Haiga Festival 4 – Mountain Snow and Shadows – March 4, 2015

path haiga


snow and shadows
walking on this mountain path
lost and soundless

where is the direction
what are the goals

The above is the tanka I wrote while I was editing the photo … but transcribing the tanka the following variation popped up, and as it feels more like our haiku master of the day Taneda Santoka on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Special I thought I’d leave it here for your comments:

snowy shadows
this mountain path
lost and voiceless

which direction
what is the goal

© G.s.k. ‘15

As you read above today’s Carpe Diem Special is dedicated to Taneda Santoka(1882-1940) who wrote using the “freestyle haiku” form created by Ogiwara Seisensui (1884-1976) his haiku master.  Here are some examples of his work, but first of all here are two quotes by Taneda Santokai:

“Santoka once said: “Days I don’t enjoy: any day I don’t walk, drink sake, and compose haiku.”
And here is another quote of a saying by Santoka: “Westerners try to conquer the mountains. People of the East contemplate the mountains. For us, mountains are not an object of scientific study but a work of art. Patiently I taste the mountains.””

mizu ni kage aru tabibito de aru (SMT)

in the water
a traveler

my shadow
on the water,
traveler I am.

and our Chèvrefeuilles translation:

in water

© Chèvrefeuille

Shuukan – February 27, 2015


[…] The arrow is the intention. It is what unites the strength of the bow with the centre of the target. The intention must be crystal-clear, straight and balanced. Once the arrow has gone, it will not come back, so it is better to interrupt a shot, because the movements that led up to it were not sufficiently precise and correct, than to act carelessly, simply because the bow was fully drawn and the target was waiting. […]   “The Way of the Bow”: Paulo Coelho

breath in breath out
centered and now serene
give your advice

the rain
falls throughout the valley
on trash heaps and fields
no choices or intentions
rain is a force of nature

a small child
knows no good or evil
its arrows fly
but without clear intentions
the arrows fly astray

here and now
the river flows and wind blows
the flowers bloom
birds sing and fly freely
where are intentions

action reaction
the arrow flies true and pure
the target’s askew
illusive are intentions
in dual reality

the only “one” is Tao
the rest is duality
arrows fly to fail

© G.s.k. ‘15

Theoretically, I understand the point the bow master wishes to make, but there’s a false premise … which is that an individual’s “intentions” are the arrow … of course, you may intend to do something and think your intentions are pure, and maybe they actually are, but without taking into consideration the reality around you, no matter how pure your intentions, you’ll fail to reach your goal and perhaps through no fault of your own … you cannot move in this world of duality without taking into consideration the “other” … whose intentions might not be pure at all.

So I suppose here what I should first be doing is stepping outside of expectations … so we can intend to do this or that … but we mustn’t expect anything … hmmm … lots to mediate on here!


Carpe Diem Shuukan – intentions

Fuyuko Tomita – Tanka – February 26, 2015


Hito wa mina/onore o utsusu/ kagami nari/mina sariyukuyo to/emishi hito wamo
Actors we all are, she said
mirrors to reflect
each other
We all leave the stage, she said
and left a smile in mine

© Fuyuko Tomita


Ridi Pagliaccio
acting out melodrama
without Puccini
each day a new opera
when living in Italy

Italy reflects
fifty shades of drama
in crystal tones
hard not to giggle sometimes
but it’s all so serious

a car crashes
spectators and actors
all shout together
then on this stage in the street
the police enter stage left

© G.s.k. ‘15


Carpe Diem Haiku Special

Toe see more photos of the great Caruso, just click his name under the photo.

Dawn thoughts – An owl .. and little seriousness – February 25, 2015

 rumble chop chop chop …
the helicopter flies low
an owl screeches


the owl flies madly
around the empty court-yard
screeching loudly
alighting on a roof top
it preens its feathers


wind rumbles my roof
swooshing through the valley
clear skies at dawn


so many questions
crowd my mind this morning
what’s reality
emptiness between atoms
emptiness in space
yet … the universe dances
does god exist …
a primal force with a plan
or man’s creation:
the lonely fearful hunter
sitting whittling wood
said, I made this bow, it’s good
who made this world …
many illusions
that we think of as logic
are just fantasies
these thoughts patterns ideas
swirl in early dawn’s first light


the owl on the roof
looks around at the sun rise
his calm restored

© G.s.k. 15

Her Gossamer Hair – Tanka – February 17, 2015

Writing 201: Water

her gossamer hair
flowing like algae tendrils
in murky water
the pilot looked through Perspex
dream’s illusions ebbed and flowed

