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The Renku Sessions: Rendezvous – Week 17

renku_300

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. Those rapids certainly had a few surprises for us, didn’t they? I hope you all survived and have had time to dry out and are none the worse for wear. I am delighted that we have succeeded to get this far.

This week was a week of turmoil across the globe starting here in the United States. I think it has made us all anxious and feeling full of trepidation. There are positive signs that the protesters have focused on the important issues and discouraged the looters. And that the local governments are paying attention. We can only hope . . .

And on that note of hope, let us turn to choosing the blossom verse—that ultimate sign of hope. To that end I will tell you that my desire at this point in our renku is to have a positive, hopeful verse. Some of you wrote verses that had some sadness in them, reflective of the times. If we were writing a 36-verse renku where there would be two blossom verses, I would have considered them for this verse. But since we are coming to the end of our renku, I want to end with a sense of tranquility and good will. So, with that in mind, here are the verses that caught my eye:

 

biking through
a snowfall
of cherry blossoms                             Dan Campbell

 

do you hear
the koto heralding
the sakura?

 

*

 

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

 

cherry blossoms
lifted on the wind
we breathe so carelessly                       Jonathan Alderfer

 

blossoms
adding i’jam
to the hurried graffiti

 

*

 

more than cherry blossoms
blowin’
in this wind

 

*

 

murals
blossoming all over
the world

 

*

 

almost a new city
under the sway
of the blossoming cherries

 

*

 

everyone looks familiar
in the scrim
of blossoms

 

*

 

the blur of blossoms
illuminates
the message                                           Laurie Greer

 

walking lightly
over hatsu hana
mother earth is pregnant

 

*

 

protected
on one side
the fragile blossoming tree

 

*

 

reaching
for the sky
blossom cool

 

*

 

the swaying blossoms
reflect
in a thousand eyes                                        Wendy C. Bialek

 

overcome
as Yamatka Jindaizakura
comes into view                                           Michael Henry Lee

 

blowing in the wind
each sakura blossom
tends the answer

 

*

 

the highest flying
blossom returns still
to mother earth                                              Clysta Seney

 

viewing is cancelled
but the cherry blossoms
keep blooming                                               Debbie Scheving

 

everyone tells
the cherry blossoms
they’re beautiful

*

the cherry blossoms
are on both sides
of the river

*

the cherry blossoms
tell her
the gender                                                       M. R. Defibaugh

 

falling blossom
carried upstream
by a passing barge                                            Andrew Shimeild

 

a promise hiding
in the depth
of the blossom                                                 Ellen Compton

 

lightness
of a blossom cupped
in both hands

 

*

 

reluctant to leave
our guests linger
in blossom shade                                              Carol Jones

 

the scent of the weeping plum
has broken
the six-foot rule                                                Patrick Sweeney

 

cherry blossoms
as ephemeral as
two state solutions                                               Autumn Noelle Hall

 

the lightness
of being
a cherry blossom                                                  Carmen Sterba

 

cherry blossoms
lifting
our spirits

 

*

 

could that traveller
between the blossoms be
Bashō passing by?                                                   Lorin Ford

 

mother lolls under the cherry tree
in a whirlwind
of blossom                                          Pauline O’Caroline

 

could these blossoms
floating away
be the dreams of that old tree?

*

at evening’s end
a wistfulness as they sing
sakura sakura                                                            Judt Shrode

 

There are a few verses here that I liked very much which invoked or referenced music, but since we had the singing of a round a few verses back, I had to rule them out. So my final choices came to these five:

 

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

 

I like the idea of whispering here. It gives a feeling of reverence that I would like to have in our renku at this point. The link is “sign” to the painting on the wall in the previous verse.

 

blossoms
adding i’jam
to the hurried graffiti                         Laurie Greer

 

How happy I was to learn the word “i’jam”—little markers in written Arabic to distinguish consonants. One can image the blossom petals adding a light touch to the graffiti. The link is the Arabic word to the West Bank.

 

the swaying blossoms
reflect
in a thousand eyes                              Wendy C. Bialek

 

The phrase “a thousand eyes” makes me think of the poem “The Night has a Thousand Eyes.” It’s a beautiful poem, but the mood is a little bit melancholy. Swaying links to the swaying balloons.

