Thursday, August 17, 2017

Carpe Diem Writing and Enjoying Haiku #5 creating beauty

!!! Open for your submissions next Sunday August 20th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our "weekend-meditation", our weekly challenge. This week I have chosen for a new episode of our "Writing and Enjoying Haiku feature" as inspired on the book by Jane Reichhold with the same title (as you can see in the logo of this feature).

For this episode I choose the title "creating beauty", because in my opinion every haiku (or tanka) is a small piece of beauty. I think every haiku poet gives his / her own feeling in his / her haiku and because of that every haiku (or tanka) is a beautiful gem. That's one of the reasons I created Chèvrefeuille's Publications, because I think every haiku poet deserves to be published without exception.
Woodblock Print "Snow Rose"

What is the creative beauty of haiku? (or tanka)?

I think the beauty of haiku (and tanka) is mostly in the smallness, both are short verses, and in those short verses there is need to tell a lot and that's not always easy, but every haiku poet succeeds in it ... so that's the beauty, the creative beauty of haiku (and tanka). Is that the only thing that makes haiku creative beauty? No certainly not .... it's the theme of it nature, shortness of life, spirituality, the strong form, the relaxing sound of the 5-7-5 syllables (those sound like the waves) or the 5-7-5-7-7 form of tanka. But it is also the beauty of the poet, or the beauty of the reader. Haiku is a symbiosis between the creator and the reader ... you can (maybe) say haiku is the Creator and we the haiku poets and the haiku readers are only the instruments for the Creator ...

Haiku, it's a short verse, but you can only create them from the heart, from the soul not from the mind ... haiku you have to sense, feel, touch, smell and so on ... haiku it's a symbiosis of all senses, the poet and the reader ... haiku is TOTAL ART ...

In several posts here at CDHK I have said it already I think ... haiku is ART ... and it's a beautiful Art. Maybe we can play with the lay-out:

                       run to and fro
                                                      to the beach

                                                      back and forth
                      grass waves on the wind
green ocean

Just two examples, not good haiku maybe, but as an example for playing with the layout of the haiku. Both haiku show "in a way" the movement of the waves and the grass.

Of course you know the one-line haiku, let's take a look at one of the above haiku-examples, but now written on one line:

back and forth grass waves on the wind green ocean

Or maybe we have to try it in the classical way vertically written, as you can see on the image below:

Basho's "Old Pond" vertical
The above image shows you Basho's "Old Pond" written 'vertical' and with a drawing/painting ... a haiga ....

There are so much possibilities with our beloved haiku ... be creative .... play with your haiku or tanka, change the lay-out or create a haiga ...

Haiku (or any other Japanese poetry form) is creating beauty ... So your task for this "weekend-meditation" is to create beauty, play with the haiku, play with the tanka ... enjoy writing haiku.

This "weekend-meditation" is open for your submissions next Sunday August 20th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will be open until August 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode around that same time. For now .... have a great weekend and enjoy the creative beauty of haiku (or tanka).

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Carpe Diem #1239 shifted flowers (unknown artist)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful month we have. All those pieces of beauty we call "modern art" and we really have seen wonderful art works. Yesterday we had the "crossed house" or what do you think of that beautiful episode we had on "sacred geometry" ... well I think all the art was gorgeous and with today's episode I hope to do that again.

This episode I have titled "shifted flowers", it's a painting by an unknown artist, at least I couldn't find the artist's name or better said "I couldn't decipher the name on the left down side".

I think this painting is gorgeous and I will try to explain why I have chosen the title "shifted flowers". In this painting you can obviously see flowers, but they are fainting away into a formless scene of colors.

And that brought an old haiku in my mind. This one I created in the "Baransu" episode of our first series of Haiku Writing Techniques:

the old pond
yesterday ... Irises bloomed
only a faint purple

© Chèvrefeuille

This haiku describes in a way the painting of today.

shifted flowers
A short episode, but to say more would be a "sin" ... this painting speaks for it self.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 23rd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new "weekend-meditation" later on. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Carpe Diem #1238 Crossed House (Manuel Clavel Rojo)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

In this month of modern art inspired themes at CDHK I have today another wonderful piece of architecture, but first this: I have already started with the preparations of our upcoming month of Carpe Diem. September will be an awesome month I think and that month I have chosen to make it myself a little bit easier. How? Let me tell you. Maybe you remember our special feature Carpe Diem Imagination in which I shared images for your inspiration and sometimes I told you a little about the image. Next month I will create a whole month with Carpe Diem Imagination episodes ... so I am already gathering images to use. I think September will be an awesome month too.

