Another Frost

Ok – Let’s start again!

Could 5 writers please register their interest for participating in this Junicho – if you haven’t had a chance, read up on the process at the ‘yellow moon’ pages (finished sequence & the drafts page) to get a feel for the Junicho, then just post your name below!

We’re only asking for 5, (first in etc…) as I trust John will be happy to lead us again? 🙂

Ashley

322 Responses to Another Frost

  1. lorin says:

    Ashley & John…I’m putting my name in, but as ‘1st spare’, ok?

    So if 5 new people don’t sign up, I’d love to be in it, but if they do, they’ve got priority, of course.

    cheers,
    lorin

  2. Sandra says:

    Yes please, would love to give it a whirl.

  3. g’day Ashley and John

    That would be fun. If you don’t get any “new” offers then I too would very much like participate. Guess I could be second spare.

    I am grateful for the opportunity.

    Peace and Love

  4. willie says:

    Obviously, I’d love to be considered, but as an alternate assuming we do not acquire new writers. Fat chance of that happening!
    Hey, no sweat! Whatever the outcome, I will closely follow the progression of a new poem.
    In fact, I strongly urge any of those interested to get on board-it is a wonderful experience!

  5. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Ashley, I would love to participate in the new Junicho if that’s OK.

    Have been watching with great interest.

    Best wishes, Genevieve.

  6. ashleycapes says:

    You’re in! 🙂

    So far we have John, Sandra & Genevieve – which leaves 3 spaces to fill!

    (And as back up we have Lorin, Barbara & Willie)

  7. John Carley says:

    Hi all, perhaps the thing I most love about renku is never getting that ‘stare at a blank page’ sinking feeling when it’s time to write something new. It’s a perfect cheat – always being able to rely on another team member to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat.

    So, thanks for the interest and the kind offers to be on standby. Let’s give it a short while to see if others wish to particpate. Prior experience is not a prerequisite, and the flexibility of the Junicho means that it is ideally suited to those people who might just want to risk a quick dabble!

    From the outset please let me emphasise that any and all observations, queries and criticisms are welcome on absolutely any aspect of composition.

    Renku is not complex. But it is mulitiplex. There are no stupid questions in this workspace. And I do not hold all the answers.

    Best wishes, John

  8. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, thanks for the interest. And particular thanks to the people who have kindly offered themselves as ‘reserves’. Let’s give is a short while to see if there are further takers. Prior experience is not a requirement, whilst the brevity and flexibility of the Junicho mean that it is ideally suited to those people who might just wish an initial dabble.

    From the outset please let me make clear that absolutely any and all queries, comments and crits are welcome at all times and from all participants and observers on absolutely any aspect of composition – specific or general.

    There are no stupid questions in this workspace. And I do not hold all the answers.

    Best wishes, John

  9. John Carley says:

    Hi folks, just spamming really so that I get the mailbot to send me auto updates on this page henceforth. But as a makeweight – one of the excellent featurs of the Simply Haiku magazine is that the internal search engine can query all back issues since it started (I was the first renku editor). So for instance if you want to read other Junicho’s just fire the word into its engine and you’ll pull up some good stuff. I particularly recommend the work of the AIR group – try searching under the surname of my mentor, friend and co-translator Eiko Yachimoto.

    Best wishes, John

  10. _kala says:

    I would love to join in…
    _kala

  11. ashleycapes says:

    Ok, 2nd update – so far we have John, Sandra & Genevieve & Kala – which leaves 2 spaces to fill!
    (Welcome, Kala – great to have you on board, hope you like it here at the Snail! Some of you may recognise Kala from the World Haiku Review)

    (And as back up we now have Lorin, Barbara & Willie & Joe)

    So if we don’t have 2 more new writers, we’ll have to let L,B,W&J to slug it out!

  12. g’day all

    Just to let you know that I am still keen to join in.

    Welcome Kala! Good to see you here:)

    peace and love

    B

  13. Joseph says:

    Hey John, I didn’t print myself a copy of our last junicho. Where can I find it? Joe

  14. lorin says:

    Hi Kala 🙂

  15. Aldia says:

    I feel a little intimidated, but if there is still a spot… I’d love to give it a try!

  16. lorin says:

    One to go…The suspense is killing me! 🙂

    lorin

  17. ashleycapes says:

    3rd update – we now have John, Sandra & Genevieve & Kala & Aldia – which leaves only 1 space to fill!

    This still leaves Lorin, Barbara & Willie & Joe back ups) if we cannot get an extra writer soon…

  18. John Carley says:

    Hi all – last call (24 hours) for a sixth voice. Please so consider joining us even/especially if you have never written any form of haikai before. I should also add – if English is not your first language I can cope with French, Italian, Spanish and, at a pinch, German.

    ps – over at the Yellow Moon strand there’s an update on the Simply Haiku offer of publication. It is potentially problematic.

    Just for the hell of it here’s an exchange involving flatulence and fleas!

    John

    for supper
    kamasugo fry,
    a fragrant breeze gets up

    Boncho

    that leech-sucked spot
    scratched just as you please

    Basho

    all weighty thoughts
    are set aside for now
    the day of rest

    Yasui

  19. John Carley says:

    Ok – let’s go, go, go! If another contributor turns up we can take them onboard. Otherwise we can giggle whilst our backup players fight it out for the spare verse position or two (probably go ‘competitive’ between Lorin, Barbara, Willie & Joe for those)

    The fancy word for ‘competitive’ is ‘degachi’. And right now I’m inviting Sandra & Genevieve & Kala & Aldia to go head to head in putting forward candidates for our first verse.

    The first verse of a renku sequence is called a ‘hokku’. This type of verse gave rise to, and is effectively indistinguishable from, a haiku. In formal and traditonal types of renku sequence the hokku would be written so that it is capable of a figurative reading as some form of augury for the poem as a whole, or as a greeting to a particularly honoured guest or Master. You may wish to consider this, but it is not an obligation. And I am not a Master.

    The hokku takes the season current at the time of composition. Please therefore set the season of your candidate verses in either summer or winter, depending on which hemisphere you are in. Please submit two or three alternative candidates.

    Allez les gars! John

  20. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Hi John – exciting – if a little scary. Here are my three:

    quiet in the canoe – now
    the wind from the black
    swan’s wings

    an early start – map
    and buttercups tucked
    in his backpack

    shyly holding hands
    the children
    file in

    • Joseph says:

      G. Love the “wind from the black/swan’s wings!” Not only imagistically evocative, but syntactically interesting. Good job. Joe

  21. John Carley says:

    Thanks Genevieve. Looking forward to more coming in!

    Best wishes, John

  22. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Thanks Joe.

  23. willie says:

    Hello my friends,

    Glad to hear Simply Haiku is interested in our renku. I’ll await word for submission of participant notes for Yellow Moon.

    As for participating in the new Junicho, I feel it best that I withdraw from this round. I should have kept my mouth shut in the first place; again, overtaken by desire!
    Best to give someone else a shot at this wonderful format.

    Best wishes to you all and I look forward to writing with you again in the near future.

    Willie

    • Aldia says:

      Hey Willie~
      wondering where you’ve been….are you going to submit any ku to the Kasen for this round #20? I really enjoy reading your submissions! How are things going? I hope all is well….

  24. Sandra says:

    Morning all,

    Yes, it is a little intimidating to start like this, but here goes (sounds of knuckles cracking; neurons firing) and you’ll notice that I’m having a bob each way, sick of winter:

    another frost –
    the paradise duck
    hides her head

    purple butterflies
    with each step
    the clack of smoko cups

    bath night –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

  25. Sandra says:

    Hmm sorry, now I wonder whether the final one meets the seasonal requirements?

  26. John Carley says:

    Thanks for these Sandra. And come in Kala and Aldia!

    I suspect you are right Sandra and that the last candidate doesn’t really convey its season (I’m guessing you are in winter as Paradise duck gives me ‘New Zealand’.)

    But I really think the ‘phrase’ (c.f. Jane Reichold ‘phrase and fragment’) works really well.

    Best wishes, John

  27. Aldia says:

    okay, holding my breath I’ll dive in!

    sunflowers illuminate
    the patio
    despite the rain

    heat lightning dances
    across the sky
    the thunder keeps beat

    table cloth of moss
    on sawed-off tree trunk
    pileated woodpecker dines

  28. Sandra says:

    Yes, you’re right John, New Zealand it is and we seem to be emerging from a hellish winter into something resembling spring.

    So, please ignore bath night – , and try this instead:

    long winter –
    the old argument
    hangs in the air

  29. John Carley says:

    Thanks again to Sandra. And thank you Aldia.

    Meanwhile… what do we about the wakiku (verse two) if we end up selecting a ‘winter’ hokku?

    Every precedent tells us that the hokku and wakiku are a very closely linked pair – often described in terms of being similar to the ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ sections of a waka (trad. tanka). Clearly therefore the wakiku has to take the same season as the hokku, because it is virtually part of the same stanza.

    But conventions about (a) an even balance between season and non-season verses (Junicho @12 = 6 season + 6 non-season) and (b) pre-eminence of spring and autumn (seasons @ 6 = 2 spring, 2 autumn, 1 summer, 1 winter) means that really we only have space for 1 winter verse. in our Junicho…

    Is it possible in such circumstance to write a wakiku that closely supports/compliments the hokku, but which is technically non-season? Does this matter? And anyway, how did we get round it in Yellow Moon (‘cos ‘summer’ is a ‘minor’ season just as surely as ‘winter’)?

    Best wishes, John

    • Joseph says:

      John, can we use an apposition for the wakiku? Sort of…”as the summer plays off winter” or something? or is apposition unwieldy in the second verse? Joe

  30. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Perhaps my third candidate doesn’t convey the season either. I had in mind the first day of school, which would be in summer in either hemisphere, but I may need to add ‘first day’ to show that.

  31. Genevieve Osborne says:

    So it seems John that spring and summer are the optimum seasons in which to begin a Junicho.

  32. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Sorry – fingers not following brain – spring and autumn.

  33. Sandra says:

    Would one way around starting with, say, a winter verse be to write something broadly along the lines of a snake swallowing its tail, using the winter/summer verse as the head of the snake.
    How did you get round it in Yellow Moon?
    Well, it seems to me (and as the poem has been removed pending publication I’ve had to search through the D&D to find the ku) that the second verse is not necessarily a summer ku, given that “scents of ginger” could refer to the dried spice; cooking, etc., as well as the scent of fresh flowers.
    However, if you’d rather start again I would say that both hemispheres are on the cusp of spring/autumn anyhow so it would still be appropriate subject matter for us all.
    Try again?

  34. John Carley says:

    No. No. Sorry for giving the wrong impression. There are already sufficient excellent candidates to move to a choice. In fact Kala, if you are reading and if you are experiencing difficulties for any reason whatsoever you are welcome to post a ‘pass’ (this is true for all persons at all times and in all circumstances. There are no obligations here).

    My question was rhetorical: a device for asking people to consider some aspects of renku theory in general, and some specific qualities of the very short sequences that have emerged in the last few decades.

    Yes, Yellow Moon kind of skirts the issue (my favourite ploy). And yes, starting in spring or summer avoids the issue.

    I think the wider point is that many aspects of renku technique which obtain in longer sequences are perforce modified by the more narrow confines of a Junicho. We will encounter other instances as we progress.

    Best wishes, John

  35. Sandra says:

    Okay, thanks John. Trying too hard, eh?

    And I’d like to amend my final ku more (to remove that pesky season name):

    longest night –
    the old argument
    hangs in the air

  36. John Carley says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    Sandra

    Hi all, with Sandra’s permission this is the hokku I’d very much like to go with. I’ll amplify the reasons shortly but I dont’ wish to overly direct the responding candidates by going into a long exegesis at this time.

    Aldia, Genevieve, Kala – yours is the task of providing a really close ‘buttress’ verse (JP wakiku) to our source verse. Please humour me and accept a second round of ‘competitive’ (JP degachi) submissions.

    We’ve already looked at the question of seasonality for a wakiku (verse 2) in a Junicho begun in winter. In theory we can have a non-season verse here. And you are welcome to experiment. But, being old fashioned, I suspect a second ‘winter’ feel will be most effective.

    And personally I reckon that our hokku simpy BEGS for a ‘winter moon’ wakiku. It might be the key work ‘gleam’ that sets up expectations of a winter sky…

    BUT, these ramblings of mine are speculations, not ‘rules’. Let’s go team#

    Best wishes, John

  37. Sandra says:

    Yes, I like it John, very nice.

  38. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Hi John and Sandra – I really like the metallic gleam of the cockroach leg against the frost – sets up a crisp, cold dialogue.

    a try for a ‘winter moon’:

    night one – blankets
    and moonlight on bare boards

    moon through my window –
    ice patterns on the wall

    moon rise – the waves
    turning to tin foil

  39. Genevieve Osborne says:

    hmm, I think the second one should be:

    the moon through my window –
    ice patterns on the wall

  40. Sandra says:

    Not sure if I should respond to my ku, but it’s all good writing practice, so here goes:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    so pale in this moonlight
    my mother’s skin

    after the moon comes
    we draw closer to the fire

    birch branches every one
    a piece of the moon

  41. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Thanks Ashley – nice to hear your voice.

  42. _kala says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    Sandra

    Lovely hokku!

    Sorry guys!
    I didn’t know how to log on to this site…!
    I got it now!

    Give me a day or two and I’ll send in my offers John.
    _kala

  43. _kala says:

    Being experimental ( !!) I’m sending in my first offer, with more to follow.

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg / Sandra

    a winter moonbow
    stretches into the night

    moonbow – is a night rainbow, in case you’d like to know
    _kala

  44. _kala says:

    When the moonlight is strong (meaning full moon) and there is a mild rain – a moonbow happens!!!

  45. _kala says:

    My second offer…

    1.

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg / sandra

    I frog leap
    across the cold floor

    Line 1 has a long space in between, like this:

    I frog . . . . . . . . . leap
    across the cold floor

  46. John Carley says:

    Thanks everybody for the submissions so far. And hi Kala – it took me a while to get used to these ‘boards’ as well, having been used to composing via email distribution engine only. Hopefully Aldia is with us.

    Please allow me to make a couple of observations. One is that I feel that the introduction of the first person (I/my) is a definite strength for our wakiku. This is instinctive rather than analytical, but may have something to do with effectively grounding the poem in human experience after such an unusual and slightly ‘alien’ opening. It’s as though flesh and warmth are the most effective response to the cold glitter of the hokku.

    Another way of looking at this is that strong verses can tempt us towards repetition in the linking verse. I feel that a further direct reference to hard/cold/shiny in verse two, rather than reinforcing the hokku, could in fact diminish it.

    Thanks for the further offers Sandra – it is indeed good practice to write even for positions one would not expect to be called to. Please allow me to make a critical observation (not a criticism) which arises from one suggested verse:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    so pale in this moonlight
    my mother’s skin

    People may recall my earlier comment that the hokku and wakiku are considered by many renku theorists to be a tight pair, almost like the ‘answering’ ‘halves’ of a tanka (a form which itself arose, in the dim mists of time, from a ‘correspondence’ exchange between two poets). By contrast verse three in a renku sequence is called a ‘break-away’ verse because it deliberately opens outward into new territory. You’ll find a more extensive description of these features here:
    http://uk.geocities.com/johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com/Beginnings_and_Endings.htm

    For our present purposes the question remains: Sandra’s added verse is an excellent link BUT – does it open outwards too much? Does it give ‘closure’ to the initial pair, or does it leave us wondering about the mother, and the reasons why her skin is so pale? Personally I’m not sure.

    One thing I do know is that renku ‘conservatives’ like the late Shinku Fukuda strongly hold the view that a moon verse MUST feature the moon (regrettably Fukuda-sensei tended to the ‘rule’ end of the spectrum). By this they mean that the moon should be the dominant or principal image/feature; it should not be secondary to, or overshadowed by, any other element. Again the question here: is Sandra’s excellent verse more about the mother than the moon?

    Now, Master and Mistress Okamoto clearly were not renku conservatives or they wouldn’t have come up with something as ground breaking as the Junicho. And the following is Boncho

    the grass-sandal weaver
    stealthly works
    picked out in moonlight

    from the sequence ‘Summer Moon’ led by Basho. So do beware of ‘rules’.

    Taking all these things together please let me offer a steer with particular thanks to Genevieve

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    [something warm/human]
    (the) moon at/through my window

    This is illustrative. I am not suggesting that no other alternatives are acceptable.

    Best wishes, John

  47. _kala says:

    “Another way of looking at this is that strong verses can tempt us towards repetition in the linking verse. I feel that a further direct reference to hard/cold/shiny in verse two, rather than reinforcing the hokku, could in fact diminish it. ”

    I like what you’ve said here John.

    _kala

  48. _kala says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    looking for snowflakes
    we find the sickle moon

    ?
    _kala

  49. _kala says:

    Thanks Ahsley!

