Sunday, October 22, 2017

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Extra October 22nd 2017

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have created a special forum for you. This forum I created with and it's titled "Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Forum". At the right of our Kai you can find the link towards our forum. Feel free to visit and to participate in this forum.

I have started already two topics for you to be part of. More to come later.

Several days ago I started 'Wandering Spirit the challenge' if you have an idea about the daisan, the third verse, than you can submit your idea in the comment field until October 25th at 10 PM (CET).


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Carpe Diem #1286 Love

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of CDHK. I hope you have all enjoyed your weekend and of course I hope the music I shared has inspired you all to create haiku, tanka or another Japanese poetry form. I am a little bit behind with commenting, but I hope to visit your posts a.s.a.p.

Today I have a wonderful prompt for you, love. It is taken form February 2016. That month the prompts were all created bij our pirate Hamish Managua Gunn. All the prompts that month had to do with our senses and ... I think it was a wonderful month.

Love ... not actually a feeling that you will expect in haiku, because love is more the terrain of tanka (or waka), but I think that haiku can be a love poem too. I even think I have said that more often here at CDHK.

Love is one of the strongest senses we have. Love for someone, love for e.g. reading and painting, but also love for nature. That love is the most important for haiku. Haiku is known as the poetry of nature and to create them you have to love nature, being in close contact with nature.

I love to share a quote from one of the Tokubetsudesu episodes:

[...] "Haiku is love, a love that grabs you by the throat and takes you into an adventure to discover the beauty of our world in all her beautiful details and bring that into the tiny form of haiku that shows us a scene, a moment that lasts only one heart beat." [...] 

And here to introduce love ... a haiku which I wrote several years ago:

the last steps taken
to find universal love -
the sound of rain

© Chèvrefeuille (2014)

Well ... enough for your inspiration I think. The episode by Hamish that mentioned was published on February 24th 2016. Sure worth to read again. The above haiku is extracted from that episode.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 29th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Ireland, later on. For now ... have fun!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Carpe Diem #1285 Conqueror of the Sky

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This month I have no "weekend-meditation" episodes, but I have chosen for inspirational music created by young and very talented musicians. Today I have a beautiful composition by Peter Crowley titled "conqueror of the sky".

conqueror of the sky
magnificent eagles fly in praise of their Creator
waves come and go

© Chèvrefeuille

I don't really know if this haiku fits the music, but as I read the title of this composition I immediately thought of eagles. Those magnificent birds that rule the sky. So I had to create this haiku impromptu before listening to the music.

I wonder ... will this haiku fit the music?

After listening to this composition it became obvious that my haiku fits the music, but instead of eagles I could have used dragons, so I ran through my archives to find a haiku in which I have used "dragon":

crystal clear sunlight
reflects all colors in the mirror -
shadow of a dragon

ama on the beach
gives her most beautiful smile -
pearls for a dragon god

against the blue sky
the devilish dragon kite
just like yesterday

© Chèvrefeuille (archive)

I love the music by Peter Crowley and his You Tube channel is really worth a visit. You can find his channel by clicking on the link earlier in this post.

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

Friday, October 20, 2017

Carpe Diem #1284 meaning of life (BrunuhVille)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have a nice piece of music for your inspiration. It's titled "meaning of life" and the young Portuguese muscian BrunuhVille composed it. Listen to the music and let it take you with it ... The music is your muse and I am looking forward to your responses.

More of his wonderful music you can find at his You Tube Channel BrunuhVille.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Conqueror of the Sky, later on. For now ... have fun!

PS. I have created a new page "Carpe Diem Center of the Universe", you can find that page above in the menu.

Carpe Diem Extra October 20th 2017 Universe

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at this new CDHK Extra. I publish this new CDHK Extra, because I have an announcement to make, don't worry it's a happy announcement. I have created a new feature in which I hope to get a conversation started. In the five years of our existence we haven't had a way of conversation in which you can ask things, can share thoughts and ideas and more.

Recently I started reading "Aleph" (by Paulo Coelho) again and today I ran into a part of that novel that I couldn't remember reading earlier, or at least it didn't find its way into my memory. That part starts with the following:

"The table in the lounge is the center of the universe, around which we gather every day for breakfast, lunch and supper, and where we talk about life and our hopes for the future".

This lounge is on the Trans Siberian Railroad and Paulo Coelho and his companions "live" their during their journey. So that table is very important to them.

logo of this new feature
I love to try to create a kind of "virtual lounge" were we can "talk" with each other about anything (of course related to Japanese poetry). So I have created a new page titled "Carpe Diem Center of the Universe", which you can find above in the menu or by clicking HERE.

