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The Renku Sessions: Rendezvous – Week 4

 

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—It has been another productive week. The birds have almost finished off the berries on my backyard pyracantha. You can’t imagine the mess they make sitting in the trees in my front yard when they have finished gorging themselves. There is poop everywhere—the sidewalks, the cars, the camellias . . . I think this will be the last day.

Many of your verses this week alluded to the current pandemic. This is understandable since it is on all of our minds. However, illness, death, politics, and religion are topics to be avoided in the opening verses of a renku. All of these topics will get a chance to be included, maybe after verse 5; for sure, after verse 6. Restraint is the watchword for now. I also found many verses using musical references as a link to “antiphonal” in the second verse. I understood the link, but felt it to be a bit too close a reference.

Here is the list of verses that I considered to have possibilities:

Watching
my shadow
enjoying happy hour

Dan Campbell

 

the drift of his shanty
from tender
to shore

*

out for blood
at the tavern’s bimonthly
bingo night

*
still on do si do
when it’s time
to promenade

*

a packed house
for the all-you-can-eat
brunch buffet

*
the jury still out
on gray
vs grey

*

attending a lecture
both spoken
and signed

*
simultaneous
interpreters
not missing a beat

Laurie Greer

 

the catch
of the day
written in chalk

*

a precocious child
first draws alpha
then omega

Betty Shropshire

 

fairground attraction
choosing a best friend
in the hall of mirrors

Robert Kingston

 

red riding hoods
and yellow boots
play in the puddles

Marina Bellini

 

with diligent practice
the kanji becomes
legible

Michael Henry Lee

 

scent of take-aways
drift from
a side-street

Carol Jones

 

small children
up and down the risers
at choir practice

Liz Ann Winkler

 

corn knee chee WAH?
I mutter in the corridor
koan niche ee Waw?

Fern

 

alone on the subway
she fingers
her rosary beads

Marilyn Potter

 

baiting a string
with a safety pin, the child
plumbs the lake

Penny Harter

 

the scoutmaster
hands out flags to teach
the troop semaphore

Andrew Shimield

 

howling
with laughter
at his antics

*

I press ‘Send’
and wait impatiently
for a response

Pauline O’Carolan

 

he waits for his wife
in the comforts
of his car

Kanjini Devi

 

trying to wiggle out
of a too-long hug
at the reunion

Carmen Sterba

 

already the evening
too small for
all the tall stories

nancy liddle

 

hello can you
hear me can you hear me
now?

Wendy C. Bialek

 

a little lagniappe
left with the bag
from the bagel man

Ellen Compton

 

“floating across
the tops of cities
contemplating jazz”

Marion Clarke

 

my ringtone
the spacetime chirp
of colliding black holes

Christopher Patchel

 

different-sized spoons
not spooning
in the drawer

*
my face
upside down
inside the polished spoon

Mary Stevens

 

I narrowed my selections down to these seven:

a precocious child
first draws alpha
then omega

Betty Shropshire

red riding hoods
and yellow boots
play in the puddles

Marina Bellini

the jury still out
on gray
vs grey

Laurie Greer

small children
up and down the risers
at choir practice

Liz Ann Winkler

hello can you
hear me can you hear me
now?

Wendy C. Bialek

different-sized spoons
not spooning
in the drawer

*
my face
upside down
inside the polished spoon

Mary Stevens

I’ll share with you my thinking about each of these so you can understand how I arrived at a final choice.

Betty’s “precocious child” attracted me because of the subtle linking of “alpha” to “wolf.” If the verse could be written so that there was no obvious break at the end of the second line, this would have been my choice.

Marina’s “red riding hoods/and yellow boots” captured my heart. The link of “red riding hoods” to the “wolf” was magical bringing in the fairy tale allusion. I liked this verse so much I almost chose it even though “boots” is a winter reference.

What I like about Laurie’s “gray/ vs. grey” is that it uses color to link to the “wolf,” but it changes the feeling from the visceral call of the wolf to the cerebral contemplation of spelling in English. I also appreciate that a “jury” has echoes of a pack which has echoes of the wolves.

Liz Ann’s “small children/up and down the risers” is charming and turns the “antiphonal” sound of call and response to the motion of running up and down the risers. The fact that the risers are at “choir practice” brings in sound, and I felt sounds, especially musical sounds might be a little too close to the “antiphonal greeting” of the wolf verse.

I loved Wendy’s clever offering of the Sprint advertisement “can you hear me now.” My question was is “Hello” too close to “greeting” in the previous verse. She also spread the phases over the three lines to minimize the breaks in syntax, and she almost won me over.

Both of Mary’s verses give a surprising twist to “antiphonal” by instead of using sound echoing sound, she uses shapes in the case of the spoons in a drawer and a visual image in the case of the reflection in a spoon. In both cases she cleverly distorts the harmony implied by “antiphonal” by focusing on the mismatched shapes in the first instance and on the upside down reflection in the second.

In the end I chose Laurie Greer’s “gray vs. grey” because of how it reads following the wolf verse—both how the sound flows and the imagery the two verses create together.

So here is the renku this 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

 

And now for our fourth verse. This verse should link to the third verse, but have no connection to the first or second verses. The requirements for this verse are:

  • a two-line poem of fourteen syllables or less
  • an image with no season; avoid four-legged animals and musical references for at least the next five verses. Also this verse precedes a moon verse so please avoid references to anything shiny.
  • 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, March 17 (California time zone). On Thursday, March 19, there will be a new posting containing my selection for the fourth verse, some discussion of other appreciated verses, and instructions for composing the fifth verse.

I do hope all of you are safe and healthy. I look forward to seeing your offers!

Patricia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Post Has 282 Comments

  1. riders of the purple sage
    in the rhythm of storm
    ***

    riders of the purple sage
    lesten to the thunder-storm

    1. riders of the purple sage
      in the rhythm of storm

      riders of the purple sage
      listen to the thunder-storm

  2. thank you again, patricia for your time in answering my questions and other’s questions. this is a very exciting group….and the renku gets to be more fun as time goes on.
    thank you also for placing my offering on the list and all the discussion resulting from it and all your feedback on every highlighted entry.

  3. hometown reunion, now
    I remember why I left
    ###############
    checking for typos
    in my ransom note
    ###############
    I know why
    the caged lion roars (apologies to Maya Angelou)

  4. buying a vowel
    just to be sure
    ***
    climate change
    is just about cut-and-dry
    ***
    playing hangman
    while under quarantine
    ***
    hopscotching
    into a setting sun
    ***
    hopscotching
    half-drunk
    ***
    a sky colored
    the scent of rain
    ***
    painting by numbers
    in the psychiatric ward

  5. porch breeze, grandpa’s
    voice barely a whisper
    ##############
    social distancing,
    quicksand welcome mat

  6. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    Laurie Greer
    ..
    the lawyer’s upturned collar
    on his crombie coat
    .
    rattles from the footplate
    on Al Capone’s car

  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO1YQmNm978

    *
    the new youtube bra
    made from face masks
    *
    the staged photo
    ripples nipple censorship
    *
    staged photo has nipples
    pointing this way and that
    *
    the same breast reduction charts
    used for getting the curve down

    *
    empty bread shelves
    a bite of reality sandwiches

    *
    sanitizing the pumps
    of hand sanitizers
    *

  8. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    .
    Laurie Greer

    *
    no shows at the ghost hotel
    at risk for life

  9. wonder if they’re still making
    the shade ‘midnight auburn’
    .
    I loved that temporary hair colourant when I was a teenager as it gave my dark brown hair a purplish shine, which with short hair gelled into spikes was as wild as I was allowed to get during the punk era. 🙂

  10. social isolation, bought
    two Not Welcome mats
    ###############
    bar stools, more polished,
    more used than pews
    ##############

  11. celebrating St Patrick’s Day
    with a virtual Guinness
    .
    I posted an image of two pints with “Sláinte” on it to a friend in Sligo this morning, since all the pubs are closed in Ireland.
    .
    Happy St Patrick’s Day to all my renku friends! ☘️💚

      1. Thank you, Dan!
        .
        I’m really going to have a glass of red wine with dinner later to celebrate 🍷☘️ lol
        .
        marion

    1. shamrock shakes
      through the take-out windows

      my long green scarf
      doubles as a face mask

      everyone’s eyes on
      the last bag of potatoes

      .

      he walks in clover
      avoiding social contact

      *
      businesses closed on patty’s day
      making green at home
      .
      happy pat’s day!