    Actually it is the third day moon, throughout our childhood, my grandfather use to point it out to us, or rather used to ask us to find it, a faint elusive line in the sky— because the Hindus believe it is very auspicious to view the third day moon, we call it the ‘moonraam pirai.’

    _kala

  50. Sandra says:

    Good coaching John, I think I understand what you want. Now to try and deliver!

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    tucking in the blue blanket
    the moon through my window

    sending a poker through the wood
    the moon’s pitted face

  51. Sandra says:

    No, that should be

    putting a poker through wood
    the moon’s pitted face

  52. Genevieve Osborne says:

    so, trying some variations –

    last one safely home –
    the moon at my window

    hearing the last one come home
    the moon through my window

    his key in the lock – the moon
    through my window

  53. _kala says:

    One more try…!

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    as I sip my assam tea
    the moon between two branches

    .

  54. John Carley says:

    Hmmn, not easy. There are two really strong potential verses here.

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    or

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    looking for snowflakes
    the third day moon

    Genevieve – I’m suggesting dropping out the word ‘safely’ for two reasons. Firstly it allows the long ‘O’ of ‘home’ more play, which I think compliments ‘moon’ and the closing vowel of ‘window’. And secondlyI feel it may add a bit too much back story.

    Kala – I feel that ‘sickle’ takes us rather to close to ‘metallic’ and that complex of sharp/cold/shiny that it in the hokku. Whereas the connotations of ‘third day moon’ are ideal – as you may be aware this ‘third day moon’ is also a formal compositional topic (JP: dai) in Japanese literature.

    Team, I need to let this one mull over for a short while. Any and all comments welcome.

    Best wishes, John

  55. Aldia says:

    Sorry…getting ready to send 2 off to college!

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    snowman stands watch
    still moon

    frozen pond reflects
    a gibbous moon

    children hope for snowday
    ring around the moon

    thanks! 🙂

  56. _kala says:

    I feel that ’sickle’ takes us rather to close to ‘metallic’ and that complex of sharp/cold/shiny that it in the hokku—

    Of course John! i missed this link!

    Am not at all surprised that the third day moon resontes in Japanese usage too, both the countries follow the lunar calendar.
    So, even to this day, in India we follow the moon’s journey. . . marrages are planned on good days depending on the moon’s positions!

    We trim our hair during the 15 days of the waxing moon – which symbolises growth and plenty!!!
    _kala

  57. _kala says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    Genevieve – I like this verse a lot!
    _kala

  58. John Carley says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    Sandra

    last one home,
    the moon at my window

    Genevieve

    Hi all, thanks to Kala for the generous comment. If Genevieve is OK with this draft I suggest we go with her verse. In the end the choice was simply that of the two it is the closest to the initially proposed text.

    Let’s go with Kala next and Aldia at four – hopefully this gives you another 24 hours or so, Aldia, to get that crucial domestic organising done. In the UK the terms (semestres) start later. It’ll be my turn to do the dispatching in 3 weeks time!

    Ok, verse #3 is definitely non-season. It is also less tightly tied in to #2 than #2 is to #1. Other than that everything is pretty much open. It’s yours Kala – go!

    And now a rant, or at least a note on technique. Our hokku is very strong in its seasonality. It is Winter, with a capital W. Our wakiku, above, ommits a winter season word, but ties so successfully with the hokku that it picks up the season by reflection, as it were. I am happy with this text.

    Technically speaking though ‘moon’, if uninflected by the presence of another season word, is automatically considered by the saijiki (season-word almanac) as ‘autumn’. I am well aware that some conservatives and/or ‘purists’ will therefore consider my verse selection to be an error [because, and I agree, one season really should not elide with another].

    If this were a solo sequence I’d probably fudge with something like:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    snuggling down,
    the moon at my window

    because I could retort that ‘snuggling down’ is redolent of ‘cosy when it’s cold outside’ and therefore exactly the kind of phrase whose Japanese equivalents constitute a large part of the acknowledged seasonal almanac.

    At the end of the day we have to decide what is most important as we explore renku: to follow formulas, or to be aware of them, and yet willing to flex and experiment.

    Best wishes, John

  59. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Hi John, yes I agree – it’s stronger without ‘safely’.

    Kala, thank you. I like your third day moon – and your telling about the hair trimming with the moon – glimpses of things we don’t get unless it’s first hand.

    Here’s another one – the fishermen are particular about the timing – at least on the south coast of NSW –

    five nights after the full moon
    and the prawns are running

    and they’re right – if it’s a still night you can hear the prawns skitter and slap across the surface of the lagoon – five nights after the full moon!

  60. Aldia says:

    Congrats, Gen, I do like last one home!:) I have been biking and swimming with my daughters one of whom leaves this Thursday. Another leaves the 30th of August, then down to two at home! I would like to think I could get something organized in my home….very unlikely! Thanks for the reprive though, John!:) Looking forward to reading verse #3~Go Kala! 😉

  61. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Thank you John, that’s delightful. I think to be aware of formulas, ‘yet willing to flex and experiment’ is a great way to go … with you as our leader, that is. I would like to add that it is wonderful to be in this group and have the opportunity to learn a great deal – so thank you to you and to Ashley.

    Congratulations to you Sandra for the hokku and thanks Aldia for your congrats.

    Looking forward to reading your ku Kala.

  62. _kala says:

    Looking forward to reading your ku Kala. – Genevieve

    me too!!!!!

  63. _kala says:

    and here I go with my 1 st offer…

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    her face, in the space
    between farewells
    of a pre-primary gate

    ?
    _kala

  64. Sandra says:

    Hi Kala,

    My first reaction is that it’s too wordy … and I think you’ve put the comma in only to try and break the “face” “space” rhyme – nothing wrong with rhyme in haiku, but this is a little OTT, probably because of the proximity of the words (ie, they’re not separated by a line).

    To read an article about rhyme in haiku, go here:
    http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/node/393

    I also trip over “pre-primary” – if you mean kindergarten/creche/playschool etc, it may be better to say that rather than to force an alliteration.

    How about something like:

    between farewells
    at the school gate
    her small face

    I have an editor who eschews all haiku beginning with a preposition …

    • Aldia says:

      I agree Sandra, and like this amendment. However if you still want all/most of the wording kala, how about something like this:

      space between-
      her face at the gate
      pre-nursery farewell

  65. _kala says:

    Thanks Sandra,

    I wasn’t trying for a for an alliteration at all, we do call it pre-primary.

    Maybe it can be pre-nursery, for I’m talking about that first time the child of four years joins in pre-nursery here, in India?

    Then we have primary or nursery, then by the time the child is six years s/he enters 1st std.

    Her face – here, is just not the child alone, but the mother | child | teacher | the maid | all their faces, between the spaces of the farewell of the gate rods— the first time the child enters the school?

    actually the original version is: ( which is more haiku – like!)

    pre-nursery gate
    her face, in the space between
    farewells

    ?
    _kala

  66. _kala says:

    .

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    banal he says
    to the artwork done
    on her wedding card

    ?

  67. Joseph says:

    Congratulations Sandra and Genevieve on your fine ku! This junicho is off to a strong start. John, as always, I am thrilled to learn from you. I am enjoying the Higginson book. I took a break from being manic and read for a while by a summer pond here in Vermont. Beautiful!

    Are you still in need of more participants? Joe

  68. John Carley says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    banal, he says
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    Kala, this is a brilliant switch of tone – I’m reminded of a Basho sequence where a brilliant moon verse is subverted by a bowl of soup!

    I hope the suggested slight contraction to line two works for you. The late Bill Higginson gave a lot of thought to how and when to maximise the potential of the demonstrative adjective in haikai verses. I think ‘this’ really focuses us into the verse, taking us the more certainly away from the moon.

    If this is acceptable we can move directly on to Aldia at #4. This is a bit of tough call, Aldia, for one reason only: do we treat #3 as a ‘love’ verse (albeit ill starred) and add a second ‘love’ verse here at #4. Or do we go somewhere else entirely?

    A second love verse is demanding for a particular reason: we already have first person used in #2, and third person used #3. We definitely shouldn’t use first person again here at #4 because the risk of kannonbiraki (uchikoshi) is too great. And to repeat third person can easily come across as… banal! So we are kind of stuck with a love verse adopting second person (you) or non-person i.e. evoking a human situation through the description of objects.

    Clearly neither of these options are impossible. But they are more difficult, in my opinion, than ‘I’ or ‘he/she’.

    Alternatively you could move to a season verse. We’ve started with ‘winter’ and we’ve had the minimum of one non-season verse intervening, so now, in normal circumstances we could go to spring or autumn (we wouldn’t have ‘summer’ follow ‘winter’ or vice versa because both are consideres as ‘minor’ seasons).

    But as I observed earlier our ‘moon’ verse is slightly equivocal in that some purists would want to read it as ‘autumn’. It would therefore be unwise to go to ‘autumn’ here at #4. So, either we stay non-season (and may decide on non-season plus love) or we go to ‘spring’.

    If any of this is unclear folks please just say. There are no stupid questions in renku – just poor sabakis. And of course any person (contributor or reader/observer) is welcome to post any form of query, comment or observation at any time.

    Yes Joseph, we will be welcoming a ‘guest’ verse at either #5 or #6. And maybe later another guest somewhere around #9 or #10. We could go degachi between anyone reading.

    Best wishes, John

  69. _kala says:

    Wow!
    I’m dumbfounded — clean bowled over, John, seeing this clear steering of the boat…

    Thank you for choosing to choose ‘this’ verse!!
    _kala

  70. Aldia says:

    More than acceptable to me, although I’m feeling the pressure now for sure!

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    banal, he says
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    a sidelong glance
    your heartbeat quikens

  71. Sandra says:

    Boy, this is getting interesting.

    Might I ask, John, that we insert a second comma into Kala’s ku thus:

    banal, he says,
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    as the comma, in this case, works in the place of parentheses.

  72. Aldia says:

    another non-season/love and one spring….

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    banal, he says
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    watching you
    pheromones fill the air

    or

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

  73. Aldia says:

    just noticed I left out the c……

    a side long glance
    your heartbeat quickens

  74. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody,
    I’ve been off pondering on these two excellent candidates for a while –

    watching you
    pheromones fill the air

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    The latter is really intriguing as it highlights a particularly knotty techical/aesthetic question… I read the verse as depicting a tattoo. So its content could hardly be more different from the last-but-one verse (moon, in this case) from which we are obliged to shift comprehensively in order to avoid a ‘leap-back’ type of loop – cf. kannonbiraki, uchikoshi: http://uk.geocities.com/johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com/Link_Shift_overview.htm

    In theory then we are in the clear. But in fact not. Maybe. The fact is that one could argue that the link between #2 and #3 is one of ‘transposition of image’ – the classic winter moon becomes a cheesy image on wedding stationery. But then the link between #3 and #4 is also a further transposition: the image on paper becomes an image on skin. Perhaps this in itself is not so much of a problem, but the word ‘banal’ seems somehow to hang over both transitions.

    I have read no commentary in Japanese renku theory that addresses this conundrum. But it does seem to me that, when considering the dynamic of ‘shift’ and/or ‘progression’ it is not sufficient to considert the actual content of the verses, one must also consider the nature of the linkage.

    And it is perhaps the case that consecutive linkage based on the same or similar precepts will generate a type of halt or loop that is very similar to the commonly identified problem of ‘kannonbiraki’. In short, similar linkage between consecutive pairs is probably best avoided.

    For our present purposes the argument can remain academic as there is an alternative and effective candidate that very nicely fits the bill. Aldia, I know it was me to suggest the second person singular in the first place but I respectfully ask you to consider a conjunction instead. Thus:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    banal, he says,
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    watching as
    pheromones fill the air

    For anyone really interested in technical theories of what type of person/non-person verses combine most successfully this provisional draft of verse #4 is an example of what is called, in Japanese, ‘ashirai’. You might like to run search strings on it and/or including ‘ji-ta-han’ or ‘ji-ta-ba’. Always remembering that these things are intellectual tools and NOT rules.

    As we close in on agreed draft of our first four verses we can see that our progression really invites spring at #5. (thanks Sandra: was going to argue that the line break [line 1, verse 3] served the function of the second comma, but let’s adopt that comma for our working text).

    So I would like to invite any person reading beyond our core team of Aldia, Genevieve, Kala and Sandra to submit candiates for a spring verse at postion #5. It almost certainly needs to be what the Japanese theorists call a ‘landscape’ verse: i.e. one which has no immediately defined human presence.

    Best wishes, John

  75. g’day all

    This junicho has an interesting start. I take it anyone can jump in now with an offer for the next verse, so here goes.

    #5 spring

    wisteria buds
    grow fatter
    every day

    or

    out and about
    a red bellied snake
    on lush lawns

    or

    along the wire
    swallows preparing
    to swoop

    Thanks John for your guidance.
    Peace and Love

  76. Sandra says:

    Hi John,

    Your working notes are fascinating as always. However, I wonder if I could get you to elucidate on the chosen verse as I’m not sure you can see “pheromones fill the air”?

    And I had read, being a literalist, the “hummingbird” ku as a bird drinking from the flower with the common name bleeding heart, Dicentra spectabilis … it also has an alternate common name, Dutchman’s trousers 🙂

    You obviously have more experiences with tattoos …

    • Aldia says:

      I didn’t know it was also called Dutchman’s trousers, Sandra, or that there were different colors! Very interesting…..I also have a tatoo with a heart in it, however I was not refering to it! 😉

      • Aldia says:

        oops tattoo…now back to bed. I am summonded from my bed to check the progress of the Junicho and Kasen too
        frequently! I’m lucky to get 4hrs. sleep lately! 🙂

  77. Aldia says:

    A.
    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    B. D.
    last one home watching you through veiled eyes
    the moon at my window pheromones fill the air
    C.
    banal, he says,
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    what if “through veiled eyes” was added? If I uderstand the meaning of this: ‘leap-back’ type of loop – cf. kannonbiraki, uchikoshi, we would be comparing D to B correct? Or is veiled not allowed because of wedding? If not, Sandra is correct in my meaning the plant….
    I was refering to the Japanese bleeding heart plant. There is a picture here:http://www.mrgrow.com/plant/may.htm.
    It blossoms in the spring and attracts hummingbirds here.
    Would it be beneficial to add “Japanese” or “plant”?

    hummingbird sips
    from a Japanese bleeding heart
    ?
    hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart plant
    ?
    I like the use of Japanese, if necessary to add something.
    Please explain futher if I am not understanding ‘uchikoshi’
    completely…or at all!
    Thanks 🙂

  78. Aldia says:

    oops…I was trying to put verse B and D side by side for comparison sake, but the text did not hold and smooshed all together!

    B.
    last one home
    the moon at my window

    D.
    watching you through veiled eyes
    pheromones fill the air

    Are these the verses compared, yes…or no…?

  79. lorin says:

    How interesting ! 🙂 I’ve just read through John’s comments on Aldia’s verses and had the same response as Sandra. I saw the literal image in

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    …the bird hanging from and sipping from the flower…no tattoo, no religious symbolosim either, and thought how clever Aldia was to write a Spring verse which seems to have ‘love’ symbolism, though nothing overt, and also connect it to possible ‘pretty’ artwork on a wedding card that called forth the ‘art snob’ bloke’s scathing comment in Kala’s ku.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicentra_spectabilis

    well, ‘pheromones’

    watching as
    pheromones fill the air

    I’d say this is ‘syneasthesia’ to the max or beyond. 🙂 Unless the ‘person’ watching is a cat [yr domestic tabby kind of cat] how could they know the presence of? They can’t be seen and humans can’t detect them by sense of smell, not consciously, anyway.

    Cats, though, have a gland in the roof of their mouth that can ‘analyse’ these and other chemicals, a sense between taste and smell that we don’t have, not even dogs have. You can see cats doing this, ‘smell-tasting’ with their mouths open, with a very concentrating look on their faces. Usually it’s where a tomcat has sprayed.

    Love reading the ku and the comments…lovely to catch up again with this renku… it’s well on its way.

    lorin

  80. lorin says:

    …also, I have to admit to feeling quite stupid [again!] I can see how Kala’s [original, strong and realistic ku… my goodness, a revealing portrait of precisely the chillingly cold sort of bloke I recoil from, and in so few words! Superb, Kala! I can almost see his beady little eyes glitter as he inflicts his superiority on his victim] … anyway, I can see how it shifts away from Genevieve’s verse and I can appreciate the abrupt change of mood and tone, but for the life of me, I can’t see how it *links* to Genevieve’s

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    I can easily understand that his ‘cold’ and frostily critical remark about the wedding stationary could be seen to link to Sandra’s v#1, via ‘cold, frosty, metallic/hard’, and the ‘metallic gleam’ of a cockroach’s leg transformed into the sophisticated, ‘urbane’ but superficial sheen of the coldly critical ‘banal’ dismisssal, from a bloke with obviously no more than a cockroach’s capacity for empathy or warmth. But isn’t this committing ‘‘kannonbiraki’? [though a stunner of a character portrait! ]

    I hope you don’t mind my commenting and questioning, as an observer, John. I’m taking you at your word that “…absolutely any and all queries, comments and crits are welcome at all times and from all participants and observers on absolutely any aspect of composition”

    I’m a *very* interested observer.

