Paladins and Pirates – Etheree/Tilus – May 3, 2016


as markets,
crash constantly
and the people call
upon bright memories
of peace and prosperity
and of brave paladins of old
who’d took up the sword and rally all
to beat down the treacherous scalawags

my friends, those saviours never existed
paladins won’t come to save the day
pirates abound and scalawags
wreck disastrous ruin
as homeless multiply
in the name of greed
all may be lost
markets crash

no  easy solutions
we must all

© G.s.k. ‘16


I couldn’t tell you where this morning’s reflection on the world economic situation came from, I was thinking about something completely different, anyway …

I guess there were/are always a lot of pirates and scalawags (as well as real issues – like expensive war spending)  involved in keeping the world economy in its perennial oscillating state – paladins in the form of central banks and governments have tried to resolve the most recent problems over the last 10 years by reinforcing banks, companies and countries that over-stretched themselves heavily investing in toxic assets. They too are now stretching themselves thin – economically speaking.

World economy isn’t even a little easy to understand – though we do like to find someone or something to blame everything on – in other words a scapegoat. A paladin won’t solve our problems and neither will a scapegoat.  I won’t deny that banks, their executives, corrupt government officials, nearsightedness, the proverbial 10%  and all that jazz don’t exist.  However, let’s try to see where we too work into that scenario, because we do – and we my friends are the manipulated majority.

I came to the conclusion, pretty much forty years ago laying under a bed as bombs fell outside my house in Chad, that as long as everyone looks out just for number one there will always be disunity and economic disaster. From burning down forests to beating up those who are different – closed-minded violence, bigotry and selfishness, is an endemic disease among the people’s of the world which will keep us, the majority of humanity, in a state of poverty – moral and economical – and that 10%?  They enjoy the wealth which we happily give them and then just as happily destroy their profit givers.  They couldn’t do what they do without our collaboration and consent…  something to think about.


The poetry form, Etheree, consists of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and written 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Get creative and write an Etheree with more than one verse, but follow suit with an inverted syllable count.


A non-rhyming, 3-line poem with a syllable count of 6-3-1.

Morning Haiku and Waka – January 6, 2015

ah Befana*
sweep away these holidays
with your straw broom

feasting ends
this last day of Christmas

straw rope in Japan
straw brooms in Italy
nature customs
beginning each new year
with hopes of prosperity

© G.s.k. 15

*the article in the link is in Italian

Last night in many parts of Italy, children hung their stockings up hoping to receive candy and small gifts from the Befana or if maybe coal (there is a sugar candy variety especially made for this holiday) if they’d been naughty, she usually leaves both as there’s no child who’s without a moment of naughtiness. Throughout the cities of Italy today we can see women dressed up like the Befana cackling and handing out candy and “coal”.

The Befana is old and curved with a big nose and sharp chin, she’s dressed in rags and has broken shoes and is covered in soot because she comes down people’s chimneys after flying around on her broom during the night.

One of the stories goes like this:  the Three Magi stopped at an old woman’s house to ask directions for Bethlehem.  She was very kind to them so they invited her to come with them to greet the Baby Jesus but she refused because she had too much to do.  Once they’d gone though she felt she’d made a mistake, so she ran out to find them.  She stopped at many houses without being able to find them but in each house she left a gift for the children, since she couldn’t know if maybe one of them was the Baby Jesus.

Italy is a long country and historically it has lived under many different nations, so when it comes to the Christmas season there are many days when a child can receive gifts.  In the far North on the Austrian border (Bolzano) the feasting begins on December sixth with Saint Nicholas’s Feast and little further South in Trentino (but also in Sicily) on the thirteenth we have Santa Lucia but these holidays are not celebrated in most of Italy.

Of course  Christmas Day is for everyone and it has been influenced by the American way of envisioning Christmas thanks to the Second World War. Christmas trees weren’t a traditional ornament in most of Italy as most families put up the crib scene. If families did give gifts on Christmas they didn’t come from Santa Claus or Father Christmas but from Baby Jesus.

Finally we have the sixth of January with Epiphany, that is the day when the Three Magi brought gifts to Baby Jesus, the Befana sweeps away all of the Christmas Holidays. Though this was originally a Central Southern custom she’s become popular all throughout Italy.

Not long ago, people celebrated just one of these holidays and rarely children got toys on Christmas day as that was usually reserved for the Befana.

