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The Renku Sessions: Rendezvous – Week 9

 

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. Here in California it’s another week in this strange world of social distancing and sheltering in place. Is that how it is where you are? In an effort to obey the government’s edicts I am ordering food on-line from my local grocery. Yesterday an order that I had placed five days ago for seven items came with two items. Today from another order of eight things (different from the previous order), I received three items. I feel very fortunate that my pantry is well enough stocked so these short falls, while annoying, are not devastating. But it makes me acutely aware that these shortages must be causing real anxiety in some households. I hope that all is well in your house.

Thank you, all, who made offerings for the eighth verse of our renku. I’d like to start by saying there were verses I liked that were cast in the first person. I had to rule these out as they reach back to Wendy’s verse “who can hear me now.” It’s important to avoid reaching back to the verse before the one we are linking to; this keeps the poem from becoming circular.

The verses that I selected out for further consideration are these:

 

glimpse of her freckles
under the shirtsleeve

Mark Powderhill

 

and they lived happily
ever after in fairy tales

*

roosters crowed
over our first kiss

*

she still gives me
the largest slice

*

her smile can disappear
for days but always returns

Dan Campbell

 

a kama sutra
on the bedside table

Andrew Shimield

 

they gather up the beads
for restringing later

*

the forgotten lei
in the back seat

*

they emerge from spelunking
deeply in love

Laurie Greer

 

the state of their union
in an office gossipfest

Ellen Compton

 

the billionaire’s next bride
bursting with excitement

Lorin Ford

 

wedding invitations
arrived too late

*

a wedding dress
folded in a suitcase

Carmen Sterba

 

you could say we took
a magic carpet ride

M.R. Defibaugh

 

he paints her nails
to break the boredom

*

after a close shave
she mentions his soft cheek

*

tipping the scales
with her come with me walk

Robert Kingston

 

one more time
she says

Steve Tabb

 

our first date postponed
until further notice

*

on line dating leaves
a lot to be desired

Michael Henry Lee

 

her eyes fixed
on his bhangra moves

Liz Ann Winkler

 

above the veil
she promises with a long gaze

Clysta Seney

 

she prays
he stays

Wendy C. Bialek

 

her tongue piercing
and other treasures

Kiti Saarinen

 

she nibbles his ear
with wholesome intents

Carol Jones

 

he comes
in secret

Princess K

 

and as if by magic
they fall in love

Marion Clarke

 

by the holy river
we lay down together

Pauline O’Carolan

 

 

These verses would make the semi-final list and possibly be the chosen verse but for the reasons given below:

 

a kama sutra
on the bedside table

Andrew Shimield

I like this verse very much, but even though Andrew put the Kama Sutra in lower case it is usually capitalized and I’d like to avoid proper names for awhile (6 verses if we can).

 

they gather up the beads
for restringing later

Laurie Greer

I like how the beads connect intuitively to the form of seeds, and I like the suggestive way the verse treats the love act. Tantalizing. But Laurie already has a verse and we want more voices, I think.

 

her eyes fixed
on his bhangra moves

Liz Ann Winkler

Here’s a great verse—I was so happy to learn about bhangra. My only hesitation is it’s one verse early for more music; if I was not able to find a verse that would be as good as this, I might have to consider breaking the rules for the sake of the poem.

 

she prays
he stays

Wendy C. Bialek

So succinct, and yet so poignant. But Wendy, you already have a verse. Thank you for continuing to participate. And for offering encouragement and advice to others.

 

The final verses then are these:

 

above the veil
she promises with a long gaze

Clysta Seney

her tongue piercing
and other treasures

Kiti Saarinen

he comes
in secret

Princess K

and as if by magic
they fall in love

Marion Clarke

by the holy river
we lay down together

Pauline O’Carolan

My final choice was based on how a verse sounded when read aloud with the previous verse which led me to decide on Marion’s magical verse. Princess K’s verse worked well, but the overtone of a rendezvous, even though not mentioned, was too strong.

 

So here is the renku this far. Hope you like how it is shaping up.

rendezvous —
snowshoes piled high
outside the sauna                              Sally Biggar

an antiphonal greeting
of one wolf to the others                  Mary Kendall

the jury still out
on gray
vs grey                                               Laurie Greer

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

scarecrows and
moons are the best
listeners                                              Dan Campbell

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

an opened sesame
seed packet
from India                                          Betty Shropshire

and as if by magic
they fall in love                                   Marion Clarke

 

And now instructions and considerations for our ninth verse, another love verse.  This verse should link to the eighth verse, but have no connection to the seventh verse. The requirements for this verse are:

  • a three-line poem of seventeen syllables or less
  • this is a love verse. It is the second of a sequence of two or possibly three verses. So in this verse we should see the romance advance to a later stage. In the renku the love verses are romantic love, not love of children or love of parents, for example. Note that we should avoid the mention of colors for one more verse, no beverages for the next two, no celestial references for three verses, and no building structures like gates, fences, houses, doors, etc. for four verses. Avoid proper names and seed-like things for five verses; avoid the names of countries for a long while. Avoid references to the occult for six verses.
  • 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 21 (California time zone). On Thursday, April 23, there will be a new posting containing my selection for the ninth verse, some discussion of other appreciated verses, and instructions for composing the tenth verse.

