skip to Main Content

The Renku Sessions: Barely Time – Week 10

renku_300

Hello again. This is John Stevenson and I will be facilitating a twelve verse renku, in the Jûnichô style. Over the coming weeks we will add one new verse each week, selected from your offers.

Thirty-one poets contributed a total of 181 verses this week.

I am pleased to see some new, to me, names among contributors in recent weeks. I realize, however, that it is time for me to repeat some general instructions; in particular, the instruction that the verses should have no grammatical breaks. A renku is not a haiku sequence. The only verse that should function in the manner of haiku is the first verse – the “hokku.” That verse is required to have a two-part structure and, because of it, has the potential to be read as a stand-alone poem. Thereafter, and throughout the remainder of the renku, the poetic spark should occur through the interplay of verses rather than within the individual verses. Most poets who come to English-language renku come to it via their experience with English-language haiku. But the soul of renku is collaborative art. So, we don’t attempt to write a complete poem with our verse offers. We make something by riffing on the verse before ours.

 

Here are some of the verses that struck me as candidates for verse nine:

 

grandfather tells me
how it feels to choose
your own headstone

John Hawkhead

 

scissors
cuts
paper

Betty Shropshire

 

urnes and
reliques adorn
a door

Richard Straw

 

the kitchen
renovated
after the fire

Debbie Feller

 

the relevant pauses
in the closing
argument

Patrick Sweeney

 

lichen creeps
across the slab
without a word

Keith Evetts

 

a chiseler a cheat
but first and foremost
a liar

Michael Henry Lee

 

the bow
moving gracefully
across a violin

andrew shimield

 

a new war
gives the globe
another shake

Keith Evetts

 

“I see a red door
and I want to
paint it black”

Chris Patchel

 

unknown species
in the ordovician
fossil strata

Polona Oblak

 

the lilting strains
of an oboist
across the way

Betty Shropshire

 

the mortar and pestle
passed down another
generation

Debbie Scheving

 

after dinner
thoughts fold
like linen napkins

Ariel Lambert

 

 

Some of the above must be released because the poet already has a verse in the renku and some because of some kind of fairly notable link to a prior verse or a grammatical break, though all are attractive in many ways. One thing that attracted me, in several instances, was a prominent sound image. Remember that for the next verse.

 

 

OUR NINTH VERSE

 

scissors
cuts
paper 

          Betty Shropshire

 

 

 

 

Our Renku, So Far

 

BARELY TIME

 

short night
barely time
to count the stars

Keith Evetts

 

9/11 still fresh
in our memories

Lorin Ford

 

somehow forgetting
the baby
in the back seat

Tracy Davidson

 

a racehorse
named Tortuga

Dan Campbell

 

the fog
has borrowed its scent
from the pines

Polona Oblak

 

he licks the apple juice
on her chin

Nancy Brady

 

walking barefoot
we take each other
prisoner

Jonathan Alderfer

 

snow moon
rests on granite

Susan Grant

 

scissors
cuts
paper

Betty Shropshire

 

 

 

 

 

THIS WEEK

Please offer candidates for a tenth verse, using these guidelines:

  • Two lines
  • Non-seasonal: avoiding any kigo from our list: http://www.2hweb.net/haikai/renku/500ESWd.html
  • Linking with the ninth verse only (no obvious linking to any of the first eight verses)
  • Without an internal grammatical break or pause

 

Please enter your offers in the comments section, below. Offers should be made by midnight, eastern US time, on Monday, August 22. On Thursday, August 25 I will post a selection of the offers, with my comments, and select the tenth verse for “Barely Time.”

Looking forward to your offers,

John

 

P.S.  We will have completed this renku in a month. I would very much appreciate it if an experienced renku leader would volunteer to run another session, starting in September. Otherwise, there will have to be another gap in the feature before I can take it up again.

 

 

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: https://thehaikufoundation.org/about-thf/policies/#code-of-conduct

This Post Has 104 Comments

  1. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    -Betty Shropshire
    Congrats to you!

