January Renku (2015)

Hi team – just a quick post to open the thread, Willie will be along shortly to take up the reins as sabaki 🙂

At this stage we’re about to embark on a Nijuin or Trip, can’t wait!

Ashley

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474 Responses to January Renku (2015)

  1. William Sorlien says:

    Reins? Of what – the rein-deer ?!

    I shouldn’t complain though. We are experiencing the “January thaw”. That’s where it gets above freezing for a few days in this northernmost port on the Mississippi River, signaling the arrival of Spring, (in less than four months!) even in this sedate old town once reknowned for its halcyon days as a major transport hub for America’s breadbasket –

    water lines rise
    on a rusted red barge –
    the hiss of pouring wheat

    a larcenous respite for Dillinger and the Barker Gang in Depression era America –

    # 5 Winter Street –
    stacks of glaring headlines
    lie moldy in the attic

    or its invigorating and festive winter activities –

    a nicotine patch
    as a coaster for my beer –
    cabin fever

    Yes. It’s true. It is a thrill a minute here. But don’t let your obvious envy for our glorious lifestyle daunt you.

    Let me be the first to welcome you to our 2015 … renku of yet undetermined length. Again, please, don’t be dismayed;

    We’ll be looking for your submissions of one or more hokku (the lead haiku) to begin our compositional journey. Traditionally, haikai-no-renga (renku) begin in the season of composition.
    That is, let your offered verses contain some allusion or reference to the current season where you live.

    We’ll follow with a second, closely related verse, wakiku, set in the same season. Best begin with an earlier seasonal indicator in our hokku, to be followed chronologically by somewhat later seasonal indicators in the capping verse, or wakiku. Of course, some seasonal indicators, or kigo, occur throughout an entire season, but just to be sure of a logical progression.

    Seasonal indicators (kigo) can be drawn from many sources. Here’s a link to a short list of common examples used in some regions of Japan:

    http://haikai.2hweb.net/renku/500ESWd.html

    Please don’t feel limited to kigo just from this list. It can be lots of fun to create your own. They may cover the weather, the land, plants or animals, human activities or any viable occurence you might think of relevant to your origins.

    As for our yet undetermined poem’s length:

    We’re expecting a handful of participants, number yet unknown, though likely from from four to six, so poem length will be a factor. ideally, if each poet has four or five verses each included in the final product, our composition will be a most rewarding experience for all.

    Also, too short an overall length might not be as fulfilling. We don’t want to feel the party’s over before it’s really gotten started. Conversely, too long a composition and one may begin to lose interest, or be hindered by one’s daily responsibilities. Most of all, momentum will be key to the group’s creative dynamic.

    For that last reason, we’ll attempt to create a stanza at the rate of one per twenty-four hours. We’ll let that be our guideline for now.

    With that in mind, from the submissions for hokku from all our participants combined, we will choose only one. However, you can comment on these offers as you may feel compelled to do. Some moving and dramatic (or comic) literature will surely ensue. Discussion and argument may follow on the merits of these as we see fit.

    Debate may range from word choice, stanza length, relevancy, meter, tone, originality, or just about anything under the sun. Ultimately, sabaki, or leader, (that’s me!) will make the final choice.

    I may make suggestions for editorial changes, as mentioned above, or for other technical factors. Ocassionally it may seem I take just a core idea and re-write it substantially. Most often I’ll try to explain my reasoning for any choices made, the purpose of which will be to move the progression of verses forward to their best effect.

    I’ll offer some research material and links as we proceed, or, if you should have specific questions. Just ask. No need to be shy. I’ll do the best I can to help. Others here will have access to their own wealth of information, too. Essentially, every renku composition can be a learning experience for all the participants.

    That’s enough for now. I’m looking forward to being introduced to everyone along with your initial hokku submissions.

    Here’s to good writing!

    Willie

  2. Lorin says:

    Thanks, Ash, and thanks , Willie for such a clear introduction.
    The group is:

    William Sorlien (sabaki),
    Ashley Capes
    Jennifer Sutherland
    Lorin Ford
    Maureen Virchau

    “a larcenous respite for Dillinger and the Barker Gang in Depression era America – ”

    Well, the other night I enjoyed a dvd comedy set in Depression era America, very loosely (as the titles mentioned) based on Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’… ‘O, Brother Where Art Thou” (weird title!) Funniest thing I’ve seen for a long time.Their version of ‘A Man of Constant Sorrow’ keeps replaying itself manically in my head. I think it was set around the Southern part of the Mississippi River.

    Right then. Will try to come up with a hokku offer or two tomorrow morning, before it gets too hot.

    – Lorin

  3. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Willie & hi to Ashley, Maureen & Lorin 🙂
    I will get cracking and provide a hokku tomorrow as well.

    Jen

  4. Maureen Virchau says:

    And me four! 😀
    Hello and thank you to everyone. What a wonderful introduction, Willy.
    Looking forward to the journey.

  5. Maureen Virchau says:

    So sorry for the misspelling. I will try that again- What a wonderful introduction, Willie. Thank you. 🙂

  6. Jennifer says:

    Well here is my offering before I head off to the office and the heat sets in.
    I have two hokku to offer

    sultry night –
    the weight
    of a single sheet

    **

    twilight ride-
    rabbits emerge
    from the shadows

  7. Maureen Virchau says:

    Those are wonderful, Jennifer. I especially enjoy your ‘twilight’ verse.

    My offerings:

    withered field—
    fishing a feather
    from the rusted trough

    off-season—
    mallards gathering
    in right field

    sharing the bird bath
    with fallen leaves—
    a hawk’s feather

  8. William Sorlien says:

    Hi all,

    Hello Jen. Hello Maureen! Nice to hear from you again Ash and Lorin.

    I’ll just check in quickly, and a bit later than I planned for at that. This hour might work for earliest response though.

    I’ve got a sick dog here. We’ve just been to the vet. She has perked up some since then. Tomorrow we’ll hear back on some blood tests from an outside laboratory – an infection seemed likely, though white blood cells were normal “in house”. Good to see her appetite is back.

    That’s a movie I haven’t seen, Lorin. Was it that good? I reckoned them boys were more South East – Alabama, Mississippi, closer to the Atlantic if chain gangs were prevalent, and judging from the setting and costumes. Texas and Loos’ ee-anna *were* big on that stuff, too. I’d be more certain if I listened to their “patois”. The song’s performance seems Appalachian in style, or a caricature thereof.

    http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/index.php/updates/renku-reckoner-by-john-carley/

    I’ve included a link to the Renku Reckoner above. Look fourth down the row on the left and you’ll find a description and schematic for the Triparshva. This is a 22 stanza poem, split into three sides – 6-10-6.

    The longer sections (compared to the Nijuin, 5th down the list) allow a little more room for the poet’s to “stretch out” in their development of each movement. I’ll offer more on the concept of “movements’ in renku later, but for now I’ll just say, judging by the quality of offers received so far, we will certainly benefit from the additional space provided in the Triparshva.

    Let’s put it to good use!

    Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow, and have a good night!

    Willie

  9. Lorin says:

    I forgot I has an appointment with the optometrist! (remembered just in time)

    Anyway, here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses …
    some new straw hats

    cicadas shrilling
    among the moonflowers …
    scent of midnight ink

    high summer
    a long line of surfers
    wait for the wave

    lawn picnic –
    ants take the short cut
    across the salad

    – Lorin

  10. Lorin says:

    Sorry to hear about your little Dottie, Willie. Good to hear she’s picked up a bit & is eating.

    I thought that film was good. It made me laugh, the allusions to ‘The Odyssey’ in themselves were funny, I’d recommend it. Yes, the opening scenes were of a chain gang.

    Ok, I’ve found it in Wikipedia now:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Brother,_Where_Art_Thou%3F

    Thanks for the link to JEC’s renku book (Have you had any word about when it’s going to be published???)

    – Lorin

  11. Maureen Virchau says:

    I am so sorry your dog is sick, Willie. That is a very difficult thing to go through. Wishing her good health. Hope she feels better very soon.

    And thank you for your kind words regarding our verses. I very much look forward to experiencing the Triparshva.

    Love your offers, Lorin. My faves are your ‘cicadas’ and ‘ants’ verses. It is so refreshing to read summer verses. Here in NY, I am experiencing winter in all its glory. In other words- I’m freezing. 😀

    Looking forward to your candidates, Ashley.

  12. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Maureen 🙂
    I think we are off to a great start.
    Just on a short lunch break after interviewing people this morning for a billing analyst role in my team.
    I now have a shortlist of three candidates for second round interviews
    I have seen “O Brother where Art Thou”
    and enjoyed it too.
    It was directed by the Coen brothers who also directed “Barton Fink” “Fargo “and more recently , “No Country for Old Men”
    Willie, I hope your dog recovers soon .

  13. Lorin says:

    Hi Jen, I’ll look out for those other titles by the Coen Bros, then. I’m truly impressed by this film. A bit like some of Shakespeare, it plays to the gallery and yet also has a deadly serious and contemplative core, and somehow they balance. (Now, I couldn’t get more flattering than that)

    Can’t help thinking that the ‘voice’ of the George Clooney character reminds me of someone…who, though? eg.

    “Would any of you boys be smithys, or otherwise practitioners of the metallurgical arts?”
    😀

    Sound track of songs, here:

    (might as well do something while we’re waiting 😉

    – Lorin

  14. Lorin says:

    Hi Maureen,
    Lovely to have you with us. 🙂 )The arseing about will stop once we get going… I sort of promise. 😀 It’s just so lovely to be back posting on ‘Snail’.

    cheers,

    Lorin

  15. Jennifer says:

    Hi All,
    Thanks to Willie for the link to John Carley’s Renku reckoner. I checked it out in order to understand the Triparshva form.
    I also found this on the Simply Haiku website which has some definitions.

    http://simplyhaiku.com/SHv2n1/renku/beginnings.html
    Useful for me as this as a relative newcomer to Renku 🙂

  16. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks for your kind words, Lorin. I am so glad to join the party! Yes, ‘Snail’ is a fantastic place. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on “O, Brother Where Art Thou” here. I am adding it to the movie list.

    Jen, I saw “Barton Fink” and “Fargo” a while ago when they were first released. I enjoyed them too. Also- thanks for posting the fantastic link.

  17. ashleycapes says:

    Very late to the party, sorry everyone! I’ve only got two:

    another bead of sweat
    the blowfly
    headbutting glass

    maybe a little obvious? how about:

    pink sunburn
    in the mirror
    my ceiling fan labours

  18. ashleycapes says:

    (loved Fargo – though the accents struck me as a bit overdone? On purpose?)

  19. Maureen Virchau says:

    Fantastic offerings, Ashley! That poor blowfly. It really is strange reading all of these summer verses. 😀 We’re in the single digits Fahrenheit over here. Brrrr.

    The Coen brothers actually grew up in Minnesota. I imagine the over-the-top dialect was used to entertain. Some Minnesotans weren’t exactly thrilled with the representation.

  20. Lorin says:

    the sand dunes, too
    seem to be enchanted –
    a summer night’s moon

    (probably against the rules? 😉

  21. Maureen Virchau says:

    Against the rules or not- that is a delightful ku, Lorin. Or should I say enchanting?

    Willie, hope you received good news regarding your dog’s blood tests.

  22. Lorin says:

    Thanks, Maureen, but I think probably that, whilst it’s not necessarily taboo to have a moon in the hokku, it’s likely that the moon will be reserved for a verse of its own.

    One never knows though, in a case when it’s a ‘minor season moon’ …summer or winter … 🙂
    so here’s a version revised for the sound of it as well:

    even the sand dunes
    seem to be enchanted …
    a summer night’s moon

    – Lorin

  23. Maureen Virchau says:

    You’re very welcome, Lorin. And thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. Your revised version works very well.

  24. William Sorlien says:

    Hi all,
    A fine batch of hokku submissions – mighty fine. And what diverse offerings – from humor to pathos and back again – in less than five or six stresses.
    Lyrical, journalistic, we’ve covered just about all the bases. There. I’ve just employed the sports analogy, too.

    Mmmph … excuse me. I’m destroying a plate of “pizza hot dish” and I’m having another. I was famished.
    Hot dish – that’s Minnesotan for casserole. Ja, you betcha.

    I think William H. Macy’s accent in Fargo was pretty close. His character, too, considering its origin. Minnesota Nice. Look it up. Passive aggressive included in the description. The heroine, great actor, her name escapes me – she was on the mark, especially so since her character’s origins were up nort’. But yes, most of the lingo is played for effect.

    St. Paul proper had some folks who were … old school working class, their speech coarsened by hard labor and cold winds to boot. Percussive d’s and t’s, drop the h’s, clipped sentences with a question mark on the end like wondering if you can finish that Pall Mall without taking your hands out of your pockets. The sound may have emanated in the early 20th C. Could it have come up the river with the tugboat’s deck hands or did it rode in on the rails from Chicago and points east? An idiosyncratic patchwork of euphemism drawn from the Irish, German, Swede, or Italian?
    Not many of them old timers left. (urp)

    Jennifer, your sultry night is packed with so much tension and suggestiveness, in just ten syllables, I don’t know what to say. Those rabbits? Are they really there? You can be a bit edgy, can’t you? I like you already.

    Maureen, that is some concise imagery. Such a wonderful quality to the narrative. Thoughtful choice of words.

    Ash, I wouldn’t want to meet you in a dark alley. Always a surprise, I’m bleeding out with laughter.

    I think Lorin has struck the mark, however. Fine juxtaposition, no small effort in progress, an exploration relieved by the carefree flourish of our new straw hats. Some work to be done, but ultimately a memorable and enjoyable outing.

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses …
    some new straw hats

    My only question might be the possibility of two kigo in one verse attracting the disapproval of the purists. Is there another two-syllable descriptive to replace summer? Would we lose that strong tactile and visual sensation present by substituting another adjective? I do already feel it, don’t you?

    Anthropomorphic could be fun. But yes, the grasses’ texture is key, isn’t it? There may not be a better alternative, though suggestions are welcome. Nor need we be immediately concerned. We’ll have plenty of time for review.

    Also, let me point out the phrasing while we’re at it. If Art Blakey on the box next to me isn’t too intrusive, I believe I count line stresses of 2/3/3. Why is that important?

    Let’s place Maureen’s verse in comparison, just as a marker for what’s to follow.

    trudging uphill
    among (tactile) grasses …
    some new straw hats (14) 2/3/3

    sultry night –
    the weight of a single sheet (10) 2/3

    Our dearest good friend John Carley established this EL metrical device to most closely resemble the sound units alternating between short and long stanzas established in Japanese language renku.

    You know it as 5/7/5 and 7/7. That’s right. A tanka form, or rather, tan renga. Verse capping. Familiar cadences not so much to instill rigidity, but to apply discernable rhythmic patterns, as well as follow the lead verse and answer with a logical summation. Responses profound, witty, serious, comical, what have you, though in support of the initial feeling presented.

    I personally believe renku without this metrical discipline of approach truly lacks something. Not for the homage to tradition necessarily, though fundamentals give our craft a sound base, but also for the richness of lyrical quality inherent in the approach – which so happens to fall naturally off the English speaking tongue. Besides the accentual meter, note the syllable lengths, also, please. They fall in a range in number, maybe 3 or 4 broad even, not to mean precisely, of course, but as a guideline that’s proven quite effective in previous poems here and elsewhere with our current lineup.

    Many renku recently attempted online have totally lacked any regard for this accentual division demarking separate stanzas. And for that pell-mell lack of regard on display, committed amongst otherwise serious and talented writers, I have become seriously disappointed.
    Of course, it’s always best to go with the gut, don’t you think? Our verses remain provisional in structure, open to improvement and edit, as we have the chance to stand back with a clear eye and calm demeanor. We’ll seek some diversity in phrasing and tempo eventually, so please don’t feel pressured to strictly adhere to anything I’ve just described. Lorin never does, and look where that’s gotten her!

    I’m off then. No offer from me this time. I’m currently stymied by an assignment to write a love verse that follows “puppies in tea cups with smiling eyes”.

    I wonder if it would be any easier if they had been kittens? W

    Oh! Almost forgot. Let’s all write a verse (wakiku) to follow our chosen hokku.

    Second verse, same as the first (Herman’s Hermits),

    that is, we’ll follow the degachi style and submit competitively once again.

    It’s a free for all (Ted Nugent)!

  25. Lorin says:

    Willie, thanks!
    I’m surprised but of course delighted you like this one, despite ‘double kigo’, which didn’t even occur to my muzzy brain. Is it really taboo? I’m happy, of course, to try to come up with something other than “summer grasses” for L2 (or to accept anything probable that anyone else can come up with) though of course the allusion was to St. Basho’s famous ‘warrior’s dreams’ ku.

    All I can think of at present is ‘native grasses’, but native rather lacks the assonance of ‘summer’, in context, don’t you think?

    (Also we could have other words…& probably better ones,,,than ‘some’ in L3?)

    I commend Willie, and agree with him, regarding:

    “Many renku recently attempted online have totally lacked any regard for this accentual division demarking separate stanzas. And for that pell-mell lack of regard on display, committed amongst otherwise serious and talented writers, I have become seriously disappointed.” – Willie

    It’s interesting that when we think of haiku/ renku prosody in the USA, we usually think of the influences of the ‘New York School’… minimalism, the avoidance of melody, etc… Yet that’s not the whole picture, as there are various approaches to renku/haiku prosody in the USA. Yet (as far as haiku goes, anyway) it’s Martin Lucas, an Englishman (sadly, unexpectedly deceased in 2014) who was the voice for consideration of prosody in haiku as John Carley ( who died not so unexpectedly less than 6 months before Martin) was for consideration for it in haiku.

    Martin’s essay (written & originally presented with the help of Stuart Quine) is preserved on the Presence website & may be of interest in relation to renku, as he and JEC seemed to be considering the same kind of thing in regard to the ‘music’ of haiku/renku:

    http://haiku-presence.50webs.com/essays/lucasessay2.html

    Worth a read, anyway. 🙂

    – Lorin

  26. Lorin says:

    …er, correction:
    “…as John Carley ( who died not so unexpectedly less than 6 months before Martin) was for consideration for it in renku. ”

    Forgive me, jaw/gum infection. Sooner this bloody tooth is out the better. The story is as long as Homer’s Odyssey. Best I’ve been able to do is get an appt. next week.

    – Lorin

  27. Lorin says:

    “I’m currently stymied by an assignment to write a love verse that follows “puppies in tea cups with smiling eyes” – Willie

    Good god! I can just imagine what JEC would have to say about that! (What was the author of that verse on at the time? It certainly wasn’t tea.)

    – L

  28. Lorin says:

    ps… is it the puppies or the tea cups that are supposed to have ‘smiling eyes’? The structure indicates that it’s the tea cups! Very big tea cups with smiling eyes, and puppies in them…goodness gracious, I gather that the author does not have English as his/her first language. I think someone has to be brave enough to point out the difference between ‘puppies with smiling eyes in tea cups’ & ‘puppies in teacups with smiling eyes’.

    I betcha the author of this (terrible in English) verse is Japanese. 😀 Someone needs to point out that meaning is dependent on placement of words in English grammar. Who will be brave enough? 🙂

    – Lorin

  29. Lorin says:

    Maybe you could offer a verse based on something Dali did? Teacups with smiling eyes: women with drawers in their torsos. (Send it up)

    – L

  30. Jennifer says:

    Good grief ! Rather you than me Willie! Perhaps the author was taken by the rhyme of pups and cups.
    Although smiling eyes? Maybe the puppies are Irish?

  31. Jennifer says:

    BTW , Art Blakey was a bit of a devil by all accounts.
    I have it on good authority that one day, on admiring the posterior of an attractive woman ahead of him , he turned to John Ramsay and said , “John! that girl has got a great future behind her! “

  32. William Sorlien says:

    Snarky! Blakey I mean. The way the guy played though, his “ego” had to remain inflated?

    Right, the assonance of Summer – I’d noticed that, too, Lorin.

    I’ve paraphrased the maeku, L. Turn in backwards and they’re tea cup pups. With smiling eyes of course.

    I’m late!
    w

  33. Lorin says:

    trudging uphill
    among rampant grasses …
    some/ our new straw hats

    ?
    – L

  34. Jennifer says:

    I like it Lorin. I also prefer ” our” to “some”
    I will be interested to hear what the rest of the team think.

  35. ashleycapes says:

    (As I lurk in that dark alley)

    Great choice, Willie 🙂

    I like ‘summer grasses’ myself – classic. I agree that two kigo might possibly overburden a given verse but I really like ‘summer grasses’ so nothing comes to mind for me as an alternative right now.

    And thanks to everyone for the thoughts on the accent in Fargo, too. Very interesting.

  36. Maureen Virchau says:

    Congratulations, Lorin! A fantastic start to the journey.

    Thank you for your kind words, Willie. And thank you for another fascinating post. Good luck with your response to those tea cup pups. 😀

    I adore the sound/feel of ‘summer’ grasses. I imagine them to be ‘waist-high’ grasses.

    The use of ‘rampant’ adds to the struggle, highlighting the lightness of the straw hats. Very nice. I must admit that I’m still quite attached to ‘summer’ though for all the reasons Willie stated.

    As far as ‘some’ vs ‘our’- when I read your original verse I imagined watching tourists from afar, their sunhats jutting above tall grasses. The use of ‘our’ would change that experience, of course. I also quite like the repetition of ‘s’ with ‘some’ there. All that being said, the use of ‘our’ works perfectly well. I am just experiencing a great resistance to change as I love your haiku in its original form.

    Well, that’s all I have in me for the moment. I will be back if anything else comes to mind.

    And you’re welcome for the comments on Fargo, Ash. I think I am going to have to watch that movie again!

    • Lorin says:

      “I imagined watching tourists from afar, their sunhats jutting above tall grasses. ” – Maureen

      Maureen, thanks… what you envisaged re view of the hats is what I intended. The hats seen from a vantage point further up, but who is under the hats is yet to be seen.

      I sort imagined this from the viewpoint of someone like Basho, or JEC, or both of them sitting up there together like the ancient Chinese sages in Yeats’s ‘Lapiz Lazuli’. 😀

      But it’s not pure fantasy. Every time I go down the street to shop, I wear one of my big straw hats, what with the UV index reported by the weather bureau being consistently “extreme”, and since I’m not the tallest woman around, no-one walking at all close could tell who it is. Someone on a 1st floor balcony across the street would see something like a mushroom with feet walking past.

      So, probably ‘our’ might be stretching things a bit (though thanks for your comments, Jen) as the ‘author/ persona/ viewer’ would have to be in two places at once to see “our” hats proceeding uphill! Blame my swollen jaw for lapses in logic!

      – Lorin

  37. Maureen Virchau says:

    An offering:

    a trail of ants
    disappears into the mound

    A variation:

    a trail of ants
    disappears into the ground

  38. Lorin says:

    Very nice linking in this wakiku! For the sound (beat/ stresses, too?) I wonder if ‘vanishes’ might be an alternative to “disappears”?

    I think I have a slight preference for ‘mound’ over ‘ground’, as I’ve read Willie & John talking about the ‘buttressing’ function of the wakiku, and ‘mound’ echoes ‘hill’. (The ants echo the people with hats, and perhaps this view is from an even higher vantage point than that of the hokku… on the metaphorical level only, of course)

    – L

  39. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks so much, Lorin. I really appreciate it. So glad you like this linking to your hokku.

    Yes, ‘vanishes’ works very well. Thank you.

    So …

    a trail of ants
    vanish into the mound

    And I am so glad that I understood your hokku as you intended. Thanks very much for sharing the behind-the-scenes of your writing process. I love the idea of looking like a mushroom with feet.

    I am sorry about your jaw pain. I hope you feel better soon.

  40. Maureen Virchau says:

    Oops, typo alert.
    It should read-

    a trail of ants
    vanishes into the mound

  41. William Sorlien says:

    I might have been overwhelmed by my own OCD tendency by picking on double kigo, Lorin. ‘Summer grasses’, as it’s been pointed out here repeatedly, is incomparable as an example of kigo as – what’s the word I’m searching for – an indelible icon? I think you get my drift. It’s simply a universal image. The assonance is awfully pleasing, too.

    The counterpoint of “trudging” to “our new straw hats” is near perfect for the multiple implications of origin and purpose of the Hat. Touristy-silly or indispensible, chic or bumpkin, which is it?

    a trail of ants
    vanishes into the mound

    Heh – heh. Taking the allusion a step further? I’ll say no more until we all check in.

