new prompt-list for December 2015

This episode (a little later than I had planned) is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 3rd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, our first of December, later on.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #184 Ese's fifth "still beautiful"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It is with sadness in my heart that I welcome you at our last CD Special of November in which I shared haiku from a wonderful and very gifted haiku poetess ... Ese of Ese's Voice. She has written a lot of beauties and for this last CD special of November I hope I did make the right choice.

Back in January 2015 we had a pre-Basho haiku poet as our featured haiku poet, Iio Sogi(1421-1502). I shared the following haiku by Sogi as the last featured haiku for January 2015 and this haiku was an inspiration for a lot of our family members and also for Ese.

This was the haiku which I shared:

Now that they end
There is no flower that can compare
With cherry blossoms

© Iio Sogi (1421-1502)

A beauty ... I think and this was my response on this beauty by Sogi:

Ah! those cherry blossoms
everywhere I look their beauty amazes me again -
finally spring is here

© Chèvrefeuille

I remember that I wasn't really impressed by my own haiku inspired on Sogi’s, but the one by Ese was really a beauty, she even came up with two haiku inspired on the one by Sogi. In her first response on Sogi’s haiku I sense his tone and spirit, and in her second response it was very clear to me that it was a real wonderful haiku in the spirit of Ese.

Cherry Blossom (photo © Chèvrefeuille)

Let us first look at the haiku she wrote in Sogi’s spirit:

first cherry blossoms
despite the bites of morning frost
still beautiful

© Ese

Read and re-read Ese’s haiku, read it aloud and you will sense, feel the spirit of Sogi ... did you try it? Have I said to much?

And here is her second, in which I really can feel Ese’s spirit ... try to read and re-read it saying it aloud and I know for sure that you can feel Ese’s spirit ... she is really a gifted haiku poetess and I hope to read a lot more beauties composed by her.

left behind
in the frozen pond
white feather

© Ese

I hope you all did like the CD-Specials of this month and I hope I did make the right choices from her oeuvre of haiku ...

Well ... you know the drill .... try to compose an all new haiku inspired on the haiku by Ese trying to touch her spirit ...

a shimmer
between colorful leaves
white pebble

© Chèvrefeuille

dark forest
a full moon walk -
Nightingale's song

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope that you all are inspired to come up with an all new haiku (or two) in the spirit of Ese.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, 
Tavn Bogd (Five Mountains), later on.

I also hope to publish our new prompt-list for December in which we will follow Basho again on his journey into the deep north. We will see where he has been and we will read ALL the haiku from his famous haibun "narrow road into the deep north". I am looking forward to it ... and I hope you all will do the same.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Carpe Diem #868 Stag Beetle / Flying Deer

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First this ... as I was preparing the prompt-list for this month I thought that this episode, stag beetle, was the right choice, but after almost three weeks I discovered that the prompt had to be "flying deer", because that's what was meant. So in this episode, it's all about a "flying deer" and not about the (insect) stag beetle.

I love to tell you about a kind of "astral journey" I made while I was preparing November's prompt-list. It felt like I was really there, so it was a wonderful spiritual journey through the land of the Tuvan (people) and the Altai Mountains. I hope I can find the right English words to tell you this story.

[...] "Three days, two canyons and crossing several rivers later my companions and I arrive at the sacred Shevet Uul valley, where the prehistoric humans left signs and carvings behind on the rocks. As I walk on I smell the sweet perfume of thyme. A hare jumps away. There ... I see the first horseman. carved, with a lasso in his hand. A little further I see a primitive image of an Ibex, a kind of mountain goat with long horns, carved in the rocks. Solidified life, everywhere I look. Horsemen and galloping horses, Ibexes, a wild boar and magnificent magical creatures. Than ... my heart misses a heart beat. In front of me tumble a lot of little creatures, monkey like, in a dark universe of solidified magma. I forget to breath ... I see a huge flying deer with antlers of spiraling curls and legs elegantly floating through the skies. This magnificent animal escaping from two reaching hands, is three thousand years ago made by humans from the Bronze Age. The half open mouth is from a goose, symbol of the soul; its flight is pointing to the universe, maybe its a symbol of the transformation of the soul that rises to Heaven after dead.
I visit a Tuvan family and the grandfather of this family tells me about the "magical monkey" who is the creator of all carvings on the rocks in the Shevet Uul valley. No human could have done that, only this mythological creature. And the "flying deer" is one of the deities who are pointing us the way, teach us the way to let go and accept life as it is." [...]

