‘New’ Junicho – Two

At this stage, barring any further changes, we have our lineup for the second ‘new’ Junicho:
John (sabaki), Ashley, Andrew, Vasile, Mary, kala

Keep an eye on this post

191 Responses to ‘New’ Junicho – Two

  1. John Carley says:

    Hi everybody, welcome to the second only ever in the whole world renku poem composed according to the decrees and diktats of Mr Capes of Australia.

    This poem will adopt the mainstream techniques of contemporary renku in all but one respect – organisational structures based on the fixed topics of moon, blossom and love which traditionally make their appearance in association with the changing seasons have been replaced by three category of verse: Cultural, Shasei and Gendai.

    The Cultural category is divided into six topics, all of which may appear once only. For the purposes of this composition Shasei is understood as describing a verse drawn from and evoking immediate personal experience (as in the haiku techniques espoused by Masaoka Shiki). By the same token Gendai is understood as an approach which is avowedly modern and/or mould breaking. To summarise therefore:

    ——

    Category Breakdown

    6x Cultural [Topics: lit, politics, art, music, religion, film]
    4x Shasei
    2x Gendai

    The following organisational principles will be attempted:

    • Neither Shasei nor Gendai verses should appear in the last-but-one relationship
    • Cultural verses should avoid the last-but-one relationship excepting the case of ageku
    • Reference to each of the four temperate seasons should be made somewhere in the poem

    ——

    I propose to treat all verse positions as ‘competitive’ (c.f. degachi).

    Colleagues might care to read the strand detailing the composition of the first poem of this style under the ‘New Junicho’ tab above.

    Because of the experimental nature of the poem I cordially invite colleages to ascribe a category, and where appropriate a topic tag, to each verse submitted – as in these examples drawn from the first poem:

    chrysanthemum scent –
    the untold manner of men
    Nara has known

    Basho trans: Carley
    cat: culture / lit

    my loving tree has bourne
    the strangest fruit

    cat: cultural / music

    I respectfully request colleages *not* to post any further explanation of the verse content, or the reason for or manner of the link.

    At all times comments, queries and critiques are not only welcome but necessary.

    Best wishes, John

  2. John Carley says:

    Call for hokku candidates –

    This is the easy bit – yr best ever hokku/haiku candidates please. How many each? Well, as a guide 3 is good number. But that is not a rule.

    Colleagues familiar with renga and renku might know of the convention in some styles and periods that the first verse is capable of reading as a greeting to the company, or an esteemed member thereof – or as some form of augury. This is welcome, so wishing, but is not an obligation.

    Bang (that is the word on the red flag that has just popped out of my starter’s gun).

    Best wishes, John

  3. kala says:

    Thanks John,
    Really looking forward to this trip 🙂

    Must the hokku be of the current season?

    Or can we even have something, say of autumn as a hokku?
    _kala

  4. John Carley says:

    Good question Kala, and sorry for being so vague – the hokku can be in any style, season or manner whatsoever.

    For instance a typical modern hokku, drawn in the present season, and essentially on personal experienc’ (lyric style) would, by our current designation, be a ‘shasei’ verse. This is fine.

    Or we could go for something consciously innovative (gendai). Or on a verse which serves as an opening whilst referencing a cultural medium (cultural).

    As with all types of short renku the choices exercised in the first few verses rapidly come to constrain the baseline requirements of subsequent verses. But for our present purposes it is ‘anything goes’.

    Best wishes, John

  5. kala says:

    Thanks a ton, John.

    So here are my offers for the hokku:

    vaulting ambition —
    a wave rockcrashes
    into thin mist

    cat- lit
    thin mist – spring
    *

    spring marathon …
    the firmness of earth
    reaches my soul

    cat- shasei

    school alumni
    a bumblebee-drunkenness
    being a child again

    cat – shasei

    riding on the scent
    of cows . . . harvest songs
    I quaintly recollect

    cat – music/culture

    Kala

  6. Vasile Moldovan says:

    My offers for the hokku:

    in the sea brizee
    a white handkerchief waving…
    sailer’s sweetheart
    or
    vernal equinox-
    after the quake and tsunami
    the hope again

    waiting for the rain,
    suddenly it is opening
    a windou between coluds

  7. Vasile Moldovan says:

    Sorry! Please read clouds instead of .

  8. G’day all
    Thanks John for all the explanations. I’m taking yours (& Ashley’s) advice and following the wild ride of the first ‘new’ junicho. It’s great to be on board here. John, I heard your starter gun and will hopefully be out of the blocks soon.
    Andrew

  9. mary white says:

    Hi Good to be here and degachi sounds good as it gives us lots of opportunity to learn this new form.

    arranging flowers
    the day of the earthquake-
    ikebana

    cat-culture

    in the old convent
    under a brass Om symbol
    women chanting

    cat – ? not sure about this!

  10. John Carley says:

    Hi all, we’re looking good. Mary – I’d call that last one cultural:religion

    Here are a couple of mine, one of which I presented in the other strand –

    a nee-naw box
    full of nee-naw things —
    global warming

    cat: gendai

    dandelion seeds
    drift across my pond —
    utter silence

    cat: shasei

    sharing the sunshine
    with a flock of sheep —
    orange football

    cat: gendai

    Best wishes, John

  11. Ok, here are my offerings. A spectacular Autumn morning in Brisbane.

    this floor too
    needs sweeping –
    small world

    cat: culture

    long wet ending
    listening to the forecast –
    ducks waddle over

    cat: ? Cultural – current event?

    football field – 
    a pumpkin vine
    taking a corner

    cat: gendai

    Cheers
    Andrew

  12. ashleycapes says:

    Here’s two from me, bit pressed for time this weekend, aiming for gendai. Will be back later to see how the hokku turns out

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    cat: gendai

    the orange sun
    drooling
    all afternoon now

    cat: gendai

  13. John Carley says:

    football field –
    a pumpkin vine
    taking a corner

    sharing the sunshine
    with a flock of sheep –
    orange football

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    Hi everybody, with such a wealth of riches to choose from there is always going to be an element of arbitrariness in our judgements.

    But it’s interesting how many candidates are atypical for this hokku position, and it seems fitting to experiment with the effect of starting with a ‘gendai’ hokku for the second ever ‘New Junicho’ not least because the first employed a striking but more conventional first verse.

    I have shortlisted three above. I’d be grateful for any comments and observations you might make before moving to a final choice.

    Best wishes, John

  14. kala says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    To me this reads most like a gendai.

    football field –
    a pumpkin vine
    taking a corner

    To me this reads like a shasei, really.
    How do you put it down as gendai, John?

    sharing the sunshine
    with a flock of sheep –
    orange football

    Even this reads like a shasei to me.
    I would go for the first, but is it again good to start off with something so vague.

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    This poem leaves a lot of questions in my mind
    Does gendai means pure anthropomorphism / personification?
    You are talking about a sea having a big mouth but it can still whisper.

    How can that make it a gendai? Or maybe I’m yet to understand what you mean by gendai 😦
    _kala

  15. kala says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    Or is it all about a fish/ a whale?

  16. mary white says:

    I am a bit puzzled about the big mouth too. I like it because it is innovative and fits the bill.

  17. g’day Mr Capes

    have you forgotten that you are our sabaki on the still to complete winter junicho, started some months ago now? i’m sending this message here so as to grab your attention, please.

    Am following this new junicho with interest.

    thanks for your time

    a jilted bow
    at the garden gate
    super moon

    • ashleycapes says:

      Hi BAT – just check your inbox again, as I’ve already replied to your first reminder. And keep an eye on the ‘Winter’ page as I’ll be back soon.

  18. John Carley says:

    Hi all, some good questions on ‘gendai’. Briefly put I take it to describe an approach which stands in conscious defiance of many of the haiku conventions of the last century, whilst avoiding the temptation towards the absurd when struggling for effect (therefore not a return to the Danrin style) and also eschewing outright humour and or vulgarity (therefore not indistinguishable from senryu).

    football field –
    a pumpkin vine
    taking a corner

    One one level descriptions of ‘shasei’ and ‘gendai’ are not mutually exclusive. But Shiki never went as far as this towards personification

    sharing the sunshine
    with a flock of sheep –
    orange football

    There is also a slight hint of personification here. But perhaps the thing that makes this most identifiable as gendai is the bright plastic presence of the orange football and the synergy between it and the sun.

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    As a ‘single image’ poem this verse would perhaps be more unusual yet than the other two as a hokku, there is indeed a degree off vagueness and of ‘insufficiency’. But then that simply begs the wakiku to ‘resolve’ the verse in the way that the ‘bottom verse’ of a tan-renga resolves the ‘top verse’.

    In fact team I think that is our best solution – to go with the most challenging proposal!

    So – our hokku is:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    Ashley [gendai]

    I cordially invite colleagues to propose wakiku candidates.

    Best wishes, John

  19. John Carley says:

    Hi all, here’s a couple from me. I’m currently on Ynys Mon, so the maritime stuff comes easy (it used to be Australia in only 60 days from here).

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    Captain Ahab
    goes all existential

    cat: cultural – literature

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    little sharks go
    dun-dun dun-dun dun-dun

    cat: cultural – film

    Best wishes, John

  20. kala says:

    Thanks John,

    Good explanation of what constitutes a gendai.
    Will come back soon with my offers.
    _kala

  21. G’day all, pleased we’re going the more challenging route John. Thank you for trying to explain gendai a little further. Kala’s questions echoed with me also and sent me on a wild research of all things gendai. I found this interview/article interesting: http://www.simplyhaiku.com/SHv6n4/features/Gilbert.html but i’m no less murky on what it means for English language haiku.

