Botan (Peony) – July 17, 2015

lush summer flower
blushing pink beside the path
tempting the butterfly
flitting among the blossoms
fanning their passionate dreams

dreaming butterfly
lost in the summer garden
sipping warm nectar
for this monarch’s mighty thirst
peonies open sweetly

© G.s.k. ‘15

Written for:

 Carpe Diem Time Machine #12 Botan (Peony)

This post is a beautifully rich garden of elegantly sensual haiku and tanka ..:

for peony blossom viewing
a pale kimono is good
and Chinese tea


     deep mysteries
hidden in the Peonies –
secret lover

     secret lover
face behind a bouquet of Peonies –
the first step

     the first step
sending Peonies to my love
deep mysteries

     Chèvrefeuille (2013)

    dusk on the flower
of the white peony,
that embraces the moon.

     –  Gyodai

     the peony flower:
it’s a woman with plenty
of meat on her bones

     – Hakuo

      a bee
staggers out
of the peony 

     – Basho

     wine brings
the red light of evening
a poem
for a sisterhood
of unknown peonies

      – Akiko Yosano (A Girl with Tangled Hair)
(tr.) Jane Reichhold

her nectar offered
opens sweetly –
blossoming for the one
who treasures mystery 

          – Paloma


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?


No Bytelle – A Shadorma- May 30, 2015

No Bytelle – A Shadorma

no success
writing a bytelle
zero one
one one one
just too many rhymes
to make any sense at all

speak that lingo well
but not me
not at all
a Fornyrðislag
now seems easier to write

© G.s.k. 15

01100110 0111010101101000

How to Write a Bytelle

1. Choose a word. Preferably, a short word! I chose “free”.

2. Visit this site. Type your word into the site and press “encode”.
“Free” becomes “01100110011100100110010101100101”.

3. Divide that string of numbers into sets of 8. “Free”, then,
becomes “01100110 01110010 01100101 01100101.” That is
your poem’s structural pattern. You now have the framework
for a poem with 8-line stanzas.

4. Look at the 0’s and 1’s. All lines labeled “1” are rhymed;
all lines labeled “0” are unrhymed.

5. That is a lot of rhyme! If you want, feel free to make your
poem 1-2 stanzas long. Go longer if you’re up to the challenge!


Joyful moments startle me like
lobbies imploding with laughter:
bright as novae – stars’ hereafters –
thin as the skin of a bubble.
Having known the quick’ning after
weeks of this dark and cold vacuum,
how I seek the light, a rafter
fighting the currents of worry.

 © Paloma


Written for B&P Shadorma & Beyond

Haiga Festival – Flotsam and shells – March 22, 2015

water-logged flotsam with shells
here but soon gone

© G.s.k. ‘15

linked to Paloma’s ” the haiku of Santoka Taneda” prompt.  This post, for the Carpe Diem Haiku Special prompts us to try to write an all new haiku based on the style of the featured poet.  She gave us many great examples; I used this first one with her considerations to help me write today’s haiga:

shigurete sono ji ga yomenai michishirube

soaking wet
I can’t read the letters
on the signpost

© Santoka Taneda

“I love that this haiku is ambiguous – “soaking wet” refers to what?  the poet? the signpost? both?  Do you hear the hissing of the rain in how he’s repeating sh / s / ch sounds?   And – what wonderful layers of meaning in the haiku!” 

(and enjoyed this consideration as well)

“… notice that his line length is very irregular – and that he loves repetition?”   Paloma

 Wakeitte mo wakeitte mo aoi yama
I go in   I go in    still the blue mountains

   Shitodo ni nurete kore wa michishirube no ishi
Soaking wet     this a road-marker stone

 Enten o itadaite koi aruku
Burning heaven on my head      I beg      I walk

and here is Paloma’s haiga example:

Higan (Equinox) – Haiga Festival – March 20, 2015


March – new with old mix
in a Paduan Garden

© G.s.k. ‘15

Today at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, Paloma substitutes Chèvrefeuille for his monthly rest … and she tells us about, in a very interesting and winning manner, about the Higan festival.  And what is Higan festival??? Here let me show you in Jen’s words:

Those of you who live in the Southern Hemisphere will be happy to learn that Higan is celebrated for one week in March (Haru Higan) and for one week in September (Aki Higan) – it is a celebration of the Equinox – in which there are equal periods of day and night.

The term “Ohigan” means “the other shore” or “the shore of Sanzu River”.  In Buddhist literature, this refers to leaving the shore of ignorance and suffering and crossing to the shore of Enlightenment.

Haran no Higan lasts for seven days in March, but “Shunbun no hi” is celebrated on the actual day of the equinox.  On this day, people visit their hometown and tend the graves of their ancestors:

“To help their ancestors make the crossing, family members visit the cemetery to pray, weed graves, wash tombstones, light incense and leave flowers.  According to tradition, food, in the form of ohagi or botamochi (sweet rice balls covered with red bean paste), is left to help nourish their ancestors journey to the next world.” Source

Farmers may use this day to pray for an abundant crop, and there is a folk saying related to higan:

Atsusa samusa mo Higan ma de

[“Heat and cold last until Higan”]

But – as you know – Mother Nature doesn’t care much for folk sayings – as Issa points out in this haiku:

“fair weather by Spring’s Equinox”
so they say …

© Issa

This year Mother Nature is offering a special Spring show for us!



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


Morning Haiku and Waka – Time Machine Yellow – February 21, 2015

Vincent Van Gogh. The Yellow House, 1888.

summer morning
the sky hangs heavy today
vibrant yellow house

vibrant yellow house
people mull in the streets
small town rhythm

© G.s.k. ‘15

The Great Bridge. Hiroshige (L) & Van Gogh (R)

in driving rain
crossing a great bridge
between cultures

© G.s.k. ‘15

Vincent Van Gogh. Langlois Bridge at Arles with Women Washing, 1888. Wikimedia.

near the draw bridge
old boat and washing women
water reflections
the old art teacher should blush
that’s how you paint reflections!


along the canal
a sunken boat languishes
no fishing today

no fishing today
down by the canal women
wash shirts and sheets

© G.s.k. ‘15

About the tanka … many,  many years ago in a land far to the north (Alaska) lived a young girl who wanted to learn to paint.  She hadn’t encountered the great impressionist movement yet and in fact she wanted to learn how to paint illustrations …. water colours with pen and ink.

Among the chosen subjects for High School that year was ART …  but soon she discovered that had no talent for painting, this is how it happened that she discovered this;   the teacher put up a bottle, a silver mug and fruit telling the students to paint the picture in water-colour … alas … as a first project this was tragic for her.  She knew how to draw, but not how to use a paint brush … and reflections … how do you paint reflections!  Her reflections looked something like Van Gogh’s reflections.  Her teacher ridiculed her work in front of the class … Years and years later she became aware of impressionism and fell in love with the movement, but rarely ever touched a brush again.  However she did wonder if Van Gogh perhaps had a teacher like her old art teacher.

Here are some great haiku from today’s Carp Diem Haiku Kai’s Time Machine Prompt hosted by Paloma:

the yellow house
a sturdy rock in a man’s life –
the cry of a child

the cry of a child
seeing the rainbow for the first time
‘I want to cross that’

© Chèvrefeuille

morning washing –
the scent of yellow grass
clinging to my hem 

long into morning –
the scent of mud and green things
baked on yellow stones

© Paloma