Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Carpe Diem #1349 Theme Week ep. 3 The Third Voyage of Sindbad


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are halfway this Theme week in which we read about the Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor as told by Scheherazade to save her life. Today we will read about Sindbad's Third Voyage. I am hoping to inspire you all through this fairytale. Enjoy the read ...


The Third Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor:

After a very short time the pleasant easy life I led made me quite forget the perils of my two voyages. Moreover, as I was still in the prime of life, it pleased me better to be up and doing. So once more providing myself with the rarest and choicest merchandise of Bagdad, I conveyed it to Balsora, and set sail with other merchants of my acquaintance for distant lands. We had touched at many ports and made much profit, when one day upon the open sea we were caught by a terrible wind which blew us completely out of our reckoning, and lasting for several days finally drove us into harbour on a strange island.
“I would rather have come to anchor anywhere than here,” quoth our captain. “This island and all adjoining it are inhabited by hairy savages, who are certain to attack us, and whatever these dwarfs may do we dare not resist, since they swarm like locusts, and if one of them is killed the rest will fall upon us, and speedily make an end of us.”

These words caused great consternation among all the ship’s company, and only too soon we were to find out that the captain spoke truly. There appeared a vast multitude of hideous savages, not more than two feet high and covered with reddish fur. Throwing themselves into the waves they surrounded our vessel. Chattering meanwhile in a language we could not understand, and clutching at ropes and gangways, they swarmed up the ship’s side with such speed and agility that they almost seemed to fly.

The Third Voyage of Sindbad

You may imagine the rage and terror that seized us as we watched them, neither daring to hinder them nor able to speak a word to deter them from their purpose, whatever it might be. Of this we were not left long in doubt. Hoisting the sails, and cutting the cable of the anchor, they sailed our vessel to an island which lay a little further off, where they drove us ashore; then taking possession of her, they made off to the place from which they had come, leaving us helpless upon a shore avoided with horror by all mariners for a reason which you will soon learn.

anxiety takes over
giants like Ulysess' Cyclops
a hail storm


© Chèvrefeuille

Turning away from the sea we wandered miserably inland, finding as we went various herbs and fruits which we ate, feeling that we might as well live as long as possible though we had no hope of escape. Presently we saw in the far distance what seemed to us to be a splendid palace, towards which we turned our weary steps, but when we reached it we saw that it was a castle, lofty, and strongly built. Pushing back the heavy ebony doors we entered the courtyard, but upon the threshold of the great hall beyond it we paused, frozen with horror, at the sight which greeted us. On one side lay a huge pile of bones–human bones, and on the other numberless spits for roasting! Overcome with despair we sank trembling to the ground, and lay there without speech or motion. The sun was setting when a loud noise aroused us, the door of the hall was violently burst open and a horrible giant entered. He was as tall as a palm tree, and perfectly black, and had one eye, which flamed like a burning coal in the middle of his forehead. His teeth were long and sharp and grinned horribly, while his lower lip hung down upon his chest, and he had ears like elephant ears, which covered his shoulders, and nails like the claws of some fierce bird.

The Giant enters the hiding place of Sindbad

At this terrible sight our senses left us and we lay like dead men. When at last we came to ourselves the giant sat examining us attentively with his fearful eye. Presently when he had looked at us enough he came towards us, and stretching out his hand took me by the back of the neck, turning me this way and that, but feeling that I was mere skin and bone he set me down again and went on to the next, whom he treated in the same fashion; at last he came to the captain, and finding him the fattest of us all, he took him up in one hand and stuck him upon a spit and proceeded to kindle a huge fire at which he presently roasted him. After the giant had supped he lay down to sleep, snoring like the loudest thunder, while we lay shivering with horror the whole night through, and when day broke he awoke and went out, leaving us in the castle.

