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The Renku Sessions: Rendezvous – Week 16

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The Renku Sessions continue on The Haiku Foundation. I am Patricia Machmiller and I am honored to be your guide for an eighteen-verse renku, in which we will compose one verse per week until completion.

Hello, Everyone,

What a week of sadness, turmoil, and danger. Many of you posted expressions recognizing the dire nature of the time. Here’s one:

marched for evers & for king
but how easily this morphs
into a terrifying thing                               Wendy C. Bialek

And Michael Henry Lee brings in the plea of Rodney King:

the question bears
repeating; can’t we all
just get along

We can only hope that out of this deeply felt expression anger and anguish, that real change will occur.

This was also the week in the midst of all the mayhem that Christo died.  He was the artist who with his wife Jeanne-Claude created monumental works of art in public places and natural spaces. Their work is a tribute to the human spirit and the aspiration that in the long run it will triumph over bureaucracy and closed-heartedness. Here is a remembrance from Lorin Ford:

imagine
Christo’s Wrapped Coast
done in parachute silk

And in the context of this week’s events, we are writing a renku. I have a very strong desire that our poem reflect this moment. This desire definitely has influenced my choices.

 

Here are the verses I selected as potential choices:

 

continues
writing a story
untitled                                                         Radhamani Sarma

 

analyzing
warhol’s
roschach

*

while tracing
a face mask pattern
on graph paper

*

the silent
spreader
i can see

*

is
tinkerbell
in the lampshade?                                       Wendy C. Bialek

 

The Unbearable
Lightness
of Being                                                         Judt Shrode

 

going for
the grand
slam

*

too soon to open
but too hard
to stay closed

*

nothing like
the sheer mesh
of silk stockings

*

grounds crew out
in neon green
vests

*

winging it
at the job
interview

*

sent flying
by a bump
in the bike path

*

catching
each other
on the fly

*

more than a few
holes
in his stories

*

connecting
through
#s

*

how he’s taken to
wearing stripes
with plaid

*

longing for
somewhere
off the grid

*

SpaceX launches
a craze
for tic-tac-toe

*

flying first class
in his very own
paper airplanes

*

catching just
the flutter
of a heart murmur                                                 Laurie Greer

 

beneath
the pallet truck wheels
night day night day …

*

brushing dust
from his
Cavalier suit

*

netting
his first
stickleback

*

a rumble
from the depths
of Lector’s mind

*

hypnotised
by the mosaic
mask of Tezcatlipoca

*

after the tide
worm holes pop
in the sun

*

his bed of nails
sandwich
is a head turner

*

from time to time
they speak
of found treasure

*

on major tom’s birthday
we toast the nurses
With a fly by                                            Robert Kingston

 

space cadets
with wide grins
winging it

*

just under
the wire his
completed thesis

*

the Cornwall coast
just right
for hang gliding

*

that balloon girl
on the West Bank wall
still flying                                                              Lorin Ford

 

the accelerated leveling
of stressed vowels
through her paisley mask

*

fifteen hundred years
of linguistic development
reduced to OMG                                      Patrick Sweeney

 

tears
for gone with the wind
at the drive-in                                              Maxianne Berger

 

presto!
origami paper
morphs

*

alas,
you don’t speak
Spanish                                                           Alison Woolpert

 

far from settled
our neighbour’s boundary
still under dispute

*

on arrival
she’s pinned down
in self isolation

*

welcome visitor
to the committal
service                                                             Carol Jones

 

just a spoon
of Midori helps
the medicine go down                                     Michael Henry Lee

 

meetings
by computer
are still painful

*
growing a hedge
to block out
the neigbours                                                   Pauline O’Carolan

 

dusting off
my fingerprints
just in case                                                       Barbara A. Taylor

 

plexiglass smudges
on your side
or mine?                                                          Liz Ann Winkler

 

our first guest
is a celebrated
sushi chef                                                        Ellen Compton

 

hearts
beat faster
at the border

*

prayer
flags chanting
in the wind

*

ode to joy
needs no
translation                                                        Dan Campbell

 

someday
we hope to hear
his knock                                                         Debbie Scheving

 

a last touch
of iridescent blush
and go                                                              Margherita Ptericcione

 

unfurling a bolt
of hand-painted silk
for a new kimono                                             Sally Biggar

 

 

And here are the final eight:

 

analyzing
warhol’s
roschach                                                        Wendy C. Bialek

This is a reference to a series of prints by Andy Warhol all of which have the symmetry of a moth and some of which resemble elaborate moth-like creatures. Nice link and image.

 

The Unbearable
Lightness
of Being                                                         Judt Shrode

I loved this book and the title all by itself is a poem. And it is so reflective of a moth. Link by scent.

 

too soon to open
but too hard
to stay closed                                                  Laurie Greer

Laurie has the linking gene—no doubt about it. I like this verse because it speaks to our time of sequestion. The link is to the screen door.

 

connecting
through
#s                                                                  Laurie Greer

I loved the quickness of this and the use of the hash tag symbol to visually connect with the screen. So clever.

 

hypnotised
by the mosaic
mask of Tezcatlipoca                                     Robert Kingston

Oh, my. How appropriate to bring in the Aztec god of discord and war. I am hypnotized 🙂 The link is the mosaics to the screen on the door.

 

that balloon girl
on the West Bank wall
still flying                                                              Lorin Ford

What a moving verse, Lorin. My heart leaped to see this image. It is so inspiring to see this little girl being lifted by balloons over the huge concrete barrier in the West Bank. And so appropriate to the current week and a reminder that injustice and oppression is an on-going menace across the world. The link is “flying” to “moth,” of course. I love this verse and I want it in the renku, but it is a spring verse. So, what to do?

 

tears
for gone with the wind
at the drive-in                                           Maxianne Berger

Another excellent verse with a very clever link of the unstated drive-in screen to the screen door screen.

 

alas,
you don’t speak
Spanish                                                           Alison Woolpert

A different link connecting to the origin of the moth’s name, luna.

 

Now it is time to choose. The way I see it, in order to make the best poem we can, I am going to have to break at least one “rule” and maybe the protocol of on-line renku. This being my first, I’m hoping I’ll be forgiven if you feel I have overstepped my prerogatives.

So, this is what I propose to do. From these verses I am going to choose both verse 15 and 16. Since verse 16 is a two-line spring verse, I am going to choose Lorin’s verse and drop the last line. I hope she will forgive me this modification. That means I have to chose a verse for 15 that links backward to the moth verse and forward to the balloon verse. And the verse that does that is Robert’s excellent “mosaic mask” verse with “mosaic” linking to “screen” and the Aztec god of war linking to the West Bank. I hope all of you are as excited about these additions to our poem as I am.

 

And here is our poem so far:

 

rendezvous —
snowshoes piled high
outside the sauna                              Sally Biggar

 

an antiphonal greeting
of one wolf to the others                  Mary Kendall

 

the jury still out
on gray
vs grey                                               Laurie Greer

 

a little half-
and-half in my tea                              M. R. Defibaugh

 

scarecrows and
moons are the best
listeners                                              Dan Campbell

 

at the autumn gates
who can hear me now                        Wendy C. Bialek

 

an opened sesame
seed packet
from India                                          Betty Shropshire

 

and as if by magic
they fall in love                                   Marion Clarke

 

like charmed quarks
their relationship
thrives on give and take                       Clysta Seney

 

a boomerang
when skillfully thrown returns             Kanjini Devi

 

the seniors’ tour group
photobombed
by an emu                                             Judt Shrode

 

“this way
to the performing seals”                      Pauline O’Carolan

 

another round of
sumer is icumen in
for the solstice moon                          Autumn Noelle Hall

 

a luna moth
revisits my screen door                         Jonathan Alderfer

 

hypnotised
by the mosaic
mask of Tezcatlipoca                            Robert Kingston

 

through haze that balloon girl
on the West Bank wall                          Lorin Ford

 

So what “rules” did I break besides altering Lorin’s verse? I let in a “wall” with a “screen door” two verses away. That’s not ideal, but it’s a quibble compared to the strength of Lorin’s verse. And I have chosen adjacent verses both of which have proper names. In this case, the broken rule resulted, in my view, in a stronger overall poem. We have been very restrained in the use of proper nouns throughout the poem, and now as we near the climax of the poem, we have used them in two adjacent verse to great and powerful effect. Another rule would be to avoid such cataclysmic subjects, such as war, this close to the end of the poem. But the wonderful thing about these two verses together is that they speak to the present moment very powerfully, but the “balloon girl” saves the poem by lifting us up and over the divisiveness and destruction and prepares us for the next verse of cherry blossoms. Their appearance at this juncture is going to be very rewarding.

We have two more verses to the end of the renku—we can see the end is close. We have come through the rapids and we are at the waterfall; we are ready to write beautiful and visionary ending verses (17 and 18).

