Monday, December 11, 2017

Carpe Diem #1324 carried away by the night

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have chosen a quote from a novel by Paulo Coelho that surprised me like "Eleven Minutes" did. In 2014 Paulo Coelho's new novel "Adultery" was released.

Adultery, is a story of a woman who is faced with an inevitable, life-altering choice when she chooses to break the monotony of her life. Linda is in her thirties and is facing a crisis mentally and emotionally. She begins to question the void that was growing in her, the mundane, predictable days of her life. Although her life seemed perfect in everybody's eyes a contented marriage, adorable children and a successful career - she feels a keen sense of emptiness and displeasure. But it all drastically changes when she meets a prosperous politician who happens to be her high-school boyfriend from years ago. As Linda revives the passion that was absent in her life, she would have to make a life-altering choice.

Adultery reads like a river, the story caught me immediately, not because of the theme, but because of the way Paulo Coelho describes the theme in a very nice way with a kind of love that no one would expect in a story about adultery. I read this novel only once, but I read it in one day ... the story really grabbed me. It's a story to which everyone can relate I think, not because of the adultery, but because of the hidden story ... the loss of romance, sensuality and sexuality in a marriage.

adultery (image © Luca Santostasi - broken roses)

broken roses
shards of a crystal vase
love gone wild

© Chèvrefeuille

roses bloom again
re-found love grows
two bodies as one

© Chèvrefeuille

Adultery ... an amazing story written by Paulo Coelho. "Adultery" a novel about true love I would say and I think that this quote will inspire you as it did me.

[...] “Let yourself get carried away by the night from time to time. Look up at the stars and try to get drunk on the sense of infinity. The night, with all its charms, is also a path to enlightenment. Just as a dark well has thirst-quenching water at its bottom, the night, whose mystery brings us closer to the mystery of God, has a flame capable of enkindling our soul hidden in its shadows.” [...] (Source: Adultery by Paulo Coelho)

hot summer night
two bodies entwined in love -

the full moon

© Chèvrefeuille

Do you sense the romance, the sensuality ... sexuality? Isn't it wonderful to tell so much with as less words as possible. Isn't that the power of haiku ... or shall I say .... the power of love?

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 18th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... be inspired.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Carpe Diem #1323 serenity

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. I hope you all have had a nice weekend. Here in The Netherlands we had almost the whole weekend heavy snow fall, so the world around me has become white. It's an awesome sight, because it has been a while that we had that much snow.

This month we are finding our inspiration in the novels by Paulo Coelho. And today I have a wonderful quote from his novel "The Witch Of Portobello", one of his most beloved novels. I read "The Witch ..." several times and every time again I read new things.

The quote for today points to a skill which we maybe know ... calligraphy. In ancient Japan calligraphy was a high art and all the classical haiku poets used it. The leading character of "The Witch ..." learns this art in the middle of the desert.

Japanese calligraphy by Aoi Yamaguchi (great website)
 Of course the quote to use I will not give you as a calligraphy. Here is the quote for your inspiration:

[...] "Naturally, if she respected the brush that she used, she would realize that in order to learn to write she must cultivate serenity and elegance. And serenity comes from the heart." [...] (Source: The Witch of Portobello - Paulo Coelho)

And here is my response, I wasn't inspired, so I dived into my archives:

back in time again I write
with a quill pen
screeching paper
the poet writes his poems

© Chèvrefeuille

Have a great week ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 17th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Carpe Diem Extra December 8th 2017 - Call for submissions !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, 
I would love to create a special CDHK E-book for the holidays, so I have a call for submissions for you. Send your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form themed "holidays" (Christmas, New Year) to our Haiku Kai email-address: Please write "ebook holidays" in the subject line. 

You can submit your poem(s) until December 19th 10:00 PM (CET).

I am looking forward to all of your wonderful poems themed "holidays".
preparing Christmas
decorating the Tree of Light
brings peace and joy

Christmas stockings
hanging above the fireplace
awaiting presents
(C) Chèvrefeuille


Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation #10 Fibo-ku winter time

!!! Open for your submissions next Sunday December 10th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What an awesome month we have. All those wonderful quotes from the novels by Paulo Coelho. I have read wonderful responses already, but I have to apologize, because I am behind with commenting on all your beautiful posts. I hope to catch up a.s.a.p.

