Heeding Haiku With … December 26, 2015

James Tissot. Journey of the Magi, 1894. WikiArt.

James Tissot. Journey of the Magi, 1894. WikiArt.

silver moon-lit night
this magic Christmas evening
guides our footsteps
like the Magi long ago
to seek the king of peace

© G.s.k. ‘15

Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille – December 23, 2015 – We Three Kings

A Christmas Lai – Experimental Choka – December 25, 2015

Look, as this new day is born
Peaceful is this cold morn’
Bells ringing across the land
Say violence is banned!
Today, Christmas day
Hear now, listen to my lai:
Let’s cleanse our hearts of woe
Joyfully shall we now go
To celebrate our joy
‘Twas born Mary’s boy!
Then, the seed of peace was sown,
Something we’d never known,
Pray that it may now grow strong
And fill our hearts yearlong,
With love, hope and peace.

© G.s.k. ‘15

When I first discovered choka, I also discovered that this poetic form is all but extinct, though some modern Japanese poets have written a few and there is a small movement to try to revive it, it’s mostly in the West that the choka is finding new life.  Now it’s possible to find “classical” (either 5-7-7 or 5-7-5 syllable count) choka written by American or English haiku poets and very interestingly we also find some experimental choka – variations created by Western haiku poets.

In 2013, I tried my hand at creating an experimental choka a Rhyming Choka : 7-6-7-6-5 syllable lines  repeated 3 times … rhymes in couplets until the last line.

For a little more information you can click these links (there are many more, and these are not necessarily the best) Poet’s Garret, The Poet’s CollectiveKUJAKU POETRY & SHIPS

Carpe Diem Special #188 Georgia’s 4th, another choka

Seven Days to Christmas (5) – haiku – December 22, 2015

this silent night
peace reigns under the full moon
here and now

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #5 Peace

scent of Jasmine
sound of a gurgling brook
peace of mind

© Chèvrefeuille

Seven Days Before Christmas (3) – Choka – December 20, 2015

red, blue and yellow
lights and decorations glow
brightening our hearts
on this longest winter night
with family and friends
toasting the season with cheer

the tree stands prepared
dressed in baubles and tinsel
now here we await
the dawn of Christmas morning
as we sing “Joy to the World”

© G.s.k. ‘15

 

light of the world
reflects in silver and gold
christmas tree clothed

© Chèvrefeuille

Carpe Diem’s Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #3 decorations

A Christmas Day in Djibouti – Day One Seven Days Before Christmas – December 19, 2015

Somehow, when it’s 42° C Christmas doesn’t feel quite right. We read the Christmas Carol to the kids and watched Christmas specials on French TV as we decorated the living-room with plastic holly and baubles trying to recreate that special atmosphere.

Packages from America had arrived far in advance and it had been difficult to hide them from the children, but we managed it!  On Christmas eve, me mounted the tiny tree putting the gifts under it on the dining room table and hung two beautifully decorated stockings on the window sill filled with candy canes and other goodies.

The next morning the kids were starry-eyed with awe.  Gift wrapping flew around the room as they ripped open their packages with laughter.  We had our traditional Christmas breakfast and I put a couple of chickens in the oven with dressing for our dinner which we would be sharing with our friends, a French couple with their children and a scholarly gentleman and his wife from Iran. My mincedfruit and pumpkin pies would be a great end to our meal.

There was a moment of silence in all the bustle and I heard that beautiful lilting chant that accompanied us throughout each day we lived in Djibouti.  The muezzin reciting the ahdan or call to prayer … Allah’u’akbar floated into the room. Suddenly it felt very much like Christmas to me as I remembered that He who was born that day, was born in a warm desert land, not in a snow drifted winter wonder land.

God is great
there is only one God
hasten to pray

© G.s.k. ‘15

 It’s probably not “politically correct” to remember that Islam derives from Judaism and Christianity.  Each of the great monotheisms has taken a different path and has its own bright and dark history.  The God of Abraham is also the God of Christ and the God of Mohammed.  I came across an article on CBS Minnesota .. the school choir master has included in the Holiday Concert repertoire a song about Ramadan to be performed in Arabic.  A brave symbol of pluralism in these trouble times.  My first Christmas wish for us is that we will be so brave as to embrace the spirit of peace and love which we profess.

 

 

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #1 fresh snow

Haiku: Crann Na Beatha (Tree of Life) Rewritten

Haiku

winter solstice dance
yule log’s burning sacrifice
firey life’s renewal

modern feast of light
an electric sacrifice
turkeys and pudding

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For CarpeDiem Haiku Kai : Crann Na Beatha, the tree of life.

N.B. I rewrote these haiku…the first refers to the Celtic Winter Solstice…the second to our consumeristic Christmas.

Sunday Walk: December 1, 2013

My son, husband and I just got back from a walk through Arco’s Christmas market…and I thought I’d show you a few of the stalls!

Stockings and stuffers

Stockings and stuffers

This colorful stall really attracted my camera…and I do so love putting up stockings on my mantel!

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