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The Renku Sessions: Triparshva—Call for verse 10


Welcome to the third Renku Session. I’m Linda Papanicolaou, and I’ll be leading this journey in collaborative poetry. Triparshva is a 22-verse form developed by Norman Darlington in 2005. It’s a good form for composing online because it moves more quickly than the 36-verse kasen, while also following the jo-ha-kyu (beginning-development-rapid closure) pattern of traditional renku. So whether you’re new to renku, or simply want to keep your skills honed, you’re especially encouraged to join us.

Selection of Verse 9: 

It was interesting how physics, science fiction, electronics, computers and the Internet made a significant number of appearances among the offers for this week’s slot!  And once again there were many verses that linked very well to Polona’s Valhalla verse, and to conditions set up by the previous verses in the renku. On my part, I was also considering how each verse would set us up for a run of three love verses, coming next.   The verse we’re going to place is this of Sandra’s:

from the mountain top
Puyallup natives trace
their lands below
~Carmen Sterba

who left the doors open
to Valhalla?
~Polona Oblak

rusty roofing iron
as a letterbox
~Sandra Simpson

The roof of Odin’s great hall has turned to rusty iron—Viking Steampunk!  What also recommended the verse is that didn’t just leave the image but further turned it into a letterbox. That should open nicely for the first love verse.  In fact, when we get that next verse placed you should see something interesting happen to Sandra’s verse.  In and of itself, it’s simply about scrap metal but with the right verse joined to it, it should take on some of that verse’s color and become our “call for love”.


The Love verses:

Now, some information about the three verses that are coming next: It’s important to remember that love as a special topic in renku is about sexual love.  Moreover, its origins lie in the older literary traditions of court poetry, and that it’s not about love within marriage and living happily ever after.  Think about the Tale of Genji and all the highly codified behaviors involved in erotic encounters. Within love as a general topic category, more specific topics may include catching a glimpse of the beloved (Dante and Beatrice), flirting, waiting for a lover, seduction, tryst, waiting or pining for an absent lover, the end of love (Higginson, Haiku World pp. 338-39). As with a run of season verses, there should be a progression through phases—you wouldn’t want to start a run of three verses with an end-of-love topic, for instance—but neither do we want a narrative. Link and shift as usual, in other words.


Specifications for Verse 10: 

Now, for verse 10 in particular.  In a run of three verses you, you don’t have to begin at the beginning of the affair but you must make allowance that there will be two more verses following verse 10 and leave enough for verses 11 and 12.  There are two more conditions:  Verse 10 will be a winter verse, and we also need another non-person verse. In other words, write the setting without the people.

In summary, here again is your maeku and uchikoshi:

who left the doors open
to Valhalla?

rusty roofing iron
as a letterbox

. . . and the requirements for the verse are

  • two lines
  • winter
  • non-person
  • love


How to Submit:

All verse positions in this renku will be degachi. Please post your offers in the Comments section below. Let’s have an upper limit of 3 per participant.

The call for verse 4 will remain open until Monday, August  24, 2015 at midnight (EDT).  At that time I’ll collect everyone’s ideas, consider each, choose the one that best serves the renku, and post a call for the next verse on Thursday.

Useful links and resources:  

  • If you’re just joining us, please take a moment to review my Introduction to Triparshva post.
  • NEW:  A full copy of the schema for the renku may be found at the bottom of the introductory page. I am filling in the verses as they are placed.
  • For the archive of previous calls and submissions, click here.


The Renku so far:

Side 1: jo

a bowl of cherries
sitting on each white plate
someone’s name
~Lynne Rees /su

under a canvas tent
the snap of a breeze
~Barbara Kaufmann /su

passersby stop
to applaud a subway
saxophone player
~Karen Cesar / ns

sweet reminiscences
of our bygone days
~Barbara A. Taylor / ns

yet again
the moon lights the loggerhead
as she digs
~Paul MacNeil / sp mn

with the twittering
morning mist clears away
~Maria Tomczak

Side 2: Ha

from the mountain top
Puyallup natives trace
their lands below
~Carmen Sterba / ns

who left the doors open
to Valhalla?
~Polona Oblak/ ns

rusty roofing iron
as a letterbox
~Sandra Simpson

This Post Has 123 Comments

  1. One last question. Since there are 540 doors in Valhalla (not explicitly expressed but revealed in discussions) and as the verse was ‘the doors’ and not ‘some doors’ that implies all 540, then any number explicitly expressed in verses thereafter should be greater or the poem regresses, correct?? I recall we had to be aware of that in past renkus here.

