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The Renku Sessions: Rendezvous – Week 7

 

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 one more week for me “sheltering in place.” How about you? A poet friend this week told me not to think of it as being quarantined, self-imposed or otherwise—think of yourself as an artist-in-residence. Some of you may know this poet—Christopher Herold. He’s been known to write renku. Renku is a good place for companionship in times like these.

This week I learned about some new words: zoonotic and zoonosis. Thanks Laurie Greer and Carol Jones. These words are very relevant to our present circumstances. Having words that help us express ourselves more precisely also helps us think more deeply.

And now to our renku, “Rendezvous.” (I’m beginning to feel that our renku title is more and more appropriate given the times we’re in.) Here are the verses that made the “semi-finals” this week:

 

against a clear sky
dust devil’s scattering ashes

Carol Jones

 

 (What’s the Story)
Morning Glory?

Marion Sheila Clarke

 

pressing alexa
on lonely autumn nights

*

at the autumn gates
who can hear me now

*

mantis up side down
praying can you hear me now

Wendy C. Bialek

 

still clinging to the farm fence
a joey’s charred carcass

*

“Dry-Lightning Bushfire Smoke Plume
Expected to Lap the Globe”

Judt Shrode

 

the reaper harvests
with unnerving precision

Kanjini Devi

 

knowing what not wear
when the leaves start to fall

Michael Henry Lee

 

migrating raptors
flesh out the bones of the tale

Clysta Seney

 

the understated look
of the autumn light
*

Autumn thorn trees
baring their teeth

*

the chill coming in
through the open attic window

Laurie Greer

 

wildfires racing
ahead of the news

Ellen Compton

 

who will be there
to harvest the crops

Andrew Shimield

 

a cool autumn evening
with three on a match

Michael Henry Lee

 

only Buddha’s serene head
above the fallen leaves

Kristen Lindquist

 

crows glean the field
six feet apart

Nancy Brady

 

still planking the curve
as dusk falls across a fall field

Marilyn Potter

 

can sense prevail
when leaders are straw men?

Pauline O’Carolan

 

quarantined
for the harvest meal

*

Chrysanthemums fill the space
behind her image on Zoom

Liz Ann Winkler

 

she knew which mushrooms
could kill a man

         M. R. Defibaugh

 

our long stare at the barbed
victim impaled by a shrike

Betty Shropshire

 

meadow saffrons bloom
in the quarantine zone

Ingrid Reuper

 

raking’s not always
the mindless task it seems

Laurie Greer

 

 

From these I narrowed my choices down to the following six:

 

scarecrows and
moons are the best
listeners

(What’s the Story)
Morning Glory?

I love this verse and how it plays with the idea of the scarecrow and the moon listening. I like the playfulness of the rhyme. The problem is the subtext: it’s the name of a music album and we are avoiding music because of “antiphonal” in the second verse.

 

scarecrows and
moons are the best
listeners

at the autumn gates
who can hear me now

 

I also like the feeling evoked by this verse. It feels very, very lonely during this time when we are required to isolate ourselves. Even with the scarecrow and the moon offering to listen, there is still this question: “does anybody hear me? Does anybody care?” Right now, many older people are trapped in nursing homes unable to see their families and people are dying in hospitals without their loved ones; if there was ever a time for a verse like this, this is it. The only resistance I have to selecting this verse is the use of the word “autumn.” As the person choosing the verses, I know that choosing a verse with a season word in it this early is risky because I won’t be able to have any more verses with a season named throughout the rest of the renku. So, by choosing this verse I know I am narrowing the options for later.

 

scarecrows and
moons are the best
listeners

“Dry-Lightning Bushfire Smoke Plume
Expected to Lap the Globe”

 

Here’s a newspaper headline screaming to the world: this is your fate; you didn’t listen, and now all of you will suffer the consequences. This might be the exact wording of a headline. If we were in a group writing this renku, I would ask Judt to cut “Dry-Lightning” to shorten it a bit and also to seat it solidly in autumn.

 

scarecrows and
moons are the best
listeners

a cool autumn evening
with three on a match

 

Ah—this is a great verse. It gives the perfect image of three people sitting around on a porch or a campfire or park bench or an old log lighting up cigarettes as they chat with the moon or a scarecrow listening in. The problem is it takes us back to the verse about tea and that little intimate conversation. We don’t want to go back.

 

scarecrows and
moons are the best
listeners

crows glean the field
six feet apart

 

Very great commentary on the present situation without being too blatant. The repeat of crows is the dilemma—is it too obvious a connection?

 

scarecrows and
moons are the best
listeners

Chrysanthemums fill the space
behind her image on Zoom

 

Another commentary on life in this time of sequestration. Even though we are a long way from the blossom verse (#17), I hesitate to bring in a blossom if I have other options.

 

Having written my thoughts about each of these verses, it has become clear that the best choice for our renku is Wendy’s “who can hear me now.”

So, here is the renku with verse six:

 

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

 

 

And now instructions and considerations for our seventh verse. We have definitely moved from the getting-to-know-you stage of the party; the party is in full swing now—the conversations are lively, maybe even a bit heated, and music is turned up and people are starting to hit the dance floor. At this stage all subjects, politics, religion, illness, death, are acceptable. This verse should link to the sixth verse, but have no connection to the fifth verse. The requirements for this verse are:

  • a three-line poem of seventeen syllables or less
  • this is an autumn verse. (Note: wildfire is an autumn subject; Covid 19 is nonseasonal—at least for now.) Avoid four-legged animals and musical references for at least the next two verses. Avoid the mention of colors for the next three verses, no beverages for the next four, no celestial references for five verses, and no building structures like gates, fences, houses, doors, etc. for six verses. No mention of autumn.
  • a single syntactical structure flowing over three lines

 

Please enter your verses in the comments box, below. I will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Tuesday, April 7 (California time zone). On Thursday, April 9, there will be a new posting containing my selection for the seventh verse, some discussion of other appreciated verses, and instructions for composing the eighth verse.

Please stay safe and healthy. Do take all precautions. I think the renku is shaping up nicely. I hope you agree. I look forward to hearing what’s on your mind! It helps to have a preoccupation right now.

Patricia

This Post Has 373 Comments

  1. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    even the train’s
    too weak to whistle
    on this weary long night

  2. a hearse rushed by
    and dead leaves
    come alive
    ***
    gathering
    acorns for jelly
    all alone
    ***
    dead leaves fall
    into an endless heap of
    her untimely death
    ***
    an abandoned
    basketball settles
    in some leaves
    ***
    enjoying a bag
    of toasted
    pumpkin seeds
    ***
    a downy
    woodpecker
    drumming loudly

    1. Nevermind that last one, being musical and birds bringing us back to crows/scarecrows…
      ***
      a hearse rushes by
      and dead leaves
      come alive

        1. Or to avoid the “half-and-half” and “scarecrows and moons” two-part structure, why not just a possible quarantine menu?
          *
          potato flakes
          instant noddles
          canned sardines

    2. I’d never heard of acorn jelly before– how cool! I found recipes for a Korean version online ( dotorimuk), and I’m wondering whether that is what you are referring to in your unique verse? I love making Korean dishes, especially homemade kimchi. Since I no longer eat meat, I am excited at the prospect of adding this vegan dish to my cooking repertoire! I plan to save this recipe to my files to try it this fall, if our gambol oak produce acorns this year! Meanwhile, I’d love to learn about any other types of acorn jelly you might have been referring to!
      *
      Thanks so much for the opportunity to learn something new! Looking forward to putting that knowledge to work this fall🐿
      *
      ~Autumn

  3. on arrival
    of the first fog
    the mailbox
    begins to squeak

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    who knows if it will be ready
    the covid vaccine 19
    when will the swallows go away?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    all dry leaves
    gathered with the blower
    in the compost pile

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    1. a correction in the form of the first ku

      on arrival of the first fog
      the mailbox
      begins to squeak

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      who knows if it will be ready
      the covid vaccine 19
      when will the swallows go away?

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      all dry leaves
      gathered with the blower
      in the compost pile

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    1. Too like a hokku, my apologies. My new offer:
      .
      only the snipe
      know when to leave
      when free venturing
      .

  4. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    shuffling
    near the end end
    of the maize maze

  5. her pet budgie
    laid to rest
    under fallen leaves
    *
    the sunset clamour
    of pots and pans
    from balconies
    *
    harvest meal
    and candlelight
    alone on the balcony

  6. sumo wrestlers
    shred the last paper roll
    in the shoprite
    *

    *ShopRite is the name of a chain of supermarket in eastern, usa
    *
    sumo wrestlers
    shred the last paper roll
    in the safeway

    *
    *SAFEWAY is the name of a chain of supermarkets in the usa

    1. and for those down under, who may feel left out:
      *
      sumo wrestlers
      shred the last paper roll
      in the woolworths
      *
      and for those who might like a universal feel
      *
      sumo wrestlers
      shred the last paper roll
      in the supermarkets

  7. early morning
    Mass, a priest prays
    for my wallet
    #####
    evening traffic,
    car horns sound
    more lonely than mad

  8. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now — Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    the wild geese
    report a glimpse
    of hidden peaks

  9. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now — Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    tap dancing cricket
    asks the crowd
    to step away

      1. Thx Wendy…someone advised me that in renku try to write more and edit less…giving it a try

  10. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    *
    Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    six vertical feet
    of social distancing
    in the potter’s field
    *
    ~Autumn

    P.S. just wanted to add here (because scrolling down has become unwieldy! Sorry for contributing to that!) for Lorin that I completely understood what you meant by wondering about literal “autumn gates.” In looking up the same myself, I came across (among town house complexes, etc.), a Thomas Kinkaid painting titled Autumn Gate. If you zoom in close, you can just about make out Wendy peeking out of the foliage. 😉😂

    P.P.S. I can’t recall ever encountering my name so many times in one place! ☺️

  11. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now — Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    it’s a long wait
    in the long queue
    for new rice

    1. I can only imagine how long the queue and wait will get.
      Rice is a staple part of many peoples died, in parts of the world,
      .
      There’s that element of hope and rebirth, there is talk of a ‘corona baby boom’ this made me think of that tiny seed swelling and growing,
      .
      Would I be right in saying this is an all autumn reference?

