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The Renku Sessions: Tawny Jacket – Week 3

 

renku_300

 

I am John Stevenson and I will be your guide for a twelve-verse renku, in which we will compose one verse per week until completion. A longer session, with a different leader, is being planned to follow this one.

Renku is a kind of game for poets, through which a collaborative poem is created. Succeeding verses are written by different contributors. Throughout the entire work, each new verse connects in some way with the one preceding it but with no others. A renku is not narrative in nature. Rather, it has been likened to traveling down a winding river, in which we know where we have been and which way we must turn to follow the river, but not yet where or in which direction we will have to turn next.

Thank you, everyone, for a very active second week of renku. We had one-hundred-nine offers from forty-five poets! You may notice that we are now using “Tawny Jacket” as a title. This is a working title, mostly for keeping track of this renku on The Haiku Foundation web site. After we have composed our final verse, we will discuss a permanent title for the renku.

As was the case last week, there were many more worthy offers than I can comment on here. Some were passed over for technical considerations, despite their other attractive qualities. Many didn’t register, for me, as containing autumn images. We have a special challenge here because we are writing as a world-wide group and northern hemisphere holidays associated with autumn occur during spring in the southern hemisphere. While we are going to have images that reflect local flora or fauna from different parts of the world, I would like to keep the season references as inclusive as climate variations will allow.

There are other considerations that I did not announce in advance as “requirements” and some may think that this a little unfair. It is, in a way. But I am trying to offer a session here that is not overburdened with instructions. My hope is that participation will be fun for those who are new or relatively new to renku, even if more experienced participants may have some advantages. I will be doing my best to have the final work contain contributions from both new and experienced players.

Here are some of my favorites from this week:

three chestnuts for good luck
in the backpack pocket

Marina Bellini

One thing I did ask for was a verse that makes us see the first verse in a different way. For me, this second verse suggests that the person depicted in verse one is young. One thing I didn’t mention is that the linking between these first two verses is usually the closest in the entire renku – often a continuation of the scene set by the opening verse.

the straw hair of the scarecrow
tipped with frost

Liz Ann Winkler

Since our hokku sets up the idea of a journey, our next verse can easily be things that we might see along the way. There were quite a lot of good offers of that sort. I like this one. Would have been satisfied even with just the first line, broken in two: the straw hair / of the scarecrow.

a dark wind pushing
at bales of rolled hay

Lorin Ford

This verse brings powerful forces into play. In a longer renku, we would wait a while before doing that but in a short one, this is an option; and a tempting one, at that!

sipping port
by the fireplace

Agnes Eva Savich

I haven’t prescribed a list of season words or phrases that we should be working from this time. In some such listings “fireplace” would appear as a winter topic. Also, having begun our renku with the image of a journey, we probably don’t want to frustrate that sense of motion with a sedentary follow-up. On the other hand, this verse does make me see the first verse in a different way – as perhaps a book about a journey that we are reading in the comfort of our home. In any case, a gorgeous image!

the cobblestone street
lit by a full moon

Maureen Virchau

This verse also serves as a continuation of the images in verse one, adding a particular kind of “pathway” and a time of day. And the mere mention of the moon makes it an autumn verse!

Our second verse is:

the still-warm hollow
where the deer slept

Kristen Lindquist

I am taking “deer” as the autumn reference. Although we have deer throughout the year (as we have the moon), they are especially busy and visible in autumn. As a consequence, they are often considered an autumn image in renku.

The journey suggested in the first verse now takes us into a wooded area, very recently occupied by a deer, who may have been startled by a person in a tawny jacket (which would not be the standard apparel of a hunter, in my neck of the woods).