    1. Good question. Should we read a verse as what is literally there, or include all that is implied when considering how the renku proceeds afterwards? There’s probably going to be no one answer to that that will fit all of us. When I was first getting a grasp of “renku rules”, I was pretty expansive in what I considered things to avoid for kannonbiraki and sarikirai. It can get out of control. These days I’m more inclined in the other direction–I don’t consider 540 or indeed numerical quantity as part of the verse.
      I hadn’t heard that about number in a renku. Can you remember which renku it was that you learned it? Or even better, track down the verse and (presumably) the comments post?

      1. Hi Linda. Look on page 9 in the renku archives re: John’s comments on numbers in Pilgrims’ Stride 24. 🙂 Betty

        1. I have terrible luck with the copy/paste function on my phone. Otherwise, I would paste it here…it’s in his general comments that precede his choice for that week. Hope this helps.

        2. Thanks. I’ve been browsing the archives as the triparshva has progressed but happen not to have read that particular section of Pilgrim’s Stride.
          Looking closely at what John said, the context was that there was an implied number (“century”) in the uchikoshi, thus to put a verse with “three” in the slot then under consideration would have been kannonbiraki. Then–which is the question you were asking–he goes on to talk about number sequence in the rest of the renku and the importance of not sending things backward.
          He’s also talking about the amount of separation between verses before admitting another number. “Number” in fact is a topic–you’ll find it in the Jigensha Renku Club topic list (row 2 column 4) that Bill Higginson published at Renku Home. While it’s not on that kukazu-sarikirai chart in Renku Reckoner, I guess it might technically hae a persistence duration of 1/2 verses and an intermission of two verses for a different number, three for a number that includes the same chiffre (“same character”).
          Numbers if repeated should be in ascending order, though? I think I’d focus on two words that John used: “reluctant” and “might” because I suspect that at his level of experience he’s found this to be a useful rule of thumb rather than a hard and fast rule outright. There are other restraints that are commonly observed among sabaki, for instance under the topic of animals some will only admit one mammal or one reptile etc. per renku, and there is a general understanding that you use the name of a season as part of the season reference (such as “winter solitude” or “spring melancholy”) only once in a renku.
          What’s important is the reasoning behind these unwritten rules, including the reasoning behind avoiding regression. On the fly I googled for quick and succinct explanation and what came back was a pithy quote by JEC:
          “We do well to retain a residual awareness that a principle aesthetic driver of the fundamentally anti-thematic nature of Basho-style renku is that it comes from Shingon ideas of ‘mandala’ and Zen ideas of ‘10,000 things’. Or as Falstaff might have said: ‘The more the merrier!’.”
          Whatever the written or unwritten “rules” may say, my own feeling is that when discussion turns to things like “We can’t use ‘winter’ as a season reference because we’ve already named a season,” or , “We already have a bird”, or “How many verses have to pass until we can have another [name-your-topic]?”, these are all signs of thinking inside-the-box. I suspect JEC would have called it weak writing, though I wouldn’t be quite so harsh–I’d say it’s just stopping too soon. Go beyond repeating a topic, even if technically its period of intermission is past. Go deeper into your idea. What do you want your verse to be REALLY about?

