Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wandering Spirit --- za faasuto iyaazu (the first years)

There I was ... I was born in the Midsummer night of 1640 at Kyoto as the son of a high ranked samurai and a geisha named Fujiko, Child of the Wisteria. I can't remember her, she died as she was giving birth to me. My father told me that she was as beautiful as the Wisteria. He gave me the name ... Yozakura, Blossoms in the Moonlight. Several years later he showed me the beauty of blossoms in the moonlight especially the blossoms of the Wisteria.

My father was not an easy man, certainly not the first years of my life. I think he was angry with me, because I was alive and the woman he loved so much had died as I was born. I didn't understand that of course.
Sometimes my dad brought me to his mother, my grandmother, Emiko, Beautiful Child. She, my grandmother, was a beautiful woman. In my eyes she was very old, but she always smiled and gave me all the love and comfort I needed. Through her love I learned to accept that my dad was sometimes angry and why ...

Wisteria Garden
One day my father took me by the hand, I had just turned four, and said: "Yozakura, it is time. Come I will show you your mother's grave". We walked to a beautiful garden and every were I looked I saw Wisteria blossoms in wonderful  colors. In the middle of this garden I saw a marble grave on which the name of my mother was calligraphed.
"This is your mother's grave my son. Here I was almost all those days you were at your grandmother's place. I couldn't stand you, because I thought you were guilty of the dead of your mother, but recently I got to know a priest, a Shinto priest named Daisuke, Great Helper. He was for sure a great helper my son. He taught me how to cope with the loss of your mother. Daisuke was the one who said that I had to create a garden for your mother in which I could mourn and talk with her. Daisuke once asked me if I had children. I told him about you Yozakura".
I looked at him with tears in my eyes and took his hand. "Dad", I whispered. "Yes my son". I wiped away my tears. "I love you dad. Grandmother told me why you abandoned me in a way. I understand that. Thank you for showing me this wonderful garden in honor of my mother". He knelt next to me and kissed me on my forehead. I felt his tears on my face. "I am sorry my son ... I am sorry. Can you forgive me?" I hugged him. We had no need for words ... only the silence and the beauty of the wonderful Wisteria garden for my mother.

only silence
the summer breeze caresses
Wisteria blossom

© Kiyoshi (my father, his name means "pure")

Yozakura (1640-1716)
to be continued

Carpe Diem Universal Jane #4 abalone shells and lovers

a time of beaches
abalone shells and lovers
without memories
© Jane Reichhold

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Welcome at a new episode of Universal Jane. This week I love to dive into the matter of sensuality, erotics and love in haiku. Jane was a great poetess and in many of her haiku you can easily find sensuality, erotics and love. This week however I love to share a few haiku in which she used it in full daylight so to say.
Recently I tried to bring sensuality, sexuality, erotics and love into my own haiku, but I have to say that's a bit outside my comfort zone, but I like the challenge to bring those pure human feelings of love and sexuality into my haiku. In the past I wrote several haiku with hidden sexuality in it. Maybe you can remember this one:
Morning Glory
at sunrise
Morning Glory greets
a new day
© Chèvrefeuille
In this one the Morning Glory is of course that wonderful flower, but it also refers to a certain male part in the early morning. Another one, not as specific as the above one, but with some imgination you can see in this haiku also sexuality:
pink flowers bloom
between green dewy leaves
a double peony
© Chèvrefeuille

And this one, as published in our "folding paper" episode hides also sexuality in it:
first sunlight
caresses our bodies
we unfold
© Chèvrefeuille
Well ... this episode of Jane is not about my haiku, but for the haiku by Jane to honor her and give her tribute. Jane is still missed, but her spirit lingers here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. I feel a bit lost without my dear friend and mentor Jane Reichhold, but she would have me to go on that's for sure. I can not stop of course. To create Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is also a tribute for her and in honor of her, because of what she once said about CDHK "you have the best website on haiku on the world".  
Here are the haiku by Jane Reichhold to inspire you and maybe to let you look at real human life and real human feelings like sexuality, sensuality and love and use it in your haiku (or tanka).
making love
the jack-o-lantern also
grins in the dark
shadows moving
on the bedroom wall
a pumpkin’s eyes
in and out
of the river’s mouth
a tongue of sea
© Jane Reichhold
These haiku are extracted from AHA-Poetry, Jane's own website, certainly worth a visit.

