Skip to content

The Renku Sessions: A Day of Snow 33

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 and avid contributors! We have verse 33. It is:

every quarter
the gentle chimes
of our antique

            Barbara A. Taylor

Right away this verse establishes a smooth and easy shift from the visual focus of a campsite clearing with “no deer in sight” to the auditory mode of chimes sounding.

“Every quarter” links as if it could refer to each quadrant of a compass but becomes in the next line a temporal interval that befits our hearing. Keeping the third line to “of our antique” leaves it more open as to whether it’s a timer or a clock as well as quickening the pace by a step as we approach our renku’s conclusion. Further it allows for a further interpretation, where “the gentle” may be the subject of “chimes” so that “our antique” may be a shared memory or a prized experience from a long time ago that the sounds remind us of.

We last had a cognate of “gentle” in verse 16, where the “ewe gently nudges/ her lambs . . .” -thus here, a parallel as we begin to ripen  a second ‘blossom verse’. Well done and thank you, Barbara.

What we need now is 2 lines, spring, indoors or out. Just that the verse after will be our crowning blossom verse -so no flowers, and no nudging.

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

the commuter car full
of personal devices

    –Michael Henry Lee

with a touch of her finger
the goddess of wind
marcels the tall grasses

    –Patrick Sweeney

a gull’s wings barely moving
in the midday heat

    –Polona Oblak

if only I could fit
an arm chair
into my wine cellar

    –Liz Ann Winkler

a dust caked child
turning a dry spigot

    –Judt Shrode

week after week
the geyser spout remains
frozen solid

    Barbara A. Taylor

skiers debate
violet wax or blue special

    –kj munro

twelve breaths
moving as one
hour of tai chi

    –Michael Henry Lee

along the Sheboygan
salmon anglers drift fishing

    –Betty Shropshire

this eclipsed moon
suddenly the colour
of fallen leaves

    –Marietta McGregor

striking the hunting camp
no deer in sight

    –Paul Geiger

every quarter
the gentle chimes
of our antique

    –Barbara A. Taylor

This Post Has 112 Comments

  1. And speaking of a Greek chorus reminds me of one of my favorite words…buxtahedron…but I can’t find it in my dictionary or on Google. Maybe I’m spelling it wrong…?

    1. It’s a lovely word, Judt! I did a quick bit of research and it doesn’t pop up in this form anywhere, at least where I looked. But it should be a word – the shape of the shadow of The Three Graces backlit by a low autumn sun? 🙂

    1. of course they do, Judt -but with the word “chorus” you’ve reminded me of Aristophanes’ comedy “the Frogs” where he sends up all three of the major Classical Greek tragedians -and you’ve done it after the midnight deadline -nice play on words

    1. presumably in a spring planting, Carmen -which is just fine except we’ve had “seed packets/ arranged alphabetically” in verse 9 and “a tray of passionfruit” in verse 21 -a third “orderly” array would be too much

  2. feasting on fiddle heads
    and wild thyme
    picking fiddle heads
    and wild thyme
    finding fiddle heads
    and wild thyme

    1. prefer the middle one of the three, Mary -certainly out-of-doors, springlike and changes the sense appeal to tactile and scent but i don’t feel any connection with the previous verse that would link it with this one, except maybe the pun on time that i wouldn’t want here

  3. our dragon kite threatens
    to swallow the sun
    our dragon kite ascends
    this first warm day

    1. no, Michael, don’t want to use “day” again here, when it will be the title of the renku as a whole

    1. has a pleasant sense of touch and the scent of “new mown grass”, Aalix -without stating it – -but i felt i wanted something uncultivated; i.e. not “mown” for this verse

    1. certainly ecststaic, Liz Ann -but i’ve done this in winter, after a storm when the clear air and cloudless sky just let the bright sun stagger you with the combined reflections off the snow-laden boughs of trees and utility wires -bright even with the blinds closed -anyway, not particularly a spring;like verse for me, but thanks

      1. I knew it was ambiguous. For me, the longer days and no longer needing an alarm clock to wake up was the inspiration. Hard to say that in a short verse!

  4. every quarter
    the gentle chimes
    of our antique
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    French windows open
    to the new day’s warmth
    French windows open
    on the first warm day

    1. enjoy that you’re linking “French windows” here with “our antique”, Mary -and the second one has a nice cadence to it -but i’m wary of using the word “day” again in this renku

    1. hadn’t thought of this at all, Paul -shift to music and the burgeoning desire of “slow dance” -i.e. not the “antique” -and “Prom” certainly indicates spring to whole hosts of people -thanks, i’ll be looking at this one again too

  5. Are we sure Barbara’s meaning of the chimes are non-Jewish? perhaps “gentle” … instead of “gentile” — ?

    A typo in the above stanza summary, I expect.

    1. Paul, scroll down to the first posting. I asked that question, too. It was indeed a typo as MH indicated. Lorin had some good comments as well. 😉

      1. Ahhh, thanks. I was remiss. But, just above the comments, the webmaster till needs to make the correction. I know it was submitted correctly.

