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The Renku Sessions: New Calendar 4

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.

We have our fourth verse, thanks to Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy. Here is his report:

Thank you friends for all your lovely offers—quite a few good ones, which made my choice that much harder and, of course, more pleasurable. In selecting this verse, apart from the requisites John has stipulated, I also looked for subtlety and innovation in the link to my previous verse, plus demonstration of the season, a clear shift in scene and subject matter, and of course musicality. Many verses came close but missed out narrowly on one or the other consideration.

I am happy to pick up this lovely verse by Maureen Virchau.

café aromas
on the warm breeze

      –Maureen Virchau

This one “scent” links (nioi-zuke) to the daisan. One of the most conspicuous and attractive things about freshly tilled earth, although not mentioned, is its fragrance. Maureen has picked this up and used it in her verse. Also, spring is indicated lightly by the use of the word “warm.” And also, the recurring sounds of “r” and “m” highlight the musicality. Finally, the scene decisively moves from a likely rural setting to a clear urban setting.

Thank you, John for the opportunity to choose the verse.

And thank you Shrikaanth and Maureen!

Maureen Virchau will be offered the opportunity to select the next verse. Maureen, 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 (February 1) 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 five will be written in three lines and must include a spring moon image – but not one that involves flowers or flowering trees or shrubs. It must link to the fourth verse (and only the fourth verse) but it also must clearly shift away from it in terms of scene and subject matter. 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). You will have until Tuesday night to make your offers. The Haiku Foundation site has been busy lately and the link to our renku session has not always been obvious on the home page. There is a permanent “Renku Sessions” button a little further down the home page and you can always reach the current session via this route. We will continue to check for new verse offers through each Tuesday.

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

taking a fistful
of freshly tilled earth
to my cheek

    –Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

café aromas
on the warm breeze

    –Maureen Virchau

This Post Has 120 Comments

  1. strawberry moon
    reaches the bottom
    of an old ceramic cup

    warm spring rain
    falls straight into
    the rippling moon

    by the pink moon
    our shadow theatre
    on the wall

    1. oups, forgot to separate the verses:
      *
      strawberry moon
      reaches the bottom
      of an old ceramic cup
      *
      *
      warm spring rain
      falls straight into
      the rippling moon
      *
      *
      by the pink moon
      our shadow theatre
      on the wall

    1. I just had to write something about Paris, Maureen, as your aromatic verse transported me back to my days there as a student! 🙂

      1. Thanks for sharing your charming Paris-themed verses, Marion. I imagined the balloon to be red, but maybe it should be green for St. Patty’s Day? 🙂 Take care.

          1. Thanks so much for sharing. I will have to watch it sometime. Wishing your sister a fantastic birthday celebration with lots of green balloons. 🙂

    1. Ah, I’ve just read that the super moon is at the other end of the year! 🙁

      emerging shoppers
      stop to admire
      a pink moon

      1. “,. . . the super moon is at the other end of the year! ” – Marion

        The most recent, huge supermoon/ perigee moon in November, was the closest one to earth since 1948. Another, not quite as close, occurred in October. What season a supermoon occurs in depends on where you happen to be at the time. These last two? Autumn for you, spring for your cousins in the Southern Hemisphere.

        – Lorin

  2. café aromas
    on the warm breeze
    –Maureen Virchau
    .
    ***
    a faint haze
    surrounds the moon
    above the cityscape

  3. Thanks to everyone for all the creative verses! And thank you, Mary, for your kind words. I sincerely appreciate it.
    *
    Also- you are very welcome, Dru, Lamart and Marina. Thanks for your notes of appreciation.

  4. Hi Polona. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I checked with John, and he acknowledged to me that he could have been clearer in regard to his qualifications for this verse. He says that the mention of a flower (or a tree or shrub known for its flowers) would be a definite disqualification because there are ‘blossom verses’ later in the renku as you know, but the mention of willow fluff is not a disqualification but perhaps not very desirable because it does relate, in a general way, to a topic that may be included multiple times later, i.e. named trees. He says it’s a good idea to save such subject matter for later. I sincerely apologize for my misunderstanding of his instructions. Take care.

