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The Renku Sessions: Barely Time – Week 9

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.

This week saw 186 verse eight offers, from 27 poets.

There seems to be some confusion about the verse scheme I am using in this renku. Here it is:

Verse 1 = summer
Verse 2 = non-seasonal
Verse 3 = non-seasonal
Verse 4 = non-seasonal
Verse 5 = autumn
Verse 6 = autumn / love
Verse 7 = non-seasonal /love
Verse 8 = winter / moon

From here, we will finish with:

Verse 9 = non-seasonal
Verse 10 = non-seasonal
Verse 11 = spring / blossom
Verse 12 – spring

I apologize for not immediately posting the need for this to be a moon verse. It only occurred to me after I had posted instructions that we need a moon verse here. Otherwise, we would have to add a moon image to our final two (spring) verses and they already carry the added requirement of a blossom image. Of course, this particular renku format offers a maximum of flexibility and we could have had a “winter / blossom” verse here and a “spring / moon” verse later.” That would not be my preference, however.

Nancy Brady reported, this time, that “some of the verses I have written have turned (with modification) into haiku, which have been accepted in journals.” This is frequently a benefit of renku and I hope others have reaped or soon will reap similar benefits.

A concern has been raised about the use of “barely” in the hokku and “barefoot” in verse seven. This is an imperfection but one that I do not intend to erase. It’s hard to explain why. Here is a quote from an article on Japanese aesthetics that comes closer than I can to explaining. “In the Nampōroku (1690), a record of sayings by the tea master Sen no Rikyū, we read: ‘In the small [tea] room, it is desirable for every utensil to be less than adequate. There are those who dislike a piece when it is even slightly damaged; such an attitude shows a complete lack of comprehension’.” I don’t mean the “lack of comprehension” part but I do believe that nothing is beautiful without apparent flaws.

 

Here are some of the verses that struck me as candidates for our winter moon verse:

 

winter moon
captured in clouds

Wendy C. Bialek

It was Wendy’s question, on Thursday, that made me realize we needed a moon verse here. Thank you, Wendy.

 

the window stolen
by the winter moon

Keith Evetts

A delightful play on the famous Ryokan verse.

 

gold moonlight repairs
cracks in the ice

Keith Evetts

A reference to kintsugi.

 

the pod of whales tows the
winter moon out to sea

Laurie Greer

 

enough moonlight
for every snowflake

Jonathan Alderfer

 

moonlight illuminates
icebound waterfalls

Carol Jones

 

winter moonlight
astir in tide pools

Richard Straw

 

this winter moon
caught in an oyster shell

Lorin Ford

 

a huddle of penguins
under the winter moon

Lorin Ford

 

withered fields bathed
by a mellow moon

Carol Jones

Many of us will think of Bashō whenever the kigo “withered fields” is used.

 

the full frontal
winter moon

Patrick Sweeney

I don’t feel I can follow face and feet with “full frontal” but I love this one!

 

penguins diving
into the winter moon

Dan Campbell

 

screech of a barn owl
cold as the moonlight

Chris Patchel

 

While all of the above have much to recommend them, my final choice comes down to two other offers:

 

snow moon
rests on granite

Susan Grant

This came in fairly early and stayed resonant to the end. Its simplicity is very attractive.

 

snow clouds
the mood of the moon

Wendy C. Bialek

On the one hand, this subverts my intention to have a verse without human presence. Rather than personifying the moon, the verse reflects a shift in the mood of a viewer. I like the way in which the meaning of “clouds” oscillates between noun and verb. Is this too close to “the fog” in verse five?

 

 

OUR EIGHTH VERSE

 

snow moon
rests on granite

     Susan Grant

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

THIS WEEK

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

  • Three lines
  • Non-seasonal: avoiding any kigo from our list: http://www.2hweb.net/haikai/renku/500ESWd.html
  • Linking with the eighth verse only (no obvious linking to any of the first seven 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 15. On Thursday, August 18 I will post a selection of the offers, with my comments, and select the ninth verse for “Barely Time.”

