Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Carpe Diem #1258 daily bread


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This time I don't have a lot of time, so I only will give you our new image for this new episode of "Imagination Without Limits". A whole month full of beautiful images for your inspiration. The image for today I found on Tumblr, but I couldn't retrieve the owner of this image. So if you are the owner or you know the owner, please let me know.

Bakery
Look at this image. This is how I would like to bake my daily bread, but well ... I am a modern guy, with a passion for times gone, I buy my daily bread at supermarket. No nostalgia ... but what a joy it would be to make my own bread in the ancient way.

daily bread
baked on stone
dream on

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... not as strong as I had hoped, but in a way I like the scene painted in this "experimental" haiku.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 26th at noon (CET).

You can find our new CD Imagination preview at our CDHK tumblr. Have fun!




Monday, September 18, 2017

Carpe Diem #1257 Wisteria Blues (Jonathan Reid)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode in our "Imagination Without Limits". Today I have a beautiful image to inspire you. It was found on the Tumblr BonitaVista (which means beautiful vistas) and, after a long search on the Internet, I found the photographer who made this beautiful photo at the "Lake Como in Italy", it is titled "Wisteria Blues" (instead of "Wisteria Blossoms", as I had called it). This beautiful photo is made by Jonathan Reid and I hope it will inspire you.

Take your time to connect with the scene, Lake Como Italy, and create your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

Wisteria Blues © Jonathan Reid (flickr)
Look at the Wisteria blossom. Do you see how magical it looks around those lighted windows? And the lake ... seems like a mirror. And all those differences of blue ...

wisteria
blueish waterfall
reflects


© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

By the way this "experimental haiku" brought another haiku in mind which I once wrote several years ago:

what a party
writing a renga together -
waterfall of flowers

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you can find your inspiration, awaken your muse and share your Japanese poetyr inspired on "Wisteria Blues" with us all.

A preview of our new CD Imagination you can find on our CDHK Tumblr.

PS. The owner and host of the Facebook page "My Haiku Pond" (Michael Smeer) asked me to share the following announcement with you all:

The 2nd Annual Haiku For Change Event is NOW OPEN for your entries. More about this event you can find HERE. You are invited to participate in this event.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wandering Spirit - Masutaa no kaigi (meeting the master)


Masutaa no kaigi (Meeting the master)

Kichirou had made us breakfast and after morning tea he introduced me to Kikaku, one of Basho's apprentices and close friend. Kikaku was a handsome man with a bright smile and an open mind. As I let him read a few of my haiku he was excited.
"These are beautiful Yozakura".
I blushed. "Thank you, but those are just the first haiku I ever created. I just wrote them from my heart, without knowing the rules of writing haiku", I said.
"Kichirou, you have never told me that you have such a gifted, such a talented brother. His haiku are amazing".
"I didn't told you about him Kikaku, because I hadn't met him before yesterday. I knew I had a brother, we have the same father, but I didn't know when I would meet him. We ran into eachother yesterday while we were visiting our mothers graves", Kichirou said.
"Praise the gods", Kikaku laughed. "It's a great day. You my friend have found your brother".

a new day
life starts again
spring has come


© Kikaku

We enjoyed the morning. Kikaku was a nice guy to have around. He told us about his life and how he met Basho, his sensei and friend.
"I love Basho", he said. "But not as in a love relation, but as my friend. I love him for his friendship and his work as a haiku master and renga master. You have to meet him Yozakura and show him your haiku".
"I would love to meet him", I said. "And let him read my haiku. He is the goal of my journey to Edo, but I am afraid that he will be disappointed as he reads my haiku".
Kikaku laughed. "Don't worry about that. He will praise you for the beauty of your haiku Yozakura. Basho once said to me: "Kikaku now you know the rules of writing haiku ... forget them immediately. Look at the pine as it is a pine. Write from the heart and not from the mind or by using my education. Be your own master. You can do it Kikaku". Yes Yozakura that's what he said. So don't worry he will surely praise your haiku".
I was astonished. This ... Basho, that famous haiku master, saw a master in every apprentice of him. In every haiku poet!
"I would love to meet him".
"Later this afternoon I will be back at Kichirou's home and than we will visit him in his "Basho-hut". He will be glad to meet you Yozakura. I even think he will be giving you some points to work with to make your haiku better and more beautiful. I see you later today". With that said Kikaku embraced us and left.

