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The Renku Sessions: Jûnicho – Week 9

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.

 

Verse #8, no season, short, ‘humanity + nature’

Thanks to all 23 renkujin who submitted verses. This no season, ‘humanity + nature’ verse seems to have been the most challenging we’ve had to date! There were some good candidate verses which fulfilled the requirements for this position and also brought in a new topic:

logs down-rivered/ to mill sawyers    (industry)                     – Jackie Maugh Robinson

desert soldiers/ in earth tone camos   (war)                            – Judt Shrode

*

Some emphasised the human, preferring to suggest elements of nature at a remove, by implication:

sooty-faced miners’/ sunken cheeks                                          – Polona Oblak

youths wearing wellies/ in line for the festival                       – Marina Bellini

*

Some fulfilled the requirements well enough but used rather ‘poetic’ figures of speech, not in itself a crime but to my mind a tad too eye-catching right before the flower verse:

a sea of “me too” placards/ chases down the dawn              – Tia Haynes

under a painted sky/ hunched backs of labourers                – Pauline O’Carolan

*

Many overlooked the ‘nature’ aspect of this ‘humanity + nature’ verse altogether but would’ve been contenders had there not been the ‘+ nature’ requirement.  (Hint: take care to read the directions on the paint tin.)Just a few examples:

curious kids in the/ Village Artisans Gallery                        – Pravat Kumar Padhy

voices of people on the street/ on the day of voting             – Angiola Inglese

quick glances of museum goers/ in the Monet room            – Linda Weir

Amish quilt winners/at the state fair                                       – Carmen Sterba                         

panhandlers/ at all four corners                                               – Jan Benson

*

This time, of all the candidate verses, one stood out from the crowd.

 

verse #8 – no season, short : The heart of the matter

 

lured by fermenting grapes
a pair of wobbly parrots

– Simon Hanson

on the wagon
a few bales
of straw

– Carol Jones

gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
with the wind

     – Michael Henry Lee

 

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!

Thich Nhat Hanh translates the Heart Sutra‘s closing mantra as: Gone, gone, gone all the way over, everyone gone to the other shore. Enlightenment!

https://www.lionsroar.com/love-wisdom-buddha/

Reading the second of Michael’s verse offers (‘open and empty/ in the master’s footsteps’) confirmed what had immediately struck me in L1 of his first: his intention was to reference the mantra at the close of ‘The Heart Sutra’. But his citing of Gone with the Wind (gone gone all the way/ “Gone with the Wind”) as a second direct quotation complicated things. Two quotations which, while both sources might be considered as Literature of different kinds (sacred text and novel), seemed too much and also seemed to clash or perhaps even to juxtapose, which only a hokku may do.  But I simply could not pass this verse by. Michael’s citing of The Heart Sutra’s concluding mantra links to our maeku in a totally unexpected and inspired way, both re-contextualizing  and confirming our maeku’s ‘emptiness’ and bringing a powerful change of mood. So I’ve edited out “Gone with the Wind” as a quoted novel title, keeping “with the wind”, the nature reference. (The association with the novel remains implied for those who wish to read it that way. A verse can be many-layered.) I hear the mantra being chanted, over and over, by monks and laypeople around the world: Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha! / Gone, gone, gone all the way over, everyone gone to the other shore. Enlightenment!” I’ve used the ellipses to show that the quoted mantra is unfinished and that it’s up to readers to complete it. We now have ‘Buddha/Buddhism’ in our renku, a traditional topic in Japanese renku which is distinguished from Shinto (or ‘gods’). We also have our first (and only, for this renku) direct quotation from a text. Michael’s verse shows an excellent variation of syntax from our previous verses. And another plus: there should be no great difficulty linking summer flower verses to this maeku.  A truly inspired verse and link, Michael!

