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The Renku Sessions: A Day of Snow 17

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.

Hello, renku fans. We have our first blossom verse. It is:

one white tulip
in a sunlit border
glows against the green

      –Marietta McGregor

Whiteness was the link to the sheep for many of us and i fancy the double “w” sounds at this verse’s start embody the first wobbly steps of the lambs. But once these are accomplished the movement on is more of an emanation from the depths of the flowering moment.

“In a border” again relates to a possible pen enclosing the lambs but at the same time establishes that it’s the tulip’s cultivation that makes it solitary.

Though we know, intellectually, that its radiance is from reflected light, sometimes under the proper, offsetting conditions-here, green shrubbery, i’m guessing-it feels for a fleeting few seconds as if the whole flower is shining and aglow in its surroundings with an aura attending its crown.

I further appreciate that “against the green” brings to mind the phrase, “against the grain”; an improvisation that performs without regard to expectation or conformity.

A glowing verse, Marietta. Thank you very much.

What we need now is 2 lines, Current Events. This  means a link that references a global headline in the News, either verbatim or an observation with an immediately recognizable world-dominating event. And remember, it still has to link somehow to our blossom verse.

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

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

    –Lorin Ford

trick-or-treaters skip
under a new moon

      –Maureen Virchau

horses’ foggy snorts
lead our morning jaunt
along the track

      –Marietta McGregor

scanning an empty platform
as the train chugs off

      –Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

I sit in silence
behind the steering wheel

    –Paul Geiger

the ewe gently nudges
her lambs to move on

      –Mary Kendall

one white tulip
in a sunlit border
glows against the green

      –Marietta McGregor

This Post Has 141 Comments

      1. certainly up-to-date, Marion -it’s the number of dead that staggers me -must have had no slow-down at all -I think we need to have some idea of the numbers to fully appreciate this verse

    1. did you just write, “flowering” right next to the blossom verse, Paul? yes, you did …

    1. that’s raw data, yes, Patrick and i’m looking for the raw data in global news as distinct from an immediate percept of the local game

    1. again, Liz Ann, you’re reporting the progress of the news event, not pointing up the enormity of the event itself

  1. one white tulip
in a sunlit border

    glows against the green
    –Marietta McGregor
    Trump palms off star-
    crossed money on Clinton

    1. this is more like it, Mary, though still your summary and not the actual accusation

  2. sorry here’s a little better version / or not
    abruptly Sulu reveals
    the man he’s always been

    1. okay, so maybe we need some fun in this rather dour section of the renku, Patrick -but we could still go Wilde – or D. Grey

      1. I guess this the latest of his verbal gambols, Betty, but i don’t find this as savagely smug as many of his other comments

        1. It’s the glib minimizing that galls me…that slippery slope to no big deal when it yuge!

  3. Thank you for your thorough explanation of your desires for this renku section, Marshall.
    suspect in Dallas ambush
    believed to be lone gunman

    1. you’re welcome, Maureen -your offering brings back memories of the Kennedy assassination, -well done -have to think about this one, thanks

  4. Your comments are most appreciated, Marshall. I really missed the boat earlier. I hope I’m getting closer to the concept of a brutal headline of today’s sad world:

    one white tulip
in a sunlit border

    glows against the green
    –Marietta McGregor
    black and blue
    bleeding red
    or perhaps avoid the participle:
    black and blue
    both bleed red

    1. not really closer, Mary -looks like you’re still deriving and summing the headline instead of just stating it so it links

  5. “San Andreas fault
    ‘locked, loaded and ready to roll’ ”

    from the LA Times, May 6, 2016

        1. yeah, it’s the dice and the lambs, Betty -and portentous of the future whereas I want something that happened and has just been recorded

  6. the Barrier Reef expires
    in a stink of dead polyps


    I know i’m not eligible for a while and should stay quiet, but just had to offer this

    1. okay to offer, Marietta, and you’re only ‘out’ for one link -and it isn’t completely dead yet, is it?

    1. well, joel, you’ve got the immediate tv news headline, but not the horrific extent of the damage done

    2. “Harambe” was a Disney, fictional king, right, Michael Henry? if i’m wrong, please let me know -we’re in the non-fiction section right now

    1. pondering if too many syllables in first zika virus post

      is this any better

      zika virus epidemic
      leaves arena seats empty

      1. this is better, Marilyn, but still too long -but the verse could be looked at as an economic comment whereas the horror of an individual mother’s birthing experience outweighs this for me

    1. this is more of what I was looking for, Judt -have to think about how it links, though, but thanks (the other two more oblique comments on si9tuations than headlines, but certainly feel heartfelt, Judt, just so you know)

    1. this is getting there, Judt -though ‘for being black and dialing 911’ might be more on the mark

    1. yeah, they played great team football, Vasile -but it just seems like a distraction now -and this is a summary, not a headline

    1. more a comment of oxymoronic life than a headline, Judt -but keep ’em comin’ you may nail one on the headline sometime soon

    1. interesting, Michael Henry in that this records the technology of recording the atrocity rather than the atrocity itself

    1. Todd, it looks like you’re still contributing for the blossom verse -we’re in Current Events now

    1. poetic mixture a bit too cold for 5 dead cops in the Lone Star State, Betty -no Gary Cooper here

      1. Referring to Trump’s use of a star in an ad against Hillary that backfired on him…nothing to do with the 5 policemen gunned down in my home state.. can’t even begin to go there in this renku nor would I refer to them as copper, period.

