Shades of Autumn

Here we go for a fourth renku (in much less than a year, fantastic stuff every one!)

Going to repost John’s post from the end of our 2nd Junicho below

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501 Responses to Shades of Autumn

  1. ashleycapes says:

    [From John]

    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

  2. can i join the rip ‘r kid

    col

  3. John Carley says:

    Hi Colin, I’d welcome your participation as a writer in the second poem, to be undertaken on completion of this first Snail trip, and as an observer and commentator for this poem. That would give us a provisional team for poem two of: Barbara, Colin, Genevieve, John. Still one slot open.

    Meanwhile I’m copying over from our Another Frost discussion page some hokku candidates that Kala has posted before heading off on retreat for a couple of days. Then at foot I tag one of my own.

    bullock ploughed land …
    the women in bright saris
    sowing paddy

    _kala

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

    _kala

    with each twist of smoke
    a memory –
    the falling leaves

    john

    You will see that in this particular offering I have completely failed to heed my own advice about the (potential for) performative aspects in a hokku candidate.

    Best wishes, John

  4. thx john
    i am pleased to be in the second trip..i must remember to keep up with all that is going on
    btw i send you a pm on th erenku group site

    col

  5. Genevieve Osborne says:

    Thanks John – I’ll enjoy watching and … listening – and look forward to the second one. G.

  6. ashleycapes says:

    Ok, here’s one try before I head off to teach some happy children about the wonders of essays ; )

    across the table
    ants pioneer,
    meet at odd angles

    not sure how well this references our gathering etc, but I’ve tried to use the new ants for spring!

    Looking forward to reading everyone elses – will rustle up another attemmpt soon

  7. lorin says:

    . . . and a starter attempt from me ( more later, I hope)

    in one sweep, swallows
    unzipping the dove-grey sky . . .
    a new horizon

    cheers,
    lorin

  8. lorin says:

    in one sweep, swallows
    unzipping a dove-grey sky . . .
    the blue horizon

    wriggling in
    each blossom of the sage bush
    a bee’s backside

    fragrant rain . . .
    our raku teacups brimming
    with lemon balm tea

    cheers,
    lorin

  9. lorin says:

    …or perhaps #2 could be:

    a bee’s backside
    wriggles in each blossom. . .
    the wild scent of sage

    lorin

  10. willie says:

    Oh, Lorin, that’s beautifully evocative. 5-7-5, girl? Ooh, you are going for it.

    And a belated hello to you, Kala. I like your second submission; a few different “shades”, and definitions of the same represented here.

    John, ‘a twist of smoke’ is beautifully phrased. I can see it!
    So many beautiful verses, impermanent, yes, except for our memories and those yet to come. Might falling leaves be more mid-autumn?

    Ash, I may resemble an ant more than a swallow; been a bit wispy at times, too.

    No fair to gab and not to at least offer one verse, though I’m seeking editing input from the others how this might apply:

    confiding
    in the scarecrow-a vow
    to change the world

    Once a two line verse, then haiqua, now an odd concoction of a possible hokku-afraid it’s all I have at the moment.

  11. lorin says:

    ‘…seeking editing input from the others how this might apply:’ Willie

    confiding
    in the scarecrow-a vow
    to change the world

    I like it, Willie. Ok,you asked, 🙂 so you’re on:

    in confidence
    to the scarecrow, a vow
    to save the world

    …it’s one possibility, anyway?

    lorin

  12. lorin says:

    um…sorry for keeping on changing things. My #2 might be better as:

    a bee’s backside
    wriggles in each blossom. . .
    the scent of wild sage

    lorin

  13. willie says:

    Thanks, Lorin. Much better L1, though we might only ‘change’ the world, a little, maybe, perhaps not ‘save’ it.
    It’s a madhouse here in the States. I mean all over. Mind clouds wafting around every bend.
    Been chasing a wisp of smoke all week…

    Thus far, I prefer your ‘swallows’, perhaps for its more “serious” tone in a hokku position.
    Would a 5-7-5 be too…”retro”, you may be asking yourself? I kind of dig it, though I’m only a newbie and didn’t go through the syllable count wars. I find that aspect to be a bit of an homage to our English language haiku past.

    As for ‘bees’, I commune with them every fall; you can touch them without harm on those chilly mornings. I prefer your third version best. You did mean a reference to weeds blooming, (autumn) didn’t you?

  14. lorin says:

    hey, Willie. . . 5-7-5 ‘retro’? 🙂 Perhaps all haikai, including renku, is retro, in a sense. Nothing unusual about that. Wordsworth and Coleridge were ‘retro’ in their time, in that they sought to return to more vigorous roots of poetry than had become fashionable. And just when, in America, varieties of ‘free verse’ were said to rule, along came a mob who called themselves (or were gradually called) the New Formalists. Now, I do love Billy Collins, but I also love Philip Larkin.

    That’s the ‘smarty-pants’ answer. 😉 My own view is that 5-7-5 is an *option* in haiku, so why not in a hokku, or other renku verses? Thing to decide isn’t, imo, how many syllables, but is there is too much crowded in for the sake of a syllable count, or does it sing or does it plod along to the metronome? And in the case of ‘minimalist’ haiku, has too much been stripped away?. . .consider:

    tundra

    the famous one-word haiku. Echoing away on a white page all by itself, perhaps it does work. It’s an interesting case. I heard that there was a renku being written a couple of years ago, each verse being one word long only, but I never saw the result.

    Bees are beginning to throng in here where I am now (2nd month of *Spring* 🙂 ) even though we’re having the traditional Victorian cold snap. . . which seems very retro to me, since we haven’t had one for quite a few years now, and we’re getting some much-needed rain, too.

    I meant a reference to *herbs* blooming :-). All the edible Spring herbs are thriving, the sage is in full bloom, and lavender, next will be thyme, majoram, oregano and then the lemon balm (melissa, beebalm) and the mints, which are perfect for picking now. Rosemary blooms earlier and the older parsley is beginning to go to seed. Bay laurels have their thick black flower buds now, the quince has little green quinces on it and the codling moth larvae will be out of hibernation and into them. The first roses are blooming, the wattle-birds are noisily clearing up the thrip (greenfly) for me and the blackbirds are digging up my Lebanese eggplant seedlings.

    The local wattles and most of the gums have long finished blossoming, there’s probably pink heath in the hills all along the roadside, but I haven’t been up there. Patterson’s Curse is lurking and spreading its innocent-looking green and won’t reveal the full extent of it’s coverage until around November, when paddocks and pasture will be seen to be purple with it, from miles off. Bees like it, though.

    🙂 It’s *Spring* here.

    lorin

  15. Sandra says:

    I’d like to claim the final spot on the second outing, if I’m not too late. Will watch on with interest as this first event unfolds.

  16. ashleycapes says:

    Outstanding – two full already!

    Ok, one more shot at the hokku from me – perhaps a little too active?:

    windows down,
    brown leaves fly
    beneath a fat moon

    (Hey, Willie! I know what you mean – I’m feeling scattered at the moment, wandering in what looks like aimlessness, but hopefully itsn’t 😉 )

  17. willie says:

    Thanks for that answer, Miss Smarty Pants. Sneaky dog that I am, I wanted to answer any objections to a 5-7-5 before they occurred. As always, though, you’ve done quite well on your own.

    Pardon my confusion regarding the bees and sage. Our weather is such that we don’t see bees in early spring, and obssessive -compulsive that I may be, I considered a chronological order in a sequence of seasonal verse contained in a renku that is not as short as junico. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen a real honey bee in the city for years. Now that is worrisome, ecologically speaking.

    Sage and herbs; in the past, we’ve taken the safe route with our edible gardening, tomatoes cukes, dill, peppers.
    I’ve lived such a sheltered life…

    Don’t sweat savin’ the world, although this crew might certainly make an impact. Ash’, we should take heed from Kala, she has the right idea.

    Another “go”:

    three crows
    one following the other
    snow in autumn

  18. lorin says:

    “Our weather is such that we don’t see bees in early spring” W

    …it’s mid-Spring, here, October. Our Spring officially begins on Sept 1st (not at the equinox, as in many other countries) This makes sense for Australia, especially when you consider that Northern NSW was having early Summer weather in late September.

    I like your 3 crows… but, um… L2 seems to show only 2 crows? What am I missing?

    …comes to mind from your part of the world:

    I was of three minds
    Like a tree
    In which there are three blackbirds

    http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/stevens-13ways.html

    lorin

  19. lorin says:

    “I’m feeling scattered at the moment, …” Ashley

    🙂 sounds like a case of ‘spring haze’ to me.

    You could write a hokku around it (I’m not kidding ya)

    cheers,
    lorin

  20. John Carley says:

    Hi all, I’m on the fly so can’t catch the strands till tomorrow. But yes Sandra, I think that makes poem two a full team. Thank you . And here’s a further two candidates of my own for the hokku position of our current Trip. We should be able to move towards a choice tomorrow.

    Cowabunga! John

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    so to morning

    lighting candles
    in this pumpkin head,
    the honoured guest

    • lorin says:

      lighting candles
      in this pumpkin head,
      the honoured guest

      Love the humour of this, and it does the performative function you spoke of, John, and *differently*.

      My favourite so far. 🙂

      lorin

  21. willie says:

    three crows
    each following the other
    snow in autumn

    Thanks Lorin, I had considered your point, but was enjoying toying with the ambiguity of the phrase.

    There’s my literal affliction again; start spring at the beginning. Glad you’re in the moment.

  22. willie says:

    September 1st. Labor Day falls near this date in the U.S., the unofficial start of Autumn.

  23. g’day John

    Am I counted in for the next trip with you? I’m just confirming if I’m part of the full house…

    I will observe this one with interest.
    Happy trip everyone.

    Peace and Love

    • lorin says:

      Hi Barbara… see John’s post of Oct 14th, above:

      “That would give us a provisional team for poem two of: Barbara, Colin, Genevieve, John. Still one slot open.”

      You’re in, and Sandra has filled that last spot.

      lorin

  24. willie says:

    three crows
    each following another
    snow in autumn

    …had meant for this to read this way-(‘another”)

    Thanks for that link, Lorin. I could spend some time there.

  25. lorin says:

    fish n’ chips r’ up!
    the stately arrival
    of sacred ibis

    lorin 🙂

  26. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, sorry for the delay – I had to make a detour to the curry mile yesterday (Rusholme, Manchester – 1 mile of restaurants and cafes: Banlgadeshi, Pakistani, Turkish, Arabic. I had chicken shawarama. Heaven!).

    Below I’ve randomised our candidates. Please have a look and make a choice or two, either publicly or privately. Which would you tend towards? Would you be influenced by ideas of formalism? etc.

    I hope you’ll forgive the slight impression of vacilation or hiatus here. There are interesting discussions to be had about the degree to which the style and content of the hokku influence everything which goes after.

    Best wishes, John

    bullock ploughed land …
    the women in bright saris
    sowing paddy

    with each twist of smoke
    a memory –
    the falling leaves

    across the table
    ants pioneer,
    meet at odd angles

    in one sweep, swallows
    unzipping a dove-grey sky . . .
    the blue horizon

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    so to morning

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

    wriggling in
    each blossom of the sage bush
    a bee’s backside

    fragrant rain . . .
    our raku teacups brimming
    with lemon balm tea

    a bee’s backside
    wriggles in each blossom. . .
    the scent of wild sage

    confiding
    in the scarecrow-a vow
    to change the world

    in confidence
    to the scarecrow, a vow
    to save the world

    three crows
    one following the other
    snow in autumn

    lighting candles
    in this pumpkin head,
    the honoured guest

    windows down,
    brown leaves fly
    beneath a fat moon

    fish n’ chips r’ up!
    the stately arrival
    of sacred ibis

  27. John Carley says:

    Arrgh – dyslexia attack. I don’t normally substitute entire principle nouns (just spell them wrongly!). Anyway those candidates should read:

    bullock ploughed land …
    the women in bright saris
    sowing paddy

    with each twist of smoke
    a memory –
    the falling leaves

    across the table
    ants pioneer,
    meet at odd angles

    in one sweep, swallows
    unzipping a dove-grey sky . . .
    the blue horizon

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    so to autumn

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

    wriggling in
    each blossom of the sage bush
    a bee’s backside

    fragrant rain . . .
    our raku teacups brimming
    with lemon balm tea

    a bee’s backside
    wriggles in each blossom. . .
    the scent of wild sage

    confiding
    in the scarecrow-a vow
    to change the world

    in confidence
    to the scarecrow, a vow
    to save the world

    three crows
    one following the other
    snow in autumn

    lighting candles
    in this pumpkin head,
    the honoured guest

    windows down,
    brown leaves fly
    beneath a fat moon

    fish n’ chips r’ up!
    the stately arrival
    of sacred ibis

    Oops! J

  28. lorin says:

    ‘Please have a look and make a choice or two, either publicly or privately. ‘ John

    My first choice would be:

    lighting candles
    in this pumpkin head,
    the honoured guest

    The verse is clearly Autumn (NH), with it’s reference to preparations for Halloween, it fulfills the ‘performative’ gesture of alluding to the ‘renku party’, the lighting of the candles can be read as both literal and metaphorical. I enjoy the lightness and humour.

    Besides, ‘lighting candles’ would make a good title. 😉

    I’m probably going against etiquette to choose one of my own for my choice of 2nd place, but I’m influenced by a clear Spring reference more than anything else and Ashley’s ants didn’t strike me as being clearly in Spring, though I liked it otherwise, and all the other ku are set in Autumn.

    a bee’s backside
    wriggles in each blossom. . .
    the scent of wild sage

    This also alludes to the ‘renku party’, though less clearly than ‘lighting candles’.

    But would anyone want ‘a bee’s backside’ as the title of their renku ? 😉

    Since I’ve gone beyond the pale of etiquette, above, I have a third choice, but with a suggestion:

    three crows
    each following the other
    snow in autumn

    I like this version of Willie’s ‘crows’ ku best, as I see those crows must be circling in this version.

    or it could be:

    three crows
    following one another –
    snow in autumn

    (also circling)

    The verse is clearly Autumn. It’d fulfill the performative function better for me though if there were *five* crows 🙂 one for each of us.

    I also like these , but I feel that the mood in both might be a little too ‘solitary’ or inward-looking for the ‘ideal’ hokku, especially considering we have others to choose from here. Just my learner’s attempt at an opinion, though, and I’m happy to be corrected:

    with each twist of smoke
    a memory –
    the falling leaves

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

    Lorin

    [ps…my ‘ibis/ fish n’ chips’ one should be left completely out of consideration, as it doesn’t have a season reference…is a ‘no-seaon’ ku. Duh…don’t know where my head was when I posted it.

  29. willie says:

    Hello everyone,

    Indian summer arrived here today-whoopee! Worked out doors all day…

    About ‘three crows’ :

    Three crows may refer to the top players in an era of the game of go-a game of strategy and fortitude, without a gambler’s chance of winning by luck, but rather skill and experience and building on one’s previous placement of the stones (playing pieces)

    We had three days this past week of unusually early snow, which led me to place the season after observing three crows follow one another after a brief pause between each one’s passing. I assume they were family members preparing to go to the winter roost, which can include thousands of crows or more in a given, cooperatively held, area.

    The poem may be too much of a riddle though.

    I’ve been of a serious mind these past weeks, so perhaps that’s why I haven’t immediately decided to choose Lorin’s ‘swallows’, which paints a beautiful picture in my mind. Maybe it’s the choice of the word ‘unzipping’ that throws me off a little. I feel that the renku may need to start a bit more sedately, and then intensify further along with the following stanzas.

    I enjoy John’s ‘crow’ poem, “each to his own row’, also due in part to writing in the current season I happen to be experiencing. So interesting writing with someone from the southern hemisphere, though, and challenging besides.
    Teaches me a lot.

    Lorin, for you, a 5-7-5 poem for spring:

    we share a blanket::
    on the stroke of every hour
    the clock chimes bird song

    I have a clock that does that. (The birds sing with any rhythm, be it rock music to jazz, salsa to reggae)

    • Sandra says:

      What a great haiku, Willie – however, I dispute that L2 is 7 syllables! :). “every” can be 2 or 3 and “hour” is surely 2? Pronounciation counts, eh?

      • lorin says:

        Hi Sandra, yes pronunciation varies and does count, something we need to take into consideration.

        I think we have to take Willie on his word that it’s 7 syllables in L2, and in doing so I hear ‘e’vry hour’ . For me it would be ‘ev-er-y hour’ and for you, if hour is two syllables, would it be ‘ev-er-y hour-ah’?

        Must fly!

        lorin

    • lorin says:

      we share a blanket::
      on the stroke of every hour
      the clock chimes bird song

      I like it, but you’ll have to convince me it’s Spring in there, Willie 🙂

      lorin

  30. Sandra says:

    Comment from an observer:

    with each twist of smoke
    a memory –
    the falling leaves

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    so to morning

    For me these 2 are the stand-outs, altho’ Mr Pumpkin-head does have something about him ….

    Forced to choose, I come down on the side of “rows of stubble”.

    It’s a fresh image (thanks to the surprise of L2), a strong image (could be black and white; could be Van Gogh) and although starts as a “dead” image in L1 &2 (the remnants of the crop that’s been taken, crows and their association with death), it opens up and ends with an optimistic image in L3.

    Nice way to start a journey.

    • lorin says:

      …’so to morning’ creates a weary or tedious mood, to me. It’s that ‘so’. But this may be an idiosyncratic reading on my part, based on my own expression…. the way I’d say it.

      Hard to know quite how it would be said, in what tone, when there’s no further context, apart from the image of neat rows of stubble, a crow to each.

      I like the image of crows watching over the stubble rows, though, instead of scarecrows. 😉

      lorin

  31. lorin says:

    ‘Maybe it’s the choice of the word ‘unzipping’ that throws me off a little. ‘ W

    …it’s visual, also has imitative sound qualities in relation to a flight of swallows within earshot, and it contains an allusion to a form of haiku or of renku verses which was created by a certain English gentleman of our acquaintance ;-). . . and via that to the renku gathering.

    Maybe unzipping doesn’t travel as far as the USA? I know you use ‘zipper’ (noun) where we use ‘zip’. ‘Zip’ is also a verb, for closing the zip/zipper and ‘unzip’ is the verb for opening it. I’m not sure about the US verbs used in relation to a ‘zipper’…’unzippering’ would seem a tad unwieldy, to my ear.

    lorin

  32. willie says:

    Well, I’ll be go ta Hell… Merriam Webster defines the pronunciation of every as two syllables…and here I thought I was just lazy! You know, Americans jackin’ the Spanglish, uh, English language and what all.
    ‘Course, then agin, John Wayne useta say shee-it, pilgrim.

    So, do them little fellers use beaks or claws to grasp the zip? (just call me sneaky wise-ass dog, or something more colorful as you wish, darlin’) But that statement isn’t any more explanatory than an Audobon Clock chiming bird song, other than the use of a traditional kigo.

    I still like your poem immensely, Lorin, and perhaps that should bring me back ’round to something relevant to the renku at hand; how silly, for lack of a better word and the scope of my tiny brain, could one be at the beginning of a renku? We got 22 stanzas to bring this bad boy off-what tone shall we begin with, and as we begin to ride the “wave”, what far distant beach will we eventually set foot on again?

    My question, though, lies most in relation to two of you having mentioned ‘dreary’ and ‘death’ in relation to a crow verse. Might I assume that deduction is drawn from your extensive reading of classic poetic literature? Remember, I said I couldn’t identify a dead poet if you held one under my nose, so I mostly only have my life experience to go on, though due in very large part to your influence, that is a fault I am trying to correct. For example, Old Whitefeather “greets” me most mornings, and I always look for him and hope he is well. A marvelously intelligent creature. He could very well be a she, for that matter, since O.W. is usually in the company of younger crows.

    Then again, one must consider the method of linking and associations created using classic literature throughout the history of renga, though I don’t immediately detect that in John’s submission. I just think of crows as wiley survivors, with inflections of vocabulary and language of their own, depending on what part of the world they hail from.

    Good discussion! Lorin, you can always kick my ass any day of the week, incuding Sundays; I will always welcome it, because you always teach me something.

    Sneaky Dawg

    • Sandra says:

      Don’t know about my extensive reading of poetry, Willie (I guess you’re hinting at Poe’s raven), but crows belong to that group of birds that clean up road kill … and with their glossy black plumage and being the bird of choice at the Tower of London, it just seems to me that crows are closely associated with death.
      In the US maybe you think of vultures circling, in England I would definitely picture crows wheeling.

    • lorin says:

      hey, Willie, I didn’t say that the crow references were weary, morose, tedious… I was only commenting on John’s line ‘so to morning’ in relation to stubble rows and a crow on each one. That line + the scene, image.

      Crows don’t do much for me, but then I don’t see them unless I go to SA. There aren’t any in Victoria. What we do have (and what some people here insult with the name of crow) is ravens. The fledgelings are out and about now…about three weeks fledged. In my yard, from nests over the road, as every year…but!

      Today, after a rather long and ‘grande’ & toffy book launch in St Pail’s Cathedral in the city, nature came in on ruffled black wings. Was standing on the steps outside said cathedral, talking to a Melb poet (who grew up a Catholic and read a poem that had the golden eagle with the bible on its back in St Pat’s Cathdral, and there was the same thing in St Pauls’) about whether that eagle was a symbol of the Roman Empire or not, and his sister-in-law or sister was standing sort of between us, and the rush of black feathers flew part my nose and landed on her shoulder, turning to look at me side-on. She started to freak..’Yikes! It’s not a crow, is it?’ So I’m seeing the fledgling is frightened, and soothing her, and quietly telling her it was a raven, a young one (not yet completely in charge of landing gear) So there we stood, and it sat, for a couple of minutes, and an old man (from, I guessed, Turkey, by his accent and headgear) came running up excited and pleased, and he’d come across the road, from MacDonalds, as he managed to explain, where he’d seen the bird trapped inside and went in and got it and let it loose. This is the busiest road in central Melbourne.

      Then the raven flopped up onto her head, but she kept standing still, good girl, with me stroking her arm as if she was a cat that needed calming, and after a minute or so getting its bearings it lifted off up into a plane tree nearby.

      Well, I liked what happened, all of it, because I am fond of our ravens. 🙂 They do not put me in mind of death at all. They are the philosophers of the bird world, and adults sit in trees on Summer days holding polite discourse, quite different from their usual call. I guess that’s after the nerve-wracking work of tending to the not-too-bright fledgelings for months! MacDonald’s…duh!

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

      Though the juveniles, recent fledglings look more ruffled, not as sleek, are clumsier and still have the dark eyes.

      lorin

  33. ashleycapes says:

    Geeze, I go fishing for one day and look at all the comments! 🙂

    Ok, here’s my 2 fav:

    wriggling in
    each blossom of the sage bush
    a bee’s backside

    this made me laugh, the playful nature is superb, a perfect pick me up and a boisterous, irreverent way to begin

    confiding
    in the scarecrow – a vow
    to change the world

    a really, almost tender moment here – or at least, comically so? in any event, I like this one for its potential foreshadowing…

    however, I would be happy with any of ’em – hard to choose only 2 to mention, as great things have been said already about the others, (crows & smoke etc!) …

    actually, sorry – 3 it is

    bullock ploughed land …
    the women in bright saris
    sowing paddy

    this scene of colour really struck me!

  34. willie says:

    just got out of the shower:

    ship of fools::
    riding a warm wave
    to sunnier climes

  35. willie says:

    Although some folks might say there is no life, there is no birth; impermanance is, they might say. Don’t know much about that, I need to investigate more.

    Not an entry:

    lean times
    crows worrying
    roadkill

    while some folks scavenge through dumpsters.

    You’re right, most of my crow references have been rather morose until recently. About the only birds besides pigeons
    in this old neighborhood that I can observe on a regular basis.

  36. John Carley says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    Thanks everybody for the high quality commentary. This is the text I propose we adopt. It juxtaposes my ‘phrase’ with Kala’s ‘fragment’, which I believe is superior both to the optimistic ‘so to morning’ and the more bleak ‘so to autumn’; it also avoids the novelty (artificiality?) of perspective that both employ.

    Of course ‘shades’ in this context may read as ‘spirits’. And the apparent liveliness of ‘shades of autumn’ is, on reflection, potentially ironic as the image offered ‘stubble + crow’ is in fact devoid of much variety in colour.

    In the commentaries Willie refers to not spotting defunct poets even when they are waived under one’s nose -which is fair enough – and certainly poems or linkage predicated on such identification alone are, in my opinion, both typical of pre-Basho school haikai, and very lame. But it is perhaps relevant here that Basho frequently identified himself with the crow.

    Ok, let’s stay ‘degachi’ (competitive) for wakiku. We stay in autumn, and we could go with ‘moon’ so wishing (I know that my schematics over at renku reckoner don’t allow for this).

    We are writing a Triparshva whose first movement is in most aspects indistinguishable from that of a kasen. This has several implications. One is that the wakiku closely supports the hokku and so would be unlikely to subvert its imagery or entirely invert its tone. Another is that the whole movement is governed by tonal and topical constraints which are often likened to those of a respectable dinner party (or at least its early stages) so no swearing, sex, religion, politics and no ostentatious displays of erudition, wealth or power.

    Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these restrictions is the bar on direct extratextual direction – which involves, amongst other things, a bar on proper nouns. I do not believe that the intention here is to be annodyne or ‘nice’, simply that we wish to keep the reader with us, and not have them wandering off making too many associations of their own or creating entelechies which are beyond the scope of the poem. In short we stay ‘adagio’ here in order to become more tangibly ‘mosso’ in the second movement.

    You’ll find more ramblings about this stuff under the headings ‘Beginnings and Endings’ and ‘A Dynamic Pattern’ over at renku reckoner. Some relevant search terms are ‘hokku + wakiku’ and ‘jo ha kyu’.

    So, speaking of ‘adagio’: go go go! John

  37. willie says:

    I’ll have a try (#1):

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow-
    shades of autumn / jec

    the devil’s advocate
    high steps a jig and reel / w

  38. willie says:

    Thank goodness I cleared that out of my head-(#2)

    swede hollow dwellers
    work a still under the moon

    it’s a real place, but we can change the name-oh, wait!

    the snoose holler boys
    tend a still under the moon

    or variations thereof…

    I might speak the verb as a gerund, but too long, rhythmically?

    The colloquil speech would really flow as ‘ tend to a still…’

    snoose holler dwellers
    tend to a still under the moon

    ehh! sounds like too many beats.

    ‘tending’, a wee bit smoother

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow-
    shades of autumn

    beneath the moon
    snoose hollow boys tending a still

    best rhythmically, perhaps, but deduct points for length, I reckon.

  39. willie says:

    or ‘ tend to’, to avoid the gerund. Conjecture maybe, but should the -ing ending be avoided at this point? I wonder if a gerund might interfere with a daisan verse structure.

  40. ashleycapes says:

    what about ‘tend’? as the ‘to’ after ‘tend to’ may be implied? not sure, I like verse a lot though

  41. _kala says:

    My offer…

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow-
    shades of autumn

    moonglow on hills
    the dripping mist

    To much autumn, autumn?!!!
    _kala

  42. willie says:

    Hello Kala!

    A pleasure to meet you and write with you.
    I’ve seen your hand in many fine works-and don’t you work with Susumu sensei?
    I am so glad to be in your company.

    Perhaps one cannot have too much autumn?!
    We enjoyed our “Indian Summer” today; Of course, that old cliche doesn’t really refer to people from India!

    As I am at the beginning of this road to learn to write well, I can basically only parrot other’s advice most of the time.

    I do nearly feel a distinct break or “cut” between your two lines, something I have heard is ill-advised in this form.
    …However, I continue to do the same on occaision.

    I hope your retreat went well.

  43. willie says:

    Thanks for your suggestion, Ash’. I’ve been kind of stuck on that particular pattern of American speech, conveying a sort of country life, “hillbilly” feel.

  44. ashleycapes says:

    I think you’re right, the ‘to’ extends things and pushes it closer to a kind of drawl, right?

    (Hi Lorin, I was thinking about the ants yesterday and you’re spot on, doesn’t seem quite spring enough. Got your collection the other day and getting ready for a good read!)

    Ok, here’s a shot or two from me – perhaps a little too vague, let me know what you think:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow-
    shades of autumn
    (jec)

    a dark hand holding
    the biggest lamp

    beyond the headstone
    mushrooms hunker down

  45. lorin says:

    sorry, I’m practically brain dead tonight, but will return tomorrow.

    here’s the only one I’ve come up with so far:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn/ jec

    snatches of old songs
    on the winnowing wind

    or if that’s overloaded:

    snatches of old songs
    on the wind

    lorin

  46. lorin says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn /jec

    in rat-grey coats
    the gleaners come

    gleaned from the wind
    snatches of old songs

    a damp leaf clings
    in the stone lantern

    lorin

  47. lorin says:

    whoops…

    a damp leaf clings
    to the stone lantern

    lorin

  48. willie says:

    Hello: A day off for me, so I’m hovering near the computer and internet.

    Of the group of verses submitted by Ashley and Lorin, I gravitate most readily to

    gleaned from the wind
    snatches of old songs

    I’m glad you expanded on that theme, Lorin.

    Although, let me pipe up with another question, please:

    Need we have a distinct autumn reference for the wakiku?
    I feel Lorin’s verse “fits” most comfortably of any submitted thus far with the hokku, yet are there further requirements of form?

  49. willie says:

    That’s strange-Lorin’s question came by e-mail but not here-yet.

    Proper nouns-sheesh! Here I was stuck on thinking of him/her and such examples. Glad you’re on duty!

    Gah! Did you carry a ruler in class? My knuckles would have been raw…

    well, then, that solves a riddle:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow-
    shades of autumn

    boys from the hollow
    tend to a still

  50. lorin says:

    ..it’s up there, Willie, beneath your post 🙂

    lorin

  51. willie says:

    Wow! Just received comment verification a short while ago.

    How’d you do that? Sorceress!!!

    • lorin says:

      🙂 …despite yesterday’s raven, no. I have to admit it was shere chance. I got up early… then went back to bed.

      lorin

  52. willie says:

    Wow! Just received comment verification a short while ago.

    How’d you do ‘dat? Sorceress!!!

  53. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, an embarassment of riches again. For me the choice narrows down to the hillbillies and the winnowing wind.

    Yes, we’re not supposed to have proper nouns, but Snoose Hollow is almost irresistable. And then there’s the thought that the verse could work as the PERFECT set up for a moon at position #3.

    But I’m going to pass. And part of the reason is the form we’re using. For all that the Triparshva allows a closer approximation to Basho-school (Shomon) kasen than any other comparable 20ish verse form, the fact is that in a Kasen autumn can readily go on for 4 or 5 verses. This is significant here because verse three, daisan, has particular compositional characteristics. It is the ‘break away’ verse. But there is the danger that,in a Triparshva, if we go to ‘moon’ at #3 we will ‘break away’ only to fall flat, or at least to halt at #4 as we are “obliged” to go to non-season. In short, if we are to use the Snoose Hollow boys here then we need really need moon in the verse itself:

    the snoose hollow boys
    steeped in moonshine

    that kind of thing. And then purists will observe, correctly, that ‘autumn moon’ is the principle moon position of a sequence, and that really the autumn moon verse has to feature the moon directly: ‘under the moon’ being fine, ‘into the moonshine’ being questionable.

    So, in so far as we are using this poem to examine some aspects of the method and style typical of the Shomon kasen, the ‘safe’ thing to do is to go with an autumn pair here and to have a run of three autumn verses towards the end of the second movement which can give due emphasis to ‘autumn moon’ as a quintessential kidai (season topic).

    And that gets us to Lorin’s winnowing wind, or rather the later drafts thereof.

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    gleaned from the wind
    snatches of old songs

    This is superb. The balance between the literal and the figurative is perfectly judged. And if the crow of the hokku is Basho then we are reminded that the element ‘ga’ in the word ‘renga’ means ‘song’. I have one query only: forget that we are in a sequence, in the kasen and triparshva the hokku and wakkiku are a pair that together form something closely resembling a tanka…

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind

    does this have a tighter symmetry – the ‘shades of autumn’ become more directly ‘snatches of old song’ whilst the ‘rows of stubble’ are resolved with ‘gleaned from the wind’?

    Comments please.

    Best wishes, John

  54. lorin says:

    Thanks, John!

    As to which way around, I’ll leave that to you and others to discuss, since my head is just not working at all and I think I’ll be taking it back to bed for much of the day, beautiful full Spring day though it is. Besides, I’ve never got into tanka.

    I will say that I lvery much like ‘old song’ , as you have it (much better than old songs) ‘Old song’ includes all old songs, and is somehow more dignified (or resonant, or something…yikes!) than ‘old songs’.

    I had in mind something from someone, I think it was a translation of a Japanese haiku, maybe by Basho, (or not) to the effect that the source of the genteel art of renga was the ancient body of traditional song sang by the fieldworkers of ages past. To go with your Basho crows and the ‘shades’ of gone things still present and influencing.

    Apologies if none of the above makes sense. Back to bed with me.

    lorin

    • lorin says:

      …and just in case anyone has the wrong idea, no, I have *not* been getting stuck ‘into the moonshine’ or the like 😉

      lorin

    • lorin says:

      …and I can say that I do prefer John’s tweaking to

      snatches of old song
      gleaned from the wind

      …simply because it reads better, less awkwardly, than in the inverted form I wrote it in (why I did that, I will never know)

      lorin

  55. ashleycapes says:

    Hahaha, Lorin! We believe you 😉

    But seriously, I like the revision – it does read tighter and as Lorin said, having ‘song’ instead of ‘songs’ does somehow seem more dignified.

  56. willie says:

    Madre de Dios! She conjures these emoticons as if by magic!

    A pretty fair hand at writin’, too…

    Meaning no offense, Kala and Ash’, definitely the best choice of wakiku in my opinion.

    As for form, John’s rendering sounds more like normal speech (in English) to me, creating one unified statement. I’d have to think on the question of symmetry between seperate sections of each stanza for awhile to see it, though.

    I can grok what you’re saying regarding seasonal sequence, too, John.

    Liked your snoose version, too. I guess I was just too close to it to see the resolution to my perceived faults.

    Lorin, I hope you feel better soon.

  57. John Carley says:

    Thanks for the very fast response folks – whilst I’ve been asleep – sometimes time zones work to our advantage.

    Snoose Hollow – I can’t remember the exact wording but there’s an phrase in Japanese which translates as ‘sleeve (or pocket) verses’ and refers to candidates which the sabaki reserves for later use. The insertion of such verses presents some really illuminating technical challenges. We might have a go at this in the second movement, ‘ha’.

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind

    Ok, this is our text. We move on to daisan (literally: third topic). I’d like to stay competitive with this between Ashley, Kala (who should be back with us in the next 24 hrs I think), and Willie.

    Daisan is often considered to be the first ‘true’ position in a renku in that it is the first verse which must both link and shift (in the narrow sense of ‘shift’ as moving out from the last-but-one verse [clearly neither hokku or wakiku have a relative last-but-one to shift from]).

    If we add to this the fact that the bond between #3 and #2 is not so tight as the tanka-esque pairing of #2 and #1 we can see why daisan (#3) is often referred to as the ‘break away’ verse. When written in Japanese there is a further convention – the verse should end with a verb taking a ‘te’ ending. This is similar in effect to the present continuous tense in English – it leaves the action of the phrase ongoing-unresolved.

    In sum – verse #3 opens the sequence outwards. For our present purposes the position is now non-season. If we bear in mind the person-place conventions (cf: ji-ta-ba, ji-ta-han, ba-ninjo) then we might expect our verse three to feature a directly drawn human presence.

    Oops – late for work! John

  58. _kala says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind

    This is lovely! congrats Lorin!
    For some strange reasons I’ve not been getting posts from issa’s snail into my mail box and I didn’t check here!!!
    Sorry.

    I’m back and the vipassana went off quite well.
    It is difficult to squat on the floor, [even with a cushion] for 13 hours a day but then to concentrate on one’s sensations….Ha!

    _kala

    • lorin says:

      …’for 13 hours a day’…yikes, Kala!

      ha! indeed 🙂 I know very clearly what my sensations would be ( numbness, lack of circulation in legs, and then…pain! I admire your fortitude!

      lorin

  59. willie says:

    13 hour sensations…satori?

  60. willie says:

    Let’s try this:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind

    past the tavern,
    walking with the cop
    on horseback

    or:

    a noisy tavern;
    alongside a cop
    on horseback

    I’ll think about this some more. Thank-you.

  61. willie says:

    regarding the previous submission:

    I like the sound of the word tavern, though pub or bar would make room for more description in a line 1:

    past a noisy pub

    to set up:

    walking beside
    the cop on horseback

    one could be ‘behind’ the horse, also

    I wanted the verse to sound as natural as possible, while trying to incorporate the “te” ending, or near the literal end of the verse, at least.

    One “pub” I can name here (saw the UEFA Champion’s League Final there)

  62. willie says:

    Anyone here with experience of pubs? John?

  63. willie says:

    a second submission, please:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind

    a raucous beat
    from the noisy pub;
    we can’t stop dancing

    • lorin says:

      a raucous beat
      from the noisy pub;
      we can’t stop dancing

      Hi Willie…I think the movement to people and movement is great. What would you think of an ‘uncut’ variation for this position?

      a raucous beat
      at the noisy pub
      we can’t stop dancing

      ..that’s ‘hinge’ or ‘pivot’ form… L2 can be read with both L1 & L3. Another way of doing it without a ‘cut’ or caesura might be:

      can’t stop dancing
      to this raucous beat at
      the all-night club

      etc.

      lorin

  64. willie says:

    May we transpose the articles ‘a’ and ‘the’, please? It mighr jibe better with the preceding verse.

  65. _kala says:

    1.rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind

    the telltale signs
    of boredom . . . her yawn
    too wide!

    Just sending something I just thought might fit in here, really don’t know!!

    Willie,
    I like this verse of yours:

    a raucous beat
    from the noisy pub;
    we can’t stop dancing

    But feel that L 3 is not that smooth?
    Maybe it’s just me!
    _kala

    • lorin says:

      the telltale signs
      of boredom . . . her yawn
      too wide!

      I like this verse, too, Kala. It certainly gives a different view of how old crows and old songs might be received by an individual! The link is rather funny :-).

      It’ll be interesting to see what John says about ‘cut’ verses at this point in the renku, as I note that both you and Willie have offered verses with a clear cut (though *not* hokku-like, either of them, in the sense that there aren’t the juxtaposed images nor the caesura that readers need to ‘leap’)

      John’s essay, ‘Cut or Uncut?’, particularly the section subtitled ‘Nagekomi – Throwing in’ , here:

      http://uk.geocities.com/johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com/Cut_or_Uncut.htm

      John, when you have time, I’d love to hear from you about the place (if any) of the ‘hinge’ or ‘pivot’ form of verse in renku. eg, this version of Willie’s:

      a raucous beat
      at the noisy pub
      we can’t stop dancing

      lorin

  66. willie says:

    What if we were to drop the pronoun?

    the raucous beat
    from a noisy pub;
    can’t stop dancing

    maybe there is too much of a break at L3?
    Including the pronoun ‘we’ may be less abrupt.
    I must stand back and listen to the others.

  67. willie says:

    and agreement with L1-it (the raucous beat) is not dancing.

  68. ashleycapes says:

    Gonna try get a verse done today, sorry for the hold up, everyone

  69. willie says:

    Wow, Lorin, you’re appearances out of sequence are makin’ my head spin! You’re hard to keep track of…
    are you often accompanied by ravens?

    Yep, I like the ingenuity of the Line 2 pivot technique; Which is a nice way of saying I prefer my version of ‘ the raucous beat’, which refers to the sound and source in relation to the ‘snatches of old song’.

    However, this group, being as talented as it is, should easily overcome my raucous ego for the betterment of the poem, if that were the case.

    I mainly brought up the issue of kire because I initially didn’t have a clue how to punctuate the dang thing, and of course to seek a resolution to my team member Kala’s concerns.

    This is all conjecture: we haven’t heard all the submissions yet!

    Kala, I’m not quite certain about your first submission, though thought it would be rude of me to say nothing.
    Are we at two ends of a spectrum here-yawning and raucous? How interesting that might be, the resolution between the two…perhaps the other team members will serve as a catylist!

    • lorin says:

      Hi Willie …if you want to reply to a particular post, you click ‘reply’ (just above the mandala thingo) in the post you want to reply to.

      Out of sequence?

      yeah, yeah…sorceress, ravens, etc…just watch out I don’t visit you on my broomstick and sweep you away on it!

      lorin

  70. willie says:

    catalyst…sorry.

  71. willie says:

    Oh, yeah? Well, it is almost Halloween.

    I’m going as a toad…

  72. _kala says:

    the telltale signs
    of boredom . . . her yawn
    too wide!

    “I like this verse, too, Kala. It certainly gives a different view of how old crows and old songs might be received by an individual! The link is rather funny ” – Lorin

    Well, Lorin, I thought we were supposed to cut away totally from the hokku and wakiku?
    Which is what I did…!!!

    Of course without the ‘cut’ – it could be also as:

    the telltale signs
    of boredom with her yawn
    so wide!

    Willie,
    I quite understand…. several times, I really don’t get many of the poems I read… to be able to give a golbal feel to each verse isn’t easy, I guess?!!!

    _kala

  73. willie says:

    Kala,

    Thank you for being so understanding. And you needn’t be shy with any comment or critique of me or my writing, for I welcome your compassionate and invaluable input.

  74. ashleycapes says:

    Ok! Here’s one for now – just struggling with time, all my students are in a panic about their exams!

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind

    legs all over
    the chopping block
    a spider

  75. ashleycapes says:

    and number two (another spider themed one) –

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind

    late afternoon
    spiderwebs
    in every peg

    (not sure about the rhyme)

    I like the ellipsis version of kala’s ‘yawn’ ku and willie’s ‘dancing’ ku too, nice use of human action there – I’ve just realised mine don’t really have human action explicitly, sorry, should I submit a different 2?

  76. _kala says:

    In sum – verse #3 opens the sequence outwards. For our present purposes the position is now non-season. If we bear in mind the person-place conventions (cf: ji-ta-ba, ji-ta-han, ba-ninjo) then we might expect our verse three to feature a directly drawn human presence.

    Quoting John’s message – now I think spider is a summer season word, please do check.

    _kala

  77. ashleycapes says:

    right you are, thanks _kala, what a shame, spider = summer

    back soon!

  78. ashleycapes says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind

    for the first time
    in months
    opening a new book

    tracing his words
    one cup of tea
    shows me the way

    (they don’t really leap away in a new direction, a little sedate, perhaps, but I got to put something of a joke in, it might be terrible though! 🙂 – perhaps the daisan isn’t usually the spot for humour either?)

    • lorin says:

      tracing his words
      one cup of tea
      shows me the way

      😉 Ha, I like how you worked Issa into this, Ashley…and he might very well show you the way! Here’s one at random that came in my mailbox recently:

      cooling off standing
      cooling lying down…
      well, it’s cool!

      -Issa, 1816, translator David Lanoue

      … though of course that’s Summer, not no-season or Autumn.

      http://cat.xula.edu/issa/

      lorin

    • lorin says:

      You teach music, along with other subjects don’t you, Ashley? As an ex-teacher, I can’t help thinking of this:

      one cup of tea
      gets me through another
      year 9 music class

      … or whatever might fit with yr experience.

      lorin

      • ashleycapes says:

        Oh yes! Just sub in the year 9 music for year 9 english and I’m there! – My music class is made up of seniors so it’s a little better 😉

      • lorin says:

        ha, yes. I remember yr 9 English all too clearly. One of the worst horrors turned up again in yr 11 though, saved my life (probably) and began writing wonderfully (instead of folding his arms in front of his chest at the mention of picking up a pen) Turkish, a professional wrestler, afterwards.

        . . . why not substitute ‘english’ for music, and put that ku in the running, along with yr others? ‘english’ would work, imo. . . consider the class sets of poetry anthologies. . . ‘snatches of old song’?

        lorin

  79. ashleycapes says:

    Thanks, Lorin 🙂 Fantastic one of his – I’d never read it, made me laugh. How simple and powerful his haiku were!
    I signed up there – what an excellent idea

  80. willie says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow
    shades of autumn

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind

    beneath endless sky,
    stopping in place
    to catch a breath

    probably needs work, just thought of it now

  81. John Carley says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    Hi everyone, thanks for all the hard work. And sorry for the delay – I felt I had to do some field work in order to be able to judge the pub vs tavern issue!

    This one of Ashley’s does it all for me, concretising the read after the figurative hokku/wakiku pair. I particularly like the way that ‘new’ works here, pushing us directly away from ‘old song’. And I also like the suggestion that the personage of #3 has rather less time to indulge in arty pastimes than do the preceeding voices. So, in contrast to Ashley’s expressed doubts, I think this verse moves away entirely satisfactorily – and of course it is beautiful set up for the rest of the first movement (which becomes the “new book”).

    Because if its successful ‘break-away’ I think we can readily have the verb in the simple present, which allows the pronoun. I think that the first person is most successful at concretising the reading experience here, contrast:

    for the first time
    in months
    she opens a new book

    I think there is more distance here, a once remove between authorial perspective and the protagonist. On a wider point I note that, were this a shorter sequence, such as a Junicho, we’d probably feel the need to already get more bang for our buck at position #3 – be more tangibly dynamic, impressive etc. But this is a Triparshva, and our first movement allows for more subtley and grace. So, I honestly think this daisan is in all aspects ideal.

    I the hope that these observations make sense to everyone, and above all that the ammendments are acceptable to Ashley, please let me suggest that we have two (at least) assigned verses.

    Willie, please will you give us a further non-season verse next at position #4. And then we will go to Kala for moon, either winter or summer, at #5.

    Damn, I just realised I forgot to complete that research!

    Glug, glug. John

  82. willie says:

    Just returned…

    Yes, we are all eternal students, in one manner or another…ahh, the pursuit of knowledge!

    …and I’m taking notes as we speak, John, i.e., your comments as to this first folio, jo, especially in regard to ‘subtlety and grace’, which I believe Kala may be a master of, while I, on the other hand, am used to an incredible pace at times, sometimes literally forgetting to breath. Concurrently I’ve been writing a junicho with some American mates, and you know how we rush about: racing along in big fast cars, chain-smoking cigars, etc.

    If there’s any point to be had here, its the entire tonal progression and how we build the dynamics and tension
    of a poem to its end.

    This will be very interesting study, indeed.

    Good one, Ash’! Pardon me for not commenting in my earlier haste.

  83. lorin says:

    Thanks for your clarity in showing us why Ashley’s ‘book’ verse fits so well, John, and your pointing to the context of this longer renku. It certainly makes sense to me, and I do like the directness of first person here. It somehow emphasises the subtlety of the ‘break-away’.

    🙂 Finally having time to read something entirely for one’s own pleasure. . .yep, that rings true, too.

    lorin

  84. ashleycapes says:

    No probs, Willie! And thank you, John – I’m very happy to go with the alteration – it’s much better, has more immediacy in 1st person.

    And it is a nice to be reminded that such a explosive break away isn’t needed here, as the Junicho sometimes wants!

  85. _kala says:

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book

    Congrats Ashley!
    v nice verse!
    It fits in so well, John.

    Well Willie, you don’t know me… ’subtlety and grace’,
    Ha!!That’s not me?!!!
    _kala

  86. willie says:

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    1) spine crackling,
    another night on the couch

    2) a stifled snicker
    her look gives it away

    3) posh talk belying
    what lies between the lines

    4) the posse quickens its pace
    fresh signs upon the trail

    • lorin says:

      spine crackling,
      another night on the couch

      🙂 I like this! Ambiguity in what or whose ‘spine crackling’.

      I’m currently reading E.L Doctorow’s ‘Loon Lake’.

      lorin

  87. willie says:

    oops; would you prefer merely,

    ‘…fresh sign…’, singular?

  88. willie says:

    pardon again:

    *closer* to true Ameri-speak-

    4) the posse quickens its pace
    fresh sign marks the trail

  89. willie says:

    what the hey, while I’m on it:

    3)posh talk belies
    the writing between the lines

    4)the posse quickens
    fresh sign marks the trail

    4) fresh sign marks the trail
    the posse quickens its pace

    meanwhile, back at the ranch…

  90. John Carley says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    Hi all, thanks for all the considered comments, particularly in respect of the tonal aspects of the first movement of a poem employing the jo-ha-kyu dynamic pattern (an absolute fundamental of Basho’s new poetics).

    I really like this candidate. Though there are restrictions in ‘jo’ it is important not to allow these to render the first passage completely po faced or worthy. With the coded references to the process of compostion Willie here introduces just the right level of gentle humour and plebean or ‘low’ reference. This anticipates a responding and contrasting ‘high’ register moon verse, which in turn sets up the last verse #6 to resolve the ‘tension’ and conclude the movement.

    In these latter respects it is worth observing that the popular quadripartite 20 verse pattern originated in the latter part of the last century, the Nijuin, divides 4/6/6/4. In my opinion the 4 verses of the opening movement feel rather too truncated. Willie’s current verse for instance would have been charged with also giving a degree of ‘wrap’ up – arguably too many special requirements in too few verses.

    Willie, the idiom is fine with me – the British English would have ‘spoor’ for ‘sign’: fresh spoor marks the trail. Are you ok with this inversion? I just think that ending with ‘the posse quickens’ puts the moon position more on its mettle!

    Best wishes, John

  91. willie says:

    Absolutely, John, I assumed that option to be obvious.

    Wasn’t certain how much to quicken, yet I might be catching on due to your comments.

    bandit come, make sign, advance renku. Apologies to my native pals; whaddup, blood?!!

  92. Um, can I ask why it doesn’t read:

    “fresh signs mark the trail”

    or

    “a fresh sign marks the trail”?

    Spoor is both singular and plural so would work in the construction given. However, sign is singular so, to my reading, doesn’t work as given.

