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The Renku Sessions: Jûnicho – Week 4

renkuchainWelcome to The Haiku Foundation’s Seventh Renku Session.

I’m Lorin Ford. I’m your sabaki for this Jûnicho renku.

“The word sabaki means handler or guide. . . . It is pure chance that the German word Führer also translates as guide.” (John Carley, Renku Reckoner)

Please join me in the making of a Jûnicho and in making this collaborative poem an enjoyable experience for all involved.

Some Resources:

John Carley’s ‘Introduction to Renku’.

Renku Home.

THF renku archive here.

Daisan

Thanks to all who submitted, our daisan verses were many and varied and choices were difficult. I’ve enjoyed reading all of them. As the first of our verses to employ shift, the ‘break-away’ verse, the daisan presented the double challenge of linking to our wakiku while ensuring that nothing whatsoever would return readers to the verse-before-last, our hokku. Not a trace, not a whiff of connection to the hokku must remain. Yet a couple of my favourites did return me to the hokku and remain on my shortlist because (1.) they’re excellent daisan in themselves and (2.) they serve to illustrate how completely the daisan must shift in relation to its uchikoshi, the hokku. Paul Macneil’s ‘opera overture’ continues to make me laugh with delight, despite that the full-on, unmistakably galloping pace of the finale to the ‘William Tell Overture’ takes me back to the horse-drawn sleigh of our hokku. I also bear in mind that many of us might’ve first become acquainted with Rossini’s finale via the radio and TV series ‘The Lone Ranger’. As much as “Hi Ho, Silver, and AWAY!” enacts a superb (and funny) analogy for the ‘break-away’ verse, this almost inevitable association emphasizes the connection with the horse-drawn sleigh in the hokku all the more. With some regret, I wave goodbye as the magnificent white stallion gallops off into the sunset. Mary Kendall’s excellent ‘Pygmalion-like’ daisan also took me back to the hokku, but in a different way. Here, it isn’t a matter of content or association but of sounds in the words used, the long ‘I’ sounds in ‘fly’ & ‘life’ at the end of Ls 1 & 3 echoing those of ‘ride’ and ‘moonlight’ at the end of the hokku’s Ls 1 and & 3, to the effect of ‘framing’ our wakiku between two 3-line verses which rhyme with each other. Sally Biggar’s ‘linzertortes’ is another excellent verse that dropped out of the final running, this time because of the association of linzertortes with Christmas. Granted, anyone can make linzertortes anytime they like, but Christmas is the traditional season for them, so we have a reference to either winter or summer, depending on hemisphere, in a ‘no season’ verse. Here is my shortlist, in order of posted time and date:

 

that opera overture/ by Rossini ends/ with cymbals                              – Paul Macneil

.

tap tap tapping/ powdered sugar/ over linzertortes                              – Sally Biggar

.

pink candy floss/ melts in her mouth/ colours her lips                           – Simon Hanson

.

a vanity mirror/ reflects the lady/ applying powder                               – Carmen Sterba

.

sliding his fingers/ over the piano keys/ he hums an old riff                – Madhuri Pillai

.

on washing day/ a snap and flap/of sheets in the wind                         – Pauline O’Carolan

.

marble chips fly/ as the chisel brings/ a figure to life                             – Mary Kendall

.

digging through/ an avalanche/ of obnoxious emails                             – Michael Henry Lee

.

my life story/ between mouthfuls/ of chili con carne                             – Lee Nash

.

guessing/ the scent from a pile/of fresh linen                                           -Brendon Kent

 

Our Daisan: the Spice of Life

sleigh ride
the road ahead shimmers
in moonlight

– Marta Chocilowska

softly, how softly
snowflakes fall

– Kala Ramesh

my life story
between mouthfuls
of chili con carne

– Lee Nash

 

