Skip to content

The Renku Sessions: A New Beginning


I am John Stevenson and I will be your guide for another renku session. This week we begin a twenty-stanza, nijûin, renku.

You are now invited to submit up to five hokku (opening verse) offers.

The requirements will be as follows:

  • A three-line verse of seventeen syllables or less
  • Containing a spring season word or phrase from the site listed below
  • Containing a single grammatical break, creating a two-part structure
  • One of the first three verses will be a blossom verse, so the hokku may contain a blossom image but is not required to contain one
  • Exhibiting a mood in the areas of serenity, gratitude, wonder, etc. in contrast to sarcasm, erotica, contention, etc.
  • Exhibiting an open quality, suggesting much rather than stating any single idea

For this renku, we will be using this site ( as the source for our season words and images. Note that some spring topics are listed as “late spring.” Since the hokku will be the first in a series of three spring verses, “late spring” topics should be reserved for verses two or three and avoided in the hokku.

I will be reviewing your offers until midnight on Monday, May 3 (New York time). On Thursday, May 6 there will be a new post in which I will announce my selection of a hokku for our new renku, comment on some of the other offers, and issue instructions for writing second verse (wakiku) offers.

Thank you, everyone,






The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy 




This Post Has 91 Comments

  1. lockdown end . . .
    gray clouds scattered
    in a skylark’s song

    departing ducks . . .
    swaying on the rope
    our t-shirts

    spring tide . . .
    post-pandemic life
    beyond the horizon

    blossoming cherry . . .
    can we have a date
    under the rainbow?

    long day . . .
    playing hide and seek
    the sun and I

    Ivan Gaćina
    Zadar, Croatia

  2. thirty springs
    of stones washed away
    a new beginning

    5/3/2021 by wendy © bialek

  3. grows a new beard
    under a mask
    sprouting grasses

    5/3/2021 by wendy © bialek

  4. last year’s
    yellow dust removed
    wheelbarrow ready

    5/3/2021 by wendy © bialek

  5. on the white sheet
    a cherry branch
    scribbles moon

    roof tiles in bloom ……..
    in the buzz of bees
    noise of time

    of the cloud catcher-
    april sky

  6. John, thanks for throwing another renku party, and cheers to all!

    the defiant look
    beyond her mask

    shining winds
    the valedictorian
    almost shouting

    warm evening rain
    the rice paddies
    almost flooded

    for sale by owner
    the frog jumps into
    an empty pool

    pilgrimage. . .
    mama’s sacred

  7. .
    it is not
    the hazy moon
    but a bag of charcoal
    a bag of charcoal
    the fragrance of
    last year’s cherry
    a gift of horsetail
    the crow’s feet
    perfectly lined
    hidden fire
    in a bag of charcoal
    red plum
    the embers
    from a bag of charcoal
    is this how spring dawns?

    With a nod to Basho and the anthology of hokku that he compiled for his disciples and students of renga – Sumidawara (A Bag/Sack of Charcoal), 1694.

  8. young willow …
    when will your branches hide
    my first kiss?

    cold spring gusts
    as lightning strikes our arms …
    this strangeness

    my twin whispers
    many tales to my dreams …
    birds enter clouds

    shallow spring …
    timid glances with no beginning
    no end

    his stories
    have no beginnings, no ends …
    shallow spring

  9. rapeseed flowers
    on an old balcony —
    urban traffic
    flight tests –
    the wind is still a thrill
    among the feathers
    the murky flood
    is returning to the banks –
    white herons

    1. I ask dark but English is not my language, perhaps this version is more correct
      the murky flood
      is returning in to the banks –
      white herons

  10. avoiding dandelions
    the drill
    of a jackhammer

    5/2/2021 by wendy © bialek

  11. returning cold
    a knock at the door
    from uber eats

    5/2/2021 by wendy © bialek

  12. spring tide
    so much life
    for one rock pool

    by the bucketful . . .
    she flours her hands

    deep spring . . .
    mending a kayak
    beside a still lake

  13. how tender
    is the dawn
    first blue violets

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 5/2/21

  14. spring breeze
    dust motes stir
    in the sunlit lounge
    spring sun
    I teach my kids
    to whistle

      1. Thankyou, Robert. The rivulets on the hills are a lovely sight through the seasons.

    1. lovely, Carol! It has quite captured my gaze. Like Robert says, one feels like one is totally present…the water really looks silver in glinting light against mossy rocks. So beautiful!