    XXXX
    papyrus reeds cast shadows
    over a swathed falcon

    gliding fingers over
    Great-Grandma’s library

    twine tying
    a story together

    faux peppermint
    in the paste

    Shark fin
    perusing it’s options

    wolf jumps ahead of
    the elk’s escape

    his latest sorry
    burning with the pine logs

    mending grandpa’s mug
    with veins of gold

  2. favorite games played
    over and over
    *
    learning to whittle
    with a new knife
    *
    gossip and laughter
    at the quilting bee

  3. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    Betty Shropshire
    .
    loud whacks
    of the master’s cane
    for orphan boys
    .
    loud whacks
    of the headmaster’s cane
    at the orphanage

  4. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    — Betty Shropshire

    *
    hitting bone changes
    a chainsaw’s tune
    ****
    a rattle stopping
    hikers in their tracks
    ****

    1. a ransom note may be too close to prisoner:

      a party invitation
      read out loud

      08. 22. 2022 by wendy © bialek

  5. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    ——Betty Shropshire
    .

    father’s voice
    never recorded
    .

    mewing gulls
    argue over scraps of fish
    .

    no one heard
    my whispered confession

  6. scissors
    cuts
    paper

    Betty Shropshire

    auntie’s doilies
    squeaky clean

    rat tails
    in the compost clippings

    lockdown ends
    on the floor of Keeley’s salon

    the screech
    of violins in the shower

  7. snow moon
    rests on granite – Susan Grant
    .
    scissors
    cuts
    paper – Betty Shropshire
    .
    shadow puppets tuned
    to the gamelan

    1. edit to this…to aviod the capital “l” in life

      even the game
      about life is unaffordable

      08. 21. 2022 by wendy © bialek

  8. got sent to jail
    playing board games
    *****
    bought eight hotels
    playing board games
    *****
    my wife cheats
    playing board games
    *****
    bankruptcy even hurts
    playing board games
    ****
    foreclosed six trump hotels
    playing board games
    ****
    praying on each dice roll
    playing board games
    ****
    always choose the battleship
    playing board games

  9. and bonus tracks
    of live performances

    and bonus tracks
    of alternate versions

    (an alternate ‘blooper’ edit below)

  10. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    ——Betty Shropshire
    .

    rashomon confetti
    tells a different story
    .

    can’t we all
    just get along?
    .

    blue blue eyes
    eyes a slice of life
    .

    perfect time for
    a vasectomy

  11. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    that same singsong voice
    while mending the fences
    – Betty Shropshire

  12. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    when it was about how
    you played the game
    *

  13. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    newsprint stains
    a thing of the past
    *
    reading the news from the stains
    on his white pants
    *
    the day’s news hitting
    with a wallop
    *
    jumping at the wallop
    of the day’s news

  14. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    wrapping up another episode
    of the cliffhanger
    *
    dance of the marionettes
    in the shadow theatre
    *
    crows getting a kick
    out of the coke can
    *

  15. one more death poem
    thunks into the bin

    the poems it takes
    to stop a tank

    headphones unable
    to cancel a shriek

    a gift-wrapped drum kit
    for the stepbrother’s son

    a chance encounter
    with the laughing kookaburra

  16. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    Betty Shropshire

    1) pencil edge
    her wall’s scribble
    **
    2) hard labor
    missing numbers
    *****
    3) new clothes her faith
    of first dip before worn
    ******
    4) keys rotating
    unopened doors
    *****
    5) biting post cover
    Kind of opening
    **
    6) fresh matchsticks
    all not igniting
    **

    7) his first day
    late to college

    *******
    8) her speeches
    fumbling always
    *****

  17. Lovely minimal verse, Betty, congrats!

    scissors
    cuts
    paper

    Betty Shropshire

    *

    fresh cedar shreds
    for the guinea pig

    *

    peeking under
    the barbie doll dress

    *

    saturday morning
    asking what’s up doc

  18. losing marks
    in the exam

    the program schedule
    excludes dance forms

    the movie script
    doesn’t resound

    tango
    of two governments

  19. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    — Betty Shropshire
    ****

    hammers
    pound nails
    ***
    hounds
    hunt foxes
    ****
    pawns
    protect kings
    ****
    knives
    slit wrists