“Variety is the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour.” (from William Cowper’s ‘The Task’, 1785). Cowper’s line has long held the status of an adage in English and it could be taken as a motto for renku. In Indonesian and Mexican cuisine, it’s chili that’s the spice of life. In Lee Nash’s daisan, we can infer that some of the details of the character’s life story, told in first person between mouthfuls of chili con carne, might also be somewhat spicy. The clear link is in the contrast between the wakiku’s cold wonderland of falling snowflakes and the taste of spicy-hot food.  Perhaps the experience of first snowflakes is also part of the life story. In relation to the wakiku, place (we are most likely indoors now, perhaps in a restaurant or public diner), mood and tone have changed substantially. As well, the wakiku’s innocent and awed interior monologue transforms into the telling of a life story to a second party or parties. This story might contain elements of a ‘true confession’. (Yes, I admit to reading ‘True Confessions’, secretly, at age 13 or 14.) To whom is the life story being told? Who might be eavesdropping? This is an accomplished daisan and transition verse to the ha phase of our renku. It generously (and intriguingly) prepares the way for the first of our two ‘love’ verses. Very nicely done, Lee.

 

Schema

For our Jûnicho , we’ll be following this schema from John Carley’s Renku Reckoner: http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/index.php/updates/renku-reckoner-by-john-carley/

 

hokku      —    winter moon          (long)

wakiku    —    winter                      (short)

daisan     —    no season                (long)

  • verse 4   —    no season love      (short)

verse 5   —    no season love       (long)

verse 6    —    autumn                    (short)

verse 7   —    autumn                     (long)

verse 8    —    no season                 (short)

verse 9   —    summer flower      (long)

verse 10  —    no season                 (short)

verse 11  —    spring                        (long)

ageku      —    spring                         (short)

 

Verse #4: Love, no season

  • is a two-line verse without a cut or turn
  • is the first of 2 love verses
  • links to the daisan and shifts completely away from the wakiku
  • this love verse must have no seasonal reference or kigo

We’re now in the ha phase. (The wide river is in spate. Humphrey Bogart is stripped to his grubby long johns and Katherine Hepburn donates his whisky stash to the crocodiles.) We’re up to the first of two love verses. Love verses in renku are exclusively about sexual or potentially sexual love between adults. Not love of God or country, love of nature, of literature, art or dogs. Certainly not ‘love’ of little children. Love verses can be comic, tragic, heroic, romantic, passionate, mild, suggestive, bawdy or mundane. . .or anything else the varieties of adult love can be. (But please, no explicit pornography.) Because renku move ever forward, the first of our two love verses cannot involve a lover’s death or supposed death. (Avoid an atmosphere of Juliet’s tomb.) Note that in renku in general, love verses can be set in any season or in no season. Following the schema for this renku, both of our love verses are set as ‘no season’ verses. So, (A) please avoid any seasonal reference. (B) Link to the daisan (our maeku). (C)Shift from the wakiku (our uchikoshi).  Beyond this basic ABC go boldly wherever your renku muse takes you. (Except to transport vehicles, horses and celestial bodies. The hokku is sacrosanct and may not be returned to.) And have fun.

Submissions:

  • Please use the ‘‘Leave a reply’ box down at the bottom of the thread to submit up to 3 of your love verses. (Since the Jûnicho has 12 verses only and we have many participants, a verse by a different person will be selected each time. I hope that those with a verse selected will continue to follow our renku as it unfolds. )
  • Please, if you wish to post a revision of any verse you’ve posted previously , use the ‘reply’ function at the bottom of your original post, NOT the submissions box at the bottom of the thread that reads ‘Leave a reply’.

Please post your submissions before midnight Monday 5th February, Eastern USA time. (New York time)That’s the deadline. I find the World Clock handy.

Happy love writing! I look forward to reading everyone’s submissions. The selected love verse and instructions for verse 5 will be posted next Thursday morning: February 8th New York time.

– Lorin

 

 

Our Jûnicho to date

sleigh ride
the road ahead shimmers
in moonlight

    – Marta Chocilowska

softly, how softly
snowflakes fall

    – Kala Ramesh

my life story
between mouthfuls
of chili con carne

– Lee Nash

 

This Post Has 127 Comments

  1. That’s it, submissions are closed for our first love verse. See you on Thursday, New York time. 🙂
    .
    cheers,

    Lorin

    1. Hi Lorin, I’m sure I posted these two verses last night, but I do not find them, do you have them? But it’s not a problem, if I’m out of time, patience. I’m sorry

      ===========================

      your perfume in the sheets
      while listening to Jane Birkin

      ===========================

      in the steam of the shower
      I breathe slowly while I look at you

      1. Hi Angiola,
        I’ve checked, and I don’t find them either. The only thing I can think of is perhaps you were tired and forgot to click the ‘send post’ function? Either that or there was some malfunction with the way the site works. (I have no more access to the site than anyone else. so I can’t delete anything. John Stevenson accesses the website to enter each week’s main post that I send him, once a week, but that’s the limit. He doesn’t (and as far as I know, can’t) interfere with the ‘comments’ section.