I will start with the first 'theme' to open this virtual conversation. You can respond, being part of the conversation, through the comment field. Feel free to take part in this conversation.

Here is the first theme:

What means haiku to you? What has haiku brought you?


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Carpe Diem #1283 On Our Way Home

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Wow ... wow ... what an unexpected pleasure this is. I have read already wonderful responses on the "Wandering Spirit Challenge" of yesterday ... I am overwhelmed by your responses I hadn't thought it would be such a success. Awesome.

As I was busy with the preparations for this celebration month the last kukai "departure" escaped my attention. I have gathered all the submissions and I hope to publish them for judging this weekend. Sorry for this delay.

We are celebrating our fifth anniversary and I feel somewhat sad that this month is closing in to its end, but until that moment we have still a few wonderful memories to look back at. Today I have chosen a prompt that I used in December 2015, on our way home. It was one of the episodes I created about that wonderful haibun by Matsuo Basho, Oku no Hosomichi (Narrow Road Into the Deep North).
In December 2015 we followed his journey into the deep north and read his journal with eachother. I remember that it is was a wonderful month in which we became even more in contact with the spirit of Basho, my master.

Logo CDHK December 2015
In that (triple) episode I mentioned a famous haiku poet and close friend of Basho, Kasugi Issho. Issho is not a well known haiku poet nowadays, but it is said that he wrote wonderful haiku and love-poems.

Here is the only haiku which I could find written by Kasugi Issho. I have tried to translate it and honor Issho with that translation.

mi tsukushita me wa shirgiku ni  modori keri

seen with my eyes
white chrysanthemums
again I saw them

© Kasugi Issho (1652-1688)

A wonderful haiku I think. As I have said often in five years of our existence haiku is the most beautiful way to express your feelings and thoughts. I had the opportunity to share my passion with the whole world and I am so grateful that you all are walking this path with me. I have shared haiku created by great classical and non-classical haiku poets and I am just grateful that I can and may do that through CDHK, a warmhearted family of haiku loving people from all over the world. Thank you all ... to give me the opportunity to be your host here at CDHK.

Arigato - Thank you (deviantart)
rising sun
from a far away place
nightingale's song

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 26th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, meaning of life, later on. For now ... have fun!

PS. I have re-opened Haiku Shuukan, our weekly meme today starting with the prompt "restart".

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wandering Spirit Challenge #1 a new feature, a call for help

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you all (maybe) know I am writing our CDHK feuilleton "Wandering Spirit", about the life of Yozakura, the unknown haiku poet. Recently I started writing the new episode in which I describe Yozakura's first year as an apprentice of Basho. In that episode Basho and Yozakura start to create a chained verse, a renga. Yozakura has the honor to write the starting verse, or hokku.

at dawn
birds sing their songs
dewdrops shimmer

© Yozakura

Basho has to write the second verse (or waki) of two lines and he comes up with this:

cherry blossoms bloom again
shelter for young sparrows

© Basho

Yozakura has to write the third verse (or daisan) of three lines, but he struggles with, because he has to use the "moon" or a reference to "moon" in it. Yozakura wishes to ask you all for your help with this. Can you help him with the 3rd verse (daisan)?

spring moon

Share your third verse with him through the comment field. He will choose the third verse he likes the most and as it is your verse? Than he grants you the opportunity to be featured in a Wandering Spirit Special (something like our CDHK Special).

Of course I have given it a try too, so here is my third verse to help Yozakura:

fragile beauty
makes the night mysterious
she ... the one I love

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you like this challenge and I am looking forward to your responses. You can respond through the comment field until October 25th 10:00 PM (CET). Have fun!

Carpe Diem #1282 Sacred Stones

Good day my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy creating a new episode in our luster month. Five years of CDHK awesome. We have visited a lot of different places and we have walked on the path of Arjuna, but we also walked the path of the Shaman straight through the Altia Mountains while reading The Zahir by Paulo Coelho. What an awesome month that was and what a joy it was to create it.

Today I love to go back to that month, November 2015, by re-doing an episode from that month. That prompt was "sacred stones" (or Ovoo). An ovoo (heap) is a sacred cairn found in Mongolian shamanic religious traditions, usually made from rocks with wood or from wood. Ovoos are often found at the top of mountains and in high places, like mountain passes. They serve mainly as Tengriism religious sites, used in worship of the mountains and the sky as well as in Buddhist or Shamanist ceremonies, but often are also landmarks.

