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The Moon’s Aura: Week 4

renku_300

Namaskaar

_()_

Welcome to the fourth week of rasika —  The Moon’s Aura. I’m Kala Ramesh, and I’m leading this journey in collaborative poetry.

A few of you have been calling me Kayla, Karla – I’m just Kala :))

Rasika is a renku of 8 verses, a form I developed in 2014. Rasika meets the need for a shorter version of renku, without sacrificing on the aesthetics of this 400-year-old art form that has come to us from Master Basho’s time — the shofu-style of renku, which is essentially anti-thematic.

The schema: for The Moon’s Aura

  1. long – hokku | au mn*
  2. short – wakiku | ns*
  3. long – daisan | wi*
  4. short – ns
  5. 5. long – end su/lv (rainy season)
  6. short – ns/lv
  7. long | sp bl *
  8. ageku | ns *

 

The asterisks show the important verses which remain constant in all renku.

Rasika is a good form for composing online because it moves more quickly than the longer renku, while also following the jo-ha-kyu (beginning-development-rapid closure) pattern of traditional renku.

In rasika, jo-ha-kyu are:
jo: the introduction in the two first verses – hokku and wakiku.
ha – the expansion, comprised of verses 3, 4, 5 & 6.
kyu – the rapid closure in verses 7 & 8.

 

In renku we don’t link to our own verse. And since Rasika is just an 8-verse renku,

I don’t see any one poet having more than one verse included! But everyone can keep trying, for it’s good to practice!

 

To begin with, there are two ways of going about the verses in renku.

  1. By degachi; – competing for each verse.
  2. By hizaokuri – by turns.

In my experience it often works best to make some combination of the two.

In Rasika, we’ll go mainly by ‘degachi’ since it is a very short renku and judging from
the many hokku, waki and daisan candidates offered, we might have many poets offering poems for each slot!

 

We have entered ha – in rasika, the expansion phase begins with daisan, our third verse.

Now let’s read a few of the stanzas sent for daisan.

 

the snap of an icicle
from the sea lion’s
whiskers
                                          — Laurie Greer

 

Oh! I love this candidate, Laurie. There’s drama here. But, you’ve grabbed a very important verse and position in the renku – the hokku, so I had to let go of this verse!

 

**

 

bare bones
of a scarecrow
through the threadbare coat

                                            — Robert Kingston

 

A nature verse without human presence. The scarecrow is a proper season word for autumn. Maybe the poet was giving us a picture of a scarecrow as seen in the winter months. ‘Bare bones’ suggests winter … like bare branches. But frankly speaking, with both ‘bare bones’ and ‘threadbare coat’ it looked like this verse was trying too hard to fit into winter!

 

**

 

scattering crows
a geyser explodes
through packed snow

                                   — Kashi Reisu

 

This was in my shortlisted verses from the beginning. I thought drawing an enso was a compact act and this image of scattering crows provided a good contrast.

**

 

between flurries
ice skaters inscribe their dance
on the pond

                                — Billie Dee

 

Vivid and nicely worded, but has human presence. I specifically asked for a nature verse for daisan.

 

**

 

cold sparrows
in their wintry bed
of frozen zone

                          — Radhamani Sarma

Here there are 3 winter references – ‘cold’ ‘wintry’ and ‘frozen’. We need to be very careful about seasonal references.

 

**

 

in the vast expanse
of pale, paler, palest sky
the first raven’s cry

                                      — Michelle Beyers

Nice image and it sounded good when I read it aloud!

 

**

 

in one fluid stroke
we each draw an enso

                                       — Sally Biggar

twig calligraphy
flourishes in
the frozen pond

                           — Wendy C. Bialek

The word ‘calligraphy’ is close to ‘enso’. Enso is what calligraphy artists also practice.

 

**

 

koi pond
just the sound
of fish playing

                        — Mona Bedi

 

This is a haiku. I can see a clear cut after L 1. Remember – only the hokku is a haiku as we know it – with a ‘cut’ and ‘cut-marker’. All other verses in any renku are sentence haiku.