    And I do really and sincerely want to get a better understanding of renku.

    lorin

  81. Aldia says:

    lorin~thanks for the bleedingheart response. I am not sure I agree totally with your opinion of pheromones though. I agree you are not able to see them, however I have experienced the power of them! 🙂 Here is an article you may find interesting at this website.
    http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/women/9906/25/sexuality.scent/
    BTW….
    How do you make it green so you are able to click on the webpage from here?

  82. lorin says:

    🙂 o, yes, Aldia…it is proven that pheromones exist and appear to be sexual attractants in all species [yr link worked , btw] but in our case [humans] it’s subliminal/ unconscious.

    We can’t see, smell or in any other way sense them *consciously*. I love it that cats can 🙂

    [don’t anyone dare say anything like, ‘o, but cats are not conscious beings’ ;-0 ]

    lorin

  83. _kala says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    banal, he says
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    Well Lorin, you do awake responses in people who read your comments and I suddenly realised how easy it is to backlink, fall into that dreaded ‘‘kannonbiraki’ if only the reader takes a view opposite of the poet?

    Scary infact!!

    If you take the man in my verse as “cold”, then yes!

    I see him as a sensitive but over critical person, who knows what he is saying…
    Then again,

    if you take the last line and my first line, we have:

    the moon at my window

    banal, he says

    The aha or the leap in renku unlike in a haiku is between verses, I’ve been ‘told’ so here – I’m leading the reader to think, that the moon at my window, is banal ( which is the link) the shift comes in the next image.

    When he compares or after seeing the near perfect beauty of the moon, he criticises the flawed artwork in her wedding card

    Do I make sense?
    _kala

  84. _kala says:

    No, Ashley, there is no ‘scent’ here at all, I’m talking about the visual beauty of a moon against the ordinariness ( banal) of the artwork.

    There is no ‘coldness’ here in my verse, or rather the coldness as I see it or understand it, maybe?!!!

    Or maybe the way you look at it (and Lorin) is that he could be so blatantly hurting, so he is ‘cold’??

    My son is getting married at the end of this month and the whole of June, we were designing his card, rejecting and choosing, so this verse came into being, from there!!

    I did it more on the basis of Herbert Jansson’s Haikai Poetics, where he has studied Buson’s renku linking styles and I tried his linking by “time”

    I don’t even know if it is done correctly, I just tried…and I feel John, adding ‘this’ has made it even more accurate to ‘time’ I feel.
    I might be totally wrong…
    Jasson has mentioned nine linking styles, so it could be that I’ve used some other method here!!!

    _kala

    • ashleycapes says:

      Ok, no scent then, kala – though I do think our readings illustrate the beauty of renku perfectly! Readings of readings of readings! 🙂 I still see a nice continuation of a narrtative in there, kala, but I’d like to look into ‘time’ as a link…off to research!

  85. _kala says:

    I got the name wrong

    It’s Herbert Jonsson

  86. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi team, back with you in a couple of hours. In the meanwhile – Jonsson. As it happens I’m participating in a Triparshva that Herbert is leading as we speak. His thesis is fantastic. You can download it all, legit, free, here:

    http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2:189883

    This is an absolutely invaluable resource. The guy can also write poetry. I urge you to grab a copy and dip into it as and when.

    Best wishes, John

  87. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Hi lorin – ‘watching as pheromones/fill the air’ (Aldia) – “I’d say this is syneasthesia to the max or beyond. Unless the ‘person’ watching is a cat … how could they know the presence of? They can’t be seen and humans can’t detect them by sense of smell, not consciously, anyway”.

    The way I read it we are watching the behaviour that the presence of pheromones in the air brings about – ‘a chemical substance secreted by an animal which influences the behaviour of others of its species’ (dict). The Chambers goes on to say ‘e.g. that secreted by the queen bee’ which is rather nice in the context of a wedding – the bride could be seen as the queen bee – and the pheromone rich air could be causing all sorts of romantic/sexually based responses between not only the bride and groom but also the wedding guests.

  88. John Carley says:

    Hi team, lots of strands in such a short space of time.

    Firstly the link from #2 to #3. Kala has it exactly – both the link and, importantly, the core technical observation. The ‘space’ between adjacent verses in renku works in a similar way to that between the two ‘parts’ of a haiku.

    The link between #2 and #3 is the deflation we feel when something we consider grand/beautiful/noble is viewed by another as crass/commonplace/cheap. Verse two doesn’t just describe the moon, it evokes a complex of emotions. All of these are suddenly rendered hollow by that single word ‘banal’. This becomes the more poignant as the verse opens out and we realise that the dismissive comment is made about something which may be a bit tawdry, but should be immune from such harshness due to its context: the wedding.

    Kala, you describe this opening out of the verse, its fresh content, as its ‘shift’. This is of course a perfectly reasonable usage but it is one which has caused very considerable confusion amongst people learning renku practice and theory. In the specifc context of critical commentary in our present genre the word ‘shift’ may be best reserved for the distinct difference in content between an added verse and the last-but-one verse. I say this because ‘shift’ is the direct translation of the Japanese word ‘tenji’ which describes just this relationship and which contrast ‘tsukeai’ or ‘link’ (which of course describes the relationships between an added verse and that immediately preceding).

    So let’s look at ‘shift’ in this sense. And the potential failure to shift sufficiently which is called kannonbiraki.

    Firstly Lorin raises the ‘coldness’ between A and C. The texts are:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg (A)

    banal, he says
    this artwork
    on her wedding card (C)

    No, I don’t think so. The hard/cold of C is figurative, it is implied, it is not the only reading, and it relies on the link from B to exist. The hard/cold of A is concrete, it is stated, and it is the only reading. The ambit of the verses is also comprehensively different.

    I am grateful to Lorin for rasining the query. Such questions are central. But we must be careful not to apply ideas of kannonbiraki or rinne (of which more later) in a forensic, or legalistic manner.

    Aldia raises similar concerns over B and D. The texts are:

    last one home
    the moon at my window (B)

    watching as
    pheromones fill the air (D)

    As we’ve seen one test of kannonbiraki is: are they different enough from each other. Another is: could one follow the other? As with my comments on ‘forensic’, if we ask ourselves “could they concievably follow each other” we are almost certainly making a rod for our own backs. And here….

    Welllll. Maybe. Just. Maybe.

    As I already remarked we have three verses in a row that have people in. Is this automatically kannonbiraki? No, Basho’s sequences often have three or four ‘person’ verses in a row (but what would he know!). In fairness Basho was writing 36 verse sequences and the dynamics are rather different. It is legitimate to argue that short forms oblige more rigorous interpretations of some conventions and approaches.

    Be that as it may I’m perfectly happy to sit and watch as the pheremones show their presence through the behaviour of those we are watching. BUT. We have a rather strong alternative that I discounted due to my misreading (based on the fact that the only ‘Hummingbirds’ we see in England are North Korean sports cars. And, Global_Warming_if_only, we are lucky if a bloody dandelion will grow this year!)

    last one home
    the moon at my window (B)

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart (D)

    There is no possible kannonbiraki here because our ‘love’ content is now purely figurative – this is no longer any from of ‘person’ verse. The link to C is also strong and direct. It also moves us into the ideal season as long as we can contextualise it with an added verse that gives a mid/all spring reference.

    In short. Sorry for being obtuse. This is a very good verse. I propose to adopt it. So our text is:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    banal, he says
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    And we want a second ‘spring’ verse to compliment it. Sorry to mess you about Barbara. Please have another shot at this. And come in Joseph, Lorin and all species of interested lurkers and observers. You are welcome to submit candidate verses.

    Gosh – this is a mega-rant. Sorry to sound off. Thank you so much for the intelligent and diligent observations. I must try a bit of that intelligence stuff myself…

    Tattoo. Doh! John

  89. lorin says:

    John, this is wonderfully clear:

    “The link between #2 and #3 is the deflation we feel when something we consider grand/beautiful/noble is viewed by another as crass/commonplace/cheap. Verse two doesn’t just describe the moon, it evokes a complex of emotions. All of these are suddenly rendered hollow by that single word ‘banal’. This becomes the more poignant as the verse opens out and we realise that the dismissive comment is made about something which may be a bit tawdry, but should be immune from such harshness due to its context: the wedding.”

    I understand the link now. This expresses my *feelings* about Kala’s magnificent ku, [‘banal’ is such a strong word here] but I was confused about what is ‘link’ and what is ‘shift’. A continuation of [for want of a better word] ‘narrative’ which opens a fresh insight into or interpretation of the images in the previous ku is ‘link’…ok, got it now 😉 Many thanks for your patience and consideration in demonstrating this.

    “I suddenly realised how easy it is to backlink, fall into that dreaded ‘‘kannonbiraki’ if only the reader takes a view opposite of the poet?” Kala

    Kala, this reader doesn’t intentionally ‘take a view opposite of the poet’. When reading anything, I have only the words in front of me and the impression they make on me… my physical, emotional and imaginative responses and the thoughts these lead to. I have *no* way of knowing what the view of the poet is apart from the language I read and my interpretation/s of what it might mean. It is readers who construct meaning, and in any context it will be the more experienced reader who comes closest to ‘getting it right’. I am not, as you know, an experienced reader of renku, but I am learning and given the chance, will improve.

    It really helps when there is someone like John as sabaki, who is willing to play a teaching role for newcomers and tolerates, even appreciates! comments from those of us who still have our training wheels on.

    John, your demonstration of how we can simply place the two ku together, without the intervening verse, asking ‘could this follow that?’, as a test for ‘kannonbiraki’, clears things up a lot for me , too. I feel a bit silly for not thinking of this myself, but there you go… the kannonbiraki waters have been very murky for me and I’ve barely been able to see my hand in front of my face! Surfacing now, I hope. 🙂

    best wishes,
    Lorin

  90. lorin says:

    banal, he says
    this artwork
    on her wedding card [Kala]

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart [Aldia]

    … a few shots at v. #5 from me. Any and all comments very welcome!

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    bread, bitter herbs
    and dark wing-beats
    passing over

    *

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    ‘he is risen’
    above the heat shimmer
    a hint of wings

    *

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    each green thing
    greener with the sound
    of thunder

    lorin

  91. _kala says:

    Thanks John, for taking time to explain in such detail, it really helps.

    Lorin, when I said ‘reader’ I didn’t mean you at all, but generalised it, meaning that I might be sitting in my own little oyster shell – not knowing how my verse is going to be interpreted and when a valid view comes into focus, for a minute the poet is baffled, not understanding how it could be viewed that way?
    The path of learning . . . continues

    Yes, Ashley, I see your point too…about “çold’ but I think John has clearly differentiated the “cold” between the two verses.
    Thank you so mch,

    _kala

  92. lorin says:

    …o, repetition of that bleeding ‘ing’ in ‘passing’! Changing that first attempt :

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    bread, bitter herbs
    and the dark wing-beats
    pass over

    lorin

  93. Sandra says:

    Very much like your green and greener ku Lorin. Excellent.

  94. lorin says:

    Hi Sandra 🙂 …great to have your comment on that. Thank you!

    Revising attempt no.2 now:

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    ‘he is risen’
    above the heat shimmer
    a blur of wings

    lorin

  95. lorin says:

    whoops… I imagine anything with ‘he’ in it would be out

    banal, he says
    this artwork
    on her wedding card [Kala]

    ‘he is risen’
    above the heat shimmer
    a blur of wings

    …so please overlook that one! Duh!

    lorin

  96. lorin says:

    Please consider this one instead of ‘he has risen’ [above]:

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    how hopefully
    the mother cat begs
    for a snapper head

    lorin

  97. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi all, good discussions. And thanks to Lorin for the candidates. Come on you lurkers!

    Yes, Lorin. That ‘he’ is perhaps questionable. But not necessarily void. I think, were one to include the verse, it would have to be “He is risen”. The wider point is that, when we consider repetitions, exclusions and the like, it is surely the semantic value of the word rather than the word itself that is core. For our present purposes I would suggest that ‘he’ is not the same word as ‘He’.

    Religious symbolism is used extensively in Japanese renku – principally various strands of Buddhism or Shinto. I’ve also read Christian references in contemporary work. Interestingly religious references constitute one of the categories that are regarded as bad style/taste in the opening movement of longer sequences governed by ideas of extended dynamic control.

    There are material differences between short, ‘single sheet’, formats (like our present Junicho) and longer, multiple movement, sequences. If you’d care to follow up on this the key search term is “jo-ha-kyu” – don’t be surprised if you turn up dance, drama and combat arts. My own maunderings on the topic are here http://uk.geocities.com/johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com/A_Dynamic_Pattern.htm

    Best wishes, John

  98. lorin says:

    Hi John,
    yes, you’re right, that ‘he’ should be ‘He’. 🙂 The overtly religious things are a tad unseemly for the ‘jo’ part, then, along with names of famous people, places and allusions to literature….I’m beginning to get a feel for it, I think. Thanks!

    So I’m withdrawing the ‘passover’ one too. Sorry to have submissions and revisions all over the place! I’ll put my three Spring ku, including the one just written, all here together.

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    how hopefully
    the mother cat begs
    for a snapper head

    *

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    each green thing
    greener with the sound
    of thunder

    *

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    listen, the voices
    of spirit children
    in the wind

    lorin

  99. g’day all

    Here are my offers:

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    tubular bells sway
    in spring rains
    at dawn

    or

    reawakening…
    the garden pulsates
    with instant joy

    or

    the limping dog
    retrieves a frisbee
    hidden in lush grasses

    peace and love

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Like the tubular bells – took me back a few years. 🙂

      I wonder if it might be better to make the rain singular as the bells are already plural? And you have your assonance with “sway” and “spring” …

      • Joseph says:

        Not Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells”? used to listen to it all of the time! Okay. I do own it on cd.

        Barbara, I like “limping dog” and “lush grasses.” But are you sure you want to use the overt plural here instead of “grass” or “grassland”? Just thinking aloud.

        Hey, Lorin! Your “spirit children” is very evocative, especailly after the command “listen.” Nothing like an imperative to control the image.

      • lorin says:

        I like the ‘tubular bells ‘ one, too, Barbara and second Sandra’s suggestion of singular ‘rain’.

  100. Joseph says:

    And here are some possibilities from my own head/heart/pen:
    banal, he says
    this artwork
    on her wedding card [Kala]

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart [Aldia]

    two worn Oxfords
    all that’s left of father
    at spring cleaning

    the lover’s picnic
    interrupted by
    sudden thunder

    fluttered white hands:
    gulls over the Hudson
    haunt the first boaters

    • lorin says:

      Hi Joseph,

      I like #2 for its directness and uncluttered feel, but that dangling preposition seems to set up too dramatic an entrance for the ‘sudden thunder’. Also I take it that there is more than one lover present? Consider

      the lovers’ picnic
      interrupted
      by sudden thunder

      even

      thunder
      interrupts
      the lovers’ picnic

      or

      thunder
      interrupts the lovers’
      picnic

      I also like your 3rd sub because it has some interesting images… there is imo great potential in the jux of ‘white hands’ and ‘gulls over the Hudson’… but the form is like a haiku or the hokku, with its clear caesura, rather than a verse/ku in a renku.

      fluttered white hands:
      gulls over the Hudson
      haunt the first boaters

      Could it be reshaped and pared down? eg

      her white hands
      flutter at the gulls
      over the Hudson

      • lorin says:

        …or you could lose ‘sudden’ for a rhythm that more echoes the content…’interrupted?

        the lovers’ picnic
        interrupted
        by thunder

  101. Sandra says:

    What else (who else), but Mike Oldfield?

  102. johnedmundcarley says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    (s)

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    (g)

    banal, he says,
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    (k)

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    (a)

    each green thing
    greener with the
    sound of thunder

    (l)

    Hi everyone, sorry for the delay – I’ve been off drinking vast amounts of beer at a family gathering.

    Thanks to Barbara, Josepha and Lorin for the embarassment of riches. Interesting that thunder featured in more than one – to me it is ‘late summer’.

    A part of what decided me in the end on Lorin’s verse was the near universality of the ‘each green thing’ – the growing season is in full spate. I think this is important here as a kind of anchor, it contextualises the hummingbird and bleeding heart. I think this will be useful later, allowing us the contrast of a very arid ‘summer’ verse.