 

overcome
as Yamatka Jindaizakura
comes into view                                  Michael Henry Lee

 

A lovely verse, Michael, but we have had two verses in a row with proper nouns. Dare we have a third? Or would that be overmuch. The link, I think, is “overcome” which is the spirit of the balloon girl in the previous verse.

 

the lightness
of being
a cherry blossom                                  Carmen Sterba

 

The phrase, “the lightness of being,” comes from the title of Milan Kundera’s novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being about living in an oppressed society. Kundera writes so well of the psychological stress and pain caused by a circumscribed life. Its darkness is in the end relieved by the decision of the couple to escape.  Judt brought the book title to the renku in the last round and now Carmen adapts it just in time for the blossom verse! And what could be a greater symbol of lightness than the cherry blossom. The link is “lightness” to the balloons.

 

could these blossoms
floating away
be the dreams of that old tree?             Judt Shrode

 

Lovely verse. The link is “floating” to the balloons.

 

I think that the clear choice for our blossom verse is:

 

the lightness
of being
a cherry blossom                                  Carmen Sterba

 

Thanks to Carmen and Judt for this beautiful creation for our penultimate verse.

 

Here is our renku 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

 

the lightness
of being
a cherry blossom                                   Carmen Sterba

 

 

We have one more verse. We are ready for the ending, verse 18.

 

Here are the instructions and considerations for our eighteenth verse. This verse is a spring verse. It should link to the seventeenth verse, but have no connection to the sixteenth verse. The requirements for this verse are:

  • a two-line poem of seventeen syllables or less.
  • In this verse the kigo is spring.  Avoid the names of countries. 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 or structures of any kind. No art, no religious symbols, no plants, trees, or vegetation. Vegetables and fruit are ok.
  • a single syntactical structure flowing over two lines.

 

Please enter your verses in the comments box, below. I will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Tuesday, June 16 (California time zone). On Thursday, June 18, there will be a new posting containing my selection for the eighteenth verse and some discussion of other appreciated verses.

It will be our final meeting. I’m sure when you started this journey, you did not expect to have such a rough ride. I do hope that in the end, you will feel like the poem and your part in it was worth it.

Please 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 an uplifting feeling of peace and calm and joy. Lightness is the key again—a lightness of spirit.  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. I do hope you like this week’s choice. 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 203 Comments

  1. Chapeau to all – a most enjoyable renku!
    .
    .
    the sailor under the sailor
    stuck in the mud
    .
    not quite green, cold feet and hot tea
    cap the night
    .
    stovepipes with buckles
    are most challenging to consume
    .
    suddenly headless
    the sombrero with sashaying subject
    .
    panamas precede partners
    down the mountain path
    .
    .

  2. how odd, thought the cherry,
    that people don’t blossom
    .
    the ivy
    grew and grew
    .
    a hair from her brush
    now part of a bird’s nest
    .
    unpack your adjectives
    blossom dearie

  3. ,

    each one a reflection
    in a drift of soap bubbles
    .

    each face a reflection
    in a drift of soap bubbles

  4. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    *

    to the snow-capped mountains
    serene in the distance
    .

  5. just lying there listening
    to the dawn chorus
    ~~
    making our own noises
    as we hear the dawn chorus

  6. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom                           Carmen Sterba
    .
    high tide lures
    beachcombers and birders
    .
    the scent of lemon
    livens lingering daylight
    .
    migrating geese
    were the only honks heard
    .

  7. nibbling candyfloss together
    at the spring fair
    ~~
    our burgeoning romance sealed
    by nightingale song
    ~~
    doing nothing on this bright day
    but watch the clouds drift
    ~~
    floating wine corks
    in the pool
    ~~
    sunshine and drizzle
    working together

  8. through haze that balloon girl
    on the West Bank wall
    .Lorin Ford
    .
    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    Carmen S.
    .
    in pairs they roll out
    in the warm rain
    .
    left breathless the child
    copying the spring gust
    .