        It is too late now.
        .
        – Lorin

  2. Congrats Lee, great choice Lorin!!☺
    *
    sleigh ride
    the road ahead shimmers
    in moonlight
    *
    softly, how softly
    snowflakes fall
    *
    my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne
    *
    a scented bath and the old
    ‘where’s the soap’ trick
    *
    Hope I’ve scraped in on time!☺

    1. Yes, you have. Actually, the time under your name at the top of your post gives the ‘New York’ time of your post. 🙂
      .
      – Lorin

  3. my lifestory
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne
    .
    while clearing dishes
    I slip my glass into hers
    .
    her tongue
    speaking only French
    .
    a giggle escapes
    our bedroom window
    .

  4. my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne
    ***
    sweet music invite us
    to sing and dance
    ****
    seasons gently pass
    the hair changes colour
    ****
    valentine’s day
    kiss me again and again

  5. my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne
    .
    – Lee Nash
    .
    a young soldier dancing
    with his sweetheart

    1. Interesting! This actually happened with my sister! He (the boy of the three) was discovered late, as just a shadow at first. They’re all well into their 20s now and one of the girls married last year.
      .
      – Lorin

  6. Thank you everyone for your kind words on the daisan. I haven’t replied to each comment as these long threads can get rather unwieldy… I wonder if we will leap from spicy to steamy in the first love verse? Lorin, we wait in anticipation!

  7. a couple more without body parts named
    *
    still holding each other
    as the music ends
    **
    groping in the dark
    of the cinema’s back row
    *

        1. Another question for clarification, Lorin…since you’re being so generous in this respect. As for revisions, in this case, for instance, would only the last one be considered?

  8. Congrats to you, Lee! Your verse is very intriguing. It lingers.
    .
    Another excellent commentary, Lorin! Many thanks for all the advice.
    .
    .
    my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne
    .
    -Lee Nash
    .
    dancing in the kitchen
    to Sinatra

  9. my lifestory
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne
    – Lee Nash
    ….
    his red flush with
    Carmen’s Habanera

  10. Hello Lorin,
    Thank you for all your input! I will try my pen at this –
    Giselle

    slowly we glide into
    lavender-scented sheets

    il faut se retenir (we try to hold back)
    the rustle of fresh sheets

    1. slowly we glide into
      lavender-scented sheets

      =====================
      il faut se retenir ( we must try to hold back)
      the rustle of fresh sheets

  11. Eva tempting Adam
    with the forbidden fruit

    ***

    a forget-me-not flower
    instead of bookmark

    ***

    on the bark of an old tree
    somebody scratched twin hearts

  12. For fun:
    .
    softly, how softly
    snowflakes fall

    – Kala Ramesh
    .
    my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne

    – Lee Nash
    .
    it was fiesta
    and we were so gay . . .

    (Lorin)
    .
    Don’t worry, I won’t be selecting my own verse. 🙂
    .
    This is a quote, from a popular song written by James B. Kennedy & Michael Carr, sung by many.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk-G5lgj_lU
    .
    Honkadori, in the Japanese practice, has been called “the art of quoting”.
    .
    I think this would be a legitimate reference/quote for a ‘no season’ verse, as there are many fiestas throughout the year in Mexico. However, I’ve written it in memory of all those boys in my year 10 English classes, in the 80s – 90s, to whom one line from W.B. Yeats’ beautiful poem, ‘Lapis Lazuli’, was a source of loud hilarity. How the meaning of some words change over a couple of generations!
    .
    – Lorin
    .

    1. Just to clarify, Lorin. In regard to this example verse…my understanding was that the love verses must be exclusively about sexual love or potentially sexual love…?

