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The Renku Sessions: Tan-renga – Week 3

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Laurie Greer is our selector this week. Here is her report:

“Thanks, everyone, for all the fantastic offerings! I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be looking for (beyond winter), so I picked out what seemed to offer numerous linking possibilities—though I know you are all adept at linking to just about anything.

Based on a mix of aesthetic, thematic, visceral, and other qualities, I had a truly long long list; with great effort, I narrowed it down to these:

last year’s
flaming maple leaf
sealed in the icicle

Wendy C. Bialek

Strong visuals and a striking contrast of fire and ice as well as the different textures of leaves and ice. Also appreciated how the rhyme of leaf/sealed further tightens the scene, as well as the echo of sealed in –cicle. And there’s a rich sense of time with “last year” and now.

in the nation’s oldest city,
the last time it snowed here
was the year I was born

Michael Henry Lee

Interesting play with time/age in “oldest” and “born,” then the possible end of the city’s snow. Also, which city is the oldest? And which nation are we in, for that matter?

albino crow
strutting across
fresh snow

Dan Campbell

Love this variation on the white-on-white of a snowy scene. Very brain-twisty—can just see and not see that crow. And the rhyme of crow/snow helps the two blend even closer.

fate of a still blackbird
it is snowing and it is
going to snow

Michelle Beyers

Beautiful image and lovely allusion to the Stevens poem—opens up lots of linking possibilities

West Texas snowdrifts
chasing the next
oil boom

Betty Shropshire

Nicely extends the range to wider social/economic/environmental concerns.

first snow flakes
the glow from within
a sidewalk dinner tent

Ellen Compton

Wonderful mix of movement, stillness, light—and pandemic. Finding beauty in the constraints.

silence…
soft white feathers
drift down

Nancy Brady

Beautiful image and love the double use of down, as well as the doubling of what could be feathers or snow coming down.

through the frigid night
starlight arrives
shivering

Dana Rapisardi

after the snowfall
a momentarily
flawless world

Dana Rapisardi

Two lovely offerings; especially like the second one—that “flawless,” made so poignant with “momentarily,” and leaving us poised on the brink of waking after a dream, of returning to reality, of resuming the routine.

withered reeds scratch
against the swinging gate—
a brick path

John Daleiden

First, the acoustic effects are vivid and appealing—can hear the gate, too. And the double invitation of gate and path is hard to resist. Where would that path take us?

new snow on old snow
sparrows
twitter with the news

Jonathan Alderfer

Clever for the way the new and old is echoed in “twitter,” with both its traditional reference to birds and its newer use to name the digital platform.

holly berries
on a swaying branch
tufts of fur

Betty Shropshire

I always admire poems that can use the pivot line so well. Also like the vivid image and question of what happened….

nodding off
to pops and crackles
in the fireplace

Debbie Scheving

Nice mix of sound and motion and light—and a way in to most any kind of dream, or a pull back to waking.

From these I narrowed things down further to selections that seemed to offer just that something extra—whether I could articulate what it was or not (perhaps that’s something for the capping verse to do):

last year’s
flaming maple leaf
sealed in the icicle

Wendy C. Bialek

West Texas snowdrifts
chasing the next
oil boom

Betty Shropshire

albino crow
strutting across
fresh snow

Dan Campbell

after the snowfall
a momentarily
flawless world

Dana Rapisardi

So hard to choose! But in the end, I was struck by the many contrasts of this one frozen scene, with the friction of its rich tensions held in suspension:

last year’s
flaming maple leaf
sealed in the icicle

Wendy C. Bialek”

John speaking again.

Wendy C. Bialek will now be offered the opportunity to choose a two-line capping verse from among those offered this week. Wendy, please let me know if you are willing to take on this task. If not, I will do it.

This week, you are invited to offer potential capping verses. Your offers should be two lines, with either a winter seasonal reference or no seasonal reference (i.e. not in contradiction to the season in the opening verse).

Please enter your verses in the comments box, below. Wendy or I will review them until midnight on Monday, February 15 (Eastern US time). On Thursday, February 18, there will be a new posting in which Wendy or I will comment on some of the capping verse suggestions and select one of them.

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 136 Comments

  1. Lovely verse and image, Wendy. Thank you Laurie, for commenting on one of mine.
    *
    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    an old photo album
    covered in dust
    *
    his rare blood type
    flows through the tube
    *
    almost feeling safe enough
    to tell the truth
    *

  2. a mountain sky so clear
    that it shows the Milky Way
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    in February sun
    the cuff of the jeans full of gravel

  3. last year
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle

    @Wendy C. Bialek
    ❤️❤️

    oh my lover
    let’s go through this snow field

    —- Nani Mariani

  4. a frozen end
    to a torrid love affair
    ******************************
    we warm our hands
    on porcelain cups of tea
    *******************************
    shattered, cut to the core,
    angry words from my spouse

  5. moonrise…how many times do i
    have to tell you it’s the mist?

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 2/15/21

    how many times do i have
    to tell you it’s the mist?