          1. I think I didn’t quite answer your question, so here again to try to nail it:
            As I said, I don’t feel that knowing there were 540 doors of Valhalla rises to the level of “century” (Latin “centum”= a hundred) in making number a topic of that verse, so I just wouldn’t worry about it at all. I’m indebted to you for pointing me back again to the Pilgrim’s Stride archives as there is a great deal that John said in those comments threads that is wise and valuable information. Here’s another I had marked then forgot about:

            ” Linkage, however, is in the eye of the beholder to some degree. Since everything in existence is connected in the same way that every person is connected to Kevin Bacon within six degrees of separation, it is possible to see a link anywhere if one looks hard enough. . . .Not every connection within a renku amounts to “linkage.”


            😀 😀 😀

          2. Yes, well it was Alan Summers, not me, who raised the question of ‘return to last but one’ by stating that the verse C in question ” added to” his verse A.
            I did not see any connection, but I asked the question,”how could this be?”
            In context, John’s reply was both tactful and informative. 🙂


        3. I have no idea how to navigate to the p. 9 to which you refer. Any clues? — I am just not clever enough. Help?

          I do know the “rule” about the numbers. It is tied to “no regression.” Only go forward. I originally heard of it from Higginson and Kondo referring to Master Higashi’s “rules.” The point is the same with the love sequence, or all multi-verse season sequences. Early, middle, late, etc. Do not go backwards. True as well with numbers. A long form, such as kasen, could tolerate a few numbers, but not too many. But if one refers to “twelve monkeys” then “three gunshots” is not appropriate in a later stanza. “Death by a thousand cuts” would be — spaced some from the initial number verse. The next number reference must be a higher number. Most participants not consider the English use of “a” or “only” or “the” etc. references to the singular to also be the number 1. It doesn’t come up often. Only Linda, Sabaki-san, will know how many numbers are appropriate in this 22-verse form. I have no idea.

          Just kibitzing now, agreeing with Linda — I personally do not think implied things count against a stanza’s appropriateness…. the actual doors of Valhalla is a pretty obscure concept. I certainly knew of Valhalla, but not how many portals. The verse can be read literally as it is… i.e. not has having numbers. A very fine renku verse.

          Extra question:

          Linda, does the Valhalla verse count as the renku’s one religion reference? Gods and Goddesses, etc. ?? No marriage in a cathedral, or mention of clergy presiding?

          1. HI Paul, I accessed it via the the link above Troutswirls heading that looks like 3 bars.
            That opens a drop down box.
            Choose archives the renku archives.
            Should open to another page and choose “all renku posts…” which is highlightex in red.
            Another page opens that shows the most current renku. Keep scrolling down to the bottom and the links to pages are there.
            Once you find the summary page for week you’re interested in, click on that heading and all the verses and comments will open up. It’s all there….good luck browsing…hope this was clearer than mud! 😉

          2. PS – please excuse poor grammar. ..trying to type on my phone while riding shotgun along on a 2 lane back road in a diesel PU truck!