    1. the cat
      slurps at a moonlit spot
      of spilled cream

      ***
      alley cats
      slurp at the moonlit spot
      of spilled cream

  5. café aromas
    on the warm breeze
    .
    –Maureen Virchau
    .
    .
    soft laughter
    breaks the silence
    on a moonlit path
    .
    .
    soft laughter
    breaks the silence
    of a moonlit path

    1. Perhaps “newborn” is too vague? I know that only animals bleat, but to be sure this is clear, can I amend it to read as follows:
      .
      .
      a newborn kid
      bleating in harmony
      with old milk moon
      .
      a newborn lamb
      bleating in harmony
      with old milk moon

  6. an old tomcat
    struts his stuff
    by the milk moon
    .
    or
    .
    a milk moon
    persuades our old Tom
    to strut his stuff

  7. egg moon surprise
    leads me to anticipate
    chocolate
    .
    or
    .
    the anticipation
    of chocolate brought on
    by an egg moon

      1. Thanks, Polona 🙂 . . . I’m happy you recognised Issa’s radish-pointing farmer in the background.
        I was tempted been tempted to comment on a few in this round, including your excellent ‘willow fluff’ offer, but decided that it’s best that I don’t.

        – Lorin

    1. only not sure about “misty”, it feels more like autumn. “hazy” would definitely be spring…

      1. Hi again Polona,
        The spring moon verse is hard, given the current proscription against ‘spring moon’ or ‘spring anything’ (there is no such proscription in Japanese renku) and no plants that flower at all (not just blossoms, but flowering of any sort . . . ie. I would never have considered that willows or herbs and such would be considered flowering plants at all)

        As for ‘mist’ or ‘misty’, yes, we can observe mist and haze in spring and in autumn, so it’s a matter of convention. Keats, in EL poetry of the cool temperate zones, famously has mist for autumn… “Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness. . .” but the Japanese convention has mist and haze as kigo for spring and fog for autumn.

        Given that potential participants here are from all over the world and in different climate zones, what phenomenon ‘feels’ right will vary with locality. In his introduction to this renku, John cited Higginson’s ‘Haiku World’ & the briefer, online “500 Essential Season Words”:
        https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/2017/01/05/the-renku-sessions-new-calendar-1/

        In ‘Haiku World’, the closest thing we have to a saijiki to go by, ‘mist’ is cited as an “all spring” kigo/ reference. P49:
        Spring Haziness, Spring Mistiness — Prominent in haikai mainly because of its contribution to Hazy Moon . . . The word “misty” could be substituted for “hazy” in any of these.”

        Gabi Greve’s WKDB confirms this:
        “As a general rule, the Japanese words kasumi and oboro are haze and mist of spring, whereas kiri is the fog of autumn and winter.”
        https://worldkigodatabase.blogspot.com.au/2005/06/fog-mist-haze-and-more.html

        – Lorin

        1. ps: “Given that potential participants here are from all over the world and in different climate zones, what phenomenon ‘feels’ right will vary with locality. ” – Lorin

          ie, in Peter’s verse 2, it’s the “first greeting” that makes it a New Year’s Day reference/ kigo, not the clownfish. Clownfish live in tropical reefs (I’ve dived among them, off Cairns & Cooktown) The land seasons are different there, basically ‘the wet’ (monsoon) and ‘the dry’) My own associations with clownfish etc. coincide with the warm temperate seasons of autumn, winter and early spring, but of course that doesn’t apply.

          – Lorin

          1. Neat! Lorin, that you have seen “clownfishes” in the wild. Various of the species inhabit tropical reefs over the world along with anenomes. The verse in this renku almost has to be about a salt-water aquarium. Most captive fishes easily learn to come to the shape that is the giver of food.

        2. Hi Paul,
          Yes, Peter’s clownfish could be in a saltwater aquarium, but in my view the verse would be quite as valid if Peter (or anyone) had happened to celebrate the New Year with a solo reef dive. 🙂 Or if he was up early and down in the depths working on his pearl farm.

