Saturday, December 30, 2017

Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation #13 New Year's Eve

!! Open for your submissions January 1st at 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the last episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai 2017. We have had a wonderful year and I am looking forward to host CDHK for you in a whole new year. For this weekend-meditation I have chosen the theme New Year's Eve ...

I had a very busy day so that's the reason why this weekend-meditation is later than planned, this weekend-meditation takes also a day longer, because you can submit your Japanese poetry a day later than I mostly do. This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions January 1st at 7:00 PM (CET).A New Year is within reach ... what are your plans, your dreams, your thoughts and ideas for 2018? Maybe you can share them with us through your posts or through your Japanese poetry. I hope to make CDHK even better than it already is and there are several ideas I am thinking about to make CDHK better than ever. Of course I hope to create several CDHK E-books and we will have again our season retreats in 2018.

!!!! Our CDHK prompt-list for January is ready you can find it above in the menu !!!!

The theme for this weekend-meditation is New Year's Eve so here are a few haiku for your inspiration.

In classical Japan (following the Lunar calender) there was a fifth season ''New Year", and this season was from approximately 20 december 'til 20 January. I have a few haiku which have been written for this season:

the Great Morning:
winds of long ago
blow through the pine trees

© Onitsura

The Great Morning is the morning of New Year's Day.

for this New Year's Day
the sight we gaze upon shall be
Mount Fuji

© Sokan

And a last one:

the first sunrise
there is a cloud
like a cloud in a picture

© Shusai

All wonderful haiku on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.

And here are a few haiku by Issa and Basho:

my shadow too
in good health...
"Happy New Year!"

New Year's gift of tea--
where did you go
on your journey back to me?

© Issa

Both are wonderful "new year" haiku. Let me look at a few haiku by Basho on New Year:

has spring already come?
I feel wealthy this New Year
with five sho of old rice

New Year's Day
I feel lonely just like
an autumn evening

And what do you think of this one by Yozakura, the Wandering Spirit?

nothing changes
every day will be the same
this new year

A wonderful series of haiku about New Year's Eve of New Year's Day. Let those haiku inspire you this weekend.

after New Year's Eve
life hasn't changed a bit -
another year gone

listen! listen!
the sweet silence 
the day after

New Year's Eve
fireworks enlightens the sky -
bad ghosts flee

© Chèvrefeuille

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions January 1st at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 8th at noon (CET). Have a great weekend and a wonderful start of 2018.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Carpe Diem #1337 Tan Renga Challenge "in the fields"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize, because I miscalculated that our CDHK episode of today (28/12) was the last regular episode of this month. I thought it was already Friday instead of Thursday. So I asked myself "What to do now?" Well ... I think I do an extra CDHK Tan Renga Challenge. So today I have a nice Tan Renga Challenge for you. 

For those who are new let me first explain what a Tan Renga is. A Tan Renga is a short chained poem written by two poets. The first poet gives the "hokku" or "starting verse" and the second adds a second stanza of two lines through associating on the images in the "hokku". A Tan Renga looks similar with the Tanka (5-lined poem), but is written by two poets instead of one poet. (More about Tan Renga you can find above in the menu where you also can find an exclusive CDHK E-book "Chained Together" in which I gathered all the Tan Renga which we created back in May 2016.

For this "extra" episode I have chosen three haiku from which you can start your Tan Renga. Here are the haiku (or "hokku") to use. You may use one, two or all three to create Tan Renga with.

ancient warriors ghosts
mists over the foreign highlands -
waiting for the full moon

© Chèvrefeuille

This one is inspired on that beautiful haiku "summer grasses" by Basho.


in the fields
with ripe rice plants for the Gods
the sickle is used . . .

