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New Renku Session: Week 2

renku_300

Hello again. This is John Stevenson and I will be facilitating a twelve verse renku, in the Jûnichô style. Over the coming weeks we will add one new verse each week, selected from your offers.

What a pleasure and, frankly, a relief it has been to see there is still enthusiasm for this renku feature after such a long delay. This week we were blessed with 133 hokku offers, from 31 poets. I’m going to comment on a few of the offers and select one to begin our new renku. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of good verses will be passed over. I thank everyone for their efforts and I hope you will feel, as I do, that the stimulation of our muses has some value in itself.

 

waterfall…
advancing the film
frame by frame

Laurie Greer

One of the things I’ll be looking for in each hokku offer is words or phrases that might function as a title. In this verse, both “waterfall” and “frame by frame” seem promising. I have commented in the past but will mention again that there is a direct relationship between renku and film montage. Russian film maker Sergei Eisenstein was inspired to create his varieties of film montage by his knowledge of Japanese linked verse.

 

skinny dipping
in the quarry—
her brand-new body

Dan Campbell

“Skinny dipping,” “quarry” and “brand-new body” are all interesting title options. For me, this has some of the quality of a love verse and I probably will want to wait for later verses to go there.

 

evening coolness—
father pops the cork
on a bottle of red

Joshua St. Claire

I won’t be able to use this as our hokku because “coolness” is listed in our reference file as an autumn kigo. I regret that because this verse does something, whether intentionally or not, that is a traditional function of the hokku but usually missing in contemporary practice. The hokku often served as a kind of indirect compliment to the host of the session. If I am regarded as “hosting” this on-line event, it just happens that “New Coolness” and “A Glass of Red” are titles of two Einbond winning renku, composed in Onawa, Maine by myself and my regular live renku partners, Yu Chang, Paul MacNeil and Hilary Tann.

 

winter fly—
Kerouac’s cat takes
a swipe at it

Lorin Ford

Seemingly a reference to about three different haiku by Jack Kerouac. In a very short renku, this kind of “packed with topics and reference points” verse can be very useful.

 

rainy season
tarantula beneath a hand
of green bananas

Patrick Sweeney

The dexterity of use of the word “hand” is fun, if somewhat menacing! The four soundings of “an” are also deft.

 

…first bonito
leaps from the depths
of a star studded calm

Betty Shropshire

In haiku practice, I am usually skeptical about a line that begins with punctuation. This verse offers a good case for it, however. Renku do not start with the equivalent of “once upon a time” nor conclude with “the end.” So, an opening that suggests there were words before these first words seems apt.

 

cicada shells
a place to store
the unheard cries

Wendy C. Bialek

The kigo is “cicada shell” and it is listed as a “late summer” image. In longer renku, this would put us at a disadvantage because the immediately following summer verse would have to be something listed as either “late summer” or “all summer.” But in this short renku there will only be the one summer verse.

 

fresh ink
the octopus
swimming in it

princess K

Some of you may have missed the discussion relating to this and the other “octopus” verses submitted with it. They seemed to offer, as a group, a promising sequence for publication. That being the case, I stated that I would be reluctant to use any of them as our hokku if it would disqualify the set of them from publication. The poet replied, “I have no intention of submitting anything for publication, I simply enjoy the creative and collaborative process of the renku.” This is consistent with my own feelings about renku. The pleasure is in the collaborative process.

 

basket after basket
of ripe peaches,
cheeky side up

Mary Kendall

This is another offer that I will have to pass over. “Peaches” is listed as “early autumn” in our reference file. But what fun it would have been to start with this image!

 

short night
barely time
to count the stars

Keith Evetts

The kigo is “short night,” which is listed as “all summer.” It seems like a great place to start a short renku. And the humor, suggesting that we would be able to complete the task of counting the stars if the night was only longer, also suggests that we take a light tone with the limitations of a shorter renku. We might also read this as an indirect reference to the host, who has explained why he has “barely time” for a short renku.

 

green leaf shade
young cardinals flutter
into the light

Richard Straw

A really lovely image, covering a great many potential topic areas. As mentioned above, this might be less welcome in a longer renku, where we wouldn’t want to cover too much, too early. But here it works.

 

a sunflower
greeting dawn with its
one good eye

Dan Campbell

Dawn is always a good place to start.