    Yours,
    Puzzled of Palmerston North

    • lorin says:

      Had to laugh when I realised this was you, Sandra. 😉 It wasn’t until you said so,,either. I was trying to figure out who I ‘knew’ who might be a science teacher, following this renku!

      lorin

  93. willie says:

    let me attempt an answer;
    Westerners (US), hunters, trackers, hillbillies, etc., and maybe even Tonto and the Lone Ranger himself would use the American colloquilism, ‘sign’, singular. Real people, as well as fictional figures, some legendary, some bordering on tongue-in-cheek cliche.
    Taking into account this is an “international” renku, one must consider the viability of throwing this style into the mix.
    An argument for the form would be we have the word ‘posse’. What scenario does that bring to mind?
    Otherwise, might we say, “all the king’s men”?

    I like the cut a’ yer question, pahd’ner.

    • lorin says:

      “What scenario does that bring to mind?”

      One man’s book is another man’s cowboy comic book? 😉
      It took a while for me to latch on to the humour, Willie, (things have been a bit grim in the ether-world) but when I did I liked it. That it is written in the style of a quote from the comic book, a change of voice, works very well, too.

      lorin

  94. _kala says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    frost-bitten
    her nose as prominent
    as the moon

    .

    on a beach wave
    her rising face
    swathed in moonlight

    .

    Two offers for your comments, please!!

  95. Sandra says:

    Whew,
    am now logged in as myself again. Not sure who “peoplegeek101” was but, briefly, it was me!

    Thanks for your answer, Willie.

    Satisfied of Sanson.

  96. willie says:

    Who was that masked man…?

    Good morning, (evening?) Kala,

    G’day-that does work well!

    Winter and summer moons…

    First, as a Minnesotan, I am obliged to brag about how cold it gets here…but frostbite ain’t nothin’ to brag about. My fingers still ache in the cold, and it’s now decades later.

    Might one have just a nip, rather than a bite of cold, Kala?
    My reasoning also is based on our sabaki’s overall plan for the development of this folio-do I use the right word? See how little I know? New to the game, I haven’t given proper consideration to individual movements of a poem-but I am definately interested…most assuredly intrigued.

    Of course, I read it again, now in context, and it doesn’t seem far-fetched. A ‘prominent nose’ is a catchy phrase.

    The ‘her rising face’ followed by ‘swathed’ verse…swathed struck me as a bit cliche, at first, couldn’t say why, and to my just awakened ear, made the verse feel a little flat.

    Ah, I need more coffee…

  97. willie says:

    Yeah, now I’m startin’ to vibrate…

    ‘Could be, Kala, ‘on a beach wave’ rhythmically, to me, feels a little out of step with the second half of your verse.

    It could be you were trying to avoid a feeling of kire/break?
    the word ‘beach’ suggestive kigo for summer?

    her face
    rising on a wave
    warmed by moonlight

    starting to lose your original intent-where’s Lorin when we need her?

  98. John Carley says:

    frost-bitten
    her nose as prominent
    as the moon

    on a beach wave
    her rising face
    swathed in moonlight

    ———

    Thanks Kala, I realised this morining that I had neglected to specify that a Triparshva begun in autumn would expect winter or summer. So it’s good to get both alternatives.

    The first, winter, is very striking. In fact it is so striking that, as Willie instinctively picked up, it may well be too strong for this first folio/movement. It is notable that the Edo period list of disbarred topics for ‘jo’ included both illness and long distance travel – an indicator of how arduous such journeys were. I think the lady with the frost bitten nose strongly conjures such scenarios.

    Importantly the second, summer, is less challenging, has a more direct and accessible linkage, yet is also more nuanced and surprising in its implications.

    I share some of Willie’s observations about the orecise draft, but think that it may well simply be a question of altering the line/image order. Please read down:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    a breaking wave
    warmed by moonlight
    her rising face (k)

    The ‘breaking’ is suggested here principally to tighten the linkage, but I think it also avoids any slight awkwardness with ‘beach wave’. Looking at alternatives to ‘swathe’ I also wondered at ways of anchoring the primary read more directly in ‘summer’, hence ‘warmed’. Of courset there is a paradox here, as moonlight is not in fact warm, but I think attributing this quality to it helps to tie in the entirely successful reciprocation between, or identification with, the woman and the moon.

    Comments please.

    Best wishes, John

    ps – the use of two ‘ing words’ (sic) is entirely deliberate.

  99. lorin says:

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    on a beach wave
    her rising face
    swathed in moonlight

    a breaking wave
    warmed by moonlight
    her rising face (k)

    Though I do prefer the revised version as a verse, but I’m a little concerned about ‘her rising face’. I think that Kala intends that the woman here is swimming, but that’s not what ‘rising face’ gives me. My uneasiness becomes all the more when I look at the verse in relation to Willie’s ‘posse’.

    I do not see a living woman!

    Perhaps this is because of my environment and what I’ve absorbed from it over my life? Not for nothing did Victorian song-writer, Paul Kelly write a song, ‘So Much Water’, alluding to Raymond Carver’s short story, ‘So Much Water So Close to Home’, nor later Ray Lawrence make the film, ‘Jindabine’, based on the same story. Drowned women are pretty ‘close to home’ and that’s what I see here.

    Apologies if I’m off-course in saying so.

    lorin

  100. willie says:

    Lorin, I had the same instinctual feeling, come to think of it.
    I wondered more how the verse might evolve, if at all, so I didn’t mention it.

  101. ashleycapes says:

    That’s interesting! – as I thought of a woman swimming too – but never saw that it could be a drowning too, very interesting indeed.

    Maybe that reading wouldn’t hurt – how much darkness can the opening stanzas incorporate, John? It’s a fascinating idea, to have a really dark verse or two in there.

    However, I still read it as an uplifting verse, and _kala’s image of the woman’s face rising from water, hit by moonlight is like a short scene in a movie – I see it very clearly, it’s beautiful.

    Adding ‘warmth’ to it seems to negate some of the potential darkness, and I like the way it references the human relationship.

    But imagine if it were a drowned woman – this could get dark indeed!

    • lorin says:

      I don’t know, Ashley . . . for a face to be ‘warmed by moonlight’, especially a ‘rising face’ in water. . . for me it seems to emphasise that the face is rising from cold depths, that the face is cold as death, but appears warmed by the moonlight.

      As a verse, as an image, it works very well for me, but in a disturbing way… It’s in relation to this ‘jo’ part, opening part of the poem, that I mention this. It will be good when John comments.

      Willie. . . that you had that sense of it , too! I felt it might be just my ‘life environment’ that might be influencing what I see in this verse, but I couldn’t dismiss it because that image was/is very strong for me.

      lorin

  102. willie says:

    Another point to note might be Sensei Gabi’s (Greve) assertion that kigo emplaced as adjective or adverb is not actually seasonally approriate-well, not the actual use here, but ‘warmed’ does not have me entirely convinced, sorry to say, in a nit-picky fashion.
    I prefer the use of ‘beach’, whether it be traditional or local kigo. Then again, I have used “cold moon” to denote the winter moon, come to think of it.

    …I’m not helping, am I?

    You know, the best advice I ever had from my master in tradecraft? ” Don’t think!”

    And from a zen practitioner, while standing on the dojo’s mat? “don’t think-Do!””

    That any help?

  103. kala says:

    I share much of Lorin’s concerns too…

    How about:

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    bathed in moonlight
    her face rising / riding above
    a beach wave

    any better?
    _kala

  104. kala says:

    I grew up in Chennai – on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.

    We’ve seen people riding the wave as well as heard / read cases of suicide and drowning . . .

    A girl swimming is what I intend to show here…?
    _kala

    • lorin says:

      Hi Kala, well, that’s interesting, we have something else in common 🙂 . . . my early years (up until about 9) were spent on the shores of Port Philip Bay here in Melbourne…and later I ‘commuted’ between a country town and the beach house where my mother still lived on the school holidays.

      I’m happy you see what I mean, here. And yes, ‘her face riding above’ that whiteness of the wave, bathed in moonlight gives me a very different image, that of a lovely swim on a hot night. Beautiful, and not a bit disturbing.

      Maybe ‘beach’ here isn’t quite necessary to qualify ‘wave’, though? I think John’s suggestion of ‘breaking wave’ captures it… the white purling at the top of the wave beginning to happen, her face catching the moonlight above it.

      bathed in moonlight
      her face riding above
      a breaking wave

      Let’s see what John says.

      lorin

  105. kala says:

    Very interesting Lorin!
    I guess we should meet!!

    I added ‘beach’ again in my version, because John wanted a summer verse?

    But I like yours…

    bathed in moonlight
    her face riding above
    a breaking wave

    _kala

    • lorin says:

      hmm, yes, Summer. I see what you mean, Kala (and that was John’s reason for ‘warmed by’) But to me, the setting of ‘beach’ is implied… so perhaps Summer is , as well? Not very many people go for moonlight swims when it’s cold weather, nor relax on the beach to watch them. This feels like Summer to me, but I don’t know . . . perhaps for renku purposes or for other readers it might need to be overt.

      I’ll be interested to see what John (and others) think.

      cheers,
      lorin

  106. John Carley says:

    Hi all, I think we are in danger of moving too far from Kala’s original intent. Personally, beyond some hesitation around the status of the word ‘beach, I had no doubts about the imagery. However it is clear from the commentary that others shared an alternative, and sinister, interpretation. In answer to the (Ashley’s?) question: no, ‘jo’ cannot readily comprise a verse with such equivocal interpretations when one involves suggestions of death (either by foul means or fair).

    I think that to rework the candidate to the point that all possibility of such readings were entirely removed would be to mangle it.

    In these circumstances my teachers have always been unequivocal: move ground.

    I’m therefore going to ask for Kala’s patience; though both candidates to date have been strong verses, for their various reasons we have been unable to adopt one. Would you therefore please indulge us and revisit the verse position so as to give an alternative two or three candidates.

    If this is difficult for any reason Kala, for instance because you feel these discussions have ‘blocked’ the position for you in any way, then please say so (no explanations are ever necessary). It is always possible to throw this position open, and for you to come fresh to positon #6.

    Best wishes, John

  107. ashleycapes says:

    Thanks, John – I suspected that a dark ku would be too much for ‘jo’

  108. kala says:

    Ha! I understand John!!

    Just got up ( it’s 3 am!!) and like a zombie got to the comp!!

    I’ll offer some tomorrow, but here’s my first!!

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    from heaven to earth
    a spider
    against the full moon

    ?
    _kala

  109. lorin says:

    ha, 🙂 Kala. . . I was up and on here in the wee hours when we were ‘talking’ here earlier. Insomnia might be catching!

    Anyway, your other two have the makings of good haiku, so they won’t be wasted.

    lorin

  110. kala says:

    Lorin! Ha ha!

    Now, how on earth did I have the word ‘heaven’ in ‘Jo’ even god won’t know!!!

    Anyway here guys are my offers . . .

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    on a back float
    her navel ring glints
    in the moonlight

    the freezing lagoon
    on a sheet of glass holds
    the resplendent moon

    watertight
    in the cloud pond
    the moon floats

    from earth to the moon
    a spider
    on its silver threads

    _kala

  111. Sandra says:

    These are lovely kala.

    May I suggest a couple of tiny edits?

    watertight
    in the cloud pond
    the moon

    or even

    watertight
    in the cloud pond
    a moon

    Just a thought.

  112. kala says:

    watertight
    in the cloud pond
    a moon

    v nice Sandra…
    _kala

  113. John Carley says:

    Dear colleague,
    thank you for citing and/or linking to my work at Renku Reckoner.

    Please be advised that the provider Geocities is about to withdraw its service. Renku Reckoner now has its own domain at

    http://www.renkureckoner.co.uk

    This site is now live. You might care to update your links as convenient.

    Many thanks, John Carley

  114. John Carley says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    from heaven to earth
    a spider
    against the full moon (k)

    Hi all, this is the verse for me. I do not believe that the reference to ‘heaven’ here is an infringement of either the letter or spirit of the ‘jo’ conventions in terms of ‘heavy’ topics in general or religion in particular.

    These conventions are intended to avoid factional provocations and untimely errudition. So an evangelical Christian side swipe at liberal homosexuals would be disbarred, as would a Muslim jibe about the Hindu caste system, or a Buddhist depredation of Shinto’s “primitivism”. Kala’s use of ‘heaven’ is surely no more controversial than a reference to ‘the heavens’ – which may be all religions or none.

    Where this verse succeeds so well is in offering a combination of the sublime (moon/heaven) and the mundane (insect/earth). This further deepens the coded strand of figuarative rerence in this first movement.

    I earlier expressed a slight concern about ‘spider’, wondering a ‘firefly’. I was mistaken. And should have recognised ‘spider’ as being a really quite common season word for summer in the historical literature.

    So lets move on to #6. Purely to keep up momentum I’m going to try and take this verse position myself. But I’m just about to come down with swine flu so PLEASE do say if the candidates I offer shortly are rubbish!

    Best wishes, John

    • lorin says:

      Happy to find that ‘heaven’, as in Kala’s verse, isn’t controversial. 🙂 I like to watch the orb weavers make their webs on a summer night. . . in strategic places not far from the kitchen door, where light shines out and attracts dinner for them.

      Nice one, Kala!

      lorin

    • lorin says:

      All the best for your health with that flu, John. Yes, fever and even hallucinations can come with some of these, but once you’ve had it once, you have a certain degree of immunity so the next time (if) it’s much milder. You might need a couple of weeks off, though. Not much sense pushing it and getting pneumonia.

      Commiserations.

      lorin

  115. willie says:

    A lovely verse, Kala!

  116. ashleycapes says:

    John, that’s terrible, hope you’re ok

  117. John Carley says:

    Hi all, struggling manfully back from the pub (tavern) here are some candidates for #6 (cough, cough, whinge).

    #6 is the last verse of the first movement. In the modern literature there has tended to be a ‘harder’ definition of boundaries between folio faces than in the Edo period kasen. For instance in Basho’s kasen a season, or very occassionaly a vestigial topic such as ‘love’, will straddle the interface.

    The Triparshava, like the well established Nijuin, is more ‘clean cut’ than this: no topics or seasons over-run the boundaries. So we are definitely at the ‘end’ of something. And about to go into the ‘begining’ of something else.

    And, for all that season or topic might straddle a folio interface in the classic literature, the begining and end verse of all folios have special designations/names – which clearly suggests that poets have always tended to regard these verse positions as being ‘special’.

    Ok (cough, cough, waffle, waffle) – here are three candidates for #6

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    from heaven to earth
    a spider
    against the full moon (k)

    ——

    all the children laugh
    then run away

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in

    laughing like a hermit
    on the shore

    Best wishes, John

  118. lorin says:

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in

    😉 . . . much more to my taste than what the spider’s having.
    But you should be having home-made chicken noodle soup, cooked with fresh ginger!

    Actually, I’m attracted to this one partly because of the shape of a noodle bowl (big and round) and the colour of good Chinese noodles (yellow). Both echo the Summer moon. I also like the invitation. It seems a satisfying ending to the first part, to me.

    A pause to the sound of communal sloshing 🙂

    lorin

  119. willie says:

    …yes, hallucinations, most certainly.

    I was attracted to ‘all the children laugh’ initially, then I remembered my school days-only a mere coincidence.
    I liked the simplicity of line, yet was intrigued by some surreal inference, and a sense of ingenious linkage.
    Not your run of the mill word association.

    The ‘hermit on the shore’ was especially appealing to me, and I know this will be a total surprise to you all, but I’m actually a bit of a loner myself.

    The two verses hold a bit of edgy allure, the way I tend to be leaning in my haiku these days. Might that be due in part to my participation in writing renku, I ask myself? Is it because we now encode more meaning in our verse, plural, rather than just describing pretty little scenes that some are agog over, imagining some mystical moment captured on paper or snatched from this digital ether?

    To paraphrase Sensei Susumu, one must write renku to really understand haiku. My thinking as of today has evolved to believe he meant a large part of the skill is in listening.

    I hear what John has said about subtlety in progression of folio; I listen to my mentor Lorin speak of an open-ended invitation implied, and I hear it, too. the verse provides multiple directions for us to choose to travel, yet also deftly finishes one leg of a journey. I’m on board with this.

  120. willie says:

    Hee-hee! So is my Dottie girl, a blenheim Cavalier Spaniel.
    She struck the enter key in hasty agreement! Good girl, Dottie!
    We both like ‘noodles’!

    • lorin says:

      I was typing and thinking (or what passes for thinking if I’m lucky, these days) when you posted this, Willie. Dottie likes noodles 🙂 Those spaniels are lovely dogs….and much smarter than Cocker Spaniels.

      lorin

    • lorin says:

      and check out the previous ‘shows/ exhibitions’, too. . . Kala’s to begin with 😉
      lorin

      • willie says:

        Have the link-thanks for the update-wow!
        see moon viewing at the rag near each months end-click the tag at bottom by ‘comments’ that reads ‘moon viewing party’ for all-another after Halloween (received your “note”), every month now.
        At the main page’s right column their’s a link for our green tea renku…

  121. lorin says:

    ‘my mentor Lorin’, now!!! Ha, Willie, what a smoothie you are 😉 ol’ butter-mouth Bandit!

    I like the ‘children’ one, too . . . but it being so close to Halloween, I can’t help but see the old ‘rubber spider’ trick in relation to the moon verse. Not that kids don’t do that sort of thing to give their mother a start at any time.

    The ‘hermit on the shore’ intrigues me but I’ll need to have the connection pointed out to me. I suppose it might be a tropical shore and he’s laughing because he has it made… but . . . could be just plain nuts? oh, ok, think I’ve got it … maybe moon/ lunatic is the connection? 🙂

    locked ward
    moonlight comes seeping
    under the door

    I still like the bowl of noodles best. 🙂

    lorin

  122. ashleycapes says:

    Yes, the noodles are fantastic – everything that’s already been said I must second about it, especially the ’round’ and ‘communal aspect.

    But I aslo love the hermit – it has a nice defiance about it. I’ve linked the ‘shore’ to ‘heaven and earth’ for some reason, perhaps an image of a sea reflecting the sky/heavens?

    • lorin says:

      “I’ve linked the ’shore’ to ‘heaven and earth’ for some reason…” Ashley

      I see what you mean, Ashley. . . ‘shore’ where two ‘elements’ join, earth and water. So, fits with John’s “the coded strand of figurative reference in this first movement.”

      So *not* my rather simplistic ‘lunatic’ interpretation, but the hermit something like that unexpected one in Auden’s ‘Lullaby’? The sages in Yeats’ ‘Lapis Lazuli’?

      My goodness, I’ll be getting out the I Ching and the Tao Te Ching next! It is that sort of hermit, though, ‘laughing’, not the Western sort as in the symbolism and myth encoded in the Tarot, eg.

      lorin

  123. kala says:

    Thanks John.

    I like the verse you’ve chosen of mine.

    And your explanation about religion etc is most noteworthy. I guess that’s how it should be taken.
    Thanks a lot, you’ve been removing a lot of myths and presumptions that I’ve gathered on my own, about the ‘rules’ in renku!!!

    My choice is:

    laughing like a hermit
    on the shore

    What a line, full of potency.
    It is a line steeped in Buddhist and Zen thought but still keeps away from so called “organised religious beliefs”

    Lovely!
    _kala

  124. John Carley says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    from heaven to earth
    a spider
    against the full moon (k)

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in (j)

    ———

    Hi team, thanks so much for the rapid responses. I’m going to go with the noodles. Reasons: it is humourous (all those legs, yuk!); it sums up the coded strand of discussion of haikai poetics; and the direct address (which may be to the reader) is not common.

    As people have intuited or remarked in their comments, with it’s edge of madness the hermit roaring at the sea, as miniscule and impotent as a spider against the moon, is tonally more suited to the next movement, or the initial part of kyu.

    Ooops – nearly late for work. Ok, let’s go ‘competitive’ again to mix up the order and have miximum choice of direction for the start of ‘ha’. Formal tonal and topical restrictions are gone. This verse should ideally give a tangible sense of ‘relaunch’. It is non-season.

    Go!! John

    • lorin says:

      hey, Ashley. . . I know, yr 11 & 12 exams and all, but are you going to pop all these verses up together in the ‘current renku, Trip.’ place? Easier to read them all together like that?

      ah, John, will try tomorrow 😉 … not a lot happening in my noodle tonight.

      So pleased about the noodle verse…I love it!

      lorin

  125. kala says:

    my offer:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    from heaven to earth
    a spider
    against the full moon (k)

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in (j)

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings all over
    the city of Mumbai

    stampede at Kumbh Mela
    as millions of devotees bathe
    in the holy rivers

    _kala

    • lorin says:

      🙂 … so ‘Bollyhood’ would be a gangster movie made in Bombay/ Mumbai ? ‘The Godmother-in-law’ 😉 perhaps?(after the American film, ‘The Godfather’)

      I do like your Bollywood ku, Kala.

      lorin

  126. willie says:

    Hi, Kala,

    DId You mean Bollywood, with a ‘w’? I really like this verse!

    And line 2 of ‘stampede’; might it flow just slighty better if you dropped the word ‘as’?

    Sorry to be so curt-I must get out the door!

    I like your ideas…!

  127. kala says:

    Yes, Willie.
    It started off as a joke – taking Hollywood and changing it to mean movies made in Bombay – so Bollywood, but now nobody calls it the Bombay Film Industry, it’s referred to as – “Bollywood”
    And movies made in the South are called as “Tollywood”after Tamil Nadu.

    _kala

    • Sandra says:

      Peter Jackson and Weta Workshops got Wellington redubbed Wellywood while The Lord of the The Rings was being made.

      Then Tom Cruise spent quite a while in Taranaki making The Last Samurai … so that became Nakiwood!

  128. lorin says:

    from heaven to earth
    a spider
    against the full moon (k)

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in (j)

    . . .

    fourteen seagulls
    wait for the cormorant
    to surface

    China’s great wall
    resounds with history’s
    hoof-beats

    lorin

  129. willie says:

    bolly-hood! You mean a vicinity, or town? I won’t need a map…

    • lorin says:

      no, I meant a hood, hoodlum, thug, petty crim, graduate of the bluestone college etc… 😉 …goodness, this international English gets hard sometimes!

      Hi Kala…yes, Bollywood has a *humungous* film industry, I know. 🙂

      (ps . . .That was just Willie, in his ‘Southern gentleman’ mode, pointing out the ‘h’ typo in yr ku., that started this 😉 )

      lorin

  130. kala says:

    No, Willie,
    I mean bollyWood as in hollyWood – Bombay was nicknamed as Bollywood – after the famous HOLLYWOOD

    Lorin,
    We do have a variety of movies made in India plus in different languges!
    It can be mind boggling, plus the regular English movies . . .
    I just saw Julie & Julie last evening!
    Loved it!
    _kala

  131. willie says:

    from heaven to earth
    a spider
    against the full moon (k)

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in (j)

    the dole run out
    by the twenty-third night
    mama gone to pray

  132. lorin says:

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in (j)

    poor dormouse!
    treated like a cushion
    then a tea-bag

  133. lorin says:

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in (j)

    on and off
    with the neon dragon
    green seagulls

  134. ashleycapes says:

    sorry all – just got time for one at the mo

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in (j)

    steep walls
    of moss
    the crack is climbing

    hmm, does moss really grow in the general vicinity of cracks?

  135. ashleycapes says:

    Ah-ha! Thanks, Lorin! 🙂

    I’d hoped it wasn’t a false memory! When I worked for the forestry I seem to recall a lot of moss around the cracks in a rock-faces up around the mountains of east gippsland.

    • lorin says:

      You worked for forestry? Familiar with Croajingalong area then? . . . ah, that’s right! I recall you mentioning Buchan some time back. Now there’s a place… recall the seepage in the famous caves? (I only saw them once)

  136. willie says:

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    from heaven to earth
    a spider
    against the full moon (k)

    nothing on the tube…
    cigarette butts
    in the schefflera’s pot

  137. willie says:

    Darn-

    from heaven to earth
    a spider
    against the full moon (k)

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in (j)

    nothing on the tube…
    cigarette butts
    in the schefflera’s pot

    pardon me, please

    • lorin says:

      🙂 I googled shefflera, having no idea but ‘plant’ of some sort, and there we have the umbrella tree! Here’s one fruiting. (outside)

  138. willie says:

    Green dragons!!?

    …you see ’em, too???

  139. John Carley says:

    rows of stubble
    each with its own crow–
    shades of autumn (j)

    snatches of old song
    gleaned from the wind (l)

    for the first time
    in months
    I open a new book (a)

    fresh sign marks the trail,
    the posse quickens (w)

    from heaven to earth
    a spider
    against the full moon (k)

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in (j)

    ——-

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    Hi everybody, surely we can’t pass up the glorious serendipity of the neo-neologism ‘Bollyhood’! There are a lot of people of Indian, Pakistani and Bangledeshi extraction where I live so I’m very familiar with all those posters of angry young men, or vengeful fathers, brandishing automatics!

    Everything about the dynamics of this verse make it perfect for the launch of the second movement. The metre of the original draft runs on ever so slightly, hence my suggestion of ‘plaster’ – intended to lose a syllable and tighten the visual impact.

    Willie, it may well be that I have gone way too far in the suggested contraction of your graphic evocation of southern poverty (I am reminded of Truman Capote). And if I have utterly missed the point of ‘the twenty third night’ please forgive my ignorance.

    Logically what I suggest here should be impossible – a verse written as a response to position ‘X’ (so intended as ‘Y’) must surely generate kanonbiraku (return to last-but-one) if actually presented at position ‘Z’. But I do not find that this is the case here in the slightest, a fact which is going to cause me some sleepless nights.

