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The Renku Sessions: A Day of Snow 7

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.

Good morning, renku enthusiasts! I’ve chosen:

facing me
a hairy bunyip points
the bones

          –Barbara A. Taylor

It gives a further twist to “granny’s specs” in that it is an apparition that not only makes one’s skin crawl (hairy), but gets inside our heads (its curse causes immediate death) and inside of our clothes and bodies (points / the bones) which I would “literalize” as “makes my bones curdle.”

Terrific transition out of the formal to the immediate and dramatic. Plus, that the monster is from Australian Aboriginal culture and the phrase for laying a curse, “points the bones” is part of the Australian-English vernacular expands our references to include a radically different continent and cultural platform than where we’ve been heretofore. Thank-you very much (as we say in Canada), Barbara.

What we need now is 2 lines, more of the phantastical-mythological-surrealiste to transport us from our imminent demise.

Happy linking,
Marshall

 

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

This Post Has 237 Comments

  1. the swift and true arrow
    of the catalpa bow
    *
    the catalpa bow
    swift and true

    1. ah, yin-yang shapeshifter from the Hebrides -would be a good icon for our renku -thanks, Judt

  2. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    -Barbara A. Taylor
    *
    rubbing the lamp
    for the genies third wish
    -Steve Smolak

    1. that would give it a Middle Eastern twist, steve -but, no I don’t want the predicament wished away

  3. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    -Barbara A. Taylor
    *
    setting sail with Odysseus
    as he opens a bag of wind
    -Steve Smolak

  4. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    -Barbara A. Taylor
    *
    the bottle uncorked
    raises the spirits high
    -Steve Smolak

    1. there we are, steve, more happiness -seems inspired by Shrikaanth’s offering, but happily received nonetheless -and if we were going to have a ‘literary’ reference, one to a Homeric epic would be a great place to start

  5. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    .
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    .
    walking the plank to fall
    right into ambrosia
    .
    -Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

    1. well this one, Shrikaanth, at least has some surrender to it with a happy result -thanks

      1. Are you keeping this around for consideration Marshall?

  6. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    .
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    .
    a tumbling Ganga
    presses reboot
    .
    – Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

    1. hello again, Shrikaanth -at first I thought ‘Ganga’ was the Hindustani for the Ganges River -but the second line seems to refer to a video program -somewhere I don’t want to go with this link

      1. Actually Marshall
        .
        Ganga is indeed the Indian (Sanskrit) and the direct name for Ganges. This was not a computer program I was referring to. It was a mythological reference to how the Ganga was brought down from heaven (Lord Shiva’s matters locks, link to hair) to be earth to redeem the cursed ancestors of Bhagiratha (a reboot essentially 🙂
        .
        So it is a computer term; making it surreal as it is not a computer program
        .
        Hope that makes sense
        .
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagiratha

    1. and thus keeps our subject alive -one to think about, Paul, thanks

  7. evanesco! shouted with a
    thrust of the wand
    .
    .
    Evanesco is the Vanishing Spell form Harry Potter 🙂

    1. yeah, joel, that would work, except I want something that doesn’t reference a literary or musical work

  8. Sweetums crooning
    “That Old Black Magic” with Cher


    – (1975)

    1. or:
      “ring around the rosy”

      for those who chanted it that way.

    2. Marietta -and this has been going on for awhile -i’m afraid we’re linking more closely with the previous offering than the previous verse in the renku

      1. Hi Marshall. Well, my thinking was that if anything could see off a marauding bunyip and make it slink off in disgrace it would be the impossibility of trying to break into a childhood game it wasn’t invited to. I’ve missed the point and the boat with this one, obviously! Will persevere…

  9. Bigfoot and Nessie
    plotting a joint sighting
    *
    *
    Bigfoot and Nessie
    plot a joint sighting

    1. couldn’t they just do a selfie together? or would that be bad for their followers? thanks, Judt

  10. *
    facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    *
    a squadron of UFO
    cloaked in the swamp gas

    1. ‘aliens to the rescue’ -i like it, Liz Ann – “cloaked” though, makes me think of Romulans, which is not good

    1. well, Marietta, this is certainly original and has the unlikeliehood of “centaurs …” but the “drum-roll of thunder” reminds me of the US Calvalry arriving just as the savages are rounding the tents for the tenth time

      1. Yes, you’re right of course, Marshall! Just too Lone Ranger for words…

    1. hi Judt -turned off all allusions at this point -Puck could have done worse, though

      1. yeah, Marion, i was wondering if Dracula, the Count had entered our ballroom -Mae West is far preferable

    1. “the” surrealist sofa? Marion, is it a specific kind of sofa or will any juxtaposition do? Or as they say in the furniture business, “so fah, so good”

    1. after “facing me” can’t really have “… hands me”, Marion

    1. this is getting there, Marion, but it doesn’t have to be ‘the next frame in the story’ like a comic or a cartoon

    1. no, Marion, don’t want another frame of story -looking for something new

  11. Shouldn’t it be ‘points the bone’ singular?
    I’m curious why this repetition of the phantastical-mythological-surrealiste when avoiding repetition is the general rule (not counting moon, love, blossom verses).

