Tan Renga Challenge – “snow melting” (Kobayashi Issa) – July 14, 2016


snow melting–
where ducks are nesting
soft moonlight

© Issa

shimmering reflections
renewal this spring evening

© Gsk ’16

Today’s Tan Renga hosted by Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828) is offered by Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Issa in Italian – Vernacular Challenge – February 6, 2016


neko tsuka [ni] shôgatsu saseru gomame kana

on the cat’s grave
in First Month…
dried sardines

© Kobayashi Issa

tomba di gatto
pei Morti
sardine secche

© Kobayashi Issa (Translation Bastet ’16)

I translated the second line not as First Month which is the Memorial period in Japan but as “I Morti” (literally The Dead) the same celebration but only on one day the first of November.Carpe Diem Vernacular, with a twist #1 the old pond 

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

“It does not matter …” Haiku – August 21, 2015

foothillsup the hillside road
walking slowly with his cane
again like yesterday

© G.s.k. ‘15

even the old dog
visits his favourite haunts
though half blind

© G.s.k. ‘15

though shattered and sad
she writes another poem
beautiful dawn

© G.s.k. ‘15

Written on August 19 for:

 Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille August 19 th 2015 “use that quote”

[…] “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”.[…]  by Confucius (551-479 BCE)

toro-toro to shiriyake chidori mata doko e

slowly, slowly
plover with burnt tail feathers
where to now?

© Kobayashi Issa (tr. David G. Lanoue)

“Carpe Diem Utabukuro” – Issa – July 19, 2015


For today’s “Carpe Diem Utabukuro” I’m going to reflect upon one of the most wonderful haiku poets – Issa.

Kobayashi Issa (小林一茶) was a Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest of the Jodo Shin… but we don’t need an introduction is Kobayashi Issa who we have seen often at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

These are some of my favourite haiku by Issa:

The moon tonight —
I even miss
her grumbling.

In this world
we walk on the roof of hell,
gazing at flowers.

A cuckoo sings
to me, to the mountain,
to me, to the mountain.

Blossoms at night,
and the faces of people
moved by music.

© Kobayashi Issa


the swallows
chattering at sunrise
– terrible gossips

this hot summer
welcoming rain drops
at midnight

thinking it’s in the ocean
swims freely

swatting at mosquitoes
conveniently forgetting
thou shalt not kill

© G.s.k. ‘15

For more haiku by Issa please click this LINK

kingyo (goldfish) – July 17, 2015

September garden
goldfish circle near Buddha
my father’s pond

© G.s.k. ‘15

watching the goldfish
swimming in their pond
he feels so close

© G.s.k. ‘15


For:   Carpe Diem #777 kingyo (goldfish)


     hikkoshi no tabi ni ookiku naru kingyo

     every time we move
the goldfish

     grows bigger 

     Hoshino Tsunehiko


     samidare ni kingyo ginyo no kigen kana

     in Fifth Month rain –
feeling like silver
or goldfish


     along the canal
gazing at the mirror-like water
my first catch

     my first catch
the line almost breaks
a gold carp

     a gold carp
hooked at my fishing line –
mouth watering

     Chevrefeuille (2013)

 koi san mo     koi wazurai aru ka      yoru atsushi

     can a carp
get love-sick?
hot summer night

     Gabi Greve (2007)

(his haiku is chock-full of word play – as “koi” can be “koi, the carp 鯉”or “koi, the love 恋”. )

 an orange flash
and then – only green –
was that a koi?


“Amido” – Screen door or window – July 13, 2015

For Photo Credit … visit the link at the bottom of the page!

paper screen door
separating the lover’s
from the dawn

summer romance
light filters through the screen
warming their bodies
after the evening showers
the coolness of dawn

behind the screen door
the moaning of a tempest
whispered at dawn

© G.s.k. ‘15

spying the lovers
old amma smiles in thought
remembering –
a long ago adventure
of clouds and rain at dawn

behind the screen door
she combs her hair wistfully
remembering him
his hands and face in her hair
swimming in that moonless sea

© G.s.k. ‘15

Written for:

Carpe Diem #775 Amido (screen door or window screen)

As an introduction to this interesting episode, Chèvrefeuille published these beautiful haiku:

utsukushi ya shôji no ana no ama [no] kawa

looking pretty

in a hole in the paper door…
Milky Way

© Issa
natsu no kaze yarido no kuchi ya togarigoe

summer wind
through the opening of the sliding door –
this piercing sound

© Basho

The Screen Door (Amido)

through the screen door
she watches me watching her
disgracefully thrilling

© Hamish Gunn

sunlight breaks
through the cracks of the torn paper door
shadows play

© Chèvrefeuille

Trying to understand the difference between “shoji” and “amido” I did a little research in Internet (where else!) and discovered that there are four types of sliding doors (if you include windows) in Japan … the “amido” is just like our mesh screen doors.  If you want to learn how to repair your “amido” follow this LINK.  It helped me discover the difference between the various screen doors and windows of Japan!