    Lorin, I’ve uploaded it with the line break altered at line two. I know some people have very strong opinions abouth the kind of enjambment I’m proposing here. Personally I like the occassional use of enjambment, particularly where the pause causes us to hang before delivering a strong image: here I think it amplifies the sound of the thunder. But this is just our working text and we can of course change it back.

    Ok, it’s me next with a non-season #6. I’m just about to leave for a week in a remote part of Scotland. But I think I should be able to log on some of the time if my wife’s mobile internet connection can get a signal. Otherwise I might be reduced to driving to the nearest town, Stranraer, to find some public access computing.

    We’re nearly half way into this poem. It is shaping very nicely indeed.

    Och aye, the noo (and lots of other stereotypes), John

  103. lorin says:

    Thanks, John, I’m really pleased you liked the ‘green things’. Funny about that ‘enjambment’. I’ve been feeling a tad embarrassed and awkward about a verse elsewhere [which was a ‘throw-in’, one I did for fun but didn’t seriously consider would be picked] which has ‘the’ sticking out at the end of the 2nd line. That was a comic verse, though, tongue-in-cheek.

    Scotland …don’t forget yr gumboots and yr waterproof troosers 😉

    cheers,
    lorin

  104. Joseph says:

    Great job, Lorin! And thanks for the insightful comments, especially with the interrupted thunder. I realize the white hands and Hudson might be a bit formally rich for a sequence ku. Still, I love the image-relationship the words bring.

    Hey John! I lived in Edinburhg for a few months (a long time ago) but traveled the mass of Scotland in a beat up old four speed van, visiting Findhorn and distilleries! Have a blast!

    Third night of Arsenic and Old Lace: big audience tonight.

  105. _kala says:

    Hi everybody,

    Sorry I’ve not been commenting.
    My son is getting married on 30th August and I’m in the ‘putting-things-together’ mode.

    I’ve been reading all your comments and think, I should be back after the wedding with you guys!
    _kala

  106. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody,
    everything going swimmingly here in Alba, apart from the wild haggis getting into the garden and eating my boots (left on the porch to dry).

    Ok, here are some candidates for #6. I’ll try and check back in tomorrow; the signal seems to depend on the atmosphere (no joke).

    Best wishes, John

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    each green thing
    greener with the
    sound of thunder

    ———-

    battle lines drawn
    over G.M. seed

    Darwin denounced
    as the devil himself

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell

  107. ashleycapes says:

    Hey everyone, just wanted to add that this Junicho is crackling! It’s a pleasure to read, keep it up!

    John, Frankenstien’s monster made me smile with it’s great understatement and I like the tension in ‘battle lines’ too

  108. Sandra says:

    Och, I don’t know about these, John. A bit cutesy, mebbe?

    Would the first one be better without underlining the obvious, ie, that it’s GM seed?

    battle lines drawn
    over the wheat seed (or corn seed or what-have-you)

    which says GM without saying it.

    battle lines drawn
    over a handful of seed

    The other 2 seem to be moving us well away from what’s gone before – I get the link between “green”, “greener” and “unwell”, but am missing the link, as it were, between Lorin’s ku and your Darwin shift.

    Enough of my mithering …

  109. lorin says:

    ooh… you have a new, red mandala thing, John…must be logging in from a different email address 🙂

    hmmm… without the G.M. I wouldn’t have got why battle lines were drawn. Call me dense, Sandra, but with your ‘wheat seed’ I’d first think of people with that common allergy to wheat products we hear so much about these days, and ‘a handful of seed’ leads me right up the garden path, searching among old tales and sermons like ‘as much faith as in a mustard seed’ to ‘onanism’ to paintings of sowers and might’ve ended up vaguely at an art fraud controversy!

    The Frankenstein’s monster one gave me a good belly laugh, it just collapsed the natural air of tension and expectation [that I see in plants when a thunderstorm is approaching…it’s all that nitrogen in the air that makes them sit up!] into something quite other 🙂 … all that electricity and flashing lightning and the monster did look sick in the old film. I just saw the poor thing blundering out of the bushes, matching them in colour.

    I just don’t get the connection with the Darwin one.

    lorin

  110. Aldia says:

    I’m with lorin on the “G.M. one” without it, I would be clueless…”Frankenstien” made me lol…so I had to share it at work. I’m wondering if “Darwin/devil” is linking back to the bleedingheart….red and devil? I am not as knowledgeable as Sandra, lorin, or you…so I enter my response timidly! 🙂 I too noticed the bright red mandala which I like vey much…it really stands out. I’ll enter a different email to see if mine changes. I believe I have fluctuated between my work and home email and nothing has changed on mine…..we’ll see! 🙂
    John, I hope you are having a grand time!

  111. Aldia says:

    lorin you are correct! this response in awaiting moderation, with a new mandala! 😉

    I’m with lorin on the “G.M. one” without it, I would be clueless…”Frankenstien” made me lol…so I had to share it at work. I’m wondering if “Darwin/devil” is linking back to the bleedingheart….red and devil? I am not as knowledgeable as Sandra, lorin, or you…so I enter my response timidly! I too noticed the bright red mandala which I like vey much…it really stands out. I’ll enter a different email to see if mine changes. I believe I have fluctuated between my work and home email and nothing has changed on mine…..we’ll see!
    John, I hope you are having a grand time!

  112. John Carley says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    banal, he says,
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    each green thing
    greener with the
    sound of thunder

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell

    Hi everyone, yes. I’m signing in on my wife’s mobile internet device. We currenlty have a massive 1Kbs connectivity so I’m making best use before the rain blows in, or an overly think kilt blocks the signal!

    Thank you for the very interesting comments on the candidates. Without them I would have gone for ‘Darwin’P: ‘growing things + thunder’ becomes ‘natural science + damnation’. However the points about defusing the tension are really well made. And it is also important to observe that, though rejecting the fantastical and forced humour of the Danrin school, Basho’s own sequences are not averse to the occassional moment of low farce or flashing wit:

    for supper
    Kamasugo fry
    a fragrant breeze gets up

    that leech sucked spot
    scratched just as you please

    (Kamasugo were well known for inducing flatulence) Although the Junicho is a single-sheet poem, and as such does not formally adopt the jo-ha-kyu dynamic pacing method, it is worth observing that the mid sections of the poem are the best place to plumb these particular depths as this is the place where the tonality is most ammenable to being, in orchestral terms. ‘mosso’.

    Aldia – thank you for your observations. There are no stupid questions – just bad tempered sabaki’s! The kind of potential clash you raise is frequently puzzled over. I’m actually supposed to be working on an article to deal with exactly such issues, but decided to go on holiday instead. Simply put I’d say that we shouldn’t be overly concerned with secondary associations, certainly not with remote ones. Or put another way – if we *examine* a text for conflicts we will almost always find them.

    Right, it’s time to move on. I’ll try and arrange it so that each person gets one long verse and one short in this poem. So it’s time to bring Genevieve back in to play with a long verse.

    I think it’s best to have another non-season verse here to allow the after effects of our two very powerful spring verses to disipate. Other than that I think most attitudes and topics are up for grabs other than ‘love’.

    I’ll try and check in again in the next 24 hours or so but the connection really is tenuous and I might not be able to make it straight away.

    Best wishes, John

  113. lorin says:

    🙂 …so glad you chose that one, John. Coming back to it again I still laugh. I think we needed a good dose of deflationary humour. Nothing could’ve been more unexpected, but how it gives, by association, the full-on visuals of an electric storm, as well!

    Now, I was a bit squeamish about that dangling article in my verse [I’m not totally against them…as I mentioned, used one in a more comic verse recently] but put my feelings on hold. With yr Frankenstein’s monster now in place, what do you think about moving back to the more formal and conventional, as I had it, for the ‘green things’ verse?

    each green thing
    greener with the sound
    of thunder

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell

    It seems to me that ‘playing it straight’ in the previous verse sets things up better for chnage of tone with that stunning entrance [‘stunning’ in both senses, the ‘stunning performance’ and the ‘stunned mullet’ that I felt like in the flash before I laughed :;) ]

    …and that ‘uh, uh’ that the endline ‘the’ gave with ‘thunder’ isn’t needed, as it’s better and more subtley echoed in ‘unwell’, in yours. [the bones of assonance, I’m talking about]

    lorin

  114. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Hi John and lorin,

    Congratulations lorin on your beautiful ‘each green thing greener’ ku.

    If I may just add, I agree with your line break lorin. I think ‘sound’ is able to intensify and swell as it hangs in the space at the end of the line.

    John, we’re heading down the south coast of NSW for the weekend. We have no electricity or phone down there, so like you in Scotland, I’ll need to go to town to be able to check in. I’ll try to do that at least once or twice and will be back Monday.

    Here are a few tries to follow Frankenstein’s monster:

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell (John)

    out there
    in the wood shed
    listening

    although perhaps that links too closely with ‘sound’ in lorin’s ku – so maybe:

    hiding out
    in the wood shed
    an ear to the cracks

    is there anyone
    in all the world
    like me?

    do you dare
    to go where your mind
    takes you?

  115. Sandra says:

    Hi Gen,

    Really like “hiding out”, a scari-ku! 🙂 And the unexpected “sight” for the reader of an ear rather than an eye. I like the idea of listening for cracks, which isn’t exactly what you’re saying, but that reading is there. We see cracks, we paper over them, we feel cracks (in china, for example), but to hear them is something different, takes us to another place. It could be a child hiding from arguing parents or it could be the sound of lake ice breaking open.

    I’ve just been reading some discussion about the need for “shadow” in haiku to create tension, and that is exactly what this has.

    Bravo.

  116. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Thanks Sandra, I like your reading of it.

  117. Aldia says:

    Genevieve, I too like your “hiding out” ku! I can sense the anxiety or tension in the wood shed. Nice interpretation Sandra, I like your word “scari-ku”! 🙂

  118. John Carley says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    banal, he says,
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    each green thing
    greener with the
    sound of thunder

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell

    out there …
    in the wood shed …
    watching …

    Hi everybody, that’s a really good selection of scary verses. Yes, I think ear/listening is a risk we don’t need to run (for the potential return to ‘sound of thunder’).

    Why the elipsis points? I’m trying to reinforce the readers’ perception of the pauses in order to preserve the long/short verse balance. This is something of a balancing act: Basho’s most experimental sequences do in fact include deliberately asymetrical verses at high impact points of the latter stages of ‘ha’ (the ‘development’ movement). The mid point of a Junicho can be regarded as an equivalent stage. BUT, so little attention is generally paid in English language renku to the importance of whole-poem prosody that I am generally reluctant to interrupt a tangible alternation of the long/short/long/short cadence.

    However this verse is too good to pass over. So it’s in. Sandra, please would you follow with a (more conventional) summer verse. This may work best if it is non-person. I note that we have not made much use yet of scent/smell or tactile imagery.

    Best wishes, John

  119. lorin says:

    I do like that ‘wood shed’, Genevieve! 🙂

    I’ve not been on here since you posted, so read it for the first time just before. I’m new to renku too, but learning, and the ‘listening’ did seem to recall ‘sound’, so I like the ‘watching’ revision John’s made. I think that it’s a wood shed and you’re ‘watching’ is enough to imply ‘cracks’ in the walls, too. I see yr normal, timber weatherboardish old shed.

    Have to smile at all those ellipses points, John, and your discourse. 😉 They underline a lesson for me. It was only yesterday I found out that *any* kind of caesura or punctuation mark was permissible in renku verses other than the hokku. Where I picked up that myth, I’m not sure.

    cheers,
    lorin

  120. lorin says:

    Hi Aldia… I’m glad you had that response to ‘Frankenstein’… I think that you shared it at work proves that it has the right effect here 🙂

    Me, knowledgeable about renku? !! Not at all. I’m still in nappies, and have to keep reminding myself that it’s not at all the same as haiku. These renku here at the ‘snail’ are a wonderful opportunity to learn, and it’s great that we’re encouraged to comment and ask questions.

    cheers,
    lorin

  121. ashleycapes says:

    I like this progression too!

  122. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m glad you liked the wood shed John, and thank you Aldia, lorin and Ashley for your comments too. Just to explain why I was trying to hang on to the ‘ear’ for the link to Frankenstein’s monster – in Shelley’s novel, after Frankenstein abandons his monster, the monster hides out for a while in a wood shed belonging to a peasant family, the De Laceys. He eavesdrops on all their conversations & is able to learn to speak by listening to them teach French to their Arabian daughter in law.

    So that was the ‘ear’ & ‘listening’ part, but of course he would have been watching as well – and I agree the link back to lorin’s ‘sound’ would be too close.

    It’s wild and windy down here. There were three humpback whales out in front of us yesterday, just wallowing & playing around – beautiful. Today there is a huge smoke haze as the National Parks are burning off, trying to get ready for another summer.

    Thanks John for all your teaching – as lorin says, it’s so good to have this opportunity. G.

  123. Sandra says:

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell

    out there …
    in the wood shed …
    watching …

    pollen-brushed petals
    the bee bumbles away

    thumbing off rose thorns
    the garden full of rhinos

    by the postbox
    a redder hollyhock

    Hmm, okay will sleep on it – the last one may be too reminiscent of “bleeding heart”?

  124. Sandra says:

    across the sundial’s face
    a creep of lichen

  125. Sandra says:

    No, “by the postbox” is too reminiscent of Lorin’s “greener”, sorry about that. Please scratch it and we’ll try:

    pollen-brushed petals
    a bee bumbles away

    thumbing off rose thorns
    the garden full of rhinos

    across the sundial’s face
    a creep of lichen

    a field of sunflowers
    turning, turning

    at last, evening
    the scent of roses

    switching off the engine
    deafened by cicadas

  126. ashleycapes says:

    oooh! Sandra, the ‘rhinos’ is fantastic and so is the ‘cicada’ ku – cicada is such a classic summer referent but putting it against the car engine is great. and I love the way the ‘rhinos’ continue the line of humour too

  127. johnedmundcarley says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg

    (winter)

    last one home
    the moon at my window

    (winter or non)

    banal, he says,
    this artwork
    on her wedding card

    (non)

    a hummingbird sips
    from a bleeding heart

    (mid/late spring)

    each green thing
    greener with the
    sound of thunder

    (mid/late spring)

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell

    (non)

    out there …
    in the wood shed …
    watching …

    (non)

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    (non)

    Hi everybody, I’m back on my permanent internet connection and generally catching up.

    Thanks for the engaged comments and discussion. Let’s keep those elipsis points under consideration. Ditto the line break in line two of the greener verse.

    Thanks to Genevieve for being prepared to sacrifice that ‘listening’ element. I’m not familiar with the original text (just the billion awful Hammer Horror movies!) so didn’t pick it up. I think people who are though will already pick up the resonance through ‘woodshed’ so that particular layer will not be lost.

    That kind of part submerged narrative extension is an absolutely typical element of ‘high’ renga which found its way into haikai-no-renga (renku) during the Edo period. It relied on the fact that all literate people would be familiar with a certain number of core texts. Put another way, if you don’t know the texts there appears to be no link whatsoever.

    Perhaps because the booming clientel for the new literature (haikai-no-renga) was of more moderate education than the afficianados of high renga Basho’s school, and later poets like Buson, Kito and Chiyo-ni, incorporated such textual allusions into multi-layer linking where if one didn’t get the precise reference there were still sufficient elements to make a pleasing connection between verses. I think Genevieve’s text is a perfect illustration of what is, in my opinion, this more skillful approach. I also think that, in a world where there are X billion English speakers who certainly won’t share a knowledge of core texts, such multilayered linking is the only practicable solution as renku develops in English.

    Thanks to Sandra for such a wealth of potential avenues. I have bitten the bullet and decided that for our present purposes it is best to take Master and Mistress Okamoto strictly at their word. This is in part because I am naturally conservative, in part because international and intercultural renku already puts strains on renku conventions in respect of seasonal reference, in part because I wouldn’t want to give readers too much glee at “mistake” spotting, and in part because, whilst we are seeking to develop an excellent text, we are also using this poem as a learning vehicle. OK – long winded today. Sorry. The *rules* say that the Junicho should only have one flower verse. It doesn’t have to be ‘blossom’. But there’s only supposed to be one of them (ditto moon).
    Master and Mistress Okamoto originated the Junicho.

    Be that as it may the sundial verse would be my first choice for other reasons. Tonally it does everything we need to do in order to set up the closing stages of the poem. We’ve just had a switcheroo of powerful and unexpected verses. We badly need a pause – something which allows us to catch breath. Sandra’s sundial verse is cool and subtle. The linkage works on all sorts of levels, but it kind of slips in unnoticed.

    So why the proposed amendments? Losing ‘face’ shortens the verse slightly and allows it to act as a bridge out from the truncated woodshed back into the ‘standard’ proportions of the long/short/verse movement. Just as importantly by losing the semantic comparator ‘human visage’ I think we also give the verse more space in its own right.

