Daily Haiku and Waka – Mini Anthology – July 28, 2016

June 18, 2016


anonymous –
awaiting departure calls
travel daze

© Gsk ’16

June 19, 2016


the sound of water
serenity in chaos
St Louis hotel

© Gsk ’16

June 20, 2016

Porto Marghera_small

 – Porto Marghera
home is always beautiful
in all its aspects

© Gsk ’16

July 23, 2016

Rimini_smallevery year –
summer Italian style
sand, sun and sea

© Gsk ’16

July 25, 2016


amarcord and Fellini
on harbour canal

© Gsk ’16

sandy slippersbw_raindrops

amarcord and Fellini
on harbour canal

© Gsk ’16

July 27, 2016

in a flash of light
the sky opens

© Gsk ’16

Narrow Road (12) – Tanka – December 19, 2015

Verona Train Station

Verona Train Station

travelling under stars
each mile further from home
over oceans and hills
passing guarded checkpoint gates
this trip – forty-five years long

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem #882 beneath the stars of the deep north: low tide crossing, July

After lingering in Sakata for several days, I left on a long walk of a hundred and thirty miles to the capital of the province of Kaga. As I looked up at the clouds gathering around the mountains of the Hokuriku road, the thought of the great distance awaiting me almost overwhelmed my heart. Driving myself all the time, however, I entered the province of Echigo through the barrier-gate of Nezu, and arrived at the barrier-gate of Ichiburi in the province of Ecchu. During the nine days I needed for this trip, I could not write very much, what with the heat and moisture, and my old complaint that pestered me immeasurably.

ordinarily the sixth night
is not like this

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Fairy Tales and Giant’s Alley – Innsbruck – December 14, 2015

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At the Christmas Market in Innsbruck, children of course are not forgotten!  All throughout the alleys of the Old Town there are 28 life-size sculptures of fairy tale and legendary heroes and 4 giants who guard the street corners and light installations light up the evening.  In the evening from 4:30 until 5:30 a fairy tale Theatre Wagon stops in town with a daily performance of one of the many Brother Grimm’s tales.

The Narrow Road (6) – Haibun – December 11, 2015


By Likiwi (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our canary-yellow Toyota pick-up was fully equipped for our week-long journey from Moundou, Chad to Yaoundè, Cameroun in the late 1970s, with food, water, medical supplies and the possibility, if the need arose, to sleep in the back of the pick-up. Feeling intrepid, our adventure began with two other families one Iranian and the other Canadian.

The dirt roads were deeply rutted due to the recent rainy season and sometimes it was easier to just drive along the side the road rather than risk destroying the axle of one of the vehicles.  The air was full of fine, choking dust until we got closer to the border, where lush growth began to substitute the dry semi-savanna.

Our first stop was at a small “motel” at the border,  which consisted of several large mud huts with aluminium roofs,  they had running water even if no electric.  We arrived just before sunset and rented one of the large round huts for our group.  We thankfully showered off dust and sweat, ate our first hot meal of the day and then prepared for the night.

There were several cots in the round house, without bedding or mattresses, made of woven cow-hide.  We sprayed the beds down for fleas and other “night life” before  arranging our inflatable mattresses and sleeping bags on them.  Then, waiting for the insecticide to do its duty, we sat outside the hut, enjoying the moon-lit evening sitting in front of the fire, talking about the trip so far and planning the next leg of our journey.

modern caravan
avoiding fleas, ticks and lice
enjoying the full moon

 © G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem #876 the journey continues: early summer rains; fleas and lice (a short episode)

Today’s episode brought back memories of  my youth in Africa.  Now we have many conveniences when travelling, however in some parts of the world travelling is still quite an adventure.  I decided to share with you the beginning of a journey I took many years ago from Southern Chad to the capital of Cameron with friends and family.  We (my first husband and I) had two small boys at the time, our Iranian friends had a baby daughter and the Canadians three rambunctious boys. The trip was basically uneventful although not what one comes to expect when travelling in Europe or North America.

Here’s the haiku (I’d advise you to click the link above for the full haibun) Basho wrote centuries ago:

fleas and lice
now a horse pisses
by my pillow

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

At least we had no horses about.