    Great start Ashley – I can’t help myself posting this wakiku
    (culture – high brow lit)

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    Captain Haddock wakes
    on the poop deck

    Cheers all

  22. mary white says:

    Moby’s ‘why does my heart
    feel so bad’

    Cat- culture

    a lament for
    demise of the foghorns

    The last of the foghorns were closed down in the British Isles this year.

  23. kala says:

    Coming to think of it, I don’t think a mere personifcation or a strong personification alone makes a haiku a gendai. There should be much more to it.

    Susumu Takiguchi took this of mine for WHR, saying it is not anthropomorphism, and I could even remove the question mark.

    waterfall
    do darting birds
    tickle it?

    **

    in the darkness
    of womb, a life swims
    into my life

    Richard Gilbert choose this ku of mine for the SH issue.
    This I feel is a gendai

    _kala

    My two paise of thoughts 🙂
    _kala

    • I agree Kala, there should be more to it. I guess it’ll take time to work out what the term means for English language haiku. I think Ashley’s ‘new’ junicho (forcing us to make a distinction) may just help in the exploration of the term. I like your ‘waterfall’ and ‘womb’ pieces. Very nice.
      Andrew

  24. mary white says:

    ‘Finding Nemo’
    bad news for clown fish

    cat _ culture

  25. kala says:

    My offers for the waki:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    the slumdog millionaire
    gets to air his opinion

    Cat- cultural – film

    ***

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    the old man sees the marlin
    leap-bite the sky

    Cat – cultural – literature

  26. G’day all, I would love to know if i’m way off here. Is it normal to be pulled toward the didactic while attempting writing a wakiku? Always open for crit. Cheers
    Andrew

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    thankful prayers
    from the belly

    cat – culture – religious/lit

    ***

    Scylla and Charybdis
    allow one through

    cat – culture – lit

    ***

    leviathan giggles
    under a midnight moon

    cat – cultrure – lit

  27. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a (midnight) moon

    Ashley, Andrew

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit?/religion?

    remaining:
    5x Cultural [lit OR religion; film; art; politics; music]
    3x Shasei
    1x Gendai

    Hi all,
    there’s so much to go at here that I hope Vasile will forgive me for moving on – the whole quesion of the relationship between pace and spontaneity in ‘remote’ renku is an intriguing one.

    Some of our hokku candidates probed the cross-over between gendai and shasei. I find that Andrew’s excellent multi-layered wakiku raises similar issues around the cultural category. Is this principally a literary or a religious reference? In terms of metaphysics ‘Leviathan’ is a creature of more than one particular type of deep – a features in more than one type of bible.

    The need or othewise to resolve such questions turns on the signifcance of the topic designations in the cultural category – what is their function? Do they describe obligations that must be discharge ‘correctly’. Or are they simply indicators that point us towards diversity?

    Let us return to our text. Andrew, I’ve put the word ‘midnight’ in parenthases above. The overall cadence of the verse is perfect, and the word itself works well – but I wondered if there was just a hint of metrical make-weight about it (or is it that the aliteration lightens the verse just a tad too much?).

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    hmmn, maybe that’s too strong – and pushing the verse in a direction contrary to your intention. Anyway, I’d be grateful if you could consider the question.

    Meanwhile there’s more than enough on the page for the rest of us to thing about verse #3.

    The only absolute stricture here is that another gendai verse will not work at #3 – it will return us too strongly to #1 tonally. Colleagues familiar with classic renga and renku theory will know that #3 is typically regarded as moving strongly away from the hokku/wakiku ‘pair’ – in Japanese specific conjugations of the verb are recommended: essentially those constructions which are similar to the present progressive in English. I’m not suggesting we adopt the latter approach necessarily. But it is important that #3 feels open-ended; that it evokes a process rather than a moment.

    Best wishes, John

    • lorin says:

      leviathan giggles
      under a baleful moon

      “hmmn, maybe that’s too strong – and pushing the verse in a direction contrary to your intention.” – John

      I like ‘baleful’, the complex mood developed by the contrast of ‘baleful’ and ‘giggles’, the more-or-less subtle suggestion that the moon is like an eye. ‘Waning’ would also fit, but loses out, imo, because it’s the surreal element that has this verse working so well.

      – Lorin

      • lorin says:

        . . . so well as a ‘gendai’ verse, here.

        This pair of verses is a great beginning! But I think that Dali, Bunuel, Ginsberg & co need to be well and truly left behind in #3.

        – Lorin

  28. John Carley says:

    a quick PS – I’m a dyslexic. You will find spelling errors and such stuff all over my work and comments. As a rule I tend to work in a word processor before posting to online forum so that I can spellcheck – but with this platform I find that MS Word introduces formatting problems. And anyway spellcheckers don’t pick up substitutions, or all omissions and duplications. So I applogise for the inconvenience but above all would hate to think that it came over as a casualness verging on disrespect.

    Best wishes, John

    • willie says:

      Have you tried writing in an E-mail draft and then copyng and transferring to comments?
      A certain ease of viewing from one page to another may also be afforded.

  29. kala says:

    John & Andrew, congrats!
    I love the waki.

    leviathan giggles
    — lovely.
    I had to goggle leviathan of course, I was unaware of this sea monster in the Bible, but I think it sits so well here.
    _kala

  30. lorin says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    😉 One wonders to whom the big mouth belongs! Leviathon, or . . . ?

    “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.
    . . .
    Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?
    . . .
    Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth?
    His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together;
    each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.
    They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.
    His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn.
    Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
    Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
    His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.

    etc. etc” Book of Job

    The full thing beats ‘Howl’ as a rave any day!

    – Lorin

  31. lorin says:

    (…and I have reason to believe that ‘Howl’ was based on The Book of Job)

    – Lorin

  32. Busy day… happy to go with baleful. Cheers – will post more thoughts later.
    Andrew

  33. G’day all,
    Totally agree with ‘moonlight’ John – ‘giggles’ already takes care of the lightness and I like the direction offered with ‘baleful’.  I did wonder if baleful is too telling.  After much pondering throughout the day, I think the stronger feeling necessary and provides a good reason to move quickly away from the danger for #3.

    I thought it interesting all the culture allusions offered for the waki.  Ashley’s hokku (and it’s vagueness) was fun to work with.  I thought so anyway and enjoyed the array of suggestions offered for this ‘big mouth / on the sea’

    Just a thought – after reading Lorin’s comments (Hi Lorin) – is it too early in the piece to be introducing religious/literature?  Does it set a controversial tone?

    Cheers
    Andrew

    • lorin says:

      Hi Andrew,

      I think the pair of verses set a surreal, dreamlike, nightmarish or hallucinatory tone, rather than a controversial one.

      – Lorin

      • lorin says:

        (. . . and I also think that The Book of Job is the most wonderfully ‘controversial’ thing in the whole bible. . . if you don’t believe me, read Jung’s Answer to Job.

        . . .a bit on it here:

        http://www.friesian.com/jung.htm

        – Lorin

      • ‘…surreal, dreamlike, nightmarish or hallucinatory tone’ – Nice.

        It’s great to have you following so closely. Thanks for the link below. I must admit to having only read odds and ends of Jung’s work but I have read the Book of Job so Jung’s ‘Answer to Job’ will be a good place to start.

        Andrew

  34. What am I doing??? Questioning my own selected verse? No… controversy is good. Engages the reader.

  35. Vasile Moldovan says:

    My proposals for #3

    bloody wake-
    opening a new
    fishing route
    or
    on the hurricane desk
    the unfrocked monk gives a lesson
    of exorcism

  36. kala says:

    My offer for v # 3

    each wave
    a rising death alarm
    each fear a tsunami

    cat – shasei

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    cat – shasei

    the plomp plomp
    of high water-tide dashing
    the anchored boat

    cat – music/ rhythm / in nature

  37. mary white says:

    the mass exodus
    of the young jobless
    no green shoots

    Cat – shasei……in the recession 70% of unemployed Irish youth expect to leave Ireland this year

  38. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit?/religion?
    daisan – shasei

    remaining:
    5x Cultural [lit OR religion; film; art; politics; music]
    2x Shasei
    1x Gendai

    —-

    Hi everybody, how interesting that Mary and Kala both link into spring here, albeit in such different ways.

    I think the commentary around midnight/baleful in wakiku is resolved by the added verse: that hardening of tone provided by ‘baleful’ permits the contrast of outlook which Kala presents. It was that sense of forward looking which so strongly recommended this verse to me, and why I’ve called it ‘daisan’ rather than ‘verse #3’.

    Andrew asks “is it too early in the piece to be introducing religious/literature? This in the context of an opening which Lorin characterises (echoing my own estimation) as: “surreal, dreamlike, nightmarish or hallucinatory tone”

    The short answer Andrew is ‘yes’. Or rather – yes by standards of the historic conventions inherited from classical renga and adopted by the Basho school most notably in the guise of the ideal structure/pacing principle known as jo-ha-kyu. In sum – we have an opening which is more redolent of ‘ha’ than of ‘jo’.

    But for me the bottom line is that Basho demonstrated why extended dynamic control was necessary in renku, not that only one pattern for dynamics was acceptable.

    We have gone of with something of a bang. I think #4 has to rein in explosive impulse; we need quiet and unassuming verse. This meand ‘gendai’ is out. ‘Cultural’ is difficult as most types of extratextual reference will tend to return us to Leviathan, who cuts a rather large figure!

