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The Renku Sessions: Barely Time – Week 7

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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.

This week produced 160 verse six offers, from 34 poets.

The single factor that eliminated more verses than any other this time was the tendency to misuse a kigo. This is something that I often comment on when soliciting moon verses – pointing out that the verse must feature the literal moon or its light. Someone “mooning” over a lover or “mooning” passersby from a window will not represent the season in the manner required of a kigo. The same principle applies to other kigo. If we are writing a seasonal verse, we must use the kigo as intended in order to satisfy the requirements for such verse.

Another factor that was evident in several verses was a tendency to recast a three-line verse as two lines:

I have something to say
but I’m going to need more than two lines to say it

 

There were, all the same, plenty of verses to choose from. Here are samples of some of the verses that seemed to me good candidates for our autumn love verse:

 

 

a kiss with eyes closed
in faint autumn lamplight

Keith Evetts

 

whispering blue nothings
in the autumn lamplight

Laurie Greer

 

how autumn colors
kindled their romance

Chris Patchel

 

school begins the study
of the pale nape of her neck

Patrick Sweeney

While the beginning of a new school year is an autumn event for much of the Northern Hemisphere, it is not sited on our list of autumn kigo.

 

his interest grows
as they dance

Tracy Davidson

 

his jokes needling out a smile
over the new soba

Betty Shropshire

 

echoes of citron soap
from that hotel room

Wendy C. Bialek

 

with the coming of autumn
he recalls her perfume

Richard Straw

A lovely verse but we have “memories” and “forgetting” in verses two and three, respectively.

 

smears of lipstick
on the scarecrow’s shirt

Polona Oblak

We won’t have a second verse from Polona in this renku and, most particularly, won’t have another immediately following her first. But this and the previous verse remind me of why she is one of my favorite renku partners. Scarecrows tend to be dressed in “castoff” garments. I think we can imagine why this shirt may no longer be welcome in the house!

 

hey ho the breaths of lovers
all through the long night—

Lorin Ford

One of the ways we create variety during a renku is by employing various styles of diction.

 

she makes her husband
the fresh pumpkin soup he loves

Maxianne Berger

 

he licks the apple juice
from her chin

Nancy Brady

 

autumn wind scatters
the heart’s hidden agenda

princess k

 

first time passion
cushioned by new straw

Carol Jones

 

 

One factor that only occurred to me over the course of the past week is that this kind of renku differs from other formats in not having set places in which we can expect the love verses to appear. That being the case, we need to be sure that our first love verse is not so subtle that it fails to announce itself as a love verse.

 

 

OUR SIXTH VERSE

he licks the apple juice
from her chin

     Nancy Brady

This is such a huge departure from the subtlety of verse five. Verse five is sensing something that is somewhere else in the fog. Verse six is very much “in your face.”

 

 

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

 

a racehorse
named Molasses

Dan Campbell

 

the fog
has borrowed its scent
from the pines

Polona Oblak

 

he licks the apple juice
from her chin

Nancy Brady

 

 

 

THIS WEEK

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

  • Three lines
  • A love verse (love between adult human beings)
  • Non-seasonal – containing no kigo from our list
  • Linking with the sixth verse only (no obvious linking to any of the first five 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 1. On Thursday, August 4 I will post a selection of the offers, with my comments, and select the seventh verse for “Barely Time.”

I hope you are all having fun with this!

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 94 Comments

  1. Congrats Nancy, on your fun verse!
    *
    at the amusement park
    the couple goes public
    in matching t-shirts
    *
    candles burn to nubs
    on their first
    dinner date
    *
    excited about
    their new
    two-person shower

  2. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    – Nancy Brady
    *
    unwavering
    fidelity unlike some
    other old flames
    – Betty Shropshire

  3. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    Nancy Brady

    Tasting memories from long ago
    The first bite of her apple pie
    Two forks one slice

  4. It is, indeed, such fun that I’d better stop….


    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    Nancy Brady

    the way
    a wife can disappear
    in supermarket aisles

    she objects
    to being objectified
    as a pippin

  5. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin — Nancy Brady
    .
    a beginning
    we didn’t expect to end
    in wedding bells

  6. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    Nancy Brady

    *********

    it still thrills
    to turn on a sex toy
    from the taxi

    *****

    praise god
    for remote-control
    sex toys

    *****

    why did we stop
    playing with our remote-control
    sex toys

  7. making love
    all night
    in his dreams

    oh the taste
    of the night’s
    long haul

    the wedding ring
    he caressed
    she threw out

    the salty taste
    of her tears
    made him go all out

  8. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    -Nancy Brady
    .
    .
    and that’s how
    she found herself
    in the hospital bed
    .
    yes father
    was her response to
    his every request
    .
    of course at her age
    the correct term is
    mercenary
    .
    .