Summer Morning (2) – July 3, 2015

Chèvrefeuille wrote on today’s prompt :“Today our prompt is natsuake (summer morning). This can refer to every summer morning, but mostly this kigo was used for the first summer morning after the summer solstice. (To place it in this time, that would have been June 22th). I have sought the Internet and found several haiku which can be used here as an example. Here are a few example-haiku about natsuake:”

ge no ake ya ushi ni nete yuku magusa kari

summer dawn–
riding an ox, asleep
the hay cutter

dan-dan ni natsu no yoake ya hito no kao

little by little
the summer night turns dawn…
people’s faces

(C) Kobayashi Issa

warm summer night
without having slept – the sun rises
a nightingale’s song

© Chèvrefeuille


humming fan
moving hot humid air
summer morning

summer morning
a bee hums on my flowers
at first light

at first light
even the birds are sleeping
except the rooster

© G.s.k. ‘15

Clouds – June 4, 2015

dappled mountain haiga_small

laying on the green
watch the clouds play games
sheep and swans

Old grey men grumbling in the sky biding their time to wet the picnic.

fluffy popcorn
puffed up with rain
on a sunny day

© G.s.k. ‘15

Today’s episode on CDHK  is dedicated to “clouds” found in Jane Reichhold’s Dictionary of Modern Kigo … and Chèvrefeuille also illustrated the word with lots of enjoyable haiku by Jane and others:

dancing lights
clouds sprinkle the sun
across water

curving with the land
a rainbow of clouds
moves out to sea

after the rain
breathing deeply
white valley clouds

© Jane Reichhold

Glorious the moon . . .
therefore our thanks dark clouds
Come to rest our necks

Clouds come from time to time –
and bring to men a chance to rest
from looking at the moon.

© Basho (Tr. Bellenson)

on the river’s bank
already it’s a moonlit night…
billowing clouds

emerging under
the peaks of clouds…
a little boat

© Issa (Tr. David G. Lanoue, www.haikuguy.com)

mysterious clouds
changing images through the wind
ah! what a sight

© Chèvrefeuille

fantasy world unfolds
while the wind tears clouds apart
in sunny colors

in sunny colors
clouds moving, changing everlasting
fantasy world unfolds

© Chèvrefeuille

Morning Haiku and Waka – Summer with Rice Blossoms – February 22, 2015

Today is a rainy dark grey cold day … really sad and gloomy, so I was very happy to see that today’s prompts at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai had to do with Summer hosted by Paloma and our Little Creatures Prompt with our beloved Issa who writes of “rice blossoms” 🙂

Sonce, 1905 by Rihard Jakopič

summer morning
washing down the mountains
a golden creek

dragonflies and bees
playing tag in the rice fields
at sunrise

cherries not blossoms
red on the trees hang sweetly
kissed by sunrise

over the sea of rice
dragonfly helicopters
flitting in the sun

summer sunrise
spilling over the mountains
golden waterfalls
and this old woman walks
like a child once again

summer sunrise
fireflies say their goodbyes
dragonflies greet us

© G.s.k. ‘15

And now for some lovely haiku by the masters:

it seems to wash
the summer mountains…

© Issa

A summer river being crossed
how pleasing
with sandals in my hands!

© Buson

rising sun
paints her shoulders golden –
summer morning –

golden morning
after a night of thunder –
how silent it is

© Paloma

And for Little creatures:

tombô mo ogamu te tsuki ya ine no hana

the dragonfly too
folds hands in prayer…
rice blossoms

© Kobayashi Issa

cherry blossoms bloom
first bees come to gather honey –
cherries in autumn

© Chèvrefeuille

cherry blossoms
bees gather honey
cherries in fall

© Chèvrefeuille

Have a great Sunday!!  Bastet