Friday, December 15, 2017

Carpe Diem Sneak Preview first quarter 2018

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I know it's weekend and I know that I cherish these free weekends, but I just had to share my thoughts for the first quarter of 2018. I am already busy with preparing the prompt-list for January 2018 and I think that will be a fairytale like month (smiles), something like Arabian Nights ...

January 2018:

We will discover the beauty of that wonderful series of fairytales as known as "Thousand And One Nights" or "Arabian Nights". That month will be awesome I think. I love fairytales and I remember that we have done a whole month about fairytales, legends and myths and I even created a myth my own in that month.

With the fairytales of Arabian Nights we will have a great kick-off of a whole new year of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.

Here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai we have a nice history of journeys and I love to do another month in which we will go on a journey. I even think that I have mentioned this journey somewhere in our rich history.

February 2018:

"I can smell the pepper, the cinnamon and other spices already". This month we will go on a journey along the so called "Silk Road". The Silk Road was a network of trade routes, formally established during the Han Dynasty of China, which linked the regions of the ancient world in commerce. As the Silk Road was not a single thoroughfare from east to west, the term 'Silk Routes’ has become increasingly favored by historians, though 'Silk Road’ is the more common and recognized name. The network was used regularly from 130 BCE, when the Han officially opened trade with the west, to 1453 CE, when the Ottoman Empire boycotted trade with the west and closed the routes.

During this journey we will again read a novel which one ... I haven't yet decided.

somewhere along the silk road
After this journey it is time to find peace again. I have an idea about that, but I don't know if I have the courage to do what I am thinking about. In this time it's somewhat controversial to do a whole month about the Quran, because of all things that happen around the globe. But ... the Quran is a really wonderful book to read. It's full of ancient wisdom and in the Quran love and peace are leading themes ...

March 2018 (with a proviso):

"No human speech can match". This month we will try to explore the beauty of the Quran. The Quran, literally meaning "the recitation" is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God (Allah). It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature. The Quran is divided into chapters (surah in Arabic), which are then divided into verses (ayah).

Open Quran
Well ... I am excited about the first quarter of 2018 and I hope you all will be excited too. Please share your thoughts about the first quarter of 2018 with me through the comment field.

Have a great weekend,

Chèvrefeuille, your host

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #11 Full Circle - Wintertime

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday December 17th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new Carpe Diem weekend-meditation (with a new temporarily logo) our special feature for the weekends. For those who are new here ... I started a time ago with this special feature to have time for myself, the right choice was to do that in the weekend. Through that idea the submission starts at the end of the weekend (as you have read above).

This weekend I love to challenge you with a "full circle" titled "wintertime". What is a "full circle"?
The goal is to write haiku (only haiku) with the twelve (12) words I will give. It's a kind of word-whirl and you have to use the words given in the clock-wise direction. So every word has to come in the line of it's place on the clock e.g. hoar frost you have to use for line one (1) and breath for line two (2) and so on. The result will be four (4) haiku.

Full Circle

I will give you twelve (12) words (for every ''hour'') one word. The goal is to write haiku using the words as given in the clock wise way. (To help you a little bit in the right direction I have separated the 12 words you have to use through a slightly difference in the color. (haiku 1: word 1, 2 & 3; haiku 2: word 4, 5 & 6; haiku 3: word 7, 8 & 9; haiku 4: word 10,11 & 12)

Here are the 12 (twelve) words:

1. hoar frost
2. breath
3. morning light
4. mistletoe
5. cuddle
6. fireplace
7. poem
8. first snow
9. whisper
10. christmastree
11. gifts
12. smile

Christmas decorations
A nice series of words to work with I think. Let me give you my haiku created with the first three "hours" (words) of this series about "wintertime".

fragile hoar frost
melts through her warm breath
morning light awakens

© Chèvrefeuille

A nice haiku (how immodest) to end this weekend-meditation with. Have fun ...!

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday December 17th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 24th at noon (CET). Have fun ... and have an awesome weekend.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Carpe Diem #1327 A Perfect Life ...?

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... this episode will be a bit strange, because it's about the question "Do I Have a Perfect Life?" Today's novel is one of the novels I haven't read fully yet. Of course I had to read it while preparing this month in which we are inspired through the novels written by Paulo Coelho, but I couldn't complete my reading because of circumstances.