  20. growing wild beards
    at the haiku retreat

    few chief executives
    in the dole queue

    many trains missing
    in union action

    a lottery win
    just by being alive

  21. missing keys
    of the piano

    paper boat
    rumbling away

    banyan roots
    spilling secrets

    tears rolling
    in complete silence

    the tanker
    dropping a bomb

    tinkling bangles
    breaking off her hand

  22. crumps of sand
    shaping a sculpture

    patterns thrown
    by kaleidoscope

    silent
    communication

  23. Congratulations Betty, so succinct, brings a smile!

    scissors
    cuts
    paper

    Betty Shropshire

    *
    turning up the music
    shortens the conversation

    *
    barbershop choir
    makes the shortlist

  24. scissors
    cuts
    paper

    Betty Shropshire

    children
    make a fake bird

    ***
    scissors
    cuts
    paper

    Betty Shropshire

    your letter
    safe

    the children
    make a fake bird

  25. scissors
    cuts
    paper

    -Betty Shropshire

    foreshadowing a fissure
    in the hegira of wings

  26. leaky faucet drowning
    out the falling tears
    *****
    red rover red rover
    ready or not here I come
    *****
    metronome thermometer
    calipers compasses

  27. her parrots
    calling me pendejo
    ****
    two monks ringing
    the temple bell
    ****
    answering a barking dog
    in the night

  28. My offers:-

    who still sends a fax
    in this digital age??

    the hand drawn poster
    invites us to a banguet
    (yes, the artist meant to spell banquet)

    do it like band aid,
    one motion, right off!

      1. Not sure if I need Jerry Seinfeld’s permission to use that line. If so, please ignore my third verse _()_

  29. Brilliant verse, Betty! Loved it as soon as I read it… Thank you John, it’s great to be back _()_

  30. padlocked documents
    in the hotel basement

    unshredded
    and still classified

    boxes of documents
    padlocked in the basement

    top secret
    bottoms out

  31. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    adding new trim
    to the library curtains
    *
    origami swans
    with all the trimmings
    *
    an aviary
    in origami
    *

  32. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    parsing the archives
    of cold cases
    *
    fading ink in the archives
    of cold cases
    *

  33. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    devising an algorithm
    for crumbling cookies
    *

  34. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    drastically rationing the river’s
    dying waters
    *
    the bare broken bones the river
    leaves behind
    *
    dogwood sawfly
    swarming
    *

  35. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    hackers on the dark web
    parroting nonsense
    – Betty Shropshire

  36. Congrats Betty!

    My amateur attempts:

    mincing words
    in a fine queue

    dicing peppers –
    a squashed face

    mellowing…
    old age takes over

    billowing across
    taking turns

    in the casino
    ka-ching

    ripping apart
    my sore limbs

    cracker burst
    where noone seen

  37. she keeps her coupons
    with her sig sauer

    piecing together
    what led him to this

    the ransom demand
    breaks off on a scream

    tearing strips
    off the vuvuzela player

  38. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    -Betty Shropshire
    *
    an unsuccessful meeting
    with his editor
    *
    the teenage girl
    masks pain with pain
    *
    applause as the director
    shouts ‘that’s a wrap’
    *

  39. a snippet of intelligence
    on enemy drones

    a snip for the top spot
    in the rap festival

    the sword-swallower’s hiccups
    convulse the audience

    groaning at the prospect
    of Dad’s wartime clippings

    the headless poltergeist
    blamed for the fart

  40. ten thousand paper cranes
    won’t make it come true

    banning any library
    still offering books

    counterfeit twenties
    of the highest quality

    posing for pictures
    with the cardboard Elvis

    clearing the air at
    the black bean festival

    1. A stunning set, Michael! I particularly enjoyed the cranes, the library, but above all the black beans which appeals to a haikai sense of humor. Clearly a “scent link.”…