    So, probably ‘shasei’ – and probably with people (real) in.

    But not necessarily.

    Willie – thanks for the suggestion pal but in fact my Outlook (MS2007 under Windows 7) carries all sorts of lines and formating wierdness over from the Snail.

    Forwards! John

  39. ashleycapes says:

    Outstanding, it’s really looking great, huh? Will try and post a verse this week.

    I love the way our opening verses bounce off each other and rattle around. And thank you, John – both for selecting my hokku and for the excellent description of gendai. And I agree, the waki resolves the hokku quite nicely

  40. John Carley says:

    Hi all, some verse #4 candidates –

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    —–

    at last the lovers
    in each other’s arms

    cat: shasei

    it seems I die
    bereft of grandchildren

    cat: shasei

    I estimate my skin tone
    for the census

    cat: shasei ?/ cultural -politics ?

    Best wishes, John

  41. mary white says:

    wet lips and chin
    her baby nestles closer

    cat- shasei

  42. kala says:

    Thanks a ton John!
    Nice to see my verse up there!
    _kala

  43. Vasile Moldovan says:

    My proposals for verse #4:

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    my sweetheart’s visage
    in the salt lake mirror

    tractors tilling the ground…
    smoke columns support the sky

    in

  44. Love those ‘swelling buds / holds the secret’ Kala. I feel an audible ‘aaahh’ after the tension in the first verses.

    I’ve had a crack at #4 but struggling a bit.

    Vronski hiding
    his concern for Anna
    cat: culture – literature

    a kick in my back
    from her womb
    cat: shesei

    I really like these:

    I estimate my skin tone
    for the census

    (John)
    cat: shasei ?/ cultural -politics ?

    wet lips and chin
    her baby nestles closer

    (Mary)
    cat- shasei

    and the movement from ground to sky in Vasile’s

    tractors tilling the ground

    but I don’t understand ‘soport’

    Cheers
    Andrew

  45. lorin says:

    …Hi Andrew,
    ” but I don’t understand ‘soport’ ” – Andrew

    It’s not hard to work out in context of the rest: “support”

    Remember that English isn’t Vasile’s first language. (Nevertheless, Vasile is quite famous for his haiku and they are often translated into English and japanese as well:

    http://www.worldhaiku.net/poetry/ro/v.moldovan/v.moldovan.htm

    – Lorin

    • Thanks for the clarification Lorin. Here I was looking up ‘soport’ in dictionaries and online wondering if I was missing something. What I was missing is the obvious answer. I’m new to renku – can you tell? Thanks also for the WHA link to Vasile’s bio and samples of his beautiful haiku.

      – Andrew

  46. lorin says:

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    tractors tilling the ground…
    smoke columns support the sky

    … at a guess, this fits both what’s being called “shasei”, realism and also the ‘cultural: politics’ category, whether of the current situation in Japan or other situations. It might even be Art (Socialist Realist graphics of a certain era in Eastern Bloc countries?)

    It certainly moves the renku right away from the surrealism of 1 & 2, and answers what might be seen as naive romanticism in # 3 with a broad, sweeping canvas of a most unromantic ‘future look’. Wonderful how it moves from the nature-focused image of ‘swelling buds’ to a heavily industrialised landscape, where nature is completely dominated, yet links so well.

    – Lorin

  47. ashleycapes says:

    I agree, Lorin, I love the tractor ku from Vasile – and also John’s ‘skin tone’ verse. Another tough choice for our leader!

  48. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit?/religion?
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei

    remaining:
    5x Cultural [lit OR religion; film; art; politics; music]
    2x Shasei
    1x Gendai

    ——

    Hi everybody,
    Mary and I also saw procreation as a potential link here – though her verse was wonderfully tactile whereas my lovers were a rather flat sketch by comparison. With both candidates I had a slight worry about a return to ‘giggle’ and was begining to wonder if the ‘census’ verse might not be a safer option.

    But then Vasilie offers us this peach of a verse which for me self-selects. The humour is the perfect foil to the strangeness of the poem’s opening – the more so because it is nuanced. This poem draws us on and away, making the most of Kala’s opening outwards. In its multiplexity – particularly the references to haikai traditions – it also sets up a wealth of potential at #5, which must necessarily be a ‘cultural’ verse.

    So, once again Ashley’s outlandish ‘New Junicho’ seems to provide the raw materials for good linked-verse!

    Ok – #5 needs to be ‘cultural’. I would be cautious of proper nouns still as ‘Leviathan’ casts a long shadow.

    But as with so much else I could easily be wrong about that.

    Hmmn – I do know that we’ll need to be aware of ‘kigo’ though, as we’ve essentailly had two ‘convential’ references with ‘swelling buds’ followed by ‘cherry blossom’.

    Gosh, this is intriguing!

    Best wishes, John

  49. Vasile Moldovan says:

    Thanks. I’m sorry for my mistake. Support no soport. I write like a blind man. Please correct it.

  50. marywhite says:

    sunlight skeeters
    along the alleyway
    unseen

  51. John Carley says:

    Hi all, just one for the moment.

    Best wishes, John

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every movement flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    cat: cultural – art

  52. kala says:

    I know I shouldn’t be linking to my own verse – but this is just for fun!

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    we dance
    the raas garba to the beat
    of the disco lights

    cat – Cultural / music and dance

  53. ashleycapes says:

    Only one from me for now!

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    the bird winds up
    its slow cry
    as smoke goes rising

    (Cat – cultural, lit)

    (that ‘goes’ is probably not needed, but I have left it there for the purpose of rhythm, not sure how well it works though)

  54. “I know I shouldn’t be linking to my own verse – but this is just for fun!

    we dance
    the raas garba to the beat
    of the disco lights”

    – Kala

    Gee I’m glad you did. What an enjoyable verse. So much rhythm to it.

    Only one from me also:

    ahh the barber
    showing photographs
    from his better book

    cat: culture – music

    I’m still struggling but having so much fun. Thank you all.
    – Andrew

  55. kala says:

    Thanks Andrew!
    Happy you liked my offer!

    I forgot Vasile’s beautiful verse!
    So I wasn’t linking to my own verse after all!! 🙂
    _kala

  56. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile, John

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit?/religion?
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei
    #5 – cult: art

    remaining:
    4x Cultural [lit OR religion; film; politics; music]
    2x Shasei
    1x Gendai

    ——

    Hi everybody, I was half way up a limestone scarp behind Peveril Castle (gasp, wheeze) yesterday when I realised that the word ‘movement’ in the original draft of ths verse was wrong – phonically clumsy, and barely functional. ‘Gesture’ picks up on the sound palette of the last line of #4, and describes a human rather than a universal quality. In this is tightens the presence of the artist – a necessary foil to the abstracts of the opening, and a support to Vasile’s ‘girl’

    It is a characteristic of any short renku sequence that as we progress the choices exercised in the early part of the poem constrain the options in later verses. So it is with Ashley’s proposal.In our poem I think in order to have a degree of flexibility in the latter part we are more or less obliged to have a further ‘cutlural’ verse next at #6.

    The present progressive of the verb in #5 to a degree facilitates a ‘tight’ link (c.f. shinku/soku), and the person/place characteristics of our poem to date (c.f. ji-ta-ba) allow for pretty much any type of protagonist or human agency at #6, other than a single third person individual (which characterise #4 and #5).

    I would still be aware of ‘kigo’ red-herrings (all season!) in relative proximity to the iconic ‘blossom’. But I think we are far enough from ‘Leviathan’ to admit proper nouns – so willing.

    Good work team. Let’s keep exploring!

    Best wishes, John

    • I just had to do a search of Peveril Castle online… the area looks amazing.

      I love where these last few verses have moved. These are really stunning images. Thanks also John for all your explanations.

      – Andrew

  57. kala says:

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing

    Beautifully linked John.
    Good one!
    _kala

  58. mary white says:

    white gloved tic tac
    dance of the gambling man

    cat – not sure!

    The ‘tic tac man’ is the man who ‘signs’ the bids at the racing track

  59. John Carley says:

    Hi all, I’ve run through a few permutations of how the topic and style constraints work out for a poem of this sort. You’ll find it here http://www.renkureckoner.co.uk/NJ

    I hope this will help explain my earlier comments as to why I really think we need to go to another ‘cultural’ category here – otherwise we’ll end up really squashed in the latter part of the poem – and in increased danger of generating ‘returns’ and ‘regressions’ (c.f. uchikoshi no kirai, rinne).

    But looking at that in a more in the sense if positive direct than constraint – to me I really wonder if ‘music’ isn’t ideal at this point, or ‘religion’ – in the shape of a tactile or sensory feature of ritual – maybe something about the gesture of the artist, that Mary has already picked up on with tic-tac man, in the movements of the celebrant (Mary will probably know what I mean when I say that I keep smelling a thurible in there somewhere!).

    Best wishes, John

  60. Vasile Moldovan says:

    Beautifull verse, John!
    Here is my offers for verse #6:

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page
    John

    on the mape the trenches and
    sand hills cross each other

    even now on the periodic table
    ther is many empty rubrics

    on the old pilot chart
    some blank places: sic leones!

    tracing a plan of the town
    the architect thinks of his house
    Vasile

  61. ashleycapes says:

    I agree, John – I think another cultural verse here is definitely needed, as you say – otherwise the later half will not have the same variety. In regards to the ageku, do you think that a ‘gendai’ verse would be too …volatile (not sure if that’s a suitable word)…or perhaps, too ‘loud’ for a closing verse?