    Funniest thing. A renju who read our Little Book of Yotsumonos mentioned a verse:

    the little boy hunts radioactive spiders

    An interchange with John to my stock “falling in a dream” offer. i never knew what it meant until now. He was referring to the Spiderman comic, the story of how Spidey came to be.

    it’s interesting for me to tell this because during the composition of those brief, four line collaboratives we never discussed the reasoning behind our choices of linking “imagery”. At least not prior to finalizing each poem.

    Oh, sure, we talked about prosody. We sometimes talked about ’til we were blue in the face.

    It just seemed a spoiler to reveal or explain a link. It was John’s pet peeve, but a justifiable one I think. The reason being that, when written by two authors sharing that certain wave-length of mutual trust and inspiration, the Yotsumono could stand as a single, unified “moment” in time. I’m trying to avoid the word “theme”. No. It wasn’t pre-planned or laid out in advance. It just happened; some congruous whole pulled together from seemingly disparate parts.

    Accidental literature, you might call it!

  42. Jennifer says:

    Relaxing here with a chilled glass of wine and enjoying catching up on comments.
    Here are some offerings from me

    fields of sunflowers
    in our wake

    and another

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by

  43. William Sorlien says:

    trudging uphill
    among Summer grasses —
    our new straw hats . . . L

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by . . . J

    The scene continues in unity, compact, metrically sound, only moderately altered – an echo of motion, nature responding in kind, anthropomorphic whimsy matches the slight but self-deprecatory commentary on hats, the overall classicist feel retained, a contiuance of momentum and, most importantly, perhaps, of lightness.

    I think this will do.

    Tird person – oops, speaking Minnesotan – Third person used twice. For variety, we could speak in first person or sans people at all in our next verse. We may want to move indoors.

    Avoid plants, at least for awhile. A non-season verse is required to buffer between seasons.

    Daisan (V3) is described as a break away verse. The use of present participle is also a common technique to propel that separation.

    I’ll try to think of of something today. Maybe while I’m tied off to a beam, wearing a a safety harness, walking a plank twenty feet in the air. Naw. Better pay attention.

    Maureen and Ash – it’s on!

    • Lorin says:

      I’ll lay odds that the reason my attempts at posting last night were due to someone fixing up the runaway italics! (we’ll see if this attempt posts 😉

      our hats

      ok, the perspective is a bit weird but I’ve got used to it and you’re da boss, Boss. 🙂

      Jen’s nodding sunflowers as wakiku lends a lovely, light touch, as you point out.

      Nice going!

      – L

  44. William Sorlien says:

    italics test

  45. Lorin says:

    our new straw hats?

    Weird perspective, but You da boss, Boss. 🙂

    I like the nodding sunflowers.

    (I got past my dentist’s receptionists today (3rd day of trying) and had the extraction that’s been needed for quite some time, health should start picking up now.)

    – Lorin

  46. ashleycapes says:

    Back tomorrow to give it a shot, love the selection and keen to have a crack at the daisan!

  47. Jennifer says:

    Hello to all 🙂
    Thanks Willie, I am thrilled to have my verse chosen for the wakiku .
    Your comment above makes me think you are a builder or maybe a window washer.
    Either way, you obviously don’t suffer from vertigo.
    Lorin, I hope your dental woes are subsiding.
    Stay warm Maureen, I would gladly share some of our Summer heat with you.
    It’s a long weekend here in Australia with Monday being Australia Day.
    I am off to the tennis tomorrow ( a work invite to the Australian open) .
    I am not much of a tennis fan but the food & champagne is free 🙂

    • William Sorlien says:

      A drywall finisher. That’s what I do. I make sheetrock Smmoooothhh.. Lately I’ve been bringing in impossible on time. Soon I may turn to alchemy if the contractors have their way.

  48. Maureen Virchau says:

    Congrats, Jen! That’s a delightful verse. Makes me smile. 🙂
    Thank you for the offer to share some sun. I think I’ll take you up on that. Hope you enjoy your long weekend.

    Thanks again for your fascinating posts, Willie.

    Looking forward to your verses, Ash.

    My offering:

    glass palette,
    dipping a sable brush
    in cerulean blue

    open window,
    painting the old nursery
    a shade of blue

  49. Maureen Virchau says:

    Another one:

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons

  50. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Maureen 🙂
    I am pleased that my offering was selected. I aimed for whimsy but was a little concerned that it might be viewed as personification.
    I heard from Lorin this morning .
    She has been trying to post comments so let’s see if mine works now

  51. Lorin says:

    Thanks, Ash, for whatever magic you used to retrieve those posts of mine 🙂
    Let’s see if this one goes into the spam trap!

    – L

  52. Lorin says:

    Yahoo! All seems fixed. 😀
    – L

  53. Lorin says:

    “Daisan (V3) is described as a break away verse. ” – W

    I’ve yet to see anyone beat Willie at the ‘breakaway verse’.

    So I hope you’ll post some, too, Willie. (I’ll never forget the ‘Tonto’ one… ‘fresh sign marks the trail’ …once I got my head around it, I understood)

    Inspired by ‘Grumpy Old Men’, here’s an edit of one of your introductory verses:

    a nicotine patch
    serves as a beer coaster
    while ice fishing

    But yikes, of course that’s not ‘no season’. Still, maybe a ‘keep up yr sleeve’ option?

    a nicotine patch
    serves as a beer coaster
    for the stay-at-home

    the stay-at-home’s
    nicotine patch becomes
    a beer coaster

    ?

    …well, I can relate to that, anyway 😉

    But here we are on the ‘front page’, and we’re probably expected to write verses displaying the proper decorum.

    – L

  54. Lorin says:

    trudging uphill
    among Summer grasses —
    our new straw hats . . . L

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by . . . J

    the evening
    spread out against the sky
    over the freeway
    – L

    (with a bit of help from TS Eliot )

  55. Lorin says:

    trudging uphill
    among Summer grasses —
    our new straw hats . . . L

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by . . . J

    from his wheelchair
    a war vet
    gives the finger

    – L 😀

  56. Jennifer says:

    Lorin I am enjoying your verses very much.
    The “far off” appeals maybe because I love horses yet I can see those brumbies with flared nostrils ready to flee at the first scent of danger.
    The second verse “the evening” strongly visualises the urban landscape and feels so familiar to me. I relate to this as I drive home on the Monash freeway every weeknight.
    “from his wheelchair” reminded me of the film “Forest Gump” and Forest’s devil-may-care war vet mate (can’t remember his name) who starts the shrimp boat business with him.
    Sure the film is cliched and full of sentilmentalism ( typical of Tom Hanks of that period) yet it has some mindful moments.

  57. Jennifer says:

    My uncle fought in Vietnam. I remember when the war was over how glad my parents were.
    He brought me back a lovely Vietnamese lady doll. She had a beautiful traditional dress of kingfisher blue. She was beautiful. I don’t know what became of her. I think her dress may have frayed.
    My uncle rarely talks of his time in Vietnam although he once mentioned at a Christmas celebration, that he recalled the beautiful intoxicating scent of frangipanis …

    vietnam vet-
    the lingering scent
    of frangipani

    • Lorin says:

      Nice verse, Jen. Frangipani is fragrant all through Sth East Asia. But I’d say frangipani is a summer aeasonal reference. Memories of morning baths in a concrete shed without a roof under a frangipani tree in December- January,1973, Bali. Best morning washes I’ve ever had 🙂

      My brother-in-law (that was) volunteered for Vietnam (the dickhead) and didn’t last long. ‘Friendly fire’, they call it, those who excel at euphemisms. Communications weren’t up to scratch. The Australians were doing practice manoeuvres in the bush and an American lot nearby hadn’t been informed, apparently. Machine-gunned up his spine. He died in the airlift. 19 years old.

      I more recent years I’ve appreciated the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh, including his first Western distributed book, ‘The Lotus in the Sea of Fire’. Essential reading in relation to the Vietnam war, imo.

      – L

  58. Jennifer says:

    I digress..
    the above was just me off on a tangent 🙂

  59. Maureen Virchau says:

    Loving all the verses and commentary!

    You’re welcome, Jen. ‘Whimsical’ is definitely the word. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that I adore sunflowers. And thanks for sharing that story and verse about your uncle. Very poignant. I think there’s a haibun in there.

    So sorry for the tragic loss of your brother-in-law, Lorin.

    No worries, Willie. Your temperatures are lower than ours here in New York. It’s warming up a bit now, as well. So you’re still in the lead!

    PS
    Lorin, I make those ‘tongue-poking-out’ emoticons by using a ‘P’ in place of a parenthesis for the smile.

  60. Maureen Virchau says:

    “I think her dress may have frayed.” – Jen

    This line lingers.
    Haunting.

    January 30 is the deadline for the March issue of Haibun Today. I think your posted writing could work well as a haibun. Maybe the addition of another haiku to complement the doll?

    OK, enough said. Just felt compelled to put that out there. 🙂

  61. Jennifer says:

    Hi Maureen,
    I have never attempted a haibun before however might just give it a go .
    Thank you for “putting it out there”
    I am enjoying this collaborative environment and the company of you all ( albeit virtual)
    A big warm hug to you !

    • Lorin says:

      That’s a good idea of Maureen’s, and do give it a go, Jen, Haibun is something I’ve not yet had a go at myself, but I like reading them. Mike Montreuil is AHG’s haibun editor, for future reference.
      I’ve just now googled Haibun today and noted that Cynthia and Jaya have haibn in the December issue. 🙂

      I’d be losing one of the instances of ‘beautiful’ … “She wore a traditional dress of kingfisher blue. ” ?

      – L

  62. Maureen Virchau says:

    You’re very welcome. Yes, it’s been lots o’ fun. And a hug right back at ya!
    Oh good. Glad you will give it a go. Melissa Allen is the primary editor of the issue. I think very highly of her.
    Good luck to you!

  63. Jennifer says:

    Melissa was at HNA2013 conference on the Queen Mary. I met her briefly and am familiar with her Dragonfly blog. Thanks so much for your encouragement 🙂

  64. Maureen Virchau says:

    Oh, how wonderful! Yes, I subscribe to her blog too. I really enjoy her work.
    You’re very welcome for the encouragement.

  65. ashleycapes says:

    Sorry team – just one from me, bit swamped!

    trudging uphill
    among Summer grasses —
    our new straw hats . . . L

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by . . . J

    without a label
    the glass bottle
    goes rolling

    too much movement?

  66. Lorin says:

    “too much movement?” -A

    Over the 3 verses, Ash? Maybe… I don’t know …that’ll be for Willie to judge. Why not add a variation or two without a verb, just in case? I like this mysterious bottle.

    without a label
    the amber glass bottle
    on the shelf

    -L

  67. William Sorlien says:

    New York?! Oh, my, far removed from us in flyover land. :-]

    Melissa is great. She came to my show, a 5 1/2 drive, because her son had appeared in it, also. Not my show – the little college theater’s show. I went there for awhile after an illness to live off school loans when I was still unable to work. Remember, Lorin? The play was The Diviners.

    I gave Melissa some awful advice during her divorce. She seems appreciative still – she hasn’t stopped talking to me. Yet.

    She’s as sharp as a tack, that girl. Lots smarter than me.

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons . . M

    without a label
    the amber glass bottle
    on the shelf . . A

    I’m fading a bit here, kids. Jump and jam right up until bed yesterday, then sicker than a dog from 3 am onward. Sumthin’ I ate. Got better, then jump Willie jump and now I’m about shot!

    I haven’t had time to think about a verse. Not easy to link to is it? ‘specially that move to indoors.

    I’ve taken the liberty of placing Lorin’s suggested tweak up, Ash. One difference between this and yours was how the last line felt diminished to my ear – wait a minute.

    without a label
    the (amber) glass bottle
    goes rolling

    Ah. That helps a bit. Amber. So many connotations. How simple can that be?

    Who takes the time to create a series of oil paintings of only mugs and spoons I wonder? Salvador Dali?

    Say no more …

    Has anyone seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi? I love this show. In essence, it’s about devotion to craftmanship. Shokunin Kishitsu.

    Of all the paltrey dealings and selfish bargains in the world, the one thing I still cling to at my lowest ebb is my devotion to craft. I don’t usually talk about it, at least not on the job.

    Attention to craft is very close to a deep meditation. That is, after finishing your apprenticeship. Although it never really ends.

    The apprentices, we tear down their body and their mind. Put ’em in a *world* of hurt and self doubt. The real reason for that is to wake them up so they can make decisions for themselves, in real time.

    I don’t think Jiro would have to use that method. One cross look and you’d know you were toast.

    My favorite scene? When he reunites with old friends. That’s when he smiles.

  68. Lorin says:

    trudging uphill
    among Summer grasses —
    our new straw hats . . . L

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by . . . J

    the glass bottle
    without a label
    goes rolling – A

    ?

    Food poisoning, Willie? Sorry to hear it. Jen has it, too, today …from something she ate yesterday.

    The rather obvious (now!) rearrangement of Ash’s lines 1 & 2, above, didn’t occur to me before now but since it has, I’ve put it up there for consideration.

    – Lorin

  69. Lorin says:

    glass palette,
    dipping a sable brush
    in cerulean blue – M

    open window,
    painting the old nursery
    a shade of blue – M

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons – M

    hmm, I wonder, …& when I wonder, sometimes I do take terrible liberties, but Maureen’s art/ painting bent in these verses seems promising, too, linking with sunflowers via a certain well-known painter but breaking away from Jen’s sunflowers and the outgoing first two verses, too.

    trudging uphill
    among Summer grasses —
    our new straw hats . . . L

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by . . . J

    the lecture
    on post-impressionism
    never-ending – M

    ?

    Lectures are usually held indoors, in universities, anyway. Willie’s reminder to me of his relatively recent college attendance whilst recuperating from a rather severe health condition … which struck amidst a certain renku being conducted here at ‘Issa’s Snail’ (yes, I do remember, Willie) …. put me on this track.

    – Lorin

  70. Maureen Virchau says:

    Congrats, Ash! Love the movement. A perfect break away. Such a mystery to it. Very nice.

    Thanks for another intriguing post, Willie. I’m sorry you weren’t feeling well. I’m glad you were able to help Melissa. We get by with a little help from our friends.

    I started watching that show. I love it! And now I have a craving for sushi.

    Lorin, I appreciate your thoughts very much. I love that verse about the lecture. I can definitely relate to that! Still laughing. 😀

    Jen, so sorry about the food poisoning. Hope you are feeling better.

    My offering:

    I smooth the wings
    of my origami swan

    smoke rings
    across the cigar lounge

    glints of light
    from the crystal chandelier

  71. William Sorlien says:

    Oh. Just a minute, please.

    I was in the midst of a post leading with our post-secondary school system but it seems to have gone by the wayside after leaving the page momentarily. Just as well. Something about increasingly bloated, multiple layers of Administration playing to a rash of gullible, fresh-faced youth that doesn’t jibe well with our first movement. My apologies to those of you who might be plying this trade.

    I was in it for the big money – English Lit. – but thought better of it. Why not go West to make my fortune, to the Bakken, land of flaring gas and fine fracking sand, and enjoy lunch everyday with the braceros? Well, that’s how it turned out anyway. Maybe not so well after all this time. Wells are shutting down one after another as we speak. And I’m now a wanted man in Fargo, North Dakota on account of it. Remind me later and I’ll tell you why.

    Speaking of Abstract Surrealism, however, that’s the very thing that caught my eye with this:

    trudging uphill
    among Summer grasses —
    our new straw hats . . . L

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by . . . J

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons . . . M

    Of course! Vincent Van Gogh. Food poisoning does dull the senses after all. Dottie suffered the same thing, btw. She’s good as gold again, and a sight more cognizant at that.

    The understatement of allusion, in line with our effort at lightness, with just a hint of a twist. This does move away quite nicely. A great set-up, too, for our next verse. Whatever that is …

    Sorry for the confusion before. I just wasn’t sure. Nor was I very clear. It could have gone either way. Good on ya both, Ash and Maureen.

    OK, then. let’s have a go, Ash. Non-season, then to follow with Moon. I think I like Winter with my moon this time around, but that remains to be seen.

  72. William Sorlien says:

    trudging uphill
    among Summer grasses —
    our new straw hats . . . L

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by . . . J

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons . . . M

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin . . . W

    I couldn’t resist. I thought we might have been writing ourselves into a corner at that –
    directly to first person narrative with a nod to the painter’s “discipline”.

    I hope you’re not miffed, Ash. Care to have a go at that Winter moon (V5)? Perhaps an even greater challenge awaits you.

    In any case, looking ahead in regards to “movement”, our summarization of Jo in V6 would, we hope, retain the lightness in tone of this first side while offering a springboard for the gradual ascencion of more powerful writing, no holds barred.

    • ashleycapes says:

      Definitely! Sounds great – back tonight to whip up a few moon verses. It’s barely even summer here at the moment, so I can channel some cold 😀

  73. Maureen Virchau says:

    Love that verse, Willie! A fantastic link & shift. Great rhythm and energy. I love the phrase ‘mad verse’ and the use of ‘scribbled’ rather than ‘written’ makes all the difference.

    Thank you for the verse pick and your kind words. So sorry you lost part of your post. That has happened to me before. So frustrating. I’m sorry for so many wells shutting down.

    So glad your Dottie is feeling better.

    Looking forward to your moon verse, Ash. Your ‘fingernail moon’ from “Orion Tips the Saucepan” is a treasure and always makes me laugh.

  74. Lorin says:

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons . . . M

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin . . . W

    😀 Nicely done, both!

    O, and an opportunity to try out Maureen’s tip re that smiley that’s eluded me for years … 😛

    – Lorin

  75. Jennifer says:

    Hi All, I am catching up on the read slowly , without my preferred beverage, coffee ( not brave enough to go there yet)
    Willie, I sympathise! and thanks Lorin for your advice of yoghurt. I ate some and think I will for the next few days. I am drinking hydration water apparently with antioxidants from green tea. It’s got fruit juice in it too.. made in Japan so maybe it will give me inspiration.
    Congrats Maureen & Willie on your verses! They are great 🙂
    Next step, the moon.

  76. Jennifer says:

    BTW- I checked the bottle and there is no haiku on it 😞

  77. William Sorlien says:

    I don’t pipeline anymore, if that’s what you mean, J & M. it was just – an adventure!!
    Up 30% in inverse oil ETFs. A barrel of crude at $44.62 last I checked. Happy days!

    A little snow on the way, Maureen? Got us again …

  78. William Sorlien says:

    Whoa! Just caught those delayed replies, Lorin.

    some new straw hats

    A clerical error of mine must have caused the switch to our. Is this the better version then? My ear’s gone wonky this evening. For the assonance, I’ll bet.

    • Lorin says:

      Hi Willie,
      I did play around with the possibility of ‘our’ along with ‘rampant’ after the question of ‘double kigo’ was raised:

      trudging uphill
      among rampant grasses …
      some/ our new straw hats
      ? ”

      Basically, feedback was one for the change to ‘our’ and one against. But then I realised that ‘our’ skewed the perspective (visually) … ‘we’ would have to be higher up the hill to see the straw hats from that angle…therefore we’d have to be in two places at once. Or looking at a film someone made of us. 🙂 Which seems to me to be all a tad too quirky for the first movement of a renku.

      Personally, I do prefer ‘summer grasses'(& let’s lose that capital S) despite possible objections to ‘summer grasses’ & ‘straw hats’ in the one verse. I suppose one could simply poke out one’s tongue at objectors & cite the rule book on the subject of the hokku being free of many of the restraints otherwise imposed. 😛

      I’m not so keen on the sound of ‘some’ (in that sense, I prefer ‘our’) but I’m not happy about the absurdity of perspective that ‘our’ brings. Another variation:

      trudging uphill
      among rampant grasses …
      a few straw hats
      ?
      Nah. Wrong mood. Doesn’t imply a salutation to us (we five who now gather in the name of St. Basho to indulge in a renku)

      trudging uphill
      among summer grasses …
      some new straw hats

      or maybe

      trudging uphill
      among summer grasses …
      new straw hats
      ?

      I still prefer ‘some new straw hats’ out of the versions to date. I’m happy to go with whatever you decide works best, though, Willie.

  79. Maureen Virchau says:

    More snow here, Willie. Not too much. I’ll certainly take it over another winter storm.

    Lorin & Jen, thank you both for your kind words.

    Jen, hope you will be back to 100% soon. And back to your coffee which is my preferred beverage, as well. I love the idea of having a haiku on that drink’s label. You should definitely call customer service. 😀

    Lorin, glad you are able to make those fun emoticons now. I’m not sure about the rhythm of ‘new straw hats’ but I definitely prefer it to the use of ‘our’ in the verse. I also wanted to offer you something that just came to mind- the use of the singular. A new straw hat. A lone adventurer. Composing haiku in his/her head, of course. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, but wanted to pass it on.

  80. Lorin says:

    Hi Maureen,
    Yeah, just ‘new straw hats’ does seem somewhat deficient, doesn’t do anything for the overall cadence of the hokku.

    And thanks for your suggestion …always very welcome! Just the one hat, though, implying a single person, doesn’t it seem to me to evoke the sense of a group. Part of the performative function of the hokku is often the acknowledgement of or a salutation to present company …the participants. Which is what I hoped to imply. (It’s the ‘howdy-doody’ verse 😉 )

    – Lorin

  81. Maureen Virchau says:

    You’re welcome, Lorin. Thanks so much for the info. It definitely works very well on that level. If a fitting word/phrase comes to mind, I’ll pass it along.

  82. William Sorlien says:

    Weeellll – perhaps we could try a group moon “shot”? Ash must be knee deep in rental trucks and packing crates.

    Might’s well stay limber – if you have a winter moon to share, please post it.

    We might want to stay a “little” conservative, mad verse not withstanding. We’ll have time enough after finalization of this Jo movement to go nuts. Avoid sickness, travel, religion, overt melancholy, keep it family friendly and no rabbit punches in the clinches.

  83. Lorin says:

    ok, Willie,

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses —
    some new straw hats (L)

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons ( M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    sphinx-shaped
    the cat views the rabbit
    in the cold moon

    cheers,

    Lorin

  84. Maureen Virchau says:

    Hope you find room for all your books, Ash! 🙂

    My offering:

    winter moonlight
    stretching across the sails
    of his toy boat

  85. Jennifer says:

    Hi all, here is an offering from me

    beneath the bridge
    a drunken poet recites
    an ode to the moon

  86. Jennifer says:

    actually that should be

    on the bridge
    a drunken poet recites
    an ode to the moon

    Maureen & Willie , I am glad you have not been snowed in by Juno ( who turned out to be Junior 🙂

  87. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks so much, Jen. It’s such a relief. 🙂

  88. Jennifer says:

    I heard how the met was closed and people stayed home from work. New York City must have been so quiet and so eery. It’s hard to imagine. 😯

  89. Maureen Virchau says:

    Eerie is definitely the word.

  90. Lorin says:

    Jen and Maureen, this moon verse is harder than our sabaki has let on! Sorry, friends, but someone has to point a couple of things out and since I’m here it klooks like it has to be me.

    “if you have a winter moon to share, please post it. ” – W

    winter moonlight
    stretching across the sails
    of his toy boat

    Since we have the season named in the hokku (summer grasses) we wouldn’t usually want to name the season again in the renku, and especially not in the the first section. So, though I can’t read Willie’s mind, my guess is he’d not want the season directly stated again.

    beneath the bridge
    a drunken poet recites
    an ode to the moon

    The moon without a kigo or seasonal reference is automatically the autumn moon, which is the main moon verse in any renku. This verse would be fine if an autumn moon verse had been called for.

    Back to the drawing/ revising board? It’s all good, it’s all practice. 😉

    – L

  91. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you very much, Lorin. I will be back later to offer a proper verse.

  92. ashleycapes says:

    Sorry everyone, very much snowed under with moving and term 1’s sinister return!

    Got one in mind but it’s got too much of a cut, any ideas?

    clouds streak
    the moon
    a chill in the ground

    • Lorin says:

      Hi Ash,
      “term 1’s sinister return” ;-D

      I’ll come back if any ideas occur. All that springs to mind right now is an association between a moon ‘sinking’ & ‘a chill in the ground’ … but I’m a bit worried about where one would have to be to feel a chill in the ground… underground?

      – L

    • Lorin says:

      … on thought, Ash:

      as the pale moon
      sinks behind the hills
      a chill in the ground

      ?

  93. Lorin says:

    when the last train rattles by
    the cold moon
    colder

    – L

  94. Lorin says:

    Aaarh! Can’t be having:

    when the last train rattles by
    the cold moon
    colder

    ! We already have ‘we pass by’ in Jen’s, and the repetition makes it limp along.