 

For our third verse, these will be the requirements:

  • a three-line verse, a single sentence or phrase (no breaks)
  • no seasonal reference
  • connecting in some way to the second verse and in no way to the first verse
  • connecting in a way other than “continuation of the scene”

Our renku, so far:

Tawny Jacket

autumn leaves
she sets out in
her tawny jacket

Andrew Shimield

the still-warm hollow
where the deer slept

Kristen Lindquist

Please enter your verse offers in the comments box, below. I will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Tuesday, December 3 (New York time zone). On Thursday, December 5, there will be a new posting containing my selection for our third verse, some discussion of other appreciated offers, and instructions for composing the fourth verse.

I look forward to seeing your offers!

John

 

This Post Has 156 Comments

  1. Tawny Jacket
    *
    autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket [a.s.]
    *
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept [k.l.]
    *
    another pipeline
    barreling through
    Lakota Territory [a.n.h.]
    *
    I was thinking about the way the deer also live in us (in our hearts, minds, spirits and imaginations), and how hollow we would be if they were all “put to sleep” by our climate crisis (as so many other species have been already). Which of course led me to fossil fuels and pipelines. Which conjured up barrels of oil and the barrels of guns pointed at the Standing Rock protesters. Welcome aboard my mind train…woooo wooooo! Anyway, figured I’d give it one last shot!
    *
    The shear poetic possibility boggles the mind…
    *
    Autumn

        1. HI, Robert. Droppings make for an interesting offering. 😀 In reading through your variants, it occurred to me that you might even consider allowing the very strong word “moist” to stand on its own in L1–especially since it already implies touch. It would also stair step visually (if left-justified as it is), which lends the idea of a scattering of droppings, such as one might expect behind a deer. Just a thought! ~Autumn

          1. Hi Autumn
            Thank you!
            I like your observation.
            .
            moist
            droppings
            along the path
            .
            I did consider changing “path” to “trail”, thinking it may be stronger.
            Kindly
            Rob

  2. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist

    .

    sand deep
    in his mouth
    still denying

    .
    wendy c. bialek

  3. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .

    hot chocolate
    muffles the crunch
    of gingersnaps

    wendy c. bialek

    1. Hi, Wendy! This is my favorite verse offering of yours this round. I love that you have incorporated both sound and taste, the latter of which is delightfully doubled as the sweet cocoa and spicy ginger sandwich the subdued crunch. The colors mirror those of a deer. Whether they might also connect with the leaves in the hokku depends, I suppose, on what color we imagine those leaves to be. Here in the Rockies, they’d be mostly gold, so you’d be safe! Wonder whether the crunch sound would also be considered a connection to the hokku? Perhaps, if the leaves were dry on the ground; but probably not if the leaves were still on the trees. Fascinating how much of this connection business depends upon interpretation…
      *
      A yummy senryu-like verse regardless! ~Autumn

  4. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .

    googling
    renku rules
    in a dream

    .
    wendy c. bialek

  5. Verse 2
    ***
    cigar smoke
    lingers
    in the empty room
    ***
    Verse 3
    ***
    on Friday night at the pub
    I almost won
    a meat tray

    1. This verse really adds depth, in every sense of that word. If we can see layers of fossils, it’s likely we’re either looking down into a canyon or standing at the bottom of one. Either way, the whole scene just gets bigger and more 3-dimensional. The tone is also consistent with the other verses we have so far–is that something sought after in renku? Or are we meant to strive for tone variance as well as the other shifts? Just curious. I admire this less conventional use of the word “beds” to connect with the place where the deer was bedded down. Very nice! ~Autumn

      1. This is a great question. The answer, it seems to me, is nuanced and easy to misconstrue. Here is a sentence of commentary from the 2005 Einbond Renku Contest: “While it maintains variety and forward momentum, ‘City on the Hill’ simultaneously establishes a sense of complex unity by the cross-association of several overarching themes.”
        .
        The simple answer is that ideally we hope to do both things; to have the verses exhibit the greatest possible variety, both in content/subject matter and in tone/style/methods of linking AND to have some “scent” of overarching qualities.