Looking forward to your offers,
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 117 Comments

      1. in case “trapped” brings images off prisoner in v-7 and victims of 9/11 trapped in buildings in v-2

  1. snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant
    ***
    no boats
    fisherman leans against
    the limestone wall

    heels on tile
    staccato replies
    to your proposition

    after dinner
    thoughts fold
    like linen napkins

    last evening
    my words
    become window fog

    Sunday brunch
    reading the page he
    coffee-stained first

    fossils
    foot imprints in
    worn slippers

    chai tea
    the song ends with
    changing topic

    running late
    a skip to avoid
    closing train doors

    insect legs
    carry fallen debris
    across granite

  2. munchkin’s propensity
    to make mountains
    out of molehills

    08.15.2022 by wendy © bialek

  3. Lovely concise verse, Susan. Congratulations.
    *
    they say hello
    to long lost ancestors
    at the grave markers
    *
    the heirloom plate
    holds a celebratory
    coconut cake
    *
    the mortar and pestle
    passed down another
    generation

  4. john, now i am wondering if i have evoked images too close to 9/11 with some of my words/phrases like: pavement, drop to the ground, etc. if so, delete from my offerings for this renku.

    1. and john, i am wondering too, for the sake of learning…..would i be going too far out on a limb…if i saw a connection between “9/11” and “granite”? the dust debris from components of office and building supplies, people and vehicles fleeing on the streets covered in cement-looking powdery soot???? that has also stayed in my memory. { i had to cancel a surgery in a hospital a few blocks away…afterwards…as the air quality was still too unhealthy to breathe.

  5. snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant
    *
    the lilting strains
    of an oboist
    across the way
    – Betty Shropshire

  6. another immigrant
    drops to the ground
    with beauty

    08.15.2022 by wendy © bialek

    1. For info: The Mournes are among the best granite mountains in Ireland, and granite quarries were a huge part of the Kingdom of Mourne economy. Mourne granite can be found throughout Ireland and England, including Belfast, Liverpool, London, and Manchester.

  7. snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant
    *
    sounding off
    how a park benefits
    the inner city
    – Betty Shropshire

  8. Good People : The horse in v 4 is now ‘Tortuga’ – a tortoise or a Caribbean island. This links it faintly to v3, but not to v5. This was the place I gave up contributing. Verses seem to be chosen for their curiosity or affective interest, but the principle of ‘significant juxtaposition’ is lost : so the choice, from the myriad suggestions, could be anything. Count me out

    1. It has been my experience that it is more difficult for poets to not see connections than to see them. As I have said, I believe I could find links between almost any set of images. There is no need to provide a definitive link between verses 4 and 5. There are many such. But I will share with you what I had in mind. Verse 4 suggests that naming creates expectations of reality. The horse, whether named “molasses” or “tortuga,” is presumed to have a nature that reflects the name, even though the name was probably given at birth or early in life. In verse 5 the fog takes on the nature of a scent and, immediately, is not just any fog but the fog that is imbued with the scent of pine. In the course of a renku, it is desirable to utilize a variety of linking strategies. As a result, some of the linking will be quite obvious and some of it will be missed, especially if the reader is expecting some theory of linkage to be evident in every instance.

    2. dick…the connecting link may
      sometimes look
      like it is blowing
      wildly in the wind
      but for me
      it can be the aha moment
      yet to come
      or the eureka effect
      which is just one
      of the many pros
      that keeps me growing and engaged
      in the art of renku.

    3. ” . . . Tortuga’ – a tortoise or a Caribbean island. This links it faintly to v3, but not to v5. ” – Dick

      Actually, a Caribbean island named Tortuga because it has a turtle-like shape, and there it is, seeming to swim in the sea. While all tortoises are turtles, not all turtles are tortoises. 🙂

      The link from Polona’s verse #5 to it’s prior verse (‘Turtle verse’), is, in my view, a ‘word link’, and that word is ‘borrowed‘. The name of the horse (Tortuga) is borrowed from the name of the island which was borrowed from the name of a creature, the turtle , because that island looks like a turtle. Polona’s fog “has borrowed its scent/from the pines”. It’s a clever and witty link, in my view, and was so when the horse’s name was ‘Molasses’, so no changes were needed to Polona’s verse.
      (But John’s description of his understanding of the link between Polona’s verse and Dan’s is quite different to mine, it will be noted. )
      .
      However, I haven’t a clue as to how the revised verse #4 links to Tracey Davidson’s immediately prior verse (verse #3). What has the island Tortuga to do with ‘forgetting’ or with a baby in the backseat?
      In the original, Dan’s verse linked to my wakiku (therefore committing the great sin of ‘uchikoshi’/ return to last-but-one) by it’s use of a name/ proper noun.

