Renku #4 – Current Renku

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199 Responses to Renku #4 – Current Renku

  1. renkuleader says:

    Hi all,

    My plan is to do a junicho because that’s the form I know best.

    However, I do consider myself still a beginner so am happy to be pulled up by team members when its looks like my logic has deserted me!

    Thanks for the encouragement John. Looking forward to trying my hand at this.

    Best wishes,
    Sandra

    PS I didn’t realise when I became an “administrator” that the monniker I chose in a fit of irony would become the name published on each posting. Ah well, live and learn

  2. ashleycapes says:

    🙂
    I’m in too, Sandra! (Will update the Schedule page)

  3. genevieveosborne says:

    and I’m in too.

  4. renkuleader says:

    Well, although we may be small in number, we are select in talent! Ha! 🙂

    Are you sitting comfortably? Then let us begin.

    Candidates for a competitive hokku gratefully received. I’d like to make each position competitive, unless the junicho itself seems to dictate otherwise.

    I intend to make the choice for each position within 48 hours of that position becoming open which should be enough for each time zone to be fully engaged. (Ashley, are we all from the south this time?)

    Be sure to make the hokku a seasonal verse and remember that this is the only verse that may be cut (ie, have 2 separate parts/phrase & fragment). I will try and write for each position too, although don’t intend to choose my own poems more than anyone else’s (I just like the writing exercise).

    (Sorry if I seem to be teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, but it helps me to put it all down.)

    Looking forward to seeing the poems – away we go! Ashley, Gen and Sandra …

    • ashleycapes says:

      That all sounds great, Sandra – and I think we’re all in the southern hemisphere, yeah. Unless WIllie sticks around? 🙂

      Ok, here’s few from me

      instead of bushfires
      big dragonflies
      this year

      angry neighbours
      gardening
      the sun on my neck

      tumble-down house
      the grass seeds
      take flight

  5. Helio Renku Leader,

    You can call me “Badlander”. Just kidding. How are you? You, too, Ash and Gen.
    Where is everyone? Usually it’s a full house. Might have been scared off by the new semester starting. Heck, I’m not worried – (gulp!)

    I’ll lay back and see what transpires . . .

  6. renkuleader says:

    Hello Willie,

    Would love to have you participate (and put me straight when needed).

    best,
    Sandra

  7. renkuleader says:

    Thanks for the offerings Ashley, here’s some from me:

    in and out
    of the camellias –
    silvereyes

    exam revision –
    birdsong cuts through
    the social effects (italics here)

    two inches deep
    on the branches –
    winter blossom

  8. genevieveosborne says:

    Hello, hello and hello Willie – just checked back in – so thinking now. Offers in a minute. G.

  9. genevieveosborne says:

    after days of rain
    the park still flooded –
    my boots suck and squelch

    snowmelt and the creek
    rushing – one long aahhh
    from a raven

    one single note
    from a crimson rosella
    and the morning cracks

  10. renkuleader says:

    Just realised that I may have complicated matters with one of my offers, so will revise it to:

    two inches deep
    on the branch –
    spring blossom

  11. genevieveosborne says:

    perhaps not seasonal enough –

    one single note
    from a crimson rosella –
    the autumn morning cracks

  12. genevieveosborne says:

    revising:

    one clear note
    from a crimson rosella
    and the autumn morning cracks

  13. Hello from Minnesota!

    moths –

    evening moths
    come tap at my window
    autumn’s approach

    evening primrose
    a hawk moth’s wings
    stir the cool air

    Ever see a Hawk Moth in flight? Mistaken for a hummingbird at times

    crickets –

    cricket song
    from every nook and cranny
    night autumnal

    spiders –

    teasing its web
    the spider retreats to its lair
    approaching autumn

    apples –

    stolen green apples
    from the neighbour’s tree
    childrens laughter

    boozers –

    closing time
    drunken reveler’s voices
    stir the cool air

    We’re about on the cusp of season here. Finally, the oppressive, almost tropical heat
    has dissipated, and the night’s are cool, almost chilly.

    withered birch
    hidden amidst green pine
    mistaken for ghosts

  14. “spiders” is kind of long

    a tree’s limbs shake
    as green apples fall
    the children’s laughter

    a little less “tell”

  15. genevieveosborne says:

    Hi Willie – hello from Thredbo where the snow is melting. I like the moths tapping at your window.

  16. genevieveosborne says:

    and I think my crimson rosella is too long –

    one bell note –
    a crimson rosella
    cracks the autumn morning

    crimson rosella –
    your one bell note
    cracks this autumn morning

  17. genevieveosborne says:

    and this might be better:

    after winter rain
    the park still flooded –
    my boots suck and squelch

  18. renkuleader says:

    Thanks everyone for great hokku candidates … and the finalists are:

    tumble-down house
    the grass seeds
    take flight

    – Ashley

    two inches deep
    on the branch –
    spring blossom

    – Sandra

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    – Genevieve (with edit)

    moths
    tapping at my window
    autumn

    – Willie (with edit)

    Envelope please – and the Oscar, sorry, hokku goes to …

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    – Genevieve ( if edit is approved).

    This is a striking verse which nevertheless leaves the wakiku room to move. Gen brings in 2 kinds of sound, 2 colours, 2 actions and a great sense of being “in the moment”. If Gen is happy with this edit we will proceed, again competitive for the wakiku.

    The second verse should support and “buttress” the hokku, staying in the same season – spring –
    but should not be a flower/moon/love verse. Together, the hokku and wakiku may almost be read as a tanka.

    Thank you for such a great start,
    Sandra

  19. genevieveosborne says:

    Thank you Sandra, delighted to have the raven chosen – the edit is fine with me.

    Best wishes, G.

  20. genevieveosborne says:

    an offer for the wakiku:

    icicles
    dripping patterns
    on the sill

  21. renkuleader says:

    Sorry, should have reminded you – wakiku should 2 lines.

    best,
    sandra

    • renkuleader says:

      snowmelt –
      one long aahhh
      from the raven

      as night closes in
      the tap of a coin on the bar

      a child’s red hat
      bobbles down the stairs

      the first green shoots
      in the cemetery

  22. genevieveosborne says:

    stepping-stone rocks
    across the creek

    a gum branch
    taps morse code on the glass

    bright spring fashions
    in department stores

  23. genevieveosborne says:

    Sandra, I like the child’s red hat.

  24. Nice going, Gen.

    I’ll have to take a pass on this position. Some confusion in the ivory tower today …

    Wait – that’s my submission!

    some confusion
    in the ivory tower

  25. renkuleader says:

    Will wait a little longer to hear from Ashley …

  26. renkuleader says:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    taking a shortcut home
    the rainbow

    (trying to follow my own directions to support the hokku!)

  27. ashleycapes says:

    Will be back to put a post in tonight, sorry about the delay. Love the hokku, Sandra (and Gen, of course). And i really, really like this one too

    the first green shoots
    in the cemetery

  28. ashleycapes says:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    to the back of the closet
    with my leather jacket

    (Not that I actually own one. But just one verse for now, sorry to hold everyone up)

  29. snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    ******

    to the back of the closet
    with my leather jacket

    C’mon Ash, every lad wants a black leather jacket – and Beatle boots! I know I still do! Reminds me of a verse I wrote in honor of an American blogger/writer pal of mine, Altadenahiker, but a statement pointedly to a converse emotion ( Give her a visit and comment would you? Her birthday coming up. She writes short essays, witty and often often poignant, like a dream ):

    ( regretful / hanging up her beret / she slips into autumn )

    the first green shoots
    in the cemetery

    I think for rhythm and coherence this works very well. The allusion is a bit cheeky, which I like.

    a gum branch
    taps on the window

    Shortened a bit; a reference to Poe, isn’t it? The only verse shorter than the hokku …

    some confusion
    in the ivory tower

    Allusions to the Tower of London, and maybe the Norsk god Odin, with his two ravens who sat on his shoulders that would fly around the world and report what they witnessed each day.