It's almost weekend and that means time for a new CDHK weekend-meditation. This weekend I love to challenge you with a special kind of haiku-ing which I introduced a few years ago here at CDHK and at our CDHK Specials weblog. This weekend I will challenge you to create a so called "Fibo-ku" and as the name already says it's based on the Fibonacci sequence. Let me give you a brief explanation of this special way of haiku-ing.

Logo of Carpe Diem Fibo-ku
I love to introduce a new kind of haiku to you all. It's based on the Fibonacci sequence and I think it's fun to write these new haiku-form. I have given it the name Fibo-Ku and the goal is to write a "haiku"-like verse following the Fibonacci sequence (1 + 1 = 2, 1 + 2 = 3, 2 + 3 = 5 etc.) The numbers of the Fibonacci sequence aren't numbers in this form, but syllables. So the first line has one (1) syllable and the second line also. The third line has two (2) syllables, the fourth line has three (3)  syllables, the fifth line has five syllables and so on. As I give the sequence it looks like this:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and so on

I will give you an example of a Fibo-Ku titled "this summer morning "

star light
the breeze
this summer morning
birds singing their beautiful songs -
young sparrows playing hide and seek in the dry sand of the garden 

© Chèvrefeuille

Of course you can make this Fibo-Ku longer by using more numbers from the Fibonacci sequence, but in this example I have reached the 7th line with 13 syllables. I think it's fun to compose these Fibo-Ku and I think you all will like it ...

Winter Time (image found on Pixabay)

For the Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation I have chosen the theme "winter time" and the goal is to create a Fibo-ku themed "winter-time"

It's a real challenge I think and I think you will need the weekend to create your Fibo-ku.

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday December 10th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 17th at noon (CET). Have a great weekend full of inspiration.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Carpe Diem #1322 follow the dream

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month we are finding our inspiration through the novels written by Paulo Coelho. Several of his novels I have used earlier here so sometimes there will be a "deja vu" I think. Today, while I am seeking a little bit time in between the things I have to do, I will use a quote from "Aleph", Paulo Coelho's most personal novel ever. Recently we had an episode about this novel, in our anniversary month, so maybe this quote you will remember. I used it for the first time back in 2014 when we were on a trip straight through the former USSR with the Trans Siberian Railway.

Here is our inspirational quote from Aleph:

[...] "I am not a foreigner because I haven't been praying to return safely home, I haven't wasted my time imagining my house, my desk, my side of the bed, I am not a foreigner because we are all travelling, we are all full of the same questions, the same tiredness, the same fears, the same selfishness and the same generosity. I am not a foreigner because, when I asked, I received. When I knocked, the door opened. When I looked, I found." [...] (Source:'Aleph' by Paulo Coelho)
And here is one of my haiku inspired on this quote:

another day ends
reaching for the stars and the moon
into the dreamworld
© Chèvrefeuille
A short episode, but well ... enough inspiration I think. Have fun, be inspired and share your Japanese poetry with us all.
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 14th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Carpe Diem #1321 miracles

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. I had a very busy day at work, I had the dayshift on the so called "chemo-unit" and it was a tough day, a real tough day, but ... well my co-worker and I "survived". Every day I work with very sick people, all have a kind of cancer, but they all are strong and look at their life with gratefulness.

Back in 2015 we spent a whole month in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia were we discovered the way of the shaman and maybe you remember that we read "The Zahir" by Paulo Coelho, another wonderful novel.
This month I hope to inspire you through quotes taken from a big part of Coelho's oeuvre. Today I have a nice quote taken from "The Zahir". Let me give you a brief overview of this novel, like in "The Pilgrimage", this novel is also about a pilgrimage, but not as we know it. It's more a pilgrimage to find inner peace.

Altai Mountains Mongolia
Brief overview:

The Zahir means 'the obvious' or 'conspicuous' in Arabic. The story revolves around the life of the narrator, a bestselling novelist, and in particular his search for his missing wife, Esther. He enjoys all the privileges that money and celebrity bring. He is suspected of foul play by both the police and the press, who suspect that he may have had a role in the inexplicable disappearance of his wife from their Paris home.

As a result of this disappearance, the protagonist is forced to re-examine his own life as well as his marriage. The narrator is unable to figure out what led to Esther's disappearance. Was she abducted or had she abandoned the marriage? He encounters Mikhail, one of Esther's friends, during a book launch. He learns from Mikhail that Esther, who had been a war correspondent against the wishes of her husband (the protagonist), had left in a search for peace, as she had trouble living with her husband. The author eventually realizes that in order to find Esther he must first find his own self. Mikhail introduces him to his own beliefs and customs, his mission of spreading love by holding sessions in restaurants and meeting homeless people living in the streets. He tells the narrator about the voices he hears, and his beliefs related to them. The narrator, who only too frequently falls in love with women, (also known as Michael Gardiner) consults with his current lover, Marie, about his encounters with Mikhail. She warns him that Mikhail could be an epileptic. However, she also advises him to search for the Zahir as is his desire, even though she would prefer him to stay with her.