      1. Ha! I’ve seen a version with the last pack of toilet roll.
        ,
        everyone’s eyes on
        the last bag of potatoes
        .
        I suspect potatoes will be the last thing we’ll run out of in Ireland, Wendy lol
        .
        Happy St Patrick’s Day! 🙂

      2. LOVE every last one of these, Wendy! Shamrock shakes reminds me of my Dad–the only person I ever knew who could even stand to drink one of those things! Quick horror story–my husband used to walk home from high school through an alleyway behind a Mc D’s. One day, he noticed the piles of shake mix cartons in the trash were labeled “plastics for human consumption.” Bleurgh!!
        *
        The eyes on the potatoes is pretty funny as well (okay, the reality is slightly less funny–but we can all have Marion ship us potato care packages, right…?? 😜)–it relates back to a verse I submitted for the last renku!
        *
        Happy St. Paddy’s🍀

    2. Erin Go Braugh, Marion!! How lucky are all of we to have wishes coming to us directly from Ireland!! Many thanks–Sláinte to you and yours as well!!( and, wonder of wonder, I can toast you with an actual (bottled) Guinness later, since our liquor store remained open (in spite of the pubs being closed here as well), and they still had Guinness in the fridge!!
      *
      It’s a St. Paddy’s Day miracle…🍀🌈
      *
      ~Autumn

  12. A bit late to the game. A pleasure to read everyone’s suggestions and comments so far…

    *

    studying the molt patterns
    of juvenile herring gulls

    *

    the stepped sides
    of a granite quarry

    *

    the chime of pebbles
    being rolled by waves

    *

    silhouette of a lizard
    on a palmetto fan

    *

    fiddler crabs hiding
    from my long shadow

    *

    the first time we’ve seen
    gadwalls in the salt marsh

    *

    a pile of feathers
    that once was a catbird

    1. Oops, I realize that “chime” would be a musical reference. I really AM paying attention. 🙂

  13. with no one left but
    ourselves to blame
    ******************
    looking for the break
    that’s not our neck
    ******************
    things may never
    be the same again
    *****************
    happy hour cut to
    a mere fifteen minutes
    ********************
    it’s increasing clear
    time is not on our side
    ******************
    or for those “concerned ” with what constitutes a brake or a break:
    **************************************
    it becomes increasingly clear
    that time’s not on our side
    ***************************
    and the last one for this round:
    *******************************
    two broken legs become
    the result of brake failure

  14. chairs out of sight
    at the sandwich shop
    *
    treadmills quiet
    in the darkened gym
    *
    the empty bar
    never cleaner
    *
    a movie theater marquee
    stuck in time
    *
    the fifty-first worshipper
    waits outside
    *
    overdue fines forgiven
    at the closed library
    *
    a cough drop to cover
    my neighbor’s fears
    *
    school is out
    and so is milk
    *

  15. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    *
    Laurie Greer
    *
    her contagious giggle
    at #boomerremover
    *
    Thanks to my 20-something for letting me in on the latest snark. I couldn’t help but laugh; but then, I’ve always been the gallows humor type.
    *
    choosing among boomers
    our primary concern
    *
    Considering the current line-up, is it any wonder the kiddos are creating snarky hashtags?!
    *
    ~Autumn
    *
    No offense intended here–only humor. For the record, I’m happily married to a boomer myself (though he reminded me he’s a “late boomer,” which had me giggling all over again)!

    1. So of the moment Autumn. I love it!
      I hope you gave em something back 🙂
      .
      the whippersnapper
      screams out for loo roll

      1. I’m glad to be a card carrying peacenik of the boomer clan known as “Up Yours!”… ‘course, I literally shat my pants yesterday due to this frikkin’ radiation regime (so, warning, my big girl panties are in short supply)..ugh, and with taking immunesuppressing meds for my RA….not dealing with this pandemic crisis very well at all but I busted a gut laughing at these digs, Autumn! so thank you for lightening my load…🤪 Betty

        1. For the record, Betty, if I’d been born a tad sooner, I’d have been standing right next to you wearing tie dye, bell bottoms and flowers in my long, curly hair–we could use a few more card-carrying peaceniks…
          *
          I SOOOOO admire your openness and INCREDIBLE sense of humor in the face of mounting challenges. If you can come through all that with your laugh intact, you are my personal hero!
          *
          ~Autumn

      2. I love the word “whippersnapper,” Robert–I make a point of labeling myself as such among our crowd of boomer friends (which is particularly ridiculous, in light of the fact I have more grey…gray…??…hair than most of them!).
        *
        Glad we could share a laugh–the party’s not over till the fat lady stops laughing:
        *
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zq3Lnx1JMy4
        *
        ~Autumn

          1. And- yes me too Autumn.
            .
            growing old gracefully
            how clever
            those make up artists are

  16. 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 sharks fin
    surfaces in the bay
    .
    little by little
    a shark’s fin
    .
    pieces of silver
    in the parrot’s repertoire

  17. First of all, my congratulations to Laurie for the fine third verse of our renku. It has led to some great verses this week.
    .
    Second, although I haven’t been able to join in this week, I’ve just read through all of the offerings and comments. Some great lines here and certainly wonderful exchanges between poets. What a great lot of folks here!!
    .
    Mary

  18. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    .
    Laurie Greer
    .
    her wigs lined
    in mood order
    .
    an ark named mars
    ready for departure
    .
    as in Kramer as in stone
    an empty bush waits for spring

  19. heaven’s library
    no fines for overdue books
    ################
    some bridges whisper
    and tell you to jump
    ################
    remember when
    bridges outnumbered walls

  20. the kids’ anticipation
    in duck duck goose
    *
    year-round roses
    at the grocery florist
    *
    a baker’s dozen
    of donuts for the office

  21. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey Laurie Greer

    school play rehearsal
    grading papers in the back row

  22. a lonely chimney sweep
    in the pea soup fog
    *
    just catching up on all the offerings and responses now–i won’t sit out another verse!
    This is definitely where the action is.
    hope everyone is well–

  23. The children discover
    the blind man’s buff
    *
    her curly and gaudy hair
    stands out in the drizzle
    *
    ginger biscuits
    to find a compromise

  24. Hi, Robert–Hope it’s okay I’m responding here, because we’ve run out of Reply options below!!
    *
    I
    Well, if I’ve introduced you to Ansel Adams, then I’ve actually accomplished something out here! I hope you will enjoy his work! (Check out Wendy’s link to see and hear the man himself).
    *
    Your verse is wonderful–“a lens on an old friend” in particular. I’m a terrible portrait photographer myself–I’m much more at home alone in the landscape. Bet THAT comes as no surprise to folks 😀 Animals and flowers and trees–I get along well with those; I’m less adept at capturing people. Go figure…
    *
    Thank you for all you’ve added to the discussion here–your perspective and insight is greatly appreciated! I’m going to go acquaint myself with Spenser now…
    *
    ~Autumn
    *
    From Robert Kingston:
    *
    “Sounds a fun challenge!
    And what a lovely idea. Enjoy your challenge Autumn.
    I did not know of Ansel Adams until now. Reading wiki has enlightened me a little.
    This come to mind after reading your post below. talking stops, zoning and honing.. Hope it helps
    .
    figuratively speaking
    a lens on an old friend
    .
    Having written this, it reminded me of a modern day, albeit slightly diverse landscape American photographer “Spencer Tunick” who popped up on iPlayer or sky arts a while back.
    Good luck!”

