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The Renku Sessions: Next

renku_300

Hello Everyone,

Last week I invited anyone willing to lead our next session to contact me. The result offers something new to this site: a session in which the session leader will be making her debut in that role. Wendy C. Bialek says, “We will be building a shisan together…. get out your carpenter pencils. We will need a three-line hokku, using a summer kigo, for our first verse.”

Wendy adds, “Although we are not meeting in a room….live, I would still like it to feel like we are….so I am requesting that we all actually use carpenter pencils to write out our hokku/haiku…(and following verses) before we place them online in the comments box. If you don’t have a carpenter pencil…they are about 19 cents (us) in hardware stores, or online, and free to borrow from your neighbor.”

Please enter your first verse (hokku) offers in the comments box, below. Wendy will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Tuesday, July 7 (Arizona, US time zone). On Thursday, July 9, there will be a new posting containing her selection for the hokku and instructions for composing the second verse (wakiku).

For those who may wish to know a little more about the shisan renku: http://darlingtonrichards.com/rr/docs/Shisan.htm

Let us work together to make this new thing a pleasure!

With best wishes, always,

John (Stevenson)

 

 

This Post Has 246 Comments

  1. I want to show my progress using both Wendy’s single frame technique as well as her “whittling down with balanced lines” method. Here’s what I originally submitted and withdrew:
    ~
    once emptied by the bucketful
    now home to placid frogs
    abandoned spring
    ~
    (then revised)
    ~
    many buckets drank here
    now home to placid frogs
    abandoned wellspring
    ~
    here is my final poem:
    ~
    faded bucket
    brimmed with rain
    abandoned spring
    ~
    Thanks all.

    1. Rob, I enjoyed reading the progress on your poem, the final version is excellent, thanks for sharing.

  2. Welcome Wendy, and thanks for taking on the role of the sabaki to keep the renku party going.
    .
    .
    come-down chattahoochee
    summer sprawls in her
    tenuous trumpet
    .
    come-down chattahoochee
    the sinuosity of her curves
    kindles the blazing sun
    .
    come-down chattahoochee
    in the blush of burnt evening
    begging her to rise
    .
    come-down chattahoochee
    she’s the one
    who paints the pines
    .
    .

  3. skinny dipping –
    my motorcycle headlight
    her spotlight
    #######
    roasting marshmallows –
    campfire smoke blending in
    with evening fog
    ########

  4. hi wendy, thank you for keeping the renku party going, I appreciate it!
    all the best
    kiti
    *
    a summer shower
    rushing – stopping
    an old friend

  5. for a mistake in the previous presentation I propose my hokku again
    ***
    Pan flute –
    the first blue thistles
    on the mountain
    ***
    voices at the gate –
    the first mosquitoes
    this summer
    ***
    the swallows’ call
    goes around in circles –
    sea ​​terrace

  6. sunlit afternoon . . .
    blue dashers and green pondhawks
    join the swim party
    .
    collectors of light —
    arcing terns beckon us
    follow the True Sun Path
    .
    swimming at head tide . . .
    salt and sweet,
    we mingle our gifts
    .
    a green pondhawk
    patrols the grassy verge
    hay-scented ferns bend over

    1. hi jonathan,
      thanks for bringing all the feather gifts to the party.
      have fun and mingle some.
      -w-

    1. I can’t see my post, which I put twice, I put it back here with the three hokku

      Summer night-
      the stem motionless
      sunflower
      *
      summer song-
      on the sunny beach
      fresh coconut
      *
      summer dream-
      they bloomed at night
      sunflowers

    2. hi, angiola…..thanks for your kind, supportive words.
      sorry about the typo on your name below.

  7. Thanks and best wishes for Wendy C. Bialek

    my proposals

    Pan flute –
    the first blue thistles
    on the mountain

    voices at the gate –
    the first mosquitoes
    this summer

    the swallows’ call
    goes around in circles –
    sea ​​terrace

  8. Thankyou Wendy, and your friend, dan, for contriving, and kicking me off the site. No! I really mean it, thanks.
    Some time ago I started a chapbook of my ‘rustic offerings’ Its in a medieval script, with a dip pen, of course complete with strange little folk in the margins and within the scrip, now I haven’t this distraction I have my evenings free to illuminate my little people, and continue a much loved pastime. At least something good has come out of this.
    .
    And by the way, please show the same respect you so strongly crave, and heed my call for NO, comments on any of my verses, if John has no intention of removing them. I am no longer a part of ‘this’ session.
    .
    Thanks again.
    .
    Have a great party everyone.

    1. Sorry, that should have read, rob.
      .
      My apologies to dan, this was not meant to read as you.

  9. A fresh entry, once again applying Wendy’s single frame technique:
    ~
    scurry of scales
    under a fence
    spiny swift

    1. rob,
      single frame ….check!
      whittled down….check!
      ready to-go!
      you have arrive!
      welcome to short-form poetry!
      -w-

  10. Been working on my poems applying Wendy’s single frame in front of your face technique she described to me in another post. I’d like to display my progress here:
    ~
    original poem:
    ~
    photos of the summer house
    i lost by one day
    still warm my broken heart
    ~
    This was an ‘in the past’ mental image and not an ‘in the moment’ frame in front of me. Here’s the rewrite:
    ~
    moving van
    parked by that summer house
    not mine

    1. you have done a successful transition “to the moment”, rob…all that work has paid off.
      *

      not that you have captured your “moment” in words…
      there is one more quick exercise i have for you….
      since you are new to this short form of writing.
      *
      look at the physical layout
      of your poem….
      see it as a sculpture

      can you find a way to
      make a more balanced
      look to your words
      on the paper?
      where
      we are working
      whittling down
      the white space
      -w-

    2. Applying Wendy’s balancing lesson:
      ~
      moving van parked
      by that summer house
      not mine
      ~
      Thank you Wendy, it looks much better.

      1. thanks, rob, for following through with
        this lesson.
        it even looks like a moving van….

  11. Finding it difficult to write summer haiku with frost on the ground and trees without leaves outside my windows!

    Verse 1:

    sea spray creating rainbows
    the laden picnic rug
    waits on the sand

    Verse 2:

    cool green water
    around the bend
    drifts our canoe

    Verse 3:

    cool green water
    our canoe drifts
    around the bend

    Verse 4:

    blue sky day
    the jersey cows crowd
    in the gum tree’s shade

    Verse 5:

    bridge over the pond
    our reflections shimmer
    in the cool

    Verse 6:

    pearls of sweat
    we pant up the hill
    in the heat of the sun

    Verse 7:

    drought
    the willows weep
    into the dry creek bed

    Verse 8:

    from the mountain top
    the infinite sea beckons
    smouldering day

    1. and yet look at that….eight new ones, how you did all that….pauline!!!!!!
      *
      pauline,
      maybe this will give you some solace…our ageku (last)
      will be a spring verse when the southern hemisphere
      will be experiencing spring….yes????
      and the northern…..autumn.