      John’s final solution to that problem was to dispose of my proper noun (& the ‘Earthrise’ event) and insert “9/11” in it’s place, which allows Dan’s verse to retain a proper noun, albeit a different proper noun than the original ‘Molasses’.

      Playing the sabaki role isn’t easy, and John is by miles the best sabaki in all ways that we’ve had at The Haiku Foundation. I don’t envy the sticky business he’s had to make his way through to get this renku back into balance.

  9. bone white roots
    in the anthropocene
    asphalt

    tinkles
    of laughter
    at the runoff

    watching
    greyscale news
    on color television

  10. snow moon
    rests on granite
    —Susan Grant

    downstream
    the turbid river
    conceals city mud

    the seven dwarfs
    tell the boss to do
    her own whistling

  11. snow moon
    rests on granite
    — — —

    my footfalls echo
    under the angels
    scrutiny
    ***
    my cat drops
    the garden pebble
    a successful hunt
    ***
    my flute at attention
    with bated breath
    as trumpets blare
    ***
    crimson sun dawning
    on an empty mountain tomb
    Excalibur released
    ***
    mountains shift
    and diamonds crack
    as Atlas shrugs
    ***
    I leave a stick
    for the stone dog
    guarding generations
    ***
    wax wings
    light as a feather
    falls like a stone
    OR
    wax wings
    light as a feather
    he plummets
    ***
    the Underworld watches
    as the stone rolls away
    Again
    ***
    under the bed
    she stashes her treasure
    of shells and seaglass
    ***
    brushing dust away
    from bones
    framed in stone

  12. snow moon
    rests on granite
    Susan Grant
    .
    a dusting
    of chilli flakes to top
    ricotta pizzas
    .

    ( chilli / chili — tomahtoes / tomaytoes )

  13. snow moon
    rests on granite – Susan Grant
    .
    the baker’s
    meringue pie specials
    almost sold out

  14. snow moon
    rests on granite – Susan Grant
    .
    news of the cruise ship
    still anchored offshore
    goes viral
    .

  15. snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant
    *
    sounding off
    about the ocean’s
    plastic island
    – Betty Shropshire

    1. To get rid of the link to Tortuga as an island, am revising to:
      *
      sounding off
      about the ocean’s
      plastic

  16. snow moon
    rests on granite
    ——Susan Grant

    .

    runes lie hidden
    in the grain
    of a mountain cherry

    .

    far from home
    a forest erratic broods
    in silence

    (* An erratic is a large boulder picked up by a glacier or ice sheet and sometimes transported hundreds of miles. When the ice sheet retreats the erratic is left behind.)

  17. Congratulations Susan

    snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant

    the crunch
    and squeak
    of her hobnailed boots

  18. snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant
    ****

    the telescope
    found a planet
    made of diamonds
    *****
    the telescope
    found a planet
    sized diamond
    *****
    refugees on some
    planets weep tears
    made of diamonds
    *****

  19. Congratulations Susan! Lovely verse.

    snow moon
    rests on granite

    – Susan Grant

    .
    the pauses
    in her words
    echo with sound
    .
    a sudden screech
    of car tyres throws up
    a fine dust
    .
    cleaning clay
    ornaments bit by bit
    for colour
    .
    propping
    the broken globe
    on the table
    .
    filling the small
    crater near the gate
    with rubble
    .

  20. snow moon
    rests on granite

    Susan Grant


    unknown species
    in the ordovician
    fossil strata

  21. snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant
    *
    the kerplunk
    of a skipped stone
    making ripples
    – Betty Shropshire

  22. snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant
    ****

    aborted takeoff
    on a pot-holed
    runway
    ****
    lava flowing
    across the airport
    runway

  23. snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant

    ******

    how fast
    the octopus shape-shifts
    into coral

  24. vultures circling
    like kites
    above the volcano
    ****
    applauding
    the harmony
    of hyena howls
    ****
    trees growing
    from cracks
    in the mountain
    ****
    more hearts
    than chimneys
    are made of stone
    ****

  25. snow moon
    rests on granite
    — Susan Grant
    *
    a little oil
    on the whetstone
    to sharpen the chisel