© Takezaki Shisen 

And this last one ... another beauty ...

white poppy
it must have bloomed
from a wintry shower

© Basho

And now it's up to you to create your Tan Renga by adding your two-lined stanza (approximately 7-7 syllables) through associating on the scenes in the given haiku ("hokku"). As I wrote above you may choose one, two or all haiku to use for this Tan Renga Challenge.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 4th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new "weekend-meditation" later on.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Carpe Diem #1336 Elegance

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's with pain in my heart that I am creating the last regular episode of this marvelous CDHK month in which we explored the beauty of the novels by Paulo Coelho, one of my favorite authors. We read several quotes from a lot of his novels and today I love to conclude this month with a wonderful quote from "The Witch of Portobello". Coelho published this novel in 2007 and it is really a beautiful novel sure worth a read.

I have titled this episode "elegance", because that's the 'theme' of the quote which you have to use. But what is "elegance" according Merriam Webster's Dictionary it means the following:

a : refined grace or dignified propriety : urbanity
b : tasteful richness of design or ornamentation the sumptuous elegance of the furnishings
c : dignified gracefulness or restrained beauty of style : polish the essay is marked by lucidity, wit, and elegance
d : scientific precision, neatness, and simplicity the elegance of a mathematical proof

One of the meanings of the pink rose is "elegance"
"Elegance" we find everywere around us, not only in our homes, but also outside in nature. Think about a swan for example. Or the beauty of for example a rose. Elegance is all around us and in our haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form we can find that elegance too. Of all poetic forms, haiku stands as one of the most elegant and immediate – a rare combination that creates an aura of mystery and artistry. This creative ambrosia, combined with an exotic history embedded in the courts and hillsides of Japan, has made haiku globally popular for the past century.

With the challenge of precisely conveying a natural movement as a universal moment in three lines and 17 or fewer syllables, it is easy to see why Western poets like W.H. Auden, Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, Jorge Luis Borges, Billy Collins, Allen Ginsberg, e.e. cummings, Ezra Pound, Joanne Kyger, Anne Waldman, Richard Wright, and Sonia Sanchez fell in love with haiku.

Let us take a look at a few haiku and tanka in which you can find elegance:

lightning flash–
what I thought were faces
are plumes of pampas grass

© Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

I remember that even in a sad themed tanka you can find "elegance" like in this one:

broken wings
a butterfly crushed
under my feet
fragile beauty gone
leaving me with a broken heart

© Chèvrefeuille

Do you see the elegance in this haiku written by Sora, Basho's companion while he was on his road into the deep north:

white flowers in my hair
I walk through the gate into the deep north
my only gala dress

©  Sora (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

And another elegant haiku by Basho in a beautiful translation by Jane Reichhold:

roots of elegance
on this trip to the far north
rice-planting song 

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Elegance in haiku and tanka awesome. Let us now go back to the quote I have chosen for this last regular episode of CDHK of 2017. A quote taken from "The Witch of Portobello" by Paulo Coelho.

[...] “Elegance is the correct posture if the writing is to be perfect. It’s the same with life: when all superfluous things have been discarded, we discover simplicity and concentration. The simpler and more sober the posture, the more beautiful it will be, even though, at first, it may seem uncomfortable.” [...] (Source: The Witch of Portobello - Paulo Coelho)

The above quote suddenly reads familiar. It sounds like I have used it in an earlier episode this month, but after checking I came to the conclusion that I hadn't used it earlier.

just one line
the beauty of a painting
caught in a haiku

© Chèvrefeuille

Not as strong as I had hoped, but I think in this haiku you can read "elegance" ... because the "elegance" of a painting is caught in just one line (or in this case three lines), because traditionally haiku were written in one line.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 3rd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our last weekend-meditation of this year later on. I hope you all have enjoyed this month and this year here at CDHK. I hope to see you again in 2018 ...


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Carpe Diem #1335 pursue your dreams

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our Kai. It's another wonderful quote from "The Alchemist" and I think this quote is really an inspirational one.

"The Alchemist" is one of Coelho's most read novel all around the globe. Maybe every one on earth has read it or at least has heard about it.

Painting of an Alchemist
In "The Alchemist" the head character, a young sheperd boy, meets an alchemist as he is on his way to the pyramids of Gizeh. He learns a lot of him and he is glad that he knows the deeper truth of alchemy.