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by . . . J

    … so I’m submitting this version instead:

    as the last train’s
    whistle fades
    the cold moon colder

    or (better, imo)

    as the last train’s
    whistle fades, the cold moon
    colder

    – L

  95. Maureen Virchau says:

    Wonderful verses!

    An offering:

    steam rising
    with a wild horse’s breaths
    beneath the cold moon

  96. William Sorlien says:

    Wonderful how these weather “events” loose the inner fascist of NYC mayors. Stating if your auto is on the street it’s a “criminal act” (Cuomo). However, a neccesary distraction from starting wars across the globe. Whatever the circumstance, most certainly, NY *will* rebuild! ;-]

    fuggedaboutit …

    I sense some reincarnation with the use of “hills”. Then there’s the question of tone in relation to the entire passage, the follow-up, and summarization, of this first side.

    No worries, Ash. I still love you, man. Wish I could bring my truck around.

    Actually, reminds me of a verse I wrote once – … so much colder / the closer to the ground

    Wait! What’s this about a “toy boat”? Can we remark on that and still keep a straight face? The innocent, no-frills narrative makes it a go, methinks:

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses —
    some new straw hats (L)

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    winter (cold) moonlight
    stretches across the sails
    of his toy boat (J)

    One little problem. We’ve used a season word, “summer”, once already. And in most renku that’s plenty enough.

    “Cold” is the obvious replacement for “winter”, kigo or otherwise descriptive. but “cold” is a bit – cold, don’t you think? Hmm … maybe not. Might it actually serve to dampen the impact of our collective silliiness? At least maeku (the preceding verse) is only eleven syllables in relation.

    Also note the change from present participle to active verb for “stretch”. Is that alright?

    I like the cadence of individual lines with single syllable words interspersed among the various stanzas,too. They’re so – affirming. Creatively diverse.

    It happens four out of five times in the side so far, yet “mugs and spoons” next to “his toy boat” is different enough for the change in vowel sounds lengthening or abbreviating each line. I almost considered transposing lines in Jen’s offer but I think we’re not too far in danger of repetitive phrasings. Something we could watch for, but the team is certainly skilled enough.

    This is one of the weirdest starts I’ve witnessed to a renku, but even though it skirts the norms set forth in tradition I think like it. As a single movement, it sure is interesting.

    I’d like to hear back on whether we should run with this progression. For if we do, the last stanza of the side will decide whether we’ve gone over the top.

    And that might be wise to avoid direct content or word association as linking device. Despite argument that there should be no “summation” between sides, if the flow of ideas is unimpeded, why not offer some pause for reflection?

    Don’t worry so much about obvious logic in connection; plausible deniability may be the better way to go.

    Put another way, we still have only the beginning of an increasingly bold dynamic wave that shouldn’t normally crest until later in side two, intensification, followed with a quick and unamabiguous end stream in kyu, our finale.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    w

  97. William Sorlien says:

    Whoops! My eyes … sorry Maureen, the toy boat is your verse. My apologies.

  98. Lorin says:

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    stretches across the sails
    of his toy boat (M)

    I’d be interested to know your sense of the link, here, Willie. (The verse is lovely in itself, imo)

    – Lorin

  99. Lorin says:

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses —
    some new straw hats (L)

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    stretches across the sails
    of his toy boat (J)

    Just as well that ‘our’ in the hokku is gone, otherwise they’d be falling about in the aisles laughing by now!

    But we still have that progression of ‘we (v2)’, ‘my (v4)’, ‘his’ (v5)…too many personal pronouns for a run of just 6 verses? (first person plural, first person possessive, third person)

    Ya did ask for comment. 😛

    – L

    • William Sorlien says:

      Go ahead! Stick your tongue out again! (paraphrasing Samuel L. Jackson)

      Well, allow me to retort:

      Good observation.

      Obviously you recall I’m a product (partly) of the St. Paul school system. The English teachers spent more time bouncing the kids off the walls than demarking sections of Grammar. But, there’s plenty of time to criticize our system of indoctri – I mean school system, later.

      If we haven’t any “bumps” or red flags that distract from the momentum at this point I don’t see a problem. It *is* a concern in the long run. Something akin to mentioning types of grass multiple times, as I noted in one of Basho’s collaborations once. Nobody criticizes Basho – do they? But that sounds somewhat cynical.

      I meant to argue that I don’t sense an excessive use of pro-nouns at this point. I hadn’t even noticed. Our first movement tends more to identify the authors, I feel, including some allusions I haven’t even mentioned.

      If we really feel it distracts from the movement we could change it, of course. I am enjoying the personalization of events, however – it adds to the reader’s involvement I think.

      While I’m at it, you did ask why I like the toy boat linking to mad verse.

      Firstly, a vision of a person playing with his toy boat is somewhat mad, especially if it’s an adult. I think adults frequent coffeehouses more than kids. On the surface, it’s rather silly, tempering the idea with a continuance of our whimsy and child-like wonder.

      Add cold moonlight then, and it becomes a scene of an entirely different color. Somewhat bleak, in fact. Akin to solitude with a hint of the ache of loneliness. Once again, a simple seasonal kigo enhances a wealth of emotion.

      Yet there’s a determined feel about it, too. A universal appeal to carry on through some undescribed personal pain, with strength and fortitude, however odd the manner that culture and current events have molded one’s defenses. The previous mention of “memoirs” strengthens that feeling for me, at least, without becoming saccharin.

      I really believe this verse is a most wonderful “scent’ linking. It’s about feeling rather than clever word association – the whole side seems so in fact.

      That’s why I hadn’t noticed the run of personal pronouns. I was caught up in that sympathetic, subconscious allure of the everyman. Pardon my poor descriptive, gender specific as it is.

      Just as an aside, personally, I like my toy boats with rubber band motors: BRRRRm, BRRRuumm Brrruuummm …

  100. Jennifer says:

    Finally catching up on the comments ( once again )
    I like Maureen’s “cold moonlight”.

    We could change
    “as we pass by” to “to passers-by” or
    should we remove one of the personal pronouns and replace with “a” ?
    “a toy boat” or “a napkin” ?

    *******

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses —
    some new straw hats (L)

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    stretches across the sails
    of his toy boat (M)

  101. Maureen Virchau says:

    I enjoy your edits to the verse, Willie. Thank you so much.

    Thank you for your kind words, Lorin. I actually did play with the idea of ‘a’ toy boat rather than ‘his’ toy boat before posting the verse. Thank you for pointing that issue out.

    So…

    cold moonlight
    stretches across the sails
    of a toy boat

  102. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you, Jen.
    And it looks like we are on the same page with proposed changes. 🙂
    I am definitely happy with ‘a’ toy boat.

  103. William Sorlien says:

    A response of mine in reply to Lorin’s reply above if you please.

  104. Jennifer says:

    Hehe Willie. I have read plenty of posts about Basho but none have criticised him 🙂
    I get the whole adult with toy boat thing.
    I watched my eighty year old father put together a toy train set on Christmas Day . He spent ages setting it up and linking all the little carriages. Something was wrong with the battery operated locomotive and it wouldn’t go forward around the tracks but it worked well backwards ..

    There is something sobering about Maureen’s ‘cold moonlight’ .

  105. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the linking, Willie. And thank you again for another fascinating post. I played with the idea of moonlight highlighting various toys, but the toy boat won in the end.

    Thank you for sharing your story about your father, Jen. The fact that the train worked well backwards is most intriguing. And once again, I will tell you that there’s another haibun in there. 🙂

  106. William Sorlien says:

    Reporting back, after looking at another renku in progress, I see we’re in fine shape, person-wise. They actually had concern about alternating person/non-person subjects over a span of six stanzas. Interesting to note that runs of person or non-person verse are preferable. I guess that makes sense in a logical fashion.

    As for the use of pro-nouns, it may be a matter of personal taste, but only if the grammatical device distracts from the subject matter. But, how else may it be? I suppose proper names would break up an elongated passage. As it stands we have a first person interspersed with our thirds. Or is it first third person plural, first person, third person possessive? Have I forgotten those hats?

    I propose we continue to verse 6. When John wasn’t criticizing Basho’s occassional bombast, he did say, “if it feels right, then do it”

  107. William Sorlien says:

    edit: Or is it first person plural …

  108. Maureen Virchau says:

    I love that quote of John’s, Willie. I am very sorry for your tragic loss of a wonderful friend and sabaki.

    Jen, thank you again for sharing your stories along the way. They very much resonate with me. Your kingfisher doll continues to linger.

    I look forward to everyone’s verses.

  109. Lorin says:

    Hi Willie,
    Thanks for your interpretive response about the linking:

    “While I’m at it, you did ask why I like the toy boat linking to mad verse.

    Firstly, a vision of a person playing with his toy boat is somewhat mad, especially if it’s an adult. I think adults frequent coffeehouses more than kids. On the surface, it’s rather silly, tempering the idea with a continuance of our whimsy and child-like wonder.

    Add cold moonlight then, and it becomes a scene of an entirely different color. Somewhat bleak, in fact. Akin to solitude with a hint of the ache of loneliness. Once again, a simple seasonal kigo enhances a wealth of emotion.

    Yet there’s a determined feel about it, too. A universal appeal to carry on through some undescribed personal pain, with strength and fortitude, however odd the manner that culture and current events have molded one’s defenses. The previous mention of “memoirs” strengthens that feeling for me, at least, without becoming saccharin.

    I really believe this verse is a most wonderful “scent’ linking. It’s about feeling rather than clever word association – the whole side seems so in fact.

    That’s why I hadn’t noticed the run of personal pronouns. I was caught up in that sympathetic, subconscious allure of the everyman. ” – Willie

    So, basically, to you the ‘ moonlight stretching/ stretches sails’ verse links by being an observer’s view of the subject of verse 4 , the 1st person ‘scribbler on napkins’ in the coffeehouse playing with ‘his toy boat’. Ok, I get that.

    But to my mind this verse links rather more strongly with v3.

    v3
    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    v5
    winter (cold) moonlight
    stretching/es across the sails
    of his toy boat (M)

    … ‘oil paintings’ (done on canvass which the artist first stretches on a frame) then moonlight performing the action of stretching in relation to sails, also canvass. Can this be coincidental?

    The four verses, 2 – 5, seem to me to become a thematic series with the addition of the ‘moonlight stretching’ verse, as in the beginning of a film biography : sunflowers, then Van Gogh implied by the coffeehouse oil paintings, then the first person character in the coffeehouse scribbling on napkins, then ‘moonlight stretching / sails’ giving both a correlation to an artist preparing the canvass for the painting and a sense of moonlight itself ‘painting’ itself onto canvass.

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    winter (cold) moonlight
    stretches across the sails
    of his toy boat (M)

    I thought that the link is supposed to be to the previous verse, but that the present verse also needs to shift right away off from the verse before the previous, that the movement of renku was always forwards.


    Introduction to Renku by John Carley

    Link, Shift & Separation

    . . .
    The core generative mechanism of renku is that which operates within any given trio of verses: link to the preceding, shift from the one before that.
    . . .

    The principal of uchikoshi (kannonbiraki) means that there should be no similarity between added verse and last-but-one, other than possibly belonging to the same seasonal segment, or to the ‘love’ section. ”

    http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/node/458

    – L

  110. Lorin says:

    Ah, well, I posted a rather long post, but my posts aren’t showing up again.
    Let’s see it this one show up before I waste more time!

    – L

  111. William Sorlien says:

    Ah, there you are, Lorin! I can’t explain your trouble with postings … have you tried clicking “refresh”?

    Good point about canvas sails/oil paintings. You’re talking to a landlubber who never considered the association. I’m from Clay County, Missouri originally. Jesse James hid out in every other garage at one time or another they say, but he never rode the waves, so to speak.

    So, if uchikoshi exists, then the verse before last would link directly to the offer:

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    winter (cold) moonlight
    stretches across the sails
    of his toy boat (M)

    I wouldn’t have made the association.

    I did read an analogy of “The Wreck of the Hesparus” to Janet Yellen front-running inside stock info to Senate Democrats in re: Fed interest rate hikes not to be in the near future recently. I thought that more in relation to Zombies and Satan’s minions.

    For the sea-going set, perhaps a re-write of L2 of ‘toy boat’ would be in order, however.

    I wouldn’t get too excited. I often write verse beginning with just the metrical beats. It’s an interesting exercise. In fact, filling in the blanks is one put forth as practice for writing renku.

    stretches across the sails/spanning from stem to stern

    is a match, though cliched. Surely we can do better than that?

  112. ashleycapes says:

    I don’t mind charging ahead and editing/tweaking at the end?

  113. Maureen Virchau says:

    That’s a wonderful association, Lorin. Definitely not something I had in mind when I wrote the verse. How fascinating.

    Willie, I played with the idea of moonlight ‘spilling’ or ‘spreading’ rather than ‘stretching’ when writing my original verse. I imagine the use of ‘deck’ rather than ‘sails’ could possibly work. Or maybe it creates the same issue.

  114. Lorin says:

    Another go at posting:

    maybe

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    ?

    – L

    • Lorin says:

      😀 that went through.

      Nice assonance, huh? Avoids the preparation for painting (stretching the canvas, canvas being stretched) anyway.

      – L

  115. Lorin says:

    sibilance!

    Goodness, can’t spell, can’t get my terms right…old age is catching up already.

  116. William Sorlien says:

    No worries, Maureen. S’why we have a team concept. And Lorin grew up by the ocean. We are well represented.

    Absolutely stretching canvas is kannonbirakai (reverting to the verse before last). I just wasn’t attuned to the repurcussions. (where’s my spell check?)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    Now *that* is genius. Something John would do. Funny and sad, both at once. The multiple allusions in toy boat, in my opinion, are just too good to pass on.

    Well done, both of you.

    We remain degachi. We could try for non person, but we are also non-season. Difficult, but the the crew is well seasoned (Another metaphor? Oh, the humanity!) A bit salty, too. Arrrrr …

    On to verse 6 – Charge!!!

  117. Maureen Virchau says:

    Great line, Lorin. A strong link, as well as a fantastic rhythm. The use of ‘tangled’ is quite striking in reference to moonlight bathing an object and further develops the connection to madness. I find the combination of ‘cold’ and ‘tangled’ to create a greater sadness in me, but I don’t find it to be a case of overt melancholy. I only wonder about the issue of movement. Maybe the use of ‘tangles’ or ‘entangles’ here. ‘Entwines’ and ‘intertwines’ also come to mind. What are your thoughts?

  118. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Willie. And many thanks to you and Lorin for fixing that toy boat. Looking forward to everyone’s verses!

  119. Lorin says:

    Hi Maureen,
    I think I see what you mean by “the issue of movement”. .. the three verses in a row having a verb participle? (are) lined , (are) scribbled, (is) tangled …

    You have a good point about variety of expression being a desirable thing, but, rather like the repetitions of the various personal pronouns, I don’t think it’s illegitimate. Of ‘tangles’, ‘entangles’,‘entwines’ and ‘intertwines’, I prefer ‘tangles’ for the sound qualities of the whole verse.

    Whether ‘tangled’ or ‘tangles’ is preferable, I don’t know… that’d be up to Willie in the end.

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses —
    some new straw hats (L)

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

  120. Lorin says:

    …and there’s the option of changing the grammar of either v 3 or v4 instead, as well. (lined with, scribbled on)
    – L

  121. Lorin says:

    the coffeehouse
    replete with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    …still a verb participle (is) replete … but it doesn’t end in ‘-ed’, so isn’t as obviously similar. But the mood is more definite than ‘lined with’ is or even than ‘full of’ or the like would be. More ‘positive’, imo. It’d depend on what’s wanted …

    – L

  122. Lorin says:

    a horse laugh interrupts
    the Houyhnhnms

    …not a serious entry, but for fun, since it occurred. 😀 …and I don’t think proper nouns are legit for the first side, anyway.
    – L

  123. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Lorin. It’s certainly interesting to explore options. And yes, of course, it’s ultimately what Willie thinks. I guess I just liked the movement in ‘stretched across the sails’ in my original verse. I do need to learn not to get so attached. 😀

    I agree- I think ‘tangles’ is better than the rest of the offerings. Better for the sound. And the rest are a bit too formal. I think I just spent too much time with the thesaurus.

    I very much appreciate your fantastic ‘fixing’ of line 2. I was pouring over a list of boat parts and struggling to come up with something with no decent results. So thank you, thank you.

    I like ‘lined with’ more than ‘replete’ for the ‘coffeehouse’ verse at the moment although I do appreciate your point. I like the use of ‘lined with’ personally because I enjoy the fact that it is simply an observation rather than it necessarily reading positive or negative.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. I appreciate all your knowledge and your enthusiasm, as well as your openness to everyone’s opinions. It’s a great freedom.

  124. William Sorlien says:

    The thesaurus is indispensible, imo. I’ve broken it out once already, maybe twice. I’ll never tell.

    And thank goodness we can dispense with formalities. You’ll find we’ll loosen up even more as we progress. I’d batten down those lampshades tight right now if I were you.

    I tried to find a link to a piece John Carley wrote early in the century about verse submissions. In the essay he concluded statistically that one out nine, or was it fifteen, submissions presented were accepted. Perhaps it was one in fifteen accepted as is, and nine accepted, but with edits, either by sabaki or determined by the group process.

    I’d preferred the sabaki final say process – but only when I was sabaki. I tried it a few times even. When people got up and left the table in disgust I thought I might change my ways. No good being a totalitarian if you’ve no one to rule over.

    I’d thought I’d saved the essay. Perhaps I didn’t want to be reminded of my past failures.

    Then again, didn’t William Faulkner say, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”

    I heard that he drank a lot.

  125. ashleycapes says:

    ‘Tangled’ works a treat for me too!

  126. William Sorlien says:

    can’t even afford
    that penny for a pound

    Swing and a miss! Tee up another one …

  127. William Sorlien says:

    taking up collections
    for a penny or a pound

    shanked it …

  128. William Sorlien says:

    Hey, Ash, howdya edit yer posts?

    • ashleycapes says:

      Hey, Willie – for me, I see a grey

      (Edit)

      next to the date & time stamp of each post, right under our names – is it visible for you? IF not, I’ll mess with some settings

      • William Sorlien says:

        Aaccch! I get into trouble wearing glasses nowadays. Didn’t used to. There it is. Too obvious.

        Thanks Ash.

        I wandered through the dashboard, afraid to monkey with anything other than open some menus. I thought I might have been influencing Lorin’s ability to post even.

        Today i was held up, too. It turned out to be another Adobe Flash update in the background, blocking my web connection like they always do.

  129. Jennifer says:

    I prefer “the coffee house lined” .
    There is so much great commentary here.
    I’ll throw this in the mix

    secrets shared
    in the school yard

  130. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks for all the great info, Willie. Good to know.
    Yes, I agree that the thesaurus is indispensable.
    Your mention of Faulkner’s drinking reminded me of this much debated quote-
    “Write drunk; edit sober.”
    Anyway, lampshades are batten down, and I look forward to everyone’s verses.

    • William Sorlien says:

      I thought I was doing something backwards … shouldn’t I drink to both, to maintain quality, don’t you think?

      Well … here’s an (imaginary) ray of Sunshine, to us all, and every one.

      Cheers*

  131. Jennifer says:

    I found this essay on Sandra Simpson’s NZ Haiku site .
    Would this be the one that you were looking for?

    http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/renkubycarley

  132. William Sorlien says:

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    I was about to bring a verse until I realized I’d forgotten to get a job.

    hmmmm … let’s see what we have so far

    secrets shared
    in the school yard (J)

    What are you up to Jen, I wonder? … Wait!

    Don’t tell me.

    The complexities of the side abound. They’re just not – there. Yet they are. The allusury facility just tugs at your coat tail.

    Still, could you expand a bit, Jen? I’m interested to know what’s up your sleeve.

    what else do we have

    taking up collections
    for a penny or a pound

    Can you say, “toy boat”, really fast, ten times?

    moving … on

    Let’s see if some more come in.

  133. Lorin says:

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin . . . W

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    a share of green sea glass
    for each pirate

    ?

    – L

  134. Lorin says:

    Goodness, Willie…the timing! Looks like we were both posting at about the same time!

  135. Lorin says:

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin . . . W

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    each pirate takes
    a share of the sea glass

    ?

  136. Lorin says:

    each pirate takes
    one share of the sea glass

    ?

    – L

  137. Jennifer says:

    a rum diddly dum
    for the old sea dog

  138. William Sorlien says:

    Those three verb participles you mention? They just march along, don’t they? Just shy of a goose step. Ja! I admire such precision!

    The next line might improve if it were five or more syllables long.

    But what of the pace, let alone the tone?

    Do Minnesotans sometimes speak as though a nasal thin, lilting question hangs in the air when they finish each statement?

    It’s more noticeable after long periods spent indoors with little or inadequate sunlight.

    – but that’s too much information.

    Or, it might sound like – (too – many – commas / to – mind – their – P’s – and – Q’s)

    It could be your Grandmother relating a parable. Or maybe not.

  139. William Sorlien says:

    the click from her knitting,
    while rocking, all at once

  140. Lorin says:

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin . . . W

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    a pocketful of sea glass
    for each pirate
    ?

    Ok, that’s it with the pirates. I’ll stop, now.

    – L

  141. Jennifer says:

    baggy trousers
    half mast

  142. Jennifer says:

    a piercing stare
    through horn rimmed glasses

  143. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks for posting that link, Lorin. That was an amazing article! Something I will have to read again. And again.

    Loving everyone’s verses! So much fun. 😀

    Love the idea of bringing sound into the renku with the ‘clicking’ there, Willie. And I really enjoy the rhythm and imagery of ‘pocketful of sea glass’ for yours, Lorin. Jen, you made me laugh more than a few times with your verses. I think my fave of yours is the ‘rum’ verse for the rhythm and humor.

  144. Lorin says:

    I think you might mean Jen’s recent link to this article, Maureen: ‘Renku: A Snippet of Snails by John Carley.’ But I did post a link to another piece in the HaikuNewZ essay archives, earlier: ‘Introduction to Renku by John Carley’.

    Both are valuable ‘editorial compositions’ by Sandra Simpson, of John’s comments from here and there. On this site, too (Issa’s Snail) there are still some threads of discussions and teachings John gave whilst renku hwere in progress. I think the only one missing is ‘Yellow Moon’, the first.

    – Lorin

  145. ashleycapes says:

    Here’s the ‘Yellow Moon’ one Lorin mentioned, it’s one of my favourites to re-read and I often point people new to renku toward it, it’s a pretty awesome resource in and of itself I reckon

    https://issassnail.wordpress.com/drafts-discussions-yellow-moon/

    • Lorin says:

      Thanks, Ash. I was looking in the wrong place, I see. 🙂 I think that was the first one with John, here? and I agree that it’s awesome in itself. What an introduction! It’s great to have these examples of John’s off -the-cuff comments & teachings preserved here at ‘the snail’.

      – L

  146. ashleycapes says:

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    a slow tick
    filling the hush

    a slow tick
    without a tock

    a sad pig-face
    pushing through the wall

  147. William Sorlien says:

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    a slow tick
    filling the hush

    a slow tick
    without a tock

    a sad pig-face
    pushing through the wall

    (Ash)

    a pocketful of sea glass
    for each pirate

    a share of green sea glass
    for each pirate

    (Lorin)

    a piercing stare
    through horn rimmed glasses

    baggy trousers
    half mast

    secrets shared
    in the school yard

    (Jen)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    before the closing bell

    I was drawn to Jen’s “secrets” for the variously unstated, therefore enticing, possibilities of meaning behind the verse. Adding a dimension, one allusion brings us round again without repeating out right. Another reminds of current events.

    A pause in the cadence about to establish, I hope, we can lose the sequence of past tense verbs. I think understatement is the effect desired for the closing of the first side.

    “closing” to describe the bell might be wrong, too. “evening”, final”, recess, “vespers?” come to mind, too – Something authoritive, recognizeable – ubiquitous? – or local would be nice. This present participle draws the sound out a little. That could do better to further differentiate meter from uchikoshi, the verse before last.

    a new side approaches. A run of non-season still, we’ll eventually fall into spring.

    Onward!

    w

  148. Lorin says:

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    before the closing bell (J)

    So the link is between toy(s) & school children? Ok, if that’s right, I get it. 🙂 But is there such a thing as ‘the closing bell’? Your ‘recess bell’ seems authentic, Willie, but it signals the beginning of recess, and ‘the end of recess bell’ is a tad unwieldy. Very mysterious! Who’d be in the school yard sharing secrets while the kids are still (one would hope) in class?

    This one is eluding me, in the main. Maybe Ash can help? I’m too rusty.