          3. Thanks for the how-to, Betty. I have been sincerely wishing that WordPress would have learned a thing or two from Facebook on how to thread discussions so you can find things again.
            And thank you, Paul, for the clarification on where the business about numbers came up. We’ve touched on the necessity of being consecutive in our spring verses, where the turtle verse was already late-spring so the rest of the run had also to be late-season or all-spring. And we’ll shortly be getting into those issues again with the three-verse autumn run.
            As for love, at a Yuki Teikei renku session, where we use a kasen template with a pair of love verses in each ha side, I once asked if consecutive order had to be maintained across the two pairs of love runs. If memory serves the question may have been directed to Patricia or June, both of whom were trained by Kiyoko Tokutomi. I do recall being told no, just each pair consecutive with themselves. Hmm.
            Well, in any case, now that we are in a three-verse love run, I’m thinking ahead to being consecutive as I prepare for tomorrow morning’s post. Interestingly, we do have some lovely flirtation verses, but a fair number of the offers jump straight into the middle of things and don’t leave much room for the next two verses.
            For me, ultimately, maintaining a consecutive order of numbers throughout a renku the length of a triparshva would probably be a theoretical issue since repetition in shorter renku always comes at the expense of variety. I wouldn’t want to do number again unless the second occurrence were to explore something significantly different about the topic. In that case there would presumably be other topics at play, too, and I imagine that somewhat like double kigo, which one is the primary topic would have some say in the matter. You’d have to judge on a case-by-case basis.
            As for whether Valhalla counts as our religion verse, I would say no, wouldn’t you? I count it as a literary/mythologiy/music verse. Of course, there are those who would differ–there are people who have revived the worship the old Norse gods, and I’m sure that if they could, IS would dynamite the ruins of Valhalla for promoting idolatry. Among our own participants, if others perceive it as a religion verse and want to count it that way, we may of course simply forego a church wedding in our love run. There are plenty of other topics to go around.
            But. . . as we get nearer to our major moon verse, let me ask you this one, Paul: I have heard but haven’t found an internet reference to substantiate it, that in renku the moon always represents the Buddha. Is that also a practice from Fukuda sensei? That too could be construed as impacting religion as a topic, couldn’t it? With a three-verse intermission for Buddhism as a topic, maybe I’d better start some early preparations so we may even have a moon verse 😀 .
            Ah, dear! Too much bean-counting. I hear the ghost of JEC telling us not to let these matters obscure the poetry.
            Wait wait wait–I stand corrected. I’ve just checked those topic charts at Renku Home again. Neither says “religion”–they say “gods”. Given that Buddha is a separate topic in both charts, I assume the intention is not simply a “religion” topic but to distinguish between Shinto and Buddhism. For us, “gods” would be the old pagan religions, wouldn’t it? So that’s it. Valhalla is our “gods” verse. I’ve seen both JEC and Norman talk about rethinking the topics chart to align with our own cultures and meanings. Religion is certainly one of those topics we’ll have to rethink.

    1. That’s #brilliant. You know, even with #smitten and #yes, I read it that the hashtags defang it as a person verse–it’s non-person.

      But you and I have differed on others. How do you see this one?

      1. Thanks Linda (we crossposted). I see it as being parallel to XOXO only on twitter or whatever. So it qualifies as non-person in my book.

        1. I was concerned about #winterwedding being future rather than present (though the sense is it’s soon). But I can go with that one.

    1. Gabriel, this feels like a topic we’d want for farther into the love sequence.

    1. Mistletoe is usually in a more public place, isn’t it? Maybe best for an earlier love topic rather than at the point of marriage.

      1. Well, depends. Even though I withdrew this one from consideration (too contrived), the story goes that when you plcuk a berry from the mistletoe, you kiss the person nearest you. When you pluck all the berries, no more kissing. So the (poor) idea was that they have lots and lots and lots of berries 🙂

    1. and scratch again since I’m reminded we aren’t to use proper names anymore :-/

      1. Not exactly “not anymore”, Katherine–just that there’s a proper noun in the uchikoshi and right now we’re in the intermission period for names.

  2. Thanks for the kind words along the way for my ‘sparks’ verse, Christopher. 🙂
    the lace handkerchief
    in the freshly fallen snow

  3. Christopher has asked, “Why the emphasis on non-person verses (especially for a love verse)? I only see 3 verses out of 9 thus far (3,4,7) where persons are pictured. (If persons outside the frame/scene are counted then of course every verse is a person verse).”
    To that I would add the verse 8 (Valhalla) as a person verse, and of course yes if you follow this concept to its strictest reduction every verse is a person verse by virtue of its point of view–gaze. Early in my renku days I assumed that the “person” meant verses with people actually in the frame but also any scene with a built environment–as opposed to a purely nature verse for “non-person”. Of course I eventually figured out that pure nature as wilderness was a Western concept. Historically it would be more accurate to distinguish betwwen “person” and “place” verses. At Renku Home, Bill Higginson says this:
    “Place and Person. Hokushi (1665-1718), one of Bashô’s disciples, introduced the principle of “place and person” (ba-ninjô) to help renku poets avoid regression. All renku verses can be classified as involving “person” (ninjô) or a “place” (ba). Place encompasses everything from geography to the site of a specific activity–virtually any stanza that does not show a person or group of people. A caterpillar on a leaf, a basket of fruit in the market, a bird in the sky, and so on. Whether its locale is mentioned or not, any object may be construed as implying its setting, thus qualifying the verse as a place verse if it lacks humans.”
    JEC quotes Higginson in Renku Reckoner, reaffirming Hokushi’s person/place principle because the change of perspective prevents the renku from slipping into narrative.
    Why every two verses? Well, you couldn’t swap back and forth every verse or you’d have kannonbiraki. Do notice also that the kuzaku/sarikirai chart includes a “human relations” topic with a persistence length of 1-2 verses and an internission of 2 verses.
    I’ve been calling person/non-person changes every two verses. Could be more flexible? Yes, but this alternation is an important contributor to the link/shift rhythm of the renku and restrictions like this do push us into deeper thinking . What if I’d decided that we’d let the three love verses be person and then rebalanced with three non-person/place/nature verses for the autumn run that’s coming up? The verses that are coming in on this thread are beautifully charged with an erotic electricity that just wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