        1. Thanks for that, Betty, appreciated.
          .
          That underwear has come in handy after eating all those chips 🙂
          .
          Keep safe, lovely girl.

          1. HAHAHA! I’m down to popsicles and soda crackers. The rv is closing in on me…ugh! But I’m behavin’. Hope you are too! 🙏

      1. Thanks, Betty, for answering Carol.
        .
        Yes, Carol, I went through Higginson’s 500, trying to find a kigo (Japanese… (they’re all Japanese, as shown in the title of the site “… Essential Japanese Season Words” ) that hadn’t yet been used by anyone else. I think that “new rice” was about all that was left!
        .
        I must say, things are looking crazy on this thread. Some are submitting, in good faith, genuine possible verses for consideration, some are submitting “no season” verses just for the hell of it, and at least one is spouting out verses like mad and hogging the kigo/seasonal references much in the manner of the infamous shoppers grabbing all the toilet paper left in the supermarket!
        .
        https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/mar/07/it-isnt-mad-max-police-warning-after-shoppers-brawl-over-toilet-paper-in-sydney
        .

        1. Thank you f or the smile Lorin.
          Here the toilet rolls are much easier to get now.
          .
          split eyed chestnuts
          at different points
          on the learning curve

        2. sardines is a seasonal word, btw…lorin….it’s on this list and it is late autumn.
          *
          lorin, are you at all implying that once a kigo word is used on the comment/posts/ offerings to patricia….it can’t be used again????
          *
          i know we can’t repeat certain words in the actual renku….but i am not aware of that this rule extends in our offering…..do you have a source you can point me to?

          1. “sardines is a seasonal word, btw…lorin….it’s on this list and it is late autumn.” – Wendy
            .

            Sure, ‘sardines/’ ( iwashi ) is a kigo for all autumn. That is, for the Japanese, there is a season for fishing for sardines, selling them fresh at the market, for preparing and cooking them, eating them etc . . . all these make for a kigo, which is a nod to a connection between human activity and the natural world.

            .
            https://washokufood.blogspot.com/2009/02/iwashi-sardines.html
            .
            Whether just the word ‘sardine’ ( as in your simile re people “standing like sardines in a can ” which I found distracting ….how do sardines, things without feet or legs, stand? … but amusing) counts as a kigo/ seasonal reference is something I’d really like some expert advice on, but I’m pretty certain it’s not. When I open a can of sardines in spring, does the season suddenly become autumn? No. Canned or otherwise preserved food is All Year, or ‘no season’ , which also has its place in renku.
            .
            re : “lorin, are you at all implying that once a kigo word is used on the comment/posts/ offerings to patricia….it can’t be used again????” – WEndy
            .
            No, I’m not implying that once someone uses a kigo in a verse offer for a particular verse position, another person can’t use the same kigo. It obviously can be done as you’ve been doing it frequently.
            .
            In former renku I’ve been involved in I’ve noted that participants have quite often, even usually, refrained from using the same kigo/reference as that which someone else has offered for the same verse position (offers earlier in the same week, in THF renku.) I don’t think it’s a rule. I think it’s just an ordinary matter of consideration for others, but that’s just my view.
            .
            It’s ultimately up to the sabaki to guide the group, though no sabaki I can recall has given any instructions on this. And it seems to me that previously, they haven’t needed to as it’s never become an issue. I have seen apologies when someone has accidentally repeated a kigo that someone else has offered earlier. For sources, well, you could read through the threads on various THF renku to date and see for yourself what people do and say.
            .
            Or you could ask Patrica, our sabaki, what her view is on this aspect of how this renku group proceeds. Patricia is the one we need to rely on as our guide for this session.

          2. lorin,
            good point!
            i see your point about, sardines as a canned item being questionable.
            but fresh caught should be ok….yes?
            *
            so….i ask patricia what her ideas are on this matter?????

        3. these are strange times, don’t know about you….but this blog is serving many purposes for me. i enjoy, for example…..when dan may post w/o kigo or even w/o link to the ongoing renku….his work is innovative, charming, often fun, and often touching. we all can use more of this,
          at a time, when touching in other ways, is on hold for safety reasons. i am enjoying the journey….despite our differences of seeing water levels in a glass.

          1. Hi, Wendy. Others have politely suggested that Dan save his ‘love/disgruntled love verses for the appropriate time. Even John politely suggested to Dan to rework a verse so that it was in the appropriate form of not being haiku like. Imagine someone new coming here, trying to get the gist of the renku form…those verses create confusion. You assume much with the “we all need”. Not so. I find them, like others have said, a distraction that interrupts the flow. And somewhat disrespectful for being an intentional disregard of the Sabaki’s request. Nor to my knowledge, is this a personal clearing house for unloading verses that have nothing to do with the renku.
            Some/many of us do find comfort and joy in creating renku within the boundaries given by a sabaki. I honestly think that’s why so few from past renku aren’t participating…the lack of consideration for the form turns some people away.
            Betty

          2. betty,
            that is so strange to me…..i have been here all this time, and i never heard anyone complain with a post to dan….including john. i heard several people say to dan that his love poem should be resubmitted for the love section of renku, and i might have let know how it may need to be reworked for it….but it all came from a loving and supported place.
            he, like myself are beginners…..we are learning here….neither of us are doing anything in obvious disregard….of sabaki, we are first learning to navigate. ….why not use all your wisdom and show him how to convert a haiku into a sentence?

        4. Glad you saw the funny side, Betty, and yes taking care of the heart is a must, I too like the crackers but limited, for now, when all else is gone I may have to resort to the box of popsicles left over from Xmas.
          When you get to my age you have to ‘try’ and behave yourself in more ways than one 🙂
          .
          Thanks for the reply, Lorin.
          This is what I have become to like about the sessions looking for that kigo that hasn’t been used, or trying to use it in a different way if it has, I just hope I’m doing the right thing with the latter.
          .
          I know this disease is very serious and is a massive worry, reading your last paragraph along with the link brought forth laughter, what a great start to the day.
          Such an amusing response by that policeman, And one I will be remembering for future use. Brilliant.
          It was lovely to read about the view from your window, I often wonder what other people see during their isolation, that too I hope will be reflected in a future session.
          I sincerely hope it will be upbeat
          You and puss keep safe.

      1. You reminded me of this that I wrote when the invite for verse 7 came up.
        So often we turn to comfort eating in hours of concern.
        .
        what’s left of the crisp
        packet crumpled
        by the bedside

        1. Yes we do, and a comfort that is now metred out with care. Either due to lack of money or a shortage in the shops, but the latter is getting better.
          .
          These things such as a ‘crumpled crisp packet’ would we ever have realised the significance of it until now, that crackling sound filling the silence, and left to the reader to decide if it is a hospital bed or just the authors own.

          .

        1. Thanks for that, Karen, I think this would make a smashing haiku, I say this as there is just a hint of a pause after the second line. I have read renku posts that do have, what seems to me a pause.
          There’s a strong possibility I could be totally wrong mind 🙂
          This is the kind of discussion I like in a session, and hopefully there’ll be others who can make a contribution to this before we move on. A lovely verse and a good potential to learn a little more.
          Thankyou for your input. Nice work.

  12. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    testing the water
    stags tussle
    on the hillside

    1. That made me smile.
      .
      I was alerted to a Welsh goat invasion in empty streets of Llandudno.
      If you do a search for the offenders it will pop up.
      I’m useless at links

      1. I see the article re the welsh goats Carol and must admit to searching the kigo database. Only to find they fall under sheep, which is a spring kigo.
        I imagine it was quite a sight.

        1. I only saw this online, but I’m sure it gave the locals a bit of light relief, the little tinkers.

          1. the shah of persia gave queen victoria 2 rare breed goats. The ideal environment for them was the great orme at llandudno. They have multiplied and terrorised the town ever since.
            http://www.greatorme.org.uk/canolfan.html

            statue of goat at the visitor centre by Graham High – past president of the British Haiku Society

          2. Thanks for the link Andrew. And another piece of the societies history.

          3. I’ve never been there, Andrew, it looks a beautiful place to visit, thanks for the link, and well worth another browse.
            The invading goats do look similar to the Tibetan breed given to Queen Victoria. Only once, many years ago, I had a goat, that too went walkabout down to the village, not good, as it helped itself to the bedding plants, and what wasn’t eaten was just flung. It went back to market. I will never be tempted again, much easier to buy the goat milk in the shop.

        2. mistaken for deer
          a flock of goats
          breach the time lock
          .
          goats
          changing light
          in the flower garden
          .
          A Question for the more experienced amongst us.
          .
          A couple of verses I’ve played with to feature the goats Carole mentions above. Both I believe have a double kigo (given that goats come under sheep, a spring kigo).
          Is this a no no in renku practice?
          .
          @Andrew ;
          I smiled at the humour that perhaps lies behind the gift. Hopefully I’ve captured it in part in my second verse.

          1. That’s a good question, Robert. We know it happens in haiku on times, I think this presentation is experimental in modern verse, there was a discussion on this in another forum.
            Well worth knowing.

          2. ‘Sheep’ … just like that, a spring kigo? That doesn’t feel right to me. Robert, where is that pronouncement?
            .
            ‘Lambs’, logically fit with spring. As do other very young animals, such as foals.
            .
            Here’s what I find on the WKDB:
            .

            “***** Sheep (hitsuji)
            With no further addition, this is a topic.
            non-seasonal topic ” (Gabi Greve)
            .
            But “shearing sheep” and “shearing goats” is ‘late spring’. It’s not clear where that’s for. It seems to be for Kenya.
            .
            ” ENGLAND

            Around 500 professional shearers, many of them Jackaroos – cowboys adept at ranch and farm skills – or their female equivalent Jillaroos, have been travelling to the UK for decades to help cut the fleeces of the 25million-strong national flock during the main shearing season, from May 1 to the end of July.

            source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk
            .

            All from here: https://kenyasaijiki.blogspot.com/2005/07/goats.html

          3. Thank you for the feed back Lorin.
            I too found the same piece of information.
            No actual kigo for goats though.

          1. Thank you Betty. That never entered this newbies mind. I should have re read Patricia’s note. My apologies to all.

        1. Just looked at the video, and to be honest, I also watched the monkey invasion, you can give me goats any day.
          Fab link.