Okay ... back to our episode of today. Today I have a very special piece of modern architecture. This piece of architecture you can find in Murcia Spain and it is created by Manuel Clavel Rojo architects. It's the so called "Crossed House". The crossed house has two floors, and it seems that both parts can move separately from each other ... and maybe it's really "moveable", but I couldn't find information about that. The architects choose for this "form", because than the house could catch the most of the sunlight and the wonderful views of the landscape around it.

Crossed House
Let me tell you a little bit more about this modern art architecture:

On a site in the higher part of a residential zone in the environs of Murcia is located the singular, crossed house with views to the adjacent mountains, the "Sierra de la Pila" and "Valle del Ricote". From the ambiguity, being on a site of a future densely built-up area and at the same time enjoying today’s unsurpassable views, was born the idea of the project: to orientate the lower level of the house to the garden's intimacy and grant to the user at the superior level the delight of its views considering future edification and the influence of solar radiation.

This conceptual setup is materialized by a geometrical operation, the rotation of two elements, as if it were two construction toy blocks that are stacked and handled easily. The stacked oblong volumes, of a length of 20m and a depth of about 5m, are rotated by 35 degrees so that the extremes orientate to the most favored views and generate at the same time cantilevers of about 10m length.

These cantilevers, together with the rotation between both volumes, provide the necessary sun protection of the facade and pool residence.

The expressive power of this formal configuration, very elementary in principle, is further enhanced by a subtle distinction between the two volumes: the edges are rounded according to the orientation of the main openings of each level reinforcing this way the autonomous nature of the volumes. Thus, on the ground floor rounded transversal edges frame the big opening to the southeast, upstairs such treatment is applied to the longitudinal edges framing the views of the rooms at each end of the volume. This also apparently reduces the contact surface between the two stacked volumes and reinforces the oblong nature of their geometrical form.

Crossed House at night

The contact to the ground is solved using again the same mechanism of rotation. This time a third, buried volume corresponding to the pool deck rotates with respect to the two volumes of the house to resolve the transition between garden ground and dwelling.

The surface's treatment of the concrete volumes provides a contrast between the outside with a rough finish created by a shuttering of sand blasted pine strips and an interior of smooth finishes. (Source)

An awesome building ... but can we create haiku inspired on this one, or will that be more like a senryu?

Here is my attempt:

caught in the windows
a rich landscape

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 22nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Shifted flowers, later on. For now .... just have fun!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Carpe Diem #1237 Fractal Art (by PSSolutions)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today I have a nice piece of so called "fractal art" for you, but what is "fractal art"? Until last month, as I was preparing the prompt-list for this modern art month I hadn't heard of "fractal art". What is it? It sounds like a kind of "digital art", so I had to find a description of "fractal art" and I found that on Wikipedia.

Fractal Art:

Fractal art is a form of algorithmic art created by calculating fractal objects and representing the calculation results as still images, animations, and media. Fractal art developed from the mid-1980s onwards. It is a genre of computer art and digital art which are part of new media art. The mathematical beauty of fractals lies at the intersection of generative art and computer art. They combine to produce a type of abstract art.

fractal art made with "electric sheep"
* Electric Sheep is a distributed computing project for animating and evolving fractal flames, which are in turn distributed to the networked computers, which display them as a screensaver.

Fractal art (especially in the western world) is rarely drawn or painted by hand. It is usually created indirectly with the assistance of fractal-generating software, iterating through three phases: setting parameters of appropriate fractal software; executing the possibly lengthy calculation; and evaluating the product. In some cases, other graphics programs are used to further modify the images produced. This is called post-processing. Non-fractal imagery may also be integrated into the artwork. The Julia set and Mandelbrot sets can be considered as icons of fractal art.

It was assumed that fractal art could not have developed without computers because of the calculative capabilities they provide. Fractals are generated by applying iterative methods to solving non-linear equations or polynomial equations. Fractals are any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size. (source: wikipedia)

Modern Art has evolved during the ages and as we can see in the above image ... "computer-art" looks awesome and with the computer you can create wonderful art work.

