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The Renku Sessions: Side Show – Week 9

renku_300

 

Hello, Everyone:

Hope you have all survived the week — the heat, Hurricane Beryl, Independence Day celebrations, elections in Europe, the American debate, Gaza, Ukraine, Sudan — yikes! There’s a lot going on and much food for our renku.

Regarding your verses this week: so many good ones. I enjoyed reading them and your conversations. I was impressed with the links using wasp as a connection to Vespa! Delightfully clever. It was a struggle to ignore them, but we already have an insect in verse two so this is one verse too soon to have another. Lorin’s verse using WASP as a reference to a white, anglo-saxon protestant and not a moth would have won the day, but, of course, she’s already in the poem.

Here are the other verses that looked promising. After a second look, those in bold, more so:


jays ready for anything
with a fresh set of feathers

letting off a stowaway
in the middle of the heat

forgetting the heat
on the neighborhood playground

resetting the pendulum
for the long cold days

seeking asylum
from the long hot days

this movable feast
of a picnic

taking the middle shift
at the lemonade stand

how the heat drives her
out of her mind

robbed of her will
by the mesmerizing heat

thrown off balance by the
latest blast of heat

ospreys coasting
on the long hot days

the dog in a backpack
as the dog days settle in

no time to be homesick
with day camp’s packed schedule

the cat’s zoomies at a halt
in the heat wave

Laurie Greer

*

the neighborhood agreement
to keep sidewalks ice-free

turning up
the thermostat

Nancy Brady

*

center fielder rolling
in the green green grass

Dan Campbell

*

she throws him curve
that almost hits him

she tries to pick him off
at second base

Jonathan Alderfer

*

nothing but beaches
and ice-cold beer

Barbara Anna Gaiardoni

*

counterbalancing
this sizzling binary climate

blinking eyelids
laden with snowflakes

a captive in the swelter
to wayward urges

teetering on the brink
of another ice age

the blur of horizontal snow
blinding us

Pamela Garry

*

that afterglow
lingers . . .

Carol Jones

*

so hot the elevator fart
stays parked in the elevator

mayo easy on the helmets &
mustard squiggles picnic table

dehydrated desert dwellers
running out of fumes

zipping down the boardwalk
smells of crinkle-cut french fries

handlebar mustache
holds up the shades

behind the frozen handlebar
mustache, old man winter

a pair of matching
shades for her dog

Wendy C. Bialek

*

never mind stir crazy
once heatstroke takes effect

tank tops and flip flops
and the tang of lemonade

freeloading little cuckoo
from another mother preens

Betty Shropshire

*

mint chocolate chip
or rainbow sherbet . . .

another snowbank
blocking the driveway

Chris Patchel

*

oscillating fan can’t decide
which corner to cool

every lizard in the yard
scooting for shade

sudden rain
sizzles the driveway

after the day camp hike
cupped hands fill at the well

Rob Barkan

*

on the kitchen table her
helmet beside fresh baked bread

we step to the ice cream
wagon and buy cooling treats

your hamstring injury
permits no downhill skiing

an earthworm attempts
to cross the highway

with resolution they join
the firefighters corps

dedicated to clear snow
from mountain pass roads

in the summer kitchen
two helmets gather dust

allegiance to tradition,
they hang blinking christmas lights

equivocating, she shifts
gears and joins the women’s league

the steers ignore heifers
in the pasture

winter gear assures their
survival next season

even in winter, word games
allow players to shift gears

John Daleiden

*

trying to put the brakes
on climate change

Tracy Davidson

*

snow on the ground
over the mountain pass

late arrivals
are turned away at the campsite

Dick Pettit

*

a Christmas tree ornament
in the minutest detail

a whopping 58 dogs
in the allotted 10 minutes

Michael Henry Lee

*

the nest-building mindset
of a wasp

Dan MacDonald

*

the dedication
of a paper wasp queen

Lorin Ford

*

election poll workers
arrive wearing ski masks

Alison Woolpert

*

summer heatwaves
rise from Trevi Fountain

speeding into turns
blind to the black ice

avalanche triggered
by a driving downburst

Jackie Maugh Robinson

*

passing tasseling corn
by the roadside stand

the early birds rev up
their heat warning

the traffic court AC
on the fritz again

Mimi Ahern

*

making a wish
he throws a coin into the fountain

wasps protect
a rotting peach on the ground

Melissa Dennison


Forty-eight of these are eligible candidates for verse eight. I chose these ten to consider further:

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

letting off a stowaway
in the middle of the heat

Laurie Greer

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

nothing but beaches
and ice-cold beer

Barbara Anna Gaiardoni

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

blinking eyelids
laden with snowflakes

Pamela Garry

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

tank tops and flip flops
and the tang of lemonade

Betty Shropshire

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

mint chocolate chip
or rainbow sherbet . . .