        1. On my reading of this verse there appears to be plenty of room for interpretations inclusive of sexual love.

          1. Appologies, i posted my above comment before reading Lorin’s reply below. Some might not be aware but Australia has only just passed legislation giving equal recognition to same sex marriage, many decades too slow but a welcomed change none-the-less. Slowly we move forward. A most enjoyable verse Lorin and now i see that it carries an added dimension of personal meaning and depth for you, so often the source of our inspirations.

    2. Judt and Mary,
      I did it for fun & on a whim, and it was a bit naughty of me. It isn’t meant to be an example.:-) But it is about ‘sexual or potentially sexual love between adults’. Nobody, and certainly not Basho, has ever said that ‘love’ verses means exclusively love between heterosexual couples.
      .
      It’s actually based on two good and kind friends of mine, David and Peter, who were partners. They died in the 90s.
      .

      I guess it all comes down to interpretation.
      .
      – Lorin

      1. Yes, Lorin…and I think so much of life does comes down to interpretation. ‘Gay’ in the sense of homosexual did come briefly to mind. And since this is a love verse, I can’t think why I didn’t go with it. At any rate, it has reminded me that a light touch is a wonderful thing…though clearly not my forte’. Thanks!

      2. I was a bit dim not to have caught this…my apologies. I am so happy that Australia passed this legislation. I hope one day that everyone in the world will have this freedom of choice and happiness.

  13. la slitta
    sulla strada avanti brilla
    al chiaro di luna

    – Marta Chocilowska
    dolcemente, come
    cadono dolcemente i fiocchi di neve


    an eye as a stamp
    on the blushing neckline
    —————————————————-
    he stands with a warm smile
    side by side to her walker
    —————————————————-
    n the pulverized clover
    a memory of hot nights

    1. sleigh ride
      the road ahead shimmers
      in moonlight
      ———————————————–
      – Marta Chocilowska

      softly, how softly
      snowflakes fall

      – Kala Ramesh
      —————————-
      my life story
      between mouthfuls
      of chili con carne
      ————————
      – Lee Nash
      an eye as a stamp
      on the blushing neckline
      —————————————————-
      he stands with a warm smile
      side by side to her walker
      —————————————————-
      n the pulverized clover
      a memory of hot nights

  14. she murmurs
    “tell me more upstairs”

    we lick lemon gelato
    after

    we both have butterflies
    and sweaty hands

    1. Hi Lorin

      I’d like to replace numbers 2 and 3, as they include food and body parts. So challenging!

      they both have butterflies
      and sweat

      Scheherazade spent 1001 nights
      with the king

  15. what a special verse, Lee. congratulations.
    *
    *
    so passion spent
    our bodies swim in each other
    *
    sighs build to crescendos
    leaving us breathless
    *
    loving from lusty fore play
    to sensuous need

    1. revising to conform to long-long pattern
      *
      finally so passion spent
      we swim warm in each other
      *
      sighs build to crescendos
      leaving us sated, breathless
      *
      loving from lusty fore play
      to sensuous urgent need

      1. Lorin,
        .
        The more I look at the two sets of short verses, the more poetic the first one resonates with me. For clarification and to keep with the form of these twelve verses, if the short poem can be one line, can the two lines be of varying lengths? So much to consider in renku!

        1. Well, Jackie, all I can say is that in renku, it’s the whole poem that counts, not how relatively ‘poetic’ any particular verses may seem. We need a variety of ‘voice’, ‘mood’ & ‘tone’, as well as a variety of topics.
          .
          I have seen a couple of one-line verses in modern EL renku, but not many. The main point is that short verses are supposed to be shorter than long verses.(The Japanese model is long: 5-7-5 morae, short: 7-7 morae (& without line breaks.) We adapt & approximate that model. I’ve commented on this earlier, further down on the thread, in response to Jan Benson, so go and have a look?
          .
          Poetic? 🙂 Here’s a short verse of mine from the renku ‘Early Morning Heat’, following on Cynthia Rowe’s long verse (a spring verse following a no season verse):
          .
          granddad hides his stash
          of sticky toffees
          in the glove box
          .
          Cynthia Rowe
          .

          a blackbird tugs a worm
          out of a hole
          .
          Lorin Ford
          .
          Not particularly poetic, I think you’ll agree. 🙂 But what sabaki (John Carley) felt was needed at that point.
          .

