Tan Renga 2 – Shadows of Leaves – May 2, 2016

shadows of leaves

shadows of leaves
cover the open holes
her flute forgotten

(© Jane Reichhold)

she slips into memories
hidden inside shadows

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge month May 2nd (2) “shadows of leaves”

shadows of leaves
cover the open holes
her flute forgotten                         (© Jane Reichhold)

caressing summer breeze
enchanted melody rises
                 (© Chèvrefeuille)

Spring – haiku – January 28, 2016


riotous blossoms
fill the gardens and pathways
new bird’s nests

white water and blossoms
walking in the country-side
heavy with perfume

friends and family
sitting in the blossom rain
first spring picnic

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem Special #194 A Trip Along Memory Lane — with a twist

The twist is that though our host had created a new prompt, he never published it, here’s the story:

“Let me tell you which special feature I am talking about. This feature I created shortly after our first month of inspirational music, but I never dared to publish it, because of its likeness with Imagination.

This special feature I had titled “Carpe Diem Awakens your Muse” and the goal was to share a video for your inspiration. These videos would be all about nature and so … after thinking and re-thinking this I decided to bring this special feature in our last CD Special of January.

Credits: Sparrow on Lotus (logo CD Awakens Your Muse)

The goal of this CD-Special is to watch a video, look at the images, listen to the music and become one with the scene(s) in the video and awaken your muse and write/compose an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.”

fragile beauty
the shining wind* from the east
plays with cherry blossom

from far away
the sound of a temple bell
welcomes spring

cherry blossoms bloom
bare branches in designer cloths
children’s laughter

© Chèvrefeuille

Snowflake – Haiku – January 26, 2016

for a moment
a crystal snowflake rests
on her woollen glove

children laugh and shout
catching snowflakes in their mouths
the taste of winter

in the wind – dancing
white dervishes fill the sky
whirling snowflakes

G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem #904 Kazahana (snowflakes)

little straw mat–
the cat comes with a coat
of snowflakes

snowflakes flitting down–
a winter solstice

© Kobayashi Issa

cover the red roses
on a new grave

© Chèvrefeuille

falling gently
fragile beauty

© Chèvrefeuille

Petriolo – Haiku – January 25, 2016

just laying back
in this heart throbbing heat
Petriolo springs

under this cold moon
lying nude in the Tuscan hills
caressing hot springs

G.s.k. ‘16

The following are haiku I wrote in 2014 for the prompt “hot springs”:

under the hot springs
dashing to the cool river

summer moonshadows
nude in the hot springs
Tuscan hills

sulfur scented air
heart throbbing heat
hot springs

G.s.k. ‘14

Carpe Diem #903 hot springs

“In Basho’s time there were several wonderful hot springs which were frequently visited by the Japanese people and by Basho himself. One of the hot springs Basho visited was in Yamanaka. In his wonderful haibun “Oku no Hosomichi” Basho says the following about this well-known hot spring in Yamanaka:
“I enjoyed a bath in the hot spring whose marvelous properties had a reputation of being second to none, except the hot spring of Ariake.

at Yamanaka
it’s not necessary to pluck chrysanthemums
hot spring fragrance

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

yuno nagori kayoi wa hada no samukara n

tonight my skin
will miss the hot spring
it seems colder

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

But today’s  prompt is based on Jane Reichhold’s “A Dictionary of Haiku”, in which she gathered modern kigo for all  the seasons.

crystal waters
warmed with the scent
of earth

ancient earth
tiredness of my old body
in hot springs

from hot mineral baths
a bright lava flow

winter night
joining us in the bath
foggy stars

© Jane Reichhold

And Chèvrefeuille’s efforts with the kigo:

hot springs hidden
deep inside the holy mountain
giving new life

© Chèvrefeuille (April 2014)

hidden in the forest
I ran into a secret hot spring –
Ah! that sweet scent

falling in love
while enjoying the warm water –
secret hot spring 

© Chèvrefeuille

The Cold Moon – Waka – January 24, 2016


the cold moon
through the window panes
in crystal patterns

walking under the cold moon
slipping on ice

last persimmons
fall from the barren tree
under the cold moon

fond farewells
parting friends on Arco’s bridge
under the cold moon

© G.s.k. ‘16



Carpe Diem #902 Kangetsu (cold moon)

Today’s kigo is from the classical collection called  Saijiki, on the World Kigo Database, we are advised that kangetsu should not be mistakenly translated as “cold moonlight” which is something else but as “moon in the cold”, moon on a cold night.  Here are a few examples furnished by Chèvrefeuille for our inspiration:

kangetsu ya kaisandoo no ki no ma yori

this cold moon –
among the trees
of the founder’s hall

kangetsu ya kareki no naka no take sankan

this cold moon –
among the bare trees
three stalks of bamboo

kangetsu ya koishi no sawaru kutsu no soko

this cold moon –
the soles of my shoes
touch small pebbles

kangetsu ya matsu no ochiba no ishi o iru

this cold moon –
fallen needles of pines
shoot into stones

kangetsu ya mon o tatakeba kutsu no oto

this cold moon –
after knocking at the (temple) door
the sound of wooden clogs

kangetsu ya zoo ni yuki-au hashi no ue

this cold moon –
I meet a monk
on the bridge

© Yosa Buson

Here are Chèvrefeuille’s great contributions:

silent winter night
the full moon of January –

howling wolves

howling wolves
giving me the shivers –
praying for strength

 praying for strength
as I see the bright Wolf Moon –
silent winter night

© Chèvrefeuille

Fields – Haiku Haitaishi- January 22, 2016

windy afternoon
a lark caught in the current
o’er fields of grain

in a field of wheat
cicadas serenade
[a  farmer sleeps]

fresh turned soil
crows fly o’er the empty fields
searching out seeds

a field of snow
perfect white canvas
tales, yet untold

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem #901 fields

Here are a few examples about this modern kigo by Jane herself:

a field of snow
fenced in by fields
of snow

the winter moon
diminishing into snowflakes
open fields

dark fences
encircling the snowy field
eyelashes blink

stitching together
now-covered fields
blackbird wings

© Jane Reichhold

And here is Chèvrefeuille’s lovely haiku:

virgin field
disgracing it would be a sin
the first bare step

© Chèvrefeuille

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)

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



Snowdrop – Haiku Writing Techniques – December 30, 2015


in winter’s midst
standing on the empty pier
a snowdrop

long winter day
passes in a flash of light

© G.s.k. ‘15

This post is dedicated to my friend Elena of Elena ed Orlando

Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques #25 The Technique of Narrowing Focus

ake yasuki yo wo iso ni yoru kurage kana

the short night ending–
close to the water’s edge
a jellyfish

© Yosa Buson

amenohiya madakini kurete nemuno hana

A rainy day
Quickly falls the night–
Silk-tree blossoms

© Yosa Buson

the whole sky
in a wide field of flowers
one tulip

© Jane Reichhold

in the moonlight
Wisteria flowers look fragile –
a gust of wind

© Chèvrefeuille