Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Carpe Diem #1227 waiting for autumn (Aki tikashi, Aki wo matsu)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had an amazing day today ... we had a wonderful nice, not to hot, summer day here in The Netherlands and my wife and i could be almost the whole day outside in the garden. I love my garden in every season, but especially in the tiny line between summer and autumn I love being in my garden. The leaves start coloring and the rains fall more often. Than I smell that nice perfume of wet earth and the starting of decay ... yes maybe this is my time of year.

Our classical prompt for today, waiting for autumn (Aki tikashi, Aki wo matsu), is extracted from the Kiyose, a collection of classical Japanese kigo (seasonwords). And it gives me the same feeling as described above. I am waiting, no longing, for autumn (Aki) and I can already smell it in the thin air of this summer day ... awesome.

autumn dreams
While I was doing my research for this episode I ran into several beautiful haiku with this theme, waiting for autumn, here is an example by Aioi Gakikajin:

Autumnal voices
in which of the windows
are there more?

© Aioi Gakikajin

And here is an other nicely crafted haiku. Deer start dating in autumn, and the lonely ones make a forlorn mating call that has become associated in Japan with lust and yearning:

Still with antlers, still
with love, the male deer —
— dashes!

© Kaneko Mukanshi

This second example makes me smile, because of the scene, but also of the true longing, waiting for autumn feeling in it. really an awesome haiku.

Longing for Autumn
Of course there are also beautiful tanka (waka or uta) about this waiting, longing for autumn. I found a nice one in the Man'yoshu written by Princess Nukata (ca. 630–690):

While, waiting for you,
My heart is filled with longing,
The autumn wind blows— 
As if it were you— 
Swaying the bamboo blinds of my door.

© Princess Nukata

And to conclude this episode ... I love to share the following tanka:

the scent of autumn
that sweet smell of decaying leaves -
after the rain - stronger
makes me think of days past
and my first real love ... 

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this episode. I enjoyed creating it. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 31st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new "weekend-meditation" later on. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Carpe Diem #1226 swamp

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new day in our wonderful summer kigo month, July 2017. Here in The Netherlands it's raining almost all day, but temperatures are okay, around 22 degrees Celsius. So not really a summer feeling, but this sultry day is perfect for our prompt for today. A modern kigo extracted from "A Dictionary of Haiku" by Jane Reichhold.

Our prompt for today I didn't associate with summer, but than I remembered a hot summer day several years ago, I was a young adult, around 22 yrs of age. I wandered around my home town and ran into a swamp-like environment just outside of my home town. Not really a swamp, but it almost looked the same. Here in my home town we call that place "the willow storage". It's a part of the polder that looks like how earth looked in the prehistory ... and it is a marvelous piece of nature to be in.
As that young adult I was exploring who I am and who I wanted to be. I had a free mind and on that hot summer day I decided to "dive" into "the willow storage", but it was really hot and very sweaty, because of the high moistured air. Well ... as a free minder I decided to took of my clothes, put them in a bag, hide it, and walk into the willow storage completely naked. It felt great, it felt like being 100% in tune with nature. I heard the buzzing of mosquitoes and bees. I bathed in the warm waters of the willow storage and laid down on a nice spot of grass somewhere in the middle of it. It was a real nice day ... I even tried to create a haibun about this beautiful day several years later.

The Willow Storage

The willow storage is a wonderful place and as I was preparing this episode I thought back to that wonderful day.

Today our prompt is swamp and I don't hink it needs further explanation, so here is a haiku Jane wrote as an example for this modern kigo:

black cypress
draining into the swamp
strands of color

© Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)

Awesome haiku I would say. Here is another haiku this time written by myself:

hot summer day
wandering through the swamp
mosquitoes buzzing

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope I have inspired you.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 30th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, waiting for autumn (Aki tikashi, Aki wo matsu), later on. For now ... be inspired and share your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form with us all.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Carpe Diem #1225 cool, cool evening, cool wind (Suzushi,Ryofu)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I am a bit late with this new episode, because I had a very busy day-shift at work. So my apologies for this small delay. Yesterday we had "dunes" for prompt and today I love to inspire you with a classical kigo for summer, cool, cool evening, cool wind (Suzushi,Ryofu), and the first thing that came in mind was a haiku by my master Matsuo Basho (1644-1694):

Matsuo Basho
You remember for sure Basho's haiku 'Old Pond', this famous haiku we have seen here often, we even have created an e-book around this famous haiku (see for the link to this e-book, the right side of our Kai):

an old pond
a frog jumps in
the sound of water

The following haiku by Basho has the same third sentence but fails to achieve the importance that it does have in the above verse.