          What’s needed in renku is variety.
          .
          Lorin

  16. A great verse, Lee, and a wonderful explanation, Lorin. I’m really enjoying the contributions so much.
    .
    sleigh ride
    the road ahead shimmers
    in moonlight
    .
    – Marta Chocilowska
    .
    softly, how softly
    snowflakes fall
    .
    – Kala Ramesh
    .
    my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne
    .
    – Lee Nash
    .
    .
    her pale cheeks redden
    as he whispers in her ear
    .
    a frisson of arousal
    as her eyes meet his
    .
    the unexpected heat
    from his breath on her neck
    .

    1. Lorin,
      I’ve just now read your comments in reply to Sally’s question of not using food or body parts again. If I’ve read it correctly, then my verses here are all wrong since ears, eyes, neck, cheeks are mentioned. For this reason, I’ll try to rephrase them excluding a mention of a specific body part, but just imply them. Does that work?

      Here goes:
      .
      her unexpected reddening
      as he whispers in French
      .
      a frisson of arousal
      as her gaze meets his
      .
      a sudden gasp as she feels
      the heat of his breath
      .
      .
      If this still doesn’t follow the rule, please let me know so I can offer something else

      1. hi Mary, yes, I imagine that the restrictions on ‘body/ body parts’ applies only to direct naming. . . after ‘mouthful’, we wouldn’t have ‘fingertips’, ‘earache’, ‘playing footsies’ , ‘enormous breasts’ and the like. But most things we do, we do with our body: we open doors, hear an owl call, gaze at the horizon, look at ourselves in a mirror, sweat, touch, fart, lift heavy weights, pick up the newspaper, watch the news on tv, etc. etc. etc. . . . all of which imply we have a body! 🙂 It’d be ridiculous to exclude the body and its functions or sensations in this wider sense! That’s my view, anyway.
        .

        – Lorin

        1. Right on, Lorin.

          But Mary, so far we have no body parts related to Love. Lee’s fine use of mouthfuls doesn’t really conflict … it is ordinary speech.. I posit that where else for body parts used in the realm of sensualness than in at least one of the “love” verses? Often players will avoid the human body in advance of the love grouping to leave room. In a kasen there are usually 4-6 love stanzas. in two helpings with other intervening verses in the whole kasen. Non repetition, of course. As Lorin has led, Link and Shift, even among the love stanzas, and the spring group, etc.

          1. “. . . so far we have no body parts related to Love. Lee’s fine use of mouthfuls doesn’t really conflict … it is ordinary speech.” – Paul
            .

            It doesn’t conflict with anything. However, the potential for conflict/repetition arises if a subsequent verse names a part of the body soon after ‘mouthful’.
            .
            The Kasen has 36 verses and 4 ‘sides’ (2 pieces of paper … the Japanese are respectfully economical and use both sides of each paper). The Junicho has 12 verses (a third of the Kasen’s number) and one side of one piece of paper. This makes the Junicho harder in some ways: revisiting topics and materials becomes more obvious, more glaring when we’re reading just 12 verses which are not separated by ‘sides’.
            .
            A second difficulty arises when we have a Junicho composed online with many participants, many of whom might be completely new to renku and others who’re used to the more lingering pace of longer renku. Composing a renku privately and comfortably with a few friends, whether in person, on a private forum or by email has many advantages we simply don’t have here, with a Junicho. It’s a real challenge.
            .
            “I posit that where else for body parts used in the realm of sensualness than in at least one of the “love” verses? ” – Paul
            .
            Yes, that’s so. A love verse focusing on a part of a body is intuitively a natural. Yet we don’t want even a hint of a list of body parts here. We’re writers. Sensuality can be conveyed in more ways than by directly naming body parts. That’s our challenge now, over the two love verses we have.
            .

