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The Renku Sessions: Tan-renga – Week 11

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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:

cherry blossoms
shower the hearse
goodbye kisses

Angiola Inglese’s rainbow where a loved one had rested left a lingering image:

cherry blossoms
there, where he leaned
the rainbow

And Pauline O’Carolan makes the very true observation that:

only the Japanese
will see their cherry blossom
this year

Radhamani Sarma’s verse was moving, though I felt that it could be shortened for more impact…

blossoms
grandpa breathes
his last

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
cherry blossom
caught in the lorry’s wake

I found the simple beauty of Andrew Shimield’s verse breathtaking:

almost unseen
on the frosted lawn
white blossom

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…

spring bouquet
overtakes
the room

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
playing pianissimo
alongside the wind

as was the imagery in Keith Evetts’ verse (with a suggested tweak)

egg moon
cupped in a magnolia
the blackbird’s song

This flavourful verse from Tracy Davidson was very enticing…

family picnic
grandma’s plain sponge
iced with cherry petals

while Jonathan Alderfer’s nautical offering presented a lovely visual:

spring tide…
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
my luck
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:

blossom
no time for regret
as yet

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).”

wild cherry
when is it too late
to run away

Laurie Greer

 

 

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! 

John 

 

The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/code-of-conduct/ 

 

This Post Has 97 Comments

  1. Glad to be back with you all.

    we remain in our places
    with bright shiny faces
    *****************************
    examining those few
    options that remain
    *************************
    a celebratory tattoo,
    most definitely called for

  2. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    still haven’t found the direction
    the weeds are very high

    Nani Mariani
    Nani Mariani

  3. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer
    *
    her tie-dyed shirt
    faded in the sun
    *
    a red exit sign
    glows in the corridor

  4. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    still hanging
    by the blue wall

    4/12/2021 by wendy © bialek

  5. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer
    ************
    a wink and a nod
    from a wayward pixie

  6. after a bitter draft
    is poured, fate steps in

    *************************
    in the gorilla house
    Goliath beats his chest

  7. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer

    fists and confetti
    at the shotgun wedding

  8. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    ~ Laurie Greer

    the geisha’s eyes
    on the harbor’s horizon

    blossoms vanishing
    into nothingness

    into the rain
    washing away the path

    sweet bird song
    become heartbreaking

    rustling leaves were
    once divine messengers

  9. wild cherry

    when is it too late

    to run away

    Laurie Greer
    *
    some wolf howls
    will make you weep
    *
    power outage then
    listening to the rain

  10. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

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

    petals break
    the pandemic claws
    *
    reflection of the stars
    in a clear river
    *
    instead of rain
    kanji in the sky
    *
    in its light
    the dark side of the moon
    *
    birth of a baby
    accompanied by an orchestra
    *
    parachutes descend
    into the unknown

    Ivan Gaćina

  11. in the pit begin
    the Rites of Spring

    the chimes stop
    on his retirement clock

    customs check
    the smuggler’s truck

    corpse in the boxcar
    unidentified

  12. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    ~~~~~~~

    blossoming frenzy
    the wind at her back

  13. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer

    mid way crossing
    the penny farthing race

  14. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    Vanilla
    play that funky music

    arrested by the sheriff
    a swarthy prophet

    the full catch
    on returning boats

    tang of bladder-wrack
    the ebb tide turns

  15. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer
    ~~~~~

    blossoms swirling
    after the hearse

    bits of bouquet left behind
    with the rice

    blossoms sticking
    to the headstone moss

    petals chasing the edge
    of her gown

    blossoms stuck
    to the soles of her shoes

    blossoms drizzle
    over her grave

    blossoms sticking
    to the headstone moss

  16. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    anytime is ripe
    to drop the truth

    4/11/2021 by wendy © bialek

  17. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer
    **
    **
    moonlit river
    still, beyond a broken gate
    **
    nightingale
    a balm for wandering feet
    **
    wandering cat
    in time for breakfast
    **
    a faucet drips
    wee hours to dawn

