Nature – Morning Haiku and Waka – February 26, 2016

Winter sunset

the passing of the day
painted passions

in this early spring
the mad painter portrays
his lover’s heart
splashing paint upon the sky
it dribbles down the canvas

she sang at dawn
by nightfall she was weary
red sunset


he tried to put her into a box
she slipped through a crack

so many definitions
no understanding

he tried to put her into a box
in 5 by 10 photos
mostly black and white

she slipped through a crack
spreading light across the sky
defeating darkness

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem #926 Nature

Morning Haiku and Waka -Time – February 8, 2016

clock tower two

time passes or maybe not
the tower clock

looking at the past
old photographs and films
– bright illusions

where is yesterday
where tomorrow
a leaf falling


even for the mean
there will be a reckoning
and their spiteful deeds
will be opened to the sun
the past will catch them
and all their wormy sickness
soon everyone will see
what bides behind illusions
of false honeyed words
but eventually they fall
these self-proclaimed holy men

an empty illusion
life a passing dream
infamy – senseless egos
caught up in samsara


Time is of course something we use to mark the passing of our presence on Earth. Is time actually a reality.  It would seem that some people give more importance to time than others.  It would also seem that time can be a cultural affair to be interpreted wherever one happens to be.  Perhaps what we call time, which more often than not is just how we organize our social affairs, is just a man-made invention and has nothing to do with the universe.  Where is the reality of yesterday?  Can you touch it, smell it – what colour is it.  Where is the reality of tomorrow?  Five seconds ago is already out of our reach and five minutes from now unattainable.  The reality is that my conscious self is here now – and now it’s gone.

here and now
in illusions

© G.s.k. ‘16


Morning Haiku and Waka – Meditation – January 31, 2016

sunset Malcesnine_small

here and now
the sound of gravel swishing
a gull cries

golden light
colouring the barren tree
as darkness grows
thoughts like leaves swirl
in the silent wind of time

cooking dinner
cleaning swiss-chard and leeks
stirring the rice
here no past – no future
only veggies and rice

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem #907 meditation

Morning Haiku and Waka – Haiku Horizons (Spend) – January 19, 2016

autumn’s now spent
snow flakes fall in silence
white fairy flurries

we spend the evening
as the radio plays Brahms

anguish –
spending all her energy
for his love

she fills her soul
walking under the plums
as the blossoms rain
spending time reflecting
on the last days of winter

© G.s.k. ‘16

Morning Haiku and Waka – Frost – January 14, 2016

frosted lake

frozen rose petals
ephemeral perfection
limp in the sun

etched in white
each tree in the park
winter’s enchantment

moving shadows
shapes upon the frosted glass
a siren passes

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem Throw That Pebble #2 frost

Morning Haiku and Waka – January 11, 2016

Persimmon Dawn

misty fields
in uncertain light
a bare tree stands

[through the fog]
sparrows and persimmons
meet in the first light

mixed with snowflakes
so pale and enchanting
silver light

in the icy mist
the voyager departed
into first light
the trains crossed clacking loudly
leaving deafening silence

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem #894 First Light

Here are a few of the examples which Jane gives for first light:

first light
nudging frozen clouds
snow flakes

milky dawn
the world without color
takes form

spots of blue
varying the light to fit
tracks in the snow

© Jane Reichhold

and by Chèvrefeuille:

winter morning
the fragile light of the sun
reflects in the snow

a cold moonlit night
just the sound of fresh fallen snow –
wandering over the moors

© Chèvrefeuille

Morning Haiku and Waka (Movement) – Beyond – January 6, 2016

winds of time

beyond the stars
echoes throughout creation
a big bang

going beyond now
meditations upon life
an apple seed

this spring’s augur
a dried cherry pit – found
behind the cupboard

in the winter pond
how big the full-moon grows
beyond this haiku

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #64 Beyond “movement”

In this episode we follow the debate between Chèvrefeuille and Jane Reichhold on the possibility of movement in the haiku.  Ms Reichhold’s view is that a haiku is: a static moment in time, characterized by the a-ha moment

“as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water. Just an eye-blink, a heart beat … And if you would bring that short moment into haiku there is no movement at all.”