    The cusp of sunrise here, and the the waning crescent beggining to fade. Marking time at 6:45 am.

  30. genevieveosborne says:

    I rather like Willie’s ‘confusion in the ivory tower’ – with its echo of the legend of the ravens in the Tower of London – particularly as they are still there – each one with a clipped wing – to prevent disaster.

  31. renkuleader says:

    Morning all,

    Thanks for the responses.

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven
    – Gen

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots
    – Sandra

    Hard call to choose my own verse, but I think it’s right – let me know if there are any objections. (I also think it’s better with the lines reversed, as above.)

    The daisan is a 3-line verse, the first to shift, is non-season and the first of 2 love verses.

    Ashley and Willie: I’d like to see a male voice in here so why don’t you 2 battle it out for this position?

    Best, Sandra

  32. Sorry I’m late to this soiree:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven
    – Gen

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots
    – Sandra

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask her for this dance

    mmmm . . .

  33. sandra says:

    come in Ashley … or any other male who may be interested in posting for this position …

  34. sandra says:

    Okay, I think we’ve waited long enough, after all, this was supposed to be a “speed” junicho. Never mind, quality is always better.

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven
    – Gen

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots
    – Sandra

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance
    – Willie (if edit is approved)

    Willie, don’t feel I have chosen this verse because it was the only one offered! In fact, I loved it the moment I saw it. It’s a very open verse, yet has great concrete detail and is something we can all relate to (for girls it was the fear that no one would ask us to dance; I guess for boys it was the courage to walk across to where the girls were and do the asking).

    It links the “long aahh” to “rows of chairs” and shifts away from the quiet (dead, even) cemetery to a moment in our lives when we seem to be all tingling nerve endings. Very nice.

    Verse position 4 is a 2-liner, non-season and the second of our “love” pair. All contributions welcome.

    Best,
    Sandra

  35. Oh, thank goodness, because I was “blocked” for another – common to my love verse subs.
    Yes, I played (vacillated) with choices for L 3. Good to have another’s ear and preference.

  36. rows of headstones, too – I like your take on it.

  37. genevieveosborne says:

    Congrats Willie.

    some offers:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven
    – Gen

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots
    – Sandra

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance
    – Willie

    the soft whinny of your horse
    impatient as we talk

    the outspread fingers of your hand
    firm against my back

    fox-trot
    and the way you hold me

  38. Ooh, I like the “horse” – a great sense of place is conveyed, and a tension regarding the subject of conversation. Another structure could be –

    your horse’s soft whinny
    impatient as we speak

  39. genevieveosborne says:

    Thanks Willie – mmm, talk or speak – just thinking about the differences – ‘speak’ seems more business like – I guess it has ‘to make a speech’ in it as well – ‘talk’ seems to lend itself more to idle chatter – or flirtations – ‘Speak’ certainly gives it more of a sense of urgency – something serious going on in the darkness… although I quite like the assonance between ‘horse’ and ‘talk’…

    Looking forward to reading more verses…

  40. ashleycapes says:

    Sorry team – forgot to mention that I’d be away for 5 days as a performer at QPF – will be back on board tomorrow or later tonight!

  41. Oops! Did I put “speak”? Sorry! Thoughtless of me.
    I ‘ve been speaking a bit. Remember talking about “dowsing” for water, Sandra? I auditioned for a part in “The Diviners” school play. I must be mad . . . we already know Ash is.

    http://www3.uakron.edu/dtaa/pdf/Diviners_StudyGuide.pdf

  42. ashleycapes says:

    Ok, just one from me (and a variation, as it seems a bit long) struggling to get back into the rhythm of the working week (A nod to Elvis Costello there I guess)

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven
    – Gen

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots
    – Sandra

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance
    – Willie

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair

    or

    an even rhythm
    to the untying of hair

  43. sandra says:

    Hi everyone,

    Just got back from being interviewed for the telly – no, really. Ha, but it is a *very* local station and my 3 minutes on the topic of the Haiku Pathway in Katikati seemed to go very fast. If I haven’t already told you all about the pathway, use this link:

    http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/node/279

    I well remember our chat about water dowsers Willie – I found a water pipe for someone the other day, but couldn’t find my lost car key! (Maybe it wasn’t in the house or maybe small things aren’t my thing, dunno why it didn’t work. I was getting conflicting messages all the way and had that happen once before looking for a small, lost item.)

    Back momentarily with the next verse choice.

    Oh, and I see I’ve reverted to my name, not sure how that happened, but it’s A Good Thing!

  44. sandra says:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven
    – Gen

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots
    – Sandra

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance
    – Willie

    when they ask us,
    what will we say about love?

    golden wedding interview,
    they nudge each other

    the clatter of pearls
    as they fall from their silk

  45. sandra says:

    We’re opening into the “ha” phase of the poem here so can start to be a bit more ambitious/dazzling with our ku.

    However, I’m being indecisive so would like some comment on the verse choices. I particularly like Gen’s:

    the outspread fingers of your hand
    firm against my back

    (I can feel it; it’s a great sense verse)

    Ashley’s:

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair

    (very sensual and sensuous; and the rhythm carries through the words themselves, lovely)

    Sandra’s:

    when they ask us,
    what will we say about love?

    (does it matter that “love” is referred to explicity, do you think? Breaking up the flow with a question may not be a bad ploy …)

    Look forward to your comments.

  46. genevieveosborne says:

    I like Ashley’s – the way it pulls the dance through to the next verse.

  47. i get hung up on variations of verse length – must be an anal-retentive thing.
    First impression was

    an even rhythm
    to the untying of hair

    made me gasp, and I find

    the clatter of pearls
    as they fall from their silk

    beautifully eloquent.

    Second don’t “tell”, the first, a tighter linkage.

    I know that don’t help much . . .

  48. ashleycapes says:

    Thanks, Gen – right back at you!
    Evoking the sense of touch is pretty powerful for a love verse.
    Sandra, I don’t imagine it’d be a big problem to use the word ‘love’ and the question is a nice shift. Mine keeps the tone relatively even I guess, which may be easier to link to – but also not be as inventive perhaps

  49. sandra says:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven
    – Gen

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots
    – Sandra

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance
    – Willie

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair
    – Ashley

    A cracker verse this, Ashley, well done.

    In the end the choice was driven by the sheer completedness of the ku. Couldn’t go past it. It’s quite quiet but is full of complexity … and links well from Willie’s verse.

    Right, onward.

    The next verse is a 3-liner, may be winter or summer and can be a boundary-pusher now that we are in our “ha” phase. My knowledge of jo-ha-kyu is based on John’s eloquent description:

    jo – arriving at a party, being introduced; ha – the party’s in full swing; kyu – the party winds down and farewells are made.

    So, let’s get partying!

