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The Renku Sessions: Pilgrims' Stride 12

renkuchainWelcome to The Renku Sessions. Renku is a participatory literary game, following a set of rules that are implemented by the leader of the session. If you would like to learn more about renku go here. And if you would like to see a sample of a complete renku go here.

I’m John Stevenson, and I will serve as your guide for this session, a thirty-six verse (kasen) renku. I have supplied the opening verse (hokku) and each week I will select an additional verse from among those submitted prior to the Tuesday deadline.

Twenty-five poets combined for one hundred nine verse twelve offers. Once again, there are verses I would love to have used but feel I have to pass up. First on the list is Patrick Sweeney’s now the acedia of the strip mall / bombards my reticular formation. This plays wonderfully with the woodland silence of verse eleven but I think that cancer and medical treatment in the leap-over (verse ten) precludes a verse that refers so strongly to neurology at this juncture.

Another good choice would have been Terri French’s a loud sneeze / from the sidewalk mime. And perhaps I’ve been punctilious here but I’m concerned that a sneeze may suggest illness and, if so, would preclude Terri’s verse for the same reason as Patrick’s, i.e. too close a relation to the leap-over.

Other verses that got a long second look included:lost glove (Dru Philippou), a ghost of fire and smoke (Vasile Moldovan), getting back on (Stella Pierides), distraught parents scream (batsword), and more offers than I have space to list from poets already included in our renku.

Our twelfth verse comes from Marion Clarke. Among other attractions, I look upon this as a good setup for the summer / moon verse that is to follow. While the verse clearly relates to the story of Pinocchio, it can be taken more broadly since that character is not specified.

Here is the verse you must link to:

he makes a wish
to become real

    –Marion Clarke

The next verse, the thirteenth, is the summer / moon verse. If you remember (or care to look back to) my instructions for the autumn / moon verse (number five), they indicate that any mention of the moon is presumed to be an autumn moon unless otherwise specified. So, verse thirteen will need both the moon and a summer season word or image. While it is permitted to simply say “summer moon,” let’s not do it that way. Here are the formal requirements for verse thirteen:

  • Summer and Moon images
  • Written in three lines, without a cut
  • Linking with the twelfth verse, and only the twelfth verse
  • Shifting widely to a new topic and setting

Add your suggested three-line link below, in the Comments box. You have until midnight EST, Tuesday, May 27, 2014. You may submit as many verses as you like, but please use a new comment box for each one. I will announce my selection for the next link on Thursday, May 29 here on the blog, and provide information and instructions for submitting the next link.

What We’ll Be Looking For — Throughout the Session

    There are many schematic outlines for a kasen renku. We will be using one set out by Professor Fukuda in his book Introduction to World-linking Renku. It will not be necessary for you to have a copy of this book since instructions will be offered before each verse is solicited.

    It is a good idea for those participating in the composition of a renku to make use of the same list of season words. There are a number of these lists available and I intend no judgment of their relative value. For purposes of this session I am suggesting the use of The Five Hundred Essential Japanese Season Words.

    Pilgrims’ Stride to Date

      comparing maps
      to the mountain pass–
      pilgrims’ stride

        –John Stevenson

      a sun-warmed stone bridge
      over snowmelt

        –Billie Wilson

      dampened soil
      of seed trays
      in the glasshouse

        –Margaret Beverland

      grandmother’s silverware
      polished every monday

        –Polona Oblak

      a sonata
      on the concert Steinway
      played to the moon

        –Lorin Ford

      dragonflies hover
      by the swaying reeds

        –Karen Cesar

      slight hum
      of a drone
      in fog

        –Alice Frampton

      the atmosphere
      thick with teenage pheromones

        –Norman Darlington

      I stumble
      trying to reply
      “I plight thee my troth.”

        –Paul MacNeil

      thinking of a red wig
      during chemo

        –Asni Amin

      the woodland
      of silent stories
      and shadow

        –Alan Summers

      he makes a wish
      to become real

        –Marion Clarke

      This Post Has 118 Comments

      1. Thanks everyone. We resume tomorrow morning at 9:00 (eastern US time).

      2. oops prior typo

        attracted by moonlight
        the moth flutters
        by the bedroom mirror

      3. the woodland
        of silent stories
        and shadow
        –Alan Summers

        he makes a wish
        to become real
        –Marion Clarke

        under the moon
        a spiral of bones
        on flattened grass

      4. he makes a wish
        to become real
        –Marion Clarke

        the short night moon
        hangs with the cool boys
        near the CokeTM machine

        – Lorin Ford

      5. he makes a wish
        to become real
        –Marion Clarke

        the short night moon
        seems even cooler
        near the CokeTM machine

        – Lorin Ford

      6. moonstruck
        in our birthday suits
        we wade in

        moonstruck
        in our birthday suits
        we dive in

        moonstruck
        in our birthday suits
        we brave the leeches

      7. he makes a wish
        to become real

        poppies borne on
        wand-like stems
        bathed in moon glow

      8. he makes a wish
        to become real
        –Marion Clarke

        one recalls
        the dream of an octopus
        under the summer moon

        ( guess who 😉 )

        – Lorin Ford

        – LorinFord

      9. he makes a wish
        to become real
        –Marion Clarke

        one recalls
        the dream of an octopus
        beneath the summer moon

        🙂

        – Lorin Ford

      10. he makes a wish
        to become real
        –Marion Clarke

        an old debate
        between philosophers
        this short night moon

        – Lorin Ford

      11. he makes a wish
        to become real

        poppies borne on
        wand-like stems
        bathed in moonshine

      12. he makes a wish
        to become real

        poppies borne on
        wand-like stems
        bob in moonlight

        Difficult to decide whether to leave definitive articles in. Perhaps John can enlighten?