    1. In the actual indigenous law ritual, Chris, yes. I didn’t comment on that because I feel it’s best to leave this sleeping dog lie. Having the reference plural, along with a hairy bunyip wielding them, can scrape in as comical, just as we *might* find a whitey busker putting on blackface & singing ‘Mammy’ comical these days.
      Anyway, I’ve been trying to focus on the comical aspect. 🙂

      – Lorin

    2. I liked, “points/the bones” better, Christopher because Barbara sent it to me that way and i responded first-hand as if it were curdling the subject’s bones as well as embodying a strong Australian-vernacular phrase. I asked Barbara if she would allow me to adjust the third line to read “points the bones” and as she didn’t respond, i believed she wanted it included exactly as she sent it, so i did that. Her way, (and our way, now) the emphasis is on the pointing; makes the point sharper and the bones an imminent heap. Which is, of course, a more literal reading of an ‘extra-literal’ phrase, something that’s my prerogative here

    3. we avoid repeating actions and nouns, Christopher: ‘phantastical-mthological-surrealiste’ is a section -Just the seasonalities are sections. and as such, usually contains 2 or 3 links. The other two that are not seasonal in this renku will be ‘unrequited love’ (2 verses) and current events (2 verses). And yes we will be repeating each of the seasonality sections

    1. a claassic surrealiste cut from a Bunuel film, i believe, Jennifer -by adding, ‘surrealiste’ to the description of this section, i didn’t mean we were meant to rehearse the history of the art movement, but that here, especially, and maybe only here, the juxtaposition of radically different images would be encouraged -as in the practice of artists being surrealistes

  12. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    –Barbara A. Taylor

    ah, quoth the barmaid,
    it’s me Captain Jack Sparrow

    -Lorin

    1. whoops … repeating ‘me’ (though ‘my’ doesn’t suit the voice) revised to:

      facing me
      a hairy bunyip points
      the bones
      –Barbara A. Taylor

      ah, quoth the barmaid,
      it’s Captain Jack Sparrow

      -Lorin

      1. I guess this is meant as a joke, Lorin, since “quoth” evokes Edgar Allan Poe and the Captain’s name is “Sparrow”

        1. Well, he’s hairy, he drinks & swaggers, look dangerous & points all sorts of things at people, but is sort of the good guy. 🙂 Not meant as a joke really…a comical & saving transformation is how I think of it. (I like the character, who survives unlikely situations)

          . . . ‘quoth’ because it’s an archaic word that fits the timeless era of fantasy piracy & doesn’t need an explanation, and yes there’s Poe’s ‘The Raven’ who quoth ‘nevermore’ and Capt. Sparrow who always pops up again… last seen by me optimistically heading for the fountain of youth, in a rowboat, with (to say the least) a less than reliable map. 🙂

          – Lorin

      1. this from the perspective of a ‘Time lord’, i’d guess, Judt -as in you’d need to be one to observe a pine’s incremental growth

        1. Not very successful! It is meant to be a flood and the water can be seen beginning to recede by revealing more of the tree 🙂

    1. hi p j -this sort of brings us back to zero for the 2 verses -i like the last one and want this one to lead somewhere from it

    1. actually, Wyatt Earp just stood his ground and shot all his bullets in the ‘OK Corral’ -“juggernauts” too heavy for me here

  13. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    –Barbara A. Taylor

    by the pricking of my thumbs
    we’re nearing Roswell

    – Lorin

    1. damn!, and i brought my brand-new brolly to ward them off -too bad, Judt

    1. ooops, not ‘note’ but ‘notes’!

      the sly piper leads the way
      with notes of an alder flute

      1. don’t know, Mary, why he’d need to be “sly” if he’s willing to enter this fray -and wouldn’t it be “on an alder flute”

        1. Yes, “on an alder flute” would be correct. As for “sly,” well, it just seemed right that he needed to be sly (as in the pied piper). I guess I missed the boat.