        1. Wow, John–thanks for this! I especially like your use of the word “scent” here. I’m copying the commentary into the notes I am now officially taking on this session, so that I can come back to it and ponder it some more. I’d wondered whether tone might be one way of unifying the diverging switchbacks of the verses. It seems that tone and writing style have been fairly consistent in the few renku I have read over the years. But that may be due to the use of accepted Japanese kigo and the seriousness that often ensues whenever we try to mimic Japanese protocols. I’ve bookmarked the Renku Home page you linked in order to be able to read more widely, as I definitely do not have enough renku under my belt to come to any set conclusions! Much appreciated!

          1. Autumn,
            .
            It would probably be good if we all held off on having a lot of set conclusions about renku. I think that renku in English is similar to haiku in English in the sense that, as Herold Henderson said of haiku, it will become what poets make it.
            .
            John

  6. Tawny Jacket

    autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket

    Andrew Shimield

    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept

    Kristen Lindquist

    sunlight
    flows in to golden
    the river, leaves, curls


    @Autumn and John, thank you.
    Everybody, I am reading, it is a great learning, cheerios

  7. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .
    we search
    for the right words
    to reconnect

    1. I do like your verse, Peter
      .
      we search
      for the right words
      to reconnect
      .
      This could be read as not only reconnecting with nature but also ourselves.

  8. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .
    how to play
    pachinko
    all night long
    .
    – Lorin

  9. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .
    a silver coin
    glinting in the beggar’s
    outstretched palm
    .
    – Lorin

  10. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .

    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .

    baby’s mouth
    firmly closed against
    the choo-choo spoon
    .
    – Lorin

    1. This cracked me up–choo choo spoon!! XD! Even though I’ve played that game with my own once-upon-a-time babies, I never called it that. I am going to laugh about this verse for a long time–while picturing the way everyone who has ever been a mother opens their own mouth in this scenario.
      *
      Great fun!
      *
      Autumn

    2. I too found your verse a humorous read, Lorin, but I also see a far more reaching statement
      when it comes to feeding a nations children not only nutritionally but verbally.
      A verse to be remembered 🙂

    1. “Browses” is a really great verb here, Joan. Living in the mountains, I track the sun rise by watching it paint its way DOWN the thick stands of pines below the ridgeline; and “browses” made me consider that scene in a whole new…well, light!
      *
      Thanks!
      *
      Autumn

      1. Thank you, Autumn. I also live in the mountains, but I need to go to higher elevations to see pine trees. Your comment made me smile.

  11. Congratulations Kristen, am enjoying reading the verses.
    .
    .
    Tawny Jacket
    .
    autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .

    .
    .
    a standing c note
    and the repartee
    with calloused fingertips
    .
    it lingers
    in knotted sheets
    the stench of english boxwood
    .
    ask marie kondo
    how to keep linens
    from pilling
    .
    his answer was no
    the corpse
    in the violin case
    .
    .

  12. chills
    from that high note
    in the Star-Spangled Banner

    .

    chills
    from that note
    in the national anthem

    .

    (Depending whether specificity or universality is more desirable).

  13. a young monk
    carefully washing
    a small rice bowl
    .
    carefully washing
    my rice bowl
    at the silent retreat

  14. Tawny Jacket
    *
    autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket [a.s.]
    *
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept [k.l.]
    *
    a sepia-toned photo
    fading
    in the diary
    *

    Would that be correct? Or would the color be a possible tie-back to the leaves in the first verse?
    *
    Here’s one more possibility:
    *
    musk
    in the chin rest
    of his old violin
    *
    Getting warmer, maybe…? Kinda like playing blind man’s bluff!!
    *
    Thanks for your patience…Autumn

    1. Very nice. And you are not trying my patience in the least. I appreciate your questions and comments. Thank you for YOUR patience!
      .
      Regarding your comment about not enjoying reading renku, you might be surprised to know that I feel the same way. I always compare reading a renku to reading the box score for a baseball game. You can imagine the game if you know how to read the box score but it’s nothing like the experience of being in the park while the game was being played. For me, the pleasures of renku are primarily in the experience of creating one.