I hope you stay safe and healthy. Do take all precautions. And I hope you are enjoying the renku writing process. Even though we are trying to write a great poem, the best way to do that is to be playful and let your mind be free. I encourage you to be whimsical, be daring, let your imagination loose. Let’s see what happens. I look forward to seeing your work.

And thank you, John, for your help in posting this.

In gratitude to all,

Patricia

This Post Has 189 Comments

  1. singing out loud
    the words
    of their song

    *************************

    warming
    at the first warmth,
    they are looked at with new eyes ………..

    *************************

    dividend
    in two equal parts
    the pill for cholesterol

  2. misspellng
    his name
    on the invites

    .

    no shows
    she misspells his name
    on the invites

    .
    nobody comes
    she misspells his name
    on the invites
    .

    nobody shows
    she misspells his name
    on the invites
    .

    1. Lovely, Wendy! I’m still getting my head around syntactical verses. Had a discussion with Judt further down the timeline and she gave a very clear example of her verse with a break and without which I take to mean syntactical. It sounds to me that your first verse is syntactical and the rest have a break/pause at the end of the first line?

      1. yes, you have seen this correctly, kanjini,,,,,my newest post…..i believe….corrects it….what do you think?

  3. and as if by magic
    they fall in love
    .
    Marion Clarke
    .
    after she laughs
    with him
    at his bruised thumb
    .
    the ultimatum
    over his fifth car
    sidles through the window
    .
    his affection
    for ducks leaves
    her smarting

  4. and as if by magic
    they fall in love — Marion Clarke
    .

    he says there’s something
    in the way she wriggles
    her nose
    .

    1. lorin,
      great way to lead us
      into the turning direction!
      .
      he pulls
      the rabbit ears
      on the old tv
      .
      wendy c. bialek

  5. Congratulations, Marion, magical! Thank you Patricia for considering mine, appreciated.
    *

    never grown up
    laughing
    they vanish

  6. Verse 4:

    he carved their initials
    under the school desk
    with a pocketknife

    Verse 5:

    delicate fingers
    on his arm
    in the pas de deux

    Verse 6:

    waltzing
    to the radio
    in their kitchen

    Verse 7:

    alone after the audience leaves
    their voices float
    untethered

    Verse 8:

    dancing
    their pas de deux
    by the lake

  7. Congratulations to Marion, and thank you Patricia for another fine week. Good to hear you are still hanging in there, and here.
    *
    celebrating in
    with a candlelight dinner
    and their song

  8. a bra
    stuffed with wonder bread
    keeps the interest up

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    sudden pork shortage
    he makes her
    a sleight of ham sandwich

    1. both are fine and enjoyable verses…..kanjini….the… 50 year one…. makes a big jump in the love story of three verses….and would mean, if chosen, that the third love verse would be following chronologically in subject matter…from what life (including death) remains.
      .
      to add a little spice and suspense….you could place the word “laugh” on the last line.

  9. Congrats Marion! and thanks Patricia for consideration of one of mine.
    .
    .
    one last drag
    and then the aroma
    of incense
    .
    marking his territory
    with a stream
    of consciousness
    .
    an entire physiological dogma
    expressed through
    erect nipples
    .
    she wore
    his strand of pearls
    knotted
    .
    behind the bully pulpit
    a red
    cardinal
    .
    .

  10. pretending
    to show him an article
    sits on his lap

    ***
    to the first
    picnic for two
    a sprained ankle

    ***
    and definitely
    lilies are not suitable
    to a marriage request

  11. an opened sesame
    seed packet
    from India                          Betty Shropshire

    and as if by magic
    they fall in love                         Marion Clarke
    .
    two torrent ducks choose
    a sunning spot
    next to the rapids
    .
    her something old
    is a bracelet charm
    from his grandmama
    .
    like charmed quarks
    their relationship
    thrives on give and take
    .
    the newlyweds
    spell each other driving
    to Asilomar
    .

  12. such sharp
    daggers, her dark
    brown eyes
    #######
    her yoga
    headstands make
    rain fall up
    #######
    their anniversary
    cake candles set off
    the fire alarm

  13. more than presto
    required for lasting
    domestic bliss
    *
    working together
    for an equal di-
    vision of labor
    *

        1. patricia are spells and acts of prestidigitation considered to be occult?
          you have said not to repeat….
          “Avoid references to the occult for six verses.”