  18. Squeeze into jam packed bus
    a break down soon
    **

    stuffed chocolate in mouth
    mother’s lecture on tooth extraction on
    ***

    new uniform in the morn
    evening all ink blots all over

    **
    milk man milking
    the aid off dead calf now

  19. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer

    *
    moon receding
    this side of nowhere

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 4/11/21

  20. Thank you Marion for your thorough and thoughtful commentary! It was very helpful to follow your thinking as you came to your selection. Thank you John for keeping us headed in the right direction, and congrats to Laurie for a lovely verse! Here are my offerings for this week:

    wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    the metro door
    begins to close

    opening day
    for the bluebells

    too many dandelions
    to count

  21. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer
    .
    .
    the tongue out kite
    capers in cotton candy
    .
    kites and microaggressions
    rise with intonation
    .
    wearing the wind a kite works
    every shade of the blues
    .
    cornered
    a native prussian deigns to dance
    .
    at the end of the rope
    the key is self evident
    .
    .

  22. Thank you, Marion, for your insights. It was interesting that you chose a verse without a clear meaning so there would be many more potential capping verses; it made me realise I probably make my starting verses much too ‘closed’ and literal. It was the same with the mysterious ‘witching hour’ John Hawkead verse. I had no idea what it meant when I read it but it really sparked poets’ wild imaginings and Marion’s perfect cap.

    It was also interesting that you said the verses had to have a pause like a traditional hokku. I’d been working on the assumption that no pause was necessary in this form – thank you, princess k, for bringing up that discussion point. I’ll pause/break in future!

    the borders are closed
    so we holiday at home

    cloven-footed Pan
    plays sweet music on his flute

  23. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    midway through the train
    the sound of crunching metal

    waddling through the bright lights
    in the delivery suite

  24. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer
    *
    two blue balloons
    escaping from the zoo

  25. Congrats to Laurie Greer for her verse, and thanks to Marion Clark for appreciating my contributions.

    Here are my proposals

    wild cherry
    when it’s too late
    To escape
    Laurie Greer
    *
    pieces of cold sky
    in the flight of the swallow
    *
    circles of the swallow
    on the still empty nest

  26. Hello,
    Too good to resist this first verse 😉

    wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer
    ***

    fresh from the atelier
    hands and talk full of colours

    ***
    emerging from the reading room
    grinning to an empty placemat
    ***

    bark of a distant dog still
    the cat chooses to bask on the sun deck
    ***

    Thanks and good luck everyone!
    Sandra

  27. the sky seems bluer
    when viewed from a scaffold
    *
    crows like to dance
    in the rain
    *
    a crow
    likes to strut in snow
    *
    i’ve seen eagles
    with a crow tattoo
    *

  28. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    juggling fireballs
    over quicksand

    4/10/2021 by wendy © bialek

  29. Congrats Laurie! I enjoyed your commentary Marion, and appreciated that you took the time to highlight the many diverse voices among the verses submitted. I did however, have a question for John S. Marion wrote:
    .
    “…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).”
    .
    My question – is the pause or break necessary in the opening verse?

    1. This seems to be an open question for tan-renga in English. My personal attitude is that a break in the opening verse (consistent with the hokku in a longer renga/renku) is preferred but not required.

  30. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer

    listening to the chimes
    at the old clock shop

    a second past midnight
    outside La Fenice

    alone in the stalls
    at La Fenice

  31. Lots of fun to be had reading these wonderful comments and verses! Here’s one more:

    wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    a bee pays a visit
    the pit begins to grow

    her dreams return
    under a sprouting grass moon

    Shelley Baker-Gard

  32. wild cherry
    when it is too late
    to run away

    …..Laurie Greer

    in the grip of funky rock
    a cluster of buds

    …..Carole Harrison

  33. wild cherry
    when it is too late
    to run away

    ….. Laurie Greer

    a cluster of buds
    surrender to funky rock

  34. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    and swinging butterflies
    amazing view ..

    Nani Mariani

  35. A fabulous choice, Marion.
    If we think of what has been created from its natural species . . . mind blowing, Laurie, congratulations.