  9. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    – Nancy Brady
    *
    perfectly poised
    thanks to botox
    and separate bedrooms
    – Betty Shropshire

  10. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    – Nancy Brady
    ****
    and then
    she did cartwheels
    into the bedroom
    ***
    as she counted
    holes in the thatched roof
    of the honeymoon suite

  11. Congratulations Nancy, very tasty!

    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    —Nancy Brady

    the kitten gives
    a furry wink to
    the neutered dog

  12. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    Nancy Brady
    …..

    she reddens
    at the mention
    of her old flame

    bristling
    at the pink envelope
    under his socks

    gravity discovered
    as the test
    turns pink

    secret glee
    at the enormous size
    of his last squeeze

    sucker
    after sucker
    mate

  13. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    – Nancy Brady
    *
    the veneer of wits
    devolving into
    stale mates
    – Betty Shropshire

  14. Very nice, Nancy, congratulations. (I thought I’d posted this before, but was mistaken.)

    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    .
    Nancy Brady
    .
    which led to angels
    consorting with the daughters
    of men

    1. or:
      .
      he licks the apple juice
      from her chin
      .
      Nancy Brady
      .
      which led to angels
      ‘consorting’ with the daughters
      of men

  15. somewhere
    over France they join
    the Mile High Club

    somewhere
    over Washington
    they polish off the wine

    she appears
    not far from the tree
    wearing nothing but a snake

  16. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    — Nancy Brady

    ****
    both of us
    dripping wet
    after her rain dance
    ****
    memories
    of making love
    during earthquakes
    ****
    cleaning
    off the mud
    from her boots

  17. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady
    *
    the makeshift altar
    where his ashes wait
    for hers
    *

  18. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    – Nancy Brady
    *
    undaunted
    by these slippages
    into senesence
    – Betty Shropshire

    1. oops, should be written as:
      *
      undaunted
      by these slippages
      into senescence

  19. already drooling
    over the new instructor
    at the health club

    divorce attorneys
    extract an embarrassing
    confession

    the charms of a pin
    through the tongue
    evanesce

    that he’s only human
    goes against him
    in divorce

    goddesses argue
    over the fellow’s
    amorous gift

    damned
    if she’ll sell the tiara
    for you bud

    if he wasn’t so green
    he’d never
    have fallen

  20. Thanks everyone for the kind remarks about the verse. It’s appreciated, and I am loving the variety of verses to it.

    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    still holding her hand
    during their walk
    in the woods
    .
    despite the years
    he still take glamour photos
    of her
    .
    through the years
    his camera focusses
    on her face and body

    .

  21. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    —-Nancy Brady
    .

    an electrical storm
    between her ears
    and legs

    .

    walking barefoot
    we take each other
    prisoner

    1. if “barefoot” has a seasonal connection:

      walking hand in hand
      we take each other
      prisoner

  22. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    — Nancy Brady
    ***
    the banjo stays
    in the corner
    when she is gone
    ***
    she resembles
    a mermaid splashing
    in the waves
    ****
    whipped cream
    on her dark
    brown skin

  23. A sensual little verse, Nancy.
    Great choice, John, and thanks for pausing on mine.

  24. choosing to live
    with a sinner
    over a saint

    on second thoughts
    his imperfections
    are adorable

  25. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady

    lower
    a little to the left
    yes o h o h o h yes!