  9. I just realized that birds are not mammals .. so
    **
    morning air fills
    with the chitter of nestlings

  10. Verse 3:

    under the water
    tiny tadpoles begin transition

    Verse 4:

    finding treasure amongst seaweed
    at low tide

    Verse 5:

    but my heart is riding
    on the wings of a skylark

    Verse 6:

    just born baby birds
    open their eyes to joy

  11. I’m not putting this on you, Patricia! But I am in dire need of a refresher course in syntactic units. I feel confident that I can write in a grammatically correct manner, but I don’t know the names of the structures anymore. I suppose they have become internalized. (Yes, I begin sentences with conjunctions, but an old gal has got to kick up her heels sometimes.)
    I think the main breakdown is sentences/clauses/phrases. But within these it gets all muddy.
    If anyone knows of a good guide on this (besides repeating grade school) I’d really appreciate being referred to it.

    1. The absolutely best book on this subject is
      .
      The Artful Sentence: Syntax as Style by Virginia Tufte
      .
      This book is a joy to read.

        1. judt….the least expesive i found was on ebay….like new…..10.00 us dollars from a michagan seller.

  12. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    — Carmen Sterba

    a new leaf
    after the blossom falls

    we arrived on the flood
    of a spring tide

    six degrees of separation
    become five

  13. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom                           Carmen Sterba
    .
    just so
    an open group grows
    .

  14. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    goldfish bubble up
    from hibernation
    *
    the shimmer of fantails as goldfish
    shake off their torpor
    *

  15. if wishes were fishes
    then we’d all take a ride
    *********************

    somewhere among the leaves
    lies an artichoke’s heart

  16. our well-earned rest
    as wisteria unfolds

    *

    yoghurt on sweet potato
    dribbles from her chin

    *

    holding hands together
    all tipsy on white sake

    *

    after the latest thaw
    relationships much improved

    *

    warmed brandy tastes
    delicious in this lingering cold

    *

    at the end of the tunnel
    there are mountains still to climb

  17. Many, many thanks to Patricia, not only for including my [two state solutions] verse in the comments, but for guiding us all safely through what has turned out to be a Class V whitewater excursion! So glad I wore a life vest… 😉 Has anyone else noticed how many letters “Patricia” has in common with “patience…?”☺️
    *
    A enthusiastic shout out to M. R. Defibaugh for both mentioned verses, the first of which has SOOOOO much to say to all of us in the midst of the ongoing protests, and the second of which feels eerily prescient now, after POTUS sickeningly reversed the executive order granting transgender health protections.
    *
    the cherry blossoms
    are on both sides
    of the river

    *

    the cherry blossoms
    tell her
    the gender
    *
    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    Finally, congratulations to Carmen on a sweet, ethereal verse that hints at so much beneath its deceptively simple surface.

    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    how to get a leg up
    in this tadpole world…?
    *
    ~Autumn

    1. Autumn, an enthusiastic thank you for that awesome shout out! I can’t say I’m having as much luck this week, but maybe something will come into focus at the last minute, as it often has this renku. The beauty of cherry blossoms and each other should be visible from “both sides of the river”— POTUS and others certainly struggle with that concept! At least, workplace discrimination for the LGBT community was ruled unconstitutional today, though I’m shaking my head at how it wasn’t a 9-0 ruling.

    2. Autumn,
      *
      I feel like I’ve been floating with Sakura (cherry blossoms) in a Japanese park.

  18. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom Carmen Sterba
    *

    skip-toeing forward
    at the end of the cold

    *

    sprouting daffodils
    bring hope for our future

    *

    fluffy soda scones
    on this perfect Spring day

    *

    uplifted by the welcome
    generosity of souls

  19. breathing in
    that first warm day
    **
    green apples
    blush pink overnight
    **
    warm raindrops
    join the incoming tide
    **
    broken shells bright
    against the wet sand
    **
    new sandals
    under a cap and gown
    **
    leaving home
    without a jacket

  20. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom Carmen Sterba
    .
    seated in serenity
    the snow-capped mountains

  21. It is a wonderful verse for the blossom verse, Carmen! Thank you for it.

    Verse 1:

    our baskets are laden
    with apples and oranges

    Verse 2:

    we have made a pilgrimage
    to the high mountains

  22. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom – Carmen Sterba
    .

    namaste namaste
    all the lingering day

  23. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    Carmen S.
    .
    her prom dress matches
    her cherry lips
    .
    her prom dress matches
    her pale pink lips
    .
    floating in his arms
    her first waltz
    .

