The Gull – April 3, 2020 – Shahai

catching the wind
– last light
gsk ’20


I think the  idea of a shahai or a haiga is not to describe the illustration but to communicate a feeling or sensation that the photo has “captured”. So, the gull hit my fantasy but Instead of saying:

a gull
catching the wind
– last light

I wanted to communicate the overall sensation of that moment. The swooping of the gull, being buffeted in the wind, even as I was buffeted when I took the photograph.

Now dear readers, what is your opinion about this shahai … any suggestions, any comments?  Thanks for stopping by.

Ciao,  Georgia

Fish in the Snow – December 15, 2017

Floating Fish in the snow

Winter came early for us in the Lake Valley of southern Trentino.  Because of the Lake Garda’s microclimate we usually only see snow around mid January, if then.  The other morning the sky was heavy and what looked like fog was actually snowfall.  It snowed the whole day through changing our autumn suddenly into winter.  As I looked out towards the courtyard in front of my house, my fish wind chime began to tinkle and I imagined a world with floating fish.

cold grey morning sky
first flakes fall
ice crystals
softly blur my world from sight
hills of snow – growing

Silence grows
as snow flakes gather
humdrum scenes
into something new – special
never seen before

In that morn
of cold December
in silence
a fish floated in the snow
outside my window.

gsk ’17





Ten Styles of Tanka – Post 9 – January 28, 2016


the falling clouds
bring to mind fire and grief
as the wind whispers
visions of the past haunt me
of a winter long ago

G.s.k. ‘16

  1. Exquisite detail – komayaka naru tei

This style is indicated by exact and precise details with often complex imagery. In Teika’s anthology of tanka styles he has 29 examples. One of which is one from the Kokinshū, #4:193, written by Ōno Chisato (890-905):

tsuki mireba / chiji ni mono koso / kanashikere / waga ni hitiostu no / /aki ni wa aranedo

gazing at the moon
a thousand sad things
overcome me
not only I feel this
in autumn alone

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #66 Teika’s Ten Tanka Techniques by Jane Reichhold

Blackbirds and Great Cold – Haiku – January 21, 2016


January morn
under the persimmon tree
blackbirds seek out seeds

© G.s.k. ‘16

Legend would have it that once upon a time the blackbirds were white.  One day a blackbird to cheat January, because it always treated the blackbird badly with bad weather, decided to hide all of his family until January was over, because in those days January was 28 days long thumbing his nose at January for avoiding the bad weather, and this infuriated January.  So he asked February to lend him three days
and then filled these days with a freezing blizzard causing the blackbird to have to save himself by hiding in a chimney causing him to become black from that time onward the blackbird has black feathers and is much more cautious as for January, he never bothered to give February back those three days.

in the great cold
blackbirds seek out their fortune
or seeds in the snow

© G.s.k. ‘16

 Carpe Diem #900 Daikan (Great cold) And happy 900th post to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai!

After the Snow Fall – Haiku – January 18, 2016

clear morning
new fallen snow in the park
begging sparrows cheep

© G.s.k. ‘16

Fortunately or unfortunately – depending on one’s point of view, it hasn’t snowed in Arco/Riva yet, so I can only rely on my memory for a clear sky after a snowfall.  But I’d like to thanks Chèvrefeuille for all the efforts he took to illustrate this episode!

Carpe Diem #898 Yukibare (clear sky between (after) snowfall)

after the snow
Mt. Fuji soars
into the clear skies    

© Shinya Ogata

yukibare no ushi no chibusa no man no toki

blue sky after snow
a time when milk cow’s breast
is full

© Shikyo Tomooka

yukibare ni nodumi no toudo nioikeri

fine after snow,
a smell of the kaolin* laid
in the open air

© Takako Yana

* Kaolin, also called china clay,  soft white clay that is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of china and porcelain and is widely used in the making of paper, rubber, paint, and many other products. Kaolin is named after the hill in China (Kao-ling) from which it was mined for centuries. Samples of kaolin were first sent to Europe by a French Jesuit missionary around 1700 as examples of the materials used by the Chinese in the manufacture of porcelain.

yukibare ya hashira o yameru hitobashira

after the snow
spending the day watching
the clear blue sky

Takano Mutsuo (1947 – ) (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Cold Spring – Haiku, (Haiga) and Tanka – January 12, 2016


fairy tree haiga

spring vision
in the cold rain
mixed with snow

pink pallid sun
and my light tricks at dawn
in the cold-spring rain
raindrops caught in the flash
[or fairies play in the tree]

G.s.k. ‘16

N.B.  I would like to remind everyone that on the 1st of February will begin my birthday month of haiga if you wish to participate with me I will put up a Mr. Linky app for the occasion and an inspiration prompt which can be used or ignored.