Banana tree (Basho)

"I am so excited my brother. I don't think I can eat or drink. Finally I will meet Basho", I said.

finally
I will see
banana tree in bloom


© Yozakura

After lunch Kichirou and I walked into the city. "Do you think we can visit the spot were dad's grocery once was?" I asked.
"Yes we can visit it".

A while later we stood at the spot were my father once had his grocery. It was now an empty spot were the people of Edo had created a beautiful garden in honor of all those Edo-people who died in the Great Fire. It was really a wonderful garden were all kinds of blossoming trees and bushes were planted. there was a nice pond in which Lotuses floated on the surface and Koi-carps were swimming around. The pond was surrounded by a path of shells and several garden lanterns. It was a wonderful, peaceful, place to be. I enjoyed the beauty and the sound of water falling made the silence stronger and deeper. It was ... like the pure land. I felt the presence of my father's spirit.
"This garden is wonderful", I whispered.
"I know my brother. I am visiting this garden regularly, because it feels like a place in honor of father", Kichirou said. I could hear the tears in his voice and my heart opened up to him. He had loved father and he had the same experiences as I had. The same memories. I kissed him on his forehead.
"I am glad that I have found you".

in the garden
between blossoms
family reunion


© Yozakura

Later that afternoon Kikaku brought me to the master. Kichirou was invited too, but he decided not to come with us.
"It's your wish Yozakura to meet Basho. You came back for him. So I will not spoil your moment with him".
It made me a bit sad, but I understood why Kichirou wouldn't come. He granted me this special moment, because he loved me and he knew how much I wished to meet Basho. I hugged him.
"Thank you my brother. I love you".
A little later Kikaku and I arrived at the "Basho hut". It was really just a hut, but it was surrounded by a garden in which the Basho tree he got from Rika, one of his apprentices, was obvious present. Next to that tree the garden was planted with Cherry trees, Jasmine and Snowball. At the back of the "Basho hut" the Wisteria was in full bloom.
In the garden, under a cherry tree, I saw a small group of people, male and female, sit on the grass. They all listened to a young handsome man who was telling them about the beauty of nature and how to become one with nature.
"That must be him", I thought. "He looks so small, but in a way he is bigger than all others".

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Kikaku coughed to get Basho's attention. Basho looked at him and smiled.
"Kikaku, my friend".
He got on his feet and walked towards us. He embraced Kikaku and gave him a kiss on his forehead.
"It is good to see you Kikaku". Than he saw me.
"And whom is this good looking young man?" He asked.
"This my friend is Yozakura he is a young haiku poet who wanted to meet you".
Basho bowed. "Welcome Yozakura. Welcome in my garden. My name is Basho". He took my hand.
"Come Yozakura let me introduce you to the others gathered here".
The others were already on their feet too as we walked towards them. I saw a nice group of people all with their own characteristics. All happy and smiling.
Basho introduced me to them one by one. Than we sat down together.
"Tell us something about yourself Yozakura", Basho said.
I told them the story of my life and how I had heard about Basho, than known as Tosei. "I was anxious to get to know you Basho. I had heard a lot of stories along the roads about you. You are the reason why I started to write haiku".
"Did you write haiku while on your way?" Ransetsu, one of Basho's apprentices, asked. I nodded.
"Please can you declaim a few of your haiku for us?"
I became nervous and I felt that I blushed.
"Don't be shy Yozakura", Kikaku said. "Your haiku are excellent".
Basho encouraged me too. "Please Yozakura".
I grabbed my rice-paper booklet from my knapsack. "These are just pieces I wrote that look like haiku, but they were written from the heart. As I told you my life wasn't easy and that made my heart cry".
"That, Yozakura, is the only way to write haiku. Right from the heart", Basho said. His disciples agreed.