Chris Patchel

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

every lizard in the yard
scooting for shade

Rob Barkan

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

a whopping 58 dogs
in the allotted 10 minutes

Michael Henry Lee

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

avalanche triggered
by a driving downburst

Jackie Maugh Robinson

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

the traffic court AC
on the fritz again

Mimi Ahern

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

making a wish
he throws a coin into the fountain

Melissa Dennison


From these, four choices seemed to work best when paired with verse seven and read aloud:

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

letting off a stowaway
in the middle of the heat

Laurie Greer

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

blinking eyelids
laden with snowflakes

Pamela Garry

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

mint chocolate chip
or rainbow sherbet . . .

Chris Patchel

*

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

every lizard in the yard
scooting for shade

Rob Barkan


This is so difficult—each of these verses would make an excellent eighth verse. Finally, the decision came down to what does the renku need at this moment. I felt that after focusing on two people in love, we needed to look out at the larger forces operating in the world, and I chose Laurie Greer’s:

letting off a stowaway
in the middle of the heat


And so, here’s our renku so far:

Side Show

the moon joins
a juggler’s side show
harvest festival

Wendy C. Bialek

a swirl of moths
orbits the yellow lamplight

Jonathan Alderfer

drifting leaves
pile up at the lock gates
on the old canal

Andrew Shimield

an inuksuk points the way
to the next adventure

Carol Jones

Earthrise
to the tune of Strauss’s ‘Thus
spake Zarathustra’

Lorin Ford

may I have this dance
for the rest of my life?

John Daleiden

I swing onto
his Vespa
fully committed

Clysta Seney

letting off a stowaway
in the middle of the heat

Laurie Greer


And now here are your instructions for verse nine:

  • a three-line summer verse, the three lines should flow syntactically;
  • link to verse eight in some fashion;
  • the door is open for all topics: war, politics, death, or any wild or bizarre subjects (in this section of the renku the party gets going full steam — arguments, clowning, tears, all happen here);
  • for the rest of the renku, please avoid any subjects related to festivals or circuses, carnival acts, moons, etc.; also avoid mention of hiding, hitchhiking, passengers, or parts or fractions for the next six verses; avoid mention of vehicles for the next five verses, avoid mention of dancing or performance art for the next four verses; avoid mention of art, music, photography, religion, and planets for the next three verses; avoid mention of stones, directions, or cairns for the next two verses; avoid mention of entrances, water, vegetation, or the first person singular for this verse;
  • submit your verses by midnight PDT Tuesday, July 16.

I thank you all for your submissions and active participation this week. I wish you good writing in the coming week — and good healing and tranquility for John.

— Patricia

 

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This Post Has 233 Comments

  1. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer

    daytime world series
    game delayed for a cooler
    pm. slot

    at the seaside,
    a couple say their vows, and
    release butterflies

  2. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    midnight
    under the overpass
    cooling off

    estivation
    in his man cave
    another beer
    (thanks for introducing me to estivation in this renku!)

    blazing hot
    in the playpen
    a temper tantrum

    the third
    of their five kids
    with the best squirt gun
    (is this disqualified because of water?)

    summer ends
    with the diary key
    still missing

    on two shelves
    in the cool of the basement
    last year’s preserves

    I have a feeling some of my links may be too wide a leap!

  3. letting off a stowaway

    in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    chasing a dream
    of helping others
    harvesting dandelions

  4. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    ——-Laurie Greer
    .

    the autopsy reveals
    elevated levels of bilirubin
    and religious dogma
    .

  5. firefighters clear
    brush near homes to avoid
    summer fires

    only a broken
    chimney stands in the ash
    of summer wildfires

    summer wind whips fire
    into rabbit holes
    preventing escape

  6. letting off a stowaway
    
in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    sweat
    cascading down
    his furrowed brow

    his parched being
    in search of dewdrops
    downcast

  7. Congratulations Laurie and thank you for this verse.
    .
    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer
    .
    sated, he asks to be
    excused from life’s table
    .
    their photo slips from the wall
    at the widower’s last breath
    .
    all his life fighting wars
    he’s now of the silence
    .