    1. Also–BIG WOW to Spenser Tunic and his nudes!! Amazing work!! Especially loved the Cleveland project with 100 nude women holding up mirrors to the Convention Center during the 2016 Republican Convention (and not just because my conservative bro lives in Cleveland!). That one’s worth a repeat in 2020, I think…very empowering. Thank again for mentioning him, Robert.
      *
      the jury still out
      on gray
      vs grey
      *
      Laurie Greer
      *
      how long till we see
      beyond sex and skin color?
      *
      or
      *
      ageism throwing
      a wrinkle into things…
      *
      ~Autumn
      *
      P.S. Also read your fog explanation with interest. As a former barista, I’m wondering whether the coffee shop drink would still be breaking kigo convention…?
      *
      the jury still out
      on gray
      vs grey
      *
      Laurie Greer
      *
      Earl or Lady
      in your London Fog, Sir?
      *
      😀

      1. Hi Autumn. Pleased you found and enjoyed Spenser. Not sure whether to categorise him as a portrait or landscape photographer. 🙂 . His work is certainly interesting. I think it was either 16 or 17 when I first see him, then another program a year or so later. The latter he was doing an installation using giant umbrellas in a hillside environment. I tried to find it, sadly failing.
        Another interesting one was when he went to America’s biggest hells angel festival. Walked right on in and coaxed a large amount of them to pose. Brave lad!
        I watched Ansel Adams YouTube video with interest. I must admit I liked his renowned picture but find some sadness in the fact he took the shot, then manipulated it to be something that it wasn’t. That said, I’m not a photographer. Though I have had a picture published, (taken with my cell phone) on the front cover of a magazine back in November of 2019. Just a fluke, but they liked it enough. Not that I see the picture until it jumped out at me when looking back through the snaps that day.
        .
        Earl or lady
        in your fog sir
        .
        left in her wake
        more scalps for Nannie
        .
        Nannie is the figure head on the front of the Cutty sark (the famous tea clipper) in Greenwich, London.
        The ship is named after the night gown that Nannie wore. It comes from a famous poem “Tam o’Shanter by the great Scottish poet, Robbie Burns.

        https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=14&ved=2ahUKEwiFyLbzzZ3oAhWMIMAKHY7dAwkQFjANegQIBRAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rmg.co.uk%2Fdiscover%2Fbehind-the-scenes%2Fblog%2Ffigureheads-literature-cutty-sark&usg=AOvVaw1XNWFxaqUtyyFyvhfu1aRr

        .

        1. So, Robert, I take it you’d prefer Cutty Sark in your tea…? Would you settle for Laphroig, or maybe Mc Callan’s?
          *
          I had a great time following the link…to another link…and finally reading the entirety of Burns Tam O’ Shanter in its side-by-side original and translation. Was especially tickled about these side-by-sides lines, in light of Laurie’s verse:
          *
          “But little wist she Maggie’s mettle –
          Ae spring brought off her master hale,
          But left behind her ain gray tail;
          The carlin claught her by the rump,
          And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.”
          *
          vs.
          *
          “One spring brought off her master whole,
          But left behind her own grey tail:
          The witch caught her by the rump,
          And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.”
          *
          Note the “gray” vs. “grey” ? I’m sure you did, which lead to your clever verse re. Nannie and her scalps!
          *
          While I’ve always associated Cutty Sark with whiskey and clipper ships, I never knew the real meaning of the phrase as a reference to a girl’s short underskirt. Learn something new every day–check!
          *
          Thanks for sharing!
          *
          ~Autumn

          1. Hi Autumn. Pleased to hear of your journey. Strangely I’m not a big fan of whiskey. More a brandy or rum man if I reach for the spirits 🙂
            .
            No! I did not notice the connection in the two verses of Robbie’s poem. Though I have read the poem and also watched a documentary on the poet some time ago. My path went in the opposite direction, choosing to research some of the people that inspired the figure heads on some of these great ships. I also discovered something on my journey.
            Believing for a long time that Florence Nightingale was our lady of the lamp. Finding that Elizabeth Fry was Nightingale’s inspiration.
            As you say we learn something everyday.
            Thank you for sharing.
            Rob

  25. Lovely verse Laurie and so many great options. Thanks to Patricia for the behind-the-scenes on the thought process of her selection. Very informative!
    *
    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
    **
    wine bottle’s label
    says tastes of slate and lime
    *
    senior discount
    for the matinee only
    *
    a nuthatch does its
    down the tree thing

    1. that nuthatch one makes me laugh!
      and the great senior discount one…did you publish that somewhere?
      looks familiar to me, linda

      1. Hi Wendy – glad you enjoyed the nuthatch one. I did not publish the matinee one, so if it was done by someone else previously then my apologies.

  26. burning in a darker sky
    to cover unwanted clouds
    .
    not dodging questionable
    markings on her body
    .

    notes: the first is about ansel adam’s technique
    the second: weegees

    1. that’s a double whammy keeper, betty!
      .
      and here is my repeat performance:
      .
      go to jail go directly
      to jail do not pass go

  27. vasectomy
    he wakes up alone
    #############
    lit up eyes
    pair of aces
    #############
    acorns wondering
    about what might have been
    ##############
    washing car
    works better than rain dances
    ##############
    cash-strapped nights work
    part time as shade
    ###########
    most lullabies nowadays
    are over the phone

        1. are you familiar with weegee? the famous photo/journalist? we call him “the ambulance chaser”.
          his photos were remarkable for revealing crimes/crimes scenes and the like….google him….many vidoes on youtube.

          1. Will do Wendy, thanks. I am really getting interested in black white photography as art

  28. millions of lives
    caught in the balance
    ********************
    special interests prevail
    in the house and the senate
    *************************
    what can you do
    when you’re branded

  29. tamato tomato patato potato
    lets call the whole thing off
    ************************
    freedom of speech always
    tempered with discretion
    ************************
    if less is more then we’ve
    said to much already
    ******************
    we’ll make our
    break at recess
    **************
    like an image left stuck on
    the bottom of your shoe
    *********************
    an ominous ring tone
    to lighten the occasion
    *********************
    counting the cost of
    single use plastics

  30. autumn,
    when you wake up this weekend….perhaps you may get some ideas from the early posts made in the former renku session with john, in tawny jacket….archives and the links i provided there about this famous photographer and his work

      1. So many things to respond to…! Thank you Wendy for all your photographic verses here and elsewhere–they take me back to my photography classes (where my teacher actually showed us the full length documentary about Adams containing the clip you’ve linked–great suggestion to re-watch it with verse in mind!)
        *
        I particularly liked:
        *
        rolling reels of negatives
        with my eyes closed
        *
        Wendy C. Bialeck
        *
        The “eyes closed” in particular made me smile–why the urge to do that in complete darkness?
        *
        I admire–and am also saddened by–your decision to close your darkroom. I decided never toped one for the same reason. All my experience came via the classroom or the art museum’s darkroom (which are now one and the same, since the school closed theirs as well).
        *
        My photography teacher, who is now my good friend as well, uses a complicated filtering system to remove all the silver and any other harmful chemicals, so that all that enters the environment post-processing is water. But I imagine that increases costs out of the range of most amateurs.
        *
        It’s good we have YouTube, so that we can still experience the darkroom process vicariously. It is a very zen place and a centering process, something the digital side has yet to replicate.
        *
        Glad you’ve found a way to continue sharing your artistic eye with the world, regardless…
        *
        ~Autumn

        1. autumn,

          closing eyes
          makes it easier
          to “see” in the dark

          .

          in the dark
          i see better
          with my hands

          .
          closing eyes
          allows me to focus precisely
          on the things i feel
          .
          cherita:
          .
          one does not need
          to be in the dark
          .
          to process negatives
          .
          but you do need
          total darkness
          to do it

      2. Loved the link Wendy.
        ..
        how looks deceive
        a photographer draws
        out the night
        .
        And what a treat to see the bike . I rode one just like it as a kid.

        1. robert,
          that sounds like the magic that happens in a darkroom….
          the unexpected haiku moments
          please write something for me about your bike!!!!

  31. Being a red-neck gal’ and a bit rough around the edges,
    due to a few unnecessary brash replies to my posts, I will
    now self – isolate before I say something I know I will truly regret.
    .
    Low bow fellow poets.