When we believed him to be really gone we started up bemoaning our horrible fate, until the hall echoed with our despairing cries. Though we were many and our enemy was alone it did not occur to us to kill him, and indeed we should have found that a hard task, even if we had thought of it, and no plan could we devise to deliver ourselves. So at last, submitting to our sad fate, we spent the day in wandering up and down the island eating such fruits as we could find, and when night came we returned to the castle, having sought in vain for any other place of shelter. At sunset the giant returned, supped upon one of our unhappy comrades, slept and snored till dawn, and then left us as before. Our condition seemed to us so frightful that several of my companions thought it would be better to leap from the cliffs and perish in the waves at once, rather than await so miserable an end; but I had a plan of escape which I now unfolded to them, and which they at once agreed to attempt.

below the cliffs
rough waves call out "jump! jump!"

fly away like an eagle

© Chèvrefeuille

“Listen, my brothers,” I added. “You know that plenty of driftwood lies along the shore. Let us make several rafts, and carry them to a suitable place. If our plot succeeds, we can wait patiently for the chance of some passing ship which would rescue us from this fatal island. If it fails, we must quickly take to our rafts; frail as they are, we have more chance of saving our lives with them than we have if we remain here.”

Driftwood

strolling over the beach
beach-combing lovers
looking for driftwood
secret place for lust
tasting her salty skin

© Chèvrefeuille

This story continues at our "The Story Goes On" page above in the menu.

What a stroy this is. As I started reading it my thoughts went to that other "hero" Ulysses and I just had to create a haiku referring to his journeys. As a kid I read all the stories about Ulysses and I even had the possibility to watch the TV-series about him, back in the (I believe) Seventies. Awesome!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 23rd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Sindbad's Fourth Voyage, later on. For now ... have fun!

PS. I have "replaced" our exclusive CDHK E-book "Christmas Stockings" to our Carpe Diem Library.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Extra January 15th 2018 new prompt Haiku Shuukan


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have published our new prompt at Haiku Shuukan (our weekly meme). This week at Haiku Shuukan I challenge you to create haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on a nice piece of music.

Visit Haiku Shuukan HERE.

Namasté,

Chèvrefeuille

Carpe Diem #1348 Theme Week ep.2 The Second Voyage of Sindbad


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's a new day, so we are going further with our Theme Week about the Voyages of Sindbad. And today our prompt is "The Second Voyage of Sindbad", but first this. As you all know I organize every season the "Carpe Diem Retreat" and later this day I will start our "Carpe Diem Winter Retreat 2018", a period of 30 days in which I challenge you to create a haiku or tanka every day inspired on a theme. And this Winter Retreat 2018 that theme is "Peace Within" ... I think this is a nice theme and I hope it will inspire you. There is however a small little change. I will not publish the Winter Retreat as a regular prompt, but on a separate page. Okay that's for a later moment today. (Follow the link to the Winter Retreat 2018 or find the link at the right side of our Kai.)


The Second Voyage of Sindbad the Sailor:

I had resolved, as you know, on my return from my first voyage, to spend the rest of my days quietly in Bagdad, but very soon I grew tired of such an idle life and longed once more to find myself upon the sea.

I procured, therefore, such goods as were suitable for the places I intended to visit, and embarked for the second time in a good ship with other merchants whom I knew to be honorable men. We went from island to island, often making excellent bargains, until one day we landed at a spot which, though covered with fruit trees and abounding in springs of excellent water, appeared to possess neither houses nor people. While my companions wandered here and there gathering flowers and fruit I sat down in a shady place, and, having heartily enjoyed the provisions and the wine I had brought with me, I fell asleep, lulled by the murmur of a clear brook which flowed close by.

this shady place
the murmuring brook makes me drowsy
dreaming away


© Chèvrefeuille

The Second Voyage of Sindbad

How long I slept I know not, but when I opened my eyes and started to my feet I perceived with horror that I was alone and that the ship was gone. I rushed to and fro like one distracted, uttering cries of despair, and when from the shore, I saw the vessel under full sail just disappearing upon the horizon, I wished bitterly enough that I had been content to stay at home in safety. But since wishes could do me no good, I presently took courage and looked about me for a means of escape. When I had climbed a tall tree I first of all directed my anxious glances towards the sea; but, finding nothing hopeful there, I turned landward, and my curiosity was excited by a huge dazzling white object, so far off that I could not make out what it might be.

Descending from the tree I hastily collected what remained of my provisions and set off as fast as I could go towards it. As I drew near it seemed to me to be a white ball of immense size and height, and when I could touch it, I found it marvelously smooth and soft. As it was impossible to climb it–for it presented no foot-hold–I walked round about it seeking some opening, but there was none. I counted, however, that it was at least fifty paces round. By this time the sun was near setting, but quite suddenly it fell dark, something like a huge black cloud came swiftly over me, and I saw with amazement that it was a bird of extraordinary size which was hovering near. Then I remembered that I had often heard the sailors speak of a wonderful bird called a roc, and it occurred to me that the white object which had so puzzled me must be its egg.