Ovoo (Sacred Stones)
In our lives we have all places we have sweet memories at, we have points in our life that are our milestones, our sacred stones, our Ovoo. Isn't that a nice idea that the Ovoo stands also for the milestones in our life? What were your milestones for which you would build an Ovoo? In my life there are several. Let me tell you a few milestones in my life.

I once said after the death of my brother, more than 20 years ago, "I will be an oncology nurse". In 2011 I reached that milestone. In that same year another dream I had came through. Eleven of my haiku were included in a worldwide anthology "Spasms of Light". Of course there were the milestones in my life as I became a husband, a father  and a grandfather. And in 2007 I published my first novel, followed by a second novel in 2009.
The most important milestone in my life was however the launch of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and all what it has given me. My warmhearted family of haiku loving family members of CDHK and the warm colloboration with one of the most renown modern haiku poets, Jane Reichhold. Of course there were all the others, next to you all my dear Haijin, great spirits I had the privilege to work with. For example Michael Dylan Welch, Jim Kacian, Garry Gay and the renown musician Karunesh.

Stepping Stones the Milestones of our life

All wonderful milestones in my life. I am so grateful that I can and may do this for you. It's really a joy to be your host and mentor, or as several of you have said yous sensei. I bow ... to you all ... I am just a humble guy with a big heart full of unconditonal love.

sacred stones
built like a memory on the way
high in the mountains

© Chèvrefeuille

deep silence
taking the right path ?

stepping stones

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you did like this episode.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 25th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, on our way home, later on.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Carpe Diem #1281 Suzuran (Lilly of the Valley)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Five years of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai a milestone and that I have you all to thank for. Without you CDHK had been long gone I think, but ... we are still here and I enjoy it so much. It gives me energy. We are on a trip along memory lane and today I have a wonderful classical kigo for summer for you. Back in July 2015 we had a whole month of classical kigo for summer and one of the classical kigo, suzuran (Lilly of the Valley), is again here for your inspiration.

I remember that in that episode (July 24th, 2015) I shared a few haiku by Issa with you. And I added a link to my personal website were I had published a tanka. The first tanka I ever wrote. I love to share that tanka here again:

Lilies of the valley
their sweet perfume makes me drowsy
hot summer night
between silken sheets her warmth
honeysuckle coolness

© Chèvrefeuille

I love to challenge you to create a tanka inspired on Suzuran (Lilly of the Valley), of course you can use my tanka for your inspiration also.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 24th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, sacred stones, later on.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Carpe Diem #1280 Wheel of Creation

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Let us go further on our trip along memory lane. We enter a new year in this trip and have arrived at 2015. 2015 Was a wonderful year in which we started to read more and more to seek for the Peace Within. The Peace Within was the reason why we started to read the Bhagavad Gita that wonderful chapter of the Hindu "bible", the Mahabaratha. We started reading in April 2015 and it was a real journey through Hinduism. We disputed Hinduism as the Mother of all Religions, of course just hypothetical.

The Bhagavad Gita is a really wonderful story to read. It's the heart of Hinduism. It gives a report from a conversation that Arjuna had with Krishna at the start of a great war between good and evil. Arjuna dares not to start the war, because he sees friend, relatives and family between the army of the enemy. He doesn't want to kill his beloved ones. Than Krishna teaches him the path of life.

During that month we explored nt only Hinduism, but we also tried to find connections between religions and philosophies from all around the world. We even could find connections with the Tarot and the Kabbalah.

Tree of Life (Kabbalah)
We are on our way to find Peace of Mind and Heart ... and I hope you have found that while we were reading the Bhagavad Gita.

Haiku is not only the poetry of nature, but it is also a way to find that peace. While strolling through nature we become one with nature, become part of nature (as it was once meant to be) and than we experience the beauty of our Earth. We have to cherish her beauty, Earth is the only source to find peace of mind and heart. Isn't that what we all see as our goal?

cherry blossom
long cold night

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

Well ... I hope I didn't sound like a preacher, this was not a sermon, only a flow of thoughts ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 23rd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Suzuran, later on. Have fun!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Carpe Diem #1279 Yekaterinburg

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our Haiku Kai. This month we are on trip along memory lane, because we are celebrating our first luster. Isn't that an awesome idea? Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is here providing you inspiration for haiku, tanka and other Japanese poetry forms for five years. And it is a joy to create CDHK for you all. We have made a lot of journeys, old and new, along the roads all over the world.
At the start of 2014 we went on a journey straight through the former USSR as we "hopped" on the Trans Siberian Railway. While on that journey we read "Aleph" written by the renown author Paulo Coelho, one of the best authors on earth. Maybe you have read our CDHK preview last week than you know that next December we will have a marvelous month full of prompts extracted from the novels of Paulo Coelho. It's a long route to prepare that month, but I am happy to do that, because you, my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers are the ones for whom I creating CDHK ... just to inspire you.