The above "fractal art" you may use if you like to for your inspiration, but the "planned" "fractal art" was the following. (the image was found on Pixabay):

Fractal Art created by PSSolutions
I wonder if this kind of art can be explored and be done myself, because I love this kind of modern art. To create a haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on this "fractal-art" will not be easy.

summer thunderstorm
electric waves dance around me
finally coolness

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 21st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Crossed House (Manuel Clavel Rojo), later on. For now ... have fun!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Carpe Diem #1236 Mirror by Jaume Plensa

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and I hope that you have found the inspiration to respond on our "weekend-meditation". I had a nice weekend at work and in my bed, I was on the nightshift.

This month we are exploring all kinds of modern art. We have seen architecture, paintings and sculptures and today I have another nice and beautiful piece of modern art for you. Today I love to share a sculpture created by the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa titled Mirror. Let me tell you a little bit about Jaume Plensa.

Jaume Plensa

Jaume Plensa was born in 1955 in Barcelona, where he studied at the Llotja School of Art and Design and at the Sant Jordi School of Fine Art.
Since 1980, the year of his first exhibition in Barcelona, he has lived and worked in Berlin, Brussels, England, France and the United States, as well as the Catalan capital.
Plensa regularly shows his work at galleries and museums in Europe, the United States and Asia. The landmark exhibitions in his career include one organized at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona in 1996, which travelled to the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris and the Malmö Konsthall in Malmö (Sweden) the following year. In Germany, several museums have staged exhibitions of his work. These include Love Sounds at the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hannover in 1999, The Secret Heart, which was shown at three museums in the city of Augsburg in 2014 and the recent Die Innere Sight at the Max Ernst Museum, in Brühl in 2016, which exhibited an extensive selection of his work. During 2015 and 2016 the exhibition Human Landscape has travelled by several North American museums: Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art and Frist Center of the Visual Arts in Nashville, TN, the Tampa Museum of Art in Tampa FL and the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, OH.

Actually and until late September 2017, the MAMC-Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Saint-Étienne Métropole, shows his latest works.
In the United States, where Plensa has worked and exhibited for nearly three decades, his works have been shown at many art galleries and museums. Amongst his most outstanding exhibitions was that organised at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas.
A very significant part of Plensa’s work is in the field of sculpture in the public space. Installed in cities in Spain, France, Japan, England, Korea, Germany, Canada, USA, etc., these pieces have won many prizes and citations, including the Mash Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture, which the artist received in London in 2009 for his work Dream.
Jaume Plensa's work can be seen regularly at the Galerie Lelong in Paris at Galerie Lelong in New York, and the Richard Gray Gallery in Chicago and New York. (Source:

Jaume has made wonderful sculptures and it's for sure worth to visit his own website (as mentioned above). Here is the sculpture "mirror" to inspire you:

Mirror by Jaume Plensa
"Mirror" was created for the campus of the Rice University of Houston (Texas) in 2012.

A sculpture with the same kind of material stands in the harbor of my home-town and that sculpture we will see later this month.

I found a nice tanka somewhere in my archives and I think this one can be written inspired on this sculpture again:

looking in the mirror
my hair turned gray and thin
deep wounds of time
however ... I smile as I see the cherry
bloom again, another year to my account

© Chèvrefeuille
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 20th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, fractal art, later on. For now ... have fun!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Chèvrefeuille's Gift #6 gust of wind

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had some spare time, so I have another episode of our special feature "Chèvrefeuille's Gift to You to Celebrate Our First Luster of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai" (or short "Chèvrefeuille's Gift"). In this special feature I challenge you with one of the several special features here at CDHK. This episode I love to challenge you to complete a haiku with only a given first line and to challenge you a little bit more I love to ask you to create a troiku with the haiku you have created. More about Troiku you can find above in the menu.

Here is the first line to use for your haiku, so this "gift" is an episode with a twist of "Carpe Diem Only The First Line".

with every gust of wind
Try to create a haiku with this first line and when you have created it create a Troiku with it.

Here is my attempt:

with every gust of wind
smoke from the water cauldron
shadows on the wall

And now to create a Troiku with it .... hm ... let's see ...

with every gust of wind
the windchime moves
breaking the night's peace

smoke from the water cauldron
swirls to the blue sky in praise
jasmine tea

shadows on the wall
created by the hands of children
telling a story

© Chèvrefeuille
I hope you did like this "Gift" and I am looking forward to your responses. Have fun. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Saturday August 19th at noon (CET).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Carpe Diem Extra August 10th 2017 Survey

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Recently I prolonged the time for responding from 5 days into 7 days (one week), but I have no idea if that works for you, so I have created a short survey (just 1 question) about this responding time

You can find the survey here


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Carpe Diem Utabukuro, the poem-bag #1 re-introduction "a single tulip"

!!! Open for your submissions next Sunday August 13th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to re-introduce to you a feature we had here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This feature is based on a haiku by Basho which he wrote when he was around 22 years of age, it's one of his earliest known haiku according to Jane Reichhold. I called that new feature "Carpe Diem Utabukuro, which means "poem bag".