The narrator eventually decides to go in search of his Zahir. As it was Esther who had initially brought Mikhail from Kazakhstan to France, the protagonist suspects that she may in fact be in Kazakhstan. At first, he is curious about what made Esther leave, but later he realizes that troubles in her relationship with her husband may have been a major reason. As he discovers, she was interested in getting to know herself through the making of carpets. Eventually the narrator meets his Zahir and the outcome of this meeting constitutes the climax of the book. (Source: Wikipedia)

Cover The Zahir
And here is the quote for your inspiration:

[...] "The great advantage of writing about spirituality is that I know I’m bound to keep encountering people with some kind of gift. Some of those gifts are real, others are fraudulent, some of those people are trying to use me, others are merely testing me out. I have seen so many amazing things that I no longer have the slightest doubt that miracles can happen, that everything is possible, and that people are beginning to relearn the inner powers they long ago forgot." [...] (Source: The Zahir by Paulo Coelho)

As I look around me in my own environment than I can feel that I am surrounded by miracles. Miracles we are taking for granted, but that's not enough, we have to be part of it, we have to see, feel, hear, smell and taste our environment ... than we can see the miracles. The miracle of the coloring leaves, the sound of the wind, the rain on our faces, that sweet perfume of the wet earth. It are all little wonders and miracles.

Find Your Inner Child
As we regain our inner child again, bringing it out ... than the miracle is there ... than there is the healing of our body, soul, heart and mind ... This is what The Zahir is about ... this is what The Altai Mountains and the Mongolian shamans tell us, are anxious to learn us all ... nature is healing and ... if I take that feeling, that idea to our beloved haiku ... than every haiku can be healing, can be a little miracle.

That's our goal today ... try to write/compose a haiku and let it be that little wonder, that little miracle that makes you happy.

one heartbeat
a flash of light cuts through the sky
a shooting star

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope I have awakened your muses ... your source of inspiration ... maybe I have awakened that Inner Child ... 

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 13th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... feel like a child again and enjoy nature's miracles.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Carpe Diem #1320 Falling in Love

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Falling in love is the greatest thing that can happen to someone. I think a lot of you have experienced that somewhere in your life. I fell in love almost 30 years ago with the woman I am still married to, but I also fell in love with the beauty if Japanese poetry especially haiku. I remember that moment as if it happened yesterday. I love haiku and through the years I have learned a lot about haiku, but as I started with CDHK I discovered that all around the globe there are lovers of haiku, but also other Japanese poetry forms. A few years ago I started creatinf other forms from the land of the rising sun. Forms like tanka, choka, dodoitsu, kyoka and sedoka. All beautiful ways to give words to your feeelings. However that's not the theme for today ... that's not what the title means.

This month I hope to inspire you through the novels of Paulo Coelho, one of my favorite authors. Today's quote is extracted from "Eleven Minutes". As I read this novel I was surprised, because "Eleven Minutes" is all about sex and the beauty of it, but also the sad site of it. I was really surprised as I read that novel it was ... different from all his other novels I had read, but after reading it and reading it another time and another time ... I fell in love with that novel. Surprisingly there was a deeper layer hidden in it, a spiritual approach of love and sex ... sacred sex ... as it is described by Paulo Coelho.

Spiritual Love
spiritual love ...
like bees seeking honey
giving life

© Chèvrefeuille

Let me give you a brief overview of "Eleven Minutes" than you maybe can imagine or relate to it.

"Eleven Minutes" is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that “love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. . . .” A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune.
Maria’s despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness—sexual pleasure for its own sake—or risking everything to find her own “inner light” and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.

Re-read that "quote" in italics "love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer ..." Is that what love means? Something that will make you suffer? I haven't that kind of feeling with love ... to me love isn't something terrible that will make me suffer. The love I have found in my wife and my family is love straight from the heart, that love is sacred a warm blanket. Of course there will be situations or relationships that are not such a warm blanket. I even know several people that actual feel love like it's suffering ... to those I love to say ... "there is real love and it will cross your path one day".