    Really exciting to see the new form with a schema – I think we really have to settle on a name, huh? And I like your adjustment, John – the word ‘gesture’ makes it a warmer verse.

    All right, here’s 3 from me:

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    call him trouble man
    still looking for god

    cat: cultural – music

    I fold warm sheets
    into a kind of blue

    cat: cultural – music

    hmm…maybe they’re trying too hard? Something more straight forward perhaps

    at night she becomes
    almost hymnal

    cat: cultural – religious

  62. kala says:

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    going beyond notation
    a table player creates magic

    going beyond notation
    an Indian drummer creates magic

    cat – music & rhythm

  63. kala says:

    Its:

    a tabla player

    tabla is an Indian percussion instrument.

    going beyond notation
    a tabla player creates magic

    _kala

  64. kala says:

    or maybe for a global feel::

    going beyond notation
    a tap dancer creating magic

    ?

  65. a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page


    searching for a baton
    the audience grows louder

    searching for the baton
    audience whispers

    – Andrew

  66. mary white says:

    choking the thurible
    swings over the child’s coffin

    cat – religion

  67. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall (prov.)

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile, John, Mary

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei
    #5 – cult: art
    #6 – clut: religion

    remaining:
    4x Cultural [film; politics; music]
    2x Shasei
    1x Gendai

    —-

    Hi everybody, no wonder Leviathan was giggling: with this disturbing juxtapostion of the artist capturing the moment and the priest consecrating the dead we move via swell, sweep and swing through the stages of man.

    Personally I draw a distincton between thematic and para-thematic development in renku, so I have no techinical concerns about what is in truth little more than an unconscious artefact of the collective mind.

    Interesting though.

    The draft of #6 above suggests ‘pall’ for three reasons: to slightly shorten the stressed syllable count; to soften the ‘attack’ (by removing ‘child’); and perhaps most importantly, to slightly tighten the link via the phonic and semantic mirrors of ‘hand to page / censer to pall’

    Comments please.

    Ashley asks a specific about a gendai ageku: there’s no absolute reason why not Ashley, but it may make the it more difficult for the ageku to achieve the summary/rounding out that is a necessary (IMHO) function. But anyway most topic/approach distributions available in this ‘new junicho’ format, require the non-cultural positions to be available for interstitial verse positions in order to ‘buffer’ the cultural ones.

    Which is probably the case here folks – although in truth ‘politics’ could probably follow on too. So: gendai, shasei or, just possible, politics up next.

    Hmmn, we’ve had quite a lot of ‘people’ verses now though albeit mostly indirect, so that might rule ‘politics’ out. It would be good to see a ‘landscape’ verse – maybe winter. Maybe.

    Let’s go for it and see what the directions are that emerge!

    Best wishes, John

  68. sandra says:

    I have been watching this develop with interest – it’s going great guns.

    Look forward to the second half!

  69. Vasile Moldovan says:

    My offers for verse #7

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall
    Mary

    the magic carpet
    was covering all…
    formerly snofalls

    through the double window
    the winter moon comes in…
    Divine Service

    laughter with tears…
    the snowflakes melted
    in the child’s palm
    Vasile

  70. Vasile Moldovan says:

    Sorry! Please read snowfalls instead of snofalls.

  71. John Carley says:

    Thanks Vasile – and come in Ashley, Andrew, Kala and Mary.

    My suggestion of ‘winter’ seems to have frozen us to the spot. Folks, please do what my family do – ignore me! There will be a million routes from the incense to the future – especially as we have a gendai verse available to us, so wishing.

    Set your chickens free! John

  72. kala says:

    ok!
    It’s bedtime for me now.
    Give me a day, I’ll try .. . 🙂
    _kala

  73. kala says:

    Here are my offers:

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall (prov.)

    as autumn deepens
    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence

    cat – cultural/ music

    this winter twilight
    the silence between waves
    whets my mind

    cat/ gendai or shasei?
    But I guess this won’t work because our hokku has “sea”

    between stars . . .
    I look for those spaces
    within me

    cat – gendai

  74. Living in the sub-tropics I know naught of Winter. Still I’ve tried to draw on some memories. They all came up rather shallow. Here is one I thought plausible:

    first granite step
    to Lotus Peak
    filled with leaves

    On your advice John, today i’ll open the cage door and be back later. Thanks

    – Andrew

  75. ashleycapes says:

    Here’s some – having trouble separating the categories, which is a symptom of my laziness in refining a couple of these, which I will attempt to do so later today. Any suggestions are welcome!

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall (prov.)

    spent now
    wind from the white caps
    sends a snicker

    cat – gendai maybe, maybe
    damn, obvious regression from implied mts in my verse

    I’ll try a few more:

    sideways rain
    goes hard
    on the young garden

    cat: shasei?

    trickling
    from the top down
    ice reforms

    cat: politics (almost)

    bad water
    frozen beneath
    the fields

    cat: politics (although, a pretty oblique reference there, perhaps too much)
    might even work as another category?

    Andrew, I like what you’ve unearthed from your memory of winter, classic stuff

  76. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall (prov.)

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens (prov.)

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile, John, Mary. _kala.

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei
    #5 – cult: art
    #6 – clut: religion
    #7 – cult: music

    remaining:
    2x Cultural [film; politics]
    2x Shasei
    1x Gendai

    Hi all, how very interesting that images of the sea kept suggesting themselves here. And plainly my suspicion that ‘winter’ might follow death should have read ‘autumn’ – both Andrew and Kala offer us very compelling, and contrasting choices.

    In the end I was swayed by the intangibility of the flute notes folding in on themselves. The draft above moves this image to the head of the verse in order to slightly tighten the percieved link. The verse is then able to deliver the ominous ‘autumn deepens’ as coup rather than preamble – and lose the conjunction ‘as’.

    Other than for the absence of an em-dash, or similar, this now looks very much like a cut verse, although the syntax does infact allow: shakuhachi flute notes fold // in the silence autumn deepens. As such the construction emulates a technique known in the Japanese as ‘nagekomi’.

    Interestingly, as the hokku is a single image verse, we have not used any syntactic dysjuncture at all in the poem to date – whole or partial.

    If these drafts of #6 and #7 are acceptable to Mary and Kala we are set fair to drive on – and as we have had three cultural verses in a row (!?!) there is a lot of flexibility.

    So I won’t say anything at all about where our verse might go!

    Comments please.

    And just on a personal note – the link of flute notes to incense had in fact also suggested itself to me, but I’ve been a little unwell this last several days and was unable to complete any drafts worth posting. Sorry if this seems like I’m expecting others to jump through hoops that I can’t myself be bothered negotiate.

    Best wishes, John

    • sandra says:

      Hello John,

      Just wondered if “shakuhachi flute” is a redundancy.

      Might it be simply “shakuhachi”? Although I see from Wikipedia the literal meaning of “shakuhachi” refers to its size … hmm.

      Best,
      Sandra

  77. kala says:

    Thanks john.
    Really thrilled you picked this one.
    My original draft had autumn deepens on L 3, but felt it sounded so much like a proper haiku and not like a sentence ku that is required in a renku, so changed it to L1 and added ‘as’ to give it that ‘look” 🙂 🙂

    But I’m happy with the reasons you’ve given for having in on L 3.
    Sandra has a point about having “flute” here?

    _kala

    Good.

  78. kala says:

    Thanks a ton Andrew
    _kala

  79. John Carley says:

    Hi all, there’s an article on Renku Reckoner called ‘Cut and Uncut’ which discusses at some length the question of the ‘haikuness’ or otherwise of renku verses (I think it’s under the ‘aspects of prosody’ button). This is more straightforward than it might appear really – most of the complications surrounding it arise from confusion in English-language haiku circles. Anyway, of the last five Basho kasen I’ve co-translated I reckon that up to a quarter of the verses use some form of syntactic dysjuncture – though only one other than a hokku used a ‘cutting word’ (c.f. ‘kireji’ – a figure which should really be ‘zero’, but then Basho didn’t really give a monkeys).

    I tend to agree that ‘flute’ may be redundant, and in fact the overall scansion might also benefit from dropping the stress (though any apparent whole-poem ‘imbalance’ could be adjusted via contracting the extent of #8). But I wonder if ‘flute note’ is a compound noun that stops us from reading ‘notes’ as a verb – specially if we don’t know what a shakuhachi is. In which case – is there another monosyllable which is compatible with ‘folds’? [no John -not ‘trills’!!].

    Hmn, don’t know for sure – I’m just coming off the wrong side of a bad reaction to chemotherapy and currently have a head full of spanners.

    In any event, as Andrew and others remark, this is a fine verse – and any final tweaking should be able to run in tandem with exploring the outlines of #8.

    Best wishes, John

    the autumn cicada
    heard in its empty husk
    this quietude

    down the wisteria pods
    dew-drops ravel

    Yasui, Juugo – verses #31 and #32 from First Snow

  80. kala says:

    Thanks again John.
    _kala

  81. kala says:

    I know I shouldn’t be linking to my own verse — but just for the fun of it . . .

    trying the gendai verse here!

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    between stars . . .
    I look for spaces within me

    cat – gendai

    🙂
    _kala

  82. sandra says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply John. Much appreciated.

    If the compound word is the way you decided to go, a hyphen may help, “flute-notes”.

    Hope you’re feeling better past-haste,
    Sandra

  83. G’day all, a few offers for #8

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing

    cat: shasei

    the kitten paw
    bends the bamboo shoot

    cat: shasei

    seeing the flaws
    in the rake I made him

    cat: shasei

    This last one feels clumsy and negative. I hope you don’t mind if I offer one more.

    a stick insect
    creeps into my thoughts

    cat: is this gendai? Is this anything? It’s too late for me.

