Writing to Kabir – July 3, 2014


This week’s Ghost Writer on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is Kuheli of Kajori. She’s introduced a great literary master of the Indian tradition – the poet-saint Kabir.

She writes:

He (1440–1518) is considered one of the foremost mystic poets in India. Legend says he was born to a Hindu Brahmin widow but was adopted by childless Muslim weavers named Niru and Nimma, who supposedly found him afloat a giant lotus leaf in the Lahara Tala lake, adjacent to the holy city of Varanasi.

He was influenced by Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs alike. He promulgated oneness with God, embracing the Hindu concept of jivatma (individual soul) as being directly linked to paramatma(universal or supreme soul). Kabir focused on common fundamentals of organized religion, such as love and devotion, as well as weaknesses. He delivered this message of tolerance and understanding between the faiths through his dohas (couplets) and songs. Kabir’s idea of loving God with devotion appealed to both Hindu Bhakti as well as Muslim Sufi concepts and practices.


Sharing with you a song of Kabir saab translated by Rabindranath Tagore in 1915 for SONGS OF KABÎR.

O How may I ever express that secret word?
O how can I say He is not like this, and He is like that?
If I say that He is within me, the universe is ashamed:
If I say that He is without me, it is falsehood.
He makes the inner and the outer worlds to be indivisibly one;
The conscious and the unconscious, both are His footstools.
He is neither manifest nor hidden, He is neither revealed nor unrevealed:
There are no words to tell that which He is.


So from the inspiration of the saint Kabir, I  write, what I hope is a suitable tanka and a haiku.

this poet’s dumbstruck
manifestly ignorant
before the infinite

humility the better robe
mysterious creation

© G.s.k. ’14

man’s illusion
describing the creator

© G.s.k. ’14


Carpe Diem – Ghost Writer #13 – June 18, 2014

Today Kuheli’s Ghost Writer post is written about a haiku poetess, Chiyo-Ni or Fukuda Chiyo-ni (1703 – 1775).  Here’s some of what Kuheli has to say about Chiuo-Ni:

She showed a childhood gift for poetry and had already gained fame for her haiku while she was still a teenager. Her early haiku were influenced by Basho and his students, though as a haikai poet in later period she developed her own unique style but her verses were mostly dealing with nature. In later period of her life, around 1755 Chiyo-ni became a Buddhist nun.


On the post there are two examples of Chiyou-ni’s haiku, one given by Chèvrefeulle in his introduction and the other by Kuheli:

taoraruru hito ni kaoru ya ume no hana

the flowering branch of the plum
gives its scent
to him who broke it off

© Chiyo-Ni


suzushisa ya / suso karamo fuku / yabu tatami

the coolness
on the bottom of her kimono
in the bamboo grove

© Chiyo-ni


Now I will try to write in the style of this great poetess:

sweet wet grass
cooling sore feet
of the weary pilgrim

soft silk robes
whispering as she walks
among the roses

jasmin perfumed air
after the rainstorm
petals on the ground

For more information on the post please click Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Ghost Writer # 13 Kuheli

For a selection of poems written by Chiyo-ni pleas click HERE