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The Renku Sessions: Barely Time – Week 4

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.

We had 169 offers for our third verse, from 35 poets. We might have had more but it was a busy week at The Haiku Foundation and our link was pushed off of the home page during the final two days of the submission period. If this happens again, I hope you will remember that there is a link on the home page marked “view more.” Clicking on this will take you to a full listing of THF features, including renku sessions, past and current.

Here are some favorite verses from this week’s offerings:

 

Grandma’s cookbook
pops open
to soufflés

Scott Mason

 

she relates
to her granddaughter’s
purple hair

Peter Newton

 

a buyer
for fred astaire’s
tap-dancing shoes

Keith Evetts

 

some
families have
frown DNA

Dan Campbell

 

tiny fingers
grabbing a fistful
of my hair

Sushama Kapur

 

somehow forgetting
the baby
in the back seat

Tracy Davidson

 

Alice just
not her old self
after Drink Me

Laurie Greer

 

a freckled hand
adds yeast to the well
in the flour

Mary White

 

vinegar added
to warm water removes
lingering smells

Marion Clarke

 

licking
the sharp point
of a number 2

princess k

 

it seems
eraser dust clings
to everything

Sally Biggar

 

old record albums
feature young men
before eyebrow waxing

Debbie Scheving

 

the elbow grease
needed to clean
well water stains

Chris Patchel

 

Another hard choice. These and many others had strong points to recommend them. The first two verses deal with vast spaces so, we want to avoid any third verse that does that. And, as Chris Patchel pointed out, everything comes from the stars. So, we are going to have to let go of expectations based on that level of shifting for this, and probably all subsequent verses. The act of enumerating, counting things is covered in the hokku. For these reasons and more, we have already potentially foreclosed on a number of topic and image options.

 

 

OUR THIRD VERSE

 

somehow forgetting
the baby
in the back seat

     Tracy Davidson

 

What I have opted to do here is to select a verse that links obviously to verse two (“forgetting” in contrast to “memories”) while potentially commenting on how we have, thus far, focused exclusively on “the big picture.” This is a perilous choice because it tends to treat the renku as a unified sequence. We will have to do our best to  reverse that impression from this point forward.

 

 

Our Renku, So Far

 

BARELY TIME

 

short night
barely time
to count the stars

Keith Evetts

 

Earthrise still fresh
in our memories

Lorin Ford

 

somehow forgetting
the baby
in the back seat

Tracy Davidson

 

THIS WEEK

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

  • Two lines
  • Non-seasonal (containing nothing from our list of kigo)
  • Linking with the third verse only (no obvious linking to either of the first two verses)
  • Without an internal grammatical break or pause
  • While no single topic is assigned, suggested topics are politics, occupation (employment), clothing, or sports

 

Please enter your offers in the comments section, below. Offers should be made by midnight, eastern US time, on Monday, July 11. On Thursday, July 14 I will post a selection of the offers, with my comments, and select the fourth verse for “Barely Time.”

Thank you all. Keep up the good work!

John Stevenson

 

 

 

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 97 Comments

    1. Apologies for tardiness—staying at my daughter’s student accommodation in France where my mobile data doesn’t work and WiFi is dodgy (was even late learning about Boris Johnston’s resignation!)

  1. buying family beverages
    becomes a sport

    wendy c. bialek

    not just the family car
    running on fumes

    wendy c. bialek

    1. if ‘goodwill’ is not accepted because it is a capitalized word:

      donating infant clothes
      into a hopper

      wendy c. bialek

  2. our weekly rendezvous
    at the laundromat
    *
    a favorite sports announcer
    on the radio
    *
    distracted by a car full
    of birthday balloons
    *
    deliveries finally done
    for the day

  3. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    *
    the formula one driver
    rounds the last bend

  4. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    *
    her silent support
    behind the microphone
    *
    relearning small talk
    after lockdown
    *
    the joy of small talk
    after lockdown
    *
    the way grains of sand
    fall into coincidence

  5. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    – Tracy Davidson
    *
    the best golf driver
    to improve a long-game
    – Betty Shropshire

  6. finds an opening
    in the paper for work

    grandpa curses at his
    crooked tee shot

    says she’s had enough
    of my bad driving

    racecar driver
    crawls in through the window

    realtor shows off
    an open house

    a black flag for
    speeding on pit row

    rattles the keys
    in my pocket

    blues guitarist
    getting into it

    grandma rubbed a little
    whisky on our gums

  7. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    ——-Tracy Davidson

    .

    traveling a straight line
    that vanishes

    .