      1. Oh, I REALLY appreciate this analogy, John. I don’t like/understand baseball at all…unless I’m in the park singing “Take me out to the ballllllllllgame” and eating peanuts and crackerjack. That EXACTLY captures the feeling of participating in this renku, versus reading one. Everyone here has a chance of catching a game ball, which makes it fun and exciting, despite the “Steeeeeerike!”s.
        *
        What my brain is most jazzed about at the moment is the family-tree-like diagram I’m imaging where all the various possible links get followed down their own diverging branches. Wouldn’t you love to see that? I think it would be fascinating to read all the resulting variations side-by-side. Like glimpsing alternate universes through renku…
        *
        Thanks so much for giving us all a chance to “Play ball!” ~Autumn

        1. The idea of a “tree” renku has been realized by others. It seems like it might be fun but perhaps too confusing in this format. On my first renku here, however, I did list fourteen possible selections for the final verse. I might consider doing that again with this one. We’ll see how it develops.

        1. I believe you, Mary. Though I wouldn’t be the least bit disturbed if you had used my comment as a writing cue. I think we can use each other’s offers in this way, too – just another aspect of collaboration.

      2. This is my first renku participation. Thank you, John and THF, for the opportunity to join the large party. I will enjoy reading renku more in the future after I see how some of the rules apply firsthand. It was hard to understand why they skipped about so much between topics.

  15. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    one bright star
    which could be Venus
    beneath the rainbow
    .

  16. Tawny Jacket
    *
    autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket [a.s.]
    *
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept [k.l.]
    *
    bansuri notes
    pick up the lilt
    of nearby birds
    *
    rows of flutes
    glint in the sun
    as they march
    *
    a vein
    pulses angrily
    in his temple

    1. Whether either of these work I’ll leave to the forum.
      I have thought thought further about line 3 in my second verse and wonder whether “why” instead of “Y” could work better.
      I would appreciate any feedback (if allowed) please.
      Kindly
      Robert

  17. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .

    on a balcony
    on the thirty-first floor
    a pizza oven
    .
    – Lorin

  18. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .
    foodies on the scent
    of a truly vegan
    pizza
    .
    – Lorin

    1. A mouthwatering verse, says the plant-based foodie…I want the recipe for that pizza, Lorin!!

      😀 Autumn

  19. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .

    an early riser
    yet Sydney Harbour Bridge
    already gridlocked

    .

    – Lorin

    1. ah, no. The one above isn’t in the race. because It’s quite possible that commuting connects with “she sets out” in our hokku. Duh!
      .
      – Lorin

  20. .
    autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .
    far too early
    for movies with explicit
    sexual content
    .
    – Lorin

  21. autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    .
    Andrew Shimield
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    .
    Kristen Lindquist
    .
    what sort of cop
    would shoot a woman dead
    in her pyjamas?
    .

    – Lorin
    .
    (pyjamas/ pajamas … depending on which version of English)

      1. Meant to say earlier that I very much appreciate these “Duh”s and “Oh dear”s. Besides echoing the “Aha! Oh wait, oops…ah no” that we’ve all felt as writers, they are little clues as to what we’re not supposed to do in a renku. Very subtle teaching–and very admirable to let all of see the “mistakes” on the page. Thank you. I need to be taking notes here…

        1. Thanks, Autumn . 🙂 I know that what’s definitely not wanted is anything that takes attention back to our hokku in any way whatsoever. (or in future verses, returns to the last but one verse) The linking needs to be to the immediately previous verse, and to that verse only.
          .
          Knowing that hasn’t stopped me from writing those verses and not noticing the connections to the hokku until after I posted them. Hence the duhs. . . . 🙂