Sure enough the bird settled slowly down upon it, covering it with its wings to keep it warm, and I cowered close beside the egg in such a position that one of the bird’s feet, which was as large as the trunk of a tree, was just in front of me. Taking off my turban I bound myself securely to it with the linen in the hope that the roc, when it took flight next morning, would bear me away with it from the desolate island. And this was precisely what did happen. As soon as the dawn appeared the bird rose into the air carrying me up and up till I could no longer see the earth, and then suddenly it descended so swiftly that I almost lost consciousness. When I became aware that the roc had settled and that I was once again upon solid ground, I hastily unbound my turban from its foot and freed myself, and that not a moment too soon; for the bird, pouncing upon a huge snake, killed it with a few blows from its powerful beak, and seizing it up rose into the air once more and soon disappeared from my view. When I had looked about me I began to doubt if I had gained anything by quitting the desolate island.

The valley in which I found myself was deep and narrow, and surrounded by mountains which towered into the clouds, and were so steep and rocky that there was no way of climbing up their sides. As I wandered about, seeking anxiously for some means of escaping from this trap, I observed that the ground was strewed with diamonds, some of them of an astonishing size. This sight gave me great pleasure, but my delight was speedily damped when I saw also numbers of horrible snakes so long and so large that the smallest of them could have swallowed an elephant with ease. Fortunately for me they seemed to hide in caverns of the rocks by day, and only came out by night, probably because of their enemy the roc.

All day long I wandered up and down the valley, and when it grew dusk, I crept into a little cave, and having blocked up the entrance to it with a stone, I ate part of my little store of food and lay down to sleep, but all through the night the serpents crawled to and fro, hissing horribly, so that I could scarcely close my eyes for terror. I was thankful when the morning light appeared, and when I judged by the silence that the serpents had retreated to their dens I came trembling out of my cave and wandered up and down the valley once more, kicking the diamonds contemptuously out of my path, for I felt that they were indeed vain things to a man in my situation. At last, overcome with weariness, I sat down upon a rock, but I had hardly closed my eyes when I was startled by something which fell to the ground with a thud close beside me.

The Second Voyage of Sindbad

It was a huge piece of fresh meat, and as I stared at it, several more pieces rolled over the cliffs in different places. I had always thought that the stories the sailors told of the famous valley of diamonds, and of the cunning way which some merchants had devised for getting at the precious stones, were mere travellers’ tales invented to give pleasure to the hearers, but now I perceived that they were surely true. These merchants came to the valley at the time when the eagles, which keep their aeries in the rocks, had hatched their young. The merchants then threw great lumps of meat into the valley. These, falling with so much force upon the diamonds, were sure to take up some of the precious stones with them, when the eagles pounced upon the meat and carried it off to their nests to feed their hungry broods. Then the merchants, scaring away the parent birds with shouts and outcries, would secure their treasures. Until this moment I had looked upon the valley as my grave, for I had seen no possibility of getting out of it alive, but now I took courage and began to devise a means of escape. I began by picking up all the largest diamonds I could find and storing them carefully in the leather wallet which had held my provisions; this I tied securely to my belt. I then chose the piece of meat which seemed most suited to my purpose, and with the aid of my turban bound it firmly to my back; this done I laid down upon my face and awaited the coming of the eagles. I soon heard the flapping of their mighty wings above me, and had the satisfaction of feeling one of them seize upon my piece of meat, and me with it, and rise slowly towards his nest, into which he presently dropped me. Luckily for me the merchants were on the watch, and setting up their usual outcries they rushed to the nest scaring away the eagle. Their amazement was great when they discovered me, and also their disappointment, and with one accord they fell to abusing me for having robbed them of their usual profit. Addressing myself to the one who seemed most aggrieved, I said: “I am sure, if you knew all that I have suffered, you would show more kindness towards me, and as for diamonds, I have enough here of the very best for you and me and all your company.” So saying I showed them to him. The others all crowded round me, wondering at my adventures and admiring the device by which I had escaped from the valley, and when they had led me to their camp and examined my diamonds, they assured me that in all the years that they had carried on their trade they had seen no stones to be compared with them for size and beauty.

the flight of an eagle
between its paws diamonds shimmer
like the rising sun


© Chèvrefeuille

The Second Voyage of Sindbad continues at our "The Story Goes On" page (above in the menu).