  36. congrats to Laurie and thanks to Marion for insight ..
    here are my 2 go-ats
    *
    wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    *
    Laurie Greer
    *
    where such thoughts may fly
    these roots cannot follow
    *
    and for fun:
    *
    sweet or sour
    staying put is the pits
    *
    maxianne

  37. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer
    *
    pack one suitcase
    filled with sorrows

    4/092021 by wendy © bialek

  38. Thoughtful commentary, Marion! Congratulations, Laurie!

    wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer

    *

    tango night… only the sheer
    moon between us

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 4/9/21

  39. Congrats Laurie and thank you Marion for the insightful comments:

    wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer
    *
    inmates dancing
    in the prison’s searchlights
    *
    kites soaring
    over the refugee camp

  40. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer

    traversing ancient mountains
    to the gallows tree
    **
    sunlight on the silent path
    the silver haired woman smiles
    **
    the box turtles speak
    with god’s voice over the water

  41. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    dewdrops suspended
    on the chain link fence

    .
    Great opening verse Laurie and incredibly detailed and insightful commentary by Marion. Kudos!

  42. the clock springs forward
    faster than I do
    ***

    “never never never”
    whispers my dead mother
    ***

    tender shoots draw me
    into their embrace
    ***

    this life
    too tame for my spirit
    ***

    the blossom fades
    from bruised cheeks

  43. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    or scatter yourself
    at your own feet

    ——–
    the ground papered
    with wasted words

    ———-
    the wind from the North
    whispering us back home

    ———–
    scattergun chances,
    April

  44. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    it suddenly rained
    and I’m late coming home

    Nani Mariani

  45. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer

    young robin
    taking the sting away

    trolls don’t always hide
    under bridges

    1. Congratulations Laurie! And thank you , Marion, for sharing your thoughts and insights as you chose the verse!

      beginnings of a nest
      still linger

  46. Wow! You certainly spent some time with these verses Marion. Thank you for a thoughtful and thorough explanation on your take.
    Thank you for touching mine.
    Congratulations Laurie.
    I for one enjoyed the last session with such diverse blossom verses.

  47. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer
    *
    flavour of the week
    her dating habits

    4/08/2021 by wendy © bialek

  48. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    he knelt down
    say his love

    Nani Mariani

  49. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    Laurie Greer

    Big Congratulations, dear Laurie !!
    *****

    Dear Sir John ..,
    Your review has been extraordinary .. I learned a lot here. Thank you very much…

  50. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer
    *
    first butterflies
    then hummingmoths

    4/08/2021 by wendy © bialek

  51. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer
    *

    nude of knowledge
    of the heart’s picking

    4/08/2021 by wendy © bialek

  52. wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer

    *
    the jury not sipping
    the kool-aid

    4/08/2021 by wendy © bialek

  53. A few more (a slow day, otherwise):

    this fledgling free to feed
    from my open hand

    home from school
    I hug them one by one

    wind strips the petals
    as the fruit begins to form

    I really should not have stayed
    for her cheesecake

  54. I’m a little late to the party but can’t resist. . .
    ****
    wild cherry

    when is it too late

    to run away

    Laurie Greer
    ****
    the bitter taste
    of regret
    ****
    the long legs
    of morning shadows
    ****
    morning train wreck
    missed by minutes
    ****
    exclamation marks
    fill her diary
    ****

  55. opening shots at the capping lines to
    wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away

    ——– > >

    rush-hour hushed by tiny cries
    from the baby in the bag

    blossom time
    crossed off the bucket list

    her father holds his shotgun
    as we settle on a date

    my heart a whirl
    my head cries vortex

  56. marion….a very thorough and sensitive study of the offerings, a lovely journey through the blossoms, highlighting the most beautiful pickings!
    laurie, congrats for your vivid, wild cherry opener! this starts all the drama to follow:

    wild cherry
    when is it too late
    to run away
    .
    Laurie Greer

    *

    her residual
    coked up bruises

    4/08/2021 by wendy © bialek

    1. wild cherry
      when is it too late
      to run away
      .
      Laurie Greer
      *
      her residual to his
      coked up bruises

      4/08/2021 by wendy © bialek

  57. Wow, Marion–thank you for this! I loved following your train of thought, and was absolutely stunned to find myself at the end of it! Wonderful comments on all you considered. John, I won’t run away from this challenge–delighted to choose the capping verse. Can’t wait to read everyone’s offerings!

  58. Dear Marian Clarke,
    Greetings. Thank you so much for your insightful comments and reports,
    so rewarding; taking us a step further in our learning process and
    educative too.

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