Sunday, June 30, 2013

Carpe Diem #235, Otiosity

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today the start of a new month of daily prompts to write haiku about. This month all the prompts are words which I 'harvested' from the new novel by Paulo Coelho "Manuscript found in Accra". This novel is very similar with the novels by Kahlil Gibran e.g. The Prophet, but in a way very different. It's based on a manuscript that once was found in Accra. (look HERE for the complete prompt-list)
This month will not be easy, not for you, but also not for me, because English isn't my maiden tongue, so I think I have to search frequently for the meaning of the prompts or synonyms. It will be a challenge to deliver our every day posts this month, but ... well I love it and I enjoy it all very much, so it will turn out the right way.

Credits: Paulo Coelho

And of course, how exciting, this month we have wonderful haiku for the Specials written by Jane Reichhold, one of the most wellknown haiku poetesses of our time. I am so glad and proud that she has granted me permission to use her haiku for this month. I am looking forward to all her nice haiku and the haiku which you will compose inspired on the ones by Jane Reichhold. This month of Carpe Diem will become a great and extraordinary month. So have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with Carpe Diem. And maybe you know someone else who likes to write haiku ... invite them to join in our haiku community.

OK ... back to our todays prompt, the first of July. Today we share haiku on Otiosity (or futility, uselessness, vacuity) not an easy prompt I think ... but it's for sure challenging ....

thrown away
the Holy Scripture
is it useless?

every day newspaper
on the doormat

on the doormat
no more newspapers -
surfing the net

A wonderful set I think, not an easy prompt (at least to me), but have fun and be inspired. Share your haiku with us all here on Carpe Diem. This prompt will stay on 'till July 2th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, Fortitude, later on around 8.00 PM (CET). !! Submissions for this episode can be linked at 8.00 PM (CET). !!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Carpe Diem #234, Aki Chikashi (Autumn near)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Our month of classical Japanese kigo for Summer is coming to an end with this new episode. And today our prompt is Aki Chikashi (Autumn near) so today we enter in the realm of Autumn. Later this year, September, I will use all classical Japanese kigo for Autumn, but our upcoming month, July, is all based on words, emotions, thoughts and images which I have taken from the last novel by Paulo Coelho, Manuscript found in Accra. This novel is very similar to The Prophet written by Kahlil Gibran, but in a different way also completely new. July will not be an easy month, but ... well that doesn't matter. Next to all those prompt from the novel by Paulo Coelho we will have Specials written by Jane Reichhold, a wellknown haiku poetess of our time. She has granted me permission to use all of her haiku for Carpe Diem. I have selected a few wonderful haiku written by her, but ... well you all will see that soon enough.
In our upcoming month of Carpe Diem I also will start a new feature in which you can share all poetry without prompts. I have called that new feature 'Carpe Diem's Freestyle', and it gives me the opportunity to sit back and only read all of your wonderful verses. Thanks Wabi Sabi for this revelation. I need sometimes a moment for myself. 'Freestyle', will be on once a week. The logo for this new feature I love to share already with you all.

OK ... back to todays prompt. Today we are entering Autumn, Summer has almost gone (we had late-summer kigo the last ten days) and nature's gonna loose her colors and starts again with her life circle.

last summer days
temperatures are downing -
Autumn is near

Autumn is near
trees and bushes coloring
leaves start to fall

leaves start to fall
the sweet scent of rotting leaves
the sound of rain

the sound of rain
nourishing my senses
last summer days

Awesome ... summer is leaving and autumn is entering ... another year runs to its end. This prompt will stay on 'til July 1st 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our first episode of July, Otiosity, later on today around 8.00 PM (CET). !! The Linking Widget for our last June prompt will be open for submissions at 8.00 PM (CET) today !!

For closure of this last episode of Carpe Diem's June I love to share a video of ABBA "Our Last Summer".

I hope you all have a nice Summer and remember the sun is always shining (smiles).

Chèvrefeuille, your host

Friday, June 28, 2013

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #4, 'deeper darkness' by Bjorn Rudberg

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I was reading all the nice completed Tan Renga of our last (third) Tan Renga challenge and I realized that this feature is a success. I think it's also a kind of lesson to learn how you can make a haiku part of yourself by associating on someones haiku.
As I prepare the posts for Carpe Diem I try to become one, to be part, of the theme I use. The theme has to become me or else I cannot relate to it and write the haiku as I do. I know that's not easy, but I think that's the only way to write haiku or as I always say 'to be haiku'.

For todays Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge I have used a haiku written by Bjorn Rudberg of course with his permission. This is one of the two haiku he wrote on our prompt Hanabi (Fireworks).