    1. What was I thinking?!! Obviously not in threes.
      .
      sated
      he asks to be excused
      from life’s table
      .
      their photo slips
      from the wall
      at the widower’s last breath
      .
      all his life
      fighting wars
      he’s now of the silences

  8. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    the difficulty
    fastening a seatbelt
    in a jet’s wheel-well

    hypothermia
    served with the peanuts
    in a jet’s wheel-well

    1. I was flying high after posting the first two until I realized they did not contain a reference to summer!

      the refuge snares
      a major league pop up
      from a jet’s wheel-well

  9. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer

    the hot air balloon
    rises into summer air
    over low desert

    watermelon vines
    grow over irrigation
    in summer gardens

  10. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat – Laurie Greer

    barefooted boy
    playing Bojangles
    on his banjo

    hoping his next
    journey is
    a hayride to Hell

  11. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    a line of ants
    on the picnic blanket
    steals our cherry pie

    reaching dry land
    a migrant kneels down
    and kisses the sand

    holding hands
    we meander
    near the river’s bend

    brushing hair
    from my face
    we drive on

    ants become
    fossilised
    as the tarmac melts

  12. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    Laurie Greer

    will no one rid us
    of this sidewalk clown killing us
    with his jokes?

  13. Congratulations, Laurie.

    trafficked eels
    slither wildly
    on the tarmac

    schoolchildren
    mock the thunder
    in an abandoned house

    fierce competition
    for the final place
    in the swim team

    they swam against the tide
    in dialing down
    the debate

    1. long estival days
      of sowing and reaping
      children plant peas
      ~ ~ ~
      estival days
      of sowing and reaping
      children plant zucchini

      I was looking for another word to write instead of “summer” and found this interesting word…

      1. five pinwheels
        in the neighbor’s front yard
        walking around on a long day
        ~ ~ ~
        in the front yard
        pinwheels on a warm day
        our neighbor plants five

        We never fail to be delighted, passing this house on our daily walks.

  14. growing slow
    from library seed
    sprouts through the sunny season
    ~ ~ ~
    children planting seeds
    by leaps and bounds
    through the long warm days

  15. springing from a seed library
    sunflowers
    beans and lettuce
    ~ ~ ~
    “growing slow”
    from the library seed
    sprouts through summer
    ~ ~ ~
    children planting seeds
    by leaps and bounds
    through summer vacation

  16. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    ——-Laurie Greer
    .

    a blue jay
    rummages through
    the fallen hornet’s nest
    .

    an ant
    so small
    and yet . . . . . . and yet
    .

    noonday crows
    what the hell are they
    talking about
    .

    I know where the crow lives
    but the crow knows
    where the owl lives
    .

    CCTV cameras
    capture the sunrise
    in black and white

  17. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer

    the riverbed dried
    to a trickle between
    sand pools

    women forego hair
    driers this summer
    in beauty salons

    rally attendees
    wave paper fans saying,
    “Violence destroys all”

  18. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer

    …keep for getting to put Laurie’s verse at the top.

  19. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer

    avoiding payment
    he rides in a luggage bag
    his wife checks in

    business at the ice
    plant better than ever
    this summer

    public swimming
    pools closed from 1 to 8
    pm. this month

  20. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    *
    repurposing
    a matryoshka doll
    as a piggy bank
    *
    the secret piggy bank
    in the penultimate
    matryoshka doll
    *

  21. letting off a stowaway
    
in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    lightning
    over the border
    going nowhere

  22. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    *
    putting the cat
    back in the bag
    before she gets sunburnt
    *

  23. another hurdle
    she fails to clear
    in her hunt for gold

    the faux Geisha
    frees a paper fan
    from her kimono pocket

    ice cream drips
    onto a hot dog’s
    lolling tongue

  24. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    in fields
    either side
    cows swishing tails

    a bead of sweat
    reflects
    the sun’s rays

    ants scurry by
    as the sun
    beats the flags

    stillness
    except…
    a feather falls

    an ant
    makes her way
    to cooling earth

  25. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    *
    alas no mutation
    against sunstroke
    lurking in his DNA
    *

  26. heading for grandma’s
    on the 8:35
    basho in her purse

    pilot fish calmly nibbles
    as billowing blood
    cascades

    classroom lights out
    the glow of a firefly jar
    on first row faces

  27. our dog
    sleeping sound
    her red ball right in front of her nose
    ~ ~ ~
    an escaped mouse
    safe and sound
    in the back garden

  28. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer

    predators crouch
    at the dry water hole
    eyeing each other

    even nighttime golf
    unbearable
    in summer swelter

  29. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer

    all summer, walking
    underground railroads to
    ancestor freedom

    at sunrise the heat
    in three digits with no
    relief in sight

  30. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat – Laurie Greer

    the summer of love
    long gone and now another
    summer of the gun

  31. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    high fire time
    to bring to bare
    war gun bans

    1. high fire time
      to bring to bare
      war gun bans – Wendy C. Bialek

      um, Wendy, bear with me now. Perhaps in your line 2 you intend ‘bring to bear’ on a particular case?