The young sheperd boy has a dream of a great treasure and that's why he is on his way to Egypt, because in his dream he sees the pyramids of Egypt. "The Alchemist" is a philosophical novel full of spirituality and the ideas, thoughts, of Coelho hemself.

Here is the quote to work with:

"People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams because they feel that they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them." (Source: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho)

I once had a dream about publishing a novel. That dream I realized, another nvel followed and a haiku-book. After those dreams there were new dreams to pursue. Becoming an oncology nurse, that dream became true also. How many dreams a man can have? After several fulfilled dreams there was a new dream ... to create a daily haiku meme to promote my love for haiku and the beauty of that little poem from the Far East. Five years ago I made that dream come true by starting our Kai. I never dreamed that it would be a big success, but as we all know our Kai became a success. I had the privilege to get to know several renown haiku poets like Garry Gay and Jane Reichhold. But I also had the privilege to get to know you all ... my dear Haijin. I am grateful for the love you sprinkle on me, but I am even more grateful that you started to share your Japanese poetry with me. Thank you all for keeping a dream alive.

inner feelings and emotions
come alive

© Chèvrefeuille

Keep on dreaming ... without dreams we are lost ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 2nd at noon (CET)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Carpe Diem #1334 An Empty Mind

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Here in The Netherlands we have two Christmas days, December 25th and 26th, I know that there are several other countries who have two Christmas days, but every year again I ask my self ... why do we have two Christmas days instead of just one day. I know that in several countries the day after Christmas day is called "Boxing Day" and the name goes far back in history.

"Boxing Day" what does it mean: The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as "the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box".

The term "Christmas-box" dates back to the 17th century, and among other things meant:
A present or gratuity given at Christmas: in Great Britain, usually confined to gratuities given to those who are supposed to have a vague claim upon the donor for services rendered to him as one of the general public by whom they are employed and paid, or as a customer of their legal employer; the undefined theory being that as they have done offices for this person, for which he has not directly paid them, some direct acknowledgement is becoming at Christmas.

Boxing Day (December 26th)
In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diary entry for 19 December 1663. This custom is linked to an older British tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.

Well ... let me say to you all "Happy Boxing Day"!

Back to our quote for today. Today I have chosen a wonderful quote from Paulo Coelho's "Aleph", one of his most personal novels. I think you can remember that we read this novel while we were on our trip straight through the former USSR on Trans Siberian Railroad. "Aleph" is really an awesome novel and I have read it several times ... maybe "Aleph" is my favorite novel.

I think this quote I have chosen fits the season too by the way. So let me give the quote to work with:

[...] "Now each morning, when your mind is still empty, devote a little time to the Divine … Inhale deeply and ask for all the blessings in the air to enter your body and fill every cell.  Then exhale slowly, projecting happiness and peace around you.  Repeat this ten times.  You’ll be helping to heal yourself and contributing to healing the world as well". [...] (Source: Aleph by Paulo Coelho)

My Early Morning Ritual? A Hot Cup of Coffee!
As I read and re-read this quote I am getting the feeling that I have to create a new early morning ritual, but I am not a morning-guy so to say, because I am more of the night. Maybe I have to create my own ritual to empty my mind. I even think that it will work better to have such a ritual before going to sleep. Making my mind empty ... say ... becoming again in balance ... would give me a wonderful sleep.

that perfume
whirling smoke in the sunlight
morning coffee

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 1st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

PS. I have created a new FB-page it's about Troiku and is titled "Beautiful Troiku". You can find the link to "Beautiful Troiku" at the left side of our Kai. Feel free to visit and share your Troiku there.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Carpe Diem #1333 José's Sandals

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new (a little bit later than planned) episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. As you all know this month it's all about the beauty of the novels by Paulo Coelho, but today ... well I have a nice surprise for you, say my Christmas present for you all ...

As I was preparing our special holidays e-book I ran into a wonderful Christmas tale written by Paulo Coelho. And for today's episode I love to share that Christmas tale with you all here at our Kai.