spearflower berries
tempting the sparrows with their color -
graveyard in the mist

bare branches
a painting against the blue sky
leaves under my feet

moonlight on the river
thousand lanterns float to the horizon
honoring the dead

I looked around and waited. They applauded.
"Wonderfully crafted haiku Yozakura", Basho said. "But that last one can be so much stronger. Allow me to redo it?"
"Yes please", I answered. "I love to learn from you".
Basho took a piece of rice-paper and after a while he calligraphed his interpretation of the haiku I just had declaimed.

on the river
lights float to the horizon
the dead rejoice


© Basho

He gave this haiku to me.
"Thank you", I stammered. "I will keep this close to my heart in memory of today. The day I met you ... my sensei".


to be continued

Carpe Diem #1256 Grains of Sand


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend. I can honestly say I had. After a very busy week at work I was glad to have the weekend off. However I was busy too in this weekend, because I am preparing our fifth anniversary next month. I hope that this first CDHK lustrum will be awesome. Of course I will try to make it a very festive month and I think I have succeeded.

This month it's all about Imagination Without Limits and for today's CD Imagination I have a wonderful image for you. I have found this image on Tumblr, but I couldn't retrieve the owner of it. So if you are the owner, or you know who the owner is, please let met know.

A Grain of Sand
gone
like sand grains
promises

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

This CD Imagination is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 24th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. You can find a preview at our CDHK Tumblr.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Wandering Spirit - Edo ni modoru (Back to Edo)


Edo ni moduru (Back to Edo)

I traveled on with joy in my heart. Finally I would be meeting this Tosei, now known as Basho, after that seemingly not beautiful banana-tree with its tiny vague yellow blossoms and its useless wood. This banana-tree is beautiful through its ugliness and uselessness.
While I was on my way back home to Edo I contemplated about that banana-tree asking myself "why this famous poet had chosen this pseudonym.

banana-tree
unworthy to look at
beautiful ugliness

© Yozakura

After a few days I almost was at Edo. I sat down next to the road I was walking and looked at Edo. The town was rebuild and looked even more beautiful then it ever was. I saw the people, children playing and every were I looked I only saw happiness. As I sat there my mind went on a roll. Thoughts of my happy childhood and the sadness of losing both my parents fought for my attention. While I let go my thoughts and memories, tears covered my cheeks. "I still miss you both", I whispered.
I sat there for a few hours and when the shadows became longer and the sky started to change into the beauty of the sunset I walked into the city. Edo my home-town.

tears
thoughts of days gone
coloring sky

© Yozakura

Edo suburb lodging house (image found on Pinterest)

I found a small lodging house in the suburb of Edo named "Fuji no Hana", Wisteria flowers, and rented a room for a few days. It was a nice, not very expensive, lodging house and the owner was a beautiful former geisha with a bright smile, named Shiori, "poem". She was a great host and she wrote haiku also.

small faces
violets in thousand colors
bees humming

© Shiori

After a good meal I decided to go to sleep. I said goodnight to my host and went to my room. I was exhausted, but couldn't find sleep. I turned and turned on my sleeping mat, but the sleep wouldn't come. After a while I went downstairs to the dinner of the lodging house. All guests were already at sleep and only the host, Shiori, was still there. She sat at one of the tables with a booklet of paper that was still virgin white.
I coughed to get her attention. She looked up from the virgin paper. "Couldn't sleep", I said. "Can I sit with you?"
She nodded. "Tell me something about your wanderings", she said. "For starters ... what's your name?"
"My name is Yozakura", I answered.
She smiled. "I once knew a young guy named Yozakura", she said. "He was the son of a grocer". She looked closer to me. "You look somewhat like him".
"Would you like to tell me a little bit more about him?" I asked.
" His mother died when she was giving birth to him. I remember that his father wasn't loving him, but that was more a reaction, I think, on the fact that his wife died during labor".
Tears rolled down my cheeks. Shiori, in shock, looked at me as she saw me crying.
"What's the matter Yozakura?"
" I am that Yozakura you are telling about. My mother died in labor and my father was angry about that. As I became five years he decided to send me away to the shogun to get educated. After several years I returned to Edo and my father. He forgave me and asked my forgiveness for all he had said and done. We became closer then we ever had been. I lost him in the Fire of Meireki". My tears rolled freely now.
Shiori laid an arm around me and kissed me on my forehead. "Yozakura you are a righteous man and you needed this. You never mourned about them, maybe you fled for the thoughts and memories of them, but this ... death belongs to life, without that knowledge your life will never be complete. Come on let me help you to your room".