        1. No, Wendy, just suggesting that you correct the spelling: ‘bare’, in L2. ‘bear’ would be correct . (As in, “Turn the radio down please, I can’t bear that reporter’s voice. ” Or “In this case, we must bring to bear the child’s age and background.” or ” Is the basket strong enough the bear the load?”)

          re ‘bare’ : ” The flasher who exposed his bare backside to the crowd was apprehended by the police.”
          ” The cupboard was bare.” “I don’t want a story. Just tell me the bare truth,”

          1. lorin i’m sure wendy knows the difference between
            bear and bare–she made the correction 24 minutes
            later but you missed it.

      1. Lorin I don’t mean to over step and Wendy I don’t mean to speak for you, but this word play is quite intriguing. I have been wondering if you intended “bare” as in the meaning of “baring your heart” and or “bare all”, as in being truthful, (and with a little poetic license, if at all… ) I really like your poem “high fire time”, especially the message behind it.

  32. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    a 1st amendment
    is stifled
    by the 2nd

  33. cooking
    an omelette
    on the sidewalk

    hitchhiker by
    the road
    with a sunburnt thumb

    children chasing
    an ice
    cream truck

  34. following
    flickering
    fireflies

    hunters hiding
    in a field
    of sunflowers

    searching
    for sandcastles
    with a garage

    foreclosure
    sign
    on the sandcastle

  35. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    a relay runner
    sets a ladybug down
    beside the track

    a black ant
    slips from a pant’s cuff
    on the trail

    a berry bug moves
    from swaying grass
    onto a passing leg

    a mother picks
    a tick from the skin
    of a sweaty child

    a clean slate
    at the moment
    of death

  36. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer

    in the boudoir
    applying makeup for
    the summer soirée

    summer fires shimmer
    in blasting night breezes
    before sunrise

  37. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    ——-Laurie Greer
    .

    six am and
    early Springsteen rocks
    the lobsterman’s boat
    .

    the whole world
    just stopped and went
    in a different direction
    .

    t rex harrison ford
    pickup sticks around
    midnight deadlines
    .

    deepening
    fire works
    through the forest

  38. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    *
    at the beach he suspects
    he has it in him
    to be a smuggler
    *
    overheated
    security not catching
    the gun till its fired
    *

  39. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer

    a prayer asking God
    to end heated world
    controversies

    in heated moments
    before unexpected death . . .
    ensuing panic

  40. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    tangled in the web
    a dandelion puff hails
    a wish-maker’s wind

  41. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat – Laurie Greer

    somewhere
    over the equator
    it’s summertime

  42. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    *
    the officer decides
    it’s too hot
    to press charges
    *

  43. Congrats, Laurie, on your verse.

    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer

    flying closer
    to the firefly’s
    light
    .
    the steam rises
    from the sun
    disappearing into the lake
    .
    wisps of steam rises
    from the sun dipping
    below the horizon

    1. correction

      wisps of steam rise
      from the sun dipping
      below the horizon

      This typo cannot be blamed on Otto; it’s my own fault!

  44. letting off a stowaway
    
in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    wave after wave
    sinking ever deeper
    into dreamland

    (Inspired by Nani Mariano’s wonderful ‘waves’ link.)

  45. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    for sale
    sign on the
    sandcastle

    morning picnic
    of platanos
    and pupusas

    a beautuful sunflower
    blooming in her
    long black hair

  46. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    –Laurie Greer
    *
    through an open window
    the scent of roses
    on a gentle breeze

  47. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat – Laurie Greer

    a sultry night
    full of Mexican hats
    and Japanese fans

  48. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat — Laurie Greer

    ‘Seven Types
    of Ambiguity’ found
    in the cool basement

  49. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    waves
    children chase each other
    beautiful Sunday

    1. Interesting, John. Would “camel caravan” take us back to Clysta’s last-but-one verse “I swing onto his Vespa . . . “?
      While Clysta’s Vespa is a single transport machine carrying up to two people and some stuff in the luggage rack, a ‘camel caravan’ is a number of camels carrying loads of goods plus, often, people as well.

      The Vesta is a machine and camels are animals, so no uchikoshi there. But, in view of the Vesta being a means of transport and a camel caravan being another means of transport, I’m taken back to last-but-one. Is it a case of the dreaded Uchikoshi? I’d say so, but we’ll have to wait for Patricia’s judgement on this issue.