  15. a pillow of moss
    the fragrant earth
    . . . and black flies

    migrating birds
    cross the moon’s pale face
    under the ribs of night

    in the grain
    of the mountain cherry
    the swirl of its youth

    it rained
    then it stopped

  16. in mother’s arms
    most calming place
    perfume is irreplaceable

    Nani Mariani

  17. plum blossoms …
    the lingering thoughts
    of going home

    among the azaleas
    and an empty birdbath
    dappled sunlight

  18. It’s strange to be writing Spring verses when here we are luxuriating in the beauties of Autumn. However, thoughts of Spring are lovely as we inch towards Winter. So good to be back with a long Renku. Thank you, John!

    first day back
    after a year’s absence
    plum blossom brushes her face

    the day lingers
    tart wine and sweet strawberries
    on the picnic rug

    melody of the skylark
    over the hills
    and into the blue

    warm now
    the scent of sap rising
    and new-mown grass

    streams of soap bubbles
    fingers straining
    to catch them

      1. Thanks, princess k. I thought it would be fun, as we could write five verses, to write one for each sense. Good to see you here again; I always enjoy your verses!

    1. “. . . here we are luxuriating in the beauties of Autumn.” – Pauline
      That’s not quite how it is in Victoria on this cold, rainy day! :-) Once upon a time, autumn was our best season, calm and bright.
      You have a stream of good verses, there, though.

      1. Hi Lorin, today the weather turned grey after a great storm last night, and we have the fire going tonight. It’s lovely and cosy. But until today it really has been perfect, especially with the coloured leaves against the blue sky. Thank you for your kind words about the verses. I’m glad to see you back again for the renku; it’s so much fun to be going on a long journey.

  19. thanks for keeping us going, John .. so glad to see this new renku ramping up .. and all the possible hokku .. I’ll wait for the wakiku before joining in .. very looking forward .. ☺

  20. tadpoles –
    childhood memories
    of a prince
    stones –
    skipping among dragonflies
    across the pond

  21. early spring
    song sparrow’s loud voice
    claims the lovely weeds

    forest mist floats
    above the twittering world
    a stone in my shoe

  22. flagging the path
    to the river

    the lawn opens
    to bees

    falling tide
    a few periwinkles
    shine in the sand

    island dawn
    the first warblers
    chase the first flies

    right in this world
    the shining gold
    of the willow

    1. flagging the path
      to the river

      Love the fiddleheads Kristen.

  23. spring melancholy
    left behind
    with the baby birds

    spring mountains
    the slow but steady climb
    of a healing heart

  24. sprouting grasses
    hair of the troll
    she lost
    cabbage white
    this heady sense
    the time has come
    shimmer of petals…
    wind’s white noise masking
    I can’t recall what

  25. *
    blossom drift
    a blue haze of midges
    shimmers the dusk
    ripple dazzle
    lines of white shells
    limit the sea
    blossom breeze
    the infant’s cheeks dimple
    in cloudbreak sun
    sakura sunrise
    the gradual opening
    of windows
    spring moon
    the child’s balloon pulls her
    along the old path

      1. Thank you Carol.

        Truly a bash for all the senses.
        We are a gifted union thanks to the way the land is carved up with dry stone walls and hedges.

        Incidentally, have you seen Michelle Harvey brief video shot on a Wales beach.

        Whilst on the east side

        Holkham beach
        seal pups
        ride rollercoasters

          1. Thanks, Robert, I’ll do a search for the video shot.

            I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else :)
            The stone walls and hedges make a delightful view of patchwork colours across the countryside.
            Many of the walls and hedges are very old and fragile and need constant repair. Well worth the effort, though.

  26. shining wind
    putting what’s past
    behind us
    spring fields
    looking ahead to a
    better tomorrow
    long before
    departing geese
    a coffee jar full of

    1. tadpoles
      a coffee jar full of

      Love the phrase:

      “a coffee jar full of

      Would make a great title for the renku also.

  27. dawn bird singing
    in other words
    spring is here

    thin ice
    its gritty music

    sprouting grass
    the best news
    in thirteen weeks

    plum blossoms
    photo in a text
    from a true friend

    barely spring
    “Good morning!”
    leaves a vapor trail

    1. a butterfly flits
      into the fat of the day—
      the skip of a stone

      Love this Jonathan

    2. Or:

      a butterfly flits
      into the fat of the day . . .
      the spring in her step

  28. Lovely to have The Renku Sessions back, John. :-)
    green barley –
    we follow the way
    of the wind

  29. Everyone has submitted delightful stuff, so far! It’s great to be back to this.
    jumping with excitement
    kids tug their mothers’ hands

  30. hazy moon
    grandma forgets
    her walking frame

    clutching at words
    a spring breeze
    flips the pages

    light clouds
    some blues within
    a skylark’s song

    skylarks sing
    in the earbuds

    first spring gust
    the mill spins the same way
    as the seasons

  31. Hi everyone!
    A nice start Michelle.

    coming of spring
    the garden’s hidden gate
    propped open

    1. Thank you, Robert. I like yours as well. It has a nice serene garden of eden feel.

  32. hi John and everyone. I guess I’ll be brave and go first.?

    barely spring
    pale yellow in
    a tall field

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 4/29/21

Comments are closed.

Back To Top