    Holsteins gather
    behind the drive-in theater

    .

    a lost songbird alights
    on the family tree

  8. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    — Tracy Davidson
    .
    gas pipelines to Germany
    shut down ‘for maintenance’
    .

    every tantrum dead obvious
    from the documentary
    .

    a pearl necklace becomes
    the subject of many memes

    — Marietta McGregor

  9. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson

    *****

    the loggerhead’s favorite beach
    washed away

    *****

    fire creeps dangerously
    close to the sequoias

    *****

    fire creeps dangerously
    close to the giants

  10. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    *
    Tracy Davidson
    *
    losing leaders
    right and left
    *

  11. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    ….

    the last of the dole
    spent on bets and booze

    like there’s nothing real
    if it isn’t on reddit

    how most people vote
    to fix the polls

    a foaming president
    makes a grab for the wheel

    becoming aware
    of one’s renku addiction

  12. A good one to move on with, Tracy. Congratulations!

    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    —Tracy Davidson

    contents of a briefcase
    spills across the carriage
    .

    a centre court upset
    solely down to stomach pains
    .

    spilt milk the least
    of their worries
    .

    unfortunately that huntsman
    is our side of the windshield

    — Marietta McGregor

    1. Sorry, my first effort above should read:

      contents of a briefcase
      spill across the carriage

      — Marietta McGregor

  13. they seek an indigenous voice
    in the parliament

    her red coat
    an antidote to gloom

    an usher shushes
    the kids in the cinema

    he smashes his racquet
    on the ground again

  14. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    – Tracy Davidson
    *
    that “I really don’t care, do you?”
    jacket upstaged even him
    – Betty Shropshire

  15. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    — Tracy Davidson

    ***
    cheering for the bulls
    at Pamplona
    ***
    wishing wells have more coins
    than a banjo busker’s hat
    hat

  16. John,

    Does renku have a connection with surrealist poetry?

    Richard

    P.S.

    Here’s my contribution for this week:

    mother tiptoes
    into bathwater

      1. I ask myself: “isn’t everything connected?” and “what is real?” But to me there does seem to be a deal in common between surrealism and the more disjunctive juxtapositions in haiku/senryu and those between verses in renku. There should be linking too, though, in the latter. Is linking (of disjunctive images) also a key part of surrealism, or is complete disruption the aim? I am unread about it.

        Apropos: do colleagues think that Basho’s “scent-linking” is sometimes taken as licence to be too free with the disjunction/disruption in renku? A link sometimes seems simply to be discarded in favour of a dramatic disjunction or new direction in some offerings. Or it’s probably that I just don’t work it out.

      2. I’m the wrong person to ask about this. It seems to me that art is the bloodstream of life and anything injected into it is likely to show up somewhere in the body. How a particular injection interacts with the various organs is a subject suitable for study and dispute. But it is simply not my field or my calling.

  17. ” Bottle Up and Go ”
    blasting from the radio

    remembering when it was legal
    to shake your booty

    the old man doesn’t know
    why they are at the cemetery

  18. the crossing guard
    a nonagenarian

    This may fall under ‘counting’ but it was a recent news story and I couldn’t help adding it.

  19. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    – Tracy Davidson
    *
    “thems the breaks”
    is the left’s new clarion call?
    – Betty Shropshire

  20. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    – Tracy Davidson
    *
    what’s the move to answer to
    the queen’s gambit?
    – Betty Shropshire

  21. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson

    feed the cat
    before leaving for work
    ***

    oh almost
    this letter must be delivered

    ***

    we will come
    short message read

  22. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    — Tracy Davidson
    *
    a full set of clubs
    for a day on the course
    *
    the Prime Minister’s economy
    with the truth

  23. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    ——Tracy Davidson
    **
    **
    her black face patch
    contrasts Wimbledon white
    **
    so many swear
    Adam and Eve wore fig leaves
    **
    tangled Tour de France wheels
    on a Danish bridge
    **
    swinging my old hips
    into deep bucket seats
    **
    writing a lesson
    on creative haute couture
    **

  24. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    — Tracy Davidson

    staffers ignore
    the president’s fart

    a heartwarming song
    from bums in the boxcar

    even a judge
    sits on the toilet

    a juvenile dolphin
    surfs the rollers

  25. star gazers
    make lousy outfielders
    ***
    politicians mating
    in the swamp
    ***