    1. Aw c’mon, Carol…it’s a bit like herding cats dontcha think when seeking to control the flow of renku discussions online…I’d loan ya my big girl panties but, well, with these gawd awful pelvic radiation side-effects, ermm…you get my drift?? ewwww! I’m even social distancing from granddaughters in real time so would hate that you feel the need to here…your input is well appreciated! best regards, Betty

    2. Not sure if you’ll even see this, Carol, but I wanted to apologize to you personally for any offense or “un-fun-ness” I’ve caused you via my inquiring mind. Anyone who knows me would tell you that while diplomacy is not my strong suit, sincerity and heart are.
      *
      My understanding is that this forum offers not only the opportunity to meet and interact with other poets–and to have fun doing so–but the chance to learn more about the form. Some accomplish the latter by simply reading what is offered. I learn by questioning. But I’m only questioning the why’s and how-to’s here, not the authority or qualifications of the Sabaki (or anyone else, for that matter–my supposition is that if you’ve managed to make your way onto a renku forum in the first place, you probably know a little bit about Asian Short form!!).
      *
      I boycott Social Media, and have since its inception–I’m not on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram by choice. Posting here (and on the old Tanka Prose Board) amounts to my total online presence, not counting digital journals and LinkedIn. I felt it worth the risk for the privilege of collaborating with fellow short form poets from around the globe in a purposeful, guided setting. I’ve been incredibly grateful for the opportunity.
      *
      Your voice is unique and important–its absence will be felt. I am sorry if I am in part to blame for that absence.
      *
      ~Autumn

    3. I see things can get a little heated–renku is a passionate endeavor. Hope you will come back when you feel ready–

    4. carol….i don’t know you all that well, but what i do know….is that
      i never heard you sound like that before….so i am wondering…if you might be coming down with something? are you feeling well?
      do you have a temperature?
      i know that i am more sensitive, and bothered by things when i am not well physically?
      i am concerned for your health. is anything bothering you that you haven’t mentioned to the group?

      1. Thankyou so much everyone for your kind and thoughtful replies, they are appreciated.
        .
        I might take you up and the loan of the ‘big girl panties’ Betty, I could do with a bit of a lift 🙂
        Big hug for you all.
        .
        No there was positively no offence on your part Autumn. You are a very kind and responsive person, even thought I only know you in the virtual world, you come across this way.
        .
        Thank you for you concern about my health, Wendy, however I am, at the moment, in perfect health.
        One thing I would like to say though, I think we are reading each other at some sort of obtuse angle, you are the life and soul of the party, and I love reading your thoughts, but for some reason it seems you want to, on times, give me a verbal slap, this has come across more than once. I too, have the right to air my views without retribution of this kind.
        The last straw was when another person chipped in without getting the facts right.
        So, to stop this I felt obliged to bow out gracefully before it went too far, after all these sessions are a fantastic privilege.
        What fun it would be to have you as company on a demo march 🙂
        I mean that in the nicest possible way mind 🙂
        .
        (: Enjoy the party 🙂

  32. 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
    *
    rolling reels of negatives
    with my eyes closed

    *

    tooting this silent horn
    over & over

    *
    raising a hand
    for permission

    *
    lead paint
    in the bleak water beaker
    *

    the metal i give myself
    while breaking thru walls
    ********
    tooting my horn:
    when i read that the chemicals were bad for the environment,
    i dismantled my darkroom overnight and eventually my shooting studio….and ended my award winning fine art photography career and stopped photo/journalism in ny to teach myself digital photography on the computer.
    *
    monoprinting with peas
    too hard swallow
    *
    the slow pour
    of catsup
    *
    photographing
    figures of speech
    *
    the pre-visualized
    print in my head

  33. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    Laurie Greer
    .
    gently rubbing
    his holiday legs
    .
    a three man ark
    for the journey
    .
    children rubbing life
    into the church plates
    .
    for his two penny worth
    a picture of the grim reaper

  34. Adding my two cents to the lively discussion below on breaks:

    Verbs are frequently left out in haikai, as in

    the jury (is) still out on gray vs grey

    snowshoes (are) piled high outside the sauna

    and likewise

    my ringtone (is) the the spacetime chirp of colliding black holes

    Thus, no break ; )

    1. Hi Chris
      Thank you for adding to the conversation.
      I think Patricia opened well by mentioning the grey areas and intricacies of breaks.
      And the fact that debate goes on as to where some of these breaks appear naturally in our own given language, sometimes without us realising it.
      You mention the cutting out of words. This is normal in all poetry, is it not?
      I believe it is given that we leave out all words that are not needed.
      I think if you cut the verb as you mention in these particular verses, you create a break in the position further along (I’ve placed a slash) where I think sound makes a break. Perhaps it is particular word endings, or how our respective minds process things. Hence it may ring a different tune in your mind.
      It’s an interesting conversation, one I’ll be listening in on.
      .
      the jury (is) still out / on gray vs grey
      .
      snowshoes (are) piled high / outside the sauna
      .
      my ringtone / (is) the the spacetime chirp of colliding black holes
      .
      Best, Rob

    2. Chris–I take your point (as I said language is slippery). But you were winking which tells me you know that your construction is different than the other two because you drop the verb at the end of a line which magnifies the gap the missing word makes. Also “snowshoes piled high . . .” still has a verb . . .

      🙂

      1. Yeah, the examples I used probably just confused my point, which is that my verse was “a single syntactical structure flowing over three lines” and that it’s only the absent, but understood, verb which may have made it appear otherwise.

  35. some languages have
    dictionaries just for heartbreak
    #####################
    pigeons soar
    whenever I walk by

    1. dan….i love love love your first one…..hope you can render it to fit and link… for the love section and resubmit.

    1. dan….i never “wun a spelling bee” either, but:

      .
      once i thought i heard
      a bee spelling “do these first”
      on my honey list
      .
      maybe coming back
      a walking encyclopedia
      i will spell well

  36. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    *
    Laurie Greer
    *
    Ansel Adams
    found himself between
    a rock and a hard place
    *
    or
    *
    Ansel Adams
    found himself
    in the Zone
    *
    ~Autumn

    [In addition to taking ICONIC photographs of wonders such as Yosemite’s Half Dome and horrors such as the Japanese Internment Camp at Mazanar, and helping to found The Sierra Club, Adams innovated a 10-stage Zone System running from true white through shades of grey to true black, in order to more precisely calculate light ratios and contrast in photography (both the shooting and dark room developing of B&W images). His intuitive sense of this system is what allowed him to capture all the nuances in his famous Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico ON THE FLY with no time to meter properly. Photographers everywhere owe him a debt for quantifying his intuitive knowledge in such a readily understandable way.
    *
    I bet he and Patricia would have gotten on famously… 😀 ]

    1. ehm, Autumn, i love Ansel Adams’s work but if these are intended as candidate verses, they should be in two lines

      1. OMG–I get the supreme idiot award today (probably most days, if I’m honest)!! I completely lost track of which part of the pattern we were on, and I think that in saying Laurie’s verse to myself over and over in my head while pondering responses, I’d condensed it into two lines. So stupid…and the most ridiculous thing in retrospect is that I’d cut and pasted ALL THREE lines of Laurie’s verse into my post! They were right there in front of my face as I was adding my response!! Apparently, counting is NOT my strong suit.
        *
        Apologies to all–and a HUGE thank you, Polona, for setting me straight.
        *
        So, in the spirit of try, try again:
        *
        the jury still out
        on gray
        vs grey
        *
        Laurie Greer
        *
        Ansel Adams found himself
        twixt a rock and a hard place
        *
        or
        *
        Ansel Adams found himself
        in the Zone System
        *
        ~Autumn
        *
        I will be fittingly slapping my forehead V-8 style for the remainder of the weekend… : /

        1. You make me smile, Autumn–thinking I would get along with Ansel Adams. I wish I could have meet him; I had a very good friend who was a student of his–that’s the closest I got. You must be a photographer yourself.