Today's quote I have taken from Coelho's novel "Veronika Decides to Die". Yes it's about the questions someone asks him or her self according to their life ... Veronika decides to die is about committing suicide. As you all know Jane Reichhold also decided to die by committing suicide. She no longer could cope with her illness, fybromyalgia. So the theme of this novel comes very close to our, to my, feelings and thoughts.
To me being suicidal or having suicidal thoughts isn't strange, because I know what it is. Several years ago, at the beginning of this century, I had a severe burn-out and I had suicidal thoughts, so this episode comes as close to me as is possible.


Let me give you a brief overview of this novel:

Veronika is a beautiful young woman from Ljubljana, Slovenia who appears to have the perfect life, but nevertheless decides to die (commit suicide) by overdosing with sleeping pills. While she waits to die, she cancels the suicide letter she starts to her parents while suddenly provoked by a magazine article.

The magazine article wittily asks "Where is Slovenia?", so she writes a letter to the press justifying her suicide, the idea being to make the press believe that she has killed herself because people don't even know where Slovenia is. Her plan fails and she wakes up in Villete, a mental hospital in Slovenia, where she is told she has only a few days to live due a heart condition caused by the overdose.

Her presence there affects all of the mental hospital's patients, especially Zedka, who has clinical depression; Mari, who suffers from panic attacks; and Eduard, who has schizophrenia, and with whom Veronika falls in love. During her internment in Villete she realizes that she has nothing to lose and can therefore do what she wants, say what she wants and be who she wants without having to worry about what others think of her; as a mental patient, she is unlikely to be criticized. Because of this new-found freedom Veronika experiences all the things she never allowed herself to experience, including hatred and love.

In the meantime, Villete's head psychiatrist, Dr. Igor, attempts a fascinating but provocative experiment: can you "shock" someone into wanting to live by convincing her that death is imminent? Like a doctor applying defibrillator paddles to a heart attack victim, Dr. Igor's "prognosis" jump-starts Veronika's new appreciation of the world around her.

An excellent story I think and it brings me thoughts about nature. The story in this novel you can compare with the circle of life. And maybe that's an inspirational idea for your Japanese poetry.

Circle of Life
eternal circle
lotuses blooming and decaying -
ancient wisdom grows

© Chèvrefeuille

And that's so true, but it is not in the same feeling as the story above, but ... well it's the circle of life. Here is the quote from "Veronika Decides to Die" for your inspiration:

[...] "An awareness of death encourages us to live more intensely." [...] (Source: Veronika Decides to Die - Paulo Coelho

A very short quote, but a quote with a lot of layers. My thoughts immediately went back to our first Theme Week (2016) about "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying". And a quote by Sogyal Rinpoche returned to me:

[...] "Everyone of us will once face death, that idea makes us sad and anxious, but it is inevitable, but as you can face your mortality than that will keep your life in balance". [...]  (Sogyal Rinpoche form "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying".)

phoenix spreads its wings
after the dark cold winter night
finally spring

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't that the same as meant in the quote from "Veronika Decides to Die"?

Well ... much to think about ... This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until December 21st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

PS. If you like to read the exclusive CDHK e-book created after the theme week about "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" than you can find it on 

PPS. I have created an account on 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

UPDATE!! Christmas Stockings our exclusive new CDHK e-book for the holidays

concept cover image

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I love to give you all an update on our new exclusive CDHK E-book especially created for the holidays. For this new E-book I have chosen a title to work with "Christmas Stockings", because this CDHK E-book is a gift for you all who participate here at CDHK and I am so glad that you have already emailed me several wonderful submissions, however ... there is still room for more contributions to this E-book. There will not be a selection or something, because I love to give you all a stage to publish. So if you not have emailed your contribution to this exclusive CDHK E-book than please feel free to do that.

You can email your contribution to our emailaddress: Please write "holidays e-book" in the subject line. I am looking forward to all of your wonderful contributions.

I have started already with the creation of this CDHK E-book, of course it's all in very early form, but I think this exclusive CDHK e-book will be a joy to read and I hope ... not only for this time of year.


Chèvrefeuille, your host.

Carpe Diem #1326 transformation

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Transformation ... it's something we have seen here several times, it's a kind of path to find your inner truth, your inner beauty or your inner love. And that's the main theme in "Brida" another beautiful novel by Paulo Coelho. "Brida" was published in 1990 and it became a very famous novel within the "wiccan" community all around the world, because the "wiccan" believe (the "religion" of nature, like e.g. Shinto) is were this novel is about.
After "The Alchemist", the first novel I read by Coelho, I read "Brida" and again I was caught by the beauty of the story, a story that was so close to my life. As a haiku poet I am living with nature, I feel one with nature and I know that you, my dear Haijin, have that same feeling, that same connection with nature around us. Nature is the main theme of haiku (and other Japanese poetry).