    I love how the poem is going though and quick recovery to you John.

    – Andrew

  84. Vasile Moldovan says:

    My offer for the following verse:

    so much deafeningly
    the snowflakes falling
    or
    the sheperd leads his flock to
    wintering in the river rhythm

  85. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall (prov.)

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile, John, Mary. _kala, Andrew

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei
    #5 – cult: art
    #6 – clut: religion
    #7 – cult: music
    #8 – shasei

    remaining:
    2x Cultural [film; politics]
    1x Shasei
    1x Gendai

    Wow, that’s the cadence problem solved. Well done Andrew, the whole passage comes back into parity with this abreviated short verse – and sets us up for some tight metrics to run home on (which tends to be a feature of the prosody of Basho school ‘rapid close’ passages, c.f. ‘kyu’).

    The introduction of the interogative, and the first person, are really welcome – which I’d be tempted to reinforce with the question mark (the query). Just as a matter of interest, and again referring to Basho school work, exclamation marks, question marks etc (well, their equivalents anyway) are very much present in the text where appropriate.

    Thanks to the wonderfully suggestive content of #8 I’ve no idea at all where #9 migth go, so I won’t make any recommendations of any sort, other than to ask colleagues to have a quick look at the ‘topic’ to-date breakdown, and ‘topics remaining’ above. Oh yeah, and if you’re not from Australia check out the pink-winged phasma, ‘cos I reckon that a part of Andrew’s link to ‘flute’ is via ‘fan’.

    Thanks everybody for the kind thoughts – I’ve stopped feeling sorry for myself now, helped by a good dollop of global warming which has turned a normally miserly English April into a kind of Alpine spring.

    Hell, I’ll even try and write a verse or two for the next position, s’long as I can remember how to hold a pen!

    Ashley and Mary, I hope you won’t take offence at me hustling onwards – we have momentum here, and the promise of a cracking closing section.

    Best wishes, John

  86. kala says:

    Good morning.
    Happy to know you’re feeling good John.
    My son is in London and he was saying that weather is good now.

    Congrats Andrew. Great verse. The poem is reading so well and I’m so happy to be a part of this.
    _kala

  87. That’s great. Thanks John and Kala – happy the little insect made it. Yes, I like the question mark but just wasn’t sure.
    Pleased to hear you’re having good weather John – a low sky of drizzle here – feels like I could step into a Kentish pub but alas I’m in Queensland.
    Andrew

  88. ashleycapes says:

    No problem, John, the perfect choice, I reckon, supports kala’s wonderfully somber verse so well, and I like the break in rhythm it creates. Nice one, Andrew!

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    cloudbank hangs
    like a half-bitten
    mars bar

    cat – gendai

    the crimson pig
    black
    against the sunset

    cat – film

  89. marywhite says:

    Thanks for the improvment on my vese. I am following the comments with interest. This is on my iPhone having left our Alpine spring in Dublin for the French Alpes. I am lying in bed before a lovely walk and before braving a couple of hundred miles on my husbands bike. At 51 I am a biker chick novice

    this blue sky
    leaning into the bends
    the road flies under me

    Rue de Napoleon
    a stocky man dines with
    his gold resplendant wife

    dark tunnelling
    into Monte Carlo behind
    their shades the elite

    emergency landing
    drifting in an out
    of conciousness

    Biker Diaries!

    • ‘having left our Alpine…
      … biker chick novice:

      this blue sky
      leaning into the bends
      the road flies under me’

      Is this not a neat little haibun?

      It sounds fantastic Mary

      – Andrew

  90. John Carley says:

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink@

    cat: shasei

    something quick and
    brutal for the
    enemies of peace

    cat: cultural = politics

    chasing dragons
    with her pants
    down around her knees

    cat: gendai

    Hi all, an apology for that last one to anyone who finds it offensive. In theory renku can cope with any sentiment, and according to some understandings of Shingon a sequence written in harsh times must necessarily reflect that harshness at some point. In theory.

    Best wishes, John

    —-

    their pillow talk
    late at night she finds
    he is her cousin

    bitterness lingers
    for a union denied

    so chagrined, yet
    lacking the will to
    have that lump cut off

    tomorrow the foe
    will be sent the head

    Kakei, Basho, Yasui, Juugo – from First Snow.

    —-

    autumn’s rice
    left on the field,
    the civil suit drags on

    they keep coming back
    to ask about spellings

    Etsujin, Basho – from The Night of the Deep River

  91. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile, John, Mary, _kala, Andrew, John

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei
    #5 – cult: art
    #6 – clut: religion
    #7 – cult: music
    #8 – shasei
    #9 – shasei

    remaining:
    2x Cultural [film; politics]
    1x Gendnai

    —–

    Hi everybody, in the end I’ve bitten the bullet and gone for my own verse. The principal ‘problem’ with the verse choice here was the lingering effect of Kala’s powerful ‘autumn deepens’. Not unlike the lasting effect of ‘Leviathan’ in the early part of the poem, such is the strength of the iconic phrase that it seemed to call into question most other seasonal, real-world, settings here at #9. This is a particularly knotty question of course because our poem does not use the seasona as a formal scaffold. Anyway, in the end something ‘year-round’ seemed to avoid the difficulties whilst hopefully, with this candidate, adding a kind of retro-childishness, hence extending the time texture of our poem.

    I know I’ve specifically asked people not to post additional information about their linking rationale, style, etc. But it is perhaps only fair to Vasile to point out that the schoolroom maps of the 1920’s and 30’s showed the British Empire as a kind of mid red – which always faded to pink. Needless to say these maps were still on the school walls in the 1950’s and 60’s. Given that the British monarch was head of state of such an incredible number of territories, each with their own postal service, the arrangement was a stamp-collector’s dream!

    Ok folks, as the Italian say: “Arriviamo al dunque” – we are getting close to the crunch. My verse seems to set up a possible overtly political response (specially given that Antipodeans are famously ill mannered!) but then Bogart and Bacal can always be relied upon to pout for the lens at the drop of a coconut. And there’s an open invitation to something altogether different too in the way of a gendai verse.

    So all I can say is – go for it!

    Best wishes, John

  92. ashleycapes says:

    Fantastic, John – love that verse there, thought it worked very well without the background knowledge, but then I loved the extra info too.

    Will try come up with something tomorrow

  93. kala says:

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    an embryo cushioned
    in the womb of time

    gendai?

    his words raw
    deeply entrenched in me

    shasei

    the eyes that gives sight
    hasn’t seen itself

    gendai?

    _kala

  94. John Carley says:

    Come in Vasile, Mary and Ashley. Anyone familiar with my style of poetry leading will know that my ideal solution is have parity in the number of verses that each person takes. So the perfect solution here is to have one verse apiece from the three of you to close.

    This is collaborative poetry – don’t worry if you have only strands of ideas rather than definitive drafts; it is the obligation on all particpants (i.e. the assemblesd company) to collaborate and support at all time in order to arrive at the ‘perfect’ instance of any given creative impetus.

    So please feel free to submit candidates even if you feel they are not quite there.

    Best wishes, John

  95. ashleycapes says:

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    I can only imagine
    the colour of Harvey’s ears

    cat – film

    inside the detention centre
    a folded map

    cat – pol

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and dolphins

    cat – gendai

    Very happy to have these reworked if anyone feels like it?
    The second one especially I’m not sure about.

  96. Just two from me and one is shesei so won’t work. Threw it in for fun. Sorry to be tardy.

    after years
    we find our fathers are
    both from the Rhondda

    cat: shesei

    stop the globe
    with a finger
    and an evil laugh

    cat: culture – film

    Cheers all
    – Andrew

  97. marywhite says:

    a budding actress kneels
    at Marilyn Munro’s memory
    Cat culture

  98. I’ll try again

    we all want to jump
    into chalk drawings

    cat: cult – film

    through a telescope
    humans

    cat: cult – film

    through the keyhole
    they went with Marx

    cat: cult or gendai?

    I like the gendai verses offered by Kala and Ashley. I’ve tried to head that way but still quite unsure.
    Cheers
    – Andrew

  99. kala says:

    So many good offers.
    I was really busy the last two days, will come back to read them all before going to bed.
    _kala

  100. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and [dolphins]

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile, John, Mary, _kala, Andrew, John, Ashley

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei
    #5 – cult: art
    #6 – clut: religion
    #7 – cult: music
    #8 – shasei
    #9 – shasei
    #10 – gendai

    remaining:
    2x Cultural [film/politics . politics/film]

    —————

    Hi all, sorry for the no-show – I’ve had a head full of mush for a couple of days.

    Being a weary so-and-so I would probably have gone with my preconceptions and suggested a work-up on Ashley’s detention centre verse (as he intuits that ‘folded map’ is a tad questionable). Maybe something Solhenitzynesque like:

    inside the detentention centre
    a drift of snow

    But that would be stupid because

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and dolphins

    is wonderful – and far out does anything the Danrin school could do such as:

    making sealions and whales
    swim in the cherry blossom waves
    at the hill top

    We’ll it is wonderful, except for that ‘dolphins’ – which in this ‘exotic’ context is probably a bit return-ish to ‘stick insect’, and which very probably would be better as a ‘Dolph’ i.e. a single stressed syllable. Hmmn, maybe not.