          The New Year, first greetings etc. cannot (as John indicated) be a seasonal reference unless the renku is specifically intended to be regional. Internationally, New Year (& other occasions that are celebrated around the world) is a calendar reference, not a seasonal reference. A seasonal reference can be added if desired and that doesn’t (in international renku) make for a ‘double kigo’.

          – Lorin

    1. . . . perhaps the above might be considered an instance of the dreaded ‘double kigo’, and also perhaps even ‘cat’s love’ (a traditional kigo for spring) might be considered too close to a human ‘love’ verse.


      another version:

      all night
      a street cat serenades
      the hazy moon

      – Lorin

    1. Thank you for your offering. I enjoy the use of sound. Unfortunately, ‘first’ is also an issue as we already have a ‘first’ with the clownfish’s greeting. I’m not sure if I want a bird at this point so soon after the clownfish. Hmmm..We’ll see.

      1. This is a beautiful image, but yeah- no water references for the moment. Looking forward to more of your verses.

  8. unlit cigarettes
    left by a pilgrim
    taken with the moon
    ~ Betty
    .
    .
    Great verse, Maureen!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Betty! Glad to see a verse of yours. And please feel free to offer more. Your writing is always so creative and unique. The word ‘taken’ takes me back (no pun intended) to Shrikaanth’s ‘taking a fistful of freshly tilled earth’ verse. I wonder if you could use another word. But anyway, this verse has me thinking about the magnificent beauty that is the moon. Thank you.

      1. Hi, Maureen…I wish I had more verses or a revision but am struggling with the loss of my dearest and oldest best friend and whom I cared for these past few weeks while she was in hospice. Thank you as well for such kind remarks about my offerings. I know you’ll pick an excellent verse from such great offerings!
        All the best, Betty

        1. My heart goes out to you, Betty. Thoughts and prayers are with you. I am so very sorry. The loss of a dear, dear, dear friend is so incredibly painful. I’ve experienced that devastating loss, as well. Take care of yourself.

  9. nice verse!
    .
    taking a fistful
    of freshly tilled earth
    to my cheek
    –Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy
    .
    café aromas
    on the warm breeze
    –Maureen Virchau
    .
    ***
    willow fluff
    drifts across
    the moonlit river

    1. Hi Polona! I think your verse is quite beautiful. The problem is that willow fluff involves a flowering tree or bush. I am also hesitant to highlight a body of water at this point in the renku due to its possible linkage to Peter’s ‘clownfish’ verse. I would love it if you could offer another verse or two. Take care.
      ~Maureen

      1. thanks for your illuminating comment, Maureen.
        while i understand and respect your decision to not include a body of water (though water can be very different from water, and so far it is only present in our renku by associacion), i definitely disagree about willow fluff indicating flowers (well, of course seed does follow flowering but it would be a far stretch to see it as a closely related renku topic, a faux pas a bit like – to paraphrase the late John Carley, “you can’t use butterfly here because we had mansion three verses ago and they both have wings”).

    1. Hi Lamart! Welcome to the renku party. Thank you so much for your fascinating verse. Just wanted to let you know that it doesn’t provide a clear spring image. Also, the use of ‘angling’ could be seen to link to Peter’s ‘clownfish’ verse. I hope you can offer more candidate verses or possibly revise this one with these concerns in mind. Thank you.

      1. Hi Maureen –

        Thank you for the welcome and the feedback! Your insight is much appreciated.

  10. a young frog
    jumps straight into
    the rippling moon
    ***
    next to the moon
    the yogi practices
    a crane pose

    1. Hi Maria! Your offerings are very refreshing. Unfortunately, the first verse links to Peter’s ‘clownfish’ verse with the appearance of a frog, as well as that of a rippling moon. Your second verse is wonderful and stunning in its imagery, but it doesn’t provide a clear spring image. I hope you are able to offer more verses keeping these elements in mind. I thoroughly enjoy your writing.

    1. Hi again, Marietta. This verse is filled with fantastic imagery. I love the moon jellies! Unfortunately, it links back to Peter’s delightful ‘clownfish’ verse. Hope you can offer more verses without references to water or sea life. I truly appreciate all your offerings.