Well ... before I give this haiku I will repeat the goal of this Tan Renga Challenge. A Tan Renga is a chained poem of two stanza. The first stanza has 5-7-5 syllables and the second stanza has 7-7 syllables. The Challenge is to write the second stanza with 7-7 syllables (or more or less) through associating on the first stanza. By completing the Tan Renga with your second stanza the challenge is over. Please copy and paste the first stanza into your own post and include your second stanza.

Credits: Fireworks

OK ... here we go ...

First stanza:

after fireworks
the silence is clearer
darkness is deeper
                 (Bjorn Rudberg)

Second stanza:


My attempt to complete this Tan Renga:

after fireworks
the silence is clearer
darkness is deeper                                    (Bjorn Rudberg)

only thing left on New Year's Eve
the garbage of fireworks paper                  (Chèvrefeuille)

You can post your completion of this Tan Renga 'til July 5th 11.59 AM (CET). I will publish later on July 5th  our new Tan Renga.

Carpe Diem #233, Himawari (Sunflower) & Yuugao (Moonflower)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today, June 29th, our penultimate classical Japanese kigo has two kigo for prompt. Today we share haiku on Himawari (Sunflower) and Yuugao (Moonflower). So you can choose for one of them our use both, that's up to you.
Why two kigo? Well ... when I was preparing this episode our last month (about Tarot) came in mind. In that month we had also Sun and Moon, so I thought why not both kigo? And so it came that you all have the choice this episode.

Credits: Sunflower and lady-bug

lady-bug disappears
between the petals of a Sunflower -
as you did my love

as you did my love
leaving me alone with my sorrows
withering Sunflower

A sad pair of haiku (by the way: this pair I wrote as I remembered an other relationship which I once had), but I think it fits the thoughts behind it.

Credits: Moonflower (or Ipomoea-alba)

fragile beauty
climbing against the fence
moonflower straightens

moonflower straightens
with her snowwhite blossom
to the Summer moon

Ah! What a delicious haiku, I love it when a haiku is becoming a beauty. Now it's up to you ... be inspired, share your haiku with Carpe Diem.
This prompt will stay on 'til June 30th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our final episode of June later on today. That will be: Aki Chikashi (Autumn near). !! The linking widget will be open for submissions around 8.00 PM (CET).!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Carpe Diem Special #44, Kikusha-Ni's "the dusk in rain"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The end of this Carpe Diem month is almost in sight. We had wonderful kigo on ehich you all have written wonderful haiku. I launched a few new features and they were all very welcomed by you all. The Tan Renga and the Kasen Renga are great and I am looking forward to the result of our first Kasen Renga. The Kasen Renga is still on 'till July 22th and at this moment we are almost halfway with the Kasen Renga. It all looks wonderful.
As you maybe have seen ... the prompt-list for July is already online and I have already found a few wonderful haiku by Jane Reichhold which we will us for the Carpe Diem Specials of July, but ... today we have our last Special of this month. Another beautiful haiku written by Kikusha-Ni. Kikusha-Ni hasn't written a lot in her lifetime, but the haiku which she wrote are all very special.

Credits: Haiga "the dusk in rain"

my body all alone
in this autumn I feel -
the dusk in rain

(c) Kikusha-Ni

A wonderful haiku I think, very sad and in balance ... Kikusha-Ni wasn't all alone, but found her rest in her monastery to meditate and contemplate. This haiku gives me a feeling of deep loneliness, but also a feeling of joy. It's joy lays in the intens feeling of loneliness and the beauty of a rainy dusk in autumn. Feeling deeply alone and one with nature. So my inspired haiku has to have that intens feeling too, but will I succeed? We will see.

the sound of raindrops
on the skylight window of my loft -
the crackling fire

the crackling fire
makes my loneliness stronger -
the sound of raindrops

I like it ... I can feel the same loneliness as in the one by Kikusha-Ni ... nicely crafted haiku I think. What do you think?

Well ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku inspired on the one by Kikusha-Ni with Carpe Diem. This prompt will stay on 'til June 29th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will publish our next episode, himawari (sunflower) & yuuga (moonflower), later on today. !! The Linking Widget for this Special will be open at 8.00 PM (CET) for submissions !!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Carpe Diem #232, Semi (Cicada)

Dear Haijin, visitors and friends,

Because I haven't enough time to write a big episode I have chosen for a short one this time. Today we share haiku on Semi (Cicada) also a late-summer kigo, but it can refer to other seasons as well. On wikipedia I found the next information about cicadas.