          I have another challenge for you and your verses. You see, we are in the part of the renku where everything is kind of low key. The idea is we are chit-chatting; it’s all small talk. So that means no name-dropping, no proper names, no “ALL CAPS” exclamations. this phase will last at least thru verse 5, possibly verse 6. So . . .

          the challenge, and it’s a biggie, is to evoke the spirit of Ansel Adams without mentioning his name! Or capitalizing his zone system! In two lines!

          1. How cool that you were good friends with one of Adams’ students, Patricia; I imagine he or she had a great poetic eye. No wonder you clicked! ; )
            *
            So, no caps, no proper names or nouns. still about Adams (in spirit), chit-chatty, and in just two lines…tall order.
            *
            My first thought is:
            *
            zoning out or honing in
            via F64
            *
            Not sure if a camera F-stop is still considered in the proper noun range. In addition to that aperture setting providing the broadest, crispest depth of field front-to-back in a photograph, it is also the name of the group of Western photographers that Adams helped found. My thought is that these are looser references to Adams for those familiar with him, but could also just be shop talk amongst photographers in general (particularly film/dark room photographers). As an amateur photographer myself (I’d all-caps amateur, but I’m trying to follow rules…; ), I feel as though there is a balance similar to writing that is involved in making good photographs. One has to be at once open and loose (zoned out) and sharply focused (honed in) for the process to work. Zoning out connects us to that something other than us (call it the muse or nature or the higher self), and honing in connects us to our tools (the camera or our words).
            *
            Hope that’s at least a good start on your challenge! Thanks for your kind guidance in further spelling out the criteria for me!
            *
            ~Autumn

          2. ….and she immediately realizes that “out” is out–as has been noted elsewhere.
            *
            The amazing “duh” moment that occurs only after one presses Post Comment.
            *
            I suppose it could be just:
            *
            zoning or honing
            via F64
            *
            If that’s not too short a short verse…
            *
            Going to attempt to get some sleep now, in the hope it improves my tool use!!
            *
            ~Autumn

          3. Sounds a fun challenge!
            And what a lovely idea. Enjoy your challenge Autumn.
            I did not know of Ansel Adams until now. Reading wiki has enlightened me a little.
            This come to mind after reading your post below. talking stops, zoning and honing.. Hope it helps
            .
            figuratively speaking
            a lens on an old friend
            .
            Having written this, it reminded me of a modern day, albeit slightly diverse landscape American photographer “Spencer Tunick” who popped up on iPlayer or sky arts a while back.

            Good luck!

  37. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    – Laurie

    .
    my notebook fills
    with abstract doodles
    .
    sketches drawn
    in HB pencil

  38. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    – Laurie Greer

    common denominator
    of cultural delinquents

    ….

    As a newbie to Renku I very much enjoyed the questions asked and clarification given.

  39. a plea deal for the crime
    he never committed
    ******************
    Dostoevsky’s seething
    letter to the editor
    ********************
    all our dirty laundry
    hung out to dry
    ****************
    clamoring for a selfie
    with the executioner
    ******************
    all’s well that ends well
    at the end of a rope
    ********************
    life without parole
    reading Melville

      1. Thanks much Patrick, alas I learn more criteria after the fact ie no proper nouns eliminates two vs write off the top ha ha

      1. Hi Rob, have a few hours off this morning, making the most of it, we’re getting there.
        .
        on a night such as this
        he calls from a fa
        .
        just a play on words, here.

  40. Verse 3:

    flicking through
    Christie’s Labours of Hercules

    Verse 4:

    why did I break
    a dozen eggs?

    Verse 5:

    she whacks the ball
    far from the court

    Verse 6:

    I might have been
    spelling bee champion

  41. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    Laurie Greer
    .
    a finger tip of nothing
    on an overused plate

  42. 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
    *
    night hunkers
    around the noise
    *
    we were all
    so young and thin then
    *
    our wrinkles slide
    from face to face
    *
    all the pot bellies
    laughing up and down

  43. cracked rearview mirror
    multiplies the sunrise
    ##########
    castles last forever
    or until the tide arrives

  44. *
    he pontificates
    from his tower of black and white
    *

    *
    we stop to smell roses
    on our village walk
    *

  45. Ah the joy of seeing one’s verse mentioned, thank you Patricia! This is probably to close to the verse before but here goes :-

    *

    an elderly couple
    joins us for yoga in a chair

    *

  46. Congratulations, Laurie, and a clever verse. Please mark me down in the “grey” column! ; )

    Our grosbeaks are arriving, Patricia, along with our robins and Canada Geese. As such, I can completely relate to the onslaught of bird poop that is being an avian lover! At least they drop beautiful feather gifts as well. Trade-offs…

    I appreciate the time you took to address Wendy’s questions regarding repetition. The longer we renku, the more I discover just how nuanced and art form it is. With that in mind, I’m hoping you will be willing to clarify how the following mentioned verses meet the criteria for streamlining. When I read them, or even just consider them grammatically, I hear clear breaks. Am I mistaken, or is there some subtlety to this break idea that is eluding me? Appreciation in advance for any words of wisdom, here, as they will surely help me in composing future verses!! Thank you!

    I’ve inserted slashes where I feel the breaks, just to make it easier for you to see my interpretation. In most cases, the break follows an introductory clause (often a prepositional phrase) or appears where punctuation would be required in a sentence. (I did want to say that I understand Wendy’s intentional stringing of the words; but even when we are actually saying them to someone in the phone, we pause between reiterations of the question).

    Please be assured, this is not intended as a criticism of either the verses themselves (which are wonderful and innovative and some of which would make great Hokku or stand-alone haiku) or your choices (which I honor and respect). I’m just hoping for the opportunity to deepen my own understanding of what is meant by “break.” Were we face to face, I’d offer you a cup of tea to accompany the conversation!
    *
    fairground attraction/
    choosing a best friend
    in the hall of mirrors
    *
    Robert Kingston
    *

    with diligent practice/
    the kanji becomes
    legible
    *
    Michael Henry Lee
    *

    corn knee chee WAH?/
    I mutter in the corridor/
    koan niche ee Waw?
    *
    Fern
    *

    alone on the subway/
    she fingers
    her rosary beads
    *
    Marilyn Potter
    *

    baiting a string
    with a safety pin/the child
    plumbs the lake
    *
    Penny Harter
    *

    hello/can you
    hear me/can you hear me
    now?
    *
    Wendy C. Bialek
    *

    my ringtone/
    the spacetime chirp
    of colliding black holes
    *
    Christopher Patchel
    *

    1. well done autumn!
      i also agree and have personally observed these breaks, in all of the offerings….with mine…i tried to masked them….by obvious stringing….and like any mask…it usually calls more attention to its faults. (LOL!!!)
      .
      as for me….i’m just getting warmed up to this new renku session…and most of my offerings have been posted with quick fun and tongue and cheek…or raw passion….not giving much attention to if they check every box…..and knowing they aren’t all that perfect….but none-the-less…fresh/fun/ artsy and interesting snippets i want to share with the group….not hoping, expecting, or even wanting to strive… to be included quite yet into the final renku.
      .
      i’m saving myself for “marriage”! (lol!!!!)
      .
      perhaps it is this fresh quality that makes this list so attractive to patricia, too. (with warts and all)…still worthy of mention. but not ready yet for full inclusion.
      .
      i too, will be eagerly, interested in hearing patricia’s response and seeing where, why, if, etc. she draws the lines concerning breaks.

      .
      CHERITA:

      remembering
      .
      how i spread my peas
      on the plate
      .
      pushing some
      into mash potatoes
      the wool over her eyes
      .
      copyright 3/13/2020 by wendy c. bialek
      (now i love peas!)

