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The Renku Sessions: Tan-Renga Week 3

renku_300

Hello, everyone. We will be focusing on tan-renga for the remainder of the year, with a couple of breaks while I am traveling. While I’m not certain how deeply rooted in its history this may be, I’m going to urge you to think of tan-renga in two ways. One way is to think of it as the shortest of all renga/renku forms. This would encourage variety in the linking styles and perhaps some great leaps. The other way is to think of it as collaborative waka/tanka, which might support closer linking, bordering upon narrative.

Seeking new opening verses, we were gifted with 74 offers, from 18 poets. Thank you, all!

I’m going to share two steps in my selection process this time. There will be an initial “short list” and another list of “finalists,” before a final selection.

So, here is my initial “short list”:

 

silk scroll
leaves falling beneath
the artist’s brush

Carol Jones

 

 

at the bottom
of his toolbox
a pink envelope

Keith Evetts

 

 

lost love…
fallen leaves cover
a forgotten rake

Jonathan Alderfer

 

 

a white narcissus
bent over the puddle—
mirror, mirror

Lorin Ford

 

 

in the garage
grandpa’s old shoes
become an anthill

Nani Mariani

 

 

mackerel clouds
bedclothes billow
along the wash line

Carol Jones

 

 

first raw weather of autumn
hearing the cold
in the busker’s throat

Laurie Greer

 

 

down-pouring rain
my daughter’s airplane
somewhere

Richard Straw

 

 

autumn dusk
his garden rake
stands idle

Susan Grant

 

 

barbed wire
another tattoo
in memory of

Betty Shropshire

 

 

debris knocks
along the river bank
on a Friday night

madeleine kavanagh

 

 

rain at dawn
the suddenness
of this world

Marion Clarke

 

 

 

All of the above seem promising in some way. Here is my list of “finalists.”

 

at the bottom
of his toolbox
a pink envelope

Keith Evetts

It seems there is room for this to relate to a variety of relationships.

 

 

lost love…
fallen leaves cover
a forgotten rake

Jonathan Alderfer

This seems promising in both its literal image and figuratively, in relation to “The Rake’s Progress.”

 

 

barbed wire
another tattoo
in memory of

Betty Shropshire

This verse takes the quality of “open-endedness” to an extreme. If I was capping it, I would want to try to “extend without ending.”

 

 

rain at dawn
the suddenness
of this world

Marion Clarke

I feel as if I could sit with this for a long time before the next thing would come to me.

 

 

I have to say now that I regret having to choose only one of these. I am doing so mostly for the administrative convenience of focusing on one opening verse. Each of these would be fun to work with. Here’s my compromise. You can link, this week, to any of the above four “finalist” verses but I will make my selection from capping verses for the one I’ve selected below (for which you can make up to five offers).

 

 

 

So, here is our opening verse:

 

rain at dawn
the suddenness
of this world

Marion Clarke

 

 

THIS WEEK

Please offer up to five two-line capping verses for Marion Clarke’s opening verse. In addition, you may, if you like, offer capping verses for any of the other three “finalists.”

 

Enter your offers in the comments section, below, before midnight (Eastern US time) on Monday, October 10. On Thursday, October 13, I will select the capping verse that will go into the Haiku Foundation archives.

 

Thank you, all,
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://thehaikufoundation.org/about-thf/policies/#code-of-conduct

This Post Has 81 Comments

  1. at the bottom
    of his toolkit
    a pink envelope

    Keith Evetts

    the mariner’s compass
    points northwards

  2. pauses
    at midnight
    *
    in a blink
    dusk descends
    *
    wet
    with divine dew
    *
    cleansed
    in divine showers

  3. Congratulations Marion!
    Thank you John!

    My offering of capping verses for Marion’s ku:

    a virus grips
    the whole world

    ***

    in a flash
    the cheetah sets off

    ***

    piercing cry of
    asleep infant

    ***

    slow death of the
    roadside wildflower

    ***

    the snail still
    on same stone

  4. Congrats to all the poets short-listed/finalists especially to Marion for a fabulous verse.

    rain at dawn
    suddenly
    from this world
    –Marion Clarke

    a gunman shoots
    too many schoolchildren
    *
    we see the gray cat
    emerge from the fog
    *
    more wasted lives
    to gun violence
    *
    the loss of more lives
    to gun violence
    *
    the emergence
    of a fairy ring