This Christmas tale by Paulo Coelho is based on a story written in 1903 by François Coppée and translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa. (Source:


A Christmas Tale: José's Sandals.
On Christmas Day, a special boy learns the true meaning of gift-giving

A long time ago, so many years ago that we can no longer remember the exact date, there lived in a village in the south of Brazil a little seven-year-old boy called José. He had lost his parents when he was very, very young and had been adopted by a miserly aunt who, even though she had lots of money, spent almost nothing on her nephew. José, having never known the meaning of love, assumed that this was simply the way life was and so it didn’t bother him at all.

They lived in an extremely affluent neighborhood, but the aunt persuaded the head teacher of the local school to take on her nephew for only a tenth of the normal tuition fee, threatening to complain to the Prefect if he declined her offer. The head teacher had no option but to agree; however, he instructed the teachers to take every opportunity to humiliate José in the hope that he would misbehave and give them a pretext for expelling him. José, having never known love, assumed that this was simply the way life was and so it didn’t bother him at all.

Christmas Eve arrived. The village priest was on holiday, and all the pupils had to go to Mass in a church some distance from the village. The girls and boys walked along, chatting about what they would find the next day beside the shoes they left out for Father Christmas: fashionable clothes, expensive toys, chocolates, skateboards, and bicycles. Since it was a special day, they were all well-dressed--all except José, who was wearing his usual ragged clothes and the same battered sandals several sizes too small (his aunt had given them to him when he was four, saying that he would only get a new pair when he was 10). Some of the children asked why he was so poor, and said they would be ashamed to have a friend who wore such clothes and shoes. Since José had never known love, their questions and comments didn’t bother him at all.

Nativity (Brazil)
However, when they went into the church, and he heard the organ playing and saw the bright lights and the congregation in their Christmas finery, saw families gathered together and parents embracing their children, José felt he was the most wretched of creatures. After Communion, instead of walking back home with the others, he sat down on the steps of the church and began to cry. He may never have known love, but only at that moment did he understand what it was to be alone and helpless and abandoned by everyone.

Just then, he noticed another small boy beside him, barefoot and apparently as poor as he was. He had never seen the boy before and so assumed that he must have walked a long way to get there. He thought: “His feet must be really sore. I’ll give him one of my sandals. That will at least relieve half of his pain.” Although José had never known love, he knew about suffering and didn’t want others to experience it too.

He gave one of his sandals to the boy and returned home with the other one. He wore the sandal first on his right foot and then on his left, so that he didn’t bruise the soles of his feet too badly on the stones along the way. As soon as he reached home, his aunt noticed that he was wearing only one sandal and told him that if he didn’t find the other sandal the next day, he would be harshly punished.

José went to bed feeling very afraid because he knew what his aunt’s punishments were like. He lay all night trembling with fear, barely able to sleep at all, and then, just as he was about to drowse off, he heard voices in the front room. His aunt rushed in, demanding to know what was going on. Still groggy from lack of sleep, José joined their visitors and, in the middle of the front room, saw the sandal he had given to the little boy. Now, however, it was surrounded by all kinds of toys, bicycles, skateboards and clothes. The neighbors were shouting and screaming, declaring that their children had been robbed, because when they woke up, they had found nothing beside their shoes at all.

At this point, the priest from the church where they had celebrated Mass the previous day arrived all out of breath: On the steps of the church a statue of the Baby Jesus had appeared, clothed entirely in gold, but wearing only one sandal. Silence fell, everyone present praised God and his miracles, and the aunt wept and begged for forgiveness. And José’s heart was filled with the energy and the meaning of love.

a new king is born
love came to the world

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't it a wonderful Christmas Tale? A lot to think about maybe. This Christmas Tale in my opinion is the true meaning of Christmas ... love and peace to you all and to the world.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 31st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2017 #7 Christmas stress (meditation)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Seven Days Before Christmas started 7 days ago so today I have the last episode of this traditional feature for this time of year. Time to look back maybe or time to look forward ... we will see. Today I have chosen the theme "Christmas stress" and I think you all can relate to that. To me Christmas stress isn't something I suffer from, because stress doesn't fit my character and life style, but ... today I had the chance to experience it.
My wife and I were doing our last Christmas shoppings and in one of the shops we were ... one could sense the stress. In front of every pay desk there were rows of curstomers. Shopping carts full of food, drink and presents and faces that were physical exhausted, sometimes even sad or angry. As I saw those faces the only thing I could do was shaking my head "what are you all doing to yourselves" I thought.

