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The Renku Sessions: A Day of Snow 21

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 makers! Our verse number 21 is:

beaming with joy
the first visitor presents
a tray of passionfruit

              –Barbara A. Taylor

There are two ways of spreading sympathy. One is by increasing the number of people involved; that is, by quantity. The other is by intensifying the feeling at source. This developing the sympathy’s quality would then generate a keener participation. By writing from within our renku rather than towards it, the poet here has our subject embody the new year itself-not as reported in the newspapers or noticed in the third person; this “first visitor” is the new year in its sustained beaming. It does this “with joy” because it is complete within itself, without comportment or objective description. It’s guilelessly just shining in arrival.

“Presents” even provides a bit of giddy wordplay, while “a tray of passionfruit” offers out particles of this shine in a plethora of exotic berries-probably imported, but right here, right now, in front of the hospice New Year attendees. A shining moment. Thank you very much, Barbara.

For our next verse we need 2 lines, no particular seasonality. Think not so much of activities such as swimming that could be argued to be performed in any season, but rather of things you perform day in, day out, such as eating, drinking, washing, walking or shopping, etc.-though of course here, eating would be too close to the tray of passionfruit. We still have to link to and shift from this glowing verse #21.

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

another soul in the limelight
of #blacklivesmatter

      –Agnes Eva Savich

Bastille Day

      –Marion Clarke

recruitment of volunteers
for the hospice New Year’s Eve

    –Gabriel Sawicki

beaming with joy
the first visitor presents
a tray of passionfruit

    –Barbara A. Taylor

This Post Has 125 Comments

  1. It’s occurred to me that in context of ‘hospice’ in v 20, ‘tray’ connected with ‘passionfruit’ in v21 could be version of the Holy Grail.

    beaming with joy
    the first visitor presents
    a tray of passionfruit

    –Barbara A. Taylor

    Sir Percy forgets to ask
    the essential question

    – Lorin

    1. sorry, Paul, “reinstitutes” just too brutal a word for our renku -even ‘reconstitutes’ would have some wit to it -and still be’ tooting’ too

    1. fairly sardonic, Betty -would bring the voice of a software-developer floor-manager into our renku -which i don’t want to do

    1. this has a nice smell to it, Maureen, but i think i want something more abstract for this link

  2. beaming with joy
    the first visitor presents
    a tray of passionfruit

    –Barbara A. Taylor

    all those speculations
    re: the Mayan calendar

    – Lorin

    1. a tray of speculations, then Lorin? Don’t want to mention “calendar” when we’re trying to leave the New Year’s section

      1. No link to ‘tray’ Marshall. The link is to passionfruit, their origins in Sth. America . . . a Mayan fruit, the name ‘passionfruit’ given by Jesuit missionaries and the flower converted to a symbol of the Passion of Christ . . . and the passionfruit’s many seeds.)

        I understood that you didn’t want ‘calendar’ of any kind and surmised this proscription would extend to all manner of time-keeping and that this verse wouldn’t be in the running.

        – Lorin

    1. certainly topical to the pop culture, Maria -but the brackets make the words within them seem optional -but without them that would mean the “first visitor” is searching for Pokémon -which won’t ‘do’ -and with these words it just seems like an unrelated activity from a different subject

    1. when you say, “young waiter”, Marion, it seems a bit judgmental to me -it is cooking at one remove, but a server is still too close to a “first visitor” who delivers for our renku

    1. any mention of “smile” or “face” is too close to what’s “beaming with joy” in the previous verse, Aaalix

    1. yeah, Marion, there was a time (long ago) when i played a Van the Man record at least once a day -but the “sparkle” here is too close to the beams of “beaming with joy” -you did remind me though of Basho’s poem about sweeping so much and for so long he has become a broom -so thanks for that

      1. Yeah, point taken, Marshall. I saw Van love three times, each very different.

        Don’t think I do enough housework to become a broom – though I’ve spent enough time in my youth on the back of a motorcycle so maybe I could be like Kaneko and turn into one of those! ?

