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The Renku Sessions: A Day of Snow 10

renkuchainGreetings and welcome to The Haiku Foundation’s Fourth Renku Session: A Day of Snow. I am Marshall Hryciuk of Toronto Canada and i will be the leader of a 36-link Kasen renku. I’ve led over 40 of these linked-poem gatherings and my latest book, from Carleton Place, Canada is a selection of 15 of them, called petals in the dark.

Greetings, renku fans. Another week of hard choices for me as i’ve had to bypass several offerings that could stand alone as fine poems. I chose:

glasswing on the handle
of my butterfly net

                –Karen Cesar

Understanding that “glasswing” is a butterfly that has habitats in Africa and Asia whose wings are mostly transparent, what is especially exciting about this as a link is that it emerges from a cocoon and becomes a visual spectacle; a flitting array out of the seed packet.

Another attractive aspect is that it reverses the function of human purpose; the butterfly is not trapped by the net, it finds and alights on the handle, the device that would be manipulated to entrap it.

The use of “my” instead of “the” gently underscores the human frustration at this irony–but we would be so fortunate to experience the sight of this butterfly even in this controversion.

I can also appreciate the diction of the writing for its use of every vowel but no one vowel sound more than twice. Thank you very much, Karen.

What we need now is 3 lines, no particular seasonality and without repetitions of nouns or actions we have already included.

Happy linking,


A Day of Snow to Date

a day of snow
no one else
has come to the door

    –Marshall Hrycuik

coyote song closer
this longest night

    –Judt Shrode

incense lit
the scent of sage
lingers in a crowd

      –Maureen Virchau

bales of the second haying
stacked to the rafters

    –Paul MacNeil

dust from travelers
makes its slow descent
in the moonlight

    –steve smolak

faded jeans, school colors
and granny’s specs to match

    –Betty Shropshire

facing me
a hairy bunyip points
the bones

      –Barbara A. Taylor

balls of moss
exit the quaking forest

      –Carmen Sterba

in the garden shop
seed packets
arrayed alphabetically

      –Marilyn Potter

glasswing on the handle
of my butterfly net

      –Karen Cesar

This Post Has 193 Comments

  1. dancing
    among afternoon shadows
    a troupe of buskers

    or sleeping (my choice) but perhaps its too close to the link before

    1. we got a whiff of the graveyard, Mary when we met with the bunyip -and this has a gratuitous stop after the first line -and ‘sad’ just feels redundant here

    1. “cane” to “handle” made a bit haunting, Mary, with “echoes” -but then, “old” and “black” make it a very specific and visual experience and take some of that mystery away -though “his twisted cane/ echoing in the dark” would be only a two-liner

      1. You would leave out L1? It’s the tapping that echoes, no?

        the tapping
        of his twisted cane
        echoing in the dark

  2. glasswing on the handle
    of my butterfly net
    –Karen Cesar- USA

    two caterpillars
    to the rhythm of Ravel’s

    – Lorin

    1. whoops… caterpillars are probably a seasonal reference.

      glasswing on the handle
      of my butterfly net
      –Karen Cesar
      a plastic bag
      to the rhythm of Ravel’s


    2. was one of them a 10? actually, Lorin it’s the derivation of the caterpillar from the glasswing that would take it out for me -but, yeah it would mark it for a non-wintry seasonal

      1. yeah :-) I was mesmerised by a couple of caterpillars on my almost desiccated bean vines. It’s late autumn here & I was surprised to see them. I just liked their movement , I guess. No more beans, so I left them. It’s all over now … El Nino is over & those bean vines are overdue to be pulled out. For all their dancing, those caterpillars don’t have much of a chance of surviving, but they’re dancing anyway. :-)

        – Lorin

    1. pretty difficult to crochet silk -if the ‘glasswing’ were a moth -which it isn’t -anyway, Marion, miss the link here, too

    1. well, at least you link with using a net for the catch, here, Marion -but this has a generalization approach that we want to avoid here -no summaries

    1. on the verge of too many ‘t’ sounds here, Marion -makes me want to change “pretends” -nice link to the butterfly’s reversal or ‘different’ use of a utensil -and of itself it seems a ‘throwaway’ verse, but in fact digs in a little too much to keep us where we are in activity -but thanks