 

 

OUR HOKKU

 

With real grief at having to let go of so many great offers, those above and too many others to mention, I have selected this verse to be our hokku:

 

short night
barely time
to count the stars

Keith Evetts

 

And, beginning with our next posting, I will list this session under the tentative title of “Barely Time.”

 

THIS WEEK

Please offer candidates for a second verse, using these guidelines:

  • Two lines (a total of fourteen or fewer syllables)
  • Non-seasonal (containing nothing from our list of kigo)
  • Linking with the first verse as an imaged extension of the same time and place
  • Probably set indoors

 

Please enter your offers in the comments section, below. Offers should be made by midnight, eastern US time, on Monday, June 27. On Thursday, June 30 I will post a selection of the offers, with my comments, and select the second verse for “Barely Time.”

Looking forward to more of the high standard of creativity that you have established,

John Stevenson

 

 

 

The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy: https://thehaikufoundation.org/about-thf/policies/#code-of-conduct

This Post Has 139 Comments

  1. short night
    almost no time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    i do not know why
    she left a divination book

  2. short night
    almost no time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    the house is quiet
    child back to hostel

  3. short night
    almost no time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    white puppy
    when i come home will follow me

  4. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars — Keith Evetts

    blue, white and dinosaur
    masks hang by the door
    OR
    blue, white and Spiderman
    masks hanging by the door

  5. And a few more …

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    the sabaki stresses
    a number of points

    another tiara
    from the Netflix contract

    all that a dragon
    could wish for a snack

    this year’s Oscars
    are a knockout

    1. Ann Smith: Greetings – Short night – hungry dragon indeed!

      Question for John: We have Oscars here, and earlier Peggy proposed one with Academy Awards. Neither is in the kigo list, so that might tick the ‘non-seasonal’ choice for this verse, but the ceremony takes place in March. This is spring in the northern hemisphere, autumn in the southern. Guidance elsewhere (Carley) is that “There is no set seasonal progression” in the Junicho. I see from his book there is also the “new Junicho” which likewise disregards seasonal progression. Clearly it’s at the discretion of our sabaki; it would be educative to have your thoughts.

      1. Keith,

        I don’t see this as a question of seasonal progression. I agree that seasonal progression is not an issue in this format. The question I have been asking myself is whether we should use, in a non-seasonal verse, an image (such as “Oscars”) that is not a kigo but is clearly occurring at a certain place in the calendar year. My inclination is to avoid that, especially with such an embarrassment of creative alternatives from which to choose.

        1. Something similar was asked during the ‘jo’ section of ‘pilgrim’s stride’
          Pays to read back into the earlier renku sessions 🙂

          Still going through the sessions, quietly.

  6. Great to see haiku friends from elsewhere joining the renku.

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    —-
    In haikai mode:

    the television
    on the blink again

    the cleaner says he suffers
    from asteroids

    a sense of vertigo
    when we look down

  7. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    – Keith Evetts
    *
    and a chorus line in drag
    for their opening number
    – Betty Shropshire

  8. building a lego tower
    first time since childhood

    (Love all of this, Keith, so inspiring and evocative. Beautiful to write together, thank you John!

  9. Beautiful beginning. Many congrats Keith. I am new to renku and find it an absolutely amazing way to learn. Here are me offers :

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    from the bedroom window
    the glint of her nose pin

    or
    in the bedroom window
    the glint of her nose pin

    deep in her dreams
    my daughter’s tremulous smile

    the shimmer of a dream
    from her sequin gown

    in the drawer
    an obituary gone pale

    in her dream diary
    the secrets of first love

    Arvinder Kaur

  10. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars


    still dreaming someone else
    will fix the roof

    the cat sleeps
    in a square of light

  11. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    – Keith Evetts

    after the accident
    dust on the piano

    ***
    the faucet leaking
    a glacial pace

    ***
    left on a park bench
    a book on abandonment

    ***
    every season sanitized
    this blank page

  12. short night
    almost no time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    while biting nails
    listen to the story

  13. Congrats on your hokku, Keith. Both lyrical and intriguing, to my senses.

    awakened by
    the laughing baby

    the soft sheen
    of white satin

    his death poem
    half finished

    the theater dark
    per covid protocols

      1. Thank you, Keith. I was thinking honeymoon without using moon, or wedding night, or nightgown, or candlelight, or bedding…it got pared down.