Credits: Flying Deer (petroglyph Altai Mountains, Shevet Uul)

It was an uplifting "astral journey" and it opened my eyes to look to my world from another perspective ... a perspective of unconditional love, love for all and everything ... The "flying deer" is always there just around the corner of my mind and he shows up on moments of sadness, but also on moments of great joy ... and every time again it helps me to remember that I have to take life as it comes.

flying deer
points towards the after-life
true acceptation

© Chèvrefeuille

cry of an eagle
reaches the ears of the flying deer
listen to nature

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode was a joy to create, but it wasn't easy ... NOW OPEN for your submissions and it will remain open until November 30th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, our last CD Special by Ese, our featured haiku poetess, later on.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Carpe Diem #867 Tuvan People

Dear Haijin,visitors and travelers,

The Tuvans or Tuvinians (Tuvan: Tyvalar) are a Turkic ethnic group living in southern Siberia. They are historically known as one of the Uriankhai, from the Mongolian designation. The Tuvans' recent ethnic history is rooted in Mongol, Turkic, and Samoyedic groups of peoples.
Tuvans have historically been cattle-herding nomads, tending to their herds of goats, sheep, camels, reindeer, cattle and yaks for the past thousands of years. They have traditionally lived in yurts covered by felt or chums covered with birch bark or hide that they relocate seasonally as they move to newer pastures. Traditionally, the Tuvans were divided into nine regions called khoshuun, namely the Tozhu, Salchak, Oyunnar, Khemchik, Khaasuut, Shalyk, Nibazy, Daavan & Choodu, and Beezi. The first four were ruled by Uriankhai Mongol princes, while the rest were administered by Borjigin Mongol princes.


There doesn't seem to exist a clear ethnic delineation for the application of the name Uriankhai. Mongols applied this name to all tribes of Forest People. This name has historically been applied to Tuvans. In Mongolia there are peoples also known by this name. A variation of the name, Uraŋxai, was an old name for the Sakha. Russian Pavel Nebol'sin documented the Urankhu clan of Volga Kalmyks in the 1850s. Another variant of the name, Orangkae , was traditionally used by the Koreans to refer indiscriminately to "barbarians" that inhabited the lands to their north.

Credits: Tuvan on a horse

They are two groups under the name Uriankhai: Mongol Uriankhai, Uriankhai (Tuva) of mixed Mongol-Turkic origin. All clans of the Mongol Uriankhai are Mongol, and Tuva Uriankhais have both Mongol and Turkic clans. In the beginning of the Mongol Empire (1206-1368), the Mongol Uriankhai (Burkhan Khaldun Uriankhai) were located in central Mongolia but in the mid-14th century they lived in Liaoyang province of modern China. In 1375, Naghachu, Uriankhai leader of the Mongolia-based Northern Yuan dynasty in Liaoyang province invaded Liaodong with aims of restoring the Mongols to power. Although he continued to hold southern Manchuria, Naghachu finally surrendered to the Ming dynasty in 1387–88 after a successful diplomacy of the latter. After the rebellion of the northern Uriankhai people, they were conquered by Dayan Khan in 1538 and mostly annexed by the northern Khalkha. Batmunkh Dayan Khan dissolved Uriankhai tumen and moved them to Altai Mountains and Khalkha land.