      1. Lorin and John–Yes, the dreaded uchikoshi is probably operating here. But of concern also is “mid-day.” It’s much too close to “middle.”

        1. Thanks, Patricia, for confirming that “camel caravan” is uchikoshi to the motorbike verse.

          “mid-day sun” & “middle of the heat” certainly are close, but wouldn’t it be a link rather than uchikoshi (return to last-but-one) since these “middles/ mids” pair are in sequential verses? (No ‘leap-over verse’ / uchikoshi in sight)
          (Whether a desirable link or not would of course be up to you, Patricia, as sabaki.)

          1. Lorin–There’s linking and there’s repeating–I think mid is a repeat of middle.

    1. true story….my brave husband gently peeled the snake away and saw to it that he had been freed to go as he willed.

        1. Wendy, I agree with Pamela! …. Your husband is very brave. I looked it up, just now, coral snakes are some of the most formidable!

  50. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    *
    finding all the meaning
    of a Rorschach
    in a sweat stain
    *

  51. letting off a stowaway

    in the middle of the heat
    Laurie Greer
    *
    ocotillos
    training to be a fence
    share their August shade
    *
    that calm morning
    cartwheels on sand
    seemed like a good plan
    *
    a south wind
    sets off her need
    for moisture
    *
    tree frog calls
    along the river border
    soundtrack her journal
    *

  52. Please forgive the cliche:

    the cold front
    rushes in
    to save the day
    ~ ~ ~
    captured by the heat
    she races home
    to the air conditioned room

    1. On a walk yesterday, my son and I noticed a batch of young turkeys that had been born this spring, sitting at the top of the hill next to a parked car, (they were in a reasonably safe area, close to a field ) It was quite a delightful scene!

  53. Thanks, Laurie, for writing a very compassionate verse!
    Congrats! for all your diligent work at posting so many
    outstanding verses including this one that Patricia
    picked wisely for our renku.

    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    syncopic cactus
    pokes itself to stand up
    in hot sand

  54. Congrats Laurie and thank you Patricia!

    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    ——-Laurie Greer

    listening
    to the
    tide’s lullaby

    dodging the
    prison searchlight
    on a sticky night

  55. Hi–
    I didn’t expect this would be so complicated! I was using “heat” in a sort of casual way, as we do, speaking of “Going out in the heat,” and things like that. Interesting to see how others take it!
    **
    Just for fun:

    *
    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    *
    sunblock
    in the pocket
    of second-hand shorts
    *
    wondering if there’s
    a secret weapon
    for keeping one’s cool
    *
    the dog stirs the doldrums
    with a little shake
    of his tail
    *

  56. letting off a stowaway
    
in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    the sweaty baton
    slips at the start
    of the final leg

    holding
    a dying duckling
    in his breast pocket

  57. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    at the Cafe
    is holding a bottle
    meet again

  58. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    long conflict
    claimed thousands of lives
    the children screamed

  59. amidst cries to step down
    finding solace
    in the rose garden

    both sides of the aisle
    continue fanning
    the flames

    rainbow sherbet
    banned in all
    the red states

    absentee ballots
    cast in a
    hurricane wind

  60. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    election campaign
    there still is
    starving

    -Nani Mariani

  61. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    ——-Laurie Greer
    .

    the book club vote
    comes down to Gulliver’s Travels
    or Green Mansions
    .

    on one side a tiger
    on the other
    the simmering wind
    .

    lizards and wrentits
    float down as ash
    from the burning chaparral

  62. letting off a stowaway
    
in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    a newt escapes
    letting go its tail
    on the mossy forest floor

  63. very grateful patricia for including me
    in the lists, mostly the short, wow!
    i will strive to be better.

  64. Congratulations Laurie on a fine verse. Patricia, I’m re-iterating my opinion from last week on the suggestion of narrative from this sequence of verses:
    .
    may I have this dance
    for the rest of my life?
    .
    John Daleiden
    .
    I swing onto
    his Vespa
    fully committed
    .
    Clysta Seney
    .
    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    .
    Laurie Greer
    .
    .
    This sequence of verses suggests a narrative, even though it’s very short.
    .
    The first verse talks about a potential future event, asking for a “dance for the rest of my life.” This implies a closeness and desire for a lasting commitment.
    .
    The second verse jumps into immediate action. Swinging onto a Vespa suggests a spontaneous and carefree decision – “fully committed” reinforces the idea of going all-in with this person.
    .
    The last verse throws a curve-ball. Letting someone off, especially in the heat, suggests a potential complication or change in plans. It’s unclear who the stowaway is or why they’re being left behind.
    .
    This sequence creates a mini-story with a beginning (potential future commitment), middle (taking action towards that commitment), and an unexpected twist at the end. It leaves the reader wanting to know more about what happens next.
    .
    This comment just reflects my personal opinion – I am fully supportive of your role as sabaki and the choice of verses that you make in that role.