    1. nice afternoon, Michael Henry -but the glass/bottle link i’m avoiding here

    1. play of the notes rising on the scales and on the breeze (i wouldn’t have written, “climb”) appreciated, Agnes but “coyote’s song” still has our melody for the first 18 verses

    1. no, Vijay, “basket” too close a figure to “net” -and flowers and blossoms are held for the 17th and 35th verses, they are so important

    1. has a timbre to it, for sure, Shrikaanth, but the word, “silence” feels too heavy here after we’ve just attained the levity of a butterfly beating its hunter to the “handle”

    1. yeah, Michael Henry, not fond of the ‘glass’ to ‘bottle linking here either

    1. better link with the ‘glasswing’ part of the previous, Marilyn -lines 2 and 3 together make a superb poem, but also make the first line superfluous

    1. don’t really feel any link here, Marilyn, except maybe “on a handle” to “camp” and that’s too thin

    1. yeah, p j, the ‘lens’ link to glass doesn’t work for me either (like the windows below)

    1. well, hello, p j -too much of a kireji stop after the first line -otherwise we’re getting there with the ‘coal train’

    1. hi Mary, no, i don’t like a wind-chime redefined as a butterfly for a link

    1. Uh oh, a bit redundant here. Sorry. Let’s try this:
      the wind bell
      waiting for
      a breeze

      1. Marshall, a furin is a small Japanese wind bell. I have several in my garden. They are dark green metal with patterns embossed into the metal. To the clapper is attached a strip of thick paper that catches the wind. They tinkle delicately and are quite magical.

    1. well, humour is always appreciated, Todd -but if you want averse accepted by me, don’t pronounce the season, as here in “summer”

  3. flying two then three
    now there’s five
    paper planes in the living room

    1. hi Todd -this also mostly reinforces the levitivity of the butterfly rather than shifting us into a new activity or attitude

  4. changing direction
    the yard sale sign flutters
    in overgrown grass

    1. hello Joyce -not sure we want a link ending with “grass” for a verse beginning with “glass…” but besides that, making a butterfly out of a sign is the kind of ‘restatement’ or redefinition of the previous link that I seek to avoid in the renku i lead -we need a touch of a tangent, sure, but the shift between links is more important than giving traction to the previous one

    1. as below, Lorin -don’t want a ‘windows link’ next to the ‘glass one’

    1. nice transformation of the glasswing butterfly that’s mostly transparent into an artist’s surface for mixing colour, Maureen -more ‘human-agent activity’ than i like to include -though we have only one of these so far -have to think this one over, thanks

    1. yeah, Aaalix, as before said, I don’t want a glass to window link here

    1. guess this would be a link between butterfly hunting and ‘the beautiful game’, Marion, but i think that’s too tenuous to use it here -and the thing about recorded conversations is that there’s no immediate sensuality to them at all

    1. hello again, Carol -not sure if this is a kind of physical wren or a ‘fairy wren’ but don’t want the glass-window link here as we’ve already had the turn of “spectacles” – “in front of me”

      1. Physical wren, Marshall; a popular, dainty little Australian bird. :-)

    1. ‘out of Africa’, Betty? nice touch -but don’t want to reference an uncommon butterfly’s domicile for a link right here

      1. Yeah, no…totally missed the African home base for the Glasswing…was going for the “living stone” as opposed to to “glass wing” …or maybe I just repressed it! Working from a cellphone gets confusing when scrolling constantly to keep up.

        1. Hey, Betty,
          Glasswings are mostly in Central & South America (maybe some drift up to the more southern states of the USA now & then?) some are in Africa, and we in Australia have one one sort of them up in Far North Queenland. Reminds us that once upon a time, these continents were joined (pre-history. . . ie before us humans) as does the USA’s only remaining marsupial, the opossum) Glasswing butterflies are basically tropical.