    07.29.2022 by wendy © bialek

    might be a keeper
    comes when
    she whistles

    07.29.2022 by wendy © bialek

    husbands are handy
    when hanging
    photos

    07.29.2022 by wendy © bialek

    husbands are handy
    for quelling that
    unreachable itch

    07.29.2022 by wendy © bialek

    their golden years
    basted with tongue
    in cheek humour

    07.29.2022 by wendy © bialek

  26. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    —Nancy Brady

    ***
    we hover
    glide and sometimes
    even soar
    ****
    even in winter
    my Salvadoran wife’s butt
    is brown

  27. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady
    *
    musing over the medium
    for the portrait
    of their marriage
    *
    how they astonish each other
    with the portraits
    of their marriage
    *
    still making more
    than art
    in their attic studio
    *

  28. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    – Nancy Brady
    *
    gut-punched
    as the homewrecker
    moves in
    – Betty Shropshire

  29. my pickup line
    gets an eye roll
    with a smile

    replaying
    and resaving
    your last voicemail

  30. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady
    *
    a pair of atheists
    building their faith
    in each other
    *
    the pair of atheists
    who’ve founded a faith
    on each other
    *

  31. Congrats Nancy, I enjoy reading your verses
    ****
    watching how
    our shadows hold
    each other up
    *****
    smiling while
    she pours the coffee
    on my lap

  32. a red bikini
    drapes over
    the balcony rail
    :
    under the bright sun
    his husky drawl
    in love’s promises
    :
    coolness settles
    in the twilight call of birds
    enveloped in his arms

  33. finding it hard
    to peel themselves off
    the honeymoon bed

    07.29.2022 by wendy © bialek

  34. tongue-tied virgins
    in the bridal bed
    ever more rare

    a string of tin cans
    some well-wisher tied
    to the rear fender

    his mother’s
    wedding gift found
    in the recycling

    the jade buddha
    just missed
    his head

  35. My offerings:

    reminiscing
    the first time they met
    under the orchard
    .
    wiping each other
    with crocheted handkerchief
    sewn with their initials
    .
    parting gift
    of cigar case to him
    and red lip gloss to her

    .

    Lakshmi Iyer

    .

  36. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    – Nancy Brady
    *
    another blowout
    performance
    of marital bliss
    – Betty Shropshire

  37. toasting
    their golden anniversary
    with long-stemmed glasses

    07.29.2022 by wendy © bialek

  38. thank you, John, for your very kind words. it feels good to flex the renku muscle again after a period that was… well, less than inspiring.

  39. marrying the dry
    cleaner shakes everyone
    to the core

    07.29.2022 by wendy © bialek

    1. ooops!

      marrying the dry
      cleaner shakes them
      to the core

      07.29.2022 by wendy © bialek

  40. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady
    *
    the part of the vow
    they’ve yet
    to honor
    *

  41. Congrats, Nancy!
    *
    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    – Nancy Brady
    *
    a diamond collar
    and the long leash
    that comes after
    – Betty Shropshire

  42. she returns
    his gentle squeeze
    on rounded flesh

    she takes
    the pith
    out of his piercings

    the tingle
    that teases
    her core

  43. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady
    *
    the widow still sleeps
    on the left side
    of the bed

  44. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady
    *
    just glancing at each other
    when asked
    for their secret
    *
    serendipity making
    another honeymoon
    a staycation
    *

  45. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady
    *
    mature love
    only a different style
    of fun & games
    *
    the fun and games
    of mature love
    no different in spirit
    *

  46. congrats go to nancy for her cheerful verse! i picture her giggling at a playful gesture or joke he made…. to have caused her to dribble…how nicely you captured an intimate moment between a young couple.

    thanks, john, for explaining how we got we where are….and how to proceed.
    happy to have done a verse you acknowleged to be considered for this position.
    *

    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    Nancy Brady

    *

    fists bump
    on the way
    to their caves

    07.29.2022 by wendy © bialek

  47. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    Nancy Brady
    *
    emptying
    her glass attracts
    a pass

    See Dorothy Parker’s famous couplet/poem from Enough Rope (1926):

    “News Item”

    “Men seldom make passes
    At girls who wear glasses.”