  50. genevieveosborne says:

    an offer from me:

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance
    – Willie

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair
    – Ashley

    the pulse
    of a cicada chorus
    pushes through the heat wave

  51. sandra says:

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance
    – Willie

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair
    – Ashley

    yowling on the fence
    two cats
    increase the heat

    at the drive-in
    John Wayne fights
    the desert sun

  52. genevieveosborne says:

    a barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting the pips

    and this might be better:

    the beat
    of a cicada chorus
    pulsing in the heat

  53. rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance
    – Willie

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair
    – Ashley

    snow woman
    her dreams a strange imagery
    when she sleeps alone (had this up my sleeve)

    as winter deepens
    empty bottles of Ripple
    dot the still pond

    (Ripple – a cheap wine preferred by winos)

  54. genevieveosborne says:

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance
    – Willie

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair
    – Ashley

    only the slow click
    of the ceiling fan
    in the stifling afternoon

  55. sandra says:

    Okay, here’s three to ponder overnight (my time), I shall return in the morning. In no particular order:

    at the drive-in
    John Wayne fights
    the desert sun

    – Sandra

    as winter deepens
    empty bottles
    dot the pond

    – Willie (with edit)

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    – Gen (with edit)

    Your comments welcome.

    • I like the action of the kids spitting pips right away. and barrow-man has a wonderful sound when spoken; compare that open vowel phonic with pips and the scene becomes somehow more charming.

      Admittedly, I’ve become a bit desensitized to the Duke: I’d watch him Saturday afternoons as a kid on the tel’, along with many other established male stars, but most often in movies from the WWII era, If memory serves. A lot of kids went to ‘Nam under their influence. However, as for the U.S.A. today, we’re involved in six wars simultaneously, mostly undeclared! Thank you Mr. Obama- to think Europe and overseas fawned over this little piece of fluff: Just what the proletariat ordered. I guess I’m not at all surprised. I read the guy like a book from the get-go.

      Once again, John Wayne is suddenly all the more pertinant. Too bad Ron Paul wasn’t on the screen . . . he is now though. People should take note, eyes wide open for once. The world is becoming one global community.

      I had trouble with L 2 of the Ripple verse – a bit clunky while describing the gag –

      as winter deepens
      empty bottles ripple
      the still pond

      Winos like that cheap port wine, too.

      One note: summer choices bring us through the seasons chronologcally

  56. ashleycapes says:

    Geeze, that’s a tough three to choose from … all show great humour. Probably my favourite verse is the ‘ripple’ but the ‘pips’ is great too, and the ‘desert sun’ really takes the renku to a new place, introducing the idea of ‘thirst’ and the colour of yellow/white, which I like too.

  57. sandra says:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven
    – Gen

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots
    – Sandra

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance
    – Willie

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair
    – Ashley

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    – Gen (with edit)

    If Gen is happy with this verse, we will head onward.

    Willie has pretty well said what my mullings brought me to – the alliteration links to the rhythm of the previous verse and I like the idea of “getting the pip” that is maybe referenced here too. Also, moving chronologically appeals to my tidy mind.

    This brings us to a 2-liner non-season … and something with a “ha” personality.

    This is going very well, thank you.

  58. Great choice, and well done Gen!

  59. genevieveosborne says:

    Hi All,

    Thank you Sandra – a lovely surprise this morning. I like the chronological movement too.

    – just wondering if ‘behind’, where it is, makes ‘selling watermelon’ a bit jerky in the rhythm…

    How would this be?

    the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids behind spitting pips

    or even

    kids behind
    the barrow-man
    spitting watermelon pips

    – but then again, placing ‘behind’ first might set a stronger scene – particularly with the alliteration.

    I fiddled around with ‘kids spitting pips’ and ‘kids spitting the pips’ (until I’d said it so often it almost became ‘Peter Piper’) – and left ‘the’ in because it seemed to echo the action of the ‘spit’ – as you blow the pip out … but agree it doesn’t fit in with the different rhythm. (And I’m sure this discussion secures my place in the mad basket).

    Sandra, I’m happy to go with your edit, or whichever you think is best.

  60. I do enjoy “kids spitting pips” as the tag line. I have this picture in my mind . . . tee-hee!

    I’ll be out for a day, maybe. Some things to square up, etc.

    Cheers,

    willie

  61. sandra says:

    Thanks for the extra insights, Gen. I think we’ll leave it as I have suggested for now and come back to it in when we have the shape of the overall poem and reassess how it sits then.

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair
    – Ashley

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    – Gen

    waiting to be bathed
    the former beauty queen

    a smoke-filled city
    and still we talk

    the sound of bagpipes
    from across the farmland

  62. genevieveosborne says:

    That’s fine Sandra.

    And I very much like the former beauty queen.

  63. ashleycapes says:

    Ok, here’s some ideas for the next position. Getting sleepy now…though no doubt I’ll foolishly go and read after this, long into the night. Oh well, there are other, less wholesome vices, aren’t there?

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair
    – Ashley

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    – Gen

    behind his eyes
    the die knock together

    our bright stewardess
    does not exactly smile

    digging a hole deep
    in the ice-cream tub

    sweating through
    a just-barely mock sword-fight

  64. there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair
    – Ashley

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    – Gen

    dear old Uncle Omar
    heads up the parade

    Just a quick one from me. I’ve been cast in that production of The Diviners, so now, though ego sufficiently swelled, I find discipline and deadline knocking at my door. I wonder if Bill might like to step into the position I so boldly wrestled away?

  65. Bill says:

    Bill would, tho not pretending to fill your clogs.

  66. Ah, most excellent, Bill!

    One slight adjustment:

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair
    – Ashley

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    – Gen

    dear old Uncle Omar
    headlines the parade

  67. genevieveosborne says:

    not sure if I should put any verses up, but as there aren’t many of us here’s one for fun:

    pennants flying, judges ready
    it’s gumboot throwing day

  68. sandra says:

    Hi Bill,

    Feel free to enter something for this position.

    Best,
    Sandra

  69. sandra says:

    a pop of gunfire
    from somewhere close by

  70. Bill says:

    My doggy thought, “Allowed on the furniture at last!” But here’s a few short-order suggestions:

    on the trail of dry crumbs–
    hungry crickets cry all night

    shifting brick in the noon sun
    by twos into a sand heap

    hot peach–
    stopped with her teeth half in

    “trail of crumbs,” clanging off the Pied Piper association with Hansel and Gretel while shifting the time of day to night

    • sandra says:

      Hi Bill,

      Once we’re into the body of a junicho the verses should not be overtly cut. Only the hokku may have an obvious cut.

      And now we’ve had “watermelon” we can’t have “peach” (or any other fruit).

      I’d like to keep this moving, especially as I leave tomorrow and will be away for a week so shall choose a verse and look forward to your next posting (hard to drop into the middle of something like this, I know. That darn Willie and his ambitions to be the next Brando! 🙂 )

      Best,
      Sandra

      • sandra says:

        Okay, so here are the potentials for the next position:

        dear old Uncle Omar
        headlines the parade

        – Willie

        our bright stewardess
        does not exactly smile

        – Ashley

        a pop of gunfire
        from somewhere close by

        – Sandra

        But somehow I don’t feel satisfied. This is v6 so we are at our crescendo in terms of dazzling/clever/humorous verses. I’ve tried a couple of mash-ups:

        the sound of bagpipes
        at gumboot-throwing day

        not exactly smiling
        Uncle Sam leads the parade

        the sound of gunfire
        as we shift bricks

        and would like to use the verse co-written by Ashley and Willie, if they’re both agreeable to the changes.