      13. he makes a wish
        to become real

        poppies borne on
        wand-like stems
        bobbing in the moonlight

      14. Only for fun version two:

        he makes a wish
        to become real

        –Marion Clarke

        just as
        the dispute moon
        wanes gibbous

        –Alan Summers

        August Moon name:
        Dispute Moon (Celtic)
        Dispute Moon (Full Janic)

      15. Only for fun:

        he makes a wish
        to become real

        –Marion Clarke

        just as
        the dispute moon
        waxes gibbous

        –Alan Summers

        August Moon name:
        Dispute Moon (Celtic)
        Dispute Moon (Full Janic)

      16. Oops, my last one should read:

        skinny dipping
        in the moonlit pond
        despite the leeches

      17. he makes a wish
        to become real

        –Marion Clarke

        invoking the moon
        to cast a spell
        at summer solstice

      18. he makes a wish
        to become real

        -Marion Clarke

        Zildjian Moon
        the boys call themselves
        Sredni Vashtar

        -Patrick Sweeney

      19. there’s no mistaking
        that sweat from your arm pit
        even in the moonlight

      20. forgot this is a summer moon verse …

        he makes a wish
        to become real

        –Marion Clarke

        the empty track
        of the Daytona 500
        in moonlight

      21. he makes a wish
        to become real

        –Marion Clarke

        a shot
        at immortality
        at the Daytona 500

      22. under the summer moon
        the early apples already starts
        slowly to ripen
        Vasile Moldovan

      23. he makes a wish
        to become real

        the many
        childhood memories
        with the mango moon

        changed *of* to *with* in L3 🙂

      24. he makes a wish
        to become real

        a gentle glow
        of the moon on
        each hanging mango

      25. he makes a wish
        to become real

        the many
        childhood memories
        of the mango moon

      26. he makes a wish
        to become real

        neighbours gather
        to watch Armstrong
        walk on the moon

        obviously just for fun – no traditional season words and not even summer for those in the southern hemisphere

      27. feeling it
        at moonrise
        poison ivy

        How to avoid: illness, sun, red, insects, pronouns, fictional characters… :/

      28. he makes a wish
        to become real
        Marion Clarke

        Summer moon rising
        a big earthquake jars
        the Aegean Sea
        Vasile Moldovan

      29. Slight revision: Can’t use high/mountain

        on her birthday
        his very last beer
        at moon shine

      30. he makes a wish
        to become real
        –Marion Clarke

        on her wet gown
        on the Trevi fountain
        the moon’s coolness

        Lorin Ford

      31. he makes a wish
        to become real
        –Marion Clarke

        the moon’s coolness
        on the Trevi fountain
        on her wet gown

        Lorin Ford

      32. he makes a wish
        to become real

        –Marion Clarke

        by moonlight
        a drop of sweat
        upon his brow

      33. he makes a wish
        to become real

        –Marion Clarke

        skinny dipping
        in the reflection
        of the moon

      34. he makes a wish
        to become real

        –Marion Clarke

        after the fireworks
        the crowd leave
        just a moonbeam

      35. Slight revision:

        hopefully all the snakes
        have slithered down their holes
        now that it’s moonrise

      36. he makes a wish
        to become real

        datura blossom
        gathers the moonlight
        and a falling star

      37. he makes a wish
        to become real

        datura blossom
        collecting the moon
        and a falling star

      38. he makes a wish
        to become real

        the garden
        planted with moonlight
        with Datura blossoms

      39. he makes a wish
        to become real

        moonlight reflects
        a hawkmoth embedded
        in a datura blossom

      40. he makes a wish
        to become real

        moonlight reflects
        drunken honeybees struggling
        in a datura blossom

      41. he makes a wish
        to become real

        under a full moon
        the datura’s fragrance
        lingers

      42. he makes a wish
        to become real

        under the moonlight
        the datura’s magic
        fragrance lingers

      43. he makes a wish
        to become real

        under the moonlight
        he inhales the datura’s
        magic fragrance

      44. #12
        he makes a wish
to become real
        1. –Marion Clarke

        #13 submission

        even the man
        in the moon
        perspiring

        – Paul MacNeil

      45. Aalix,

        Two things come to mind in reply to your question. First, any decision of this kind must be made by the editors of the publication(s) to which you apply or by the sponsor(s) of any contest(s).

        Perhaps more importantly – these should not be considered haiku.

        Haiku is a descendent of the hokku. Other verses within the renku should not be “stand alone” poems. The poetry for other verses should consist of their interplay with the preceding and succeeding verses.

        That said, unused material created in a renku session can often serve as the basis for future haiku or senryu. Generally, some revision will be required in order to render it effective in these formats. Substantial revision could make it eligible for submission to journals and contests. Always a judgment call.

        PS I just Googled my name and the first line of my hokku. It brought me to this site. For The Heron’s Nest, this would render the verse ineligible for submission and (re)publication. (Of course, the fact that I am a The Heron’s Nest editor also renders it ineligible!)

      46. John,
        What would be the status of haiku presented here, but not chosen? Would they be considered by a journal or a contest to be previously published? (sorry, I had asked this after the last session was finished if it looks familiar!)

      47. he makes a wish
        to become real

        –Marion Clarke

        wild horses
        unbroken, beneath
        the watermelon moon

      Comments are closed.

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