230 Following














the axe hits

a scent of pine

in the winter woods




I met an American girl from Seattle who had a tattoo of Buson above her left breast, which she showed me in a bar selling craft beer in Pècs, Hungary.


Buson is one of what haiku poet Chèvrefeuille calls 'the big five' of classic haiku poetry, and indeed Buson strove to follow Bashô's footsteps in haiku, and literally, by tracing his journey in his 'Narrow Road to the Interior.'


The traveling, and in fact lengthy walking, is one of the endearing aspects of the haiku poets of the Edo period, and in my fervent opinion a necessary stage in the implementation of their craft. There is no doubt in my mind that without their traveling soul the classic haiku artists could never have launched haiku as they did.


Each may have had his or her own style, but both theme and topic of many of their haiku reflected their experience on the road or gave them a broader vision than a more sedentary lifestyle could afford. Buson's haiku were often lonely, sometimes mystical, or nostalgic. He used distance and space with ease and had a particular viewpoint that was sometimes a feature of his skill as a painter.


His haiku above, which I took the liberty of translating myself by touching up or tweeking an automatic translation, shows haiku at its finest, and is worth study in view of emulation. The haiku is somewhat similar in concept to Jane Reichhold's translation of the famous Bashô 'old pond' haiku:


old pond-

the frog leaps through

the sound of water




Admittedly this is only one version of the translated haiku, but the resonance can, I feel, be seen in Buson's 'axe' haiku.


Which brings me to my effort to walk the same path, though in a tanka, which strikes me as easier than a carefully-crafted haiku, and much less sincere, as tanka, being normally about love, need a much smaller dose of sincerity within their lines.


the woodpecker

has never sent a coherent message

through the forest

ah if I had the patience

of the tall pine tree









Source: http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.com

The Time of Day

beyond my reach

the melting icicle

in the sunlight

forcing me to consider

each different moment





in the glimpses of spring

before spring

a well-worn winter


Ah, even pirates end up walking on well-worn paths, still dreaming of conquests undertaken on the seven seas, of bosoms nestled in far away taverns and pints of cider washed down with pints of cider bought with treasure chests of plundered trinkets.


Yes even in the silent painted innocence of the forest I allow myself the luxury of reminiscence of wilder days when the sword replaced the walking staff, where falling in love was painless (though not in memory).


"Stay the course, always stay the course." True words for the buccaneer. Keep to the bearing. Always. At sea you do not simply 'stop,' or give up. And of course the bounty is always just within one's grasp, nearly.








I read two haiku today. Two pearls that I consider the best haiku I have ever read, both by Chiyo-ni, a nun and poet, and medical doctor if I remember correctly.


Usually, I am fond of reviewing and analysing. These haiku need neither: they stand alone on their merits. Beautifully.







lies within the listener-

a cuckoo's call 




morning glories-

the truth is

the flower hates people






I do not know if I even dare attempt a tanka in her honour. Of course that is just an introduction to the homage below:




in-between the sound of the cucko's call

and a lone flower

I found a path that led me

because I let myself be led

















love is a lion

lying strong in the savannah sun

and love is sharing love







Cherry Blossoms





at the oasis

the water ripples towards me

cherry blossom toes













Source: http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.com

The Haiku

I learnt, today, an insight from haiku master Chèvrefeuille

that the signs of the artist must not be seen in the haiku, and such 'blemishes' must not be seen on the bonsai either, no individually styled arrangements, but more a seeking of a 'natural' look, and yet containing more than a resemblance to the stylistic predomimently Japanese paintings.




In the following haiku I will try to follow this course, of providing an instant, scene or feeling, in haiku form, without injecting any of my emotion, message or ideas. Thus the meaning you may get or the picture is entirely your own as the reader. To me this places great value on the one consuming the haiku. This reasoning is absent from western thought.



to the naked eye

all that is invisible




pathways among trees

others have passed this way before

where are their haiku?




in the forest landscape

all that has made

the forest landscape




what is in the mind

and what is in the wind

-one causes the other




winter rocks and stones-

echoes of chirping birds

without sound



Source: http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.com

Part II


a trumpet playing

in the lonely night

sounds like the ink

I paint your curves with

while the rain just pours




composed of dreams and black ink

and alpine breezes





I watch you

with your fingertips

pressing the brush,

your elegant strokes

creating mountains


When you paint, Yasuko, I see how thoughts come alive, I watch what you have to say, and the beautiful way you say it, with your paintbrush.


Your mountain painting reminds me of everything I love about you, and the soft kisses I planted on your ink-stained fingers. 

The Sound of Rain



the sound of rain-

a backdrop of nostalgia

playing on my emotions

her brazen sensuality, then

warming her toes with my thighs








{the first line to this tanka was provided by Chèvrefeuille at his website linked below}

Source: http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.com

A Cup of Wisdom

Sometimes one forgets about the carefully made cups or pots in the Japanese tea ceremony or Ethiopian coffee ceremony.




The experience, however, is not the same without the craftsman or craftswoman who initially forged and painted the small goblet.



Here where I live I prefer my cups made out of wood, fashioned originally by nature, and filled with teas made from various herbs of the forest.





wisdom-filled cup

pine needle and birch bark tea

the taste as nature intended

ah if one day I could serve a geisha

my fragrant brew, what a delight!





Many cannot handle beauty. Either by ignoring it, affording it no value or or even being afraid of beauty. Others imagine what is beautiful is a matter of taste, like the suitability of a set of curtains. 


Beauty is not really subjective, it just demands a certain level of honesty and sincerity and open heart. And of course an absence of laziness, often at crucial moments.


My moment of beauty today was my trip around my forest. Technically I suppose it is not mine, though it feels very much part of me.


And the beauty of the forest is consistent, and lasting.




in the forest

I do not walk to cultivate

but to admire freedom

alone among tall trees

I never feel alone









The Land of Two Seas

You can never know when you will fall in love. Ever since Bahrain I have found and enduring fondness for islands, but of course I am faithful to the island kingdom of Bahrain first and foremost.


It is so easy to jump on the bandwagon and slander Muslims, Islam and Arabs.


How ignorant the western world is, ignorant of true friendship and hospitality, honour, and the desert, always.


One day, perhaps, I shall return.



oh Bahrain Bahrain

I dream of you like a lover

smiles and palm trees

cardamon and coffee poured 

under a different, shared sun








More noble than us.


More fair, and secure, too.


And fitter.


The Maasai warrior, from the Mara, the Maasai Mara.


Living and walking, hunting and herding in Kenya and Tanzania.


A tribe of bravery, honor, prowess, with deep convictions based around moral and ethical codes.


Such as Olpul, forest cleansing, even spa, where tribe members spend days, and nights; in the forest, members rather than member because the social aspect is also important.


A gathering and exploration in the forest where special soups with different herbs are made, and storytelling sessions are held.


The healing is spiritual, physical, psychological, psychic, and beautiful.


even the birds

understand the olpul

the forest gives







in front of me

kilimanjaro, ah kilimanjaro


either one meter or thousands

but always in front of me

The Gate

through the torri gate-

prostitute before princess

though both are same




Prostitution is a noble art and prostitutes are noble. It is not an art I choose to savour, or approve of and in the act of prostitution lies slavery and despair, but prostitutes are like doctors in the respect they have for clients' privacy, and like nurses for the social care they do.












in the blue of the morning

I swim to the top of mount fuji

and bathe in her flanks