Schema

For our Jûnicho , we’re 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 #9: summer flower, long

  • is a three-line verse without a cut or turn
  • is a summer flower verse
  • links to the previous verse (the maeku) and shifts completely away from the last-but-one, the uchikoshi

Our ’12-tone’, 12 verse Jûnicho renku is going well, in my view. The links are good, the variety is good and it reads well. One way the Jûnicho is different from other forms of renku is that its one and only ‘flower verse’ can be any flower (depending only on season) and not necessarily a blossom. Summer gives a plenitude of flowers to choose from. What we need here is one kind of summer flower, named by its common name, whether you use singular or plural. Please write this ‘long verse’ in the range of an average length for a ‘long’ verse . . . not a brief ‘long verse’, like our uchikoshi  (Carol’s verse), and not over-long. Approximately in the same length-range as our hokku, our daisan and our verse 5. The ABC for this verse: (A) Please name a summer-blooming flower (B) Link to our no-season verse (our maeku). (C) Shift from the last-but-one (our uchikoshi). Enjoy the challenge of moving our renku forward.

 

Submissions:

  • Please use the ‘‘Leave a reply’ box down at the bottom of the thread to submit up to 3 of your long ‘autumn’ 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 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 12th March Eastern USA time. (New York time). That’s the deadline. I find the World Clock handy.

I look forward to reading everyone’s submissions. The selected short no season verse and instructions for verse 10 will be posted next Thursday morning: March 15th 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

his breath as he whispers
“Señora”

– Liz Ann Winkler

the marriage celebrant
apologizes for not
arriving on time

– Barbara A. Taylor

lured by fermenting grapes
a pair of wobbly parrots

– Simon Hanson

on the wagon
a few bales
of straw

– Carol Jones

gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
with the wind

– Michael Henry Lee

 

 

This Post Has 88 Comments

  1. lighting the church
    together with the candles
    some white roses

    ***

    playing hide-and-seek
    some droplet of dew
    through the morning glory

    ***

    after the summer rain
    a dizzy bee courting
    the plastic flower

  2. . . . and the ‘Closed’ sign goes up, the lights go out. Some of us go to bed. I go outside to catch a bit of the afternoon sunlight.
    .
    -Lorin

      1. Never mind, just this time, Agnes. I’m running about an hour late today, too. I’ll be considering these of yours along with the other submissions.
        .
        – Lorin

          1. Agnes, the ‘uchikoshi’ is Carol’s verse, in which I don’t get any sense of ‘path’ or the like. The farm wagon is immobile and, considering the season (late autumn) is likely to be under cover in a shed where the straw won’t get wet and is handy to access . . . to renew bedding in the horse’s stalls , chicken coops etc. (They have to have clean straw replaced regularly!)
            .
            No sight of anything like a path, whether literal or metaphorical!
            .
            Also, without ‘path’ . . . ‘deep throat’? Hmmm. Perhaps in a ‘love’ verse.
            .
            – Lorin

          2. The main ‘avoidance’, the engine that drives a renku forward, is the complete shift from the uchikoshi (the last-but-one verse). Other than that though, nothing in the hokku should be repeated throughout the renku. Looking at that aspect, yes ‘path’ might be a tad too close to ‘road’ in our hokku.
            .
            Other than those two primary avoidances, there are periods of intermission, (or ‘minimum separation’ ) over a certain number of verses, during which a subject category shouldn’t be used. For instance, if there’s ‘hat’ in a verse, 3 more verses ( in 36 verse renku) need to pass before ‘socks’, ‘shirt’, ‘wedding dress’ or any other item of clothing is used.
            .
            Some of it is logical or intuitive. Some of it is downright confounding! Mainly because, after Basho, (1) these lists and tables kept getting longer and longer, with more and more ‘rules of avoidance’ being added by each ‘renku master’ in order to impress and attract more customers and (2) apart from the two tables on Renku Home and the one reproduced within Herbert Johnsson’s thesis, they remain untranslated into English.
            .
            – Lorin

    1. . . . and I wasn’t running late, now that I’ve checked. What’s happened is that the USA has beun its Daylight Savings time:

      11 Mar 2018 – Daylight Saving Time (USA) Started
      .
      When local standard time was about to reach
      Sunday, 11 March 2018, 2:00:00 am clocks were turned forward 1 hour to
      Sunday, 11 March 2018, 3:00:00 am local daylight time instead.
      .