    The reasons for the line inversion are also twofold. My suggestion moves the indefinite article to the beginning of line one. This avoids an echo of the last-but-one verse which starts line two with the indefinite article. By inverting the lines we also allow ‘across’ to act as a direct conjunction between lines one and two, thus giving the verse a unified syntax. Again this is important in respect of the last-but-one which has a degree of syntactic dysjuncture between the lines.

    Comments please.

    Should this text be acceptable, or close to, we need to see where it would point us next. Above I append my own reading of our text in terms of seasonality. We’ve already discussed the seasonality of verse two. I’d also observe that the seasonal readings of our spring verses are important as it is generally considered and error (and in my opinion *is* an error) to have anachronisms *within* a given seasonal run of verses. I read both our spring verses as being mid to late season – or a kind of ‘full on’ spring. Which is fine.

    I don’t think we can, or need to, claim Sandra’s verse as ‘summer’. Rather, to my reading, it constitutes a brilliant set up for a simple unequivocal summer at verse nine. This would leave our poem:

    #01 – winter
    #02 – winter/non
    #03 – non
    #04 – spring
    #05 – spring
    #06 – non
    #07 – non
    #08 – non
    #09 – summer
    #10 – non
    #11 – autumn
    #12 – autumn

    This represents straight down the line conventional proportions for non-season vs season verses. We have conventional proportions for ‘minor’ season (winter+summer) against ‘major’ season (spring+autum). And we have each season seperated by at least one non-season verse. Where we depart slightly from convention is in having the seasonal blocs appear in calendar order. This is not a *rule* we have broken, but a convention which helps to avoid an invitation to ‘linearity’. I feel happy that we have no such linearity in our poem, but I would observe that we might easily have fallen into it if we had only one non-season verse intervening between our two late/full-on spring verses and a putative early summer verse. I would also note that in another relatively recent form of renku, the Shisan, its originator, Mr Kubota, specifically requires that the seasons appear in calendar order!

    And that’s the craic with renku folks – people who present everything as ‘rules’ are misleading us. But there are good reasons why many of the conventions have arisen.

    Best wishes, John

  128. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi all, Lorin writes: “It was only yesterday I found out that *any* kind of caesura or punctuation mark was permissible in renku verses other than the hokku. Where I picked up that myth, I’m not sure.”

    Well, this issue is so important that I’m going to boast. I’ve just found out that the very prestigious, and entirely self-appointed, Haiku Foundation wish to adopt my own rant on this issue as their definitive statement of how matters rest in English language renku. Until my rubbish ISP folds in a month’s time or so you kind find it here: http://uk.geocities.com/johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com/Cut_or_Uncut.htm

    The bottom line is that it’s not so much the syntax that matters as the degree to which a verse is predicated on standards of ‘internal sufficiency’ – whether it is essentially ‘stand alone’.

    Best wishes, John

  129. Sandra says:

    All very interesting, thanks John.
    Given enough time I may have spotted the redundancy in “sundial” + “face” … may have. Thanks, for picking it up.
    Inverting the lines is fine. It’s so interesting having a foreman, as it were, watching the big picture.
    I was a bit concerned that “lichen” may have been an autumn word, but always notice how rich the lichen growth has been later in summer – on trees, sheepyards, etc – so qualified it from my personal observation.
    It must be fun to do one of these face to face, lots of discussion no doubt.

  130. johnedmundcarley says:

    Thanks for your generosity Sandra; I’ve posted the text on the ‘official’ page.

    Yes, you are of course right about lichen proliferating in summer – it’s especially noticeable here in the damp Pennines too, full of dry-stone walls, and not much else.

    Out of interest I’ve checked a couple of resources and couldn’t find a Japanese kigo reference for it at all. Of course the bottom line for the seasonal position of anything ever-present is that it gets fixed by having featured in association with a particular season in some notable work of literature or other – generally in a hokku or haiku. I am not uncritical of the rush to extensive codification that is a feature of Japanese artistic practice. Be that as it may it is surely well to be mindful that ultimately in kigo, as in other aspects of literary theory and practice, the art precedes the catechism.

    If pushed I’d say that personally I associate lichen with ‘winter’, perhaps because the bleakness suits, and is reflected in, the primitiveness of the lifeform – kind of ice age stuff. But of course you present the image in assocaiton with ‘sundial’, so doesn’t this point us at ‘summer’? No, retorts another, because it is not sunlight but lichen that creeps across the face, so it is anti-summer!

    I think the best strategy in such circumstances is to do what Basho does best – duck the problem! (hey, what’s the kigo of ‘duck’?!!). We can treat this verse as a brilliant set up for a full on, unequivocal, ‘summer’ offering. Such ‘usher’ verses (JP: yobidashi) are a recognised feature of high quality sequences.

    Aldia – verse ahoy! It’s you next. It is ‘summer’. We shouldn’t really go down the ‘flower’ or ‘moon’ route. And ‘love’ as a formal topic is best avoided. But other than that this position looks very open. Meanwhile I note that we still have a number of sensory stimuli largely unused.

    Thanks everybody. We are two thirds in and the poem has a good shape.

    Best wishes, John

  131. Aldia says:

    out there …
    in the wood shed …
    watching …

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    my thoughts…

    in his trenchcoat
    heat lightning threatens
    overexposure

    alarm sounds
    broadcast from the wire
    sleep interrupted

    can submitt more tomorrow….migraine today….

  132. John Carley says:

    Hi Aldia, sorry to hear about migraine – I’ve been there.

    And I think perhaps it is working in tandem with the striking series of verses leading into this position that is pushing you towards a taught or sinister tone.

    In fact I think this position will work best (in the context of the whole shape of the poem) if you can lighten rather than darken the overall feel. This is particularly because, in our instance, the poem will end with ‘autumn’ and those associations tend to have a tonal palette that is reflective and lower key.

    Best wishes, John

  133. Aldia says:

    okay, another try…

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool
    the boy next door

    or

    new friends swing
    drop from the rope mid-stream
    brown trout jumps

    or

    a banana split
    two friends grasp one
    spoon at midnight

  134. John Carley says:

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool
    the boy next door

    Many thanks Aldia for moving so completely in the opposite direction with such a light and tactile verse. This is a delightful inversion of the tone established by the immeditaley preceding passage. My one concern is that ‘the boy next door’ risks the introduction of ideas of attraction, love interest etc which tends towards a juxtapostion in respect of the expectation generated by lines one and two – which is one of complete lack of body-consciousness. I’m not suggesting that such ‘turns’ are reserved for the hokku, only that I think here the switch from the previous tone is so effective in our present case that any internal semantic dysjuncture can dilute the effectiveness of the verse. Below I suggest a draft which lifts the closing phrase from an image of childhood innocence evoked in one of your other candidates. Please read down.

    All comments very welcome.

    Best wishes, John

    each green thing
    greener with the
    sound of thunder

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell

    out there
    in the wood shed
    watching

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

  135. John Carley says:

    Hi team, I’m having difficulty getting the blog to accept a comment – keeps telling me I’ve already posted it whilst not actually showing it on screen.

    Please bear with me. Johm

  136. John Carley says:

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool
    the boy next door

    Many thanks Aldia for moving so completely in the opposite direction with such a light and tactile verse. This is a delightful inversion of the tone established by the immeditaley preceding passage. My one concern is that ‘the boy next door’ risks the introduction of ideas of attraction, love interest etc which tends towards a juxtapostion in respect of the expectation generated by lines one and two – which is one of complete lack of body-consciousness. I’m not suggesting that such ‘turns’ are reserved for the hokku, only that I think here the switch from the previous tone is so effective in our present case that any internal semantic dysjuncture can dilute the effectiveness of the verse. Below I suggest a draft which lifts the closing phrase from an image of childhood innocence evoked in one of your other candidates. Please read down.

    All comments very welcome.

    Best wishes, John

    each green thing
    greener with the
    sound of thunder

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell

    out there
    in the wood shed
    watching

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

  137. Aldia says:

    John,

    I am in agreement with the change. I like the image and flow. I have been challenged at home with an unhappy daughter at college….hence my migraine. I have been feeling blocked and finding it difficult to move into a lighter mood…Thank you for your patience and guidance.

  138. ashleycapes says:

    I like both versions – but John’s adjustment for the renku is a perfect fit in the Junicho – perhaps Aldia, you could submit the early version to another publication?

    With both verses it’s got a classic summer feel and is a nice, even dramatic shift to the lighter side of life. It’s spring here at the moment but reading this link I’m transported right to summer!

  139. _kala says:

    Very nice verse Aldia. . .
    John I like your reasons for changing L 3.
    Thought provoking, indeed!
    _kala

  140. johnedmundcarley says:

    Thanks Aldia, and I’m sorry to hear of your family’s difficulty. One of my own children has struggled through two years at university with difficulties entirely beyond their control. Now I know what the word ‘heartbreaking’ actually means. Despite some very rough periods we have stuck together. And circumstances have begun to improve.

    Ashley’s comment above gets to the heart of the issues I was attempting to address with my remarks on degrees of juxtaposition within renku verses. Most simply put – the primary dependencies of a sequence exist in series; the relationship of verses one to another must always take precedence over the internal structure of any given verse. For this reason Japanese renku theory has specific terminology to describe a verse which is essentially stand-alone (tateku) and one which is series-dependent (hiraku).

    Kala, you are with us! I was going to throw this position open but I will do that with the penultimate verse (next) and reserve this, our postion #10, for you. We are non-season. I have a feeling we might be best with a relatively smooth, quiet verse (at least at a primary level) but I could be entirely mistaken. Any fans of technical discussion around these issues might like to consider running search strings such as “ji + mon + renga” and “ji + mon + renku”. Beware though, this is an analytical tool only, one which comes from classical renga (whose sequences were very long), and its importance was badly over-sold to the English speaking world by Earl Miner in the latter part of the last century.

    Best wishes, John

  141. _kala says:

    Thanks John!

    Yes my son got married to Priya on 30th August and they are leaving for their honeymoon tonight!!

    I’ll get back with my offers in a day or two.
    _kala

  142. johnedmundcarley says:

    Congratulations on marrying off your son. That’s my next task! John

  143. _kala says:

    My offers…

    1.each green thing
    greener with the
    sound of thunder

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell

    out there
    in the wood shed
    watching

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    that startled look
    of a gazelle

    ***

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    with that startled look—
    a gazelle

    ***

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    deaf to the world
    his eyes on the open page

    ***

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    sarcasm abounds
    the pages of his novel

  144. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi team, Kala sent me these direct after experiencing problems posting on site.

    I’m just off on a marathon beer drinking session. So will wait until my judgement is well and truly clouded before commenting!

    And your pick would be…. And why?

    Best wishes, John

    (pasted)
    My offers…

    1.each green thing
    greener with the
    sound of thunder

    Frankenstein’s monster
    a little unwell

    out there
    in the wood shed
    watching

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    that startled look
    of a gazelle

    ***
    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    with that startled look—
    a gazelle

    ***

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    deaf to the world
    his eyes on the open page

    ***

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial
    skinny-dipping

    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    sarcasm abounds
    in the pages of his novel


    _kala

  145. Aldia says:

    okay, i’ll jump even though I probably am the least knowledgable….

    I think this one is beautiful:

    deaf to the world
    his eyes on the open page

    of the ones submitted, this one was my favourite. Nice image kala, and I think it offers a nice link into our next verse: autumn.

  146. _kala says:

    Thanks Aldia!

    Let’s see if am able to post this!
    _kala

  147. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Hi John, Kala, Aldia and All,

    I like both the ‘gazelle’ verses, but for me there is a rather unsettling connection between the ‘startled look’ and verse 7 – Frankenstein’s monster, still out there in the wood shed, watching…(perhaps he’s just living in my head). I’m not sure how that would relate to rules of jumping back with connections – and as I think you said John, if your look for connections with previous ku you’re sure to find them.

    However, ‘startled’ is also a little jumpy for your view on the tone John, “I have a feeling we might be best with a relatively smooth, guiet verse” and there’s a lovely quietness in:

    deaf to the world
    his eyes on the open page

    so – I would agree with Aldia’s choice. I like it a lot Kala, especially coming after all the noise of laughter and splashing. G.

  148. Sandra says:

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    with that startled look—
    a gazelle

    I’m choosing this verse because we’ve already had a couple of references to “his” – one in your wedding verse and another implicit in Frankenstein’s monster.

    Gazelle links itself to pool (water hole), to the bounding nature of the kiddie-pool, and to the “flight” that is the scary part of making new friends.

    It take Aldia’s comment about threading forward into the next verse, but we have the tawny colour of the gazelle’s coat to help us there.

    I also like the way “gazelle” and “startled look” have the effect of waking us up, ready for the final few verses.

  149. ashleycapes says:

    hmmm, tough one – I like points raised by everyone for ‘gazelle’ AND the ‘deaf’ kus…….tough choice….back soon

  150. _kala says:

    Thanks all.

    Yes the startled look is my favourite too . . . but suddenly it struck me that deer might have a seasonal reference?!!

    Does it back link – but I thought uchikoshi is only for the second above? But again, back-linking is back-linking how ever far it gets thrown, I guess?

    I get that “his” in the deaf verse — but it can be changed to “her” without losing anything.

    I’m not wedded to any verse, as such, and if none here fits the slot, I can think of a few more, maybe?!
    _kala

  151. ashleycapes says:

    Having to think about this a lot, which is great, and I do like the way the ‘startled look’ could link back to the skinny dipping. Then gazelle could lead the renku somewhere else entirely?

  152. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi team, great discussions. I’m just back from a weekend’s outing so I’ll post a follow up response when I’m back from work.

    Best wishes, John

  153. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi everybody, I think Sandra has it nicely above. The gazelle verse is wondeful linkage to the children. It is uncomplicated. And it certainly sets us a challenge in how to move into ‘autumn’! (yeah, the colours of the coat could be a route).

    Counter arguments: what is the seasonal position of ‘gazelle’? Well according to the kiyose/saijiki it is ‘autumn’ – but the relevant dai (topic) is in fact more specific – it is the call of the deer (Sika in this case). Kala is in fact refering, I think, to the Chinkara which is famous for its timidity (yes, even more so than the Africa gazelle!). So is this ‘summer’, ‘autumn’ or ‘all year’? And do the four seasons typical of Japanese and native British literature obtain for Kala, who is writing, I believe, from Pune in India?

    At the back of all of this is the really important question: what is the point of the conventions surrounding the seasons in the emergence of renku as a literary genre? Put another way: it is possible to view my accepting this verse as a ‘mistake’.

    Rather more serious to my mind is the question of that startled *look*. There are two very good reasons to question this word. One is that it does invite a degree of return to a strand that has run through recent verses – right back to the woodshed and my substitution of ‘watching’ for ‘listening’. The other is that we arguably are missing the chance to make a wonderfully tactile/kinaesthetic link: what is that quality of movement called when a timid deer shies away? The metrics of Kala’s verse are excellent so we want to exchange ‘look’ for a single syllable word that captures the moment that the animal ‘flinches’.

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    with that startled #####-
    a gazelle

    All suggestions from all parties please. And then all parties are equally invited to follow this with a ‘conventional’ autumn verse. This is a ‘degachi’ – an ‘open’ or ‘competitive’ position calling on all readers, lurkers, followers and spooks to step forward with candidate verses.

    Best wishes, John

  154. Aldia says:

    my suggestion:

    with that startled flash-
    a gazelle

    or….although not one syllable:

    with that startled quiver-
    a gazelle

  155. Genevieve Osborne says:

    with that startled turn,

    with that startled twist,

    with that startled swerve,

    with that startled shift – ‘shift’ has the movement of the whole animal and also has the beginning of ‘shiver’ – the way the flesh and skin ‘shivers’ or as Aldia says ‘quivers’

    or perhaps as ‘startled’ is already so successful in telling us everything about the gazelle in this second – just simply

    startled by the wall –
    a gazelle

    startled in the grass

    startled in the trees

    startled by the stream –
    a gazelle

  156. Joseph says:

    just now following this excellent discussion. Here are some possible substitutions for “startled look.”

    with that startled rush
    a gazelle

    with a startling leap
    a gazelle

    with those startled eyes
    a gazelle

    with that startled bark
    a gazelle

    from a startled hush
    a gazelle

    Hope you had a grand outing, John!

  157. Sandra says:

    with a startled clatter
    the gazelle

    all a-quiver
    the gazelle

    head shifting for the scent
    a gazelle

    Sorry, wandering away from the template a little.

    I like Joseph’s “bark”, but would like it more if “a” was substituted for “that” in L1 …

    And Gen’s suggestion of shiver is also very good:

    with a startled shiver
    the gazelle

    and it links to the pool nicely, kids always stay in too long and come out shivering violently.

    the startled shimmer
    of a gazelle

    and here “shimmer” almost works like “shiver”

    so few words, so many possibilities!