            “Often players will avoid the human body in advance of the love grouping to leave room. ” – Paul
            .
            If that’s a criticism of me, it might be a valid one. (I am, as I stated at the beginning, still ‘wet-behind-the ears’ as a sabaki, let alone as a sabaki for an open, online renku.) Should I have anticipated that named ‘body parts’ would be likely to feature in love verses? Perhaps. That’d indicate, of course, that I shouldn’t have selected Lee’s verse for the daisan. (You can’t have it both ways.)
            .
            But I did select Lee’s verse and have absolutely no regrets about that. It’s a fine daisan. It also opens the way to the love verses very well, in my view. There is no way that love verses have to name body parts and there is no good reason I can think of why the ‘body’ topic shouldn’t occur, in a Junicho, in a non-love verse instead.
            .
            – Lorin

  17. my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne

    ****************
    respectfully, she left
    her smart phone behind

    *

    merde! I discover my love
    is uber vegetarian

    *

    the comfortable back seat
    after the flat tyre

  18. Lorin,

    Would you clarify something for me? Refering to Lee’s wonderful daisan, going forward should we not mention again in subsequent verses: food (chili con carne), literature (story), or body parts (mouthful)?

    Thanks,
    Sally

    1. A good question, Sally. Thanks for bringing it up. Especially in a short renku, we do need to avoid a topic, once it’s been visited. That would definitely rule out naming foods and eating them, also mention of ‘mouth’.
      .
      Would that include ‘lips’? I’d say so. Would it include all body parts? Face, hands, feet and the lot? Yes, quite likely. We wouldn’t name them. ‘Body’ (which I take to be the human body) is listed on both of the ‘Topics & Materials’ lists on Renku Home (see link in main post).
      http://www.2hweb.net/haikai/renku/Link_Shift.html
      .
      All would come under the topic of ‘body’, which is a topic category.
      .
      But would it include bodily sensations? Bodily activities? I honestly don’t know what the rules are there. I guess we just have to use common sense. For me, it would depend on context of the verse as well as in relation to the whole poem. Ok, ‘earache’ or ‘itchy trigger finger’ would be out, because of the specific body parts. But dancing is a bodily activity as is waving goodbye, as is scratching an itch, goose pimples and sunburn and nettle stings are sensations we feel bodily & I see no good reason why these & the like would be out . . . for one verse.
      .
      I’m not so sure that ‘life story’, related to someone (most likely) in a diner or the like, would qualify as literature, though we’d best avoid autobiography & biography. Literature is read. Ok,’True Confessions’ would clearly be out 🙂 but would ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ ‘A Hundred Years of Solitude’ ? Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’? Anyone’s ‘Collected Poems’? etc.
      .
      But, we have only 9 verses left . . . and will scarcely be able to touch on the ‘thousand and one things’ available. . . a whole universe of things and experiences is there to draw on. . . so we try to always bring something new. That’s the challenge of linking: finding a way to link while ringing in changes, bringing new perspectives. The one thing renku isn’t, is thematic, so we do try to avoid anything at all that returns to anything else.
      .
      Or put in another way, our endeavour is to move the poem forward with every verse.
      .
      – Lorin

  19. my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne

    ****************
    (first two) . . .
    .
    both sets of toes curl
    in the heat of the moment
    .
    flinging pieces of clothes
    as we race up the stairs

  20. Hi All,
    A note just in case, prompted by Jan Benson earlier in this thread. Consider that for the Japanese, renku is a fixed form, like Japanese haiku and tanka are fixed forms. In renku, like in haiku, the long verse is 5-7-5 morae (not syllables, Japanese isn’t a syllabic language). The short verse is 7-7 morae, like the last two lines of a tanka. They don’t use line breaks at all. We do. In EL renku, we approximate this pattern of long (5-7-5) and short (7-7) using line breaks to create alternating 3-line verses and 2-line verses.
    .
    Though sometimes, in EL renku, a short verse might be written over one line!
    .
    It’s flexible, but short verses (2-line) shouldn’t be noticeably longer than long verses (3-line).
    .
    – Lorin

  21. excellent choice of the daisan!
    .
    my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne

    what if your son
    brings home a boyfriend?