 

**

 

hushed stillness
now that the waterfall
is frozen

                                    — Chris Patchel

 

I liked this verse. It is layered and a good, rounded stanza.

 

**

 

withered grass
lies cold and still
on frozen ground

                             — Debbie Scheving

 

Nice but see the three seasonal references here? I’ve always held the view that writing renku gives good practice for understanding how haiku should be written.

 

**

 

lyre, lyre
who can hear the ancient song
in the withered reeds?

                                      — princess k

Your verse sounds musical and I love the repetition of ‘lyre lyre’. I had to check if withered reeds is a winter kigo word. Spent a good 30 minutes searching and found that in The Tale of Genji – (written by Shikibu Murasaki, also known as Lady Murasaki.) there is a verse referring to ‘withered reeds’ as a winter seasonal reference.

This verse was not chosen because there is a human reference–the lyre needs a musician to play it!

 

**

 

in the morning
the freshly caught fish
already frozen

                            — Margherita Petriccione

 

The word ‘morning’ gave a good sense of the night having passed and this stanza opens out the renku in a nice way. I love the repetition of sounds coming from ‘freshly’ ‘fish’ and ‘frozen’. But still, I see it as a human verse.

 

**

 

The winning stanza goes to Sanjuktaa Asopa

 

hush
of the huddled sparrows
as snow comes down hard

                                           — Sanjuktaa Asopa

Congratulations, Sanjuktaa!

In rasika, with daisan, we begin the second section – ha. Ha is for expansion and going deeper. This verse not only cuts away from the hokku and waki admirably, but leads the reader straight into the hardship animals and birds face during winter. No human presence and a strong season-based verse. It has a beautiful rhythm because of the ‘h’ and ‘s’ sounds.

So let’s see what we have so far:

 

The Moon’s Aura
          rasika, an 8-verse renku

 

opening credits
the moon colorized
by its aura

                                           — Laurie Greer

 

in one fluid stroke
we each draw an enso

                                           — Sally Biggar

 

hush
of the huddled sparrows
as snow comes down hard

                                            — Sanjukta Asopa

 

 

The requirements for our next slot: the 4th verse.

 

The schema: for The Moon’s Aura

  1. long – hokku | au mn*
  2. short – wakiku | ns*
  3. long – daisan | wi*
  4. short – ns

For the 4th verse, the requirements are:

 

Let this one be a nature verse again. No human presence, because the love verses are coming next!

A 2-line verse, without a cut.
Between 10 and 12 syllable counts.

No season.

No link whatsoever with the hokku or the waki.
Move away from all those images and words in the previous 3 verses.

 

Link & shift: link to daisan but shift away from waki completely. I suggest that you write out all three previous verses and then attempt the fourth – otherwise you may tend to forget what has gone before.

A real challenge, yes, but one which can be rewarding too! It’s time for you to tap your memory and create a solid nature verse. 

The window closes on Sunday 24 October.

Keep a close watch on this space! Meet you next Thursday.

Thanks once again for all your lovely daisan offers.

Keenly waiting to read your 4th verse.
Through all this maze don’t forget to have fun!

 

with palms pressed in gratitude,
_kala

 

 

 

 

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This Post Has 91 Comments

  1. opening credits
    the moon colorized
    by its aura

    — Laurie Greer

    in one fluid stroke
    we each draw an enso

    — Sally Biggar

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    soft pine winds
    through the plains

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 10/25/21 (verse three)

  2. opening credits
    the moon colorized
    by its aura

    — Laurie Greer

    in one fluid stroke
    we each draw an enso

    — Sally Biggar

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    sun tipped wing of the
    eagle arcs the canyon

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 10/25/21 (verse #2)

  3. Sanjuktaa, I greatly enjoyed your verse and the struggle to concoct a prelude to the upcoming love verse. So much to pack into this 8-verse Rasika!
    Betty

  4. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard
    – Sanjuktaa Asopa

    nit picking baboons
    while away the hours
    – Betty Shropshire

    1. Hi Dick, I use my phone mostly so this may not apply but, for me, when having issues such as yours, it’s because an update or restart is needed. Could be your browser or, I dunno, a system update is needed.
      Best of luck as no one else seems to be struggling with text size and readability.