      Daylight Savings always catches some of us out.
      .
      – Lorin

  3. gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind
    .
    Michael Henry Lee
    .
    water irises grow
    near the sacred
    rice plants
    .
    prayers for mild
    days produce
    hearty peonies

  4. gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind
    .
    .
    controlling aphids
    ant-covered chrysanthemum’s
    dot the garden
    .
    .
    Jan Benson
    USA

    1. Sans apostrophe.
      My spell check added that.
      Dag nabit!
      .
      .
      controlling aphids
      ant-covered chrysanthemums
      dot the garden
      .
      .

      1. Jan, it reads to me as if we have some very spooky, animate, aphid-controlling chrysanthemums here! 🙂 (Who or what is controlling those aphids? Either that, or your verse has a cut between Ls 1 & 2, and only the hokku may have a cut.
        .
        (I’m reminded of one of Ferris Gilli’s haiku, written to demonstrate the pitfalls of what she termed ‘dangling participles’:
        .

        saying grace
        the hound stares at
        our beef roast
        .
        I may not have the exact wording, but it’s close. Her comment on it was something along the lines of “What an extraordinarily clever dog!” 🙂
        .
        – Lorin

  5. Henry’s deep verse can be read in several ways, congratulations, Henry!

    Lorin and Henry, please enlighten me. I wonder how Henry’s verse has the word ‘gone’ three times when Kala’s verse has the word ‘softly’ twice. I haven’t seen that before in a renku, but there must be a good reason.

    1. Ah, Carmen.:-) I have no idea how to enlighten you. In fact your question (if I read it correctly, which I’m not at all sure I do) has my head spinning!
      .
      “How”? In context of your sentence, I interpret ‘how’ as: ‘how does it happen to be so’? or ‘why?’. i.e. “How does it happen to be that Kala’s verse repeats an adverb in our 2nd verse” + “How does it happen to be that the quoted mantra in Michael’s verse repeats a past tense verb in our 8th verse?” Or, “Why is it that both Kala’s and Michael’s verse. . . ?”
      .
      That’s a question I can’t answer! (It’d take someone with at least a Doctorate in both Linguistics and Quantum Physics, I suspect.) So I move onto an interpretation. In relation to our renku, perhaps your question isn’t how or why it comes to be but why did I select Michael’s verse, which has a quoted, repeated past tense verb, six verses after Kala’s repetition of an adverb?
      .
      I can answer that. I selected Michael’s verse, as I’ve selected each prior verse, because I considered it to be, of all the verses submitted, the most appropriate verse for this particular spot, fulfilling the given requirements, linking well, new in mood and tone and also bringing a new topic.
      .
      If there are repetitions on the structural level in this renku to date which transgress any renku rules it’s down to me as a novice sabaki. (And please, if there are any transgressions, tell me so directly and cite the relevant authority. . . in English, since I can’t read Japanese.)
      .
      There are some repetitions that ideally I’d like to have avoided, in retrospect. Most of all that of our daisan beginning with the subject, like our hokku. That doesn’t break any renku rules as far as I know, though. Consider: I can select only from the verses offered each time, editing a little if needed. And try to communicate as well as I can what’s wanted for the next verse, in advance.
      .
      Personally, the mere fact that a word is repeated within both Kala’s verse 2 and Michael’s verse 8 doesn’t bother me, since the first is an adverb and the second is a verb, Kala’s verse seems to be in the style of ‘interior monologue’, an internal exclamation of wonder, Michael’s L1 is a chant, the tone of the two verses is so very different and the contexts and manners of linking aren’t even remotely connected. But I understand you and others might have a different perspective.
      .