          – Lorin

          1. So the game gets harder the longer the renku–especially depending upon how good the participants are at making/not making connections (it’s amazing what can be connected to what, if one thinks about it long enough). After working so hard for so long to see the threads of connections between things, deliberately disconnecting takes some doing!
            *
            I appreciate feeling less alone in my duh-ness. Nothing like hitting Post Comment or Send to jar one into awareness…wonder why it is we can re-read things a gazillion times beforehand and miss something, only to see it INSTANTLY upon posting. The Before Send and After Send Mind–someone needs to write dissertation.
            *
            XD
            *
            ~Autumn

  22. the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    – Kristen Lindquis (Lovely!)
    *
    *
    two owls
    in the stand of birches
    hoot in turns
    *
    the clatter
    of mountain goat hooves
    high on the ridge
    *
    the boy reads
    a jumble of fresh signs
    by the swelling stream
    *
    an eagle
    fluffs-out its feathers to preen
    in the sun shaft
    *
    rising bread dough
    on the wood stove’s shelf
    in the cabin

  23. Tawny Jacket

    autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket

    Andrew Shimield

    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept

    Kristen Lindquist
    .

    moccasin tracks
    the bounty if we
    only danced

    wendy c. bialek

  24. sunlight hops
    from branch to branch
    the tag along
    .
    I can’t help myself. I’m not sure how many we can enter…but it is fun.

    1. I won’t put a limit on how many offers each of you can make. My feeling is “more offers equals more fun.” And, as I’ve said before, verses that are not used here can sometimes result in haiku somewhere else. At this point, the main difference between what we are writing and haiku is that these verses should have no break and should not be expected to “stand alone.” They are meant to make a poem in collaboration with the preceding verse.

  25. the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    *
    Kristen Lindquist
    *
    the easy come
    and go of
    traffic lights
    nancy liddle

  26. the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    **
    picking up the stray
    plastic bags
    before they’re swallowed whole
    ***
    empty bags as a kind of hollowness, and also thinking about the deer that ingest them, often fatally, as in a story from Thailand this week

    1. Scratch that.
      Maybe one of these:
      *
      the false feeling
      of fullness
      that comes with plastic
      *
      picking up the bags
      that slide down
      all too easily
      *

  27. Tawny Jacket
    .
    autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket
    Andrew
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    Kristen
    Congratulations Kristen. Very nice!
    .
    dinner for two
    the cafe guitarist
    blows his fingers
    .
    My novice attempt at verse three.

    1. oops….formatting issue:

      the still-warm hollow
      where the deer slept

      shelter to shelter
      a life piled high
      in a shopping cart

      1. I like this a lot, Carole–it’s very socially conscious. I also like the connection formed by the repeated word “shelter.” Very relevant contribution!

        1. I agree. And Autumn Noelle–I admire your work with “camouflage” and your equally important social critique. I’m having enough trouble just trying to expand on “hollow.”

          I love all the in-progress observations and commentary here. Learning a lot!

        2. I agree. My mind also went to the shelter needs of the homeless. I am the clothing coordinator for our local Extreme Weather Shelter and my attempts kept referencing clothing. I love your take.

  28. Well, John, your no requirements + my no renku experience =
    *
    Tawny Jacket
    *
    autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket [a.s.]
    *
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept [k.l.]
    *
    camouflaged
    the shooter
    already at school [a.n.h.]
    *
    The link to verse 2 is “camouflaged,” as a deer would be in a hollow, in addition to the timeframe–as deer wake early; the shift goes without saying.

    1. Great. Next challenge: can you write this without a break? If written out as a sentence fragment, this would be, “Camouflaged, the shooter already at school…” Can you eliminate the pause represented by the comma? We can think of the two verses (the one we are linking to and our offered link) as a single poem, with the break occurring in the space between them.