Credits: Tuvan throat singer (in Paris)

Tuvan throat singing, Khoomei, Hooliin Chor (in Mongolian, ‘throat harmony’), or Mongolian throat singing is one particular variant of overtone singing practiced by people in Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Tuva and Siberia.
In Mongolian throat singing, the performer produces a fundamental pitch and—simultaneously—one or more pitches over that. The history of Mongolian throat singing reaches far back. Many male herders can throat sing, but women are beginning to practice the technique as well. The popularity of throat singing among Mongolian seems to have arisen as a result of geographic location and culture. The open landscape of Mongolia allows for the sounds to carry a great distance. Ethnomusicologists studying throat singing in these areas mark khoomei as an integral part in the ancient pastoral animism that is still practiced today. Often, singers travel far into the countryside looking for the right river, or go up to the steppes of the mountainside to create the proper environment for throat-singing.
The animistic world view of this region identifies the spirituality of objects in nature, not just in their shape or location, but in their sound as well. Thus, human mimicry of nature's sounds is seen as the root of throat singing. An example of this is the Mongolian story of the waterfall above the Buyan Gol (Deer River), where mysterious harmonic sounds are said to have attracted deer to bask in the waters, and where it is said harmonic sounds were first revealed to people. Indeed, the cultures in this part of Asia have developed many instruments and techniques to mimic the sounds of animals, wind, and water. While the cultures of this region share throat singing, their styles vary in breadth of development.
Credits: Tuvan shaman

Mongolian shamanism, more broadly called the Mongolian folk religion, or occasionally Tengerism refers to the animistic and shamanic ethnic religion that has been practiced in Mongolia and its surrounding areas (including Buryatia and Inner Mongolia) at least since the age of recorded history. In the earliest known stages it was intricately tied to all other aspects of social life and to the tribal organization of Mongolian society. Along the way, it has become influenced by and mingled with Buddhism. During the socialist years of the twentieth century it was heavily repressed and has since made a comeback.
Yellow shamanism is the term used to designate the particular version of Mongolian shamanism which adopts the expressive style of Buddhism. "Yellow" indicates Buddhism in Mongolia, since most Buddhists there belong to what is called the Gelug or "Yellow sect" of Tibetan Buddhism, whose members wear yellow hats during services. The term also serves to distinguish it from a form of shamanism not influenced by Buddhism (according to its adherents), called black shamanism.
Mongolian shamanism is centered on the worship of the tngri (gods) and the highest Tenger (Heaven, God of Heaven, God) or Qormusta Tengri. In the Mongolian folk religion, Genghis Khan is considered one of the embodiments, if not the main embodiment, of the Tenger. The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan in Ordos City, in Inner Mongolia, is an important center of this worship tradition.
A lot of information about the Tuvan people, I have tried to bring the most important facts together in this episode of our Kai. (Sources: Wikipedia)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 29th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, stag beetle, later on.

Carpe Diem #866 Shevet Uul (or the valley of Shiveet Khairhan Mountain)

[...] "We started climbing one of the dunes, and as we proceeded the noise grew more intense and the wind stronger. When we reached the top, we could see the mountains standing out clearly to the south and the gigantic plain stretching out all around us."[...] (The Zahir - Paulo Coelho)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize for being this late with this episode, Shevet Uul). I had read about this sacred place in Mongolian Altai Mountains, but couldn't find enough to write a episode about it, so it took some more research. I discovered that "Shevet Uul" is the valley of Shiveet Khairhan Mountain and that it is a very sacred place for the Tuvan people. Shirveet Khairhan means "holy carved mountain" and it points towards a very large amount of petroglyphs which can be found on this mountain. Those petroglyphs are telling the creation of the Altai Mountains region and its religious meaning for the Tuvan.

The above quote from The Zahir by Paulo Coelho could be scened on this very mountain, because in The Zahir the head character becomes a new name ... following the Tuvan way of religion.

Credits: One of the carvings on Shiveet Khairhan Mountain

Awesome I think ... there are several other carvings in which you can see how the Tuvan thought their world was created.
This kind of petroglyph we see everywhere around the world ... they are carved or "painted" by our faraway ancestors to tell us their story. Petroglyphs are the predecessor of written words as we know them.

carvings from the past
telling the story of our ancestors
without words

© Chèvrefeuille

Not as strong as I had hoped, but I think this haiku says it all ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 29th at noon (CET). I hope to publish our next episode, Tuvan people, later on today.