    1. “transmorgrifies”? Aalix? -Kerikeri is also the first mission-city in northern new Zealand, (I use Wikipedia) but i believe you meant, ‘transmogrify’ a fairly ugly word by itself for suggesting a magical surprise

  14. oops–we already have something closer

    town of Kerikeri
    transmorgrifies into Salem

    1. yeah, Christopher, that would do it -but not what i’m looking for

    1. “and you just ate some kind of mushroom
      and your mind is movin’ slow

      go ask Alice . . . ” -I once had a friend who tried to argue that “feed your head” meant ‘read more’
      anyway, not here, not now, Lorin -though Jefferson Airplane, Led Zepp and the Stones together would make for one monster rock concert

    1. ah, Liz Ann, the solution from ‘fairy’ and not in any derogatory way -just that we can’t redefine the bunyip as a dragon within our link

      1. I saw the dragon more in the rescuing role – not morphed into the bunyip. Oh well. I’ll try another.

    1. wild juxtaposition of an opening chess game move with a Rolling Stone music album, Patrick -but, actually, it just gives our subject too much control

    1. I like this, Carmen as it maintains the mood while transferring unnatural energy through naturally occurring things -will look at this agin, thanks

    1. yeah, not under the right star, Lorin, as your ‘Sirius’ one would have it

  15. Wicked cool, Barbara!


    facing me
    a hairy bunyip
    points the bones
    – Barbara A. Taylor
    *
    “Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor
    not a gambler!”
    – Betty Shropshire

    1. oops, sorry…

      ….
      facing me
      a hairy bunyip points
      the bones
      – Barbara A. Taylor

    2. this is great, Betty, referencing ‘Star Trek’ through a supporting actor -i’ll keep this in mind for later, thanks

    1. like the “ricochet”t, Paul, but can’t specify “the evil curse” out of the preceeding verse

  16. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    –Barbara A. Taylor

    at the Greek’s man cave
    a Spoodle named Cerberus


    – Lorin

    1. hi again Paul -trying to use a spell within the renku -very nice idea -just don’t believe this is the spell that would relieve the menace

    1. hey, Jackson, it’s not a moon verse -the closest we got to this was the rabbit beating his rice

    1. hello again, Todd -pretty close to the previous -though ‘Pele’ is a Hawaiian goddess who needs to move away the fangs of the bunyip

    1. hi Todd -the volcano in the Hawaiian islands as in an ascent of the soul to heaven? not so sure of our subject’s state of grace -or if the volcano might not be active -second line also brings back the famous Led Zeppelin song

    1. this is possible to use, Lorin -under darkness lit by the ‘Dog-star’ an unnatural being reveals her power -thanks

    1. I think, Michael Henry, that we need Pegasus charging in to the rescue

    1. this is humourous, Marion, but probably still leaves us with a blood-drained corpse

    1. “here’s me” too close to “facing me”, from the previous verse, Marion

    1. yes, Marion i’m thinking along these lines -but “another storm” seems rather ‘ho-hum’ for such a momentous occasion

  17. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    .
    .
    a tantrum on top
    of Mt. Olympus

    1. hi Polona -I like your ‘Dorian Grey’ one much better though there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with this

  18. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    –Barbara A. Taylor


    this heirloom scrimshaw set
    to the highest bidder

    – Lorin

    1. introduces a mercenary aspect to the proceedings -I like some of your others better, Lorin

  19. Awesome verse Barbara. Love it!
    .
    running but going nowhere as
    the roc seizes its prey
    .
    or perhaps
    .
    running but going nowhere as
    the raptor seizes its prey

    1. naw, joel, this has some action -but it is a parallel one to the situation in the previous verse

    1. first line, Patrick is too long and makes the action feel laborious and that our subject would be a corpse if the shaman took this long

  20. G’day Marshall,

    Thank you for selecting my verse, and thank you to those others
    who have voiced their favour. Am interested to see how this
    renku progresses.

    Peace and Love
    B

  21. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    –Barbara A. Taylor

    Kerouac’s cat
    made to take the rap

    Lorin

    1. first line has a ring to it, Lorin -I still haven’t accepted that our subject from verse 7 is now a corpse

    1. that’s a thought, Vasile, but it doesn’t really link with the previous verse

    1. back to the New Stone Age, Claire -don’t thinkwe’d have the time for this in our renku

    1. hi again, Christopher -as in ‘beam me up, Scotty’? -seems a little facile in the face of the bunyip -and the “facing me” was a borderline kireji -the “deux ex” is a full one -but let them fly; we need more offerings