Everlasting Love
everlasting love ...
the waterwillow and the brook
living together

© Chèvrefeuille

Okay ... this episode will be to big, but the theme touches me ... I believe in love ... that love we show here at CDHK ... a loving family of haiku poets. Back to our source of inspiration ... "Eleven Minutes" written by Paulo Coelho. A novel in which love, sacred love, is the leading theme.

Here is the quote for today:

[...] “When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side.  And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left!  How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly?  Life moves very fast.  It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.” [...] (Source: Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho)

universe explodes
as sacred loves finds it way
two hearts become one 

© Chèvrefeuille

Awesome ... what a strong haiku full of love (how immodest), this haiku came straight from my heart like erupting geysers. Isn't that what real love is? Strong as nature!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 12th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode later on.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Carpe Diem #1319 Inner Beauty

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Back in 2013 I created a whole month about one of Paulo Coelho's most wonderful novels I have read, next to "The Alchemist" and "Aleph". That novel is titled "Manuscript Found In Accra" a really nice novel to read. Let me tell you all a little bit more about this novel.

As I read his first novel "The Alchemist" I was sold ... really a wonderful novel full of spirituality. In his "Manuscript found in Accra" he describes a wise young man who is answering all questions on life on the day before the city in which he lives and the people live will be attacked. In the novel this city is Jerusalem and it tells us in wonderful words how the people of Jerusalem are anxious to know how their life will look after the attack of The Moors ... all very spiritual questions and the wise young man gives wonderful answers.

"Manuscript found in Accra" is very similar with the novels of Kahlil Gibran e.g. "The Prophet", but in a very different and vivacious way Paulo Coelho's "Manuscript" touched me deeper.

Manuscript Found In Accra by Paulo Coelho (2013)

Today's quote is taken from this wonderful inspirational novel "Manuscript Found In Accra". I think this quote will be a great source of inspiration for you all ...

[...] "Outer beauty is inner beauty made visible, and it manifests itself in the light that flows from our eyes". [...] (Source: Manuscript Found In Accra - Paulo Coelho)

Isn't that something. As I look at myself I always say "Inner beauty is more important than the outer beauty", but as I read this quote ... Than I have to change my idea, because it's true ... outer beauty is the reflection of the inner beauty and through the outer beauty we learn about the inner beauty. This quote brought a image to my mind of a wonderful stone ... maybe you know that stone too ... I saw an image appear of Lapis Lazuli ...
In its rough form lapis lazuli is not very attractive, but once cultivated its inner beauty starts becoming more brilliant ... can you imagine that?

Lapis Lazuli (cultivated)
Lapis Lazuli's meaning:

Lapis Lazuli is a good protection stone because of all the protective energies that it holds. But it’s also a manifestation stone because it can help you make your dreams a reality!
It will help you gain the knowledge that you need to look at different situations clearly and objectively so that you will come to the best decision. It will also enhance your intellectual abilities, activate your higher mind, and sharpen your memory.
Lapis Lazuli is also what you need if you wish to experience spiritual growth. Just clutching the stone in your hands can help you reach a meditative state that will give your life peace and serenity!

Awesome! This gem is really powerful as is "Manuscript Found In Accra", in which you can find wonderful spiritual knowledge. By the way ... that strong presence of spirituality you can find in all the novels by Paulo Coelho. 

hidden beauty
finally brought into the light
the blue sky

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 11th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... awaken your muses and become inspired.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Carpe Diem #1318 Love Is A Mystery

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. I was on the nightshift, so most of the time I was at work or asleep. It's not always fun to have to work in the hospital. For sure not in this time of year with the holidays coming, but ... well my patients need my help and of course that makes me happy.

This month I hope to inspire you through quotes from the novels by Paulo Coelho, and he has written a lot of novels. The main part I have read, but not all. For this episode I have found a wonderful quote from one of the novels I haven't read yet. It's one of his most recently published novels, The Spy. In a way I have to read The Spy, because the main character of this novel is a Dutch spy, Mata Hari (or Margaretha Zelle). She was a dancer and she spied for the British Secret Service. The Spy is on my reading list, so I hope to tell you a little bit more about Mata Hari after I have read it. Until than I will use quotes extracted from The Spy which I found on several websites.

Cover of The Spy

Here is the quote to work with for today's episode:

[...] "Love is an act of faith and its face should always be covered in mystery. Every moment should be lived with feeling and emotion because if we try to decipher it and understand it, the magic disappears." [...] (Source: Paulo Coelho - The Spy)

Love ... the one true emotion we need in our life can also be used in spying as Mata Hari did to retrieve intelligence from the Germans and other enemies. I think love is still used that we by spies, but of course that's not the love we need in our life.