© G.s.k. ‘15

Yesterday I read Justine’s from Eclectic Odds n Sods,  first effort for Poetry 201 which was also her response to the Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge.  The subject of the first poetry class was water and she wrote this great haiku:

Liquid breath cloaks me
Clouds of steam dust the perspex
Fingertips tell tales

© Justine Nagaur

The photograph fascinated me and called to my muse … so I asked her if I could use her photo for a “darkish” tanka … and she said yes, so here we are, with my sincerest thanks!!!

Haiku from a Poem – February 17, 2015


majestic moon rise
her  timeless place-less beauty
naked and glorious
confirms our finite passing
and tarnished imperfection

© G.s.k. ‘15

This tanka has been written thanks to the inspiration of the following poem, presented on HA’s “Heeding Haiku with HA” from Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie.


And who has seen the moon, who has not seen
Her rise from out the chamber of the deep,
Flushed and grand and naked, as from the chamber
Of finished bridegroom, seen her rise and throw
Confession of delight upon the wave,
Littering the waves with her own superscription
Of bliss, till all her lambent beauty shakes towards us
Spread out and known at last, and we are sure
That beauty is a thing beyond the grave,
That perfect, bright experience never falls
To nothingness, and time will dim the moon
Sooner than our full consummation here
In this odd life will tarnish or pass away.

Moonrise, by D.H. Lawrence.

Morning Haiku and Waka – January 27, 2015

ferris wheel

ferris wheel

play it again
then play it one more time
’round and round

children playing
in the snow laughing
snow balls fly
an old man passing by
smiling at his memories

in the playroom
dolls and teddy-bears have tea
little woman

clomping in the hall
dressed in  high heels and apron
playing house

© G.s.k. ‘15

Haiku Horizons – Play

Morning Haiku and Waka – Haiku – January 26, 2015

warm summer vision
drifting on hot breezes
smell of coconuts

fields of cane
worn abandoned house
African vision
sweet breezes caressed my skin
heady smells of green grass

© G.s.k. ‘15


Time Glass Challenge – Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

The second prompt I’m going to write for is about the Japanese New Year kigo – Hoorai … which is a form of vision of paradise.  This was also written in the prompt:

Interestingly, the most ancient of human civilisations, the Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian, did not believe in the existence of either an afterlife or a heaven. In these technically advanced societies, humans were believed doomed to remain forever in the “house of dust” or darkness, which “none who enters ever leaves”. In this house, the inhabitants find that “soil is their sustenance” and “clay their food” where, clad in bird feathers, they see no light but “dwell in darkness”.

With this in mind and remembering the photo of the Time Glass Challenge above I write:

battle field
abandoned house of dust
ravens crow

The second haiku is based on a description of Hōrai from Kwaidan:

isle of horai
without memories of evil
sweet birdsong
souls fly without fear
eternal happiness

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem #656 Isle Of The Blessed (Hoorai)  for further reading … here’s a choka I wrote the other day entitled: Charon’s Boat

Morning Haiku and Waka – January 22, 2015

The poppies testify to the blood sacrified in war...

cuckoo cuckoo
cuckoos echo through the woods
summer serenade

old grey-beard
walks past slowly slowly
towards the grave yard
with plants and old water can
he goes to adorn her grave

 return spring sunshine
welcome spring migrants and blooms
swallows return soon

© G.s.k. ‘15

Here I’m trying to use repetition after reading the interesting lesson on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai’s “Haiku Writing Techniques”

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – burning ornaments and greens – January 20, 2015

seeking winter greens
even with the emperor
at dawn

Japanese New Year
after burning ornaments
winter greens with rice

New Year ritual
burning the ornaments
binding the gods
smoke carries good fortune
closing the fifth season

© G.s.k. ‘14

We’ve been exploring the fifth season (New Year) kigo at  Carpe Diem Haiku Kai … this is two prompts in one … burning the ornaments (Sagichoo) which is the ritual closure of New Year, burning the ornaments fix the Gods to the New Year … and  Picking Young Greens (wakanatsumi) … please go visit Carpe Diem for more information about these and many other rituals tied to the Japanese New Year!