    1. Thanks for explaining that, Linda.

      One verse beautifully charged with an erotic electricity anyway– literally : )

      I’m viewing Valhalla (great verse) from the outside, at a short distance, no one in sight, thus for me a ‘place’ verse.

      1. PS- I don’t see many offerings that fulfill both ‘place’ and love (the renku kind). Even verses that don’t mention persons– ‘sparks’ for instance (my favorite), or my own ‘air kisses’– hardly qualify as ‘place’ verses since persons are clearly present, causing what is described.

        1. My point being that erotic love, via non-person place, in winter, in two lines, is a tall order ; )

          1. In Renku Reckoner (p. 111) JEC says “Some of Basho’s wittier sequences have entire sections in which the participants try to make each other’s lives as difficult as possible by deliberately fouling in advance the chances of a clean moon, love or blossom verse where it would otherwise be due.”
            Yes, it was a tall order calling for a non-person winter love verse. As the renku progressed and I realized that a perfect storm of requirements was brewing for this slot, I did start to worry that people would feel overwhelmed. Which is why I did look for a verse that would help open the way for everyone.
            As I said though, the verses that are coming in are really nice. Sometimes imposing limitations makes for the greatest creativity.

      2. Hmm. Interesting. To me, it’s the “who left the doors open” that make it person verse–the focus is on the action of someone having done that (even in the past). In “place” mode the verse might look something like
        all the great doors
        of Valhalla
        standing open
        I guess perception can be a fine line sometimes, can’t it?

        1. Of your verses for this thread, I read XOXO as a non-person verse (in cases like this you can see why the more literal translation as “place” could be confusing).
          In contrast, I read air kisses as a person verse. Reflecting on why, I think it’s because the breath and the action wouldn’t endure for more than a few seconds beyond the human action. There’s no artifact with an independent existence.

        2. Yes, only one of my verses qualifies as non-person, nor was I able to come up with another, which is why I raised the question.

          1. Good discussion, and it points out that there are differences of perception. I think that the thing would be, there is no right or wrong–what would be important is that each renku be consistent within itself.

  4. Congratulations, Sandra. A remarkable link & shift. 🙂
    sparks of electricity
    between the flannel sheets

  5. Repeating this as a separate question:
    Why the emphasis on non-person verses (especially for a love verse)? I only see 3 verses out of 9 thus far (3,4,7) where persons are pictured. (If persons outside the frame/scene are counted then of course every verse is a person verse).

    1. The call specifies non person. I take that to mean none of the human remnants, preparations, or evidence of love to come or having taken place. Perhaps I’m being too literal though the previous calls have been pretty restrictive. Again, learning as I go.

    2. Good question you raised, Christopher. Others have probably been wondering about the person-non-person thing, too. As I get used to how comments and responses are threaded here–ever narrower indents–I thing I’ll move my reply up to the main level.