    Ultimately though this has to be your call Willie – as the suggested text is not a minor amendment. And Kala, how do you feel about that ‘plaster’?

    Comments from the crew please.

    Best wishes, John

  140. kala says:

    I do like the word ‘plaster’ —much better than ‘all over’, and it is true to a greater extent!

    Thanks for choosing this verse John!
    I thought it opens up the ‘ha’ well, venturing into known and unknown fields of experimentation!
    _kala

  141. Sandra says:

    I’d like to ask if “the city of” is a redundancy in the third line? Of course if you remove it, it makes L3 a single word, although 2-syllable:

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings plaster
    Mumbai

    PS The bits I love in the Bollywood movies are when the action suddenly leaves its urban setting and, for no apparent reason, moves to a gorgeous landscape for a bit of song and dance. Wonderful. “Slumdog Millionaire” was a lovely homage to Bollywood.

  142. lorin says:

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    Ingenious! 😉 Verses 6 and 7 in one swipe.! Yes, I do believe it works and I don’t see any kannonbiraki either.

    I like the verb… ‘plaster’ gathers it together, suggests layers of them en masse.

    ‘. . .surely we can’t pass up the glorious serendipity of the neo-neologism ‘Bollyhood’! ‘

    🙂 agreed. Very suggestive.

    Hi Sandra, strictly speaking, and if the aim was to have as few words as possible, you might be right about a redundancy in ‘city of Mumbai’. But ‘city of’ adds to the effect of the breadth of space the posters cover, the whole sprawl, and gives us time to see a big, teeming, crowded place.

    Though the one word, ‘Mumbai’, is like two drumbeats… more dramatic, perhaps… I like ‘the city of Mumbai’ spreading out spacially before me. Both versions have merit; it’d depend. But ‘city’ gives a lead-in to Willie’s following verse , too (which isn’t set in Mumbai, not with that distinctive patois!)

    lorin

  143. John Carley says:

    Thanks Kala, ok – we have the text of #7. And I agree about the perfect fit for our relaunch into the movement ‘ha’. In many ways contemporary India seems the perfect emblem of haikai – a fizing cocktail of coarse dynamism and high culture.

    And that’s an interesting point that you make Sandra. In terms of semantics the concept of redundancy is surely central to our short and imagist verses, but I don’t believe it to be unassailably prime. I would suggest that it is acceptable sometimes to ‘pad’ the meaning in order to achieve grace of motion and diction.

    In this specific instance when we examine the ‘hard’ content I wonder if the iteration of ‘city’ is in fact semanitcally redundant? And if we present line 3 as a single word does this suggest a conceptual mirror between line one and line three: simply identifying ‘Bollyhood’ with ‘Mumbai’? Arguably Kala’s verse does someting different, presenting ‘Bollyhood’ as the universal or type, whilst ‘the city of Mumbai’ is an instance, or just an aspirant.

    In truth I’m fascinated by ideas of redundancy, and the way they have influenced English language haikai (read: English language haiku) over the course of the last 30 years. If you haven’t seen this site before folks have a good look: http://www.bopsecrets.org/gateway/passages/basho-frog.htm

    How is it possible to have such massively different understanding of what is or is not essential content?

    Best wishes, John

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks for that website John, I have seen it before and thought it very interesting and amusing … but until now had always thought the version by Alfred H Marks (author) was by Alfred Marks (comedian), but Google advises me they’re two different people. Shame.

  144. willie says:

    Hey ya’ll!

    An interesting day – a contractor tryin’ to beat me out of a grand and using physical threat and angry bluster to distract me from my strategy – an unwed mother of three abuses her methadone, prescribed to alleviate her addiction to prescribed painkillers. The doctors made her a junkie and now they treat her in a condescending manner. I’m tryin’ to install drywall on a settling, one hundred year old house and the framing more crooked than a dog’s hind leg-

    so daunting
    this stream of consciousness
    forgotten to breathe

    whewwww…(inhale)

    Good God, man, we have renku to write!

    So, I still don’t know (is it just me?) shall we use Bollyhood or Bollywood, please?

    I personally don’t detect redundancy in Kala’s fine line 3, though I first assumed it an issue of meter and beats. (Redundant?) I like the way it reads. ‘The city of..’ evokes something of stature and magnificence, like a long cross from Scholes combined with Neville’s overlapping run.
    ( No disrespect to Liverpool, John)

    Kanonbiraku-I see no indication here. Ingenuity, perhaps. No kiss up, jus’ sayin’…another learning opportunity.

    I’ve come to join the team, I’m in for the big win…not a word from the others? Don’t worry ’bout steppin’ on my toes, my strategy you will not dissuade.

    Blocked, I was late for the fourteenth, Lorin. Now that does raise the question…

    ‘Dole’ is a British invention, isn’t it?

    http://blog.alientimes.org/ See Twenty-third Night Stones, October 12 post.

    A night cap from the tavern, -pub?-perhaps. Here’s to sweet dreams…

  145. willie says:

    I think that should read ‘will not dissuade me from my strategy’. Sorry.

    Has anyone noticed haiki-no-renga is becoming a sort of “fad”, of late?

    Alan Summer’s With Words site is sponsoring a 1000 word renga/renku.
    Matt Morden is occasionally tending to a twitter kasen, with in progress posts at his MordenHaiku blog. And I think I’ve seen some others…

    I think, in light of my apprenticeship here, I will not submit at either one.

    • lorin says:

      There is also ‘The Renku Group’, and I’d love it if you would join that, Willie, even if you don’t want to participate, just have a look. . . for now (then I could work on you, later 😉 )

      http://renkugroup.proboards.com/index.cgi

      Though there’s no substitute for the expert mentoring we’re getting here!

      lorin

  146. ashleycapes says:

    Yes, Willie – TRG is great too – you should think about having a look!

    I’m interested in your apprenticeship comment – do you feel like you’d want more time to get better? (Because you’re a great haiku/renku writer!)
    Or do you mean – you feel like you’re getting superb mentoring here, so why look elsewhere? (which of course, we all are, as John is probably the ideal sabaki!)

  147. willie says:

    Do you think I’ve encoded a message in my ‘fad’ comment ?
    Yes to both the above scenarios, of course, and …

    So kind of you to make your compassionate comments-only right that I act accordingly.

    Speaking of these days past, that is routine now. I don’t know what it is-the times, the American culture, the hint of things to come?

    If one notices things, they do make thought provoking experiences and stories.

    Hey, some great pics at the rag; not your typical ghosts and ghoulies! Although we were paid a visit by a sorceress there…

  148. lorin says:

    bandit country. . .
    brushing the cobwebs
    off my broom

    😉

    lorin

  149. John Carley says:

    Thanks everbody, specially to Willie for allowing #8, let’s go to Lorin for winter at #9 which will be followed by Ashley with winter the second at #10.

    I need to get in and drive right now so I’ll post a response to the very important ‘massive and twitter renku’ strand later.

    Best wishes, John

  150. willie says:

    “Aw, shucks, it weren’t nuthin’…” (abashedly kicking cowpies from the stoop)

    • lorin says:

      hey, Willie…I’m maths challenged as well and computer challenged. duh, I didn’t count the verses correctly, above. I *meant* Kala’s verse followed by your verse.

      lorin

  151. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, in an earlier post Willie made reference to Alan Summers’ massive 1000 verse renga, and to a twitter renku – commenting that there seems to be something of a trend in such things.

    Just the day before I had sight of a epistolary poem (by snail mail) from ten or so years ago. Here the hokku was written (by a highly respected haijin) then mailed to an second individual (equally august), who added a verse and mailed it on to a further person of his/her choice (whose identify was unknown to the original poet). And so on. Until it eventually arrived back at the originator’s address, a couple of years and thirty five added verses later.

    My correspondant in that exchange also made reference to Alan’s project, wondering aloud if there were elements in common. I commented that in respect of the ‘chain mail’ kasen the originator, in requiring participants to send the text off into the void, had created the potential for even higher levels of artistic selflessness than that which haikai-no-renga normally requires. I went on:

    (directly quoted)
    I once analyzed the stats of a sequence I was leading where all the verse positions were ‘competitive’. It came out that the likelihood of a candidate being adopted was something like 9:1 against (so eight ‘wasted’) and even then the adopted candidates were 50% likely to undergo some sort of edit. […] The ‘chain mail’ poem has some wonderful moments of verse to verse movement. Which is hardly surprising given the caliber of people writing. There is a general aura of sparkiness, of wit and unpredictability. And so of course the piece justifies itself as a creative undertaking. Plus there is a distinct ‘performative’ or ‘sociological’ aspect too that the poem is a structured medium for interpersonal exchange.

    Apart from the odd quibble or blip therefore it certainly satisfies Meiga Higashi’s minimalist technical criterion for ‘renku’, i.e. that it exhibits effective ‘link and shift’ [but I often wonder if] Higashi was being too ‘liberal’?

    As you know I have a whole rack of axes to grind about the significance of stanza form and styles of prosody in English language haikai. So let’s look beyond that, to the ‘whole poem’ level.

    I think that one of the reasons for the Basho school’s rapid preeminence was that they got the sequence length correct. The Kasen is long enough to reasonably satisfy notions of ‘including all things’ but short enough to allow the poets to achieve concerted effects of dynamic control (jo-ha-kyu effectively realized for the first time in the field of literature).

    But a crucial condition for the realisation of this paradox of variety and coherence is ‘za no bungei’ – the literature of the collective assembly (or some such). I think the renku revival of the last half century (in both Japan and the West) has focused perhaps inevitably on the startling centrifugal forces that are at the heart of the renku generative dynamic. But this is unfortunate if we fail to consider that there are centripetal forces too. One such, perhaps the single most important, is the ‘collective consciousness’ or whatever Jungian construct we want to put on the plural process of renku composition.

    And in order for the ‘collective’ to be meaningful I think it has to be ‘dialogic’ – a tooing and froing; a negotiation; ongoing; and over arching.

    Hence our starting point. The participants in Alan’s colossal renga cannot conjoin in ‘owning’ the poem. Likewise the 36 contributors [to the chain mail kasen] necessarily committed an act of faith in consigning their verses to the void. (end direct quote)

    Maybe Twitter allows for the kind of dialogue I’m arguing for here. In which case it may provide a closer approximation to Basho’s intent than spectaculars like Alan’s 1000 verse monster.

    At the end of the day though there is a fundamental divide between approaches to renga, and always has been, is it high art, or just an amusing pastime? Me… I almost never write haiku anymore, and I never keep record of the thousands of unadopted renku verses I’ve written. But then I’m a nut!

    Best wishes, John

    • ashleycapes says:

      I like the point you’ve made, John – about the renku process being social needing dialogue – it’s probably why a ‘live’ or ‘face-to-face’ renku would be possibly even more addictive than doing one online – however, here, we have the luxury of having time to think and polish our works/responses before submitting (not that I do that enough) which is quite nice.

  152. lorin says:

    I think Alan’s 1000 verse renku is aptly described as ‘spectacular ‘, a ‘spectacle’, a ‘show’. Maybe it’ll go down in the Guinness Book of Records?

    Where is the process?

    ok, I’ll get on with trying to come up with some Winter ku today.

    lorin

  153. lorin says:

    ps… the border between poetry and ‘performance poetry’ is blurred here, too. Someone once said, ‘If the performance is better than the poetry, should it be called poetry?’

    But the ‘performance poets’ attract crowds at live venues and get paid. Much of the time it’s dramatic emoting, stagey effects or stand-up comedy, but it’s still called ‘performance poetry’. Since the 80s.

    lorin

  154. willie says:

    There ya have it, Lorin…performance or poetry?

    Though if one were to reign over 1000 verses, intent on function, form and tradition, well, I imagine a haggard individual bent over a glowing screen, graying and unkempt, hair astray and ragged beard flowing to the floor, muttering curses incoherently, fingers like birds in flight hovering over a soiled keyboard, much like…well, never mind whom.

    After an initial chauvinistic thought, (a typical apprentice trick-see how clever you think you are in a year or three or five) I think the spirit and intent of such an undertaking can be at heart a noble endeavor, not just to achieve status but to bring people out of a shell, to gather communally, to write, to create! Or so we can only hope.

    Would then a more simple matter of tweeting a twitter kasen (say that fast three times) be any different? I don’t know. I still have reservations about a possible lack of congruity and respect for established tradition, rules and form discovered over hundreds of years, at least where renga and haikai-no-renga is concerned. I only have to look at my own learning path, jumping in, eyes wide shut with both feet first, yet by some odd providence eventually ending up here.

    I realize, returning to that which is most simple, it may just be a matter of listening to one another, a technique I can so easily forget.

  155. willie says:

    On a somewhat related note, the submissions for verse seven included two with old lunar calendar references, I believe. Ingenious though they were, might we have swaggered through the “double doors”, with too close a reference to Kala’s moon verse before last?

    A moot point now, maybe.

    My Yank pals and I came across a similar instance, using same category words to great effect in separate stanzas, and ended up leaving them in a Junicho poem, going with our “gut” feeling for the benefit and enjoyment of the entire piece.

  156. lorin says:

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    under the bridge
    shadows huddle around
    an oil drum fire

    a big black bible
    borne on the Roman eagle’s
    ice-tipped wings

    predicting snow
    this evangelist preacher’s
    great white smile

    the ice-man
    in the ice-mirror
    finds the razor

    lorin

  157. willie says:

    Hi Lorin,

    I love that line, ‘great white smile’; non-denominationally speaking, it invokes something of a slightly bent used car salesman to me.
    Compared to the other verses, this to me is the most in keeping with haikai, a bit wickedly tongue-in-cheek, a satire of convention and authority.
    Did you use the word ‘this’ to disassociate the smile from the action grammatically? At first I thought it should be ‘the’, but know you are aware of the difference.
    I think you can build something from this verse in its place of our progression.
    I like the scene under the bridge, yet combined with the ‘drum’, it comes off a little melodramatic to me.
    Maybe hands sillhouetted by its flames?
    I recall your mention of the Roman Eagle, otherwise the verse would be too esoteric for me-can one be ‘too’ esoteric?
    The ice man-is that a reference to the iceman cometh or something? I’m not that well read.

  158. willie says:

    Wow, just read the story synopsis for “the iceman cometh”.
    I’d like to have seen it with Lee Marvin.
    That aside, I like your verse as a stand-alone gendai poem, with the use of ‘razor’, a good gendai topic.

    You know, I started a list of gendai kigo/topics?
    I’m puttin’ razor along with, here it is:

    stray dogs, boarded up windows, gunfire, photographs, tattoo, shopping cart, mirrors, hats, flags, clock, etc.

  159. kala says:

    Nice offers Lorin,

    Like Willie,

    I like this verse best:

    predicting snow
    this evangelist preacher’s
    great white smile

    —-

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    under the bridge
    shadows huddle around
    an oil drum fire

    Would this by any chance be considered as a link back?
    You see the city from far in the Bollywood verse, and in Lorin’s verse —from a distance — we see a scene being enacted?

    ??
    _kala

  160. willie says:

    The iceman cometh starring Vinnie Jones…

  161. willie says:

    Good point, Kala-hadn’t thought of that.

  162. lorin says:

    …’gendai’ topics? 😉 …along with ‘the flying Pope’ and ‘rhinoceros’? Yours seems more a list of contemporary topics… well, some of them, anyway.

    Thanks for yr comments, Willie.

    I didn’t have O’Neil’s ‘Ice Man’ in mind, not consciously & I haven’t read it , though a long time ago I read ‘A Long Day’s Journey Into Night’. I was stumped for Winter and looked up the University of Virginia saijiki project, and came across ‘ice-mirror’. Probably the razor idea comes from Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dress Rehearsal Rag’… from back in the early 70s.

    ‘great white smile’ 🙂 yeah, for me a combination of ‘great white hope’ and ‘great white shark’ comes to mind. Those two are entirely ‘fictional’.

    The golden eagle with he bible on it’s back, shared btw with the C 0f E, well, you know when I noticed it recently.

    The ‘dramatic’ ‘oil drum fire’ is the completely ‘shasei’ one! Funny that! Common sight in Winter in out-of-the-way corners for the winos and general vagrants to have one around here. Where they get them, I’m not sure, but maybe someone who has one, a motor mechanic perhaps or the Salvos, drops them off for them? But they are common around Australia, even in Winter, not just in city areas.

    hmmm, Kala, do you mean that a bridge and an oil drum fire might recall Mumbai/Bombay or just any city, and anything set in a city or that recalled a city would be kannonbiraki?

    I’m far less experienced at renku than you, so you may well be right. I’ll wait for John’s opinion on that, though I will say that a bridge and an oil drum fire don’t make a city in themselves, the bridge may be a railroad bridge as much as a river bridge and that way outback in the central desert and the various Murri communities scattered there, you’ll find oil drum fires (but not bridges, nor churches)

    To me, nothing could seem further from the ‘Bollywood’ world of lavish cinematic spectaculars and exotically gesturing dancing girls with bejewelled belly-buttons and minimal cholis 😉 than a few people gathered around a makeshift outdoor fire in a lonely place on a Winter night.

    Or, with your filmic ‘distance’ and ‘far’…those shadows can’t be too far, or you wouldn’t see them…it’d be a medium to close shot? But I thought kannonbiraki had to do with subject matter, rather than whether we see them up close or at a distance?

    lorin

  163. ashleycapes says:

    That preacher ku is brillant, Lorin – I agree with Willie – it has that semi-sinister car-salesman feel

    I like it!

  164. lorin says:

    thanks for your comments, too, Ashley 😉 yeah, well,… used car salesman, religion salesman, politician. . .’3 of these things are kinda the same’ (Lit. ref. — Sesame Street)

    bees in my basil
    a pair of evangelists
    hesitate

    My son became a Morman from his late teenage years to the age of 28. (thank goodness for the Saturn return!. . . oops, astrology reference) And we have the ‘bible belt’ (Baptist) in a definite geographical area of Melbourne.

    lorin

  165. willie says:

    I hope we haven’t offended any honest used car salespersons. Now that’s become an iconic image,(the bent ones) if not a modern kigo/topic.
    I have a bit more concern for the “religiosos”; a used car you can take to a trusted mechanic.

    Yes, the oil drum scene can be very shasei (‘very’ shasei?).
    It is an image that’s been used often in American movies, so it becomes somewhat a pop culture icon for me.

    My northern winters a bit too cold for even an outdoor fire (he bragged!).

    • lorin says:

      ah well we could get stuck into real estate salespeople or financial advisors instead, Willie? 😉 Politicians are fair game always. Yes, of course you’re right… some jobs become caricatured.

      The most wonderful low , rolling thunder for about half an hour continuously last night to lull me off to sleep, and rain.

      lorin

  166. kala says:

    No Lorin, I didn’t mean it the way you’ve come to understand.

    From a wider view of a city in the Bollywood verse, yours is zooming in — is what I meant!!
    I can be totally off!!!
    _kala

    • lorin says:

      hey, Kala… I can be totally off, too 🙂 but how else do we learn but by asking these questions? All to the good, imo.

      I’ll be interested to see what John says about kannonbiraki in this instance!

      lorin

  167. John Carley says:

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile

    Hi all, there is a school of thought in renku that all narrative extension is bad, per se. I don’t subscribe to it absolutely, but it is certainly true that it can tend to put the break on procedings. Not that all movement in renku has to be, or should be, headlong. But I think that here, in the third verse of our sole ‘develpment’ movement, we are best to maintain out outward momentum.

    I think that by moving directly from ‘pray’ to ‘salesman’ this verse brings out to the full the suggestion that too much sermonising comes from disreputable mouths. And that ‘snow’ is looking distinctly powdery!

    Kannonbiraki –

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    under the bridge
    shadows huddle around
    an oil drum fire

    Yes, there is a degree of return here – mainly due to the fact that both long verses are strongly positional and architectonic whilst the interstitial verse is very much an evocation of individual people.

    The lunar calendar references standing in a last-but-one relationship to a moon verse is an interesting issue. I certainly didn’t pick them up. Clearly what constitutes a ‘link’ or a ‘shift’ is often culturally specific, as are things such as season words. So the bottom line has to be – if it feels like kannonbiraki it almost certainly is kannonbiraki.

    How does this draft strike you Lorin?

    Best wishes, John

  168. lorin says:

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile

    Yes, it looks good to me, John. I think I’m still a bit timid about linking, compared to you and Kala eg who’ve been doing it longer . . . I’m too concerned that no-one will see or follow a link, perhaps?

    As to the ‘moon calendar’ ku… I did notice Willie’s mention of this, but I couldn’t figure out which ku they were! Still in the dark! Willie, will you point the verses out to me?

    lorin

  169. John Carley says:

    Thanks Lorin. Ok Ashley – you’re up next with ‘winter’ part two. You *could* introduce ‘love’ too. But that’s not a requirement.

    You make an important point about linking Lorin. One of the most significant aspect of Basho’s ‘new’ poetics was that, in advocating the ‘scent’ link (JP ‘nioizuke’), he moved linking technique forward onto much more indirect and instinctive ground (‘nioizuke’ means ‘vibe-link’ where ‘vibe’ is understood in the original hippy sense). Put the other way round, prior to Basho a great deal (though not all) of linkage was based on formal word links (homophones and cognates), narrative extension, reference to classic literature, and other stuff that everybody would, if they had the education, ‘get’.

    Basho did two things: he extended the repetoire of materials that these preexisting linking styles might refer to into the realm of the middle and even lower classes, and he trusted his audience to go with more inductive leaps of faith.

    So, the desire to directly embody the ‘reasons’ for the link in a given verse is entirely natural, but may often be misplaced. An analogy might be cracking a joke: the funniest ones rarely completely anticipate their punchline – the delight for the listener is in making that final tangential assocation themselves.

    Best wishes, John

  170. willie says:

    Sure Lorin.

    without looking back, I seem to recall your verse

    fourteen seagulls
    waiting for the cormorant
    to rise to the surface

    Hope I got that right-I “assumed” this a reference to the fourteenth night moon, ardent gazers taken with the aesthetic beauty of the moon’s imperfection prior to the fifteenth night true full moon, as referenced by the former lunar calendar-but if you don’t know, my reading obviously wrong! A dynamite ‘ku though, on its own!

    Umm,

    the dole run out
    by the twenty-third night
    mama gone to pray

    Prior to the twentieth century, (Japanese) people believed it bad luck to conceive a child on the twenty-third night of the lunar calendar month, so, often on the odd months of the lunar calendar in particular, gender specific prayer rituals were held on that night, thus to avoid, well, you know. Often commemorative stone monuments were placed to mark these events. I had a link up there previously, but forgot to fetch it.

    The question of redundancy still stands if anyone cares to address it.

    • lorin says:

      🙂 thanks, Willie. Well, me in my ignorance. . . I had no idea of this historical stuff! You’re quite the scholar!

      I didn’t intend anything by ‘fourteen’ but that a cormorant stays under more than long enough for one to count the seagulls (and it’s smart enough to surface where the seagulls don’t expect it to, btw… all those orange legs dangling under the water-line would be a clue, but seagulls can’t conceive of that point of view, much to the advantage of a passing barracuda, sometimes 😉 )

      I did wonder why the ‘night count’ was important in yours, though.

      lorin

      • lorin says:

        …’night count’ add. . . . especially since the dole here comes fortnightly, or did, so the next day after the ’23rd night’, there’d be the next payment.

        lorin

      • willie says:

        Reply to Lorin’s 12:25 am post-

        Well, I’ll be darned. Our welfare payments on the first-the 23rd a week early to go bust. And with Mama havin’ so many kids. Previously, it is alleged, some mothers made a career of having babies to up the ante, so to speak. More dinero.
        I personally know some people who sell their EBT card (food) at a discount to get cash for crack. Others who collect from more than one state, etc. Some “entrepenuers” do both and import heroin from Chicago.
        I should talk-I’m gettin’ “food stamps”. The work dried up or given away to illegal amnesty candidates-some of them mi ‘manos.
        The Dems and the Chamber of Commerce perpetuate these scams to maintain their “power” and profit at the expense of American children, yet they call me a “racist”.
        I should write a poem about it, huh? Don’t get me started.
        I’ll shut up now.

      • lorin says:

        …things seem very bad there still, Willie, for those who aren’t among the rich middle classes of America. Up the other end of the country from you, I’m hearing from people who can’t get a job, yet are refused welfare payments, too. I don’t pretend to understand the USA system or political parties very well.

        lorin

  171. willie says:

    Oh, yeah, I remember now-

    the twenty-third night moon would rise after midnight as a half-moon; kinda like a bowl tipped over.
    Cool, ‘uh?!

  172. ashleycapes says:

    Thanks, John – I’ve had a try at a love verse (seems a little too simplistic, perhaps?) and a couple of regular winter, if that’s ok? (Winter is a nice thought at the moment – I’m not coping with the sudden srping heat-wave here)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile (l)

    the change is so cold
    extra large coffee in hand

    hurrying home
    chimneys crowd the sky

    staying in bed
    the porridge untouched

  173. willie says:

    Geez, Ash’, you’re easily impressed.
    Knowing in advance our subject matter, your first verse is extremely interesting and candid, Ash’. Rather fearless in its contemporaneousness, I’d say, though I haven’t read that many renku to know if its breaking ground. At first I found it esoteric, yet I like it more each time I read it. An attentive renjin to follow could make this verse more easy to understand, yet might require skill as to not create redundancy. The next verse might really have to “pop”, due to this verse’s understatement, I feel. I like understatement and depth. ‘Course I’m a bit shagged right now, too tired, I mean.