    – L

    • William Sorlien says:

      Your association is one possibility. I’m thinking of it, not in any specific content, but primarily in the sensibility established in maeku as well as the entire passage of this first side.

      Although I’d hoped to offer some summation without indicating any themes. Call it demarking the end of a movement, if you’d prefer.

      • William Sorlien says:

        Btw, the closing bell also denotes the one rung at the end of the stock exchange trading day. That may be a step too far. Something less pointed may be preferable. I had hoped to involve some tension, and that to be resolved in the following movement and intensification.

        We are seekers of knowledge in a way, alluding to the schoolyard, as well, perhaps, our journey begun in those summer grasses.

  149. ashleycapes says:

    ‘Last’ bell? Hard to say, mostly in our school we just call it ‘the bell’ – are we looking for a certain number of syllables for rhythm?

  150. ashleycapes says:

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    before the closing bell (J)

    at first light
    the city tucks away
    all its neons

    • William Sorlien says:

      Might be a return to the verse before last, if you read them together?

      • ashleycapes says:

        Damnit, too much light, yeah – will try again lol

      • Lorin says:

        yeah, ya can’t have light or lights after ‘moonlight’ because of ‘kannonbiraki, Ash,,, but beyond that I have to say I’m completely stumped about this renku beyond verse 4 .
        I sure hope that ‘group mind’ (as JEC referred to it) happens soon, and that my poor mind can clue into it.

        – L

  151. ashleycapes says:

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    before the closing bell (J)

    old dust
    nestled behind
    the bookshelf

    • Lorin says:

      Hi Ash,

      “a new side approaches. A run of non-season still, we’ll eventually fall into spring.”

      old dust
      nestled behind
      the bookshelf

      ‘nestled ‘
      is sort of birdie, don’t you think, Ash?

      in the library
      dust that once was moth wings
      that once was stardust

      – L

  152. William Sorlien says:

    another version of maeku:

    secrets in the schoolyard
    before they ring the bell

    • Lorin says:

      Don’t you think we’ve concentrated on pronouns enough for a while, over the past 5 verses, Willie?

      we, my, his … then ‘they’?

      after the punch-up
      his ‘I – Thou’ t-shirt
      bloody illegible

      😛
      – L

  153. Jennifer says:

    Willie, how about

    secrets in the schoolyard
    before the final bell

    Please bear with me over the next few days as I may not be online so frequently.
    I am on the Gold Coast in Queensland for work conference till Wednesday.

  154. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you for the fantastic info and link, Lorin. And thanks, Ash, for the ‘Yellow Moon’ link. I will definitely be rereading it. 🙂

    Jen, hope you enjoy your change of scenery. And congrats on your verse! A great link and shift. It really makes you wonder.

    ‘Final’ bell sounds good to me, Willie. I think the break in personal pronouns works well. Not sure about this, but wanted to offer ‘before/between the clang of bells’ since it just came to mind.

  155. Maureen Virchau says:

    My offering:

    a white dove
    pecking at a clouded mirror
    behind stage

    an ace of spades
    tucked between a pair
    of one-eyed jacks

    carefully polishing
    the gold-plated mouthpiece
    of a bass trombone

  156. Maureen Virchau says:

    Not sure about this arrangement, but just offering a variation:

    tucking an ace
    of spades between a pair
    of one-eyed jacks

  157. William Sorlien says:

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses —
    some new straw hats (L)

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    between the clang of bells (J)

  158. ashleycapes says:

    the soundless
    roar of a jet’s tail
    overhead

    soundless roar
    of the jet’s tail
    overhead

  159. Maureen Virchau says:

    a knock-knock
    before sneaking a peek
    behind the castle door

  160. Lorin says:

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    between the clang of bells (J)

    not only
    the Catholic paedophiles
    but now the Jews

    Betcha this verse doesn’t make it, though. True as it is, it’s just not pretty enough. 😛
    ( & of course I’ve not used USA spelling, so Windows spellcheck, in all its arrogance, tells me I’m wrong… nothing new there,either.

    – L

  161. Jennifer says:

    an anguished cry
    from the broken-hearted
    Quasimodo

  162. Jennifer says:

    I am enjoying everyone’s verses.
    I am back home tonight with my furry felines 🙂

    • Lorin says:

      My furry feline … ugh..he comes and is especially affectionate, early (too early) in the morning, rubbing his face against mine & kissing me ardently…then I get up & stumble over a headless rat! ., . which rather makes it clear where his face has beenmnright before he bestows his affections upon me,
      Urgh,

      – Lorin

      • Maureen Virchau says:

        Lorin, so sorry about the ‘headless rat’ incident. What a way to start the day! ‘Urgh’ indeed.

    • Maureen Virchau says:

      Welcome back, Jen! Hope you enjoyed the change of pace. Bet your cats were glad to see you back. 🙂 We have two cats and a dog, and the greetings we receive after being away are pretty wonderful.

  163. William Sorlien says:

    Sorry all,

    I’ve spent the better part of the day getting someone to admit they f**k’ed up without actually admitting they f**k’ed up! How is that possible you might ask?

    Well, a modicum of misdirection, a little game of “flush the pigeons” in between, while some hapless underling takes the brunt to get things rolling. Vice Prez’ are very important people – you can hint you’ll go over their head, and that only if they mention “upstairs”.

    It all comes down to something my Dad said: “Don’t ever tear someone down completely – just a notch will do.”

    Or maybe it’s about saving face …

    I liked the “clang” of bells. Does it make more “sense”, grammatically?

    What would you say to this, Ash?

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    between the clang of bells (J)

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead (A)

    Heard of the chemtrail conspiracy theory? Then again, reading these together:

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead

    Shucks. Say it ain’t so.

    Comments?

    • ashleycapes says:

      Looks great to me, fills out the verse a bit too 🙂

      And ‘just one notch’ is very astute too

    • Lorin says:

      cold moonlight
      tangled in the rigging
      of his toy boat (M)

      lost in a contrail
      a jet’s soundless roar
      high overhead

      Shucks. Say it ain’t so. – W

      Interesting… is it or isn’t it? or is it both yes & no? If we were going to be pedantic, the rigging of a TOY boat isn’t likely to be ‘high overhead’, but on the other hand it’s just a matter of scale so the ‘hasn’t there been something else high overhead recently?’ thought does occur, at least enough to go back & check (and lose forward momentum?)

      Otherwise, it works for me, ‘pivot ‘ structure & all (Ls 2 & 3 framing L2… oddly enough, a haiku technique which also derives from the double doors which open out from the Quan Yin/ Kannon statue) So in that sense, definitely Kannonbiraki . But perhaps that’s your little joke, Willie?

      Some one proposed to one ‘Maree’ via a skywriter while I was out watering this morning, ended up with a big heart, but the breeze soon blurred it all & then it was just wispy cloud. I hope Maree was looking up in the right direction at the time!

      – L

    • Maureen Virchau says:

      Sorry about your stressful day, Willie. Glad it all worked out. I enjoy the ‘pivot’ structure here, and I don’t have an immediate issue with Ash’s verse. I value Lorin’s examination and will wait to hear your final decision.

      I love your ‘soundless roar’ there, Ash. What a fantastic concept.

      Thanks for sharing your skywriting story, Lorin. Yes, I do hope Maree looked up in time. 🙂

      • William Sorlien says:

        No big deal, Maureen. More musing on modern business than anything. Interject some “old school” mannerisms, some alleged cultural mores, it all becomes very interesting in a survivalist sort of way.

  164. Lorin says:

    secrets in the schoolyard
    between the clang of bells (J)

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead (A)

    a faraway look
    in the captive tiger’s eyes

    ?

    – L

  165. Lorin says:

    secrets in the schoolyard
    between the clang of bells (J)

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead (A)

    a faraway look
    in the captive tiger’s eyes

    ?

    + just in case you’re considering the dreaded ‘love’ verses to follow(& with thanks to Ash’s unlabeled, rolling bottle!)

    that spinning bottle
    rolls to a stop

    that spinning Bacardi bottle
    rolls to a stop

    – L

  166. William Sorlien says:

    Sorry to take so long. My grand daughter spent the last two days here while Mom worked. We spent some time getting to know each other. She’s two months old.

    Let’s roll with this offer from, Ash. A bit of an echo exists, maybe (Moon – high overhead), but not *too* close. I’ve just observed a similar instance in another renku in progress elsewhere.

    secrets in the schoolyard
    between the clang of bells (J)

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead (A)

    These particularly *dramatic* events seem best tempered with a simple scene to follow, although with an allusory power and conclusiveness of its own.

    that spinning bottle
    rolls to a stop (L)

    We’ve removed the presence of people entirely for that matter.

    A nice set up for what’s to follow – love, and in Spring no less!

    Continuing momentum would be key – we’ve an entire side of ten stanzas that we hope would progress (nearly) seamlessly. Obvious references might be guauche, such as bars, or drunken love, but I have confidence in our group’s creativity and collective life experience.

    For that matter, a love sequence should build chronologically and intensively, most often beginning with the first stirrings to some concluding event. We could go beyond just a pair of love verses if it suits us.

    We’ve yet to touch on a number of topics besides. Current events, politics, art, literature, religion, travel, science, to name a few.

    • Lorin says:

      Whew! 🙂

      “We’ve yet to touch on a number of topics besides. Current events, politics, art . . .”

      I think we’ve done art, Wilie. 😉

    • Maureen Virchau says:

      So glad you were able to spend time with your granddaughter, Willie. Sounds like fun. 🙂

      Congrats on your verse, Lorin! A wonderful set up. I will be back with some alcohol-free love verses.

    • ashleycapes says:

      Ah, I see the moon now – but I don’t see a huge regression in terms of the ‘heavens’ as category, for instance, I read the moonlight as down in a toy boat, very grounded. Maybe that’s just fast-talking?

      But I’m happy to tweak the verse at the end if we need to 🙂

    • Lorin says:

      Hi Willie,
      I wonder if ‘spinning’ & ‘rolls’ are a tad awkward together? So, a variation that makes more sense:

      that spinning bottle
      slows to a stop

      – Lorin

  167. Maureen Virchau says:

    snowing lightly
    as I close my eyes
    to see you

    your reflection
    as I peer
    into the thin ice

    the warmth of you
    still lingering
    in the light snow

  168. Maureen Virchau says:

    Another verse:

    the shape of you
    pointing to a kaleidoscope
    of butterflies

  169. Lorin says:

    I’m repeating this one down here so that we others might, too, and we might be able to return to using the ‘reply’ option for replies. 😀 I think it was me who began using the rely function for posting offers, so I apologise for that. It could seem to Jen or others that there have been no new posts for a while if they just look at the end of the thread.

    Hi Willie,
    I wonder if ‘spinning’ & ‘rolls’ are a tad awkward together? So, here’s a variation that makes more sense:

    that spinning bottle
    slows to a stop

    – Lorin

  170. Jennifer says:

    Maureen , I really like your last verse.
    I am struggling with providing a decent love verse at the moment.

    ghost train
    he slips his hand
    into mine

    house of mirrors
    I wonder what
    I ever saw in him

    okay so the last one is just me being bitter and twisted 🙂

  171. Jennifer says:

    Whoops just posted but it doesn’t seem to have worked.
    So here it is again.

    Maureen, I really like your last verse.
    I am struggling with good “love” offerings however here goes

    ghost train
    he slips his hand
    into mine

    house of mirrors
    I wonder what
    I ever saw in him.

    Well I guess I am just too bitter and twisted! 🙂

    • Maureen Virchau says:

      Thank you so much, Jen. I find it so interesting that a group of butterflies is known as a kaleidoscope. I toyed with using an exaltation of skylarks, as well. Of course, a murder of crows didn’t quite cut it for the mood/season. 😀

      I really enjoy your verses. Especially your ‘house of mirrors’ verse. Wow. That one will linger.

      I have fond memories of funhouse mirrors. I have a free verse poem I’ve been working on which contains one.

  172. Jennifer says:

    Sorry Ash, Lorin, Maureen & Willie, I seem to have inserted my comments above the last two.
    Dunno how though? ?

  173. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Maureen,
    I didn’t actually know that a group of butterflies is referred to as a kaleidoscope and yet it makes such perfect sense.
    I recently looked into names for groups of animals for a poem I was writing as part of a workshop.
    I found some interesting ones – a parliament or a stare of owls, a flamboyance of flamingoes, a crash of rhinos ..

    http://www.thealmightyguru.com/Pointless/AnimalGroups.html

    • Maureen Virchau says:

      Sorry for the delay, Jen. Once again- life intrudes! You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for sharing. How very interesting. A crash of rhinos is perfection. 😀

      Thanks so much for the link. I will check it out when I have some time.

    • Lorin says:

      I can just see those corpulent old Brit upper class blokes at the “men’s only” club competing, after a few too many scotches or brandies , as to who could come up with the most ludicrous collective nouns. “I say, old boy, how about ‘a murder of crows’ ?”

      I particularly object to ‘a litter of kittens’. How dare they?

      ( I tend to ignore most of them as the results of Victorian era silliness. Too metaphorical for haikai, imo, anyway )

      – L

  174. Lorin says:

    Hi Jen,
    Most likely you hit ‘reply’ under a post rather than going to the bottom of the page and posting under ‘Leave a Reply’. That’s my guess anyway. I’m testing with this post to see if it turns up down the bottom, where I intend it to, or not. 🙂

    – L

  175. Lorin says:

    Well, it didn’t! So goodness knows. Maybe Ash will delete those four posts t, above, that are irrelevant to the renku?

    – L

  176. ashleycapes says:

    I think we’ve broken wordpress 😉

    Never had it play up this much before, not in the dozen or more renku we’ve done here in the past – odd!

  177. Lorin says:

    Hi Ash, what you say is true. I just hope it’s not something I did!
    -L

  178. Jennifer says:

    I do like kaleidoscope of butterflies though..
    How about a tumble of kittens?
    Anyway, have we really broken wordpress?

  179. Jennifer says:

    before midnight
    she returns
    a stolen kiss

    okay thats as romantic as I get !

  180. William Sorlien says:

    Some gathering of loose ends – my replies were also moved up earlier. Seems OK now.
    I have some errands and I’ll be back.

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead (A)

    that spinning bottle
    slows to a stop (L)

    ***

    ghost train
    he slips his hand
    into mine

    house of mirrors
    I wonder what
    I ever saw in him.

    before midnight
    she returns
    a stolen kiss (J)

    snowing lightly
    as I close my eyes
    to see you

    your reflection
    as I peer
    into the thin ice

    the warmth of you
    still lingering
    in the light snow (M)

  181. Jennifer says:

    Sorry all, here is a revised offering and a new now with the season included.

    barely spring
    she returns
    a stolen kiss

    **

    Valentine’s Day
    tiny white teddies
    and heart shaped balloons

    **

  182. William Sorlien says:

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead (A)

    that spinning bottle
    slows to a stop (L)

    not the faces
    on the hina dolls
    nothing compares to her

    Forgive me for choosing this (outline). It alludes to a hokku by Kikaku:

    Unwrap the cotton
    they are older too
    faces on the hina dolls

    . . . . Takarai Kikaku

    There seemed to be more a suggestion of an initial attraction.

    As for the spinning bottle – who hasn’t played that game?

    I did wonder if the phrasing stands up to your scrutiny?

    Otherwise, I had ideas about burning fields (heat shared) and someone serving white sake (briefly aged or barely pressed – nigori-zake)

    Oh, but wait! –

    that serving girl
    younger than the sake
    she serves our table?

    A somewhat misogynist/ lecherous point of view, but – haikai wasn’t meant to always be pretty. I prefer the second choice for the possibilities that might follow (including the chauvinist receiving his due) and only hinting at what might become a sexual liason. For all we know it might be a man in drag!

    Basho’s poetry was not without its allusion to homoeroticism, veiled, humorous or otherwise. And love verses are intended to explore the sexual tension between people – s’why we don’t include verses of pets or children! This is what makes our poems more daring or exciting.

    Real stories, not bereft of unintended consequences – an unwanted pregnancy? Death of a loved one, divorce, abandonment – full of life’s conquests and failures.

    I will remind we have Spring again in our finale.

    If you would care to answer either verse above, I’d be most happy. I’m curious as to your responses.

  183. Lorin says:

    Here’s my tuppence worth, Willie. Something for you to answer, too.

    not the faces
    on the china dolls
    nothing compares to her.

    that serving girl
    younger than the sake
    she serves our table?

    Of the two, the second is by far the better written verse ( imho, of course) However the voice is downright medieval! You could be channeling a European visiting Ye Olde England! (I say a European because the phrasing suggests to me that English is not the first language of this persona/voice)

    If it wasn’t for the sake, that is …change ‘sake’ to ‘sack’ and you might have Falstaff. 😛

    So is this ok in renku? To dip into history and take a persona or two, a la Shakespeare? I haven’t a clue whether or no, so you’ll have to tell us.

    Then, (a) only someone who knows the ins & outs of sake brewing would be able to determine whether it’s a spring reference, and (b) quite how young might the serving girl be, especially in medieval times? Do you want the possibility of it being read (quite legitimately) as an allusion to paedophilia ?

    Hmmm… interesting verse.

    — L

  184. William Sorlien says:

    Should read – ‘brings (to) our table’? I had hoped for a bit of tongue-in-cheek, as broad as the voice might be taken for.

    Of course, Basho and the gang eluded to their medieval and earlier literature (Saigyo?) in their time. For that matter, I’ve just seen a verse in another venue alluding to child labor in the Industrial Revolution, replete with Lancashire migrant brogue!

    Japanese kiyose contains a common Spring reference to white sake (more leavings from the rice husks causing the colour), perhaps best explained to the “layman” by the qualifying ‘younger”.

    I just had one accepted about a professor’s roving eye – of course, he was “chided” in the end. This verse tended and attended to variously by the venerable Ms. Eiko and Mr. Yuasa.

    So, there are options to dampen the – erm – effect. For better or worse, was there ever a time in history without the presence of the so-called “good old boys club”?

    John and I discussed the propensity to “nice” topics in renku – as a result, he deliberately included Religion as a topic to include in the Quartet form to deter an overabundance of same. One can only imagine why.

    However, my writing may not be as eloquent as, say, Basho’s reference to one character “drawing his sword”!

    • Lorin says:

      ” Should read – ‘brings (to) our table’? ” – W

      Ah, yes, that makes a big difference. My reading of the first version was that L3 was a lecherous enquiry, a version of “Does she serve our table?”,which is fine if that’s what’s intended. There’s a pause after ‘sake …’ (but it’s certain;y not a cut, not ‘haiku-like’)

      that serving girl
      younger than the sake
      she serves our table?

      that serving girl
      younger than the sake
      she brings to our table

      With the second version, it’s clear that “younger than the sake ” is a an instance of romantic hyperbole (as in time-honoured lyrics like “younger than springtime, are you” ) The mood is quite other than that of version one!

      Well, I’m glad I queried. : ) This is an inspired verse, in context. Nice one, Willie!

      lost in a contrail
      a jet’s soundless roar
      high overhead (A)

      that spinning bottle
      slows to a stop (L)

      that serving girl
      younger than the sake
      she brings to our table

      (…and I do recall David Lanoue’s exercise on THF where we compared two verses, and they turned out to be verses that Basho had compared, telling the chap who’d written the inferior verse to “put away his wooden sword”. That example and thread well worth revisiting)

      – L

      • Lorin says:

        By “The mood is quite other than that of version one!” I mean subtler and mellower. Now that it’s clear that “younger than…” is hyperbole, there’s no suggestion that the speaker is a child molester.

        – L

    • Lorin says:

      lost in a contrail
      a jet’s soundless roar
      high overhead (A)

      that spinning bottle
      slows to a stop (L)

      that serving girl
      younger than the sake
      she brings to our table (W)

      Perhaps change the ‘that’ in previous verse to ‘the’, Willie ? It seems a tad odd to repeat it.

      the spinning bottle
      slows to a stop (L)

      that serving girl
      younger than the sake
      she brings to our table (W)

  185. Jennifer says:

    Reading the last few posts with much interest.

    that serving girl
    younger than the sake
    she serves our table?

    sexist ? most likely. Lecherous? possibly . However it is a question and therefore left open to interpretation and I guess conclusion by us as the reader.

    Thanks Willie & Lorin for such provocative commentary 🙂

    plum blossoms –
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers her fan

  186. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you, Willie and Lorin for such fascinating commentary. I’m learning so much.

    I prefer the second verse as it allows for some interesting possibilities.

    the wakame bitter
    as she lifts his toupee

    a pregnant belly
    revealed with the east wind

    a slap to his face
    with a side of wakame

    her laughter as an east wind
    lifts his toupee

  187. Lorin says:

    the spinning bottle
    rolls to a stop (L)

    that serving girl
    younger than the sake
    she brings to our table (W)

    out in the garden pond
    the carp are rising, too

    a lover’s heart as light
    as birds entering clouds

    all through the soft night
    the songs of cats in love

    – L

  188. William Sorlien says:

    I laughed out loud!

    that serving girl
    younger than the sake
    she brings to our table? (W)

    out in the garden pond
    carp are rising, too (L)

    through petals of paper
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    I’ve taken some liberties here – deleted the article before carp and changed Jen’s verse to play up the magic of the theatre!

    Depending on the era, Kabuki performers could be either women, young boys, or later in Basho’s time, adult men. Some interesting info on Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabuki

    I thought it more … ingenious to hail to the period of male kabuki performances portraying either gender, matched by the imagery of those false blossom petals.

    Let me know if these changes are alright, please.

  189. Lorin says:

    Hi Willie, just want to draw your attention to all these ‘ings’. In the first two of the three, it’s an adjective and in the3rd it’s a verb participle, so there’s no ‘kannonbaraki’.

    the spinning bottle
    rolls to a stop (L)

    that serving girl
    younger than the sake
    she brings to our table (W)

    out in the garden pond
    carp are rising,/i>, too (L)

    What do you think about losing ‘serving girl’ or substituting something for ‘serving’ … eg ‘something-not-ending-in-ing-waitress’, or ‘ something-something girl’?

    Otherwise , fine. Glad to get a laugh out of you. 😀

    Are we still in Spring in Jen’s verse? If so, what’s the kigo/ reference?
    (Surely not ‘paper petals’… 😛 )

    – L

  190. Lorin says:

    oops ..buggered up the italics. Apologies.

    – L

  191. Lorin says:

    O, & I just got the fan bit, in context 😀

    out in the garden pond
    carp are rising, too (L)

    through petals of paper
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    Now you’ve made me laugh. 🙂

    – L

  192. William Sorlien says:

    Yes, Lorin, I thought of servant girl, too. I passed it over in lieu of some other tasks – I’ve been moving along quickly without much thought to grammatical detail – mostly focusing on content and pace. Part of that, of course, is time spent at home or work between verses.

    I’m glad you’re aware of it. Otherwise, we’d have a lot to do by ageku or further along. Shall we review as long as we’re on the subject?

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses —
    some new straw hats (L)

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    between the clang of bells (J)

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead (A)

    the spinning bottle
    slows to a stop (L)

    that servant girl
    younger than the sake
    she brings to our table? (W)

    out in the garden pond
    carp are rising, too (L)

    a flurry/flurries of paper petals
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    I really liked Maureen’s wakame verse, but realized it could be reversion to the verse before last if placed after the “carp”.

    I thought a little rule breaking in order after dinner and a contemplative smoke – before walking the dogs – and came up with those faux-petals to contrast our kabuki actor – Jennifer was on to something and I almost hadn’t noticed!

    “Through paper petals” came to mind, if only to shorten the concept’s syllable content, though the phrasing nagged at the back of mind, feeling it inadequate, despite the humour.

    Returned again after another errand, your prompt has me proposing this (shown above). Not quite Spring, yet in the same vein, It has a much nicer swish to it, wouldn’t you agree?

  193. Lorin says:

    through petals of paper
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan

    a flurry/flurries of paper petals
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan

    “. . . your prompt has me proposing this (shown above). Not quite Spring, yet in the same vein, It has a much nicer swish to it, wouldn’t you agree?” – W

    Beast that I am, no, I don’t agree. You know me. 😉 You can do without me agreeing, though. But I have to ask, why do the petals have to be paper?

    in a flurry of petals
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan

    ‘Petals’ sort of suggests spring blossom in a Spring gust.

    …another possibility, considering we might assume he has an audience, some probably female, who might’ve noticed something:

    in a flurry of blushes
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan

    😛
    That’d be more the mime, or clown … the humorous commentator. I bet they had them, too, but in something a tad more ‘common’ than kabuki.