      2. Hi, Carol! I’m not sure if you’ll get a chance to see this, as we’re past the deadline for this verse at this point (it’s 1:49 a.m. mountain time). I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this amusing event with us here. I googled it and found several articles, plus some great video footage, all of which I passed along to my 8 grade school aged nieces and nephews. I thought it would make a wonderful “current event” for sharing, ask might allow several lines of education. Anything to break up the monotony of iPad and Zoom schooling.
        *
        Much appreciation for the education as well as the amusement! Go goats!! No…really…go goats…! (though, honestly, it does my heart good to see nature having its way so readily in our absence. Makes me wonder whether the Earth will shed so much as a single tear when we’re all gone).
        *
        ~Autumn

        1. Hi Autumn
          .
          I’m glad this brought some fun into your life and also good to know you are sharing it with others.
          Animals do what comes naturally to them, even if it is a golden opportunity to help themselves to much prised manicured hedges and gardens, to them its not being naughty, playful maybe 🙂
          .
          I doubt whether a tear will be shed when we no longer exist, nature will do what nature has always done, business of usual, which is heartening.
          Even as this disease is spreading geographically via the host, nature goes on. The birds are singing, the seasonal flowers are blooming, the trees and shrubs are greening up nicely, then there’s other plants in leaf, growing, with a promise of more loveliness to come.
          .
          One thing I do know you will enjoy what is going on around you, in the natural world, and will encourage other to do likewise.
          .
          Thankyou for your post Autumn
          Keep safe keep well. This world needs people like you 🙂

  13. the oilmen of the apocalypse
    make their strike
    for Keystone
    *
    Or
    the oilmen of the apocalypse
    double down
    on Keystone
    *

  14. still rocking,
    grandpa’s front porch chair
    on windy days
    ######
    emergency
    room nurse grin, my
    Batman underwear

  15. mother nature Is
    allowed to touch me
    with first rain
    .
    mother nature
    soothes us
    with her first rain

  16. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    some pastor’s
    blindly call their flocks
    to early judgement day

  17. my ptsd
    sees the globe
    as one big petri-dish

    *
    night chills
    at the head of my bed
    infrared thermometer
    *
    if the world had
    a cuomo dragon
    to fight these wildfire flames
    *

  18. banana tree
    leaf yard, drinking stars
    in a barrel
    ######
    no social
    distancing, refugee
    camp shadows

  19. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    the dragonfly nymph
    from its muddy depths
    captures a tadpole

  20. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    sea salt air
    the only hint of the beach
    in this fog

  21. Congratulations, Wendy, a poignant verse for the times.

    Verse 1:

    Sydney’s streets are desolate
    and the homeless
    beg for company

    Verse 2:

    awake in the long night
    of the soul
    all he hears is silence

    Verse 3:

    underneath the flowery field
    the bones of the dead
    lie quietly

    Verse 4:

    making our way
    through the fog
    we reached the mountain top

    1. ty, pauline,
      love all your offerings! you have touched on pulse……the sign of a true artist!
      your last one verse 4….the mountain….is very telling!
      verse 3. the last two lines are perfect….i wonder about “flowers” here since patricia said they will come much later in renku.
      verse 2, lines 1&3 are strong…is 2. even needed?????
      verse 1 is great….w/ or w/o sydney…..quite universal statement!

      1. Wendy, if in “w/ or w/o sydney…..quite universal statement!” if w/ or w/o is intended to mean “who or what is Sydney” (as in Pauline’s verse,) all I can say is ” Which planet are you from?”
        .
        My best guess, answering my own question, is ‘Planet America’, i.e. the USA. )

      2. Thank you, Wendy, for your warm response to my verses. Much appreciated.

        Just a couple of comments:

        ‘Flowery fields’ is an autumn reference so hopefully not rejected as being too close to blossom.

        About Sydney, I think we need proper nouns/locations at some stage in the renku. I used Sydney because it is the major city in New South Wales, the one I know best. Of course it could be substituted by any other city, which I hoped readers would do. As you say, universal.

        1. Pauline,
          r: v 3:
          that would be great…cause i really love it..yes i too saw it on the list of kigo for autumn,.i just don’t know about this….my mind tells me flowers are blossoms and blossoms are flowers, regardless of season/kigo….we will see what patricia feels about it.

          .
          r: v1:
          i support your use of sydney.
          and i do know where sydney is…as sometimes, lol!!! i do live on this planet, lol!!!….but, think i am misunderstood…..what i meant was that what you are saying here….may apply to all places of the globe….and is an important statement that you are making.
          i enjoy your your little twist….using “company”…..because maybe not many people have any money….and the homeless, may understand compassionately…that what is worth more than money is people’s lives and need for each other….in hard times…..(i don’t want to imply, that all people who are homeless, are also money-less, because it isn’t always true!) but hard times “can” bring out another form of empathy….and different priorities for needs, values and compassion.
          Thank you for writing these verses….and bringing deeper thought to the renku offerings.

        1. Thank you, Michael. I’m glad you like it. It’s always great to get feedback. Pauline

  22. coming unhinged
    over death, taxes
    and shorter days
    ***************
    an open and
    shut case of
    witch-craft
    ************
    candy corn kernels
    lead us straight to
    the killer

  23. my reformatted submission

    —————-

    at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now

    —————

    rustle of leaves
    waking you to new
    consciousness
    ——————

    celestial bodies
    now in shrunken state
    on mud baked wall

  24. Congrats Wendy, and thank you Patricia for guiding us here.
    *
    the earth receives
    countless numbers
    of fallen leaves

  25. Revision: ‘Dew frost’ (kigo list) doesn’t sound like a common English term to me, and I believe hoar frost is the same thing.
    .
    covered in hoar frost
    the world has aged
    overnight
    .

    1. 🙂 ‘Dew Frost’ certainly doesn’t seem like a common English term to me, either. Guess what result I got first when I googled my question:
      .
      Q – What is frozen dew called?
      .
      A, – Frozen dew is called frost.
      .
      🙂

      1. There is a difference, though. I won’t try to write it, I’d make a mess of it. But dew frost/hoar frost can occur in much warmer circumstances. I could have it mixed up, but I don’t think so.

  26. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    *
    Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    woodpecker’s
    Morse missive mostly
    gibberish
    *
    Hey, a kigo that actually lives in my neighborhood! Rat-a—tat-tat, how about that?!
    *
    ~Autumn

      1. i was writing my verse underneath yours……while you were posting yours…..how cool is that? judt?-?-?-?-

  27. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now [Wendy . Bialek]
    .
    single parent nurse
    says yes to
    the shooting star’s ask
    .

  28. edited versions:
    .
    tumbleweed race
    six feet ahead
    of the wildfire
    .
    or
    .
    tumbleweeds race
    six feet ahead
    of the wildfire

  29. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now

    ***
    the storks’ sound
    does not penetrate
    the empty streets
    ***
    after the wind storm
    we will collect
    our alienated lives
    ***
    the sea storm
    which silences also the storks
    it will pass

  30. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    with a bow
    a zen monk arrives
    late to the gathering

  31. a witch’s concoction
    of the untried
    and untrue
    *
    making a short day’s work
    of gutting
    due process
    *
    And revision:
    all the saints
    in the ranks
    of the first responders
    *

  32. symphony –
    icy rain on tin
    barn roof
    #####
    taco dinner,
    memories of a boyhood
    career as Zorro
    ######
    hospital window
    eleven leaves remain
    on the oak tree

          1. i can hear a song emerge hear…..in the sound/ of american pie/ the day the battery died?

    1. Hmmm, technical question—I have been doing my edits by replying to the original submission. Is there a preferred way? Thx,
      Clysta

      1. speaking for myself, clysta, i usually do that, too…..but in this case….i changed it so dramatically, it felt like a new verse. i’m proud of how it came out and i wanted it to get new eyes on it.

      2. Hi, Clysta–I try to scroll down and see if anything has been added, but it might be safer to do a revision by just making a new entry.

  33. flying seagulls –
    handkerchiefs waving,
    waving goodbye
    ########
    temple visit,
    buying caged doves
    to set them free
    ########
    attic find,
    her love letters
    in Spanish

  34. In attempting a bushfire verse, I used Wikipedia, imperfect though it might be, because I’ve never (unfortunately!) been to Australia.
    ‘Bushfire’ was defined as a specific type of fire under the broader term ‘wildfire.’
    In the ‘southeast and southwest of Australia, bushfires are most common in the summer and early autumn.’
    ‘From September 2019 to March 2020, fires heavily impacted various regions of the state of New South Wales.’
    In the information online from ‘500 Essential Japanese Season Words,’ it says that in the SH, autumn includes February and March.
    This information, together with our renku instructions that say wildfire is an autumn word, I felt fairly confident using the ‘headline’ verse. It was, indeed a headline of sorts. In my source, the only part in in quotes was ‘expected to lap the globe,’ attributing it to NASA. That’s why I posted two versions, one with quotes around the whole thing and one with quotes only around ‘expected to……’ I didn’t see a way to work NASA into it. And since it is poetry, I decided to use a bit of poetic license.
    My sources may not have been correct, but I did want to make it clear that I wasn’t playing fast and loose with the bushfire.