 

So, with the above in mind, here are the instructions and considerations for our seventeenth verse. This verse is a cherry blossom verse. It should link to the sixteenth verse, but have no connection to the fifteeth verse. The requirements for this verse are:

  • a three-line poem of seventeen syllables or less.
  • In this verse the kigo is cherry blossoms or variations on cherry blossoms.  Avoid the names of countries. Avoid references birds, old people, or photography for one verse. No more mammals except humans for the rest of the poem. No more celestial objects; no more insects. No more buildings or parts of buildings.
  • a single syntactical structure flowing over three lines.

 

Please enter your verses in the comments box, below. I will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Tuesday, June 9 (California time zone). On Thursday, June 11, there will be a new posting containing my selection for the seventeenth verse, some discussion of other appreciated verses, and instructions for composing the eighteenth verse.

Again, I hope you stay safe and healthy. Do take all precautions. I hope that as a community of writers we can make this process enjoyable for everyone. Keep up the good writing. The challenge, should you care to accept it, is writing a verse that gives a feeling of peace and calm yet full of joy. Lightness is the key here—lightness in tone and style.  The more you write the better the final renku will be. I look forward to seeing your work.

As always, a thank you to John for his help in posting this.

I’d like to express my gratitude to all who have contributed; I especially appreciate the good will and kindness you show to each other and me. I do hope you like the choices this week. Thanks to those who already have a verse and still are contributing. We are glad for your voices and your company.

Patricia

 

This Post Has 325 Comments

  1. [ornamental cherry trees do not bear fruit]
    .
    a flurry
    of ornamental blossoms
    sweeps downstream
    .
    the scent
    of ornamental blossoms
    in passing
    .
    a jizo placed
    ‘neath ornamental blossoms
    in silence

  2. hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca
    .
    — Robert Kingston
    .
    through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .
    — Lorin Ford
    .
    sakura parties
    under a tree feted
    as the finest
    .
    — Marietta McGregor

    1. I know this isn’t an entry, but just for fun –

      mad march hare
      disappears
      as the blossom fall

  3. Another question please, Patricia. When Maxianne mentioned ‘synecdoche,’ I began to wonder…why I asked about using ‘petals’ to stand for blossoms, but not ‘pink’ (the pink of Yoshino Mountain climbs higher, higher)–which I think is metonymy–which seemed fine to me.
    This has made me wonder about the use of figurative language in renku. I looked back through ‘Rendezvous,’ and (please correct me if mistaken) I believe Wendy’s ‘autumn gates’ is a metaphor and Clysta’s ‘like charmed quarks’ is a simile, and Dan’s ‘scarecrows and moons’ is also a metaphor.
    So now I have thoroughly confused myself and am wondering in what way the synecdoche petals/blossoms is different from these other figures of speech.
    I apologize for this long post. Maybe you could send me to reference material? I don’t expect you to reply to all this! Thanks for your patience.
    .
    Judt

    1. Hi, Judt–good questions. I hope at this late hour (it’s after midnight here) I can offer some coherent thoughts–which I will be the first to admit are not the last word on this subject. And I offer them knowing there are different points of view on the matter.
      1) In thinking about how a word or phrase works in a verse, I think about the audience. How many people will read “blossom” as “cherry blossom”? In the haiku and renku world I think this is a convention that is widely accepted and so when it is encountered in a verse the meaning is clear to most readers. I’m not convinced that “pink” or “petal” have the same acceptance among a wide range of readers. So this is my reason for not endorsing the use of these words as substitutes for cherry blossom.
      2) I don’t believe there is a “rule” against the use of metaphor and simile, per se, in haiku or renku. Again it comes to what is effective in a verse. Often times the kigo operates in the way a metaphor works. Which is why the one caution I have about using a simile (e.g. “like charmed quarks”) in haiku or renku is don’t make the comparison to the kigo.
      3) My guiding principle is how does the word or phrase work in the verse; that is, how effective is it in creating the emotional effect in the reader that reflects the experience of the writer as opposed to how well does the verse conform to the “rules.” In constructing the renku the reader is foremost in my mind.
      4) Although I have to say, by respecting the rules of renku and using them as a guide, one learns through practice why they were established in the first place. So there is this tension between following the “rules” and creating a poem. If you follow the rules too strictly, the result is lifeless. If you ignore the rules completely your have a hodge-podge of verses with no coherence–a Tower of Babel.

      Thanks for participating, Judt, and for your questions,

      1. Thank you so much for your reply, Patricia! I do understand that there’s nuance upon nuance associated with this stuff, and it’s not cut and dried. I think I’m seeing that it’s not such a matter of rules…it is poetry, after all…but of staying true to the conventions (of another culture). What an undertaking for sabaki!
        I have even more questions now…not to argue, of course, but to explore further. My copy of Renku Reckoner has arrived!
        Thank you so much for your willingness to respond to questions!
        .
        Judt

        1. Thank you for your question, Judt. And thank you, Patricia for clarifying. My copy of Renku Reckoner arrived yesterday !

          1. This is a wonderful learning tool, Kanjini, and presented not only with great knowledge of the subject, but with a fantastic humour,
            .
            The forms of Renku are informative, and no doubt you will be asking yourself many questions as you read along, And this is the place to ask them.
            .
            The business end and learning is further on, Renku theory and practice.
            I found beginnings and endings more than helpful.
            This is a book (along with others) that can be dipped into, many times, when you aren’t quite sure about what is required.
            .
            All I can say is, you’ll be in good company within the pages 🙂

    2. Interesting questions, Judt and especially, to me, the blossoms/ petals distinction.

      True, Patricia, reading ‘blossoms’ to mean ‘cherry blossoms’ in a dedicated renku blossom verse is a convention. Thanks for pointing that out. The obvious isn’t always clear! (Not to me, anyway) 🙂
      .
      If people aren’t likely to read ‘blossoms’ in a renku to imply ‘cherry blossoms’ then ‘petals’ are a step further away from clear identification (since most flowers have petals, not only the blossoms) But if readers understand the context, there’s not a problem.
      .
      It’s also interesting that what has been called the first haiku in English, Ezra Pound’s ‘In a Station of the Metro’, manages to convey ‘blossoms’ with the word ‘petals’. (though not necessarily cherry blossoms… for no good reason I’ve tended to see plum blossoms, white.)
      .
      “petals on a wet, black bough”
      .
      It’s that ‘wet, black bough’ that provides the context for the petal to be identified as blossom petals that any moment may be washed away by rain. (There’s sufficient for the reader to know we’re not among the carnations or tulip fields)
      .
      As for ‘pink’ (the colour) climbing the mountain: it works very nicely for me here but that’s because I know the season is spring and the verse spot is the ‘blossom’ verse. In other words, what we read to be causing the view of distant ‘pink climbing . . . ‘ will rely on what context is given. Somewhere beyond the renku and our knowledge of a ‘blossom’ verse, that pink might well be dawn, a sunrise or sunset. Or a mystery.
      .

      .
      Would it be a good idea if those who’ve used “blossom” this week in their submissions were to add “cherry” to their blossom or petals?

  4. Apparently synecdoche of petals for blossoms not an option …
    ***
    pop!
    and pink blossoms
    every which way
    ***
    Also, thank you, Robert for link to video about cherry trees. Lovely and informative. Maxianne

  5. the sterile fragrance
    of virtual reality
    cherry blossoms
    ##########
    humid and hot
    in virtual cherry
    blossom shade

  6. pink and white
    petals lost
    to the sky
    ~~
    letting the kids help
    plant the new
    cherry blossom tree
    ~~
    the weeping blossom
    stretching over the
    neighbour’s fence
    ~~
    surprised by her
    cherry blossom
    tattoo

  7. .
    a riot of blossoms
    prostrates itself to
    the season of the witch
    .
    blowing in the wind
    each blossom
    lends its weight
    .
    the highest flying
    blossom returns still
    to mother earth
    .

  8. through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford
    *
    eager to see
    what emerges
    from the cherry blossom cocoon
    *
    cherry blossom erasures
    of the more
    egregious errors
    *

      1. Thank you, Robert. I lived near Yoshinoyama. It’s a wonderful phenomenon, and to me, very representative of Japanese culture.

        1. Sounds like you’re Japanese experience was a wholesome one Judt. I’ve heard of many great experiences, hence why she features so high on my “like to do list”.
          Will certainly have Yoshinoyama on my to experience list. Thank you.

  9. .
    could these blossoms
    floating away
    be the dreams of that old tree?
    .
    .
    at evening’s end
    a wistfulness as they sing
    sakura sakura
    .

  10. blossom scents
    out wind dried
    haiga
    .
    inspired by
    Dru Philippou. Gauze in the wind – Journeys 2017.

