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The Renku Sessions: Triparshva—Call for verse 14


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 13:

I may sound like a broken record for saying this yet again, but the ideas that were posted for this slot were the wide ranging and so interesting in the ways they linked with the renku, and for the direction they would sent us.  The one I’m going to choose is Vasile’s sinking refugee boat.  Every evening when I get home from work and turn on the news, this tragic situation is right there, and I’m beginning to realize that it’s not only the big story of this news cycle, it’s going to change the world as we know it—including in ways that we do not yet know.  So it’s very fitting that we have it in the renku as our current events verse, to remind us when we read the renku months or years from now, what was going on while we were engaged in this project. We are by now entering the end phase of our ha side, so it’s just about the last chance we have to tuck in a hard-hitting verse about the kind of topic that’s the ha‘s prerogative to address.

Plus, just look at how brilliantly it links to the maeku:

at the Marquise
a clandestine romp
in neon flicker
~Judt Shrode

his better half chambers
another round just because
~Betty Shropshire

after a while
the life boat for refugees
floating hardly
~Vasile Moldovan

Thank you, Vasile!


Specifications for verse 14: 

I know I called for a non-person verse for #13, and I’m not completely sure how to categorize Vasile’s verse.  I can picture the life boat as a hull on the beach, waiting to be loaded and already lying low in the water, but I think more likely it’s at sea, fully loaded and foundering.   So perhaps I have broken the person/non-person pattern here and admitted a third person verse.  That’s fine—templates are guidelines, and serendipity is part of the fun of renku.  We do have to maintain a rough balance of verses in the renku, and that is going to affect the choice of our next few verses.

As I look back over the progression of topics that has delivered us to this point, however, I realize that our non-person verses were Sandra’s roofing iron mailbox #9 and the Chris’s twitter feed #10. We haven’t had any purely nature verses since, Paul’s loggerhead turtle #5 and Maria’s twittering verse #6.  So it’s about time that we have some verses that are not only non-person but also purely nature.  As it just so happens, we are now entering an autumn run of three verses that will conclude our ha side, and the autumn run will offer an excellent opportunity for nature verses—including our major moon. What I’d like to do is really bring nature to the fore in these last three verses of the ha side.

Verse 14 will be the first autumn verse, leadng to the  moon verse which is coming next.  Here is its maeku and uchikoshi:

his better half chambers
another round just because
~Betty Shropshire

after a while
the life boat for refugees
floating hardly
~Vasile Moldovan

. . . and this is what we’ll want for the verse:

  • Two lines
  • Autumn
  • Non-person, yes, but please also make it a nature verse.
  • No sky phenomena–leave the way clear for a moon verse to come next.
  • HINT:  a big missing topic is that we have no plants yet.


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, September  21, 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 / ns

#smitten #diamond #yes
~Christopher Patchel / wi lv

at the Marquise
a clandestine romp
in neon flicker
~Judt Shrode / ns lv

his better half chambers
another round just because
~Betty Shropshire / ns lv

after a while
the life boat for refugees
floating hardly
~Vasile Moldovan / ns

This Post Has 47 Comments

      1. Joel, I’ve been checking further on kudzu flowers. Kuzu no hana is an early autumn kigo (Renku Home, 500 Essential Season Words) so I’m wondering if having the flowers turn into a vinegared wine doesn’t negate the default season.

        1. I’m not sure… Here’s what I was thinking: The recipe I have (I’ve never made it!) says “In approximately six weeks the balloon will stop expanding and the wine is done.” At that point you either have wine or vinegar. Plus a week in the beginning for letting the juice stand before adding the yeast. Time wise that is now late autumn. If you bottle it and let it age before tasting it’s supposed to age for 12 months. So that’s back to late autumn.

    1. My mother spoke of having an apple barrel in the basement–and of rotten apples as you got down towards the bottom?. That makes me wonder if this is more of a winter verse.

      1. Another way to look at establishing a kigo [don’t know how Liz Ann intended it to mean] is that a year has passed. Apple picking being an autumn activity. Perhaps “they” are readying the barrel for the next crop — to put “down cellar” as it would be put in New England, for ex. In the days before modern supermarkets with their apples every day of the year, fruit in winter and spring was a treasured thing. And healthful. Farmers who wish to be self-sufficient still do it. Another way is to make cider in late autumn. Some diverted to vinegar, but a few barrels of hard cider [alcoholic] helps in the winter, too (ha!).

      1. : ) Linda P.
        Some tips on making beer mustard. 1) Use a rich dark stout, one of local origin if possible. 2) Make certain you heat and sterilize your jars, and that the jars remain sterile when you put your mustard in. 3) Cool as soon as possible in a fridge. I live in the northern part of the US state of Michigan, along the southern shore of Lake Superior; I just place my mustard into a tin tub, filled with water, and let nature’s cooler take control.
        This is an excellent condiment that I use only in autumn, especially on hot dogs while watching football games, attending corn-shucking contests, and on Cornish pastys. So “beer mustard” is an autumn kigo in my personal saijiki.

  1. Congratulations, Vasile. Thank you for highlighting such an important subject. 🙂
    the first pawlonia leaf
    to touch the soil

    1. One season to a verse, please. We have a spring run coming in the next side. Also, since verse 10 names its season (winter), we won’t be using season names for a kigo again.

    1. Patrick, nice verse but I don’t see a kigo in it. As I understand, both crow and mizzle would be non-seasonal. ???

    1. I’ll answer to both Marion and Agnes here since both of you have written about falling leaves.
      Thank you!

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