New episode delayed

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

During circumstances i hadn't time to publish our new episode ... sorry for the inconvinience.

Warm greetings,

Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques #20 Paradox

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” -  Plato, The Republic

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Why this quote by Plato to start this new episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques with? Well ... as we look at that quote we immediately see the paradox in this and I think what Plato says is true for every one. We are all intelligent people, we  are all wise, but ... we know nothing. That's sounds more negative then I meant it to be, because I think we are wise people, but we learn new things every day again.

The HWT of this episode is paradox. As I was preparing this episode I remembered something I have written earlier here at our Haiku Kai. I don't really remember when it was, but I remember it was something I wrote about the paradox in haiku.

[...] "Paradox is the life of haiku, for in each verse some particular thing is seen, and at the same time, without loss of its individuality and separateness, its distinctive difference from all other things, it is seen as a no-thing, as all things, as an all-thing." [...] (Chèvrefeuille)

As you all know I create these episode of Haiku Writing Techniques in cooperation with Jane Reichhold, she not only is a great haiku poetess, but she also has become a close friend of mine (and Carpe Diem Haiku Kai). So let us take a look at what Jane tells us about paradox:

One of the aims of haiku is to confuse the reader just enough to attract interest. Using a paradox will engage interest and give the reader something to ponder after the last word. Again, one cannot use nonsense but has to construct a true, connected-to-reality paradox. It is not easy to come up with new ones or good ones, but when it happens, one should not be afraid of using it in a haiku.

Here is an example by Jane herself:

waiting room
a patch of sunlight
wears out the chairs

© Jane Reichhold

And here is an example written by Basho in which he uses paradox:

black forest
whatever you may say
a morning of snow

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Let us explore "paradox" a little bit further.  Søren Kierkegaard, writes the following about paradox, in the Philosophical Fragments:

[...] "...that one must not think ill of the paradox, for the paradox is the passion of thought, and the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without passion: a mediocre fellow. But the ultimate potentiation of every passion is always to will its own downfall, and so it is also the ultimate passion of the understanding to will the collision, although in one way or another the collision must become its downfall. This, then, is the ultimate paradox of thought: to want to discover something that thought itself cannot think." [...] (Source: Wikipedia)

And what do you think of the paradox in a great painting by one of my favorite Dutch painters, M.C. Escher. Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) is one of the world's most famous graphic artists. His art is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world, as can be seen on the many web sites on the Internet. One of his most beautiful paintings (in my opinion) is titled "Paradox".

Escher's "paradox"
I thinks this HWT challenges us and ... it will make us wiser ...

reaching for the sun
tulips bursting through the earth -
colorful rainbow

© Chèvrefeuille

Another one, more artificial:

different images
seen through readers eyes
haiku paradox

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 27th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, Sheved Uul-valley, later on. For now ... be inspired and share your haiku using this HWT with us all.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Carpe Diem #865 torn apart book (reading nature)

[...] "A sense of paradise descends from the skies. And I am aware that I am living through an unforgettable moment in my life; it is the kind of awareness we often have precisely when the magic moment has passed. I am entirely here, without past, without future, entirely focused on the morning, on the music of the horses’ hooves, on the gentleness of the wind caressing my body, on the unexpected grace of contemplating sky, earth, men. I feel a sense of adoration and ecstasy. I am thankful for being alive. I pray quietly, listening to the voice of nature, and understanding that the invisible world always manifests itself in the visible world." [...] (The Zahir - Paulo Coelho)

[...] “What is Tengri?” “The word means ‘sky worship’; it’s a kind of religion without religion. Everyone has passed through here—Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics, Muslims, different sects with their beliefs and superstitions. The nomads became converts to avoid being killed, but they continued and continue to profess the idea that the Divinity is everywhere all the time. You can’t take the Divinity out of nature and put it in a book or between four walls. I have felt so much better since coming back to the steppes, as if I had been in real need of nourishment. Thank you for letting me come with you.” [...] (The Zahir - Paulo Coelho)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy ... this month we are exploring the Altai Mountains and their spiritual meaning. In this last week of this month we will even come closer to that spirit. As you have read in the above quotes from The Zahir by Paulo Coelho it's all about reading nature this day. 