  26. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    -Tracy Davidson

    the Mother of God
    crosses the border

  27. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    — Tracy Davidson
    ***
    rodeo bull riders
    somersaulting through the air
    ***
    sex on the putting green
    beats making a birdie
    ****
    tricycle, bicycle, motorcycle,,
    car, wheelchair, hearse

  28. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    *
    the RBG action figure
    wringing her hands

  29. Congratulations Tracy! 🙂
    Thank you, John Stevenson, for noticing one of mine. _()_
    .
    .
    recurring thoughts
    of the red dress I let go
    .
    a perfect arc of the ball
    flying towards the basket
    .
    burning midnight oil
    the politician’s speech writer
    .
    battling wayward winds
    a pilot’s hand in the landing
    .

  30. nicely done!
    *

    Earthrise still fresh
    in our memories

    Lorin Ford

    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson

    —-

    the general’s uniform
    surprisingly small

  31. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    Tracy Davidson
    *********

    playing fiddle
    she forgets milk boiler
    ***

    his hourlong mike
    replete with tough election promises
    ******

    newly designed
    wardrobe full of old collections
    **

    job not in tune
    with her qualifications
    **

    one cotton sari
    on her fatty skin stiff
    **

    imposition
    more alluring than maths home work

  32. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    ————Tracy Davidson
    .

    curls of flypaper
    hang in the attic
    .

    we take a detour
    around his swollen ego
    .

    the old piano
    never stays in tune
    .

    nine judges snooze
    in their cushioned chairs

  33. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    – Tracy Davidson
    *
    the bodybuilder
    assumes a governorship
    – Betty Shropshire

  34. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    – Tracy Davidson
    *
    clashes between
    the president and a frontrunner
    – Betty Shropshire

  35. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    *
    shelving the American dreams
    with the fairy tales
    *
    the part of the fairy tale
    that’s lost in the woods
    *

  36. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    – Tracy Davidson
    *
    the president toys with
    a pardon
    – Betty Shropshire

  37. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    — Tracy Davidson
    ***

    racing the train
    on a bicycle
    ***
    a flat tire makes
    you sing those bicycle blues
    ***
    winning the Tour de France
    in my dreams
    ***
    hoping Trump’s hair
    matches his prison uniform

  38. Thank you John for choosing my verse, and thanks to everyone for the kind words.
    Will just offer one verse for fun this week, in response to the somewhat bonkers week we’ve had in British politics!

    he spits out his dummy
    in his resignation speech

  39. struggling to be calm
    in a new world order

    just before the last hole
    a punctured golf cart

    in the chess room silence
    biting nails

    with open arms and a whistle
    my son pretends flying

  40. the Coen brothers plot
    to murder Shakespeare

    a minor glitch
    in the parachute pack

    she crosses the state line
    to buy a think pill

    they turn round to glare
    at the crunch of popcorn

    the kids want to read
    forbidden books

  41. a bird sipping water
    near the front door

    grownups world
    full of dirt

    a dog with a belt
    running to and fro

    marching ants
    in the front lawn

  42. fewer groceries
    to offset the tank of gas

    (but it adds yet another last-line preposition)

  43. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson

    suddenly
    be friendly to sit as a candidate

  44. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson

    in a hurry
    the train ticket is not in hand yet

  45. Congratulations, dear Tracy
    Lovely🌺

    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson

  46. Congratulations, Tracey. 🙂
    .
    In my view this was a particularly challenging 3rd verse to get right because it needed to be an all seasons/any season/ non- seasonal verse. It needed to link to verse #2 and yet also turn away from the hokku + wakiku pair. From “memories” to “forgetting” is a very clear link and the baby in the back seat very nicely brings us back down to earth.
    .
    Having had my computer fixed now (fingers crossed) I’ve gone back & skim-read all of last week’s verse entries.
    I have to say that I also loved (and laughed with) this one by Michael Henry Lee:
    .
    Michael Henry Lee
    July 1, 2022 at 5:15 am

    was fifty years ago today
    that we last
    would hear the Beatles play

    🙂 The beat & rhythm is a perfect copy of ‘Sergeant Pepper”. I can hear those drums! And the words begin to come back to me . . . “It was 20 years ago today/ Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play. . .”

    It links to ‘memory’ in the wakiku (one might say it even enacts a memory event). It’s loud, in contrast to the hokku and wakiku, which are more like inner musings or perhaps words quietly voiced. It’s humorous too, and it certainly turns right away (with a bang of drums and cymbals!) from the hokku/ wakiku pair.