  11. I can’t help but reflect on the deep irony of all the conflict stemming from a verse about the West Bank….
    *
    through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    *
    Lorin Ford
    *
    cherry blossoms
    as ephemeral as
    two state solutions
    *
    ~Autumn

    1. Or in reverse order:
      *
      two state solutions
      as ephemeral as
      cherry blossoms
      *
      ~Autumn

    2. wonderful! autumn
      i like the first one best….but you have covered your base well…just in case.
      great link….and great statement!

  12. These verses relate to the process of traditional Japanese printmaking.
    .
    beside the river
    a ukiyo-e artist sits
    drawing blossoms
    .
    smooth blocks
    of mountain cherrywood
    await the carver’s knife
    .
    under the printer’s baren
    blossoms bloom again
    on sheets of washi

    1. These are wonderful Jonathan!
      .
      The link I placed below on Judt’s nice piece, has a bit within that talks of the process of making glaze from cherry ash. Also within is a brief tour of a collection of dated blossom wall hangings and other memorabilia.

    2. jonathan,
      thank you for sharing these creative verses that depict the art of wood block printing.
      .
      did you also intend these for offerings to link to our current verse?

      just my two cents…..or many sen
      .
      my fav. is your last one!

      i like, too, the first one….
      it could read smoother….with the plural form….(though i usually like to focus on just one thing)

      beside the river
      ukiyo-e artists sit
      drawing blossoms

      what do you think, jonathan?

      1. Yes, plural artists results in a smoother read, but hard to picture multiple artists working at the same place, at least for me. I offer them just as they occurred to me and the renku brought to mind using a cherry blossom theme. Japanese carvers of woodblocks have long favored the tight grain and smooth carving qualities of slow-growing mountain cherry tree wood. Even though there is no blossom mention in that verse, I liked the cherry link and wanted it there because the three verses can also be read as a sequence of how a print is created. I agree, the last verse is the strongest.

  13. through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    *
    Lorin Ford
    *
    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    1. Superb, Carmen! One of your best ever, imo. The verse enacts the lightness. The lightness is that of of being in the moment, in a succession of moments. Also, it takes me to Milan Kundera’s famous novel set in the Prague Spring, which certainly links this verse to the West Bank wall, as does even “lightness” itself, re Banky’s girl being lifted by the lightness of the balloons. Very nicely layered. (and there’s not been a ‘literature’ topic verse in this renku to date. Nor ‘philosophy’. This verse could fit either or both, imo.)
      .

  14. news of sakura
    daily spreading
    northwards
    .
    cherry blossoms
    blown along the road
    to the north
    .
    cherry blossoms
    lifting
    our spirits
    .
    breathing in
    sakura scent
    breathing out
    .

  15. So strange to be looking at the last of the autumn leaves in my garden, and writing about cherry blossom!

    Verse 5:

    lying on pink grass
    and watching the drift
    of cherry blossoms

    Verse 6:

    trying to remember
    the time
    of cherry blossoms

    Verse 7:

    children
    rolling
    in cherry blossom

    Verse 8:

    mother lolls under the cherry tree
    in a whirlwind
    of blossom

  16. .
    are these drifting petals
    the dreams of that
    old tree back there
    .
    .
    Patricia, a couple of questions:
    1) as I understand it, any use of the word ‘blossom’ in haiku is taken to mean ‘cherry blossom.’ Is that correct? If so, would that also apply to ‘petals’?
    2) I see complete declarative sentences used in renku with no caps or punctuation. But would that go for questions too, or are they just not done? I can’t recall seeing any.

    Thanks!
    Judt
    .

    1. Judt, re your query 2, one example I’m familiar with. I hope it helps :
      .
      a line of ants
      in the courgette flower—
      early morning heat (hokku, Sandra Simpson)
      .
      perhaps you’d care
      to share my parasol? (wakiku, John E. Carley)
      .

      (from “Early Morning Heat” (2013)
      .

    2. Hi, Judt-
      1) just the word “blossom(s)” in haiku or renku is understood to mean cherry blossoms. I don’t think this convention applies to petals. The Japanese word is “hana” meaning flower or blossom.

      2) questions are a happy change of pace in a renku and they can be written with a question mark, but sometimes the fact that it’s a question might be clear without the question mark. So it becomes the writer’s or the sabaki’s choice. Clarity is the guiding principle here.

  17. dreaming
    fuzzy dreams on a pillow
    of cherry blossoms
    *

    *
    tear gas forcing
    the weeping cherry
    to bloom
    *

  18. .
    a crone
    and a maiden
    beneath cherry blossoms
    .
    cherry blossoms
    by the old
    fountain
    .
    childhood
    and cherry blossoms
    forever young
    .
    precious
    memories of
    cherry blossoms
    .

    1. a crone
      and a maiden
      beneath cherry blossoms
      — Kanjini
      .
      Very nice. almost as if winter is just about to make way for spring.

  19. so, robert brings up interesting notions?

    *
    are there instances of use of double kigo in (published) renku?
    *

    and does it matter if it is in done in the hokku or the verse?
    *
    and how do we weigh in on it?

    PATRICIA can you chime in on this?
    JOHN can you chime in on this?

    1. Hi, Wendy–Regarding your question of double kigo in a verse: sometimes there can be a double kigo if they are in the same season and if there is a harmonious relationship between the two. Two kigo in different seasons are confusing. Two kigo in the same season work only if one plays a supporting role to the more dominant kigo. If they are both of equal weight, the two fight for attention and the verse becomes divided and cannot cohere.

      1. patricia….i agree with everything you have said….thank you for your time and effort here.

        in my specific offered verse:
        *
        hinamatsuri
        and peach blossoms
        burst with joy
        *
        in the light, that “peach blossoms” are displayed along side the dolls on display at the doll festival, in order to clear out the demons of impurity….makes me believe that this enhances the verse…..
        PATRICIA….do you agree?

        https://www.nippon.com/en/features/jg00031/hinamatsuri-japan%E2%80%99s-doll-festival.html

        1. Surely using a double kigo early on in a renku would cause problems later.
          Would thu not Patricia?

          1. Sorry Patricia, just seen my typo.
            Would a double kigo create problems later in a renku , if included earlier?
            Especially a short renku I suggest?
            Best
            Robert

  20. after i posted an earlier verse….
    Lorin comments:
    f(rom an earlier post by LORIN FORD:)
    .
    “Wendy, this is a good verse but it’s a true case of “double kigo”: the doll festival and the peach blossoms. You could lose “hinamatsuri” and rework L1, if you wanted to.”
    .

    here is some information and examples….on the topic of double kigo use:
    .

    John Stevenson. In 2014, published his “candy wrapper poem” that has more than one autumn kigo.
    *
    Chen-ou Liu…firefly ‘ku has more than one summer ‘ku

    Editor’s First Choice, “Insect / Bug” Haiku Thread, Sketchbook, 6:4, July/August, 2011

    Chen-ou Liu

    *
    Excerpt:

    The use of one kigo in traditional Japanese Haiku is a guideline not a formal requirement. Below is a relevant excerpt from Bill Higginson’s Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac (“Introduction,” pp. 33-5):

    *
    Basho, Buson and Issa used double kigo…haiku…..sometimes in different season, or stages of a season.

    1. correction:
      Chen-ou Liu…firefly ‘ku has more than one summer ‘kigo

      Editor’s First Choice, “Insect / Bug” Haiku Thread, Sketchbook, 6:4, July/August, 2011

      Chen-ou Liu

    2. Hi Wendy
      I think many of us now that examples of double kigo exist in haiku.
      Being a newbie to renku I would be interested in hearing if double kigo is acceptable in renku verses. After all the only haiku is the hokku.
      .
      Just a point about this ongoing she said I said, you made a comment in verse form below about how someone is taking the fun out of this renku.
      I think some of us are more guilty than others of doing this over the last two verses.
      Taking a step back , I think it would benefit those that have yet to have a verse selected If we got on with creating inspirational versus as opposed to keep conversing for one up man ship.
      Lorin made a point earlier about she would no longer comment on your verses, if you would kindly not comment on hers.
      .
      I think we have created some great verses between us all. It would be a shame if this renku is remembered for something other than the completed poem itself.
      .
      Best
      Rob

      1. i write renku and do scholarly discussion of kigo.

        a good doctor
        has steady hands to operate
        on shot victim and shooter

      2. Hi Robert
        .
        You have written an excellent comment.
        Words of help, and a hand of friendship was offered and declined, by a person who, no doubt, has a great passion to lean, and given time and much study will be a very good poet, we learn from those who know better than ourselves.
        There may have been a few blots along the way with this renku, and I agree with your last paragraph, Robert. I too have made comment on this elsewhere.
        It’s been a learning curve, and an interesting one, from a personal perspective.
        .
        Apart from all the wonderful array of entered verses, one thing that has shone out is your delightful subtle humour 🙂

  21. through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    *
    Lorin Ford
    *
    this year the prize
    goes to the oldest
    Cherry Blossom tree

  22. through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    *
    Lorin Ford
    *
    every pull of oars
    the cherry petals
    land on my hair

  23. on the way home
    we contemplate
    cherry blossom
    .
    on the road home
    we contemplate
    cherry blossom

  24. through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall – Lorin Ford
    .
    the usual tipplers
    stirring cherry petals
    into their kirsch
    .

