Haiku – June 19, 2014

squelchy mud
oozing through children’s toes
summer games

without ornaments
truth unmasked

buzzing insanely
flies bumping windows
torn screen

walking in the park
smart sparrows stole the brioche
pigeons cooing

summer morning
inspiring conversations
creating haiku


Issa – A tribute to a haiku master – June 15, 2014

I happened to have a conversation with Jen over at Blog it or Lose it! about a particular aspect of a great haiku poet – Issa.

She brought to my attention some of his funny “vermin-ku” as she wittily called them … here are a few examples:

Hey! Don’t swat:
the fly wrings his hands
on bended knees.

For you too, my fleas,
the night passes so slowly.
But you won’t be lonely.

issa… you have survived to feed
this year’s mosquitoes

Counting flea bites
while she nurses
her baby


So I thought I’d write a few vermin-ku of my own as a tribute to the great Issa!

(C) Jen from Blog it or Lose it!

(C) Jen from Blog it or Lose it!

apple core
ants harvesting nectar
a good crop

picnic lunch
horse flies and wasps
buzzing sandwiches

cooking dinner
a sudden itch
mosquito ate too

flea bites
my leg a feast
thanks kitty

walking in the woods
then shower and swabs of oil
removing wood ticks

screened plate cover
protecting the cake
buzzing fly

I don’t know about you, but I often forget how our life on this planet once was (and still is for the most part) living and feeding our friends the fleas, mosquitoes and other insects.

Does anyone have a contribution to this cavalcade tribute to Issa?  Here is a link to some of Issa’s Haiku Poems which I must again thank Jen for!  If you’d like to add something, I’d lke to read it so feel free to ping me!

Ciao…I’m off for the day (going travelling!) and you have a great Sunday!  Bastet

Haiku – Sun for Carpe Diem Ghost Writer



giver of new life
or atrocious death

tiny star
afar, dim light barely seen
our great sun

rows of umbrellas
sun worshipers laid in lines
like roasting turkeys

(miscellaneous thoughts)

Written for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Ghost Writer Jen Rosenberry. I must admit, that Jen from Blog it or Lose it!  was right when she said that using sun as kigo can be tricky, follow the link and read her lovely contribution, you’ll love it!…

Shadorma – Memories – June 1, 2014

(C) Jen from Blog it or Lose it!

open eyes
upon a world long gone
flashing by
movies on a drive-in screen
of my youth – long gone

why do these way-ward thoughts
long entombed

ages long gone
feel like yesterday
happy smiles
of dead friends
are as fresh as spring roses
placed in cool water

though long gone
these memories like new keep
blossoming …
summer scenes
of drive-ins – picnics  – fireworks
the 50s – my youth

so I smile
as I indulge happiness
fresh mowed lawns
swimming pools
an old documentary
from my mind’s archives


A shadorma is composed of six non-rhyming lines (sestina or sextet) and the syllable pattern is 3-5-3-3-7-5.  It can have as many stanzas as you like, just as long as each stanza follows the syllable pattern mentioned above . 

Shadorma #10 from Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie

Wordleing on Monday – May 19, 2014

wordle9Nosferatu’s Descent

From the window of his soul
The lesion in his morals were shown …
Nosferatu felt the splinter deep within,
As pitiless envy entered him and grew …

“Shun the light now coarse demon”
Said the angel to the wretch at last,
“Your name is writ upon the parchment
Of those condemned to hell!”

As he grappled with his burning rosary
Holy water became vinegar to him
And condemned he was to live
In a crypt during bright sunny days …

Blood thirsty vampire he’d become
Eternally walking the darkest nights…
For ’twas immortality he wanted
But at what a terrible price!

His descent from humanity,
Into his shunned vampire form,
Corrupter of the young and beautiful,
Is the stuff of human tales.

His name is known to many
His infamous deeds fill our story books,
So close your windows my pretty virgin
For pitiless, Nosferatu walks tonight.

Inspried by Blog It or Lose It!’s shadorma:  “Grab the Rails” and written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #9


The Number Game – WDBWP’s Short Story Prompt #8

From: Motivatedphotos.com

From: Motivatedphotos.com

“Well…have you decided yet?” Mirko asked.

“Nope…” replied Julian.

“What about 33…the number of Lord Jesus?”

“No, that would be irreverent now wouldn’t it.”

“Yes, guess you’re right.  Well, what about A113?”

“I went to the Academy of Arts in Bologna…”

“Yes, of course! Well, what about 17?”

“Obscure outside of Italy, not many people will know that is a lucky or unlucky number depending on how you look at it!”

“Yeah…are you sure you want to use a number to homage someone or something in your story?

“Yep, and I just thought of who I really want to homage … Douglas Adams!”

“Oh 42!”


Jen’s challenge has been a challenge to me…I admit that I rarely think of numbers, they just aren’t my cup of tea.  But I do love reading and movies and so, enchanted by her interesting prompt on We Drink Because We’re Poets, I wanted to participate.  What came to mind was 42…and of course for lovers of Douglas Adams there can be no other number.  I found in Wikipedia, which I linked to the number above, that there are oodles of things attached to 42…go have a look!

Don’t forget to follow the We Drink link (above) to read and participate in this week’s story prompt!  I’d love to see what you come up with!