The Narrow Road (3) – Troiku – December 6, 2015

The narrow road

on the road – illness
cold wind howls and blast of rain
warm light beacons

on the road – illness
lonely thoughts of passing on
as darkness thickens

cold wind howls and blast of rain
drown the morning sun
the willows bow

warm light beacons
from the windows of an inn
welcome haven

© G.s.k. ‘15



Carpe Diem #873 Deeper into the North: men of this world; picking up rice seedlings; backpack and sword

Today’s troiku was inspired by this extract:

I stopped overnight at Iizuka. I had a bath in a hot spring before I took shelter at an inn. It was a filthy place with rough straw mats spread out on an earth floor. They had to prepare my bed by the dim light of the fire, for there was not even a lamp in the whole house. A storm came upon us towards midnight, and between the noise of the thunder and leaking rain and the raids of mosquitoes and fleas, I could not get a wink of sleep. Furthermore, an attack of my old complaint made me so ill that I suffered severely from repeated attacks while I rode on horseback bound for the town of Kori. It was indeed a terrible thing to be so ill on the road, when there still remained thousands of miles before me, but thinking that if I were to die on my way to the extreme north it would only be the fulfillment of providence, I trod the earth as firmly as possible and arrived at the barrier-gate of Okido in the province of Date.

© Basho in The Narrow Road To The Deep North 

Morning Waka and Haiku – November 16, 2015

Mori, Trentino

Mori (TN)

here in Padua
morning sounds reverberate
with my heartbeat
preparing to return home
a gull passes overhead

saying adieu
the sun rises in the fog
coffee pot bubbles
persimmon tree full of birds
just Brynn and I watch them

like the Silk Road
beckoning to the traveller
it’s time to leave
returning home from the east
the mountains call to me

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

At Dawn in Padua – Haibun – October 23, 2015


birds at dawn

Yesterday at dawn in Padua, a squawking concert created by the voices of hundreds of migrant birds greeted me. I marvelled as a group fell upon the persimmon tree in the garden, blackening it for a moment, until I moved – causing them to fly away.  The cat sat at the window – her puffed up tail swishing furiously. The tea was bitter this morning.

just passing through
migrant birds like falling stars
travelling light

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem Special #176: “create a haibun with a maximum of 75 words (including the haiku)”

Hello folks … I’m back from Padua and hope to visit you all soon!  Bastet

OctPoWriMo day 5 – Shadorma Summation – October 5, 2015

train flashes by


streaking through the night
the train came from the dark
with its passengers and cargo
coming from the north
where it’s going now,
I really couldn’t say –
but I’d gladly buy a ticket
just to get away –
imagining  the sharp Turkish spices
that perfume the noisy suks or
bright painted prayer flags
adorning a village in Nepal
the Mermaid of Copenhagen
or the Blarney Stone of Eire –
then I think of others
who dream of coming here
just to see our mountains
and walk along our the lake –
isn’t it a marvel …
this all too human longing
to always be – somewhere else.

seeking greener fields
longin for
something new
as yet to be discovered
with each passing train

© G.s.k. ‘15

This poem is linked to: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s – B&P’s Shadorma and Beyond

Just a Note – September 4, 2015


Hello World:

I’m sitting here in the common room of my son’s house in Padua.  I’d thought to sit down and write a few posts, perhaps a haiku for Carpe diem Haiku Kai or maybe something for The Sunday Whirl or Sunday Whirligig — or even for Friday Fictioneers. To my surprise, and not for the first time, I’m finding difficulty getting my thoughts organized in order to get the blog up.

What’s wrong?

I think I found the answer in this interesting post entitled “Finding Your Space” published this morning on OctPoWriMo.

At home I have that special space dedicated to my computer where I do most of my writing around dawn.  There are my hard disks, my electronic drawing board, but most of all, my mouse, office chair and keyboard and my browser is Chrome instead of Firefox which I use on my netbook.  Over the years I’ve changed my monitor several times, the lighting has changed too, but the general position never changes.  The few times when my main computer went on the blink, forcing me to write on my netbook, I’ve always had problems.  My mind wanders and I sit looking at the monitor sort of lost in space.

Of course when I’m travelling I’ve no alternative but to work on my netbook.  I must say, I’d never realized how much I was dependant, or why, on my workspace until today, and I really envy those who blithely write on their Smartphones and Androids with what seems to be little or no problems.

Have a look at the article I referred to above.  Do you have a your own space where the words seem to flow?  I’d love to know if this is common or one of my special foibles.

Have a great day .. ciao, Bastet.


Just a Note – September 3, 2015

Hello World!

I’ve been packing so I’ve been rather distracted the past two days.

I know that Sluderno was supposed to be my last long period away from home for a while, but I’ve changed my mind … today I’m leaving for Padua and I’ll be returning on Tuesday afternoon next. The difference is that I’ll be able to take a whole lot more photos and unlike Sluderno, where I was completely closed off from cyber-space, my son has a very good internet connection, so I’ll be posting as usual.

Still, it’s not like writing from home where I have all my archives on hand in my main computer and various hard disks … but I still should be able to manage posting daily and will probably have more time to answer comments and read more posts .. since he’s a late riser and besides has other things to do than curry to his old mom’s whims.

But … if I do drop out of sight, you’ll know what’s going on.

Ciao for now – Bastet