  5. glasswing on the handle
    of my butterfly net
    –Karen Cesar- USA

    from Valparaiso
    to Sydney, a pelican’s
    direct flight

    – Lorin

    1. doesn’t come close to your ‘gypsy forecast’ for me, Lorin -but, yeah, keep ’em flowin’

    1. ‘pinot noir’ and it could be an old movie, Judt -glad you’re still playing along with us

  6. Thank you everyone for your kind words. I am enjoying your links.
    Thanks again,
    ? Karen

    1. I love this, Karen…its delicate, perfect balance. Maybe my favorite ever renku link!

    1. “lid” to “handle” a nicely subtle link, Shrikaanth, -and we’ve had a very quiet renku until now -just not sure i want one of our first named audible after the ‘coyote song’ to be an argument -but thanks

    1. don’t want to close or suggest a finish, Michael Henry, until about verse 30

  7. Congrats, Karen. A lovely image and thanks for teaching us all about the glasswing butterfly!

    at the opera
    swapping binoculars
    back and forth

    1. hello, Marilyn -looking to give other people a link in before giving someone a second -but besides that, “swapping” seems a bit heavy of sound for our renku

        1. a reference to Chang-tzu, Vijay -always nice to be reminded of this -however, can’t say, “butterfly” after one’s named in a previous link like our glasswing

        1. hi Vijay -no summaries, however positive allowed in a renku -all circulates on a sensual level

      1. right, Marion -and the ‘adjustment’ doesn’t match it in resonance

    1. well, we do need a numeral in our renku, Betty, but i’m baffled as to whom this separation refers

      1. Kevin Bacon! Google allowed a search of any actor based on their Bacon #…originally a play thought up by 3 college students…all based on the small world theory

        1. sorry, Betty – guess we’ll be without this theory for the course of our renku

    1. someone’s about to get their wish, eh, Michael Henry? -don’t like ‘cranes’ even of paper linked to a particular butterfly and don’t like the glass to paper connectin either -and it really is a 2-liner with the word, “number” added as a third line, isn’t it?

    1. “thrift shop” performs that major renku no-no, Marion ‘backlinking’ to “in the garden shop” of 2 verses ago

      1. If there’s a major no-no, I’ll be guilty of doing it, Marshall! ?

        Perhaps I ought to have stuck with my original ‘car boot sale’ but i didn’t know how that would travel… It’s still about buying in any case.

        I must admit, I seem to be so concerned with linking to the previous verse that I forget to take all the others into account! A problem caused by reading off a small screen, perhaps, as it’s difficult to scroll up and down.

  8. glasswing on the handle
    of my butterfly net

    –Karen Cesar
    since yesterday
    17 new followers
    on Twitter

    1. well, Polona, i am attending the Haiku Canada Weekend in Whitehorse, Yukon and led a “Late Night Renku” on Friday and Saturday night and mentioned how well our renku is going -so, thanks for the update

  9. glasswing on the handle
    of my butterfly net
    in a dark window
    a pair of startled eyes
    looking at me

    1. hi again, Mary -no we’ve already had the play on “spectacles” becoming “facing me” in the ‘bunyip verse’

  10. Hi Marshall, I hope this adds the mystery my earlier one lacked:
    glasswing on the handle
    of my butterfly net
    the only witness
    an old mirror
    streaked in silver

    1. Hmmmm, came back to this and wonder if it is better reversed:
      an old mirror
      streaked in silver
      the only witness

      1. yeah, Mary, we could come back to this one again later -but here, “mirror” too close to “glasswing”

      1. wow, Judt, this catches the fragility of our new creature with grace as well as feeling -butterfly’s wings have four chambers just like our hearts -will reread this one as well just for the shiver it gives me, thanks

  11. glasswing on the handle
    of my butterfly net
    –Karen Cesar- USA

    today’s weather
    brought to you with the sound
    of rolling dice

    – Lorin

    1. how can the weather compete with a gypsy, Lorin, rolling from the bottom of the deck!

  12. glasswing on the handle
    of my butterfly net
    –Karen Cesar- USA

    a gypsy’s forecast
    uttered to the sound
    of rolling dice

    – Lorin

    1. hey, Lorin, i really like this version -we go inside for the forecast and we hear rolling dice -what a cast! -thank-you, keeping this one in the round -“uttered” is perfect

    1. or singular scene:

      glasswing on the handle
      of my butterfly net
      –Karen Cesar

      behind the scene
      the sound
      of rolling dice

      – Lorin

  13. sealed with pitch pine….
    from mother to daughter
    the burden basket


    1. “basket” in such a dour verse, Patrick, too close for me to “net” -but also not ready for ‘burdens’ until after the first 18

  14. Congrats, Karen! The glasswing is a fascinating creature. Wonderful choice, Marshall.
    panoramic views
    of the harbor
    from Lady Liberty’s crown

    1. Maureen, I love how your verse zooms from Karen Cesar’s marvelous and delicate glasswing to the panoramic views from the Statue of Liberty.