  26. an artist
    leaves the oil rig
    out of the painting

    a whisper
    of forgotten lines
    behind the scenes

  27. the screech
    of teacher’s chalk
    on the blackboard

    a little dandruff
    and they’re yelling
    for the chairman’s scalp

    a soppy poem
    in the hope of
    stopping tanks

    she’ll be coming
    round the mountain
    when she comes

    the woodcutter’s son
    is a chip
    off the old block

  28. Congratulations Susan.

    snow moon
    rests on granite
    — Susan Grant

    dividing
    dark from light
    a bird’s song

  29. a lovely verse, well done Susan!

    and already some great candidates for the next position 👍

  30. snow moon
    rests on granite – Susan Grant
    .
    how peaceful
    until our dormant mountain
    begins to growl
    .

  31. snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant
    *
    papier-mâché props
    come alive
    as the music swells
    – Betty Shropshire

  32. walking barefoot
    we take each other
    prisoner – Jonathan Alderfer
    .
    snow moon
    rests on granite – Susan Grant
    .

    the huge cruise ship
    for weeks at anchor
    offshore
    .

    morning’s rhythm
    in the thuds of pestles
    hitting mortars
    .

    an adage re stones
    for people still living
    in glass houses
    .

    1. Whoops, not “morning” after our hokku’s “night”, I think. So, a replacement:
      .
      snow moon
      rests on granite – Susan Grant
      .
      waking to the thuds
      of pestles grinding spices
      in mortars

  33. snow moon
    rests on granite
    — Susan Grant
    ****

    dreaming about pastures
    in a hut
    made of cow dung

  34. snow moon
    rests on granite
    *
    Susan Grant
    *
    refurbishing
    an overused
    worry stone
    *
    the serenity
    that makes a case
    for the worry stone
    *

  35. snow moon
    rests on granite
    *
    Susan Grant
    *
    summarizing the plot
    of the Wilkie Collins
    classic
    *
    sketching the plot
    of the Wilkie Collins
    classic
    *

  36. snow moon
    rests on granite
    *
    Susan Grant
    *
    reciting the Pledge
    of Allegiance
    on the flagstone path
    *

  37. snow moon
    rests on granite
    *
    Susan Grant
    *
    stone washed jeans
    still the height
    of fashion

  38. snow moon
    rests on granite
    *
    Susan Grant
    *
    reading the fine grit
    of the eloquent
    sandstone
    *
    always believing
    his birthstone
    was a mood ring
    *
    gritting their teeth
    against the whirling
    sandstorm

  39. now moon
    rests on granite
    Susan Grant
    ————————
    her agile hands
    a tablet for the almost
    dying
    **
    ritual
    gathering all leaves
    for dead

    *****
    her new mantra
    in the stuck up
    elevator

    black boards’ dust
    on her head still unable
    to solve problem
    *****
    search in the heap
    of clothes and kerchief
    needle and thread

  40. I know
    it’s only rock ‘n roll
    but I like it

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

    1. I should have checked out all the Paint It Black lyrics which include ‘summer’ and ‘love’

  41. sheep use
    stepping-stones
    to cross the river

    or

    sheep
    use a bridge
    to cross the river

    1. sheep use
      stepping-stones
      to cross the river
      .
      🙂 hey Carol, how about goats? I’ve seen this, clever devils that they are:

      goats use
      stepping-stones
      to cross the river

  42. from the eyrie
    nothing but
    a silken sea

    a bald eagle
    finds loneliness
    at the summit

    a new war
    gives the globe
    another shake

    fellow feeling
    for the squid that failed
    an ink blot test

  43. snow moon
    rests on granite
    — Susan Grant
    *
    hot stone yoga
    to soothe away
    the stresses
    *
    the bow
    moving gracefully
    across a violin
    *
    strands of wool
    where the goat rubbed
    against the cromlech

  44. snow moon
    rests on granite
    —-Susan Grant
    .

    a hawk overhead
    a rabbit in the yellow gorse
    and all is well
    .

    temple bells
    green with ghosts
    lie in the dust
    .

    a sandcastle
    washed away by
    the incoming tide

    carpenter ants
    and dry rot attack
    the foundation
    .