  14. a meteor shower
    streaks the sky

    cameras flashing
    as they step out

    already 40
    candles on her cake

    karaoke
    after a few beers

    sheep don’t
    help either

  15. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    forever finding fault
    with the Julian calendar
    *
    what underlay the faults
    of the Julian calendar
    *

  16. Wonderful hokku, Keith!
    .
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    —Keith Evetts
    .
    My offerings:
    .
    cutting it fine
    the heady rush to start point
    .
    holding us in thrall
    the rented series streaming live
    .
    sleepless we open
    the new crossword puzzle
    .
    perching on tall stools
    to try out new flavours
    .
    holding my breath
    I dive into the deep end
    .

  17. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    even my inbox
    is out of space

    06.26.2022 by wendy © bialek

  18. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    behind parted curtains
    reciting all the names

    *

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    behind parted curtains
    writing an unsent letter

    *

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    behind parted curtains
    answering the 2 a.m. call

    *

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    behind parted curtains
    sharing a too-real dream

    *

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    behind parted curtains
    waking up old

  19. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    *

    this cloudless sky
    can’t hold back any thoughts

    06.26.2022 by wendy © bialek

  20. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    – Keith Evetts
    *
    a constellation of symptoms
    in patient zero
    – Betty Shropshire

  21. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    *

    this cloudless sky
    can’t hold any thoughts

    06.26.2022 by wendy © bialek

  22. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    — Keith Evetts

    ***
    counting fireflies
    from inside the doghouse
    ***
    fallen angel halos
    in the pawnshop window

  23. Good one! Keith
    .
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    my offerings:
    .
    emptying the hostel laundry bag
    into the washing machine
    .
    trying to break a coconut
    into perfect half moon
    .
    picking up the scattered puzzle
    to arrange the morning sun
    .

  24. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    that insistent tick
    of the biological clock
    *
    soaking travel-weary feet
    in a bucket of Epsom
    *

  25. Wonderful start!
    I am so glad to read you all!

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    — Keith Evetts

    halfway zipped
    she doordashes
    *
    a letter left unsigned
    wedged in the door
    *
    mid-shaving
    the breaker jumps
    *
    mastering the gargling
    the solfege

  26. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars — Keith Evetts
    .
    the crowd settles down
    for Rocket Man

  27. I really like the hokku, Keith.

    the clock ticks
    and the baby stirs

    the dawn chorus
    heard from the bed

    he’s hunched over
    his abacus

    money bags
    piled to the vault’s ceiling

  28. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    *
    too soon for
    the early bird special

    06.25.2022 by wendy © bialek

    1. also considering this version:

      and too soon for
      the early bird special

      06.25.2022 by wendy © bialek

  29. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    —Keith Evetts

    a red carpet out
    along the hallway

    fireplace lighting
    her devilish grin

    folding her clothes
    for a long trip home

  30. Good to see this back again. I am really enjoying reading all the offerings. I’m just trying to learn from John’s description of the second verse requirements and judge everything according to his guidance. Kudos to Michael Henry Lee for this one:

    a toast to any and
    everything in sight

    And also to Marietta McGregor for this one:

    the Academy Awards
    on late night cable

    So here is my addition:

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars — Keith Evetts

    the persistence
    of the alarm clock
    .
    paper rock scissors
    for who feeds the baby

    1. Thanks Peggy! I had a good laugh at your “paper rock scissors”. I can just picture it! Cheers, Marietta

  31. What a great hokku to start the renku…Congratulations to Keith! So glad to see John will lead us through this new one!

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars–Keith Evetts

    a too-long line
    to see Legends in Concert

    not quick enough
    to play League of Legends

  32. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    – Keith Evetts
    *
    effortlessly gliding
    over the sunken treasure
    – Betty Shropshire

  33. This is my first Renku with THF.. I really like the starter from Keith and hope to learn from the experience.

    short night
barely time
to count the stars
— Keith Evetts

    she hands him
    White Riesling and a warm smile

    “I only have eyes for you”
    drifts out the patio doors

  34. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    — Keith Evetts

    darker than expected
    my doomscroll

    ***

    tied white sheets
    dangling from the hospital window

  35. Congrats Keith on the selection of your haiku to start the renku out.

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    — Keith Evetts

    beginning to work on the sky
    of the jigsaw puzzle
    .
    only a few months
    to stitch the baby’s blanket

    Somehow, I missed seeing that a new renku had been started. I am glad it is back

  36. sudsing up in the bath
    with a flute of champagne
    *
    picking out a few notes
    of a vintage piano rag
    *