  71. sandra says:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    – Ashley/Willie (with edits)

  72. sandra says:

    If the edits are acceptable to both poets, then we’ll proceed to v7 – a non-season 3-liner that should also be in “full party mode”.

    As I noted to Bill previously I shall be in the land of Oz from tomorrow until early next week and don’t anticipate spending much time at a keyboard!

  73. ashleycapes says:

    I’m very happy with that – what a cracker of a verse!

  74. Just a note: Uncle Omar is the illegal alien uncle of President Obama, who recently was arrested and discovered while driving under the influence of alcohol after nearly colliding with a police car. His slurred response, after having been read his Miranda rights, was ” Let me call the White House (for legal counsel)” His arrest was a fortuitous cicumstance:

    Obama’s administration was recently discovered issuing “executive orders” to defer deportation of criminal aliens (including violent offenders, some previously deported and returned) and to make them eligible for work visas and potential citizenship, and also to take advantage of college grants and programs, which was in a bill defeated in Congress three times previously. When first confronted with the evidence of these tactics to garner millions of new Democratic Party voters, the Administration submitted denials.

    We’re in a desperate battle here for Constitutional legalities. Yeah, you’re right, Uncle Sam ain’t happy. Your rendition sums it up quite succinctly.

  75. sandra says:

    Thanks for your generosity guys, much appreciated.

    Have just returned home after the drama of a (small) car collision but still a fright. Mercedes driven by a well-dressed woman of a certain age reversed into me (BTW I’m a poorly dressed woman of a certain age). Still, it was at low speed and no one was hurt; my poor car lost its bumper though.

    Further “downing” my mood is news of Jan Bostok’s death. What a loss that is to the haiku community, but aren’t we thankful that she blazed such a trail for us all? She has been released from the pain that this life had become and Beverley George reports that she passed away peacefully.

    Despite her infirmities and life tragedies, Jan was a great comedienne – her shocking story of her husband’s suicide attempt, told at Haiku Pacific Rim in 2009, quickly had the room in stitches. Her timing was impeccable and she had a great dead-pan expression.

    Rest in peace Jan, you’ve earned it.

    From: A Fan

    (If you want to read more about her life, go to http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/haikunews/haikuhappenings)

  76. sandra says:

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    – Gen

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    – Ashley/Willie

    Next is a non-season 3-liner that should also be in “full party mode”. If we’re all quick at posting I might get one more in before I go ….

  77. Bill says:

    Quickly, then!

    army boots
    still highly polished
    scarcely worn

    a file of ants
    off to who-knows-where
    who-knows-why?

    (I’m much confused about the wisdom of this question mark. I could live without it very well. Maybe “ants” is a summer sign, thus out of place here? For what it’s worth, I note that the four previous links have people in them.)

  78. genevieveosborne says:

    Congratulations Ashley and Willie

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips
    – Gen

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade
    – Ashley/Willie

    all eyes upwards
    as the comet’s icy tail
    streams across the sky

  79. sandra says:

    Hi all,

    Have taken some advice (thanks Uncle John) on Bill’s implied question re the people verses. My instinct was that it wasn’t a problem, but thought I better check with someone who has a vast amount of experience and knowledge (unlike me! 🙂 ).

    The advice is along the lines of: Balance is the key at the whole poem level. The verses are fine to remain so long as we now avoid the same territory for a couple of verses.

    “I think what is most crucial here is that, as you say, the verses are different one from another. Most crucial, in so far as they have similarities, they are in pairs. The first two are close focus and intimate. The second are broader scope and third person. Were they alternating (I/him/you/them + near/far/near/far) it would be much more problematic.”

    So there we are. Renku is so full of “things to remember” that it’s difficult to keep everything in mind.

    I know I said we’d try and do one more verse before I go, but I’m distracted this morning. So, please, make 3 offerings each and I’ll try and get into an internet cafe somewhere through the week and have a look.

    For what it;s worth I think the poem is going very nicely and am very pleased with the verses coming up for each position, makes my task a pleasure.

  80. Bill says:

    Well, I think the renku is progressing beautifully, too, and since I just arrived, I can say that with no claim to modesty. It’s great to work with such a talented crew.

    I’d like to try a re-do of a previous suggestion, sans ants.

    who knows where?
    birds fly in all directions
    who knows why?

  81. sandra says:

    Hello everyone,

    Sorry for the hiatus, but I’m now back on deck and we shall start moving forward again. If any of you have more verses to post for this position, please do so.

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    every morning
    settling the threadbare teddy
    on my pillow

    on every corner
    a whiff of smoke
    and plotting

    as night falls
    the clang
    of tram bells

  82. ashleycapes says:

    Love the tram bells, Sandra! Hope you had a nice break too!

  83. sandra says:

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    – Sandra (with edit)

    Which is, I hope, the right choice. Feel free to comment. I have altered the ku to move it inside, we haven’t had many of those; and changed L3 to eliminate another gerund.

  84. sandra says:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    Our next verse takes us to autumn and is a short ku. Just as a heads up the verse after is a flower verse (also autumn).

    Look forward to seeing your candidates …

  85. genevieveosborne says:

    Hi Sandra and All,

    one to begin with:

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade
    – Ashley/Willie

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots
    – Sandra

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again

  86. ashleycapes says:

    One attempt from me, before I sleep

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade
    – Ashley/Willie

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots
    – Sandra

    reeking of whiskey
    he gives the scarecrow a shove

    or perhaps

    reeking of whiskey
    giving the scarecrow a shove

    or something to avoid another pronoun

  87. Bill says:

    Well, taking a shot in the dark…

    brown leaves in a dry autumn
    crunch beneath every foot

    double-digging at fall’s end
    to rout out established weeds

    Halloweeners shy away
    from the parsonage gate

  88. sandra says:

    Hello all,

    I find this line of Bill’s outstanding:

    a crunch beneath every foot(fall)

    and love Ashley’s scarecrow image. To my way of thinking they should be married. I wonder if Bill or Ashley or both (or Gen too) are willing to try?

    The dichotomy of feet and a scarecrow is intriguing me, there’s real mystery there and a chance for a brilliant autumn ku, I feel. And brilliance about now would be most welcome.

    Best,
    Sandra

  89. Bill says:

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    reeking of beer he crunches
    the scarecrow with a dry heave

    Well, here’s what I cobbled together from parts available. Beer for whiskey to save a syllable and preserve the double-ee assonance of the words. It seemed that what attracted Sandra’s attention was the sensory stimuli portrayed in Ashley’s lines and mine, so I saved the crunch (auditory) but lost the brown (visual) while preserving dry (tactile) and adding heave (musculo-inertial). The dry heave is gratituous, it just came over me, as they often do. I dunno, maybe you just had to be there.

    • sandra says:

      Thanks Bill. Feel free to play with and develop the idea, spin it off to somewhere new … and post more than one offering! (It makes my job as sabaiki easier if I have several to think about and choose from.)

      • Bill says:

        I’m glad things seem to be moving at foot-pace just here; it give time to think. There’s a lot in your suggestions and Ashley’s contributions to draw together.

  90. sandra says:

    leaning against the door-jamb
    a new scarecrow

    I woke up this morning with this one in my head …

  91. ashleycapes says:

    Hi Sandra! I like your scarecrow verse above, and the idea of altering mine in someway/combining it with Bill’s – sounds great.

