consensus haiga

returning pigeons –
on the third circle

7 19 2014 pigeons alight


Linked to Carpe Diem Writing Techniques #8: Karumi. 

First of all, a note on these posts.  Quite often I condense and share what our host Chèvrefeuille has taught us – but – you really ought to read his original posts.  Today’s post was one of his best ever.

Sounds weird, but I learn these “concepts” through my fingers.  If I can “write it up” (either by pen or by keyboard), what Chèvrefeuille says is more likely to find a home in my brain.  So I type – and share. 


Karumi (“lightness”) is a “sensation of spontaneity” as if “looking at the bottom of a shallow stream”. It has a sense of “light humor or child-like wonderment at the cycles of the natural world”. It isn’t as much a technique as it is a frame of mind and heart based on a lifestyle in which you “live haiku”.  




In Chèvrefeuille’s words:

“I think karumi can only be the concept for your haiku when you are not only a haiku poet, but also living haiku … Living haiku is being one with the world around you including nature and enjoying the emptiness, loneliness and oneness of being part of nature as a human. A haiku poet (in my opinion) lives with nature, adores nature, praises nature and respects nature.”

So.  Embrace that lifestyle!


cherry 3

Karumi and the Mundane


Our host shares that

“…traditionally, and especially in Edo Japan, women did not have the male privilege of expanding their horizons, so their truth or spirituality was often found in the mundane. Women tend to validate daily life and recognize that miracles exist within the mundane, which is the core of haiku. There were females who did compose haiku, which were called “kitchen-haiku” by literati, but these “kitchen-haiku” had all the simplicity and lightness of karumi … In a way Bashô taught males to write like females, with more elegance and beauty, based on the mundane (simple) life of that time.”

Ugh!  Literati!  Sadly, my haiku-hero Issa may have been one of them.  But I digress.


creek at wilson 2


The Object vs. the Self

Chèvrefeuille tells us that the poet should “detach the mind from his own self” – and “enter into the object, perceive its delicate life, and feel its feeling, whereupon a poem forms itself.”  Furthermore, the object and the self remain separate.

Matsuo Bashô. Via CDHK.

“In my view a good poem is one in which the form of the verse, and the joining of its two parts, seem light as a shallow river flowing over its sandy bed”.  – Bashô



Here are the haiku Chèvrefeuille shared with us, all of which demonstrate karumi:


Underneath the trees,
Soups and salads are buried
In cherry blossoms.

A spring warbler casts
A dropping on the rice cakes —
The veranda edge…

White chrysanthemum
I look holding it straight
no dust at all

at dawn
I wash my feet with dew
the longest day


just one leaf
struggles with the wind
like Basho

Isn’t that awesome?

slowly a snail seeks
his path between Cherry blossoms
reaches for the sky


feeling alone
lost in the woods around Edo –
just the autumn wind




Parting thought:

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed with haiku techniques and terminology.  Several people have left comments saying, “I could never write haiku”.  Yes you can.  As you can see, I like to chitter-chatter-jibber-jabber on and on and on. If I can write haiku, you most definitely can write haiku.

Just – no matter what – never lose your sense of humor. 


poems are hard


37 thoughts on “returning pigeons (haiga)

  1. At the word ‘concensus’ I was making a puzzled ‘huh’ face, then with the last line I had a wry smile. I do like haiku that make you reevaluate from one line to the next 🙂

    Btw it says here that you like a jibber jabber… Really?! =-O


    • YAY!!!! I”m so glad that you liked it — and that you “got” it too! This is one of my favorites.
      What do you think? Bookable? I may change my mind and include it. 😉

      Jibber-jabber — well, I meant it in the same way as “chatter” — but a Google search says it’s a (weird) toy too. Is there another meaning? I seem to be blundering into a lot of unexpectedly weird stuff lately, LOL!


      • Yes, that’s how I meant jibber-jabber – in classic Mr T fashion 🙂 I’m not sure about any dubious meanings… a weird toy?

        Why wasn’t the haiku included originally? Doesn’t it fit easily into the themes? I do like the abrupt juxtaposition of the first and second lines, followed by the resolution and understanding in the third, as you picture the scene 🙂


        • Ah! Mr. T! I’d forgotten about his saying “jibber jabber”! LOL! Yes, there’s a weird 1990s toy called a jibber jabber.

          I think the haiku fits into the themes — but it seemed to confuse enough people that I wondered if it was “good” or not. But — perhaps that is precisely why it *should* be included. You have to dig a little bit — absorb it a little bit – and then the meaning comes to the reader.



        • Well, exactly. Those moments of groping for the meaning before the lines resolve themselves is one of the best parts of reading haiku, for me – that deliberate withholding of a clear meaning, which other forms of writing often prefer to avoid. So yes, the haiku is “good” (in my opinion) 🙂

          Has withholding got 2 Hs? I gave it one but got red-lined by WP. Who knew?


        • Yup — 2 h’s! 🙂

          That’s one of the things I like about your haiku– you make the reader grope for meaning pretty much consistently — and do it very well– because quite easily it could become incomprehensible. Just the right touch.

          So — thank you! Yay! 🙂


        • Incomprehensible is my middle name! No, it really is – Sue Incomprehensible Blake. It was meant to be Isambard, in honour of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but there was an ill-fated smudging of the ink when my birth was registered and the rest is history 😦

          Liked by 1 person

        • Wow — was the registrar working in a tornado? That’s quite a smudge! 😀

          Speaking of tornadoes, there is a tornado watch here in Peeay. Some nasty storms not far away from here. So far it just looks ominous outside – fingers crossed 😛


        • Hoo boy. Tornadoes are another thing that never caught on over here, fortunately. Well, make sure you stay safe and secure, hey – those hiking trips can wait till it looks much less ominous outside, right?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Oh yes …. a good day to stay out of the deep woods! They will be treacherous with the wet moss and stones. But it looks like the storms have passed this area now, so a trip to the safer paths might be okay though. And I need some greenery desperately. 🙂


        • And you’ll miss your deer – you’ll miss each other! – if you don’t get to do any trekking 😉

          And I’m very glad to hear that you escaped the worst of the weather 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, thank heavens it missed us — but not too far away from here the tornado chasers captured some terrible looking shelf clouds. o.O

          And I did get to see her again – yay! And this time she stood and watched again. So happy!


  2. Happily typing with dishpan hands, my dear, happily! 😉

    Yes — Kristjaan did wonderfully with this prompt. This lifestyle/thoughtstyle will take time to perfect, won’t it? But it’s much to consider.

    Remembering these pigeons -circling -circling – circling – wanting to go in the same general direction as a group but always with one or two stragglers messing up the whole flight pattern. They were so funny. 😀 Glad you laughed too.


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