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 22nd at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Theme-week Sindabd the Sailor: The Third Voyage, later on.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Carpe Diem #1347 Theme Week ep.1 The First Voyage of Sindbad


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I introduced to you last Friday, this week we will have a CDHK Theme week. In this Theme week I will share the voyages of Sindbad, also part of 1001 Nights, the stories by Scheherazade. According to 1001 Nights, Sindbad did seven major voyages and today we start with his first voyage. I hope this week will be a nice week for you all. Of course, if the stories are to long I will share the last part of the story on our special "The Story Goes On" page (which you can find above in the menu).


The Seven Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor: The First Voyage:

I had inherited considerable wealth from my parents, and being young and foolish I at first squandered it recklessly upon every kind of pleasure, but presently, finding that riches speedily take to themselves wings if managed as badly as I was managing mine, and remembering also that to be old and poor is misery indeed, I began to bethink me of how I could make the best of what still remained to me. I sold all my household goods by public auction, and joined a company of merchants who traded by sea, embarking with them at Balsora in a ship which we had fitted out between us.

We set sail and took our course towards the East Indies by the Persian Gulf, having the coast of Persia upon our left hand and upon our right the shores of Arabia Felix. I was at first much troubled by the uneasy motion of the vessel, but speedily recovered my health, and since that hour have been no more plagued by sea-sickness.
From time to time we landed at various islands, where we sold or exchanged our merchandise, and one day, when the wind dropped suddenly, we found ourselves becalmed close to a small island like a green meadow, which only rose slightly above the surface of the water. Our sails were furled, and the captain gave permission to all who wished to land for a while and amuse themselves. I was among the number, but when after strolling about for some time we lighted a fire and sat down to enjoy the repast which we had brought with us, we were startled by a sudden and violent trembling of the island, while at the same moment those left upon the ship set up an outcry bidding us come on board for our lives, since what we had taken for an island was nothing but the back of a sleeping whale. Those who were nearest to the boat threw themselves into it, others sprang into the sea, but before I could save myself the whale plunged suddenly into the depths of the ocean, leaving me clinging to a piece of the wood which we had brought to make our fire. Meanwhile a breeze had sprung up, and in the confusion that ensued on board our vessel in hoisting the sails and taking up those who were in the boat and clinging to its sides, no one missed me and I was left at the mercy of the waves. All that day I floated up and down, now beaten this way, now that, and when night fell I despaired for my life; but, weary and spent as I was, I clung to my frail support, and great was my joy when the morning light showed me that I had drifted against an island.
The cliffs were high and steep, but luckily for me some tree-roots protruded in places, and by their aid I climbed up at last, and stretched myself upon the turf at the top, where I lay, more dead than alive, till the sun was high in the heavens. By that time I was very hungry, but after some searching I came upon some eatable herbs, and a spring of clear water, and much refreshed I set out to explore the island. Presently I reached a great plain where a grazing horse was tethered, and as I stood looking at it I heard voices talking apparently underground, and in a moment a man appeared who asked me how I came upon the island. I told him my adventures, and heard in return that he was one of the grooms of Mihrage, the king of the island, and that each year they came to feed their master’s horses in this plain. He took me to a cave where his companions were assembled, and when I had eaten of the food they set before me, they bade me think myself fortunate to have come upon them when I did, since they were going back to their master on the morrow, and without their aid I could certainly never have found my way to the inhabited part of the island.

The First Voyage of Sindbad

Early the next morning we accordingly set out, and when we reached the capital I was graciously received by the king, to whom I related my adventures, upon which he ordered that I should be well cared for and provided with such things as I needed. Being a merchant I sought out men of my own profession, and particularly those who came from foreign countries, as I hoped in this way to hear news from Bagdad, and find out some means of returning thither, for the capital was situated upon the sea-shore, and visited by vessels from all parts of the world. In the meantime I heard many curious things, and answered many questions concerning my own country, for I talked willingly with all who came to me. Also to while away the time of waiting I explored a little island named Cassel, which belonged to King Mihrage, and which was supposed to be inhabited by a spirit named Deggial. Indeed, the sailors assured me that often at night the playing of timbals could be heard upon it. However, I saw nothing strange upon my voyage, saving some fish that were full two hundred cubits long, but were fortunately more in dread of us than even we were of them, and fled from us if we did but strike upon a board to frighten them. Other fishes there were only a cubit long which had heads like owls.