    I have to put in my apologies – as I’ll be away for the next few weeks (from Monday), but may have access to the internet, I will try. Otherwise, I certainly don’t mind if you charge on ahead without me/have someone jump in to cover for me/invite a guest verse etc, whatever you think it best, of course, sabaki 🙂

    Here’s an attempt to marry those lines/images

    tossed into the fire
    the scarecrow smokes and crackles

    /

    tossed onto the bonfire
    the old scarecrow smokes and crackles

    (second version is quite long, syllable wise and might not add that much detail, really)

  92. sandra says:

    tossed on to the bonfire
    the scarecrow cackles

    – Ashley

    crunching beneath every foot
    the scarecrow’s innards

    – Bill

  93. sandra says:

    Okay, posted those to see if things became any clearer …. Ashley, had to edit yours as we couldn’t repeat “smoke”.

    Bill, if you are happy with that verse, that’s the one I’d like to go next. (Please double check that I’m not missing something here.)

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    crunching beneath every foot
    the scarecrow’s innards

    – Bill (with edit)

    PS: It could be argued that these are animal feet so I don’t think we have a problem with “parade” and “feet”. Do you prefer “innards” or “guts” or even “brains”??

  94. genevieveosborne says:

    I like ‘innards’.

  95. Bill says:

    LOL, as the scarecrow made clear to Dorothy, they do not have brains. “Guts” is rather too damp a word for a scarecrow to be associated with, evoking inner rot and aggressive animal appetites, besides, it is so hard to work “innards” into a conversation that I feel you should not allow the opportunity to pass un-seized. All said and done (and I’ve given considerable thought to the matter), I like best Ashley’s quasi-original,

    “reeking of whiskey
    he gives the scarecrow a shove”

    It’s an embarrassment of riches, innit?

    • sandra says:

      Just to clarify … are you saying Bill that you *don’t* want your ku chosen here or that you don’t like the edit?

      I wouldn’t be choosing the verse of Ashley’s that you have suggested, regardless, because of the pronoun which we are staying away from for a few verses …

      If you don’t like the edit I have suggested, that’s fine and we shall begin again. A fresh page, as it were.

      • Bill says:

        No, I’m very happy with your edit. I was simply expressing an opinion, one of many, and dancing around the point that I can not think of anything better to suggest. Please proceed with what you think best.

  96. sandra says:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    crunching beneath every foot
    the scarecrow’s innards

    – Bill

    Our next verse is 3 lines, autumn … and our flower verse. It’s a chance to be creative with our local flora. Afterall, anyone can do spring flowers but it takes a special kind of poet (ahem, us) to do something different. 🙂

    I look forward to your verse offerings (please, now that we are 3 try and offer more than 1 verse per position, thanks).

  97. sandra says:

    Oh, Ashley, you’ve not gone yet … maybe you could squeeze out a couple more verses …

  98. sandra says:

    Oops, pardon me, we have a repeat of the word “every”. Oh, darn.

    Okay, I feel I am pushing this verse position too hard, trying to fit in something that doesn’t want to go, that can’t go. So, good try everybody and thanks for your efforts, but …

    Let’s take this one instead. A quieter verse to be sure, but nothing wrong with that. I liked it when I first read it but was seduced by the scarecrow, silly girl that I am!

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again
    – Gen

  99. sandra says:

    With apologies and thanks to Bill and Ashley for their hard work:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again
    – Gen

    The next verse is a 3-line, flower verse in the season of autumn.

  100. genevieveosborne says:

    Hi Sandra, Ashley and Bill,

    Thank you Sandra – nice to have the pot-belly, although sad to see the scarecrow go.

    was thinking of the following, the swamp bloodwood flowers from late summer to autumn, but not sure if we can have two bird verses – even if a different type of bird…

    parrots squabbling for space
    in the hot-pink
    bloodwood blooms

    I’ll post some more offers a little later.

  101. genevieveosborne says:

    a few more offers:

    red wheel of fire blooms
    bright
    on a dull grey day

    and just thinking back to the scarecrow:

    the scarecrow’s head
    crowned
    with wheel of fire flowers

    or

    the scarecrow
    gloriously crowned
    with wheel of fire flowers

  102. sandra says:

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again

    upside down
    on the shed wall
    last year’s strawflowers

    heavy with
    nerine pollen,
    the bumblebee’s buzz

    from the spout
    of the raku pot
    a scent of bergamot

  103. Bill says:

    Special offer today only–four for the price on one!

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again
    **

    now yellow and white
    Michaelmas dasies brighten
    her neglected grave

    damp with frost-melt
    pale cups on the Franklin tree
    collect bees

    till frost puts a stop
    tea blossom
    keeps the bees awake

    white chrysanthemum
    delicate petals open
    to the killing frost

    • Bill says:

      It occurs to me that we have a botany situation: those of us in opposing hemispheres may not know the plants familiar to others. Swamp bloodwood and fire flowers are new to me and perhaps others may not know that Michaelmas daisies are a common flower in the US. The tea plant (camellia sinensis) blooms in the fall, quite nice simple white flowers with masses of yellow stamens. The US native Franklin tree has interesting history, if you google it, and blooms right up to hard frost, with leaves changing to scarlet and purple. Now you know.

  104. sandra says:

    Hello Bill,

    I wonder if you put supply a new L3 for the michelmas daisies (we have cemetery in V2)?

    Thanks

    • sandra says:

      Well, not sure where that came from!

      It should read I wonder if you might supply a new L3 for the michelmas daisies (we have cemetery in V2)?

  105. ashleycapes says:

    All is good, happy with everything I’ve read – I skimmed and don’t have time to add anything other than the fact that I like everything as it’s turned out.
    Will trya nd get back online again before ageku!

  106. Bill says:

    Yes, and quite a few bees are found above. Pardon, my suggestions were the product of a nighttime disturbance rather than careful consideration. Here’s a re-do of the Michaelmas dasies. The hyphens are to indicate that each flower contains both yellow and white, rather than some being yellow and some being white, what do you think?

    now yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas dasies brighten
    her neglected yard

  107. sandra says:

    Yay, an embarrassment of riches. Well done. Gen I happen to have 3 Stenocarpus sinuatus trees growing just down the street from my house. They’re not particularly good specimens, but they do flower well.

    My favourites are:

    the scarecrow’s head
    crowned
    with wheel of fire flowers
    – Gen

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas dasies brighten
    the neglected yard
    – Bill

    from the spout
    of the raku pot
    a scent of bergamot
    – Sandra

  108. sandra says:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas dasies brighten
    the neglected yard
    – Bill (with edit)

    The next verse is 2 lines, non-season and in the kyu phase, the quietening down as we head towards our farewells.

    I think Bill’s verse links the phase we are just leaving and the next one rather nicely and the “white” alludes to the season without mentioning snow or frost.

    We could probably introduce a pronoun here again, if we wanted. I think there is now enough distance from “Uncle Sam”. But we don’t have to.

    Thanks for some great verses for this flower position.

  109. ashleycapes says:

    Nice choice indeed. On Roman time here, and might not be able to get back to the internet for a while. Will try though.

    a street-side cafe
    humming with traffic

    left on the church step
    is a blue sock

    Not sure about the ‘is’ in the second one, but it reads more ‘cut’ otherwise

    • Bill says:

      Ashley, an orphaned sock abandoned on the church steps? There’s a story behind that…, perhaps someone sneezing very hard. Knocks my socks off, really.