      *
      to laurie and autumn, etc:

      i use both….”grey” and “gray”
      depending on how i like my meal seasoned!
      .
      “grey” i see as mixed with a little yellow….it is a warmer, but gloomy feeling.
      .
      “gray” has blue mixed in…it is cool….yet, energetic and is cheery with flavour.
      (flowing out my synesthesia)

      1. >>most of my offerings have been posted with quick fun and tongue and cheek…or raw passion….not giving much attention to if they check every box…..and knowing they aren’t all that perfect….but none-the-less…fresh/fun/ artsy and interesting snippets i want to share with the group….not hoping, expecting, or even wanting to strive… to be included quite yet into the final renku.<<<

        Yes, Wendy, this for me! for a lot of my offerings. I strive though. I want to learn, but get frustrated with remembering rules that aren't second nature yet, so I will throw up my hands and let fly without considering everything for some fun.
        .
        Patricia does write it is a list with possibilities. With Konichiwa I took time and thought, so it would be excellent to know the break situation. 🙂
        .
        I took the gkids to their Japanese lessons that week and their teacher went past us in the corridor on the way to the classroom greeting us with 'Konichiwa'. I smiled and nodded, but wasn't game enough to use one of my rusty, five or so Japanese phrases. I didn't have a sense of pausing in that self-exchange. Maybe, it was because I was physically moving and hurrying to get them into the class and unpacked. And it is an age-old exchange for me. As with the phrase 'excuse me' – Sumimasen-. I think," I bumped you? then, Sue me! Ma Sin!"
        .
        And thinking about it, I must think of a break as it is in haiku as a longer pause. A pause to draw reader into a collaboration with you (I read that somewhere). Like, the first line; Winter night- a pause to think that about image, feel the cold on your skin, coming up through the ground into your feet and then the remaining lines another image that is an explanation or a twist? I need to do some more reading.
        .
        I have written all this and Patricia has probably already answered somewhere! LOL!

        1. Come now, Ladies, I’m sure, Patricia is well aware of the verses she has chosen for consideration, lets not forget that these sessions are for, encouragement to participate, not only for those of us who have been practicing this form for a few years, but also for the newbies. I’m still learning, and always will be.
          I can remember a few year back when I started to learn this form, when a few of my effort were picked out, and looking back I think, eek! but was I truly happy.
          I’ve read, Patricia’s work, and she is more than capable of not only taking a renku session, but also has the way of encouraging poets to post and keep posting, as this is how we learn.
          Lets play the game and be grateful we have a person such as this.
          ‘Who among us would take on this task?’

          1. carol,
            i am confident that patricia’s talent and capabilities are quite valued by us all….and i ask that it not be confused… the act of asking for clarification and her views on rules concerning breaks, etc. with any questioning of her abilities as sabaki….quite the reverse….it comes from a desire to get more of her “pearls of wisdom”. which i find enlightening, enjoyable and very meaningful.

          2. carol,
            as to your last question…..i will someday….and it won’t be a task….but an honour…..thank you.

          3. I also like to ask questions and learn, ‘pearls of wisdon’ from those who know better and more than myself, Wendy. Maybe I just prefer a more discrete action of asking.
            .
            I’m really looking forward to the session with yourself as sabaki, all the very best 🙂

          4. >>Come now, Ladies ?/?<<<
            .
            Carol, I will thank you to not to include me in a group rap-over-the-knuckles. I have never and would never question or even ask for clarification of the leader's choices in an on-line forum or a virtual, group session either. Or in any 'competition' I entered. (Bad sportsmanship). And, I was not this time. As I said early in this week, I was "truly happy" with being included in the possibilities. I have repeatedly expressed my "gratitude" to this group and its leaders, "delight" at being included and acknowledged my ignorance. I would never question the capability of a leader any renku session anywhere and I have not done so in this case.
            .
            I replied to Wendy in reference to a specific paragraph of her comment which I included in my comment to prevent this sort of thing.
            .
            However, as I was on Autumn's list of 'contributions with breaks' and thought she was going to get flak for her request.* Why did I think that? Because I have been 'playing the game' and spent hours reading past renku sessions here to learn the game of these sessions, this group and renku in general. But, I just had to try and soften the possible outcome of Autumn's request with, "it would be excellent to know the break situation" and discussing my contribution and musing about breaks. I pointed out it was a "list with possibilities". I acknowledged my newbie status with 'I'm trying hard, but still get it wrong'.
            .
            *What I * edited* from my comment was; I thought Patricia could hardly be expected to critique each and everyone on the list. Each of these sessions can generate upwards of 100's of submissions and she has already taken the time to consider, choose and critique a number of them each session to teach us. That, a leader will give encouragement, as well as instruction and correction. Most try to include as many people in the party as they can in some way. (How do I know this? I have been reading the archived renku sessions (hours) and learning from those). However, if you do that, bear in mind that each leader has their own way of leading and their own takes on haiku and renku and can require different things in their sessions. Also, in an early session I read, one leader was giving feedback in the comments and it was exhausting to read. Repeating the same instructions over and over to separate individuals. It seemed the equivalent of a leader giving private lessons to each student of a huge class. Other sessions the leader just made their selections at what seemed a later date and understandably did not reply to comments at all.
            .
            All of this I wrote more diplomatically than above and then… I deleted it. Because there was no way to dress that up to look tactful. We all break the unseen rules in new groups and cultures through ignorance, not intent. If it is an issue, it can be addressed by the leader, if they choose to do so.
            .
            Patricia seems to have been unruffled about the request and was gracious in her replies.

            I have seen archived sessions on here where the leader was quite blunt and forthright. I know that is part of 'the game' of teaching haiku for some teachers; their style possibly learnt from teachers in Japan. I would accept that and say, ' Thank you' with sincerity.
            .
            Cool, it's a group and you can speak up if someone's annoying you, violating 'rules' or disturbing the 'wa'.
            .
            Lack of gratitude, questioning a leaders' capabilities, questioning a leader's choices, not playing the game; these are negative, personal attributes you are saying I displayed. In the exchange above, I, for one, did not warrant being told I did those things.

        2. fern,
          thank you for sharing your sensitive story in such wonderful prose…it reads like a haibun!
          .
          and may i assure you, we are very much on the same page….i am here to learn all i can…my lack of “striving” was only for inclusion in the first few week’s verse…..not for any inclusion. and certainly not to strive for growing by learning (please reread). but my priority is capture of artistic expression before i forget it!…and fine tuning it if needed, as a secondary priority. and having fun while learning. striving for excellence, to me, is open to interpretation….and the bar moves with each verse.

          every sabaki will have a different philosophy and approach to how they make decisions, and where their priorities go when shaping the renku with the offers they receive….i find this process fascinating to learn from each.

          1. GET IT RIGHT FERN
            It was not me who was questioning the sabaki’s leadership or questioning the leader choice, it was others, and yes it is disrespectful, and not so much annoy but irritate [as it’s supposed to be fun, or has that suddenly gone out the window]. I wouldn’t have posted the words I did, otherwise.

    2. What a great offer–a cup of tea! I accept. And the subject–what constitutes a break in English syntax is fascinating and complicated. You are asking me to distinguish between a break and a pause and the end of a phrase and other possible tics of the English language. I will do my best, but please know I am not the last word on this subject. Gary Snyder said, “Language is wild,” by which he meant you can state the rules of English and then, after you think you have it totally defined, it will slip out of the noose you have so carefully drawn. So starting with the premise that there are some definitions that generally hold, I will venture to offer my thoughts.
      Among the examples you have given (and I agree there are “breaks” in all the places that you have indicated with a slash), there are four with strong syntactical breaks: Robert’s, Fern’s, Christopher’s, and Wendy’s. A strong break is a big negative in verses after the hokku, but, in my opinion, it’s not deadly. It just has to be overcome by some very positive contribution to the total poem. Robert’s and Christopher’s verses contain really interesting, unique ideas. That’s what attracted me to their verses, and if we were in a room together writing this, I would have asked them to try to rewrite their verses to eliminate the break. Fern’s and Wendy’s verses were interesting because they offered unique voices–they, each in their own way, were mimicking how we speak in everyday language and this kind of voice gives the renku the kind of spice or charge I think it needs. Later on in the renku I hope we can include such a verse as one of these.
      Michael’s and Marilyn’s verses start with a prepositional phrase; in English we build sentences from phrases. Phrases are indicated by a soft natural pause that give cadence to the sentence as the thought unfolds. These natural separations or tiny pauses between phrases within the sentence structure are not considered breaks. Breaks would be indicated by semi-colons, dashes, ellipses, and periods. No prepositional phase is ever separated by these punctuation marks.
      Which brings us to Penny’s verse. The separation in this verse would be marked by a comma in a regular English sentence which would be a longer pause than the pause at the end of a phrase and a shorter pause than that given by a hard break, such as that indicated by a period, semi-colon, colon, or dash. So as you can tell, we are in a gray (or is it grey?) area. This syntactical break is soft, and it is not at the end of a line which softens it further. So it becomes a judgement call. And what is the basis for the call? It’s the sound–the flow of the renku. How does the verse work in the movement of the whole poem that we are creating? That is the ultimate test.
      I’ve enjoyed our cup of tea. It was delicious. I hope I get invited back 🙂

      1. bravo, patricia!!!!
        *
        what a great job you took on and made it very organized, and understandable.