Cicadas (/sɪˈkɑːdə/ or /sɪˈkeɪdə/), alternatively spelled as Cicala, or Cicale, are insects in the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha (which was formerly included in the now invalid suborder Homoptera). Cicadas are in the superfamily Cicadoidea. Their eyes are prominent, though not especially large, and set wide apart on the anterior lateral corners of the frons. The wings are well-developed, with conspicuous veins; in some species the wing membranes are wholly transparent, whereas in many others the proximal parts of the wings are clouded or opaque and some have no significantly clear areas on their wings at all. About 2,500 species of cicada have been described, and many remain to be described. Cicadas live in temperate-to-tropical climates where they are among the most-widely recognized of all insects, mainly due to their large size and unique sound. Cicadas are often colloquially called locusts, although they are unrelated to true locusts, which are various species of swarming grasshopper. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs.

Credits: Cicada

OK let's do some haiku composing on cicada.

in the twilight
only the song of cicadas -
my love's breathing

deep silence
a far away thunderstorm
a cicada's song

I hope you liked this short episode and that it inspires you to write your own haiku. This prompt will stay on 'til June 28th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next Special Carpe Diem episode, a nice haiku by Kikusha-Ni , later on today aroun 9.00 PM (CET). At this moment I don't know which haiku I will use, so be surprised.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Carpe Diem #231, Nagoshi (half year's end festival)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today another great Japanese festival. It's called Nagoshi (half year's end festival) and it's one of the 100.000 festivals which occur in Japan. Nagoshi is a kind of 'end summer' festival and it lasts for three days. Let us take a closer look at this festival.

Omura Nagoshi Matsuri (Festival) is a summer event held on the evenings of August 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Nagoshi is a shortening of “Nagoshi no Harae” which translates to “summer purification rites.” The original event brought to Japan from China occurred in the summer, usually on the last day of the 6th lunar month (June 30). However, because Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar rather than the Chinese calendar, many ancient Chinese rituals take place a month later than the original date. Therefore, Nagoshi no Harae takes place on July 31. On this day, People visit one of Omura’s 25 Shinto shrines to be purified of their sins and then, beginning August first is the celebration of that cleanse. A fireworks show is held over the bay on the first evening, displaying 3,000 to 4,000 rounds.

Credits: Nagoshi Festival Fireworks

On the evening of the second and third, there are many vendors selling an array of food, drinks (alcoholic and non), toys, candy and Omura specialty products on the main road that leads from Omura Train Station. There are also various performances, visual arts and games for your entertainment. The main event, happening on the night of the third, is a two-hour parade/dance competition featuring many local Omura groups. Everyone dances the Omura Ondo, the region dance, while parading around Nagoshi Yume Dori (Dream Street) otherwise known as Omura Station Road.

The Nagoshi Festival is the closure of the Gione Festival, our prompt of yesterday. And it's a lot smaller than other festivals. With this festival the 'end of Summer' is celebrated.

Credits: Nagoshi Festival

What a joyful festival to celebrate the end of Summer. I don't know if there are such festivals in other regions of the world. Not in my country by the way, we celebrate the start of Summer, but never the end of it.

celebrating summer
finally the heat is over -
leaves are coloring

leaves are coloring
at the end of summer
days become shorter

I hope you all did like this (short) episode of Carpe Diem and I hope it will inspire you to write and share haiku with us all.
This prompt will stay on 'til June 27th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, Semi (cicada), later on today around 9.00 PM (CET). !! The linking widget for this episode will be open for submissions at 8.30 PM (CET) !!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Carpe Diem #230, Gione (Gion Festival)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today one of the most famous festivals (of the over 100.000) in Japan, the Gione (Gion Festival), is our prompt for today. This festival takes place in Kyoto and last for 30 days, it's a festival that occurs in the whole month of July. So let us look a bit closer to that festival.

Hereafter I will first share a video about Gion Matsuri.

The Gion Festival takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It goes for the entire month of July and is crowned by a parade, the Yamaboko Junkō  on July 17. It takes its name from Kyoto's Gion district.
Kyoto's downtown area is reserved for pedestrian traffic on the three nights leading up to the massive parade. These nights are known as yoiyama on July 16, yoiyoiyama on July 15, and yoiyoiyoiyama on July 14. The streets are lined with night stalls selling food such as yakitori (barbecued chicken skewers), taiyaki, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, traditional Japanese sweets, and many other culinary delights. Many girls dressed in yukata (summer kimono) walk around the area, carrying with them traditional purses and paper fans.
During the yoiyama evenings leading up to the parade, some private houses in the old kimono merchant district open their entryways to the public, exhibiting valuable family heirlooms, in a custom known as the Byōbu Matsuri, or Folding Screen Festival. This is a precious opportunity to visit and observe traditional Japanese residences of Kyoto.