  110. genevieveosborne says:

    congratulations Bill.

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again
    – Gen

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard
    – Bill

    a whistle to the sheep dog
    and he brings the mob home

    new tiles on the roof
    we’re sleeping soundly now

    oiling the gate hinge
    a rest for the ears

    are you ready?
    the ferry’s rounding the point

  111. Bill says:

    Sandra, there seems not to be a “reply” button on your comment of Sept. 22, so I’ll interject here my appreciation of the subtle and adroit hand you demonstrate as sabaiki. I’m flattered to have my daisies picked.
    And here are some proposals for the next link, though I think perhaps I’ve had my share of the spotlight for now.

    torn calendar in the trash
    ruffled months without a year

    such heavy overcast
    obscures the time of day

    cutting when the knife is sharp
    without regard for season

  112. sandra says:

    Thanks for your kind comments Bill – my first time out as sabaiki so I’m very grateful to everyone for their patience … and neat verses.

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again
    – Gen

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard
    – Bill

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns

    sunday school hall
    so much smaller now

    not hesitating, my father
    shakes hands with the preacher

    (since it’s Sunday)

  113. sandra says:

    The pick of the bunch (and a great bunch it is too):

    a street-side cafe
    humming with traffic

    – Ashley

    new tiles on the roof
    we’re sleeping soundly now

    – Gen

    torn calendar in the trash
    ruffled months without a year

    – Bill

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns

    – Sandra

  114. genevieveosborne says:

    really like ‘as he sharpens the spade’ Sandra.

  115. sandra says:

    Thank you, Gen. It’s always difficult to choose one’s own verse, but I think that is what I will do this time. It’s contemplative nature feels right here.

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns

    I think hymn is far enough removed from dance music, both literally in our poem and by genre, to be all right for this position, but if anyone has any heistations, please feel free to raise them.

    Otherwise, we move along – the next position is our penultimate verse, 3 lines and again non-season. Remember, we are in a quieter phase of the poem – the party is winding down and guests are taking their leave.

    FYI the final verse, the ageku is to be summer moon.

    Ashley, I like the idea of you being on Roman time – XII or IV? BC or AD?

  116. Bill says:

    I dunno, what do you think of these?

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns
    **
    throwing in the hand
    clubs hearts diamonds everything
    but

    squinting to focus
    as he listens to her
    explanation

    hemming and hawing
    about who’s really to blame
    without saying

    • sandra says:

      I might suggest a tiny edit, but they’re fine Bill. Interesting too.

      throwing in the hand
      clubs hearts diamonds
      everything but

      hemming and hawing
      about who is really
      to blame

      hemming and hawing
      about where
      the blame should lie

      (maybe; just suggestions)

      • Bill says:

        Yes, these are valid edits. I was thinking of “everything” as the fourth item in that sequence, purposely breaking the idiomatic structure of “everything but” for some effect I can’t actually put a name to at this moment. Just to make the reader stop and think, I suppose. And the notion of calling a spade a spade lies at the heart of the “hemming…” one. Your shortened edition covers the ground equally well, perhaps better.

  117. genevieveosborne says:

    yes, it’s a good choice Sandra. I’ll be away from the computer today but will post some offers tonight.

  118. sandra says:

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns

    twilight falling
    and still so far
    from home

    the rusty sound
    of the wind as it catches
    the gate

  119. genevieveosborne says:

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the yard

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    through the heavy doors
    it’s calm and still
    incense and the temple bell

    the calls of ‘goodnight’
    as the shopkeepers
    close their doors

    through the gathering dusk
    the cows
    and their slow bells

  120. sandra says:

    throwing in the hand
    clubs hearts diamonds
    everything but

    – Bill

    the rusty sound
    of the wind as it catches
    the gate

    – Sandra

    through the gathering dusk
    the cows
    and their slow bells

    – Gen

  121. sandra says:

    Thanks for the thumbs-up on my ku Bill but, on reflection, I think there is the danger of autumn being read into it – “rusty” and “wind” – and this is a no-season position.

    So my choice for the penultimate verse is Gen’s lovely ku:

    through the gathering dusk
    the cows
    and their slow bells

    – Gen

    Which brings us to the ageku (final verse), as important in its way as the hokku. The ageku should somehow sum up the tone of the poem, be a fitting farewell and, oh yes, be a winter moon verse! Not much going on there, then.

    Good luck with this one, and don’t feel constrained to stop at 3 offerings.

  122. sandra says:

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots

    rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair

    behind the barrow-man
    selling watermelon
    kids spitting pips

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots

    first autumn chill
    and the pot-belly talking again

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns

    through the gathering dusk
    the cows
    and their slow bells

  123. genevieveosborne says:

    Thank you Sandra.

  124. Bill says:

    Tho I expected Gray’s Elegy to raise it lowing head, it never did. I hope this does not seem over-much.

    in rings of dark water
    a stone breaks the icy moon

    all night the moon creeps
    across the frozen pond

    squirrels stir as cold moonlight
    seeps through the attic window

    moon’s glare on the snow reveals
    no sign of the groundhog

    touched by moonlight
    a frozen flower pot cracks

    FOR SALE clear in the moonlight
    the dog’s frozen bowl cracks

    a bent icicle
    glitters in moonlight

    winter clouds browse the stars
    a thin moon scuttles behind

  125. genevieveosborne says:

    some thoughts to begin with:

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard
    – Bill

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns
    – Sandra

    through the gathering dusk
    the cows
    and their slow bells
    – Gen

    ~ ~ ~

    the road home clear and cold
    moonshadow on the radio

    the crescent moon taking shelter
    between the bare hills

    hmm, ‘on the radio’ might be too close to ‘one of the old hymns’…

  126. genevieveosborne says:

    moonlight picking out the pattern
    on the faded quilt

    patterns of moonlight
    along the frosty path

    and revising:

    a new moon taking shelter
    between the bare hills

  127. genevieveosborne says:

    at the bend in the road
    the winter moon and home

  128. ashleycapes says:

    Dashing in at the last minute here – had a read of the whole renku as it stands and it’s pretty wonderful in my opinion!

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns

    through the gathering dusk
    the cows
    and their slow bells

    a big moon unveils
    frost on the rooftops

    (not much of a summation, but I’m struggling to bring winter to mind!)

  129. sandra says:

    Hi all,

    Ashley so good to hear from you, I delayed my selection for this round hoping that you would pop in! Everyone has worked so hard, thank you for all the great verses.

    I’ll try and rop a couple in here myself …

  130. sandra says:

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard
    – Bill

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns
    – Sandra

    through the gathering dusk
    the cows
    and their slow bells
    – Gen

    frozen in the headlights
    the rabbit in the moon

    midwinter moon
    and a story by candlelight

    too old for stories,
    midwinter moon

  131. sandra says:

    in rings of dark water
    a stone breaks the icy moon
    – Bill

    all night the moon creeps
    across the frozen pond
    – Bill

    the path home,
    moonlight patterns in the frost
    – Gen

    a big moon unveils
    frost on the rooftops
    – Ashley

    too old for stories,
    midwinter moon
    – Sandra

    I also like Bill’s ku with a small edit:

    four bent icicles
    glitter in the moonlight

    🙂

    Comments and thoughts please.

    • Bill says:

      Gen’s “path home” does have the virtue of seeming to provide the closure an ageku seeks. I’ll be away for the weekend. Just so you know.