at sundown
nature comes alive again
the cry of an owl


© Chèvrefeuille

The First Voyage of Sindbad

One day after my return, as I went down to the quay, I saw a ship which had just cast anchor, and was discharging her cargo, while the merchants to whom it belonged were busily directing the removal of it to their warehouses. Drawing nearer I presently noticed that my own name was marked upon some of the packages, and after having carefully examined them, I felt sure that they were indeed those which I had put on board our ship at Balsora. I then recognized the captain of the vessel, but as I was certain that he believed me to be dead, I went up to him and asked who owned the packages that I was looking at.

-> the story goes on HERE <-

What a story ... but for sure not an easy one to work with, so I hope that I have inspired you with this story. I had some trouble to create a haiku (or tanka) inspired on this story as you could have read above. That haiku doesn't fit in the story, it was inspired on the "fish with the head of an owl".

Well I hope you had a great weekend and of course I hope you enjoyed the story.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 21st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Theme-week Sindbad the Sailor: The Second Voyage, later on. For now ... have fun!


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend-Meditation #15 Soliloquy no Renga "the dust of stars"



!! Open for your submissions next Sunday January 14th at 7:00 PM (CET) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new Weekend-meditation here at Carpe Diem. This feature I created to give myself some free time and I think it works great. This weekend I love to challenge you to create a Soliloquy no renga (or a Solo-Renga). Let me first tell you what the Soliloquy no Renga is, maybe you know it, but for those who are new here ...



As you all know haiku came from 'hokku' the opening verse of a Renga or chained verse ... Renga was a collaborative kind of poetry in which several poets were participating. Basho, one of the four greatest haiku-poets (next to Buson, Issa and Shiki) transformed the 'hokku' into a poetry-form on itselves, the haiku ...
I love to bring you back to the roots of our beloved haiku and created what I will call 'Soliloquy No Renga', a Renga written by one poet. Soliloquy means monologue and is a synonym for it.

The goal of this new feature is to write a Soliloquy No Renga, a Renga composed by one person. With this new feature it is possible to help you to be more associative, because you have to compose an all new renga with at least six (6) links.
As you all know a renga has stanzas of three and two lines. The first verse "hokku" gives the title to the renga and sets the entire image of your renga. By association on the verse before the verse you have to write you can make the renga a complete story.
This new feature is just for fun and I hope it will bring you the fun and inspiration as I had in mind. You can choose on your own how much links you use, but at least (as I said above) six (6) links. The last link has to make the "circle complete" and in that way has a link with the first verse. That last verse is called "ageku".



I will give you the "hokku" for the Soliloquy No Renga and than it's up to you. That "hokku" can be a haiku by a classic or modern haiku-poet. This weekend I have chosen to give you a nice haiku created by Jane Reichhold (1937-2016). And I have taken it from our exclusive CDHK E-book "All My Years" (downloadable at the right side of our Kai):

Here is the haiku which is the "hokku" for this Soliloquy No Renga:

silence
the dust of stars
shining radiance

© Jane Reichhold

And now it's up to you to create a Soliloquy No Renga starting with this verse by Jane Reichhold. Have fun ... !

This CDHK Weekend-Meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday January 14th at 7:00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 21st at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, the first Voyage by Sindbad, later on.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Carpe Diem #1346 The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor (introduction to the Theme week)

 !! For this episode there is no "the story goes on" part !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai. Today I love to introduce to you Sindbad The Sailor who made seven voyages around the globe. Sindbad is one of the renown characters of 1001 Nights ... so next week (January 15th until January 19th) I have prepared a Theme Week around the Seven Voyages of Sindbad, as told by Scherazade to save her own life.