      1. Whereas I would argue that “deus ex transporter beam” is one phrase, and that the expediency of deus ex machina rescues is the point ; )

    1. nice pattern of ‘p’ and ‘d’ sounds here, Claire -a possibility of relief, by diversion at least, but i feel i’m looking for something more direct here

    1. might be able to work with the magic of this one, Agnes -will look at it again, later, thanks

    1. another good laugh, Carmen, but i don’t want to escape the bunyip with a joke

  22. faded jeans, school colors
    and granny’s specs to match
    .
    –Betty Shropshire
    .
    facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    .
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    .
    a little Dutch boy
    with his finger in the dyke
    .
    -Karen Cesar

    1. Or ( better, I think) :

      faded jeans, school colors
      and granny’s specs to match
      .
      –Betty Shropshire
      .
      facing me
      a hairy bunyip points
      the bones
      .
      –Barbara A. Taylor
      .
      a cramp in the finger
      of The Little Dutch Boy
      .
      – Karen Cesar

    1. I realize, Cristina, that “scarab” brings some sacristy to the battle here, but i don’t want to minimize the magnitude of the “points the bones” of the previous link in any way

    1. sort of makes me think, Judt, of the Kosinski character who believes he can adjust reality with a tv channel converter

    1. hi again, Michael Henry -so Musashi is an Anime samurai lord -really don’t want to go into ‘graphic novels’ for a reference here (though some of you may think i’ve turned it into one already with the last link) and it is the name of a sctual Japanese Samurai used in the Anime series like ‘Leonardo, Donatello etc.’ are used in teenage ninja mutant turtles

      1. Musashi was an actual person in Japanese history. He has a legendary reputation as a loner, a martial-arts genius, a top nautch ink drawing artist, and last but not least the author of The Book of Five Rings.

    1. nice link, under the condition of death, Vasile. I take it you meant, ‘bequested’ or ‘bequeathed’ as in a verbal willing. I’ll look at this one again, later, thanks

    1. hi again, Maureen -so this is an Irish-associated cudgel -so, ultimately a weapon -works as one left behind in this state -but -and this may seem really precious to some – “bunyip” is already a word from another language ‘imported’ into English -so that requirement is fulfilled -what we still need is an altogether ‘non-English’ word (with explanation) and an arcane or nearly obsolete word of ‘English’ origin (possibly with explanation). We did also include our ‘vernacular phrase’ in the last verse with, “points /the bones”

      1. Well, Marshall, for what it’s worth (nothing, I know) I think Maureen’s verse is apt & clever in response to Barbara’s. An Irishwoman writes a verse combining references from Australian Koori culture and a North American woman writes a verse combining references from Irish culture.

        Many English-language words are imported from other languages, some more recently than others . . . ‘coyote’ is certainly such a loanword, previously used in one of the verses here in this renku. Can we really designate ‘shillelagh’ as a ‘foreign’ word when it’s even in the North American dictionary, the Merriam-Webster?
        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shillelagh

        ‘With a Shillelagh under Me Arm’ – Bing Crosby:
        http://www.metrolyrics.com/with-my-shillelagh-under-my-arm-lyrics-bing-crosby.html

        “just sayin’ “, as the Nth. American expression goes.

        – Lorin

    1. well Carol, after the moonlight, “granny’s specs” and “facing me” another reflective surface won’t do

      1. another Australian reference -once in, get out with the next one and keep writing, Judt

  23. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones

    –Barbara A. Taylor


    Ned Kelly’s gang
    also cross-dressing

    ok, I know this doesn’t have a chance because it ‘returns’ to Betty’s verse, but I felt like posting it.
    -Lorin

  24. facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones

    –Barbara A. Taylor

    Well, it certainly fulfills the requirement of fantasy combined with the surreal. To be candid, I didn’t think this verse had a chance because of the ‘ex-communication’ from culture & subsequent death factor (given in ‘pointing the bone’) so early in the renku.

    Though I’ve had a couple of my ‘bunyip’ haiku published, as a born Australian familiar with Koori culture from childhood, I would *never* combine the bunyip (a ‘water monster’) with ‘pointing the bone’, which is men’s business and to me, off-limits, and especially as a frivolous, disrespectful joke combined with the bunyip.

    Congratulations on having it selected, though, Barbara. I guess the legendary Irish luck was in play and I understand that in renku, perception/ interpretation is all in the mind of the sabaki.

    . . . and we Australians also say “thank you very much”, Marshall, when the occasion calls for it.

    – Lorin

    1. Interesting choice and a surprise to me too, Lorin, given the deep cultural significance of traditional ‘pointing the bone’ by the Kurdaitcha, that these allusions have been put together.