  24. Inspired by Laurie’s strawberry verses!
    .
    free from slugs, strawberries
    growing wild in the shade-house
    .

  25. Thanks back to Kanjini Devi, Lorin Ford, Marion Clarke, Michael Henry Leee, Kristen Lindquist, Mary Kendall, and Debbie Schevings.
    *
    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    a wedding dress
    from mother to daughter

  26. pink confetti
    on the young grass
    *
    behind the eyelids
    words echoes
    *
    in the zephyr rustle
    a joyful goodbye

  27. ——-
    aroma of spring —
    all through his pocket
    —-
    starry night
    humming in her balcony
    —–
    aside all duvet
    spring morn enters her kitchen
    **
    her cheeks plump
    reflect imprint of spring love
    ——

  28. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom                           Carmen Sterba
    .
    a flock of hang gliders
    brightens the spring sky
    .
    beachcombers wave
    at swooping hang gliders
    .
    beachcombers look up
    as hang gliders shout helloooo down there
    .
    her wheelchair hang glider gets
    a love tap from the May wind
    .

  29. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    we carefully wrap rice balls
    in fresh sheets of nori

  30. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    at low tide the beads
    in her Afro hair style
    .
    outside the Tate
    a man peddles bubbles
    .
    she says daffodils remind her
    of old gramophones
    .

  31. Congratulations Carmen, on what feels to me like a perfect verse in this place. Lightness with meaning. Thank you, Patricia, for your patience and instruction during these 17 weeks. Who would have guessed that so much would happen collectively in those future weeks? Still so much uncertainty, but grateful that poetry and other arts carry on…

  32. longer days put a different spin
    on existential questions
    *
    warmer days add weight
    to what holds us together
    *
    the fresh sound of sprinklers
    anchors the twilight
    *

  33. I would like to shorten an earlier link that I submitted.


    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    Carmen Sterba
    *

    “my swing’s wobbly”
    I laugh and pump harder

  34. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    last year’s silk sundress
    still fitting perfectly
    *

    1. love the umbrella one, dan….it’s a blooming smile!
      *
      my stimulus check deposits
      in an unknown riverbank

      *
      my irs check lands
      in a riverbank

  35. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    the smaller the strawberry
    the sweeter it tastes
    *
    each tiny wild strawberry
    weighted for flavor
    *

  36. just to say, I am amazed at the proposed links so far because I find it so difficult to compose within these final constraints .. however ..
    **
    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    **
    because it’s warm enough
    cloud hands in the park
    **
    delicate flotsam
    amid the puddle’s leaf boats
    **
    t-shirt weather when
    the air fills with laughter

    1. oops! no vegetation … as I said, the challenge of constraints ..
      **
      delicate flotsam among
      the puddle’s paper boats

  37. A beautiful verse, Carmen and great link to Lorin’s. I’ve really been enjoying this Renku as it has developed. The conversations each week are as enjoyable as the renku in many ways. Patricia, thank you for your open-minded approach and for encouraging discussion as you have done. Congratulations to all the poets who have been part of this. I look forward to this week’s offerings.

  38. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    days long enough to weigh the pros
    with the pros
    *
    warming my hands with a dip
    in the strawberries
    *

  39. LOVE your link, Carmen—the perfect note of beauty here.

    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    letting the breeze
    finish my book

    *

    pausing to watch an azure
    among the wild strawberries

    *

    the lifting fog reveals
    snow on the distant peaks

    1. love this one…..kristen

      letting the breeze
      finish my book……………………..kriristen lindquist

      1. sorry for the extraneous letters that were placed in your name….i’m struggling with a conflict between an oversensitive keypad and my hand brushing by it.