      1. I’d lose “camouflage,” but what about this:
        *
        in the blue hour
        the shooter
        enters the school
        *
        The primary link in this case would be the pre-dawn timeframe. I’d love to use the word “embedded” in L3, but that would result in another fragment. Strange that what is desired here is a sentence haiku–they are so often discouraged elsewhere!
        *
        What I do like is the thread of movement running through the verses. That captures some of the sense of the river you were talking about.
        *
        Thanks for encouraging me to try again!
        *
        ~Autumn

        1. You have a break in your new verse, too. By presenting a prepositional phrase before that which it explains or modifies, you guarantee a break (as I have done in this sentence). This is a frequently used strategy in writing English-language haiku. Sometimes there is little more to an English-language haiku than this inversion of phrasing.
          .
          We are not writing haiku now. Haiku come from the opening verse of these linked poems (the hokku). One of the features of a hokku is that it has a break and, therefore, two parts. But the rest of the verses in a renku do not have this feature. After the first verse the “breaks” are between verses rather than within them.

        2. So, the sentence/fragment has to be written Subject Verb Object, with no opening phrase and no pauses? That would put the shooter front and center in the verse; and I didn’t think he belonged there. I was hoping to have the notion of a deer hunter for a moment until we arrived at the school in the last line. Not sure how to achieve that within the parameters of the renku requirements. I’ll think about it….
          *
          Okay, so looking at the way others are managing this, what about:
          *
          guns
          nestled deep
          in his Avenger’s backpack
          *
          Is that closer–in form anyway–to what is required here?
          *
          At the risk of being dismissed from the discussion, I’m beginning to have a glimmer of understanding of why I can rarely even make it through reading a renku without wanting to shake the page in frustration. I really appreciate these insights as to WHY renku always feel so disconnected and random to me (barring insider ideas like “this is a moon verse; a flower verse; a love verse” of course).
          *
          Having grown up along the Mississippi, the river analogy falls apart for me in many ways. To me, a river IS narrative embodied–one unbroken flow towards the sea, every part of it interconnected and interdependent, and all of it one long continuous story. Pesticide runoff from Minnesota farmland contaminates Iowa’s drinking water, my mom dies in Iowa at 59 of a chemical-caused cancer, and my perspective is ever-shaped by her death–the river’s story doesn’t stop at borders, be they State or psychological. I guess my poetic sensibilities run along the lines of that sort of river, those sorts of connections; which is probably why I like tanka and tanka prose so much.
          *
          This is definitely a giant step out of my comfort zone. But I like a challenge…so thank you for the opportunity to watch, write and learn.

      2. Well, that’s interesting, John. I wouldn’t have thought an ‘inverted’ sentence had a “break ” in it . . . if “break” = “cut”, as it does in a hokku or in a haiku with a cut. We don’t consider line breaks to be “breaks” in the sense of “cuts” , though they’re certainly breaks, so why should we consider an inverted sentence laid out over 3 lines to have a “break/ cut”?
        .
        What am I missing?
        .
        – Lorin

  29. Well, John, your no requirements + my no renku experience =
    *
    Tawny Jacket
    *
    autumn leaves
    she sets out in
    her tawny jacket [a.s.]
    *
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept [k.l.]

    camouflaged
    the shooter
    already at school [a.n.h.]

    The link to verse 2 is “camouflaged,” as a deer would be in a hollow, in addition to the timeframe–as deer wake early; the shift goes without saying.

  30. lovely choice – most of my favourite verses received a mention!
    .
    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept

    .
    those mornings
    the kitchen smells of coffee
    and fresh buns

  31. Lovely choice!

    the still-warm hollow
    where the deer slept
    – Kristen Lindquis

    echoing drumbeats
    as sacrifices
    are made
    – Betty Shropshire

      1. Sorry, I was reacting to Kirsten’s verse.
        Anyway, I’m giving it a try.

        3rd verse (No season)

        in my back pack
        a rosary made of
        Yak bones

        1. Kanchan, I really like the way that back and pack and Yak bounce off one another to create the very sound of that bone rosary. Really great word choice. Is there a “break” after line one, as John was explaining to me? Trying to figure out how to read these the way the renku pros read them…