I awoke around noon and right then Shiori knocked on the door and entered my room.
"Did you sleep well Yozakura?"
" Yes, thank you. Thank you for all you have done".
Shiori smiled. "It's okay. Come go wash yourself and have lunch with me", she laughed. Her laugh sounded like a crystal brook and touched me. For the first time I felt something I never had experienced in my life. I knew right than ... I was in love.
After lunch Shiori and I made a chained poem together. This was the starting verse:

crystal brook
reflects the willow trees
birds sing their song

© Yozakura

After a few days at the Wisteria flowers lodging house I went into Edo on my way to meet my soon to be haiku master Basho, but before that I visited my mother's garden.

tears fall
on this lonely grave
Wisteria blossoms

© Yozakura

As I was sitting in front of her grave stone a young handsome guy walked into my mother's garden. In a way I felt a connection with him.
"What are you looking for?" I asked him.
He looked at me and smiled. "Finally I meet you Yozakura, son of Kyoshi and Fujiko, my brother".
"Who ... who are you?"
" I am your brother Yozakura. After your father send you away he and my mother became acquainted and married soon after. My mother, Sachiko, happy child, died shortly after I was born. Father send me to my grandmother. He couldn't handle the situation, because of your mother, who died during labor of you'.
I saw tears on his face and I saw similarities in his features with my father. "My brother ... I know what you are feeling right now. I felt the same. Please don't cry or let us cry together. What's your name ... my brother?"
" My name is Kichirou (lucky son)", he whispered.
" Where do you live?"
" Just around the corner of this memorial garden for both our mothers. My mother also was buried here by father".

Jasmine flowers

He took my hand. "Let me show you her grave".
Not far of my mother's grave I saw another marble stone, surrounded by Jasmine.
" This is my mother's grave". Kichirou said. "He planted Jasmine in her honor. She loved the sweet perfume of Jasmine".

sweet perfume
memories of a loved one
Jasmine blossom


© Yozakura

A little later Kichirou invited me to his home. It was a small, but cozy, home and it felt awesome. I smelled the sweet perfume of Jasmine and saw a small garden behind his home in which the Jasmine was in full bloom.

We walked into the garden and sat down on the cushions on the small wooden veranda. Kichirou presented me Jasmine tea. In silence we drank our tea. The sweet perfume of the Jasmine seems to become stronger and not a minute later it started to rain softly.

"Why have you come to Edo?" Kichirou asked me. I looked at him.
" I am hoping to become an apprentice of Basho, a famous haiku poet from Edo. Maybe you have heard of him".
" Yes I have heard of him. Recently he settled down in a small hut along the river. One of his apprentices gave him a Basho-tree and his hut is now called the "Basho hut" and he, Tosei, changed his name into Basho. I have visited him once. He is a handsome guy, not extraordinary beautiful, but handsome. He has a very loving character and his apprentices adore him. A friend of mine, Kikaku, is an apprentice of him, a very close relation they have. There is a rumor that they are not only friends, but also lovers. Basho is openly about his preference for guys, but as far as I know he and Kikaku don't have a relationship. They are just close friends".