      1. That’s a good point, Wendy. My garden will be full of blossom from September and we in our bushfire-ravaged community will be hoping for renewal and rebirth after a hard winter. So the verses should come more readly.

  12. Got my carpenters pencil and the experience of writing poetry really is different–a fresh way of composing. Thank you Wendy for teaching me a new way to create–I have unwittingly found myself to be a calligrapher too…

    1. neat use of the word, “un…..wittingly” …reminds me of wittling!
      *
      just posted a link below ( under mary’s post) of one of the forms of calligraphy that can be done with your pencil and how to sharpen it.
      enjoy…thanks for sharing this, rob.

  13. As per Wendy’s suggestion, I’ll offer these alternate versions:

    solstice …
    daylight balancing
    on moonbeams

    And

    summer solstice …
    daylight balancing
    on moonbeams

    and for this one, an alternate:

    solstice—
    balancing daylight
    upon daylight

    And this version of it:

    summer solstice—
    balancing daylight
    upon daylight

    Come to think of it, these could work for either solstice so perhaps summer needs to be clarified.

    1. Ugh, no spaces! Sorry.
      .
      As per Wendy’s suggestion, I’ll offer these alternate versions:
      .
      solstice …
      daylight balancing
      on moonbeams
      .
      and this version:
      .
      summer solstice …
      daylight balancing
      on moonbeams
      .
      and for this one, an alternate:
      .
      solstice—
      balancing daylight
      upon daylight
      .
      And this version of it:
      .
      summer solstice—
      balancing daylight
      upon daylight
      .
      Come to think of it, these could work for either solstice so perhaps summer should be clarified.

      1. gothic calligraphy using the carpenter pencil:
        *
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpTZSkKdVhA
        *
        thanks, mary….for reading and understanding my post (below) about how you indeed can use the word “summer” for a summer kigo verse.
        *
        and understanding how by posting both alternatives…may increase your chances of inclusion in a final renku sequence.
        *
        about the “pencil sharpener” that is coming with your carpenter pencil from amazon…..if it creates a point, like a regular, pencil sharpener…..my advice is….don’t use this sharpener…we need to keep the point broad….some people use knife to shave off wood/then following up with sandpaper to maintain sharpness on both sides as needed.

        go for the classic(most broad) cut:

        https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=how+to+sharpen+the+point+of+a+carpenter+pencil#kpvalbx=_EtUDX-LxG6SAtgXkubDYBQ31
        *

  14. only now
    getting the word
    Juneteenth
    *
    solstice dusk
    opening night
    at the amphitheatre
    *
    giggles and splashes
    filling
    the kiddie pool
    *

  15. https://wildambience.com/wildlife-sounds/eastern-banjo-frog-pobblebonk/

    .
    once again…i recall
    an ancient ballad
    called, ‘tuning”

    (c) 7/4/2020 by wendy c. bialek

    dan,
    when i was fifteen, i had a boyfriend that played banjo, all the time (i played left-handed guitar) but how i loved the twang of his banjo….and he was always tuning and re-tuning it….to get it just perfect…..never hide this from the world…..like your very special gift of poetry.
    it is hard not to join in this renku, too, as a renku poet….so i will only post things that are for fun and not competing with any renku verse that is needed at the time.
    -w-

    1. many thanks Wendy, I hope your banjo friend is still sharing his music and tuning his banjo to perfection!

  16. in my hand, i am admiring this charming hummel-like figurine.
    there is a young boy with golden blonde hair and blues eyes, hands and knees on the ground by this standing, but cut-off green-leafing tree. affixed to the tree, it a wooden bird cage. perched in front of the cage opening is a blue coloured bird.
    *
    standing on the young boy’s back, is a younger girl (with same colouring of hair and eyes). this little girl is holding on to the tree with one of her arms,(perhaps…to keep her balance, while she is eye level with the bird. both bird and girl have their heads slightly coached to one side…looking like each are listening to each other.
    *
    it is apparent to me, that the only way, this lovely close encounter could occur, was if she received immediate help from her, (what appears to me to be) older brother. yes, she could climb the tree….but maybe risk falling and/ or frightening the bird away.

    *
    while i look at this precious little work of art…i am reminded of my teaching years of over fifty. that when help that is given at the proper time…it can be helpful to the learning experience, help that is given when someone wishes to do it themselves is robbing them of a learning experience.
    *
    i do not support spoon-feeding when a person is capable of feeding themselves.
    *
    so i say to those of you, who are not showing the patient, sensitive or respectful behaviors (i want for peaceful interaction) to give me and others the time and space to do it themselves, at their own pace….to leave this session at once. this unkind behavior will not be tolerated/permitted here.
    *
    work-shopping (including suggestions) of poems will only be done if the poster has outright asked for it in the post.
    *
    i encourage kind, supportive conversation.
    i will do my best to answer questions in a timely manner, to allow poets time to get what they need when they need it.
    …(no bullying on the premises!!!
    if you don’t like the pace at which i am doing things….please leave now.)
    *
    as for information…..the entire internet is available to google/or search to anyone who can be online in this blog….i feel no need to re-post it over and over again. googling is a wonderful learning tool…..more than finding answers to known…”questions” comes the flowers to smell along the path to it! now, we don’t want to rob anyone of that do we?
    *
    by the way, if anyone has the time….to search for this image of the hummel-like figuirine i hold in my hands and would post it here…that would be sweet.
    *
    meanwhile, stay safe, stay in bliss, goggle everything about renku, hokku, shisan, kigo/saijiki lists, sabaki, etc. you will find great help there as well as THF. renku sessions link off the home page.
    *
    you can even google me, your current sabaki, the one who has a lot of decisions to make, very soon !!!!!
    wish i didn’t have to intervene….but peace and respect comes first in my book.
    peace
    -w-

  17. sipping iced tea –
    banjo concert
    on the front porch
    #######
    calling me home –
    midnight surf
    on a deserted beach

  18. morning magpies
    warbling in harmony . . .
    hum of a plane

    wildfire smoke
    gathering horizons —
    red sun morning

    early summer–
    the space between
    raindrops

    lake sunrise–
    symphony of bird calls
    conducting silence

    1. Sorry Wendy, I’m going to do that again, with spaces. . .
      .
      morning magpies
      warbling in harmony . . .
      hum of a plane
      .
      wildfire smoke
      gathering horizons–
      red sun morning
      .
      early summer–
      the space between
      raindrops
      .
      lake sunrise
      symphony of bird call
      conducting silence

  19. ready for backpacking
    canoe strapped
    to the car

    *
    longer days
    harvesting the thyme
    little by little
    *
    lazy days
    accomplishing everything
    on the beach bucket list
    *

  20. watching her smile –
    sharing a morning mango
    gracias Mexico
    ########
    no flight plan –
    United pilots
    and butterflies

    1. there you go, rob….you have captured the action, sights and sound in one frame, successfully with this offering !!!!!!