          ~Autumn

          1. Thanks Autumn.
            This guy was selling rosaries at Boudanath in Kathmandu about a month back. I bought one. He smiled a d said it was made of Yak bone.
            Reg. the break in the first line, I’ll wait for John’s response.
            He’s the ‘sabishi’ here.
            🙂🙏

          2. Autumn and Kanchan,
            .
            Well observed. Yes, there is a break. Starting with a prepositional phrase guarantees this. The way to write this without a break would be:

            a rosary
            made of yak bones
            in my backpack
            .

    1. Laurie,
      .
      We have “her” in the first verse. Can you explore other possibilities with this image? It seems promising.
      .
      John

    2. easiest fix:

      an empty coffee cup
      rests
      in the palm of his hand

      *
      but more interesting, maybe:

      an empty coffee cup
      rests
      on the arm of the bench

      thanks for the encouragement, John!

      1. I like your word “palm,” Laurie, as it forms a bowl and connects with “hollow.” Just a thought–what L3 were to end with “palm?”
        *
        an empty coffee cup
        rests
        in the _____________’s palm
        *
        the blank could hold any number of someone’s: preacher’s, lawyer’s, driver’s, migrant’s–up to you! “Rests” is a good connecting verb here, too.
        *
        Thanks for letting us watch your creative process unfold… ~Autumn

        1. Thanks for the suggestions–here’s a wake-up call along lines already discussed (and the rhythm seems right, and I’ve seen it a lot)
          *
          an empty coffee cup
          rests
          in the homeless man’s palm

          1. I love this variant, Laurie. You’ve gotten double mileage out of the hollowness–empty cup + hollow of the palm, and it’s a great, timely, image. ~Autumn

        2. Thanks for the suggestions–here’s a wake-up call along lines already discussed (and the rhythm seems right, and I’ve seen it a lot)
          ***
          an empty coffee cup
          rests
          in the homeless man’s palm

  32. Oh wow, I’m very honored, John. Thank you!

    Have really enjoyed everyone’s offerings so far and look forward to seeing how this evolves…

    1. Although I will not use another of your verses in this short renku, I hope you will continue to make offers. I may comment on them, as may others. And we would all be interested in what you come up with. So, please consider playing on!
      .
      John

  33. Ah…found the second verse…LOVELY! AND I think I have figured out how to do the spacing! Sheesh…y’all are teaching this old dog some new tricks!
    .
    he joins in
    smoothing out
    rumpled sheets
    .
    sparkling stream
    moss covered stones
    pilot the way

    .
    paula…this is really FUN. Thank you again, John!

  34. Well done Kristen. Hope everyone had peaceful thanksgiving for those who were so engaged
    *******************************************************************************
    taking a stand
    against the evil
    they stand for
    ***************
    peanut shells
    crackle on the
    square dance floor
    ****************
    living statues
    of the homeless
    surround city hall

  35. Very nice, Kristen! A wonderful choice, John. So many places to go from here.
    .
    a dream catcher
    hanging above
    my son’s cradle

  36. Thank you, John and we’ll done, Kristen. This was one of my favourites. I love the image and the new possibilities!

  37. nice verse, Kristen
    *
    after dinner
    the rare treat
    of a fine cognac
    *
    *
    I,ve been away for a few days with no internet access (bliss), so missed the discussion on the hokku about ‘out in’. I think I try to write in common spoken english. ‘You’re not going out in that!’ is something my partner has been saying to me for years. Though I think my dress sense impeccable!
    So it’s acceptable phraseology to me. However, coming at the end of a line it does stand out a bit, though as Lorin points out ,something would be lost if the ‘in’ went to the third line.
    I’m reminded of a lyric from the Bonzo Dog Do Da Band:
    ‘hunting tigers out in India
    out in, out in
    out in India’

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