Gion Festival
it feels like travelling back in time -
dancing geisha

This festival originated as part of a purification ritual (goryo-e) to appease the gods thought to cause fire, floods and earthquakes. In 869, the people were suffering from plague and pestilence which was attributed to the rampaging deity Gozu Tennō . Emperor Seiwa ordered that the people pray to the god of the Yasaka Shrine, Susanoo-no-mikoto. Sixty-six stylized and decorated halberds, one for each province in old Japan, were prepared and erected at Shinsen-en, a garden, along with the portable shrines (mikoshi) from Yasaka Shrine.

screaming to the gods
giving them all glory of earth -
a rain storm starts

This practice was repeated wherever an outbreak occurred. In 970, it was decreed an annual event and has since seldom been broken. Over time the increasingly powerful and influential merchant class made the festival more elaborate and, by the Edo period (1603–1868), used the parade to brandish their wealth.
In 1533, the Ashikaga shogunate halted all religious events, but the people protested, stating that they could do without the rituals, but not the procession. This marks the progression into the festival's current form. Smaller floats that were lost or damaged over the centuries have been restored, and the weavers of the Nishijin area offer new tapestries to replace destroyed ones. When not in use, the floats and regalia are kept in special storehouses throughout the central merchant district of Kyoto in the care of the local people.
The floats in the Yoiyama Parade are divided into two groups, Hoko and Yama, and are collectively called Yamaboko (or Yamahoko). There are 9 of the larger Hoko (long pole or halberd) which represent the 66 spears used in the original purification ritual, and 23 of the smaller Yama which carry life-size figures of famous and important people. All the floats are decorated with beautiful tapestries both from Nishijin (the finest in all of Japan) and imported from all over the world. In addition to the art, there are many traditional musicians and artists sitting in the floats. In 2009 Yamahoko was listed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Naginata hoko

Each year the families that maintain the floats draw lots at a special meeting to determine what order they will take in the festival. These lots are issued at a special ceremony before the parade, during which the Mayor of Kyoto dons the robes of a magister. On the Naginata Hoko is the chigo, a young boy in Shinto robes and crowned by a golden phoenix, chosen from among the Kyoto merchant families as the deity's sacred page. After weeks of special purification ceremonies, during which he lives isolated from contaminating influences such as the presence of women, he is carried atop the float as he is not permitted to touch the ground. The boy must cut a sacred rope (shimenawa) with a single stroke to begin the matsuri.

cutting the rope
the young boy smiles
cuts the sacred rope

gion festival
a beautiful history -
summer departs

I hope you enjoyed the read and I hope it will inspire you all to write new haiku. This prompt will stay on 'til June 26th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, on another Japanese festival, Nagoshi (half year's end festival), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Carpe Diem #229, Hanabi (Fireworks)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today a lovely prompt. Japan has through the year more then 100.000 festivals in all different parts of the country. I couldn't at first belief that, but as I sought for information on our prompt for today I ran into a few wonderful websites about Japanese Festivals. They have such wonderful festivals, but for today's prompt, Hanabi (Fireworks), I will use one of the most famous Fireworks Festivals of Japan. This Fireworks Festival occurs in August. The name of this Festival is: Edogawa City Fireworks Festival and it is held on the historic Edo River that forms the border between Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, this massively popular festival draws the most spectators of any in the Tokyo area with crowds on both sides of the river.

In our Western World we don't have such big Fireworks Festivals. In my country fireworks are only for festivities and New Years Eve. I live at the shore of a great lake and on the banks of that lake we have once a year a Symphonic Firework, it's awesome and a joy to watch it. 

I found a wonderful video about fireworks with the music of Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks. I love to share that video hereafter.

Really a joy to watch and listen to. As I sought for haiku on fireworks I found a nice one written by Issa:

shibaraku wa yami no tomoshi wo hanabi kana

for a moment
the darkness is lighted...

And I have to share a nice video of the Edogawa City Fireworks Festival 2010, which I found on You Tube::

Isn't it wonderful? What a wonderful music and what a sight all those colorful fireworks above Edo-river. It's a joy to watch and I would love to see that once in my life for real, but ... well that will be just a dream I think.

watching fireworks
on the banks of Edo-river -
it was just a dream

Well ... you will never know what the future has for surprises ... so maybe ... once ....

above Edo river
colorful flowers of fire
the moon still in sight

colorful reflections
Edo-river becomes a flowing rainbow -
a Nightingale's song

Awesome to write this haiku on fireworks. What a joy and a pleasure to do this for you all (and of course for myself). I hope you all did like the read and I hope that this post will be an inspiration to you all to write haiku on Hanabi (Fireworks).
This prompt will stay on 'til June 25th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode, Gione (Gion Festival), later on today around 8.00 PM (CET). !! The linking widget for this episode will be open for submissions at 8.00 PM (CET) !!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Carpe Diem #228, Aota (Green paddy)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A little while ago we had rice-planting for prompt and today as we have entered late-Summer, we will visit the rice-fields again The rice-fields are green now and a joy to look at. Just a little while and the rice can be harvested.
Today our late-Summer kigo is Aota (Green Paddy) and as I was preparing this episode I couldn't find the right haiku because there are not so many haiku written on Aota (Green Paddy). At least I couldn't find them.

oki-oki no yokume hipparu aota kana

as soon as he gets up
the green fields draw to them
his gready eyes

(C) Issa

Blyth comments on this one by haiku in his Haiku Vol. 3 the following:

When the rice in his paddy-fields is beginning to form, the farmer;s whole soul is put into the growing rice. Every morning, as soon as he wakes, the first thing he wants to see, or as Issa rather feels, the first thing that wants to be seen by him, is these fields. They are to him

An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That have no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.