    O, actually, no! I doubted that statement, so googled & whaddaya know:
    http://www.clowns-online.com/clown.html
    “On top of this there are many non-European clowning traditions (including clown-like figures in Japanese Kabuki theatre) . . . ”

    But no Spring ref. there though, either.

    modest as a primrose
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan

    ?
    So, a primrose is a flower but not a blossom (see the Henderson ‘essentials’. )

    Don’t let anyone tell you that ya can’t have simile/ overt comparison in a renku. Though they probably will. I think it’s silly & limiting, though I’d avoid it in a hokku/ haiku.

    But what would be wrong with unidentified petals?

    I dunno.
    – L

    • Lorin says:

      Willie, I assume you’re avoiding actual blossoms because the blossom verse goes elsewhere? Can’t you make this one the blossom verse?

      eg.

      in a gust of cherry petals
      the kabuki dancer
      lowers his fan

      (plums, as Jen had, is a tad early, at this stage,I think)

      – L

  194. Lorin says:

    ps

    that servant girl
    younger than the sake
    she brings to our table? (W)

    Yep, that fixes it. 🙂 A very nice verse, indeed,

    – L

  195. William Sorlien says:

    things are always different once you sleep on it – though I do see your point.

    hmmm … returning to the argument, “it’s all illusion” –

    a blush of plum petals
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    D’ya think Johnnie’d like that???

  196. Jennifer says:

    Hi all, when I wrote “lowers her fan” it was a coy reference to what in my mind was a male impersonating a female.
    I am not an expert on kabuki dancers however most of the drag queens that I have ever met worth the height of their best set of heels refer to themselves as females. If you were to refer to them as male, they would probably knock you out!
    “a blush of plum petals” .. I like it .

    • Lorin says:

      The thing is, Jen, ‘her’ fan would return us to the young girl in the last but one verse:

      a.
      that servant girl
      younger than the sake
      she brings to our table? (W)

      b.
      out in the garden pond
      carp are rising, too (L)

      c.
      (blush/petals/plum)
      the kabuki dancer
      lowers his fan (J)

      she brings’ in a. & her fan ‘in c. . . .I imagine that’s partly what Willie is trying to avoid.

      On the other hand, we’ve had ‘his toy boat’ on side one. Hmmm.

      – L

  197. Maureen Virchau says:

    Willie, I enjoy ‘blush of plum petals’ here. ‘The use of ‘blush’ works well on a number of levels.

    Congrats on your verses, Lorin and Jen. A wonderful combination. And thanks for sharing the links, Willie & Lorin. The Japanese Kabuki theatre is absolutely fascinating. I definitely want to learn more.

    Thanks so much for introducing the concept and sharing the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of your verse, Jen.

  198. Lorin says:

    a blush of plum petals
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    “D’ya think Johnnie’d like that???” – W

    Yeah, apart from that it’s a classic cut verse : a hokku or haiku.

    a blush of plum petals//
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    It needs to be rephrased so that it’s not a hokku, as I think you’ll see after a good sleep.

    – L

    • Lorin says:

      one go at it:
      a.
      a blush of plum petals
      as the kabuki dancer
      lowers his fan (J)

      another:
      b.
      a kabuki dancer
      blushing through plum petals
      lowers his fan (J)

      another:
      c.
      fan lowered/ lowering his fan
      a kabuki dancer
      blushes through plum petals

      ?
      Of which I reckon a. probably works best.

      I dunno.

      – L

  199. William Sorlien says:

    Or, as we did a few times, add a comma, even though I feel it may not need it.

    the clock’s slow drag,
    she ticks off a box
    in the personal ads

    http://www.moongarlic.org/p/archives.html ; Quartet: The Island, issue 1

    I can only find part of the original test of conversation from this composition, so can’t quote directly our reasoning for this structure other than how the verse, in context, relates to this portion, or, umm, the passage itself. Something about it’s been done before … Darn.

    Mainly, it was for the sound and phrasing. The lyrical quality, similar to Western poetry, I recall was one such comment. And taken in context, of course. Are the plum petals depicted on the fan? In the actor’s makeup, perhaps? Is this the theatre, or a hasty rendezvous in some secluded glade?

    There’s also Kyorai’s argument that hokku spring from a single element: Traces of Dreams, page 112. I liken this to our argument for a seemingly split tsekeku (second of a pair of linked verse)

    The movement, nonetheless, is brisk enough for some qualified rule breaking on at least two counts:

    that servant girl
    younger than the sake
    she brings to our table? (W)

    out in the garden pond
    carp are rising, too (L)

    a blush of plum petals,
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    I believe Jen is correct in assuming the character’s rigorous adoption of a female identity, and out of respect to that conviction I’d like to make the dancer a “she”. We have established this to be a kabuki artist separate from a servant girl, after all.

    In retrospect, I see the juxtaposition of two elements – blushing plum petals, and, a masculine identifier, “he”. Might this make the image even more entertaining somehow? Hard to say for certain.

    And that’s what *she* said …

    For now, let’s move on to – Verse 12, is it? Non-season. I’m hoping for a compelling shift. And thanks for the great discussion!

    w

    • Lorin says:

      yeah, yeah, 😛 I have ‘Traces of Dreams’ (won it in a little haiku comp, some years ago). An excellent book,and had just looked up your page ref. after reading your comments. 🙂

      You da sabaki! But you know I’ll always query etc, it’s the only way I learn.

      I certainly agree with ‘the late master’ that a so-called ‘one-image’ verse can be a haiku /hokku, though it’s not often well-achieved, imo. But I’m talking about haiku/ hokku, not the ‘internal’ verses of renku.

      Plum petals can be white (the sort venerated by the Chinese) or a rather lurid pink. Clearly it’s the 2nd sort, here.
      -L

  200. William Sorlien says:

    Further assistance rendered (and only one link per reply, or else I may break wordpress again) would be the section “Cut or Uncut” from “The Book of Renku”, by John Carley.

    Now if I can just supply the damn link!

    How can I produce the PDF, I wonder? It is under consideration for publishing – maybe better to look up nagekomi (throwing in).

    That wasn’t much help. And I destroyed my knee playing Jiu Jitsu and not Judo. Although it sounds like fun. I did acquire a fondness for Vicodin after awhile …

    Well, John goes on to describe a break in syntax is not out of the question. I have the pdf to prove it. I’ll just have to attach it to an email if you don’t mind. I know John didn’t.

    • Lorin says:

      It’s true, and I do understand and agree with JEC’s belief that a break in syntax does not equal a cut. I was really pleased to find someone, in John, to support my belief because the Americans, or at least those represented by John Stevenson and co. do treat a break in syntax as a cut, in both haiku & renku. It’s maddening, and it’s never explained!

      You do not necessarily have a haiku just because you have a break in syntax! That’s not what a ‘cut’ is.

      Maybe you’re right about ‘a blush of plum petals’, but as I read it we go from the literal (first) to the metaphorical. On the literal level, ‘a blush of plum petals’ stands alone & needs the reader’s mind/ perceptions/ associations to connect it with the next two lines. There is a break, a cut, or a ‘gap’ to be crossed that can only happen in the reader’s mind. That break, or cut in haiku is like the break/ cut between two verses in a renku. It’s not just a break in syntax.

      John said we could send that ‘Book of Renku’ PDF to anyone interested. Jen has it, as I sent it to her some time ago. Perhaps you could send it to Maureen and Ash, Willie? (Ash might very well already have it)

      – L

    • Lorin says:

      Check out ‘Beware haikurashi’ near the close of ‘Cut or Uncut’, Willie.

      It’s true that your deployment of a comma may allow a reading that means something (semantics) and so avoids cutting: the kabuki dancer himself is a blush of plum petals. . . is that what you mean?

      a blush of plum petals,
      the kabuki dancer
      lowers his fan (J)

      If so, then it’s a common enough trope/metaphor of the order of ‘she was all smiles/ all smiles was she’. I forget the term for it. But it does seem a rather excessive, indianesque, baroque, byzantine manner of expression, to me. Have to rush now, dentist again.

      – L

  201. Lorin says:

    On a note irrelevant to renku, but concerning 3 of us here, 🙂 the Red Moon Press annual, this year’s issue titled ‘Big Data’, arrived in my mail box this arvo.

    Lovely to see that Jen, Maureen & me all have haiku in there! Congrats all round , girls. 🙂

    Not so enlightening is that ‘linked forms’ ( a horrible name anyway) consists entirely of haibun! Ha! There’s no way Willie & me are going to have that silly title, ‘linked forms’, in our journal, eh, Willie? 😀

    (Some have suggested we do. We’d be embarrassed. What a wank! )

    – L

  202. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you for all the great information and links, Willie. Intriguing subject matter.

    Thanks so much for your kind words, Lorin. Congratulations to you and Jen, as well. 🙂

    the draft horses stripped
    of blinders and bits

    a dashboard hula doll
    shimmies to the blues

    the street sweepers
    filling with glitter and beads

    a white rabbit vanishes
    into the applause

    • Lorin says:

      I rather like this interesting and surprising one, Maureen:

      a white rabbit vanishes
      into the applause

      Ya, (well, it;s Willie;s background that has me going ‘ya’…blame him 🙂 ) it links well and also takes us nicely out of Olde Japonaise, & subtly (?) references literature, via Lewis Carrol’s famous white rabbit, moving things along very nicely, imo.
      – L

  203. William Sorlien says:

    Yes, Japonaise is exactly the mood, and leave it we must.

    The White Rabbit caught my eye immediately. But now, I’ll be lookng up Carnival (Carnivale?) and hope in time to return before I run out the door. Can you imagine why?

  204. Jennifer says:

    Love the White rabbit Maureen. Easter is just around the corner and hot cross buns are already on the shelves in my local supermarkets 🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇🐇
    Thanks & congrats to you for big data . I am so jealous.
    I haven’t got my copy yet!
    Willie & Lorin, I am learning so much from your comments thank you !!

  205. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks so much, Lorin. So glad it works on the levels I intended. I remembered your advice to replace ‘disappears’ with ‘vanishes’ for a previous verse of mine and used it again for the sound quality.

    Willie, thanks for the needed push from your earlier suggestion of various subject matters to include in the renku.

    And thank you for your kind words, Jen. I didn’t even think about its connection to Easter. Hoppity hop hop! Thanks for all the fun rabbit emoticons and the congrats. 🙂

  206. ashleycapes says:

    I love the white rabbit too, nice and multi-layered and I like the sense of movement in it too

  207. William Sorlien says:

    If anyone needs a pdf copy of The Book of Renku, send a note to: my name as above, (at) gmail (dot) com.
    Darlington/Richards Press has an expanded version in the works – updated and with a number of sample poems. I think the hard copy edition will be a must-have for all serious renju.

  208. William Sorlien says:

    Maureen, it looks like the White Rabbit wins, if only by popular acclaim, although I think the Street Sweeper has a lot more going for it, It’s really a marvelous scent link, imo, if not for the seasonal (Northern Hemisphere) indicator – that is, I’m relating the scene to Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) the day before Lenten, prior to Easter of course – Spring.

    By scent I mean for advancing the mood, and feeling, without obvious word or content association.

    Hmm. However, Rio De Janerio’s Carnival falls after a shortened “summer”, being on the Tropic of Capricorn as it is.

    I’ve been struggling with this choice for two hours now, on and off. Since yesterday actually, in the back of my mind.

    a blush of plum petals,
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan

    the street sweepers filling
    with glitter and beads

    ***

    a blush of plum petals,
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan

    a white rabbit vanishes
    into the applause

    After our metaphorical etchings, (Romanticism?) this (sweepers) really carries forward a logical realism and conclusory note, not to mention its phonic properties. I think it strong enough to alleviate any concern for seasonal indications. And if not – so what? I’ve seen Shofu poetry where one season immediately follows another on the strength of “association” alone.

    The white rabbit has a wonderful, surreal quality, though I can’t quite connect it to maeku as strongly as the “sweepers”.

    Would anyone care to comment prior to my decision?

  209. Lorin says:

    yeah : D … I actually came on to comment re your “But now, I’ll be lookng up Carnival (Carnivale?) and hope in time to return before I run out the door. Can you imagine why?”

    My guess was that you’d be looking up Carnival etc. but were concerned about 2 things, firstly that Carnival/ Carnivale, suggesting as it does masks and adopted personae (think the original Venetian carnivals) takes us back to all 3 of the immediately previous verses a) your verse in the persona of a Japanese chappy of a historical time, b) mine in the voice of an anonymous female commentator and c) Jen’s kabuki dancer, who also wears a mask/acts our a persona on stage.

    I think we can get away with that because the variations over the 3 verses are different enough, though all situated in Old Japan, but more allusions to masks, persona, Carnival, performance (even ‘the Carnival is over’) just seems to me to be too much of a good thing for a poem that’s supposed to move forward rather than linger long enough to suggest a theme. (& yes, I do know the difference between a theme and a motif)

    … and secondly, as you mention, Carnival is usually identified with Summer.

    I suppose I’m not keen on the street sweeper verse because even though I’ve not taken part in or read very many renku, the street sweeper, whether human or mechanical, sweeping up rubbish or blossoms, seems to have occurred so often in those I have read that I wonder if it’s not become obligatory to have a ‘street sweeper’ verse in contemporary Western renku! In other words, might it not have become a tad cliched? (Rather like the one glove in the snow image in haiku?)

    ‘White rabbit’ conjures up stage magicians, a very different kind of performance than kabuki theatre or Carnival, which have to do with dressing up, persona, masks and so seem a tad close to me. It also opens out into ‘literature’, and a particularly rich vein of it, which seems to bode well for the following verse.

    I don’t see ‘white rabbit’ as a seasonal verse, as white rabbits are usually the domesticated, bred ones. I also like the wit of having the white rabbit vanish into ‘applause’, the appearing & disappearing trick, as Carrolls’s white rabbit vanished down a hole (and Alice followed)
    I know I’m older than everyone else, but what the hell: here’s one of my old favourite Jefferson Airplane songs:

    “When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go.” …”Remember what the dormouse said”
    Yeah. 😀 1969 was long ago.
    So, we’re seeing this verse differently, Willie. What’s new? : D You da boss, you have to choose.

    Friday 13th, here. A muggy day, hard to breathe. Then the drama of thunder & lightning, now the welcome rain, though still some rumblings.

    – L

  210. Lorin says:

    This video does not exist? Spooky !!! Well, it played for me! The title of the song is ‘Go Ask Alice’. I assure you that it does exist, on youtube.

    -L

  211. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you so much, Ash. So happy the ‘white rabbit’ verse works for you.

    Thank you, Willie. I’m certainly glad I was able to offer a couple of verses which could work for the renku. I only wish your decision was an easier one. Looking forward to it.

    Thanks for your assessment, Lorin. I’m thrilled to know that ‘white rabbit’ works on the levels I intended. And thanks for sharing that song. Listening to it now. It’s interesting to think of a soundtrack for the renku.

    Love the links to the artwork, Lorin & Willie. 🙂

  212. Jennifer says:

    Lorin, thanks for the clip. I was able to watch it . Wow ..pyschedelia in its hay day!

  213. Jennifer says:

    Hi Willie and Lorin , further to your commentary above ..
    I agree with Lorin’s comment that the white rabbit is also associated with magicians and certainly the applause fits with both the theatrical aspect of a kabuki dancer.
    Would it be pertinent to consider how well this rabbit verse sits with where we need to go next?

  214. Jennifer says:

    Oh and happy Valentine’s Day to you all 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️💘

    • Maureen Virchau says:

      Thank you, Jen. Happy Valentine’s to you! And to Willie, Lorin & Ash, of course. 🙂

      roses are red
      violets are blue …

  215. ashleycapes says:

    I agree with Jen – what sort of challenge exists for the next verse, if we choose the rabbit or the sweeper? I love the sweeper verse too but the rabbit seems also to continue the sense of fun/play that has been building nicely.
    Not that I’d expect that to go on forever, of course 🙂

  216. William Sorlien says:

    Thanks, everyone,

    I keep coming and going – “errands’ if you will. I’m glad the weekend is here. So much fun keeping you in suspense … Kidding!

    Some New Straw Hats

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses —
    some new straw hats (L)

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    between the clang of bells (J)

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead (A)

    the spinning bottle
    slows to a stop (L)

    that servant girl
    younger than the sake
    she brings to our table? (W)

    out in the garden pond
    carp are rising, too (L)

    a blush of plum petals
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    a white rabbit vanishes
    into the applause (M)

    Whoo! The word doc put up a fight!

    OK – great responses and enthusiasm from you all. Ash, you came out like a tiger!

    Well, actually, loved your comment about “keeping it up forever”. You’re right, of course, and Whitey will break the spell and direct us forward.

    Where ever that is, I can’t really say. I can’t wait to find out!

    As your leader, all I can do is offer this following inspirational film clip:

  217. Jennifer says:

    hahaha 😀😀😀😀 great clip Willie!

  218. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks so much, Willie. A hilarious and inspirational clip! 😀
    Hope you are having a great weekend.

  219. Lorin says:

    Ha! The inspirational film clip. 😀 It made me laugh. (and that’s something, in the middle of proof reading on a Sunday morning)

    – L

  220. Lorin says:

    a blush of plum petals
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    a white rabbit vanishes
    into the applause (M)

    I say, Watson,
    I don’t think we’ve seen the end
    of Moriarty yet

    😛

    – L

  221. William Sorlien says:

    Here’s Chris Drake on “social realism”, btw:

    I’m not sure how Basho would reply to your question if he could. As eiko indicated, he didn’t really deal directly with the question of social realism, though he was sensitive to human suffering. For views on social realism, I think you’d have to ask mainly city-based renku and senryu poets, especially those writing later in the Edo period, when the social order was beginning to break down. Still, on a more general level, I think Basho might reply by telling you not to forget fuuga no makoto, something like maintaining your sincerity while keeping high artistic standards. He might have concentrated on your attitude as a poet, and if he did I think he might have suggested to you that no matter what you write about, be very sincere and honest and don’t depend on abstract ideologies or try to be what you aren’t. And, at the same time, don’t forget that renku is about making verses and links that suggest much more than they say and that require your deep concentration and verbal art at its best. It’s easy to get prosaic or fall into cliches when dealing with social issues, so Basho would probably tell you that if your verse was written too rationally or if it falls into generalities or tries to tell generally instead of showing concretely, then go back to the drawing boards because it ain’t haikai.

    That’s just a guess. Basho was sometimes a little conservative, and he did criticize Saikaku for writing “vulgar” verses and prose about commoner city life, including life in the theater district and the licensed quarters, but if Basho were living today and had a chance to understand our new social world, I don’t think he would necessarily have regarded social realism as going against the spirit of renku as long as the quality of the writing didn’t suffer. That’s a much more important question than the lesser question of subject matter. If English-language renku is going to put down real roots, then surely it can’t engage in policing subject matter and declaring certain subjects taboo. In a feudalistic society (as in the Edo period) that made a certain sense from certain points of view, but if Basho were alive today, I believe he would surely be sensitive enough to realize that sincere and artistic haikai can be made about any subject at all.

    Further, Keene on Saikaku:

    Donald Keene writes:

    ” Saikaku had no interest in religious or contemplative matters, and rarely even suggests that his characters ever had more than one idea in their heads. For that matter, he was indifferent to the beauties of nature and seemed happiest in the city. The floating world was his chosen medium.”

    One more quote from Keene: “[Basho] insisted that poetry must at once embody change and permanence, by which he meant that it must be new and not merely derivative from the past, but that it must also possess unchanging truth.”

    • ashleycapes says:

      Very interesting, thanks Willie

    • Lorin says:

      I dunno, Willie. This, which you attribute to one Chris Drake, seems a tad wonky to me:

      “I’m not sure how Basho would reply to your question if he could. As eiko indicated, he didn’t really deal directly with the question of social realism, though he was sensitive to human suffering. For views on social realism, I think you’d have to ask mainly city-based renku and senryu poets, especially those writing later in the Edo period, when the social order was beginning to break down. ”

      The term and the art movement ‘Social realism’ , did not come into being until the C19. How could anyone writing in the Edo period in Japan answer someone’s question about social realism? (if that’s what it was about)

      I just don’t get this. Who is Chris Drake? (I assume ‘eiko’ is one and the same Eiko who conducted one renku here at ‘snail’)

      I’m completely lost.

      Lorin

      • William Sorlien says:

        It was in answer to a question from one of the participants of another renku – about “social realism” in shofu renku! 🙂

        Thus the wonky, though accurate reply, “Basho didn’t deal directly with social realism” … I’m paraphrasing, of course. Chris has some essays in JRR, among other things.

        I might have to take this down sometime soon in any case.

      • Lorin says:

        Hey, I can agree with this speculation:

        ” … but if Basho were living today and had a chance to understand our new social world, I don’t think he would necessarily have regarded social realism as going against the spirit of renku as long as the quality of the writing didn’t suffer. ”

        and I’d add that from the renku/ haikai vantage point, that a verse or two (in the 2nd or 3rd part) might be ‘social realism’ in style, or all sorts of other things in style and mood, but that the same style or viewpoint (social realism or other) would not dominate the whole poem, as the whole poem (not individual verses) is supposed to be in the haikai style/from the haikai viewpoint.

        Anyway, that’s the general idea I picked up from JEC, though not in those words of course.

        – L

  222. William Sorlien says:

    Some New Straw Hats

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses —
    some new straw hats (L)

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    between the clang of bells (J)

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead (A)

    the spinning bottle
    slows to a stop (L)

    that servant girl
    younger than the sake
    she brings to our table? (W)

    out in the garden pond
    carp are rising, too (L)

    a blush of plum petals
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    a white rabbit vanishes
    into the applause (M)

    I say, Watson,
    we’ve not seen the end
    of Moriarty yet! (L)

    This had me laughing – I love how you’ve phrased the statement.

    We’ve just passed the halfway mark.

    Oh my fur and whiskers! I’m late, I’m late I’m late!”

  223. Maureen Virchau says:

    Intriguing post, Willie. Thanks for sharing.

    A fantastic verse, Lorin. So much fun! Perfect phrasing.

    • Lorin says:

      Thanks, Maureen (what a good Irish name! 🙂 ) Well, I think your ‘white rabbit’ verse was inspired, and might’ve led in many directions. I’m just surprised there weren’t more offers.

      – L

  224. Lorin says:

    Thanks, Willie, I’m happy this worked. I was wondering why no-one else posted some offers, though.

  225. Jennifer says:

    Hello all, again, I am catching up on some fascinating comments.
    Got a bit caught up with work & voluntaring in the weekend hence not posting a verse.
    Lorin’s one works so well . I can hear the British accent 🙂

  226. William Sorlien says:

    Hi all,

    Here’s a few ditties from the kit bag of renku topics we may not have touched on:

    religion
    heartlessness (hard life)
    dreams
    old age
    music
    nostalgia
    wind
    sports
    tools
    vehicles
    insects
    fish
    fragrance
    water

    I hope this helps!

    non-season yet …

  227. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks for the list, Willie. I will do my best to include these along the way.

    You’re very welcome, Lorin. Thanks again for all your kind words.

    Here are a couple for the moment:

    dusting for fingerprints
    on the rusted wrench

    turning a skeleton key
    in a dream’s door

    I will be back if I can. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my internet connection.

  228. Jennifer says:

    Here are a couple from me

    placing a scalpel
    beside the cadaver

    a hasty escape
    in a get-a-way car

    watching the grave digger
    deepen the plot

  229. Maureen Virchau says:

    Another one:

    looking for rich flavor
    in a filtered cigarette?

    • William Sorlien says:

      Got a Lucky Strike, Maureen?

      Some variations follow, essentially to “intensify” the end of the folio, of phrasing, content or deed. The idea is to stretch out – our legs that is – and show what we’ve got. Or so they say. Never mind who they is. And don’t do as I do …

      Made you look.

      When we reach our final stage of Jo, we’ll want to move apace and unambiguously.

      the white rabbit vanishes
      (into the / to polite) applause (M)

      I say, Watson,
      we’ve not seen the end
      of Moriarty yet! (L)

      the memory fades
      with each turn of the lantern (w)

      at each spark from the lantern
      the snail pauses (J)

      by the lantern’s glow
      the snail’s path is clear (M)

      the mood was broken
      with the crack of a walnut (M)

      a sharp crack from the walnut
      and the mood is broken (M)

      the crack of a walnut …
      we resolve to move on (M)

      raking most done
      they light up a Lucky (W)

      Ash, would you be so kind to have a few takes of some moon verses from any of these? have at it – I had to whack away to escape my schedule.

      Sorry for I’ve been gone too long. It was inescapable, though things are settling now.

      From these initial Autumn sequences – anyone – are there any preferences – in phrasing or favorites?

      Please let us all know.

