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The Renku Sessions: A Day of Snow 36

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.

Writers, renku participants, readers, we’ve reached our completing verse for our A Day of Snow. It is:

bursting out of gravity
in a trail of stars

                  Marion Clarke

I was looking for a link that not only opened out to interstellar spaces but also bound up within it an exhilaration of our renku’s energy. “Bursting out of gravity” exudes this, portraying a moment that would be invisible but salient; double-edged, in that physically there would still be the slightest of gravitational pulls ‘out there’ but our energy would yet reach to a virtual state, as does the process of imagination.

“Bursting” even has an organic connotation with a bloom coming forth in a day. Then there is the subtle surprise of “in a trail of stars” – as if these were a by-product of this energy’s forces; as if maybe not only does ‘matter think’ at the composition level of the photon, but that ‘imagination matters’ and thus all beings have a sentience and the capacity for change and modification within their vibratory selves. And on this verse’s literal level, in virtual space of other minds our renku travels from out of its confines blindly and shining.

Thank-you, everyone, for your participation. And thanks to The Haiku Foundation for providing a platform for us to meet each other and compose renku together and for asking me to lead this session. Special thanks to John Stevenson for posting each new renku link, adding it to the string and setting up the Troutswirl blog every week for the past 36.

I salute you all – Marshall Hryciuk


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

the scent of rain wafts
among peepers

    –Theresa Cancro

wooded dunes
in dappled sunlight a stand
of Indian paintbrushes

    –Betty Shropshire

bursting out of gravity
in a trail of stars

    –Marion Clarke

This Post Has 79 Comments

    1. Hello Judt

      Are you open to a newcomer to rengay? I have plenty of experience with haiku , haibun, tanka, sentyu (published in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Prune Juice, Contemporary Haibun Online, Failed Haiku, most of the Prolific Press anthologies including my haiku sequence, “Spaces” which won the Poetry Quarterly “2014 Rebecca Lard Prize) and have wanted to collaborate with another poet on linked verse for a long time now.

      Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

      Happy New Year!

  1. Before signing off, I have an open question to ask of everyone — Would you consider doing renku/renga by internet a form of bunnin? In the past, I’ve done renga using postcards and was called bunnin.

    1. glad you enjoyed it, Paul -i certainly enjoyed the poetry of the verses offered stay tuned to THF for the next one -and all the best from myself, Marshall

  2. Yay Marion! What a wonderful way to end this up! And thanks to Marshall and everyone who so faithfully sent in verse after verse, making this renku possible. I live in Washington , IL USA.

  3. Congratulations to you, Marion! Such an imaginative verse. And congrats to everyone for all their selected verses. Wonderful choices along the way, Marshall. Your dedication to the renku process is extraordinary and sincerely appreciated. My place of residence is Elma, NY.
    Many thanks to John Stevenson, Jim Kacian and everyone at THF for providing such a wonderful place to link & shift. Best wishes to everyone.

  4. Nice choice. The energy helps offset the tinge of sadness as we say goodbye. I have enjoyed all the contributions and learned so much from your commentary, Marshall. My engagement has renewed my interest in haiku and I know it will be better for the feedback I can apply. Cheers everyone. I hope to meet up in this space again.

    Liz Ann from White Rock, BC, Canada posting from Montreal.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Liz Ann -i’m glad you enjoyed it -fun with language is an important part of renku ‘ancient’ or ‘postmodern’

  5. This was truly a fantastic experience in an ancient art form, Marshall, and I thank you. And thanks to The Haiku Foundation, and for the many submissions by other poets.
    Houghton, Michigan USA

  6. bursting out of gravity
    in a trail of stars

    –Marion Clarke

    I do like Marion’s concluding verse, a lot.

    For me it’s been an interesting, though not enlightening, experience. It’s sheer chance (as I suspected but attempted, vainly, to disprove) that I has one verse accepted

    For what it’s worth, I’m Australian, of no social status… a bitzer with many generations preceding me. I’m living in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

    – Lorin

  7. Although I haven’t contributed many verses, I have learned much about Kasen Renku and thoroughly enjoyed reading all the contributions, along with Marshall’s comments. What wonderful exercises for the brain!
    Congratulations to all who have had verses selected for this lovely renku.
    Regards, Carol

  8. g’day Marshall,

    I live at Mountain Top, NSW, Australia.


    Um, please, I was wondering would you agree to take off “s” on bones in my verse:

    facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones

    I know there was some discussion at the time and I failed to respond to this issue. But it is more correct to have singular bone. Can this be done?

    Thanks for your kind consideration.

    Peace and Love

    1. Sorry Barbara, but it’s inappropriate , whether you have bone or bones. And I don’t care what Marshall has to say about it. Ignorance is no excuse,

      – Lorin

    2. well Barbara, the whole renku has already been posted by John on the THF “Renku Archives” site -page -so that’s the way it will stay -if it should proceed into another format, it would go through another edit and we could change it then -but for now this is the way it’s done, and that’s the way i’ll keep it in my copy -you could ask John Stevenson or Jim Kacian if you wanted to change it sooner -and thanks very much for all your contributions MH

  9. Congratulations, Marion. I love the way your verse leaves the renku on such a positive note.

    Thank you, Marshall, for your guidance. I learned so much and enjoyed the interaction and experience!

    Theresa Cancro
    Wilmington, Delaware, USA

  10. Marshall, you are very good at keeping everyone on their toes! Best wishes to all who took part in “A Day of Snow.”

    In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I took part in AIR (Association for International Renku) in Japan, where we would do renku face-to-face. I returned to the U.S. in 2004 and now live in University Place, WA. Judt and I live near each other.