        1. no criticism intended, Betty, just giving you my reading of your verse -but i was hoping writers would “begin to go there” in this renku but i can respect those who don’t want to

    1. reminds me of Bowie’s “smiles like a reptile” in its subtle charactierization of a dictator (who constitute most of the world’s leaders I imagine (none of them got to go to Wawrsaw)) -but as you can see below, i’m not looking for subtlety in this verse

  7. maybe this version is more universal? (Berlin, Mexico, China, Rome, etc.)?
    one white tulip
in a sunlit border

    glows against the green
    –Marietta McGregor
    all this talk of walls
    dividing us again

    1. but you still make it personal, Mary -pert of the exercise of linking is to get writing of verse away from the personal, human concerns and the aspect of ‘Current Events’ that is important for this is that it’s not a poet relating her or his interpretation of a personal feeling but a poetic focusing from raw propaganda or reportage that is impersonal

  8. one white tulip
in a sunlit border

    glows against the green
    –Marietta McGregor
    all this talk of walls
    separating them from us

  9. one white tulip
in a sunlit border

    glows against the green
    –Marietta McGregor
    away from the light
    bigotry grows stronger

    1. need the raw bigotry as reported, Mary -in general, generalizations kill the poetry

    1. hi and thanks, Mary -not looking for summaries or explicit judgments here, though

  10. Marietta, your beautiful verse has such rich imagery. A wonderful choice for the first blossom verse. :)

    (P.S. I also love reading Marshall’s comments when he makes a selection!)

      1. too sweet for now (the verse, not the man (I hope)) but thanks Judt, he’s such a relief as a PM for Canada

  11. between city buildings
    snipers scan the verge

    verge meaning that space between footpath and garden bed, verge used in this way maybe an aussie thing!

    in which case

    between the tussocks
    snipers scan ahead

    1. no, “verge”, though not a commonly used word, is understandable here, Marilyn -this does read, though like a re-enactment of the scene in the present more than a report from the actual scene that headlines usually carry to the public

      1. a child catching drips
        from a dust caked spigot
        too harsh probably…but the very words “current events” light my fuse

        1. not ‘too’ harsh, Judt -i want harsher here -it helps to ground our renku to be able to record our world’s atrocities -of these, I prefer “dust caked water spigot/ in West bank heat” -the use of a cognate of ‘cake’ is wonderful here, thanks

          1. the trouble is, though this a recurrent horrible situation, Judt, this is not really a headline-intrusion into our daily lives -so i’ll have to think this through again

          2. Not to counter, but to comment, Marshall…this is an image posted by a photojournalist; those punch my gut more than headlines sometimes. But I get it about immediacy.

        2. actually, Judt, i’m liking your original more now -do you think you could work it into a 3-liner for the next link? -perhaps by referencing it as photo-journalism

    1. hi Marilyn -good wordplay upon “Warsaw” but “summit” seems a silly word for a bunch of suits meeting to have champagne together

    1. not just global but inter-planetary, Polona -but i actually want a headline about the horrors of living on earth right now

    1. this is a comment upon the propaganda -this verse, Betty requires direct propaganda or atrocity

    1. was this a headline? -i guess, Maureen, i think of ‘Current Events’ as a section where we stop being poetic and just relay raw propaganda and reportage to give edge to, but also bottom out our highly cultivated renku with some immediate social reality -and it seems, like in the ‘Unrequited Love’ section where i received mostly observational nuances and very little in the way of recorded personal pain in the verse, we want to maintain the poetic tone to this renku

    1. yeah, this could be anywhere anytime, Michael Henry -need a specific, LOUD headline(r) here

    1. really though, Betty, that’s a tv commercial’s hook-slogan, not a headline

      1. yes, agree, Marshall…but was going for irony where for a young man of color there is no VISA…green or otherwise… card…literally or metaphorically…when they reach for their wallet underscrutiny as recently experienced by a now dead young black man in this climate of paranoia towards young black men.

    1. I think we need to have the rubble situated for this link, Betty -though i ‘get’ the offering of the ‘anonymous victim’

    1. Please scrap the above submission, Marshall (got my headlines mixed up)

      Instead, here is something from a recent news item, but it might not global enough for your requirements.

      fourteen new refugee families
      welcomed at Belfast airport

  12. Marshall, I’m really enjoying everyone’s poetry, and among such beautiful work it’s a huge honour and pleasure to have my blossom verse chosen for ‘Day of Snow’. Thank you so much for your rich and perceptive exposition.

    1. Should have written ‘A Day of Snow’ – excitement had me rushing!

    2. you’re welcome, Marietta -and thank-you for your consistently intriguing offerings of links

    1. “mourning dove” somehow links back to the lambs of 2 verses ago, which would be really baaaaad, Patrick

    1. actually, Vasile, we write, “Scylla and Charybdis” but yes, this is such a constant global crisis that it can lose focus for broadcasters even though this situation is no less desperate than when it was first reported -thanks for the reminder

    1. After posting this, I realized that it probably won’t fit because “butterfly net” is mentioned in a previous verse. Sorry…

      1. yes, and also because you repeat, “border” from the verse you’re linking to, Theresa -lots of time to try again

        1. Yes, thanks, Marshall. I noticed the repeat of “border” as well afterwards. Will be more careful about repeats next time.


    1. certainly a vivid ‘offset’ from the white tulip, Agnes -though sadly, now there’s at least two,-thanks

    1. possible, Vasile, and the Latin here is intriguing, though distancing -maybe we need some calm -we’ll see

  13. Absolutely stunning imagery, Marietta. Congratulations! An excellent choice, Marshall. Love your insightful and poetic commentary.
    a LGBT pride flag
    flying at half-mast

    1. thanks, Maureen -the rainbow flag would be a lovely juxtaposition to the white tulip -I think there’ll be many worthy offerings for this verse-link to come -and it’ll be tough to keep up with the terrible events that are unfolding from Bagdad to Dallas, as well as in Orlando, Baton Rouge and Minnesota -but thanks to everyone for your encouragement to me as our leader in this renku

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