      W

  230. ashleycapes says:

    chipping and chopping
    at my paperwork

  231. William Sorlien says:

    Hi all,

    Yesterday, starting trucks (failed!) at 3am, work, sanding ceilings, painters nipping at my heels, two bids after, (win!) pay a honeybee for a battery from Walmart, go and install, all in 10 below F, home at 6 pm.

    I fell down on the couch and now I just got up, managed to take my boots off … it was a good day.

    Hold on – coffee’s ready –

  232. William Sorlien says:

    Holy cow, I just did it again. He wasn’t giving it enough gas … it’s too damn cold. Texas is looking better and better.

    Well, I’m supposed to go to a different job, but I’ve just discovered the text with directions failed. Have to wake up the boss. His name is actually Boss, btw. Destiny …

    I thought of the “high minded” tone of Holmes in the previous verse, and wouldn’t it be interesting to counter with a commoner’s voice?

    It’s too cold to think right now. I’ll be back in about … 12 hours or so?

    Look at that sum’bitch! Had me a ’67 Cadillac Calais once. A two door with a 454.

    • Lorin says:

      Great photo, Willie and nice humour in that Johnny Cash song.

      Maybe after English detectives, we need the classic American car chase verse. 🙂

      I’m not well and it’s too damn hot. I feel like a fried fungus. Tomorrow will be cooler, thank goodness. I can’t wait for Summer to be over. (one week to go!)

  233. William Sorlien says:

    Oooooh K. I see we can go directly to Autumn. My bad, but more options I suppose …

  234. Maureen Virchau says:

    Too cold indeed. Willie, great car and love the man in black. 🙂

    pulling an arrow
    from the scarecrow’s chest

    Will be back with more.

  235. Maureen Virchau says:

    Another one:

    cracking open
    the shell of a walnut

  236. Maureen Virchau says:

    Trying out a voice:

    I done told you
    not to mess with
    dem scarecrows

  237. Maureen Virchau says:

    Ooops. Sorry. Scratch that last one with three lines.

  238. Jennifer says:

    Hi All,
    I am here after a harrowing week.
    Came home last night after work to find that my house had been burguled.
    Any gold jewellery or good silver plus my iPod and an old iPhone was taken. I spent last night with the police here and then cleaning up afterwards.
    Thankfully, they missed my laptop & iPad ..

    anyway following on with the autumn theme

    knocking out stuffing
    from the scarecrow

    snail tracks woven
    in the lamplight

    a little bit of a tribute to the snail 🙂

  239. William Sorlien says:

    Daylight burglers, Jen? Where are our neighbors when these things happen?

    I hope they didn’t make too much of a mess or break things unnecessarily. Sounds like they just filled their pockets. On foot most likely. Neighbor kids that know your habits? A lot of the time they do it just for the thrill. Although, some of those computer items have apps to trace them when stolen.

    Have a look ’round the pawn shops in a week or so.

  240. William Sorlien says:

    A bit stumped here. A few ideas, though they return to uchikoshi. I’ll think about it today …

  241. Maureen Virchau says:

    So sorry, Jen! What a shocking experience. Such a violation. Glad they left you with your laptop and iPad.
    What a lovely tribute to Issa’s Snail. 🙂

  242. Jennifer says:

    Willie, unfortunately my neighbours moved out last week into a retirement village. They are both in their late eighties and firing it difficult to maintain their home and garden.
    I have new neighbours now. They have just migrated here from China and have limited English.

    Thankfully there was no damage to furniture or breakage other than jewellery boxes. My cats went crazy when I came home running around and meowing loudly.
    I think they took jewellery that was easy to cash in probably for money for drugs.

  243. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Maureen.
    I was upset at losing some rings and a gold pendant that belonged to my grandmother and great grandmother however I know it could have been so much worse.
    They didn’t take any of my haiku books or journals thankfully 🙂

    • Maureen Virchau says:

      You’re welcome.
      So sorry about your rings and that gold pendant. That kind of stuff is very troubling.
      Glad you still have your haiku books/journals. 🙂

  244. Lorin says:

    cutting down dem swamp reeds
    with the Cadillac Calais
    😛

    • Lorin says:

      . . . does that imply a car chase, perhaps?

      Wrote it for you, Willie.

      – L

      • William Sorlien says:

        Thanks!

        I cut down some wheat with my little Mazda truck, but I was mostly up to no good in that Caddie.

        The grill from Cash’s (Psychobilly’s) ride is identical.

        A similar shasei image –

        shitbox yellow Chrysler
        T-boned on Payne Avenue
        sure miss that ride

  245. William Sorlien says:

    Hi all ya’ll,

    Some variations follow – essentially to “intensify” the end of the folio – of phrasing, content or deed. The idea is to stretch out – our legs that is – and show what we’ve got. Or so they say. Never mind who they is. And don’t do as I do …

    Made you look.

    When we reach our final stage of Jo, we’ll want to move apace and unambiguously.

    the white rabbit vanishes
    (into the / to polite) applause (M)

    I say, Watson,
    we’ve not seen the end
    of Moriarty yet! (L)

    memory fades
    at each turn of the lantern (w)

    with each spark from the lantern
    the snail pauses (J)

    by the lantern’s glow
    the snail’s path is clear (J)

    the mood was broken
    by the crack of a walnut (M)

    a sharp crack from the walnut
    and the mood is broken (M)

    the crack of a walnut …
    we resolve to move on (M)

    raking most done
    they light up a Lucky (W)

    Ash, would you be so kind to have a few takes of some moon verses from any of these? have at it – I had to whack away despite my volatile schedule of late.

    Sorry I’ve been gone too long. It was inescapable, though things are settling a little now.

    From these initial Autumn sequences – anyone – are there any preferences – in phrasing or favorites?

    Please let us all know your suggestions.

    W

  246. Jennifer says:

    hi Willie & all,
    I too appreciated the Johnny Cash Cadillac clip .
    One of my favourites is “A boy named Sue”

    Some good verses above but my vote goes to ” memory fades” .
    I think it flows better with the previous verse.
    I also enjoyed “raking most done” however it feels like the accent has changed from British to American which in my humble opinion is too strong from one verse to the next.

    Willie, what is the view on accents within EL Renku?

  247. Jennifer says:

    Here is a favourite of mine from the Carter family

    Video for carter family site wildflower▶ 2:17
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewnfWoSQz3o

  248. Maureen Virchau says:

    Willie, thanks for providing so many interesting verses. Wow.

    This one drew my attention right away:

    the crack of a walnut …
    we resolve to move on

    I really like the way the break in this verse echoes the breaking of a walnut. And there is a mystery to it which ties nicely to Sherlock. The only thing that comes up for me is ‘moving on’ possibly linking to ‘trudging’ in the hokku.

    I like the rhythm of ‘memory fades’ but the word ‘fades’ links to ‘vanishes’ and ‘memoirs’ for me.

    I am very much drawn to the mystery in your ‘mood’ verses. Just offering some variations here:

    the mood breaks/breaking/broken
    with the crack of a walnut

    I like your ‘Lucky’ verse. A great scent link. I know the scent of Sherlock’s pipe drove me to looking at vintage cigarette ads when I offered my initial non-season verse. 😀
    I also like the way it highlights the idea of working together.

    Not sure about this, but it just came to mind to mix these verses up:

    with each spark from a lantern
    the snail’s path clearer

    Thank you so much for all your work, Willie. Hope everything settles on a good note.

    Thanks for the video clip, Jen.

    Hope you feel better soon, Lorin. 🙂

  249. Lorin says:

    the white rabbit vanishes
    (into the / to polite) applause (M)

    I prefer just ‘into the applause’ . ‘To polite applause’ seems overworked to me.

    I say, Watson,
    we’ve not seen the end
    of Moriarty yet! (L)

    new coolness
    in a 7 per cent solution

    http://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/collections/2012/05/11/the-addictive-history-of-medicine-the-curious-case-of-the-7-percent-solution/

    – Lorin

  250. Lorin says:

    I say, Watson,
    we’ve not seen the end
    of Moriarty yet! (L)

    new coolness
    of a 7 per cent solution

  251. Lorin says:

    morning glories
    in a 7 per cent solution

    – L

  252. Lorin says:

    Actually, I was jesting but now that I realise that the above might have a chance of being published as a one-liner haiku/ku, I’m going to send it off (when I’ve written a few more to go with it!) I’ve not been writing and am pretty hard-pressed to come up with haiku to submit anywhere.Partly this comes from reading so many subs!

    morning glories in a 7 per cent solution

    – Lorin

  253. Maureen Virchau says:

    Good luck to you, Lorin! It’s a brilliant ku.
    I love morning glories. I find it interesting that some of them are night-blooming flowers.

  254. ashleycapes says:

    Sorry to hear about such bad news, Jen – must be awful but I’m glad your books are still on the shelf!

  255. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Ash.
    I am glad that that my home want vandalised which is so often the case.

  256. William Sorlien says:

    I’m still running between two jobs and now a nice head cold to boot! I’m a bit blocked and not trusting my processes –

    Ash, if you would have a go at any of those set=up verses we discussed; that is, riffs on the moon from whatever strikes your fancy. It would be a big help in deciding our direction.

    I’m trying some alka-seltzer plus!

  257. Jennifer says:

    I hope you feel better Willie!

  258. Maureen Virchau says:

    Hope you feel better soon, Willie.

  259. ashleycapes says:

    Hi everyone, sorry to hold things up – I haven’t been able to crack a good verse first try for ages, so hopefully here’s a starting point at least!

    the white rabbit vanishes
    (into the / to polite) applause (M)
    I say, Watson,

    we’ve not seen the end
    of Moriarty yet! (L)

    memory fades
    at each turn of the lantern (w)

    hacking away
    at the keys
    beneath the moon (A)

    with each spark from the lantern
    the snail pauses (J)

    never blinking
    the hungry eye
    of the harvest moon (A)

    the crack of a walnut …
    we resolve to move on (M)

    to each window now
    closing off
    the autumn moon (A)

    raking most done
    they light up a Lucky (W)

    between the wink
    of clouds
    a harvest moon (A)

  260. William Sorlien says:

    We would want to avoid “bllnking”, “wink”, etc., in league with uchikoshi’s “we’ve not seen the end” line, I think.

    I’ve had a nice lie down, all day Saturday in fact, so I’m somewhat recovered.

    I’ll be back …

    • ashleycapes says:

      Of course! How about?

      the hungry eye
      of the harvest moon
      never sleeps

      the hungry eye
      of the harvest moon
      bleeds clear

      /

      to each window now
      closing off
      autumn moonlight

  261. Maureen Virchau says:

    Glad you were able to rest, Willie. Hope you will be fully recovered soon. Looking forward to your next post.

  262. William Sorlien says:

    Five jobs (locations) in three weeks, two while moonlighting, Maureen. Makes Willie a dull boy, it does.

    However, somebody has to do it.

    And why *not* me? I can capture any swag as well as the next man, keep the treasure all to me self, for that matter – there’s plunder to be had for a cunning scalliwag, says I ! ARRRRR …

    (a brief pause as Sorlien performs a deft sailor’s hornpipe)

    Whew! I’m bushed – where were we? Oh, yes …

    As for the verse list culled from everyone’s various ideas, it hasn’t been that I find your offers lacking. For the most part I’ve been experimenting with meter, and that to attempt some consistency throughout the progression over all.

    Looking back, however, I find some variations to be too wordy. Lacking somehow in gaining momentum.

    I feel the impetus to create the “crest of a wave”, that is, working towards a peak in intensity of subject and style before the end of this middle movement, or folio.

    Part of this effort involves creating diversity without regression to previous topics. Our most recent verse placements have been a little problematic in that regard.

    A large part of that is due to my absence. I haven’t been fully available to encourage our progress. I’d rationalized that leaving folks well enough alone was conducive to unfettered creativity – this group is certainly more than talented enough – but maybe a little more direction would be helpful. Although, my vision tends to the dark on occasion – it’s my piratical nature I reckon.

    Also, it seems only natural for our brains to seek out familiar patterns and associations.

    As for renku composition, to avoid this unwelcome characteristic, it’s easiest to simply read the newest submission in sequence with the verse before last. If it “fits”, well, it hasn’t shifted enough.

    In retrospect, creating a compelling movement may not lie simply in phonic or mystical-ized “gimmickry”. Perhaps the introduction of a more striking subject is in order. A challenge, given our wonderfully crafted utterance by no other than Holmes himself, but quite possible.

    Up to now, I’ve avoided a present participle and been stymied by the word “woven”. I’ve dabbled with prepositions until, exhausted, I fell back in a swoon onto my chaise here in the salon. Well, almost. That *would* explain the empty pizza boxes and six-packs strewn about.

    I’ve felt an oncoming impasse and suggested addressing it directly. I’ve struggled with how to concisely convey the sound of a walnut breaking. I think I have a mild case of OCD, but that’s a boon to my work ethic – along with an increasingly ruthless demeanor, but that would not be applicable here.

    I also realize that some of the most finely crafted renku in the world has been composed at this site, which would never have occurred without the good Mr. Capes unfailing vision.

    a snail’s track
    woven through the lamplight (J)

    hacking away,
    the keyboard (gendai)
    under the moon

    churning out pulp
    melancholy hum

    or

    the Crack! of a walnut
    pushes us on (M)

    to each window now
    closing off
    autumn’s moonlight

    These sequences, with their somber overtones, offer a change from the witty repartee that was evident before. Or so I believe.

    Our next verse, the final autumn, also may serve as a summation or marker for this side of “intensification”. At least that’s our friend John might write it.

    Some might not see it that way, preferring to move “unheeded” without a pause of some sort.

    I think both school’s of thought are correct to a degree.

    I’d like to hear your thoughts on either sequence above before we move on. I could be missing something.

  263. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks for another great post, Willie. Hope you can get some more downtime.

    I don’t have much time right now, but thought I would send out some initial thoughts.

    I like the ‘Crack!’ of the walnut. It definitely grabs the attention. Reminds me of comic books. I must admit that my mind goes to the previous verse’s exclamation mark, and I wonder about that repetition. I very much enjoy the ‘keyboard’ and ‘pulp’ verses, but there is a link to ‘mad verse and memoirs’ for me. Love the gendai. I find myself imagining an antique typewriter floating high above the earth.

    I continue to enjoy the ‘snail’ verse. I really like the rhythm of ‘autumn’s moonlight’ here, but I notice a repetition of the word ‘moonlight’ in the renku. Not sure about this, but maybe the use of ‘the autumn moon’ for line 3.

  264. Lorin says:

    Hi Willie,
    Some candid comments:

    I say, Watson,
    we’ve not seen the end
    of Moriarty yet! (L)

    a snail’s track
    woven through (the) lamplight (J)

    I do like the realistic vision of snail tracks in relation to lamplight here, and in connection with the previous verse, I’m reminded that ‘lamplight’ can be old-fashioned streetlights, as in C19 London. Also, the I admire the subtle wit of a possible implied comparison: Holmes & Watson following a trail of clues / a snail’s track. This verse serves to change the pace and mood from the previous headlong verses yet retain a link.

    (I think we could do without the def. art., for the sake of the cadence as much as for that of meaning)

    hacking away,
    the keyboard (gendai)
    under the moon (A)

    ??? What is ‘gendai’ about this!? What concerns me though is that ‘hacking away’ on the keyboard seems to reflect back to literature in the last-but-one. Never mind that Sir Arthur had a typewriter rather than a keyboard.

    I say, Watson,
    we’ve not seen the end
    of Moriarty yet! (L)

    the Crack! of a walnut
    pushes us on (M)

    I like the connection between direct voice in the previous verse and the sound of a walnut (though it’s weird… do walnuts crack of themselves? is someone out there with a nutcracker? or is the crack a sign that it’s been stepped on?) I’m not sure how the sound would ‘push us on’. I prefer ‘crack’ without the exclamation mark and the capital C. I do agree that we’ve had enough ‘headlong’ paced verses for the time being. With the cap/ C & !, the verse continues the somewhat manic pace and ‘pushes us on’ doesn’t really help make a welcome change of pace and mood

    to each window now
    closing off
    autumn’s moonlight (A)

    A problem I see here is that it seems to be in direct voice or narrative: ” (Go to) each window now/ closing off . . .” or (We go to) each window now/ closing off . . . ” which seems to take us back to ‘literature’ or the last-but-one verse. Another is the specific mention of autumn, which is unnecessary from the autumn moon,though it sounds nice.

    Hmmm…. we need to avoid art and literature (including comic books!)

    so, having a couple of goes:

    I say, Watson,
    we’ve not seen the end
    of Moriarty yet! (L)

    a snail’s track
    woven through lamplight (J)

    hacking away,
    the keyboard (gendai)
    under the moon (A)

    a simple tune
    on the digital keyboard
    summons the moon (A)

    mood music
    on the moog synthesiser
    summons the moon (A)

    – Lorin

  265. William Sorlien says:

    By just their content, the verses with moon + hungry eye, wink, blinking, all regressed to “… we’ve not seen the end …”, Lorin, leaving us with two examples by default. Hey, it happens to the best of us, under duress:

    a snail’s track
    woven through lamplight (J)

    (I prefer the vowel sound of “through” vs “in”, Jennifer)

    I think you *need* the article, for the cadence as well as to differentiate from a more, uh, from a slang term I’ll not elaborate on.

    Feeling our progression about to become flat as we neared the end of the side, (would Harry Potter have been more topical? Never read Rawlings, actually. Never fancied Doyle, either, despite both being highly popular icons in their time. It’s just like being hit in the head so many times you just don’t feel it anymore) I thought to flesh out Ash’s keyboard + moon with something a little bit skewed –

    hacking away,
    the keyboard churning out pulp
    under the moon

    hacking away,
    the keyboard’s melancholy hum
    beneath the moon

    (two gendai – ish examples)
    churning out pulp
    melancholy hum

    I had others, still farther off the mark, but not noted in italics. I’d hoped someone might take notice and offer up another.

    Now, I’m certain I’d scrap that latter example. It’s just filler. HO-hum.

    I can sort of picture Ash (snail administrator ) churning out some paperback fiction – moonlighting, literally, his nom de plume some garish play on words perhaps. It’s a joke, albeit somewhat cruel, in light of our efforts at renku as a viable literature in its own right.

    I’d prefer not to explain further, the better to hear some other reactions.

    OK. I *should* add we allude to a lurid, tasteless literary genre close on the heels of – the quotation of a character from a literary style quite extraordinary in its own right.

    But is it wrong? Or, does the direction of the narrative, in its concreteness straying to something suggesting a hard life, (while at the same time not) just *feel* right?

    Btw – ever seen the paper recycling process? Vats of sticky, viscous mush …

    … couldn’t quite find a satisfactory phrasing that carried the image with enough power, however. Do we drop the article, transpose a line?

    beneath the moon
    (pounding/tapping) on the keyboard
    churning out pulp

    2/2/3 accents

    As for the crack of a walnut, yes, damn nigh impossible to properly convey the percussive sound of a walnut being cracked open in so constricted a space – many other renju would just plow on with some tin-ear babble – how then? Almost one of those suspend your disbelief moments, unless one is totally lost to some analytical diaspora.

    “pushes” was two syllables, as in the sharp sound snaps us out of some trance – which, actually, we were stuck in – the reason I thought of the variation of Maureen’s verse

    the sharp crack of a walnut
    *stirs* us onward

    WAKE UP! it seems to say, we’re on the precipice, in danger of falling into a bottomless pit of cliche.

    mmm, yes. The “autumn” moon. So what?

    or not. I ‘d prefer not, but Harvest seems a bit grandiose, assuming it to be in league with the narrative style you mention, Lorin. More Yin to Holmes’ Yang, of course. But, we’re now out of ammo.

    I’d pass on setting the moon to music at this juncture. To follow some pulp, perhaps. Otherwise, what would you link to?

    Or, we could try again. I,m not feeling rushed.

    Do excuse me, please. I have to hit the hay.

  266. Lorin says:

    from:

    hacking away,
    the keyboard (gendai)
    under the moon (A)

    to:

    mood music
    on the synthesizer
    summons the moon (A)

    a simple tune
    on a portable keyboard
    romances the moon (A)

    ?

    • Lorin says:

      oh ok , I see you’ve dismissed these.I didn’t see yr post when I logged in, Willie.

      Well, I’ll be blowed, can’t think of anything else at present… we seem to have lost that ‘group mind’ buzz thingo that happens in renku when it’s going well. I don’t like ‘churning out pulp’ or ‘melancholy hum’. The first because it returns us to literature/ writing and seems to be a comment on the last-but one, the second because it means nothing to me.

      ok, last go:

      I say, Watson,
      we’ve not seen the end
      of Moriarty yet! (L)

      a snail’s track
      weaves through the lamplight (J)

      from:

      to each window now
      closing off
      autumn’s moonlight (A)

      ( I would’ve thought we wouldn’t want ‘closing off’ after ‘the end of’ in last-but-one)

      to:

      each window
      shows a different version
      of the moon (A)

      or

      in each window
      a different version
      of the moon

      – L

      • ashleycapes says:

        each window
        shows a different version
        of the moon (A)

        I like this one, Lorin – does something like this fit in the scheme of the renku?

        at each window
        a different face
        in the moon (A)
        ?

        or a play on the moon- perhaps a little obvious/silly?

        hacking at the keys
        no moonlight
        sonata here (A)

  267. Lorin says:

    Hey, Ash …. I do like ‘a different face in the moon’ 😉

    I reckon the ‘moonlight sonata’ one is sus because of

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    But Willie seems to want (if I’m reading him rightly) to keep the manic pace going. (It’s the chemicals, whatever they are, used in the trade … they go to his head and make him trigger-happy)

    I say, Watson,
    we’ve not seen the end
    of Moriarty yet! (L)

    a snail’s track
    weaves through the lamplight (J)

    at each window
    a different face
    in the moon (A)

    yeah… well, I like it, anyway.
    – L

  268. William Sorlien says:

    Bingo! Good on ya, mates! I knew this was a top notch crew. Arrrr … !

    at each window
    a different face
    (of) the moon (A)

    That ain’t manic. It’s just gone a little bit … askew.

    And so’s this damn ol’ world gittin’ to be, in case you haven’t noticed.

    But, of course you have – one can’t avoid it – no matter how we might try to insulate ourselves, or ward off it’s evils with our impromptu potions and dimestore jujus.

    Yep. It’s in yer face everyday, and no number of rainbow pukin’, skittle shittin’ unicorns are going to make it otherwise.

    I go out and play in that street everyday, ’cause I *have* to. You know what I do? I stick my face right back in it and say, “OK, bub, you wanna jump? Then let’s see ya get froggie!”

    You know what I’m sayin’?

    Sure you do. What a wonderful, sobering, change of mood and tone, in only two stanzas.

    So. How do we conclude this side? Metaphor? Something pithy? With a parable? Parabolic?

    Hol’ up a minute. (imagines the sound of shuffling paper as he moves the cursor about)

    Maybe a person-less verse is in order. Maybe not … Autumn. Simplicity, with restraint, an understatement yet symbolic. Rein in those unicorns. Then we take off down the final stretch.

    Or, just go with your gut. What do you feel?

    • Lorin says:

      I’ve thought about it, “in the moon” is better (more interesting, more thought-provoking and ultimately, more realistic: we’re used to the face of the man or the rabbit in the moon (not ‘of’ the moon) but also if we look from outside at dark windows reflecting the moon we might also see faces of people looking out, or the moon’s face distorted by shadows.

      at each window
      a different face
      in the moon (A)

      A very interesting verse, and done with a light touch.

      – L

    • Lorin says:

      “You know what I’m sayin’?”

      You’re in the process of organising another civil war over there? Something like that. And the Russians are poisoning the Coke machines again (as well as each other, the wells and whatever else they can lay their hands on) So it’s every capitalist for himself? 🙂

      Found a $2.00 dvd of ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ at my usual shop…I suspect it’s a remake, though. I vaguely recall it from childhood.

      Anyway, no wonder you don’t have any trouble keeping your youthful, slim figure. 🙂

      (whew, we got a moon verse!)
      – L

      • William Sorlien says:

        “You’re in the process of organising another civil war over there? ”

        Against pop culture maybe. And that strangely localized American vernacular, a few examples above.

        Hopefully, *everyone* (besides you and me) was confused. 🙂

        ps: you know what I’m say-in? = Do ya feel me?

  269. Maureen Virchau says:

    That’s a wonderful verse. The faces of the moon reminds me of the ‘phases’ of the moon, as well.

    Here’s one for the moment. Will be back with more.

    a headless scarecrow’s stare
    from across the field

  270. Maureen Virchau says:

    Ooops. So sorry. Never mind the ‘stare’ verse.

