The Great Wall – Haibun – February 17, 2015

Original Photo by Jakub Hałun (Wikimedia)

Original Photo by Jakub Hałun (Wikimedia)

Under the shadow of the wall which stretches for miles and miles, I walk. Down in a  nearby valley a farmer with his oxen works his hilly spring fields.  Flowers blooming fill the air with a soave perfume, a mixture of honeysuckle and fresh turned earth.  Going up the steps, I enter one of the numerous  towers that raise periodically along the wall and contemplate the elevated road of the wall. I can look for miles and miles across the vast countryside.  On the one side, China and the other the “barbarous” outside world and could only feel marvel at the wondrous feat that is the Great Wall of China.

that stone dragon
winding through hills and dales
silently vigilant

© G.s.k. ‘15

I’ve always wanted to visit the “Far East”, the land of dragons and the Tao, to walk the Great China Wall, the forbidden City and see the clay soldiers in all their glory. I’d also like visit the temples of Thailand and japan … but I think probably I’d only really like to do this in my dreams, far from the realities of the twenty-first century.


I love to challenge you to write a haibun (prose and haiku) in which you describe a journey (it doesn’t need to be a real journey you have undertaken) to a place you would love to see once in your life. For example, I would love to visit Japan once in my life, but I think that will not happen, but I can (of course) make that journey in my mind and dreams.


A Rooster Crows … Carpe Diem Haiku Family

Frozen Angels – Haibun – November 20, 2014


Roses bloom into November but sometimes suddenly, the snow begins to fall. There they stand in stasis.  Once the snow melts .. the petals drop one by one.

The little girl saw the roses and said delightedly that they looked like frozen angels.

A warm front hit the valley and the petals dropped.

She cried when she saw the nude stems but then had an idea. She ran home, went up to the attic and rummaged in a large box.  Returning, she adorned the rose-bush with her Mum’s white Christmas tree angels.

 frozen angels
white November roses
nestled in  snow

(c) G.s.k. ’14


Linked to: Photo Challenge #35 “Flowers in Snow” and Carpe Diem Haiku Family “Shadows” #9 Angels (Have a look at these great prompt posts)
Haiku Horizons – Cold

Purple – August 19, 2014

For Carpe Diem’s Haiku Family – Purple:

under purple lights
the music vibrates

purple lights
creating fairy tale scenes
flights of fancy

the color purple
lives lived in oppression
freedom blossoms

Many years ago I saw this film for the first time … I’d bought myself a video player and rented the film and watched it for at least 10 times.  It was a particularly difficult moment in my life.  I never saw it as a film about racism … but of the poor hand of cards women are dealt the world over.  A powerful film … with a great Whoopie Goldberg … a story of a woman’s life from oppression to freedom … a story of hope.

Carpe Diem Shadow #6 – Mirror – August 17, 2014

The prompt on Carpe Diem Haiku Shadow is mirror as I guess you understood from the title of this post 😉  Strangely enough over the past few days, the subject has come to mind more than once and recently I wrote a poem entitled Vanity

Here is Chèvrefeuille’s haiku to help us along:

as I look in the mirror
my hair turned grey and wrinkles under my eyes –
in my heart I am young

© Chèvrefeuille


a secret glance
admiring reflections
in the mirror

withered image
of the youth that once was proud
peeks through the mirror

the safety mirror
shows where I’d just been
a minute ago

road mirrorthe man shaves
looking at the image of himself
now old and wrinkled

she twirls happily
looking at her wedding dress
her delight mirrored


Gustav Klimt – August 9, 2014

shadowGustav in his kaftan
painting his summer garden
his colors vibrant

(C) G.s.k. ’14

Gustav Klimt is one of my favorite painters … I discovered him late in life.  I’ve always love the Impressionists and post Impressionists but art nouveau was not my cup of tea … until I came to live in Trentino.  A few years back, at the Mart of Rovereto there was a special exhibition entitled: Schiele, Klimt, Kokoschka and Viennese friends.  I fell in love with Klimt.

He’s famous for his “ladies” but he also did landscapes among other things.