    1. so long as they’re not Syrians, eh, Marion? “documentary” too much of a backlink to the “Bastille Day” i’m afraid

    1. hi Joel -glad you’re keeping the diction clear and simple -the event you relate to us for our renku needs a little more complexity though

    1. yeah, we’ve all had shopping trips with this kind of cart or trolley, Marietta -but i’m not looking for exasperation right here

    1. this, “she’s first” has more of the excited energy either she or he would feel, Marietta than in the first version but still feels far-off and distant -like the difference of the boxscore of a baseball game from the playing of the game itself

  3. beaming with joy
    the first visitor presents
    a tray of passionfruit

    –Barbara A. Taylor

    after Pulp Fiction
    black seeds between his teeth

    – Lorin

    1. a little close, shall we say, Lorin? -though i was thinking of “the Shining”

  4. beaming with joy
    the first visitor presents
    a tray of passionfruit

    –Barbara A. Taylor

    again I replay
    the three Matrix movies

    (for Patrick :-) )
    – Lorin

    1. alluring, Aalix -and i guess it links the cell technology with the beams of “beaming” -but that puts too heavy a twist on them

    1. interesting use of internal rhyme, Jennifer -but even the shift in distraction is not supported enough by a link to the previous verse

    1. quite a shift, Judt, but not enough specific link -it would feel more like a link back to “Bastille Day” and Current Events than to this last verse

    1. Oh, for heaven’s sake. I guess most people don’t do that every day………..?!?!

      1. hey there, Judt -I suggested thinking of things we do everyday as an approach to making a ‘no particular season’ kind of link offering just to make it easier -not to make it mandatory -“the ring bearer” can’t be used here, not because it’s so extra-ordinary, but because it repeats the gesture of “the first visitor” as making a marvellous delivery

    1. Gosh – does that sound like something illicit is going on?

      morning silence broken
      by the milkman’s whistle

      1. yes it does, Marion -but the redo has too much of “Morning is broken …” -but anyway -we had the “first visitor” make a wonderful delivery in the previous verse so this guy has no chance

    1. well, Marion, this one pushes ‘the everyday’ into the forefront -still concerned with the light in “beaming” being repeated in the rainbow, though -but thanks

      1. nice feeling to the scene, Marion -but links more to a New Year’s section, i think, than shifting from and on out of it

      1. sorry, that should be “beaming with joy” as the lines, but we can’t have this kind of ‘in-dwelling shine’ repeated here

    1. yeah, Judt, we could go from food to drink but “glinting off” a little too close to “beaming” in the previous verse

      1. vacuuming to ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ -that’s novel, Betty -but not the link I was looking for

    1. well, Betty, a reference to canines could be allowed once again -but i’m thinking i want to get away from food and cooking altogether for this one

  5. “Splendid!” comes to mind, Barbara.
    fresh link fix
    for the renku junkie

    1. this is deft enough, Liz Ann -it’s just that i prefer the earlier submission by Michael Henry when it comes to “personal devices”

    1. this is a good link: channels to the tray, Theresa -but it’s a bit long and i’m wary of the soft rhyme of the lines -i’ll have to consider whether i think our renku can absorb this -thanks

    1. this one’s sharper in focus, Todd, and original -have to think about this one, thanks

    1. seems to link back in time -and then if we look back in our renku, we have a hospice -so i’d rather not use this one

    1. this one has potential, Michael, if you think of each car in the train as a tray -thanks

      1. trouble is we had “train” so close before -maybe if you can accept “commuter car”, Michael, this would be more acceptable

  6. swirls of vinegar flies accompany
    a trip to the compost heap


    To give them their correct name and avoid repeating ‘fruit’!

  7. beaming with joy
the first visitor presents
a tray of passionfruit
    –Barbara A. Taylor


    swirls of fruit flies accompany
    a trip to the compost heap

    1. too much like continuing the narrative plot, Marietta -even with the correct name

  8. beaming with joy
the first visitor presents
a tray of passionfruit
    –Barbara A. Taylor


    Very enjoyable Barbara! I’m enjoying passionfruit right now.