    I’m guessing we have two or three love verses to follow if we use this verse. A challenging beginning. I’d better not think about it.

    Just took Dottie for impromtu walkies: Our walks, inspirational as they are, gave me an idea! Actually, her nose led me to the clue. Clever girl!

    I’ll try to return momentarily in re: your other submissions.

  174. lorin says:

    the change is so cold
    extra large coffee in hand

    hurrying home
    chimneys crowd the sky

    staying in bed
    the porridge untouched

    Hi Ashley 🙂 not sure, but I think the 3rd is the ‘love’ verse? Reminds me of Goldilocks! Sort of. Porridge and ‘love’? Sounds more like morning sickness to me (but…my female bias, probably)

    I like them all, possibly I like the ‘good’ sort of ambiguity in #1 best of all (because it’s natural-sounding/ seeming & hard to do) The cold change can be the change in the weather or the coldness of ‘small change’, coins given in change. Would ‘take-away’ work as well, or am I missing something in ‘extra large’? Not sure, but reversing it, too, to see what that might do:

    take-away coffee
    the change is so cold

    ‘hurrying home’… I like too, it’s as if someone was nervously glancing up at the sky to see if there was an immanent downpour/snowfall but there’s not enough sky to be seen.

    ‘winter/ love’…well, you could make use of a fireplace, a gas heater, a warm kitchen or a nice, steamy bathroom… just throwing some settings at you, since it’d hardly be the time for a romp on the beach.

    lorin

    • ashleycapes says:

      Hi Lorin! Yes – I was thinking of the fireplace, but I thought it might have been too easy an indicator, whereas porridge wasn’t (but also, it’s a rather lackluster meal so it probably doesn’t sit well in a love verse huh?)

      And I’m happy that the ‘cold change’ seems to work so well! Yeah, take-away is good too – as the size of the coffee isn’t the key to the verse, it’s probably the play on ‘cold change’ – lemme scroll down and see what John thought!

  175. lorin says:

    ps…and there are no ‘inside’ ku in this ‘ha’ part yet, either, so something along the lines of ‘staying in bed’…but I’m still trying to connect porridge and ‘love’ !

    lorin

  176. John Carley says:

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile (l)

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    Hi all, that’s a wonderfully nightmarish transition from Ashley – the great white teeth morph into black stumps of chimneys against a lowering sky. Uggh!

    I think the transition works so well because of the similar syntax of the set up lines: predicting snow, hurrying home (sic). But I wonder if the long beats of ‘great white teeth’ don’t ask for that slight extension of the first phrase of the added verse, hence ‘homeward’. ??

    In terms of outdoor/indoor I tend to read Wille’s verse as ‘indoor’, and where is the salesman – on the lot, or in the showroom?. But it is certainly true that the trend has been outdoorish, so Ashley’s verse gives us a brilliant set up for a couple of non-season indoorish love verses. In this it would be described in Japanese as ‘koi-no-yobidashi’, the ‘usher of love’ – in longer sequences such set up verses are highly regarded.

    I’m still under the cosh of this damn virus and I’m afraid Willie I’ve lost track of the ‘redundancy’ strand. Where we up too?

    All thoughts please.

    Best wishes, John

  177. John Carley says:

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile (l)

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    two young lads
    get to grips
    under the kotatsu

    Couldn’t resist! J

  178. lorin says:

    … the link is with ‘chimneys’, John? My goodness, a renku with a couple of wankers in it! 😉

    Yes, Ashley’s verse and yours following here both seem to work well.

    lorin

  179. ashleycapes says:

    hahaha!

    thanks, John – glad the chimney verse is such a great set-up – and it definitely reads better with the extra beat in ‘homeward’!

    • lorin says:

      ‘beat’, Ashley? 🙂 …no comment, after those boys. I wonder what Kala will build on this…I know she’s up to it 😉

  180. willie says:

    Right then-

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    two young lads
    get to grips
    under the kotatsu (j)

    rouge, lipstick and powder
    liquid Black Velvet
    deep in her drawer (d)

    My obsessive-compulsive bent again; Ashley says he posted love/winter and two winters, in that “order”.
    So I says first verse, ‘the change is so cold’ must be menopause! Challenging…hee-hee!
    So anyway, Dottie finds a discarded bottle of $8.99 Black Velvet whiskey in our nearby empty lot, me and Dottie’s empty lot, mind you, near an old divan somebody dumped there night before last…
    ‘Hurrying homeward’…what, we drivin’ a “new” shitbox yellow chrysler? Oh, yeah, shark’s teeth in rows/chimney’s crowd the sky.
    I still don’t get why we’re using Bollyhood with an ‘h’.
    Speakin’ of expensive winos-
    “Just wing it, baby, wing i’…” Keith Richards
    Who’s up?

    • lorin says:

      Your little Dottie leading you astray, Willie? Or did you train her as a sniffer dog? I hope that bottle was unopened!

      Shocking won the Cup. 😉

      lorin

  181. willie says:

    Dot’s a magnificent sniffer dog in her own right. That empty lot is our little piece of green-we keep it cleaned up. Don’t know what I’ll do with the abandoned couch, though?

    Watched her track on cold asphalt for three blocks old scent of a gray squirrel. My, the stories she must “see” with her nose. She’ll be “posting” later this evening, picture attached. It’s 7 am here.

    The bottle, empty for some time-$8.99 whiskey! thus the expensive wino remark. Most of the winos I remember were traditionalists-buck ($) a bottle port. ‘Mad Dog’ 20-20 was always popular, also. Found an empty can of sterno once. Stuff will make ya blind!

  182. johnedmundcarley says:

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile (l)

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    ***

    soft and sleek
    the tabby joins them
    under the kotatsu

    two young lads
    get to grips
    under the kotatsu

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu

    Hi team, I can’t seem to get this kotatsu out of my mind – probably something to do with this damn cryptoswineflu I’ve go!

    Any preferences here? Notes: a ‘love’ verse always deals with relationships which are potentially sexual in nature. The cat is something of an emblem of sexuality in the historic literature. The sexual mores of the Edo period were not unlike those of contemporary metropolitan liberals, so there are lots of ‘love’ verses about homosexual attractions. The middle verse of the three above is at the coarser end of anything I’ve read.

    Do we potentially have three ‘winter’ verses in a row here? And if so is this acceptable?

    Best wishes, john

    ps – Personally I love the ‘hood’ in ‘Bollyhood’ – pure serendipity. But let’s consider all ‘tweaking’ when we have a complete working text – when issues of whole-poem shaping sometimes lend greater clarity.

    • lorin says:

      Here’s a contemporary kokatsu I found. . . looks like an adaptation of the electric blanket, you can see the switch cord 🙂

      Well, the cat verse…knowing cats, a cat would! But is it clearly a ‘love’ verse? It could be just a group of elderly ladies and no romps at all? Here’s a photo of Gabi Greeves’ cat luxuriating under a kokatsu (2nd down)

      http://happyhaiku.blogspot.com/2004/11/kotatsu-heatable-table.html

      Probably

      things get warm
      then warmer still
      under the kotatsu

      is the more discreet and allusive ku of the other two, but there is, on rereading the ha so far, a gritty, city mood flowing through, from the pasted-on ‘glamour’ of film posters over the reality of Mumbai, through the dole and poverty and the car ‘shark’, to Ashley’s chimneys, which for some unknown reason conjures up the bleakness and grittiness of a Scottish city scene, done with grainy film, that sort of heightened realism, for me. So the lads ‘coming to grips’ seems to me to follow well, to be in keeping.

      two young lads
      get to grips
      under the kotatsu

      Whether the lads are homosexual or not is up to the reader, I think. From the verse itself (and considering ‘young’) they might simply be having a contest, ‘hands-on-yr-own’ sort of thing, or they might even be arm wrestling 😉 Up to the reader. ‘Coarser end’ or not, I prefer this verse for the spot. 😉

      lorin

  183. kala says:

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu

    I like this best of all John! There is a dry humour here, which I like!
    I had to google – kotatsu – and found it most interesting!

    Incidentally —the word is “Bollywood”
    Please, I wouldn’t want it to be changed to Bollyhood. I feel my connection to the verse is lost, and any Indian reading it would think it was a typo, because Bollywood is very famous!

    ***

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Bollywood (Hindi: बॉलीवुड) is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai, India.

    The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the Indian film industry. Bollywood is the largest film producer in India and one of the largest centers of film production in the world. The name is a portmanteau of Bombay (the former name for Mumbai) and Hollywood, the center of the American film industry.

    Bollywood is more properly referred to as Hindi cinema, though frequent use of poetic Urdu words is fairly common. There has been a growing presence of Indian English in dialogue and songs as well. It is not uncommon to see films that feature dialogue with English words and phrases, or even whole sentences.

    _kala

    • lorin says:

      Hello Kala,
      I think we do know about Bollywood, but if you’ll take a glance at your original post (as I *tried* to draw your attention to, twice, but you didn’t respond in any way that showed you’d reread it) you’ll see that there *is* actually that typo of yours, ‘Bollyhood’ in it.

      It is a funny typo ;-), but I think you’re right in that others who don’t have access to the thread in process would recognise it as a typo but perhaps not get the joke.

      lorin

  184. kala says:

    a dish of noodles,
    feel free to dip in (j)

    Bollyhood!
    film hoardings all over
    the city of Mumbai

    stampede at Kumbh Mela
    as millions of devotees bathe
    in the holy rivers

    _kala

    Oh! Yes Lorin!!!
    I hadn’t noticed that !
    It was a typo – for sure

    ??
    _kala

  185. ashleycapes says:

    To be difficult

    soft and sleek
    the tabby joins them
    under the kotatsu

    is my fav! 🙂

    Although all fit well – perhaps this one is the least winter-ish, if we were concerned about that? It is also the first animal reference on this side…but to repeat – I’d be happy with any of the three, all suit the love verse I reckon

  186. willie says:

    Yeah, you’ve got three winter references in a row, if you consider “chimneys’ a winter verse. Mentioning smoke from chimneys certainly winter. If that be true, despite the little I actually know, I wouldn’t do it, lest you determine we use three summer verses.
    Since we have one development stage, might you be trying to up the ante of intensification with the alleged homosexual verse? It don’t bother me none; if I ever decided to get down and get intense I’d be wanted in 48 states.
    Let me ponder on this awhile…

  187. lorin says:

    well, according to Gabi Greeves’ page (link with cat, above) ‘kotatsu’ is clearly a Winter kigo. I have no idea whether three Winter verses in a row are acceptable or not. I didn’t think there was a rule against it, just that over the whole renku (ideally) there’s supposed to be a balance between Winter and Summer verses.

    lorin

  188. willie says:

    …and right about now, on this frosty morn, I’d be “all in” for summer.

  189. johnedmundcarley says:

    Bollywood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile (l)

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    Hi everybody, thanks for the considered comments.

    Firstly, sorry I lost track of the Bollywood (sic) strand. Thanks for clarifying your original intention Kala. Though I was very taken with the chance ‘Bollyhood’ I think we may well be in a situation where ‘less is more’.

    Lorin, you are right – there’s an air of ‘Taggart’ around (http://www.bigissuescotland.com/features/view/7) And this could be a problem if unchecked.

    So, that ‘hood’ was, in retrospect, pushing us one step too far. And the temptation to be coarse and explicit in the ‘love’ topic, likewise.

    In all three poems we have composed so far on the Snail we’ve come up against some of the many issues involved in seasonality in contemporary renku, particularly, but not exclusively, in respect of how to treat Japanese season words. At some stage I’m going to have to crawl off somewhere and try to assemble a coherent article discussing these things.

    For the moment: yes, we have three winter verses in a row if Lorin’s verse is winter simply by dint of mentioning the word ‘snow’. Or is it a kind of autumn/winter cusp? (and do ‘cusp’ verses exist in the historic literature?). Certainly the salesman only speculates.

    Is Ashley’s verse winter simply because it uses the word ‘chimney’?. And is mine winter simply because it uses the word ‘kotatsu’? (‘cos mine also uses the word ‘warm’!).

    One answer to all of these is ‘yes’, they are all ‘winter’. My own attitude though is ‘how do the readers experience these verses?’. And one answer is: ‘not in the same way they would if the first was about a blizzard, the second about cracking the ice in a puddle, and the third about birds pecking at a frozen fat ball.”

    Willie, your point about needing to balance (esp. with ‘summer’) is well taken. It is however true that ‘summer’ will make a reappearance in the final movement.

    So in the end my judgement is that we can tolerate these verses here because (a) they are not all heavily ‘tangible’ as winter (b) we are about to have two clear verses before (c) three autumn verses, which will need to be ‘tangibly’ of that season.

    OK – we have a difficult trick to pull off now and it’s best if we go back to ‘competitive’ again.

    We need an absolutely non-season verse which is also ‘end-of-love’. (JP: koi banare). Essentially end-of-love does what it says, but frequently in an essentially indirect or figurative way – by which I mean that the only reason why the reader understands it is actually about the-end-of-the-affair is because if its position in sequence.

    Right – off to watch Liverpool get trounced by Lyon, a prospect I’m allowed to savour as (a) Liverpool is a city full of crooked chancers and (b) il-y-a longtemps j’habitais a Place Stalingrad, Lyon.

    Allez les gars! Jean

  190. willie says:

    Thank you, John, for your clarification.

    “…perhaps, less is more.”

    It assists me in knowing how to proceed… and that picture on the post office wall is not me!!

    Three, off the cuff:

    wiping her brow
    she starts with, “Dear John”

    the crowded chapel,
    flowers wilting on the wreath

    a flush in her cheeks,
    he asks her what’s wrong

  191. lorin says:

    ‘Taggart’ 🙂 …ah, the plot thickens. Ok, trying to get away from the city, then:

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu [j]

    at last, what’s-his-name
    calls a Silvertop

    at ebb tide, the glow
    draining from what’s left

    ebb tide seagulls
    picking over the bones

    * ‘Silvertop’ is a taxi, 24 hours

    lorin

  192. willie says:

    Ooh, good eye, Lorin-more attentive than I! My problem is I hate to scroll back. I should get in the habit of checking “current renku”.

    a crowd at the eulogy,
    flowers wilting on the wreath

    a half-step removed…

    Do you have Yellow Cabs? Ol’ ‘what’s-his-name’! You’re crackin’ me up!

    I like both the others-

    a brief thought of ‘the glow draining’ a hair vague…
    then ‘bones’ grating ever so slightly-I mean slight.

    Trying to find the right “less is more”?

    I lean to 2nd or third-‘bones’ an attractant to me, though.
    But, you know how I am. Tough call, all so thoughtful.
    And away from the city! How very thoughtful!

    • lorin says:

      yes, we have Yellow Cabs…but they’re less reputable (and also less reliable, in my experience) Silvertop is very Melbourne, anyway. 😉

      lorin

  193. lorin says:

    hi Willie …yes, eulogy takes it away from direct mention of ‘chapel’

    I dunno about ‘what’s-his-name’…maybe

    the last of what’s-his-name
    from a Silvertop

    is that better than

    at last, what’s-his-name
    calls a Silvertop

    ? or not…

    ah, well, something else might occur during the day.

    lorin

  194. lorin says:

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu [j]

    contrails fading
    above the red dust road

    one woman, one suitcase
    on the midnight bus

    lorin

  195. willie says:

    some a’ dat ol’ western brevity?

    ebb tide ‘gulls
    picking over bones

    the silvertop…high-flaggin’ or regular fare?
    (high flagging: the cabbie doesn’t record the fare on the meter)
    On a competitive day, you lie about position-the dispatcher calls for a certain stand; “Rice and University?… Riiicccce and Unooo-?””Nobody answers, you call in as though you’re a block or two away-“Charles and LaFond “or “State Capital”.
    He gives you the fare, and woe be to any man, animal or vehicle as you tear hell bent for leather to the location!

  196. ashleycapes says:

    Ok – here’s one from me – might be all I can manage at the mo!

    (I like the ‘at last, what’s-his-name/calls a Silvertop’ version of Lorin’s & the ‘wiping her brow/she starts with “Dear John” one from Willie is great too, direct but still guarded)

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu [j]

    in an alley
    the baker taking five

    ?

    I had ‘smoke in an alley’ but it was obviously back-linking to the chimneys, I’ll try get back later tonight

  197. willie says:

    Thanks for your confidence, Ash’.

    I also just realized I’ve mentioned flowers in my revised ‘eulogy’ submission-that sucka might just be dead.

    ‘taking five’. Is this just really low key?

  198. ashleycapes says:

    Yeah, perhaps too low key? Lemme try something with a little more action…no, can’t manage action this late…something else

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu [j]

    the needle skips again
    our last hiccup

  199. willie says:

    Ashley!!!

    ‘our last hiccup’….

    I think I love you, man! Will you marry me?!

  200. johnedmundcarley says:

    Bollywood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile (l)

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    the needle skips again
    our last hiccup (a)

    Thanks everybody. I think this verse is unassailable – renku poets, monkeys, typewriters, whatever – it is not possible to write a better verse for this particular set of circumstances.

    Ok, I’m going to set a challenge to Kala, Lorin and Willie. Can you contribute a verse which is neither indoor nor outdoor, neither city nor country? So, a pure abstract – maths, theology, sound, science – or maybe a different order of magnitude, so microscopic, sub atomic, infinite, astronomic? If you like you can also disregard the lineation and proportions that have informed our style of prosody so far. But this latter is by no means a requirement. And it may be an entirely ‘normal’ looking verse that wins out.

    Go! John

  201. johnedmundcarley says:

    ps: just maybe line one needs a punctuation mark Ashley? Let’s see in context of the next verse(s). J

    • ashleycapes says:

      Thanks, John! What a fantastic comment to wake up to! I think it could use a comma there, unless as you said, the following verses alter things.

      I’m really glad that one was chosen – I had the ‘warm’ sound of vinyl in mind as link, and was worried it might be too slight!

  202. lorin says:

    Out of the blue with a beaut, Ashley! 😉

    ok, my first offer is wholly trad 5-7-5 form:

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu [j]

    the needle skips again
    our last hiccup (a)

    what time will it be
    when the Chinese astronaut’s
    boomerang comes back?

  203. johnedmundcarley says:

    Lorin, team, forgive me – I should have said: I don’t think we can stand a verse here with any directly or indirectly drawn human activity. If you read back to the beginning of the movement you’ll see why.

    Best wishes, John

  204. lorin says:

    ok, John…gotcha, oooh this is getting hard!

    lorin

  205. lorin says:

    the needle skips again
    our last hiccup (a)

    the star without beginning without end without language

    lorin

  206. willie says:

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu [j]

    the needle skips again
    our last hiccup (a)

    particles and planets
    pulled into the black hole
    no sound in space

  207. willie says:

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu [j]

    the needle skips again
    our last hiccup (a)

    the one-eyed wolf
    seeing with his nose,
    howling

    howling
    the lone one-eyed wolf
    seeing with his nose

    mute parabolas
    meet cantenary curves
    worm holes

  208. willie says:

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu [j]

    the needle skips again
    our last hiccup (a)

    reject from the pack,
    the scarred old wolf
    leaps for a bat

    wolf’s howl,
    a parabolic arch
    over the meadow

    field mice
    silent…
    only their breathing

  209. kala says:

    field mice
    silent…
    only their breathing

    Very nice Willie!!

  210. kala says:

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile (l)

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    the needle skips again
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of Om

    in Khyber Pass
    a deafening pressure
    of silence

  211. kala says:

    One more. . .

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    the needle skips again
    our last hiccup (a)

    what insolence!
    the newspaper
    hits the bullseye

  212. willie says:

    G’day all,

    Pardon my enthusiasm-got carried away.

    I could quote an old technique; blame the other guy, but that strategy only to be used in cases of extreme emergency.
    Was just a little unclear on instruction, then realized, in a sense, space is “outdoors”.

    ‘particles and planets’ lacks something for me-delete the word ‘pulled’…ah, shoot, I have to see it-

    particles and planets
    into the black hole;
    no sound in space

    I like

    ‘field mice’
    silent…
    only their breathing

    as it is, though I may have missed the point of the exercise.

    and one I’d like to explore further

    mute parabolas
    meet cantenary curves
    worm holes

    made my brain hurt.

    Spider webs are cantenary curves, Kala, geometry in nature-and my neighbor, the autistic boy, does he see calculations in real time when he is enamored in play with his numerous flags, or does the wind hold “colors” for him?

  213. willie says:

    Lorin, I can’t help but hear Rod Serling (television’s original ‘Twilight Zone’) narrate your star poem-and mine.

    Kala, om reminds me of Tibetan singing bowls, or when I take a 6-inch tempered steel putty knife and deliberately strike it, just so, to hear the metal’s harmonic “rrriiinnggggg”…or dissonant rock guitar chords, sustained, ala Hendrix, turned up LOUD, BABY, LOUD! Combine these latter two with the sound of my own blood pumping furiously, working at breakneck pace, hands flying like swallows in autumn, and, god, it’s beautiful, man…
    I know now why I am attracted to these marvelous sounds.
    ‘Newspaper’ is bloody marvelous, Kala, though I fear it’s been thrown by that snotty little git of a newsboy-I know, I was one.

  214. johnedmundcarley says:

    Bollywood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile (l)

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    the needle skips again,
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of Om (k)

    Hi everybody, thanks for all the wealth of directions to go in. I was particularly struck with Lorin’s one liner, and the lone wolf is very appealing. But Kala’s verse is irresistible because it crosses over so brilliantly between the concrete and the abstract. How does the trial layout work above?

    Thanks Ashley, I think that comma gives that extra pause which delivers ‘our last hiccup’ to best efffect.

    Willie – can you take the next verse please. We go to autumn. We have three autumn verses to close our ‘development’ movement’. Almost certainly the next will be ‘autumn moon’. As important feature of longer renku is that they allow three or more verses set in the same season in a row. A technical feature of this is that the internal chronology of such a run should be ‘natural’ – i.e. follow the calendar/real world (alleged). In the various saijiki this is all tickety boo because some panjandrum in 1383 had already decided that ‘bol weevil’ is ‘early autumn’ whereas ‘scrumpy cider’ is ‘mid autumn’ – so no drinking cider before munching on a bol weevil etc. We can though have ‘new socks’ anytime, because they are ‘all autumn’.

    Hmmn. I sometimes think Ms Greve would be safer in Bolivia than Japan because Bolivia does not recognise extradition warrants on the grounds of ‘crimes against poetry’. Be that as it may, of more fundamental importance is the fact that Haku Asanuma, the originator of the Rokku (a sequence of variable length composed of rolling six verse movements), Haku only permits two verses of any season to appear together at a time – for fear that three spring (for instance) verses together must necessarily generate kannonbiraki (or ‘uchikoshi’ or what rather too many people describe as ‘backlink’ [God, don’t get me started on ‘backlink’]).

    You can see where such fears come from, specially if you’ve only ever written Junicho’s (and suchlike) which, because of their compression, only allow two season verses to stand together at any one time. But don’t buy it. In a very literal sence such notions are out of place in renku – in so far as renku is understood to mean ‘haikai-no-renga in the style (school) of Matsuo Basho’. Basho of course used to compose Kasen that might have as many as five autumn verses in a row (he liked ‘autumn’ – being a miserable old git). He’d frequently have four spring – blah, blah.

    Of course we can simply say, what we he know, he was foreign. And not very good at poetry. But then you’re all foreign, and I’m not very good at poetry, but it’s surely plain that three or more verses in a row taking the same season are only a problem if the season is *the principal topic* of each verse and/or consitutes *the sole link* between verses.

    Perhaps we should put Ms Greve and Asanuma-san on an island somewhere with only enough food for one. With the TV rights we could set up a Snail Foundation for the Advancement of Renku.

    Ok, back in what passes for reality. We have Willie about to take the first of our autmn verses. Willie, what is the real ‘kigo’ rating of ‘wolf’? In Montana for instance I’m guessing it’d be ‘autumn’ – cos of the hunting season. In 1172 in Edo it was ‘winter’, and therefore remains so. In British cultural iconography it is ‘winter’ too. Of course in both countries it should actually be ‘all-year-round-or-none’ because we’ve hunted the damn things to extinction – a level of sophistication that you colonials can only aspire to.

    Your shout Willie

    Best wishes, John

  215. johnedmundcarley says:

    Team – the formatting to Kala’s verse hasn’t held here. It has on the main page

    https://issassnail.wordpress.com/current-renku-triparshva/

    J

  216. johnedmundcarley says:

    Arrgh – ‘almost certainly the next will be autumn moon’ – by which I meant the *second* of our autumn sequence. But in fact Willie you are welcome to go down the ‘moon’ route if you’d already been thinking that way. Difficult thing to do in a two liner though.

    Best wishes, John

  217. willie says:

    Thanks, John, that (moon) was my initial question-

    I wondered how the layout might hold. Om, more beautiful in place with the other verse.