Living – Tanaga

life’s maelstrom whirls around
from passion to safer ground
even the doe will give fight
when dark anger clouds her light

life is not just white and black
sometimes, wiser to attack
cloudy days turn to sunshine
anger happens so won’t  whin

life’s moments are treasure chests
I accept what life behests
walk my pathway as it comes
in wealth or degraded slums


Tanagas are reaching new audiences. As you might expect, new audiences bring changes. Today you will see Tanagas with titles and with new rhyming patterns (for example, AABB, ABAB, ABBA, AAAB, BAAA, and so on). Life advice (morals, ethics, proverbs) may or may not be present. (Jen from Blog it or Lose it)

Tanaga – From Jen!

Today, reading Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, I read a very interesting post that I’m going to paraphrase for you…with all the links…by Jen from Blog it or Lose it.

Jen is “ghost writing” this week for Carpe Diem and has introduced a Philipino poem called the “tanaga”.   It is a 4 lined rhyming poem with 7 syllables for each line.  Rhyme in a haiku site???  Let’s see what Jan has to say:

Why would I encourage a rhyming poem at Carpe Diem?  First of all, it is sad to think of a dying poetic form. Second, even though Tanagas and haiku are different, we can use our expanding “haiku toolboxes” to great effect. 

Now…about the tanaga:

Today I’d like to introduce you to the Tanaga, an ancient Filipino poem. While several of the Tanaga’s features might feel strange to everyone in Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, I hope you will give the poem a chance. Why? Because the Tanaga has been dying out in its native language, Tagalog. Several cultural groups encourage Tanagas written in English in an attempt to reach new audiences and keep the form alive.

Some sources call the Tanaga a “Filipino Haiku”, but that isn’t quite accurate.  Like an English haiku, the Tanaga counts syllables.  Unlike the haiku, the pattern is four lines of 7 syllables each (7-7-7-7).

The biggest difference is that the Tanaga rhymes; it has a pattern of AABB.  In addition, ancient Tanagas were handed down through oral history and contain advice for living (1).

Here is an example of a Tanaga in archaic Tagalog (1):

Catitibay ca tolos
sacaling datnang agos!
aco’I momonting lomot
sa iyo,I popolopot.

            Friars Juan de Noceda and Pedro de Sanlucar, 1754.

Oh be resilient you Stake
should the waters be coming!
I shall cower as the moss
to you I shall be clinging.”

            Translation by Jardine Davies

I mentioned that Tanagas are reaching new audiences. As you might expect, new audiences bring changes. Today you will see Tanagas with titles and with new rhyming patterns (for example, AABB, ABAB, ABBA, AAAB, BAAA, and so on). Life advice (morals, ethics, proverbs) may or may not be present.

Jen wrote two tanaga about a Japanese Parable entitled “The Two Frogs

Reeg, he said, looking backward;
blindly, his partner agreed.
Follow your flippers forward –
you can’t know till you’ve journeyed.

amber eyes above the pond,
disc-like ears underwater —
just like frogs, we live longer
immersed but looking beyond 

Now for my response!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvening glowing lamp light
A beacon in darkest night
Guiding my footsteps onward
Towards bright morning…sunward
(c) G.S.K.

For more information about the post and blog, please click the link on “Two Frogs” above!

I’d like to thank our host Kristjaan for the lovely opportunities he gives us for new forms of haiku and poetry…and invite you all to drop by Carpe Diem Haiku Kai and be inspired!

Happy writing!

Ephemeral Fame: Elfje with Haiku

© Dheny Patungka

© Dheny Patungka

Somber thoughts
In forgotten books
Philosophers, commedians and politicians

in the early dawn
thoughts like black clouds whispering
ephemeral fame

Black webs
Capturing men’s minds
For a passing moment

Written for and inspired by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge and Blog it or Lose it for the poetic combination.


The Café – (Zejel)

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Cafés like clock work pace the day
Though they be sunny or dark grey
Coffee ’til the aperitif!

Start the day at break of dawn
A brisk walk with a mighty yawn
Coffee on an inviting lawn
Begins the day with a leitmotif.

And when the luncheon hour comes near
A grilled sandwich with a light beer
Is right good any time of the year
(With cheese, prosciutto or roast beef.)

Evening, for the happy hour
Finds old friends under a bower …
Canapè, chips and wine devour,
Pre-dinner rites – mundane belief.



“The zejel is a Spanish verse form that pronounced “seh HELL”.

The zejel’s opening stanza presents the theme of the poem and is called the cabeza.  It is either a rhymed couplet (AA) or a rhymed tercet (AAA). Successive stanzas are quatrains built with a tercet (“mudanza”) and a single line (“vuelta”) that rhymes with the cabeza.

So… the rhyme scheme is either:

AA / BBBA / CCCA / DDDA / etc.


AAA / BBBA / CCCA / DDDA / etc.

Lines are usually 8 syllables long (mine are 10 syllables long).”

You can find this in “Blog it or Lose It’s” post (link below)…I did the 8 syllables, but I cheated as regards the first three rhymes…as this suited me better.

Today I read The Guitar Player by Blog it or Lose It a beautifully fun poem in the zejel form, which I’d never heard of…I also invited Oliana to come to a café with me…even if virtually…so two friends have inspired this little ditty, my first zejel! Thanks to you both!

In Italy the café is such an important part of social life, that the poor dears when they go to North America feel completely lost without them.  Even I, when I returned to visit felt kind of lost.

No fast food place can ever replace the café here in Italy, although MacDonald’s has added a café “surrogate” in all their restaurants!

McDonalds Padova