    1. Hi again, Michael Henry! Thanks for all your candidate verses. This is an imaginative and enjoyable verse, but crickets are usually understood to be an autumn reference.

    1. Hi again, Jennifer. I love that term- sugar moon. The thing is that it could refer to sugarcane time which takes me back to Shrikaanth’s ‘freshly tilled earth’ verse. It’s a very innovative and fun verse though. Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. don’t know how delete last post
    should read

    spring calf sailing
    on moonbeams
    cat plays fiddle

    1. Hi Lance! Thank you for your creative offering. I would love it if you could offer some more verses keeping in mind that this is the reserved section of the renku and that verses should ideally be grounded in reality rather than fantasy at this point. Also, if you could write a verse without a cut, that would be great as it satisfies the requirements of all the renku verses besides the first one. One more thing- if you could keep in mind that the season should be shown through imagery rather than specifically stated that would be wonderful. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi again, Judt. Your offering makes me want to go to the beach. Right now. It’s a very enjoyable verse. The only thing is that it calls to mind Peter’s ‘clownfish’ verse. Just wanted you to know. I would love it if you could offer more verses without references to beaches or shells or bodies of water. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Jennifer! So nice to see you here. This is quite charming. It could work as a love verse as well. Being with someone one can simply be quiet with without a need to impress. Anyway, I would just rather have the season of spring be shown through imagery rather than specifically stated. I hope you offer more verses with this in mind. I enjoy your writing.

  12. café aromas
    on the warm breeze
    .
    .
    round and round
    i stir the milk moon
    into a verse

  13. café aromas
    on the warm breeze
    .
    .
    all my dreams
    curling snugly around
    the egg moon

    1. Hi again, Dru. I am definitely drawn to this verse for its use of sound. I would prefer for the moon to be placed within the season of spring through imagery rather than stating specifically that it is a spring moon. I would love it if you could revise it with this element in mind. Thank you so much. I really enjoy your writing.

    1. Hi again, Michael Henry. I really like this verse’s energy. Wish I owned a convertible. But anyway, the word ‘coast’ calls to mind Peter’s ‘clownfish’ verse. I am hesitant to include any reference to a body of water at this point in the renku. Just wanted you to know. Thanks for another delightful verse.

    1. Hi Marina! Thank you for your offering. I imagine that ‘surfing ripples’ refers to a body of water of some sort, and I just wanted to let you know that I’m not placing a verse which includes such subject matter as it could be seen to link to Peter’s ‘clownfish’ verse. I hope you will offer more verses with this in mind. Also, it would be wonderful if you could write three lines without a break. I think all your lines are beautifully written and creative, but it’s just that renku verses require unbroken lines. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Judt! This verse is quite charming. I think it could actually work as a love verse as well. Just wanted to let you know that I’m not going to use a verse which contains a body of water at this point in the renku. I feel that it could link to Peter’s ‘clownfish’ verse. I would love it if you could offer more verses with this in mind. Thanks so much. I really appreciate your writing.

    1. Marietta…I read yours, but completely spaced it out until I saw mine posted and yours right before it. Not intentional. Sorry!

      1. Haha… no worries at all Judt! We’re all on a certain wavelength. I think that’s great!

    2. Hi Marietta! Thank you for your delightful verse. I just wanted to let you know that I would prefer a verse to show how a moon exists within the season of spring rather than specifically stating that is a spring moon, especially at this point in the renku. I would love it if you could offer more verses. I really appreciate your creativity.

    1. Hi Dru! Thank you for such a charming verse. I just wanted to let you know that I am hesitant to include a verse which contains a body of water at this point in the renku as it could be seen to link to Peter’s ‘clownfish’ verse.

    1. Hi Michael Henry! I really enjoy your innovative verse, and it makes me want to go to my local coffee shop and fast. Yum. The only thing is that an iced latte reminds me more of summer than spring. Maybe a more spring-like beverage? I’m not sure what that would be, but thank you for such a unique verse.

  14. Thank you very much, Shrikaanth. I sincerely appreciate your eloquent and detailed commentary. So glad this verse works well for the renku.
    *
    John, I would love to choose the next verse. What a wonderful opportunity. Looking forward to everyone’s verses!

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