  22. my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne
    *
    holding on to her image
    like a glass slipper
    *
    learning with our bodies
    the language of love

      1. Thanks for the heads-up we’re receiving about linking, Lorin. Much appreciated! Also, differences in requirements between long and short renku are very good to know.
        Based on this new information, I would like to offer another revision:
        .
        that electric zing
        at his ‘accidental’ touch

  23. I am arriving a little late to the party but loving what I read so far.
    *
    holding his gaze
    her lips slowly part
    *
    his breath
    as he whispers “Senora”

  24. Lovely, Lee. It has been a beautiful poetic journey so far, Lorin.

    *

    the newlyweds embed
    the warmth on their lips

    *****
    she departs leaving
    her lasting song in the breeze

    *****
    in her drenched hair
    I sense imprint of the first rain

    *****

  25. That is so lovely , Lee !! Congratulations !!

    breaths on the wall
    of glass between us

    *

    our clenching feet
    under the table

    1. I don’t know if I can make an edit or not. Just want to add one more and a small edit in one if acceptable.

      Shoes instead of feet as to avoid use of body parts *

      breaths on the wall
      of glass between us

      *

      our clenching shoes
      under the table

      *

      writing our names
      jointly in visitors book

      1. You can make edits, Aparna 🙂 . . . and you’ve done it in the right way, under your original where I can easily find it later. Thanks for that.
        .
        – Lorin

  26. Hi Lorin,
    Great contributions so far. Here are my offers for the love verse:

    in her laugh
    unexpected spice
    ____________

    a drop of sweat
    above quivering lips
    _____________

    sweetly complaining
    how hot it is inside

  27. I would like to participate, here is my contribution

    eyes in the eyes
    devouring us with passion

    *******************************

    a life together
    still the heart is excited

    *******************************

    this love is so strong
    withstands the use of time

      1. the theme is interesting, I hope I have well interpreted and respected the rules otherwise rewrite them, thanks Lorin and good evening

  28. Well done, Lee Nash.


    sleigh ride
    the road ahead shimmers
    in moonlight

    @ Marta Chocilowska

    softly, how softly
    snowflakes fall

    @ Kala Ramesh

    my life story
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne

    @ Lee Nash
    — — — —
    Lorin, three for the short love verse…
    .
    .
    our fingertips touch
    as we reach for a bottle of Malbec
    .
    .
    our eyes meet, lips part
    and swallow deep of negro modelo
    .
    .
    our eyes meet in a tantric gaze
    as her lips part again for cab sav
    .
    .
    Jan Benson
    USA

    1. Hi Jan,
      Also consider, as the renku progresses, the sound of the short and long verses overall.
      Your ‘short verses’ here, in context, are actually ‘long verses’ written over two lines. They’re all longer than Lee’s verse.
      .
      Reading aloud, or reading ‘aloud’ in your mind, can help you find an aural pattern in renku. If you can find a way to revise these so they fit better with the flow, you’re welcome to post such revisions. (Here, under this reply of mine & your original post)
      .
      There are renku from 2001-2017 on the HSA Einbond Renku Awards website. Reading through several of them will give you a good idea of the general flow.
      .
      http://www.hsa-haiku.org/einbondawards/einbond.htm
      .
      as will reading through previous THF renku (see link in main post)
      .
      – Lorin

      1. Thanks Lorin.
        I’ll revise later this week.
        It’s all new to me.

        Glad for your corrective input.
        Jan Benson

        1. Lorin,
          Now how can I NOT count syllables???
          🙂
          — — — —
          Not dismissing my initial three verses of Verse Four (love)…
          Three rewrites:
          .
          .
          my life story
          between mouthfuls
          of chili con carne

          @ Lee Nash (14 beats)
          .
          .
          fingertips touch
          reaching for wine
          .
          .
          a swallow of night
          with the beer
          .
          .
          a tantric gaze
          and lips part
          .
          .

          Lorin.
          Expecting nothing overall, but a question, please?
          Would my second offering be rejected as regressing, since Lee Nash uses “between mouthfuls” in her daisan ?

          Regards,
          Jan Benson

          1. Hi Jan, yes, it would. The general idea, over a long renku (100 verses – 36 verses) is that there are rules for ‘minimum separation’ of topics (such as ‘body’) . In a short renku, such as the Junicho, with its mere 12 verses, once a body part has appeared we do need to avoid naming another.
            .
            So, considering ‘mouthful’, both ‘lips’ and ‘fingertips’ would be undesirable. (Though not as taboo as returning to the verse-before-last or the hokku)
            .
            Yes, it is a challenge. 🙂
            .
            – Lorin

          2. all fine, Lorin, and i generally agree. but what if naming a (different) body part is a way of linking to the previous verse?
            after all, there are different types of links, and while the scent (intuitive) linking was most highly valued by Basho and his disciples (and largely still is), there is nothing wrong with a more direct link as long as it is not used too often within a composition. of course, it is easier to accomodate close linking in a longer renku like the kasen while short renku shoud cover more ground by shifting away from any subject alredy covered.