  37. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    – Keith Evetts
    *
    longshoremen unload
    with a practised ease
    – Betty Shropshire

  38. A few more to consider.

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    —Keith Evetts

    another coffee and
    the crossword puzzle

    a quick nap before
    graveyard shift

    Bach’s Cello Suite
    and a spot of tea

  39. .
    .
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    – Keith Evetts

    how strange to stroll through
    a spider’s dream.
    .
    .
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    – Keith Evetts

    how old was Galileo
    when the pope apologized?
    .
    .
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    – Keith Evetts

    whiter still
    a cuppa confucian nature
    .
    .
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    – Keith Evetts

    what flair
    in a milk mustache
    .
    .
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    – Keith Evetts

    not one thing between hands
    but this red string
    .
    .

  40. An evocative hokku to get us started off right.

    she finds her old iPod
    and plays a OneRepublic song

    at my back I hear
    the click of cuckoo clock

    reluctantly closing
    the constellation map

  41. Congratulations Keith. Great hokku.

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    in his coffin
    Dracula’s stomach rumbles

  42. Seedcorn:

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    the almanac’s predictions
    vague enough

    dust dances
    under the glitterball

    the Zodiac forsees
    another prince will come

  43. Great to see another renku in progress, John…thanks so much.

    Well done, Keith!

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    always one request
    for Hansel and Gretel

    enthralled by coloured crystals
    in the guesthouse sugar bowl

    make-do daisy chains
    from a box of paperclips

    the warm, coloured beads
    of our homework abacus

    copying Vincent’s painting
    in the art room at school

    1. I’m also enthralled by those coloured crystals in the sugar bowl, Marion! Are you sure the hosts weren’t making do with jelly crystals? 😁. Cheers, Marietta

  44. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith EvettS

    .

    grandfather’s pocket watch
    ticks under a glass dome

    .

    a cricket leaps clear
    of the kitchen sink

  45. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    -Keith Evetts

    good boy cyclops examining
    the parallax error

  46. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    – Keith Evetts
    *
    while a dark horse
    noses ahead of the pack
    – Betty Shropshire

  47. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    — Keith Evetts

    ***
    coal miner pausing
    to listen for canary chirps
    ***
    listening to laughter
    echo in the hospice hallway

  48. short night
    barely time
    to count the starts
    -Keith Evetts

    a leashed cheetah
    in the sunken bed of creation

  49. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    the toddler’s eyes glowing
    with the candles on his cake

  50. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    grins from the guests
    as the toddler takes center stage
    *

  51. Congratulations Keith!

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    .

    motes of flour orbit
    above the baker’s head

    or

    swirling motes of flour
    as she kneads the dough

  52. good to see renku sessions return, and a stellar start it is!

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    – Keith Evetts

    *
    dust motes
    in a shaft of light

    binge listening
    to Pavarotti

    only large notes
    in the ATM

    1. Polona, we were both seeing “motes” and posted about them almost simultaneously! Spellcheck wanted to change your name to polonaise, very poetic of it, I thought.

      Jonathan

      1. ha, great minds and so on… 😏
        my name is not related to poland but derived from apollo (apollonia as the female form)

  53. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    first and only visit
    to the planetarium

    *
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    afternoon show
    at the planetarium

    *
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    an astronomer covers
    and caps her telescope

    *
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    the night watchman
    pats the watchdog

  54. at nine in night
    his timeless wings on incomplete novel
    **

    Power failure
    midnight he gropes for torch
    **

    night labour ward
    she grieves for new born girl baby

    **
    hurried dish washing
    for early morning train
    ***

    stubborn mosquitoes
    dead of rainy night
    ***

    her silenced hour
    other continues argument

  55. Congratulations Keith.
    Wonderful comments and explanation for continuing the Renku John, thank you so much.

    Here’s some offerings to consider.

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    —Keith Evetts

    twirling the end
    of a kaleidoscope

    background fills
    with an orchestra

    espresso brewing
    for some affogato

    the candles flicker
    by the Ouiji Board

  56. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    mudroom light sensor going off
    at the drop of a hat
    **

  57. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    born on the cusp of science
    and superstition
    *

  58. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    re-shelving his books
    by the authors’ birth signs
    *

  59. the boy rolls
    a hard six

    ***

    another flash
    of cameras in her face

    ***

    he works out
    how many pills she took

  60. Hope everyone has a nice weekend
    ***

    counting ceiling tiles
    in the Emergency Room
    ***
    blue streetlights
    fill the beggar’s bowl
    ***
    my dusty book
    on the library shelf

  61. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    baby’s head crowns
    into her cupped hand
    .