Christmas stress ... no way. Christmas preparations are the most wonderful time of the year. We are preparing our homes for the most beautiful holiday I know. Of course I have to do my Christmas shoppings, but always with a smile on my face. Every year again we try to create an awesome brunch for our family. I enjoy that a lot. I love having all my kids and grandchildren around me and they love to be at our family-home.

This year wasn't our most wonderful year by the way. Two of our kids divorced or broke up with their partners and one of my kids had a tough year financial seen, but we succeeded to help them not only financial, but mostly through our unconditional love for our kids and grandchildren. 2017 is a year we would love to forget immediately, privately seen of course. As I look at myself ... than I had a wonderful year. I concluded a tough course on medicins and I became chairman of the board for nurses in the hospital where I work as an oncology nurse.

Than there were other wonderful things to celebrate. This year Carpe Diem Haiku Kai celebrated its fifth anniversary with a wonderful month in which we looked back into our wonderful history. I am glad and proud that Carpe Diem Haiku Kai has become one of the most loved places on the Internet for haiku-, tanka- and other Japanese poetry poets. We had a wonderful year I think. Again we explored the beauty of our world. Let us take a short trip along memory-lane back to the start of 2017.

In January we read "The Pilgrimage" by Paulo Coelho and we walked the "Road to Santiago" together with him.

along the Road
only the sound of nature to enjoy
listen just listen

© Chèvrefeuille

And there was that tribute Theme Week for Jane Reichhold to celebrate her 80th birthday.

Than February came and we went on a journey through the homeland of haiku, Japan the Land of the Rising Sun.

hidden in the forest
I ran into a secret hot spring -
Ah! that sweet scent

© Chèvrefeuille

2017 was a year in which we discovered the beauty of Persian poetry starting with that beautiful month about several Persian poets. March was a real joy to create. I discovered the beauty of Persian poetry and that beauty I loved to share with you.

piece of straw
blown off into emptiness
a new beginning

© Chèvrefeuille

Through this month I fell in love with the beautiful poetry by Hafiz and Rumi. I only can hope you did fall in love too with Persian poetry.

This year was also about some classical rules we know for writing haiku (or tanka) and in April that was our goal to create haiku (or tanka) with the use of classical and non-classical kigo (seasonwords).

waving parasols
while the music is playing
cherry blossoms fall

© Chèvrefeuille

In May we had our second edition of our Tan Renga month, a month full of the beauty of that short chained renga written by two poets. By the way I will create an exclusive CDHK E-book about this month, because I think it's worth to gather all the beautiful Tan Renga we created with each other.

Than ... almost halfway 2017 we visited another beautiful and spiritual country. In June we visited Tibet.

mysterious shadows
against the rough mountains -
Om Mani Padme Hum

© Chèvrefeuille

In July we stayed at home, but not because of run out of options to visit countries, but because in that month we explored the beauty of classical and non-classical kigo for summer.

the scent of autumn
that sweet smell of decaying leaves -
after the rain - stronger
makes me think of days past
and my first real love ...

© Chèvrefeuille

In August we had a slightly different month, because I tried to inspire you through all kinds of Modern Art. We saw wonderful paintings, sculptures and architure and it was an amazing month just because I saw how Modern Art inspired you all to create haiku and tanka.

black and white together
as one

© Chèvrefeuille

(Written inspired on a sculpture titled "Yin and Yang".)

In this month of Modern Art I also gave you a small insight in the Modern Art of my home town Lelystad (The Netherlands). For example this wonderful piece of Modern Art titled "Exposure".

