Friday, May 25, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #34 Revise That Haiku ... Kikaku's Dragonfly

!!! Open for your submissions next Sunday May 27th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the last weekend-meditation of this month. The weekend-meditation is a feature that gives you (and me) time to meditate and contemplate before submitting to our Kai. Every weekend I choose another feature (from our rich history or newly created) for you to work with.

This weekend I love to challenge you to revise a haiku by a classical haiku poet. Try to make the haiku better without loosing the scene the haiku is about. For this "revise that haiku" I have chosen a haiku by Kikaku (1661-1707), one of Basho's disciples.

Takarai Kikaku also known as Enomoto Kikaku, was a Japanese haikai poet and among the most accomplished disciples of Matsuo Bashō. His father was an Edo doctor, but Kikaku chose to become a professional haikai poet rather than follow in his footsteps.

Red Dragonfly (photo © Michael Hawk)

Kikaku is best known for his haiku, such as the one in this anecdote about him and his master:
One day, Kikaku composed a haiku,

Red dragonfly / break off its wings / Sour cherry

which Bashō changed to,

Sour cherry / add wings to it / Red dragonfly;

thus saying that poetry should add life to life, not take life away from life. His master is known to have denigrated Kikaku's 'flippant efforts'. Kikaku wrote of coarser subjects than Bashō, and in this respect his poetry was closer to earlier haikai. Kikaku set the tone for haikai from Bashō's death until the time of Yosa Buson in the late 18th century.

Kikaku left an important historical document, describing Bashō's final days, and the immediate aftermath of his death, which has been translated into English.

(By the way the above photo is made by Michael Hawk, he has a wonderful website about Nature. For sure worth a visit. website: )

Red Dragonfly haiga

Here is the haiku to revise, can you re-create this haiku as for example Basho did?:

red dragonfly
break off its wings
sour cherry

© Kikaku

A lot to meditate and contemplate about ... well you have a whole weekend to think this over and create your revised haiku ...

Have fun!

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday, May 27th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until Sunday June 3rd at noon (CEST).

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Carpe Diem #1440 Lake Titicaca

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at one of the last regular episodes of this wonderful month of Carpe Diem. We traveled through the Andean Mountains and dived into the gorgeous history of these mountains. Today I have another wonderful prompt for you. A prompt I think of ... this one had to be made ...

Today we visit Lake Titicaca (Bolivia) one of the world's most high lakes I think. Let me tell you a little bit about Lake Titicaca, also known as "the birthplace of the Sun".

Lake Titicaca

In Andean belief, Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun. In addition, it’s the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable body of water in the world. Banner blue skies contrast with bitterly cold nights. Enthralling and in many ways singular, the shimmering deep blue Lake Titicaca is the longtime home of highland cultures steeped in the old ways.

Pre-Inca Pukara, Tiwanaku and Collas all left a mark on the landscape. Today the region is a mix of crumbling cathedrals, desolate altiplano and checkerboard fields backed by rolling hills and high Andean peaks. In this world, crops are still planted and harvested by hand.

In this world, crops are still planted and harvested by hand.

Isn't it a wonderful place? It feels magical and mysterious and there are even people that say that Lake Titicaca is a holy lake full of spirituality and that it gives in a way energy to the spirit, the mind, the heart and the soul ...

Enjoy ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 31st at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. Have fun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Carpe Diem #1439 mountain(s)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today, I also have a very busy day, so I have made it myself easy. As you maybe know next month we will have all classical kigo (seasonwords) for Summer. Seasonwords are words that point towards a season. In our rich history here at CDHK we have had also modern kigo based on Jane Reichhold's Dictionary of Haiku. And today, because of lack of time I have chosen a modern kigo of Spring that fits this month's theme "journey into the high mountains of the Andes". I choose a modern kigo from Jane's Saijiki as mentioned above: mountains and I have a few nice haiku by Jane Reichhold to awaken your muse.

soul shape
between soft evening peaks
a valley cradle

folding into a valley
bird wings

© Jane Reichhold

The goal is to create haiku, tanka or another form of Japanese poetry inspired on this kigo. Create your poem by using the prompt. That doesn't mean you have to use the word, but your reader must understand that the season is Spring.

Enjoy this episode and I hope it inspires you all. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 30th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.
For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Carpe Diem #1438 Chachani (Imagination-episode)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a little bit busy today and the upcoming days, so I have chosen to make it myself a little easier. For today I have (another) imagination-challenge for you all. It's an image of Chachani and Misti two wonderful mountain peaks in Peru.

Chachani and Misti
This image is your source of inspiration. Create your Japanese poetry inspired on this image ... awaken your muse.