Flower bud

The logo above shows you a bag with a wonderful print of a Japanese woodblock and in the logo you can read the romaji translation of the haiku on which this new feature is based. I will give that haiku here again:
hana ni akanu
nageki ya kochi no

© Basho
And this is the translation by Jane Reichhold:
flower buds
sadly spring winds cannot open
a poem bag

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
In her compilation of all Basho's haiku "Basho, the complete haiku" she gives the following description of this haiku:

1667 - spring. Because Basho has used kochi instead of the conventional ware for "my", the verse has two distinct versions. The associative technique is the idea that the flowers are not yet opened and neither is Basho's bag of poems (Utabukuro). The unopened purse of poems is like the flower bud in its potential for beauty.

The goal of this CDHK feature is not difficult, because I just ask you to share a haiku or tanka which you admire. That haiku or tanka can be one of a classical or non-classical haiku poet or one by yourself. You can choose whatever you like, but it has to be a haiku or tanka. Maybe the haiku brings you sweet (or sad) memories or you just like it. Explain why you have chosen that haiku or tanka to share here "in" CDHK's Utabukuro, poem bag and ... that's the second task for this feature write/compose an all new haiku inspired on the one you have chosen.

Single Rose
I will give you an example:

As you all know I wrote my first English haiku several years ago (2005) and that started my international fame as a haiku poet. I love to share that haiku here again, by the way this haiku is slightly different with the original haiku on advice of Jane herself:
a single flower
my companion
for one night

© Chèvrefeuille (2005)

This haiku is a haiku which is always on my mind, because of the strong emotions in it and through the emotions that it was the start of my international career as a haiku poet. And there is another deeper meaning in it, not only a Zen meaning (loneliness, emptiness), but also the sorrow of losing my only brother in 1995. My brother and I were always together, as we say here "four hands on one belly", after his death I lost my companion for life and with this haiku I tried to bring that feeling into my poetry.

I explained the first task of this feature and I think you understand what I mean. Look at the second task of this feature ... write/compose an all new haiku inspired on the haiku or tanka of your choice. I think that's also easily understand. So I will do that also in this introduction to this new Carpe Diem Utabukuro feature:

a single tulip
covered with snow
arrival of spring

© Chèvrefeuille

Tulip(s) covered with snow
It is really a joy to let go the "strict" rule of giving a theme, so enjoy this feature. Find one of your most wonderful haiku or tanka, or written by someone else, to find your muse, your inspiration and share it with us all. Have a great weekend.

This episode is open for your submissions next Sunday August 13th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 20th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Mirror (Jaume Plensa), later on. Have a great weekend full of inspiration.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Carpe Diem #1235 Tongue of Lucifer

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new (very short) episode of our Haiku Kai. This month we are exploring the beauty of modern art and we are trying to become inspired by the modern arts. Yesterday e.g we had a wonderful modern art architecture in Baku, but today I love to challenge you with a modern sculpture that is placed on one of the dikes around the polder in which I live.

About this modern sculpture there was a lot of talking because the name of the sculpture, Tongue of Lucifer. Lucifer, the fallen angel of light, is seen as the devil or satan, but that's not true. He was only an angel of light expelled by God, because he (Lucifer) wanted to have the same powers as God.

For your inspiration I have a beautiful image of the "Tongue of Lucifer" (made by the Dutch artist Rudi van de Wint). This episode you can see as a Carpe Diem Imagination episode, use the image for your inspiration:

Tongue of Lucifer (Rudi van de Wint)
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 16th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, a new "weekend-meditation", later on. For now ... have fun!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Carpe Diem #1234 Waves (Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azarbaijan, by Zaha Hadid)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What an awesome month this is ... modern art ... in all its forms. We have seen sculptures of stone, glass, but also paintings with several themes e.g. geometric patterns. And today I love to share with you another kind of modern art .... this time I have chosen for a wonderful piece of modern architecture, Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku Azerbaijan (former USSR). It's a design of Zaha Hadid Architects and I think it is gorgeous.