    1. Hi, Princess. I’ve read your post (directly above) and I can understand your issue re a possible narrative in the current 3 verses., which would break the rules of the onward flow of a renku.

      (a)
      may I have this dance
      for the rest of my life?

      John Daleiden

      (b)
      I swing onto
      his Vespa
      fully committed

      Clysta Seney

      (c)
      letting off a stowaway
      in the middle of the heat

      Laurie Greer

      The 2nd of these verses links to the first. These two are ‘love’ verses and fine, so the issue would be “Does the 3rd verse here (letting off a stowaway) return to the first:

      (verse 1 of 3)
      may I have this dance
      for the rest of my life? – John Daleiden

      (verse 3 of 3)
      letting off a stowaway
      in the middle of the heat – Laurie Greer

      The answer is no, there is no ‘uchikoshi’/no dreaded return to last but one. Laurie Greer’s verse is in the clear, “not guilty”. This verse 3 links to its immediately previous verse as it should:

      I swing onto
      his Vespa
      fully committed – (Clysta Seney)

      letting off a stowaway
      in the middle of the heat – (Laurie Greer)

      The link in the 3rd verse (Laurie Greer’s), as I see it, is “passenger/s + vehicles”. We have the Vespa, a popular type of motorbike with a pillion for a second person to ride on and then we have someone “letting off a stowaway”, from some kind of vehicle, I imagine. We don’t know what type of vehicle (car, plane, ship, etc) in Laurie’s verse, but the placement allows the reader to guess. (It wouldn’t be another Vespa unless something small, a cat or rat or the like had sneaked into a backpack or the storage rack) We don’t really know if the stowaway is human or not.

      I do have an issue with Laurie’s verse:

      letting off a stowaway
      in the middle of the heat

      but it’s the sort of issue that would often come up in international renku. As the late Winston Churchill famously commented, “We are divided by a common language.” ( “we” being the English & the Americans (USA people in that case)

      Then we have other variations of the English language, for instance Indian English and Australian English. I’m Australian and find “the middle of the heat” a strange expression. In the middle of the desert, in the middle of the argument, in the middle of the night, in the middle of lots of things but to my knowledge, heat does not have a middle.
      But then, I recall the expression “in the heat of the moment” and understand that a “moment” isn’t something that can be hot or cold and realise there are many of these expressions. We do things “on the spur of the moment” , but of course a moment doesn’t have a literal spur.

      It’s just that “in the middle of the heat” is an expression I’m not familiar with.

      1. Lorin, I don’t mean to interfere, like you mentioned below it could be a regional expression, or more likely, Laurie could have taken poetical license and dropped the “wave” part of the term. “Heat wave” has been used a lot, since the United States is experiencing heat waves all over the country. Even though Laurie didn’t intend this phrase as a political one, it could be taken as a kind of “political heat”, if I am not mistaken and it would also fit well with her verse and the renku.

        1. Thanks, Madeleine. You’re probably right, after all it’s common to say “in the middle of the argument. . . something or other happened”. ( “in the midst of” is still used, too, with the advantage, at times. to be a syllable shorter.) Yet because “the/a heat’ can also be ” a preliminary round in a race or contest” and the verse being linked to features a motorbike, there’s some ambiguity for me in “the heat”, because of course accidents etc. can happen in the middle of the sort of heat a Vespa might be participating in.

          Heatwave in America for you, frosty cold here where I am in this old house which might politely be said to be “well ventilated” . 🙄

          1. Lorin, it’s fascinating the variations of meaning that a renku verse can invoke. I never tire of seeking out more layers… It is somewhat cooler here at the moment, where I am in Northern California…it’s a little overcast. My heart goes out to you…these “well ventilated” houses tend to let us down in winter:/ I hope that you are managing to stay warm and the cold lets up soon:)

    2. princess k, the nuances you and Lorin discuss here have me wondering. if my line three had read “for the long haul” instead of “fully committed” would you have the same concern? trying to suss the difference between linking and narrative is a new thought process for me……ty for yr patience. c,