    +++

    Also…Adam and Eve redux:

    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    Nancy Brady
    *
    forbidden
    and yet so far
    so good
    *
    they taste
    and see each other
    bit by bit
    *
    lying on fig leaves
    as buff as the moment
    they were born
    *
    being caught out
    and withering under
    His questioning
    *
    by the hip
    slow-walking
    out the gate

  48. the fog
    has borrowed its scent
    from the pines – Polona Oblak
    .
    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin – Nancy Brady
    .
    now open
    to the general public
    their matching tattoos
    .

  49. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    -Nancy Brady

    a hint
    of blue fascism
    in her Newtonian embrace

  50. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady
    *
    the dream house where they
    nearly touch the intangibles
    of their marriage
    *
    their marriage
    a dream house they’ve
    never stopped building
    *

    1. revision:

      the dream house where they
      touch the intangibles
      of their marriage
      *

  51. Wonderful job, Nancy! And thanks John . . .I was one who misused a kigo! Lesson learned!

    his heart-shaped
    sticky notes
    in every room

    1. Hello Debbie,

      I’m still very much an amateur in renku practice. I’m grappling with the concept of kigo usage. I read your verse from last week, and liked it. However, I don’t quite see the misuse of kigo. I guess, and maybe John would like to clarify further, that ‘remaining heat’ must apply purely to weather, not to anywhere else, such as the warmth of a bed.

      I’m also worried about ‘stickiness’ — of child seats, mud, Molasses and juicy chins. I can’t help making connections, rightly or wrongly.

      Cheers, Marietta

      1. That last sentence was a more general musing, not about your verse, Debbie!

        1. Thanks for musing about all of this ! Yes, I almost didn’t click “submit “ due to the sticky situation! Haha! We will find out on Thursday, but I imagine John will go in a less sticky direction! :).

  52. nice one, Nancy, and thanks for pausing at mine, John.

    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    Nancy Brady

    oh the heady
    intimacies exuding
    from his T-shirt

  53. he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady
    *
    how the joint taste
    for temptation conspires
    to make a paradise
    *

    1. he licks the apple juice
      from her chin
      – Nancy Brady
      *
      feigning innocence
      to the charge
      of in flagrante delicto
      – Betty Shropshire

  54. What a tasty verse! Congratulations, Nancy! And thanks, as always, John!
    *
    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin
    *
    Nancy Brady
    *
    renewing their vows
    with an inimitable
    tongue twister
    *
    the inimitable tongue
    twister that re-affirms
    their vows
    **

    1. Yes. Imperfection, to be sure. And one of the benefits of renku is that it can get us to be more comfortable with imperfection – that is, with the world.
      .
      I will say that the Molasses in verse four is not the edible substance but, as we have been at pains to make clear, the name of a horse.

      1. the fog
        has borrowed its scent
        from the pines – Polona Oblak
        .
        he licks the apple juice
        from her chin – Nancy Brady
        .
        after that
        (the story goes)
        they both wore fig leaves
        .

      2. another imperfection in this pairing:

        from the pines” followed by “from her chin”

        oh well, we’re only human therefore not infallible

      3. Both issues could be remedied:

        a racehorse
        named Pokey (Gumby’s pony comes to mind lol)

        he licks the apple juice
        off her chin

      4. ‘Molasses’ in verse four is a horse which has been given the name of a specific sticky substance, molasses.

        ‘Earth’ is the name of the planet we live on.

        “What was the Earth called before it was called Earth?
        Earth is the only planet in our solar system not named after a Greco-Roman deity. The name used in Western academia during the Renaissance was Tellus Mater or Terra Mater, the Latin for “earth mother”, i.e. “Mother Earth”, goddess of the earth in ancient Roman religion and mythology. ”

        “Just as the English language evolved from ‘Anglo-Saxon’ (English-German) with the migration of certain Germanic tribes from the continent to Britain in the fifth century A.D, the word ‘Earth’ came from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘erda’ and it’s germanic equivalent ‘erde’ which means ground or soil.”
        .
        We dig up earth to plant potatoes etc. But the name of our planet is Earth.

  55. Congratulations, Nancy. Juicy!

    And I loved Polona’s verse too. Thanks again for all the comments, John.

    —–
    he licks the apple juice
    from her chin

    Nancy Brady

    wedding dress for sale
    with no marks
    on the outside

    the barmaid’s
    dry comments
    on the decree nisi

    all the romance
    in exchanging
    DNA

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