The Seven Voyages of Sindbad The Sailor (Image found on Pinterest)
The Seven Voyages of Sindbad The Sailor (introduction):

In the times of the Caliph Haroun-al-Raschid there lived in Bagdad a poor porter named Hindbad, who on a very hot day was sent to carry a heavy load from one end of the city to the other. Before he had accomplished half the distance he was so tired that, finding himself in a quiet street where the pavement was sprinkled with rose water, and a cool breeze was blowing, he set his burden upon the ground, and sat down to rest in the shade of a grand house. Very soon he decided that he could not have chosen a pleasanter place; a delicious perfume of aloes wood and pastilles came from the open windows and mingled with the scent of the rose water which steamed up from the hot pavement. Within the palace he heard some music, as of many instruments cunningly played, and the melodious warble of nightingales and other birds, and by this, and the appetizing smell of many dainty dishes of which he presently became aware, he judged that feasting and merry making were going on. He wondered who lived in this magnificent house which he had never seen before, the street in which it stood being one which he seldom had occasion to pass. To satisfy his curiosity he went up to some splendidly dressed servants who stood at the door, and asked one of them the name of the master of the mansion.
“What,” replied he, “do you live in Bagdad, and not know that here lives the noble Sindbad the Sailor, that famous traveler who sailed over every sea upon which the sun shines?”
Kingfisher

rich robe
splendor as never seen before
a Kingfisher


© Chèvrefeuille


The porter, who had often heard people speak of the immense wealth of Sindbad, could not help feeling envious of one whose lot seemed to be as happy as his own was miserable. Casting his eyes up to the sky he exclaimed aloud, “Consider, Mighty Creator of all things, the differences between Sindbad’s life and mine. Every day I suffer a thousand hardships and misfortunes, and have hard work to get even enough bad barley bread to keep myself and my family alive, while the lucky Sindbad spends money right and left and lives upon the fat of the land! What has he done that you should give him this pleasant life–what have I done to deserve so hard a fate?” So saying he stamped upon the ground like one beside himself with misery and despair. Just at this moment a servant came out of the palace, and taking him by the arm said, “Come with me, the noble Sindbad, my master, wishes to speak to you.”
Hindbad was not a little surprised at this summons, and feared that his unguarded words might have drawn upon him the displeasure of Sindbad, so he tried to excuse himself upon the pretext that he could not leave the burden which had been entrusted to him in the street. However the lackey promised him that it should be taken care of, and urged him to obey the call so pressingly that at last the porter was obliged to yield.
He followed the servant into a vast room, where a great company was seated round a table covered with all sorts of delicacies. In the place of honor sat a tall, grave man whose long white beard gave him a venerable air. Behind his chair stood a crowd of attendants eager to minister to his wants. This was the famous Sindbad himself. The porter, more than ever alarmed at the sight of so much magnificence, tremblingly saluted the noble company. Sindbad, making a sign to him to approach, caused him to be seated at his right hand, and himself heaped choice morsels upon his plate, and poured out for him a draught of excellent wine, and presently, when the banquet drew to a close, spoke to him familiarly, asking his name and occupation.
“My lord,” replied the porter, “I am called Hindbad.”
“I am glad to see you here,” continued Sindbad. “And I will answer for the rest of the company that they are equally pleased, but I wish you to tell me what it was that you said just now in the street.” For Sindbad, passing by the open window before the feast began, had heard his complaint and therefore had sent for him.
At this question Hindbad was covered with confusion, and hanging down his head, replied, “My lord, I confess that, overcome by weariness and ill-humor, I uttered indiscreet words, which I pray you to pardon me.”
“Oh!” replied Sindbad, “do not imagine that I am so unjust as to blame you. On the contrary, I understand your situation and can pity you. Only you appear to be mistaken about me, and I wish to set you right. You doubtless imagine that I have acquired all the wealth and luxury that you see me enjoy without difficulty or danger, but this is far indeed from being the case. I have only reached this happy state after having for years suffered every possible kind of toil and danger.
“Yes, my noble friends,” he continued, addressing the company, “I assure you that my adventures have been strange enough to deter even the most avaricious men from seeking wealth by traversing the seas. Since you have, perhaps, heard but confused accounts of my seven voyages, and the dangers and wonders that I have met with by sea and land, I will now give you a full and true account of them, which I think you will be well pleased to hear.”

As Sindbad was relating his adventures chiefly on account of the porter, he ordered, before beginning his tale, that the burden which had been left in the street should be carried by some of his own servants to the place for which Hindbad had set out at first, while he remained to listen to the story.


seven waves
riding on the storm
seagulls cry


© Chèvrefeuille

Well this was our introduction=episode to our upcoming Theme-week about "The Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor". Next week we will read five (5) of his voyages and I hope I can inspire you through those fairytales.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 18th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new weekend-meditation later on. Have fun!