Today we go back to Yekaterinburg, one of the places were Paulo Coelho was during his journey with the Trans Siberian Railroad (TSR). Yekaterinburg is the birthplace of Hilal, one of the lead characters of "Aleph". Hilal disappears in Yekaterinburg and Paulo is anxious to find her and hopes she is okay. Short before the TSR enters the station of Yekaterinburg Hilal and Paulo enter the "Aleph", the place were there is no time, were past, present and future meet eachother. What did she see? We know what Paulo saw, he describes that in "Aleph", but Hilal's experience is not described on that same moment.

Hilal however tells Paulo what she had experienced as they find each other back in Yekaterinburg. This place is the turning point of the relation between Hilal and Paulo. From that moment on they are re-living again their path from the past. Hilal and Paulo have known each other in a former life.

The Inquisition

In a former life Hilal was accused of heresy and witchcraft, she was sentenced to dead by fire. She was burned. Paulo was, in his former life, a member of The Inquisition. He could have saved Hilal, but didn't do that. That's the reason why they met again in another life, the life in which they both traveled on the TSR straight through the former USSR.

In a way the former USSR and The Inquisition are the same. In the former USSR people were persecuted if they were agains the communist government and send to camps deep in the coldest region of the USSR, Siberia. Is it a coincedence that Paulo takes the TSR? No ... the former USSR has the same history as Paulo had in his former life as a member of The Inquisition.

her spirit departs
with the dying of her pyre -
smoke rises to the sky

© Chèvrefeuille

Persecution still happens in our time. People are still persecuted for their believes or political ideas. Nothing has changed ... maybe The Inquisition started, back in the 13th century, the wish for a One World Religion and a New World Order. Let us hope ... that this wish will never be fullfilled.

Sorry for the strong ending of this episode, but I had to say it. Maybe we all have to enter the "Aleph" than we can see our past, our present and our future ... and learn from it.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight around 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 22nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Wheel of Creation, later on.

Carpe Diem Winter Retreat 2017 "Life is Beautiful"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's time again for our Carpe Diem Retreat, 30 days of writing haiku and tanka, one a day on a theme. Winter is closing in, so here is the Carpe Diem Winter Retreat 2017. For this CDHK Retreat I have chosen the theme "Life is Beautiful". I think it's a wonderful theme and I am looking forward to all of your responses.

CDHK's Winter Retreat 2017 starts tonight at 10:00 PM (CET) and will run to November 15th 10:00 PM (CET).

Snow Covered Tulips (image found on Pinterest)

snow covered
fragile beauty

© Chèvrefeuille

Have fun!

PS. You can submit all kinds of Japanese Poetry

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Carpe Diem #1278 Enigma (by Karunesh)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have a weekend off, and this weekend I am all alone at home, no problem by the way. My wife is visiting her parents and my youngest son is the weekend away with his friends. So I can listen, for example, to my own music. Right now I am listening to Mozart's Requiem, a composition he never could finish. He died before his final piece was ready. It's a wonderful composition and you have to listen to it once, it's sure worthy to listen.

Well ... as you know we are celebrating our fifth anniversary and this month we have not "weekend-meditations", but wonderful inspirational music every weekend. Yesterday I shared a nice piece of music composed by Peter Crowley and today I have another beautiful piece of music composed by Karunesh.

I couldn't find the title of the album from which its extracted, but maybe someone of you knows it. It's a real nice composition.

Before I became involved with haiku I was a wandering spirit. I didn't now how to fit in, but there was no reason (at least to me) to become fit in. I wandered through life and tried a lot of things. I dived into the occult, but that brought me lot of sadness and illness. So I had to take another path. I was a wandering spirit again, but now I hoped to find positive energy ...
That energy I found in haiku. So you can (maybe) say that haiku saved me from the negative path I was on. Through haiku I discovered the beauty of nature and it became a task for life to defend nature, not through an organisation or something, but just through teaching my kids and grandkids to take care of nature.
My kids and grandkids are all caring for nature, not all in the same way, but for example ... my kids and grandkids will never throw garbage on the streets or in nature. They are all "soldiers" to take care of nature.

the fench

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental tanka)

I hope you did like the music and the post "an sich". This episode is open for your submissions tonight around 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 21st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Yekaterinburg, later on. For now ... be inspired and share your inspired haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form with us all.