    Judt

    1. Hi Judt,
      First, let me assure you that I certainly didn’t think you were playing fast and loose with the bushfires…that didn’t enter my head. But although we can flip “occasion dates” such as Christmas, Good Friday and Easter Sunday between the hemispheres, we can’t precisely flip the seasons.
      .
      My ‘hometown’, from when I was a girl, is a small town in East Gippsland, (Victoria) pretty close to Mallacoota, the larger fishing/holiday town almost on the NSW border. (Cann River) It was mainly a timber town, with 5 mills going back then. I’m familiar with the yearly bushfires from back then. But this recent one came from all four sides. A friend from childhood was out there with his heavy equipment clearing the (closed) roads of fallen trees so that the fireies could get through to fight the fires. It was not only NSW that was heavily impacted.
      .
      It’s all too easy to get things mixed up when we’re talking about different continents located in different hemispheres. Consider that if you take a map and draw a line from Sydney in N.S. W. straight across the Pacific, your pencil will arrive at Valparaiso in Chile. There was a ‘woodland fire/ wildfire’ in that city, too, in December 2019, according to BBC news:
      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-50907976
      .
      I’ve just now checked the Higginson website and found:
      .
      “In traditional temperate zone four-season calendars East and West, the equinoxes and solstices are the mid-points of the seasons. Thus, roughly,

      Early Autumn = Aug or Feb
      Mid Autumn = Sep or Mar
      Late Autumn = Oct or Apr

      (In each case, the first month is northern hemisphere, the second southern.) For more on the traditional orientation of the seasons, see The Traditional Seasons of Japanese Poetry. ”
      .
      I can safely say that’s wrong at least for Australia and New Zealand. (I don’t really know about South Africa or the various longitudes of South America.) However, if one follows the link to ‘Traditional Seasons of Japanese Poetry”, you’ll find a different chart, which is closer to (but not the same as) Australia’s calendar if one ‘flips’ the months.
      .
      Unlike the USA and Canada, our official “four seasons” begin on the first day of the relevant month. Autumn begins on March 1st, winter – June 1st, spring – September 1st , summer – December 1st. So autumn begins with March, and February is the last month of our summer. It’s now April, the mid-autumn month.
      .
      I’ve now checked Higginson’s ‘Haiku World’ and can find no entry for either ‘wildfire’ or ‘bushfire’ but on googling Gabi Greve’s WKDB, I find she has ‘summer’.
      .
      Bushfires in Australia
      .

      ***** Location: Australia
      ***** Season: Summer
      ***** Category: Humanity / Earth
      (2007 entry: “Bushfires Australia” –
      https://databaseworldkigo.blogspot.com/2007/02/bushfires-australia.html

      .
      To my surprise (since I hadn’t been informed) there are some of my haiku & a sequence there too, from 2007 and 2009, accurately credited.
      .
      I didn’t think anything negative about your intentions, Judt, nor about Patricia’s. I just wanted to try to clear up an issue that will come up from time to time in international haiku.

      —–

      1. Thanks, Lorin, I appreciate your response. If it were just the two of us, I’d like to go into this topic further. But these posts tend to make very long columns that can make it harder to check back through the verse offers/revisions. Sooo…
        ever onward and upward! 🦘🐨🐼🦜🐊

        Judt

  35. all the saints
    in the ranks
    of first responders
    *
    better from six feet
    apart
    than six feet under
    *

  36. the ground strewn
    with dead leaves
    and used face masks
    *
    covid leaves the graves
    swept clean
    of visitors
    *

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

      from six feet under
      the pastor’s trout mumbles
      about swirling leaves

  37. re:
    .
    “Dry-Lightning Bushfire Smoke Plume
    Expected to Lap the Globe”
    .

    Here’s a newspaper headline screaming to the world: this is your fate; you didn’t listen, and now all of you will suffer the consequences. This might be the exact wording of a headline. If we were in a group writing this renku, I would ask Judt to cut “Dry-Lightning” to shorten it a bit and also to seat it solidly in autumn.” (Patricia)

    Yes, it was the exact wording of at least one news story. Here’s a slightly later one:
    .
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-13/bushfire-smoke-plume-expected-to-lap-the-globe-nasa-says/11863298
    .

    Of course, January is summertime where the smoke plume began, and also summertime as it coursed around the world south of the equator. There’s a NASA map that shows the plume heading over New Zealand and the Pacific towards the bottom end of South America.
    .
    and a later report from NASA which also has graphics:
    .
    “Nasa said plumes from blazes around New Year’s Day had crossed South America, turning skies there hazy, and moved “halfway around Earth” by 8 January.”
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-51101049
    .
    Patricia, I’m curious as to how this (real!) event came to be deemed “solidly in autumn” when it clearly occurred in summer during January, which is midsummer in the Southern hemisphere where Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands , South America and Antarctica, the regions most affected, happen to be.
    .

    1. Hi, Lorin–So glad you asked this question. It’s important for all of us who are constructing this poem. And that’s what we are doing. Constructing a poem. The fact that the bushfire that was in the headline occurred in summer on a particular date is of interest to journalists and science writers. But we are poets and our interest is different. We want to know how words work when read on the page. What images and memories are conjured up by the use of particular words. For example, if I write “falling leaves” and I ask 100 people what season does this evoke in their minds, I think I’d be safe in guessing over 90% would say autumn. So in the poem we are constructing we want to create a feeling of autumn in this verse. We will only be successful in doing that if we use some word that evokes that feeling. Now I have suggested that “wildfire” or “bushfire” or “brushfire” or “forest fire” would do that because that has been my experience. Clearly that has not been your experience. The word “bushfire” for you clearly signals summer. So that’s two people’s experience. At this point we need to hear from others to help us construct this poem in a way that accomplishes what we’re trying to achieve. So I’m seeking feedback from the other poets as to their response to reading each of these words. What season do these words evoke for you? There is no right or wrong answer here. The total of your answers will tell me and all of us whether any of these words can do the work we need done in this upcoming verse–that of eliciting an autumn feeling to most of our readers.

      Thanks again, Lorin, for bringing this up.

      1. “What season do these words evoke for you? There is no right or wrong answer here. The total of your answers will tell me and all of us whether any of these words can do the work we need done in this upcoming verse–that of eliciting an autumn feeling to most of our readers.” – Patricia
        .
        Patricia, you’re the sabaki so you have the last word, but I have some problems I’d like to let you know about.
        .
        “in the poem we are constructing we want to create a feeling of autumn in this verse. We will only be successful in doing that if we use some word that evokes that feeling. Now I have suggested that “wildfire” or “bushfire” or “brushfire” or “forest fire” would do that because that has been my experience.” – Patricia
        .
        If you wish to use a word that evokes the sense of “forest fires’ (a generic term) for North America, then the word most Americans use (and which derives from Old German), “wildfires”, would be more appropriate than “bushfire”, which implies an Australian (and perhaps South African) context.
        .
        Higginson doesn’t include a reference to forest fires, wildfires or bushfires in his Haiku World. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing he may have considered that wildfires, like wars and pandemics, create seasons unto themselves.
        .
        Summer (in Australia, December 1st to the end of February) has been the traditional fire season for Australia. Since I grew up in a small timber town in East Gippsland, I was well aware that there would be a threatening bushfire every year sometime between late spring and late summer and the whole town, everyone, would rally to fight it. Afterwards:
        .
        bushfire moon –
        the calligraphy
        of charred trees
        .
        (Simply Haiku, spring 2006) – http://simplyhaiku.com/SHv4n1/haiku/Ford.html
        .

        1. Hi Lorin.
          I hope you get to read this.
          Thank you so much for the feedback and the link. It was nice to read some of your earlier haiku there amongst valuable information.
          I will read the sections you refer to in John’s book.
          I did have a further thought, whether relevant I’m not sure.
          You mentioned W Higginson not mentioning it in his own book.
          I wonder whether if anyone asked him why at the time.
          One reason that runs through my mind, is that perhaps someone losing something, be it materialistic or living surely paints a winter scene. Could this be why the Japanese also place fire in winter.
          I’ve taken in so much in this session thanks to a few of the more experienced poets.
          Your thoughts appreciated.
          Rob

          1. Far be it for this minnow to test the water here, but are we attempting to rewrite the renku book? . As a newbie picking up John Carley’s renku reckoner, I read a verse that to me indicates we adopt Japanese season references in order to maintain stability when collaborating an international poem.
            Is this not so?

          2. Robert, you can’t do better than tuning in to John Carley on all things renku. He wasn’t only brilliant, he was remarkably grounded in common sense and had a great sense of humour to boot. 🙂
            .
            It’s pertinent to note that Bill Higginson does not note ‘wildfire’ or ‘bushfire’ as a kigo in either the ‘500 Essential Season Words’ nor in his book, Haiku World – an international poetry almanac.. Japan has ‘fire’ (in the old days houses, their houses, palaces and temples, all made of wood and bamboo, were frequently ravaged by fire) Traditionally, ‘fire’ is a traditional winter kigo for Japan, and that includes “mountain fire, forest fire, wildfire, bushfire
            ….. yamakaji 山火事 ” All associated with winter.
            .
            https://wkdkigodatabase03.blogspot.com/2007/02/fire-kaji.html
            .
            But ‘winter’ as the season of dangerous ‘forest fires’ doesn’t ring true for Australia, and seems not to ring true for North America either. I know that John Carley would not suggest using a kigo (Japanese) if it clashed with common experience and common sense.
            .
            Check out his chapters, “The Seasons of Renku” and “What Price Kigo?”
            .

          3. Probably posting too late for you to see this, Betty, but I still wanted to say this cracked me up. Especially as there has been more than a little “wild ire” during this verse session. Not sure it counts as kigo, but it sure is a great play on words, intentional or un.
            *
            😀 Autumn

  38. arguments rain down
    all the crags
    of our faces
    *
    lost moments
    littered the grounds
    their history
    *
    all the leaves
    on one tree
    suddenly bare

  39. over a narrow path
    leaves scatter
    out of the sky
    *****
    in stillness
    falling leaves
    change direction

  40. chainsaw howls
    lumberjack standing
    on a stump
    #######
    front porch
    light always on –
    prodigal son

      1. 🙂 …sorry, but with this version I need to ask, “How do canned sardines stand?”
        .
        The issue is a grammatical one.

        1. lorin asks: “How do canned sardines stand?”
          .
          at this time…..i believe they would be safer, six feet apart

  41. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    *
    leaves pile up
    on the seats of the swings
    in the closed playground
    *

    1. andrew,

      recycling words
      in our autumn
      renku verses

      *
      recycling masks
      on our medical teams
      in this desolate war

        1. How do sardines stand, Wendy?
          .
          I’m seeing a chorus line of sardines standing on their tails… swaying a little. Amusing. :- )

          1. i’m glad you are having fun, lorin…..that is what is great about a renku party.
            .
            i don’t know if this is helpful, or if you have been subjected to the phrase we have up here….’packed like sardines’? it is how they appear in a can, before one might eat them.


            perhaps, i will need to work on this…if i have not been clear….please still enjoy your image, it is nicer than the one i see on tv everyday with mixed messages from a sad party that tries to pull the wool over our eyes ….but, lorin, try to avoid getting sea sick.
            let me know if this hint solved it….or if you think i need to work more on it.