    So, first challenge: if that word isn’t ‘dolphins’, what should it be? (me – I get ‘beans’!).

    And then, the simple matter of verse #10. We have ‘film’ and ‘politics’ left. Ashley has turned the mood for us towards light and felicitous feelings… happy politics?

    Right, I’m off to see the wizzard but I should be able to get a connection on the wife’s laptop sometime in the next 24/36 hours.

    This is working out well team, let’s keep the ideas and feedback turning over.

    Best wishes, John

  101. kala says:

    Absolutely lovely choice John. Congrats Ashley

    I liked it a lot too. . . of course can’t think of anything other than dolphins!

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and balloons
    ?

    _kala

    • lorin says:

      “So, first challenge: if that word isn’t ‘dolphins’, what should it be?” – John

      This is what I get:

      graffiti, flowers
      icing, bows and mice

      🙂

      – Lorin

  102. John Carley says:

    Hi Lorin, nice to hear from you.

    It is interesting: if ‘dolphins’ might generate a risk of return (c.f. uchikoshi-no-kirai) to ‘stick insect’ why not ‘mice’?

    Don’t get me wrong – I agree with you, they are not of the same ‘order’, and therefore the levels of connectedness differ. But it is the nature of those orders, and the tangibility of those connectednesses that fascinate me.

    Of course we could do what the Japanese theorists did over the centuries and generate ever longer lists of precisely such instances and proscribe their degree, but that can’t be the only solution surely.

    OK – last call for Vasile and Mary on this next verse position at #11 before I throw the poem open to waifs and strays…

    Best wishes, John

    • lorin says:

      “It is interesting: if ‘dolphins’ might generate a risk of return (c.f. uchikoshi-no-kirai) to ‘stick insect’ why not ‘mice’?” – John

      …because you don’t usually find dolphins and stick insects indoors? 🙂
      The truth is the other items in free association reminded me of a long ago shared household.

      Ha, Ashley, what vo vo is *not* an iced vo vo? I don’t think even our Kev could talk his way out of that one. 😉

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

      I didn’t know Arnott’s was now owned by America!

      graffiti, flowers
      icing, bows and Kev
      ?

      graffiti, flowers
      icing, bows and him

      ?

      graffiti, flowers
      icing, bows and gin

      ?
      well, gin fits with the old empire and the places in the world that used to be coloured pink,

      . . .and if you add a touch of bitters, then it’s the traditional pink gin. Not a wing, fin or leg in sight… legless?

      cheers 😉
      – Lorin

      • ashleycapes says:

        Indeed! Actually, I’d love to see a vovo in a different colour one day, that’d turn the natural order of things on its head! And I like ‘gin’ too

    • willie says:

      . . . and mendicants?

  103. ashleycapes says:

    Hi Lorin & thank you, kala!

    I like mice & balloons too – I was thinking that dolphin would be an nice, odd choice for a pink thing, but I forgot about the stick-insect. But there’s dozens of pink things huh?

    How about something like:

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and slippers

    or

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and vo vos

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and sheets

    Actually, almost any object/thing in place ought to, of course, become pink-coloured through implication of the preceding list, I guess, so almost anything could work. Perhaps the concern of a rhythmic fit (and no animals) is key here?

    • lorin says:

      “Actually, almost any object/thing in place ought to, of course, become pink-coloured through implication of the preceding list …” – Ash

      True… and our Kev’s a wishy-washy shade of pink, politically, anyway 😉 …and he has ‘a big mouth’. 🙂

      – Lorin

  104. lorin says:

    ..’awaiting moderation’. Funny, it used to do that only if one put in *two* links.

    ‘pink gin’ 😉

    – Lorin

  105. All great fun and games till someone loses an…
    gum boots, lipstick, fairy floss, toenails, sunsets, punk hair, condoms, Barbie, punk, Elton, lycra, bike pants, jelly beans, bed spreads, princesses, skateboard, surfboard, high tops, stilettos, poodle, scarfs, lava lamp, pillows, parasols, pomegranates, cupcakes, thongs?? knickers

    Ok I’m done. Good one Ashley. I do like vovo’s

    – Andrew

  106. John Carley says:

    Now read this:

    —–

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev (prov.)

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile, John, Mary, _kala, Andrew, John, Ashley

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei
    #5 – cult: art
    #6 – clut: religion
    #7 – cult: music
    #8 – shasei
    #9 – shasei
    #10 – gendai

    remaining:
    2x Cultural [film/politics ~ politics/film]

    —–

    That’s a great discussion. This poem is now open to all present – both the core team and those who have been following.

    The draft of #10 above suggests ‘Kev’.

    Running through the wierd and wonderful suggestions I became pretty sure that a single syllable worked best. My shortlist was mice/Kev/gin. ‘Mice’ went because of unproductive phonic entanglement with ‘icing’. ‘Gin’ went because of the unattractive prospect of concluding three successive verse on a nasalised half ryhme: ‘wing/pink/gin’. Hence the wonderfully suggestive, and phonically open, ‘Kev’. It seems somehow fitting that our only proper noun to date should be an effectively random one.

    OK – you all know what the score is: politics or film. You also know about my obsessive interest in language use over content. Please frame the phrasing of your candidates in the context of a whole poem reading.

    We are in the final phase of what Master Zeanni described as ‘kyu’. Our verses need to be bold, but not to involve massive extratextual digression or direction. We want to hold the reader within the confines of the reading experience with these last two verses.

    Easy.

    Show me how easy:

    Best wishes, John

  107. lorin says:

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev (prov.)

    the Dodo declares
    all in the Caucus-Race
    are winners

    … or could someone protest, “No Dodos! Dodos have wings!” ?
    well, I’d answer that they don’t have wings, because they are extinct, and they were flightless birds with only residual wings anyway, and besides, stick insects don’t have wings. (leaf insects, katydids, do)

    But I imagine I’d be shouted down. 🙂

    (the link is Kev)

    – Alice

    – Lorin

  108. lorin says:

    (politics)

    – Alice

  109. lorin says:

    …variation:

    “All are winners
    in the Caucus-Race!”
    said the Dodo

    – Lorin aka Luis Carrolli

  110. sandra says:

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev

    the guy
    with the comb-over
    backs off

    the guy
    with the comb-over
    shows more cheek

  111. John Carley says:

    Nice work.
    Keep ’em coming. John

  112. I’m really not sure what I’m supposed to play here. I’ll throw one out there. Please let me know if this link is too strong or any other suggestions on how to compose for these final verses.

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev

    night howls
    from a P.M.
    in the cabinet

    Cheers
    – Andrew

  113. lorin says:

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev

    the easter bunny
    between good friday
    and lest we forget

    between good friday
    and lest we forget
    the easter bunny

    (politics – Anzac Day)

    – Lorin

    – Lorin

  114. g’day all

    some offers:

    an X from Cupid
    marks the right place
    at the ballot

    cat. politics

    three weddings
    and a funeral
    in this one torrid year/bat

    cat: film

    his birth certificate
    makes it very clear
    where he was born/bat

    cat: politics

    ~~~
    peace and love

  115. sandra says:

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev

    the guy
    with the comb-over says
    it’s just paper

  116. lorin says:

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev (prov.)

    politically
    correct at easter, our big
    chocolate bilbi

    – Lorin

    • lorin says:

      ps…Easter is a calendar reference, not a seasonal reference in EL renku. It occurs on the same dates in both hemispheres of this little round planet of ours and in climate zones from frigid to the tropics. It can be considered a kigo in the cultural sense in EL renku & haiku, but cannot function as an indicator of season.

      – Lorin

  117. lorin says:

    …’ small chocolate bilbi’ ?

    – Lorin

  118. marywhite says:

    in the ancient abbey
    arbour angelic voices
    hear their union

  119. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev

    “All are winners
    in the Caucus-Race!”
    the Dodo says

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile, John, Mary, _kala, Andrew, John, Ashley, Lorin

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei
    #5 – cult: art
    #6 – clut: religion
    #7 – cult: music
    #8 – shasei
    #9 – shasei
    #10 – gendai
    #11 – cult: politics/film/lit

    remaining:
    1x Cultural [film]

    Hi everybody, thanks for such a wealth of possible directions.

    I’ve gone with Lorin’s Dodo for a number of reasons – principally because it’s ‘external’ direction – the Alice context – is mediated by its surreal nature which provides a tight link in to (or out from) the preceding verse. This ‘tightness’ (c.f. shinku) is enhanced by the regularity of the overall cadence – and is probably the reason why I keep hearing it with the verb at the end (to half ryhme ‘Kev/says’).

    Basically my intent is to generate a whole-poem reading where the maximum openess occurs around the Mary,_kala, Andrew passage at #6, #7, #8 – and then for the impetus to tighten increasingly as it drives in towards the ageku.

    Which is where we are now. This verse position is open to everyone who has been reading and contributing.

    The nature of our ‘cultural’ categories is inevitably fluid, Lorin’s #11 being a case in point – originally a book, with any number of film, TV, stage adaptations, and here a surreal political comment. In this instance I feel that we are best advised to treat #11 as the author intends and treat this ‘politics’ as ‘film’ is perhaps a more open field, and thus offers more scope for a final verse.

    The function of ageku is to close, and, to a degree at least, to summarise (if you have written any Yotsumono you’ll also be familiar with the idea of a ‘determination’). In order to achieve this it is exempted from some of the more exigent conditioins of ‘the rules’. Such should be the case with our poem too, but I’m not at all sure we can stand any more proper nouns, certainly not of characters/protagonists. And with Andrew’s #8 and Lorin’s #11 I think we might have used up direct/indirectly quoted speech.