    the hollow sound of river
    rocks as they roll down
    to the sea

  45. a chiseler a cheat
    but first and foremost
    a liar

    back to the future
    for another
    box of rocks

    an object on the sofa
    remains
    on the sofa

    laying claim
    to a field
    of fool’s gold

  46. the trophy
    melted down for silver
    leaves a nameless plinth

    how to value
    the unnamed sculptor
    by a single work

    unrequited wishes
    for the fountain’s
    silver coins

  47. lichen creeps
    across the slab
    without a word

    the urge to scrawl
    I was here
    on the cairn

    hot rock
    at the herpetologists’ ball
    gets ’em going

  48. his last curling stone
    knocks mine
    off the rink

    the rock and roll
    radio station
    cuts transmission

    her old rocking chair
    still rocks
    when we’re not looking

  49. Congratulations Susan, a lovely verse. It has the classic simplicity and silence that allows your mind to wander around in it. I see the same qualities in some ukiyo-e woodblock prints of snowbound mountains.

  50. Thank you John, I am quite moved to have this chosen and thank you for the kind comments from you all.
    I started thinking of mountains and their endurance, snowdrifts then the delights of moon in snow. It came down to my image of the moon cupped in rocks, currently as snow but ready to melt into the next season.
    I also thank Jonathan for his verse that set me off on this thread.

  51. snow moon
    rest on granite
    -Susan Grant

    the relevant pauses
    in the closing
    argument

    intervals of silence
    players tuning
    the page

    in the absence of sound
    my meter key
    has changed

  52. Congrats Susan, that is such a sublime verse.

    fresh white sheets
    smoothing out the wrinkles
    on her skin

    *

    at quarry lake
    breezes flutter
    police tape

  53. ooops!! can’t use time’s. it’s in the title !!!!!

    their chiseled features
    worn away
    by nature’s caress

  54. twisted steel
    and jumbled rubble
    their cenotaph

    their poem
    dense with
    crystalline images

    passersby
    seldom notice
    the cenotaph

    their chiseled features
    worn away
    by time’s caress

  55. snow moon
    rests on granite
    — Susan Grant
    ****
    apologies dear mom
    for stepping on
    those sidewalk cracks

  56. snow moon
    rests on granite

    Susan Grant

    a stream
    of consciousness
    in the rub of quartz

    08.11.2022 by wendy © bialek

  57. snow moon
    rests on granite

    Susan Grant

    silent flames
    in mother’s
    opal ring

    08.11.2022 by wendy © bialek

  58. Congrats Susan and muchas gracias John

    snow moon
    rests on granite
    — Susan Grant

    ****
    tasting
    salty sea
    on a sinking ship
    ****
    singing while sinking
    is how I
    want to go

  59. Congratulations Susan, and thanks always, John!

    new countertops
    begging
    to be used

    *

    the kitchen
    renovated
    just as she imagined

    *

    the kitchen
    renovated
    after the fire

  60. thank you john, for your comments and guidance.
    and picking a beautiful moon verse.
    (yes, i knew that the mood…clouded the verse with
    human touch….but i couldn’t resist posting it and
    sharing it with group.) thank you for your feedback.

    a wonderful, eloquent edition to our renku, susan….congrats!
    will open up many directions.

    snow moon
    rests on granite

    Susan Grant

    multi-coloured mica
    marbles my
    shampoo bar

    08.11.2022 by wendy © bialek

    the multi-faceted
    talents of our renku
    sabaki

    08.11.2022 by wendy © bialek

  61. snow moon
    rests on granite

    Susan Grant
    *
    urnes and
    reliques adorn
    a door
    *
    an angel
    and her cherubs
    in shadow
    *
    arm in arm
    shrouded figures
    guard the way
    *
    engraved
    on the walls
    the dead
    *
    on the wind
    a dissipating
    hymn

  62. Congrat, Susan!
    *
    snow moon
    rests on granite
    – Susan Grant
    *
    booyah scissors
    cuts
    paper!
    – Betty Shropshire

    1. or :

      booyah! scissors
      cuts
      paper
      *
      (unsure if inserting an “!” after booyah creates a cut so offering the verse both ways)

      or with just:
      *
      scissors
      cuts
      paper

  63. Thanks, John, for the shout out, and it works. One two-liner here was converted and accepted this week.
    Congratulations to Susan Grant. Truly a lovely winter moon verse.

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