    Wolves:
    Montana to my west, upwind of the jetstream. It rolls cold across the Dakota plains, then smack up against my skinny little arse, causing me to clench and shiver furiously.
    I resent the wolves with their matted fur and cold blue eyes, grinning in their packs, intent on the hunt.
    I associate them with winter here in da’ nort’, story, images and song denoting their endless trek across snowy field and mountain. I had to delete them from my final selections for this reason, despite our Department of Natural Resources efforts to restore them to their former grand numbers. We got wolves.
    Now, field mice, a whole ‘nuther story, adapt and do well on their own.
    Enough of my blather…

  218. willie says:

    a quick check of Renku Home kiyose;

    the needle skips again,
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of Om (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    autumn skies

    (another oft-used strategy-kiss up to da boss)

    bounty in the granary,
    nirvana for the field mice

  219. johnedmundcarley says:

    Willie, I don’t care if its a cynical ploy to curry favour – the link between Om and the (single) wolf’s blue eye is brilliant! And, when there’s a set-up so strong, there’s nothing wrong with banging in a check box kigo by way of unspecified juxtaposition either (cf: nagekomi in ‘Cut or Uncut’ at The Reckoner)

    But given that we are using this Trip in part as a way of examining full on Basho school aesthetics… one convention that was (and is) current is that any given sequence would only directly name one of the seasons – so if ‘spring’ no ‘summer, autumn, or winter’ etc. This gets kind of muzzy because there are in fact lots of ways of ‘naming’ a season in compound nouns that use different words/characters.

    OK then – a more moderate stance: if you directly name check a season once you wouldn’t directly name check that same season again later on. We’ve already used ‘autumn’.

    But most importantly of all we’ve used ‘autumn’ in the hokku. And there is another widely held convention that any principal word/root (in Japanese effectively this means ‘kanji’) that appears in the hokku would not appear anywhere else in the poem. This is a kind of ‘uphold the primacy of the hokku’ thing.

    So we can’t name ‘autumn’ again in our Trip, it would simply be seen by posterity (and they *will* read our verse) as an error. But I think the solution is simple. I was being an idiot for suggesting that ‘moon’ would come up in its regular position – the verse after this current one of yours – because it is amost impossible to see how it would not be fouled by returning to Kala’s ‘predawn’, which is surely pregnant with suggestions that the moon is in the sky.

    Simple solution: go to moon now. Man, that blue eye *is* the moon! You could bang in just about any moon image as line two and the verse will work beautifully.

    But you are better than ‘any moon image’ – so please have a look at the metrics etc and give us a couple of alternative takes.

    Pretty please? John

  220. lorin says:

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    moon rabbit

    ? just one thought, Willie. Ye olde ‘rabbit-in-the-moon’. 🙂

    I do like the idea of hunter and hunted after Kala’s ‘creation story’.

    lorin

    • willie says:

      Nice one, Lorin-

      Also known as the jade rabbit-

      a magnanimous creature of myth, threw himself into a fire to feed a hungry traveler. He did not burn, due to the fact the traveler was a sage or deity, I can’t quite remember (two different stories?) , and was rewarded for his unselfish compassion with an everlasting place on the moon. No life – no death – not impermanent, really.

      in the wolf’s blue eye
      the jade rabbit shivers
      in the moon

      Hey-know anyplace we could submit that to? Shivers, moon-autumn? Not your standard haiku format-overly embellished, perhaps.

  221. willie says:

    Roger that-

    Sheesh! (sound of hand slapping forehead) I don’t even take my own advice-“I should look back at the current renku”. Doesn’t help if I can’t remember what I had for lunch, either.
    But, this may be a fortuitous occurence in our favor-

    the needle skips again,
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of Om (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    hunter’s moon

    for the mere fact that the hunter’s moon occurs sequentially after the harvest moon-both rising at or shortly after sunset, providing near uninterrupted light in clear autumn skies-enlightenment, so to speak.

    From your context, I gather this cutting type of sequence between L1 and L2 is allowed due to the “carrying on” of the line of thought. (And vague memory of reading the referred text). We could add the article “the” preceding ‘hunter’s moon’.

    No, this ain’t a sales job, but I will mention the meter of this
    verse seems diametrically opposed to the previous verse, providing diversity.

    We could make L2 work a little harder-

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    feast of the hunter’s moon

    but the first version seems more striking to me at the moment.

    OK, I haven’t left the building yet (another old saw) so lemme see if I can come up with something more.

    Over and out Cap’n.

  222. willie says:

    the needle skips again,
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of Om (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye
    the jade rabbit shivers

    Vague?

    We’re entertaining three little rabbits today; Dottie’s in hiding, I’ve run through the Swede Hollow photos and retrieved the football off the roof twice.

    Maybe I’ll put the question to them…

  223. kala says:

    Good morning everybody!
    So much has happened while I slept away the night. . .

    Thanks John!!!
    I’m very happy, this verse was chosen!

    I’m ok with that format. . .
    OM can be as:

    AUM
    OM
    om

    Willie, your verse is taking shape, well.
    _kala

  224. willie says:

    Thanks, Kala,

    Your verse is so endearing.

    I do recall now (the kids have gone home) we need a direct reference to moon in this verse.
    Also, rabbit, jade rabbit, etc. is old school winter kigo, though hunter’s moon in some cultures, including Native American, is always mid-autumn.

    The kids came up with a three-line haiku:

    the wolf’s blue eye-
    sillhouette of the prey
    reflected in the moon

    Not bad!

  225. willie says:

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    the hunter’s moon feast

    Whew! Beat that one to death…

  226. lorin says:

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    hunter’s moon

    I like this, Willie.

    lorin

  227. willie says:

    slightly diverse:

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    the needle skips again,
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of Om (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising

  228. ashleycapes says:

    Me too! It’s a shame to lose the jade rabbit, but the version just above might read better with only one colour within?

    (Outrageous – the wordpress comment box placed a red line under my beautiful spelling of ‘colour’!)

    Sorry, back on track now – either way it’s a striking image – all that coiled power of the wolf bouncing off the word ‘hunter’!

  229. johnedmundcarley says:

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    the needle skips again,
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of OM (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    Awesome Willie. The internal tension between ‘blue eye’ and ‘blood’ is remarkable. All in all it’s a really harsh rejoinder to the sound of ॐ.

    Ok, Lorin – you next. I’m not going to say anything at all about this verse position other than that it is still autumn, and not ‘really early’ because ‘hunter’s moon’ gets us into early-mid territory.

    Obviously if you want some steer you’re welcome, but I don’t want to prejudice your initial response(s).

    Best wishes, John

  230. lorin says:

    I’ll give it a try, John. …and then I probably will want a bit of a steer. Thanks! Nothing immediately presents itself, so later in the day, which is going to be a warm one.

    lorin

  231. lorin says:

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of OM (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    Persephone’s
    seduced by Rossetti’s
    pomegranate

    a pumpkin face
    over the stop light
    halts traffic

    devils and witches
    complaining of tummy aches
    on All Saints Eve

    lorin

    Persephone’s
    seduced by Rossetti’s
    pomegranate

    a pumpkin face
    over the stop light
    halts traffic

  232. lorin says:

    whoops…doubled up on a couple there.

    Let me know if none of these work, John. Can’t seem to find my head recently.

    lorin

  233. willie says:

    Are you okay, dear? You’ve mentioned poor sleep and such troubles recently.

    • lorin says:

      …old age and exhaustion? Too dramatic? 😉 Try ‘too long a smoker’ and a Neptune/ Sun transit? I dunno…nothing obviously wrong with me. Wish I could snap out of it!

      🙂 Thanks for your sweet concern, Willie.

      lorin

  234. lorin says:

    yikes…of course ‘seduced’ is no good! Harks back to the ‘love’ verses.

    substituting;

    a pomegranate
    posed against the russets
    of dying

    lorin

  235. John Carley says:

    Hi Lorin, that last one is good. In many circumstances (specialy with a group of lesser writers) it’d be a keeper. But I think we can do even better (marginal criticisms: ‘russets of dying’ – ‘shades of autumn’ … too many colours might diminishe the awful tension of blue eye/blood red).

    I think the temptation, when presented with a pair of verses such as Kala/Willie here is to feel that one must ‘up the ante’ – to continue to add lots of striking detail, stance, vocabulary etc. In fact I think the most effective response here is to go the other way.

    We have deliberately thumbed noses at convention by forcing ‘wolf’ into ‘autumn’ courtesy of ‘hunter + moon’. And we have done so with a startling image (am I alone in seeing that eye fill with blood?) of death. Our verse now needs to weep – a really simple ‘autumn rain’ would be ideal, not least because this element has yet to appear in our poem. Or other forms of classic bedraggled landscape. I think the figurative evokation of lament will be sufficient link.

    Best wishes, John

    • lorin says:

      (Hi Ashley … when you have time will you please delete my post from the thread under ‘current renku: Tripsharva’, please. This post, which I’m pasting here now. Duh. )

      ok, John…back to the drawing board with me. I can’t do ‘autumn rain’ , and had to avoid ’shades’ , because of the hokku, though?

      rows of stubble
      each with its own crow–
      shades of autumn (j)

      Another ‘lovely’, Spring 35C degree here in good old Melbourne. No wonder I’ve spent the last few Summers dreaming of Canada!

      lorin

      • willie says:

        I like the ‘pomegranate’ written as a simple still life; improve or adjust my suggested L2, maybe, drop the second article, I dunno? Maybe the russets are rotting on the ground, unharvested.
        Personally, I wouldn’t immediately disregard the verse-a simple shasei poem almost, but a beautiful rendering in oil, deep, and rich, a linked vision, the blood dryed, a fated memory.
        Shoot, girl, it’s a three liner. It can work.

  236. willie says:

    Too many heaters, aye?
    That will put your mind in touch with your mortality.
    Try quittin’ with your partner not of the same mind, born on the same day, Libran, each one side of the scale, both of you type “A”. Then have your whole idea of socialogical security pulled out like a rug from beneath you. I’ve been tryin’ to hang it up for three years.
    Better to have it all mellow, baby, mellow. But we know that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. Whaa, whaa, whaa…one can only persist, I suppose.

    Soap box away-The new verse reads better to me.
    The first “Persophene” was a bit over my head, my lack of classical education and all. What’s the signifigance of the pomegranate, please? A photo of a Rossetti oil all I had to go on-now there was a character.
    Rossetti, high on ‘bent’ ethanol, laughing at his toucan in a cowboy hat riding a llama, wombat sleeping as a figurepiece at the formal dinner table. (wikipedia) Sounds like a Chantix dream.

    the pomegranate,
    posed against
    the dying russets

    Apples, huh? Delicious… not supposed to be a comma there, technically speaking…

    I might enjoy the devils and witches more if there were razor blades involved-don’t get me wrong, Kala, that old story was just urban legend!

    Juggle the lines of the ‘pumpkin face’ a couple which ways, maybe?

    Try lightening up on the perceived importance of the stress factors, maybe. They’ll be gone tomorrow, anyway. Go walkies without the fag ends and look at the *colors*! Dottie says, ” go lightly, Auntie Lorin, smell the air!”

    • lorin says:

      ‘What’s the signifigance of the pomegranate, please? ‘ Willie

      Greek myth re seasons 😉 Persephone, daughter of Ceres (I think it was Ceres, one of the earth mother names, anyway) gets whipped away to the underworld by Hades, so Ceres mourns and rages and threatens no more crops, no more fruit, no more grass and flowers, no more anything that’ll sustain life until she gets her daughter back, and then goes on strike.

      So all those colluding gods have to come to terms with her, and Hades has to let Persephone return to the world. (Hades is the place and the ‘god-person’, too… later called ‘Pluto’ which means riches, and is a cover name) So she can go back to the world and her mother as long as she hasn’t eaten anything in the underworld. Well, it turns out that she’s eaten a few pomegranate seeds. So the deal is struck that she spends half the year in the underworld and half in the world with her mother. When she returns to the world, it’s Spring, when she returns to the underworld, it’s Autumn.

      Significance of pomegranate? Just take a look at one left unpicked on a tree (or leave one on the table until the rind splits) Pretty clearly associated with fertility and the feminine, I’d say. 🙂

      Yep, long history …ancient Persia, ancient Greece, that general area of the Mediterranean with what’s now Turkey in it.

      So is the ‘blood moon’, btw, that full lunar eclipse, associated with the feminine… earth feminine.

      lorin

    • lorin says:

      🙂 ‘Auntie Lorin’…thank you , Willie, compliment taken.

      (but I’m trying to figure out what research or instinct led you to this ? Sometimes you amaze me!

      lorin

  237. willie says:

    The Azerbaijan Pomegranate festival is held in October.
    That fruit has a loong history.
    Once offered as an honor to the dead.
    Can you tell I’m lobbying for pomegranate? (See ‘reply’ above)

  238. lorin says:

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of OM (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    unable to cry
    for the white ashes
    on the white wind

    white ashes
    on the white wind
    a seagull’s cry

    * more later

    lorin

  239. willie says:

    ‘Blood moon’ full lunar eclipse associated with the feminine-cool! Hadn’t read that far-thought it perhaps just another name for the ‘hunter’, and the subsequent outcome. Thanks.
    Amazing what I’ve learned writing with you folks, and haiku in general. Didn’t Hades fool Persephone into eating those seeds? Awful what some people will do in the name of desire.

    I still pound those heaters due to stress; add sleep disruption and unwelcome befuddlement, sounds like stress to me. Dottie says walkies are good any time.

    I hope you haven’t dismissed a rewrite of ‘pomegranate’.
    I think it could be beautiful without being overly literate with a straight-forward rendering.

    As for ‘ashes’, how about “ashes in white wind a seagulls cry”? Like the pivot…

    • lorin says:

      “ashes in white wind a seagulls cry”? W

      yes, that’s fine…but with a def. art.

      ashes in the white wind a seagull’s cry

      or

      ashes in the white wind seagulls cry

      or
      seagulls in the white wind ashes

      🙂 No Tonto for me!

      lorin

  240. lorin says:

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it used to rain

    shorter days
    remembering when
    it would rain

    whiter
    in the white wind
    the new tombstone

    whiter
    in the white wind
    tiny bones

    chrysanthemum petals
    added to the list
    of fallen things

    …I’m not finding this verse easy! Brain-fagged?

    lorin

  241. willie says:

    First, may I suggest,

    a pomegranate
    posed against
    dying russets

    a shasei portrait, link to color (blood) and sight (in the …eye), shape, minimal yet powerful literate coding, season, subtlety,
    ’nuff said…

    drab willows is “killer” stuff, (brain-fagged my arse!) but not as loaded with meaning as you-know-who.
    ‘*on* the kind of day’?

    Of white on white, ‘little bones’ seem the most logical and appealing, yet again, without the punch of my champion.

    kiku petals is really ‘killer’, almost surreal in its beauty, a beautiful gendai poem, yet , I feel, misses the bullseye.

    I don’t know why I’m being so difficult and adamant, it’s just that I feel it in my bones. I’m so sorry, dear, if I offend you.
    Now I must let wiser heads prevail.

  242. willie says:

    last point-*must* we refer to rain in *this* verse? Rain, freezing or otherwise, can wash the slate clean in due course…

  243. lorin says:

    well, I haven’t been able to find a way to suggest Autumn without stating it, that’s why I’ve been having so much difficulty with rain. (not just that rain in Autumn has become a distant memory, and that rain at any time brightens my mood no end, and I would be appreciative of the miracle if it rained today, tomorrow or within the week)

    A last try with rain, from memory, and anyone who finds a way to make it ‘autumn rain’ without ‘autumn’ is most welcome :

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of OM (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    down the skylight
    into the drip bucket
    the sound of rain

    lorin

  244. lorin says:

    o, bugger! Of course it can’t be ‘the sound of’ anything…kannonbiraki!

    down the skylight
    into the drip bucket
    some of the rain

    lorin

  245. John Carley says:

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    the needle skips again,
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of OM (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    Hi Lorin, thank you so much for sticking with this. Difficult isn’t it?!

    Please would you consider this draft. The voice (‘and the kind of day it…’) is absolutely perfect. The italian word is ‘scontato’ der… dismissive as commonplace. Anyway, it shrugs at the power of the blood moon.

    Which is why I think the rain is best as present – we don’t want to invite the reader to speculate on any other circumstances (eg, the back story about why there’s no rain anymore) – the rain just is, here, relentless, predicatable, crushing in its wearisome banality.

    In renga (sic) theory several theorists have made a big deal about striking verses (JP: mon) and plain verses (JP: ji). Anyone with a spare half hour might care to run a string such as “ji + mon + renga”. Earl Miner in particular dined out on this rather thin stuff for a great deal of time. But it has some merit. And relevance to our current discussion.

    Thoughts please.

    Best wishes, John

  246. John Carley says:

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    the needle skips again,
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of OM (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    bent willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    a thin fog of sadness
    covers all (j)

  247. John Carley says:

    Ooops, sorry folks. I was just sketching and hit submit! That ‘bent’ is perhaps worth considering. J

  248. willie says:

    aaahhh, I see what you’re gettin’ at…punch v absorb, hard v soft, conversational, the daily grind;

    ‘walkin’ blues, talkin’ blues… my feet is too big for me shoes’

    A last attempt at control: drab, not bent?…mmmm

    What’s yer gut say?

  249. lorin says:

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    …whew!

    Thanks, John … this version works very well. The Irish version 🙂 (I hear it rains a lot there)

    . . .not keen on ‘bent’ for this one. . .don’t want anyone wondering why they’re bent or whether a suggestion about the sexual preferences of the willows might be being made. Yeats could no longer get away with writing, ‘All things fall and are built again/ And those who build them again are gay’ and I don’t think we can get away with ‘bent’ here. 😉

    lorin

  250. willie says:

    I’ve admired some young willows-from afar-bent, or not.

  251. John Carley says:

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    the needle skips again,
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of OM (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    Thanks Lorin, well – it’s a kind of hybrid British/Japanese thing really – equally identifiable to both – rain is tears. And here in Rossendale we’ve just had 12 straight days of rain, not always heavy, but persistent. In fact locally we describe as “persisting it down”.

    Yeah, forget any examination of the word ‘drab’. In floating adjectives like ‘bent’, ‘bowed’ etc I was subverting my own purpose: to keep it simple. Drab is good.

    All that ‘ji’ and ‘mon’ stuff is useful, Willie. But Miner went off on a wierd one: trying to argue that in all the best classical renga ‘prominent’ alternates with ‘ground’ ad infinitum. So he generated distorted translations to prove it. There are two issues: one, they don’t alternate, and two, it is not a case of either blare/or bleat, but of degree. Nonetheless the principle that some verses are louder than others and that we switch around deliberately is a sound one.

    a thin fog of sadness
    covers all (j)

    That closing sketch of mine that I accidentally floated is OK only in so far as it is a marker – a descripiton of a verse rather than a verse itself.

    I strongly believe that the energy of our development movement (JP: ha) has peaked, appropriately, at the moon verse and that we are now in the business of looking at a final verse which delivers “classic autumn sadness + end marker/conclusion” – this will give us the perfect platform to launch into our final movement (and just look at the contrast between the closing tone of the preface with its cheerful suggestion that life is a bowl of noodles!). These structured contrasts are what makes longer renku sequences qualitatively different to very short sequences.

    btw – when I say ‘energy peaking appropriately’ I mean that ‘autumn moon’ is the boss moon verse, and a high point of a squence, in the same way that ‘spring blossom’ always trumps ‘summer crysanthemum’.

    Last thought on my sketch verse ‘thing fog’ is a classic autumn kigo. I think such a one is useful here as it flags our ‘conventional’ season position up to the semi-casual reader, and Japanese iconography is stuffed with ‘sad end-of-everything autumn’ emblems, which are exactly what the quaktor ordered here.

    So let’s go degachi again. Also, we can ‘import’,’mash up’, ‘purloin’ a verse wholesale form another sequence if you think you know of one which will recontextualise effectively. We’d need to be able to get copyright though.

    Last thought – if there are any guests skimming this composition you are very welcome to contribute candidates for possible selection for this closing verse to the ‘development movement’.

    Best wishes, John

    • lorin says:

      Hi John… I really didn’t know what to put with ‘willows’…can’t be a colour. I’m not sure whether ‘drab’ suggests Autumn or not, I wasn’t keen on ‘shedding’. Maybe we’ll come up with something later, or maybe it could just be ‘willows’?

      willows
      and the kind of day
      it rains and rains (l)

      lorin

      • lorin says:

        …also ‘crack willows’, the kind that spring up from seeds of weeping willows and become nuisances around rivers and creeks, otherwise known as the more literal but not as genteel, ‘bastard willows’.

        neither of which suggest Autumn, though.

        lorin

  252. lorin says:

    well, I won’t try to link to my own verse, John, I think…so will stand by as observer for this next one.

    cheers,
    lorin

  253. ashleycapes says:

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    all of the promise
    runs out of her face

    not sure that is even a haiku – too metaphorical? Perhaps having ‘face’ and ‘eye’ above is a little close as well

    • willie says:

      I like this link, Ashley. Metaphorical? I don’t think its blatant, if at all.
      Eye and face of the same category, yet does my learning say its not an issue? Might as well be brave and say no-you were certainly brave enough.
      Recalling my lesson in “degree”, I wonder if its “hard” enough? John did mention lifting others work, which puts me in mind of more emotive classics, which I am notoriously ignorant of otherwise.

      ‘the promise’…love that.

  254. willie says:

    Aaaiii- wrong list! Ashley, can you assist, please, with your erasing mode?

    Drab may more closely denote a mood, Lorin.

    Interesting you would say that…

    I’ve decided to give the scarecrow a run for his money:

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    the scarecrow fallen,
    his bed of rotting leaves

    the scarecrow fallen
    to a bed of rotting leaves

    the scarecrow falling
    to mingle with the leaves

    a scarecrow’s patchwork topcoat
    obscure in opaque fog

    the scarecrow’s patchwork topcoat
    as viewed through opaque fog

    the scarecrow’s tattered topcoat
    obscure through patchwork fog

    the scarecrows languid droop
    as though melting in a fog

  255. Sandra says:

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of OM (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    loose pages fall from
    my book of Japanese verse

    Or might I offer these from “The Kite’s Feathers” renga in my Penguin Book of Japanese Verse:

    one blast of wind
    then the leaves are lulled

    – Matsuo Basho

    it’s seven miles and more
    the road I must travel

    – Mukai Kyorai

    cold enough for snow
    island in the north wind

    – Fumikuni

    These are L2 & 3 of a haiku:

    after the chrysanthemum
    no more flowers

    – Otomo Oemaru

    Ha! Just trying to discover if Fumikuni had a first name and I stumble across this:
    http://www.twodragonflies.com/interviews.html

    Another translation of the same renga, this time co-translated by one John Carley!!! Scroll down to the second interview to read it. And I see Bownas and Thwaite have a different mileage in their translation to yours John (seven miles as opposed to three).

    I’ll leave well alone now. 🙂

    • willie says:

      Sandra,

      pages loosely falling
      my book of Japanese verse

      nomegachi (sp-mangled that) cut without disfavor.

      one blast of wind
      then the leaves are lulled

      similar meter?

      chrysanthemums can symbolize long life

      • Sandra says:

        Thanks, Willie, chrysanthemums can symbolise long life and in Chinese brush painting are one of the “four gentlemen” – the other three being plum blossom (spring), orchid (winter) and bamboo (summer).

        I don’t much like “loosely falling” (always feeling cautious with adverbs), but could go with:

        my book of Japanese verse
        its pages turning and falling

        Hmm, in an effort to balance the lines it may be underlining autumn a little too much?

      • willie says:

        Nothing to thank me for, Sandra. I felt, or heard a little rut in the road, but I often never really see the damn thing until the next morning in the light of day.

        I’ve been trying to touuch on every verse, a personal exercise really to learn some critique and that elusive “prosody”, though everyone of you experienced writers keeps showing me up.

        That’s OK; Took me years just to begin to understand physical movement and “physics” of the practice of moving plaster and gypsum around, in search of “Tao”,
        the flat plane. Been literally staring into walls for 30 years.

        I deeply respect any craft, no matter how mundane, as long as one takes it seriously. Sometimes its your life. I have so many actual scars to prove it. the thought of it…

  256. kala says:

    Ashley,

    Isn’t a specific autumn word essential for this slot?
    Or is my understanding wrong?

    all of the promise
    runs out of her face

    V nice, but it hardly represents autumn??

    **

    Willie,
    Just playing with ‘one’ of your scarecrows!!

    the scarecrow’s patchwork topcoat
    as viewed through opaque fog

    a scarecrow’s patchwork topcoat
    through the fog

    or

    the scarecrow
    on a bed of rotting leaves

    Nice offers!
    _kala

    • willie says:

      Nice, Kala,

      I was stuck in a rhythm, or seeking it, at least. What would happen if we risked “Tontoism” by selective removal of certain articles?

      ‘scarecrow fallen’ and so on. I thought I’d read similar structure in ‘professional’ poetry, somewhere. Lorin’s objections do make sense. Reversing the order, fallen scarecrow’, sans article, blantantly bad.

      I’m trying to find a rhythm, which to me has a longer L2.
      Shortening L1 may sound grandiose?

      a fallen scarecrow
      mingles with the leaves

      the scarecrow’s patchwork topcoat
      viewed through opaque fog

      a fallen scarecrow
      his bed of rotting leaves

      Thanks for snapping me out of it, Kala.