Heydar Aliyev Center Baku Azerbaijan (exterior)

The design of the Heydar Aliyev Center establishes a continuous, fluid relationship between its surrounding plaza and the building’s interior. The plaza, as the ground surface; accessible to all as part of Baku’s urban fabric, rises to envelop an equally public interior space and define a sequence of event spaces dedicated to the collective celebration of contemporary and traditional Azeri culture. Elaborate formations such as undulations, bifurcations, folds, and inflections modify this plaza surface into an architectural landscape that performs a multitude of functions: welcoming, embracing, and directing visitors through different levels of the interior. With this gesture, the building blurs the conventional differentiation between architectural object and urban landscape, building envelope and urban plaza, figure and ground, interior and exterior.
Heydar Aliyev Center Baku Azerbaijan (interior)

Fluidity in architecture is not new to this region. In historical Islamic architecture, rows, grids, or sequences of columns flow to infinity like trees in a forest, establishing non-hierarchical space. Continuous calligraphic and ornamental patterns flow from carpets to walls, walls to ceilings, ceilings to domes, establishing seamless relationships and blurring distinctions between architectural elements and the ground they inhabit. Our intention was to relate to that historical understanding of architecture, not through the use of mimicry or a limiting adherence to the iconography of the past, but rather by developing a firmly contemporary interpretation, reflecting a more nuanced understanding. Responding to the topographic sheer drop that formerly split the site in two, the project introduces a precisely terraced landscape that establishes alternative connections and routes between public plaza, building, and underground parking. This solution avoids additional excavation and landfill, and successfully converts an initial disadvantage of the site into a key design feature.
A wonderful piece of modern art architecture ... more about this beautiful piece of architecture you can find here at: Zaha Hadid.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 15th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Tongue of Lucifer, later on. For now .... have fun!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Carpe Diem Extra August 7th 2017 sneak preview October 2017

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you (maybe know) next October we will celebrate our 5th anniversary and I hope to create a wonderful month a real festive month of course. So I love to give you all an update on the preparations of this anniversary month.
I started this haiku community back in October 2012 and I enjoyed the challenge. First I thought maybe a few months, maybe a year, but I never could have dreamed that CDHK would be alive and kicking five years after the start.
Today I was on a memory tour and read several of the posts I wrote in the past years and I ran into wonderful posts which are ripe to be reproduced another time. So our festive month will be a trip along memory lane and of course a few other surprises.


Chèvrefeuille, your host

Carpe Diem #1233 Geometric patterns

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I had planned to make an episode about geometric patterns, and I am going to do that, but another piece of art than I first had chosen. Today I have a wonderful painiting, with a lot of geometric paintings created by Dana Gordon. Let me tell you first a little bit about it:

One of the great challenges for good painters is to make bad pictures. When an artist shared this observation with me, it sounded so wrong, I realized it must be right. Most of us, of course, are simply bad painters. The great challenge for us would be to paint well, if we even paint at all. Even if we know, or think we know, what a painting should look like, we have little ability to summon up the elusive processes and talents to get there.

For good painters, the challenge is not so much how to reach some visual destination, but rather how not to reach it too quickly—or too easily. For good painters, facility can become facile. The shortcuts of the brush can miss the joys of the journey and the discoveries along the way.

Good painters therefore look for ways at redirection. They will put up roadblocks, obstruct their path, make formulas to complicate their progress. And, perhaps most importantly, once they find they can paint in a certain mode too well, they will simply stop doing it—realizing that pictorial success, overly pursued, will ultimately lead to failure.

Dana Gordon is just such an artist who matches painterly intuition with a philosophical awareness of the great history of art in which he takes part. I can think of few painters who are able to write effectively on the legacy of Camille Pissarro, as Dana has done—or have a history in creating avant-garde film, and sculpture. Dana is one of those creative originals.

Dana Gordon, Light Years (2015-16)
Look at this beautiful painting. I love the geometric patterns which Dana has used, but I also like the colors. this painting is titled "light years" and I think that's a nice title, because of the beauty it is light years away from the beauty of other modern paintings, just because he used these nice colors.

But the title of this episode, is more ... philosophical. At first I thought of the so called "sacred geometry" a philosophy who says that all and everything is the same as we look at the deeper hidden patterns. Maybe you have heard from Drunvalo Melchizedek, an ascended master, who wrote two wonderful books on "sacred geometry" titled "The Flower of Life". Several years ago, I even think back in the last century, I read his books and they were really amazing. Let me give you an idea about "The Flower of Life".