          1. Wendy–Yes, spells and acts of prestidigitation fall into the category that we are trying to avoid. But I need to be careful to say that spell, for example, which links to magic by one of its meanings might in the context of the new verse invoke another of its nonmagical meanings, like “let’s rest a spell.” This would not only be acceptable, but would be exactly the delightful shift we are seeking.

  14. and as if by magic
    they fall in love
    .
    Marion Clarke
    .
    Tapestries
    are a fun way to capture
    cavorting couples
    .
    initials
    in the heart of a tree
    splinter in the sun

    1. Robert, I really like the “initials in the heart of a tree…” “…splinter in the sun” tells of some time gone by.

    2. and as if by magic
      they fall in love
      .
      Marion Clarke
      .
      in quarantine
      the bedroom door
      becomes their lifeline
      .
      with the shutters
      a breath of fresh air
      in the bedroom

  15. in the place we first met
    we stare together
    at what’s no longer there

    ***************

    memories
    of exes
    disappear

  16. the first raindrops
    hit the pond and he
    pops the question
    *
    their faces reflected
    in the pond’s
    intersecting ripples
    *

  17. an opened sesame
    seed packet
    from India                          Betty Shropshire

    and as if by magic
    they fall in love                         Marion Clarke
    .
    beside a waterfall
    two torrent ducks choose
    their sunny spot
    .
    two vulnerables
    dive deep
    in swift currents
    .
    they decide to watch
    ice melt instead of
    oceans rise
    .
    smells of cloves
    and baking bread
    flood the new house tour
    .

  18. and as if by magic
    they fall in love
    .
    Marion Clarke
    .
    in a flap
    over her slow walk
    to the station
    .

    the fun stops
    with the rocket
    landing

  19. farewell in hurry –
    the last words on her lips
    remain unread

    *
    after my departure
    the smell of her hair
    still follows me

    *
    serene sky
    but on her blue eyes
    stormy clouds

  20. Magical, Marion. Thank you, Patricia.

    *
    the cheque
    for their destination honeymoon
    on hold
    *
    drawing hearts
    in the sand
    at low tide
    *
    morning light
    brings a soft glow
    to rumpled bedsheets

  21. and as if by magic
    they fall in love
    .
    Marion Clarke
    .
    under pressure
    he throws a red herring
    in the mr & mrs game

  22. and as if by magic
    they fall in love
    *
    Marion Clarke
    *
    trying to come up with
    a realistic budget
    for romance
    *
    documenting their first
    hundred days
    in photos and verse
    *
    slowly transitioning
    from rom-coms
    to documentaries
    *

  23. and as if by magic
    they fall in love
    .
    Marion Clarke
    .
    the sweetness
    of pushing tags
    inside of our collars

    1. an opened sesame
      seed packet
      from India
      .
      I don’t think the opened packet was planned, Andrew,
      only the scan.

  24. misremembering the title
    as Love in the Time
    of Corona
    *
    writing the sequel
    as Love in the Time
    of Corona
    *

  25. and as if by magic
    they fall in love
    .
    Marion Clarke
    .
    getting used
    to hearing that same
    story again

  26. getting up late enough
    to go right back
    to bed
    *
    the tricky meetings
    with exes
    and in laws
    *
    no stumbling block
    they can’t overcome
    together
    *

  27. Congratulations, Marion. Love is magic!

    Thank you for mentioning my verses, Patricia. It is the highlight of the week.

    Verse 1:

    paddling the river
    and tipping into the rapids
    from the double canoe

    Verse 2:

    taking a pair of sparkling earrings
    he threads them
    through her lobes

    Verse 3:

    fingers touch
    then cling
    under the table

  28. .
    Hi, Patricia,
    .
    Could you please weigh in on the syntax discussion below? I think I worked it out, but I’m getting pretty rusty on grammar. Thanks!
    .
    Judt
    .

  29. almost home,
    landings now are better
    than takeoffs
    #######
    immigrant
    wife, she calls him
    prick stupid

    1. Is that syntactical, Judt? I’m still learning the difference between haiku and verses for renku 😉

      1. Good question, Kanjini! I was stumbling on that in the last verse, too…but ultimately swept it under the rug. Time to face the music and get it straight. Thanks!

    2. Hi Kanjini.
      In this verse ‘raising the stakes’ is a participial phrase that modifies ‘politics.’ As such, it should be followed by a comma. So I think the verse is not a syntactical unit.
      If it were ‘bringing up politics raises the stakes,’ then ‘bringing up politics’ is a gerund phrase, subject of the verb ‘raises.’ That would work as a syntactical unit.
      Thanks for bringing up grammar!😂

        1. Kanjini–Judt has made the case very well and has given two good examples–one with a break and one without.

          1. Patricia, are you saying that both Judt’s examples are syntactical?

            I understood syntactical to mean without breaks.