          2. Wendy, yes, I’m familiar with “packed in like sardines in a can” and (in fact I’m going to open a can of sardines soon and have them on toast)
            .
            But you haven’t written “packed in like sardines… hence my seeing a ‘Walt Disney cartoon’ chorus line image.
            .
            So I think you might need to whittle the saying down yet still have it the making sense as you intend.
            .
            experts on stage// packed like sardines//in a can
            .
            But that’s certainly not satisfactory, and there’s no autumn seasonal reference there.

          3. sardines is a season word….late autumn.
            look on the list you always refer to, lorin

      1. i like it too, kanjini, but “pile” repeats from the “piled” in hokku!
        andrew will have to change this if he wants it to go into renku.

    2. as Wendy pointed out there is a repetition of ‘pile’ here
      so I’m amending to:
      *
      leaves gather
      on the seats of the swings
      in the closed playground

      1. perfect!!!!!!! love it. amazing, that is the word i pictured would be fitting, too! andrew. this is a keeper!

        1. thanks Wendy
          I think my offers are often too much like haiku. I always seem to forget that a renku link is not a haiku.

          1. i know the transition to renku from haiku is difficult. but sometimes they are on the border line and may work for both.
            .
            do you think the word “gather” is needed? would it still convey what you want to say w/o it?

      2. Love it! Andrew & Wendy, would ‘gather’ bring us back to the hokku in terms of gathering around the hot stones in the sauna? I seem to remember Patricia mentioning this in a previous week.

        1. You may be right, Kanjini.
          I will let our renku overlord decide!
          and try and come up with another verse.

          1. we will see! andrew and kanjini….but always good to have some more back ups….andrew!

  42. searching for the exit
    on a cold morning
    in the necropolis

    —–

    taking its leave
    from the bushel
    down the driveway rolls the apple

  43. the lost identity
    of a weathered
    gravestone
    *
    nothing but bits
    of old letters
    to know her by
    *
    Or to be clearer–
    her headstone gives me
    nothing but bits
    of old letters
    *

  44. disconnected
    after a long night
    on hold
    ****************
    overhearing “Rosh Hashana”
    the guy thinks we’re
    Islamic
    ******************
    salmon mouse
    from a mold passed
    down through the family

    1. 🙂 Micheal, “salmon mousse”, perhaps, rather than that genetically odd hybrid?
      .
      (I must be looking for things to amuse myself with)

    2. Thanks Lorin I indeed mean mousse, so it should read:
      ************************************************
      salmon mousse
      from a mold passed
      down through the family

  45. golden brown
    my Brazilian girlfriend
    is inflatable
    ###########
    I got kind of teary eyed watching the movie Lars and the Real Girl which is about shy Lars and his inflatable lady friend.

    1. About 12 – 15 years ago, as I recall, there were some naughty young men body surfing off Wollongong beach on of of these inflatables. Someone pointed out to me what it was.

    1. I’ve used a first-person pronoun here as part of the link. But some random brain cell is telling me that in a long-ago THF renku, care was taken to spread those pronouns out…..?

      1. imho……the word ‘feel’ can be switched for “am”….if you have a problem with it.
        .
        i really like your verse… was just about to tell you when i saw this…judt
        .
        like anything else. it’s a judgement call….there are those, that don’t even like one “i”.

      2. We don’t have a verse yet in first person and I think we need one. However, “out” is out. We had out in the hokku and I let in another one in the third verse– try again.

        1. Thank you, Patricia. I have a special talent for missing what’s most obvious (like that silly ‘dry lightning.’ I hated it, but thought I needed it to place the verse in autumn, when ‘bushfire’ had it covered. I was fond of the headline thing, so I put it out there in all its glory.)
          .
          One possibility:
          .
          in this swirling fog
          my world and I are lost
          to each other
          .

          1. Judt (and anyone else who might be interested) “bushfire” is not an autumn seasonal reference. Traditionally, it’s a summer reference. . . “all summer”.
            .
            Here is the word in the most commonly resourced USA dictionary:
            https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bushfire
            .
            The North American equivalent of a bushfire, I believe, is a wildfire. There is also something called a “brushfire” in the USA.
            .

        2. Perspective-wise, the “me” in Wendy’s verse IS first person.
          *
          Did you mean we need a verse with the pronoun “I” in it?
          *
          Thank you for clarifying!
          *
          ~Autumn

          1. you’re right, Autumn–I overlooked “me” which is clearly first person 🙂

            M

    2. judt, i like this first one better….just omit “out” and option…switch “am” with “feel”.

      i step
      into swirling fog
      and feel lost
      .
      i step
      into swirling fog
      and am lost
      .
      the “am” is not as smooth!

      1. You’re so right! But ‘feel’ doesn’t quite do it for me. How about I am well and truly lost 🤣😂

        1. certainly, judt, you have to feel right about it….it is your own verse.
          i usually don’t enter into the workshop of poems here….i understand… it may not be the place for it. but i saw something so special….i forgot, for a moment where i was.
          .

          1. Wendy…I’m always open to and appreciate suggestions very much. As to whether or not it’s appropriate in renku…that’s above my pay grade 😊.

  46. Congrats Wendy, (I was praying for your mantis)

    at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    six feet ahead
    of the wildfire
    tumbleweed race

    1. i know….i thought it might, too! thank you….for your support and kind wishes, clysta…yours will be coming ’round the bend, soon.

      perhaps there was more humour in it.
      stay safe,

    2. oops, needs to be a single syntactical structure, so instead:
      .
      tumbleweed race
      six feet ahead
      of the wildfire

          1. Just saw your comment Lorin. I am both humbled and delighted by it. 🙏🏼

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

    the pear he knocked
    off the kitchen table
    is also bruised
    .

      1. Thanks, Carol. I intended to imply “domestic violence” ( read, “wife-bashing” ) which is reported to be on the increase now, what with the self-quarantine rules we have here (and which are necessary). I imagine it would be much the same in the UK and those parts of the USA that have recommended that people stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
        .
        I’m glad I’m cooped up with a cat and not a frustrated and angry man!

        1. I knew what your intention was, Lorin, and it is the same here, its a very sad fact, and I can’t for the life in me, understand why women put up with it, and indeed, men as they too suffer from abuse but not on the scale women do, or its not reported.
          I see the pear as a good representation, of this.
          .
          Good to know you and your cat are safe and well, good company.
          Work goes on as usual, for me, but one thing I do is make myself, when ever possible less conspicuous when out on the farm, as this is classed as working from home, I feel awkward I have this freedom, at this moment in time.
          Take care, Lorin.

          1. a roof
            under
            one’s own
            steam
            .
            I thought here in the U.K, we were getting on top of this with the provision of safe houses. Sadly cut backs have seen the demise of these in some areas.
            .
            A very poignant verse Lorin.

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

    carefully wrapped
    for the widow the gift
    of a perfect pear
    .

  49. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now — Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    Rashōmon rewinds
    while the world goes rapidly
    pear-shaped
    .
    * pear (nashi) all autumn).
    .

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rash%C5%8Dmon_(short_story)

      wonderful, artful, image…..thank you for this lorin….as always, so inspiring, thought provoking places.

      *
      refrigerated truck
      on park ave. is a makeshift morgue
      filled like sardines

      notes:
      park avenue in ny is a very ritzy street….only the wealthy can afford to live there.
      it is close to lenox hospital….where the truck is used as a temp. morgue for those who have lost the fight with covid-19

      1. Thanks, Wendy. 🙂 Unfortunately, I don’t think just the word “pear” as in “pear-shaped” is a seasonal reference or kigo. As the fruit (pear) it’s a seasonal reference (all autumn) but many non-seasonal things can be “pear-shaped”.
        .
        re your:
        .
        refrigerated truck
        on park ave. is a makeshift morgue
        filled like sardines
        .

        I’ve seen these long trucks, both in China and the USA (on TV) Scary!
        .
        I think you might mean that corpses are packed (or “packed in”) like sardines in a can, rather than “filled like sardines”, which is a tad too reminiscent of a hors d’oeuvre!

        1. lorin…..that is a very good point! we can’t assume all forms/shapes will work…just because we have the core word in it.
          .
          thanks for that keen eye!!!!!
          you are right, lorin, here with my verse.
          i do have to work on it to see if i can include the image and keep it within the syl. count!

          1. edited: (with the great guidance of lorin)

            refrigerated truck
            on park ave. filled with corpses
            packed liked sardines

      2. edited: (with the great guidance of lorin)
        .
        refrigerated truck
        on park ave. filled with corpses
        packed liked sardines

        .
        notes:
        park avenue in ny is a very ritzy street….only the wealthy can afford to live there.
        it is close to lenox hospital….where the truck is used as a temp. morgue for those who have lost the fight with covid-19

        1. Wendy, I saw that, too! Three huge refrigerated trucks lined up. I think the part that got to me most was that the bodies were being loaded into the truck with a forklift! Thought about making a verse of it, but you beat me to it 😊. Who knows, I might come up with something different enough. NOT making a big deal of that, it happens. And I agree with you, the most striking thing was the disconnect…seeing human bodies being handled in that way!

          1. yes, judt….you got that….the treatment of human bodies as if they are trash….or packages.
            having been a new yorker for most of my life….i am familiar with this very block, in fact, lenox hill hosp. was also used for the victims of the 9/11 trade center towers disaster. i was supposed to have surgery, at this very hospital, several days after, 9/11…but the air quality was so poor….i cancelled.

  50. “this is an autumn verse. (Note: wildfire is an autumn subject;”
    .
    This is interesting, Patricia. Your statement surprised me, but then I did some research and think I understand now.
    .
    I’m guessing that you might mean “willdfire” is an autumn subject for North America:
    .
    Southern California
    .

    Bushfire, wildfire, Santa Ana Winds
    kigo for autumn
    .

    dry sumac
    waiting for a brush fire
    patient seeds
    .

    chaparral vistas
    shimmer in the hot wind
    ready tinder
    .

    Billie Dee, 2006

    https://wkdkigodatabase03.blogspot.com/2007/02/fire-kaji.html
    .
    In Australia, it used to be that wildfires/ bushfires happened mainly in the summer. However the climate has changed. Last year, the devastating fire season began in what is deemed to be our spring.