This Universal Jane episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 31st at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, our last CD Special by our 3rd guest Herman van Rompuy, later on. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Carpe Diem #1079 folding paper

a paper boat
on drift in a puddle
strands on a pebble

© Chèvrefeuille

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A new episode has started. This time I started with a haiku and I must say I like that way of starting. Today our prompt is another tool for art and creativity, folding paper, as in origami that beautiful Japanese way of folding paper.

origami ni yama to tani ari tsuru kaeru

in folding paper
there are mountains and valleys . . .
cranes flying home

© Kawaguchi Hitoshi

I found this haiku about folding paper on the Internet and had to share it here because of its beauty. The oldest unequivocal document of origami is a short poem composed by Ihara Saikaku in 1680. It reads: Rosei-ga yume-no cho-wa orisue (The butterflies in Rosei's dream would be origami.) Here he referred to an origami model called Ocho Mecho (Male and Female Butterflies) as "orisue." The Japanese use it to wrap sake bottles mainly at the wedding ceremony.

Ocho Mecho
It is obvious what this origami model means, the both parts fit each other like a glove. Ocho Mecho is often used in weddings, but also in coming of age ceremonies.

first sunlight
caresses our bodies
we unfold

© Chèvrefeuille

Origami is a nice art and very aesthetic ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, a new Universal Jane, later on. For now .... have fun!

Wandering Spirit --- intoraddakkushan (Introduction)

Maybe you can remember me I once was your guest at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai as a ghostwriter. I told you a little bit about my life and my sensei, Matsuo Basho, whom I still miss very much. Master Basho taught me how to write soloku (or as you call it now, haiku) and I am still grateful that he accepted me as one of his disciples. Until that moment my life was a complete disaster.
I was an only child and I lived in Edo (or Kyoto) with my dad. I never had the chance to got to know my mother, because she died as she gave birth to me. My father raised me alone. He was a high ranked samurai and taught me all that I know about going to battle, but also about art and poetry.
When I was about 17 years old my dad passed away in the Great Fire of Meireki, a major city-fire in which Edo was destroyed for more than 60 %. I not only lost my dad, but also all of my family's belongings. After that major disaster I became an outcast and a wanderer under the sun, moon and stars of my beloved Japan.

Of course there is no urge to tell you about me and the life I had, but ... hidden deep inside me there is a kind of longing, a kind of hope, a kind of urge to tell you more about my life and so ... here I am again ... this is the story of my life, Yozakura, the Unknown poet.

roosuto ando aroon a wandaaingu supiratto biniisu za san

lost and alone
a wandering spirit

beneath the sun

© よざくら (Yozakura)

Yozakura (1640-1716)
to be continued

Carpe Diem Kukai "Tribute" the judging starts

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a little bit ashamed ... Why? Well ... I totally had forgotten that we have had a special kukai to honor Jane Reichhold. That kukai "tribute" I had prolonged and now it is time to bring up the entries for this "tribute" kukai for judging.

The anonymous list of submitted haiku you can find above in the menu. This "tribute" kukai had ten (10) participants with in total 26 haiku in honor of Jane Reichhold.

You can email your results of your judging to our email-address:
Please write "judging tribute kukai" in the subject line. Thank you.
Chèvrefeuille, your host

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Carpe Diem Special (2nd guest) Kala Ramesh #4 jasmine rain

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First a few announcements:

1. I am behind with commenting on all of your beautiful art-work of haiku- and tanka poetry. I hope to catch up a.s.a.p.
2. On our Tumblr "Carpe Diem Haiku Kai" you can find a sneak preview for the upcoming months. You can find this Tumblr HERE
3. Next month, because of the still running "autumn"-kukai I have a unique series of CD Specials in mind for you all ... here is the new CD Special logo for November (© photo):

I love to introduce haiku- and tanka poets from The Netherlands to you. I am busy with gathering the permissions for these CD Specials and I hope to surprise you all.

Okay ... back to our 4th CD Special by our second guest Kala Ramesh. Kala is a renown haiku- and tanka poetess from India and she really writes wonderful haiku and tanka. For this CD Special I have chosen a mixture of haiku and tanka created by her.

I hope her haiku and tanka will be bring you the inspiration you need ... in other words ... let Kala Ramesh be your muse for today.

I look at the blue sea
and the blue sky
in wonder . . .
gently they turn
into night

liquid twilight
the tilt of a water pot
on her hip

Banyan Tree
rain catchers
near our banyan tree
here and there
leaves of the pond lotus
roll raindrop-moons

in their own world
jasmine rain

© Kala Ramesh, Pune, India

I wasn't familiar with the Banyan Tree, so I searched the Internet and found a nice piece of text (on wikipedia) in which the deeper spiritual meaning of the Banyan Tree is mentioned. There is also reference that the Banyan Tree stands for eternity and everlasting. In hindu images the god Shiva is seen very often sitting in silence under the Banyan Tree.