Credits: Aota (Green Paddy)

I can imagine that very well. I recognize the feeling. It's the same as I feel when I have completed an episode of Carpe Diem.
I think you all have the same experiences.
OK ... enough written ... let's do some haiku composing on Aota (Green Paddy).

on the green paddy
no more rice planting songs -
just rustling of rice

Hm ... not a strong one, but I like it very much. I hope that you enjoyed this episode and that it will inspire you to write your own haiku on Aota (Green Paddy).
This prompt will stay on 'til June 24th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode of Carpe Diem, Hanabi (Fireworks), later on today around 9.00 PM (CET). !!! The Linking Widget of this episode will be open for submission at 9.00 PM (CET) !!!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Challenge #3 "the rainy season"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to read all of your completions of the Tan Renga last week. I have really read awesome second stanzas and I hope this new episode of our Tan Renga Challenge will bring that joy again.
For this episode I have chosen a haiku by Buson, one of the four greatest haiku masters next to Basho, Issa and Shiki.

Haiga by Buson

shishoku shite roka toru ya satsukiame

the rainy season

a paper lantern in hand
I walk along the verandah

In his 3rd Volume of Haiku, Blyth says abthis haiku by Buson, the following:

It is deep night, and the rain sounds louder now than in the day-time. The dripping does not cease. Along the dark verandah walks the poet, with slow and silent steps, holding a paper lantern in one cold hand. There is in this verse something of what Keats expressed with more effort and wordiness in "The Eve of St. Agnes":

[...] and the long carpets rose along the gusty floor [...]

But Keats is almost entirely objective, whereas in Buson, who is among the most objective of haiku poets, there is something subjective. Even when the poet has passed through it, the corridor remains palpitating dark, alive in its length; the wind and rain are still heard though there is no one to hear them.

Credits: Rainy Season

A wonderful haiku by Buson I think and now it is up to you to write the second stanza (7-7). Copy and paste the first stanza (5-7-5) as given here into your post and include your second stanza to complete the Tan Renga. Have fun !!!

I will give the first stanza of this Tan Renga here again and I include my second stanza.

the rainy season
a paper lantern in hand
I walk along the verandah             (Buson)

a gust of wind blows in my face
scatters the light I hold                 (Chèvrefeuille)

This Tan Renga Challenge will stay on 'til June 29th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post the new Tan Renga Challenge after the closing time of this one. (!! The linking Widget for this episode of our Tan Renga Challenge will open at 4.00 PM (CET) !!)

PS.: I have published our prompt-list for July. In this month the Special episodes are all haiku written by Jane Reichhold. So this new month of Carpe Diem will be a joy.


Carpe Diem's Kasen Renga Session #1

Credits: Kasen Renga Session

Good day dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I love to introduce a new feature here on Carpe Diem. With the Tan Renga episodes I already started a nice way to write haiku together. And today I will introduce our next step in our Renga playing. It's an experiment and I hope it will work out.

Today our first Kasen Renga Session starts. I love to try a Kasen renga with you all. A Kasen Renga is a Renga of 36 linked verses following the next path 5-7-5, 7-7, 5-7-5, 7-7 .... and so on. Just like the Tan Renga you have to write a stanza through associating on the verse before your turn.
Our beloved haiku originated from this Renga, a chain of verses following the above mentioned structure. The Renga started with the so called Hokku (openings verse) written by a haiku poet. The next poet wrote the next stanza and so on. The poet who writes the last stanza called Ageku has to associate on the hokku (and the verse before him/her) so the Kasen Renga is closed properly as a chain or circle.

The Kasen Renga follows a structure in which there are themes which you have to use in the stanzas. I will give you the structure later on in this post. First I like to tell you how this is going to work.

I start the Kasen Renga with a Hokku and the next poet writes the following stanza in the comments field. There will be no linking widget and you have to be alert on which stanza you have to write. So e.g. poet A writes the first verse 5-7-5, poet B writes the 7-7 stanza, then poet C writes the following stanza of 5-7-5 ... the importants thing in this is that you have to read the comment before you, so you know which stanza you have to write. (!!!! DON'T FORGET THE NUMBER OF THE STANZA IN YOUR COMMENT !!!!).