    1. Hi, Lorin–I think it is clear that climate change has moved the wildfire season earlier in the year no matter which side of the equator we are on. It’s true here too that if we have a short or inadequate rainy season in the winter (which we have been having more and more of), we start dreading that the fire season will be early–even as early as late spring. But traditionally, before climate change brought more extreme droughts, wildfires were an autumn phenomenon. I was assuming, perhaps mistakenly, that the same was true in your part of the world.

      1. As an experiment , it would be interesting to hear from the community gathered here what season, if any, the word “wild fire” evokes.

        I appreciate you bringing up this issue, Lorin.

        1. I doubt, here in the UK, we ever reach the temperatures to evoke natural ‘wild fires’ when young I can remember the temperature reaching a point that the tarmac on the roads started to melt in places. Usually the fires, when we do have a decent bit of sun for a long period of time, are started deliberately or the magnification of the sun through a discarded glass bottle. The potential for the fires here, Spring to Autumn.
          Nothing like the devastation witnessed in the southern hemisphere, and elsewhere.
          But still a loss of habitat and wildlife.

        2. I personally associate wildfires with summer.
          *
          The three big fires in my immediate area/experience were:
          *
          The Hayman Fire June 8, 2002
          *
          Waldo Canyon Fire June 23, 2012
          *
          Black Forest Fire June 11, 2013
          *
          Our whole town was evacuated for the Waldo Canyon Fire, which came within a mile of our cabin.
          *
          I’ll be interested to hear input from others around the world.
          *
          ~Autumn

          1. I should clarify and say that all three of these fires were proven or presumed to be arson. So maybe they don’t count as wildfires, as far as kigo goes.
            *
            ~Autumn

          2. Hi Autumn, bushfires (and, I assume but many be wrong, their North American equivalent, wildfires) are bushfires by whatever means they start, including arson, carelessness with cigarette butts, spot fires, dry lightning . . . so the fires you mention do count. It’s not a matter of how they start (many ways!) but how ravaging and difficult to control they are.
            .
            In Australia, summer is the ‘traditional’ season for the fires for the logical reason that summer is the hottest, driest month with the longest days. That’s December, January and February in the Southern hemisphere . . . and our European-derived, official seasons officially begin on the first of the month.
            .
            Right now it’s autumn (April), and where I am in Southern Victoria, the sasanqua camellias are just beginning to bloom, the sunflowers are being harvested, the grapes have finished, the new season’s pears have that pear scent. It’s been raining all night and yesterday, too, which is a good thing. In the rural areas, edible mushrooms will be popping up, especially in sheep paddocks. . . inedible ones popping up in many places. The Virginia Creeper on my side fence is still green, but will start turning in a few weeks’ time.

        3. Patricia, “wildfire”, for me, evokes whatever season North American people associate with it.
          .
          But “bushfire” evokes the traditional Australian bushfire season, summer, though we know that they can happen any time things are dry and hot enough.
          .
          “wildfire” pertains to North America. “bushfire” pertains to Australia. (tomaytas, tomahtoes.)
          .

      2. Hi Patricia,
        Here, summer is and has been the traditional bushfire season for all but the tropical tip, because of the greater heat and longer sunlight hours on a relatively dry continent. I think ‘wildfire’ and ‘bushfire’ are the same thing, but perhaps it’s best to reserve “wildfire” for North America and “bushfire” for Australia because of the difference in traditional seasons?
        .
        “Brushfire” is another thing altogether: a fire spread through scrub land or brush but not involving forests.
        .

  51. sheltering from the cold
    in his noise-
    cancelling headphones
    *
    sheltering from the cold
    in his silence-
    cancelling headphones
    *
    using masks
    as cover
    to ask for ID
    *

  52. I’m aware of no references to structures but feel a need to acknowledge the homeless.

    *
    when everyone is in
    lockdown – where
    do the homeless go?
    *
    on our own
    but not alone
    someone’s watching
    *
    global lockdown
    convenient for banking
    makeover
    *

  53. Well done Wendy! And thank you Patricia, for mentioning one of my verses. In response to this week’s requirements, some of the verses that have spilled out of me are quite dark and possibly controversial. So for now, I shall keep them to myself as I’m very new to renku and am learning so much. Once they’re out there, I can’t take them back…

    1. thank you, kanjini….for your warm words.

      .
      speaking for myself, i hope you continue to express all that is inside you….especially now, as this is the more free part of the renku.
      ,

    2. Kanjini, darkness is ok–we are in a dark time. As long as the expression has compassion at it’s root.

  54. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    a woman drops
    her microphone
    while shivering

  55. Congratulations, Wendy.
    .
    I’ve learnt something ((by googling) while reading through Patricia’s shortlist . 🙂 I was unaware of what “three on a match” might be or mean, and rather pleased that it originates in trench warfare. This makes sense! The longer a match flares in the dark, the more one’s position is exposed to the enemy, the more likely to attract enemy fire. Apparently, it became a superstition, but it’s interesting that the superstition is based on good, logical sense.
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_on_a_match
    .
    Unfortunately, I’ve had no such success in my efforts to find out what the “autumn gates” might be, even in Gabi Greve’s extensive data base, Wendy, would you explain or point me to a source, please?
    .
    (Or would anyone. I’m sorry I haven’t been around here much due to other priorities, but I’m still interested in the renku.)
    .

    1. don’t know if you will have any success finding this phrase on the online sites for kigo, as such, lorin….but the first place i picture it may be under a “(summer) day moon” in the renku, tawny jacket with john stevenson as sabaki. hope this may be helpful……
      .
      if i am not getting it….please, don’t hesitate, and do turn me in the right direction. lorin , i am all ears to learning, and i know you are old-hand to renku wisdom.

      1. thanks for your “congrats” lorin….i enjoy your questions, your insights and your wonderful verses….glad you are posting again, i missed you.

      2. Thanks for responding, Wendy, much appreciated. I do understand “summer day moon”. The verse would’ve been a designated ‘summer’ verse and you couldn’t have had simply “day moon” because that would’ve placed the verse in autumn. (Unless qualified otherwise, the moon is an autumn moon by default . . . we follow that from the Japanese tradition. . . moon – autumn, tadpoles – spring, budgie smugglers – summer, snow-shoveling in Canadian driveways – winter. 🙂
        .
        So my guess now is that “autumn gates” isn’t intended as a kigo/ season word or even as a particular thing in the world.
        .
        I had been wondering whether there might be some Japanese or other regional religious/ cultural activity in which, say, different gates to a temple or palace might be deemed ‘autumn gates’, ‘winter gates’ etc. . . . and we have our puffer coats and cotton blouses, which are quite different items of clothing that might indicate a particular season. )
        .
        … so it looks like I overlooked the obvious. In itself (unlike ‘moon’) “gate” isn’t a seasonal reference, so ‘autumn’ in your verse is simply an adjectival season indicator and the pair of words, ‘autumn gates’, is likely to be a truncation of something like “the gates in autumn” . Is that close to what you intended, Wendy? Or am I still missing something?
        .

        (” i know you are old-hand to renku wisdom.”- Wendy.
        .

        No, I can’t claim that, at all. 🙂 I’m (or rather, I have been…past tense) a fairly good reader and I take an interest and have been enthusiastic, on and off, about renku. The first renku I participated in was by sheer chance, on an Australian poetry website. It was lead by Keiji Minato, a teacher of English in Japan, who’d been visiting Melbourne. That was an eye-opener and great fun, and he was encouraging. Then, John Carley and then THF, with John Stevenson and others.
        .

        1. I read “autumn gates” as pointing to a time of life. In our youth culture (and as far as marketing firms are concerned), we become invisible once we reach mid-life. It’s pretty amazing to watch people’s eyes look past me the more grey/gray my hair gets.
          *
          In this sense, and in our current context, I thought about all the older people being “disappeared” by this epidemic.”
          *
          I thought the verse was very topical, taken that way.
          *
          ~Autumn

          1. Ah, yes, Autumn, but what I mean is the primary, literal thing, not the metaphor or symbol we might derive from it. “Autumn rain” = rain in autumn, a literal thing experienced at a certain time of the year. It may come to have a metaphorical or symbolic meaning in a particular culture, or in many cultures, or privately to an individual.
            .
            Obviously, a period of time we designate as a season doesn’t have literal gates (just as a human heart does not have wings, despite old pop sings) We do have ‘summer dresses’, ‘winter chills’, ‘spring cleaning’. Some of the kings and emperors of the past have had summer palaces (palaces inhabited only in summer) I wondered if “autumn gates” might have a literal meaning. For instance there could be a garden with four gates, one of which might be called “the autumn gate”. It is from the literal that metaphor derives.
            .
            But I’m satisfied that what’s intended on the literal level in Wendy’s verse is
            simply non-seasonal gates that are seen/ experienced during autumn. Presumably, the same gates would be “winter gates”, “spring gates” and “summer gates” in turn.
            .
            Is a stilt-walker a literal thing (i.e. someone who walks on stilts) or a metaphor? It depends. I love Yeats’ poem, ‘High Talk’.
            https://allpoetry.com/High-Talk

        2. Hi, Lorin,

          Not sure which reply button will place this properly, so I just picked one! I appreciate this discussion very much (as well as your input about wildfires and bushfires and man set fires and naturally occurring fires, which is very helpful). And I LOVE your idea of there being seasonal gates somewhere (I can imagine them being placed to correspond with the directions associated with each season). It is so interesting to me that the kigo are literal things which are employed primarily for their metaphorical meaning. So we write “pear” to symbolize “autumn.” And yet, when a non-kigo English metaphor is employed, such as “autumn gates,” it doesn’t count in quite the same way. I’m not sure why that is, barring tradition. To me, it seems that in translating these forms into English (and other languages), we could replace the Japanese metaphors with our own as readily as we replace the Japanese words with our own. As I’ve remarked to others before, it is incredibly ironic to me that part of the point of Asian short form is to be fully present–think ye old “be here now” adage; and yet, we are instructed to use kigo from another time and place entirely. Where I am, they are wildfires. Where you are, they are bushfires. I think to be authentic and truly present where we find ourselves, each of us should use the word that is appropriate to our own experience and locale. That word then becomes a kigo of its own. “Firefly” (or “hotaru” in Japanese) is a mid-summer kigo. But even if I were to write about mid-summer, it would be inappropriate (in my mind) for me to use “firefly,” because (as I’ve titled a tanka sequence that appeared in Atlas Poetica) FYI–There are No Fireflies on Pikes Peak. Instead, the Green Box Arts Festival (just Green Box for short), which has been held in my town every June/July for a decade now, would be a more appropriate mid-summer kigo for me to use. You won’t find it in the World Kigo Database. But it is a kigo none-the-less. Similarly, here in the Southwest, the chili (or chile, in New Mexico) harvest takes place in late August through September. So, “chili/chile roasting” would be a late-summer/early autumn kigo for those of us who live here and salivate in anticipation of that smokey-spicy delicacy.
          *
          While I think it is important to understand the significance and specific usage of the Japanese kigo, I believe it is equally important–particularly as these forms are now written world-wide–to continue to create our own “kigo databases” to reflect the regions in which we actually live. To do so does not detract from the original kigo, in my opinion. ON the contrary, it expands them and therefore ADDS something to the form/s. This in turn re-invigorates those forms and allows them to continue to grow and live on in the cultural consciousness as something more than a quaint reiteration of the past. In time and with repetition, these new kigo may even find themselves holding honored places in future renku!
          *
          This is not argument, only opinion. Nonetheless, I completely support everyone’s right to throw virtual tomatoes at me for spouting it. I will go put on my old LP of “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof to accompany the splats!🍅🍅🍅
          *
          ~Autumn