  158. Joseph says:

    I love “shimmer” as in mirage or fleeting sight!

  159. Genevieve Osborne says:

    hmm – I like ‘shimmer’ too –

    how would this be?

    a startled shimmer
    of gazelle

    …just that glimpse of the sleek hide as it disappears – together with the ‘shiver’ …

  160. Aldia says:

    with that startled jolt

    with that startled flicker

    with that startled tremble

    “All suggestions from all parties please. And then all parties are equally invited to follow this with a ‘conventional’ autumn verse.”

    John does this mean to follow immediately our suggestions?
    If so….

    with that startled quiver-
    a gazelle

    bow drawn arrow
    aim is true
    Thanksgiving feast

  161. lorin says:

    with that startled #####-
    a gazelle / k

    with that startled leap
    a gazelle

    with that startled flinch
    a gazelle

    with that startled cringe
    a gazelle

    with that startled plunge
    a gazelle

    with that startled skip
    a gazelle

    with that startled spring
    a gazelle

    hmmm…

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    with that startled plunge
    a gazelle

    ?

    lorin

  162. ashleycapes says:

    I like ‘skip’ ? 🙂

  163. lorin says:

    with that startled plunge
    a gazelle

    down the mine shaft
    a gingko leaf falls
    into autumn

    slender and shy
    the Vietnamese woman
    selling chestnuts

    overnight
    mushrooms have sprung up
    on the sheep run!

    lorin

  164. g’day all

    an offering:

    with that startled glare
    a gazelle

    Peace and Love

  165. _kala says:

    The plethora of “words” to accompany startled is startling!!!!
    All the words seem to fit in beautifully somehow, somewhere in the imagery!

    ha!!
    But, I love the word “plunge” because after the look, which lasts for less than a fraction of a second, the gazelle plunges forward…

    _kala

  166. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi team, thanks for all the superb responses. I was going to post last night but experienced some ISP problems.

    Anyway my head is nearly clear now (just about everything Joseph. Best beer by far ‘Startled Pine’ from the tiny Ulverston Brewery. And best whiskey – a Bladnoch Stan Laurel special (he was born in Ulverston. Bladnoch is the southemost distillery in Scotland).

    And with the gradual clearing of the senses I realise I have been guilty of being overly directive, or overly assertive in asking people to consider principally a single syllable word to replace ‘look’.

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    Is superb. It adds an interesting aspect to our connundrum of seasonality too. I also like the dynamism of

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    with that startled plunge—
    a gazelle

    but have two reservations: one is that the word link plunge/pool tends to a slightly odd or strained connection (people into historical aspects of technique might care to consider the differences between Danrin and Shomon approaches to linkage in this context). The other is that the dynamic quality of ‘plunge’ may (key word) be rather stronger than is ideal at this point.

    However I think it best if Kala is the final arbiter on this point. It is probably best to hold off on candidates for #11 until then as I think the word choice really does affect the overall quality of #10 and therefore must inevitable influence exactly where we go with #11.

    Kala, over to you.

    Best wishes, John

  167. _kala says:

    Thanks John,

    I think I would go with your word choice, you being much more experienced and I trust your judgement!!

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    Thanks Gen!

    Thanks to everyone who took time to ponder over this…
    _kala

  168. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Kala – delighted! I think it’s a great verse – so clear to see – and somehow the more I read it, the word ‘gazelle’ becomes the flight/plunge – after the look – or I guess ‘gazelle’ embodies the ‘flight/plunge’…and it was a fun exercise. Thanks John. G.

  169. lorin says:

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    the brisk wind
    shuffling the colours
    of the vineyard

    slender and shy
    the Vietnamese woman
    selling chestnuts

    down the mine shaft
    a gingko leaf falls
    into autumn

    lorin

  170. lorin says:

    …or [re #1, above]

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    just the wind
    shuffling leaf colours
    in the vineyard

    cheers,
    lorin

  171. _kala says:

    just the wind
    shuffling leaf colours
    in the vineyard

    A beauty… of all your offers!

    It’s good you posted this version, Lorin, I thought ‘brisk’ after startled, was not sounding that smooth.

    ‘just the wind’ starts off very well!
    _kala

  172. johnedmundcarley says:

    out there
    in the wood shed
    watching

    (g)

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    (s)

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    (a)

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    (k)

    Ok team, it’s up as our official text. Thanks to everyone for such high quality and open cooperation. To be honest with you the ethos of the group involved in composing Yellow Moon was so good that I feared it could not be duplicated. It’s great to be utterly wrong!

    Thanks to Lorin for some top quality suggestion for #11. Keep them coming!

    Best wishes, John

  173. Joseph says:

    Whose ku to follow?

    Some great submissions, Lorin!

    Unfortunately, John. I can’t get Ulverston here in Vermont. (But I can get McNeill’s!)

  174. willie says:

    Allow me to give this one a go, if you please.

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    drowsy bees
    listlessly mount
    blossoms of weeds

    drowsy bees
    stumble about,
    laden with dew

    the dog’s paws
    shining and pink
    in morning dew

    mist suspended
    in brilliantine
    sunlight

    a grasshopper
    lands with a splat
    in morning dew

  175. willie says:

    another attempt at posting-

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    drowsy bees
    listlessly mount
    blossoms of weeds

    drowsy bees
    stumble about,
    laden with dew

    the dog’s paws
    shining and pink
    in morning dew

    mist suspended
    in brilliantine
    sunlight

    a grasshopper
    lands with a splat
    in morning dew

    thanks,

    Willie

  176. Genevieve Osborne says:

    with that startled shiver –
    a gazelle (k)

    the slow smoke
    curling from chimneys –
    first chill in the air

  177. g’day all

    I love this image Kala.

    Herewith my offers:

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle (k)

    snowflakes spill
    into the high-beams
    at dusk

    or

    what are you
    looking at
    now?

    or

    popping up
    three open beaks
    from their adobe home

    or

    leaping high
    into the rays
    of last sun

    Peace and Love

  178. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi Joseph – it’s a free for all at position #11. Thanks to everyone who has posted offers already. In theory I’ll take position #12 (after lecturing everyone about the special characteristics of the closing verse).

    Yeah, Ulverston Brewery supplies within a 50 mile radius only. You’ll have to vacatioin there!

    Best wishes, John

  179. Aldia says:

    first attempts while all is quiet here at home…

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    velvety brown-
    cat-tail explodes
    into a powder-puff

    or

    grandmother’s patchwork quilt
    sewn throughout
    the green mountains

  180. johnedmundcarley says:

    a creep of lichen
    across the sundial

    skinny-dipping
    in the kiddie-pool,
    new friends

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    just the wind
    shuffling leaf colours
    in the vineyard

    Hi everyone, the final decider on the choice of offer was one of tone.

    The lightness of the children’s play, and the fragility of the deer, set us up for a wondeful transition of tenor which I think Lorin gets exactly right – there is an underlying inevitable sadness to this verse which is absolutely classic ‘autumn’. For me the key word in ‘just’ which subsumes everything which has gone before. This gentle, but powerful, down-beat is the perfect set up for a final change of mood through the transition to the ageku (last verse).

    The only problem is that I’m supposed to supply that final verse! Well, I’ll try. The good bit is that if I can’t hack it I know I can rely on the team to come up with alternatives and solutions.

    Ageku – the closing verse. The word actually carries connotations of ‘got here at last’. Of course when it was coined sequences were typically 100 verses long. And even Basho’s favourite vehicle, the Kasen, has 36 verses. We’ve had a massive 12 – barely a stroll in the park.

    But if the ‘at last’ bit isn’t quite right for a Junicho the other aspects of ageku remain unaltered irrespective of sequence length. Ageku generally codes a kind of summary. Sometimes an augury. Sometimes an invitation to circularity.

    At the moment the only thing I know for certain is that it will be a proportionately ‘short’ verse. I think the run of verses above have re-estalished the overall cadence of the poem to the extent that there is no need to consider those added ellipsis points to verse #7: it is by now abundantly clear that its contracted structure of #7 is a deliberate introduction of assymetry into the overall structure of the poem.

    Best wishes, John

  181. johnedmundcarley says:

    ps – sorry for the typo Aldia. The problem with dyslexia is that one reads what one believes to be there rather than the actual text

    I think our running text as posted is now correct? Anyone else spot bloopers?

    Best wishes, John

  182. Genevieve Osborne says:

    with that startled shiver –
    a gazelle
    (k)

    roasted chestnuts
    from the cart on the corner
    warm in my pocket

    on my street corner
    he’s roasting chestnuts
    scents of autumn

    the squirrel hurrying
    with its acorn
    a woodpecker following

  183. willie says:

    Some thoughtful writing, Lorin.
    And an important point regarding how tone might progress throughout the renku, John. At this point for me, I may not otherwise have considered it.
    It reminds me of the importance of charting the progression of the whole renku, and not just our little bits-
    our vision broadening.

    • lorin says:

      …thank you, Willie and I’m with you: it’s so good to have John’s very knowledgeable comments on all of the things that need to be considered whether writing for or composing a renku!

      ps …others here might like to read your haiku in ‘gean #3’, and Genevieve’s, Kala’s, Ashley’s and Joseph’s , too:

      http://www.geantree.com/indexhaiku9_09.html

      [ I hope I haven’t left anyone out! ]

      cheers,
      lorin

      • lorin says:

        …duh…add Barbara’s haiku to that list above. Sorry, Barbara…

        If I’ve left anyone else out, just put up your hand by adding your name under this.

        lorin

      • lorin says:

        um… and Rhonda 🙂 [sorry Rhonda, if you’re reading this]

        lorin

      • lorin says:

        Yikes! and Sandra, of course!!! Please forgive what may well be the approach of senile dementia!

        cheers,
        lorin

  184. willie says:

    ha, ha ,ha!

    …what were we laughing about?

  185. _kala says:

    Congrats Lorin, on your beautiful verse. . . I love your line 1, your L 2 & L 3 !!

    The whole comes together so well, almost like calming the gazelle that there is nothing to be startled about, it’s “just the wind”

    Lovely…

    John, I’m amazed at your acumen.
    Maha impressed… to say the least!
    _kala

  186. lorin says:

    another frost –
    the metallic gleam
    of a cockroach leg / s

    . . . . . . . . .

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle/ k

    just the wind
    shuffling leaf colours
    in the vineyard / l

    a cup o’ kindness yet
    for auld lang syne/ rb

    …channeling Bobbie Burns, noo ! 😉

    [trad New Year’s Eve song, here, where there are more statues of RB in country towns than there probably are in Scotland. ‘The Martian Chronicles’, sort of thing, I guess.]

  187. hi folks looking good so far. nice verse lorin…i knew i headhunted you for a reason lol
    hi john am i detecting a hint ofa scots accent in your voice
    watch thesel r kid and put bloody wood in’thole

    could i join this group at some convenient point

    col

  188. Joseph says:

    Great verse, Lorin! This has been shaping into a wonderful, thoughtful, and inspired, junicho. Kudos to all, especially John!

    Lorin, we in the Deerfield Valley celebrate Burns’ Night each year with readings and haggis and toasts and, of course, much whisky. Always entertaining and lovely to be snowbound at an inn roaring with the fire!

    the three witches
    add another ingredient

    • lorin says:

      It was a joke, Joseph 🙂

      ah, yours from the Scottish play?
      That’s interesting to know they have a Burns night where you are. D’ya have the meetings of the clans, too? Country Victoria can look pretty strange sometimes!

  189. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi everybody, here are three potential candidates. All comments and crits gratefully received.

    Best wishes, John

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    just the wind
    shuffling leaf colours
    in the vineyard

    —————————–

    here’s to autumn
    and her drunken poets

    thoughts of springtime
    landing upside down

    one man’s autumn
    is another’s spring

  190. Joseph says:

    here’s to autumn
    and her drunken poets

    Love this ku, John. But don’t we have another, earlier, reference to poets?

  191. willie says:

    with that startled shiver—
    a gazelle

    just the wind
    shuffling leaf colours
    in the vineyard

    —————————–

    here’s to autumn
    and her drunken poets

    thoughts of springtime
    landing upside down

    one man’s autumn
    is another’s spring

    I don’t know, Joe, don’t we have an artwork reference? I envision that as drawing or watercolor-might that be too close an association?

    Other than that, I’m drawn to this verse despite an initial, nagging misgiving.

    Might the verse be too abrupt, and to repeat a phrase, “banal, he says” …meaning in comparison to the lyrical innocence of Lorin’s previous verse!

    Though with my recent wee epiphany in re. “tone”, and its application throughout a poem, combined with a shifting away, I don’t think we-sorry-the group has gone off course.
    Maybe just a little jerk on the tiller-uh, make that a slight tug-to set things right.

    And besides two bits of linkage, and poor student that I am, I cannot name their type in this surprise quiz, I see an inference to kyoka, or mad poetry in the creative processes
    involved here. I’ll drink to that, or at least be reminded of the camaderie of this group, which offers the opportunity for a commendable toast.

  192. ashleycapes says:

    I too like the ‘drunken’ ku – it’s got that playfull feel and links nicely, and also leaves the reader on an ‘up’ note when finished

  193. lorin says:

    here’s to autumn
    and her drunken poets

    thoughts of springtime
    landing upside down

    one man’s autumn
    is another’s spring

    Speaking of tone, I think John is giving us a demo in shifting mood and tone here. 🙂

    1. ‘drunken poets’ … follows the wistfulness of ‘just the wind’ [with its suggestion that the gazelle, and perhaps much else was an illusion… the product of the wind shifting colours of leaves in a certain way] superbly, imo. In fact, it is sort of Shakesperian, if one thinks of ‘The Tempest’, as I do now. (My favourite play of all) In the space *between* the two verses, something like the revelation and the mood of this is happening:

    ‘You do look, my son, in a moved sort,
    As if you were dismay’d.: be cheerful sir.
    Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
    As I foretold you were all spirits and
    Are melted into air, into thin air . . .
    . . . We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on, and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep. . . .’ [The Tempest, Act 4, sc. 1]

    So, ‘be cheerful’. What does one do but propose a toast to the time of life when we are most aware of the ‘insubstantial pageant’, and of its beauty? And to the poets, who show this to us? Poets who may or may not be literally ‘drunken’, btw. The mood is celebratory and life-affirming, cheerful, not upbeat in the ‘innocent’ ways of Spring or the pacey heat of Summer. It acknowledges all that has gone before.

    The ‘toast’ verse would be my choice.

    The next, ‘upside down’ it seems to me, is a quite funny nod to the two hemispheres involved in this renku, from the pov of a denizen of the Northern hemisphere .

    The third , ‘one man’s Spring’, perhaps takes off from a similar musing, but is more philosophical in tone and emphasizes continuity, though not personal continuity.

    All the above imo, only, of course.

    cheers! 🙂

    lorin

  194. willie says:

    and before my faux pas, I meant to say a light touch on the tiller would adjust for the wind…
    wow…that’s beautiful, Lorin, and so true…
    I am truly a blessed student.

    • lorin says:

      ..and the literal link is ‘ vineyard/ toast’, of course. Usually a fine drop or two in vineyard cellars 🙂

      lorin

    • lorin says:

      hey Willie… thank you! Very gracious, but then I’ve come to understand you’re like that. Gentleman from the South and all that 😉

  195. Genevieve Osborne says:

    here’s to autumn
    and her drunken poets

    thoughts of springtime
    landing upside down

    my choice would be either of these two. The second one for its playfulness and utter ‘topsy-turviness’ (new word, just born today)……amazing, have just checked – it’s not a new word at all, it’s in the dictionary! – and to feed the Scottish fire that seems to be burning: you can say it’s ‘tapsalteerie’. There’s also ‘topsy-turvification’ – enough said. And as lorin says the verse gives a nice nod to the places of our scattered housings.

    the first I like for all the reasons stated already and also for its sense of conviviality. A toast is being proposed to all that has gone before, and there’s a good chance that those brought into the circle – either physically or by suggestion – might say – hey, let’s do it again!

    Yes, I think the ‘toast verse’ is stronger. It would be my choice. All good wishes, G. 🙂

  196. g’day all

    here’s to autumn
    and her drunken poets

    yes, this is the one. It’s a perfect ending.

    What will it be titled?

    May I suggest:

    a hummingbird sips

    (I know this is not from the hokku but it complements
    the ageku)

    Thank you John for all your guidance. I didn’t make a suitable verse but I’ll be still trying.

    Cheers
    Peace and Love
    but perhaps

    Cheers

  197. Sandra says:

    here’s to autumn
    and her drunken poets

    gets my vote too. It is superb in tone … and I love the conviviality to end on.

    Of course, we haiku poets can just as easily be “drunk” on the season (any season, I have just been photographing blossom trees, quite heady) and its colours.