  25. calendars say
    it’s cherry blossom time but
    climate change alters that

    ~

    are too many cherry brandies
    a cherry blossom kigo?
    Guess not:(

    ~

    even in this pandemic
    brilliant pinks glow
    and we still can smile

    ~

    blustery winds
    creating pinkness all the way
    to the end of the street

    ~

    withdrawing cash
    a pink petal falls
    on fifty dollars

    ~~~end offers

    1. “are too many cherry brandies
      a cherry blossom kigo?
      Guess not:( : ”
      .
      🙂 Ah, Barbara, but some of us might fancy a cherry brandy or two under the cherry trees. Potential for a verse there, I’d say. (cherry brandy was my favourite sneak tipple when I was 14 … in the pub my dad ran)
      .
      Good to see you posting!

  26. through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall – Lorin Ford
    .
    breathing in
    breathing out
    sakura scent
    .
    held up
    to a blossoming branch
    baby’s nose wrinkles
    .
    could that traveller
    between the blossoms be
    Bashō passing by?
    .
    dogs and dog walkers
    fade into evening’s
    cherry blossom peace
    .

    (I know…no dogs or other mammals apart from humans, 🙂 but these are side notes, not actual submissions. )
    .

    .

      1. Of course not! I enjoyed it, and it featured the tree I had in mind…Jindaizakura in Yamanashi Prefecture. It’s around 2,000 years old, and like some of the other really old ones is propped up on ‘crutches.’
        I spent nine years in Japan, and this brought nice memories. Thanks!

        1. Pleased you got something from it Judt.
          I’ve yet to journey to Japan, it is on my to do list.
          I have though enjoyed many hours viewing Japan through the NHK channel and taken away some great techniques and ideas .
          Sadly haiku masters is a think of the past. It was another great vehicle to learn from and participate with.

      2. Thank you for sharing this, Robert. I learned a lot. Was moved by the man preserving the “real” trees.

        1. Pleased you too found the time Debbie. If you get a chance, some of the haiku masters video are still on line. All have an interring guest that show different aspects of Japan.

  27. through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .
    Lorin Ford
    .
    I went looking
    but could find no bones
    in cherry blossom
    .
    when an olive branch
    falls in your hand do you think
    cherry blossom too
    .
    in a world of change
    change happens
    cherry blossom
    .
    my priest once said
    if you can’t see the cherry blossom
    move
    .
    it’s not enough
    to just say
    cherry blossom

  28. cherry blossom tea
    stain fading on a
    Starbucks napkin
    ########
    cherry blossoms
    erased by
    morning fog

  29. Please note. There has been another change in Lorin Ford’s verse. It now reads:
    .
    through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall

  30. lost in the timeless
    moment
    of a cherry blossom bubble
    *
    all wrapped up
    in a cherry blossom
    cocoon
    *
    at once raveling
    and unraveling
    a cherry blossom cocoon
    *

    1. Laurie, would you mind defining cocoon here for me? I researched and what I found was kimonos with cherry blossoms painted on them, and the more practical discussion of caterpillars. These verses intrigue me. Thanks. Debbie

  31. through the haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    *
    living the dream
    of a perfect
    cherry blossom bubble
    *

  32. through the haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    *
    my own private waggle dance
    where no one
    can see me
    *

    1. Laurie, this reminded me of stories I’m hearing of how some are keeping entertained during the pandemic.

      1. I was just trying to link with the haze by keeping the blossoms hidden but evoking them with an image that can only spell out flowers. Not sure if it works, but interesting to try.

        mentioning the blossoms but evoking them

        1. Ah. Thanks for the explanation. My funny imagination had taken me to dancing balloons, then other’s self isolation.

  33. pink blossoms rise up
    on the wind
    we breathe so carelessly

    no cherry blossoms
    within thousands of miles
    of us

    in your reckless heart
    blossoms fall
    without a passing glance

    pink petals drying out
    in the heat
    of a desert day

    1. Jonathan, this read as a rather melancholy sequence to me. From wind, to dried petals in the desert. I found “in your reckless heart…” especially moving.

    2. The first is my favourite of these, Jonathon. Excellent linking (of course) but it’s that last word, ‘carelessly’, that carries the caution we must all feel in these “interesting times” . Done with an admirable light touch.

      1. Thanks Debbie and Lorin. I guess I am a bit lost in melancholia, but writing helps. 10,000 Maniacs and Natalie Merchant have a song (“Noah’s Dove”) that repeats the phrase “in your restless mind” that was a starting point for that verse. To your point Lorin, I was thinking about the word “careless” and the interesting way it can be interpreted in two, almost opposite ways: as risky and thoughtless or as without a care in a happy-go-lucky, carefree sense.

      1. Clysta, they are both lovely. Were you inspired by the song? “The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind…”

        1. Thanks for asking Debbie. Yes, the song was written when I was in high school and has often reverberated in my lifetime and now once again. when will we ever learn….the West Bank, D.C., Charlottesville, the list goes on. I have learned so much in the last few months. I never realized we could use song lyrics and book titles in renku.

  34. day dreams
    of cotton candy
    and cherry blossoms
    *****
    a dark sky
    goes unnoticed
    when the cherry blossoms
    *****
    viewing is cancelled
    but the cherry blossoms
    keep blooming
    .
    University of Washington
    March 2020
    *****

    1. I like all of these Debbie.
      The top one I was in the process of creating myself.

      Best
      Rob

    2. love that second one, with the unexpected (at least by me) switch of “blossoms” from noun to verb. Caught me off guard–just like the flowers do!

  35. through the haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .
    Lorin Ford
    .
    on the cherry blossom path
    the walk to work
    is always longer
    .
    at the blossom festival
    they hand out head dresses
    to everyone

    1. in Japan
      they take care of the Sakura
      by using props
      .
      the school boy
      regrets kicking blossom
      all the way
      .
      one wonders if
      Christopher Wren designed St. Paul’s
      with cherries in mind
      .

  36. Thank you Debbie.
    I changed from sheep to lambs thinking it would have additional layers. 🙂

  37. I am glad there’s finally been a compromise over the West Bank verse…
    *
    everyone tells
    the cherry blossoms
    they’re beautiful
    *
    lost in sakura blossoms
    as my opponent
    considers his move
    *
    the cherry blossoms
    are on both sides
    of the river
    *
    she imagines a daughter
    named Sakura
    also with pink ribbons
    *
    the cherry trees
    litter the water’s edge
    with pink ribbons
    *
    the cherry blossoms
    tell her
    the gender
    *
    And for humor instead of the renku:
    *
    well-preserved:
    my canned sardines
    still swimming!

    1. M.R. I thought “lost in sakura blossoms…” lovely. My first thought was they were near the tree, then I considered that his mind was dreaming of another place.

    2. ah, your “lost in sakura (or cherry) blossoms”…. and chess in the park.
      A very nice move, imo. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Debbie! The idea was that they were playing chess or go (a much milder form of conflict) under/near cherry trees, but that’s a neat way of looking at it—”lost” referring to the distraction perhaps costing him the game, or the knowing they already lost.
        *
        Lorin, glad you liked it too! Hope you enjoyed that last verse too; that one was for you lol Good to see you were able to tweak your verse to your liking!

        1. Yes, M.R…. I did get a smile out of your ‘canned sardines’ verse. 🙂
          .
          (now, Campbell’s soup had their Andy Warhol labels about a decade ago. I wonder who we might feature on sardine cans?)
          .

          1. Judt, it wouldn’t be the first time discussions went off-topic here lol…I think my haiku should start showing up on sardine cans any day now! They might be waiting for the appropriate season, though.

    1. Wendy, this is a good verse but it’s a true case of “double kigo”: the doll festival and the peach blossoms. You could lose “hinamatsuri” and rework L1, if you wanted to.

      1. yep, i could, lorin…..i did the “double kigo sin”….knowingly, and deliberately…
        this one will stays as-is….and i will go to double-kigo hell for it, if i must.
        i will, however, write others…..
        BTW:
        I thought i heard, the sabaki in charge here say…..that she, Patricia….wasn’t keen on workshopping verses. so i stopped!
        Only if someone requests help.

        1. So, my comment and suggestion amounts to an example of workshopping in your view, then? No offense intended, Wendy. I won’t comment further on anything of yours in future, then, and would appreciate it if you’d return the favour.
          .