      2. Dear Patricia,
        *
        I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the time you’ve taken to elaborate on all of this–what a gift to all of us, but especially to those like me who are so new to the form. It is just such opportunities to learn and grow as a writer that attracted me to participation here–though the collaborative fun makes staying on a joy. I admire your rising to the challenge (and the challengers) with such good nature and grace.
        *
        I agree with all the positives that you have brought forward in the verses in question–I am particularly fond of incorporating colloquialisms and spoken dialogue and seeking unique imagery myself; I tried to briefly state that all of the mentions would make wonderful stand-alone haiku/senryu or even hokku. I sought to understand why, in light of the breaks within them, they were potentials for renku verse as well. You have done a wonderful job of explaining that in a way that I think will benefit all of us here. As always, I find myself motivated to learn the rules in order to someday be able to “break” them as well as these poets have.
        *
        As a writer, I am always looking for the wiggle room–how can I push this a little this way or that–partially because that is how we keep poetry alive, and partially because getting out of the proverbial box is who I am as a person, too. I think that just putting stuff out there, especially in a forum such as this, is a fine way to discover that wiggle room! Kudos to all the “rule-breaking” poets who take the risk of writing spontaneously and from the heart–we are all made better writers because of their daring.
        *
        The kettle’s always on–and I’ll brew a pot next time, as you are all welcome at my poetry table.
        *
        ~Autumn

  47. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    Laurie Greer
    *********************
    quilted jacket panels
    stitched from boomers’ robes
    *********************

  48. tadpoles scubadiving
    in a rusty can
    #######
    I pity extraterrestrials
    with two hearts
    #######
    my pet peeve,
    confetti on my tombstone

  49. midnight
    in the cinder-block dorm room
    *
    having a ball
    in the cinder-block dorm room
    *

    just can’t stay out of it! Some wonderful verses going on here! My best to everyone–

  50. —————————————————-
    1)stitching – needle
    pricking first my finger

    2) peeling banana
    pith almost with the layer

    3) spilling Fanta
    merges with orange apron

    4 ) curling his mustache
    feels to be young again

  51. congrats Laurie, here my entries for this week:
    ***

    the landslide
    keeps villagers apart

    ***

    a cloud of smoke fills the lobby
    while everyone is waiting

    ***

    the nurse is trying
    to gild the pill

    (unsure about this, may too much shine?)

    ***

    what was it called?
    that book about bondage?

  52. 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

    *
    all eyes turn
    to the referee
    *
    the sat nav leads us
    down a dead end
    *
    careful of that picture
    hidden in the attic

  53. back from a fire drill
    to an extended recess
    *******************
    new evidence to refute
    what we’d come to believe
    ***********************
    George takes it in the shorts
    over “My Sweet Lord”
    *************************
    life without parole
    in a concrete jungle
    ********************
    no good deed
    escapes retribution

    1. good point, debbie…
      .
      the cost of combat
      with only “suspects”

      .
      suddenly in the quarry
      i’d been told not to go

      1. rob,

        the world closing down
        due to a complicity of crime


        can you catch it
        from flue gasses?

  54. It’s always amazing where our individual minds go! The ingenuity of the selected and noted verses continues to amaze me. Congratulations, Laurie!

    Verse 1:

    deliberating how to get there
    after dark

    Verse 2:

    he hung a selfie
    on the wall

  55. finger painted graffiti
    on the dust covered cement truck

    .
    finger painted graffiti
    on the cement truck

    1. concrete graffiti
      on the cement truck

      ,

      between a cement truck
      and a passenger bus
      .
      (lol!!! because i can’t say greyhound….repetition of the colour grey and four-legged animals.)
      .
      choice words
      scratched into prison walls

  56. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    .
    Laurie Greer
    .
    unable to find
    his concrete boots
    .
    still looking
    for his concrete boots

  57. a river of fog
    flooding the freeway
    ########
    fog sneaks in
    then sneaks away
    ########
    fog the magician
    makes mountains disappear

        1. Thank you Betty, I will have a look at the link and accept that we need to conform to laid down criteria. I do wonder and will research, When time permits; whether John Carley shared this constraint, him being from the UK. As here in the UK, we also experience winter fog.
          Further, when growing up in London’s docklands, stories were told of pea souper fog that would last for days. Known as the killer fog. The longest on record being in 1952, lasting five days.
          .
          new day
          another matter
          for the grey matter 🙂
          .
          Have a great day.

          https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&ved=2ahUKEwiP2qGDyJboAhXWQUEAHa2MAM8QFjAJegQIERAW&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.businessinsider.com%2Fscientists-finally-know-what-caused-londons-killer-fog-2016-11&usg=AOvVaw2QA2erBHEhtoh_pAn75-Ti

          1. Hi again Betty. Reading your link covers my earlier thoughts.
            .
            The seasons of traditional Japanese poetry are not the same as our common notion of each season today. Rather, as in earlier times in Europe, each season centers on its solstice or equinox. We know that the European view used to accord with the Japanese tradition because even in English today “midsummer” and “midwinter” refer to times near the solstices of their respective seasons. (The same is true of “Mittsommer” in German and its cognates in other Germanic languages; the Feast of Saint John [le Saint-Jean in French, il San Giovanni in Italian, 26 June] is understood as comparable to Midsummer’s Day in England.)

            “If we abandon the traditional view and insist on understanding “spring” as running from the spring equinox to the summer solstice, one-third to one-half the items in the traditional seasonal arrangement will be out of place. Since the progress of a renku normally involves not only the seasons, but movement within the seasons, I believe renku poets will be best served if we adhere to the traditional arrangement, which will keep our renku in accord with all the linked poems of hundreds of years past as well as others being written today.”
            .
            A useful exercise, thank you very much.
            Rob

          2. Tried to respond to this above, in addition to thanking you for the photographer reference, but my post disappeared somehow.
            *
            Very interesting about the fog, which we have year-round here in the mountains–freezing fog icing the pines just this morning, in fact. This is another reason I have a hard time rigidly sticking to Japanese kigo–they often conflict with my be-here-now-ness. Wondering, as a former barista, whether the drink would still violate kigo convention…?
            *
            ~Autumn
            *
            the jury still out
            on gray
            vs grey
            *
            Laurie Greer
            *
            will that be Lady or Earl
            in your London Fog, Sir?
            *
            😀

  58. Congrats Laurie!
    .
    So pleased to have an honourable mention this time. Thank you, Patricia. Your commentaries are so interesting and informative to me. Eye and mind opening.
    .
    a spot of tea with Poirot
    .
    brightens the afternoon
    .

    1. I think I have to work on this one.
      .
      a spot of tea with Poirot
      .
      brightens the afternoon
      .
      Would ‘a spot of tea with Poirot’ link to rendevous?
      .
      Would brighten be considered a ‘shiny’ reference?
      .
      Would anyone have noticed if I had kept my mouth shut?
      .

      edit

      bliss is a spot of tea
      .
      while reading Poirot
      .

      1. Lol.
        It’s a grey area Fern.
        .
        between the sheets
        with poirot
        .
        for as long as it takes
        the ink to dry

        1. clutching my pearls,
          I find his pince-nez

          which is an apt description of my first reaction and second, delayed reaction to your response!

          1. white carnations
            for the lady
            .
            Apologies if offended.
            I merely held a mirror up to your own words, acknowledging the need for an answer.
            Have a great day.