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle

  271. Maureen Virchau says:

    a fallen leaf
    becoming a cicada

  272. Maureen Virchau says:

    wild geese preening
    along the shore

  273. Lorin says:

    a snail’s track
    weaves through the lamplight (J)

    at each window
    a different face
    in the moon (A)

    rice sparrows’ voices
    also faintly white

    – L

    • William Sorlien says:

      Yes, the transfer of accent in L2 (*weaves* becomes dominant) works with Ash’s moon verse:

      a snail’s track
      weaves through the lamplight (J)

      As James Brown would say – Hit it on the one

  274. William Sorlien says:

    A quick note, then I have to depart.

    rice sparrows’ voices
    also faintly white

    Spoken aloud, this verse fairly tinkles, doesn’t it? Sets the pace for moving quick-time to the end.

    … the allusion to Basho – the synesthesia was actually what I’d hoped for all along.

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle

    The ambiguity of meaning is here is delicious. I hoped to enjoy a dash of mystification, too (driving poor Lorin to the brink!) without falling into cliche.

    Of these, the summation I feel present in “voices” is preferrable. But does the reappearance of “white” so soon spoil the effect?

    I’ll have time to read more closely when I return …

    • Lorin says:

      oops…o, yeah, ‘white rabbit’ & ‘faintly white’ … and the snail’s trail in between! …no good at all. Where’s the delete button? 🙂

      – L

  275. Maureen Virchau says:

    Lorin, your verse is beautiful.

    Willie, so glad you chose the ‘apple’ verse for consideration. It’s a Ginger Gold apple just so you know. 😀

    Looking forward to your next post.

  276. William Sorlien says:

    I’ve tried the Braeburns, M. They’re good to pack in a lunch.

    Our first fruit verse? Check off another topic.

    The Cicada was interesting though we’d just had an “insect”. Was it Onitsura who wrote about the ‘leaf becoming a butterfly’?

    a snail’s track
    weaves through the lamplight (J)

    at each window
    a different face
    in the moon (A)

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle (M)

    Not quite a pause, but it bids us to move on. It’s the ‘perfect circle’ that I find intriguing.

    One more day of below zero temps. Then we begin to thaw. Unless there’s a blizzard?

  277. Maureen Virchau says:

    Oh yes, Braeburns are good. Love apples. I like trying different kinds. Gala was last week’s.

    Glad you found the ‘cicada’ verse interesting. Thank you. Cicadas and katydids are so fascinating to me. Talk about the art of survival.

    A leaf becoming a butterfly? That sounds wonderful. I am reminded of the man dreaming he was a butterfly or was it the other way around? 🙂

    I am just so glad you liked the ‘apple’ verse. Thank you for your kind words. I just noticed how the edges of those last three verses make a circle, as well. Makes me want to work on some shape poetry.

    Glad you are in for a thaw. We had a lovely combination of thawing and freezing. Very slippery. Ice rinks everywhere.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next verse.

  278. Lorin says:

    at each window
    a different face
    in the moon (A)

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle (M)

    Not only ‘fruit’ but the fine art of food presentation, which would also have a Japanese name, I imagine. 🙂 Nice ku and nice choice.

    Re cicadas and katydids, here, though both can be mistaken for leaves, it’s the katydids that seem to be most inventively shaped and coloured in the form of various leaves, so much so that ‘leaf insect’ was the only term I knew for them well into adulthood.

    Anyway, where do we go from here, Willie? Will you give us all some guidance? I think that you & Ash are due for writing some more verses.

    – Lorin

  279. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Lorin. 🙂

    And thank you for sharing. “Leaf insect” is a great term. I did a lot of research on katydids for a poem I was working on a while back, and they are definitely superior in that department. It’s absolutely astounding, isn’t it? My original verse actually highlighted the katydid, but I decided to use the cicada because of the sound quality.

    Looking forward to everyone’s verses!

  280. William Sorlien says:

    Sufficiently warm now, but I have to go out again! Dragging tools and equipment in and out of the cold can wear on you.

    I’m working in the former St. Paul Hilton currently. They’re remodeling the rooms extensively, yet they refuse to repair the windows? Straight line winds and massive rain infiltration last year destroyed a lot of work on the upper eight floors. My guess – they’re going to try to sell the building.

    Reminds me of the time I worked in a certain skyscraper in Minneapolis. I was sanding some finished work in a tenant space and took the freight elevator down to go outside for a break,

    This was during the time when there were alleged anthrax scares, as “terrorist” threats, of a sort.

    On the way down to the ground floor I leaned against the padding on the elevator wall. Some dust from my clothes got on the cloth.

    A short while later the entire building was evacuated. We later learned that someone had reported the dust in the elevator, believing it to be remnants of an anthrax attack.

    That’s part of the reason I don’t read mainstream news much anymore …

    Wow! The moon just rose over the horizon. A huge yellow ball directly in line with my east window.

    We have six verses left. This is kyu, the final folio, ending with three Spring verses as is traditional in most renku.

    Prior to that we have three verses, two non-season surrounding our remaining winter verse. An odd placement that, but I like the idea. It may keep us grounded – or me at least.

    It seems I’ve been looking for some observations on the challenges of modern life and society in general. Would that work well here in our quick tempo finale? Probably not. Elaboration on opinion or topic may only serve to confuse.

    Then again, we have a very clever group here, capable of communicating in subtle and persuasive ways. I guess the point is to avoid ambiguity and to embrace directness in whatever style you so choose.

    The next verse is open to anyone. Most of all, let’s enjoy our last collaborative efforts.

  281. Jennifer says:

    Hello all,
    I am still here … catching up on our Renku .
    I have dug myself out of a multitude of spreadsheets and finally surfaced.
    I’d say I’m back to normal but then what is normal?

    That Apple verse is a beauty!

  282. ashleycapes says:

    Hope Spring is kicking in for you and Maureen, Willie – sounds rough indeed.

    Love the apples too, ace 🙂

  283. Maureen Virchau says:

    So sorry for all the stressors of your job, Willie. Glad it’s warming up over there for you. I will definitely enjoy our last collaborative efforts.

    Thanks so much for your kind words, Jen. And congrats on resurfacing! Glad you’re feeling back to your ol’ self again. Looking forward to your verses. 🙂

  284. Maureen Virchau says:

    Warming up today, Ash. Thanks for your good wishes. And thanks for your kind words about the ‘apple’ verse. It means a lot.

    Your moon verse continues to linger. I actually thought of it when I saw the moon last night. I think I’ll add a telescope to my list of wishes. 🙂

  285. Jennifer says:

    I am taking advantage of having a long weekend here with the public holiday for Moomba on Monday. Its a festival which takes place in Melbourne over the weekend with a parade ( tomorrow) carnival rides and fireworks . Lots of activities are centred around the Yarra river including water skiing events and the bird man rally.
    ( Apparently, in some aboriginal languages Moomba translates to “up your butt hole” )
    Good to hear that Willie is thawing out and you are able to enjoy some warmer temperatures.
    The weather is cooling down here with a need for long sleeves.

    at each window
    a different face
    in the moon (A)

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle (M)

    fairground swings
    sway to and fro
    in the autumn wind

  286. William Sorlien says:

    Oops! We’ve used up our Autumn verses, Jen!

    A “Moomba” winter then? Sounds like a party …

    Here’s two from me:

    tires squealing
    and mufflers rumbling
    we cruise around the loop

    minutes into hours
    hours into days
    another week gone by

  287. Lorin says:

    Yeah,

    “We have six verses left. This is kyu, the final folio, ending with three Spring verses as is traditional in most renku.

    Prior to that we have three verses, two non-season surrounding our remaining winter verse. An odd placement that, but I like the idea. It may keep us grounded – or me at least.” – Willie

    It becomes clear if we have a look at JEC’s diagram for the Triparshva:

    http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/index.php/rr00/rr-triparshva/

    Look at the 2nd last column, for a triparshva beginning with a Summer verse.We have 6 verses to go in the ‘kyu’/ final side. The order is

    a no-season verse
    a winter verse
    a no-season verse
    sping
    spring (blossom)
    spring

    – Lorin

  288. Lorin says:

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle (M)

    the gossip
    sharp as a needle point
    at the quilters’ club

    the quilters’ gossip
    sharp and piercing
    as a needle point

    sharp and piecing
    the gossip
    at the quilters’ club

    – L

  289. Lorin says:

    time passing
    one smoke ring
    after another

    – L

  290. Jennifer says:

    Bill Hailey’s ‘Rock around the clock”
    starts up
    on the jukebox

  291. Jennifer says:

    losing hope
    I toss my coin purse
    in the fountain

    **

    with-out a care
    I toss my hat
    into the ring

  292. William Sorlien says:

    Thanks Lorin,

    Here’s an idea –

    tires chirping
    and mufflers humming
    we cruise around the loop

    gossip at the quilter’s club
    served cold with (bitter / [blank] and) tea

    I’m looking up tea in relation to winter now … sweetened tea?

    • Lorin says:

      Tea ain’t winter . 🙂 Tea is all seasons, whether one is Japanese, Ceylonese, British or Australian, etc. Maybe not if you’re picking it in the mountainous regions of Ceylon or India orChina, or maybe Japan, for all I know.

      But I do like your ‘Calder’ verse.(Just name of the local track)
      http://www.calderpark.com.au/
      For the reality of it, you might watch the Calder section in the film, ‘Kenny’ (not a film that would be made in America 🙂
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_%282006_film%29

      tires squealing
      and mufflers rumbling
      we cruise around the loop

      Might I suggest (what to me would be the more appropriate verb)

      we burn around the loop

      ?

      ‘cruise’ is just a tad too laid-back for the rest of the manic content, in my experience …as a spectator only, of course, & long, long ago. :-)Ya coukd even have ‘screaming’ for the tyres.

      Hmmm … how come you Americans spell tyres funny… the same as ‘tires’ , which is what one does when one ‘grows tired or weary’?
      http://grammarist.com/spelling/tire-tyre/

      – L

  293. Jennifer says:

    the undertaker
    has hulk hogan
    in a headlock!

  294. William Sorlien says:

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle

    mufflers rumbling
    and tires squealing
    we cruise around the loop (W)

    gossip at the quilter’s club
    served with sweetened tea (L)

    Quilts are for winter obviously. (Gossip) served cold is rhetorical, while sweetened tea, perhaps atypical to the season, may also be “artificial” or distasteful to the purist, I imagine.

    This version could stand alone without the modifying “cold”

    A former habitue of the loop in St. Paul (Wabasha to Seventh, to Jackson and back up 6th, if memory serves) denotes that , more properly, tires should squeal and mufflers rumble. I stand corrected.

    I’d like to run with sequence if that’s acceptable. Lorin, would you agree to this proposed change?

  295. Lorin says:

    Qulit-making is not Winter obviously! It’s year round. Using a quilt on one’s bed might mean Winter, depending on what sort of quilt (they’re not all filled with goose feathers, ya know) though I’d imagine they’re used in Autumn & Spring, too.

    I don’t mind the change, I get what you intend with the sweetened tea. My only concern is that quilting just ain’t a winter activity specifically.

    – L

  296. William Sorlien says:

    I know that, actually, but I’m cheating.

    Case in point – the Summer quilt lying on the bed. 🙂

    I just happen to really like the image of your Quilter’s club. And it’s hard to pin down that tea seasonally to something more than aromatic or sweetened. It’s rather subtle, if your over-oxidized blacks have become too bitter, or, have a bit of spice added!

    The last three verses, at least, offer some really interesting shifts. If their are no other objections, I’d like to move on to our last non-season verse.

    With two indistinct “other” voices in place, perhaps a first or third person perspective would be in order before we delve into the Spring season, of course.

    And, the penultimate verse will of course refer to cherry blossom!

    • Lorin says:

      slices of apple
      in a perfect circle

      mufflers rumbling
      and tires squealing
      we cruise around the loop (W)

      gossip at the quilter’s club
      served with sweetened tea (L)

      The cheat here doesn’t work, Willie, for two reasons. Firstly, the verse attributed to me is not a Winter verse and secondly it commits ‘kannonbiraki’ with Maureen’s verse.

      The link is to ‘circle’: it’s just a word link. A quilter’s ‘club’ is in the category of ‘sewing circle’ and is more often called a quilting circle. Traditionally, the women (usually women) sit around and work on the one quilt,

      So the ‘progression’ here is circle, loop, circle.

      Nope, sorry Willie, I don’t think it can be fudged to that extent. I can’t come at it.

      – L

      • Lorin says:

        ps, if you insist on that verse (as I suppose you can, as sabaki) then you’ll need to claim it as your own. I’m not having my name tagged to it.

        (so there! 😛 )

        – L

    • Lorin says:

      slices of apple
      in a perfect circle (M)

      mufflers rumbling
      and tires squealing
      we cruise around the loop (W)

      glory days on replay
      till the fire’s embers die

      ?

      – L

      • Lorin says:

        … ‘Fire’, in the sense of hearth fire/ fire in the fireplace, is surely a Winter reference.

        ‘replay’ might suggest some sort of loop, but imo it doesn’t imply a circle.

        – L

      • Lorin says:

        slices of apple
        in a perfect circle (M)

        mufflers rumbling
        and tires squealing
        we cruise around the loop (W)

        at last the kids fall silent
        under the goose-down quilt

        ?

        – L

  297. Maureen Virchau says:

    Loving those verses, Willie & Lorin. A fantastic sequence.

    the town crier
    announces the birth
    of a prince

    the town crier
    announcing two births
    and a death

  298. Maureen Virchau says:

    her hands
    clasped in prayer
    at the hospital

  299. Maureen Virchau says:

    So sorry that I already started posting. I will wait for a final decision to be made before writing/posting anything else.

  300. William Sorlien says:

    Hi all,

    Too tired at the moment to think clearly. I’ll return this after –

  301. Maureen Virchau says:

    Hope you can manage to get some rest along the way, Willie. Take care of yourself.

  302. I had two paragraphs of comment, then went again to look at a latent reply somewhere back in the thread.

    Consequently, I erased my comment. I really dislike that reply feature, if indeed I notice it at all –

    So, before I forget, what does Calder Park have to do with cruising the loop? Never mind.

    Cruising the loop in small town USA btw, certainly an Americanism if not transcendant an activity internationally, may not be so “manic” after all.

    Initially the verse began as

    kids in cars
    and faded dungarees
    cruise around the loop

    and then

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle

    mufflers rumbling
    tires squealing
    we cruise around the loop (W)

    gossip at the quilter’s club
    served with sweetened tea (L)

    Both the “motoring” verses are pretty awful on their own.

    However, comparing the rumblings of two diverse social strata – rebellious youth imposing on church-going ladies – was irresistible. And “gossip … served with sweetened tea” was, well, the sweetener.

    The phonic qualities and phrasings of both verses contrast so well. And the unstated content of that gossip, modified as it is, is just imaginative enough to not become distraction.

    I did find the gossip image to be superior although the adjectives used seem somewhat shrill – no pun intended. In my haste, btw, I actually should have mentioned the allusion to winter of quilt, the noun, rather than the activity. Or group. Or club – or circle.

    The latter of which never occured to me. We’re more “Bee” oriented in the states where quilting’s concerned, although oddly, sewing “circles” still remain in the conservative American parlance despite our fixation on Pop imagery.

    It becomes an issue of mutually acceptable or familiar idioms – culturally speaking, I suppose, if quilting circles in Australia are so prevalent.

    I’d throw the season requirement out if winter allusions from “quilts’ were too tenuous – I really don’t care. I’m much more in favor of brisk pacing and a bit of cheek at this juncture.

    The “embers” is nice, too, but the emotion seems a bit generalized. Have we heard this before? I’d prefer to concretize the imagery leading this last six.

    We could start over for that matter. If the specter / spectre of uchikosi, is pronounced – A test of which follows:

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle

    ***

    gossip at the quilter’s club
    served with sweetened tea

    Out of context, I find more congruity with a pefect circle of apples to a cup of sweetened tea.

    Then again I feel “tea” has nearly reached muki kigo status in its own right.

    I’ll check in tomorrow for your comments. Actually, eight hours of Union Labor today was quite refreshing!

    • Lorin says:

      Willie, you’re welcome to use:

      gossip at the quilter’s club
      served with sweetened tea (W)

      I mean it. I simply don’t want it attributed to me. It’s more yours than mine, anyway.

      The only reason I attempted a couple more was that you seem to have wanted a verse from me at this juncture, so I attempted to give you some alternatives to attributing the verse to yourself (which I’d be entirely happy about, if you chose to do that), including one with a winter reference, which I thought linked to your ‘mufflers rumbling’ in an interesting way.

      I don’t think that

      mufflers rumbling
      tires squealing
      we cruise around the loop (W)

      is “pretty awful” . I think it’s an excellent verse, especially for the sounds (which we haven’t had previously) It doesn’t matter (I don’t think it matters, anyway) that in your jargon ‘cruising the loop’ is different (& less raucous) than my associations.

      I do think that ‘quilters club’ is a synonym for ‘quilters’ circle’, not only in Australia/NZ but in the USA as well, to my knowledge. Also , there are traditional (now cliched?) ‘circle’ inferences in the idea of heirloom quilts. (Yes, over a decade ago I did see the film, ‘How to make an American Quilt’)

      ps, ya don’t have to be a church-going lady to be involved in quilt making, spinning etc. There was not one church-going lady in the spinning group I used to be involved with. But I rather think that ‘church-going ladies’ are thinner on the ground here than they are in the USA, or even if they’re not as sew at it might seem, the ‘righteous’ and evangelical kind do not hold sway here. (And we don’t mention God on our bank notes … ) It’s the difference between a nation founded by wealthy religious dissidents and one essentially founded (some time later) on the labour of the less fortunate (and far less powerful) overflow of the industrial revolution and England’s prison system.

      – Lorin

  303. Lorin says:

    So. to my mind, of the verses to hand at present, there’s a choice between

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle (M)

    mufflers rumbling
    and tires squealing
    we cruise around the loop (W)

    gossip at the quilter’s club
    served with sweetened tea (W)

    and

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle (M)

    mufflers rumbling
    and tires squealing
    we cruise around the loop (W)

    at last the kids fall silent
    under the goose-down quilt (L)

    -Lorin

  304. Well, it comes down to pace and broad, resolute shifts. What’s the phrase – Sound bytes?

    Right you are about the Evangelicals in the USA, Lorin. Didn’t mean to offend the non-denominational quilters either.

    It’s deep here, in different parts of the nation. That is, the Christian, conservative conviction permeating the country. Is it the Puritanical consequence of our forebears, albeit some times adversarial to more liberal belief?

    I remember driving through rural North and South Dakota and often seeing billboards citing the Ten Commandments along the roadside. It’s not just the South that enjoys the loudest “Bible thumpers”.

    I could really get behind (rhetorically speaking) the allegory of “glories … in dying embers”, but the question became how to quickly resolve a complex subject? A topic better left for Ha, our second folio.

    … then again, we haven’t touched on Religion. You might recall that was a topic included in the Quartet …

    … in fact, why don’t we just use the quilter’s gossip verse with the different narrative? It’s the line with ‘sharp’ and ‘piercing’ that throws me off. For that matter, but for the phrasing and phonics, I’m not so taken with my replay of “American Graffiti”. It’s been done before.

    No, if quilter’s circles are so close, better they follow maeku directly. The undefined misdirection of “gossip” is what’s so subtly human and appealing.

    I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. Haste and fatigue.

    at each window
    a different face
    in the moon

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle

    the gossip at
    the quilter’s club
    served with sweetened tea

    I have to argue, the movement here is fetching. Let me know if this is suitable, please.

  305. Lorin says:

    How did I miss that ‘at screaming in my face? Another instance of returning to last but one if you used that verse after the ‘apple’ verse!

    at each window
    a different face
    in the moon

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle

    the gossip at
    the quilter’s club
    served with sweetened tea

    I really think the verse is badly flawed and your line break here after ‘at’ shows it up as such all the more. I much prefer your:

    mufflers rumbling
    and tires squealing
    we cruise around the loop (W)

    I know you like ‘served with sweetened tea’, and that’s really much more your modus operandi than mine…I’m more the sharp and pointy sort. I don’t want the ‘quilters club ‘ verse attributed to me whatever the verse position, so I withdraw it. You, Willie, or anyone else is welcome to use the ‘quilters’ idea. I disown it!

    C’mon, Willie…the verse was a bad mistake on my part. Can we let it go & find something better? You could write something suitable that ended with “served with sweetened tea” if you want it.

    Anyway, here’s the score as far as verse participation goes to date:

    Jen – 4
    Lorin – 4
    Maureen – 4
    Willie – 3 (including ‘cruise around the loop/ without it, 2))
    Ash – 2

    – Lorin

  306. Lorin says:

    … and anyway, what’s wrong with:

    mufflers rumbling
    and tires squealing
    we cruise around the loop (W)

    the kids at last fall silent
    under the goose-down quilt (L)

    ?
    which at least is a winter ku and links to the petrol heads verse, and the rhythm is good without being showy. We are in the last phase, the ‘water flowing swiftly onward to the end’ phase, not the more showy, quirky ‘ha’ phase, are we not?

    – Lorin

  307. Lorin says:

    One more go & I’m out of here:

    mufflers rumbling
    and tires squealing
    we cruise around the loop (W)

    snow angels
    beside the skid marks (L)

    – Lorin

  308. Really, Lorin? That’s great. I’ll run with it then.

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle (M)

    the gossip at
    the quilter’s club
    served with sweetened tea (W)

    So, a winter verse to follow if we follow the schema.

    And can we include the subject of religion? But it’s not a prereequisite.

    Once again, verse offers open to all …

  309. Maureen Virchau says:

    Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. Some verses for you, Willie:

    glistening frost
    across a string of prayer flags

    frost crystals
    across a string of prayer flags

    my prayer
    for a silenced crow

    snowflakes gathering
    in the folds of a monk’s robe

    north wind
    carrying a monk’s prayer

  310. Here’s a provisional sequence through verse 18 pending edits:

    through/from each window
    a different face
    in the moon (A)

    slices of apple
    in a perfect circle (M)

    at the quilter’s club
    the gossip served
    with sweetened tea (W)

    the north wind carries
    a monk’s prayer (M)

    That’s an interesting “scent” link, Maureen. May I use “carries” in place of the participle?

    Ash, would you consent to a change in your moon verse? “at” each window works best, but I’d like to transpose the following gossip verse line to lead. “from” each window might save the alliteration that “at” and “a ” achieved. “through” alludes to Johari’s Window in my mind. Give it a look would you?

  311. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you, Willie. So glad you chose that one. And yes, you can definitely use “carries” instead. It works well. Thanks.

  312. Lorin says:

    Your verse fits very nicely, Maureen.

    Willie, as you’ll probably realise, I’m going to be hell for leather for about a week sorting out 225 haiku from well over 2, 000 for the June AHG. Astonishingly, the last deathknocker sub came (at just before midnight of the 15th, Las Vegas time) from someone actually in Las Vegas! And there’s quite a story to go with it, too.

    I’ll look in, but whether I’ll be able to write any halfway decent verse offers amidst the torrent of haiku abundance is doubtful.

    – Lorin

  313. Lorin says:

    ps, with ‘north wind’ in a Winter position, we’re well in the Northern Hemisphere and traditional Jap. late winter/ early spring kigo. (Ye olde ‘north wind melts the ice’ etc. Ms Eiko would be pleased.)

    (naturally, the north wind is something else in the Southern Hemisphere … straight from the blast furnace, here. If there was a prayer, it’d be for rain.)

    – Lorin

  314. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you, Lorin. I’m so glad it works.

    Good luck to you with sorting out all that haiku. Wow. Hope you find a lot of diamonds. And hope you can squeeze in some relaxation along the way.

    Thanks for sharing regarding the north wind. So very interesting.

  315. Lorin says:

    Hi Maureen,
    In all the rush,I forgot to congratulate you on your verse (this week’s verse) in the current THF renku! Congratulations! though a few days belated. 🙂

    “Chosen for verse #5 is:

    somewhere a missing key
    among sprouts
    of green grass

    – Maureen Virchau ”

    Yes, ‘north wind’ is a kigo (Japanese, there are no kigo as such for other world regions at this stage in history, though some claim the name ‘kigo’ for their non-Japanese seasonal references. Your verse in the THF renku was chosen above some that included specifically Northern Hemisphere seasonal references.