      – Lorin

    2. But Carmen, here’s an excerpt from John Carley’s ‘Introduction to Renku’, which might help. (The link to the essay is given each week in the main post for this renku, under the header ‘Some Resources’ )
      .
      “There is a lot of misunderstanding about repetition in renku. In English the term most frequently seen is ‘backlink’. Unfortunately this gives the impression that, rather than having forward momentum, renku spends all its time looking over its shoulder; and proposes that the generative force of renku is governed by a sole aesthetic principle – that to create good poetry it is sufficient to avoid all and any repetition.
      .

      In contemporary renku there are three basic principles which counteract repetition: uchikoshi (more properly kannonbiraki); sarikirai; and torinne.
      .

      The late and truly great Master Meiga Higashi identified uchikoshi as the sine-qua non of renku composition. He proposed that even if every other convention and consideration were disregarded any piece of poetry which respected ideas of uchikoshi would have to be treated as renku. Personally I think he was being too liberal, but he was a Master.
      .
      The core dynamic of renku resides in any set of three verses (looking backwards):
      .
      Added verse (tsukeku)
      Head verse (maeku), so named because it is the lead-in verse for the added verse
      Last-but-one verse (uchikoshi).
      .
      So, in the sequence K, L, M, N: ‘k’ is uchikoshi to ‘m’, and ‘l’ is the head verse for ‘m’. Similarly ‘l’ is uchikoshi to ‘n’, and ‘m’ is the head verse for ‘n’.
      .
      The crucial link and shift dynamic means each new verse must link to its head verse, but be entirely different from the last-but-one. When, for instance, ‘k’ and ‘m’ do not show sufficient difference this failing is called kannonbiraki. The word means ‘double doors’ and refers to the tabernacle of the Buddhist altar which open outwards to either side, symmetrically framing the centrepiece. Rather confusingly the word uchikoshi is sometimes used as an alternative to kannonbiraki – so it may refer either to the ‘leap-over’ position or to the undesirable similarity between added verse and last-but-one. The principal of uchikoshi (kannonbiraki) means that there should be no similarity between added verse and last-but-one, other than possibly belonging to the same seasonal segment, or to the ‘love’ section.
      .
      Rinne is another term drawn from Buddhism. It might be given as ‘reincarnation’. In medieval renga theory rinne designated any situation in which the norms of minimum separation (sarikirai) were breached. It must be borne in mind that medieval renga manuals were very heavily codified and proscriptive. In contemporary terms the meaning of rinne has changed to embrace the wider sense of poetic sensibility needed to avoid gross repetition in shorter sequences. In this it closely resembles the medieval renga principal of torinne or ‘distant reincarnation’, and many contemporary theorists have adopted this terminology.
      .
      Torinne, in the modern sense, is more subjective than any strict category type of rule such as sarikirai. Its action is not limited by a designated proximity. If an added verse strongly recalls another verse from anywhere in the poem the accusation of ‘distant reincarnation’ can be levelled. But torinne does not operate at single word/idea level. It is applied to the complex of the verse’s meaning and/or phrasing.
      .
      Beyond these three broad principles there is one convention worth mentioning which does resemble the simplistic notion of ‘backlink’. Many renga masters will disbar all and any repetition of core semantic elements which have appeared in the hokku. In English…. well, if we have ‘lighthouse’ in the hokku we might want to question ‘streetlight’ anywhere else as both contain the element ‘light’.

      Renku is not the search for novelty at any cost. Our overriding concern in respect of repetition has to be directed not at word level, but at stanza level, and ultimately in the context of stanza-to-stanza relationships.” – John E. Carley
      .
      – Lorin

    3. So the question, then, is: does Michael’s verse
      .

      gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
      with the wind
      .
      “strongly recall” Kala’s
      .
      softly, how softly
      snowflakes fall
      .
      ?

      – Lorin

      1. Lorin, having differences is good because we can discuss and question parts of the renku. However, I think only the sabaki should make the final decision. Your answer has already been given:
        .
        “Michael’s verse 8 doesn’t bother me, since the first is an adverb and the second is a verb, Kala’s verse seems to be in the style of ‘interior monologue’, an internal exclamation of wonder, Michael’s L1 is a chant, the tone of the two verses is so very different and the contexts and manners of linking aren’t even remotely connected.”