    1. well, Marilyn, you’re certainly trying to link from within our renku -is this fromhulking and washing the passionfruit or an aftermath to a ‘grand cooking’ in general?

  9. whatever you do don’t tell them about Padre Pio
    piercing the bottom of your foot in the night


    1. Ha, Patrick … it’ s not Padre Pio piecing my feet but the bloody steel pins the surgeon put in my big toes! Winter doesn’t help.

      – Lorin

    2. …but I did get it, Patrick :-) …where passionfruit originated and why they’re called ‘passionfruit’.
      The Jesuits were down there colonizing Sth, America before the Mayflower mob were told to shape up or ship out of England.
      Passionfruit, potatoes, tomatoes, climbing beans. maize, girasole… we owe a lot to the Mayans.

      – Lorin

    1. this would probably be fun, Jennifer, but as a linking drinking verse, i prefer the single malt whisky flight of Paul’s at the start of this verse’s offerings

  10. beaming with joy
    the first visitor presents
    a tray of passionfruit

    whipping more egg whites
    in the pavlova kitchen

    – Lorin

    1. just about got the scientist mixed in with the ballerina, Lorin -and a ‘Pavlova’ is a kind of dessert, i didn’t know about -anyway, don’t want another kind of food here

      1. Yep, a pavlova is a common and popular dessert, one that often uses passionfruit. Ways to use up all that pulp must be found, & the pav is a favourite, .
        Well, in yr directions, Marshall, you want verses with common activities linking Barbara’s verse but excluding eating, and now you don’t want anything to do with “another kind of food”.
        I do find it hard to guess what you have in mind!

        Back to the drawing board!

        – Lorin

  11. ah, now I get the gist of Marshall’s rather cryptic: “guess i prefer passionfruit to peaches, Lorin . . . “
    Sorry Barbara, I hadn’t noticed this verse of yours in the thread. Congratulations …& it’s good to see the humble backyard passionfruit feature in this renku. January is on target, too, for the fruits to have ripened in a good year. I see the “first visitor” in this ku as a child, possibly visiting a beloved grandparent.

    – Lorin

  12. Gosh! Thank you Marshall, and all for comments.

    This is actually true. My neighbour was indeed my first visitor this
    year, and he brought a bag of freshly picked passionfruit from his
    very large passionfruit orchard. Delicious! He now plans to uproot these plants and add to his extensive acerage of Avocado trees.

  13. beaming with joy
the first visitor presents
a tray of passionfruit
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    smiles given in passing
    to strangers on the street

    1. this one, Mary, feels like it’s still linking into the New Year’s seasonality -that’s over -we’re linking with it and shifting, not staying there

      1. It’s your choice of course, but personally I like smiles from strangers all year ’round. I’m not sure why it feels like New Year still since smiling is at any time. Oh well, I’ll move on.

  14. A really lovely verse, Barbara!
    beaming with joy
the first visitor presents
a tray of passionfruit
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    flossing without fail
    and no complaints

      1. Hmmm, I do. I floss diligently but tend to complain about having to do it. I think others might also dislike the task though they do it faithfully.

  15. Congrats, Barbara! A wonderfully refreshing verse. Great choice, Marshall.
    handmade soap and a loofah
    to exfoliate my skin

    1. thanks, Maureen -I hope we’re all refreshed! Too much explicit functionality in your offering, however

  16. as the curtain rises
    silencing my cell phone

    or perhaps just:

    as the curtain rises
    silencing my phone

    1. Sorry, just noticed “silence” in one of the other verses, so please disregard this one.

      1. yeah, Theresa, though it’s before verse 18, “silence” is a very weighted word

    1. they probably do, Paul, but this is too cause-and-effect in a direct relation for my kind of renku

    1. like this, Paul, in that the pub menu actually calls the row of tasters a ‘flight’ -I would write ‘whiskies’ though

      1. The correct plural seems to be up in the air, Marshall. Being from Scotland (i.e. single malt), Internet search seems to favor the plural as I wrote it. No doubt the plural of whiskey (with an E) is whiskies. But to preserve the Scot meaning it is often written as whisky (no E, either singular or plural). I can go either way . . .

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