Let us try this .... we will see how it's gonna work out. I will give now the structure of our first Kasen Renga:

1. Hokku 5-7-5 (Summer)
2. 7-7 (Summer)
3. 5-7-5 (Love)
4. 7-7 (Freedom)
5. 5-7-5 (Moon/ Autumn)
6. 7-7 (Autumn)
7. 5-7-5 (Autumn)
8. 7-7 (Love)
9. 5-7-5 (Love/ Flowers)
10. 7-7 (Love/ Free verse, no theme)
11. 5-7-5 (Water)
12. 7-7 (Rocks/ Mountains)
13. 5-7-5 (Moon/ Winter)
14. 7-7 (Winter)
15. 5-7-5 (Love/ Flowers)
16. 7-7 (Bamboo)
17. 5-7-5 (Flower/ Spring)
18. 7-7 (Spring)
19. 5-7-5 (Spring)
20. 7-7 (Moon/ Autumn)
21. 5-7-5 (Pigeons)
22. 7-7 (Love)
23. 5-7-5 (Summer)
24. 7-7 (Summer)
25. 5-7-5 (Pebble)
26. 7-7 (Love)
27. 5-7-5 (Flower)
28. 7-7 (Water)
29. 5-7-5 (Moon/ Spring)
30. 7-7 (Summer)
31. 5-7-5 (Autumn)
32. 7-7 (Winter)
33. 5-7-5 (free verse, no theme)
34. 7-7 (Flower/ Spring)
35. 5-7-5 (Rocks/ Mountains)
36. Ageku 7-7 (Spring)

This structure, not exact the classic structure, is called a 'Summer Renga'. So the Hokku must be a Summer haiku. (Behind the syllables per stanza you can read the theme for that stanza). The title of this first Carpe Diem's Kasen Renga Session is taken form the Hokku, "no lonely night".

Credits: Firefly


"No Lonely Night", a Summer Renga

Startdate: June 21th
Closingdate: July 22th

Hokku (5-7-5) by Chèvrefeuille (your host):

firefly party
their fragile light caresses me -
no lonely night

(c) Chèvrefeuille (pseudonym of Kristjaan Panneman)

have fun, feel free to post your stanza to our first Kasen Renga Session. Good Luck!!!

Chèvrefeuille, your host

Carpe Diem Special #43, "the cool of the wind" by Kikusha-Ni

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy it is to prepare all the posts for Carpe Diem and I like how you all are participating in this daily haiku meme You all share such wonderful haiku with us here on Carpe Diem.
Today another nice haiku written by Kikusha-Ni. She is one of the most wellknown classical female haiku poets I know, but she hasn't written a lot of haiku. As I was preparing this episode I sought on the Internet for haiku written by her and I could only find 20-30 haiku written by Kikusha-Ni. So I haven't a brought range of haiku to choose from, but I succeeded I think with this haiku written by her:

there is nothing
like the cool of the wind in this place
blowing down from Mt. Fuyi

Credits: Mt. Fuyi

Mount Fuyi, the Holy Mountain of Japan, in a lot of haiku written by classical and modern haiku poets Fuyi plays the lead. So I was inspired by Mt. Fuyi and I hope my haiku is in the same sense, tone and Spirit as the one by Kikusha-Ni

framed in silence 
cherry blossom embraces Mt Fuyi
even more quiet

Awesome! I like this haiku. Is it in the same sense and tone as the one by Kikusha-Ni? I think so.

This Special will stay on 'til June 23th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, Aota (Green paddy), later on today around 9.00 PM (CET). !! The Linking Widget for this Special will open at 8.00 PM (CET) !! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Carpe Diem #227, Yuunagi (Evening Lull)

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had some trouble with todays kigo Evening Lull, but after some web-surfing I ran into the translation of Lull. It turned out that it means pause, silence, repose, peace, stillness and tranquility. So Yuunagi means Evening peace, silent evening or so.
Today I hadn't enough inspiration to write a long episode, so this episode will be a short one. Forgive me please.

Credits: Yuunagi (Evening Lull)

I think this picture is full of Yuunagi (smiles), just one bird on the beach, maybe it sings, the rippling waves ... a nice evening silence.

deep silence
listening to the song of cicadas -
sultry summer night

evening lull
the sweet scent of Honeysuckle
arouses the senses

on the beach
around the campfire -
rippling waves

entwined bodies
in love on the beach -
evening lull

I hope you all liked this short episode of Carpe Diem. This prompt will stay on 'til June 22th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, another nice haiku by Kikusha-Ni, later on today around 9.00 PM (CET). I will give that new haiku by Kikusha-Ni hereafter.
!! The Linking Widget for Yuunagi will open at 9.00 PM (CET) !!