        1. Carmen,
          Yes, that’s the way it has to operate in these THF renku, where no collaborative consultation and agreement can happen ahead of a verse being chosen. In that way, it’s a very different experience from both live groups and groups where the pre-selected renkujin compose by email or a relatively private website.
          .
          But I don’t think my opinion in itself is enough, anymore than I’d think anyone else’s opinion would be enough, sabaki or otherwise, which is why I quoted an ‘authority’. One needs to substantiate one’s opinions in these situations! So:
          .

          “If an added verse strongly recalls another verse from anywhere in the poem the accusation of ‘distant reincarnation’ can be levelled. But torinne does not operate at single word/idea level. It is applied to the complex of the verse’s meaning and/or phrasing.” – JEC
          .
          Going by that, I’d say that Michael’s verse is in the clear. But someone might be able to find a different ‘authority’ to back up an argument to the contrary! 🙂
          .
          In that way, it’s very much like the ‘sleigh/ farm wagon’ issue that came up last week, except that neither Paul nor I know of any authoritative resource which can clarify what is intended by ‘vehicle’ in one of the 3 available ‘tables of intermission’. Nor explain why ‘boat’, which appears on all 3 tables, is not included under ‘vehicle’ in the one table that also has ‘vehicle’. I’m sure, for every Japanese renku, there’d be someone who knew exactly what the category ‘vehicle’ includes and what it doesn’t, and why.
          .
          (Since you know the Japanese language, Carmen, and the tables on Renku Home are translated to English, perhaps you might have a better idea of what ‘vehicle’ means in relation to Japanese renku? )

          – Lorin

        2. Thanks, Carmen. I look forward to his explanation. It can be frustrating, not understanding what’s intended. All I have is intuition, and that’s based on my own life experiences, not on the Japanese. So much is understood in terms of culture, whatever our culture is in this world.
          .
          I think we could do with ‘tables of intermission’ with topics and materials from a generally agreed upon ‘World English’ point of view, since we come from all over and from different cultural backgrounds. That’d take a ‘United Nations’ of many cultures to agree upon, of course . . . a daunting task, but it would be worthwhile.
          .
          – Lorin

          1. I’ve been following this renku, even though I’ve not had the time to comment on the verses offered. It’s shaping well.
            ,

            I just finished three renku with my students at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts and agree the ‘backlash’ is tricky.
            .

            Lorin, I love your answer to Carmen’s query and I totally agree with it:

            Personally, the mere fact that a word is repeated within both Kala’s verse 2 and Michael’s verse 8 doesn’t bother me, since the first is an adverb and the second is a verb, Kala’s verse seems to be in the style of ‘interior monologue’, an internal exclamation of wonder, Michael’s L1 is a chant, the tone of the two verses is so very different and the contexts and manners of linking aren’t even remotely connected. But I understand you and others might have a different perspective.
            .
            – Lorin

            .

            Waiting to read this renku as each slot unfolds.
            _kala

  6. on the wagon
    a few bales
    of straw

    **

    gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind

    **

    getting louder
    with every step, the buzz
    from the dahlia show hall

  7. look!
    the water lilies closed
    at day’s end

    ***
    ***

    Oh!
    the water lilies close
    with flies inside

    1. Paul, we already have direct speech (verse #4) and a quotation from a text that may be heard as mantra. I wouldn’t want another verse with direct speech as it’s quite eye-catching.
      .
      These verses are in direct speech, whether indicated typographically as such or not. You might recall Karen Cesar’s “look! an ermine rushing out/ from under that boulder” in the previous renku, ‘Shine’. (Though it was revised and doesn’t appear with ‘look!’ in the final version of that renku)
      .
      – Lorin