  5. rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world -Marion Clarke
    .
    leaping through the cat door
    a very soggy cat

  6. Congratulations Marion and thank you John
    ***
    he counted thirteen
    steps on the gallows
    ***
    his last joke was about
    the hood clashing with his shirt
    ***
    his last drink
    was a sip of fog
    ***
    you notice alley wildflowers
    when standing on the gallows
    ***
    hearts can beat louder
    than any drum

  7. rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world

    Marion Clarke
    .
    capturing our breath
    to arise to live
    .
    little by little
    I come to know of you
    .
    awakening a new
    life in me
    .
    Lakshmi Iyer

  8. barbed wire
    another tattoo
    in memory of

    Betty Shropshire

    the dark side
    of the cat’s paw

  9. rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world – Marion Clarke
    .
    huddled in the bus shelter
    a woman, a man

  10. rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world – Marion Clarke
    .
    skid marks where
    we avoided an echidna

  11. lost of love…
    cover leaf falling
    the forgotten rake

    Jonathan Alderfer

    everything is a mess
    when this happens

  12. rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world

    Marion Clarke
    *
    the snap of a floodlight coming on
    over my head

  13. rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world

    Marion Clarke
    *
    the “let’s pretend”
    from the next room
    *
    this year’s migration calls
    shorter by a skein
    **

  14. Congratulations Marion! A lovely verse. And thanks John for your attention to one of mine.
    .

    an arroyo fills up
    with angels
    .

    the smell
    of the tarmac
    .

    rising water floods
    the holy see
    .

    the long embrace of
    a strangler fig
    .

    toad in the driveway
    could care less
    .

  15. rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world

    Marion Clarke
    *
    the family tradition
    of repenting at leisure
    **

  16. she cuts herself
    on a broken milk bottle

    a deserter’s heart
    stops beating

    and the next
    drink will kill her

    my neighbours watch
    his covered stretcher

    the soggy bottom
    of her sponge

    The last one may be a tad niche for those outside the UK. I’ve been watching too much Great British Bake Off. And, on there, no-one wants a soggy bottom!

    1. L.O.L, I agree 🙂

      Just to add, you never know this happens untill the crucial moment

    1. edit-

      lost love…
      fallen leaves cover
      a forgotten rake – Jonathan Alderfer

      visiting time
      your hospital bed vacant

  17. at the bottom
    of his toolbox
    a pink envelope

    Keith Evetts

    “…please take my tooth
    to the fairy…”
    .….

    barbed wire
    another tattoo
    in memory of

    Betty Shropshire

    a closing of
    freedom
    …..

    lost love…
    fallen leaves cover
    a forgotten rake

    Jonathan Alderfer

    from the ashes
    rise new dreams

  18. lost love…
    fallen leaves cover
    a forgotten rake

    Jonathan Alderfer

    at the nub end
    all the notes written to god

  19. lovely poem Marion
    reminds me of:
    Mattina
    M’illumino
    d’immenso

    Guiseppi Ungaretti 1917

    rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world
    the wiped window
    mists up again

  20. two by two
    on to the boat
    ….

    the trickle
    before the storm
    ….

    a garden cultivated
    for His beloved
    .…

    after years
    of drought
    ….

    children leap
    in the street

  21. at the bottom
    of his toolbox
    a pink envelope

    Keith Evetts

    away from the wolves
    his voice a pitch above

  22. If one may try capping one’s own verse…

    at the bottom
    of his toolkit
    a pink envelope
    — Keith Evetts

    why oh why
    is everything screwed

  23. lost love…
    fallen leaves cover
    a forgotten rake

    — Jonathan Alderfer

    eyes smarting as
    it hits me on the nose

    barbed wire
    another tattoo
    in memory of

    — Betty Shropshire

    insufficient elbow room
    in our love affairs

  24. Congratulations to Marion Clarke.

    John: must the capping two lines avoid a grammatical break as with the renku?

    and these are my five attempts.

    a column of soldier ants
    comes out of nowhere

    one moment an earthworm
    the next a thrush

    eyes blinking
    at the subway exit

    struck dumb
    by birdsong

    all the Queen’s horses
    and all the Queen’s men

    1. “must the capping two lines avoid a grammatical break as with the renku?”