  40. Just a little gushy one here
    When in Rome . . .
    .
    a Champagne toast
    to the hostess with the mostest

  41. Congrats Carmen and to all who participated in another great renku, Thank you much Patricia
    ******************************************************************************
    it’s a strawberry moon
    and the night is still young
    **********************
    whispering pines that
    will not be silenced
    *****************
    disinfecting what shells
    we could find at the beach
    **********************
    sewing a few pot seeds
    wherever we might go

      1. Thank you, Lorin. I am revisiting some of the sessions to see if I missed any comments and see that I have! And I think it’s useful to see which verses appealed to participants. 🙂
        .
        marion

  42. I love how this verse links to Lorin’s. Well done, Carmen.
    .
    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    .
    my baby left breathless
    by a spinning pinwheel

      1. Thank you, Wendy – I think it is my favourite too. I can still remember how delighted my son was (he’s now 21!) when he saw his first pinwheel. We call these toys ‘windmills’ in Ireland and the UK, but I thought the rest of the world would get confused by that, so I used the US term – and I love the sound of spinning and pinwheel together!
        .
        marion

  43. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    Carmen Sterba

    the young falcon
    stretches its wings and looks up

    birdsong fills the dawn forest,
    nevertheless . . . quiet

  44. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    .
    a waft of drying seaweed
    on opening the door
    .
    the freshly folded towels
    smell of peach blossom
    .
    the warm breeze
    lifts her dress
    .
    her dress caught
    in a warm breeze

  45.  
    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom                                   Carmen Sterba
     
    evening birdsong
    my bedtime prayer

  46. Congratulations, Carmen. 🙂 A nicely crafted, seemingly simple, verse which enacts the lightness it portrays whilst alluding to the famous novel. (See also my comments on it on last week’s thread) Well done!

  47. the weight of the first
    tiny tomato in her hand
    *
    snap beans starting
    their nimble climb
    *
    longer days easing
    the weight of the years
    *

  48. spring rain in the valley
    as seen from the hill
    ********************
    a hazy moon serves in
    the role of a compass
    *******************
    sailing away on
    the balmy breeze
    ********************
    another parade to
    air our grievances

  49. the exciting aroma
    of that first baseball glove
    #########
    washing away hiking trail
    dust under the waterfall

  50. Congrats, Carmen!
    .
    the raga of happiness
    permeating spring breeze
    .
    soothing tones come alive
    in the spring garden beds
    .
    peaceful notes in the spring
    symphony fill us with hope
    .


  51. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    Carmen Sterba

    strawberry shortcake
    anyone?


    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    as a veil of haze moves in
    all seems to still


    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    Carmen Sterba

    “my swing’s wobbling”
    I laugh as I pump harder

  52. *
    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    the warm nothingness
    of the scent of wild scallions
    *

  53. A question for our sabaki.
    Can the final verse, and only the final verse, relate back to the hokku?

    1. if you have the renku reckoner….an immediate answer is on page 87.

      certainly….i will want to hear everything that patricia has to say about this, too.

      1. Yes I do have one, and yes I have read this particular part, hence the question as I would like to enquire further, so I’ll ask further now and hopefully gain a fuller response, from the sabaki.
        .
        I have read there are variants where the ageku could take a different season, albeit a subtle one and even none at all. That said, and taking into consideration we’ve been encouraged to move outside the so called rules, and experiment, keeping in mind this is a verse of ‘happiness’ etc, would you be prepared to give us the freedom to do so.

        1. hi, Carol–I think I need to clarify my previous answer. I am open to relating back to the hokku; I am very partial, however, to spring being the last verse.

  54. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    Carmen Sterba

    *

    planting seeds
    from the first chapter fruit

    *
    this verse is dedicated to our wonderful, sabaki, patricia.
    i have learned so much from her amazing generosity of wisdom, clarity and vision. i hope that she will offer next to guide another renku…a 36 verse (with two blossom verses)!


  55. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    Carmen Sterba

    in the bone china bowl
    honey-butter peas and carrots


  56. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    Carmen Sterba

    the lucky velella
    catching the true wind

    over, under, on and on
    until the maypole’s wrapped


  57. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    Carmen Sterba

    by-the-wind sailors
    some heading east, others west

  58. the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    nothing unbearable
    with sweet peas coming up
    *
    everything more bearable
    with sweet peas coming up
    *

  59. ¡Ayyyyy! I was tricked, or rather just asleep at the wheel.

    my previous link should read . . .