  62. Thank you, all – I’m blushing. Meanwhile à toutes fins utiles:

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    the lookout’s dreams
    in the middle watch

    the beleaguered city
    avoids a knockout blow

    our cat Cassiopeia
    has kittens in the closet

  63. nice one Keith
    +
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    +
    flotsam on the beach
    left by the tide
    +
    morning sun shining
    on the kitchen spoons

  64. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    in the office
    boss asks where is the report

  65. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    he was blinded in a hurry
    to finish the pudding

  66. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    people inside
    anxiously waiting for the announcement

  67. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars -Keith Evetts
    .
    Earthrise still fresh
    in our memories

  68. Lovely beginning and a wonderful title … Thanks John. Congrats to Keith!

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    Here are my offers …

    people in the photographs
    come back to mind

    *****

    mother measures rice left
    in the vessel

    *****

    spread of papers
    on my lap

    All the best to everyone.

    Smiles
    Amrutha

  69. short nights
    barely time
    to count the stars
    — Keith Evetts
    .
    the Academy Awards
    on late night cable
    .
    a parade of geese
    one after another
    .
    only once did he try
    to mend our bed-lamp
    .
    one extra letter taken
    from the Scrabble pile

    —Marietta McGregor

  70. Congratulations, Keith! Great start!
    .
    short nights
    barely time
    to count the stars
    — Keith Evetts

    hundreds and thousands*
    on a white bread sandwich
    — Marietta McGregor

    *As a note, these tiny multi-coloured nonpareils were (and still are) a popular snack at Aussie kids’ parties and for school lunches.

  71. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    ~ Keith Evetts

    a plate full of hot
    chicken butter masala

  72. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    .
    unpacking the dishwasher
    by candlelight
    .
    wondering who to give
    Power of Attorney
    .
    another crossed out name
    in my address book

  73. munching on millet
    in the mountain monastery
    ***
    monastery mice
    playing tag in the library
    ***
    monks meditate on Mary
    most Monday mornings

  74. Congratulations Keith! A very worthy start, the anticipation is almost unbearable in seeing the completion. I particularly like the verse from Betty Shropshire, nice play on an alternate reading of “stars.”

    Here are my offers:

    in the morning I see
    my nest egg has been raided
    *
    the milky way
    sinks in my tea

  75. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    — Keith Evetts

    the twins discovered reading
    under the duvet

    a small non-speaking part
    for the usherette

    the dark secrets
    of the casting couch

    interrupted by
    a person from Porlock

    the limitations
    of a legal high

    a biosignature
    becoming illegible

  76. Many thanks John and congratulations Keith!
    ***
    cleaning his rifle
    in the prison guard tower
    ***
    the prison guard tower
    has seventy-two steps
    ***
    prison guard towers
    glow in the night

  77. Thank you Keith for the great start to a feeling I relate to in summer in the northern hemisphere! My continuation brings these images.

    short nights
    barely time
    to count the stars -Keith Evetts

    small bird sings first refrain
    cat tail twitches -deep slumber

  78. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    serving potage julienne
    in his true classic style

  79. June 23, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    checking into a hotel
    not mentioned in Michelin
    *
    no Michelin rating
    for the restaurant of their dreams
    *

  80. Congratulations, Keith, on your wonderful haiku being selected as the hokku. And thanks, John, for commenting on one of mine.

    I’m unsure whether allusive quotations (see the “honkadori” wiki at [https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honkadori]) are allowed to be used in a renku. If so, the following second verse candidate contains two conflated allusions to famous works by Blaise Pascal and Samuel Beckett:

    “the eternal silence…
    astride of a grave”

    If quotations are disallowed, I’ll come up with a less serious alternative(s) to follow Keith’s great lead verse.

    In my candidate second verse, the first line is from Blaise Pascal and the second from Samuel Beckett.

    “The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me.” So wrote Blaise Pascal in his Pensées (translated by John Warrington, J. M. Dent & Sons, London, 1960, 1973, page 110), which unintentionally echoes Shôhaku’s haiku:

    “A starlit night;
    The sky,—the size of it,
    The extent of it!”