    1. comes spring, many of us have to be aware of flooding -but this really isn’t about that, is it Marietta? -have problems with “bleached” and “king tide” just as words in this part of the renku

    1. this is good, Theresa -understanding that “peepers” are frogs, this verse shifts to scent and the tactile and then brings in an amphibian who also sends out a regular (but unstated) sound -thanks, i’ll look at this one again

      1. not really, Mary -we’ve already evoked the “lambs” in your earlier verse with our use of a cognate of ‘gentle’ in the previous verse

    1. “suddenly” we just had 4 verses ago -(and i don’t expect to include it in another renku i lead for at least two years) and the second one is also too long -i like that you’ve attempted to shift from sound to scent -but i really don’t know what a “ramp” is or how it smells -to write “pungent scent” is too heavy for something haiku-like as well

      1. the second one simply too long, Mary -the first -without the adjective “old” -would be okay in the development section -so though the surprise is welcome, the break between the lines is not

      1. well, Betty, the second is less anthropomorphic than the first -but still too much so for me

    1. very springlike, Marilyn -but i have to consider another bird mention after the “gull’s wings” of verse 24 -and it keeps us on the auditory plane

    1. or
      southerly breeze
      riffling the guidebook
      Wouldn’t it be fun if we could wager on the choice? My money would be on one that has already been posted. Tragically, not mine. 🙂

      1. wagering is a sort of ‘meta-renku’ that naturally arises with imagining a verse i think, Judt -“riffling the guidebook” is very nice though, thanks

    1. I wondered what they’d been drinking, Betty -quite funny if you say it out loud a few times

    1. second line seems like a ‘throw-in’, Michael -“washing the windows” is okay for springlike but not very compelling

    1. first one is quicker, Mary -but we’re don’t want to explicitly state departure when we’re reaching the end of our renku

    1. has a snap to it, Patrick -but we don’t really want a ‘tromp d’oeil effect in the denouement of our renku

    1. does have a sense of playful renewal, Marion -and “stream of bubbles” does play off “the gentle chimes” nicely -but i don’t think a reader would know this were a ‘spring link’ unless they knew beforehand

      1. “first sheets” would i think, Marion, have to be ‘the season’s first sheets’ too be unambiguous -and that would make it too long for here

  6. Congratulations, Barbara. Lovely link.

    every quarter
    the gentle chimes
    of our antique
    . Barbara A. Taylor

    emerging lizards
    enliven a sunny deck
    Marietta McGregor

    1. MH, I think you probably won’t want the sound of clothes pegs following chimes, so may I revise this one:
      sun warmed laundry
      flapping in the breeze

      1. well, Mary, you’re right about the “snaps” -“flapping” still a bit too raucous after the “gentle chimes”

    1. still looking for brevity here, Mary -the first one is the best and it’s just too long for here

    1. a lot of ‘s’ and ‘p’ sounds here, Mary -and i guess i’m still off food -as a spring indicator anyway

  7. congrats Barbara, nice verse
    setting new boundaries
    for this year’s tan line

    1. just too long for here, Michael -and i know it’s a spring seasonal but we don’t want to be “setting” anything in these verses either

  8. Correcting for spacing:

    every quarter
    the gentile chimes
    of our antique
    – Barbara A. Taylor
    a bright penny
    in parking lot slush
    – Karen Cesar

  9. every quarter
    the gentile chimes
    of our antique
    – Barbara A. Taylor

    a bright penny
    in parking lot slush
    – Karen Cesar

    1. just to correct Barbara’s verse again, Karen -it’s “the gentle chimes” -as a link, want no slush involved with my sense of spring here

    1. this turns to the kinaethetic lightness of jumping, w i t h a visual, Marion -will keep this one for a further look, thanks

      1. hi Marion -i really like this but decided we have our fill of colour already (probably at tilt!) -but in your verse i can hear my 8-year-old-classmates chanting ‘be on time and don’t be late’ to “double dutch” skipping in the schoolyard-MH

    1. what ilike about new spring leaves on trees is their yellowy tinge, Mary -not that they may appear that way where you are or that we have to be right at the beginning of spring for this verse -but that’s how i’m feeling about this verse

    1. “windows now open” another shift from the visual -this time to the tactile, Mary -got awhile to think about this one, thanks

  10. Marshall, a small TYPO: obviously, an “i” got added to make “gentle” into “gentile” by mistake. It is correct at the beginning of the announcement of the verse but not at the end of the whole verse for some reason.

    A beautiful verse, Barbara, as yours always are. 🙂

    It currently shows as this (as verse 32):

    every quarter
    the gentile chimes
    of our antique

    –Barbara A. Taylor

    1. 🙂 . . . and ‘genteel’ would be an interesting substitution, too.
      Though that nagging gentile takes me to insured & stolen art in the era of Germany’s Third Reich.

      ‘gentle’, though , takes me back to Mary’s little lamb.

      – Lorin
      (now an observer, curious to read the concluding verses)

    2. yeah, should be “gentle” in both places, Mary -it’s clean in the announcement -i don’t think i can change it in the listing with the complete renku (so far) though

Comments are closed.

Back To Top