  11. well done, Marion – and all the participants for that matter.
    and thank you, Marshall, it’s been a fun and interesting experience. your thoughtful response to virtually every contribution is admirable. i must admit i often didn’t quite follow your instructions but that, i guess, is why you are a renku leader, and i’m not
    Polona Oblak
    Ljubljana, Slovenia

    1. Thanks for your place of residence, Polona -you could be leading one of these one day -best wishes for that -MH

  12. Forgive me Hryciuk sensei, I at first took your question to be ontological, but now I see from other responses that you are asking a geographic question. I live in Misawa, Japan.


    p.s. Thanks for all your hard work, I think it is a beautiful poem.

  13. Congratulations Marion! Great way to pace our journey.

    Thank you Marshall for taking us on this trip. It was a pleasure to work with you all. I really like how this renku concludes with
    an open and expanding doorway to the universe. I hope we can play together again.

    Peace and Love

    1. yes it was fun and a delightfully open-minded group, Barbara -you provided us with several amazing and pivotal verses -so much appreciation for that -may i ask you as well; what locale you write from?

  14. Bravo, Marion.. I love your “trail of stars”.
    And thank you to Marshal and all the talented participants for a great Renku. It’s been such fun!
    Marilyn from Toronto, ON, Canada

  15. Hryciuk sensei and poets, this has been a wonderful experience. It is a comfort to know that sensitive and beautiful people around the world are looking deeply into nature. And how lucky we all are to have met here at the Haiku Foundation.


  16. Thanks Marshall and to all the participants I have enjoyed reading everyones thoughts and having a go at writing renku,

  17. Woohoo, Marion!!! Well done! As to the rest of you all…so very pleased and grateful to have been a part of this renku. Thank you, especially, Marshall…deeply honored to have crossed paths with you!

    …(no fixed homebase)
    Betty…park host at
    Seminole Canyon State Park
    Texas, USA

  18. Fantastic verse, Marion! After 36 weeks, our renku didn’t just ‘bow out’, it ‘burst out’. I say ‘our renku’ because I really felt part of something. I’d deliberately avoided face-to-face renku sessions because I’m a bit deaf, so it was too scary to jump in live. I loved this, my first one, and hope one day to have another go. Thank you, Marshall! Your patience in commenting with constructive and good-natured suggestions on what must be several thousand links has amazed me! And thanks so much, everyone, for your ever-inventive takes on linking. It was good to meet you. I will miss you all. Thanks too to John Stevenson and THF for facilitating. My last early morning check-in is from Canberra, Australia.

    1. Thank you, Marietta 🙂 I’ve never participated in a face-to-face renku either – in fact I was introduced to this form on here. It is fun and very addictive!


    2. you were a very constructive part of the fun and the poetry of our renku, Marietta -thanks very much -so then shall i write you in as from Canberra, Australia?

      1. .
        Hi Marshall! 🙂
        We will be staying home this year in our very new house! It’s only a few minutes from the train station, and minutes away from a meadow, and woodland, but central to town at the same time.
        The station café is very friendly, and we are a minute away from shops, cafes, etc… So if you ever popping over like last time to do a renga, we are very accessible from London, Bath, and Bristol etc…
        Steamers cafe:
        warm regards,

    1. Thanks, Alan -was good hearing from you – Karen and i will be in Massachusettes for American Thanksgiving -best wishes to you and yours as well

  19. Marion…your verse is wonderful, a perfect way for our renku to “go out” in a blaze of stars.

  20. bursting out of gravity
    in a trail of stars
    –Marion Clarke
    When I saw that Marion’s offering was selected for the concluding verse, I was so excited that I emailed her right away. It is such a beautiful verse and absolutely perfect to conclude and yet extend our renku. Congratulations, Marion…an honor so well deserved. 🙂
    To all the poets who joined in this renku, thank you for your inspiring verses. Marshall, I have learned so much from you and the participants in 36 weeks. Thank you for your detailed explanations and all the examples you gave to us. Thanks also for understanding that one or two of us were beginners and a bit clueless at times. 🙂 This has been a wonderful experience.

    1. you’re most welcome, Mary, the best way, i think, to learn writing is to keep writing -so keep going with it -and very glad you liked marion’s verse so much -may i ask what locale you write from?

  21. Thank you, Marshall! This has been such a great learning experience due to your thoughtful and respectful comments…for each and every offering, for 36 weeks! I have really appreciated your wide general knowledge and sense of humor. It’s been fun. I will miss it. And to all the participants, I will miss you, too. What fun to see what everyone comes up with each day! Many thanks to all.
    One last thing concerning our universe:
    into the stars
    a wish a hope a plea
    Judt. (Tacoma, Washington)

  22. excellent concluding verse Marion. This has been grand Marshall
    ( no pun intended) I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading the comments and every ones verses


    1. thanks, Michael – i certainly enjoyed the offerings you contibuted and am glad you enjoyed yourself as well -MH

  23. Oh wow, Marshall, Mary has just messaged me about this. I am so honoured – and more than a little bit excited! 🙂 Thank you so much for choosing my verse to end our renku. It’s always sad when one comes to an end and especially since we’ve been communicating for 36 weeks. I’ve learned such a lot from your comments and enjoyed the wonderful verses from my fellow participants every week…and of course we’ve had some fun along the way!

    Again, thank you sincerely for you time and guidance and thanks also to John for hosting and facilitating the renku.


    1. you’re most welcome, Marion -you, among others, made much more enjoyable for myself as well -i’d like to ascribe a residence to each verse i chose in my notebook -could you tell me where you write from -as a city and country for instance?

      1. I live in Warrenpoint, a small seaside town in Northern Ireland, Marshall. I grew up here then moved away to study and work in Belfast, France and England before moving back in 2000.

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