Here at CDHK we have had recently a whole month about Tanka, the Japanese love poem, and we have tried to bring love into haiku ... and that's what I love to ask you for this episode. Try to create a haiku in which you bring love. Of course tanka is also okay, but if possible ... try to create a "love"-haiku.

I have given it a try:

your heart
belongs to me, roses I give,
the full moon

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 10th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode later on.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation #9 Imagination without boundaries

!!! Open for your submissions next Sunday December 3rd at 7:00 PM (CET) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The last month of 2017 has started. This month it's all about quotes from the novels by Paulo Coelho, but it's also a month in which I will try to inspire you through the "weekend-meditation". Last weekend I challenged you to free styling with several themes.
This weekend meditation I love to challenge you through a few images. Maybe you can remember our "Imagination-month". I gave you images to work with and this weekend I love to challenge you again to create Japanese poetry inspired on images. So this month it's "Imagination Without Boundaries".

Here are the images for your inspiration:

The above image is titled "glass-art" and I think it will inspire you to think in the "abstract" way. Here is another image:

This image will "trigger" you to create Japanese poetry with a spiritual layer I think. The last image will inspire you to create Japanese poetry as it is meant to be, because it's an image of nature:

This weekend you may use one of the above images or you use all of them. Of course if you have an image of your own you may also use that too, because I know that several of you love to use only images made (chosen) by them selves.

in silent prayer
monks seek enlightenment

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I think I have given you enough inspiration for this weekend. I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday December 3rd at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 10th at noon (CET). Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Carpe Diem #1317 wherever your heart is

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first episode of a new month full of wonderful prompts for your inspiration. This month I will try to inspire you through the beauty of the stories written by one of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho. This month will be maybe a little bit different than the other months, but I think this month will be a wonderful month full of spirituality and philosophy based on the novels by Paulo Coelho.

Here at CDHK I have used several of his novels, for example "Aleph" and "The Zahir". Coelho has written a lot of novels and a very big part of his oeuvre I have read and I can tell you ... his novels are really beautiful to read and in every novel Coelho gives us an insight in his thoughts and ideas.

Paulo Coelho
This month all prompts are quotes taken from his novels, so you can say this whole month is "Use That Quote", that special feature I once started on one of our other weblogs.

Our prompt-list isn't ready for this month, but I will publish it this weekend.

The first novel I read of Paulo Coelho, was his most famous (and first, his debute) novel "The Alchemist". Let me tell you a little bit more about this novel, or ... it's more like a brief overview of the "theme" of this novel.

[...] Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist," a fable about following your dreams, has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide in more than 50 different languages, making it an international bestseller.
It follows the story of a shepherd boy named Santiago who travels to Egypt after having a recurring dream about a treasure that awaited him there.
If you have never read this book before, I highly recommend it. If you have, then you'll know just how insightful and inspirational the story of a simple shepherd boy who decided to follow his dream can be. [...]

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (cover)
For this first episode I have the following quote from "The Alchemist" for your inspiration:

[...] "Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure." [...] (Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist)

Wherein do you find happiness to where your heart calls you? Do you have dreams? You all will know the proverb "My home is where my heart is". I think that's the main theme in "The Alchemist". Santiago is following his dreams and finds what he needs ... his treasure. What is your treasure?

It may be a profession, a hobby, a place, a person, a pet or a lifestyle, but it's only when we stop and acknowledge what it is our hearts want that we will find our greatest treasures. These are the treasures that will bring joy and happiness into our lives; this is where the heart is.

secrets open
peace found

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

I hope you did like this "maiden" episode of December 2017 and ... I hope I have inspired you to create Japanese poetry like haiku or sedoka.

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Carpe Diem #1316 Moon of My Delight

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the last episode of our wonderful CDHK month about "The Rubaiyat" by Omar Khayyam. It was a joy and a honor to bring you these quatrains. They are all extraordinary beautiful and I hope that you all have found in some way satisfaction and appreciation for this great Persian poet.

As I told you yesterday the last episodes will be short, only the quatrain and my thoughts about it.

Here is our last quatrain for this month and maybe ... I will create another CDHK month about the poetry of Omar Khayyam. There are a lot of quatrains written by him so I think we can do another month about his poetry next year.

Here is our quatrain for today, I titled it "Moon of My Delight" and that title sounds like music in my ears, because my "big love" "the moon" is all present here.

Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane,
The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me - in vain!

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)

Moon of My Delight (René Bull)

“Moon of my Delight” is the Poet’s Beloved, she being constant, unlike the Moon of Heaven, which waxes and wanes as the month goes by. The meaning of the last two lines is that there will come a time when the Moon of Heaven looks down upon the Poet’s Garden, but will no longer find him there, because he will be dead. Incidentally, it is an easily missed fact that the rising Moon in this verse, at the end of the poem, pairs with the rising Sun in verse 1 at the beginning, the whole poem thus effectively following the course of Omar’s musings through a symbolic day, from Sunrise to Moonrise. Did FitzGerald intend this from the beginning, or did he only notice it later? It is a fact that FitzGerald only pointed out the Sunrise to Moonrise progression in a letter written to his publisher Bernard Quaritch in 1872, fully thirteen years after the appearance of the first edition. Talking of Omar, he wrote:

“He begins with Dawn pretty sober and contemplative: then as he thinks and drinks, grows savage, blasphemous, etc, and then again sobers down into melancholy at nightfall.”

Well isn't that a coincedence? We started with 'dawn' and with this last verse of this month we will end with the rise of the moon. The circle of life closed again. A month of joy closed ...

until down

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 6th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, the first of a new month, later on. For now ... have fun! And thank you for participating in this wonderful CDHK month about Omar Khayyam's "The Rubaiyat".

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Carpe Diem #1315 Scheme of Things

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I will take a few days of, but of course I will not leave you without your daily dose of CDHK. I have created the last few episodes of this month and the first of December already and scheduled them for the right time of publishing. I have a very busy week to come and I just had to make a choice to were my priority is. This week that's at my work, so ...
Yesterday I gave you a short episode and the upcoming episodes will be short too. Only the quatrains and my own thoughts about them.

So here is our new episode titled "Scheme of Things":

Ah Love ! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits - and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire !

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)

A wonderful expression of how most of us feel!

Heart's Desire (René Bull)
your heart beats
with mine

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 5th at noon (CET). I will publish (scheduled) our next episode later on. Have fun!

Carpe Diem #1314 The Nightingale

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

My excuses for the late publishing of this new episode. I had a very busy day so I hadn't time to create the episode. Now I have some spare time after a busy shift at work. I think I will make it myself easy this time.

I will only give you the quatrain by Omar Khayyam which I have selected from "The Rubaiyat". No background information also. Only the quatrain ... and maybe some own thoughts about it. Let me give you the quatrain to work with (this is quatrain no. 72 by the way).

Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the Branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows?

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)

We have seen the Rose and Spring earlier here in one of the quatrains. This time it seems to tell us something more about the fading of time, or the fading youth. There is a verse in Isaiah that tells us something a like:

“All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth.” (Isaiah 40: 6-7)

Japanese Nightingale (image found on Pinterest)

Than we see the up-bringing of the Nightingale, a wonderful bird that we have seen very often here at CDHK. In this verse it looks like the Nightingale is an image for youth, it's said that the Nightingale is the Bird of Youth. I couldn't find a reference to that idea, but to be honest I haven't search it for a long time.

Well ... no haiku or tanka by myself this time, but I love to share with you our new CDHK logo. I like to create a specific logo for every month, but it takes to mauch time, so I have created a new logo which I will use at CDHK at the start of December 2017.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 5th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Carpe Diem #1313 The One True Light

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are entering the last few days of November. This month was a challenge for me to create, because I was not familiar with "The Rubaiyat" by Omar Khayyam and not familiar with the quatrain. But I did it again, of course not without help of the Internet, especially the website by Bob Forrest was a great source of information for me. I hope you did like this month, I enjoyed it ...

Okay ... I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and I hope you will have an awesome week. I had a relaxed weekend, but of course I couldn't let go of CDHK. I have been very busy with the preparations for our next month. December we will (i hope) find our inspiration in quotes which I have extracted from several novels by Paulo Coelho. As you all know Coelho is one of my favorite authors and I have read a big part of the novels he has written. I think December will be a nice month. Of course in December we will have our weekend-meditations and our CDHK special feature "Seven Days Before Christmas" will be featured again, just because I like that feature.

Cover "The Rubaiyat"
Today's episode is titled "The One True Light" and it's extracted from today's quatrain. Before I share this quatrain I love to give you a brief meditation ...