          3. Yes, you raise a good point, Polona. Using a body part to link is a possibility. It’s not in the clear ‘no go’ area of returning to last-but-one. But you’re also right in referring to the difference between a long renku & a short one, such as the Junicho. There are other ways of linking to our daisan than directly referring to a body part.
            .
            I think there’s supposed to be a ‘minimum separation’ between different categories of topics, of which ‘body’ is one (in longer renku) . How do we translate that to short renku, like Junicho? Perhaps it’s better if our two love verses avoid linking to ‘mouth’ or to other body parts specifically, no matter how intuitive it might seem to do so in a love verse?
            .
            I’ve been thinking (or trying to think!): ‘foreign language’. In Japanese renku (meaning Chinese) ‘foreign language’ is also something that has ‘minimum separation’, but English is a language comprised of many others all through its history, and there are so many loan words (which cannot be categorised as ‘foreign language’.) ‘Chili con carne’ is one. It’s not ‘foreign’ anymore.
            .
            I agree that changes need to be rung in with every verse. (I prefer to use ‘shift’ in its essential renku meaning of shifting from last-but-one, the uchikoshi, so things don’t get confused.)
            .

            – Lorin

        2. the tantric gaze
          of a sex-bot
          .
          .
          Jan Benson
          .
          Great to see some experimentation, Jan, and humour. 🙂 What an interesting combination of the ancient esoteric and the futuristic possibility/ probability. However, ‘sex-bot’ doesn’t quite make it to human, despite the advances of AI. When/ if it does (as in speculative fiction, ‘Blade Runner’ and the like) I think the word ‘robot’ (and derivatives. . . sex-bot, slave-bot etc.) would be wrong. If you mean simply an advanced sort of sex doll (which might be around now, for all I know) that definitely doesn’t qualify as adult human.
          .
          – Lorin

          1. Lorin.
            It is a bit of fun, and quite the current talk show run.
            **Sex-bots is the marketing gimmick/name for a category of accommodating artificial intelligent bots that cost about 11k US dollars.
            The Dr Oz show had one on about a week ago, and the facial features alone are humanesque.

            This video is grainy…
            And these dolls now come in male and female (cis) gender/types.
            Viable companions.
            Human? Not quite.

            https://youtu.be/540jv33Nm9Y

          2. Ok, my very last, for real last revision.
            .
            .
            an ex machina
            viewing in the boudoir
            .
            .
            Jan Benson
            USA

          3. Well, a woman ex machina is more probable these days than a man ex luto. (His name, in the story, is Adam and there’s a portrait of him of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.) 🙂
            .
            – Lorin

          1. Thanks, Marta! 🙂 My Timothy (otherwise known as Fang) salutes your Romek. (I love Romek’s photo)
            .
            – Lorin

  29. Lovely, Lee!

    I’m really enjoying following how this plays out, Lorin!

    * * * * *

    placing his hand
    on the nape of her neck

    * * * * *

    devouring
    his beer-scented kiss

    * * * * *

    texting the sitter
    that she’ll be late

    1. Well, it happened again. I wrote this last night but didn’t post until today. Since I had no earthly idea there was another napkin verse, I’ll let it stand.

  30. filling the empty half
    of her locket
    *****************
    finding the napkin
    with the unknown number
    *****************
    her lip print on
    the cocktail napkin

    1. Well, as I see someone else used napkin and I also shouldn’t have used lip print, I’ll stick with #1. 😉

  31. Very nice work Lee, I’m a bit of a fan of chili con carne.
    .

    two kinds of heat
    uttered between gasping breaths

  32. Love it, Lee!
    *
    my lifestory
    between mouthfuls
    of chili con carne
    – Lee Nash

    inside the Chapter house
    her habit in disarray

  33. Good Show Lee
    ***************
    looking ahead to what
    the night has in store
    ********************
    what now that we’ve
    finished the sake
    ***************
    turning heads
    and breaking hearts

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