Haiku – Yosa Buson – July 4, 2014

Today I’m going to try to write in the style of Yosa Buson … only I find he didn’t have his own particular stlye like Issa or Basho.  He was a great haiku poet but followed the style of Basho. He was also a famous artist … here is on of his portraits of Basho:

Here’s what Chèvrefeulle tells us about Buson:

Buson was inspired by the work of Basho and he (Buson) didn’t create an own style, as Basho and Issa did,. Next to being a haiku-poet Buson was also a great painter. For example: Buson has illustrated one of the first printed haibun of Basho ”Oku-No-Hosomichi” or ”The Narrow Road Into The Deep North”. So in a way Buson and Basho are connected.

The haiku which I love to share here is possibly one of those verses which Buson composed through his imagination, not as the result of an experience. Buson is thinking of the water running over a ford. He sees clearly the whorl of fine sand and muddy water that rises and swirls away where something has disturbed the bed of the stream. What should have disturbed it that is in harmony with the water of spring? He thinks of the soft and weary feet of a woman traveller who is fording the stream. These are in deep accord with the spring, its gentle warmth and unintellectual activity; with the water, the female element of nature, with the turbidity of it.

ashiyowa no watarite nigoru haru no mizu

wading through it,
her feet muddied
the spring water

© Buson

Here are two other paintings done by Yosa Buson

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Here’s the master’s haiku once again:

ashiyowa no watarite nigoru haru no mizu

wading through it,
her feet muddied
the spring water

© Buson

splashing water
children playing
river Sarca

© G.s.k. ’14

Here’s one of my photos of the River Sarca … just up-stream in Dro there is an old Roman bridge where during the summer months the local people go to picknic and swim with the family.  I don’t have a photo of that though unfortunately!

River Sarca

This post was written for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Buson

LOGO CD JULY 2014 (2)

Wordeling with Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie!


In The Garden (Fairy Tale)

Falling in a trance
Emulous of the greatest yogi
I thought to find enlightenment.

Into my mind seeped  these visions:
I stood upon a balcony
With a spiral staircase.
I walked down slowly
And came upon a garden.

In the garden there was a fig tree.
In the distance I heard a bell.
The air was filled with a honey scent,
Inviting yet ’twas vile.

Along a wall there was a rose-bush.
It was tied up in silken threads,
The ligature was made of cob webs
And ’twas sheathed from top to bottom.

I blushed spying a couple
Making love playfully in some fronds nearby.
Their love-making was boisterous,
Innocent and pure …
I was under pressure
Not to be observed, so hid.
In some bushes that were at hand.

I saw a sinuous man …
Like a serpent thin and lithe.
A merry twinkle in his eye,
He seemed to be awaiting them.

Soon their passion concluded,
They walked towards him, hand in hand.
The snake-man began to laugh
With a book between his hands.

“What’s that you’re doing, friend Slither?”
Said the woman curiously.
“Laughing at this story I’m reading,
It’s so humorous you see.”

“Oh I’d love to know this thing you do…
I’d love to understand!”
“But that can only happen” he said,
“If you had knowledge – could distinguish,
Between what’s good and  bad!”

He laughed again quite heartily,
Tears flowed down from his eyes.
She looked at him in wonder,
Her curiosity quite aroused.

“Show me how to do this thing!”
The lovely lady said…
He took her to the tree of knowledge.
She ate of the fruit forthwith.

She thus learned then what humor was,
And understood much more too…
So she offered the fruit to her man.
He ate just barely hesitating,
Troubled by a dash of a forgotten memory,
A prohibition came through his mind,
From a  dream he’d once had,
Such a long time before.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Wordle #10


Carpe Diem – Creation Myths (tanka)

Today’s myth is about three sisters … it’s another Aboriginal gem from Australia!

three sisters silent
await their father’s long search
he lost magic bone
though safe from Bunyip’s anger
they live now as mountain stone

Here the full myth which I’m copying from the Carpe Diem post:

The Three Sisters an Aboriginal Legend of Down Under

Three sisters, Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo had a father who was a witch doctor. His name was Tyawan.
Long ago there was a Bunyip who lived in a deep hole who was feared by all. Passing the hole was considered very dangerous, therefore whenever Tyawan had to pass the hole in search for food, he would leave his daughters safely on the cliff behind a rocky wall.
One fateful day, Tyawan waved goodbye to his daughters and descended down the cliff steps into the valley.
Meanwhile at the top of the cliff, Meenhi was frightened by a large centipede which suddenly appeared before her. Meenhi took a stone and threw it at the centipede. The stone continued on its journey and rolled over the cliff, crashing into the valley below which angered the Bunyip.
The rocky wall behind Meenhi, Wimlah and Gunnedoo then began to split open and the three sisters were left stranded on a thin ledge at the top of the cliff. All the birds, animals and fairies stopped still as the Bunyip emerged to see the terrified girls. As the Bunyip began to approach the girls, to protect them from harm, their father Tyawan used his magic bone to turn them into stone. Angered by this, the Bunyip then began to chase Tyawan. Becoming trapped, in order to flee from the Bunyip, Tyawan changed into a magnificent Lyre Bird, yet in the process dropped his magic bone. Tyawan and his three daughters were now safe from the Bunyip.
Once the Bunyip had disappeared, Tyawan returned in search of his magic bone, yet this was never to be found. The Lyre Bird has been searching for this magic bone ever since. Remaining in rock formation, The Three Sisters stand silently overlooking the valley hoping that one day he’ll find the bone and turn them back to former selves.