Chèvrefeuille’s opinion is slightly different, he uses the example of Basho’s famous haiku about the frog in the pond:

old pond
frog jumps in
water sound

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

“In that famous haiku by Basho lays the birth of “undou” (movement). “Undou” (movement) however is more than only the movement of a frog. It’s the movement of nature, of our world, movement that is everlasting like a “perpetuum mobile” and that, my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, is why I created “undou” (movement) as a new haiku writing technique.”

I personally think that even if one wanted to use the Zen concept of “here and now”  there is a here and now movement.  Something that is static,  or so my Shiatsu Master Ohashi taught us, is dead. Also from my understanding, in the present traditional Japanese haiku there is no A-Ha moment, Zen was excluded from haiku by Shiki – but even Basho and the other classical haiku poets didn’t use haiku as a part of a Zen practice.   Unless a monk put one of his mondo in haiku form there is no Zen haiku though there are Buddhists who wrote haiku – many of the Renga schools liked to use haiku in this way … but besides all this, it would seem that the idea of the A-ha moment is not in fact Japanese at all, it is Western:

“Traditionally, in Japan, haiku is not of zen inspiration. At the best, it follows the buddhist attitude that consists in observing things without a priori, as things are, before formulating an opinion. Haiku is sometimes considered as a mental exercise.

By us Westerners, haiku has been introduced in the beginning of this century (20th Century), in an exotic atmosphere. The zen dyeing seems [to have] arrised in the 50s with the popularization of that philosophy in the American culture.

Blyth’s fundamental work (1949)  based upon the idea that haiku is the poetic expression of zen spread,  through the ‘beat generation’ (Allan Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac). This idea would then dominate the Western haiku approaches.”

tempslibres – free times
© Copyright Serge Tomé, 1999



Morning Haiku and Waka – January 5, 2016

The Joy of Living

chestnuts and Chianti
laying before the glowing fire
evening readings

poetry and prose
reading out-loud in turns
before bedtime

after lovemaking
watching the dying embers
in his eyes

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem #891 joy of living

Today’s episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is again dedicated to modern/classical “kigo” or seasonal words.   Now I’m having serious doubts as to my understanding of the concept of “kigo” at all.

Here’s what Chèvrefeuille tells us about”joy of living” as a winter kigo:

“maybe it fits winter more than I would think. Why? Well … as I read the examples of haiku for this kigo than they are about the joy of watching a show or a ballet together with your lover. And winter is the time of the long evenings and that can also be a joy. Together in front of the fireplace with a nice glass of wine, candles, romantic music and the warmth of each other’s body … that’s how I see the joy of living … so maybe this is a kigo for winter …?”


“Come see the sunset?”
the old woman too busy
for endings

touching me
during the ballet
his left hand

© Jane Reichhold

she and I
in front of the fireplace
enjoying life

© Chèvrefeuille

(I’ve removed my too elaborate question from this post, I will pose it elsewhere.)

Morning Haiku and Waka – January 4, 2016

Troiku – Grey Sky Paradox

less cold
a cloudy day cloaks the world
comforting grey warmth

less cold
when the clouds hang in the sky
not a cold clear day

a cloudy day cloaks the world
in the mountains – snow
in our valley tears

comforting grey warmth
clear blue skies freeze the earth
a paradox

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem #890 Shoukan (less cold)

Morning Haiku and Waka – January 2, 2016

first snowflakes
even now inviting
first snowdrops

this winter morning
as fog covers the valley
plum blossom dreams

winter stillness
walking along the river
imagining bees

 © G.s.k. ‘16

Today we think ahead on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai … desiring spring.  The here and now tells us that we have recently entered into winter, but our imagination can take us wherever we wish to go … so for today’s Morning Haiku and Wake I’ve chosen to use three spring kigo to project the longing for that season: snowdrops, plum blossoms and bees.  Below are a few other haiku by Chèvrefeuille and Jane Reichhold showing us the way into spring desires:

eaves dripping
the candle flame

winter days
a heart runs without panting
to the beach

© Jane Reichhold

after the darkness
I am longing for the young leaves
and cherry blossoms

the blooming cherries
watching them in the moonlight
it’s magical

© Chèvrefeuille

And I’d like to close this with another snowdrop haiku, I think by Jane Reichhold:

as I see the first snowdrops my desire for spring becomes stronger