"Exposure" is guarding our harbor and it has become the business card of my home town. It inspired me to create the following tanka:

guardian angel
looks out over the harbor
a shitting man
constructed out of steel
exposed to the weather 

© Chèvrefeuille

In September I tried to inspire your muses through images. September was a month of Imagination Without Boundaries. I shared awesome images and this month we visited several places through these images. For example the last episode was titled "neighborhood of colors" and it showed you a wonderful and colorful village somewhere in Italy (Europe).

against mountains
joyful life

© Chèvrefeuille

And than there was our anniversary month October. We went on a trip along memory lane and looked back at several episodes from our rich history. I am really proud that Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is still alive and kicking. I would say "To the future ... to our 10th anniversary".

With our festive anniversary month we entered the last quarter of 2017 and in November we went back to ancient Persia. We explored the beauty of "The Rubaiyat" by Omar Khayyam. This month was an eye-opener, because I presented to you the most wonderful quatrains a poetry form I wasn't familiar with.

your heart beats
with mine

© Chèvrefeuille

Now the last month is running towards its end. It's December and at the moment we are counting down to Christmas. This month we explore the beauty of the novels by Paulo Coelho through several quotes from his novels. I like this month a lot, because Paulo Coelho is one of my favorite authors.

secrets open
peace found

© Chèvrefeuille

(Inspired on a quote from "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho).

Of course there were more highlights this year. There were the kukai, our feuilleton "Wandering Spirit" and the new feature "weekend-meditation". It was a wonderful year and I hope you all have that same feeling. And last but not least we had four wonderful season retreats. By the way our Winter Retreat 2018 will start on January 15th 10:00 PM (CET).

deep inside
hiding in the depth of the soul
divine inspiration

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... no Christmas stress for me. To conclude this last episode of Seven Days Before Christmas. I love to say a few things.

Christmas ... is a wonderful holiday in which peace, respect, love, beauty, presents and the birth of Jesus Christ are the main themes. Enjoy the holidays and let us pray for the world that the truth of Christmas ... a world living in peace, without stress, will become true.

Fireworks (image found on Pixabay)
Well ... this was the last episode of Seven Days Before Christmas 2017 I hope you did like this year's traditional feature.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2018 and I hope to see you all again here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

New Year's Eve
the sound of fireworks resonates 
against the snow

after the fireworks
the rustling of bare branches
nothing has changed

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode of Seven Days Before Christmas 2017 is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 30th at noon (CET). I am looking forward to all of your wonderful responses and maybe you want to share your most beautiful haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form of 2017 again with us too.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Carpe Diem Extra December 22nd 2017 The Troiku Contest

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you can remember that the FB-page "My Haiku Pond Academy" and CDHK had a Troiku contest. Several of you participated in that contest. The goal was to create a Troiku based on a haiku by Jane Reichhold (1937-2016):

golden shade
under the redwoods
evergreen violets

© Jane Reichhold

There were more than 30 contestants and earlier this week the administrator of My Haiku Pond Academy and I finished the judging. I have read wonderful Troiku in that contest and that made me proud. I couldn't have dreamed that Troiku, my invention, would be the theme for a contest.

The Results are now published on My Haiku Pond Academy the winner of this contest is renown haiku poetess Celestine Nudanu, runner-up is Giovanna Restuccia and the third place is taken by Ain Kurdistani. Next to these three poets we have two honorable mentions; Ahmad Holderness and Theophilus Femi Alawonde.

I will feature Celestine Nudanu next month in a special CDHK episode in which I will publish her winning Troiku.


© Chèvrefeuille

Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation #12 Christmas Troiku

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday December 24th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's almost Christmas and we are entering the weekend before Christmas so it's time for a new weekend-meditation and as you maybe remember recently the Facebook-page My Haiku Pond Academy and Carpe Diem Haiku Kai organized a Troiku contest. This contest was built around a haiku by Jane Reichhold:

golden shade
under the redwoods
evergreen violets

© Jane Reichhold

There were mre than 30 contestants and earlier this week the administrator of My Haiku Pond Academy and I finished the judging. I have read wonderful Troiku in that contest and that made me proud. I couldn't have dreamed that Troiku, my invention, would be the theme for a contest.