      1. Hi Clysta – you asked:
        .
        …if my line three had read “for the long haul” instead of “fully committed” would you have the same concern?
        .
        “For the long haul” is a common idiom meaning  “I intend to see this through to the end”, to be involved or willing to be involved in an activity or situation for a long time, rather than just a few days, weeks, etc.. For me this has the same meaning as “fully committed” and still contributes to the relationship narrative of the sequence, so no, my opinion would not be changed.
        .
        I wouldn’t worry too much about the linking and narrative issues. It is ultimately up to the sabaki to sort out what is/is not acceptable for a renku verse, and every sabaki has their own views on what is right for the renku. This is an online renku and the verse has been chosen, so it is unlikely that anything will change, as the renku must progress from week to week. It is probably very different in a renku where participants are in the same room and the sabaki has time to listen to objections and make changes on the spot, or even after the fact. One of the aspects of renku that I find stimulating is trying to create a verse that adheres to all of the “rules” – it is often quite a challenge. So just have fun with it and enjoy creating your verses knowing that the sabaki will sort it out, and realizing that every sabaki has a different approach.

  65. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat – Laurie Greer
    .–
    monsoon
    brings us squashy trails of mud
    to get stuck in
    .

  66. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    she sighs
    as the cool air greets her
    at the front door
    ~ ~ ~
    she retreats
    to the cool at the back
    of the house

  67. An homage to Helen Haye’s character in the 1970’s Movie, “the Airport”

    the old lady
    climbs the steps to the airplane
    unseen

  68. Patricia, thanks for liking my ‘WASP’ verse. I appreciate your comment. :-)

    Of course I knew it wasn’t eligible to be chosen, as I’ve already (happily) had a verse selected.

  69. letting off a stowaway
    
in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    taking in
    the hot gossip
    at the cooling center

  70. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    kitten season
    is nearing the end
    with no end

    1. Diana, this poem is so poignant and beautifully written, (with a clever double meaning of the word end, maybe a triple meaning, since it’s a great link), carrying hope.

      1. Thank you Madeleine! Sorry for my late reply! I don’t get notifications on the comments here. I come back and scroll through them on my breaks. What a delight to read your note to me! Thank you! I am still learning on how to link and everyone has so many delightful offerings! I am enjoying this journey with you. 🌸

        1. Your welcome, Diana. This learning process is certainly a lot of fun! I am enjoying this adventure with you too!

  71. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    sand crabs
    race around
    the castle moat

  72. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    on a quality scale of 1 to 10:

    laurie’s verse, 11
    patricia’s sabaki-ing 11
    jim’s aid and support: 11
    condition and outcome of john’s eye: 110

  73. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    sticky cotton candy
    hands
    pick up the sand

    hiding out
    in the air-conditioned
    movie theatre

  74. letting off a stowaway

    in the middle of the heat
    Laurie Greer
    *
    at noon
    the muggy mirage
    serves up whirled peas
    *
    she collects
    summer thistle
    to trace SOS in sand
    *
    the bridge of stars
    reaches through her dream
    to prod her feet
    *

  75. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    vegan terrorists
    feast their eyes on mushroom clouds
    over Fenway Park

    illegal migrants
    munch free peanuts and crackerjacks
    at Fenway Park

      1. letting off a stowaway
        in the middle of the heat

        a country boy
        takes the prize for spitting
        watermellon seeds

    1. I accidentally posted this comment while still editing out the first person singular.

      Here is my edit.

      Chinese long beans
      bloom
      in memories

      or

      Chinese long beans
      bloom
      only in photos

      or

      Chinese long beans
      used to bloom
      before his birthday

  76. letting off a stowaway
    
in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    running short of options
    on a zero-shadow day
    prayers come into play

  77. 8
    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    9
    a weird landscape
    sand dunes with sharp edges
    menace the wayfarer

    sitting by the roadside
    under a hat with tassels
    thumbing a lift

    jumps down
    is gone in an instant
    to be neither seen nor heard of

  78. Congratulations, Laurie!

    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    sirens
    approaching
    the fire

    ***

    fans cheering
    as the Olympians
    take a lap

      1. Thanks so much, Madeleine! I rarely check back here. I so wish they added notifications for these comments!

  79. Congratularions Laurie. I took your meaning immediately. For Patricia to select one from your superb offerings was quite a task. I am learning so much as she explains how and why she makes her selections. I enjoyed all the variations offered. John I read from “Red” each day and curve a smile around the earth to you. For the fun of it a double back link to start my offerings for Verse 9:

    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    Laurie Greer
    *
    the muggy noon moor
    now serving whirled peas
    *

  80. Congratulations Laurie! Thank you Patricia for your excellent guidance and continuing well wishes to John.

    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    ——-Laurie Greer
    .

