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text 2016-09-15 18:59
Staying Cool

the coolness of trees

perfect for hotheadedness

wait for the slow shade

let the warm sun melt tension

take off your shoes and tune-in

Two hours walking in a forest will lower your blood pressure levels and cortisone production. The forest walk will also help build up your white blood cells, strengthening your immune system. If you walk at a fast pace now and then you will also benefit from the excercise.


Trees give off chemicals that we may well benefit greatly from, according to latest research. These benefits are also possible through the inhaling of the fragrances of natural rosmarin and lemon.


The last line of the tanka is an important one. We do need to tune-in to the earth's healthy electron magnetic field. When indoors we are charged with highly toxic EMFs, specifically from WiFi, or older TVs, but also mobile phones and electric appliances like hair dryers. This is not a joke, and extremely serious illnesses can develop from overexposure.



Source: chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.com
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text 2016-09-11 19:27
The Beekeeper


I was recently in Bulgaria, feeding a cat at a park bench, before taking a bus through Serbia; Hungary, Slovakia, Poland; Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. That information is sort of irrelevant, except that it was a long way. 


A couple of hours before I was due to leave a couple sat at the bench next to mine. As it is both my habit and that of Bulgarians generally too, we struck up a conversation, or rather the woman and I did:

 "Stanislav does not speak much English," she said, gesturing at her husband.

 "He's very patient;" I said. After all, we had been speaking for about forty five minutes.

  "Yes, he's the patient one," she giggled, "not me! He's a beekeeper you know," she added.

   "I see," I said.

  "He says you have to be very, very patient when working with bees. If not they get angry, and then..." she shrugged and made a vague gesture in the air with her left hand, opening it to the sky.


Nature is patient. There are moments in my forest when the true meaning of calmness becomes very clear, and in the study of trees it is us the excitable ones. Yet if we measure communication in different ways, the vocabulary of trees is far more extensive than ours. We may know around a thousand words at best, but trees can emit up to three thousand different chemicals, creating different fragrances and aromas, for a wide variety of reasons. Trees warn each other of attack, and when caterpillars start on the leaves of a tree it will emit chemicals that attract wasps from far and wide. These wasps are remarkably efficient at neutralising the caterpillars, thus perhaps even saving the tree.


Stanislav the beekeeper was indeed almost zenlike in his calmness. Trees, allies of wasps, too, remain calm, and have that zen quality in their quiet repose



in the forest

the language of nature speaks

in different ways

under the shade of leaves

I watch the roots grow, slowly




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text 2016-08-29 18:34
Evening in Sofia

My underwear drying on the window...the bottle of wine emptying by magic...cramps in my stomach everytime I breathe in...outside a ludicrous sign touches the sky, and I laugh; at least it's not snowing; damn it, at least it's not snowing...and only the vodka bottles are pouring...clinking too, like miniature church bells, and this is summer, wait till the winter cold...


it only hurts when I laugh

sunny day in the Sofia night

somewhere my lover lies weeping

and yet my bottle is dry

or is it the other way around?

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text 2016-08-07 19:52
  • I first read Jane Reichhold in the mid nineties. I read her haiku, her passion for her haiku, and read her to a Hungarian woman, an ex police officer in Hungary who was my student, and was so passionate about haiku that she moved to Aberdeen, in Scotland after I did, and got a job in the controversial Rudolf Steiner school there for the mentally handicapped. Rudolf Steiner was a passionate advocate of nature as a cure, among other more controversial things, and her haiku flowered.


I discussed haiku with Margo, my Hungarian ex student and ex police officer. And I read Jane Reichhold, discussing haiku techniques with Margo in green parks, on windy mountains, while wading across streams and on bus rides into the Highlands.


And yet it would be years before I attempted to write my own haiku. I studied haiku since those early days, but only really started writing haiku again from prompts by the Carpet Diem Haiku Kai website, run by haiku poet Kristjaan Pannemann.


Yesterday, in the early hours of the morning. I learnt Jane Reichhold had died. I learnt she had probably taken her life due to the unbearable pain caused by an illness she suffered silently with, while maintaining her smile, dignity and composure to the last.


I remember many of her haiku, and will no doubt ve referring to a few on these pages shortly. Today I chose the ooe below because of the senditivity. loneliness, sensuality and humaness in her words:



saturday rain

desire by a warm stove

for an affair



I will attempt to emulate this warm, touching haiku, with a tanka of my own.


soft evening

she remembers his touch

under the maple tree

in pouring rain

-her touch mirroring his

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text 2016-07-18 09:04
The Dark Blackthorn

A witch should carve her own broomstick. A chef should carve his own spoons. A walker should carve his own walking stick, the Irish shillie player make his own shillelagh, with convenient knob at the bottom end of the wood, the Japanese kendo master make his own stick, and high priestess on the island of Lesbos carve her own fancy phallus, the same knob polished and naturally-shaped.


The best wood for this is blackthorn, with smooth bark, hardness, and strength in the yield. But the blackthorn has a dark side, steeped in mystery, evil, and tales of misty lore, and is said to be the keeper of unsavoury secrets.


In Scotland, winter begins when the Cailleach strikes the ground with her blackthorn staff. And the sinister blackthorn staff with satyr's head, belonging to Major Thomas Weir, was burned at the same time he was for witchery, when he confessed to long term 'debauchery' with his sister, Jean, at a congregation in Edinburgh, in 1670. His ghost, and infamous blackthorn staff, is said to still haunt parts of the city.


wicked delight

with knotted dark wood

the forbidden fruit a berry

so bitter and sweet

such salacious secrets...




Source: chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.com
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