This will be a revelation, but I need a lot of words to explain it. I hope you don't mind.

Sacred Geometry (spiritual science)
What is Sacred Geometry?

Sacred geometry involves sacred universal patterns used in the design of everything in our reality, most often seen in architecture, art, and nature. The basic belief is that geometry and mathematical ratios, harmonics and proportion are also found in music, light, cosmology. It is the invisible patterns that animate our physical world much as spiritual traditions believe that the soul animates the body.

Shapes, patterns, and visual compositions have the capacity to seduce our eyes while captivating our imagination. Whether from masterful works of art or in nature, this entrancement can be so emotionally moving and awe-inspiring that people naturally associate it with transcendence, the super-natural, or spiritual. Beneath these patterns are relationships that can be measured, numbered, replicated, and defined. This mathematical yet esoteric realm of inquiry and observation known as sacred geometry will enlighten and mystify you while inviting you to change the way you look at the world.

The Golden Ratio

Also known as Phi, the Golden Mean, or the Golden Section, the Golden Ratio was revered as the mathematical law or representation of beauty by the Greeks. It is the numerical representation of infinity and an unreachable approximation. This begs one to contemplate the possibility of a transcendent number. From the Golden Rectangle comes the Fibonacci Spiral which is seen in flowers, snail shells, pinecones, and other parts of nature. The Golden Rectangle and Fibonacci Spiral are used in the crafting of musical instruments like cellos, violins, and the tones of musical scales are created using these same mathematical formulas. These formulas have been used in design and architecture going back at least 4,000 years and are seen in historic buildings like the Greek Parthenon.

The Golden Ratio (Nautilus shell)
The Flower of Life

Another very powerful symbol that is found all over the world dating back over 6,000 years and up to 10,000 years is the Flower of Life. This symbol is made of evenly-spaced, overlapping circles with six fold symmetry like a hexagon and looks like a flower, hence the name. It can be found in Egypt at the Temple of Osiris; the Forbidden City of China, synagogues in Galilee, Israel; in temples across India; in la Mezquita, Spain; Turkey, Japan and elsewhere. Leonardo da Vinci spent much time playing with and contemplating the Flower of Life’s form and used its mathematical properties in his art. Just by gazing at the symbol, or trying to count the circles will play tricks on your mind, and there is no wonder that people from ancient times to now are enamored with the Flower of Life.

Within the Flower is the Seed

The Seed of Life is a symbol found within the Flower of Life, as well as many other symbols of great significance including Metatrons Cube. These shapes called polygons are defined by having sides of equal length. This includes the cube, tetrahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron, octahedron and they represent what Plato called the 5 platonic solids. These are visible within the flower of life when straight lines are drawn to connect the center of various circles within it. It is amazing to see all of this symmetry unfold in one succinct pattern which is created by math. Since many traditions believe that circles and curves represent the feminine, while corners and straight lines represent the masculine, this symbol also shows a divine balance of both.

Sacred Geometry (an overview of all sacred geometric patterns)

Spirituality and Sacred Geometry

Higher frequencies of energy and awareness are transmitted through sacred geometry. Sacred geometry reveals that there are mathematical, or abstract patterns beneath everything that we see in the physical world. How might this relate to our own personal journey of integrating science and spirituality? Our internal beliefs create patterns that slowly ripple outward from us and manifest into real world experiences. The invisible informs the visible. Sacred geometry is a visualization and metaphor of the connectedness of all life, the interface between abstraction and physical reality. When we change the mathematical formulas, the relationships, we also change physical form. This is the teaching of many mystics. (Source: uplift)

in its simple form
full of light
geometric patterns grow
everything around us

© Chèvrefeuille

Sorry for the length of this episode, but I just had to follow my heart to tell you a little bit more about the sacred geometry, as part of modern art our theme for this month. I hope you enjoyed the read and of course I hope that I have awakened your muse.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 14th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, waves, later on. For now .... have fun!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Carpe Diem #1232 abstract autumn (unknown artist)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As you (maybe) know right at this moment our Carpe Diem Autumn Retreat is on and runs towards its end. So I thought to choose another nice abstract piece of art, but this time the theme is "abstract autumn". What is abstract autumn? Well ... a painting in which you cannot see its trees or something, but through the colors you know immediately that the painting has to do with autumn. In the modern painting "abstract autumn" you cannot see trees or bushes, but you can see the colors of autumn, red, yellow, orange, brown and all kinds of little differences in those colors ... the colors are autumn and it gives you the opportunity to go with the flow, to think outside of the box to create your Japanese poetry like haiku or choka.

yellow, red,
orange and deep purple

© Chèvrefeuille

What do you see if you read this haiku? I think it's an abstract autumn haiku inspired on the painting I have chosen for your inspiration.

abstract autumn (unknown artist) (image found on Pinterest)
Try to imagine autumn through this painting. Haiku is an impression ... what's your impression?