The banyan tree is the national tree of India. It is also called Indian or Bengal fig. This tree is considered sacred in India and can be seen near a temple or religious center. It is a big tree and gives shade to travelers in very hot summer months. An old custom offers worship to this tree.

In Hinduism, the leaf of the banyan tree is said to be the resting place for the god Krishna.
In the Bhagavat Gita, Krishna said, "There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down, and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas." (Bg 15.1) Here the material world is described as a tree whose roots are upwards and branches are below. We have experience of a tree whose roots are upward: if one stands on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, he can see that the trees reflected in the water are upside down. The branches go downward and the roots upward. Similarly, this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. The material world is but a shadow of reality. In the shadow there is no reality or substantiality, but from the shadow we can understand that there is substance and reality.

A Big Banyan Tree at Bangalore (photo © Kiran Gopi)

shadows move
up and down the wall
bare branches

© Chèvrefeuille

in the shadow of the old Banyan Tree I sit in peace seeking contact with the Universe leaves resonate the Vedas

© Chèvrefeuille

What a beautiful tree this is the Banyan Tree ... I was really surprised to read all the information on this "holy" tree and as you can read I was inspired. Now it is up to you ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 28th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, folding paper, later on. Have fun ... take a seat under the Banyan Tree.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Carpe Diem #1078 embroidery thread

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you have noticed I have published already two episodes today, so this third episode will not be a very long one, but I think there is no need to create a long episode. Today I love to challenge you to create a haiku or tanka with another nice tool for art and creativity embroidery thread.

As I was younger, say a teenager, I loved to embroider, yes even guys can love that. I was studying to become a teacher and I had to learn to embroider (and all other kinds of art-work) and I loved it. I created several "art-pieces" with embroidering.

Japanese embroidery (with silk)
Take a close look at this image above ... it looks like a woodblock or a painting, but it is a real piece of embroidery art. The above image shows a beautiful piece of Japanese embroidery with silk. Isn't it awesome?

stitch by stitch
paradise birds come to life
an empty cocoon

© Chèvrefeuille

Enjoy this short episode and be inspired through it.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will will remain open until October 27th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, the fourth CD Special by our second guest Kala Ramesh, later on. For now .... have fun!

Carpe Diem Imagination with Paul Militaru #4 kissing gate

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new Carpe Diem Imagination with Paul Militaru, a very gifted photographer and poet. Paul has created wonderful photos and I am glad and grateful that I may use his photos in this festive anniversary month to inspire you.

I have found another beauty and I hope it will inspire you to create haiku, tanka or another Japanese poetry form.

For this episode I have a beautiful photo from the so called "kissing gate" by Brancusi at tg.jiu. Isn't it a wonderful idea to walk through this gate, linger for a moment under it to kiss your beloved one?

Wow ... what a beauty and the name of this gate can certainly inspire you to create a lovely haiku or tanka ... maybe you can try to bring some sensuality and romance into your poem ...

Please if you use the photo in your post credit Paul Militaru. 

late summer evening
a quick kiss and a touch
we enter the park

© Chèvrefeuille

Another one ...

hot summer night
nude bodies folded together
under the gate

© Chèvrefeuille

I was inspired through this photo ...

at sunrise
I awake next to beauty
under the gate
torn apart clothes around us
and used rubbers

© Chèvrefeuille

Sorry that last one is maybe to much .... but my fantasy was on a roll (smiles)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, embroidery thread, later on.

Carpe Diem #1077 Hammer and Anvil

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize that I am late with this episode (and the following) I had a few very busy days, so ... time wasn't on my side.

Today I will try to catch up with posting, this is the first ... another wonderful regular prompt, hammer and anvil, something I not know much about, but recently I saw a preview of a new TV-show on History channel. "Forged in Fire", it's a kind of competition between hammer smiths who are challenged to create ancient weapons like samurai swords.

I haven't seen this TV show, so I really cannot tell you more about it, but I liked watching the preview of this show. Strong guys forging weapons in great fires and hammering the iron into shape. In a way I became excited to see them at work. It's a ancient craft and those hammer smiths are cool to watch. By the way ... forging isn't really my thing, but it did seem awesome.

hot air
sound of iron on iron
shape with fire

© Chèvrefeuille

Would be an awesome idea tor try this once.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 27th at noon (CET). I will post our next episode, Imagination with Paul Militaru 4th, immediately hereafter.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Delayed post

I will publish our new regular prompt, hammer and anvil,  later on. I hadn't time at my side. Sorry.

Chèvrefeuille your host