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The Renku Sessions: Junicho verse #11

renku_300

I’m Sandra Simpson, and I will serve as your guide as we compose a 12-verse junicho (june-ee-cho, as in choke). As a helpful reminder: Please do keep an eye on what has gone before … and please do keep at your elbow what is required for the next verse, it’s a big help to me if we’re all aiming within the same framework. See below for the particular requirements for the next verse (under ‘What Comes Next’).

Today (April 17) is International Haiku Poetry Day, which seems like an auspicious day to be posting the next verse in our junicho – and introducing our penultimate verse, verse 11.

It’s our autumn moon verse, one of those “special” positions in a renku, no matter which form you are composing. The word “moon” in Japanese is taken to mean “autumn” when used in haiku, renku, etc., so doesn’t need the season’s name as a modifier. And although I’ve been traditional by pairing “moon” and “autumn”, there’s no reason why we can’t play with the idea within the framework of our “kyu” phase, which is mellower than the previous “ha” section. Please note that the “kyu” phase is also characterised as “fast finish” and may use travel topics to emphasise this.

There were plenty of submitted verses for position 10 that were good, but which had flaws that discounted them, mostly to do with repeating topics or containing a keyword for a season. In my opinion, no-season verses are among the hardest to write as we’ve had the idea of kigo so thoroughly drummed into us through haiku composition that we often use it unconsciously. However, this was our last one!

Verses I liked included:

pebbles line the path
of the labyrinth

– Liz Ann Winkler

the top of the mountain
through a telephoto lens

– Polona Oblak

the takeaway joint
stops taking orders

– Jayashree Maniyil

one less sake cup
hits the pavement below

– Michael Henry Lee

only one flaw
on the porcelain vase

– Barbara A Taylor

an old banyan tree
with myriad crutches

– Kala Ramesh

long ago news
from the crystal radio

– Phil Allen

at the fair a parrot
recitates the Lord’s Prayer

– Gabriel Sawicki

empty high desert
filling with sunset

– Judt Shrode

the postman’s bag is full again
of day-dreams and hopes

– Vasile Moldovan

Chosen for verse #10 is:

clinking single malts
on the balcony

– Paul MacNeil

Paul strikes the perfect tone (if you’ll pardon the pun) for our first kyu-phase verse perfectly – and also kindly shifts the setting outdoors for the poet to follow, plus his verse offers those composing the next one plenty of opportunities. There is a delicate punning hand at work here too … or maybe it’s just me. “single malts” prompts me to consider “seeing double”, while the balcony leads me to “getting high/being high”.

He is also the poet who brings taste, albeit by implication, into our junicho (the hokku has touch, the wakiku sound, our first love verse scent, and sound again with the nuns and their TV). It’s not a case of ticking them off, you understand, but for a conservative sabaki like me (I did warn you), I appreciate having them all there.

The link to the previous verse I see as being sound – roaring and clinking, as well as the giddiness of a supposedly sedate group letting rip linked to the giddiness whisky might induce, and a subtle link between possibly Irish nuns and possibly Irish whiskey (for Americans reading this, the rest of us know that only Irish whiskey should be spelled with an ‘e’, the stuff made in Scotland is whisky). By the by, Scottish comedian Billy Connelly used to do a stand-up gag about a couple of Glaswegians walking into a bar in Rome and ordering “a pint of what the Pope has” and being presented with a handle (pint glass) of crème de menthe, but we won’t go there!

Update April 18: It has been pointed out that there are now two gerunds in a row (roaring, clinking), my apologies for missing that. With Paul’s permission I will make a small edit to this verse.

What comes next – verse #11 is:

  • A 3-line verse that is not cut.
  • Our autumn moon verse – and the penultimate verse of our junicho (with another autumn verse to follow). Please note that there is no need to use the season’s name in this verse, traditionally, “moon” does that work for you.
  • This verse is in the quieter kyu phase, the mellow time at a successful party when guests are feeling warm towards one another and becoming a little introspective as the time nears to part ways. This phase is also noted as “swift conclusion” and travel verses may be used here to add a feeling of speed.
  • A verse that links to verse 10 but shifts away from verse 9 – in image, tone, setting, construction, etc.