    As it happens one of the things which kept renku theory alive in the early part of the last century was a strong identification between the cinematic/psychological expermentations of Eisenstein the aesthetic/semantic speculations of people such as Torahiko Terada.

    I say this because I suspect that cinematic technique, rather than specific reference, may be the most fertile ground for our closing verse. However I’ve already been pretty comprehensively wrong on more than one occassion in this poem!

    Best wishes, John

    • lorin says:

      Thanks, John…that’s great!…happy to have a ku in this renku unexpectedly….and ‘the Dodo says’ is much better in all ways…present instead of past (where was my head?),the nice half rhyme with Kev subtly enhancing the link.

      🙂 and so pleased that ‘wings’ wasn’t an obstacle.

      – Lorin

  120. g’day all

    some offers:

    crescendo voices
    applauding perfect speech

    or

    final glory fades
    in the chariots of fire

    ~

    peace and love

  121. kala says:

    “All are winners
    in the Caucus-Race!”
    the Dodo says

    I me my wish I were
    a spring moonbow

    a dream cushioning itself
    in the womb of time

    🙂
    they seem like ‘mad’ verses to me but here I go . . .
    _kala

  122. lorin says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon
    ~~~~~~

    the film shot in high country;
    drowning in memories

    the film shot in high country;
    haunted by memories

    the film shot in high country;
    a stream of memories

    (film: ‘Jindabyne’ – Ray Lawrence. Adapted to an Australian context from Raymond Carver’s story, ‘So Much Water So Close to Home’ Filmed in Jindabyne.)

    – Lorin

  123. lorin says:

    the film shot in high country;
    all the ghosts return

    – Lorin

  124. willie says:

    afternoons in the art house;
    the space between reels

  125. lorin says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon
    ~~~~

    closing credits –
    the animal trainer’s name

    closing credits –
    the beast’s real name

    closing credits –
    the body double’s name

    closing credits –
    the pyrotechnics adviser

    etc.

    🙂

    – Lorin

    closing credits
    the animal trainer’s name

  126. sandra says:

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev

    “All are winners
    in the Caucus-Race!”
    the Dodo says

    missing the turn-off
    because we’re singing too hard

    missing the turn-off
    we shrug at each other

    singing as loud as we can
    on the this lonely road

    turning up the radio
    as the horizon beckons

  127. lorin says:

    curtains closing
    but the dream stuff remains/ lingers

    beyond the tempest
    the dream stuff remains/ lingers

    dream stuff
    our circles drawn in sand

    film : ‘The Tempest’, 2010 – dir. Julie Taymor, Helen Mirren as Prospera
    – saw it today…well, I loved it but I’ve loved every version of ‘The Tempest’, stage or screen. that I’ve ever seen. 🙂 Whadda last work to exit on!

    – Lorin

  128. John Carley says:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev

    “All are winners
    in the Caucus-Race!”
    the Dodo says

    [………………]
    the space between reels

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile, John, Mary, _kala, Andrew, John, Ashley, Lorin, Willie

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei
    #5 – cult: art
    #6 – clut: religion
    #7 – cult: music
    #8 – shasei
    #9 – shasei
    #10 – gendai
    #11 – cult: politics
    #12 – cult: film

    Hi everybody, again, many thanks for such a wealth of possibilities.

    As a reflection on the art of renku the reference to the interstitial is a peerless suggestion from Willie. But the first line clunks a bit Meneer, and there is perhaps a tad too much extratextual direction – it takes us away from the momement of the poem and into a further space (which is fine mid poem, but not here).

    I think we could maybe get away with ‘art house’ but the ‘afternoons’ are altogether too distinct and ‘other’. Viz:

    “All are winners
    in the Caucus-Race!”
    the Dodo says

    lost in the art house,
    the space between reels

    The play on ‘win/lose’ is probably far too crude here, but it does at least illustrate the benefit of a tighter link in to #11, and the ambiguity of ‘lost’ allows a freer, or more comprehensive, reading of the significance of that ‘space between reels’.

    So what is that first line folks (with or without ‘art house’)?

    —–

    I had to double take on your remark about obstacles, Lorin. But I take your point – those with a taste for the forensic might query the proximity of the direct sketch from life of the flying stick insect and the reference to the surreal cultural icon based loosely on an extinct creature. Oh well… I guess that rules out Buckingham Palace in line one of the ageku, because that has wings too! 🙂

    —–

    Come on team. Just a handful of syllables to go…

    Best wishes, John

    • willie says:

      ouch! “wings” . . .

      The World, Orpheum, and Riviera theatres are gone from downtown. So is the loop, i.e., the promenade of cars driving in circles around town in order to be seen and look at others looking. How Midwestern a scene. A cast of characters in its own right.

      The World is now the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater, home to Garrison Keillor and his woebegone radio show, a tribute to the American Midwest in itself. Why Keillor never split for the salons of the east coast I haven’t a clue; I don’t think he stayed for the winters.

      Hard to believe we watched so many epic films there when rats patrolled the darkened aisles for spilled refreshments and vagrants slept in sticky chairs. Despite the restored opulence of the ’20’s and ’30’s, a funky decadence remains imbedded in my mind, along with the curl of cigarette smoke through the projected images and the musty smell of rot emanating from the ancient curtains. It may have been a respite from the harsh white glare of nature’s fury in this little prairie town on the Mississippi in America’s breadbasket, or the reality of our city’s fathers, cavorting with gangsters in the Depression to allowing the sprawl of urban decay to creep through all the old neighborhoods that only could be halted by the wealth inherent in the old Gold Coast atop Ramsey Hill along Summit Ave. to the Capital, where the likes of James J. Hill and the other robber barons lived off the spoils accrued from the labor of thousands of poor European immigrants.

      For the price of a dollar ticket you could spend “all day” escaping from whatever ailed you, “lost” in Tecnicolor dreams while the very bricks and stone the town was built on crumbled all around. “Memories” abound, old, or only limited by one’s own imagination.

      all day in the art house,
      the space between reels

      memories of the art house
      in the space between reels

  129. kala says:

    “All are winners
    in the Caucus-Race!”
    the Dodo says

    opening the treasure trove
    the space between reels

    giving it a shot!
    _kala

  130. kala says:

    opening the art house
    the space between reels

    _kala

  131. ashleycapes says:

    ‘the space between reels’ – great! Love the narrative there, Willie, especially the rats, smoke and the rotting curtains. Vivid stuff.

    I’ll try one before I turn in, something like

    more popcorn lost
    the space between reels

    Though perhaps an attempt at humour is not wanted her, and I don’t think ‘popcorn’ sums up much, though ‘space between reels’ certainly does

  132. That’s a killer final line for this renku. Great one Willie and Lorin’s dodo for #11. This is finishing so well.

    I should at least have a go:

    a lost memory
    the space between reels

    inside a lost memory
    the space between reels

    – Andrew

  133. kala says:

    my eyeglasses drop
    in the space between reels

    🙂

  134. Vasile Moldovan says:

    My offer for #12:

    the runner of Marathon
    imortalized in bronze

    after all the discus-thrower
    aims at just the sunset

    even today “The champions”
    are played to capacity
    Vasile Moldovan

  135. John Carley says:

    As ever Willie’s prose is also rivetting. Please read down:

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev

    “All are winners
    in the Caucus-Race!”
    the Dodo says

    a scurry of feet
    in the space between reels

    ??J

  136. sandra says:

    a scutter of claws
    in the space between reels

    the tipatty-tap of claws
    in the space between reels

    • John Carley says:

      “scutter of claws”

      Yes, lessens the possible reading of people scurrying about in the aisles – and also avoids ‘feet’/’reels’ whilst retaining the length of the vowel sound. Also slightly hardens the emotive tone. All of which could be viewed as desireable.

      In truth my only significant concern here is about the regional register/idomatic status of ‘scutter’. The lexicons list it as British usage. What does Willie say?

      Best wishes, John

      • lorin says:

        “scutter of claws”

        . . . puts me more in mind of crabs than rats.

        What I like about both scutter and scuttle is that the Ts add a bit of onomatopoeia, which scurry lacks.

        I wouldn’t worry about the Brit usage, though. No-one seems to worry about American usages, and this is international EL renku. 😉

        – Lorin

  137. willie says:

    Bl**dy Hell !

    . . . damn, that’s some hot coffee . . . huh?

    Rats running through a theatre? Sounds perfectly logical to me. Pass the popcorn . . .

  138. sandra says:

    I’m with Lorin on the query re usage … it wasn’t one I’d come across but I knew what it was from the sound it made. Hailstones hitting cobbles.

  139. marywhite says:

    a dose of the ‘scutters’? Yeuch ! I thought the ageku was meant to be uplifting/
    How about–
    scuttle-
    intr.v. scut·tled, scut·tling, scut·tles
    To run or move with short hurried movements; scurry.
    n.
    A hurried run.

  140. g’day all

    skitters would also work out well!

    peace and love

  141. sandra says:

    I’d never heard the word scutters previously, so was unaware one could have a “dose” of it! So no connotations for me …

    skitters, on the other hand, was our family name for, ahem, a dose of the squirts … 🙂

  142. willie says:

    a scuttle of claws
    in the space between reels

    woody . . .

