Carpe Diem Haiku *Basho ”autumn frost”*

Today on Carpe Diem our source of inspiration is a beautiful haiku by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694):

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

* * *

As it was common back then, this haiku had a preface:
”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.”

I wrote my haiku, trying to stay close to the same mood and spirit:

* * *
dandelion fluff
escaping my palm
evening breeze

* * *
no trace on the cheek
droplets of rain

* * *

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

In Silence…


Sintija was a fighter. A beautiful young woman who faced cancer with amazing strenght and fought with all she had till the very last moment. Being diagnosed with terminal small cell ovarian cancer half a year ago, she was sure there had to be a way to beat the dreadful disease. In her early twenties, with so many dreams and strong determination to make them real – giving up wasn’ t even an option. She believed. We all did – with yet another chemo tried, with each new test results. Even through the last 2 weeks when doctors had given up and she was already moved from the hospital to a hospice. Sometimes it is almost impossible to stop believing in miracles and very difficult to face reality. 

Cancer hasn’ t been just a term in a dictionary for me for quite some time – I have learned years ago about how sneaky and cruel that monster is but desparately hoped this will be an exception. I was wrong, unfortunately. We lost Sintija early yesterday morning. Her little brother and sister think she now lives up on one of the stars and I would want to believe that very much.

Although sometimes not fair, life still is really precious and fragile, isn’ t it….

fleeting silhouette
in the end of empty street
raindrops keep falling

light of candle
more viable than the last hope
life interrupted

The Līgo Haibun Challenge – Eclipse Of The Heart


There are two prompts for this week’ s Līgo Haibun Challenge:
“And then there are the times when the wolves are silent and the moon is howling.” ― George Carlin
“Perfect order is the forerunner of perfect horror.” ― Carlos Fuentes.
There’ re times when it’ s all about silence, moon and something more…

I still remember the strong scent of lilacs, like being almost caged in the sultry summer air that night. Sand, looking pitch black, still radiated afternoon heat in waves around my feet. I had walked for hours but maybe it was much less – any sense of time had disappeared and I wanted all of my senses had gone with it. I didn’ t want to see or hear, I didn’ t need to think and I tried not to feel. Squatting on the ground at the pond, I wrapped arms around knees, trying to protect myself…from what? The world seemed so usual but empty and big. Too big.

Yesterday was different. Things had happened according to the plan, they said, and we believed. I did. We weren’ t allowed to enter the room so soon after the operation but could see him through the window. With all the little tubes he looked like from another galactic and so…elusory. The tall, broad – shouldered man my grandfather was, even with the tentacles of disease trying to take over his body, still always having a smile for everyone and a place for me on his lap. One of the safest places on the earth, though my childhood was already long forgotten. But there…it felt like almost something mystical in the ward had torn away everything he use to be, leaving him only with peace. Very illusory one. We returned next morning and they assured us everything was the way it was supposed to be, that there was no need to come back before the evening. And we would have if only there wasn’ t a phone-call, the one you never expect to receive.

I nursed my grief as the night embraced everything in the dark veil. Lights went out one after another, and the town had gained its peace. The moonlight was all there was left – like the last breath, still reaching out for life. My heart was howling.

unstoppable time
tears disappear in moonlight
fragility of life

The Līgo Haibun Challenge