      Yes if you are thinking of it as “the shortest form of renku” and probably if you are thinking of it as collaborative tanka.

  25. barbed wire
    another tattoo
    in memory of
    -Betty Shropshire

    mother’s woollen garment
    recycled stitch by stitch

  26. at the bottom
    of his toolbox
    a pink envelope -Keith Evetts

    memories filed away
    in the lost and found section

  27. rain at dawn
    suddenly
    from this world

    Marion Clarke

    to avoid flooding
    loggers will be fined

  28. rain at dawn
    suddenly
    from this world

    Marion Clarke

    weather news last night
    not guarantee

  29. Congratulations Marion.

    Thanks John for the intro .

    Joining in, having unfortunately missed the opening of this relatively new to me form.

    rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world

    Marion Clarke

    in the porch checking wellies
    for spiders and mice

    imprisoned in there own drums
    passing umbrellas

    a leaf rides
    the passing child’s tsunami

    focussed on time
    I too will become a snail

    our daughter moving on
    wears yellow with her smile

      1. Thank you Carol
        Been riding a roller coaster this year.
        Enjoyed yours and John’s other selections above.
        Looking forward to reading this weeksofferings and getting more insight into the form. 😀

  30. rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world

    Marion Clarke

    Congratulations dear Marion ..
    Beautiful ❤️

  31. Congratulations, Marion. 🙂
    My equal favourites, from all of the verses on John’s first short-list this week, are this one of yours and Carol’s ‘silk scroll’.
    So I totally agree with John’s choice. (Will try to come up with some verses, whatever the two-line verse of a tan-renga is called. )

    1. Thanks so much, Lorin. Tough competition! As I said to Keith many of the contenders had an immediate impact on me. I particularly enjoyed how you combined Greek mythology with the fairytale of Snow White.

      Hahaha that would be the ‘capping verse.’ I remember feeling so pleased when John selected one of mine to follow a haiku written by John Hawkhead in my first tan renga on the renku sessions. We later sent it out to a few journals and it was published.

  32. Congratulations, Marion!

    realizing her policy
    has nearly come to term

    waiting for a call back
    from the insurance agent

  33. rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world

    Marion Clarke
    *
    how the crash seems to happen
    in slow motion
    *

  34. There’s class for you! Congratulations, Marion for
    rain at dawn
    the suddenness
    of this world

    Marion Clarke

    — to which: —

    the cord cut
    at his first cry

    the upturned roadster’s
    wheels still spinning

    just bubbles
    on a puddle

    in Piccadilly Circus
    you could be anybody

    the radio alarm plays
    Ride of the Valkyries

    – Keith Evetts

    1. Thank you, Keith. I was in fine company; there were quite a few poems that made me go “aaaah”, yours included. I am fortunate that mine peeped its head up that wee bit further! Many thanks to John.

      1. Marion: I resisted:

        rain at dawn
        the suddenness
        of this world

        — Marion Clarke

        the soddenness
        of wet dreams

        …the imp in me, to be sure.

  35. Caps raised for Marion Clarke’s verse!

    a sheet of ice
    slips into the sea
    *
    words in anger
    never unsaid
    *
    a door clicks shut
    as someone leaves
    *
    bystanders stare
    at an accident
    *
    birds sing
    as dad dies

    +++

    Also, doffed caps for the three other finalists:

    at the bottom
    of his toolbox
    a pink envelope

    Keith Evetts
    *
    a daughter’s
    last valentine
    *
    the unsent
    love letter

    +++

    lost love…
    fallen leaves cover
    a forgotten rake

    Jonathan Alderfer
    *
    the longest ever
    practical joke
    *
    the satires of
    a dead satyr

    +++

    barbed wire
    another tattoo
    in memory of

    Betty Shropshire
    *
    unforgettable
    the Six Million
    *
    the bugle calls
    prior to taps

  36. Congratulations, Marion, and also to all the finalists.

    Thank you for pausing on some of mine, John.

    Thinking cap on, and onward. . .

      1. Thank you, Marion.
        I admire many chinese painters and paintings on line, I’m looking forward to the day I have the time to visit the Victoria and Albert museum to view the painting there and also the kimono section.

        Once again, well done gal’ 🙂

  37. One additional instruction: If you are capping Marion Clarke’s verse there is no need to repeat it in your note. But, if you are capping one of the other verses, please include that verse in your note.

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