          1. Thank you very much for the world kigo database link below, Betty. In checking it, I found that “chili/chile roasting is not included. This is my point entirely—if we truly aspire to “be here now” as conscious, present and aware poets, we might consider prioritizing looking out our actual windows, rather than relying on virtual ones to make our metaphors for us. Yes, we all pull from Yates rag and bone shop or a kigo database from time to time. But as creatives, aren’t we meant to add something original to those as well? There is value inherent in both the old and the new. I appreciate the limitlessness of our potential when we use a combination of what we’re taught, what we observe, and what we imagine!

          2. Hi Autumn,
            All thought-provoking, and I agree with much of it, for instance:
            .
            “While I think it is important to understand the significance and specific usage of the Japanese kigo, I believe it is equally important–particularly as these forms are now written world-wide–to continue to create our own “kigo databases” to reflect the regions in which we actually live.”
            .
            You’ll be pleased to know that Japan’s southern-most Island, Okinawa, now has its own saijiki. 🙂 As do other regions in Japan. The medieval idea that all kigo apply to where the emperor resides has faded. (By the way…a new kigo is not a kigo until it has been published in a saijiki, and we don’t really have kigo in EL countries, which is why I usually use “seasonal reference/ indicator”)
            .
            Which is all great for haiku. However, when it comes to renku involving many people , not all from the same neighbourhood or even the same nation but from many world regions, each participant needs to be on the same page. I can’t use the “March fly” (known as the Horse fly in the UK) and expect a sabaki in the USA to understand that they are named so because they’re particularly bothersome and bitey in late summer- early autumn. (March being the first month of autumn here, the season beginning on March 1st) You can’t use “bushfire” and try to tell me it’s an autumn seasonal reference any more than I can us “wildfire” and tell you it’s a summer seasonal reference.
            .
            The issue I raised re “autumn gates” had nothing to do with new or local kigo/ seasonal references, though. (There is nothing new about naming one of the four traditional European seasons, whether in noun or adjectival form. We all know that)
            .
            I had wondered whether there might be a place with gates to which a designated season name had been given . . . just as e.g hospitals have wings such as “the West Wing”, there might be famous gates named “the South Gates”, etc. (We actually have a bridge named “West Gate Bridge” in Melbourne.)
            .
            My query was, “What are autumn gates?”. Are there particular gates so named? (No, apparently not, but in a fantasy novel set in a kind of medieval world, there might well be.)
            .
            Since there are no designated autumn gates that I know of (and nobody has enlightened me if there are any such) are we then to read these two words as meaning ” gates to autumn” (as in fantasy fiction), ” gates of autumn” (gates associated with the season autumn – poetic metaphor) , “autumn’s gates” (gates belonging to season autumn…personification) or ” gates observed in /during autumn”?
            .
            I’m writing this in the morning of the fifth day of April, the mid-autumn month where I am, and it’s 9:39 am, AEST.

          3. loving this luscious discussion, too!
            many things come to mind:
            1. how we approach writing our verses/poetry, our art, etc.
            some writer’s have their heads in the clouds, some live in their heads, some write from their heart, some write with both feet on the ground, some rely on books/internet, some rely on memories, some look to the future, some live in the now.
            .
            we all can pick (from this table of goodies) any morsels at will.
            .
            when i was in my early twenties and was looking for inspiration to paint….i used to go to record stores….we had vinyls then….the mere act of thumbing through album covers and watching the colours flash like a flip book….gave me inspiration to home and paint.
            .
            2. the way we approach our work may coincide with how we interpret the work of of others.
            .
            i am reminded of a common event that occurs in rearing children.
            the little child holding a baby doll in hands and asks the parent….where do babies come from? the parent gives a heavy sigh, preparing the great, practiced, talk for the birds and bees….only to find out after fifteen minutes into the story….that the child was quickly satisfied when the older sibling stepped in to say….the toy department of walmart.
            .
            3. we are guided (and limited) by our mindsets!

            .
            i have more to add,,,later

          4. Hi Autumn, I missed this before, somehow, Apologies to anyone who finds these discussions annoying, but I feel I need to clear up a misunderstanding.
            .
            ” It is so interesting to me that the kigo are literal things which are employed primarily for their metaphorical meaning. ” – Autumn
            .
            To my knowledge, kigo aren’t intended to be employed primarily for their metaphorical meaning! Such words or phrases may have a metaphorical aspect, but not necessarily. The frog in Basho’s famous haiku is primarily a literal frog. The mallow flower that Basho’s horse ate (in another haiku) was a common mallow flower. His monkey that seems to want a raincoat (in the renku ‘Monkey’s Raincoat’) is a monkey and the raincoat is a raincoat, albeit a medieval Japanese raincoat made of straw. What is the metaphorical meaning of that frog, that mallow flower and that raincoat? If they do have a metaphorical meaning in context of those haiku and that renku verse, I’m unaware of it. What they do (frog, mallow flower and raincoat) is indicate a season, usually a specific part of the season. It’s not metaphor and it’s not symbolism, as far as I can see.
            .
            ” So we write “pear” to symbolize “autumn.” – Autumn
            .
            I don’t think we do. We write ‘pear’ to indicate/ show the season, not to symbolize it or anything else. All indigenous peoples have known the cycle of their seasons through ‘what happens when’ in nature in their region and have adjusted their activities to that cycle. (There is a time to wear a possum skin coat. There is a time to migrate down to the bay in time for the snapper run.) The precious knowledge is handed down, generation after generation.
            .
            The pears ripen. Literally. Any metaphor, any symbolism we wish to add is secondary, if it is there at all. It’s not only in Japan that pears ripen in autumn. It’s not only in the USA that Evening Primroses open in summer, near dusk, though they are USA natives.
            .
            “….and yet, we are instructed to use kigo from another time and place entirely. Where I am, they are wildfires. Where you are, they are bushfires. I think to be authentic and truly present where we find ourselves, each of us should use the word that is appropriate to our own experience and locale.” – Autumn
            .
            Of course, if we each did use the word that is appropriate to our own locale, we would be restricted to writing renku only with people of our own particular region. I couldn’t write renku with someone in Queensland, let alone someone in Canada, the UK or the USA. It is true that your wildfires and my bushfires are pretty much the same thing, but as ‘kigo’ or seasonal indicators they are not the same. ‘Wildfire’ indicates autumn in the USA, according to Patricia. In the same way, bushfire indicates summer for Australia, according to me. So ‘bushfire’ and ‘wildfire’ do not indicate the same season, and since ‘kigo’ (season words/ seasonal indicators) are an essential part of renku, and all participants need to be on the same page, basically we agree to use a saijiki recommended by the sabaki. There is plenty of overlap, so usually it’s workable most of the time. If Judt wasn’t citing a particular smoke plume that evolved in the 2019-2020 Australian bushfires, she could place such a smoke plume up at a different latitude and have it evolve from a wildfire. Then placing it in autumn, if that’s the designated USA wildfire season, would be fair enough and, who knows, it may happen literally in the future too.
            .
            “And yet, when a non-kigo English metaphor is employed, such as “autumn gates,” it doesn’t count in quite the same way. I’m not sure why that is, barring tradition.” – Autumn
            .
            The reason that “autumn gates” doesn’t work very well for me has nothing to do with kigo/ seasonal reference or any tradition (apart from the traditions of English grammar) : ‘autumn ‘ is the kigo/ seasonal reference, and that’s fine. My issue is that I don’t know what ‘autumn gates’ are. I’ve never seen autumn gates and I’ve not ever heard of autumn gates, though of course it’s possible that such things exist. If you think ‘autumn gates’ is a metaphor, tell me what is the basis of this metaphor ? If someone told me, I might get it, but meanwhile, all I have is the English language, which leads me to the notion that ‘autumn gates’ might be intended to mean something like “gates (noted/ seen/ experienced) in autumn”. (I taught E.S.L. long enough to make sense of many grammatically odd constructions.) We easily understand what an autumn afternoon is (a particular time of day during the season of autumn) but what are autumn gates, autumn taxis or autumn dogs?

  56. i appreciate so much, your feedback…to all the amazing verses under consideration, patricia. and so pleased and honoured that you have chosen one of mine to be included in this renku. no doubt that i have made my passions be known about this very serious crisis that will have everlasting effects on our global lives.
    .
    be well….you are sculpting a meaningful piece.

  57. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    no one
    touching the casket
    at the graveside

  58. at the autumn gates
    who can hear me now
    *
    Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    ambient sounds
    fall away
    in his ear buds
    *

  59. congrats Wendy lots of great choices to pick from*
    **********************************************
    echoes
    bouncing off
    a book of spells
    *****************

    1. thanks, michael!

      love your “book of spells”!
      .
      when you’re done with it, if this thing has not gone away….can i borrow the book?

      stay well, stay safe, stay inside, my friend.