  8. the coastal road
    lit by color
    of bougainvillea
    *******************
    those oleanders
    along the highway
    are colors of holiday
    *******************
    the lifeguard is watering
    a vase of geraniums
    on the sunny beach
    *******************

  9. and now, my last offering:
    .
    gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind
    .
    – Michael Henry Lee
    .
    .
    a blur of pink and white
    as coneflowers and daisies
    dance all afternoon

  10. Interesting, Michael Henry Lee, in a comment below, mentions that renku is an art form rooted in the Zen tradition. I’d not thought of it that way, but it makes sense to me that renku is influenced at least by Buddhism, in that renku definitely is an art form and game that serves to illustrate ‘dependent origination, or dependent arising’.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prat%C4%ABtyasamutp%C4%81da
    .
    Each verse (apart from the hokku ) comes to be in relationship with all previous verses, whether in the linking or the avoiding. Also, not only the selected verses, but all other offered verses from all participants, influence the whole in less obvious but undeniable ways.
    .
    Something to reflect on?
    .
    – Lorin

  11. Michael, what a great verse!! (Lorin, thank you for the excellent explanation.)
    .
    gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind
    .
    – Michael Henry Lee
    .
    .
    the waft and flow
    of night-scented stock
    greets all who linger

  12. the nasturtium
    don’t stop blooming
    in the tiny garden
    —————————————-
    a short smile
    insidious
    like a cactus flower
    —————————————
    pumpkin flowers
    in their short morning
    of splendor

  13. Thank you, Michael, for your thoughtful verse. I enjoyed reading the article, the link given by Lorin. Many thanks to Lorin for her guidance and inspiration. It has been a great learning curve.

    ***

    rhythmic steps
    with moonflowers
    on flowing hair

    *****
    marigold colours
    fill the Buddha’s
    sketch

    *****
    tender hand tries
    to catch the twirling
    hibiscus

    *****

    1. Dear PK,
      Regarding your 3rd: it’s certainly a prospective candidate but we musn’t have a part of the body named, as we have ‘mouthful’ previously, in our daisan. The forensic experts would have a field day! 🙂 Can you revise it, removing ‘hand’ ? (& anything else that comes to mind, such as ‘face’ ‘eyes’ etc.)
      .
      – Lorin

      1. No eyes, PK! No faces, no naming of any body part. 🙂 I’m sorry that I wasn’t clear enough.
        .
        – Lorin

  14. And to Michael, it was a lovely verse to link to!

    Verse 3:

    it’s a wonderful world
    plucking ukulele strings
    in a hibiscus-patterned shirt

  15. A certain panache, Michael. Nicely writ.
    ~~~

    wild irises
    sway to the rhythm
    of soft currents
    *
    restful moment
    in crepe myrtle shade
    to fan damp brows
    *
    cares disappear
    in sweeps of lavender
    along the stream

  16. Lovely to see the flower verses coming in. 🙂
    .
    A reminder re variation of syntax/ structure: this is our uchikoshi:
    .
    on the wagon
    a few bales
    of straw
    .
    Those who’ve begun their verses with a prepositional phrase might want to revise:
    .
    ‘outside the temple’, ‘across the cove’, ‘into the bell’
    .

    Those who might intend to begin with a prepositional phrase: please take heed in advance.
    .
    – Lorin

  17. gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind

    – Michael Henry Lee
    .
    graceful stems
    of alstroemeria
    gently stir

    1. thanks for the heads up Lorin
      I’ll promote my bee to line 1:
      *
      a bee disappears
      into the bell
      of a foxglove

    1. A purple lotus, Pauline? There’s an American native lotus species called ‘Yellow Lotus’ (it’s a creamy colour with a hint of yellow, I believe) but the Asian lotus flower, Nelumbo nuciferacomes in colours from creamy white through various pinks to red. It’s native to China, Japan, South East Asia and the tropical part of Australia.
      .
      I’ve seen something tagged as ‘Blue Lotus’, but it’s not a lotus, it’s a waterlily. So I have my doubts. Have you seen a purple lotus? (In life, not in a touched-up photo , a painting or a tattoo.)
      Could be some kind of hybrid, though. I’d be interested to know.
      .
      – Lorin

      1. Unfortunately one can’t copy a photo into the comments, but I have one that I took outside a temple in the Palace in Bangkok, with one purple (perhaps violet rather than purple) floating in a most wonderful floral bowl with a blue rim.