    In her summation regarding verse #5, Sandra politely makes a point about the all too common assumption that ‘kigo’/ seasonal references that are exclusively Japanese (or North American) are what’ s acceptable for international renku. It’s food for thought:

    ““Thank you to everyone who submitted candidate verses, I can see you’re all working hard. Do be sure to read the requirements for the next verse carefully, though, as this week I will not be in a position to prod anyone who goes awry. I got a wry smile from those poets who assume that March/ April/ Easter mean “spring”. It depends where you’re standing, as for me all those mean “autumn”! I didn’t discount them, but felt naming the month or festival did give them less weight for this sabaki, especially as we have such a nice, international vibe going on with the poem so far.” – Sandra Simpson

    http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/2015/03/12/the-renku-sessions-junicho-verse-6/

    This is going to be hard to believe (it still has me flabberghasted!) but first thing this morning (after closing submissions finally about 5-30pm yesterday… my time … so less than 12 hours after subs were firmly closed) an enquiry from a woman as to whether any of her haiku had been selected! Some of them must think I’m a machine! It takes me about a week of full-on, daily concentration just to make the final selections.

    cheers,

    Lorin

  316. Lorin says:

    … with Sandra, I think that ‘Easter’, being a calendar date for a world-wide celebration, like Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year,Ramadan etc. is a no-season reference, rather than ‘spring’ or ‘autumn’, so an ‘Easter’ verse could include a regional seasonal reference.

    – Lorin

  317. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you so much, Lorin! I sincerely appreciate it. I’m so glad that particular verse was chosen.

    This kigo issue is definitely intriguing subject matter, and thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I freely admit to not thinking beyond my own backyard sometimes. I’m so glad you, Ash, and Jen are here to represent Australia. 🙂

    I’m enjoying Sandra’s unique perspective. She’s obviously well-traveled, and I find her to be very thoughtful and generous in her role as sabaki. I look forward to the end results of the renku.

    Thanks for sharing your Las Vegas story. Wow. I imagine she is new to the world of submitting work. Bet you have lots of stories about what it’s like to be an editor. Hope you haven’t had to deal with any severely negative responses to rejections. I’ve heard of that before. I give you a lot of credit for all your work. Looking forward to the next issue.

  318. Not so politically correct to use the Edo Default then? 🙂

    I plead the fifth. I do admit to liking Maureen’s verse for its brevity and the turn away from maeku it invokes.

    The idea to include a religious subject was copied from the Quartet renku schema. It was built in so that verses could be included that were “not nice”, in John’s words.

    The tenuous “prayer” sets a more serious tone, one we may not have touched on, that doesn’t go over the top in doing so. It’s not an easy topic to write.

    The jury is still out on North or Cold to describe the wind, so overwhelming the perceived norm for allusion to the hardships of winter in pre-modern literature and that bone-chilling, nasty February I just experienced. A group of like-minded Northies would probably agree, if they weren’t at each others throats, in the the throes of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) that only copious amounts of drink might dissuade. Or, a geographical change to someplace like Death Valley.

    But this particular renku is an equal opportunity hemisphere renku. A change to “cold” or “biting” would be due. Don’t they say “when you’re not in Rome …” ? We can sort it out soon enough.

    Kidding aside – how *do* we follow the “prayer”?

    Be right back.

  319. Here’s our provisional draft complete with some of my fiddlings:

    trudging uphill
    among summer grasses —
    some new straw hats (L)

    sunflowers nod
    as we pass by (J)

    the coffeehouse
    lined with oil paintings
    of mugs and spoons (M)

    mad verse and memoirs
    scribbled on my napkin (W)

    cold moonlight
    tangled in the rigging
    of his toy boat (M)

    secrets in the schoolyard
    between the clang of bells (J)

    ***

    lost in a contrail
    a jet’s soundless roar
    high overhead (A)

    the spinning bottle
    slows to a stop (L)

    that servant girl
    younger than the sake
    she brings to our table? (W)

    out in the garden pond
    carp are rising, too (L)

    a blush of plum petal
    the kabuki dancer
    lowers his fan (J)

    the white rabbit vanishes
    into the applause (M)

    I say, Watson,
    we’ve not seen the end
    of Moriarty yet! (L)

    a snail’s track weaves
    through the lamplight (J)

    (through) each window
    a different face
    in the moon (A)

    (placed) in a perfect circle
    slices of apple (M)

    ***

    at the quilter’s club
    the gossip served
    with sweetened tea (L/W)

    a (cold) wind carries
    the monk’s prayer (M)

    I don’t think a person verse next is out of the question. First person might be more striking even, assuming we can hit the right “note”. Of course, I could be entirely wrong …

    Our final non-season verse, then three in Spring to close.

  320. Lorin says:

    …just be aware, Willie, that when you change the expression, you change the meaning & therefore the resonance:

    at each window
    a different face
    in the moon (A

    (through) each window
    a different face
    in the moon (A)

    – Lorin

  321. Jennifer says:

    a (cold) wind carries
    the monk’s prayer (M)

    inhaling deeply
    the fragrance
    of a scented candle

    ***

    finding a lock of hair
    between the pages
    of the bible

    ***

    confetti caught
    within the net
    of the bride’s veil

  322. Jennifer says:

    how quickly dust lands
    on the mirror
    eheu fugaces labuntur amnii

  323. My service is acting up. Alas, we pay the most ..

  324. ashleycapes says:

    Hi everyone! Sorry, I’ve been swamped and sick on top of which – but feeling a bit better now.
    Will be back tomorrow with a possible ‘religion’ verse candidate 🙂

  325. Hi everyone,

    Hope we’re all well, or at least a speedy recovery to you, Ash.

    A number of stanzas past I’d imagined “dust” as a verse topic. Trouble is, I can’t remember where or why. Something to do with “transcendance” perhaps? It’s hard to define. Maybe Lorin can enlighten me on it’s meaning in Haikai?

    Jen, I love the image of dust collecting on a mirror. You add the Latin expression – I can’t remember precisely – the gist of which says, “alas, the fleeting years glides by”.

    Time is an important and marvelous topic of the renku and would fit well in the position and context. I wonder though if the Latin phrase is obscure to quite a few readers? Certainly it would need a footnote.

    Which might impede the “relentless” pace we’re in the process of establishing. Could we pair these two “concepts” another way? Maybe there’s a similar phrase, idiom or saying familiar to your region. Adds a little life and color?

    Ageku, the last stanza, will calm our quick march, adding summation to the poem as a whole if done well.

    Cherry blossom precedes that stanza. It too is a predominant position that carries its own weight and tenor.

    a variation:

    how quickly dust lands/collects
    on the mirror –
    (alas! – the fleeting years glide on / O’ the fleeting years march on!)

    Love to see some others – once we resolve this position we can enter spring!

  326. Lorin says:

    Willie, I can’t be of much use because I’m completely stuffed. You try selecting & sending acceptances and rejections to 220 individuals over a couple of days then start composing the ku into some kind of readable sequence only to realise that you’ve either lost one or have miscounted, and I can’t discover which!

    But here are my thoughts about Jen’s verses: I was immediately struck by how god the first one was, both in linking and setting the scene for the blossom verse (that’s next, isn’t it? I haven’t checked)

    at the quilter’s club
    the gossip served
    with sweetened tea (L/W)

    a (cold) wind carries
    the monk’s prayer (M)

    inhaling deeply
    the fragrance
    of a scented candle(J)

    It’s as natural as breathing in after an outbreath (and what connects the two previous verses is ‘outbreath/ wind’ in their different forms: gossip (blah blah) and wind are both ‘blowing’, inhaling comes so naturally after. (Yet there is no sense of ‘return to previous but one’ … the move is organic) And it doesn’t need to be fiddled with.

    Yes, I agree that we can’t get bogged down in Latin or cleverness or philosophical musings about time in this last phase when flowing onwards without impediment is the aim. The only relevant philosopher for this last phase is Heroclites (Greek, pre-Socrates and the most ‘Eastern’ of them all)

    “You cannot step in the same river twice, for other and yet other waters are flowing”

    Or something like that.

    – Lorin

  327. Lorin says:

    Hmmm … the ONLY drawback I see in Jen’s candle verse is that it might hark back to ‘sweetened’ in your previous but one (which I never liked, anyway, & one reason is for it’s inaccuracy: one never serves sweetened tea, people sweeten their own or not according to their taste …but what would American men know about e serving of tea? :P)

    – L

  328. Maureen Virchau says:

    So glad that your service is back on track, Willie. What an interesting post.

    Hope you are feeling a lot better, Ash.

    Lorin, so sorry for all your stress. I hope things are getting better. I love and agree with your words regarding Jen’s verse: “…as natural as breathing in after an outbreath…” Yes!

    Jen, I really enjoy both the ‘dust’ and the ‘fragrance’ verse. I think both link very well and take the renku to interesting places.

    I like the use of “collects” there, Willie. I think that the concept implied with dust gathering could be understood without the addition of the Latin phrase if combining the two concepts proves problematic.

    how quickly
    the dust collects
    on the mirror

    I think “the fleeting years” could possibly stand alone without the addition of “glides on/marches on” there.

    how quickly dust collects
    on the mirror –
    the fleeting years!

    Regarding the other verse- I wonder if the naming of an actual scent could work if there is a possible link between the specific words “sweetened” and “scented” there?

    inhaling deeply
    the soothing scent
    of sandalwood

    Maybe another adjective for scent there, of course.
    I chose sandalwood as it is supposed to promote tranquility.

    Anyway, just offering some thoughts if the original verses need to be altered in any way.

    I think they are fantastic verses. Great job, Jen! 🙂

  329. Lorin says:

    well, of course the fragrance could be anything that suggested a non-seasonal interior:

    steeping tea
    massage oil
    lemon detergent
    fresh graffiti
    vanilla incense

    old books
    and etc. etc. etc.

    ‘scented candle’ is warm & intimate, though perhaps both ‘fragrance’ & ‘scent’ in the one verse might be overloading. (I prefer ‘fragrance’ in L 2 to ‘scent’)

    a (cold) wind carries
    the monk’s prayer (M)

    inhaling deeply
    the fragrance
    of a votive candle

    … probably not, because of insufficient shift?

    inhaling deeply
    the fragrance
    of fresh laundry

    That’s warm & domestic & all seasons, in my view, and offers no impediments to flow.

    Here’s a ku that’s one of my favourites:

    otoko kite heya nuchi suisen no nioi midaru

    a man enters
    the room, disturbing the scent
    of daffodils

    Yoshino Yoshiko. b. 1915 (from ‘Far Beyond the Field’ …haiku by Japanese women.

    (I hope Willie was joking with “(alas! – the fleeting years” or the like! )

    – L

  330. Maureen Virchau says:

    Love that ku, Lorin. Thanks for sharing. I adore daffodils. 🙂

    “Fresh laundry” is a great idea. I am reminded of the popular candle scent that is fresh linen.

    inhaling deeply
    the fragrance
    of fresh linen

  331. Jennifer says:

    Hi All,

    Thanks for your thoughts on my offerings.
    I thought the latin might be too much but was looking to tie into religion as with the candle in the other verse.
    Maybe scented candle could be replaced with incense as I think has been noted in the comments above?
    Willie did prompt me for a regional reference above. What about this?

    inhaling deeply
    the fragrance
    of eucalyptus

    I

  332. Maureen Virchau says:

    Oops. Never mind. “Linen” as a fabric could link to the quilting.

  333. Lorin says:

    inhaling deeply
    the fragrance
    of eucalyptus

    yes, that’s year round… good one, Jen.

    Though for many scents/ fragrances I prefer ‘fragrance’, for eucalyptus, hmmm, dunno … ‘fresh scent’ is an alternative, even ‘freshness’.

    – L

  334. Lorin says:

    …or, another possibility is keep candle & leave the fragrance & what sort of candle to the mind of the reader. They all have a fragrance, even the unscented ones.

    inhaling deeply
    the fragrance
    of a candle

    – L

  335. Maureen Virchau says:

    Yes- good one, Jen! And good ideas, Lorin. 🙂

    Been reading about eucalyptus and came across a fragrance company which referred to the scent as an “eye opener” which made me laugh. I also appreciate how that connects with a monk’s sense of heightened awareness.

    Looking forward to your thoughts, Willie. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

  336. ashleycapes says:

    Thanks for the well-wishes everyone, on the mend I think 🙂

    I like both the candle verse and definitely like the eucalypt too, Jen, great verse 🙂

  337. Maureen Virchau says:

    You’re welcome, Ash. Glad you are on the mend. And hope it stays that way. 🙂

  338. Hi all,

    I’ve been on a death march of a schedule. But they’re all that way now. I had to lie down for awhile.

    The young fellow I’m working with takes their bullshit to heart – the alleged deadline, I mean. I have to admire him though. He’s raising three kids without the mother. That’s one tough SOB.

    He’d better be. Two of us performing a job that needs five. But, adapt and overcome, right? 🙂

    at the quilter’s club
    the gossip served
    with sweetened tea (L/W)

    a (cold) wind carries
    the monk’s prayer (M)

    how quickly dust collects
    on the mirror –
    the fleeting years! (J)

    There we are. I never meant to use the Latin translation. It’s so ornate. This simplifies things quite nicely. No ambiguity here.

    The break creates another direction in phrasing, adding diversity and excitement to our rapid close. A great shift, with marvelous implication – wind and prayer, dust and mirror.

    The Eucalyptus is good too, though it may be bothersome flanked by sweetened tea on one side and flowering trees on the other.

    Well, we have the introduction of Spring next, followed by blossom, then our finishing statement, also in Spring.

    I imagine the next passage could be a little more hopeful, the blossom scene contemplative, the ageku a parable …

    Of course that never works. Seems we do much better without my input sometimes!

    • Lorin says:

      how quickly dust collects
      on the mirror –
      the fleeting years!

      Yeah, I do see now that you’re attempting to be quite the iconoclast in this last section,Willie, from your writing & selection of your

      mufflers rumbling
      and tires squealing
      we cruise around the loop (W)

      and subsequent over-writing of a verse offer of mine to suit it, through later on dropping it altogether without letting us know why (my guess is that you came to consider it unsuitable, and not unjustifiably so, for the last phase) whilst insisting on keeping that bastard of a verse no matter how much I disliked the idea that anyone, anywhere, could attribute it to me.

      Because, Willie, you seem determined not to share your thinking either before or after the choice of a verse, but prefer to talk about your day job and make insinuations via analogy, I’m spelling out the issue here: Ash, Jen and Maureen, in case you haven’t clued in to the thinking behind Willie’s adoption of

      how quickly dust collects
      on the mirror –
      the fleeting years!

      I suggest you go to John Carley’s ‘The Renku Book’ & turn to the chapter titled ‘Cut or Uncut?’ The whole of the chapter is pertinent to this verse and should be read.

      John rightly states that:

      “It is not the pause which creates juxtaposition, it is the nature and degree of the turn.”

      There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this verse is ‘haikurashi’…haiku-like. It is so ‘haiku-like’ that it could serve as a hokku (though the voice is that of imitators of C19 translations of Japanese haiku/ hokku) The turn is from a literal image of dust collecting on a mirror to someone’s ‘ephiphany’ moment: the realisation that time is moving swiftly onwards.

      So, Willie, you’re asserting that a ‘cut’ verse, a verse with a strong turn, a verse indistinguishable from a hokku, a ‘free-standing verse’, is suitable for renku, now. This is taking things a lot further than John Carley’s observations on the subject of varying syntax in renku and his rightful criticism of those who consider any sort of syntactical differences to be a ‘cut’ (It’s a pity that the comments section of the first THF renku are not being preserved, as it was clear that John Stevenson was rejecting offered internal verses as ‘cut’ if they had any degree of syntactic turn. )

      Maybe you thought to defend this hokku-like verse by calling it an example of “throwing in”, Willie?

      – Lorin

  339. Maureen Virchau says:

    Hope you can get some more rest, Willie.

    the swaybacked mare
    nuzzles her foal

    skylark songs
    with the hush of dawn

    distant silhouettes
    of departing geese

  340. Maureen Virchau says:

    Willie, just an idea for another kind of winter wind. I’m not quite sure about it, but wanted to pass it on.

    a withering wind carries
    the monk’s prayer

    I notice that “cold” is used earlier in the ‘cold moonlight’ verse. “Withering” could also serve as an additional link to the nature of gossip although I did choose to use “north wind’ in my original verse for its spare quality.

    Anyway, just passing on some thoughts. Hope you are having a good weekend and getting some much needed rest.

  341. Jennifer says:

    Hi Maureen & all,
    I didn’t even notice the repetition of cold .
    I think withering works well. Here in Australia, a North wind is blisteringly hot.

    My “how quickly ” verse does have a clear cut in it .
    Perhaps an alternative could be

    how quickly dust
    collects on the mirror
    with each fleeting year

  342. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thank you, Jen. Yes, it definitely depends on where you live. I know now to think beyond my own backyard. 🙂

  343. ashleycapes says:

    Re: the ‘cut’ verses, we could always finish composing the first draft and edit later?

  344. ashleycapes says:

    a (cold) wind carries
    the monk’s prayer (M)

    how quickly dust collects
    on the mirror –
    the fleeting years! (J)

    smiles return
    at the crackle of ice

    smiles return
    at the cracking of ice

    (no good, of course, if there is a ‘cold’ in the first first up there)

  345. William Sorlien says:

    Hi all,

    I’ll return in the afternoon / evening, about ten hours, maybe.

    Glad to see we haven’t come to a dead stop! Keep your offers coming …

  346. Lorin says:

    Hi Maureen,
    Australia must seem so far away to you. It may be hard to believe, but I’ve had emails from haiku-writing women in America over the past several years that say they’ve just realised that when it’s Summer where they live, it’s Winter here & vice versa. As an ex secondary school teacher, I can’t help but wonder what they teach in science & geography classes in USA schools! ( I do know what they teach in history classes … some of it is not history, but propaganda.) The issue doesn’t ever occur with people from European countries (also in the Northern Hemisphere) who seem quite aware that this planet we live on is divided into two hemispheres, so I can’t help but wonder what it is that makes the difference.

    To grasp the differences you really don’t need to go any further than your own ‘backyard’, South America, When it’s Winter in New York, it’s Summer in Brazil. Whilst your north wind comes from colder climes (those closer to the Arctic circle) the North wind in Brazil has gathered heat at the equatorial regions. Our South wind ( and the South wind as it would be in Brazil) is cold from the Antarctic circle.

    We do really all live on the one planet. 🙂 Earth has two poles, It’s not hard. (and every 25, 000 years or so, the hemispherical situations reverse, as the Indian & Persian astronomers had worked out ages ago, and as been rediscovered by more modern ‘Western’ astronomers over the past several centuries. At an entirely predictable time in the future, the North wind in the USA .. & Japan … will be hot, and in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be cold. Whether the human race will be around to record that is another issue entirely)

    – Lorin

  347. Jennifer says:

    The difference in the seasons worldwide can be challenging when submitting to international journals ( as mentioned by Lorin during our last ginko) . I am glad to report that I recently sent a haiku which had a clear Autumn reference to an American journal and it was accepted 🙂
    Maureen, I hope one day to get to meet you in person.
    I am going to the next haiku conferencein October. 🙂

  348. Maureen Virchau says:

    Thanks so much for the great explanation, Lorin. 🙂

    Still the crackle of ice over here, Ash.

    How exciting for you, Jen! I just checked out the conference website, and it sounds absolutely wonderful. I will look into it and see what I can do. Yes, it would be great to meet you someday. And congratulations on your haiku acceptance! 🙂 Autumn is my favorite season.

  349. William Sorlien says:

    Long day. I might be leaving Monday or Tuesday for an out of town gig. I hope not. I won’t take my computer. I don’t own a smart phone (nor will I ever) either.

    I do have an Obama phone. Free minutes!

    Still, we’d better hustle. 🙂

    Jen’s “cut” verse is rather blatant, some might feel? “Indistinguishable from hokku”? I see how some readers might dismiiss the boldness of its use, but I like how it carries on the movement. I csn see the connection, the progression of thought processes. I think it might work.

    The only explanation I can offer is I seek quality in pace, phrasing and metre. I eschew cliche or repetitive topics. Those were my two goals in conducting this poem.

    That’s it in a nutshell. I hope we don’t fret over “rules” to overlook those aspects.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch –

    a (cold/withering/winter) wind carries
    the monk’s prayer (M)

    how quickly dust collects
    on the mirror –
    the fleeting years! (J)

    (their) smiles return
    at/with the crackle of ice (Ash)

    For now, might we consider the addition of person or persons in your verse, Ash, since we haven’t directly referenced any for some time? I’m partial to “crackle”, btw. Such a great word!

  350. Maureen Virchau says:

    Congrats, Ash!
    I agree with you, Willie. “Crackle” is a fantastic word.

    everywhere
    more cherry blossoms
    as if for me

  351. Lorin says:

    “Jen’s “cut” verse is rather blatant, some might feel? “Indistinguishable from hokku”? I see how some readers might dismiiss the boldness of its use, but I like how it carries on the movement. I csn see the connection, the progression of thought processes. I think it might work.

    The only explanation I can offer is I seek quality in pace, phrasing and metre. I eschew cliche or repetitive topics. Those were my two goals in conducting this poem.” – Willie

    Well, thank you very much, your Majesty, for deigning to respond to me as “some readers”. Better than nothing, I suppose, but I see that you are happier with the other “some readers” who will say whatever you do is “wonderful” etc. I prefer to learn through adult discourse.

    Flattery will get “some readers” everywhere, but I cannot be one of those. I see I’ve passed my use by date in this renku, so will bow out as graciously as I can now.

    Just make sure that you remove any attribution to me in that “served with sweetened tea” verse. It’s yours.

    – Lorin

    • ashleycapes says:

      Ah, is something going on that we all need to be aware of?

      • William Sorlien says:

        Nothing new here, Ash. A little different than responses to John in the day, however. 🙂

        Of course, I have to say he was much better informed than I, and better at explaining his choices. I may be rushing some to keep the momentum, too. My apologies.

        There is a blossom verse up next though! Shall we have a go …

  352. Lorin says:

    Yes, there is something new, here, beyond Willie’s deliberate rudeness in his use of “some readers” in addressing me and my concerns.

    ” Jen’s “cut” verse is rather blatant, some might feel? “Indistinguishable from hokku”? I see how some readers might dismiiss the boldness of its use, but I like how it carries on the movement. I csn see the connection, the progression of thought processes. I think it might work.

    The only explanation I can offer is I seek quality in pace, phrasing and metre. I eschew cliche or repetitive topics. Those were my two goals in conducting this poem.

    That’s it in a nutshell. I hope we don’t fret over “rules” to overlook those aspects.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch – ” – Willie

    Nothing could be more dismissive, don’t you think? If Willie had intended to include ‘haikurashi ‘ verses from the beginning, or haiku sequences, or whatever, would it not have been the courteous and honest thing to do to spell that out to the group from the beginning?

    Yes, the verse is a haiku ( a very traditional one, too) and indistinguishable from hokku. John Carley would never have tried to pass this verse off as an internal verse, not even in phases 2 & 3, let alone in the last phase, so of course he would never receive a response such as mine.

    Note the self-glorification inherent in ” I see how some readers might dismiss the boldness of its use” Nobody, apart from Willie himself, has evaluated Willie’s use of this verse as an example of (praise-worthy) boldness. Nobody has suggested that “Jen’s verse” is “blatant ” in any sense. Jen offered it in good faith, as a beginner in renku who has not yet had the benefit of working with a sabaki who takes the trouble to teach, and to gain consent, as John Carley did. Her first and only other renku has been the one with John Stevenson on THF.

    Did John Carley “seek quality in pace, phasing and metre”? Most certainly. Did he “eschew cliche or repetitive topics”? Yes, very much so, though I doubt he would ever have used “eshew” or written a sentence in the pompous, dismissive tone that Willie chooses to use. (Quite a few renku led by JEC and the full discussion threads are preserved on ‘Issa’s Snail’ for anyone to check if they want to.)

    But he never attempted to blur the distinction between those goals and including ‘haikurashi’ verse, nor did he ever stoop to dismissing or diminishing anybody’s genuine queries, points or objections by characterising them as “fretting over rules” as Willie has.

    Nor would he have ever attempted the pea & thimble trick that Willie did with the first verse of this last phase. John had too much respect for each person to manipulate and play the tyrant, so he gained the respect that’s required.

    “Nothing new here, Ash.” is an appeal to a certain kind of blokeyness that we’re all familiar with and a continuation of his attempt to dismiss and diminish me (with the purpose of covering his own arse), and I hope you are too aware of such manoeuvrings to be a party to it. On the other hand, unfortunately, overdoing the grandiosity then ducking for cover, on Willie’s part, is something that’s not new to me. I’d thought we might be over that. Wrongly.

    – Lorin

  353. ashleycapes says:

    On hiatus we go then perhaps (stay tuned)

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