Tan Renga Squared Challenge #1 – The Steps Flow


so many temples
all breaths become one
the steps flow
By: Cathy Tenzo of Haiku Plate Special

cherry blossoms blooming bright
prayers rise with sweet incense 

a pilgrim’s journey
shrines and temples in spring
seeking new wisdom
to find illumination
on the wind – transformation
(c) g.s.k.

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai has presented us with a new Tan Renga…Squared!

Not an easy task…it consists of adding two-lines (7-7syllables) to the guest poet’s haiku, then writing a tanka to round the whole thing off.  Why not go and have a look, and perhaps take up the challenge!

Haiku – Zen Morality

Fences at dawn

Fences at dawn

man-made fences
enclosing life and springtime
judging prisons

straight-jackets created
imprisoning fear of life
olive trees and blooms

dawn awakened angst
walking near the olive grove
mind’s illusions


“Here we are at Unpenji, temple 66, being back in Tokushima Prefecture (the first Prefecture we entered) were we started. It’s just for today that we are back at the beginning of our Shikoku Pilgrimage. Another day has passed away and it’s time to explore another theme of the Stata of Zen of Haiku.
Today we will explore non-morality. Zen is non-moral. About morality as such, pure morality, there is something hard and mechanical and dead often makes us wish to do without it. So-called ‘good’ actions are, as far as the morality of them is concerned, cold, and move us to a merely cold admiration. It is in this manner, rather than then the action or its results, the manner of the person who does it, that the value lies.
At bottom, this ‘manner’ is the poetry of the action. It has nothing to do with the morality of it. An example written by Oshima Ryota (1718-1787), a not so well-known haiku-poet:

angry and offended,
I came back:
the willow tree in the garden”

Carpe Diem #424, Unpen-ji (temple 66)

Haiku – Personal Demons


children’s passtimes
screaming shouting joyous
summer games

children playing
laughing as they kick their ball
man walks by

power struggles
inside the man’s breast
he teases children

a desert demon
lies within his adult soul
envying innocence

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New Logo

Carpe Diem #80, The Pilgrimage to Santiago De Compostela

Haiku – Carpe Diem #409, Enko-ji

as winter takes its toll
the sun shines

first warm days
winter leaves our homes
walking happily

the birds chitter
children run and play
new buds blossom

cycle of life
hard times quickly pass us by
feeling  warm sunshine


The post created by Chèvrefeuille for the last leg of the Shikoku Pilgrimage is Enko-ji temple and is devoted to Yakushi Nyorai or the Buddha of Medicine and Healing.  Today we reflect upon gratitude…and so, I wrote of the gratefulness I feel now that the first signs of spring begin to make themselves felt!  Go and have a look at this lovely post…it’s very inspiring!

Logo CD February



Pilgrimage – Carpe Diem Haiku Kai




four roads
for each pilgrim – his own

temple – church – dojo
or just a dusty pathway
satori awaits

along dusty roads
pathway into your heart

your secret treasure
hidden unseen to you
holds your heart within

riches are within
he said – choose your goals wisely
walk the middle road


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Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Special #78

Compostela: First Steps – Carpe Diem #76

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New Logo

Haiku series: First Steps

first steps as in life
full of wonder and delight
just walking no goals

living be alive
no ambitious goals to reach
steps of pilgrimage

wu-wei non action
is not doing just being
there’s no goal to reach

sensei of life shows
sleeping child lies within us
living each moment

Carpe Diem #76, Pilgrimage to Santiago De Compostela or The Way of St. James

Tanka: Pilgrimage – Carpe Diem #391

walk life’s pilgrimage
visiting inner temples
searching for nirvana
touching the inner Buddha
that’s sleeping within your heart


sun’s first rays
illuminate human hearts
great shining Buddha

Logo CD FebruaryPlease follow this LINK to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai for the interesting and inspiring post of the third day of  a month long Spiritual Pilgrimage to the temples of Japan…and a short history of the various Buddha’s who inspired them.