peaceful Christmas
 For this weekend I love to challenge you to create Troiku. I will give you a few haiku to use for the Troiku (more about Troiku you can find in the menu above). I have chosen a classical haiku, a haiku by Jane Reichhold and one by myself. I have tried to use a theme for these haiku ... and ... no surprise I think ... that theme is Christmas (wintertime).

winter solitude –
in a world of one color
the sound of wind

© Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Christmas bells
pouring excitement
into the air

© Jane Reichhold (1937-2016)

Christmas bells
silent night
snow falls softly on the graveyard
the Savior is born

© Chèvrefeuille

Three nice haiku to work with I think. You may use them all or just one or two ... that's up to you. I am looking forward to your responses ... your wonderful Troiku.

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday December 24th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 31st at noon (CET). Have a wonderful weekend, full of inspiration and the joy of Christmastime.

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2017 #6 Christmas presents

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Christmas is a time full of joy, love, peace, beauty, respect and gifts. Christmas gifts are just for giving that. As you have seen / read this week I also was in the mood of giving gifts. Two beautiful exclusive Carpe Diem Haiku Kai E-books. It's was not only my work to create those gifts, we did it together. And that's in my opinion the Christmas spirit. I love to thank you all for that, without your help and creativity I hadn't succeeded.

Today's episode of our Christmas tradition is about Christmas presents and those presents are a big part of Christmas not only in my country, but in a lot of countries all over the world. By the way in my country, The Netherlands, we have not only Christmas presents, but also our own traditional Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas is a holiday we celebrate on December 5th, the day before the birthday of Sinterklaas. The evening before December 6th we call "pakjesavond" (in English: presents-night) and than we give eachother presents. The adults create surprises in which they hide a small present, but the children are getting presents. Sinterklaas is becoming more and more a non-tradition, because here in The Netherlands we see a growth of giving Christmas presents ... I think that we will loose our Sinterklaas tradition in the upcoming decades and that Christmas will become more and more the holidays of giving presents.

Christmas presents
Christmas presents. Shining and glimmering gifts beneath the Christmastree, the sweetness of the colors, the soft music on the background ... all those beautiful carols ... the joy of laughing children. The smiles on their faces. What a happiness ..., but we have to look through that all, because the true story is the birth of Jesus Christ ... God's Son was given to the world to rescue it, to bring peace to it. Through the giving of presents we bring a little bit of that peace into our homes and our hearts.

preparing Christmas
decorating the Tree of Light
brings peace and joy

Christmas stockings
hanging above the fireplace
awaiting presents

at dinnertime
drinking eggnog, eating turkey
and Christmas pudding

Christmas Gifts
a Child was born
in a cold winter night
Angels singing

peace to the world
while wars are being fought
tears of Christ

make it happen
enjoy the Holidays
Merry Christmas

© Chèvrefeuille

We are counting down to Christmas ... still one day to go after today ... Christmas Eve I will publish our last Seven Days Before Christmas 2017 episode.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 29th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Carpe Diem #1332 No Time To Waste

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a month this is. So much beauty in the quotes from the novels by Paulo Coelho and in your responses. It's not an easy month to create, but I love doing it for you. I hope you all enjoy this month and the rich source of inspiration.

Today I have a wonderful quote extracted from "Manuscript Found In Accra", very similar to that beauty by Kahlil Gibran "The Prophet". As you read in the title it's about time. We all have sometimes difficulties with time. Our work, or hobbies and our families need us every day and than we have to make choices. Not that long ago I had such a period. Lack of time ... and than the delay of CDHK, of course I know that you don't have a problem with that, but it gives me sometimes a sad feeling. Back in 2012 I made the choice to create CDHK, a daily haiku meme, and that choice implicates that I have to publish every day.