    I imagine, though, that the fact of this verse having two proper nouns/ titles (‘Earthrise’ and ‘Beatles’ might be overdoing things in a 12 verse renku, and that’s my guess as to why it’s nor on John’s shortlist.

    Still, I love it, Michael. 🙂

    1. Plus, of course, the fact that we would have 3 time-associated verses in a row: Keith’s idiom ‘time enough’, my ‘memories’ link (time is implied) to Keith’s hokku and Michael’s ” fifty years ago today” (memory of a specific time.)

    2. Thanks much Lorin it appears you enjoyed reading it as much as did writing it
      Kanpai

  47. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    -Tracy Davidson

    one savage shot
    leading to another

  48. *
    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    *
    essential until
    proven otherwise
    *
    or alternatively:
    *
    the once upon a time
    of being essential employees

  49. nice one, tracy….way-to-go!!!! john, thanks for the commentary…
    and the picks, great as always!!!
    yes, we are more opened up now, i agree with laurie:

    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson

    *

    crying out in an empty lot
    political signs

    wendy c. bialek
    i

  50. clean diapers for
    a future prime minister

    tiddlywinks adopted
    as an olympic sport

    media fed pap
    at the daily briefing

    a precision missile strike
    wipes out the mall

  51. Felicidades Tracy and gracias John

    ******
    never bet on a racehorse
    named Molasses
    ***
    52684 steps
    to finish a marathon
    ***
    fat rabbit parked
    on the bike path
    ***
    feeling the hills
    on the bike path

  52. their fantasy world
    of Bonnie and Clyde

    _____

    the radio plays
    ‘I’d Do Anything for Love’

    ________

  53. Good selection! It brings in a new layer of meaning. Here are my responses:

    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    Tracy Davidson

    always the woman
    behind the man in power
    .
    told to get rid of
    her little girl voice
    .
    a great big temper tantrum
    in the president’s car

  54. *
    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    *
    getting a pitch from the local
    la leche league
    *
    an extra copy of the nursing law
    in the diaper bag

  55. enlisting the defense team
    of Larry Moe and Curly

    midterm elections for
    the soul of America

    substitute teachers trained
    in small arms proficiency

    all the king’s men serving
    various sentences

    1. Love this one, Michael! —

      all the king’s men serving
      various sentences

  56. Congrats Tracy!

    My attempts:

    invisible hand of the market
    takes away the baby bottle

    *

    making a mountain
    out of the laundry pile

    *

    still working
    so remotely

  57. Congratulations Tracy.

    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    —Tracy Davidson

    her nanny
    stops for a coffee

    she stops to clean
    her coffee stained shirt

    his lawyer claims
    a judge will understand

    the jury comes out
    to a hushed courtroom

    the mechanic calls
    about the brake job

    the police finish
    an Amber Alert

  58. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    – Tracy Davidson
    *
    hangers-on chant
    at a landscape nursery
    – Betty Shropshire

  59. somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    *
    cops breaking down doors to
    inspect the bathwater
    *

  60. *
    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    *
    another LGBTQ title
    challenged in court
    *
    all the Court chose to let stand
    with the bathwater
    *
    the Court gives another swirl
    to the bathwater
    *

  61. Congrats Tracy!
    *
    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat
    – Tracy Davidson
    *
    an armed gunman
    dressed in women’s attire
    – Betty Shropshire

  62. Great stuff! Some seedcorn:

    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    …..

    Daddy works late
    in the office again

    the lamentable loss
    of Putin’s pacifier

    maneuvers hampered
    by the formula shortage

    slowly over the humps
    in front of the hospice

    performance enhanced
    by a little amphetamine

    a rattler sleeps
    untroubled by mice

    all the clerks hang-gliding
    on weekends

    belted up ready
    for the roller coaster

    the letters after his name
    surely mean something

    election leaflets
    on the outhouse nail

    Spokesman Leaves Government
    Citing Family Reasons

  63. Tracy–congratulations! A super verse, giving us so many places to go. And John, thanks for noticing one of my Alice offerings, and for your illuminating words of guidance. So great to be back in the swing of a renku!
    *
    somehow forgetting
    the baby
    in the back seat

    Tracy Davidson
    *
    all he knows about civics
    he learned on the streets
    *
    no better teacher of civics
    than the streets
    *

    1. My offerings are
      .

      Alexa still playing
      her favourite lullaby
      .

      all eyes at
      the pet dog squeaking

      .

      Lakshmi Iyer

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