  21. in the belfry
    they debate the origins
    of Gregorian chant
    .
    foundry floor…
    brass beads circle
    the smouldering mould
    .

    .

  22. .
    sweating
    in the saucepan
    tomatoes and sweet onions
    .
    beads of perspirations
    across the polytunnel
    . . . far flung flaps
    .
    unfolding
    in the folds off a waterfall . . .
    cooling curtains
    .
    a joey jouneys
    into his mama’s pouch
    . . . fierce love

    (https://reptilepark.com.au/animals/mammals/eastern-grey-kangaroo/)
    .
    ahimsa
    allowing the mozzie
    to simply be

    (https://www.thefreedictionary.com/mossie)
    .
    flying
    by the seat of their pants —
    a tandem paraglider
    .
    dog days . . .
    the crunchy carpet
    of thick forest floors
    .

    1. a joey jouneys
      into his mama’s pouch
      . . . fierce love
      .

      (https://reptilepark.com.au/animals/mammals/eastern-grey-kangaroo/)
      .

      Kanjini, I see this mistake so often from people not familiar with Australian marsupials. Forgive me for correcting you. Yes, a baby kangaroo or a baby wallaby is called a joey, but so is a baby koala, baby possum etc, etc. etc.
      .
      “Joey” is a generic term for all marsupial babies.
      .
      You could get away with shortening kangaroo:
      .
      a kanga joey journeys
      into his mama’s pouch
      .

      1. lorin,
        as i am the sabaki here…..i will say…..there is nothing that needs to be changed in kangini’s poem for me to consider it….except the omission of “r” in” journey”.
        though he may very well want to hear your opinions and facts on animals on Ausrailia….i don’t support your way of handling your opinions on disqualification and re-writing without permissiom.
        if you would like to talk about the many kind of marsupial’s babies there are….that is totally educational.
        but you what you are not getting away with here….is disqualifying any poem on this basis and re-writing w/o their previous permission. i have not appointed you as my assistant.

        i remember how awful you felt in the last renku, when the sabaki did it to you…..you felt violated……..i waited days in the renku before you made up your mind to come back and accept any of patricia’s revision…..and she was the sabaki. i would have thought you would be kinder and more sensitive to other people’s feelings, this time around….but evidently not!

        I find your behavior here as well as in other places in this renku to be overstepping the boundaries of a member and on to that of self-imposing sabaki….you are being asked to stop posting, and leave now for your rude, and disrespectful behavior.

        1. ‘kinder and more sensitive to other people’s feelings’ 🙂 after the last session that’s rich coming from you, Wendy. You nailed your colours well and truly to the mast.
          And when it comes to bullying take a closer look to home.
          .
          If you can’t take helpful advice from a person who know far more you do, to enhance the session, which I may add, you have had nothing but help and support, so far.
          You are the one who has asked for more conversations to take place.
          .
          Well, Wendy, I’m dismayed, so much so, I’ve already asked John to remove ‘all’ my, what did you call them ‘rusty offerings, oh, no sorry ‘rustic offerings’
          They’ll be of no lose to the session, I know that, save you telling me 🙂

        2. correction: she ( not he)…..it’s going to take me awhile….to replace my new mental gender association….kanjini….sorry….do you have a facebook page with a picture…that would help me.

          1. No worries at all Wendy! I’m quite chilled about it. I just like being transparent about who I am when conversing with total strangers on the internet 😉
            .
            I’m not on FB, but I believe there’ll be a photo for my haibun in CHO’s August issue.
            .
            Meanwhile, you might find this helpful https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devi

          2. thanks for that lovely link..
            i love reading about spiritual deities and seeing how the artistic forms of their spirits are represented !
            i am afraid….that my association was made with your first name, and vibrations in your poetic words…
            i believe i picked up on a “silent confidence”…that isn’t always present, unfortunately, with enough feminine writer’s.
            so i will be looking forward to your accepted
            haibun submission picture to help make a new synaptic connection. and…will delight in reading your work.
            in the early 90’s when i was participating on a shiki list….way before facebook…jane reichhold and i were emailing quite often and posting to the group. never seeing a picture of her…or doing any research on her…somehow….through her words, and fresh, original, unconventional, topical opinions….i pictured her(in my mind) to be much younger (in year age). many years later….(after not being online for awhile we lost contact and having changed to a new email address) more recently, i tried to reconnect with her…hoping to join with her on various fb poetry groups….only to find out she was no longer posting with the living writers.
            i found pictures of her….and realized….i had been communicating with her young, free-spirit.

        3. Wendy,
          I’m surprised to read your outburst, above, this morning. Please be assured that I fully recognize you as sabaki for this renku. I have intended and continue to intend to co-operate.
          .
          My note to Kanjini re “joey” is not the first I’ve made on the subject and it has no bearing whatsoever on your consideration of the verse. I simply and honestly wished to correct a misconception. Kanjini ( though I believe she has spent time in Australia) isn’t the first and won’t be the last to have the impression that only a baby kangaroo or wallaby is called a wallaby.
          .
          As an Australian I feel I have the right to point out such things, just as any American has the right to point out similar things related to the USA’s wildlife. (Or similarly, anyone unfamiliar with a region’s wildlife may ask of the group.) There is no harm in it, and I actually thought it would be welcome! I don’t believe that such pointing out (by me, or by anyone) infringes in any way on the sabaki’s role and I don’t believe a suggestion such as I made (best I could do) to avoid the generic “joey” is at all out of place, whomever makes it. Of course, whomever receives a suggestion may take it or leave it. It’s the knowledge itself that’s useful or may one day be.
          .
          You can’t have a party and at the same time expect people not to speak to one another. That’d be unreasonable.
          .
          In renku, the sabaki is supposed to be the guide. I fully support your role as sabaki.
          .
          But I cannot support your accusations (above) nor your tone. I’ve not done or written anything rude and disrespectful, but you most certainly have in this post of yours. This is a renku, with real people participating (including me). It’s only week #1 and already you’re behaving as if you were playing the role of the Red Queen in a stage play rather than taking on the role of a sabaki/ renku leader. Each one of us who’re participating deserves to be treated with kindness and respect, Wendy. You included, but not just you. And you aren’t exempt from treating each participant with kindness and respect, and that includes me.
          .
          ““The word sabaki means handler or guide. . . . It is pure chance that the German word Führer also translates as guide.” (John Carley, Renku Reckoner)” – John E. Carley, Renku Reckoner
          .
          Being an Englishman from the north as well as a world citizen who taught (not renku) in far-flung places such as Africa, he said that with a certain sense of humour but also to make us think, give us caution.
          .
          ps. If you want to accuse anyone of ” overstepping the boundaries of a member” (participant?) then you had better spell out, each week, in your main post above this thread, what those boundaries are. Anything less is unfair to those who are participating or who might wish to.
          .

          1. correction:
            .
            “. . . the impression that only a baby kangaroo or wallaby is called a joey.”