Basho wrote the following haiku in the Summer of 1688.

taneshisa ya   aota ni suzuma   mizu no ato

cooling one self in a rice paddy
the sound of water

As we look closer at both verses we can see the picture, but in 'Old Pond' the main figure is the frog and in 'delightfulness' it's a human. Basho uses the same third sentence but, there is a difference in 'the sound of water'. In 'Old Pond' the sound of water is very short. It's just the frog who breaks the water. That sound is the essence of haiku, short as an eye-blink, just an 'aha-erlebnis'.
In 'delightfulness' the sound of water is made by a human who is cooling his feet in the water of the rice paddy. That 'sound of water' is a longer sound, the sound of splashing. In 'delightfulness' the cool water of the rice paddy is the 'aha-erlebnis'. How refreshing the cool water of the rice paddy on a hot summer day.

In my opinion 'the sound of water' in 'Old Pond' is stronger and important for the picture. In 'delightfulness' 'the sound of water' is less important for the picture. It's the coolness of the water of the rice paddy that's important.
Well it's just a thought, a reverie ....

dew drops on grass
The above image I used several years ago as the cover for a haiku-book in Dutch, but it also was used to illustrate the haiku I wrote in response on the above delightful haiku by Basho:

with my bare feet
in the cool grass of dawn
Ah! what a feeling

© Chèvrefeuille

Another haiku by Basho with the same theme, coolness, is the following:

essential to life
the little space under my hat
enjoying the coolness

This is a not so well known haiku of Basho. The Japanese hat in this haiku is the so called "kasa".

The "kasa" was an umbrella like hat. In some way through wearing this 'kasa' Basho always had his own shady place at hand.

such a hot day
my shadow needs to cool down
under the willow

© Chèvrefeuille

Another one with the same theme:

hot summer day
the shadow of the willows
Ah! that coolness

© Chèvrefeuille

the shadow of the willos

In some of Basho's haiku he refers to himself as part of the scene or looks to the scene from a distance. Not very common for haiku poets. It isn't done to be part of your own haiku as haiku poet, but rules are there to be once read and than to forget them immediately.
In the following haiku he does both. He is part of the scene, but is also watching it from a distance. I think it's a great way to write haiku (unless it wasn't common).
This "not being part of your own haiku" is still in our times one of the rules. Rules? Basho once said: "Know the rules of writing haiku and forget them immediately". Well ... that's my way to write haiku. So I 'forgot' the rules of the classical haiku and embraced the rules of the Kanshicho style in which Basho wrote his haiku between 1683 and 1685. In that style the syllable count is different and less important. But as Basho said: "Forget the rules immediately". Well I can say "forgetting the rules feels good and makes my mind free". With that thought I have written a lot of haiku.

kawa kaze ya   usu gaki ki taru   yu suzumi

a river breeze
the one wearing a light persimmon robe
enjoying the coolness

© Basho

Basho wrote a preface to this haiku.

"Enjoying the cool breeze on the bank of Shijo, an observance is practiced from the beginning to the middle of June. A special floor is set up right on the river, and people enjoy drinking and eating all night. Women tie their sashes correctly tight, and men wear their formal long coats. I see even the apprentices of a cooper and the blacksmith. They seem to have too much leisure time, singing and making noise. This is probably a scene which can only be seen in the capital (Edo, now called Tokyo)".
summer coolness

observing the crowd
having fun on the seashore
almost naked

© Chèvrefeuille

I love the full beaches in summer. Everyone has fun enjoying the warm summer and the coolness of the sea.
Children laugh making sandcastles, grown ups reading, playing, drinking, eating and laughing. Summer is a wonderful season and I think ... everyone enjoys it.