    3. Hi Christopher! I saw v. 5 as a person as well because loggerhead could be construed as a sly slur towards the one that digs…it was how I saw the link to v.4 anyway. Course, I then had trouble with twittering because I heard flighty voices…in v3, they were sweet, v4 was a quarrelsome voice and then v5 had them flighty. Ah, me…. 🙂 Betty

    1. Hi Linda…A bout of total unconsciousness overcame me! In all three of mine I have linked to Sandra’s link! :-/ Could I strike those and try again?

        1. Hi Judt, I’ve revised and/or changed offerings as have others. Just let Linda know which ones you don’t want to use. 🙂 Betty

      1. Of course! Keep going! As we get deeper into the renku and the earlier verses burrow deeper into your mind, this kind of thing will happen more and more.

        I think it’s a form of shorter-term cryptomnesia, as Michael Dylan Welch calls it in his “deja-ku” articles.

        1. Thanks, Linda. I always look forward to the new Thursday “puzzle,” so I’ll just keep puzzling through 🙂

    2. I’d like to strike this. All three of my links were “metal,” and the ceiling of Valhalla consists of gold shields.

  6. I offered this verse in a reply to one of Lorin’s comments but thought I should place it in a stand-alone post so it isn’t lost in the fray
    a dusting of snow
    on the pheromone trail

    1. A problem you’ve hit with these two is that pheromones and the “old scent’ sound more like animals and hunting rather than human. Love verses have to be about human sexual encounter.

      1. I was trying to use semiotics with that Y and fallen leaves to draw the eye back to the Garden from where we were s(c)ent away thanks to concupiscence.

  7. look, it’s snowing
    out of the blue!


    the first snowfall is just
    crossing the border line


    at last te snowfall
    covers all te dust

    1. Nor sure I’m reading this correctly but I see people embracing by that lone pine.

        1. It was the pine embracing the cold…knew this would be a stretch but I kept thinking about Basho’s early loss of his best friend (and lover, some say)…so being left out in the cold waiting at a fork in the road…what else but a pine?

    1. Hmm. Interesting. The abbreviated language of line 1 is open. If there’s an implied “the” (the back seat of the jalopy) it’s non-person, but if the implied is “in the back seat of the jalopy” it’s a person vese. Maybe not a time to shorten the language.

  8. eating oysters
    in anticipation
    bonfire stoked
    with desire
    the outline of nandin
    berries under the apron

    1. Eating oysters would be a person verse, wouldn’t it, Joel? I would think that the bonfire would be a person verse too, assuming there’s a human doing the stoking. The third verse, nandin berries, could be non-person if you rationalize it as an apron that’s not being worn at the moment depicted. It’s very near the edge, though.

    1. Enjoyed immensely your verse as well as Polona’s! So interesting to see how they interplay. 🙂 Betty

  9. Congratulations, Sandra.

    Well, I think it’s time for me to just stand back and watch for a while, now.
    If there’s any za going (‘group mind’, as JEC used to interpret it) I’ve been unable to pick up the wavelength … no doubt this is my failing, no-one else’s.


    1. I hope you won’t sit back. I’m trying as hard as I can to get everyone in as fast as I can. I even keep a powerpoint on my desktop where I’m tracking who’s been regularly participating.

      1. Hi Linda,

        v. 7 > mountain top
        v. 9 > roofing iron
        = ‘high things’, “things above our heads” ?

        In any case, ‘roofing iron’ takes me, as a reader, back to ‘mountain top’ in v. 7, via the association of high things/ things above my head, despite that the roofing iron is transformed in L3. This isn’t the dreaded ‘backlink’. What I don’t understand is how ‘roofing iron’ (or anything with ‘roof’ or something else high in it) isn’t a case of ‘kannonbiraki’/ ‘reversion to the verse before last’. (despite that the roofing iron is transformed in L3)

        I know I changed “attic” to “shed” in my ‘toy lightsabers’ ku before I posted it, with avoidance of this sort of ‘reversion to the verse before last ’ in mind. I’d thought this sort of reversion was the primary ‘don’t’ in renku.

        This renku has proven to be above my head and beyond my capacities, anyway, :-), so it’s best that I just sit back & learn what I can.