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 13th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, geometric patterns (unknown artist), later on. For now .... have fun, go with the flow, think outside the box and share your impression with us all.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Carpe Diem Writing and Enjoying Haiku #4 having fun?

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday August 6th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new edition of our " weekend-meditation", this week a new episode of Carpe Diem's Writing and Enjoying Haiku as a tribute to Jane Reichhold (1937-2016). Jane was a renown haiku and tanka poet and she wrote a lot of books and articles about our wonderful Japanese poetry. She was not only my mentor, but also my friend, my co-host and my source of inspiration. This special feature is based on her book "Writing and Enjoying Haiku", in which she describes haiku as a kind of spiritual meditation that can give you a free mind and a peaceful mind. In her book she really promotes the beauty of haiku (and other Japanese poetry forms).
In the first three episodes of this special feature I followed her book almost by the word, but this week I love to bring an episode based on my own knowledge and feeling towards haiku.

empty sheet of paper

tears fall
on an empty sheet of paper 
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille

The above haiku I wrote after an episode of our special feature "Ask Jane ...?", that episode was about the so called Kanshicho-style of writing haiku or in other words "as the Chinese poetry". In that Kanshicho-style you don't follow the rules of haiku, so you can also say "free-style" haiku-ing. I like the "name" Kanshicho-style and I love using it, it sounds better than "free-style" in my opinion, but that's just my feeling.

As I discovered haiku back in the eighties I was immediately caught by the simple beauty of haiku, but also the depth in haiku. Haiku looks like just a small verse, a "doodle", but it is more, far more than that. Haiku is painting with words and it's not only the writer of the haiku, but also the reader who makes the haiku. I have said that earlier this week, but it is true. As I write a haiku than I have seen something beautiful and than I try to catch that in a haiku, but the scene I saw will not be the shame scene as seen by the reader of the haiku.

Let's go back to the above haiku:

tears fall
on an empty sheet of paper 
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille

In this haiku you can see more than one scenes. There is that empty sheet of paper on which tears are falling. What can it mean? Well I remember that I wrote that haiku on a day that someone close to me died and I was really broken by that and I tried to catch my feelings, my emotions, in a haiku, but it didn't come, say "my muse wasn't available". It took me a whole night to order my thoughts, my feelings. I tried several versions, but none of them gave room to my emotions on that moment. Finally ... as the sun was rising, dew was sparkling on a spiderweb ... I came up with this haiku. I did re-write it several times before it was the ultimate haiku to share my feelings in ... Finally I could cope with the loss of that close friend ... and tears broke through ... tears that sought there way to the empty sheet of paper ... and than the haiku was there ... spot on.

Do you enjoy haiku? Well .... I do for sure. As I started writing haiku I wrote a lot of haiku-like poems, but at first they never could wear the name haiku in my opinion. It wasn't an easy path that I took to create haiku. And for sure at first I didn't enjoy creating haiku, because they all were not good enough in my opinion, but than ... in 2005 I published my first English haiku

a lonely flower
my companion
for one night

© Chèvrefeuille

With that haiku I became a renown haiku poet. Thank god for the Internet I would say. Maybe you can remember this haiku. In one of the episodes of "Ask Jane" ... Jane re-wrote this haiku after a question I had for her.

Her idea was to leave "lonely" away, because the flower cannot be lonely, that's a human feeling, so Jane gave me the following idea:

a single flower
my companion
for one night


a single tulip
my companion
for one night

© Chèvrefeuille (re-done by Jane Reichhold)

I was really happy with this "change", because as I published the original haiku there were several respondents who said it feels like a "one-night-stand", and maybe that is true, but in the original there is nothing that brings that idea in my opinion, but in the second re-done version by Jane Reichhold, that's obvious, because tulips have a sensual meaning. As Jane said: "that second haiku has more connotations. . . even some sexual with single / unmarried and tulip / two lipped!"