          1. It’s a nasty senryu. It’s not funny. It’s not clever and, like other of your posts have been, it’s rude beyond belief.
            .

          2. you may comment on anything you like, lorin…..i welcome your input……but do keep in mind, i don’t always agree with them….as often i find your intentions don’t always appear to me to becoming from an unbiased place, or too narrow a range of understanding. they can be stifling, to me….producing a bad atmosphere for me to create in.
            i do very much admire the friendly, fun times we had when i first met with you in John’s tawny renku…..but shortly when my verse was selected…the magic disappeared…you weren’t too friendly…. your input when it is done fairly, i appreciate…..but when it is wielded as a weapon….i loose respect for you. you have tried in every way you can to deny me any kudos…when my verses are selected into renku…with your constant adherence to “rules”.
            i find you to be a bad sport in this game….and somehow….your nose is bent out of shape….by my participation….truly underneath all this tantrum i know we really appreciate each other deeply….and could enhance a group instead of creating division??????? where is that joyful, fun-loving lady i first met? i miss her and want her back.

        2. i find this to be a very funny senryu/verse and done in like manner to the roasting that went on in ancient times often placed in kyoka form…..with that in mind….i do offer it into this renku for Patricia’s consideration:

          sakura sunrise
          the backseat sabaki
          is a buzzkill

          *
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw-NDIoCDsA

          1. Wendy, I think you need to read back!
            Lorin questioned the sabaki on her reasoning on your verse, and before that, on someone else’s verse. It was not directed at you personally!
            The verse in her mind (more experienced than you and I and some others) needed clarification under the guidance rules.
            Had her mind been put at rest, you would have had your precious creative space that you have been a major force in clogging.
            ..
            Your rudeness astounds.

          2. I agree with your comment. Robert.
            .
            I cannot imagine for one moment this would be considered in the kyu section, or any other section, but each to his/her own.
            .
            Look up the word Karumi, you may want to investigate its concept.

  38. rising in hope
    the release of blossom petals
    by an olive branch

    *

    reaching
    for the sky
    blossom cool

  39. cherry blossoms
    riding the back
    of a bull
    ######
    cherry blossoms
    line cobblestoned
    memory lane
    #######
    falling blossoms
    resemble butterflies
    when you’re near-sighted
    ########
    falling
    is better
    than wilting
    ########
    in Hell cherry
    blossoms and flamingos
    are plastic

    1. Dan, I’ve enjoyed how you tell a story, and often make us laugh. This is an example of why it would be hard to see the contributions limited. Some here get more creative as the week goes along.

      1. cherry blossoms
        riding the back
        of a bull
        —Dan
        .
        Wow! what an image, a great juxtaposition, what an exit this would make, Yahooooo!
        Even though it can be read as a gentle pastoral scene, more fitting for this section.
        Nice work. Slip it in your pocket for another day.

  40. 1)cherry all through
    my flight from ground
    shine and glow

    ******
    foot on each petal
    through march of surprise
    bonanza
    ****
    moments
    of whispering in cherry
    bunch of love
    ***

  41. through the haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    *
    Lorin Ford
    *
    a blur
    of emotions
    as the cherry blossoms fly by
    *
    everyone looks familiar
    in the scrim
    of blossoms
    *
    no strangers
    in the scrim
    of blossoms
    *

  42. through the haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    *
    Lorin Ford
    *
    the blur of blossoms
    illuminates
    the message
    *
    the message parses
    differently with a blur
    of blossoms
    *

  43. through the haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    *
    Lorin Ford
    *
    afterglow cherries
    lighting up
    the block ahead
    *
    yoshino and kwanzan
    calling
    to the others
    *

    nothing left
    but the afterglow
    cherries
    *

        1. We started of on a cold snowy day, and hopefully your verse will bring us to a lovely day in spring with blossom being transported on the clear water. Beautiful image.

  44. on the festival end
    the petals
    of an old sakura
    *
    this moment
    already runs away
    like cherry petals
    *
    our meeting night
    is already flying away
    in a scent of plum
    *
    flights on flowers
    herald in the sunset
    the party’s end

    1. Margherita, these are similarly themed and make a nice read. I went back to “on the festival end…”

  45. *
    sweeping up
    cherry blossom petals
    the whirl of her tricycle tires
    .
    or
    .
    the whirl of her tricycle tires
    sweeping up
    cherry blossom petals

  46. still flying
    ryuujo & blossom petals
    in her cheek

    *

    and if “cheek” reverts back to robert’s “mask”
    *
    still flying
    ryuujo & blossom petals
    in her braids

    1. Much promise (and the haikai sort of ‘mystery’) in this flawlessly simple verse. My sincere respect, Ellen.

        1. Hi Ellen,
          I think this a poignant verse. At these times we need a little hope. This to me paints a picture of Abraham arriving in the promise land.
          Nicely done!

  47. Please note that there has been a change in Lorin Ford’s verse. I now reads:
    .
    through the haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall

    1. Thank you for making the change and also for leaving a message here in the thread, John.
      .
      This doesn’t affect anyone’s linking possibilities, but as I mentioned further down, If the definite article in L1 could be deleted some time before the this renku goes to the archive, I’d appreciate it.
      .
      through haze that balloon girl
      on the West Bank wall
      .

    1. I like this one, a lot Carol. It moves this important part of this renku along, in my view, and that seems a perfect fit for what’s needed at this stage of the kyū part. The drifter is moving on, just passing through as drifters do… a “happy wanderer” striding along . . .and what an image that backpack is, with blossom springs poking out from it .

        1. Thankyou, Lorin, for your encouraging comment, it really makes me feel, at last, I may be getting somewhere with verse linking.
          .
          ‘happy wanderer’ most definitely, and a happier one, knowing you like it.

  48. .
    “Hi, Lorin–I accept your rewrite. Thank you for finding a way to make this work for everyone. ” – Patricia
    .
    Thank you, Patricia. I’m really glad we could agree on a resolution.
    .
    I can see now that the small tweak of deleting the definite article in L1 might make it a bit less wordy & awkward:
    .
    from
    .
    through the haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .
    to
    .
    through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .
    would be my preference. What do you think?

    1. through the haze that balloon girl
      on the West Bank wall
      .
      Lorin Ford
      .
      revision
      .
      in his insomnia
      he swaps lambs
      for cherry blossom

      1. a soft glow
        of cherry blossom
        on geishas face
        .
        a gush
        of cherry blossom
        on the wind
        .
        in old London
        they cover the scars
        with blossom
        .

      1. In Dylan’s own words “I never said what I said”
        .
        razor light
        the fresh shorn sheep
        go commando

      1. Hi Debbie, I hope you see my response above. I don’t know why it went where it did. It’s not the first time.

  49. through the haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .
    Lorin Ford
    *
    *
    walking lightly
    over hatsu hana
    mother earth is pregnant

  50. PATRICIA ??????
    i am concerned…..is everything all right health wise with you and your family? i haven’t heard heard from you for a long while…..
    JOHN ????? is everything thing al lright with patricia?

    1. Hi, Wendy and all–I am okay. I have just been very busy. I apologize that I wasn’t available to weigh in earlier.

      At Lorin’s request her verse is being changed to her wording.

      Robert’s verse stands, as is.

      Looking forward to seeing everyone’s cherry blossom verses.

  51. Lorin, you are clearly one of the more knowledgeable voices here, so I enjoy your input and writing ability, but maybe a balloon painting and canned sardines aren’t great comparisons? If balloons are Spring, isn’t a work of art with balloons Spring, also? Possibly opening a can of sardines even brings me back to that kigo season, momentarily, but I understand the argument either way. I see modifying what we have better than going backward. I believe no matter the form, some creative flexibility should exist, as I’m sure we’ve broken many traditional rules at some point.
    *
    This would eliminate the wall, hypnosis, and art concerns, maybe, or something along these lines?
    *
    a balloon girl free from
    that West Bank wall

    1. Dear M. F. and Everyone,
      I’m truly sorry about this delay. I had no intention of holding things up. I have no idea why there has been no acknowledgement or response from Patricia.
      .
      Patricia was correct when she observed (below) that I’m “aware of the practice of tweaking verses in renku”. I’ve experienced such tweaking as a communal practice. However, to me, “tweaking” verses doesn’t mean changing a 3-line non-seasonal verse to a 2-line “spring” verse ( & in the process making it into a mere fragment, not imo a verse at all) and whacking it into a verse position it was never intended to occupy, and (this is the most important part) all this without the slightest consultation.
      .
      I was shocked, but I tried to comply and fix it…unsuccessfully.
      .
      Because I’m concerned about the hold-up, I have, this morning, tried again to find some way to tweak Patricia’s tweak into a verse I’d be willing to put my name to but without success except for this one possibility:
      .
      hypnotised
      by the mosaic
      mask of Tezcatlipoca – Robert Kingston
      .
      through the haze that balloon girl
      on the West Bank wall
      .