When visiting The Three Sisters, if you listen carefully you may be able to hear the Lyre Bird, Tyawan, as he continues his quest for his lost magic bone.


Written for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Myth, Legend and Saga

atlantis2 (2)

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge #31

(Photo- Royal Geographical Society Magazine)

(Photo- Royal Geographical Society Magazine) “… the traditional nineteenth century Japanese rain gear included the mino (straw raincoat) and the kasa (a conical bamboo hat)”

In Medieval and Edo Japan, poets often wrote collaborative poems called renga.  One special guest author during a meeting of renga would provide a hokku, a 5-7-5 sound (or syllables in the west) verse, similar to what we now call a haiku.  The other poets at a renga meet would try to provide the best waki, a two-line response of 7-7 sounds (in the west syllables).

In our modern age, the 5-7-5 hokku when written under certain precise circumstances becomes what we call a haiku…when we add two more 7-7 lines we have a tanka…unless like today, we add our waki to a haiku written by someone else, then we have a renga!

Chèvrefeuille provided today’s hokku (haiku) himself:

in the backyard
the rainbow in the bird bath breaks –
a sipping Magpie 


impertinent young robin
dove into the wet colors

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

The fortress at dusk… NaPoWriMo Aprl 21, 2014



in the ancient fort
long now it’s purpose gone
here we offer space
for artists and amusements
it’s moat full of ducks

 battles here once fought
are forgotten now to most
foreign invaders
welcomed now by our merchants
who sell hospitality

Venice and Milan
no longer the enemy.
Germanic hoards come …
our coffers need your euros
we toast you now with beer …

set up your campers
fill your sails with Garda’s winds
eat, drink, be merry
we’ve forgotten all the past
and the sorrow that you brought

yet inside some breasts
lingers still a vague unease
the money attracts
yet many would still agree
t’would be better to be free


Toblino Castle – Rispetto Poem

Toblino Castle - Italy

Toblino Castle – Italy

Toblino Castle

Beauty reflected in a lake …
Toblino Castle born in days of yore.
Like a dream yet I’m awake
Oh,  poet’s dream of chivalrous lore …
I walk in days of jets and drones …
Satellites and fancy plastic phones,
Yet, here you stand upon the water
Like an old king’s fancy daughter.

What thought drifts here inside my heart,
Imagining the days of old?
When times were simpler, worlds apart …
When knights curried favor and were bold.
Fairy tales make me believe
In times of song but I’m not naive.
Yes, I remember your sad reality …
For your times were rife with brutality.

Each time has its own bit of beauty,
Each day has its fine illusion.
It’s the job of historians to do their duty,
To keep us far from fancy and delusion.
Look at the past, dream my friend
But know yours are dreams, in the end.
No idyllic ages have there ever been,
Neither now, nor way back when.

Written for Harry’s Challenge – Ripetto Poem on Poet’s Corner.

This is a fairly easy straight forward form:

A Rispetto is an Italian form which is a complete poem of two rhyming quatrains, abab ccdd.

I’d actually have written three poems if I’d been strictly following instructions 😉

Siddhartha – Carpe Diem


a son of mankind
born into riches and fame
joy to his father

discovering pain
old age, illness and then death
pilgrimage began

walking in the world
suffering great pain
discovered the middle path

 Maya defeated
near the great changing river
welcome Nirvana

This series of haiku about Siddhartha was Written for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

One of the ideas that has always been dear to me, is that each of us is a Buddha at least potentially…Buddha means illuminated…and so, if each is a Buddha we are all a Siddhartha as well, as author Hermann Hesse ( illustrates in his book: “Siddhartha”.

Blackbirds Flew: A Sunday Walk in Poetry


Blackbirds Flew

Running down the mountain road, breathlessly singing, the scared blackbirds flew!

American Haiku

browns and greens
along the mountain road
the blackbirds flew off


rain drops in red trees
up or down the road may go
blackbirds flew freely


I just found that Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is dedicating a special to “The Little Ones” or the American Sentence!  So I’m submitting this experiment for the challenge as it also encludes the American Haiku 😉 !