        4. ‘you are being asked to stop posting, and leave now for your rude, and disrespectful behavior.’
          a bit harsh, Wendy.
          I didn’t see anything ‘rude’ or ‘disrespectful’ in Lorin’s post

          1. Thankyou , Andrew. I’m happy that someone sees the obvious.
            .
            And the worse thing is she hasn’t the authority do so.

      2. Thank you, Lorin. I lived in NSW for several years, though not an expert in marsupials. However, we had the great fortune of kangaroos’ and wallabies’ daily visits, sometimes right up to our deck. I quite like my verse the way it is, and taking poetic license if I may 🙏🏾

      3. Just out of interest, Lorin . . . If I had not posted the accompanying link, would you have thought my ‘joey’ verse was referring to kangaroos and wallabies only?

    2. another correction :-
      .
      beads of perspiration
      across the polytunnel
      . . . far flung flaps
      .

  23. Welcome Wendy, and thank you for volunteering to lead us this session. I hope to contribute after I catch my breath, this my first day home all week. Enjoying the contributions so far. Was I correct in reading a break is allowed in the first verse?

  24. ripening fast
    young robins sing
    from the tomato trellis
    *
    watering cans
    every color
    of the rainbow
    *

  25. Sorry to be a bit late starting–so exciting to see all this going on again.
    You are a brave one, Wendy! Will do my best to help make this a success.
    **

    fireflies…
    the new neighbors
    brighten my door
    *
    full nest
    the mallard circles
    the lotus pond
    *

    1. laurie…..whenever you arrive….you “brighten my door” (to quote a special poet”)….and more than make up for lost time!
      so happy you are here!
      -w-

  26. barefoot ballet –
    dancing down the street
    in the mosquito spray
    #########
    boyhood oasis –
    watermelon patch
    in the cottonfield

  27. well done, Wendy, on taking up the sabaki challenge
    *
    nodding
    with every passing car
    roadside poppies
    *
    under a broad-brimmed hat
    I take the shade
    wherever I go

    1. hi, andrew…no jackets, no snowshoes…….it’s summer shisan
      with the original hokku man!
      happy you brought the motion to the party!

  28. So many wonderful offerings already!
    Pressure piling Wendy.
    My carpenters pencil gets used on a regular basis, not I add to do amateur calligraphy though.
    It was interesting to toy with these verses .
    Incidentally, have you sharpened then broken the tip and seen the result

    how carbon shapes
    the way we live…
    mid summer rain
    .
    good house keeping
    another nappy
    from the blue tits nest
    .
    fingernail split…
    chains form
    into buttercup hearts
    .
    buttercups…
    we pick
    a smile each
    .
    topping out…
    a sapling oak raised
    above the barn
    .
    summer down pour
    the cows follow
    the farmer home
    .

    1. robert, re:
      .
      “Incidentally, have you sharpened then broken the tip and seen the result”

      .
      for me…since i am left handed, i purposefully sand down, (with sand paper) one side of the blunt, broad tip…to make contact with the surface…anyway!
      .
      and yes, when it chips in non-conventional ways….all sorts of unexpected….unpredictable results occur….like riding on a flat tire. so great for experimentation!

      1. what has happened for you? robert???????
        *
        and what do you use a carpenter pencil for???

  29. G’day Wendy, and thanks for taking on this shisan. I look forward to participating.
    Herewith, my offers for hokku:

    ~

    sharing with us
    beneath the ceiling fan
    our panting dogs

    ~

    joining us
    beneath the spinning fan
    our panting dogs

    ~

    midnight frolics
    lounging by the pool
    with icy champagne

    ~

    wide azure skies
    magnolia perfume seeps
    through every path

    ~

    delivering hope
    the ever smiling heads
    of sunflowers

    ~

    Summer holidays
    the road ahead filled
    with molten tar

    ~

  30. Hi Wendy, thanks for taking the lead.
    Bit scary as a novice, but plunging in…
    Best wishes from a wintery Australia.
    Carole
    .
    .
    turtle island
    the sound of sand
    shifting moonlight

    1. carole,
      kudos to your bravery…to have posted a ‘ku this soon!
      .
      please enjoy the fun of learning this fascinating form of collaborative art.
      .
      as you see…i make typos, spelling errors, and add gender mistakes to the list….all gets corrected, in time….and i clean the slate…to make room for new mistakes.
      .
      the learning never stops, nor the fun….for me.
      .
      you offer things for me…too….and i learn from you.
      -w-

      1. Wendy thank you. You are so generous with your time and energy and so I look forward to the fun of this renku. … learning heaps…right now I’m brushing up on hokku as opposed to haiku or senryu.

        Lots of comments for you… hope you brought a picnic lunch!

        1. i’m gonna do my very best….bring it on, carole!
          this is so great….it is my food!
          we are all here to make it happen, fun, relevant and supportive.

    2. A lovely haiku/ hokku, Carole!
      .
      As far as form goes, the hokku in renku is a classical haiku such as yours: there is no difference in form. Both require the cut. (Whether or not the cut is ‘marked’ by a dash, ellipses or other symbols that are often used for EL cut markers is of no importance.)
      .
      The hokku is the only verse that has a clear, ‘haiku-like’, cut. The other thing a hokku usually has is an implied greeting.

  31. Wendy, thanks for leading us! I always enjoy your comments on all the postings. I’m going to put all my offerings in this box since I probably won’t make it back before Tuesday. I love the spirit your invitation has already brought to the party. I don’t have a carpenter’s pencil and I’m avoiding all shops and stores (being at high risk myself), but I have some lovely pencils I often write with–the kind of lead that feels good in the hand. I hope that will suffice.
    .

    one by one
    they plunk in the bucket
    ripe blueberries
    .
    ping! ping! ping!
    ripe blueberries
    fill our tin buckets
    .
    sunflowers . . .
    from no where
    a sudden smile
    .
    early evening
    the cicadas
    finally settle in
    .
    lacey yarrow
    the soft sounds
    of growing
    .
    old garden hose
    a rainbow
    hisses out
    .
    solstice—
    balancing daylight
    upon daylight
    .
    first light –
    the orb spider
    spins an aubade
    .
    sun glint
    a basket of peaches
    blushing side up
    .
    ripeness—
    heavy vines lashed
    to the pole
    .
    solstice …
    daylight balancing
    on moonbeams
    .
    wild berries—
    tongues stained
    the same shade of blue

    1. mary….so grateful to you for sharing those wonderful, positive vibrations….in both your message and generous poetry.
      .
      i know what you mean about not going to stores, and avoiding shopping at this time….we are at risk here in az. , and have been in lockdown since January. we speak to neighbors by phone and leave things…with gloved-hands in mailboxes….which get sanitized, often.
      .
      the carpenter pencils are a clean, inexpensive alternative….that i began offering to students at beginner calligraphy workshops…(i ran over 40 years ago). it is the broad width of the lead that i emphasize, to get the “thick” and “thin” strokes of calligraphy.
      we practice on these pencils….to get the body into the feeling and flow and a sense of mastery and control of the strokes before introducing the ink, and other instruments.
      .
      when i first was learning calligraphy….i was doing it with everything i wrote…..from shopping lists, letters, poetry, and lesson notes with chalk on a blackboards… while teaching, (unrelated and later….related) classes in public/ private schools and library classes. i wanted to keep arm/ hand, etc. in constant training…looking for every opportunity to have it become natural.
      i learned more than the art of beautiful writing. i learned to follow the visual/ spiritual flow and release. which induced for me a state of automatic writing of poetry.
      .
      this is what i want to bring to the table in building our shisan.