      (haze (kasumi, all spring) )

      .

      If that version is acceptable and you want it, Patricia, I’m happy for it to be included. If it’s not, then I want to be clear that this version: “that balloon girl/on the West Bank wall” has been withdrawn.
      .
      At least this latest version has the required spring kigo/ seasonal reference.

      (And no, M.F. “balloon”, if it’s an image of a balloon, isn’t a kigo/ seasonal reference, I’d argue. Van Gogh’s painting of sunflowers isn’t a seasonal reference although sunflowers are. Fallen fig leaves would be an autumn seasonal reference but a plaster or marble fig leaf placed discreetly across the genitals of Michelangelo’s David would not be . Some might claim that having both “haze” and “balloon” in the one verse breaks some rule regarding ‘double kigo’, but to my mind only the haze counts as kigo in context of Banky’s artwork on the West Bank wall. That’s the way I see it, anyway. I realize that view might not be universally acceptable.
      .

      1. Hi, Lorin–I accept your rewrite. Thank you for finding a way to make this work for everyone.

      2. So pleased you managed a compromise Ladies. It is though sad that some earlier contentions weren’t able to be sorted more amicably, it may have taken some of the tension out of the renku.
        Still, here we are looking forward to your next selection Patricia.
        Good luck everyone!

  52. and if lorin’s stays:

    hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca
    .
    Robert Kingston

    *
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .
    Lorin Ford
    *
    still flying
    ryuujo & blossom petals
    in her cheek

  53. if robert’s verse be the one we link to:

    hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca
    .
    Robert Kingston

    *
    the stream of bubbles
    that she wands back

        1. gut shabbos, marty,

          i like very much how you also ended your verse with:
          .
          rivulet that ends
          at the curb
          .

          ( unfortunately, it reminds me of the terrifying, recent buffalo, ny incident)

  54. Hi Everyone

    As Lorin has withdrawn her verse I think we need to hold off on posting more verses until we receive advice from Patricia as to how we move forward. No point linking to a non-existent verse!

    Pauline

    1. I agree Pauline. I have given Patricia the freedom to withdraw mine too, based on her commentary.
      ..
      Rob

    2. I agree. We have until Tuesday midnight. I’m willing to give this some time to get resolved. I can’t speak for our leader, but I’m hoping after grieving the breakdown here, she is able to consult with John or others to gain support to move on. I personally am grieving some of the words and tone that have been used here, as well as the loss of what appeared to me to be strong, creative verses. It is gracious of you Robert to offer to drop your verse. But, if we were a voting community, I would vote to leave your verse in and move on from there. Anxious to see what Patricia decides. I appreciate what she and THF have offered to the community here, as well as the participants who have kept their tone positive.

      1. I second Debbie’s suggestion to keep Robert’s verse and move on but look forward to Patricia’s guidance on this.

  55. Please see my notice of withdrawal, below (among the discussion). I’m withdrawing all versions of my
    .
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    still flying
    .
    from consideration, including Patricia’s
    .
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .
    and including my own attempts at making a suitable 2-liner out of it. The current verse is a spring verse which should linking to Robert’s “all seasons/ no particular season”
    .
    My best wishes to All.

    1. So sad to read this, but understandable, after reading the conversation between yourself and the sabaki.

    2. Dear Lorin
      I was hoping you could have worked out a way through. I think your verse is an important part of Patricia’s reasoning and a great addition to the poem.
      .
      Grabbing at straws here, but my inner demon says to question.
      .
      Is not the mere mention of the balloon reason enough to give it its standing?
      Are we being too forensic by attaching it to its surrounds?
      .
      I understand that perhaps a conversation should have taken place, but I’m thinking it would have been difficult given how the renku is run. Ie, we have no interaction once the end date/ time closes.
      .
      This effectively backs up my idea of more minimal posting, thus giving more time for workshopping verses that work best. Yes it would mean more sabaki interaction but is this not how it works when sat in a room.
      Yes we’d have to work in a time lapse, I’m sure it could work if all parties were in agreement.
      .
      Just thinking aloud.
      .
      Please give it some thought.
      .
      Best
      Robert

        1. Totally agree, Kanjini.
          Hopefully we haven’t lost one of our most experienced and prolific poet (for the moment) due to this discrepancy. We can only learn by her input.
          .
          Robert, I have no desire to fall out with you, but I do not think we are being over forensic with this, it was Lorin’s intent for a non seasonal verse, and a good one it is, and no doubt I am over stepping the mark, but her verse has had a hatchet taken to it, and I agree with her decision to withdraw.
          .
          For what it is worth I sincerely hope your verse will not be removed as I can’t see any reason why it should be, just like the mask, it is a gem 🙂

        2. Dear Kanjini,
          We’ll have to wait to see what others think and whether THF consider it worthy to consider.
          .
          Dear Carol,
          why you even think I would fall out with you over a verse is beyond me. 🙂
          What I raised was a question to those of more experience. I respect Lorin’s decision and the reasoning behind it.
          Fortunately I am just an observer in this.
          I think too much has been said on the matter already. In my view it would be best to let Patricia resolve the situation .
          I’m not sure going through the rapids was intended to mean it literally.
          .
          Best
          Rob

          1. L.O.L with your last comment, Rob,
            I agree we are all observers, and there is a lot to observe ( and to read into)
            .
            I’ve never participated in a renku quite like this, I’m learning (fast)
            as you never know what’s going to back at you, hence my cautionary approach 🙂
            .
            I’m really looking forward to the next renku session, as this is a place that takes me to a stress – free world, and sadly it hasn’t this time, non-the-less, hopefully there’ll be another rainbow session on the horizon 🙂
            .
            Thanks for your reply, Robert.

  56. Congratulations to Rob and Lorin and appreciation to Patricia for deepening the renku.

    hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca Robert Kingston
    .
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford
    .
    the pink tip of the limb
    of a young cherry tree—
    first petals award
    .
    the pinked limb
    of an old cherry tree—
    blossoms at each zig and zag
    .

  57. hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca Robert Kingston
    *
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford

    *
    murals
    blossoming all over
    the world
    *
    tps://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2020/jun/05/george-floyd-murals-worldwide-street-artists

    1. laurie , i really love your linking verse here! how it shows the beauty of life growing out from pain, and compassion and how you used “blossoming” in another way, grammatically….and i’m sure you also know that this at the same time it doesn’t represent the “blossom” requirement….but you wanted to post this wonderful verse to share your creative vision….thank you.
      .
      the link below is not “hot”….because it is missing the first letter(s).
      but i can copy and paste it and the url will complete itself in the window….thank you for sharing this positivity

  58. Thanks everyone for the kind words.
    .
    Dear Patricia
    Having read through the comments I see their is some controversy.
    Should you wish to review your choice concerning mine, I will understand.
    If I can just mention that my connection to the moth verse, was the moth itself.
    The beady eyes and many colour forms came into my mind when watching a programme on the British museum, when the mask appeared as part of the commentary.
    .
    For anyone interested here is the link.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000hqq9/museums-in-quarantine-series-1-4-british-museum
    .
    Kind regards
    Rob
    Ps.
    Sorry I’ve not been about these last two days. This is due to work commitments.

      1. You’re welcome Carol. There is an amazing series of museums in lock down to explore. Enjoy!!!

    1. thanks for the link, rob…..i tried it….and it is only open to uk residents….it says.
      but i will look for others….online.

      1. You’re welcome Wendy.
        Not sure if you can get BBC iPlayer internationally.
        Under the arts section is the lock down museums and galleries.
        Good luck!

    2. Hi, Robert–I am happy with your excellent verse. Please know it fits the renku perfectly where it is.

  59. my suggestion for a solution to lorin’s verse….
    what do you think…lorin??????????

    hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca
    .
    Robert Kingston

    *
    r e l e a s e that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall

    Lorin Ford

    *
    sweeping up
    blossom petals
    the whirl of tricycle tires
    .
    or
    .
    the whirl of tricycle tires
    sweeping up
    blossom petals

    1. Are you questioning the sabaki’s decision, Wendy?
      .
      And this is a painting. How can you release a painting on a wall?

      1. this is an ongoing discussion, carol. and since it is being done, in a respectful manner, and i have been invited to discuss it by lorin….the author of verse…. i am replying to a request by lorin…for a solution…..to make the transition from robert’s verse to lorin’s verse……as i see it….it has not been finalized as
        to how to make it flow properly.

        .
        as to your second question, carol……one would possibly need to let their imaginations create this magic…..it works for me and i don’t have any problem with it.

        1. another point, carol, in my following the discussion between patricia and lorin, i understand that patricia asked lorin to see it as a real girl and real balloon(s)….and lorin agreed that it could been looked at it that way.