Wiccan believe (image found on Pinterest)
The above image gives the heart of Wiccan ... and that's what Brida is seeking for in this novel by Paulo Coelho. Let me give you first a short overview of this novel.

Brida is the story of a beautiful young Irish girl and her quest for knowledge. She finds a hermit mage who teaches her to overcome fear and a witch who teaches her how to dance to the hidden music of the world. They see in her a gift, but must let her make her own voyage of discovery. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to transform herself. The story makes reference to catharism and is woven around marrying the art of witchcraft to contemporary life. (Source: Wikipedia)

fragile wings
pointing the way to transformation -
the summerbreeze

© Chèvrefeuille

Pygmalion's lesson
every man and woman has to be
like a caterpillar
growing to the next level
become a butterfly

© Chèvrefeuille

That tanka shows you, in my opinion, what real transformation means. Transformation is the main theme of "Brida". So let us go on to the quote I extracted from "Brida" to work with.


[...] "She had met people who had lost the glow of being alive because they could no longer fight against loneliness and had ended up becoming addicted to it. They were, for most part, people who believed the world to be an undignified, inglorious place, and who spent their evenings and nights talking on and on about the mistakes others had made. They were people whom solitude had made into judges of the world, whose verdicts were scattered to the four winds for whoever cared to listen." [...] (Source: Brida by Paulo Coelho)

Well ... I hope that this post will inspire you ... it was a joy to create this episode, because it's so close to my believes.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 20th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. Have fun!

Carpe Diem Extra December 13th 2017

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

If you would like to be published in cdhk's exclusive "holidays" e-book. Than you can send your "holidays" Japanese poem like haiku or tanka to Please write "holidays e-book" in the subject line.

You can submit your contribution until December 19th 10:00 pm (cet)


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Carpe Diem #1325 follow the dictates of your heart

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a wonderful month this is. As you all know I love the novels written by Paulo Coelho. I have read almost all his novels, but the novel from which the quote for today comes I haven't read yet, but of course I intend to do that without a doubt. The novel from which I extracted the quote is titled "The Valkyries" and was published back in 1992. At that time I hadn't heard from Paulo Coelho.
The love for his novels came as I read the special edition of "The Alchemist" back in 2013, that year "The Alchemist" saw a 25th anniversary edition in an awesome beauty. I was caught by the beauty of that story and became addicted to this author. So in a way you can see this month as a kind of tribute to the beauty of Paulo Coelho's novels.

The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho (cover)

Let me give you a short preview of "The Valkyries":

The book is autobiographical, but told from the third person. It deals with the exorcism of personal demons and discovering one's strength. It also deals with relationships among people, in this case, Paulo and his wife. Together with her, he embarks on a journey through the soaring heat of the Mojave desert. During the 40 days journey, surrounded by doubts and temptations and entering their innermost conflicts and questions, they met the valkyries, strange warrior women. (Source: Wikipedia)

Before I share the quote for today I also love to share a piece of Wagner's composition "The Valkyries" (Die Walkure):

An awesome piece of music. In a way this music by Wagner shows the beauty of "The Valkyries" as written by Paulo Coelho in which a group of women on motorbikes is playing a role. Coelho and his wife meet them in the Mojave desert. 
There is another religious or spiritual connection with The Bible, because as you maybe know Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil for 40 days in the desert. Paulo and his wife are in the Mojave desert for 40 days ... no coincedence of course, because Coelho uses often religious or spiritual ideas in his novels. That's the reason why I am such a big fan of his novels ... I am a spiritual person and through the novels of Coelho I learned more and more about spirituality or better said ... my spirituality.

Okay ... back to our inspirational quote for today taken from "The Valkyries":

[...] "There is no sin but the lack of love, have courage, be capable of loving, even if love appears to be a treacherous and terrible thing. Be happy in love. Be joyful in victory. Follow the dictates of your heart." [...] (Source: The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho)

be happy in love
I wasn't inspired enough so I scrolled through my archives and found the following haiku and tanka:

at the horizon
air dances in all freedom
love on the beach

watching the world
with an open heart and mind -
that's true wisdom

silence all around
the busy world has gone away
follow your heart
feel the love of Mother Nature -
sunflowers blossom

© Chèvrefeuille

I think this quote fits the time of year and I hope you will find your inspiration to create Japanese poetry.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until December 19th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode later on.