          2. ******
            Not offended, Robert. 🙂 It was in the spirit of renku, but unexpected. I used the phrase ‘a spot of tea’, because I thought it smacked of the upper class in the settings and times of Agatha Christie’s books. So there I was in the drawing room having a prim and proper afternoon tea reading Poirot. The next minute ..!!…
            .
            I thought my first reaction was hilarious and I like to make fun of myself. Life is too short to forgo any laughter. To be able to use the phrase ‘”clutching my pearls” was irresistible. I like that in our comments we can have a separate renku party.
            .
            I assumed there was no reply option? to your latest comment, because moderators thought I was offended, but now (always with the hindsight) other people might be? If so, I would imagine they can edit/delete this.
            .
            Which brings me to the use of ‘rendezvous’ in the first verse. At the time I wondered how much intimacy was intended. In my mind it does have a romantic and secretive meaning. I noted the snowshoes were ‘piled high’ and not just two pairs. And I know that saunas are for families and friends and the general public. No…we aren’t on the love verses yet. I enjoyed thinking it over and reading about sauna culture and the definition of rendezvous.

          3. Pleased to hear it Fern. 🙂
            Must admit to loving your initial response. Perhaps Patricia will consider it as a serious contender. Perhaps with a slight revision, if deemed necessary.
            .
            clutching my pearls,
            I find his pince-nez
            .
            Being spontaneous we can sometimes produce our best verse.
            I certainly would not intend to steal one’s thunder.
            As for your original revision
            .

            bliss is a spot of tea
            .
            while reading Poirot
            .
            I pondered “With poirot”
            It has a pun like feel about it. And may sway the connection to rendezvous. It’s only my opinion though. Me being a mere minnow in this mighty pond.
            .Keep up the great work.
            Rob

  59. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey –
    .
    Laurie Greer
    .
    a new member loses out
    in the winkle club
    .
    an Arabian dapple
    romps home at Cheltenham

    .

  60. barnacles ride the bow
    of sunken battleships
    ##############
    ghosts patrol the decks
    of sunken battleships

  61. Bravo Laurie
    *******************
    in a dead heat between
    the movie and the book
    ***********************
    “too many teardrops for
    one heart to be crying”
    ***********************
    deadlocked between
    imperial stout and hazy IPA

  62. Loved reading your comments, Patricia.
    .
    the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    .
    the novel on the next train seat
    famous for being unfinished

  63. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    .
    Laurie Greer
    *
    sixty
    the new
    forty
    .

    is this too close to wolf hair colour?

  64. yeah!!!! this is when it gets to be nearer to fun for me….i love hearing the commentary….and learning the deeper nuances of renku…this being only my second renku session with thf.

    *
    laurie….congrats! you did a marvelous twist in the progress of rendezvous renku!
    i will enjoy looking in to how the hooks go onto this new exciting one…
    *
    patricia it reads so smooth. and i totally see and understand your thinking, and narrowing down process.

    *
    i have one question….since i am still a newbie, here….is the hokku treated differently than following verses….when it comes to repetition of words and closeness to words? is it immune?
    *
    ie: “outside” in line 3 of hokku and “out” in line 1 in verse 3 ?

    *
    and
    ie: “snowshoes” in line 2 of hokku and “boots” in line 2 of marina’s new offering,( aside from the “winter ref.”) ?

    thank you in advance….for clarity on my understanding of renku format rules.

    1. Wendy–Great questions and great catches. A big no-no is to repeat anything in the hokku anywhere in the rest of the poem. Regarding boots and snowshoes: definitely too close. I lapsed in not noticing either of these problems. But both are fixable. Renku is a communal process. If we were writing this as a physical group as opposed to a virtual group with a time lag, you would have mentioned this and we, as a group, would have suggested modifications to eliminate the problem. For example, the first line could be changed to “the jury deadlocked” or “the jury at an impasse” and hopefully Laurie, in the interest of making the poem better, would agree to the change. Thanks so much for your questions.

      1. thanks for that clarification, patricia…i’m trying to learn, and absorb as much as i can, here, i so treasure all the commentary you have and will put forth.
        .
        should personal group gatherings be threatened….these virtual groups may become the new norm. how can we prepare now and utilize this virtual format to accomplish what can be attained in a classroom environment?
        .
        as more and more of the world population has had the normal flow of life….abruptly stopped….renku group supplies more than a collaborative writing experience…it has been a safe friend and family to hold hands with during these times when we are fighting an unknown enemy…together. Please forgive me that i may stray in my posts from the conventional order of verse topic that you have made very clear….but the sharing of feelings are so strong and undeniable….great therapy, too! please know i do respect your wishes.
        it is my way of creating awareness in the now, sharing truths, and keeping connected with poet people who may not be here tomorrow…when we are allowed to talk about it in verse six.

        1. Wendy–
          I completely agree with all you say about the value and meaning of this renku group–especially right now. It’s hard to live with so much uncertainty, not to mention the outright fear/panic that’s, so far, here, anyway, just under the surface. How far from normal can daily life go? Renku provides a wonderful anchor and center–as well as a way to transform anxiety into something more meaningful.

          1. laurie,
            i hear you! i hear you now!
            we are not alone.
            i’m not at panic….nor fear….i was reading the writing on the walls….for a long time now…so i prepared myself psychologically for this…and i know how i plan to spend the remaining time….doing and surrounding myself with what brings inspiration…while i can.
            thank you for sharing.

      2. Hi Patricia…if substituting dead-locked or impasse is instituted, doesn’t that literally stop the flow? Especially at this junction where the “party” is still getting started??
        Respectfully,
        Betty

        1. Just seeing this now. I’m not averse (as it were) to changing “out” to “at an impasse,” or “deadlocked” but “the jury is out” is the common phrase. Would it be easier to change the third line of the hokku to
          rendezvous —
          snowshoes piled high
          alongside the sauna?

          *
          I don’t feel comfortable rewriting this fine verse, but would something like this be in accord with renku protocol?

          1. I realize sometimes earlier verses need to be revised as a renku progresses, so I am open to my verse being changed. But I would prefer ‘beside the sauna’ if it is the hokku that gets revised. Whatever Patricia decides is OK with me.
            Sally

  65. Thank you, Patricia! I am stunned! I also appreciate getting your thinking on the different verses–and I must say, the association between wolves and a “packed jury” had not occurred to me before. So much can just slip into these things.

    And thanks to all who are making this such a fantastic experience. There are so many outstanding verses each week, I love going through them and getting the rush of everyone’s different inspirations. I’m not usually much of a joiner, but I feel truly part of this group.

    And I hope it’s all right if I keep sending things. Now that I’ve discovered renku, I don’t think I can go 15 weeks without it!!

    My best to all–

    1. i know you are asking patricia the question….but i just wanted you to know this renku experience would not be the same for me without your participation! laurie !!!!!

    2. Well done, Laurie!

      My immediate thoughts on reading your verse were of two films: the first was “The Grey” the survivalist thriller drama starring Liam Neeson as a huntsman; the second was the much older film focussing on a custody battle—Kramer vs Kramer, with Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep.

  66. the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey
    .
    Laurie Greer
    .
    a olden day snap shot
    at Portsmouth harbour
    .
    not vain enough
    to go back to black

        1. this is a b&w print, (photographic) being toned in a chemical bath of sepia toner, in a darkroom….robert….what do you see?

          1. Sorry. Went with the colours of sepia. Brown, reds etc. Not the process.
            the silence
            within old films

  67. Congrats Laurie and thank you Patricia for explaining the reasoning behind your choices, that gave me a better understanding of renku.

  68. Excellent, Laurie!

    the jury still out
    on gray
    vs grey – Laurie Greer

    30 taste buds in a space
    the size of a hole punch
    – Betty Shropshire

  69. Another great compilation Patricia.
    Congratulations Laurie, a deserved verse.
    Well done everyone.
    I must confess, I kinda hoped Mary’s different size spoons was going to come through, as I had already cast a few responses.
    Grey on gray certainly holds the bar high, given the guidelines.

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