Carpe Diem Time Glass #1 re-start

!! This Time Glass episode closes on October 16th 2:00 AM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you can remember that we once had a time-challenging feature titled "Time Glass". The goal was to create haiku or tanka inspired on a theme within 24 hours, so a real time challenge. I love to "restart" that feature. Why? Well as you all know several months ago I changed the responding time of our Kai into seven days, a whole week, but (as you all know) haiku is an impression of a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water. That short time can help you to create your haiku (or tanka) based on that single moment.
I love to improve your haiku (and tanka) writing skills so I think this "Time Glass" feature can help you with that. But ... we are a haiku loving family from all over the world and we live all in different time zones, so I think it's a good thing to extend the (original) 24 hours of the "Time Glass" feature to 36 hours to respond on the theme.
That theme can be a haiku, a tanka, a waka, an image or just a word  And for the "restart" of this feature I have chosen for a haiku and an image to inspire you.

First the image:

lonely flower
And here is the haiku to help you to find your inspiration:

a little verse
lighted a fire in my heart
addicted to love

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... a nice time challenge I think. Try to create your haiku or tanka inspired on this "restart" of the Time Glass and share it with us within 36 hours. That means this episode is open for your submissions around 2:00 PM (CET) and it will remain open until October 16th 02:00 AM (CET). Have fun!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Carpe Diem #1277 Sacred Sanctuary (by Peter Crowley)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Sorry for the delay it escaped at my attention, so here it is our new episode for this month's celebration. Today I have a nice musical composition for your inspiration. It's by Peter Crowley, an awesome composer and I love his music. His style is somewhat out of the ordinary, because he uses a lot of different kinds of music.

Peter Crowley calls this kind of music "epic Asian adventure music" so it has a nice connection with our beautiful Japanese poetry. So ... enjoy the music and I hope it will bring you the inspiration you need.

this grave
brother love

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 20th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Enigma (by Karunesh), later on. For now ... have fun!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Carpe Diem #1276 Tranquil

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you maybe know I have (and have had) several special features here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. Our trip along memory-lane goes today along one of those special features. It was a feature in which I introduced haiku by renown and unknown haiku poets which I loved and had something with. That special feature was titled "Sparkling Stars" and our prompt comes from one of the episodes in autumn 2014. (You can find that episode HERE)

The title of this episode is extracted from a haiku by Koyu-Ni, which I shared than and will re-share here again:

Koyu-Ni was (as e.g. Chiyo-Ni) a Buddhistic nun (as can be seen at her name "ni" stands for "female monk".) There aren't many haiku known by her.

hana chirite shizuka ni narinu hito-gokoro

the blossoms have fallen:
our minds are now

© Koyu-Ni (Tr. R.H. Blyth)

[...] Koyu-Ni died in 1782, her family name was Matsumato. She is one of the more prominent woman poets of the Edo period. She learned haiku from Songi the First. [...]

our logo of this feature (2014)

I than translated this haiku myself and that translation I love to share again:

tranquility -
finally I have found peace,
blossoms have fallen

© Koyu-Ni (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

I think that in my translation the peace of mind is stronger present. With every gust of wind I am anxious that the fragile Cherry blossoms will be scattered and torn apart, but as all blossoms have fallen than my heart and mind are at peace, there is no anxiety anymore and that gives me that feeling of tranquility.

Life and dead are living together just on a thin line of silk, so close to one another, but that's the circle of life, the beauty of Mother Nature. This is what haiku is ... writing about nature and mankind as being part of it's beauty.

Well .... I think you all can remember this episode and I love to challenge you to create a haiku (or tanka) following the classical rules as described often here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 19th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, the sacred sanctuary, later on. For now .... have fun!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Carpe Diem #1275 nakedness

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode in our celebration month October 2017. Today I have a nice episode for you I think. Back in the summer of 2014 we had all modern kigo extracted from Jane Reichhold's "A Dictionary of Haiku". All the modern kigo were for summer and we have seen several wonderful modern kigo than. (That episode you can find HERE)

One of those modern kigo was "nakedness" as is our prompt for today. Nakedness is maybe somewhat controversial here at CDHK, but let me give you my idea about "nakedness". We were all born naked, but as we grow up we learned that one cannot go naked through the streets. Nakedness is private, so if you love to be naked, than you have to that in your own home, maybe your garden, but not on the streets. In my opinion "nakedness" is part of nature, there are no living creatures, except us humans, that use clothing to cover their nakedness. So if we are part of nature, as we surely do, why not going naked?
I love being naked, but of course only in my home or my garden. Or on specific places outside as e.g. the nude beach. Why do we feel ashamed as we walk naked through our own home, not for or loved ones around us, but maybe for those who walk outside your window, they maybe see your nakedness.

