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The Renku Sessions: New Calendar 2

renkuchainWelcome to The Haiku Foundation’s Fifth Renku Session: New Calendar. I am John Stevenson, leading my second Kasen (36 verse) renku on this site. We will be trying something a little different this time. Instead of making all of the selections myself, new verses will be selected by the poet who wrote the preceding verse. This will be on a voluntary basis and I remain ready to preform this task for anyone who prefers to pass up the opportunity.

What a good start to a new year and a new renku! We had 82 verses offered, by 31 poets. Here is my short list, in the order in which they were posted:

a clownfish offers
the first greeting

Peter Newton

blank spaces
in the first enso

Maria Tomczak

the diary’s first entry
mentions cloudless sky

Polona Oblak

each photo inspires
another resolution

Marilyn Potter

his hair the wrong colour
to go first footing

Sandra Simpson

comparing resolutions
as they prepare to set off

Marion Clarke

Each of these has a strong and clear New Year reference, each is written without a break, and each one might have made a good second verse, sometimes with some very minor tweaks. Here is the verse I have selected and to which you must now link:

a clownfish offers
the first greeting

    –Peter Newton

First greeting is the New Year kigo in this verse. It is possible that some poets missed my first “reply,” in which I explained that the second verse is usually written by the host of the renku party and, while we don’t have an individual host, each of us might take on that role for this purpose. (In the future, I will do my best to put all of my suggestions in the original post.) When this verse is written by the host, it often has a kind of gently self-deprecating humor. In this case, the host can be identified with “a clownfish.” It is as if Peter Newton is saying, “I offer the first greeting of the year like a clownfish!” Clownfish, also known as anemonefish, are often seen nestled within and peeking out of anemones, with whom they have a symbiotic relationship.

I picture this fish in an aquarium (though, of course, it might be encountered by a diver or it might actually be pictured on the calendar mentioned in the opening verse). Perhaps it’s the first in the aquarium to notice that the “food source” is approaching the tank and this greeting consists of excited attention and, seemingly, eager gulps.

The ideas that we are all colorful natural wonders of the world and that we are all in this together create a great place to start a renku.

Peter Newton will be offered the opportunity to select the next verse. Peter, please contact me, either in a reply below or by e-mail (ithacan@earthlink.net) to let me know whether you accept this offer. If you do, I will ask you to choose the next verse in accordance with the requirements listed below and to write a paragraph or two about your selection and send it to me on Wednesday morning (January 18) so that I can incorporate it in the next posting, which appears on the following day. If you would rather not make the selection, I will do so, but I would prefer to know that I’ll be doing that as early as possible.

Verse three (the daisan) is the launching verse. It must link to the second verse (and only the second verse) but it also must very clearly shift away from it in terms of scene and subject matter. Since it seems that the first two verses are indoors, the third verse should be outdoors. It is still part of the opening section of the renku (the jo, or the first six verses), so it is to be somewhat formal in tone and not dealing in strong emotions or controversial subjects (e.g. politics, religion, illness, warfare, current events). It will be written in three lines, without a break, and must include a spring image (kigo). You will have until Tuesday night to make your offers.

With best wishes to all,
John

 

New Calendar to Date

new calendar
a year of
“Natural Wonders”

      –John Stevenson

a clownfish offers
the first greeting

    –Peter Newton

This Post Has 62 Comments

  1. a clownfish offers
    the first greeting
    ~ Peter Newton
    —-
    kite from the attic
    almost ready
    for a flight
    ***
    under a cloudless sky
    cotton candy seller
    opens the business

  2. new calendar
    a year of
    “Natural Wonders”
    .
    –—
    .
    a clownfish offers
    the first greeting
    .
    –Peter Newton
    .
    ’tis no joke
    rolling the Stilton
    to the finish line
    .
    – Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

  3. new calendar
    a year of
    “Natural Wonders”
    .
    –—
    .
    a clownfish offers
    the first greeting
    .
    –Peter Newton
    .
    taking a fistful
    of freshly tilled earth
    to my cheek
    .
    – Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

  4. new calendar
    a year of
    “Natural Wonders”
    .
    –—
    .
    a clownfish offers
    the first greeting
    .
    –Peter Newton
    .
    a round
    of picking tea leaves
    to warm the day up
    .
    – Shrikaanth krishnamurthy

  5. new calendar
    a year of
    “Natural Wonders”
    .
    –—
    .
    a clownfish offers
    the first greeting
    .
    –Peter Newton
    .
    taking a bite
    of the bunny’s ears
    in chocolate

    – Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

  6. new calendar
    a year of
    “Natural Wonders”
    .
    ——-
    .
    a clownfish offers
    the first greeting
    .
    -Peter Newton
    .
    ——-
    .
    the heat rising up
    with each additional clue
    of the treasure hunt
    .
    -Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

    1. I’ve actually got a photo of that, Judt! Only difference, it was a plane tree (I think), and a whole bunch of pink balloons! 🙂

      1. I have a photo, too…It is two pink balloons in a huge old oak in Wright Park in Tacoma, WA. 😄

  7. I see that some of you have offered verses that feature either flowers or flowering trees or shrubs. There are specific verses within the renku that are designated as “blossom” verses. They are verses 17 and 35 in a Kasen renku.

    1. Ok, if we need to take flowers out of our verses, then I’ll change this one to be:

      in the sunshine
      baby clothes waving
      in the wind
      .
      .
      just past noon
      baby clothes waving
      in the wind

      1. Hmmmm, the first one repeats “in the” twice…sorry. Let me amend it.
        .
        .
        full of sunshine
        baby clothes waving
        in the wind
        .
        .
        just past noon
        baby clothes waving
        in the wind
        .
        .
        (I’ll proofread better from now on.)

  8. composing
    a saijiki beneath
    the dogwood tree
    or
    composing a saijiki
    beneath
    the red bud tree

  9. spring break
    in the employ
    of our community garden
    or
    between semesters
    planting the seeds
    of independence

    1. That is more like chapter than verse.
      This is shorter, at least:
      .
      taps of a cane
      as he and the daffodils
      slightly nod

  10. Just want everyone to know that Peter has accepted the opportunity to make the next selection!

  11. new calendar
    a year of
    “Natural Wonders”
    –John Stevenson
    .
    a clownfish offers
    the first greeting
    –Peter Newton
    .
    ***
    .
    unspooling the string
    to let the kite
    soar higher

  12. the clownfish offers
    the first greeting
    *
    weed whackers hum
    on all sides
    of the garden wall

  13. a clownfish offers
    the first greeting
    ~ Peter Newton

    light breeze
    as we shake out
    the sails
    ~ Betty

    ***
    Lovely start and wakiku!

  14. a clownfish
    offers the first greeting

    .

    a fairground opens
    with its hall of mirrors
    sparkling clean

  15. Great verse choice, John!
    .
    I’m probably not the first to point out the ‘clowfish’ mis-spelling.

  16. An absolutely delightful verse, Peter. An excellent choice, John. Thank you for all your guidance.
    *
    soap bubbles
    floating on a breeze
    outside my window

Comments are closed.

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