    *

    as he runs away he yells
    “poisson d’avril”

  60. Kudos, Carmen, for reminding us of this particular lightness of freedom!

    *

    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    *

    he yells as he runs away
    “poison d’avril”

  61. Congratulations Carmen.
    A lovely verse.
    Nice selection and idea Patricia to give us all a lift.

      1. I’m sure many of us will smile at this verse for a long time Carmen, well done!
        Just needs someone to create an ageku that is as light. Bravo!

  62. congrats!!!!!! carmen! the eloquent simplicity of this poem….says it all…..a great link, a powerful but quiet statement….and wonderful addition to our rendevous renku.
    *
    patricia, you did it again, you picked the best of the best, the sweetest of the sweet cherries.

    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom

    *
    Carmen Sterba

  63. A beautiful verse, Carmen, congratulations, it has the desired effect for this part of the kyu, ephemeral.

    1. Carol, I like how you wrote: “it is the desired effect for this part of the kyu, ephemeral.”

  64. Congratulations, Carmen! I love how you slipped the title of the book into this, and also caught the beauty and grace of the blossoms.

    Again, thanks to Patricia for illuminating commentary and great choices–and for noticing a few of mine. This has been a fantastic experience.
    *
    the lightness
    of being
    a cherry blossom
    *
    Carmen Sterba
    *
    a warm breeze
    turns the page
    *
    turning the page with a warm breeze
    in my hand
    *

    1. I do like the first verse, Laurie, I can just see someone viewing the page the breeze has turned to, almost saying ‘Look, look at this’ as so many will do when this Renku is archived. Also it gives the option of allowing the reader to have their own thoughts on what that page maybe as there are so many artistic pages that can be turned.
      .
      This too has a delightful lightness.

    2. I love the first one! Sweet and simple. I can feel it. And such a soft ending…not closing the book, but turning a page.

      1. Thank you, Judt. We are sometimes hard on each other’s verses. I like your words: “such a soft ending…not closing the book, but turning a page.”

    3. Laurie Greer, I appreciate that you said I “caught the beauty and grace of the blossoms.”

    4. Laurie, I love “a warm breeze/turns the page.” Reminds me of reading with a pause to daydream or perhaps even nap, welcome warmth, and turning a page points to the future.

    5. a warm breeze
      turns the page

      *****

      Laurie,
      The moment I read your verse on Thursday, I instantly felt it was the perfect one to follow Carmen’s superb cherry blossom verse. It is so memorable I haven’t forgotten it; in fact it has come to mind often in the past few days. It feels like the perfect ending to our renku, and subtly links back to the heat of the sauna in the hokku, only cooled a bit now that it is spring.
      Sally

  65. Congratulations Carmen. Such an uplifting verse to guide us to the end. And Patricia I appreciate your selections and comments—it helps to see which of many fine offerings resonate.

  66. Congrats, Carmen, on what is my favorite link in this renku—Lorin’s balloon girl, the lightness of your cherry blossoms! I knew it’d be the next verse as soon as I read it. Judt’s inspiration is an excellent example of what I feel this form is all about, and that link wouldn’t exist without Patricia’s bold vision/decision last week, either. Collaboration at its finest. I am looking forward to seeing how this rendezvous turns out!

    1. Thanks, M. R. Defibaugh. I’ve done a lot of reku gatherings in Japan and Washington outside or inside as well. My father’s side is from the Czech Republic, where I have been, so I have read many Czech books in translation. I’ve always thought the blossom verse is hard to be original, but this one was light and easy.

      1. When we can find a link to the previous verse and the current circumstances, I think that’s the best we can do in terms of originality. The balloon and blossom were a needed counter for the heaviness many have been feeling. I’ve never experienced renku in-person, so doing so in Japan sounds particularly fascinating. I’ve recently had a passing thought to organize a Zoom (etc.) renku session that could be recorded. IF I could get a few knowledgeable participants to keep everyone, including myself, pointed in the right direction, that might be an idea.

    2. Thanks, M.R., I, too, think it’s an excellent link and I’m pleased that both Patricia and you have acknowledged Judt’s role in the making of Carmen’s verse.

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