  143. John Carley says:

    tba renku: Leviathan
    ____________________

    such a big mouth
    on the sea
    but it can still whisper

    leviathan giggles
    under a baleful moon

    the swelling buds
    hold the secret of
    tomorrow’s look

    a peach of a girl
    sweeps the cherry petals

    every gesture flowing
    from the ink stone
    to the page

    choking, the thurible
    swings over the pall

    shakuhachi flute notes
    fold in the silence
    autumn deepens

    stick insect
    have you broken that wing?

    on the wall
    a postage stamp from
    somewhere coloured pink

    graffiti, flowers
    icing, bows and Kev

    “All are winners
    in the Caucus-Race!”
    the Dodo says

    a scuttle of claws
    in the space between reels

    Ashley, Andrew, _kala, Vasile, John, Mary, _kala, Andrew, John, Ashley, Lorin, Willie

    hokku – gendai
    wakiku – cult: lit
    daisan – shasei
    #4 – shasei
    #5 – cult: art
    #6 – clut: religion
    #7 – cult: music
    #8 – shasei
    #9 – shasei
    #10 – gendai
    #11 – cult: politics
    #12 – cult: film

    At Issa’s Snail
    April 1st to 5th May 2011

    ______________

    Hi everybody, thanks muchly for the scurry/scutter/scuttle/feet/claws discussion. We go with Willie’s woody scuttle of claws.

    Therefore I would cordially like to recommend the text above as the definitive take on the second of Ashley’s as yet unnamed 12 verse sequences.

    I am indebted to all participants and commentators for the selfless generosity that all have shown as we’ve negotiated the very particular challenges of this new approach. The more so as I am aware that my indifferent health has led to a rather more patchy level of engagement than both courtesy and the creative ideal demand.

    There is a tradition in Japanese renku circles that, upon completion of a poem, the poem leader will compose a relatively formal debrief (c.f. tomegaki) and the participants offer feedback, which in truth is characterised as ‘an appreciation’ (c.f. kanso). I am not suggesting that colleagues might wish to respond so formally to the experience of this composition, but it would be immensely helpful and informative to hear from any and all participants and commentators on absolutely any aspect of this poem, be it the specifics of the text, or the nature of the project in general.

    In no particular order a couple of points strike me forcibly. The abandonment of the seasons as the principal organisational substructure of a renku sequence seems terribly radical. But it begs the question of what the function of the seasons are in the first place. With the introduction of the idea of ‘cultural’ verses Ashley has in fact returned to some fundamentals of many of those ‘vertical axes’ that were core to medieval linked verse. Similarly the notion of ‘shasei’, though the term is drawn from Shiki, can be found as early as Yoshimoto’s theoretical writings where he urges poets to consider ways to ensure that not all their verses are ‘constructs’ (interestingly, Yoshimoto goes on to suggest that the seasons can be drawn in as a way to anchor this ‘reality’). Though he does not use the specific term, ideas of ‘gendai’ or mould breaking are also an element in the recent theorising that led up to the Japanese poet Haku Asanuma’s proposal of the Rokku, an entire movement of which is required to adopt experimental prosody. But in fact some of Basho’s own sequences also show a tendency to the ‘gendai’ in the second ‘half’ of the ‘development movement’ (c.f. ha). So, this stuff is radical, but it is not simply plucked out of the air.

    As it turns out, whilst Ashley was working on his thoughts on how such a proposal might shape up, I was off theorising about what a universal set of ‘minimum condidtions’ for a piece of writing to qualify as ‘renku’ might be. The result is posted over on the renku reckoner site somewhere, I think under the ‘advanced arguments’ button (God, what a stuffed shirt!). Anyway, I haven’t been to check, but I’m pretty certain that this wierd and wonderful proposal of Ashely’s hits all the buttons. It feels challenging, but quite liberating too!

    Above I’ve appended the title ‘Leviathan’ to the piece. This is a suggestion only.

    Best wishes, John

  144. lorin says:

    ‘Leviathan’ does seem to be a better choice of title than the alternative, ‘ A Big Mouth’. 😉

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this renku as it developed, and your comments throughout, John. Thanks for including a verse of mine in this renku, too…an unexpected bonus. A

    Another great experience of renku at ‘snail’ (and many thanks to Ashley for providing the opportunities)

    – Lorin

  145. kala says:

    I loved this experience 🙂
    It was really thought provoking to read your comments John.
    This renku moved fast and I loved every moment.

    I would love to do one just as a gendai renku trip (but with seasonal references once in a while, to root it in haikai style), that might be wild and take us into the far corners of our mind’s creative capacity.

    _kala

    • ashleycapes says:

      Great idea, kala – John and I have discussed the possibility of trying this as a trip (or a kasen, though that might be a stretch), and I’d be very curious to see how a trip would work if you’re game?

  146. This has been great to be involved in. Thank you John for your comments and style of leadership and Ashley for the opportunity. Vasile, kala and Mary and also Lorin, Willie, Barbara and Sandra, thank you for the opportunity to write with you, read interesting commentaries and learn from you all.

    Being still in renku kindergarden, i’m not sure i’m able to offer many comments but
    I really like how the poem never really rises far off the ground. Other than a moon reference it ascends no higher than the reach of the artists brush. Those surrounding verses of buds, petals, thurible and flute hold such beauty but overall it feels underground. Fitting for a new style junicho?

    I’m a bit curious as to why shasei ended up in two lots of successive verse. This also occured once in the first ‘new’ Junicho. They almost seem to be places to breathe and shift away from the weight?? of cultural and gendai verses. Maybe that is a shallow reading of what is going on. Still, I like the ebb and flow felt within the whole text.

    I’m stoked the giggler(s) is/are offered as a title. Such imposing jokers.

    – Andrew

    • ashleycapes says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, Andrew! I think that reading sounds just fine, those two verses do seem to act as a ‘breather,’ and that’s doubtless an important thing in any renku, perhaps, especially in this form which has a focus on allusion

  147. kala says:

    Of course I’m game Ashley:)

    Gendai is a real challenge, even trying to understand what gendai means -demands a lot of thought and work.

    It would be great fun, let’s do it!
    _kala

  148. John Carley says:

    Hi all, I’m afraid I’ll have to give a further poem a miss, Ashley. I’ve still got a minimum 2 months of this chemo to go and the damn stuff is like being lobotomised.

    Andrew raises a really crucial point – why do ‘shasei’ verses appear as a pair? As Ashely suggests, that particular pair do provide a breathing space (which in turn focuses on the inherent (?) nature of ‘cutural’ verses, not to mention ‘gendai’). But there is also the wider point that a renku sequence is ideally more than a scatter pattern of randomly weighted topics and tones; even a short sequence will tend to ‘passages’ of discreet topical and dynamic tenor.

    Perhaps most fundamental of all is the core tenet of renku – that verses should link to the preceding but shift away from the last-but-one verse. Some ways of sequencing verses are therefore inherently problematic. Consider: cult-shasei-cult-shasei-cult-gendai-cult-gendai. Cleary such an arrangement invites stylistic alternation, which strongly increases the likelihood of inadvertent ‘return to the last-but-one’ (c.f. uchikoshi no kirai). In technical terms this is best described as the reader experiencing an instance of “Oi, hang on mate, we’ve just been on about that!”

    So concerned was I about this possibilty that when I worked up some trial schematics – http://www.renkureckoner.co.uk/NJ – I only allowed such an arrangement around the ageku (which has well founded structural exemptions). However #4 to #8 of this second poem in fact go shasei/cult/cult/cult/shasei without falling over, so it may be that I’ve been simply too defensive.

    Just on scaling up to the Triparshva, or Kasen. I think this brings specific challanges. The nature of the verse designations means that we spend a lot of time within the ambit of the human intellect. Over a span of 12 verses this is not necessarily a problem, either as a complete poem, or in the context of side of verse from a longer sequence. But when we go up to 22 or 36 verses potential conflicts arise.

    one is with Hokushi’s theories of the balance between person/place verses (c.f. ji-ta-ba). Now Hokushi was a fraud who oversold his big idea (there’s a brilliant record of one sequence where Hokushi objects that Basho is just about to append a fifth [maybe sixth] ‘person’ verse in a row, to which Basho replies: “So what, you’re having it pal”). But Hokushi wasn’t entirely up a gum tree – the longer the sequence the more critical a balance between ‘person’ and ‘place’ aspects becomes.

    Related to this, but on a level even opitates can’t reach, is the idea of a renku sequence as ‘mandala’. A 12 verse sequence can’t pretend to this, so we all cough politely and reach for another glass of Chablis. But the longer the sequence the more it can/should/must take account of those inconvenient Buddhist chappies and their outlandish metaphysics. At which point the question becomes something like: if 18 of 36 verses are ‘cultural’ how does this square with our poem referencing all 10,000 things that make up the universe?

    Right, that’s me done. As Hal 2000 suggests, it’s time to take a stress pill and lie down.

    the seahawk’s feathers
    preened just so,
    the first of the cold drizzle

    a gust of wind and then
    the leaves are hushed

    Kyorai, Basho – hokku and wakiku of The Seahawk’s Feathers

    Best wishes, John

  149. marywhite says:

    John I was very impressed with how you grabbed this challenge with gusto and entered into it so fully while you are dealing with your illness and the debilitating affects of your treatment. Your spirit is such a strong force that your physical limitations could not hold you back. . You described the process so eloquently which is good because I am just beginning to get my head around this new form.

    i think the two shasei verses work well because they keep us in the moment, with the poem. Culture verses have references which bring us off somewhere else with associations etc. This affects the pace of the poem. I’m not explaining this very well. Now like the White Rabbit I’m rushing off to a Haiku Ireland meeting. Back later.

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