PS.: I am preparing a new feature for Carpe Diem. I will start an experiment with you all ... I will try to write a Kasen-Renga with you all. I am busy preparing this new feature and I hope to publish it soon.

Kikusha-Ni's haiku for our next Special on June 22th:

there is nothing
like the cool of the wind in this place
blowing down from Mt. Fuyi

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Carpe Diem #226, Hototogisu (Little or English Cuckoo)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we have a wonderful kigo to work with. Today it's Hototogisu (Little or English Cuckoo) and it is (and was) a wonderful kigo to all haiku poets, modern as well as classic. It's a very populair kigo and I have found several wonderful haiku written on Hototogisu. E.g. this one by Basho:

hototogisu otake yabu wo more tsukiyo

moonlight slants through

the vast bamboo grove
a hototogisu cries

R.H.Blyth comments, in his four Volume series Haiku Vol.3, on this verse saying:

It is said that even now there are great bamboo groves around the place where once Kyorai's villa stood at Saga. Basho spent two weeks here in April, in the fourth year of Genroku (1692). The Hototogisu corresponds more or less to the Little or English cuckoo. The breast of the male is blackish, with white blotches. The breast of the female is white, the inside of the mouth red; it has a crest of hair on the head. The legs are greenish. It doesn't make a nest of its own, but borrows that of the uguisu (The Japanese Bush Warbler (Uguisu), Cettia diphone, is a passerine bird more often heard than seen. Its distinctive breeding call can be heard throughout much of Japan from the start of spring. Some other Japanese names given to the bird are haru-dori ("spring bird"), haru-tsuge-dori ("spring-announcing bird") and hanami-dori ("spring-flower-viewing bird"). Its place in Japanese poetry has also given it the names uta-yomi-dori ("poem-reading bird") and kyo-yomi-dori ("sutra-reading bird"), the latter because its call is traditionally transcribed in Japanese as "Hō-hoke-kyo", the abbreviated Japanese title of the lotus sutra).

Credits: Uguisu

From early summer, it (the hototogisu), sings day and night, and ceases in autumn. It is said to vomit blood and die after it has sung eight thousand and eight times.

Or what do you think of this one by Shiki:

tsuki no de no kusa ni kaze fuku hototogisu

the moon arising

there is wind in the grass
a hototogisu sings

Blyth says about this verse: Over the mountains the moon appears; a gust of wind moves the summer grasses, the sound already a little dry and melancholy. In the distance, a hototogisu suddenly breaks into song. The combination of sight and touch and sound is perfect, is complete, nothing more is required. In the succeeding stillness, the moon climbs higher and higher tinto the sky.

I have found a beautiful haiga by Buson in which he portrays a Hototogisu.

A little cuckoo across a hydrangea - Yosa Buson

The haiku in this haiga is:

Iwakura no kyoojo koi seyo hototogisu

cause the madwoman at Iwakura
to fall more deeply in love
o hototogisu

And I love to share another photo of the Hototogisu.

Credits: Hototogisu

Enough about this wonderful and populair bird as classical kigo for mid-summer. Let me try to write a haiku about the Hototogisu.

little cuckoo
sings the whole day and night
his bleeding throat

his bleeding throat
sign for upcoming dead
just one song left

just one song left
thousands times he gave his concert -
fallen to earth

fallen to earth
completing the cycle of life 
little cuckoo

I hope you did like this episode, unless the sad ending of it. Be inspired and share your haiku with us all here on Carpe Diem.
This prompt will stay on 'til June 21th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, Yuunagi (Evening lull), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET). !! The linking widget of Hototogisu will open at 9.00 PM (CET) !!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Carpe Diem #225, Kawasemi (Kingfisher)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Are you all in for a new nice Carpe Diem episode? Well I am (smiles). Today we share haiku on Kawasemi (Kingfisher).
In my opinion it's one the most colorful waterbirds. For sure here in The Netherlands. This little Kingfisher is a wonderful fisherman and fast as the wind. I think this wonderful bird can inspire you all to write nice haiku.

Kingfishers are a group of small to medium sized brightly coloured birds in the order Coraciiformes. They have a cosmopolitan distribution, with most species being found in the Old World and Australasia. The group is treated either as a single family, Alcedinidae, or as a suborder Alcedines containing three families, Alcedinidae (river kingfishers), Halcyonidae (tree kingfishers), and Cerylidae (water kingfishers). There are roughly 90 species of kingfisher. All have large heads, long, sharp, pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. Most species have bright plumage with little differences between the sexes. Most species are tropical in distribution, and a slight majority are found only in forests. They consume a wide range of prey as well as fish, usually caught by swooping down from a perch. Like other members of their order they nest in cavities, usually tunnels dug into the natural or artificial banks in the ground. A few species, principally insular forms, are threatened with extinction.