How we play:

Please enter your candidate verses in the Comments section below. All verse positions in this junicho will be degachi, that is competitive, and the final poem will comprise stanzas written by 12 different poets.

Please submit only 3 candidate verses for each position. I will allow a week between each verse selection so you have plenty of time to consider your submissions before making them.

For information about junicho and renku, please refer to the Introduction post. And, remember, have fun with your writing.

Inspiring quote:

Most vital to renga that one verse not be followed by a verse with repeated or associated links. A link with “snow” should not have “icehouse” in the following one. It is in the leaps between the verses that lies the beauty of the renga. The link must be close enough for the reader to follow but far away enough to avoid a repeat – Jane Reichhold

Our poem so far:

cooling off –
our feet in the river
with the ducks

– Lorin Ford

the distant melody
of an ice-cream truck

– Maria Tomczak

paper planes
by the window
ready for his bag

– Sanjuktaa Asopa

welcome to Gaza
from Banksy and friends

– Betty Shropshire

somewhere a missing key
among sprouts
of green grass

– Maureen Virchau

and a pot of daffodils
at the end of the rainbow

– Marion Clarke

on re-entry
the cosmonaut inhales
the scent of her body

– Patrick Sweeney

his pride tied to the bedpost
with her thermal undies

– Karen Cesar

I hear the nuns
roaring over Seinfeld’s
show about nothing

– Marilyn Potter

clinking single malts
on the balcony

– Paul MacNeil

This Post Has 73 Comments

  1. .
    ( . . . and where would the moon be without people. . . )
    .
    .
    the moon
    so full of itself
    refuses the stars
    .
    .
    the amber
    of a barley moon
    on the cusp of dark
    .
    .
    twilit amber moon
    shattered
    from a wingtip’s brush
    .
    .
    (with high anticipation I look forward to the victor)
    .

  2. Ok, Sandra, here are mine without ‘people’ 😀

    from the magic wand
    a full moon
    swirls into the sky

    a catamaran dips
    to a rising moon
    at ocean rest

    1. from the magic wand
      a full moon
      swirls into the sky

      .
      >>>>>>>>>>>>
      .

      a catamaran dips
      to a rising moon
      at ocean rest

  3. Thanks everyone – these verses are *amazing*. I’ll look forward to seeing more before 4pm tomorrow (my time).
    *
    Sandra

  4. on the mast
    the flag welcomes the moon
    waving anew

    ***
    the spot
    above the horizon is
    just the day moon

    ***

    full moon lighting
    the way of the white cranes
    to the Southern Cross

    Vasile Moldovan

    1. …probably too “in your face” but newly forming islands like babies can’t be judged on their manners! ☺

    1. as close to an edit as i could make
      *******

      halfway round the world
      a skein of geese halfway
      across the moon

  5. .
    I hear the nuns
    roaring over Seinfeld’s
    show about nothing

    – Marilyn Potter
    .
    clinking single malts
    on the balcony

    – Paul MacNeil
    .

    the airport’s moon
    held up at Departures
    is frisky
    – Alan Summers
    .
    .

  6. I hear the nuns
    roaring over Seinfeld’s
    show about nothing

    – Marilyn Potter

    clinking single malts
    on the balcony

    – Paul MacNeil
    .
    ***

    the weaving lines
    of deer tracks
    across a moonlit field
    .
    the time it takes
    the moon to cross
    the vineyard
    .
    after midnight
    the moon comes out
    of the clouds

  7. Thanks Sandra for lifting the 3-verse restriction! Here’s two more attempts:

    the dial on the
    clock is stuck on
    the full moon phase
    *
    *
    first tide
    polishes the brightly
    colored sea glass
    *
    (my resource says ‘first tide’ is associated with the harvest moon)

  8. Thanks to everyone who has commented and submitted thus far – still three days to get offers in. I’m going to lift the 3-verse restriction as so many have offered people verses – we’ve just had 3 people verses in a row, followed by Paul’s verse which by implication has people in it (who are clinking their glasses) … so no more people, please!
    **
    Remember the verses have to show diversity, have to move off on a different tangent. And no proper nouns in this section, please.
    **
    The moon verse is an important position, but don’t get psyched out by it. Relax. Breathe. Write.
    **
    Excited to see what you can come up with,
    Sandra