        1. carole…you can imagine that….too!

          ~~ watching~~~
          the white space
          ~on the sheet~
          ~~~of paper~~~

      1. Wendy, what a lovely description about using this type of pencil. I’ll try to get one if I can get my son to go to a hardware store. I didn’t realize you were an artist as well as a poet and writer. I took a calligraphy class many, many years ago but I wasn’t that good at it. I saw a You Tube video of a calligrapher writing, and it was mesmerizing.
        .
        Carole— you are a wonderful tanka poet so renku and it’s links and form will be fun for you. Glad you joined in.

        1. mary-
          out here…if i call up, in advance, they will put my order in my trunk, that i leave open…before they come out. sometimes they call it curb-side pick-up.
          this way, if they, accept credit card over phone, i don’t have to worry about coming into personal contact/risking anything.
          *
          and mary….about the class you attended….did you save any supplies from it? do you remember what you instrument you used? are you left handed?
          *

          1. Hi,
            The class was a zillion years ago when I was young. I ordered carpenter pencils and a sharpener (not sure how THAT will work as a set on Amazon. I’m all for playing!

            I get curbside pick up for groceries too.

            Mary

    2. Mary, love your…
      .
      solstice …
      daylight balancing
      on moonbeams
      .
      so much food for thought.

    3. So many lovely verse, Mary! The image in this one, especially endearing 🙏🏾
      .
      solstice …
      daylight balancing
      on moonbeams
      (Mary Kendall)

      1. Thanks Kanjini and Carole,
        I left off the word “summer” since I believe we can only allude to it but not mention it directly. I’m glad this one ‘worked’ for both of you. You brought a smile to my face, something I really needed this week.
        .
        best, Mary

        1. mary,

          “summer”,
          (just as “winter”*, “spring”*, “autumn”*etc.)
          can be used in any verse that calls for a summer, (et.*al)
          kigo.
          *
          here’s the hitch:
          will it be used ? will it be picked?
          *
          in such a short renku….
          as we are doing here,
          [only twelve verses]…
          in a shisan….
          once a seasonal word is used…
          we might not have the room
          (space)
          for another.
          *
          so, the sabaki must feel it is so special….
          that something else down the line….
          for another season….
          is worth taking the risk.
          *
          one way of “playing it safe”…
          might be,
          to offer the same verse
          with & w/o the word “summer”
          giving the choice to the sabaki.

          1. futhermore;
            mary:
            i want to add, (but you probably know)
            *
            the hokku being “sacred territory”….
            what “stays” in hokku
            is often not repeated.

  32. Thank you, Wendy. I’m looking forward to playing along.
    .

    backyard tents . . .
    last night’s stars glisten
    in the morning dew

    *
    campsites full . . .
    squirrels in and out
    of everyone’s bubble

    1. As is already said, these are both wonderful Liz Ann.
      Pushed to choose one, the squirrels would lose out to the stars.
      .
      backyard tents . . .
      last night’s stars glisten
      in the morning dew – Liz Ann Winkler
      .
      What a lovely sense of gathering both have.

  33. considered wendy’s “one frame at a time” analogy. so now:
    ~
    abandoned wellspring
    old bucket lies on the grass
    placid frogs watch me

    1. oops, just learned that only river frogs are included with summer kigo. the type of frog one would find in a wellspring falls into the all spring category i believe. also the above has two kigo (wellspring the other), so i am withdrawing all variations of this poem–more work to be done.

      1. well, Rob, re your
        .
        ” . . . just learned that only river frogs are included with summer kigo. ”
        .
        That will, of course, depend on whose list you’re referring to. And no particular list has been cited by sabaki as the list we are supposed to be using. . . if we are supposed to be using one at all.
        .
        You can find Japanese summer frogs as well as spring frogs at Gabi Greve’s WKDB:
        .


        .. .. .. ALL SUMMER
        .
        green frog, aogaeru 青蛙 Species Hyla
        tree frog, rain frog, amagaeru 雨蛙
        summer frog, natsugaeru 夏蛙
        .
        river frog, kajika 河鹿, kajikagaeru 河鹿蛙 Polypedates buergeri
        river frog song (lit. flute), kajijabue 河鹿笛
        ….. Kajika is noted for its attractive voice when singing in the river.
        .
        and here’s a well-known haiku writer (USA) making it clear he means a summer frog, just in case :
        .
        summer rain…
        the frog pees
        in my hand
        .
        – Stanford M. Forrester
        .
        https://worldkigo2005.blogspot.com/2005/06/frog-kawazu-kaeru.html
        .

        1. thank you, so much, lorin, for taking all this time and for providing all this information on different kigo/saijiki sites that can be found online.
          .
          you are correct, that i have not specified, any one site to be used for this shisan. and that is because all sources can be utilized….i encourage all research and thinking outside of any one box.
          *
          I did, however, state, several times, so far, about the use of kigo to be used with this shisan. first, in the intro. above with john:
          *
          ” Wendy C. Bialek says, “We will be building a shisan together…. get out your carpenter pencils. We will need a three-line hokku, using a summer kigo, for our first verse.”
          *
          and below: (in my response to a question asked by rob)
          .
          “good question rob….
          kigo lists and saijiki lists are used for haiku/and renku, etc.
          renku is, as a special form, with structural rules, use both seasonal and non-seasonal verses. if you study the red link provided by john at the bottom intro. you will see the chart designated for this specific renku…”shisan”. there will be times….when certain kigo can be introduced….such as “blossom”. by referring to the chart, frequently, you will learn, when and where….what kigo can be used.

          1. That may be so, Wendy, however there are a few new participants in here, as you can see, and in your role do you not think it a good idea to provide a more detailed account of what is required regarding, a designated saijiki, eg, the Higginson 500 etc, for those who want to learn, really learn?
            .
            We know where to go, others, may not.
            Keep in mind not everyone has the time to go searching for such things, and to have the required data at the push of a button can not only be less frustrating but helpful.
            .
            Maybe a link to your preferred saijiki at the intro stage of your requirements for the next verse would be useful.
            .
            The link you have given, so far, takes us to page 62 in the, renku reckoner, not everyone has that facility.
            .
            Have I missed a link?