Let us take a small peek into nature itself ... than nakedness is very common and very specific in the "world" of naked snails. I like those small creatures and I once created a haiga about it.

Haiga Snail (2014)
 Nakedness ... common in nature, but in the life of humans not that common ... well it has to be so I think.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 18th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, tranquil, later on. For now .... have fun!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Carpe Diem #1274 Ryuko-ji (compassion)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

In our CDHK history we have done exciting things all along the virual road. We made several journeys and we have walked pilgrimages all over the world. Back in 2014 we went to Shikoku Island, Japan after our journey straight through the former USSR. On Shikoku Island we visited, like millions of other O-Henro, the 88 temples converted to Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai). The Shikoku pilgrimage is to Buddhists what the Hajj is for the Muslim. The Buddhists have to make this pilgrimage once in a life time and so it was our duty, as haiku poets, to visit Shikoku.

Today I have chosen one of the temples on Shikoku Island to inspire you with. This temple is named Ryuko-ji and is devoted to the Buddha of Compassion. One of the main ideas of Buddhism. In that episode (HERE) I also told you a little about the "State of Zen" in haiku and I remember that I told you a little bit more about "wordlessness".
"Wordlessness" is (in my opinion) one of the pillars of haiku. Look at our haiku. Three lines, approximately 17 syllables and around 15 or 20 words. It's a very short poem, but in that poem the strenght is the scenes that are tols about without words. So "wordlessness" is part of haiku.

Kobo Daishi (a.k.a. Kukai)
As I am preparing this episode I remember that I experimented with the haiku form last month and I think those experimental haiku are the best "image" or "example" of wordlessness in haiku. Nice to realize that. I hadn't thought about experimental haiku in the way of "wordlessness". Awesome.

Here is an example of what I call "experimental haiku", I think you will remember this one from last month.

into heaven

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

This one fits also the idea of pilgrimage in a way.

Let me try another "wordlessness"-haiku, sounds a bit strange ...

at dawn
dew shimmers
morning glories

© Chèvrefeuille ("wordlessness"-haiku)

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

Carpe Diem Sneak Preview October 10th 2017

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I love to give you a sneak preview for the upcoming months here at CDHK. First of all, I think you have noticed that I have changed the lay-out of our Kai. I think it makes CDHK more of this time and I think that this new lay-out looks fresh and fits us better than our former lay-out.

This month we are celebrating our first luster of our CDHK Family and I love it. It's a honor to be your host. It makes me proud, but humble too. Who am I that I can and may be your host. Without you, my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, I couldn't make CDHK the best website on haiku and other Japanese poetry forms. Thank you all for being part of CDHK ...

Recently I dived into the "prompt suggestions" section of our Kai and I ran into an idea by Björn Rudberg. An idea that ... spook to me ... Next month we will explore the beauty of quatrains through Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat a wonderful series of quatrains. Say ... next month will be a month full of Carpe Diem Distillations. I hope to tell you something more about Omar Khayyam and I hope to explore the similarities between these quatrains and Japanese poetry. I am looking forward to this new spectecular month.

Omar Khayyam (1048-1131)
Let me give an example of one of the quatrains from his "Rubaiyat":

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more.

© Omar Khayyam (taken from: Rubaiyat)

Of course in November we will go on with our weekend-meditations, which items that will be, we will see than. I hope to bring back the weekly Tan Renga Challenges, not as we had once on Fridays, but on Wednesdays.

Than December will start with a new theme, however not that new. I have done this earlier here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, but this time it will be a little bit different. In December I will try to inspire you through quotes all chosen from the novels from Paulo Coelho. I first had planned that theme for November, but it takes a lot of time to choose the quotes, I have to read all novels of Paulo Coelho first. I started recently with reading "Aleph" again. And that novel "triggered" me to make a whole month of "Use That Quote" with quotes by Paulo Coelho. Paulo is in my opinion a wise and spiritual man and in his works I have read wonderful sayings ... so I just had to create a month full of quotes by Paulo Coelho.
The choice to make a whole month about Paulo Coelho's thoughts and sayings is that his first novel "The Alchemist" is celebrating its 25 years anniversary. "The Alchemist" was once the first novel I read written by him ... and I was immediately caught by the beauty of his writing style.

Paulo Coelho
And ... I will give already a "hint" for the theme of January 2018 ... than we will visit the ancient sites of The Maya ....