    Shôhaku’s haiku is translated by R. H. Blyth in his Haiku: Spring, Volume II (Hokuseido Press, 1st printing, 1950, 14th printing, 1971, page 334).

    Samuel Beckett in Waiting for Godot has Pozzo say “suddenly furious” in Act II (Grove Press, 1954, 1982, page 103):

    “Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It’s abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we’ll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you? (Calmer.) They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more. (He jerks the rope [connected to Lucky].) On!”

    1. Richard,

      Pretty much anything can be included in a renku but, once included in a short renku, it creates a set of “classes” of things that cannot then be repeated. So, a quotation means no more quotations. A literary reference means no more literary references. And, in fact, no more art works of any kind when the renku is only twelve verses. Our hope is to reflect as many different aspects of the universe as we can fit into twelve verses. There is no room for repetition. We need to be careful about applying this principle, however, because everything is connected – if not directly, then through a chain of intermediate connections. So, we need to be careful to not get carried away with finding such connections. We might think of the process as guiding a reader’s attention to what will seem like a great variety of entities. The sense of forward, onward motion is important. And, as long as a relationship to something already presented is not so clear as to impede that sense of forward motion, we are okay.

      Something I should have mentioned in my instructions for verse two is that it should contain no grammatical breaks. Only the hokku has a two-part structure. The subsequent renku verses present a juxtaposition of images, not within the verses themselves, but through consideration when juxtaposed with the preceding verse.

      P.S. I played Vladimir/Didi.

      1. Thanks, John, for the helpful explanation. I forgot to mention, as you know, that Vladimir (“Didi”) echoes Pozzo’s words “astride of a grave” in Waiting for Godot (ibid., page 104). His lines are perhaps more memorable than Pozzo’s.

        Here’s a nonallusive second verse candidate:

        short night
        barely time
        to count the stars

        card players cross-legged
        on a grey cottage’s floor

  81. *
    i’m loving this!!!!! many thanks to john for imparting his deep wisdom with these weekly renku nuggets, i look forward too….as a special dessert of my life.
    (thanks, also, for posting my haiku here, and yes, you are correct that i was aware….when choosing from the list….that we were not limited to early summer kigo….in such a “short” renku….with just one summer verse)
    an abundance of congrats to keith on a spectacular hokku, and high ranking start to our renku, and title….”barely time”:

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts

    *
    endless shootings and
    rations on toilet paper

    06.23.2022 by wendy © bialek

  82. short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    sneaking in late
    with her shoes in her hand
    *

  83. Well done, Keith!!
    *
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars
    – Keith Evetts
    *
    a flash of bulbs at the one
    on the red carpet
    – Betty Shrophire

    1. a flash of bulbs at the one
      on the red carpet
      – Betty Shrophire
      .
      I like the twist of this one, in relation to the hokku, a lot, Betty. From the heavenly stars to the . . . other stars. It’d be hard to top it, methinks 🙂

      1. short night
        barely time
        to count the stars

        Keith Evetts

        he was blinded in a hurry
        to finish the pudding

      2. Jeez, Lorin! 😁 I’m sure with this group many more will crop up!!
        But. Thank you . . . your kuddos mean a lot to me!
        🥰 Betty

  84. What a wonderful beginning!
    Congratulations, Keith–I loved this verse from the first–so glad to have it start us off.
    And John, thanks for mentioning one of mine, and for the fascinating and illuminating comments. Learned something from each of them!
    *
    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars

    Keith Evetts
    *
    a handful of pins
    for hemming up the skirt
    *

  85. In it just for the buzz now, or that others might pick up and run with these:

    caviar ads between
    newsflashes of the war

    confessing everything
    to a stranger on the plane

      1. This was based on actual observation. Google inserted ads the algorithm felt were relevant to those viewing the latest Reuters reports on the Russian invasion. On one day, there were ads for caviar. Meanwhile on ITV the bulletin about Ukraine was split by…. an ad for sofas. I had my mobile handy for notes…

  86. congrats to Keith .. and yes, so nice to be back at renku. Here is my proposal for the second link.

    short night
    barely time
    to count the stars — Keith Evetts

    decals in the nursery
    still dimly fluorescent

  87. Thank you, John! An honour to be selected for the hokku. As to the content of it – you read my mind. And the stars are of course the wonderful poets here.

    And thanks for the enlightening commentaries on a spread of fine verses.

    It’s so nice to be back at renku.

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