      More scarecrows than ‘roos invading a drought stricken out back town. We got the news-keeps us distracted.

  257. kala says:

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    wading through leaves
    with each step the thoughts

    published in Simply Haiku fall 09
    _kala

    • willie says:

      your verse doesn’t jibe with that rhythm stuck in my head.

      What if?–

      wading through leaves
      the thoughts with each step

      or

      a thought for each step

      as though one has a mind unfocused, clouded and confused?

  258. ashleycapes says:

    I think so, _kala – I wasn’t really concentrating there, it’s completely void of autumn, huh?

    I’ll try and re-work it soon and come back with the comments too!

    Oh – just a question for John clarify? Did you mean rework unused/leftover ku from the Snail and other places where we’ve renkued? I may have read it wrong – I like the idea of including a quote from the greats!

  259. John Carley says:

    Bollywood!
    film hoardings plaster
    the city of Mumbai (k)

    the dole run out so
    mama gone to pray (w)

    predicting snow
    a used car salesman’s
    great white smile (l)

    hurrying homeward
    chimneys crowd the sky (a)

    things get warm
    then warmer still
    under the kotatsu (j)

    the needle skips again,
    our last hiccup (a)

    predawn
    wakens
    to the sound of OM (k)

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    the scarecrow’s topcoat
    a tatter of fog (w)

    Hi everybody, thank you so much for the embarassement of riches, to Sandra in particular for the brilliant suggestion of Basho’s wakiku from The Sea Hawk’s Feathers:

    a gust of wind and then
    the leaves are hushed

    The only slight objection to ths is that its adoption would cause the slight risk of diminishing and/or returning to our own wakikku.

    But anyway it had to be the scarecrow. This verse carries so much within it – an indirect return to out hokku with it’s emblem of Basho, the crow. In closing the movement it also responds to the previous close: the optimistic ‘dish of noodles’ as a metaphor for haikai. Only now we have the kind of bleakness that only autumn can embody. And somewhere in there is monkey’s top coat, a straw raincoat, that does little to keep out the rain – the monkey being Basho’s most depressive image of himself.

    turning chilly, is that monk
    not temple-bound? Boncho

    a monkey and his master
    do the rounds
    the autumn moon Basho

    That’s from ‘Summer Moon’ – Basho of course also struggled with his religious calling.

    Anyway, I’ve lifted ‘tatter’ from one draft Willie to replace ‘opaque’, and tried to tighten the sense of close. To me this verse reads:

    the Renga Master’s learning
    an illusion of scraps

    I hope everyone can go with this because it’s time to turn this around and generate lift again.

    Comments please.

    Best wishes, John

  260. lorin says:

    the scarecrow’s topcoat
    a tatter of fog (w)

    Very nicely done! 🙂 Good on’ya Willie, scarecrow is classic Autumn I believe and you got the fog in, as well. John’s ‘tatter’ focuses the mood perfectly, imo. Rags and tatters of fog! Wow! Scarecrow, rags and tatters… the whole world seems bleak and stuck in poverty of spirit. The image is of ‘what remains’ of the layers of things and what remains isn’t much.

    lorin

  261. willie says:

    ‘We don’ needs no steenking depression!’…

    Only the suggestion.

    This verse has a surrealist imagery in subsequent readings, while I think I was leaning to one or another dead poet’s words. It would have helped if I had read any.
    I thought by a miracle I might maintain an honest rendering, and let the prosody do the work, barring my limited vocabulary and creativity with words, yet the theme from “The Lone Ranger” kept galloping through my head.

    At first, I thought I noticed nagekomi, an “out” I had wanted dearly to avoid, but now it reads as one clear statement.

    Two lines proved too much (or little) for what I wanted to do, which was to ultimately convey the dreariness and loss of stature in what once may have been regal apparel.
    Otherwise, it was left to decompose in dead leaves.

    This verse is a lovely turn of phrase-and another technique of conjoining separate ideas well learned.

  262. ashleycapes says:

    It’s perfect, we’ll have a great time following it!

  263. John Carley says:

    in the wolf’s blue eye,
    blood moon rising (w)

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    the scarecrow’s topcoat
    a tatter of fog (w)

    Good one Ashley – ‘cos you’re up next! Thanks team.

    Ok, whilst we need to preserve linkage it can loose (JP: soku, as opposed to shinku – tight). Above all what we want is to relaunch – to defy the misery we’ve all inflicted on the general psyche with our ‘autumn’ passage.

    I’d counsel against using strongly ‘cut’ verse here Ashley. And I think we may well be best to introduce direct human presence. The position is non season.

    Best wishes, John

  264. ashleycapes says:

    ok, here goes! Going for a couple of subtle links & one more obvious & much simpler

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    the scarecrow’s topcoat
    a tatter of fog (w)

    all night now
    thinking about
    getting another biscuit

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen

    that woman with
    the yellow dress
    lightens my day

  265. _kala says:

    the scarecrow’s topcoat
    a tatter of fog (w)

    Absolutely lovely!!!
    Good choice of words and great imagery!

    Ashley- I love this verse . . .

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen

    _kala

  266. willie says:

    Hello Ashley,

    I like the ingenuity and thumbing -the -nose aspect of ‘Barbie’.
    It does have me guessing as to the process for our link. But don’t give it away-yet.
    I think it strikes a middle ground between the hungry single-mindedness of ‘biscuit’ and almost Prosac brightness of ‘yellow dress’.
    It could very well set the pace for our run to the finish.

  267. lorin says:

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen

    he he 🙂 I can imagine a little sister discovering this horror perpetrated by her evil male sibling, in real life.

    No problems with link… straight forward : scarecrow, doll… both distorted imitations of human form, standing in for the human (and in this case, put to a new use )

    What interesting layers. It certainly stands out vividly from your other offers. A beaut!

    lorin

  268. willie says:

    …got that part-what’s the chessboard and the Queen (capitalized)?

    • lorin says:

      yes, perhaps queen should not be capitalised.

      My goodness, with ‘Queen’, along with HM Lizzie of England, now I’m getting Graham Kennedy the King of Moomba, which he famously kept bursting into laughter about all through the acceptance speech.

      never mind about that, Willie…but Ashley might twig onto the ‘local colour’. 🙂

      • ashleycapes says:

        Sure do, Lorin! 🙂

        Thank you, everyone for the great response to the ku, I’m really happy that you all liked it (I was hoping it would get chosen!)

        I was going for something a little manic/odd!

        And you’ve all already explained better than me, what the links were 🙂 Mostly I was linking between the inanimate objects that we give life to, the doll’s head and the scarecrow.

        I don’t know what’s best to do with the caps in queen, happy to follow a lead there, I think if Barbie was capped, should I be consistent with Queen? But then, is a queen in chess even a proper noun?

  269. John Carley says:

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    the scarecrow’s topcoat
    a tatter of fog (w)

    * * * * * *

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen (a)

    Excellent Ashley. Absolutley perfect. Dishevlelled, disconnected, randomised (my reading of the link) plus para or substitute human figure.

    I’ll try to follow with ‘summer’. And we really must have bodies in this next one. Then it’ll be Kala up with our final non-season before closing with ‘spring’.

    The home straight! John

  270. John Carley says:

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    the scarecrow’s topcoat
    a tatter of fog (w)

    * * * * * *

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen (a)

    ———

    my heat exchanger
    rattles the whole fridge

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades

    sand castles festooned
    with sea weed flags

    Comments please team. J

  271. lorin says:

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades

    This one stands out for me. It has ‘body’ as you mentioned more literally than the others and when it’s cricket it’s Summer, and this is nicely outdoors 🙂 Thank goodness, because that means the footy season is over for a while.

    Then there’s backyard cricket …

    our border collie/ at silly mid-on 😉

    Try to keep those dogs out of the game!

    cheers,
    lorin

  272. _kala says:

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains

    the scarecrow’s topcoat
    a tatter of fog

    * * *

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen

    sand castles festooned
    with sea weed flags

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades

    I like both these verses…but sand castles is lovely!
    _kala

  273. Willie says:

    ‘the square leg umpire’-certainly!

  274. ashleycapes says:

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades

    sand castles festooned
    with sea weed flags

    Hard for me to chose between these favs – both have a great sense of humour (especially the boasting ump) and I have clear memories of both as summer activities, perfect season references there!

    Umm…As Lorin said, the link between body parts is nice – but then, so is queen to castle! Geeze, I don’t know – I don’t think the renku has gone in any of these directions yet…ok, the ‘mirror shades’ is funnier for more (and both are humorous) so the 1st is my tip

  275. John Carley says:

    drab willows
    and the kind of day
    it rains and rains (l)

    the scarecrow’s topcoat
    a tatter of fog (w)

    * * * * * *

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen (a)

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades (j)

    Thanks everybody. Willies swayed me on this – I think the others of us are from cricket playing nations, but I was worried that the image might be to obtuse, and it is important in the closing movement ‘kyu’ to keep the reader more or less unambiguously fixed within the intended ambit. Put another way: we don’t want too many references spinning off into back story; unlike the development movement here we want to have a tight momentum.

    Ok, Kala is up next with a non-season verse. It can be quite showy, but needs to be accessible. Loud and simple is good!

    Best wishes, John

  276. Willie says:

    Square legs, indeed!

    Didn’t realize this was a cricket reference. I’ve seen and played footie defending square on, waiting to stick in or wait for support, hoping to stop the through ball if the man finds the vision and the right touch. Hee hee!

    Actually, I envisioned a baseball umpire behind the plate, bent over, arse akimbo and gut bulging out his padding, stern of jaw with those inscrutible “shads” perched on the end of his authoritive nose.

    What’s square leg, and how do you score that dang game?
    Maybe just answer the former…
    I do swing a mean bat, though.

    Had a preference for this over “sand castles”, seemed more meaty, made me wonder what was going on behind the mirrors.

  277. Willie says:

    Oh, just saw your response, Ash.

    I like the Queen capitalized-a little more “Alice in Wonderland”, the reference.

    My wife had a Chantix dream wherein she went walkies with the Queen, had a lovely chat, Her Majesty, a pretty nice girl, they talked about everything!

    But instead of Corgis, they exercised Monkey Dogs! Very expressive and friendly creatures…

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Willie,

      Re your wife’s dream – I recently purchased a copy of a Johnny Cash CD, the one with “The Man Comes Around” on it, and he explains in the notes that he bought a book in England about all the people who dream about the Queen … then he dreamed about the Queen and the words she said to him (she addressed him by name) in that dream became part of the song! (He also traced them back to the Book of Job.)

      Isn’t life, subconscious or conscious, interesting?

      • Willie says:

        I believe it. Her Majesty, The Queen, has become an icon, really. (I believe Lorin dreams of cricketeers)
        While Kala, a very game bowler, indeed. I’ve seen her googly-unstoppable!

  278. lorin says:

    Willie

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

    …believe it or not, but baseball and grid-iron football are regional 🙂

    (even if Shiki and a few ‘moderns’did play cricket before post-war occupation)

    • Sandra says:

      Yeah, I’ve always smiled at the World Series Baseball title – teams (basically club teams) from the US and, hmm, one from Canada! (The other team from Canada gave up and became an American team …)

      I got to see one of the 1989 semis between the Toronto Blue Jays (go the Blue Jays) and the Oakland As. One of the final games between the Oakland As and the San Fran Giants took place at the same time as the major earthquake in SF that year – up in Toronto we couldn’t figure out why the TV screen had gone blank!

      Anyone who remembers Jim McDonald from “Coro” may recall that he often wore (without explanation) a Blue Jays tee-shirt.

      • Willie says:

        Don’t watch the grid or the diamond-rather play. Last time with some younger lads, full contact and no pads in a Sunday park.
        The other team had a ringer linebacker from a top rated college team. Couldn’t tackle me, so he picked me up over his head and drilled me into the ground-I think it was the steroids and cocaine he used. I managed to hold on to the ball.
        I went home and started to cry from the pain, leaning on the kitchen sink. (separated shoulder) The wife came in and berated me for not washing the dishes.
        The only insult was the doctor bill. Told me to go home and take some aspirin.

  279. John Carley says:

    Square leg: the umpire stands ‘square on’ (ie ‘perpendicualr to’) the batsman’s leg stump.

    Part of the link here is ‘incongruity’. The suggestion being that mirror shades belong to a different world than cricket. Or should do. Cricket should be about warm beer, the village green, and voting for Saint Margaret, but the game has been ruined by these damned Indians and Australians who have somehow got hold of the idea that winning is more important than taking part. Hence the mirror shades, which do admittedly allow you to see the ball, but go rather better with cyborgs who say ‘I’ll be back’ than men who say ‘not out’.

    Yrs conservatively, John

  280. _kala says:

    “but the game has been ruined by these damned Indians and Australians who have somehow got hold of the idea that winning is more important than taking part.”

    I laughed aloud for this John!!!

    In hockey we use to do well with craft and technique, but lost out miserably when the rules changed drastically, so now it’s only cricket that we have some success!!

    In every street and playground all over India, children play cricket for the sheer love of this game!

    If I sound like I’m defending my Country where it’s not needed, just ignore this mail!!!!

    I’ll send in my offers soon!!
    _kala

  281. Willie says:

    “kids playing cricket in the street”,,, Faaarrr Out!

    I suppose to be a clever batsman you’d have to be hands on from youth to wield the most strategic bat!

    …hockey?

    • Sandra says:

      Field hockey, Willie – and yes India was, and still is I think Kala, a dominant force in the sport.

      My husband spent a few months alone in a Middle Eastern country – before I could get a visa to enter – and joined an informal weekly cricket match played in a carpark (tarseal surface) near the apartment building. (Apparently the bounce was unpredictable and when the ball hit a kerb …) All the others were Pakistani but warmly welcomed a fellow cricket player. They had Imran Khan, we had Richard Hadlee. Ah, the glory days ….

  282. _kala says:

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen (a)

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades

    the tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip

    holding
    my breath long enough
    to stop my hiccups

    a dancer
    on the dais vanishes
    into space twirls

    waiting for your comments. ..
    _kala

  283. _kala says:

    Maybe :

    I hold
    my breath long enough
    to stop my hiccups

    a dancer
    on the dais vanishes
    into her space-twirls

  284. _kala says:

    FINAL version…!!!

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen (a)

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades

    the tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip

    I hold
    my breath long enough
    to stop the hiccups

    a dancer
    on the dais vanishes
    into her space-twirls

    or

    a dancer
    on the dais vanishes
    into twirling spaces

    The kathak dancers do this – they make around dozens of spins to beat.

  285. Willie says:

    …and me, singlemindedly, only interested in what’s in the earthernware pot-could it be more warm beer?

  286. Willie says:

    …a blur of twirls-also known as the spinnies.

  287. John Carley says:

    at the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the queen (a)

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades (j)

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    Hi everybody, whilst the dancer verse is very attractive I wonder if, by virtue of its sheer energy, it is more suited to the development movement(s) of a renku sequence. There are also a couple of specifics which I thought possibly problematic: most directly the positioning on a dias which I think runs the risk of a return to pieces on the chessboard.

    In any event I find the water carrier to be more subtle in its evocation of spatial relationships (which is excellent for the link) and a more direct set up for our closing passage. I have added an adjective to line one principally for phonic reasons, but I think we can make the space work more for us, hence ‘soft’. Clearly there are alternatives that may work even better.

    If we are to go with this verse I think we need to change the first word of Ashley’s verse from ‘on’ to ‘at’ in order to absolutely minimise any possible return.

    The effect of ‘at’ is to increase the potential reading that Barbie and the Queen are players rather than pieces. For this reason it may be advisable to mute it slightly by dropping the caps to ‘queen’ – again as shown above.

    Comments please.

    Best wishes, John

  288. ashleycapes says:

    I’m happy with that alteration, John, absolutely.

    I like the idea of ‘soft tilt’ too, it’s a nice movement (and contrast) and that verse was my fav of _kala’s verses too!

  289. lorin says:

    Have my computer back. I wonder if I’m the only person in the world who takes her computer to the repair shop on a hand truck? Well, from the odd looks I get, I’m probably the only one in my local area.

    ‘soft’ in Kala’s ku, I’m guessing. John, you chose for the assonance, the repeated soft o sound? It works, as far as sound goes.

    I agree that ‘queen’ is better without the cap, but I wonder whether ‘on’ is better in Ashley’s ku and ‘at’ in Kala’s? We speak of ‘a baby at her hip’, so it’d be natural enough for me if it were ‘an earthern pot at her hip’.

    But possibly this is too fine a point to bother about?

    lorin

  290. Willie says:

    Too fine a point/I’m in.

    I find the readings beginning with ‘at the chessboard’
    a bit terse-in a good way.
    A quick glance reveals to me a quickening of the pace reading through each stanza (oddly, ‘at her hip’ made me link away to a more eccentric character).

  291. lorin says:

    ‘Yellow Moon’ is up on Simply Haiku 🙂

    http://www.simplyhaiku.com/SHv7n4/renku/CarleyYMoon.html

    lorin

  292. Willie says:

    Like it-I have a few hand truck stories myself.

  293. _kala says:

    Thanks for choosing this verse!!

    I really don’t know about the word ‘soft’ John.
    An earthen pot is never soft, it has a texture to it and the rim is not soft at all.

    Again, I’m more for ‘on the hip’ than ‘at her hip’
    I never thought of “on” clashing with Ashley’s verse!!

    I like Ashley’s verse too with ‘on the chessboard’ better?

    Not that I’m being of any help here…!
    _kala

    • lorin says:

      Hi Kala. . . ‘soft’, as John has it here, qualifies ‘the. . . tilt’ , not the earthen pot itself, so it’s in the clear there.

      ‘on her hip’/ ‘at her hip’. . . both work for me. It’s just that ‘on the chessboard’ seems to fit better than ‘at the chessboard ‘ , to my ear and to my sense of Ashley’s ku.

      But it’s John’s call. 🙂

      lorin

  294. _kala says:

    I understood that Lorin, but then won’t a ‘mild tilt’ work better?
    I really don’t know . . . !!!

    I agree there, ‘on the chessboard’ sounds better to my ears too.
    _kala

  295. John Carley says:

    Hi all, I ran a number of search strings against ‘at/on’. ‘At her hip’ seems to be largely limited to set phrases involving ‘infant’, ‘child’ etc. Inanimate objects ‘at her hip’ tend to be those that are strapped on or otherwise worn.

    I may be too cautious about the repetition of ‘on’. I propose to drop it back in to both verses and review it on completion of the full text.

    The ‘soft’ is largely there for assonance, but it also works by negation: tight angle verus soft tilt. And there’s the transfer to ‘hip’ (there’s a name for the device where an adjective transfers – a big Latin one – can’t for the life of me remember it!).

    The ‘ld’ of ‘mild’ tends to tangle the ‘t’ of ’tilt’ to my reading Kala – aveolar ridges and all that. But there are clearly other adjectives.

    Thoughts and suggestions please.

    Best wishes, John

  296. Sandra says:

    Hi all,

    Not sure if I can comment, but here’s a suggestion:

    the steady tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip

  297. lorin says:

    Hi John, yes, though I haven’t a clue about the technical terms, I did see that ‘soft’ sort of misplaced itself and referred to the hip, the woman’s body. It seems to me to be the best adjective so far, though Sandra’s ‘steady’ is interesting. I can’t come up with anything more suitable.

    A possibility for broken verse structure here? What do you think of losing ‘at’ and ‘on’ altogether?

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    . . . her swaying hip

    lorin

  298. lorin says:

    I do like the way that, from scarecrow’s coat through Barbie’s head to a woman’s hip, the verses have morphed into the human.

    lorin

    • lorin says:

      well, I should’ve said from scarecrow through Barbie’s head to the umpire in his mirror shades to the woman with the swaying hips…

      So in this final part we now have three human activities (chess, cricket, carrying whatever in a pot) …coming from inferred human activity (the chess players) to stated (umpire and her)

      lorin

  299. John Carley says:

    zeugma – where one word conditions several others.

    And thank you Sandra. Everyone is very welcome to comment.

    Best wishes, John

  300. John Carley says:

    ps – Greek, not Latin! J

  301. _kala says:

    Yes, the soft does get transferred to her hip. . .
    I leave it you John, I guess you know best!!
    _kala

  302. John Carley says:

    Thanks everybody, let’s retain ‘soft’ for the moment. And re-instate ‘on’ to Ashley’s verse.

    I’ve updated the ‘main’ page. Do please have a look. It is good to see how we move from non-person to person over the course of a number of verses, as Lorin observes. The dynamic movement is also quite tangible.

    And now we hit the final trio. Kala has set us up beautifully for ‘spring’ with ‘earth’ and ‘water’. Lorin, you have the task of writing the first of the spring trio. It needs to be very early spring becuase I’d like to have a more-or-less conventional cherry or plum after yours, and we may recall that the internal chronolgy of a seasonal run holds true to the calendar.

    So we are before blossom time. And ideally very calm and still, or gradual and insidious. It might also be best to avoid people altogether.

    Easy! John

  303. lorin says:

    Another sweltering, 35C+ Spring day in the making here in Melbourne. Plum blossoms! They are a sign of late Winter here! Bloom in August. My Jap cherry tree failed to blossom or leaf this Spring and was struggling last year, so I guess it’s dead, another drought victim.

    So here’s a few drafts of one to begin and I hope to be back with a couple more over the next couple of days.

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades (j)

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    an equinoctial wobble
    and it’s spring!

    with an equinoctial wobble
    it’s spring!

    an equinoctial wobble
    shifts us into spring

    an equinoctial wobble
    sets the scene for spring

    this half of the planet
    wobbles into spring

    Spring equinox is Sept. 23rd here, so though our Spring begins September 1st, the equinox marks the beginning of Spring for America and the UK, I think.

    lorin

  304. lorin says:

    I like the first best, of these drafts.

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    an equinoctial wobble
    and it’s spring!

    lorin

  305. lorin says:

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen (a)

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades (j)

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    the light of the world
    returns in a hare’s egg

    winter banished
    by the rites of spring

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves

    how tender these shoots
    of the year’s new weeds!

    lorin

  306. lorin says:

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades (j)

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    an equinoctial wobble
    and it’s spring!

    with an equinoctial wobble
    it’s spring!

    the light of the world
    returns in a hare’s egg

    banishing winter
    with the rites of spring

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves

    how tender these shoots
    of the year’s new weeds

    lorin

    • ashleycapes says:

      Hi Lorin! I like the wonderful tone of ‘equinoctial wobble’ there, it’s nice and playful – and also the ‘light of the world’ ku has a nice, uplifting ’tilt’ – especially like the reference to the egg – I don’t think I’ve seen many renku with eggs.

      And so too is John’s choice great – it’s quite beautiful, I also like the ‘glow’ & ‘groves’ together

  307. John Carley says:

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen (a)

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades (j)

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves (l)

    Nice one Lorin – earth (water) fire, a pick up on the fecundity inherent in Kala’s maeku, and a reference to ancient religion. Not bad!

    And that religion bit is crucial because it conditions our next verse: ‘blossom’. This is a tough position Willie, so it’s yours. We need a traditionalish ‘blossom’ verse that doesn’t try to do more than be just that: ‘blossom’. Lorin has already given us the set up.

    We could go with plum or cherry, just – cos in truth they are a little early for Beltane (and we’re not supposed to have anachronism here). Dunno, maybe with you it’s different (here blackthorn is the earliest blossom). Here Beltane would be fine with ‘falling blossom’.

    What’s at the back of ‘blossom’? Well, we know that the parent literature features ‘cherry’ first, ‘plum’ second – and has no third place. I don’t really have a problem with the cultural specificity of all that. But what about for non-Japanese?

    Well the Junicho allows for ‘hyacinth’ or ‘clematis’. Which is fine. But not here IMHO. To my reading at back of the millenial Japanese fascination with cherry/plum are several emblems: the blossom is delicated; the blossom is short lived; the tree is enduring; the wood of the tree is fragrant when burnt; the wood of the tree is attractive when worked; the blossom prefigures fruit; the tree may be wild or cultivated. All of these things make the blossom an emblem not just of spring, and not just of vegetation, but of the circularity of life/the seasons, and the nexus between man and his environment. For this reason ‘rhododenron’ in the ‘blossom’ position is pants!

    So, with my English head on I am also happy with apple, pear or similar. And have even been known to accept rose – always as long as we allow that these are different to cherry/plum in that they are mid/late spring rather than early.

    Your call Willie. Ashley – you get ageku.

    Best wishes, John

  308. lorin says:

    Thanks, John. . . I’m happy that you found one that suits 🙂

    🙂 Well, merry we meet.

    Actually, I didn’t have Beltane in mind. . . thought that might be too late and tried to keep to your ‘early Spring’ suggestion. I had Ostara in mind (Oestre, estrogen, Easter), the rites of the vernal equinox, with ‘spring fires’. . . it is one of the 8 annual ‘fires’ .