      1. Hi Chris,
        **
        Yep, when I’ve pondered it through. Let me say, though, that it will be largely as it is now, just slightly tweaked. So all the important pieces will still be there – a toast, glasses, single malt, balcony.
        **
        Cheers,
        Sandra

        1. I don’t know if I can use the word ‘of’ for instance, or other unwanted repetitions.

      1. Hi Phil,
        No I didn’t explicitly say ‘no people’ until this morning. My apologies for that. I made the assumption that those following along would have realised that a renku needs to keep shifting its focus. It’s important to keep re-reading the poem so far to know *how* that focus has to shift. Inside to outside, for example, people or no people.
        **
        ‘Travel’ is a broad topic so I’m sure you will find something that fits the bill. Some authors have used animals, others a landscape scene. Your candidate verses through the junicho lead me to believe that you’ll do just fine.

        **
        Best wishes,
        Sandra

  9. Offer 1:
    a speeding ticket
    as he races the moon
    in his motorbike
    *

    Offer 2:
    in the lakeside breeze
    a maple leaf lands
    on the moon
    *

    1. Sorry! I think it should be –
      *
      Offer 1:
      a speeding ticket
      as he races the moon
      on his motorbike
      *
      on his motorbike or in his motorbike – I can never decide 🙁

  10. .
    a barley moon
    guides an Amish farmer
    working his field
    .
    .
    day moon
    wonder’n what it’s like
    across the tracks
    .
    .
    just beyond my reach
    at thirty-three thousand feet
    the man on the moon
    .

  11. light of the moon watch
    over us pilgrims as like
    drunkards we stumble onward
    *
    *
    moon rises to
    reveal the journey
    only begun
    *
    *
    hopeful sea turtles
    lay their eggs on
    the moonlit beach

  12. clinking single malts
    on the balcony
    .
    – Paul MacNeil
    .

    a magician
    flings the moon into the sky
    amidst squeals

    .

    1. clinking single malts
      on the balcony
      .
      – Paul MacNeil

      .
      a magician
      nonchalantly flings
      the moon into the sky

      _kala

  13. Sandra it seems “day moon” has much to obvious a cut, with
    your permission i’d like to submit three more.
    *******
    with the moon rise
    our boat lists
    slightly to the left

    1. Hey, you’re right – taking my eye off the big picture! Thanks for the observation and I’ll have a think about it.

  14. moonlight
    slides on the edges
    of a broken glass
    ***
    walk therapy
    he puts his prosthetic foot
    on the moon

    1. I forgot a word in second verse:

      during walk therapy
      he puts his prosthetic foot
      on the moon

      Now the verse is not cut.

  15. .
    Well said Marion. 🙂
    .
    Whiskey is either Irish, or American. Scotland and Japan have whisky. I bought the other day a fine Nikka Pure Malt Red (Japanese malt whisky). 🙂
    .
    I have a haibun coming out about whisky (not whiskey) in Blithe Spirit, so I hope some of you will raise your bourbon, whiskey, or whisky on that day. 😉
    .
    .
    Great verses, and the last two are certainly great fun after the amazing preceding verse. 😉
    .
    warm regards,
    .
    Alan

  16. congrats paul i must admit that was my favorite verse from the get go

    ******
    day moon
    a patch of light
    lands in the pool

  17. we sigh
    as a heron crosses
    the moon

    I love the verse you chose, Sandra. It transported me to evenings on an apartment balcony on a Greek island, watching the sun go down.

    PS As Paul’s ancestors hailed from The Outer Hebrides, off the north coast of Scotland, I’d say that the malt was whisky rather than whiskey! 🙂

    1. Thank you Sandra, Allan, Marion, and Michael Henry. Sandra you have captured my thinking and feeling well, except the Pope part that is… Ha! To me saying single malt mean Scotch whisky. No slight to the Irish — which I always hear as “Irish whiskey.” Longer renku often have an “alcohol” verse and sometimes one about tea of coffee. You cannot get all wide topics into a junicho, but? As we begin the kyu phase the clinking of glasses among at least 2 people is sort of toasting ourselves as well as an end of day (our session and communal poem) ceremony. Gathering to watch night fall or the sunset or both depending on how full the bottle was. Again, thank you, and a wee dram of Lagavulin to all, – Paul

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