Carpe Diem #895 Harusamu (cold spring)

Did you know that in Japan Spring (called: Harusamu) begins on the 4th of February (called Nigatsu).  Here’s what Chèvrefeuille has to tell us in this interesting episode (which you can go to following the link above):

It’s [Harumsau] a very nice classical kigo. In classical Japan it is believed that spring starts on about February 4th, which is said to be the first day of spring. Even if the Japanese hear only the sound of the word haru (spring), they become happy and have great expectations for the coming days, though the temperature of this month is still low and it remains the coldness of winter.
The Japanese feel excited to hear the word harusamu (cold spring), even if it is cold. But the word yokan (the lingering cold of early spring) emphasizes the coldness of winter which is lingering on. As the snow begins to melt and the ice is getting thinner and thinner, the workings of animals and plants become active.

A Journey to Freedom – Short Story – January 10, 2016

Suddenly an undefined dissatisfaction roiled inside irritating as a dripping faucet.  She roamed around the room absent-mindedly .  Then grabbed her pen and began to write.  After about 15 minutes of intense scribbles, she crumpled up the sheet of paper  towing it and the pen across the room.

She roamed into the kitchen .. looking for something she wouldn’t find.

The phone rang and for twenty minuets she replied with monosyllables and grunts to the long rambling of her friend’s soliloquy.  A blow-by-blow description accompanied his account as he went into the gory details of who said what and when and how bad it made him feel and of course she’d pay and indeed was paying … her own mind was drifting and she thought, will it never end, when suddenly it did  (he was getting no satisfaction at all from this conversation and decided to call his friend Mark instead).

She turned on the computer and chose a YouTube playlist of what was supposed to be “soothing music for relaxation”.  She began to fix dinner, as the food simmered in pots, she set the table.  There it was again …  a random rolling wave that rolled over her head so that  she felt light-headed.  A voice but not exactly a voice,  in her mind,  whispered:  now would it really matter if she just gave in … just once, It’s been five days now because she was strong, so, she could just go for one more, she was strong enough to do that, just one more cigarette, what the hell would happen if she smoked just one more cigarette … and then as it had come on, the moment passed.

She looked at the chart.  That was the third one today, better than yesterday.  Just a few more days now and the attacks would become negligible. Then she’d really have to be careful, those late comers were traitorous when they popped up she knew.  She wouldn’t be going through withdrawal again if she’d resisted a couple of years back. Hell 15 years without smoking just to be back at square one.  She felt sort of mad at herself but she was also pleased that she was back on track.  She anticipated that surge of energy that was soon to be hers, the tastes and smells that would be intensified.  Just a few more days she thought.



Morning Haiku and Waka – Winter Approaches – December 6, 2015

Christmas 2010_2

in the morning light
frost sparkles on the roof-tops
winter silence

a barking dog
sound drifting on the chilled wind
this frosted morn

frozen autumn leaves
there is a different sound
walking in the park

Christmas lights
line the streets and homes
carols on the wind
speak of good kings and shepherds
smell the chestnuts roasting

© G.s.k. ‘15

Someone recently asked me what I meant by “waka”.  Waka, historically was the word used to distinguish the classical poetry written in Japanese in place of kanshi or Classical Chinese.  It was swiftly extended to all Japanese poetry … later it was used more and more often to designate the tanka … which was a hokku with a two-line ending of 7-7 syllables (and also the five line ending of a choka).

I use it to mean any of the many classical poetic forms, now mostly forgotten, such as the choka, sedoka, katauta (etc.) and of course tanka – but I also think of kyoka and senryu as waka, though the Japanese do not consider these last two as proper poetry forms at all being considered spurious haiku or tanka as well as vulgar or too mundane.