    mirages shimmer
    beyond the welcome shade
    of a desert willow
    .
    cliff swallows
    collect mud for their nests
    at the river crossing
    .

    in the hazy distance
    the ice-blue flashing lights
    of la migra
    .

    swallows fly freely
    across the muddy river
    and razor wire

  81. Hello Everyone! I hope you all are doing well! I hope John is recovering nicely. Thank you Jim Kacian for helping and thank you to Patricia! I look forward to reading this through again and working on my submissions. Have a lovely week! 💐

  82. Best wishes for a continued recovery, John. Another great selection, Patricia. And congratulations on your fine link, Laurie!

    letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat

    Laurie Greer

    confusing
    a deflated beach ball
    for a jellyfish

    a blown bubble
    bursting on the child’s
    facial piercing

    the pole gone
    a tent’s canvas
    settles down

    a bald man
    kicks gravel onto
    the flat tire

    between breaths
    on the oxygen tank
    a smoker’s curse

    one’s future
    foretold in an exhale
    on a breathalyzer

    in the tall grass
    mistaking a snakeskin
    for a condom

    1. Richard, we had an experience recently with one of those creatures, “…confusing a deflated beach ball…”, everything turned out ok. These verses are great!

  83. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    — Laurie Greer

    under the canopy
    of the broken umbrella
    shoeless feet in the swelter

  84. I guess I’m confused. To me, “middle of the heat” refers more to a stage in a road race and is not really temperature/season related based on the way it’s written. But maybe that’s just my warped thinking due to having watched some of the Tour de France with my son:
    “A race may be run continuously to finish or may be made up of several segments called heats, stages or legs. A heat is usually run over the same course at different times. A stage is a shorter section of a much longer course or a time trial.” (from Wikipedia)

    In any case, congrats on the verse, Laurie! Quite imaginative!
    😊 Betty

    1. Hi, Betty–I was only thinking of heat as in temperature–partly due to reports on migrants crossing deserts in brutal heat and partly because it’s been so hot here. Only after I submitted it did I think of stages of races. Interesting word….

      1. Congratulations, Laurie. It’s a very interesting verse.

        Like Betty, I read “heat” as one race among several races (horse or vehicle races) That’s an interesting misdirection because of the link to the Vespa motorbike. Yet it would be most strange indeed if there were stowaways in such vehicle races.

        To be honest, I didn’t get it until I read your comment above: “I was only thinking of heat as in temperature–partly due to reports on migrants crossing deserts in brutal heat and partly because it’s been so hot here.”

        I see now that it’s one of those “divided by a common language” issues. ” … in the middle of a heat wave ” is clear to me (as are “middle of a hot day” & ” mid-afternoon heat”) but “middle of the heat” takes me to the races, not the weather. In my version of English ‘heat’ (as in ‘high temperature’) doesn’t have (of itself) a middle.

        But clearly, Patricia must have understood your meaning, so my best guess is that “middle of the heat” is a regional expression in some parts of the USA. Hey, Basho had it easy as a sabaki, not having to deal with the kind of language variations that THF sabaki do.

        (ps. Laurie, I’ve never had any difficulty with any other of your renku verses or haiku over the years.)

  85. Thanks, Patricia, for selecting one of mine–that last session was truly mind-boggling, with so many amazing verses! The momentum was formidable. Now I look forward to participating from the sidelines. I love how this group eggs each other on.

    John–I hope you are well enough to be following; know that you are in our hearts and minds while we’re linking and shifting.

  86. letting off a stowaway
    in the middle of the heat
    Laurie Greer

    Laurie, congratulations for your excellent Verse 8

    Patricia, your continued selection of a verse each week moves the renku forward in a most interesting direction. Keep up making excellent choices. Thank you for including my verses on your lists. The recognition is appreciated.

    John Stevenson, continue to feel the vibrations for a full recovery from this renku group of writers.

    1. Laurie, now that I read your explanation to Betty, I realize this verse is about a person, (I had thought previously it was a butterfly or dragonfly stuck to the windshield, being released to safety.) I appreciate even more that this is a serious poem and by your writing it and Patricia posting it, it will bring more awareness to the suffering and needs of people who have very few choices available to them.

  87. Congratulations Lori on a charming and kindly verse. Thank you Patricia for your guidance and for another exemplary addition to our renku! Sending good thoughts towards John’s continuing recovery.

  88. Patricia, thank you for sharing your enlightened process! Laurie, such a joy to read your many brilliant verses. I love how this one fits! Such a joy to be connected with everyone here.

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