  30. .
    our first time
    riding a tandem
    zipline
    .
    .
    .
    Scout’s honor, Lorin…this was the first thing in my notebook this morning. But when I realized how it could be read, I hesitated to post it 😂.
    When I saw yours, just had to chime in 😁.
    Cheers!
    Judt
    .

  31. … or perhaps, to avoid beginning with an article:
    .
    an opened sesame
    seed packet
    from India Betty Shropshire
    .
    and as if by magic
    they fall in love Marion Clarke
    .
    spectators gather
    to watch the happy couple’s
    double bungee jump
    .

  32. Congratulations, Marion! 🙂
    .
    *
    and as if by magic
    they fall in love Marion Clarke

    *
    a crowd gathers
    to watch the happy couple’s
    double bungee jump

  33. well done Marion
    *
    and as if by magic
    they fall in love Marion Clarke
    *
    the apiarist
    and the aviarist find
    the birds and the bees

    1. Thank you, Andrew.
      .
      Well done on almost making the semifinals list. Best of luck with your next verse.

  34. Congrats Marion and thanks Patricia, I look forward to each new week.
    ###########
    her dancing
    in the night keeps
    them both young
    #########
    he sung
    serenades under the
    wrong window
    #########

        1. Thanks, Dan.
          .
          I agree with Kanjini—and I liked the repetition of “un” when you had “sung” and “under” in the first offering.

          his serenade
          sung from under
          the wrong window

  35. Question – will using ‘their’ throw us back to ‘they’ in Marion’s verse? If not, here’s another using ‘their’ :-

    *
    beaming
    as their firstborn walks
    down the aisle
    *

    1. Hi, Kanjini–It’s okay to match the pronouns of the verse you are linking to; we want to avoid anything that takes us back to the verse before that’

  36. Well done Marion! Enjoying the renku, Patricia! Good to know your pantry’s well stocked. Here in NZ, the nation is still at Level 4 Lock down.

    *
    seeing the world
    through their children’s
    eyes
    *

    1. Thank you, Kanjini.

      Here in Northern Ireland we’ve had a further three weeks of lockdown announced—I must admit I was surprised it was only three because we haven’t experienced the peak yet. 🙁

  37. Thank you Patricia for putting my effort on the short list. Marian I love your love verse. As a “first-time renku participant” I am awed by the prolific offerings and appreciate the guidance you provide Patricia. Reading a final renku is very different from participating in the creation of one.

    1. Thank you, Clysta.
      .
      Yes it is indeed very different. I was introduced to renku here on THF some years back. I dithered at the side for a while and then decided to throw myself in at the deep end, even though I had no idea what I was doing! Thanks to the leadership of a great sabaki each time, I’ve learned so much—and continue to do so in this one with Patricia.

  38. Congrats, Marion! It seems we were both thinking of magic this week, and who couldn’t use some as of late!
    *
    wearing her
    wedding dress
    to bed
    *
    I did notice a slight misspelling of my name, but my gratitude again well outweighs the insignificance of such an error lol:
    *
    messing up
    my name becomes
    a running joke

    1. sound waves
      produce an image
      of their daughter
      ***
      the image of
      their first child
      on the ultrasound
      ***
      their life’s purpose
      is revealed
      on the ultrasound
      ***
      life’s purpose
      revealed in the first
      image of their son
      ***
      she breaks
      every bone in his hand
      while giving birth

      1. No problem! I had it happen a couple of times last session too, so I’ll blame it all on John lol

    2. Thank you, M.R. (Did you say your first name was Matt a while back?)
      .
      And yes, there’s no such thing as too much magic! I spotted that Wendy had a very humorous verse about a magic carpet instead of an Uber. 🙂

      1. Oh, I forget I’ve already compromised my identity. I started out as Matthew last session, and then M. R. became my haiku-self, you could say lol…I somehow missed the Uber version.

  39. Congratulations, Marion, you never know when or where ‘love’ will come upon you, and when it does… alakazam 🙂
    .
    Thank you for considering one of my verses Patricia, appreciated.

  40. way to go Marion one of my favorite vs’s this round
    ***********************************************
    abracadabra,
    without a thing
    to wear
    *********
    producing
    a condom from
    out of his hat
    ****************
    while his back
    is turned she pulls
    the old switch-a-roo

    1. Thank you, Michael—and for your comment in the submissions that I only spotted this morning. 🙂

  41. fun pick patricia….
    .
    congrats marion! i like your magical, playful verse! and the start of our first love verse.

  42. Terrific, Marion!
    Thanks, Patricia, for putting me in the finals!
    *
    and as if by magic
    they fall in love Marion Clarke
    *
    setting their hearts
    on a modest
    fixer upper
    *
    at last he retires
    his collection
    of pick-up lines
    *

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