        – Lorin

        1. Hmm. I didn’t see it that way as the intermission is on “mountain-related things”. I understand if the the verse signals it’s a pitched roof shape. For me it’s the point of view rather than the shape: the natives are up on the mountain, and the roof is a void to shelter under.

          1. And a PS–not a failing, rather a pretty good example of how open to artistic judgment these things are. Different sabakis different multiverses.

          2. Roofing iron, Wikipedia:


            rusted, photo:

            roofing iron, New Zealand: (same thing)


            Maybe it’s not so much a matter of different “multiverses” per different sabaki as different countries/ world areas? To me, Sandra’s v. 9 ku first summarises (metaphorically & on the level of concepts) verses 8 & 9, then transforms them. It’s the summarising part that takes me back to the Uchikoshi

            Anyway, I’ll continue to follow this renku with interest, but right now I’m personally pretty much exhausted, discouraged & confused. I do hope that other Australians, feeling a lot fresher than I do, will chip in with verse offers . Someone might strike it lucky! … and it would be a shame not to be represented.

            – Lorin

        1. Lorin, I enjoy your verses, as always. We’ve been in groups together in the past and I’ve been an admirer of your work. I’m curious that you’re feeling a cultural frustration- if I have that right. Also wonder about why you provided links to corrugated tin roofing, etc. I got the image instantly when I read vs 9. Where I continue to struggle here is in seeing the synapses, however minute, and making the leap. I am falling short there, so like you, I feel as though I’m missing something and can only hope to get it by sitting back and watching the thing unfold. 🙂 I hope you persist.
          So here’s an offering for v 10:

          a dusting of snow
          on the pheromone trail

          my thinking is in trying to make this a two line winter love (sex) verse which is “non person”. All the verses offered thus far are person verses, to my way of thinking. I would like to see how this pans out.

          1. Why the emphasis on non-person verses (especially for a love verse)? I only see 3 verses out of 9 thus far (3,4,7) where persons are pictured. (If persons outside the frame/scene are counted then of course every verse is a person verse).

          2. Hi Katherine,
            Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate them. The ‘cultural frustration’ aspect might be sheer paranoia on my part. It began with my not getting Paul’s ‘loggerhead’ verse. Then (like some others, so I’m not alone) I’ve been slogging out verse offers from the wakiku (2nd verse) on to verse 9, and trying my best to understand as I went. I understood and liked the first 3 verses, After that I began to have trouble, until Polona’s humorous ‘Valhalla’ verse (which I love) Then I lost the thread again with Sandra’s ‘roofing iron’ verse,

            To me, these 3 verses are all strongly directional:

            from the mountain top
            Puyallup natives trace
            their lands below
            ~Carmen Sterba
            (up, then down)

            who left the doors open
            to Valhalla?
            ~Polona Oblak
            (Valhalla -up )

            rusty roofing iron
            as a letterbox
            ~Sandra Simpson
            (up, then down)

            Linda, as sabaki, remarks that these things are ” open to artistic judgment “, which I have to concede must be the case, and I do understand that the sabaki composes the poem.
            But try as I may, (& I have tried!) I can’t get on the right wavelength for this renku …
            which is frustrating & somewhat alienating. So I’ve decided to sit back and watch for the time being. Perhaps somewhere along the line the penny will drop and I’ll be inspired to offer some more verses, but not yet.

            – Lorin

  10. block by block, pressed appliqués
    outline a promise ring quilt
    — Betty Shropshire

    1. It’s a lovely verse, Betty, and I’ve been coming back to look at it. My one problem is with the “ring” pattern of the quilt and Valhalla in the uchikoshi: Wagner.

      1. Had no idea, Linda, until I did a Google search just now regarding the ‘ring’ connection to Valhalla via Wagner’s compositions. Learned something new once again. Just too tired to figure out revisions to my 3 offerings at this late hour. Very glad that this one prompted a second look, though!

        1. Probably too late:

          block by block, pressed appliqués
          outline the hope chest’s quilt

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