Our selector for this capping verse is Marion Clarke, who reports as follows:
“I thought it would be a simple enough exercise to select one stand-out verse this week, given the vast range of blossom haiku that have already been written. However, this was not to be the case!
Not surprisingly, a number of verses referred to the Covid pandemic and in Wendy C. Bialek’s verse I could imagine the parting mourners’ socially-distanced air kisses falling like petals:
shower the hearse
Angiola Inglese’s rainbow where a loved one had rested left a lingering image:
there, where he leaned
And Pauline O’Carolan makes the very true observation that:
only the Japanese
will see their cherry blossom
Radhamani Sarma’s verse was moving, though I felt that it could be shortened for more impact…
And Robert Kingston presented an interesting verse suggesting the power of cherry blossoms to ease a situation. I wondered if this was perhaps arguing lovers in the car behind who are distracted by the sight of the blossoms, or if they are covering up marks left from a road accident:
smoothing things over
caught in the lorry’s wake
I found the simple beauty of Andrew Shimield’s verse breathtaking:
on the frosted lawn
Now, although I enjoyed all the above verses, I felt they were relatively closed, so continued on my quest. There was great use of the senses in many of the verses, and the overpowering aroma in Michelle Beyers’ “spring bouquet” immediately suggested Lily of the Valley to me…
although her previous verses suggest that the blooms may, in fact, be hyacinths.
The soft sound of Yuka Fujiu’s verse was beautiful and made me think of tinkling piano notes:
little petals fall
alongside the wind
as was the imagery in Keith Evetts’ verse (with a suggested tweak)
cupped in a magnolia
the blackbird’s song
This flavourful verse from Tracy Davidson was very enticing…
grandma’s plain sponge
iced with cherry petals
while Jonathan Alderfer’s nautical offering presented a lovely visual:
an unmoored blossom
drifts out to sea
John Daleiden’s bear cubs frolicking among yellow mustard flowers was a joyful creation, as was Ivan Gaćina’s “thousand suns.”
I also loved the image of Angiola Inglese’s butterfly lingering on embroidered flowers and, after researching the tragic Persian story of Farhard and Shirim, the red tulip in John Daleiden’s verse was a poignant image.
There were a few surprises along the way, such as Tracy Davidson’s rattle snake in fallen peach blossom and Princess K’s bar room elephants!
However, in order to pare down the thirty-something verses I had marked up, I turned to John Stevenson’s statement in which he compared the opening of a renku to “the opening montage of a movie, consisting of scenes setting a location and mood, before any of the plot action has taken place.” This would, presumably, require a verse sufficiently open to invite imaginative offerings for the capping verse.
John Hawkhead’s “blossom drifting” monoku was intriguing, but I understand that we need a three-line opening verse in tan renga (as well as one that contains a pause or break, which wasn’t the case in some of the verses offered).
So I decided to look for submissions that contained a hint of mystery or prompted a narrative.
Laurie Greer’s violet instead of clover raised a smile and I wondered what the future might bring…
four leaf violet
about to change
Nani Mariani’s romantic image of a pair of butterflies on a camellia drew me in, and the word “perched” added tension. I would suggest removing the preposition at the beginning…
the end of twilight
a pair of butterflies
perched on a camellia
Keith Evetts’ seven-word verse ‘bloom’ is definitely open enough to allow the reader to dream up a narrative. The fact that the blossom will be short-lived makes this reader think that there will soon be time for regret:
no time for regret
But I think my favourite has to be this verse from Laurie Greer. I felt it was sufficiently open to allow the reader to come up with a scenario (and I was left with the suggestion that perhaps it’s never too late).”
when is it too late
to run away
John speaking again:
Laurie Greer will be offered the option of choosing a capping verse from among those offered in the coming week. Laurie, please let me know if you are willing to make the next selection. As always, I am ready to make it if you would rather not and ready to consult with you, if you do want to choose.
This week, you are all invited to offer two-line capping verses. They should either be spring images or non-seasonal.
Please enter your verses in the comments box, below. Laurie or I will review them until midnight on Monday, April 12 (Eastern US time). On Thursday, April 15, there will be a posting in which Laurie or I will comment on some of the capping verse suggestions and select one of them to complete our latest tan-renga.
Looking forward to seeing your verses!
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