  5. Thank you very much Kala for your attention to my verse
    This encourages me to come up with new proposals:
    *
    vegetables in the garden
    punctured by hail
    *
    on the mountains
    the hint of a clearing
    *
    a wild fig engulfs the rock
    in its folds

  6. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard
    – Sanjuktaa Asopa

    one female baboon
    grooms her brother
    – Betty Shropshire

  7. .
    .
    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa
    .
    .
    merlins and UFOs
    do not follow the rules of hawking
    .
    the moral climate meets
    newton’s third law
    .
    immunity
    as natural as breathing
    .
    .

  8. Congratulations Sanjuktaa. Beautiful verse. This is turning out so well.
    Hers my offer Kala :

    .
    only the burble
    of a distant waterfall

  9. Congratulations, Sanjuktaa!

    diamonds are formed
    in the mantle of the earth

    a relentless sea
    consumes the escarpment

    Cumbre Vieja erupts
    and lava covers the island

  10. Well done, Sanjuktaa!

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjuktaa Asopa
    .

    a follow-the-leader dash
    of cottonwool scuts
    .

    every branch of a poinciana
    wreathed in epiphytes
    .

    flowstone drapes a cavern
    with the patience of water
    .

  11. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard
    – Sanjuktaa Asopa

    a big ape coolly surveys
    his morning fare
    – Betty Shropshire

  12. from the low sky
    the patter of thin rain
    ————————————–
    on a cactus leaf
    lightness of the cobweb

  13. opening credits

    the moon colorized

    by its aura
                                               — Laurie Greer
     
    in one fluid stroke

    we each draw an enso
                                               — Sally Biggar
     
    hush

    of the huddled sparrows

    as snow comes down hard
                                                — Sanjuktaa Asopa
    *
    in red rock canyon
    lizards hustle to hide
    *
    high desert cockroach
    cornered by a roadrunner
    *
    old saguaro limbs loom
    to shade what comes its way
    *

  14. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    Beautiful imagery! Congratulations, Sanjukta😊

  15. opening credits
    the moon colorized
    by its aura

    — Laurie Greer

    in one fluid stroke
    we each draw an enso

    — Sally Biggar

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    the boom of colliding
    starbursting galaxies

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 10/23/21

  16. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa
    *
    beneath the ocean
    the boom of whale song

  17. sea winds whistle through
    the bleached bones of a whale

    *

    a cacophony of monkeys
    where the lion walks

    *

    a bower adorned with trinkets
    is his life’s work

  18. Just for the fun of playing. . .

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    ******

    flames leaping
    from one sequoia to another

    ******

    suddenly the firestorm
    changes direction

    ******

    will this be the fire
    that kills the sequoias

  19. Thx princess k. for your comments. my takeaway on how to keep human activity out of a verse. — avoid human made objects. more doors to perception opening so will keep asking.

  20. Congratulations, Sanjuktaa! I relate strongly to your snowy image. I live in the Northeastern corner of the US; soon snow will begin falling here. When it does all the sounds get muffled by the snow as it accumulates. You’ve wonderfully captured that quietness, and sense of drawing in.
    Sally

  21. Dear Kala,

    Here’s my offer.

    an approaching storm
    deepens the night’s scents

    With warm regards,

    RaV

  22. #3

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    finally
    everything is back to normal

    Nani Mariani

  23. The Moon’s Aura
    rasika, an 8-verse renku

    opening credits
    the moon colorized
    by its aura

    — Laurie Greer

    in one fluid stroke
    we each draw an enso

    — Sally Biggar

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    stampeding elephants
    emerge from the dust

  24. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard
    — Sanjuktaa Asopa

    Nice work, Sanjuktaa! I am impressed at how you managed to evoke the quiet sounds of winter.

