Thursday, December 15, 2011


Another week has gone by. A new Thursday Poets Rally has come. This last week was very busy. My wife had her birthday and all of our childeren and grandchilderen were at our home to celebrate it. It was a great day. We also decorated the Christmastree.
Inbetween these activities finding time to write haiku wasn't easy, but ... I was inspired and excited when I got the Thursday Poets Award for week 57. Another thing to celebrate.

I am honoured to have gotten this award for my haiku and I like to thank all of you who nominated me. Who am I to got this award which I humbly accept.
Well ... back to business. I am preparing a series of blog-items about Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), a haikumaster. I already published the first four parts of this new series, which I have given the title Basho Revisited (for example part one), earlier this week on my blog. In every part of Basho Revisited I am telling something about Basho's life and use a haiku written by him. Writing about Basho is easy, because I love his haiku and I am feeling a kind of bond with him. I also try to write a haiku in the same sense and tone of the haiku by Basho. I hope (and that's the challenge) that my haiku has a little of "Basho's Spirit".
According to fellow haiku poets, my haiku are in the same Spirit as the haiku by Basho. I can't say that of my own haiku, maybe you, my visitors, can tell me.

In part eight of Basho Revisited (not published yet) I used the following haiku by Basho which he wrote in 1676. It's a translation by Jane Reichhold and was published in "Old Pond: Basho's (almost) thousand haiku" also by Jane Reichhold.

essential to life
the little space under my hat
enjoying the coolness

This is a not so well known haiku of Basho. The Japanese hat in this haiku is the so called "kasa".

Credits: kasa
The "kasa" was an umbrella like hat. In some way through wearing this 'kasa' Basho always had his own shady place at hand.

The haiku I wrote in this part of Basho Revisited has the same tone, sense and humour I think.

such a hot day
my shadow needs to cool down
under the willow

Another one with the same theme:

hot summerday
the shadow of the willows
Ah! that coolness

Happy Rally!!


Join the fun!

Another week has gone by. Another sensational haiku wednesday ... this week's prompt "preparation", what can I do with that? Well I thought "it's almost Christmas, Winter is coming", so I have written the next haiku:

preparing Christmas
decorating the Tree of Light
Christmas carols

Credits: Christmas tree
 winter preparation
squirrels gathering
their winter stock

winter garden
the black soil makes me sad
expecting Spring

cherry trees blooming
preparing the sweetness
of Cherries

it looks so strange
the backyard of the mansion
soon will flourish


Monday, December 12, 2011

GOOSEBERRYGARDEN's Poetry Picnic on "nostalgia"

Gooseberrygarden's Poetry Picnic
I am invited to the Poetry Picnic of the Gooseberrygarden to write some new poems, in my case haiku. I am grateful that they have invited me (again) to join in. The theme for this Poetry Picnic is families, memories and nostalgia. Very well chosen themes, but not easy to write upon. So I have chosen for the theme "nostalgia".
This weeks contribution to the Poetry Picnic is based on a haiku by Matsuo basho (1644-1694), a haikumaster and my "idol".

if taken into my hand
melting in the heat of tears
autumn frost

This verse by Basho touches me deep. It's about his mother who died when he was a young boy. In the preface of this haiku he is saying the following:

"At the beginning of September I came back home. It was already long since my mother had died. The grass in front of mother's room had withered in the frost. Everything had changed. The hair of my brother and sisters was white and they had wrinkles between their eyebrows. We could only say: 'We are fortunate to be still alive'. My elder brother openend an amulet case and said reverently to me. 'Look, at mother's white hair. You have come back after such a long time. So this is like the Tamate box of Urashim Taro (an old legend in japan). Your eyebrows have become white'. We wept for a while and then I composed this verse.(Source: Jane Reichhold's Old Pond: Basho's (almost) thousand haiku)

This verse of Basho is not a well known one, but it touches me so deep, because it brings painful memories. My Grandparents are all gone and also my elder brother died. As I look into the mirror my hair is starting to become grey. When my brother was still alive he surely would be grey because he was several years older.

As inspired by this haiku of basho I wrote:

life passes -
in the early sunlight
the ripe melts

frost on the branches
melts in the early sunlight
life passes

Credits: Ripe on bare trees
my hair turned grey
as if it was the frost
on bare branches

a pebble
thrown into the old pond
in an eye blink it's gone

This haiku has the same tone and sense of the one by Basho. Ripe melting in the sunlight goes fast. Life also goes fast and just like the ripe in the sunlight life passes. I think this is the meaning of writing haiku. Life is a fleeting world. Just like time flies our life passes by in just a moment, in just an eye blink.

Happy Poetry Picnic,