      However, it is certainly a unique and surreal combo and congrats go to Barbara for the successful verse.

    2. hi Lorin -I immediately jumped at the phrase, “men’s business” and then realized you meant by it that ‘point the bones’ is seriously preserved for human usage in ‘real’ situations. It would have been even better if we knew the monster was female, but we don’t; still, it’s important to consider that i chose this verse precisely because it is “ex-communicated” from culture.
      I think it was Michael Fessler who quoted one of my haiku as an example of haiku in ‘brute nature’ -and this is where i try to write from in my own work. So when i lead a renku -granted a very ‘cultural’ activity -i try to ‘ground’ it in as severe a nature, an imaginative subjectivity and a beautiful diction as I can. So, though i wasn’t attempting, nor do i think Barbara was, to offend or shake up anyone’s cultural sensitivities with this verse, i do think that anything that can be performed or imagined may be allowed to enter our renku in verse

      1. Marshall, “men’s business” is simply traditional business exclusive to men; “women’s business” is traditional business exclusive to women. Both include ‘religious’ duties, traditional stories and law.
        The closest thing to the Australian indigenous ‘pointing the bone’ in Nth. American culture I can think of is the traditional Amish practice of shunning, except more extreme. You’re dead as far as everyone else is concerned from the moment of the ritual, and treated as such. Imagine this in a desert culture.

        – Lorin

    1. interesting, Marilyn, that the second line could be ‘trapped in the maize’ -humans had to come to terms a very long time ago that we live by killing -but more to your offering; i’d like to know how the trap got there

  25. with majestic wingbeats
    the dragon departs

    Author’s Notes:
    The Rainbow Serpent has been identified with the bunyip, a fearful, water-hole dwelling creature in Australian mythology
    And there is believed to be links between the myths of the Australian rainbow serpent and the Chinese dragon

    1. “The Rainbow Serpent has been identified with the bunyip. . . “- Sue

      Only in relation to the designated waterhole/waterfall/river habitat, Sue. The Rainbow Serpent is one of the Dreaming “creator/ creatrix” beings. The Bunyip is a nighttime predator bogeyman-type creature.
      – Lorin

      1. Lori-
        Thanks for clarifying the relationship/link between the two mythical creatures. I just copied what I read on the internet about Australian mythological creatures
        -Sue

    2. hi Sue -yeah, this is too close -we want to avoid, more than anything else, reading like a narrative -for instance, I never ‘do’ the season’s in sequence -also explains why this last was such a ‘hard’ shift -so, nothing continuous from link to link

  26. terrific verse!
    .
    facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones

    –Barbara A. Taylor
    .
    ***
    Dorian Gray
    crashes the party

    1. this is much more to the point, Vasile -but it makes me think of ‘All Soul’s Night’ which is in the fall

    1. hi Vasile -this reads like an attempted exorcism -but there’s no action here

  27. Congrats, Barbara! A fascinating and chilling verse. Fantastic choice, Marshall.
    *
    blackthorn whittled
    into a magic wand

  28. faded jeans, school colors
    and granny’s specs to match
    .
    –Betty Shropshire
    .
    facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    .
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    .
    we stalk the Wild Things
    with Maurice Sendak
    .
    -Karen Cesar

    1. puts nice frame on it, Karen, too soon after i just ripped the frame of what was expected in this renku right off

  29. faded jeans, school colors
    and granny’s specs to match
    .
    –Betty Shropshire
    .
    facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    .
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    .
    ” Welcome to
    the Hotel California ”
    .
    -Karen Cesar
    .
    I would have put the quote in italics had the format allowed. ??

    1. hi Karen -yeah, “you can check out but you can never leave” -more often a name around here for acid to be dropped than the Eagles’ song -but fun, nonetheless

    1. and I don’t even have a pulpit -but no way to predict the “next several chapters” Michael Henry

  30. Fair dinkum high drama, Barbara! (I’m a Yank…not certain of the usage…:-) )

  31. Nice verse, Barbara. ?
    ***
    .
    faded jeans, school colors
    and granny’s specs to match
    .
    –Betty Shropshire
    .
    facing me
    a hairy bunyip points
    the bones
    .
    –Barbara A. Taylor
    .
    “Pay no attention
    to the man behind the curtain!”
    .
    – Karen Cesar

    1. though we’re a long way from the ‘yellow brick road’, Karen, this is fun too

    1. hello, Michael Henry -well, one way to link is to throw in the towel -makes the previous totally subjective is possible, thanks

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