  41. the newsboy whistles
    a hopeful tune

    luck of the draw
    as the all clear sounds

    yesterday’s news
    flaps round a lamp post

    the whistle of a missile
    slices through the silence

    a blade of grass
    between cupped thumbs

    comb and tissue
    for a cheap kazoo

    sabres clash
    in the dawn duel

    a clever knight gains entry
    to the dragon’s lair

  42. the rippling
    effect on books

    08.18.2022 by wendy © bialek

    the no-no’s of that
    ephemera collection

    08.18.2022 by wendy © bialek

  43. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    thud of a mic drop
    at the poetry slam
    – Betty Shropshire

  44. shallow flight of a bird
    with clipped wings

    trafficked Amazons
    flying free

    crane leaving
    a barren lake

  45. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    -Betty Shropshire

    a sawbuck
    for your fortune

    part of me hoped
    the spoon would bend

    rooting for the bloody
    underdog again

  46. snow moon
    rests on granite – Susan Grant
    .
    scissors
    cuts
    paper – Betty Shropshire
    .
    barbers’
    apprentices flaunting
    the new beard
    .

  47. Congratulations Betty!

    scissors
    cuts
    paper
    ——Betty Shropshire
    .

    a whale sifts the sea
    for companions
    .

    only a slight stumble
    over his brocade of lies
    .

    deep in the forest
    we almost get lost
    .

    a shark slices
    through the harbor

  48. Congratulations, Betty. . . nice link from the nature scene with granite to the children’s game ‘Rock, Scissors, Paper’.

    snow moon
    rests on granite – Susan Grant
    .
    scissors
    cuts
    paper

    Betty Shropshire

  49. Brilliant Betty! And many thanks John !

    emergency room wait
    proves pointless

    *

    saving all pieces
    of left over fabric

    *

    green clipboard
    holds it all together

  50. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    the cat’s exquisite diligence
    in shredding the wicker

  51. scissors
    cuts
    paper

    Betty Shropshire
    *
    wings slicing
    across the sky
    *
    over stones
    and rocks
    *
    looking down on
    walkers walking
    *
    the misogynist’s string
    of headless dolls
    *
    the unkindnesses
    for the unreliable
    *
    a cold break
    with the past

  52. great job, betty! congrats for writing a concise link for our renku. thanks john, for all the reminders! (hope you find the new sabaki that you trust)

    scissors
    cuts
    paper

    Betty Shropshire

    the shriek and leap
    off a green bidet

    08.18.2022 by wendy © bialek

    the golden flush
    of consealed documents

    08.18.2022 by wendy © bialek

  53. scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    taking another stab
    at freedom of speech
    *

    1. whoops–
      might be too close to “taking each other prisoner”
      revise to:

      answering the attack
      with a stab at censorship
      *

  54. Great contribution, Betty! Lots of ways to go with it.
    Thanks, John, for another great week of this.
    **

    scissors
    cuts
    paper
    *
    Betty Shropshire
    *
    rearranging the pieces
    of the shredded message
    *
    the random collection
    of abridged classics
    *
    cataloging the collection
    of abridged classics
    *

  55. Congratulations Betty and thank you John
    ***

    a banjo busker’s ballad
    bouncing in the breeze
    ****
    wind symphony
    on the baobab leaves
    ****
    echos of chants
    from the monastery
    ****
    jackhammer jabbering
    at six in the morning

  56. Congrats, Betty. Great choice. When you first posted it, it made me smile, thinking it was short, sweet, and a perfect verse.

    scissors
    cuts
    paper
    –Betty Shropshire

    should i throw away or recycle
    the pizza box

  57. Thank you, John. Congratulations, Betty!
    scissors
    cuts
    paper

    Betty Shropshire

    the barbershop quartet
    sings dum diddy dum

    a hymn of praise
    for the safety razor

    gunfire salutes
    whichever president

    a groan as he gets
    to clean the oven

    crimean vacations
    may go with a bang

    just when you’re on the loo
    the doorbell rings

Comments are closed.

Back To Top