Credits: Reading Nature (the Altai Mountains)

I remember an article which I read about a woman exploring the region of the Altai Mountains. She had a Mongolian guide who never used a map or travel-book ... he could read his path, the weather coming and so on ... just by reading nature. Reading nature is one of the most important pillars of what is called Tengrism or 'sky worship’. 
That's truly being one with nature ... to have the ability to read nature's signs. Those signs are all around us. In plain simple words I can say: As I see the buds of the cherry grow ... than I know that spring is coming. Or ... as I see the changing colors of leaves at the end of summer I know that autumn is coming.
Isn't that beautiful? Let me look at our beloved haiku ... what do I see? I see kigo (seasonwords) who are pointing to the season in which the haiku was written ... through those kigo we can read nature ... that makes the haiku not only a Japanese poetry form, but also a poetry form of the Altai Mountains, haiku is part of Tengrism ... look around you .... see the signs of nature and read them ... just read them.

yellow meadow
starts to become green again
spring is coming

© Chèvrefeuille

Awesome ... reading nature is really a spiritual experience ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 26th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, another Haiku Writing Technique, later on. For now ... have fun!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Carpe Diem Special #183 Ese's fourth "inevitable"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I love to share another wonderful haiku composed/created by our featured haiku poetess Ese of Ese's Voice. She won our "peace of mind" kukai and next to an e-book which we will create next year, she won the "honor" (if I may say so) to be our featured haiku poetess for November.

Ese, just recently, "closed" her wordpress weblog "Ese's Voice", because of personal reasons. The haiku for today is distilled from her last post on the WP weblog and I love to share, a wonderful poem, or just wonderful words she also shared at "Ese's Voice" hidden behind the title "the danger of being me". In this poem she describes who she is and what her ideas and dreams are.


that every journey begins with a single step, laughter really is contagious and family isn't a word but a sentence;
that there are no better antiques than old friends;
in a difficult climb to earn the view from the top of the mountain;
that when I am good I am very good, but somehow I seem to be better when I am bad;
in „The God Of Small Things”, „The Kite Runner” , „My Poor Marat” and „The Prophet” as much as I believe in „The Little Prince”;
in coffee, green tea, caramel ice-cream and crème brûlée;
in Indian summer, winter twilight and pouring rain;
that rugby is like war – easy to start, difficult to stop and impossible to forget;
in music of different forms, colors, tongues and rhythms;
that it takes two to tango…

I am a Believer.

I think our days would be more meaningful if everyone believed in something. Either yourself, a flight to the Moon or simply tomorrow. Viva La Vida!

Such wonderful words, such a wonderful poem ... that's who Ese is ... a Believer ...

After closing her WP weblog she started a new weblog on Tumblr (also called "Ese's Voice") and that's the place where she often posts new haiku or re-blogs haiku from other wonderful haiku poets.

Credits: snow red leaves

Okay ... back to the haiku for this episode of CD-Special ... "inevitable" is (in my opinion) a very strong haiku with a very true deeper meaning ... everything in our life is inevitable ... as it is in nature. Here is Ese's haiku for your inspiration:

the dance of a falling leaf
with a snowflake

© Ese

Isn't it a beauty? Strong in its choice of words, the balance of the seasons following each other inevitable ...

The goal of this CD-Special is to create/compose an all new haiku inspired on the given haiku trying to touch the sense, tone and spirit of the haiku poet(ess). So here is my attempt to write a haiku inspired on this beauty by Ese.

fresh fallen snow
sprinkled with the colors of autumn

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this CD-Special and that it will inspire you to write an all new haiku.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until November 25th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our next episode, torn apart book (reading nature), later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.