Sorry ... maybe a long (to long) read this episode, but I was on a roll. I hope I have inspired you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Carpe Diem #1224 dunes

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and I hope I have inspired you with our "weekend-meditation". Today we will go on with our Summertime month full of classical and non-classical kigo (seasonwords).
There are a lot of classical and non-classical kigo for summer and today I love to share another nice one, a modern one this time extracted from Jane's "A Dictionary of Haiku". Today I love to challenge you with dunes.

the cry of a seagull
resonates through the dunes
waves pounding the beach
© Chèvrefeuille
As I was preparing this episode the first thing which came in mind had nothing to do with summer. I thought of the novel series by Frank Herbert, Dune. I remember that I read this complete series (6 volumes) as a teenager and I loved it, loved it dearly. It inspired me to write my own novel several years later.

Dune (part 1) Frank Herbert cover

Let me tell you a little bit more about this beautiful series of novels by Frank Herbert:

Dune is a 1965 epic science fiction novel by American author Frank Herbert, originally published as two separate serials in Analog magazine. It tied with Roger Zelazny's This Immortal for the Hugo Award in 1966, and it won the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. It is the first installment of the Dune saga, and in 2003 was cited as the world's best-selling science fiction novel.
Set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which noble houses, in control of individual planets, owe allegiance to the Padishah Emperor, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose noble family accepts the stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis. As this planet is the only source of the "spice" melange, the most important and valuable substance in the universe, control of Arrakis is a coveted—and dangerous—undertaking. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the forces of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its "spice".
Herbert wrote five sequels: Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, and Chapterhouse: Dune. In 1984 Dune The Movie was created. A great movie which followed (in my opinion) the novels in an awesome way.

Virginia Beach Dune
Okay ... back to our prompt for today, dunes, a modern summer kigo. Here are a few haiku by Jane Reichhold (1937-2016) to inspire you.
rain-wet dunes
scraped with yellow light
of sunset showers
noon shadows
following the contours
of desert dunes
living in desert dunes
the ups and downs
of curved sand
© Jane Reichhold

Three beauties ... Jane was really a great haiku poetess. Here is another one by her. I think this one is one of her best on dunes:

the shape of wind
writing in dunes
© Jane Reichhold

It will not be an easy task to create haiku or tanka in the same brightness and beauty as the ones shared here by Jane, but  ... I had to try.

hot summer day
seeking for relief and shadow
between the dunes
exchanging body fluids with the one I love
while seagulls cry

© Chèvrefeuille

Hmm ... nice tanka I think. What is your opinion on this tanka?

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 28th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, cool, cool evening, cool wind (Suzushi,Ryofu), later on. For now .... have fun!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Carpe Diem Writing and Enjoying Haiku #3 classical haiku

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday July 23rd at 7.00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's almost weekend and that means ... time for a new episode of our "weekend-meditation" feature. This weekend I have a nice episode for you of "Carpe Diem Writing and Enjoying Haiku", inspired on the book by Jane Reichhold (1937-2016).
In the last episode of "Writing and Enjoying Haiku" you had to create haiku without rules, this time, I love to challenge you to create haiku following the rules, the most basic rules of haiku. You may choose your own theme, but you have to follow the following rules:

1. A kigo seasonword)
2. A kireji (cutting-word or punctuation)
3. 5-7-5 syllables (onji)
4. The theme is nature
5. A spiritual, Zen-Buddhistic layer / meaning
6. First and Third line are interchangeable
7. In your haiku you may not use "I", because in haiku the poet isn't visible

All rules ... you (we) have to follow, but as Basho once said "forget the rules". Well for this episode of Writing and Enjoying Haiku you (we) cannot forget the rules.

As you all (maybe) know I am not a haiku poet that follows the rules, I am more like Santoka Taneda and try to create my haiku in the "free-style" way. So this challenge will not be easy for me, but of course I had to give it a try and created this haiku following the rules:

a fragile cobweb
dressed in crystalline dewdrops

treasure at sunrise

© Chèvrefeuille
Pff ... that wasn't easy. In my opinion this is a nice haiku, but it looks somewhat artificial, but after re-reading I had to change my opinion. It has become a real nice haiku. I think all the "rules" are in it, but about the Zen-Buddhistic layer I am not sure. What do you think?