    Pagan ‘wheel of the year’ and some descriptions:

    http://www.healinghappens.com/wheel.htm#Ostara

    well, sometimes it’s just a good excuse for a music festival 😉

    http://www.spraci.com/events/100785.html

    (Southern hemisphere dates, with 22-23 September being vernal equinox here)

    lorin

  309. lorin says:

    . . . sorry, I should’ve learnt by now…two links means the comment needs to be moderated. Anyway, Ostara, vernal equinox – spring fire + eggs rather than Beltane, later on, in NH May – fire + phallic maypole.

    Estrogen, preceding testosterone 🙂

    lorin

  310. John Carley says:

    Thanks Lorin, that’s a salutary observation – my reading was too narrow.

    So Willie gets more flexibility – anywhere from early to mid spring.

    Easy life!

    Of all the performative or ‘special requirement’ verses ageku has always been my favourite Ashley. I think it has something to do with identifying with that ‘at last’ feeling (ageku means something like ‘thank God we’ve got to the final verse’).

    ps: if anyone wants to find a really effective way to fall out with one’s peers check out the revivified
    http://www.renkureckoner.co.uk/zipschool

    Don’t try this at home kids. John

    • lorin says:

      Great, John…just read through most of it quickly. I hadn’t seen the old site. Lovely to have it there for information, and I do like your open and mystique-breaking style. A wonderful teacher, because you seem to adopt the premise that your students aren’t complete idiots.

      Was involved in a ‘rokku renku’ recently (Norman Darlington sabaki-ing) in which we did one section in zips (& the rest in one-liners) First time I’d tried zips.

      I reckon that ‘rokku’ is a good poem! Was delighted with the result.

      lorin

  311. John Carley says:

    Thanks Lorin. That’s a timely lesson for me: my reading was too narrow. Yeah, May pole: I had a really fierce Catholic upbringing, yet we used to do Maypole dancing at primary school. Weird.

    Ok – Willie has more flexibility. The full blossom season is open really from first show to falling.

    Best wishes, John

  312. Willie says:

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves (l)

    I imagine
    your husky laughter
    blossom cool

  313. Willie says:

    Right! Stow’em on land, I sez, ‘ere’s your comma (,) nice as you please!

  314. Willie says:

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves (l)

    from the hollow,
    fragrance seasoned
    with chokecherry

    …could be L1: ‘low in the hollow’…’high on the hollow’

    (this was accidently posted at the Current Renku…)

  315. Willie says:

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves (l)

    low in the hollow,
    laughter fragrant
    with chokecherry

  316. Willie says:

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves (l)

    deep in the hollow
    waters fragrant
    with chokecherry

  317. Willie says:

    ‘water’, singular, please, as in:

    deep in the hollow,
    cool water fragrant
    with chokecherry

    (sometimes, the taste of iron)

    chokecherry petals,
    gently calming
    the tang of iron

  318. Willie says:

    OK, OK…the full monty, or in this case, the full Minnehaha:

    deep in the hollow
    laughing waters
    fragrant with chokecherry

  319. Willie says:

    Final Selections: blossom

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves (l)

    chokecherry petals,
    their fragrance calming
    the tang of iron

    deep in the hollow,
    chokecherry fragrant
    in laughing water

    from deep in the hollow,
    chokecherry petals…
    your husky laughter

    I imagine
    your husky laughter,
    blossom cool

  320. John Carley says:

    on the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen (a)

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades (j)

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves (l)

    low in the hollow,
    laughter fragrant
    with chokecherry (w)

    Hi Willie, please could we revert to this? It is, in my opinion, peerless, not least as a response to the ‘high’ register of the maeku (verse to which it links). It is though saved from being too sardonic by that ‘fragrant laughter’.

    The balance between Edo period sensibilities and extra-Japanese reference is also perfect – ‘chokecherry’ surely embodies the spirit of contemporary haikai! And I’ve been missing ‘the hollow’ ever since the boys and their still didn’t quite suit the earlier position.

    Then just look at the phonic properties: got to be a winner.

    Which would leave Ashley with free range to be nominally ‘spring’ whilst also considering the coded reading aspects of ‘summary’ ‘augury’ ‘comment’ – which is generally a feature of high quality renku in the ‘true’ Basho school.

    Gotta go to work before I start raving even more! John

  321. lorin says:

    yep, I like that one, too.

    low in the hollow,
    laughter fragrant
    with chokecherry (w)

    However one interprets it, it seems like a very good time is being had.

    ‘high register’ for mine?… well, I was just trying to be *quiet* as you suggested, John… trust Willie to bring in the revels. 😉

    lorin

  322. Willie says:

    Oh, yeah, sure, you betcha…
    I was afraid it might be too much, but no, that’s great.

    Thanks…reads different in the light of dawn.

  323. ashleycapes says:

    Hi everyone, I’ll be away for a few days but will be hopefully be able to try again on thurs – sorry to hold everyone up (will try find some internet access while I’m away though) here’s 2 for now, feel free to go wild with alternative while I’m away, but I can come back for more. Very tired tonight, but here goes….

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves (l)

    low in the hollow,
    laughter fragrant
    with chokecherry (w)

    down around the new shoots,
    big hands for shelter

    setting down at last
    a happy sun

    looking over them, spring isn’t that present I think, perhaps something like:

    the run-off collects
    in a simple bowl

    or

    the snow-melt collects
    in a simple bowl

    hmm…I like ‘run-off’ better, but don’t know if it implies the snow or not?

    See you later in the week!

  324. Willie says:

    A little history of Swede Hollow:

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

    I first saw it in the early seventies; run over to the East Side from W. 7th with some other street urchins, I noticed the adjoining northern streets that still had homes built for the original wave of railroad workers in the latter 1800”s. I was appalled at the poverty, which was a neat trick for a punk from down by the “levee”. (W. 7th and Chestnut: below Irvine Park by the Mississippi and the old grain terminal; see Haibun Today Dec. 9, 2009)
    Urban renewal took most of the old properties, small or grand, booted a lot of the residents out to God knows where, and left in its wake a few historic sites.
    As for Connemara and its surrounds, the newcomers live there and in all the poor parts of town, which are becoming a greater expanse everyday:

    Hmong and Laotian refugees and their offspring , the largest community in the US, the children speaking Hmong at home, the elders often in traditional dress working little patches of land, the children simultaneously filling the rosters of Asian gangs and the school’s honors list; the largest Somali community in the US, most, devout muslims, many of the younger men disappearing to fight again in the home country; economic emigres from the old US manufacturing belt, now in decline, most from Chicago, the Quad Cities, Detroit, parts East where work and welfare have dried up and blown away in the wind, many with a menacing chip on their shoulder which I refuse yet to acknowledge, having in response adorned myself with one of my own; then, of course, the Mexican Consulate nearly within a stone’s throw, lines of “immigrants” out the door every morning seeking a piece of paper called a ‘matricula consular’, ready to join a stesdily expanding work force in our aptly named ‘sanctuary city’.

    And all the while, the creek named after the perjurer Phelan runs South from the chain of lakes under our very feet, its emanations unfelt by the ordinary and hapless overcome by the Rat Race in this city of thieves, dwelt upon and revered by the misplaced and traveling shamans, and noted for its austere beauty by a man out walking his dog, where the water emerges again through the ancient hollow on its long journey to the Father of Waters.

  325. John Carley says:

    Hi Ashley, the problem with both ‘new shoots’ and ‘melting snow’ (and similar) is that they are very definitely ‘early spring’. The blossom verse has already established ‘mid spring’ (by Roman reckoning) to ‘late spring’ (by Japanese reckoning).

    Whereas it’s possible t blur these things mid-poem ‘classic’ or ‘correct’ ideas of intra-seasonal’ sequence tend to be exposed to scrutiny at the beginning and ending of a piece. So if we commit ‘anachronism’ here it will be more likley to be noticed, and ajudged ‘an error’.

    We are therefore pretty much committed to ‘late’ or ‘generic’ spring references for our ageku (as is inevitably the case for any sequence with a classic-style blossom verse as its penultimate).

    Take your time buddy – there’s no rush. And please remember that if you are coming up against a wall for whatever reason you can always decline or pass. No explanations are ever necessary.

    Best wishes, John (who knows all about being VERY tired!)

    • ashleycapes says:

      Hi John – I think you’re right – it wouldn’t be fair on the renku to throw in an early spring here, so I might have to bow out soon (though I feel like I’d be letting you all down)

      So I’d like propose 2 options for everyone to consider, what do you think about :

      I try again friday night at the VERY latest

      or

      I hand it back to John (now) to redistribute the glory of ageku! 🙂 It might be a fun competative one?

      I still feel back for having to disppear at the mo, and I’m struggling with time etc so thought it best to see what you all think!

      (Have ducked in to an internet cafe to post this and will try check back soon, but may not be able)

  326. _kala says:

    Wow! so much has been going on, for some strange reason I’ve not been getting the updates on this thread!

    I’ve been wondering why things were so silent!
    _kala

  327. lorin says:

    ah, I don’t worry about updates, just check the site every morning to see what’s happened.

    lorin

  328. John Carley says:

    at the chessboard
    Barbie’s head
    fills in for the Queen (a)

    a square leg umpire
    boasting mirror shades (j)

    the soft tilt
    of an earthen pot
    on her swaying hip (k)

    spring fires glow
    in all the sacred groves (l)

    low in the hollow,
    laughter fragrant
    with chokecherry (w)

    wicker and wisteria
    ever entwined (soen)

    Hi everybody, please refer to Ashley’s message above. Here’s a third option: Soen was so keen to join our compostion she sent in this candidate.

    Wisteria is an absolute classic Japanese late spring kigo. And Soen is a pen name for no less than Chiyo-ni!

    It is very common in Japan to start a sequence with a loan verse from a lonf dead poet – so common it has a name: wakiokori. I’m not familiar with a similar term for finishing with such a verse.

    How does this strike you! We’re OK for copyright as it is my translation of むすびもながく枝折戸の藤

    Friends, the hard drive of my main computer has collapsed and I’m having to lend my daughter this laptop as hers needs repairing. So I’m going to be limited to public access computing for a while. Please excuse any slight delay in responding.

    Best wishes, John

    ps – the text above has ‘at the chessboard’ – did you spot it!! I think it may be needed.

  329. Willie says:

    a lovely verse-and seems fitting, too.

    I read a little of Chiyo-ni; Basho’s influence, and a great woman haijin, before her “time”, aye, Lorin?

    Ashley strikes me as genuine in his responses. I ask myself,
    “would I feel “upstaged” by Soen?” I think not.

    • lorin says:

      …’and a great haijin’, Willie. 😉

      (though a ‘Lady’, of course, with servants picking up those live sea-creatures for her)

      Well, ‘timeless’, anyway, in the sense that Emily Dickinson is? But I’ve only read translations of Chiyo-ni.

      lorin

  330. lorin says:

    That’s delightful, John 😉 …and I know Ashley has a lot on his plate at present. He didn’t say, but my guess is he’s off on a compulsory ‘end-of-year’ school camp until Thursday, but he has a book launch here in Melbourne in a fortnight and possibly in Sydney before then. No, I don’t think he’d feel upstaged by one of the greats. Possibly even relieved 🙂

    One reservation and my only query to you , John, is whether or not ‘wicker’ commits kannonbiraki? It wouldn’t in Japanese, but does it in English?… is what I’d like you to tell me. (This is how I learn, asking questions when I find someone who might know the answers)

    I’m no expert on language, even the English language, but wise, witch, wicca and wicker are connected in some explanations of the folklore. And who could forget that chilly and sensational, though long-ago, film, ‘The Wicker Man’? (this is in relation to fires in sacred groves, though not to Spring fires)

    Am I going off on the ‘birds and mansions both have wings’ sort of muddled trail?

    lorin

  331. John Carley says:

    Hmmn, interesting question Lorin, etymologies, false or otherwise, are fascinating.

    Despite the horrified expression on Edward Woodward’s face, my understanding is that wicker and wicca are homonymns rather than cognates – they sound similar in comteporary speech but have differing semanitc roots: wicca being a wizzard and wican (wicker) meaning ‘pliant’, the pronunciation in Old English of the double ‘c’ being close to ‘kj’ and the single ‘c’ to ‘ch’.

    If the word ‘wicca’ was used in ‘sacred groves’ then I think the issue would be clear: yes, there would be too strong a return by virtue of the correspondance in sound allied to the (perhaps stictly dubious) proximity in meaning. But in this case wicca is not stated so we are dealing with the backwash of (assumed) proximity of meaning alone.

    It is generally held that ageku is largely exempt from the strictures that govern repetition/return in renku specifically so that it is free enough to fulfil its figurative and ‘performative’ duties. So one might argue that in any event we needen’t be concerned with things which might well disbar a verse elsewhere.

    But in this case there is a further consideration. In her verse Chiyo-ni combines the untameable beauty of wisteria with the man-ordered rough craft of wickerwork (she actually uses the word for a picket or gate woven from brushwood). She does this to generate balance through contrast, a metaphor for haikai.

    In our specific circumstances therefore the effect of Chiyo-ni’s verse is to code the expressed religion of sacred groves as ‘woven’ and the informal yet transcendent chokeberry as ‘wild’, thus delivering the oneness of ‘ever entwinded’. We have therefore readings of the ageku which act as a synthesis of the preceding two spring verses, and a summary of the whole text.

    So the short answer is: were these internal verses, maybe. But as ageku – no problem.

    Best wishes, John

  332. lorin says:

    ;- ) Wonderful, John. I’m so glad I asked. as well as having another myth busted, I’m learning that renku can be so much more flexible than I once thought, if the sabaki knows what they’re doing.

    And yes, ‘woven’ struck me in the felicitous image. The gate or trellis, whether brushwood or actually woven from willow canes like baskets are and trellises have been and the wisteria that also weaves itself through and around whatever it can. It is a fine image of a natural force and the product of human craft working together, so as well as ‘completing’ those previous two verses as you say, it stands as a rather nice metaphor for the whole of the renku. . . perhaps the whole of haikai? Perfect end-verse / ageku!

    Wisteria is beautiful everywhere but where I originally planted mine. . . too close to my lemon tree. I try to kill it every year.

    I will add that I also like Ashley’s

    the run-off collects
    in a simple bowl

    but the sheer joy of that might not be apparent to non-Victorians, and might need a bit more to bring it out. We’re in our thirteenth year of drought, so there is a primal joy when it rains at all, and yes, we collect the run-off in anything handy. It implies that the water tanks are full to overflowing.

    Rain today, too :-). I woke to the sound of thunder and raindrops, but the washing I got in from the line was barely damp. Still, looks like there’ll be more later.

    lorin

  333. ashleycapes says:

    Hello everyone! Back from a long few days worth of semi-voluntary education conferences (Lorin was pretty close 😉 )

    Great to be back – and to see John come up with such a brilliant solution, thanks for saving me there! Willie’s right – I feel really happy with the way things turned out!

    A beautiful closer, a perfect fit – there’s no way I could have done better so I think we all win! 😉

    I know what you mean, Lorin – any rain feels worthy of joy, huh! We’re still struggling as a state.

  334. John Carley says:

    hi everybody – gotta be quick before this machine crashes. Thanks to Ashley for the latest comments. I’d like to propose we accept the text of ‘kyu’ above as definitive.

    For a title I propose we go with Shades of Autumn which my hokky poached from Kala!

    Any issues that we haven’t addressed with the first two movements?

    Best wishes, John

  335. Willie says:

    Good old Ash’, loyal to a fault…sorry if I dogged you, man.

  336. Willie says:

    I would second that motion, John…do any questions remain on the floor?

    …’at the chessboard’ as opposed to ‘on’…
    (my accidental post at the ‘Current Renku’)…
    What have I forgotten?

  337. lorin says:

    ‘Shades of Autumn’ seems good to me. All the queries have been cleared up along the way, I think.

    cheers,
    lorin

  338. Willie says:

    Ryan Giggs of Manchester United scored his 100th Premiership goal on a cracker jack direct free kick from 25 yards-a thing of beauty. We only have one professional English League football match broadcast each week, nor have I seen a game in a coon’s age, so I was ecstatic-pardon my exuberance.

    • lorin says:

      …b football! 😉 Thank goodness the footy season is behind us, here in Aus.

      lorin

      • John Carley says:

        Hi everyone, sorry for the silence. I’ve had a series of IT hassles which mean that I’m currently trying to access the world using defunct kit. I’m composing this via an administrator interface ‘cos my Windows ME computer crashes when I try to load the regular ‘drafts and discussions’ page. Here’s hoping:

        I’ve updated our ‘main’ Triparshva page with our putative definitive text. Because all my drives are wiped I can’t access a lot of info – so please could could contributors restate:
        their prefered publishing name
        their region/county/state
        their nation

        I am:
        John Carley
        Lancashire
        England

        Then – I think we’ve agreed a definitve text. But please have a look and see if there’s anything amiss… proofing is an issue for me because I tend to see what I think is there.

        And what do we do with this text? I will write a debrief (JP: tomegaki) shortly. But one thing I do know is that this text is good. It is my intention to lobby the HSA to accept the Triparshva as a recognised form for the purposes of the Einbond Competition. I’m tempted to suggest that we hold this text over. But the admirably open stance of the Snail means that we have probably breached the strictes interpretation of the ‘unpublished/unseen’ requirements for competition entry. So where do we publish?

        I am aware that we have team 2 ready and waiting to trounce team 1 in the matter of Triparshva composition. I regret that we’re going to have to hold off until I can figure out a way to access the Snail properly – at the moment it seems like I can load short pages (like the one carrying our definitve text) but long pages, like ‘drafts and discussions’ are closed to me.

        Hmmn! All comments very welcome. Thank you for your patience folks.

        Yrs, one-leggedly, John

  339. Willie says:

    Ha! Sparse entertainment here, so we’re not overwhelmed, unless you count Beckham’s debut in…that West Coast outfit they call a soccer team.

    It’s grid iron mania right now. The local professional franchise (Minnesota Vikings) is again threatening departure unless we build them a new stadium with tax dollars-I see what you mean.

  340. lorin says:

    🙂 ‘Notes From the Gean’, issue #3 (whew, a milestone!) is up online.

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

    . . .um, the managing editor is about to advertise for a renku editor, for future editions. There’s no pay, though. But we are a hardworking crew and love the genres we’re involved in.

    cheers,
    lorin

  341. lorin says:

    I am:

    Lorin Ford, Melbourne , Victoria , Australia

    … and it’s the first day of Summer, and thankfully, a moderate 27 or so degrees, unlike that Spring heatwave.

    lorin

  342. lorin says:

    Went and proofread it, and all’s well as far as I can tell 😉

    (We ALL need copy editors 🙂 … even copy editors)

    lorin

  343. ashleycapes says:

    Looks fantastic – really surprised (in a great way) with where this one went, thanks John & everyone!

    Ashley Capes,
    Bairnsdale
    Victoria
    Australia

    Last time we went with name, state & country but left out town? I’m easy either way of course

    Fantastic news, Lorin, congrats to you & the crew at Gean! I’ll have to remember this time & submit for issue 4!

  344. Willie says:

    William Sorlien
    St. Paul, Minnesota USA

  345. John Carley says:

    Thanks everybody – the full text, attributions, etc are up on the main page.

    So what to do? We could go down the route of Gean Tree – I wonder… is Lorin thinking of trying on that editor’s hat!?

    But I also wonder if anybody got any print journals to recommend? This poem seems pretty accessible to me, and could be a candidate for a ‘generalist’ literary mag rather than a ‘haiku’ type thing (I’ve had some success in the past with this in the UK).

    I’m still struggling like a swine with IT problems, and the dreaded ‘X’ word is about to intervene (Xmas) – at least in this country – but it’d be really good to get our second Triparshva underway sooner rather than later. It could for instance be possible to complete the first movement before we take a break for Holidays. Ashley – could you put up a pair of pages for us please as and when.

    Ok, last task for me is the Tomegaki (debrief). Despite being instinctively opposed to this practice a few years ago (as a culturally specific import too far) I find that I was utterly mistaken, and that I can’t move on to a new poem until I’ve ‘signed off’ the current one. So, access to keyboards permitting, I’ll get something online in the next couple of days.

    Folks – the Renku Reckoner pages have been reorganised – hopefully it is not much easier to get straight to the schematics and basics, whilst avoiding the worst of the maunderings!

    Cowabunga. John

    ps – Willie – after the United/Spurs game last night BskyB showed a tribute programme featuring all of Ryan Gigg’s 100 goals in the Premiership. He is the only player to have scored in every season since the league was introduced. If you can find it on the net (try “Sky” rather than BskyB) it is truly awesome. You could also try a YouTube search based on “ManU” plus “This is the One” or suchlike – somewhere there’s a montage of every goal of the 1999 Triple season cut to the Stone Roses’s track This is the One. Manchester – it’s wet, it’s shit, but you gotta love it!

  346. lorin says:

    Hi John and all… no, it won’t be me doing renku editing for ‘gean’. I get a *lot* of submissions for the haiku section and am content to remain haiku editor. But Col does want a renku editor. Thought I’d mention it here so that anyone who was interested could drop him a line of enquiry.

    As for submitting this one for publication, I’m content to leave the decision to you, John. Yes, it’s nice to have work published in print and I understand the need to get some renku out into general poetry magazines. One advantage of online publications , though, is that we can all read the published poem. I think the previous renku went to the NZ haikai print journal ‘Kokako’, which is nice, but comparatively few will get to read it.

    Have you considered submitting this renku to Martin Lucas for ‘Presence’? That’s one of two overseas print journals I subscribe to.

    lorin

  347. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, Lorin’s suggestion of Presence is a good one. I thought they’d stopped publishing renku – and maybe that was when Martin was sole proprietor – anyway it looks like renku is back on the menu. I’m going to fire off an exploratory mail.

    I’m going to change my ISP soon so the hated btinternet will no longer be my email. Please note that for private correspondance it might be wise for a while to use my domain webmail: john@renkureckoner.co.uk

    Best wishes, John

  348. lorin says:

    Hi John, I only have 3 issues of ‘Presence’, but there is a renku in #38 and another in the last issue, #39. There is also a sort of renku, what might be a renku, a collaborative poem anyway, using the tanka form with alternate verses by Andre Surridge and Owen Bullock in #39.

    (You can always make an additional email address in google or hotmail, too, should you want to)

    ps … it seems I had my information confused and Col is not looking for a renku editor for ‘Gean’ at this stage, but a haibun editor. Sorry about that bit of misinformation.

    lorin

  349. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody – I’ve just had an acceptance of the poem from Presence.

    Martin says it may go in #40, otherwise certain in #41. He will inform as and when.

    I’ve nearly go all my IT issues sorted. Thank God! Please note that the johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com address will be defunct by the end of the week. My webmail is john@renkureckoner.co.uk

    I never did get round to a tomegaki for Shades of Autumn. But really I think we got it during composition: longer sequences allow for far more subtle and concerted effects. And in order to be concerted one must have a kind of medium range over-view of where the poem is leading. That’s not so much about deciding what the content will be, but what the mood will be. ‘Cos when you first tackle renku it tends to be the centrifugal forces that grab the attention: how to shift, how to introduce fresh topics and tones. Whereas renku is actually about the balance betweent centripetal and centrifugal forces: those forces for change balanced against the forces of consistence.

    Interesting stuff!

    Best wishes, John

  350. John Carley says:

    Hi all, sos for the duplicate: I’ve posted the comment below under my new email address so Word Press is treating me like an interloper and sending my stuff to moderation. Pasted –

    Hi everybody – I’ve just had an acceptance of the poem from Presence.

    Martin says it may go in #40, otherwise certain in #41. He will inform as and when.

    I’ve nearly go all my IT issues sorted. Thank God! Please note that the johnedmundcarley@btinternet.com address will be defunct by the end of the week. My webmail is john@renkureckoner.co.uk

    I never did get round to a tomegaki for Shades of Autumn. But really I think we got it during composition: longer sequences allow for far more subtle and concerted effects. And in order to be concerted one must have a kind of medium range over-view of where the poem is leading. That’s not so much about deciding what the content will be, but what the mood will be. ‘Cos when you first tackle renku it tends to be the centrifugal forces that grab the attention: how to shift, how to introduce fresh topics and tones. Whereas renku is actually about the balance betweent centripetal and centrifugal forces: those forces for change balanced against the forces of consistence.

    Interesting stuff!

    Best wishes, John

  351. ashleycapes says:

    Hi John! That’s superb news!
    Should I take the renku down today?

  352. lorin says:

    John, great news about the ‘Presence’ acceptance of this renku!

    This is interesting, and the point well worth publishing:

    “‘Cos when you first tackle renku it tends to be the centrifugal forces that grab the attention: how to shift, how to introduce fresh topics and tones. Whereas renku is actually about the balance between centripetal and centrifugal forces: those forces for change balanced against the forces of consistence.”

    You’re right of course… and this balance is something I really only began to get a grasp of through your guiding comments in these threads.

    Many thanks again for being a great sabaki!

    lorin

  353. lorin says:

    ps…I think I worked out that it’s when one puts two urls in a post that the comment goes for moderation.

    lorin

  354. ashleycapes says:

    Just a little announcement for all you collaborative poetry fans!

    I’ve recently launched a new blog for collaborative verse and the first ‘tone poem’ from what I hope will be a long series, written by myself & Jane Williams is online

    http://thepoetryslave.wordpress.com/

    We’re also looking for new writers for poem 2 & 3!

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