An Artist, Photographer, Writer, Poet

Daily Archives: July 10, 2014

Autumn Frost from blogsite

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Kristjaan writes:  

Today I love to share a, not so well known, haiku by (my master) Matsuo Basho

in which we can read and see how ancient Japanese honored their parents.

As they did honor their parents we see nowadays

more dis-honor for parents or likewise parents for their kids.

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te ni tora ba kie n namida zo atsuki aki no shimo
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if taken into my hand
melting in the heat of tears
autumn frost
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© Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)
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As was common in those times this haiku had a preface:
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‘At the beginning of September I came back home.
I 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 
(Basho had a brother, an elder sister and three younger sisters)
was white and they had wrinkles between their eyebrows. 
We could only say, ‘we are fortunate to be still alive’. 
Nothing more. 
My elder brother opened an amulet case and said reverently to me, 
‘Look, at mother’s white hair. 
You have came back after such a long time. 
 
So this is like the Tamate Box of Urashima Taro.
 
Your eyebrows have become white’. 
We wept for a while and then I composed this verse.
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yes I do sometimes write a preface to my haiku as was common in Basho’s time):
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 Chèvrefeuille preface
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This verse of Basho touches me 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.

 

life passes –

in the early sunlight

the ripe melts

 

frost on the branches

melts in the early sunlight

life passes

 

© Chèvrefeuille (2012)

 

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

 

© Chèvrefeuille (2012)

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My response preface:
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In red to honor my mother who loved red to go with her
white blouses and black skirts. 
(Her  white pearls she wore often looked elegant with red.)
 
When my mother died, my 
father had already been gone for many years,
a baby sister died decades ago.
I became the matriarch
of my immediate small family:
a younger brother, (who became the patriarch when dad died)
two adult children who may be past their middle age,
and four granddaughters who are adults or nearly adults.
Time goes by so quickly…
in my mind, I feel as if I’m still in my thirties,
I look in the mirror, and it says otherwise.
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My response haiku… 
in baby blue to honor my father with the bluest eyes
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my hair has gray frost
my eyes did too with cataracts
gram looked back in mirror
I see again with clarity
the miracle of medicine 
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.(c) Saradunn 2013 Full moon over Downeast Maine, USA

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The prompt:

Kaga no Chiyo, considered one of the foremost women haiku poets, began writing at the age of seven. She studied under two haiku masters who had themselves apprenticed with the great poet, Basho….

In 1755, Chiyo became a Buddhist nun —

not, she said, in order to renounce the world,

but as a way ‘to teach her heart to be like the clear water which flows night and day’.

From that moment on she is known as Chiyo-Ni (Ni means nun).

 

Credits: Chiyo-Ni (1703-1775)

Chiyo-Ni is known for her wonderful Morning Glorie’s haiku, but today we don’t have a haiku on Morning Glories by her. We have another haiku written by her, not so wellknown I think, but a strong one. It’s an autumn haiku.

meigetsu ya ittemo ittemo yoso no sora

autumn’s bright moon,
however far I walked, still afar off
in an unknown sky

© Chiyo-Ni

In this haiku there is a feeling of separateness here which is not to be denied. The poetess realizes that she and the moon are two different entities, in a different sky, in a different world….

at the mountain top
it looks like I am bigger than the moon
in her first quarter

© Chèvrefeuille

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My inspired response:

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same moon shines bright

far away city and home

over the moon and back

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(c) 6/2013 Saradunn… Purple lupine

 

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This prompt is inspired by the poetry of Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), 
who seems to be as well-known for his tanka as for his haiku.
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What to say about a man who endured incredible pain – 
but chose to sing through that pain? 
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As you may already know, 
Masaoka Shiki was struck by a severe form of tuberculosis 
when he was 22 years old. 
Tuberculosis is a disease that attacks the lungs and causes the sufferer
to cough up blood and lung tissue.  
He changed his name from “Noboru” to “Shiki” – 
after a bird that (in Japanese legend) 
coughs blood when it sings.  
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In later years, the tuberculosis attacked his spine as well. 
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The man
I used to meet in the mirror
is no more.
Now I see a wasted face.
It dribbles tears.
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© Masaoka Shiki
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So much of his poetry seems to reflect a “beautiful suffering” – 
and a recognition that life is fleeting. 
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in memory of
the spring now passing
I drew
the long clusters of wisteria
that move like waves
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© Masaoka Shiki
And while we feel sorrow for a life that passed so quickly – 
I think we should celebrate the spirit that chose to sing in spite of the pain – 
the optimism that saw beauty everywhere 
and chose to celebrate life as much as grieve its passing.
 
I do not know the day
my pain will end yet
in the little garden
I had them plant
seeds of autumn flowers 
 
© Masaoka Shiki
 
Here are my (Ghost Writer) two (humble!) 
offerings for this prompt.  
The first is a haiku that I wrote several weeks ago, 
but I think it fits the prompt fairly well.
while I was sick
the birch found its leaves –
my grief in green
 
© Jen R.
remembering
Queen Anne’s Lace and chicory
in their swirling dance –
how the autumn-brown stalks
make me dream of summer
 
© Jen R.
 
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My response to the prompt
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early winter ~ icy tears
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remembering  purple  lupine
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burning bushes
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when whales played and sang to me
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autumn’s  gold ~ red  maple leaves
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.coronapumpkinfarm.com  Bee on Cantaloupe Blossom

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The prompt:
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Today our second haiku by Yosa Buson. Buson 

was a haiku-poet and he also created wonderful haiga as a painter 
… so he was really an artist.
Buson had the honor to illustrate the first paper publication
of Basho’s ”Narrow Road to the Deep North” (Oku No Hosomichi),
the most famous haibun ever written. 
Buson however wrote wonderful haiku too.

In an earlier post at CDHK we had haiku about ”melon-flowers” 

and the haiku by Buson which I love to share here is also on ”melons”.

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adabana wa ame ni utarete uri batake

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fruitless blossoms
are beaten by the rain
in the melon fields

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© Buson (Tr. by Thomas McAuley)

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A beautiful haiku I think … 

well I hope it will inspire you to write haiku. 

Here is my attempt to write a haiku in the spirit of Buson.

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every where I look
the yellow flowers of melons 
after a sunny day

 

© Chèvrefeuille

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My response to the prompt:

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cantaloupe blossom

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long dry summer days and nights

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thirsty for rain

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