This "weekend-meditation" is open for your submissions next Sunday July 23rd at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 28th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, dunes, also around 7:00 PM (CET) next Sunday. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Carpe Diem #1223 Raspberry

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all are well and in a good mood to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form, because I have another nice and beautiful classical kigo for you. Today our prompt to work with is Raspberry (Kiichigo), and it's from the Shiki Saijiki, a classical anthology of kigo (seasonwords).

Raspberry (Kiichigo)
An example by Jane Reichhold:

low winter sun
raspberry leaves glow
red and green

© Jane Reichhold

I love to share a little bit of spiritual / magical background on this fruit.

Wild raspberry caught the eye of early cave dwellers, as evidenced by the remains of raspberry canes found at a variety of dig sites across Europe, Asia, and Northern America, and raspberries have been a part of our diet ever since.
Raspberry teaches us to be acquiescent. First year canes do not produce fruit but are essential to the fertility of the plant, establishing her root system and filling her canes with the strength and energy she’ll need. After the cane has weathered a year, she’s ready to bloom and fruit. Raspberry reminds us that maturity and proper conditioning are essential to abundant and healthy reproduction. It is best to be patient, Raspberry councils, when beginning any creative endeavor.
Raspberry’s thorny canes remind us, too, to be protective of the fruits of our labors. If we truly want to share our work, we would be wise to be picky about who will carry it into the world.
If Raspberry has come into your life around a specific project, you would be wise to consider carefully with whom you share the fruits of your labors. Is the person in question one who must be won-over, or is he or she already adapted to your way of thinking? Will the person in question carry word of your work to a wider or a new audience?
Raspberry, like her cousin Rose, offers all of us an opportunity to remember to be gentle with one another, to be loving and patient as we work our own magic in the world. It is only with care and a gentle touch that Raspberry yields her fruits. Even the magic of her leaf requires careful, patient treatment; you must wait for the leaf to dry fully before attempting to use it as medicine or food because if you don’t you’re likely to end up with an upset stomach. Raspberry invites us to slow down and savor all that must occur before we bear the fruits of our lives.


And after a while I found a nice one-line haiku created by Erik Amann on raspberries:

wild raspberry taste       on the tip of your tongue  © Erik Amann

I couldn't come up with a new haiku immediately so it took me some time to find the right scene and feeling to create the following tanka:

the sweet taste
of her passionate kiss
rests a while
I carress her snow white skin
a gentle touch of raspberry

© Chèvrefeuille
Well .... I hope you did like this episode and that I could inspire you.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 24th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, a new "weekend-meditation", later on. For now .... have fun!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Carpe Diem #1222 Beach

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our daily haiku meme Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This month we are exploring classical and non-classical kigo (seasonwords) for summer and today we have an other nice modern kigo extracted from Jane Reichhold's "A Dictionary of Haiku", a modern Saijiki.

Today our prompt is beach and I think this kigo doesn't need any explanation, so here are a few haiku by Jane which she wrote for this modern kigo.

darkening beach
the warmth of a person's eyes
for the sinking sun

scattered in sand
embers of a saltwood fire
face to face with stars
shell beach
wind blowing through
a train whistle
a windless day
the beach colored
sea foam

© Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)
Four beauties I would say. Jane was in my opinion, one of the best modern haiku poets. She was renown all over the globe and has been my co-host for two years. She is still missed. Her spirit is moving here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

And here are a few haiku created by myself, maybe not that clear for summer, but very clear for beach:

the beach covered with foam
last night's storm
torn apart clothes
thrown against a beach pole
a winter's love
© Chèvrefeuille
Beach Love
hot summer night
the sweet scent of Honeysuckle
arouses the senses
the sound of waves
accompanies hot steamy love -
seagulls cry
© Chèvrefeuille
And to conclude this episode about the beach, I have another haiku for you to share:
a whisper of rain
awakens me gently
morning on the beach
© Chèvrefeuille
I hope I have inspired you with this episode full of the beauty of the beach.
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until July 23rd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Raspberry (Kiichigo), later on. For now .. just have fun!