I remember that we had an episode about time inspired on another nice novel by Kahlil Gibran, "sand and foam". I even use a quote back than. I love to re-produce that quote here again:

And an astronomer said, "Master, what of Time?" 
And he answered: 
You would measure time the measureless and the immeasurable. 
You would adjust your conduct and even direct the course of your spirit according to hours and seasons. 
Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing. 
Yet the timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness, 
And knows that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream. 
And that that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space. 
Who among you does not feel that his power to love is boundless? 
And yet who does not feel that very love, though boundless, encompassed within the centre of his being, and moving not form love thought to love thought, nor from love deeds to other love deeds? And is not time even as love is, undivided and paceless? 
But if in you thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons, 
And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing. 

© Khalil Gibran

Okay ... back to the quote I choose to use today. And I think the above "poem" by Kahlil Gibran will also help you to become inspired.

[...] "Someone asked him that why are some luckier than the others. One of the extraordinary excerpts on this subject where he calls success as a consequence and not an end, ‘Success comes to those who do not waste time comparing what they are doing with what others are doing; it enters the house of the person who says “I will do my best’ everyday”. [...] (Source: Manuscript Found In Accra by Paulo Coelho)

Don't waste time ... because we have a continuos lack of it, take time to do the fun things of life, take your time to rest ... time is not always on our side, but let us use our time in the right way ... don't waste it. Life is to short to waste time.

fresh fallen snow
sprinkled with the colors of autumn

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 28th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our weeken-meditation later on. For now ... have fun!

Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2017 #5 a choir of angels

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are counting down to Christmas and today I have chosen for "a choir of angels". In the story of Christmas the sheperds heard the fragile and beautiful song of angels, a choir of angels. The angels told the lowest of lowest people, sheperds, that Jesus Christ the Saviour was born.

Christmas songs were inspired on the beauty of the song of angels and in a lot of Christmas songs one can hear that fragile beauty too. Maybe you have read or special CDHK E-book "Christmas Stockings" already. In that E-book I included the Christmas song of songs (in my opinion) "Silent Night".

A Choir of Angels (image found on Pinterest)
Ah ... I love those beautiful Christmas songs and I love listening to it. There are really beautiful songs and I think you all will certainly know a few of them.

Christmas carolers
praising their Saviour and King -
rejoice Christ is born

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... still having a few days to go before Christmas ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 28th at noon (CET). Enjoy the read ... and I hope it will inspire you.

All My Years Tribute to Jane Reichhold

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Finally ... our exclusive Tribute to Jane Reichhold CDHK E-book is ready. You can download it at the right side of our Kai.

Thank you all for participating in the creation of this exclusive CDHK E-book and for granting me your permission to use your work. I hope you all will like this new e-book.



This exclusive CDHK E-book is also available at

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Carpe Diem #1331 mirror

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, the place to be if you like to write and share Japanese poetry. This month we are inspired by quotes from the novels by Paulo Coelho, one of my favorite authors. Today I have a nice quote from Coelho's novel "The Winner Stands Alone", a wonderful novel. "The Winner Stands Alone" is very different from his other novels. This novel is a "real" novel with an exciting story.

Let me give you a short summary of "The Winner Stands Alone":

The book loosely tells the story of several individuals: Igor, a Russian millionaire; Hamid, a Middle Eastern fashion magnate; American actress Gabriela, eager to land a leading role; ambitious criminal detective Savoy, hoping to resolve the case of his life; and Jasmine, a woman on the brink of a successful modeling career. Set at the Cannes Film Festival, the tale narrates the epic drama and tension between the characters in a 24-hour period. Igor, a man of extraordinary intelligence, has promised himself to destroy worlds to get his beloved wife Ewa, who left him for a successful designer, Hamid.

The Winner Stands Alone (cover)
It wasn't an easy task to find a quote for your and my inspiration, but after a while I found a nice quote which (I hope) will inspire you.

[...] “The mirror reflects perfectly; it makes no mistakes because it doesn't think. To think is to make mistakes.” [...] (Source: The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho)

Well ... I think you all know what a mirror is, but I think you all know that other mirror, the human eyes. I think you are familiar with the "proverb" "The Eyes Are The Mirror of the Soul". Of course that's not the mirror in the quote, but of course you can use that idea too for your haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

broken mirror
thousand faces looking back
tears shimmer

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... not a strong haiku, but I like this one.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode later on.