    My submissions for the fourth verse:

    stomach churning and ears twitching
    the fox circles

    a light breeze brushes back
    the slender leaves

    a lone leaf dances
    on the fallen poplar trunk

    Paul Brassard

  25. Dear Kala,

    I love your detailed comments. Shows absolute path if one seeks.
    Highly appreciate the time and effort taken to choose from the lot many. Absolutely hard.
    Below are my offers :

    ************************************
    the sensuous silver breasts
    of a flowing stream

    the lily lifts its head
    in a muddy pond
    **************************************

    Have a lovely time!
    Love and Smiles
    Amrutha

  26. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    the underground beat
    of an earthworm’s five hearts

    clouds come and go
    without a thought

    distant mountains
    slide into the ultraviolet

  27. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard
    *
    — Sanjukta Asopa
    *
    a clouded leopard stretches
    to still higher heights
    *

  28. an explosion of feathers
    with the fox’s pounce

    the softness of her belly
    nuzzled by cubs

    swallowed up and spat out
    in pyroclastic flow

  29. Congratulations, Sanjuktaa

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    The alliteration of the letter h is almost onomatopoeic , very mellifluous (it is stuck somewhere in the back of my mind that the letter h is often a “silent” letter, so that probably colors my reading of your verse).

  30. The Moon’s Aura
    rasika, an 8-verse renku

    opening credits
    the moon colorized
    by its aura

    — Laurie Greer

    in one fluid stroke
    we each draw an enso

    — Sally Biggar

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    ******
    another rainbow
    dangling on the electric pole

    **
    night stars
    alight the mountain path

    **
    shadows take turn
    to sleep in the silhouette

    **

  31. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard
    — Sanjukta Asopa

    beneath the crust
    a restless boil of lava

  32. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    wild bear
    looking among the trees

    **
    hop hop
    birds jump from branch to branch

    Nani Mariani

  33. Congrats Sanjuktaa!!!

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard
    *
    — Sanjukta Asopa

    *
    a gust of wind
    from the far east

    *
    the bamboo groves
    whisper near the shrine

    *
    again the silence
    in the tatami room

  34. wild wind mostly
    through whistling hoodoos
    ***
    the shining of eyes
    in the cave’s damp echo

    ***
    a fox pup yaps
    at his mom’s lick
    ***

    lonely wolf pup found
    in a mummified sleep

    ***

  35. in one fluid stroke
    we each draw an enso

    — Sally Biggar
    .
    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa
    .
    #1

    stars where they should be
    on a clear sky night
    .
    #2

    the sounds of a forest
    when nobody listens
    .
    #3

    hoof falls of brumbies
    beyond the high plains shack
    .
    ps, re #3, in case anyone doesn’t notice the lower case b in ‘brumbies’ I am not referring to a rugby football team. 🙂

  36. Congratulations, Sanjukta. An evocative verse, and the stepping of “hush”, “huddled” and “hard” works for me. 🙂
    I see the link to the wakiku as “snow” linking to the white paper within and outside the wakiku’s completed enso.
    .
    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

  37. do my congrats go to Sanjuktaa Asopa or Sanjukta Asopa?
    what a wonderfully written winter-descripted verse!
    so very well picked by kala and perfect for this renku!

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    by S. Asopa

    a kitten pounces
    at its own shadow

    10.21.2021 by wendy © bialek

  38. The Moon’s Aura
    rasika, an 8-verse renku

    opening credits
    the moon colorized
    by its aura

    — Laurie Greer

    in one fluid stroke
    we each draw an enso

    — Sally Biggar

    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa
    an injured fox
    peers back at itself

    the open mouth
    of Mt Aso

    1. Just realised the open connection to the hokku of my verse 2

      Hence my change to

      at some point
      the fly’s entrance

  39. Congratulations Sanjuktaa and thank you Kala for the educational comments
    *
    lion cubs stalking
    their mother’s twitching tail
    *
    crows congregating
    in an oak tree’s shade
    *
    only huskies smile
    when pulling a sled