          .
          also. i don’t have any problems asking questions of any sabaki…..i have done it before……it was for clarification.

          .
          my only issue, is that these questions are done respectfully, directly. and not ganging-up….in mob-like fashion….and that they are done in the faith of pursuit of learning , truth, and clarification, [ not to distract, or knock one down to make themselves’ look better or to put a feather in ones own hat]

          .

          1. With regard to your second paragraph, Wendy, I so glad you’ve seen the error of your ways.

        2. If this is how you see it and it works for you, that’s all that matters.
          I’m sure Lorin will be more than delighted to engage in conversation, on this matter,
          with you help solve this issue, look forward to reading the end result.
          .
          Your disrespectfully

  60. hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca Robert Kingston
    *
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford

    *
    almost a new city
    under the sway
    of the blossoming cherries
    *
    arguing over which
    cherries
    bloomed here first
    *
    not every cherry
    survives
    its replanting
    *
    cherry blossoms
    only pretend
    to have no roots
    *

  61. the sunrise
    well filtered
    by the booming cherries
    *
    reading the mysteries
    of the orient
    in the blossoming cherries
    *
    half the city
    preoccupied
    by the cherries
    *

  62. What a surprise this morning to see two great verses chosen at once! It was a week full of wonderful links. Congratulations to Robert and Lorin!

    Verse 1:

    weeping cherries line the river
    and their petals
    float on the tide

    Verse 2:

    pink and white petals
    floating
    onto her golden hair

    Verse 3:

    cherry blossoms
    randomly sprinkled
    on the silk kimono

    Verse 4:

    the oldest cherry tree
    in the world
    still blossoms and grows fruit

  63. Congrats Robert and Lorin. Lorin I really dig your verse ;bansky is the bomb in my book !!!!
    ****************************************************************************

    a life well lived
    spent in search of
    the perfect sakura
    ****************
    overcome
    as Yamatka Jindaizakura
    comes into view
    ******************
    sakura in bloom
    ring either side
    of the midway
    ************
    cherry blossoms
    pressed with a brick
    wrapped in velvet

    1. Michael, I especially like…”wrapped in velvet”. It is a unique use of the theme, and preserving the blossoms seems fitting as we approach the end of this renku.

  64. A question for our sabaki –
    I know the blossom verse is traditional, but can spring flower be used?

  65. I love the way the renku has meandered in the way conversations do, and has come from the silliness of the emu to the moth that seemed to say, ‘Ok, boys and girls, let’s settle down.’ And now to a beautiful gravitas.
    Congratulations, Lorin and Robert!

  66. Chernobyl’s
    cherry blossoms, how they
    glow at night
    ########
    biking through
    a snowfall
    of cherry blossoms
    ########
    unlike leaves,
    cherry blossoms
    fall with graces

    1. Love your second one, Dan
      .
      children cycle
      through swirls
      of blossom petals
      .
      you really are an inspiration 🙂

  67. Congratulations Robert, Lorin and Patricia. Such creativity.
    *
    hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca

    Robert Kingston
    *
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall

    Lorin Ford
    *

    blossom viewing
    fractured skies
    alone

  68. Well, imagine my surprise!!! 🙂
    .
    Firstly, my hearty congratulations and kudos to you, Robert. 🙂
    .
    That luna moth, with it’s eye-spots, put me in mind of a mask. too, so for me, this verse of yours shows an excellent link to Jonathon’s verse. I don’t know by what name this kind of linking is known (‘transference of visual features’, perhaps?) but I think it’s primary: we humans do see faces in things (I think now of Martin Lucas’s haiku re “faces in the trees”) and, it seems, so do birds and other predators of moths and butterflies. I also appreciated this verse of yours for its introduction, via this mosaic mask, of a new topic to this renku, that of Religious Art ( subset of visual arts).
    .
    Patricia, I’m happy to have something included in the final renku and although your strategy involving this verse of mine comes as a surprise in context a publicly composed renku, I assure you that I have participated in the switching and changing and tweaking of verses before, under JEC’s guidance, so I’m not completely shocked. 🙂
    .
    “So what “rules” did I break besides altering Lorin’s verse? I let in a “wall” with a “screen door” two verses away.”- Patricia
    .
    You broke no rules at all, to my mind. Your instructions were “No more buildings or parts of buildings. ” The West Bank wall is not part of a building but a barrier or fence that Palestinian’s have called “the apartheid wall”…a wall something like the current USA president aspired to with his “big, beautiful wall.” If there was a rule applying to separation of any kind of human construction whatsoever by such-and-such number of verses there might be cause for concern. (I don’t have access to any of these charts of separation, so I have no way of knowing)
    .
    re:
    “I love this verse and I want it in the renku, but it is a spring verse. So, what to do?” – Patricia
    .
    I’m really pleased to know you liked my original, Patricia, but I don’t think it qualified as a spring verse at all. Yes, “balloon” is on the list as a spring kigo, but as we discussed earlier in this renku, although “sardines” are on the list as an autumn kigo, canned sardines don’t qualify as a kigo. Balloons drawn on paper or painted on a wall don’t qualify as kigo any more than canned sardines do and I believe art work needs to be recognised as “all year/ all seasons”, as a year-round topic rather than as kigo.

    1. ps

      Patricia, and anyone else who might have some insight :
      .
      I’d be interested to know how this 2-line verse (my submitted verse minus its 3rd line) links to Robert’s verse:
      .
      hypnotised
      by the mosaic
      mask of Tezcatlipoca
      .
      Robert Kingston
      *
      that balloon girl
      on the West Bank wall
      .
      Lorin Ford
      *

      Yes, both verses could be placed under the general topic, ‘art’, but is that sufficient as a link?
      .
      I can also see how my (shortened) verse runs on from Robert’s (perhaps like the 2nd part of a tan renga?) so that it reads as if the balloon girl is the subject who is “hypnotised by the mosaic mask. . .” but is that desirable? More to the point, does joining up two consecutive verses so that the result is a sentence necessarily link them, as “link” is intended in renku?
      .

      1. the link is discord: the mask is one of the Aztec God of discord and war. And the West Bank is well-known for discord, is it not?

        1. Thanks for these comments, Patricia. Truly appreciated. Yes, I can see the two verses linking through the idea of discord, now that you mention it.

    2. I agree with you that objects included in artwork, such as a balloon, do not act as kigo. But, Lorin, your “balloon girl” (lower case) can be read on the surface as a real girl selling real balloons ( a spring kigo) from a wall in the West Bank. The Banksy image is alluded to. Wonderfully.

      1. Yes, I can see a fictional balloon girl selling from a wall, but not on a wall, and this specific piece by Banksy is well-known to be located on this particular wall. It made quite a splash and is not forgotten.
        .

    3. Lorin–I am immensely relieved to know that you are aware of the practice of tweaking verses in renku and are okay with it. I know that it is something many western writers are not used to and can be very offended by it. Thank you for your gracious acceptance of my change to your verse.

      1. Yes, I’m aware and ok with it (because of JEC) but I’m not used to it happening without consultation and discussion, and I’ve not seen or been involved with the reduction of a verse to a fragment before.
        .
        What I’m not keen on here is (a) the (I assume inadvertent) absurdity & distraction caused by syntactical run-on from Robert’s verse: that the balloon girl is hypnotized by the mosaic mask.
        .
        hypnotised
        by the mosaic
        mask of Tezcatlipoca
        .
        that balloon girl
        on the West Bank wall
        .
        Here, the balloon girl is the subject of a (I’m pretty sure, unintended) complete sentence. Also, although of course I understand the difficulty of honing a 3-liner into a 2-liner I’m also not keen (b) on the “pointing finger” fragment that remains in my verse after L3 is removed. (that girl who…, that boy who… what? ) It reads as if something had been unintentionally left out, so attention returns to the maeku, and unfortunately what we have with the two combined is that complete sentence. How to fix things?
        .
        Are you open to small tweaks, Patricia? Some possibilities for you to consider might be (a) first person context, (b) the celebratory context, (c) the cinematic cut and (d ) continuation:
        .
        hypnotised
        by the mosaic
        mask of Tezcatlipoca
        .
        (a)
        I dream of that balloon girl
        on the West Bank wall
        .
        or
        .
        a dream of that balloon girl
        on the West Bank wall
        .
        (b)
        three cheers for that balloon girl
        on the West Bank wall
        .
        (c)
        cut to that balloon girl
        on the West Bank wall
        .
        (d)
        that balloon girl still rising
        on the West Bank wall
        .
        I’d feel much more comfortable about having my name next to one of those in the THF ‘completed renku’ files. https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/the-haiku-foundation-renku-archive/
        .
        What do you think, Patricia? (There may be other possibilities, other suggestions, from you and/or from others that could also work. ) Please let me know. Anxiety is an issue with me at present (and probably with many others around the world, too.)