As I read this quatrain I was pleasantly surprised because in this quatrain I sensed Omar Khayyam's spirituality. I have told you a few times this month that Khayyam wasn't 100% muslim, sufi or christian, but in this verse I sensed more christianity than in all the other verses we have read this month. In my opinion in this quatrain Khayyam shows us that he is a christian and that he finally dared to be open about that. Of course in his time there wasn't that "evil" fight between Islam and other religions, at least not that I know of.
At the other hand this verse can also tell us that all religions are the same, because Khayyam mentions also Islam and Judaism next to Christianity. Was Khayyam the first philosopher who dare to say that all Gods Are One?

Let me give you the quatrain for today:

And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrath consume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)

The One True Light

“The One True Light” is the Divine Light of Truth, and whether it infuses one with Love (= enthusiasm or devotion ?) or consumes one with Wrath (= exasperation or distaste?), it is better to have glimpsed it in the Tavern than not to have glimpsed it at all in the Temple (Mosque, Church or Synagogue). There is perhaps here some mockery of organised religion: does one really need a Mosque, a Church, a Synagogue – a Temple of any sort – in order to know God? In the Ouseley Manuscript, translated by Heron Allen we can find the following verse (no. 32) with a similar message:

In the spring, on the bank of the river and on the bank of the field,
With a few companions and a playmate houri-shaped,
bring forth the cup, for those that drink the morning draught
are independent of the mosque and free from the synagogue.

Or what do you think of these first two lines of verse 24 of the Ouseley Manuscript:

In cell, and college, and monastery, and synagogue
Are those who fear hell and those who seek after heaven.

Heron-Allen’s note on the first line indicates that the references are specifically to a Christian cell or monastery; the school attached to a mosque; a collective monastery or cloister; and a Jewish synagogue.

I think this quatrain is a very strong verse in which one can sense the spirituality and the power of the gods. 

true light

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

Well ... as I said earlier, another challenging episode, for sure not an easy one to work on or to work with. So ... good luck!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 3rd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

PS. At the left of our home-page you can read one of the "Seven Days Before Christmas 2016" episodes, just to give you an idea what this tradtional special feature means.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation #8 Free Styling

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday November 26th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new weekend-meditation here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This weekend I have something new for you. This weekend-meditation has a twist in it. I will give you only a few themes to work with and you may choose your own Japanese poetry form that's why I titled it "free styling".

Here are the themes you can choose from:

first snow; autumn leaves; sunrays; 
new day rising; Santoka Taneda; 
haibun; troiku

Well ... I think you have enough choices and I hope you will find inspiration to create your Japanese poetry ... go for it ... feel free ... go free styling ... let go of the classic rules ... feel free to choose.

This "free-styling" weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday November 26th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 3rd at noon (CET). Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wandering Spirit Challenge Special "the pale moon" by Dolores Fegan

Kon'nichiwa Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Several weeks ago I, Yozakura, the Wandering Spirit, asked you to help me to create the daisan of a renga I started creating together with my sensei Basho. This "challenge" was initiated by your host here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, Chèvrefeuille. Together with him I read and re-read all of your wonderful ideas about the daisan. There were several beauties, but the one created by Dolores Fegan was the most beautiful we thought.

As promised when I challenged you, the winner would be featured in a "Wandering Spirit Challenge Special" that Special you are going to find hereafter. Thank you all for your support and creativity. Thank you Dolores for your daisan.




Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Some time ago Yozakura, the Wandering Spirit, asked you to help him and as you all know it was Dolores Fegan's daisan he has chosen to use in the renga he started with Basho.
I think you all know Dolores (Ada's Poetry Alcove) from her wonderful poetry. She is a long time participant (family member) of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. She also was the winner of our "prayers" kukai back in 2016. She was featured in September 2016 and she created a wonderful CDHK E-book titled "First Magnolia Bloom" (click on the title to read it).

Dolores is an awesome haiku poetess, but she also writes wonderful haibun and other poems. The daisan she created shows her skill as a haiku poet and her daisan fits the renga that Yozakura started to create with Basho. I will first give you her daisan and than I will give you the first three (including the daisan) of the renga by Yozakura.

the pale moon hangs
still fresh against the sky
trailing morning glories  

© Dolores Fegan

Morning Glories (woodblock print by Keisai Eisen) (image found on Pinterest)

I think this daisan is really a beauty and I think Basho would like it too. Here are the three first stanza of the renga:

at dawn
birds sing their songs
dewdrops shimmer                        (Yozakura)

cherry blossoms bloom again
shelter for young sparrows            (Basho) 

the pale moon hangs
still fresh against the sky
trailing morning glories                 (Yozakura with the help of Dolores)

The daisan by Dolores fits really great as you all can read. It will not be easy for Yozakura and Basho to go on with this renga they started, but ... well you all know how both poets are great ...