    1. Please ignore the crow and huskies verses, they are seasonal I believe
      *
      a garden snail following
      another snail’s trail
      *
      bats and black cats
      wishing upon falling stars

  40. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa

    *
    a storm tide floods
    the river’s mouth

  41. Congratulations Sanjukta
    *************************************
    history repeating
    itself in the wind
    *********************
    the mark of grizzly
    high on the tree
    *********************
    stillness deeper
    with every inch

  42. Awesome verse Sanjukta.. and great guidance by Kala

    sudden flutter
    a fledgling leaves the nest

    Or

    dappled sunlight
    dancing shadows of leaves

  43. the plague stricks all the earth
    from one end to the other

    Spectacular news
    from there Mars and Saturn

    reading old writings
    about global warming

  44. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard
    *
    — Sanjukta Asopa
    *
    the great heron stalks
    the creek bank alone
    *

  45. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard

    — Sanjukta Asopa
    Such a strong verse!!

    a murmuration blurred
    in the golden sunset

    a murmuration sinks
    into the sunset

    a murmuration swoops
    out of the sunset

  46. Thank you, Kala! It comes as a complete surprise! I am absolutely thrilled to get in! The credit goes to you because your explanation of the requirements for Daisan was so clear that I realised I was going in a wrong direction (implied human presence) with my first two offers and then tried to break away with my third one. Thanks a lot!

  47. Kala, I have a question about the princess’s lyre verse. I read it as the wind playing the reeds like a musical instrument with a play on the words liar lyre. Is that kind of sly humor or point of view not used in rasika? Of course, I could have misconstrued the verse as well. Thx.

  48. Congratulations Sanjukta! You express such a complete image in your beautifully quiet verse. I see now how my cuddling snow crystals attempt lacks the life your verse conveys. Well done. Again Kala your explanations of what, how and why deepen my appreciation for rasika as a learning medium.

    1. Thank you Clysta and Sanjuktaa for your close reading of my verse
      .
      lyre, lyre
      who can hear the ancient song
      in the withered reeds?
      .
      Multiple readings of any verse are common, as we all bring our own biases, backgrounds, and perspectives to any interpretation, and I often write (intentionally) ambiguous verses, as I enjoy a bit of challenge in both the writing and interpretation of a verse.
      .
      Indeed your reading of the verse is the one that many will take away, the withered reeds acting as a kind of aeolian harp played by the wind. Another takeaway might be that the lyre is a reference to the lyrebird. Lyrebirds are ancient Australian animals dating back to about 15 million years ago most notable for their superb ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds from their environment. Yet another take away, picked up by Clysta, is the allusion to the old ditty “Liar, liar, pants on fire…”. Consider that I wrote the 3 verses as a sequence (although with the intention that any of the 3 could stand as a follow-up to the preceding rasika verse), and re-read the 3 verses with multiple interpretations:
      .
      .
      lyre, lyre
      who can hear the ancient song
      in the withered reeds?
      .
      birdie birdie birdie*
      drifting
      o’er a snowbank
      .
      even the bashō
      prefers the cardinal’s ego
      to the chatter of snow
      .
      .

      * imitative cardinal song
      .
      .
      BTW, the 3rd verse is an allusion to a Chinese poem by Bai Juyi, translated as a hokku by R.H. Blyth:
      .
      Evening rain;
      The bashō
      Speaks of it first.
      .
      .
      Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment on my verse.

  49. hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard
    *
    — Sanjukta Asopa
    *
    Congratulations, Sanjukta! A beautiful, vivid verse that carries the rasika well to its next step. Kala: wonderful commentaries and explanations, as always. Even from my sideline, this is most exciting!
    *
    hush
    of the huddled sparrows
    as snow comes down hard
    *
    — Sanjukta Asopa
    *
    a pile of sticks
    for strengthening the nest
    *

  50. he renga feature was in large type. Now it is in
    a tiny & faint one, and for me impossible to read.
    Can it revert to what it was ?

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