        Pauline

        1. Pauline, yes, Ive seen (what I think it is you’ve seen) it, too. But I believe these blue/ violet/ purple flowers are waterlilies rather than lotuses. Unfortunately, they are often enough referred to as ‘Blue Lotus’.
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymphaea_caerulea
          .
          (when you see ‘Nymphaea’ in the Latin name, it’s a waterlily)
          .
          lotus: (when you see ‘Nelumbo’ in the Latin name, it’s a lotus)
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelumbo_nucifera
          .
          The lotus is the one usually associated with Buddhism (and other Eastern philosophies and religions)
          .
          It’s confusing, I know! We even have a ‘Blue Lotus Water Gardens’ here where I am, and they do have lotuses, but also waterlilies, including the waterlily they call ‘Blue Lotus’.
          .
          http://www.visitvictoria.com/regions/Yarra-Valley-and-Dandenong-Ranges/Events/Gardens-and-agriculture/Lotus-Flower-Season.aspx
          .
          The lotus has been used for food and tended by indigenous people for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, as well as being sacred. The ‘blue lotus’ has been used as a sedative (and sometimes aphrodisiac) drug … and still is (I just googled) It’s the ‘lotus’ Tennyson refers to in his poem, ‘The Lotos Eaters’.
          .
          The two have quite different associations. But I was just curious and interested, so I asked you. 🙂 We wouldn’t have another overt Buddhist or religious reference (such as your ‘temple’) following a quote from a mantra, anyway. Not even a church or synagogue.
          .
          – Lorin
          .
          .

          1. Thank you, Lorin, for the really helpful information about the differences between waterlilies and lotuses, and the fact that the link between the mantra and the temple was not a good one in the context of our junicho. I thought I was being clever! It’s so interesting how the linking works; it’s quite tricky. I’m really enjoying learning how it all works.

            I will scratch that verse and try another flower!

    2. Pauline, the lotus in itself and of itself would link, so your intuition was good. It just got too complicated and misdirecting with ‘purple’ (or violet or blue), and then ‘temple’.
      .
      – Lorin

    3. Final revision to Verse 2:

      the white lotus
      floated in a blue-rimmed bowl
      in the palace garden

  18. on the wagon
    a few bales
    of straw

    **

    gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind

    **

    the neighbour’s
    wonder tree
    just one big buzz

  19. on the wagon
    a few bales
    of straw

    **

    gone, gone, gone all the way . . .
    with the wind

    **

    the swish and flick
    as we wade through
    riverbed lupins

  20. Awesome. My Zen teacher will be so ” welmed ”
    **************************************
    just or fun
    ********
    knock out roses
    make a bigger hit
    than before

    1. It’s a great link, Michael, and a superb new topic. I’m glad you’re pleased. 🙂

      .
      – Lorin

      1. There are numerous excellent contributions for every verse, so being chosen is truly gratifying. As you well know the role of an editor or sabaki can be a thankless task. Someone always gets theirs nose bent out of shape. It seems a pity that an art form rooted in Zen tradition can become so competitive. Great show Lorin and all who participate and enjoy the fun and appreciate a learning experience.
        Kanpai

    1. Judt, I think dandelions are commonly recognized as spring-flowering, though they do extend into summer. (I let them grow and go to seed in my yard. . . use the leaves as spring greens.)
      What’s needed is a flower known for its blooming in summer.
      .
      – Lorin

      1. Ok, thanks, Lorin. I think of them as blooming all summer long…wasn’t considering when they first come out.

  21. Congratulations Michael, well done.
    You make the write-up of each verse very understandable Lorin, such things often go right over my head. Learning with every session 🙂

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