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Carpe Diem #1345 The Story of the Young King of the Black Isles


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our daily haiku meme Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. This month we are reading the beautiful fairytales of 1001 Nights and today our journey goes on with another wonderful fairytale as told by Scheherazade to save her own life.

Today our story is about "The Young King of the Black Isles", so I ran through my archives to find a nice haiku (or tanka) in which the theme is "isles" or "Island", so I ran into a nice haiku which I created back in 2014 while we were on our pilgrimage along the 88 temples of Shikoku. That haiku I love to share here again:

mysterious Island
dedicated to the Path of Enlightenment
four countries as one

© Chèvrefeuille

The Story of the Young King of the Black Isles:

You must know, sire, that my father was Mahmoud, the king of this country, the Black Isles, so called from the four little mountains which were once islands, while the capital was the place where now the great lake lies. My story will tell you how these changes came about.
My father died when he was sixty-six, and I succeeded him. I married my cousin, whom I loved tenderly, and I thought she loved me too. But one afternoon, when I was half asleep, and was being fanned by two of her maids, I heard one say to the other, “What a pity it is that our mistress no longer loves our master! I believe she would like to kill him if she could, for she is an enchantress.”
I soon found by watching that they were right, and when I mortally wounded a favourite slave of hers for a great crime, she begged that she might build a palace in the garden, where she wept and bewailed him for two years. At last I begged her to cease grieving for him, for although he could not speak or move, by her enchantments she just kept him alive. She turned upon me in a rage, and said over me some magic words, and I instantly became as you see me now, half man and half marble.
Then this wicked enchantress changed the capital, which was a very populous and flourishing city, into the lake and desert plain you saw. The fish of four colours which are in it are the different races who lived in the town; the four hills are the four islands which give the name to my kingdom. All this the enchantress told me to add to my troubles. And this is not all. Every day she comes and beats me with a whip of buffalo hide.

The Story of the Young KIng of the Black Isles

When the young king had finished his sad story he burst once more into tears, and the Sultan was much moved.
“Tell me,” he cried, “where is this wicked woman, and where is the miserable object of her affection, whom she just manages to keep alive?”
“Where she lives I do not know,” answered the unhappy prince, “but she goes every day at sunrise to see if the slave can yet speak to her, after she has beaten me.”
“Unfortunate king,” said the Sultan, “I will do what I can to avenge you.”

So he consulted with the young king over the best way to bring this about, and they agreed their plan should be put in effect the next day. The Sultan then rested, and the young king gave himself up to happy hopes of release. The next day the Sultan arose, and then went to the palace in the garden where the black slave was. He drew his sword and destroyed the little life that remained in him, and then threw the body down a well. He then lay down on the couch where the slave had been, and waited for the enchantress.
She went first to the young king, whom she beat with a hundred blows. Then she came to the room where she thought her wounded slave was, but where the Sultan really lay.
She came near his couch and said, “Are you better to-day, my dear slave? Speak but one word to me.”
“How can I be better,” answered the Sultan, imitating the language of the Ethiopians, “when I can never sleep for the cries and groans of your husband?”
“What joy to hear you speak!” answered the queen. “Do you wish him to regain his proper shape?”
“Yes,” said the Sultan; “hasten to set him at liberty, so that I may no longer hear his cries.”

blue oceans
filled with all kinds of life
no more tears


© Chèvrefeuille

The queen at once went out and took a cup of water, and said over it some words that made it boil as if it were on the fire. Then she threw it over the prince, who at once regained his own form. He was filled with joy, but the enchantress said, “Hasten away from this place and never come back, lest I kill you.”
So he hid himself to see the end of the Sultan’s plan.
The enchantress went back to the Palace of Tears and said, “Now I have done what you wished.”
“What you have done,” said the Sultan, “is not enough to cure me. Every day at midnight all the people whom you have changed into fish lift their heads out of the lake and cry for vengeance. Go quickly, and give them their proper shape.”

Isn't that a story? This story continues ... so the last part of this story you can find at ou "The Story Goes On" page above in the menu.

This (belated) episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 17th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor (introduction to the Theme week), later on. For now ... have fun and be inspired.