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

Monday, May 21, 2018

Carpe Diem #1437 Nazca Culture

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This journey into the high mountains of the Andes is almost done. We have only one week to go, so what can I tell you more on this journey? Well ... the Andes has a very rich history and there were several cultures e.g. the Inca, as we have seen already. But as I was preparing this episode I ran into an article on National Geographic about the so called Nazca lines, once created by the Nazca culture (300 B.C - 600 A.D.).

Nazca lines (monkey)
It's a spectacular sight all these geometric forms. There are still a lot of questions about these figures, but it's said that the Nazca people carved them. There are a lot of these figures, not only figures like the above Monkey, but also geometric figures like the one hereafter.

Hindu Mandala in Nazca lines
There are really a lot of ideas about these lines, but the Nazca culture itself isn't really known. So I just have to tell you a little bit about the Nazca culture.

The Nazca culture was developed on the coast of Ica department, with the main center of the city of Cahuachi in the Rio Grande Valley. Nazca was an ancient civilization that emerged in the province of Nazca, around the first century and into decline in the sixth century. It was located along the Rio Grande between the years 300 BC to 600 A.D. Had an area of influence that extended to the north Pisco to Arequipa in the south and east to Ayacucho. Until the sixth century increased their contacts with the Andes, reaching even into the highlands of Ayacucho. This contact was especially important in the formation of the Huari culture.

An outstanding feature is its polychrome pottery with figures of men, animals, plants, etc. In many of these ceramics, mutilated men are represented. The textile art flourished as much as in the time of the Paracas. They had an own style of metalworking, although of lesser quality at the time of Chavin.

According to many researchers Nazca culture would be a continuity of Paracas culture (Necropolis period), as both peoples had developed customs and advanced farming techniques. It was a society based on agriculture, although located in one of the most deserted areas of the Peruvian coast. To produce their foods use fully the river flows in summer, using reservoirs and canals. They were also militarist States. The military of the Nazca culture were very courageous and so gained a special place in the social pyramid with the priests. The peasants were at the service of a warrior aristocracy and theocracy residing in beautiful pyramid-shaped ceremonial centers. Examples of adobe architecture are the ruins of Kahuachi, the Tinguiña, Tambo Viejo, Huaca Dos Palmos and Chaviña. Also they built with thick trunks of Huarango as shown in the Estaquería.

Nazca architecture at Cahuachi (Peru)

The most impressive of this civilization are the lines made in the Pampas of Nazca and other sites on the southern coast of Peru. The Nazca lines are located in a geographical area with little rainfall, demonstrating knowledge of geography and meteorology. Twenty miles from the city of Nazca is located Chauchilla Cemetery, an open air cemetery where despite the looting you can still see mummies in good condition and pottery.

Must have been an awesome culture ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 28th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

For now ... have fun! Be inspired and share your wonderful poetry with us all.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Carpe Diem Crossroads #10 Jane Reichhold's "rainbows of high tide"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I look back into the not so long ago past of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai than I see how much joy you all have in creating haiku, tanka and other Japanese poetry forms, but I was really surprised to see all your responses on Carpe Diem's Crossroads, our special feature in which you have to create a so called "fusion"-haiku from two given haiku.

This episode of Crossroads I love to challenge you to create a "fusion"-haiku from two haiku by our beloved Jane Reichhold (1937-2016). She was one of our co-hosts and she is still missed dearly. So let's say this Crossroads episode is a small tribute to Jane Reichhold.

Spiritual Rainbow (Sacred Geometry) (image found on Pinterest)

I have chosen two beautiful haiku from her online dictionary of haiku:

coming to sea cliffs
the off-shore breeze raises
a flower fragrance

out of a wave
rainbows of high tide
arching wind

© Jane Reichhold

Two beauties I think to work with ... it is up to you now ...

This Crossroads episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 27th at noon (CEST) ... have fun!

Carpe Diem #1436 Machu Picchu ... imagination-episode

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. It was a weekend with a tough challenge I think, but I have seen already several responses on our weekend-meditation. It also was a time to rest before going further on our journey into the high mountains of the Andes (South America, Peru).

The last two regular episodes we stepped into a time-machine back to the time of the Inca. We visited a few wonderful sights of this ancient culture, but ... the most beautiful sight in my opinion is renown Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows.

Machu Picchu
high in the mountains
a city built for the beauty of the Sun -
Machu Picchu

© Chèvrefeuille (2013)

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas", it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. (Source: Wikipedia)

A wonderful sight I think. For today's episode I have a photo for your inspiration, say this episode is an Imagination episode. You can use both photos, the one above or the one hereafter.

Machu Picchu (2) overview
spiritual place
feeling in touch with the Inca -
Machu Picchu

Well ... enjoy this episode. Become inspired through the images of this wonderful Inca sight Machu Picchu.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 27th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!