Well ... I hope I have already made you all a little bit excited for the upcoming months.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Monday, October 9, 2017

Carpe Diem #1273 Into The Sea

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I started with Carpe Diem Haiku Kai I introduced several special features to you for your inspiration. And every week we had a Tan Renga Challenge in which I challenged you to create / complete a Tan Renga from a given haiku by a classical or non-classical haiku poet / ess. Today I have a nice Tan Renga Challenge for you that I published on December 20th 2013. It was a haiku by Jane Reichhold, my mentor and once my co-host at CDHK. As you all know she died in 2016 and she is still missed every day. So this episode is in a way a tribute to her, the Queen of Haiku and Tanka.

Logo TRC back in 2013
As you see in the title of this episode, into the sea, is the "title" of the haiku by Jane Reichhold to work with to create a Tan Renga.

melting into the sea
the full moon
leaves a candle bright

© Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)

And this is the second stanza I created back in 2013 to make this a Tan Renga:

soft winter breeze cherishes
the last colorful leaves   

© Chèvrefeuille

For those who are new here. A Tan Renga is a short chained poem written by two poets. It looks very similar with Tanka, but Tanka is written by one poet. You have to write the second stanza through associating on scenes in the haiku (the starting verse).

So let me bring the above Tan Renga created by Jane and my together:

melting into the sea
the full moon
leaves a candle bright
soft winter breeze cherishes
the last colorful leaves

Well enjoy. Create a Tan renga with the given haiku by Jane Reichhold to honor her. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 16th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Ryuko-ji, later on. For now ... have fun!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Carpe Diem #1272 October (Robert Frost)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend. My weekend was awesome, we have met our "new" two grandkids, Jason and Dana. Our oldest son has a new girlfirend after he divorced from his former girlfriend. So we have two "bonus" grandkids now and that makes us happy. We are a loving family and we hope to become nice grandparents for these two "bonus" kids. So ... I had a wonderful weekend.

Today I have a nice anniversary episode for you to work with. As you know I have created several special features here at CDHK and one of those features was "CD-distillation" in which I challenged you to create haiku or tanka extracted from a longer poem. Back in our first anniversary month (October 2013) I had a nice poem by Robert Frost for you. That poem was titled "October" and I love to challenge you again with that same poem.

Logo CD Distillation
Let me explain the goal of this special feature, that's going into it's reprise today, for you. I have chosen a long poem by a renown poet. After reading the poem the goal is to create a haiku or tanka extracted from the poem, in which you have to try to catch the essence of the poem.

Here is the poem by Robert Frost (1874-1963) again:


by Robert Frost (1874-1963)           

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
To-morrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call.
To-morrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled, 
Beguile us in the way you know;
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away;
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes' sake along the wall.


Autumn Colors (of October)
A wonderful poem, but for a haijin to long … so I have re-worked my cascading haiku into a tanka in which I catch the essence of the poem by Robert Frost.

at daybreak
one leaf falls and another –
bare branches
clothed with crystal drops of dew
at daybreak

© Chèvrefeuille

You can find the original post HERE. 

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 15th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, into the sea, later on. For now ... have fun and let me know if you would like to see this special feature back again at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Carpe Diem #1271 The Last of His Name (BrunuhVille)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our luster-month October 2017 with a new lay-out ... I hope you like this new lay-out. I have chosen to use a parchment background to get the feeling of that ancient "paper" to write on, because of the ancient haiku. This episode is a music episode and I have chosen a wonderful compostition by a talented young Portugese composer, BrunuhVille Maybe you can remember that I have used his music earlier here back in June 2014 to inspire you.

I discovered his beautiful music several years ago and in a way I am addicted to his music. He is very talented and has created wonderful compositions. Compositions that make you smile, or make you sad ... or ... a lot of feelings. He is really talented and I hope this composition will be your source of inspiration to create haiku, tanka and other Japanese poetry forms.

This composition is titled "The Last of His Name" and I think it's one of his most beautiful pieces I have heard. So listen to the music ... come in touch with the music and with the spirit of BrunuhVille. Enjoy!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 14th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, October (by Frost), later on.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Carpe Diem #1270 desert travellers (Karunesh)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our luster month October 2017. Five years of CDHK ... isn't that something. I once had a goal to create a daily haiku-meme and ... well that goal I have achieved Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is still here and what a history we have already. All those beautiful prompts and all of your really wonderful responses. At the start there were approximately 5 or 6 responders, enough in my opinion, but not enough to go on. I even thought once to end it, but I am so glad that I didn't. I am so glad that I had the guts to go on with this dream, this goal.
I was excited when I met Jane Reichhold in 2013. She a renown haiku entrepeneur had time for me, a beginning haiku poet with a dream. I remember how friendly she was as I emailed her for the very first time. She took the time to answer my mail and the questions I had. I remember how proud I was as she started to co-host CDHK through a special feature "Ask Jane ...?" I remember that she once said that CDHK was the world's best website about haiku and tanka. I can only hope that she will be still proud on what I am doing. I feel her presence every day again as I am preparing the posts for CDHK. She watches my back, she gives me the inspiration I need, she ... at least her spirit is still here at CDHK.

Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)
What a journey it is to be your host at CDHK. To find ways to inspire you. I made contact during our history with several other renown haiku poets, not only from all over the world, but also from my own country. I came in contact with wonderful musicians like Peter Crowley and Karunesh. I introduced classical and non-classical haiku poets to you and I even had the guts to help you improve your haiku writing skills. What an awesome place on the Internet this is, a place were you can write and share the beauty of Japanese poetry.

This month there will be no "weekend-meditations" instead of that I have chosen to inspire you through music, as I have done earlier here at CDHK. This first episode of this weekend is a piece of music by Karunesh, maybe you can remember that back in 2013 I had a whole month of inspirational music for you with the music of Karunesh. Karunesh granted me permission to use his music for our celebration month and I am grateful for that. Thank you Karunesh that I may use your music to inspire my visitors, the haijin and travelers by, with your music.

Maybe you have read the page about October 2017 than you have seen the prompt-list too. I had chosen a nice composition titled "Calling Wisdom", but I recently heard new compositions by Karunesh. I love to share one of those new compositions by Karunesh to inspire you today.

The above track is from Karunesh' latest album "Sun Within" (2016) and this is what he says about this album:

[...] "Everybody is different and everybody is unique - yet we are all connected. We are connected through the same source, the source of existence. We can get in touch with our inner self through stillness and meditation, dance and celebration. Just be yourself and let your inner light - the Sun Within - shine and lead you on your way." [...] (Source:

This track is titled "Desert Traveller". Take your time to listen to it. Become one with the music, maybe be that "desert traveller" yourself. I think this composition is really gorgeous and full of spirituality. I personally love the singer in this composition, she has a wonderful angel-like voice, really gorgeous.

lost and alone

but free

© Chèvrefeuille (experimental haiku)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 13th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, another beautiful piece of music to inspire you, later on. For now ... let the spirit of the desert be with you on your travel through the sands ... of music.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Carpe Diem #1269 reflection

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Time flies ... there is already a whole week of this celebration month gone, time to reflect. This first week was really awesome. I have spoken with participants from the first years of CDHK and they will try to "walk in" this month of celebrations and I have got permission to use all the beautiful music of Karunesh. Maybe you can remember that month full of his wonderful spiritual music back in August 2013. This month we will have again a few wonderful compositions created by him. In our prompt-list I have mentioned already which ones that will be, but ... maybe I will change them, because very recently Karunesh has created a few new albums full of beautiful music. We will see.

I have read wonderful responses on the first week's prompts and I even had time to visit you all already. Really I have read wonderful haiku and tanka. I hope you all will be here this upcoming weeks and share your inspired haiku and tanka with us all.

Okay I will go on with our prompt for today. We are on the road along memory lane and this prompt I have done earlier in the summer of 2013. At the end of this episode I will give you the link to that episode. I remember that it was a short episode, just like it will be today.

Reflection it's a wonderful natural play as you can see in the above image and that "play" we can use in our haiku in a great way. Here is an example by Becca Givens, one of the first years participants, a great haiku poetess:

Mirror of my soul
Deep shimmering golden pond
Reflects Divine Love

© Becca Givens

Or what do you think of this one by Sara McNulty of Purple Pen in Portland, one of our all time participants:

Autumn leaves mirrored
In clear lake their colors float
Soon lake fills with fall

Both are by the way responses on the prompt we do today in its reprise ... along memory lane.

And here is one of my own haiku I used in that episode, it's merely a senryu I think than a haiku, but to me those two forms are the same.

in front of the mirror
I open my young eyes -
an old grey man

© Chèvrefeuille

What is reflection?

Reflection is the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated. Common examples include the reflection of light, sound and water waves. (source: wikipedia)

swaying through the pool
frog jumps in

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I think this episode is ready to be published, so I will do that immediately after I have given you the URL of the mentioned episode from summer 2013. You can find that episode HERE.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until October 12th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Calling Wisdom, later on. For now ... have fun!