        1. this is my two cents……what do you think, lorin?

          .
          r e l e a s e that balloon girl
          on the West Bank wall
          .

        2. that balloon girl still rising
          on the West Bank wall
          .
          I really like this one, Lorin. I thought it was Banksy’s heart ballon girl you were referring to at first, but when I checked it out, I realised that it is the silhouetted child being carried upwards by her bunch of balloons…

        3. Thanks, Wendy, Marion and Kanjini for your suggestions and preferences.
          .
          I’ve now had a whole overnight to consider the problem and Patricia has had a whole day to consider my yesterday’s 2-line suggestions. It’s nearly 8am in Melbourne. . . a frosty winter morning.
          .
          I don’t think any of my tweaks work well though I agree with Marion and Kanjina that (d) is the one I’d be most happy to sign my name against out of the lot. But better, I think, that I withdraw.. . hopefully, with some grace.
          .
          Wendy, I do think I see where your coming from. But how can anyone “release” an image in graffiti art? To me, “release that girl” confuses the issue: Banksy’s image image or a real person?
          .
          I don’t think anything I can do (or anyone else can do) would transform the 3 line verse I submitted as a possibility to link to Jonathans maeku to a 2 line verse that links to Robert’s maeku (our current maeku) .
          .
          that balloon girl
          on the West Bank wall
          still flying
          .
          Though Patricia liked this verse, she considered it to be a spring verse:
          .
          “I love this verse and I want it in the renku, but it is a spring verse. So, what to do? ” – P
          .
          In my view it is not a spring verse but an “all seasons/ no season” verse as I intended it to be. Street art is art and, unless someone paints over it, it may be viewed the whole year around. Banksy is perhaps the world’s most interesting and famous street artist of this century.
          ..
          The issue has become clearer since I recalled Patrica mentioning JEC’s Renku Reckoner” in her very first post:
          .
          “A few people have asked which format we’ll be using; it will be the demikasen as documented by John Carley.” – https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/2020/02/20/the-renku-sessions-invitation/
          .
          Having now checked JEC’s schema (p58), I find that verses 14 & 15 are meant to be “no season/all seasons” (in this renku, Jonathan’s verse and Robert’s verse) but verse 16 is supposed to be a spring verse, the verse in preparation for the blossom verse. (So make sure your offers are ‘early spring’ or ‘all spring’)
          .
          Much as Patricia needs a spring verse that a blossom verse can link to for verse #16, there is no way that my verse on the subject of Banksy’s famous balloon girl on the wall in Jerusalem can be modified to become a 2-line verse featuring a ‘real’ girl in the springtime …. without murdering it or making it unacceptably (to me) vague. It could only be seen as a spring verse if we took “balloons” as a kigo and the catch is that paintings, photos, representations etc. of balloons don’t count as kigo. (Patricia, Wendy and I had this discussion weeks ago in regard to canned sardines.)
          .
          Pleased as I am that Patricia liked the verse in its original, 3 line form, I don’t want to sign my name against Patricia’s adaptation to 2 line form and I don’t think any of my attempts work well following Robert’s verse either. I’m happiest to know that it was recognised on Patricia’s list, even though wrongly considered to be a spring verse.
          .

          One clarification:
          “in my following the discussion between patricia and lorin, i understand that patricia asked lorin to see it as a real girl and real balloon(s)” – Wendy
          .
          yes.
          “….and lorin agreed that it could been looked at it that way.”
          .
          Not exactly, Wendy. This is what I actually wrote:
          .
          “Yes, I can see a fictional balloon girl selling from a wall, but not on a wall, and this specific piece by Banksy is well-known to be located on this particular wall. It made quite a splash and is not forgotten.”
          .
          So my polite acknowledgment includes the point of where we differ and does not add up to an agreement. I understand why Patricia would like it to work, but I can’t see that it does work.
          .
          Anyway, time is passing and everyone needs to get on with this renku.
          .
          I’m withdrawing all tweaks to and versions of my:
          .
          that balloon girl
          on the West Bank wall
          still flying
          .
          including all 2-line efforts at adaptation, from consideration for this renku.
          I feel this is best. I’d not be happy to have any of those 2-line adaptations in the THF archive of completed renku.
          .
          Everyone can now be clear that the verse they are following is Robert’s maeku and Jonathan’s verse is the uchikoshi. The verse needs to be a spring verse, opening the way to verse #17, the blossom verse
          .
          My best wishes to everyone.
          .
          – Lorin

  69. Congratulations Robert and Lorin!

    in the cherry orchard
    a tiger crouches
    beneath fallen blossoms

    cherry blossoms
    lifted on the wind
    we breathe so carelessly

    fallen blossoms
    flood the riverbank
    with protest

  70. hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca Robert Kingston
    *
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford

    *
    blossoms
    adding i’jam
    to the hurried graffiti
    *

  71. What an interesting surprise this week! Thank you, Patricia, for finding creative solutions to add strength and timeliness to the renku before the cherry blossom verse. Congratulations to Robert and Lorin both!

  72. Deep bow to Patricia. Rounds of applause for Robert and Lorin’s wonderful links. Wow, I love how the renku has moved!


    hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca Robert Kingston


    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford

    do you hear
    the koto heralding
    the sakura?

    ••

    hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca Robert Kingston


    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford

    she whispers
    “the sakura is a sign
    of good to come”

  73. Truly humbled Patricia! Thank you! the selection and reasoning process is as always very helpful. I was particularly taken by your inclusion of both mine and Lorin’s verses.
    And wow! The diversity from all my fellow contributors, you really must have been entertained and spoilt for choice for the new direction. I certainly had fun trying to guess where we would go next.
    So many amazing voices still to choose from. Bring on the blossom verses.
    Have fun everyone!

  74. hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca
    .
    Robert Kingston

    *

    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .
    Lorin Ford

    *
    walking lightly
    on hatsu hana
    mother earth is pregnant

  75. hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca Robert Kingston
    *
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford

    *
    sipping away
    at a cherry blossom
    float
    *

  76. never ceasing to surprise me with her innovated wisdom and artistry; our sabaki, patricia! constructing this renku by employing the assets from two poems….and instinctively knowing where they shine the most!!!!!! kudos, kudos, kudos….patricia….bringing it to another level of learning.
    .
    thank you, to robert for bringing in that flash of art for our 15th verse:
    .
    hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca
    .
    Robert Kingston

    and thank you to lorin for offering 2 memorable lines of your three-liner to our 16th (spring) verse:
    .
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .
    Lorin Ford

    1. “and thank you to lorin for offering 2 memorable lines of your three-liner to our 16th (spring) verse:”
      .

      I didn’t offer, Wendy. It’s been a complete surprise to find that 2-liner here this morning. And as far as I’m concerned, the balloon girl painted on the wall is no more a spring seasonal reference (or kigo) than your canned sardines were an autumn kigo.
      .
      but thanks for your kind words.

      1. oh, lorin. how i knew there was going to be a problem here…..which is why i only posted one poem!

  77. hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca Robert Kingston
    *
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford

    *
    creating a necklace
    from cherry blossoms
    on a string
    *

  78. Congratulations Robert and Lorin and thank you Patricia for another educational and enjoyable week.

    ###########-
    at some stage
    a cherry bud aches
    to blossom

  79. WOW – fantastic choices, Patricia! And congrats to both Robert and Lorin, very nicely done! Thank you poets, for many inspiring verses 🙏🏾

  80. hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca
    Robert Kingston
    *
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    Lorin Ford
    *
    a lawn chair
    fluffing the tops
    of pink trees
    *
    pop!
    and pink petals
    every which way

  81. hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca Robert Kingston
    *
    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford

    *
    more than cherry blossoms
    blowin’
    in this wind
    *

  82. hypnotised
    by the mosaic
    mask of Tezcatlipoca Robert Kingston

    that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall Lorin Ford

    *
    jumping
    as the cherry blossoms burst
    from all sides
    *

  83. Congratulation to Lorin and Robert, well done to you both.
    A great blend of north meets south, so to speak 🙂

  84. Wow! As always, learning amazing new things about this form.
    Both verses are wonderful–congratulations to Robert and Lorin! And many many thanks, Patricia, for the comments and selections and for picking out so many of my offerings. And thanks to the other contributors for putting up with my obsessive posting.

  85. congrats to both Robert and Lorin !!
    ***
    Patricia, I’ve participated in renku where the sabaki takes a verse that will be good later .. it was referred to as a “pocket” verse .. you’ve simply made “later” the next verse .. seems normal and appropriate and well chosen ☺
    ***
    thank you, too, for pausing at one of my suggestions .. and for all the comments you provide for so many proposed links .. these help us learn .. and now to think about hanami .. hmmmm …

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