Gustav Klimt Farm Garden With Crucifix - 1912 Oil on Canvas Art Nouveau

Gustav Klimt
Farm Garden With Crucifix – 1912
Oil on Canvas Art Nouveau

Spiders Weaving Webs – August 9, 2014

For this week’s Carpe Diem Haiku Family

The goal of this new episode is to write/compose a haiku, in the classical way, about someone who is famous and who you, maybe, admire.
As a haiku-poet Basho is my role-model and I am admiring his haiku. So I have chosen to write a haiku about him.


There are lots of famous people … so it’s a tall order to write this haiku … but let’s see what Chèvrefeulle wrote:

famous frogpond-poet
brought his passion into my mind –
the sound of water

© Chèvrefeuille

Of course!  He’s written about Basho one of the most famous haiku poets of history:

old pond
frog jumps in
sound of water

© Basho

Dew on a spider's web in the morning.  Luc Viatour

Dew on a spider’s web in the morning. Luc Viatour

walking down the trail
the buddhist monk stops to look
spiders weaving webs

© G.s.k. ’14

I’ve chosen Kobayashi Issa to inspire me:

Don’t worry, spiders,
I keep house
© Kobayashi Issa

Translated by Robert Hass


Carpe Diem Shadows – Waterfall – July 28, 2014


CARPE DIEMThis was the first prompt created by Chèvrefeuille for Carp Diem Haiku Kai!  here are a couple of haiku dedicated to waterfall …


babbling brightly
down the mountain it flows
rocky waterfall

energy and power
majestic white water flows
birds are silent

(C)  G.s.k. ’14

Carpe Diem Haiku Shadows – July 28, 2014

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai can now be found on WordPress with a weekly post (or two).  This episode is dedicated to the sunflower and Chèvrefueille leads the meme with his haiku:

after the thunderstorm
the sunflowers in the backyard
have broken

© Chèvrefeuille

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAin summer sunflowers
bend towards the dawning sun
in bright rows

fields of sunflowers
all along the country roads
following the sun

© G.s.k.

Troiku – A Haiku Experimental Form – July 18, 2014

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai has opened a new blog on WordPress.  It’s called Carpe Diem Haiku Family – below you’ll find the link to the full post, a great read!

The post I’m writing for today ia a reprint of a post published in 2012.  If you’re interested in haiku, this post is for you.  It discusses the various forms of haiku to a new invented form called troiku:

A troika (meaning: triplet or trio) is a traditional Russian harness driving combination, using three horses abreast, usually pulling a sleigh. It differs from most other three horse combinations in that the horses are harnessed abreast. The middle horse is usually harnessed in a horse collar and shaft bow; the side horses are usually in breastcollar harness. The troika is traditionally driven so that the middle horse trots and the side horses canter; the right hand horse will be on the right lead and the left hand horse on the left lead.

The troika was developed in Russia during the 17th century and could reach on full-speed 45-50 kilometres per hour, which was at that time a very high-speed on land for vehicles.

OK … up to the Troiku. Compared with the troika, haiku counts three lines and the troika was driven by three horses. A troika was (mostly) a sleigh and that … my dear haijin, visitors and travelers is what a troika made a troika.
In the Troiku, the sleigh is the base haiku from which we will start.

E.g. the ‘sleigh’ of our Troiku is a haiku written by a classical (or modern) haiku poet.


In this Troiku form it’s the intention to write three new haiku (the horses of the troika) starting with the separated lines of the ‘sleigh’. (By the way: The Troiku is only possible in the Western way of writing haiku, without the classical “count of syllables”.)
Let’s give it a try heh …

Troika – Courtesy of Carpe Diem Haiku Family


Chèvrefeuille used a famous poem by Basho to write his example. I’m going to use a poem by Issa:

Now we are leaving,
the butterflies can make love
to their hearts’ desire

(C) Issa


Now for my horses:

Now we are leaving
sun sets behind the mountains
fireflies dance wildly

the butterflies can make love
among the rose bushes
red blushing petals

to their hearts’ desire
ignoring gossiping crones
love bugs mate

Well … as a first experiment … but as Chèvrefeuille would say, not my cup of tea, but I do like trying different forms and am open to new ideas!  And now who else will try!



Carpe Diem Haiku Family