Kikaku (image found on Pinterest)
"I would love to meet your friend Kikaku. Can you introduce me to him?"
Kichirou nodded. "I will introduce him to you tomorrow if that's okay with you?"
" Sure that's okay. Do you write haiku?"
" No I have tried it but it's to difficult for me. And you? Do you write haiku? "
" In fact I do, but they aren't really good in my opinion. Friends however say that my haiku are really beautiful and the encouraged me to go on and make them even more beautiful. That's the reason why I love to meet Basho. I hope he will be my sensei, my master, to help me to improve my haiku writing skills".
" Do you have a few examples of haiku you have written?"
" Yes, I have".
" Can I read them?"
" Yes of course". I picked up my knapsack and gave him a booklet of rice-paper on which I had calligraphed my haiku.
" Wow ... these are real beauties. For sure I know that Basho will take you as his apprentice".
I blushed. "Thank you Kichirou". I gave him a kiss on his forehead. "My brother ... I love you".
" I love you too Yozakura. I am glad to have found you my brother. Let us celebrate that. Do you drink sake?"
" Yes I do, but I do like it cold".

Sake set Wisteria blossom

Kichirou came back to the veranda with a bamboo tray on which he presented sake in a wonderful earthenware jar and two earthenware bowls. I remembered them. This sake set was decorated with Wisteria blossom and I knew that they once were in the possession of my father.
" This set I know", I whispered. " Father has made it".
Kichirou nodded. "I got them as a gift from father. He said "One day you and your brother Yozakura will meet. Please save them for that day". Well ... that day has come today. So let us drink to the health of our parents, and to the health of you and me. Finally we have found each other".

Wisteria blossoms
bloom in front of the veranda
feeling blessed


© Yozakura


to be continued



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation #2 Troiku "a hundred gourds"


!! Open for your submissions next Sunday September 17th around 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our "weekend-meditation" with a new logo as you can see. I was busy creating it last weekend, so it wasn't possible to use it then. As you maybe have read in the menu above or have read in one of the earlier posts this month I have chosen new kinds of "weekend-meditations. Last weekend I challenged you to create "squared Tan Renga", and I have read wonderful submissions.

As you maybe know I have invented several new ways of being creative with haiku for example the Troiku and the Soliloque No Renga. Both are wonderful ways to be creative with haiku and gives you the opportunity to "think out of the box".
This "weekend-meditation" I love to challenge you to create a (or more) Troiku. More about Troiku you can find above in the menu. Not only an explanation of the Troiku you can find in the menu, but also an exclusive CDHK e-book "Flamingo Clouds". Both are great to read and both give you an idea of what Troiku is (or can be).

Chiyo-Ni (1703-1775)

For this "weekend-meditation" I love to challenge you to create a Troiku based on a classical haiku by Chiyo-Ni (1703-1775) one of the five famous haiku poets. Chiyo-Ni was the first female haiku poet / master and was a disciple of the Way of Basho. She never knew him in life, but she admired him and wrote in his spirit.

For this Troiku I have chosen a not so well known haiku written by Chiyo-Ni to start the Troiku with. This haiku she wrote at the age of 6 years, and it is a real beauty ... in which we already can see (and read) her high standard of writing haiku.

in my garden
starflowers bloom
come and see

© Chiyo-Ni (age 6)

Or ... as a kind of connection with our theme "Imagination Without Limits", you may also use the following haiku for your Troiku.

Haiga "A Hundred Gourds" (found on Tumblr)
Enough to work with this weekend I would say. Have a great weekend!

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday September 17th around 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 24th at noon (CET).


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Carpe Diem #1255 City Park


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month it's all about Imagination Without Limits. Through only images we try to create Japanese poetry. And today I have a beautiful image (taken by myself) of the City Park just around the corner of my home.

I remember that I used this image once for a haiga which I published on Wonder Haiku Worlds, I am a long time member of this website and back in 2011 there were 11 haiku/senryu created by me part of a world wide Anthology "Spasms Of Light". Wonder Haiku Worlds is in my opinion a nice website to find several haiku, senryu, tanka and lots of other Japanese poetry forms. For sure worth to visit.

Here is your CD Imagination for today:

City Park (photo by Chèvrefeuille)
As you all know I am busy with a new kind of haiku-ing, experimental haiku so to say. So for this episode of CDHK's CD Imagination I have created the following haiku:

spring wind
reeds tremble
a frog jumps

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

A "wink" towards that famous haiku by Basho, which we have seen here at CDHK very often.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 20th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, a new weekend-meditation, later on today. A preview of our next CD Imagination you can find at our CDHK Tumblr.