Credits: Kingfisher

Wow! What a wonderful bird, really a King.

colorful reflection
throws shadows on the brook -
Kingfisher attacks

Kingfisher attacks
silver comes to live in the brook -
circles in water

Nice set I think ... hope you like this post and I hope it inspires you all to write nice haiku. This prompt will stay on 'til June 20th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next classical kigo for Summer, Hototogisu (Little Cuckoo), later on today around 8:00 PM (CET). !! The Linking Widget for Kingfisher open at 8.00 PM (CET) !!


Monday, June 17, 2013

Carpe Diem #224, Shoobu (Japanese Iris)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I was preparing this episode I realized that this prompt for today is (again) on Japanese Iris, earlier we had Rabbit Ear Iris and today we have Shoobu (Japanese Iris) I hope you all do not mind that. It's a wonderful flower and I think there are enough possibilities to compose and share haiku on Japanese Iris.

The term "Japanese iris" (Iris ensata, including Iris kaempferi) encompasses three varieties of Irises cultivated in gardens or growing wild in Japan: (hana)shoobu, kakitsubata and ayame.
The (Hana) shoobu  grows in the wet land and is the most extensively cultivated variety in Japanese gardens. According to the place where it was cultivated, it is classified into the Edo (Tokyo), Higo (Kumamoto Prefecture), Ise (Mie Prefecture), American (U.S.A.) and other series. It is extensively grown in gardens throughout the temperate zones. Several cultivars have been selected, of which 'Rose Queen'  and 'Variegata' have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Credits: Shoobu (Japanese Iris)

Well ... isn't it a beauty? Let me look if I can write a haiku on this Japanese Iris.

like a rainbow
as far as I can see
a sea of Irises

a sea ofl Irises
waving in the Summer breeze
a rainbow garden

Hm ... not as strong as I hoped, but ... I love them both. Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all on Carpe Diem.

This prompt will stay on 'til June 19th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, Kawasemi (Kingfisher), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).
!! The Linking Widget for Shoobu (Japanese Iris) will open at 8:00 PM (CET) today!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Carpe Diem #223, Hasu (Lotus)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Slowly we are going through mid-summer, we are already over the middle of the whole Summer with our prompts for this month. So in a few days we will enter the phase of late-summer, longing for Autumn, picking the fruits of the fruit trees and bushes, but ... well we have to go through a few mid-summer kigo. Today that mid-summer kigo is, Hasu (Lotus), it's a wonderful waterplant and it has a very deep spiritual meaning which I love to share here with you all. It's based on Buddhism by the way.

The lotus flower represents one symbol of fortune in Buddhism. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.
The second meaning, which is related to the first is purification. It resembles the purifying of the spirit which is born into murkiness. The third meaning refers to faithfulness. Those who are working to rise above the muddy waters will need to be faithful followers.
The color bears importance in the meaning of the lotus flower in Buddhism. A white lotus flower refers to purity of the mind and the spirit. If a lotus flower is red, it refers to compassion and love. The blue lotus flower refers to the common sense; it uses wisdom and logic to create enlightenment. The pink lotus flower represents the history of Buddha and the historical legends of the Buddha. A purple lotus flower speaks of spirituality and mysticism. Finally, the gold lotus flower represents all achievement of all enlightenment, especially in the Buddha.
The stage of growth the lotus flower is in represents a different stage of enlightenment. A closed lotus flower represents the time before a Buddhist follower found Buddha or enlightenment. A lotus flower fully bloomed and open represents full enlightenment and self-awareness.
The mud represents an importance in the meaning of the lotus flower in Buddhism. All humans are born in a world where there is suffering. This suffering is a vital part of the human experience; it makes us stronger and teaches us to resist the temptation of evil. When we banish evil thoughts from our mind we are able to break free of the muddy water and become one with the Buddha. The mud shows us who we are and teaches us to choose the right path over the easy one.
Finally, the lotus flower represents rebirth, both in a figurative and a literal sense. The rebirth can be a change of ideas, an acceptance of Buddha where there once was none, the dawn after one’s darkest day, a renaissance of beliefs or the ability to see past wrongs. In a literal sense, the meaning of the lotus flower in Buddhism represents rebirth as a reincarnation, such as in the Buddhist religion, when a soul leaves this world in its present form to be reborn in another. (Source: Shiva )

Credits: Lotus

The Lotus ... a wonderful flower full of light and spirituality. I like this flower very much. And I love to share the next haiku with you all.

spirit grows -
from the bottom of the pond
into the light

into the light
the Lotus reaches from the deep -
spirit grows

This prompt will stay on 'til June 18th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode, Shoobu (Japanese Iris), later on today around 10.00 PM (CET). !! The linking widget for this episode will open at 8.00 PM (CET). So have patience before linking up !!