Monthly Archives: April 2016

a Karumi

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #77 pickles (in the way of Basho) lost episode of March

In this Haiku Writing Technique , our host Kristjaan is sharing the idea of “Karumi ” writing technique . As we have experienced earlier , Karumi is the beauty of simplicity and divinity and lightness in a haiku . From my point of view , we can achieve this style when we are one with nature . Sometimes we just pick up a pen or pencil or our cell phone just to scribble a sudden rush of words …be it in the classroom or while driving or even while taking a bath or whatever . But except for a lightness of beauty or simplicity we cannot see anything in whatever we have written . I think those words are the precious words which will become a Karumi !

unbearable lightness
a wild pigeon picks jujube
near its dying mate

© milan rajkumar

and when I took a walk through my friend’s harvested paddy field , I just wrote this …

after a long walk
feet covered with harvest ash –
greeting basho plants

© milan rajkumar

( I think both of the above haiku’s have an essence of Karumi , )

In the words of Kristjaan , Basho first developed the concept of ” Karumi ” during his final travels in 1693. Karumi is perhaps one of the most important and least understood principles of haiku poetry. Karumi can best be described as “lightness,” or a sensation of spontaneity. In many ways, karumi is a principle rooted in the “spirit” of haiku, rather than a specific technique. Bashô taught his students to think of karumi as “looking at the bottom of a shallow stream”. When karumi is incorporated into haiku, there is often a sense of light humor or child-like wonderment at the cycles of the natural world. Many haiku using karumi are not fixed on external rules, but rather an unhindered expression of the poet’s thoughts or emotions. This does not mean that the poet forgets good structure; just that the rules of structure are used in a natural manner. In my opinion, karumi is “beyond” technique and comes when a poet has learned to internalize and use the principles of the art interchangeably.

In a way it brought me another idea. Traditionally, and especially in Edo Japan, women did not have the male privelege 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 Basho taught males to write like females, with more elegance and beauty, based on the mundane (simple) life of that time.

Shiba Sonome, a female haiku poet, learned about karumi from Basho: “Learn about a pine tree from a pine tree, and about a bamboo plant from a bamboo plant.”
The poet should detach the mind from his own self. Nevertheless, some people interpret the word ‘learn’ in their own ways and never really ‘learn’. ‘Learn’ means to enter into the object, perceive its delicate life, and feel its feeling, whereupon a poem forms itself. Even a poem that lucidly describes an object could not attain a true poetic sentiment unless it contains the feelings that spontaneously emerged out of the object. In such a poem the object and the poet’s self would remain forever separate, for it was composed by the poet’s personal self.

Basho also said, “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”.

That, then, is karumi:  becoming as one with the object of your poem … experiencing what it means to be that object … feeling the life of the object … allowing the poem to flow from that feeling and that experience.

An example by Basho:

White chrysanthemum
I look holding it straight
no dust at all

© Basho
And a few by Yozakura, the unknown haiku-poet

at dawn
I wash my feet with dew
the longest day

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

© Yozakura

Karumi is lightness, simplicity, becoming one with the experience you have on that moment when you are composing your haiku. Karumi is, in my opinion, a higher level of the concept of Wabi Sabi.
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.

Haiku is not only a wonderful poem … it’s a life-style.

just one leaf
struggles with the wind
like Basho

© Chèvrefeuille

now, my attempt for a Karumi for this prompt :

wild plums
I shall not pick them
ah !  their beauty


photo ( my pic)


Prayer for rain

Carpe Diem #961 prayers for rain

above parched earth
one hundred and eight cow’s milk
the prayer for rain

Since time immemorial, the traditional prayer ritual to invoke rain was observed under different nomenclatures from time to time.  108 cows were milked at the Govindajee’s temple in a move to invoke rain to combat the last drought in Manipur (1998-99).

The titular king of Manipur praying for rain
There is a belief that rainfall will automatically start within 24 hours once such a prayer is conducted. Similarly, exactly after a week, a group of devotees performed the milking of cows at the historic Shri Shri Govindajee Temple complex as per the Manipuri belief to invoke rain. A Member of Legislative Assembly  in the ministry and Vice-Chairperson of Shri Shri Govindajee Temple Board Manipur who led the rain invoking prayer cum milking session said, “We perform this as per our belief in view of the drought like situation in our state.”……
“My son, we have so far performed such prayers twice in my 60 years of temple life,” says 86 year old Ksh Anganghal, Keibungba, a key member of the temple informed.

( an abstract from an article by Sobhapati Samom )


photo (web)



when i touch you
i feel the life inside
the heartbeat
pulsating vibrantly
like a monsoon river
flowing wildly
arousing the banks
with its soil and seeds
to multiply to thrive
for greater heights

when i touch you
you tremble
like the leaves of grass
on a stormy day
wanting searching
for a shelter
or a recluse
not knowing
the caring soil
is grasping the roots

when i touch you
love blossoms
inside you …
you are afraid
like a mountain orchid
for it might exude
its fragrance
far and wide
amidst darken souls and
enlighten bodies

yet you dont know
its my self
who is touching you .

© milan rajkumar

wild flower of spring
why trembles when I touch you
I ‘m not a running ass


photo ( my photo )