      2. Wendy, of course it’s up to you whether you specify a particular ‘season-word’ list or accept “kigo” / seasonal references from many sources. I have no issues with whatever method you choose.
        .
        My response was to Rob’s: ” oops, just learned that only river frogs are included with summer kigo. ” He said he was withdrawing one of his offers because of this.
        .
        Rob’s blanket statement is understandable, given that he’s still becoming acquainted with the idea of season words/ seasonal references/ kigo, but it’s incorrect and therefore misleading, perhaps to others new to the game as well as to Rob himself. Even in the traditional Japanese saijiki, there are summer frogs.
        .
        I posted the link to Gabi Grebe’s WKDB site to show Rob that to think “only river frogs are included with summer kigo” shows a misunderstanding. From the link I provided, it is clear that there are several frogs traditionally associated with summer even in Japan, not just ‘river frogs’ , and their summer frogs are distinguishable from spring frogs by their different names.
        .
        I trust this is helpful.
        .

    1. hi radhamani sarma, so glad you came!
      .
      we had our first monsoon, yesterday morning. i woke up to what i thought was local firecrackers….since we are having independence day here….but it was distant thunder. it has helped to cool off some.

      1. Dear Wendy,
        It is my pleasure always to be part of this wonderful site and to interact with you all. To establish
        connectivity – distant thunder and independence day etc.
        so kind of you, very interesting.
        with regards
        S.Radhamani

  34. heat lightning
    coyotes across the lake
    respond to our howls

    *

    heat lighting
    we turn off the fan
    to hear a loon

    *

    rising tide
    the girl wades in
    up to her belly

    *
    public landing
    laughing gulls heckle
    the tourists below

    1. Delightful, Kristen! Especially love the image and sound of ‘laughing gulls heckle
      the tourists below’ . . . I’m still laughing !

      1. I also smiled at this one because of an experience I had recently. When a clap of thunder announced an unexpected rain shower, I ran out to take the washing from the clothes line and could have sworn a crow perched on my roof was laughing loudly at me! 😂

  35. summer grasses
    the bright green eyes
    of a dragonfly

    *

    heat lightning
    a fledgling owl whines
    for food

    *

    heat lightning
    the yips of coyotes
    across the lake

    1. Hi Kristen,

      I like THIS version of heat lightning / the yips of coyotes / across the lake . . . that line ‘the yips of coyotes’ such a great parallel to the heat lightning. I also love this one–it’s perfect!
      .
      public landing
      laughing gulls heckle
      the tourists below

  36. her rain dance –
    umbrellas
    blossom
    ########
    some princes –
    their lily pad
    memories
    ########
    blast furnace night –
    a stray dog
    chasing his tail

  37. beer gardens open . . .
    everyone taking a selfie
    with their first pint
    .
    My brother recently posted a photo of his first pint of Guinness in his local pub!

    1. Probably don’t need ‘first’ and might be better with ‘reopened’ and ‘selfies’ as plural?
      .
      beer gardens reopen . . .
      everyone taking selfies
      with their pint
      .

      1. Marion, it’s great to see “beer garden” as a summer seasonal reference (which it plainly iswhether or not it appears in this or that saijiki or season-word list. ) 🙂
        .
        Love the celebratory nuances in this one. First pint of the season! Well, it does seem very Irish. 🙂 Come summer and I’ll raise a pint to you.
        .
        A long-ago haiku:
        .

        beer garden table
        the blurred edges
        of many circles
        .
        A Wattle Seedpod (2008) p 22 (it’s in the THF Archives if anyone is interested)

        1. what a wonderful, kind and generous gift you have donated to THF, with your book, lorin….thank you for sharing.

        2. Yes, indeed, Lorin. Since it rains so much here in the north of Ireland, beer gardens don’t tend to be used much outside of summer months (when there’s a rare spell of good weather, it’s cause for real celebration!) Since only pubs with beer gardens have been permitted to reopen now lockdown has been eased, I hear some pub owners have developed formerly unused outdoor areas to make beer gardens so they can open. I walked past a local hotel this afternoon on my way back from work and it was lovely to see people sitting outdoors under parasols.

          I should have joined in and raised a beer back at you! 🍻

          Great ku. Must revisit your book—thanks for the reminder!

          marion

  38. Thanks, Wendy, for stepping up. I’m enjoying reading all these glimpses of the here and now of homes and hearts. Shall wait for second link to join in because need constraints to write 😉 .. looking forward to all the daily and weekly updates. Be well and stay well ..😊

      1. thanks, Wendy .. it was a gift that simply came to me .. grateful others liked it, too ..

  39. more subtle
    than any bird in the garden
    rosie boa
    ******************
    summer solstice
    adjusting my mask for
    the garden party
    ******************
    cucumber roll
    a hint of ponzu and
    a dash of wasabi

  40. rob
    .
    in reading through your first offerings, it is apparent to me there is a poet in these words!
    since you say this is your first renku…i would like to give you an exercise…to help you make the transition…easier.
    .
    if we can consider each renku a journey, and each stone along the path…a new stone….we stop at…pick up…and gaze at…a verse……..you have picked up a whole town!
    .
    here is the exercise, i would like you to practice, (to lighten the load):
    .
    pretend you have a filmstrip editor strapped to your face.
    each scene (verse), is on one frame of the strip. limit your “write” about the scene to just the one frame in front of your face….not what frame came before it…or what comes after it.
    .
    if you would apply this to each poem you have here….and kindly re-post….please.

    *

    once emptied by the bucketful
    now home to placid frogs
    abandoned spring
    .
    rb

    *

    (revision to the above)
    .
    many buckets drank here
    now home to placid frogs
    abandoned wellspring
    .
    rb

    *
    photos of the summer house
    i lost by one day
    still warm my broken heart
    .
    rb

    *
    (also, please note…. the hokku (first verse) gets a break!)

      1. Hi rob, I have a thing about frogs, great little folk.
        .
        empty bucket
        a mobile home for stranded
        pond frogs
        .
        More often than not we find ourselves having to relocate nature due to urban expansion
        I find the bucket the perfect tool for the job, not so much for the frog but for their spawn, can’t have one without the other 🙂
        .
        I hope you continue on this ‘nature’ road and find your voice within verse, and shout it loud for our little friends 🙂

  41. Greetings, Wendy and All, from cold, locked-down Melbourne. (Australia)
    .
    I’m happy to be remembering better times in a more “rustic” (or at least rural) environment.
    .

    “bonk” . . . “bonk ”
    at first just one or two
    banjo frogs
    .

    “bonk” . . . “bonk ”
    this muggy night filling
    with banjo frogs
    .

    “it’s hot, it’s hot”
    the all-night conversations
    of banjo frogs
    .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limnodynastes_dumerilii

    1. hi lorin,
      thanks for so gingerly, j jjjj j
      umping in the pond party
      and splashing the deck with that vivid, wild, wiki link,
      i admire so much about your work!
      -w-

    2. Thanks for the intro to these amazing little creatures from the southern hemisphere.
      Dumerilii Insularis caught my eye. See how it progresses from the end of my paintbrush.