Autumn Leaves (image found on Pinterest)

Okay ... there are wonderful other haiku by Dolores and here is a brief overview:

autumn evening
like whispered prayers
leaves float away

amber petals
set ablaze by evening sun
lighting the garden

summer moonlight
steals my sleep again
I stroll down the lane

winter hunter
stalking the night sky
bow aimed high

my father
points out the night sky
my hand in his

© Dolores Fegan

You can find several more beautiful poems by Dolores in her above mentioned CDHK E-book "First Magnolia Bloom".

I hope you enjoyed this "Wandering Spirit Challenge Special". 

Carpe Diem #1312 The Grape

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month we are reading "The Rubaiyat" by Omar Khayyam. One of the themes is "wine", the joy of life. And in today's quatrain this theme returns in a very rare way, but also in a wonderful way. In this quatrain Omar Khayyam "becomes completely one with wine" in a certain kind of way.

I am not a drinker of wine, I am more of beer and bourbon, not to much and certainly not every day. Of course I like a cold beer so now and than, after a busy day at work for example, but only if it is the last day of work before a few spare days. I never drink as I have to work.

hot summer night
drinking a cold beer with my love 

ah her sweet perfume

© Chèvrefeuille

Okay ... back to "The Rubaiyat", sorry for leaving the path for a little while. I think the following quatrain is one of the most beautiful quatrains of "The Rubaiyat", in my opinion of course.

Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the life has died,
And in a Winding Sheet of Vine Leaf wrapt,
So bury me by some sweet Gardenside.

© Omar Khayyam (Tr. FitzGerald)

In a way this verse is somewhat morbide, but it also describes a wonderful funeral. Khayyam says literaly that he wants a funeral in the way of how his life has been.

Drinking Wine in the Garden (Persian art)
Let me give you the background on this quatrain I have praised.

Background: (Source: Bob Forrest)

The meaning is: let me drink Wine while I live, and when I die, wash my body in Wine, give me a Vine Leaf for my shroud, and bury me in a nice Garden somewhere.

Edward Scott Waring, in his book A Tour to Sheeraz, by the Route of Kazroon and Feerozabad (1807), of which FitzGerald had a copy, relates the following:

“Many of the great people keep sets of Georgian boys, who are instructed to sing, to play on various instruments, and perform feats of activity. The Persian songs are very sweet and pathetic; and the music which accompanied their voices I thought to be very good. Their songs are in praise of wine and beauty, mixed with frequent complaints of the cruelty of their mistresses. The following is a specimen of their songs:

Hasten hither, O cup bearer! ere I die;
See that my shroud be made of the leafy vine.
Wash me in rosy wine,*
And scatter my ashes at the door of the tavern.
I am faithful, I am still constant;
Turn not away from me, for I am a suppliant.

The Arabic songs are sung in parts, and much quicker than the Persian time. There are two men at Sheeraz who are considered to be very superior players on an instrument very like a violin; I heard them, and admired them much, but could form no judgment on their performance. These men, and the dancers, drink wine in enormous quantities, and that too publicly.” 

Waring’s footnote (*) reads: “It is the custom in all Mussulman countries to wash the body before it is buried.”

A Tour To Sheeraz by Edward Scott Waring (cover)
FitzGerald used several sources himself to create his translation of "The Rubaiyat" by Omar Khayyam. Of course that's okay, but as we have seen / read, sometimes his translation is very different of other translations. Maybe that has to do with the difficulty of translating Persian to English. 

last breath
autumn leaves the low lands
first Robin spotted

© Chèvrefeuille

We are running towards the end of this wonderful CDHK month. There is just one week to go, so I am busy with the preparations of December 2017. That month will be an awesome month full of quotes taken from the novels by Paulo Coelho, one of my favorite authors (as you already know), in which he shares a lot of his knowledge and insights. His novels all have a certain kind of spirituality and philosophy in it, of course in every novel you can sense his presence. December will be really an awesome month I think. Of course I will bring the weekend=meditations too and our traditional "Seven Days Before Christmas" feature. More to come soon!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 30th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new weekend-meditation later on.

PS. I have our new exclusive CDHK E-book in tribute of Jane Reichhold almost ready. I hope to make it available for downloading next week. So you have to be patient ...