    And even though it is an autumn ku, leading us into winter, it is a ku of life.

    A suggested title: last one home

    Many thanks for bringing us through this, John, and helping us create something so very good.

  198. Aldia says:

    here’s to autumn
    and her drunken poets

    I’ll drink to it, as it get my vote too! Thanks for a great learning experience!

  199. John Carley says:

    Hi Colin – sorry, I was so emersed in trying to get a closing verse that I didn’t greet you.

    Well now, how very revealling – and mainly to me about me. Thanks everybody.

    We are all agreed that the ‘one’s man’s autumn’ verse is a little ‘worthy’ – a better word might be ‘pedestrian’! Left to my own devices I would certainly have chosen the ‘springtime upside down’ verse because it addresses the same theme, but in a much more nuanced way.

    And I’d have been wrong. The very qualities which attract me make it unsuitable. The ‘upside down’ verse really needs a tagging verse to ‘resolve’ it. Whereas the whole point about agkeu (the ‘at last’ verse) is that it should convey closure.

    If I were a better poet I might have been able to get an ageku that generated closure whilst also coding our discussions about season. But I’m not. And anyway, as people have intuited and/or remarked I’d anyway still need to evoku an upbeat mood, because it’s nice to finish on a high, it’s nice to turn around the sadness of the maeku (preceding verse) and it’s good technique to have the ageku as a foil to the hokku (which is quite unforgiving in tone, as it should be, being winter).

    So, we go with ‘here’s to autumn’ which, by the bye, thumbs it’s nose at the haikai gestapo who are not averse to vilifying people for such crimes as using ‘poetics’ (in this case the use of ‘her’ means that ‘autumn’ is personified).

    People, I’m just about to go over and update the final text on our Current Junicho page. I think we can risk leaving it there for a few days without totally prejudicing chances of publication (or competition entry?). Please give the text a good read as I’m dyslexic and can only see what I think is there (I already attributed Aldia’s second verse wrongly, now corrected).

    When we know we’ve got a definitive text we can decide what to do with it. And I’ll give a few indicators about how some poets, now and in the past, have ‘formally’ responded to the completion of a poem.

    Best wishes, John

  200. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi all, I didn’t comment on Willie’s really crucial observation about poets already appearing.

    Basically buddy, everybody can misremember something, or recall something that actually appeared in another sequence, book etc. So when a topic appears in front of you the feeling ‘I’ve seen that already here’ can be a mistake. But that feeling is our best friend in renku because if something ‘feels’ like a repetition/return then it is highly likely to be so. This feeling is, in my opinion, far more important than any forensic examination of a text with a ‘rule book’ in hand.

    I’m supposed to be working on a technical article for the renku reckoner site dealing with the aesthetics of ‘distant repetition’ and ‘categories’ – it’s not happening at the moment becaus I keep getting involved in poems! – but for our present purposes I’d say that ‘poet’ and ‘artwork’ could well be considered to be in the same ‘category’. But contemporary renku theory, and historical renga theory, have NEVER suggested that once something from a category had appeared then nothing else from that category may appear elsewhere in the poem. What the theory says instead is that there should be a minimum seperation between the reappearance of things from the same ‘category’ – and that the length of that seperation should be the greater if we are dealing with a prime, rather than a secondary of tertiary category. For instance sun, moon, stars are treated as a prime category – so the shikimoku (renga rule book) says ‘minimum 5 verses seperation between ‘sun’ and ‘moon’ (for instance).

    We have 8 verses between ‘artwork’ and ‘poet’ – according to theory then that’s plenty. My instincts say that if the *entirety* of the verses (syntax, tone etc) containing things from the same category is rather similar in effect then yes, even at 8 verses distance, we are in real danger of a return, loop, whatever.

    I don’t feel that this is the case here. And nobody else seems to have done either. So in terms of the consensus we’re fine with the verse. But I don’t mean by this to belittle your comments – quite the reverse. That *feeling* is what makes renku poetry.

    Best wishes, John

  201. lorin says:

    here’s to autumn
    and her drunken poets

    “So, we go with ‘here’s to autumn’ which, by the bye, thumbs it’s nose at the haikai gestapo who are not averse to vilifying people for such crimes as using ‘poetics’ (in this case the use of ‘her’ means that ‘autumn’ is personified).” jec

    🙂 yeah, well, poetic license has always been a feature of toastmasters speeches, so this bush lawyer would argue that it’s spot on, in context.

    …’its poets’ would sound off, anyway, a false, stiff note, out of keeping 😉

    I don’t speak any other languages, but I’d lay odds that in those languages where things are feminine and masculine, Autumn would be feminine. Maybe even all of the seasons, since they are all of Earth, which is feminine in the language of myth.

    Anyway, it seemed so natural to me that I didn’t even question it, or consider it an instance of personification. Technically, I suppose it is…but. A big but. Context is so much the primary thing!

    lorin

  202. _kala says:

    I like the ageku John, and sorry couldn’t connect up earlier!!
    just connecting from an old lap-top!!
    I’m at Chennai with my parents and will be returning to Pune on the 20th!

    _kala

  203. Sandra says:

    Hi John (and Lorin),

    You asked for some thoughts on any of the verses and I’d like to ask about something in Lorin’s great ku about the autumn colours.

    just the wind
    shuffling leaf colours
    in the vineyard

    I get that “leaf” is in L2 gives a nice soft, repetition of sound, but wonder whether the verse would work better without it:

    just the wind
    shuffling colours
    in the vineyard

    leaving it for the reader to intuit leaf and creating a more “impressionist” scene. To me, it works better without it. “Leaf” slows that line down.

    Your thoughts?

  204. willie says:

    My two cents: I agree with Sandra.

    Off to work today, Sunday, God-less bastard that I am.
    Cheers! and kiss noises to all.

  205. lorin says:

    Hi Sandra and Willie… I’d be happy with that if John agrees 🙂

    …depends on how many beats he wants there, so

    ‘shuffling leaf colours’

    ‘shuffling the colours’ (th’) ‘shuffling th’ colours’ ?

    ‘shuffling colours’

    …any of these is fine with me.

  206. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi all, it may be because of my second and third languages in which foglio and feuille mean both ‘(tree) leaf’ and ‘page’ that the word ‘leaf’ gave me the link to ‘reader’: ‘shuffling leaves’ is ‘turning the pages’, hence the final transition to celebrating those whose words appear on the page.

    Clearly the link into ageku works on more levels than that, and will stand if the word ‘leaf’ is ommitted. But I’d be loathe to lose it for its sense.

    I think your reading of the cadence is exact Sandra, and were we treating the verse as free-standing I would share your conclusion, as does Willie. Yet to my mind it is that hesitance, the soft stagger or shuffle, that acts as a foil to the startle of Kala’s deer verse, and allows me the rumbumptious tattoo of HEres to AUtum AND her DRUNken POets. On balance therefore I really do think it best to keep it.

    What do we do with the text? I reckon we should offer it for publication. I’m not particularly well up on magazines at the moment as I’ve been off the scene for a year or so battling monsters. But here’s one idea: If I’m not mistaken Norman Darlington has taken on the renku editor’s hat of the paper+online broadsheet Moonset, a role I held myself a while back. This poem is genuinely good and I reckon Norman would jump at the chance of having a quality and technically ‘mainstream’ piece to consider. Any thoughts? Other outlets?

    What do people do when a poem is finished? Well let me paste the opening paragraph of my tomegaki (what??!) for Yellow Moon:

    (pasted) In contemporary Japanese renku circles it is customary, on the completion of a poem, for the poem leader, the sabaki, to post a tomegaki. This word has the same root as that for a ‘clasp’ and is a kind of debrief that draws some important strands of the compositional discourse together. The participants will also post a kanso. This might be given as an ‘appreciation’, though in practice it is not de rigeur to be unfailingly flattering. Nonetheless, tomegaki, kanso, these words are redolent of status relationships: I lead; and you are thankful. (end pasted)

    Blah, blah, blah (you know that about me by now!). Anyway, I will write a short tomegaki, because I have found the practice invaluable as a learning tool (for my own learning I mean). And I invite all particpants to write a kanso if they so wish to reflect on any aspect whatsoever of the process of writing this poem in particular, or the genre in general.

    Which reminds me – Joseph, Willie and Lorin: I need to put together the additional material for Simply Haiku. Barbara and Ashley have sent me some comments. This is a last call. I can’t mail you direct folks ‘cos I don’t have your contacts (I’m pretty sure the Word Press engine ensures confidentiality. Anyway, if you’d like to send any kanso/comments I’m on johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com

    Damn, titles… we need a title still. You guys will be familiar with the reasons haiku aren’t titled (the title becomes and added line etc). The same obtains in renku really. Which is why pieces tend to be known by their first line. The last line is also fairly safe

    Another Frost

    Her Drunken Poets

    ???? John

  207. lorin says:

    …of course! Poets shuffling the leaves of their books, as they decide what to read out loud to audience in the vineyard poetry reading 😉 We have such readings here in Victoria.

    poets’ picnic —
    peacocks strut and display
    their tails

    😉

    Yes, please do keep ‘leaf’, John, and thank you for showing more of what we aught to consider in renku.

    I did not know your email address and was awaiting a cue from Ashley re comments on ‘Yellow Moon’. Will write something and send to you soon.

    lorin

  208. ashleycapes says:

    Sorry everyone (B&W&J), when John first asked on the yellow moon page I should have followed it up – will shoot off and reminder e-mail right away 😦

  209. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Hi Everyone – shuffling leaves of books as well as leaves in the vineyard – lovely John!

  210. g’day John

    I like Another Frost as title.

    Also, like the idea of your turning leaves.

    Congratulations everyone.

    Peace and Love

  211. Sandra says:

    I prefer “another frost”, but have previously ignored tradition and suggested “last one home”.
    Rules? Made to be broken …. (I’m a law-abiding citizen by the way who obeys almost all the rules 🙂 )

  212. ashleycapes says:

    I too, like ‘Another Frost’ – nice little cycle in the title alone

  213. lorin says:

    ‘Another Frost’ works well for me. There’s a potential title in just about every verse 😉 , so we might as well go traditional and take the title from the hokku, imo.

    ‘To Autumn’ is good , too, but I think it’s been done. 🙂

    ‘where are the songs of Spring? …’ What a rich poem that is.

    lorin

  214. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi all, Ok, that’s about as unanimous as it’s possible to be.

    I’ve updated the main page and entered the start and end dates (this excludes the closing discussions on title etc). It is customary to include the names of the poets at the foot of the text (leaving initials only against the verses proper), normally honorifics such as Mr, Prof. etc are omitted. It has also become something of a custom in international renku to ascribe a nation to each poet. I’m less of a fan of this but do like to see place of residence – which I feel is more pertinent, and seems more likely to avoid horrible notions of ‘race’. County, state or province maybe works best. For instance:

    John Edmund Carley, Lancashire
    Kala Ramesh, Maharashtra

    Any thoughts? Info?

    I’m just waiting back for confirmation that Norman has indeed taken on Moonset before bringing my end of the possible publication back to the table – but please do suggest other routes if there are ones which attract/seem suitable.

    I’m too tired to write those wrap-up comments just now but will try to do so in the next 24 hours. Also, Ashley floated the kite of another Junicho, which I’d be happy to undertake after a few days break to refresh. And there was a straw in the wind already around the idea of a Triparshva which, being structurally different, and longer, introduces further considerations of extended dynamic control.

    I am particularly gratified that in both Yellow Moon and Another Frost contributors and observers alike were astute and skilled enough to appreciate that, even in a 12 verse sequence, there are tangible issues of prosody that impact on *passages* of verse above and beyond the immediate considerations of how one verse links to the next.

    Best wishes, John

  215. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Yes, ‘Another Frost’ is good.

    I was just wondering about your ‘thunder’ verse lorin, will it stay with ‘the’ at the end of L.2 or take ‘sound’ back to L.2 ? Perhaps I missed some final discussion on it – I’m not sure.

  216. lorin says:

    Hi Genevieve . . . thanks for bringing this up.

    …um, I don’t know the answer, though. Only the ellipses in the next verse has discussed, at this stage. Personally, I’d prefer not to have that ‘the’ dangling there at the end of the line in this one. I prefer the slight dramatic pause between Ls 2 and 3, it gives ‘sound’ time to sound. …’the’ sounds clunky and awkward there, to my ear. ( in a word, daggy 😉 )

    I am not against a ‘dangling article ‘ in all cases, though. Here’s one I wrote for a recent renku that suited a comic note that I felt was running through the verses;

    snap! goes the
    bra-strap

    But whether that dangling article in ‘each green thing…’ stays or goes is up to John in the end.

    cheers,
    lorin

  217. lorin says:

    … to John re locality:

    Lorin Ford, Victoria, Australia

  218. lorin says:

    The problem with just county, city, State etc is that the same names exist in different parts of the world. Brunswick, my city or local region, could be just about anywhere (thanks to the dedicated fan of Queen Victoria who named it , even naming parallel streets Victoria St and Albert St. )

    I’ve had mail from the USA go to Victoria, Canada, before it finally arrived here. Thank goodness the Canadians are so courteous.

    lorin

  219. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Hi lorin – I agree – to me placing ‘sound’ at the end of L2 allows it to roll and swell – have the feeling I’m repeating this – but I realise of course that it’s up to you John.

    Also agree about locality – I think everything except the country can be a bit problematic.

    Am also rolling verse #7 around in my head again. I know you’ve said John that ‘its contracted structure is a deliberate introduction of asymmetry into the overall structure of the poem’ – and that’s fine with me – (I wasn’t keen on ellipsis points after every line) – but am now wondering if putting ellipsis points after L2 only, might create more of a pause and give a sense of the stillness of the person or creature – there – watching. The other point is that I’ve just seen that ‘wood shed’ is one word in my dictionaries – which would make that line slightly shorter and better able to accommodate the three points:

    out there
    in the woodshed …
    watching

    I don’t mind either way – so thought I would put it up to see what you all think. G.

  220. Sandra says:

    Sandra Simpson, Tauranga, New Zealand. (Ahem, well there is only one Tauranga, even in New Zealand, although there is a blip on the map called Tauranga-Taupo – so use it without the NZ if that’s what you want.)

    Might I suggest that “Another Frost” could (also) be submitted to “Kokako” print journal – I have just received the latest copy and it goes from strength to strength under the new editors, Joanna Preston and Pat Prime.

  221. Genevieve Osborne says:

    To John – to give you all of it so you can use the parts you would like to:

    Genevieve Osborne, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

  222. Aldia says:

    Aldia LaCroix, North Bennington, Vermont

  223. kala says:

    Hi everybody,

    Sorry, couldn’t get here earlier.

    John,
    I’ve changed my name to just
    _kala

    There was a lot of confusion with another well-known Indian poet – K Ramesh.

    So I would like my name as:

    _kala
    Pune, India

    Thanks!

  224. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi team – please take another look at the text of the poem. The line break has reverted as suggested, and the woodshed (sic) is now followed by ellipsis points. Any more tidying needed?

    Good point on the locality issue – lets go with region plus nation.

    Thanks Kala, I’ll ammend your details as you’ve indicated.

    I had the pleasure of writing renku with Pat Prime on a couple of occassions. I’m strongly in favour of the suggestion that we approach Kokako in the first instance – specially given that the compact nature of the Junicho makes it easier for editors to consider in a print journal.

    Thoughts? Other business?

    Best wishes, John

  225. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Thank you John, the text looks great.G.

  226. lorin says:

    It all looks good, to me. 🙂

    Thanks, John, for your generosity in leading this second Junicho renku on ‘issa’s snail’. Again, a great educational experience and a great result!

    I will be away and out of contact for a week from now. Will check back on further developments, ‘wrap up’ or anything else in a week’s time.

    best wishes,
    lorin

  227. ashleycapes says:

    As a reader of it, I don’t know if there’s much you could do to strengthen or improve it!

  228. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi everybody, wow – I’m suffering from delayed burn out and just can’t get closing comments together. Not that it’s some sort of obligation or formal requirement. But anyway I’ve updated the text with our locality stuff – in alphabetical by first/given name.

    I’d like to propose that we go with Sandra’s suggestion and submit the text to the excellent Kokako. Could anyone wishing to propose an alternative, or register an objection, please do so at their earliest etc. (no explanations need be given).

    If nobody demurs, Sandra – I’m assuming you are a subscriber/contributor – could you please take on the task of submitting the text to Pat and her colleagues?

    Ashley – I’d be delighted to lead another poem in the near future but just need to regain a bit of the old vital what-nots first (hmmn, beer probably!).

    Best wishes, John

  229. johnedmundcarley says:

    ps – if we do agree to go with Kokako we’ll have to take the full text down from the site around that time I guess out of courtesy to the magazine. J

  230. ashleycapes says:

    John, that would be superb! Thank you so much, we’d love to take up the offer of a third Junicho! Just let us know when you’ve got the energy and we’ll open another round.