    3. Thanks Lorin, learning about the amazing banjo frog made my day! (I enjoy playing my banjo at farmers markets)

        1. Lorin,
          This frog really does sound like a banjo string being plucked! Thanks for the article, link and the great poems.

          Mary

    1. a photo of something is not a kigo, i learned. i’m withdrawing this one for further work.

      1. That’s right, rob, you are learning fast 🙂
        Just a suggestion for this one.
        .
        summer house . . .
        lost but still warm
        my broken heart
        .
        Makes me wonder what sweet memories you have of the summer house. Maybe the ellipsis isn’t needed? A lovely way with words you have.

        1. carol, I appreciated your compliment about my words. what I didn’t appreciate was you reworking my poem after i said i was withdrawing it for further work. your suggestion was not requested by me and this was disrespectful of another member.

          1. Rob, this is something we have always done within the sessions, however, if its not to your liking, my humble apologies, to you and you only.
            .
            Different people, different manipulative rules.

        2. carol,
          this is disrespectful, insensitive behavior….when someone lets you know in advance….that they choose to work further on their own poem, and you neglect their right to do so….is robbing them of the experience they want to do it themselves.
          i need you to stop posting now and leave this renku now!…
          what you have done can be discouraging/and hurtful to a new or otherwise sensitive person(s) who are or wish to become members if they see this is permitted here.

          1. I’ll tell you the same thing I’d tell ‘anyone’ in the real word, with your attitude
            Bugger off, and grow up!

  42. the whisper
    of her voice
    in the summer breeze
    ########
    watermelons
    without seeds
    are no fun

  43. Wendy, thanks for keeping the renku party going! Successfully navigating this renku will surely inspire others to venture out as sabaki for the first time as well, myself included. My carpenter pencil is already almost out of ink! lol
    *
    housewarming
    watermelon slices
    cool us down
    *
    watermelon slices
    the day’s heat ends
    for a short while
    *
    slicing watermelon
    the nurse wakes up
    from his lunch break
    *
    the seed spitting contest’s
    watermelon trophy
    maybe next year
    *
    wild strawberries
    watching the sky
    between handfuls
    *
    windblown hair
    handfuls of
    wild strawberries
    *
    wild strawberries
    enjoying
    what is left
    *
    wild strawberries
    grandma’s backyard
    filled with them
    *
    July’s haiku workshop
    blowing raspberries
    isn’t a kigo!
    *
    SYD to LAX
    a cool breeze
    facetiming poolside

    1. hi matt! keep them coming….on a watermelon roll!

      .
      yes, let’s toast to this….we can all get a taste of the other side!
      so glad….. john…helped to open the gate!

    2. wild strawberries
      watching the sky
      between handfuls
      —M. R. Defibaugh
      .
      This is a wonderful sense of being in a moment of time, and just seeing that contrast of colour, also. Love this as I’ve done it myself.
      The simple things in life are the most rewarding. Simply beautiful.

      1. Wendy, it’s nice that John and THF are always open to new leadership and new voices. The haiku world seems to be by far the least arrogant place in modern poetry. I can’t think of a better way to learn the form than to lead. That said, I bet you’d be shocked to learn I’m not too fond of watermelon. Everyone I know loves it, but me. They do roll well though lol
        *
        Carol, thanks for joining me for some wild strawberries. Simple images trigger the best memories. Here are a few more verses, too!:
        *
        volleyball
        a cloudless sky’s
        white sphere
        *
        Vouliagmeni beach
        the discus shadow
        of a frisbee
        *
        a stupid hot day
        *rhinestone shades*
        & Pabst Blue Ribbon

          1. The verse without the ‘beach’ a wonderful image, I know this is a call for a summer verse.
            The winter sun has glare to it, on times, like no other time of the year.
            This image brought to mind a Haibun I wrote for a workshop, such a beautiful sight, but as always short lived, and one that is remembered, the morning sun rising in the east over the mountain, and all the colours that came with it.
            .
            You’re right, the simplest of images trigger the best memories, and give the most pleasure 🙂

          2. matt,
            a few ideas i want to share with you.
            .
            those left over
            watermelon seeds
            make great one time use
            carpenter pencils
            once scratched at the tip
            ready to plant
            .
            about the strangeness of being a sabaki on THF
            .
            its like the bachelor on tv
            being shown all these beautiful gifts
            and can’t tell what
            he/she loves the best ’til
            the end of a season.

  44. rains begin
    emerging streams embroider
    the mountain
    .
    first cut
    patchwork of greens
    enrich the landscape

  45. Hey Wendy thanks for taking the wheel. These are such good fun. Kanpai!!!
    *********************************
    sudden shower
    puddles form on the
    hop scotch court
    *************
    snap dragons
    record spikes in the
    COVID virus
    ***************
    summer thistle
    what might have been
    was not to be

    1. marion, this is joy! so wonderful to see you and your colourful painting about the deck.
      -w-

  46. yellow grass
    in the outskirts roundabout
    a skinny hare hops

    ***

    40 Celsius
    the hornet’s nest
    growing

    ***

    watering tomatoes
    a stag beetle crushed
    on the pavement

    thank you Wendy for this new renku

    1. 40 Celsius
      the hornet’s nest
      growing
      —marina Bellini
      .
      Just the thought of that expanding ‘hornets nest’ sends a chill down the backbone, even on such a hot day.

    1. hi kanjini
      more my pleasure……knowing you are here with your always heartfelt gifts.
      .
      here, in this shisan, we will be following in the natural order of seasons.

      http://darlingtonrichards.com/rr/docs/Shisan.htm

      follow the chart in above link…(that john so conveniently supplied)….next to last column…with the heading of su (summer)

    1. (revision to the above)

      many buckets drank here
      now home to placid frogs
      abandoned wellspring

    1. thank you robert for your kind words.
      glad to have you back here posting.
      .
      have you tried working with a carpenter pencil, yet?
      .
      if we were meeting in a classroom, together, i would have handed them out to each participant…already….probably with a good supply of blank newspaper for practice.
      .
      a certain music would be playing in the background, and a huge pot of green tea, lemon/lime slices and a large platter of homemade, pistachio halvah on the serving table.

          1. correction:
            oh thank you, for that clarification, kanjini!

            and kanjini provides her glowing
            smile….once again!

      1. hi carol
        thanks for joining in….looking forward to your great rustic offerings.
        .
        have you finished shearing sheep?

        1. Ours are done and dusted, giving neighbours a helping hand, between foraging grass for winter feed.
          .
          ‘rustic offerings’ 🙂 I like that description.

          1. carol you can have it, “rusting offerings” for the title of your solo renku collection book!
            .
            btw: shisan is a great form to go solo.

          2. carol…..i did an oooopsy, please forgive me….

            typo correction….sorry….i meant “rustic offerings”

          3. Yes, I too, have read that, but I’m a novice, and this is not for the beginner, so it says, and I’m too competitive to go it alone on things like this, and its so much more fun to be in the company of such diverse participation.
            .
            Its all about the learning with those who sing from the same hymn sheet, that’s what makes these sessions exciting, for me anyway.