  132. genevieveosborne says:

    Hi Sandra and All,

    A few thoughts:

    I like Bill’s “all night the moon creeps” – it gives a nice echo of the long drawn out “aahhh” of the raven and takes us back full circle to the hokku.

    I like Ashley’s verse which takes us back to the village/town/city where quite a lot of the action of this renku has taken place. I like it’s practical tone and the lovely image of a large moon coming up over a row of houses.

    And I like yours Sandra for the twist in it and the focus on stories – our story in particular. To me it has a sense of an ending – the end of the day, when stories are told, and the bonus of some tension – the wanting. There’s the feeling that everyone loves and wants a story, no matter how old.

    All in all I think “too old for stories, midwinter moon” is my favourite.

    Hope the weather in Italy is good Ashley – and I’m sure the food is!

  133. sandra says:

    snowmelt

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven /Gen

    in the cemetery
    the first green shoots /Sandra

    two rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance /Willie

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair /Ashley

    behind the barrow
    selling watermelon
    kids spit pips /Gen

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade /Ashley, Willie

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots /Sandra

    first autumn chill
    & the pot-belly talks again /Gen

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard /Bill

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns /Sandra

    through the gathering dusk
    the cows
    and their slow bells /Gen

    too old for stories,
    midwinter moon /Sandra

  134. sandra says:

    Hello all,

    I hope you find this acceptable as an ageku. Bill, in the end I found your lovely ku “all night the moon creeps” just a little too close to the preceding verse “through the gathering dusk” to be comfortable.

    Please speak up, anyone, if this doesn’t seem like the best verse choice.

    As you will see, I have also named the junicho. When I was copying the poem into a word document so I could read it easily as we went along, the “save” prompt named it snowmelt and that seemed entirely appropriate. Clever old Bill Gates.

    I have made small amendments to V3, V5 & V8 so please read the poem as presented in the previous post and comment. I am happy to undo those edits, which have been made mostly in the interests of rhythm, if others feel they don’t improve the overall junicho.

    (Gen, I know that logically a barrow doesn’t sell watermelon, but “man” seemed to be holding the ku back in some way. What do you think? We talk about buying from hot-dog stands, pie carts and ice-cream vans so we could get away with it.)

    Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm – my first run as a sabaiki has been very pleasant because of that and I am pleased with the poem that has resulted. I hope you are too.

    Best wishes,
    Sandra

  135. sandra says:

    Hello again,

    I have asked John Carley, my mentor in all things renku, to have a read and comment too. I have his permission to quote him and thought that would be useful because, as always, there are some good teachings points in his critique.

    In part, he says:
    “What is particularly striking is the quality of the linkage. It is intelligent without being intellectualised. It takes the reader forward and rewards at every unfolding. The absolute sine qua non of renku – that the dynamic relies in the movement between verses rather than in the content of the verses themselves – is realised throughout.” Go team Snowmelt!

    He does point up one possible flaw, which had escaped my attention (and I may never have noticed!):

    “Three of the first five verses use directly stated locations via a preposition: v#2 ‘in’; v#3 ‘in’; v#5 ‘behind’. There is no technical ‘rule’ that is being broken here (as there might arguably be if ‘in’ appeared twice in the leap-over relationship c.f. kannonbiraki) however it is perhaps worth considering dropping one instance of ‘in’. In so far as the majority of verses in the sequence use run-on syntax I don’t think a further instance of parataxis would be a problem (c.f. v#10, v#12). And given that the hokku is quite short, perhaps the best way to ease the transition is to ‘tighten’ the wakiku. I therefore get something like

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven /Gen

    cemetery gates,
    the first green shoots /Sandra

    Just maybe this also enhances the effect of circularity which the excellent ageku achieves.”

    He does have a question for us – we don’t have ravens in this country so Gen it is yours to answer:

    “One quirk in passing … I know you southern hemisphere types like to be different but round here ravens never make a sound as soft as ‘aahhh’. I wonder if the sound might be hardened up: ‘graaahhk’ is what mine say! (Hmmn… I wonder if that’s why the word ‘gates’ came to mind for the wakik?)”

    • Bill says:

      Just a comment: I observe that as distance increases, the sound of a raven (or crow or dog) seems, fainter, higher and reduced to a simple vowel. To experience the full “graahhk” effect, one need be within hand-feeding distance, I think.

  136. genevieveosborne says:

    Hi Sandra and John,

    Firstly, congratulations Sandra on your first go as sabaiki. I have really enjoyed being involved and like the poem a lot.

    A discussion on the calls of the Australian raven – what a delightful thing to have. There are many different calls from this bird – the one I had in mind definitely starts with an open sound of aahhh. It is guttural and croaky – particularly at the end, but I don’t think it starts with a ‘gr’ sound. To my ears it’s a long drawn out, descending sigh, becoming guttural and more croaky towards the end. I have a link here from wikipedia – I hope the link works. There’s a recording of several raven calls – the last one on the tape is the sigh – or ‘aahhh’ – sometimes it’s longer and more drawn out.

    http://www.anbg.gov.au/sounds/raven.au

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

    Will get back later in the day.

    Best wishes,
    Genevieve.

  137. genevieveosborne says:

    Hi Sandra and John,

    Have to be away from the computer for a few hours – I’ve posted a comment with a link to the raven’s call, which is being checked. Will get back to this very interesting discussion later in the day.

    All good wishes,
    Genevieve.

  138. genevieveosborne says:

    Hello again John, Sandra and all,

    (John, it’s nice to hear from you in this renku, I hope you are well.)

    Getting back to the call of the raven – I’m not sure if the link is going to succeed – perhaps it just takes a long time to check it.

    In any case, perhaps you can google the Australian Raven and you may get the wikipedia link. Down at the bottom of the page there are some recordings – the first one has the long drawn out ‘aaahh’ amongst some others.

    John, this is one quote from the Australian Musuem, and most bird books give a very similar description: “Australia Raven … the territorial call is a slow, rather high ‘ah-ah-ah-aaaah’ with the last note drawn out.” Another adds: …”The last note is very drawn out. It also utters a wailing call, almost a baby like call.”

    I would call it a long, descending sigh, becoming more guttural at the end. (I’m afraid if my other post comes up eventually, I’ll be repeating myself).

    Perhaps our ravens have developed some rather different calls. The ‘aaaah’ is a wonderful sound that can be eerie, mournful, lonely and sometimes, strangely, almost comical.

    The question of too many prepositions introducing verses in the poem has made me wonder if the ‘barrow-man’ verse could go back to its original form which was “a barrow-man/selling watermelon/kids spitting pips” – is it strong enough without ‘behind’? Would adding a coma at the end of the second line help? But if not, I’m fine with your edit Sandra.

    John, I wonder if you are leaning a bit more towards the “aaaah”? I know it’s not a soft sound, but I can’t think of any letter combination that describes it more accurately. We could add a ‘k’ to the end, but listening to it it really does seem to just trail away without a hard consonant to finish.

    All good wishes,
    Genevieve.

  139. sandra says:

    Thank you for that answer, Gen, I’m happy to leave the hokku as is.

    And thank you for reminding me that there was another version of the barrow-man ku. How about:

    a barrow-man
    selling watermelon …
    kids spitting pips

    (the ellipsis is supposed to look like pips …??)

    For the wakiku, I suggest:

    among the gravestones
    the first green shoots

    which is still a preposition but does do away with the two “in”s so close together.