Haiku is a really short poem, but as we have seen in this episode (and in all other episodes here at CDHK) it's the "biggest" poem, because we can say so much with less words. And it is a symbiosis between the poet and the reader ... isn't that what we all would like to see in the world? All and everything enjoying each other with respect to everyone's own ideas. Those differences are making us who we are

tongues melt together
as one

© Chèvrefeuille

Well .... that was my interpretation of "writing and enjoying haiku", what is your interpretation? Do you have fun while creating haiku? That's the goal for this "weekend-meditation" ... step back and look at your haiku (or tanka) what do you see? Change your look and look at it like you were the reader and not the poet. What do you see ... what scenes are coming in mind? 

Have a great weekend!

This episode is open for your submissions next Sunday August 6th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 11th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, abstract autumn, around the same time as the start of the submitting period. For now .... have fun, write and enjoy haiku ...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Carpe Diem #1231 Serenity (Mystical Threshold by intuitive artist Joan Fullerton)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Our journey into the modern arts is on full speed, the first week is almost done. We have already seen modern arts sculptures and today I love to inspire you through a painting titled "Mystical Threshold" and it's painted by renown intuitive artist Joan Fullerton. Here is a short introduction by herself:

"Born into a Wyoming ranch family, I grew up with a deep regard for the natural world.  For me the subtle nuances as well as the awesome power of nature's beauty, made the solitude of the isolated prairie sacred.  While raising 3 children, I studied watercolor with Edgar Whitney, Frank Webb, Charles Reid and other nationally known watercolorists.  In 1985 I returned to college and achieved BFA and MFA degrees in painting from the University of Wyoming.  I was a college art instructor from 1990 to 2003 in Cheyenne, WY.  And in 2003 I fulfilled a long-time dream when I moved to Taos, NM, to paint full-time.  After 8 successful years in Taos, I am now in the Denver, CO area, painting and teaching workshops." (Source: Joan

Joan Fullerton
I have seen several of her paintings and they all are stunning. They look fragile and mysterious, but always very colorful. I especially like the mysterious landscapes, which she herself calls intuitive paintings. One of those landscapes I love to share here to inspire you with, this painting is titled "Mystical Threshold".

Mystical Threshold (Joan Fullerton) (found on Pinterest)
Let us take a closer look ... It looks like a pond surrounded by trees and bushes somewhere in autumn, according to the colors used. As I saw this painting the first thing that came in mind is "Mists of Avalon" and the legend of "King Arthur". The scene looks mysterious and magical and it seems that at the left side a little bit beneath the center of the paintings something / someone is hiding. I think this is one of her most beautiful mystical landscapes. You really have to visit her own website or her Pinterest account ... then you will discover a lot of beauty ...

"Magical Threshold" has also something of the impressionists, because it is an impression of a lake surrounded by nature in autumn colors. Maybe this makes the connection to haiku. Maybe you can remember that I once said: "haiku is an impression of a moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water" and as we take this idea than I think it's possible to create an impression inspired on this beautiful painting by Joan Fullerton.

autumn colors
fade away

© Chèvrefeuille

threshold of mystery
deep silence

© Chèvrefeuille

summer ends
colorful lake

© Chèvrefeuille

And to conclude this episode, I recovered a haiku from my archives:

at sunrise
the deep purple of the night disappears
in dew drops

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope I have inspired you.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 9th at noon (CET). Have fun!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Carpe Diem #1230 glass sculpture (R.Loy, The Netherlands)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A new episode on 'modern art', the theme for this month of CDHK. The 'modern art' for today is prize I won back into 1998. I was a participant in an art manifestation in my hometown. I introduced haiku there and it was a great experience. I recited haiku I created in the years before. I had gathered them in a book and had made a kind of hand-out of it in which I had gathered the most beautiful haiku and a few tanka.

At the end of this art manifestation they gave prizes for all the different kinds of arts ... and there was also a prize for literature ... That prize I won ... I was honored ...

glass sculpture by R. Loy
In this glass sculpture you can see all kinds of things, maybe it's elephant or a dinosaur ... I don't know. I like it, not only because of the story behind it, but also because its like haiku ... everyone can sense a different scene by reading the same haiku ... and this sculpture does the same.

young elephant
rolls through the mud
to cool down

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... it was a short episode, but I enjoyed creating it and I hope you can find the inspiration you need to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 8th at noon (CET). Have fun ...