          4. comments by john carley and jim wilson
            where each believe Shisan is a good renku for beginners…..

            EXCERPT FROM BARE BONES… School of Renga Jane Reichhold

            SHISAN
            by Jim Wilson

            The word “Shisan” means “Four-Three”, meaning four sections, three verses each, for a total of twelve verses for this Renga/Renku form. There are a number of 12-verse forms, but I’m only going to cover the Shisan here.

            Before going into the specifics, I’d like to recommend the Shisan to anyone first approaching Renga, particularly for those interested in writing a solo renga. It has several advantages that make it accessible to those trying out renga for the first time. First, it is short. I’ve found that one can write a Shisan in an hour, once one gets the hang of it. Second, the placement of the seasons follows the natural seasonal order. This is unusual in Renga, in fact the Shisan is the only Renga form I know of which follows the natural seasonal order. This means that you can easily follow the seasonal flow of the Shisan without having to think too much about it. Esthetically, I find the natural seasonal flow pleasing.

            Here is a paraphrase from John Carley’s presentation on the Shisan at Simply Haiku, December 2003:

            The Shisan consists of four parts, each part comprising three verses. Each part contains one of the four seasons. The renku/renga begins in the season current at the time of composition and follows the natural calendar order. . . The customary fixed topics of ‘moon’, ‘blossom’, and ‘love’ each make an appearance in the poem, though their placement is not fixed. The Shisan respects the tonal and dynamic requirement of the ‘jo-ha-kyu’ movement; that is to say, introduction, development, quick close.

            Comment: There are seven required topics in each shisan as follows:

            1. Spring
            2. Summer
            3. Fall
            4. Winter
            5. Moon
            6. Blossom
            7. Love

            At first this may seem confining as that leaves only five verses not specifeid. But one of the reasons that I think the Shisan is an excellent place for newcomers to start is that this framework provides the poet with a scaffolding and is a good way to learn how to negotiate the renga terrain.

            Here’s an example of a Shisan layout:

            First Section: Verses 1 through 3

            Verse 1: Since it is the month of April, and I’m in the U.S., the opening verse will be a Spring verse. The opening verse should be ‘haiku-like’.

            Verse 2: If Verse 1 does not have a ‘blossom’ verse, then I will need to place the blossom verse here. Any blossoming tree is agreeable (cherry, apple, plum, hawthorn, etc.)

            If I opened with a blossom verse, then Verse 2 is a free topic.

            Verse 3: Now I have to move away, take a new direction or turn, though it still needs to link to Verse 2. This moving away is what is known as “shift” and verse 3 will be the first verse to shift; it should significantly shift from Verse 1.

            Second Section: Verses 4 through 6

            One of these verses will have to be a Summer verse.

            Third Section: Verses 7 through 9

            One of these verses will have to be a Fall verse.

            Fourth Section: Verses 10 through 12

            One of these verses will have to be a winter verse.

            Verse 12: The closing verse should be uplifting.

            The moon, and the love verse can be placed anywhere that seems appropriate and follows the requriements of link and shift.

            Suggestion: When writing a Shisan, I have found it helpful to plot out the topics by writing a list consisting of the numbers of the verses and then next to them the topics. This gives me a framework to lean on. Here’s an example:

            1. Spring/Blossom
            2. Free Topic
            3. Free Topic

            4. Free Topic
            5. Summer
            6. Love Topic

            7. Free Topic
            8. Fall
            9. Moon

            10. Free Topic
            11. Winter
            12. Free Topic/Closing Verse

            This is just an outline to help guide me in the writing, if an idea comes up while I’m actually writing the Shisan that doesn’t follow the outline, I’ll discard the outline. For example, if I came up with an excellent love verse for verse 4, then I would do that and make verse 6 a free topic. But the advantage of the outline is that it gives one a place to start so one isn’t worrying about whether or not all the required topics will be covered.

            Finally, for those new to renga, remember that the traditional syllabics of renga are: 5-7-5 then 7-7, repeated through the renga. Most westerners alternate 3-line and 2-line verses with syllabics left indeterminate.

            I hope this is of some assistance.

          5. Wendy, I have read all you have placed in your post, years ago, but thanks for your effort, anyway.

  47. sweltering night—
    the drone of a mosquito
    inside the net
    .
    the sticky mess
    of melting popsicles—
    laughing children
    .
    hot and humid—
    the sudden screech of an owl
    in the rain forest
    .
    after the monsoon—
    the squelching of brown feet
    pulling a cart

    1. it’s a struggle on most blogs…condensing space.
      yes….that “dot” makes a big difference!

      thanks for re-posting these! michael.

    2. hot and humid—
      the sudden screech of an owl
      in the rainforest
      -Michael H. Lester
      .
      Love the sound and visual of this one, also your mosquito verse.

  48. I am a new member, this is my first renku–can I use any summer kigo I find on a list for the hokku?

    1. good question rob….
      kigo lists and sajiki lists are used for haiku/and renku, etc.
      renku is, as a special form, with structural rules, use both seasonal and non-seasonal verses. if you study the red link provided by john at the bottom intro. you will see the chart designated for this specific renku…”shisan”. there will be times….when certain kigo can be introduced….such as “blossom”. by referring to the chart, frequently, you will learn, when and where….what kigo can be used.

  49. I have ordered a carpenter pencil online but it won’t come for awhile–would like to post a hokku now–what do you suggest?

    1. hi rob
      glad you have come on….ready to post!
      .
      not a problem….simply tape two pencils together and you will get a width that is similar….until your carpenter pencil arrives in the mail.

      1. thanks wendy, I am good to go now. looking forward to this new experience, writing with a new and unique instrument.

  50. sweltering night—
    the drone of a mosquito
    inside the net

    the sticky mess
    of melting popsicles—
    laughing children

    hot and humid—
    the sudden screech of an owl
    in the rain forest

    after the monsoon—
    the squelching of brown feet
    pulling a cart

    1. hi michael
      .
      so happy to meet with you here!
      .
      thanks for jumping in.
      .
      there will be no limit to the amount of posts here….either verses or conversations…so no limit to the fun.

  51. Hi Wendy (and John) Thank you for stepping up to take on the sabaki role, and in a renku form which is different to the forms I’ve written in before. Looking forward to the new journey.

    All the best!

    Pauline (from a very non-summery Australia!)

    1. hi pauline
      thanks for joining in.
      and “breaking the ice”!
      .
      i am aware that you are having such a different climate out there….our last renku began in the snow…so i have changed it up to offer a new beginning….with warm dreams blowing your way.
      looking forward to your wonderful hokku and verses.
      -w-

      1. Thank you, Wendy. I’m thinking summery images as I work away today, and I’m looking forward to creating haiku using them.

        Good to have old friends joining our party, and new ones as well.

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