    I will post these changes below so we can have a look at it all together.

  140. sandra says:

    snowmelt

    snowmelt –
    one long aahhh
    from the raven /Gen

    among the gravestones
    the first green shoots /Sandra

    two rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance /Willie

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair /Ashley

    a barrow-man
    selling watermelon …
    kids spitting pips /Gen

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade /Ashley, Willie

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots /Sandra

    first autumn chill
    & the pot-belly talks again /Gen

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard /Bill

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns /Sandra

    through the gathering dusk
    the cows
    and their slow bells /Gen

    too old for stories,
    midwinter moon /Sandra

  141. HI!
    Just dropped in from a full weekend – Immediately, I noticed a note on the Raven’s call. I’ve noticed some crows have different “accents” depending on where they originate from here in Minnesota –

    the crow’s voice
    unlike I remember
    new year’s day

    I was on the other side of the river when I heard these strangers. They seemed more soft-spoken, a different inflection, being from out-of-town. Noticed the same with the extended family that frequents the school grounds to the north. They sound more content. Why not, drawing, as they do, on the student population’s ample leavings and close to wood, field and crops. And no student loan balances! A thirty % increase in enrollment three years running; plenty of fodder for the academic mill. Don’t tell me those crows aren’t smart. Ah, there’s my city dwelling crew now, right on time – racous bastards! I observe their conversations through the east window just after dawn.

    Right, first impressions – nice movement here, enabled by the edits in Jo. Smooth – a fluidity unhampered by excess words. I like how Bill’s daisies offer respite from an unintended theme (in my mind) of hardships secondary to living. Kyu sums up well, from the hymns to an midwinter moon, those slow, unassuming bells offering just the right, placid note. An interesting journey, indeed.

    • genevieveosborne says:

      Hi Willie,
      Yes ravens are definitely smart and it’s amazing how they can put different inflections on their calls – that long drawn out ‘aaaah’ can even sound ironic!

  142. genevieveosborne says:

    Hi Sandra,
    I think my link post may be lost for all time, so I’ll just say what I said, which was congratulations to you on your first run as a sabaiki! I have really enjoyed being involved and I like the poem a lot.

    Just a couple of things as I look at the poem as a whole – perhaps we should make the raven’s call ‘aaahh’ or ‘aaaah’, as it is in the bird books – it make sense to have more of the ‘a’ than the ‘h’.

    And one last question – would there be too many ‘ings’ if we had ‘first autumn chill/and the pot-belly talking again’ ? I think ‘talking’ gives a better sense of the pot-belly as it continues to shift and settle, creaking on through the day and night. Oh, and I just noticed you’ve used the ampersand symbol in that verse, which is fine with me, but I wondered if you intended to.

    As Willie says, the poem gives us an interesting journey indeed. Thank you.

    • sandra says:

      Thank you Gen for your kind comments on my baptism as sabaiki, fortunately it has all been fairly straightforward.

      I think you’re right about the raven’s call, I will change that.

      Yes, I deliberately inserted the ampersand in the pot-belly verse, I was concerned about the visual length of the 2nd line and it was an effort to shorten it a little. I agree about the gerund, and shall replace.

      Looking at “barrow man” again, I wonder if it should be:

      a barrow-man
      selling watermelon,
      kids spitting pips …

    • ashleycapes says:

      Got the post approved eventually, Gen 🙂 – but it’s stuck back up there in the message trail. WordPress defaults to blocking posts with 2 links or more in it, catches a lot of spam that way, but sadly, also a few of our posts. I’m usually quicker to check the spam folder though 🙂

  143. genevieveosborne says:

    Yes, I like that more Sandra, the ellipsis is much more evocative of a series of spits and pips in that position. Couldn’t be better.

  144. sandra says:

    Bill, please still feel free to comment.

    snowmelt

    snowmelt –
    one long aaaah
    from the raven /Gen

    among the gravestones
    the first green shoots /Sandra

    two rows of chairs
    in the gymnasium
    I ask for this dance /Willie

    there is even rhythm
    to the untying of your hair /Ashley

    a barrow-man
    selling watermelon,
    kids spitting pips … /Gen

    not exactly smiling
    Uncle Sam leads the parade /Ashley, Willie

    in every vestibule
    the whiff of smoke
    and office plots /Sandra

    first autumn chill
    & the pot-belly talking again /Gen

    yellow-and-white
    Michaelmas daisies brighten
    the neglected yard /Bill

    as he sharpens the spade,
    one of the old hymns /Sandra

    through the gathering dusk
    the cows
    and their slow bells /Gen

    too old for stories,
    midwinter moon /Sandra

    Composed at Issa’s Snail between August 13 and October 4, 2011.

    Participants:

    Ashley Capes – Australia
    Bill Dennis – United States
    Genevieve Osborne – Australia
    Sandra Simpson – New Zealand (sabaki)
    William Sorlien – United States

  145. Bill says:

    It’s been a real pleasure to write with you all, and under Sandra’s considerate but decisive direction. I enjoy the process actually more than the finished product, which I think is the way it’s supposed to be. I concur that the above edits make it tighter, smoother and better. Less really is more. There were many judgement calls, when the sequence could have taken a different direction, but judgement is what the sabaiki pulls down the big bucks to perform, and if Gen had not so confessed, I would never have known she was serving in executive capacity for the first time. A couple of times we approached the matter of differing flora and fauna being un-recognizable to residents of opposing hemispheres, but it was never a real problem. A great deal of travel took place while we worked, Ashley sojourned in Rome; Willie entered the world of show-biz; Sandra visited the Wiz in Oz and I went on a weekend jaunt to Long Island. But still, the flow was veritably uninterrupted. I pray that my name be remembered if ever there is a renku spot in need of filling again. It’s been a treat, really it has.

    • sandra says:

      Thank you Bill, that’s very generous praise. Let us, indeed, hope that we work together again. I too, have thoroughly enjoyed it all. Can’t ask for more.

  146. genevieveosborne says:

    Thank you Sandra, the poem looks and sounds great. It was another interesting and enjoyable trip – and as always, fun to work with everyone involved.

    And thank you Ashley for all your work on Issa’s Snail – without this site we Snailers would be without a home!

    Looking forward to next time,

    All best wishes,
    Genevieve.

  147. sandra says:

    I’m thinking of sending this off to the new “A Hundred Gourds” journal, always nice to support a new venture. Submissions to the first issue have closed, but I’ll keep an eye open for the next round and keep you posted (it’s an online production, BTW).

  148. ashleycapes says:

    It reads very smooth and I think it’s pretty wonderful to hear that the links are subtle without being overly intellectual! I love the simple title too, and the closing half is tops, grand choices all!
    Sorry I couldn’t be as involved in the second half, my holiday crept up on me. And I laughed, Sandra, when I read your post about Roman time!
    And maintaining the Snail is my pleasure! Loved working with you all, and particularly fine leadership from Sandra I feel, especially, as Bill noted, how we were a little far flung around the globe in time and space!
    Subbing it sounds great to me, would love to see this one in a journal – they take renku that have composed online, don’t they?

  149. AS quick note – Sorlien is i-e-n. No worries . . .

  150. sandra says:

    Thanks for that correction Willie, “i before e” and all that!

    Snowmelt is to appear in Notes from the Gean – as it turns out A Hundred Gourds doesn’t print renku (yet). Hope this is acceptable to all.

    Best wishes,
    Sandra

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