      1. Thank you so much, Carmen! Very kind of you. I had hoped to link to the transparency of the butterfly’s wings, as well as to the sense of wonderment one would experience in such a creature’s presence. Looking forward to more of your verses. Take care.

    2. thanks, Maureen -yes, and yours is delightfully shifting our focus as well -will keep this one for further consideration too -thanks again

      1. Thank you for your kind words, Marshall. I am glad to hear that this verse is worthy of consideration.

    1. nice response, Agnes -just that in my style of leading, “hoop” is too close to the last word of the previous link, “net”

    2. like this, Agnes -the items on the sill form a sort of unsaid ‘collection’ -“sparkling geodes” may be too close to “glasswing” but I ‘ll keep this one around and look at it again, later -thanks

  15. hi again, Shrikaanth -even with ‘no particular season’ we want to avoid a ’cause and effect’ structure to our links

    1. 3rd line, Mary needs a particular item, aspect or quality that assumes mystery, Mary -even though the mysterious is unknown, the third line feels like a letdown –

  16. I’m really loving working with Karen’s rich verse:
    an old mirror
    streaked in silver
    and mystery

    1. 3rd line, Mary needs a particular item, aspect or quality that assumes mystery, Mary -even though the mysterious is unknown, the third line feels like a letdown

    1. good ‘mise-en-scene’, Mary, but i find the second and third lines a bit awkward in diction and don’t know what i could do to improve them

    1. interesting play upon imperfection, steve -but not quite in the spirit of ‘wabi-sabi’ where the ‘imperfection’ would be a positive quality and not something that would place you second

    1. still too close (10 verses) to repeat “day” from the hokku, steve

  17. *lovely Karen Cesar*
    glasswing on the handle
    of my butterfly net
    the parade out of sight
    but still the beat
    of the drum

    1. great ‘connection’ of the “handle” to drumsticks, steve -want to give people who haven’t had a verse in more of a chance -but as this, there’s just too many ‘the’s

  18. Congrats for having your fine poem chosen, Karen

    glasswing on the handle
    of my butterfly net

    an off-shore breeze
    swirling clouds
    into the whitecaps

    1. glasswing on the handle
      of my butterfly net

      an off-shore breeze
      swirling clouds
      into the whitecaps

      1. hello again, Marietta -this is an accomplished ‘trompe-d’oeil’ but i’m still wary it has too much of a ’cause-and-effect’ structure to it

  19. Congratulations, Karen Cesar, on a beautiful verse. What a beautiful image you’ve created.
    pulling a thread
    from the hem
    her sweater unravels

      1. The word “loose” could also be included. Either way works for me.

        pulling a thread
        from the hem
        her sweater unravels
        pulling a loose thread
        from the hem
        her sweater unravels

    1. has a seasonal feel to it paul, even if specifically it wasn’t ‘in season’ at the time

    1. love the “by a coal train”, paul, but i think we need another element that links better with the glasswing to include it here -or maybe even something particular from the town

    1. here, Paul, i think “brightly” is redundant – but i can’t think of a whole new first line just yet -or maybe it just needs another element

      1. Not a problem, Marshall — depends on your perspective. Certainly some nights the stars are faint, dim. And, I thought to vary the parts of speech … not a previous adverb to begin a stanza.

    1. so, happy enough, but maybe some irony too, Michael Henry -but i think the link here would be quite tenuous

    1. interesting, Paul, to have such a strong physical activity in a ‘no season’ link -concerned that there would be a season when you wouldn’t rake for clams though

      1. There is no clamming season. Not in Maine which I know, or Oregon per the Net. Regulated only by a license for commercial digging (free for individuals), and the tides.

        Some Japanese saijiki list “shellfish” as in autumn, but Japan is not the basis here as I understand it. It is “all-year.”

    1. hello there, Paul -this is usuable, though so early, definitely look at this one again later, thanks

    1. welcome back, Shrikaanth -even with ‘no particular season’ we want to avoid a ’cause and effect’ structure to our links

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