  60. Terrific verse, Wendy–we can hear you now!
    And thanks, Patricia, for mentioning several of mine.

    1. thank you laurie….yes, it is a good feeling to be heard! it won’t be the last! this renku keeps me alive….and i have the idea, it is good for you, too! love your enthusiam, laurie….and always, right-on verses.
      .
      even silence
      is a response in
      the cold chill this night

  61. Congrats Wendy!
    ############
    such gentle people
    their landscape littered
    with land mines
    ###########
    today’s excitement
    stirring my coffee
    anticlockwise

    1. thanks so much, dan. this renku is such a great rendezvous because you add your special realness to it. be well and keep, keep, them coming.

    1. thanks, judt…..i expect soon that your name and verse will be coming very soon! you are a fine writer!

      1. Thanks for your kind words, Wendy! I absolutely love participating in renku. This one is serving a special need for all of us, I think, in present circumstances.
        Your verse is powerful…for me, it evokes finding one’s self at the brink of an utterly bleak landscape with an existential loneliness and barely suppressed terror. If one called out, it would simply echo endlessly, unheard by any other. Maybe best not to open those gates ☺️.

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

    after the bushfire
    the plows plunge under the furrow
    the dust and ash

    *
    after the harvest
    parching the weeds
    the wildfire fire

    *
    in the fight with the flames
    the volunteer firefighters
    they almost defeated

    *
    after the vegetable fire,
    the cold rain washes again
    the burnt stubble

  63. Dear Patricia, thanks for explaining the reasons for your selections, I really enjoy reading them. Laurie Greer wrote the one about raking instead of me so please add her as author when you get a chance.

  64. Congratulations Wendy, and well done on your more than appropriate verse at this worrying time.
    A marvellous choice, Patricia.

    1. thank you for your kind words, carol, and appreciation of my sentiments in these lines….be well.

  65. Hi Patricia,
    Can you clarify where
    “autumn gates” falls within the season? Not really understanding its seasonal kigo reference. As scarecrow and moon are late autumn and all autumn references, and with yet another autumn verse to go, it would be helpful to know your thoughts before I ponder possible future verses.
    Also, why doesn’t Wendy’s verse, as well, take us back to the wolf’s call?? I can’t help but think it does.
    Respectfully, Betty

    1. If we’re not adhering to the early/mid/late/all stricture to keep moving forward in time, that too would be helpful to know. As every renku sabaki has their own way, it can be a bit crazy-making at times (well, for me, anyway 🙂).

    2. betty, i hear your questions and concerns for clarification,etc…..and i do hope you become clear….soon.
      however, i do hope you will continue to contribute your wonderful lines….and not hold them back….until you get clarification.
      we all take risks….these risks. are not life-threatening, so what if the verse is not timed perfectly?
      .
      marion wrote about flowers and song, even though the timing was not right….and still was appreciated, enjoyed and even included in the semi-finalists.

      1. Wendy, I said nothing about life-threatening. Please do. not. go. there.
        My request to Patricia is for clarification based on my participation in previous renku sessions here with other Sabaki. Certainly, if within season order is not deemed important, I’ll revise my mindset accordingly. However, as it is challenging but also, fun and personally satisfying to me, when one is able to successfully compose a verse under those conditions, why not rise to the challenge?? Be assured you are not the first to have a verse challenged or sought clarification on here after having been chosen. And as reference, should you desire to delve deeper into the mindset for the importance of season, here’s:
        “For linked poetry composition, however, the definitions of the seasons are crucial. Not only must certain stanzas reflect specific seasons, according to the specific type of poem being written and when the linked poem is begun, but within a group of adjacent stanzas in the same season the normal order of phenomena within that season must be maintained. If the first of three autumn stanzas contains simply the word “moon”, an all-autumn season word, the next stanza can fall anywhere in autumn. But should the moon verse specify “harvest moon”, a mid-autumn phenomenon, then phenomena of early autumn are ruled out in the succeeding stanzas of that run. Stanzas of all autumn, mid autumn, and late autumn may be used. Then suppose the author of the second autumn stanza chooses a late autumn season word, such as “new rice”. This limits the writer of the third verse in the run to season words naming either all-autumn or other late-autumn phenomena, perhaps a “goose”.

        In other words, within a specific seasonal run, the renku can’t “back up” and use a season word from an earlier part of the season after a season word from a later part has been used.

        Thus, both for maintaining the appropriate phenomena in each season, and for keeping straight the natural order of those phenomena within the season, the season word list must show both which season a given season word belongs in, and what part of that season. Therefore, the opening section of each season in this list defines the nominal periods of that season by month. (For a more precise table of the traditional seasons and their parts, see The Traditional Seasons of Japanese Poetry.)

        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.”*

        *THE FIVE HUNDRED

        ESSENTIAL JAPANESE SEASON WORDS

        Selected by Kenkichi Yamamoto
        Translated by Kris Young Kondo and William J. Higginson

        1. betty,

          i support all questions you have for patricia, even if they
          question the fitness of my verse.

          yes, i said “life-threatening”!
          *
          thank you for posting all these words that are accessible online to all those who google online….i am sure they will educate those who are not aware of them.
          *

          please reread what i have said…..i don’t think you heard a word i said!
          i am aware of the kigo words that reflect beginning, mid, and end of season….i support your questioning, where things are on this ladder. in fact, i support all questions….how else do we learn?
          my point is ……it doesn’t have to stop you from posting before you get clarification you are seeking.
          .
          you can’t go wrong if you stay with all autumn kigo words or late autumn kigo words.
          .
          many of my posts have to do with life-threatening illnesses and their deadliness as in pandemics, etc……and, i will be continuing to do so… as these are accepted topics, unless i am told by sabaki, not-to.

          1. Wendy.
            My asking you to please not go there was with respect to your rather flippant:
            “these risks. are not life-threatening, so what if the verse is not timed perfectly?”
            *
            I read every word of your response and I’m done with your not so subtle put downs over my queries to the sabaki for clarification. And I am more than clear on what type of autumn kigo would be needed to follow for the next verse…thank you very much.
            But I’ll pass on posting any further…dealing with enough life-threatening crap already. Best regards to you and others.

    3. Hi Betty,
      I’m sticking my nose in here (and my neck out? ). Just to say I tripped over “autumn gates” too. But I don’t think it’s breaking any of the usual renku rules or considerations of forward progression. ( You’ll find my query and conclusion somewhere above. )
      .
      Since there are not certain gates (known as “autumn gates”) intended ( I’d wondered if there might be such, so I asked Wendy, and my conclusion is that what’s meant is simply “gates in autumn”) then “autumn” is simply the season in adjectival form and therefore would be “All of autumn/ any time in autumn”, just as “summer sky” would indicate the sky at any time during the season.

      1. Hi Lorin. I follow your logic but the sky undergoes a distinct color shift due to the earth’s tilt as it rotates around the sun…one can see the difference from season to season. Similarly with weather events like rain and wind, and the coloration of leaves. Not so with gates. So having autumn in adjectival form with gates just doesn’t work for me for an all autumn kigo…not seeing any kind of transformation that would give it the same kigo ranking as autumn sky, autumn leaves, etc. Cheers, Betty

        1. I agree when you mention the early/mid/late structure to keep things moving on.
          This was so when I first came to the renku sessions, here, and this guidance used to be posted by the sabaki (no criticism intended)
          Maybe if we had a limited amount of verses 3/4 per person, this structure could be adhered to, and more thought put into each word within the verse. This too is the way we learn.
          .
          A great conversation ladies. I’m glad you brought the subject up, I wouldn’t have dared.

          1. Thankyou, Kanjini.
            This is the way it was in some of the sessions I took part in when I first found Renku. I learnt so much by not only reading the verses of the more experienced renku posters but their informative and intelligent responses to each other, also reading the Renku Reckoner – John Carley and reading online sessions, and the archives of THF.
            This is my personal opinion: responding to each other giving encouragement is great, but too much can be very distracting, and as I said, for me, spoils the flow of the session.
            Following the flow of the seasons takes some getting used to, but with much practice, we all get there, no doubt.
            Keep posting, Kanjini, you have posted some lovely words, and thankyou for your response to my post. Appreciated 🙂

        2. Betty, I think we’re coming from similar places with this, but have arrived at different conclusions.
          .
          What are autumn gates? Well, I came to the conclusion that in Wendy’s verse “autumn gates” , on the literal level, is intended to mean simply “gates in autumn”/ “gates seen/ noted etc. in autumn”.
          .
          What Patricia seems to have confirmed, though, is that in itself, the very word “autumn” places the verse in autumn, and in the “all autumn” category, since there is no indication of early, middle or late. The adjectival “autumn” is itself the season word/ kigo.
          .
          If you or I wrote a verse beginning with “autumn cat”, “autumn door handle”, “autumn suitcase”, “autumn chicken coop”, “autumn divorce”, “autumn toothpaste” , “autumn oration”, “autumn skateboard” , “autumn haircut” etc. etc. that, too, would be legitimate as an All Autumn reference/ kigo.
          .
          cheers from me and my autumn cat, who, thank goodness, has lost interest in the autumn keyboard and fallen asleep. 🙂

          1. Yes, all are apparently legitimate…as opposed to having some quality of seasonal transformation that Higginson alluded to in his Five Hundred…
            In any case, I also wondered why the “can you hear me now” re-worked from an earlier verse to the wolf’s antiphonal greeting was not addressed. That phrase comes from a cell [phone ad]…subtle, no??
            Enjoyed your autumnal riffs. Betty

    4. Hi, Betty–fair question.

      First let me say that I am sequestering away from my reference books so I am operating on my memory and what I can ascertain on the internet. With that caveat then, let me say that I intend to use the traditional “rules” of keeping the time going forward. In my understanding scarecrow, moon, and autumn would each be designated as “all autumn.” At this point in the renku, the third verse in the autumn sequence, I would be looking for an all autumn or mid to late autumn designation. I would definitely not choose a verse with an early autumn kigo at this point.

    5. Hi, Betty–I’m sorry–I missed your question about Wendy’s verse echoing the “wolf” verse the first time through.

      When I think of the wolf verse there is a sound going out into the world. In Wendy’s verse, the question is a silent one being asked of oneself–it’s an interior thought. So I didn’t see the two as similar.

  66. Congratulations Wendy!
    Another fine selection Patricia.
    Well done to all those who were on and about the short list.
    .
    Onwards we go.

    1. thank you so much, robert! hope this verse gives you a wide enough variety for your creative lines of thought.

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