  231. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Hi John – I think it would be fine to submit the text to Kokako.

    I would like to add my thanks for all the time you have spent leading us through this Junicho – it really has been a wonderful experience – a great learning one – and so much fun! I’ve loved every minute.

    Concerning the locality – I should probably be just ‘New South Wales, Australia’, to match lorin’s ‘state & country’.

    Thank you,
    all best wishes,
    Genevieve.

    PS. Absolutely count me in for any future Junicho or any other form of Renku – where there is the space of course.:)

  232. _kala says:

    Thanks John,

    The work is beautiful and it was fun!

    I will remember it as a poem I wrote with you guys as I prepared and celebrated my son’s wedding and beyond.

    Thanks to all…
    _kala

    ps. please do count me in on any future renku trips!

  233. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Thanks Ashley – looks good. G

  234. g’day all

    I too wish to participate again.

    Thank you, John, Ashley.

    Peace and Love

  235. lorin says:

    I’m back, and Sandra should be about soon, too. 😉

    It looks good! The only thing is that Aldia’s location looks odd with just ‘Vermont’ … and perhaps especially so if this renku is to be submitted to Kokako, a NZ journal.

    I’d love to be on the list for another renku led by you, too, John. Rest, have fun, do whatever you need to have a break. I am full of admiration for the resources you call on to teach us and for you as a teacher, but I know it’s the best and most dedicated teachers who get to burn-out.

    warm wishes,
    lorin

  236. lorin says:

    …what I mean above by ‘a NZ journal’ really, is *any* journal that’s not USA based.

    lorin

  237. ashleycapes says:

    Just altered it, looks good now, thanks Lorin & Aldia!
    I’d also like to thank John once again – this is teaching bucket loads!

    Whenever John is ready I’ll set up the pages and such for a 3rd Junicho.

  238. Sandra says:

    Hello all,

    Hope you don’t mind but I took the liberty of sending the link to our junicho to Pat Prime, Kokako co-editor, so she could see if she was interested (if not, it meant we could submit it elsewhere).

    Kokako “loved it” – the next issue, however, isn’t out till April.

    Is everyone content to wait that long?

    I have just had the pleasure of meeting Lorin at the Haiku Pacific Rim conference in Australia – good time had by all, despite the incredible dust storm on our first full day (or maybe, because of – it was certainly nature showing off!).

    Best,
    Sandra

  239. johnedmundcarley says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for sorting out the region/state business – looks good.

    Yes Sandra, personally I’m fine with next April. Thanks for taking this on. If everyone is agreed I’d just ask you to ensure that Pat has the text as it now stands with the updated attributions.

    If we reach consensus on Kokako then I think we should take the full text down from this site in the not too distant future. Probably when Pat gives confirmation of intention to publish. We can then put a ‘coming up in Kokako’ notice like the Simply Haiku pointer on the Yellow Moon page.

    I’m nearly up to speed again (surprised at how tired I got). I suspect I need to draft a short reflection on Another Frost in order to be able to move on to a further piece.

    Best wishes, John

  240. ashleycapes says:

    Hi John, I can do that as soon as we hear back from Pat, thanks Sandra!

    Take your time, too John – soon as you’re ready we’ll be here 🙂

  241. lorin says:

    Kokako is fine with me 🙂 … especially if we get a copy!

    It was really good to meet you in ‘real life’, Sandra … I look forward to seeing that photo of ‘the 3 snailers’, too 😉

    lorin

  242. Sandra says:

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry for the delay – Pat was prompt at replying, I’ve been less so, mostly because of the distraction caused by my husband being in Samoa during this week’s earthquake and tsunami (in fact, it was his first full morning there). Fortunately, he was in Apia and it seems the northern side of Upolu Island has escaped damage – unfortunately as you will know from the news media the southern side of the island has been severely damaged. Anyway, he and his colleague will return on Saturday as the ministry they were working with have other things to do just now!
    Also fortunately, his hotel is a little way above Apia and so he hasn’t needed to evacuate during the several tsunami warnings over the past couple of days.
    So … back to renku for some sanity.
    Kokako is happy to publish the renku in issue 12, which comes out next April.
    Sorry Lorin, they don’t do contributor copies, being something of a shoestring operation, but neither are they overly expensive.
    Single copies airmail posted outside New Zealand are $A13/$US10; or you may subscribe for a year (2 issues) for $A23/$US17. It’s a good-quality journal.
    Send subscriptions to: Pat Prime, 42 Flanshaw Rd, Te Atatu South, Waitakere 0610, Auckland, New Zealand.
    As to the photo of the ‘snailers’ (and for anyone else interested in a report of the 4th Haiku Pacific Rim conference that’s just been held in Australia), go to:
    http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/haikunews and click on Haiku Pacific Rim in the top menu.
    Best,
    Sandra

  243. johnedmundcarley says:

    Nice work Sandra – frightening times in your part of the world.

    Please could you mail me a copy of the text and attributions as forwarded to Pat so that I can add it to the materials I’m assembling for my ‘how to write renku’ book.

    johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com

    Best wishes, John

  244. lorin says:

    “So … back to renku for some sanity.” Sandra

    Ha! 🙂 . . . well, it depends . . .

    But I hope your husband has returned safely by now.

    This shifting plate we’re experiencing. . . who knows what the effects of it will be? We sometimes forget that the earth isn’t an eternal solid mass under our feet. Once there was Gondwanaland, and the poles weren’t where they now are. . . and look how America’s only marsupial, the opossum, had to change to survive!

    My old house cracked in the tremour that went directly beneath it last Summer, west to east. I can understand the Koori rainbow snake better now…I felt it pass directly beneath me!

    John, I hope you will come back soon and sabaki another renku here, and I hope I can be in it. Not only have I enjoyed learning from you, I feel I need another one with you to restore my sanity.

    cheers,
    lorin

  245. John Carley says:

    Another Frost – Tomegaki

    A Specific

    During the course of composition a number of discussions involved the notion of ‘shift’. Anecdotally many people have encountered the expression ‘link and shift’ in relation to renku and assume, not unreasonably, that it describes the relationship between each fresh verse and the verse to which it is linked. The commonly held proposition therefore goes something like this: every time a verse is added it must have something in common with the previous verse (thus ‘link’) but bring something new so as to take the poem as a whole forward (therefore ‘shift’). Such formulations are unfortunate as they are close enough to the truth to be very misleading.

    In fact the definition of ‘link’ given above is perfectly satisfactory, and the word itself is a good translation of the equivalent term in Japanese, ‘tsukeai’. It is also clearly the case that each time a verse is added in a renku sequence it must bring something new to the poem. Put another way, it is poor technique to propose a verse which is an uninflected or direct extension of the previous verse. But this obligation to introduce fresh elements is not what is meant by the word ‘shift’ as it is intended in renku theory. In this narrow sense the word ‘shift’ is an equivalent to the Japanese word ‘tenji’. And ‘tenji’ is what makes renku Renku.

    Whereas ‘link’ describes the relationship between each added verse and the previous verse, ‘shift’ governs the relationship between an added verse and its last-but-one or ‘leap-over’ verse. In considering the implications of the potential spread of renku into languages other than Japanese, the great 20th century renku theorist Meiga Higashi put it thus: “The linking verse is deduced from the preceding verse but it has no other logical connection with the leap-over verse. A work is composed by repeatedly linking a succession of such a verse ad libitum. This ingenious process of poetry composition was developed indigenously by our ancestors and has been found in no culture other than Japanese. In the final analysis, any [poetry] that embodies this characteristic dynamic should be recognized as renku regardless of its mode and other principles of composition.”

    Some Generalities

    Master Higashi’s statement is startling – he proposes that we may disregard a thousand years of literary tradition just so long as we maintain the primary, and unique, compositional principle. But is this an instance of radical liberalism, or, at bottom, a counsel of despair?

    There are many respectable writers, theorists and critics in Japan who do not believe that the haikai arts can be properly practiced in any language other than Japanese. Some of these people are doubtless guilty of a degree of cultural chauvinism. A few, as in any society, will be prey to xenophobia. But they have a very good point. There are two aspects of Japanese-language haikai which present very real obstacles to the successful practice of the literature in other cultures. And we have encountered them both during the composition of Another Frost.

    The first is the question of form and its attendant prosody. One set of issues here relate to the difference in structure between stand-alone and series-dependant verses (the respective Japanese words are ‘tateku’ and ‘hiraku’) with all the attendant confusions in English language haiku theory surrounding notions of ‘cutting’ and ‘cutting words’ (‘kire’ and ‘kireji’). When is a pause OK in a renku verse? How about a punctuation mark? And can we use parataxis anywhere other than in the hokku?

    Then there is the question of fixed vs free-form. Whilst vers libre has become the default position in English language haikai, above all in English language haiku, it must be remembered that the vast majority of Japanese haikai is ‘teikei’ – ‘set form’. In renku the regular and proportional cadences that the set-form approach provides are so important to the Japanese language poet that many, when writing in English, would sooner adopt the highly dubious 5/7/5 syllable approach, or my own contentious 15 syllable ‘zip’ stanza, than accept the ragged and randomized metrics of the vers libre sequence.

    Lastly the burnt earth theories in respect of poetic diction so dear to the year zero devotees of ‘haiku’ in English are particularly unhelpful when applied to renku as, not only do they bear no relation whatsoever to the parent literature, but they strip out an entire layer of relational technique when considering methods of linkage.

    The Plot Thickens

    The second aspect is the accretive and encoded nature of Japanese literary reference. A ‘kigo’ is so much more than a ‘season word’; it is a key which unlocks a semantic store cupboard in which ‘kigo’ shades into ‘kidai’ (seasonal topic)and, ultimately, into ‘hon’i’ (poetic essence).

    Likewise, thanks in part to the flexible orthography, a single word can have multiple readings – each with multiple associations and echoes; whilst a seemingly commonplace action or setting may be intended, and read, as a reference to a literary classic or a popular folk tale.

    Specific to renku is the question of categories of topic and their respective primacy. Without these values how can we know which subjects are automatically considered to link to one another, and which must be separated by a suitable number of verses? What, precisely, is the relationship of ‘young rice plant’ to ‘pine tree’?

    One solution is to reach for the manual. Seasonal lexicons, ‘saijiki’, are well known whilst for centuries there have been books of linked verse rules, ‘shikimoku’, which run into thousands of pages, and do everything other than agree with one another. Alternatively we can try to understand the fundamentals which underpin the surface level conventions, and use this broader understanding to inform our creative practice.

    Ironically it may be that such a synthesis is more available to those who are not exposed to the sheer weight of historic practice and literary convention. When one is of a given culture it is not always easy to decide which values and attributes are culturally specific, and which are universal.

    One thing is certain: if we are unable to identify the core drivers of renku, and how they might find expression in a variety of languages, renku will indeed prove unsuited to the wider world. The alternative – to pretend that we are all honorary Japanese living in 18th century Edo – is too distasteful to contemplate.

  246. John Carley says:

    Phew, it’s take AGES to get to the stage where I could write that debrief rubbish (tomegaki).

    OK, call for new poem coming very shortly. Could be a good idea to attempt a Triparshva as this would get us looking at crucial stuff like ‘jo-ha-kyu’ which is pretty central to an understanding of where Basho and crew were at with the Kasen.

    Best wishes, John

  247. willie says:

    “Did I hear Triparshva? I’m in!”, he announced in his coarse American vernacular.
    “The time zone is working to my benefit!” he chortled.
    “U-S-A! U-S-A….!
    The others knew there was a hooligan in their midst…

  248. _kala says:

    Dear John,

    Your tomegaki, is an eye opener.
    Thank you.
    I have to read it several times more to get to internalize it.

    Can I join the Triparshva?
    Would love to, if there’s place…

    _kala

  249. ashleycapes says:

    I’m game too if we have room!

  250. Genevieve Osborne says:

    And me too – if there’s room! Would love to join the Triparshva. And thank you John for all your words – a lot to think about.

  251. g’day John

    Thanks for the great read, and yes please, count me in in the trip.

    Peace and Love

  252. John Carley says:

    Triparshava – since I’ve started framing this note Genevieve and Barbara have both come forward. Please let me thank everyone for their interest. For reasons that I hope will become clear as the pieces progress I think it wise to stay with a slighlty smaller group for these more concerted pieces than we have so for adopted for our Juncho(s). I therefore propose that we compose an intitial poem with the first five (in alpha): Ashley, John. Kala, Lorin, Willie. And then compose a second poem with a further five: Barbara, John, Genevieve, Plus two.

    I’m sorry to disappoint folks but would respectfully ask you, and any others present, to observe and comment on the progress of the first piece. And of course there are two slots for the second waiting to be claimed.

    Ashley, could you please put the relevant pages up for the first Triparshva please?

    I’m really looking forward to this (edit: I’m really looking forward to *these*). The Triparshva is a very interesting phenomenon. Prior to its inception the ‘standard’ short form considered to have a passing or practicable similarity to the 36 verse Kasen was Meiga Higashi’s 20 verse ‘Nijuin’. The 22 verse Triparshva has really taken off, in part at least (I believe) because it is actually a more effective vehicle for experimenting with the Shomon (Basho school) approach than is the Nijuin. I’ll flesh this contention out as we progress. I know that Triparshva have been written in English, French, Quebecois, German, and a number of Balkan languages. I’m not sure if any have yet been written in Japanese.

    OK – call for hokku.

    Even without the pages up we can begin to compose candidates for hokku. For the purposes of this poem I propose that we at least nominally hold to the four seasons as they are intended in both Japanese and British/American literature. Therefore we are in either spring or autumn/fall.

    Now, in most instances of Edo period literature the hokku would be either reserved for the honoured guest, or participants would have pre-penned candidates before turning up to the renku party. In both cases the hokku would be expected to code, or just plainly state, a level of meaning specific to the occasion. Most times this would be felicitous in some way.

    I am inviting you to consider whether some or all your hokku candidates might do the same. This is not a minimum condition – the ‘best’ candidate should be selected in any event – but it is true that, if we are to consider where St Basho and his mates were at, these were the kind of things that were very much on their minds as they put on their best threads and slicked their hair down. I suppose the point I’m making is that, for all that there are no structural differences, there are often differences of intent between a hokku and a haiku.

    Best wishes, John

  253. lorin says:

    Dear John,
    I’m delighted to be included in this Triparshava under your guidance! Thank you.

    I’ve had computer connection problems today and so glad that these appear to have been resolved now, and down to the (relatively small) bit of rain we’ve had locally these past few days. Antique telephone exchange connections in my area. 🙂 I will eat, have a night’s sleep and attempt some offers for hokku tomorrow.

    Like Kala, I feel stimulated and encouraged by your tomegaki for ‘Another Frost’, John. So much to learn and to consider and it’s heartening, but I’ll need to sit back and absorb it. Brain dead, almost, at present, but very grateful to have it all to consider at leisure.

    Kala, Ashley and Willie…:-) it’ll be great working with you again on this one, too. 😉

    lorin

  254. _kala says:

    Dear All,

    I’m thrilled to be in this trip!
    Thanks John!

    I’m leaving for a three day meditation course, vipassana,
    with no contact with the outside world until I get back on 17th evening.

    So just posting my offers here…for what it’s worth!!!

    bullock ploughed land …
    the women in bright saris
    sowing paddy

    shades of autumn…
    an earthen lamp lights up
    her brown face

    _kala

  255. ashleycapes says:

    Thanks, Lorin! Great to have you back – how terrible that rain would give you trouble with your service – I remember that happening a few times to me. Frustrating!

  256. Hiddenfire says:

    I won’t be able to contribute into this one unfortunately (Will be having a hectic month of school/studying), but I will be watching closely as the poem grows 🙂 and offer what little help and encouragement I can as we go along.

  257. ashleycapes says:

    Hey Nathan, you could jump over to the ‘kasen’ page and contribute there at any time – would love to have you onboard anywhere at the Snail – with the kasen we’re going competitive – at around verse 27 or so at the moment

  258. Joseph says:

    John, et. al, so sorry to disappear. My teaching life has overtaken my free time and I find myself barely able to get words to paper (or screen). But I am reorganizing my schedules, and would love to participate in the upcoming Triparshava. Hope all are doing well, Joe

  259. John Carley says:

    Joseph, hi buddy, yes – I’ve had that sinking feeling myself on too many occassions.

    I regret to say that in theory that second poem is already filled up – Colin, and Sandra grabbing the two slots a short while back. But you know how these things can change – the Triparshva is considerably more concerted than the Junicho so, with our current poem on verse #6 of #22, it will be probably six weeks before that second team assembles.

    Please could I pencil you in as first reserve?

    Are you familiar with The Renku Group? http://renkugroup.proboards.com

    There’s a lot of composition going on there too.

    Best wishes, John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s