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 2/15/21

    1. 2 lines

      moonrise..how many times do
      i have to tell you it’s the mist

      Michelle Beyers
      Copyright © 2/15/21

  6. the dancers slow their turning
    and stop . . .
    ***************************************
    love is a circle . . .
    it’s a shame we have to part
    **************************************
    on this last day of winter
    a visible tinge of green
    ***************************************
    joyful shrieks of children
    plunging down snowy slopes

  7. warming afternoon
    all the tracks vanish
    ~~
    a few strands of her hair
    in my locket
    ~~
    killing time
    the snowed-in garden
    ~~
    clouding the water
    his ashes
    ~~
    faintly seen
    the garden at rest
    ~~
    glossed over
    layers of dirty snow

  8. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    ——Wendy C. Bialek

    white bark unraveling
    the lies I told myself

    snowy owl hunts the dunes
    on a thin moon day

    a faience ibis lies
    buried in the desert

  9. Proteus rises through waves,
    his curved trident in hand
    ************************************
    all day clouds stream
    across the mountain tops
    ***********************************
    dormant in frozen ground
    the Ides of March slumber

  10. tear drops falling
    on eucalyptus

    tear drops fall
    on eucalyptus

    a teardrop falls
    on eucalyptus

    a tear drop falling
    on eucalyptus

    a tear drops
    on eucalyptus

  11. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    – Wendy C. Bialek
    °°°
    our separate rooms
    only the beginning

  12. Well done Wendy and Laurie, and all poets – enjoyed reading everyone’s work.
    .
    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    .
    schrödinger’s cat
    has breakfast at tiffany’s
    .
    the solitaire
    in a hinged box
    .
    a carat
    the color of Rh negative
    .
    a pile of stones
    for the choker
    .
    a silverback ascends
    the virungas
    .
    the angles
    in a bell jar
    .
    no word for genocide
    in the language of love
    .
    .

    1. pk, enjoyed all of these, especially the cat . . .

      waving goodbye to audrey
      one electron at a time

      twinkle toes
      wanted dead or alive

      1. Wow! Love those response verses Jonathan.
        .
        waving goodbye to audrey
        one electron at a time

        twinkle toes
        wanted dead or alive

        Jonathan Alderderfer
        .
        What an iconic role for Audrey! Yet I read that Truman Capote hated her in the role, and always wanted Marilyn Monroe to be cast.

        Thanks so much for your kind words and the responding verses made my morning.

  13. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle

    Wendy C. Bialek”
    **

    under the footbridge
    koi follow sunlight

    **

    footprints crisscross
    as champagne corks pop

  14. Beautiful image, Wendy. Enjoyed your commentary and choices, Laurie.

    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    (Wendy)

    her syrupy smile
    as she said goodbye

    so only brandy
    can warm my mouth

    but bacon and eggs
    for breakfast

    that is your
    unrelenting heart

    reflection of a fox
    in the glass

  15. Great start! Being Canadian, this evokes a lot 😉

    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle

    Wendy C. Bialek
    *

    *
    another flight credit
    added
    *
    new profile
    on the dating site
    *

    Sandra St-Laurent

    1. thanks, sandra,
      i see how being your canadian heritage can create many historical and heartfelt links to to the maple leaf.

  16. Wonderful work, Wendy!

    blackened snow clumps
    behind all four tires

    red-tailed hawk ignores all
    but the vole in its talons

  17. where an open gate
    swings across the brick path
    *************************************
    a spider weaves its web
    in the forest clearing
    **************************************
    the banked fires in a brazier
    turn to smoldering ash
    ***************************************
    love letters tied with red
    ribbons gather attic dust

  18. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    ——Wendy C. Bialek

    an ivory gull
    drifts down from the arctic

    melting snowman
    where are your eyes?

  19. Haikudos, Wendy for inviting us into this lovely vision.
    .
    Laurie, your gift of interpretation makes your comments on these poems a joy to read.
    .
    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    *
    Wendy C. Bialek
    ~ ~ ~
    once enwoumbed pearls
    now warm against the skin
    .
    first brush stroke presages
    a wintery forest tableaux
    .
    an egg tooth tap away
    from the liberty to fly
    .
    long frozen heart melts
    with a lover’s touch
    .
    eagle feather falls
    from a high cold aerie

    1. thanks, jackie, you are very welcomed to visit them as often as you wish…
      with your responsive, imaginative fantasies and words filled with painterly wonders of nature.

  20. last year
    flaming maple leaves
    sealed in ice

    @Wendy C. Bialek
    ❤️❤️
    —-

    in silent
    she counts the stars
    spring rain

    Nani Mariani

  21. water washes to the sea
    where waves raise Proteous
    ******************************
    a mountain lion’s roar
    echoes through the canyon
    ********************************
    news of the world silent,
    frozen in a white tundra

  22. Lots of possibilities with this one! Congratulations Wendy!

    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    *
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    another winter
    slip sliding away
    .
    I open the IRS envelope
    a chilling moment
    .
    the only Christmas greetings
    in e-cards
    .
    nailed that landing
    on the icy stoop

  23. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    ——Wendy C. Bialek

    a hint of woodsmoke
    clings to her hair

  24. last year
    flaming maple leaves
    sealed in ice

    @ Wendy C. Bialek
    ❤️❤️

    from behind the window
    pale faced woman
    not making a sound

    Nani Mariani

      1. Dear Wendy,
        I will try, dear
        I did three lines and you’re going to add two lines. #Tanka .. very interested, dear Wendy
        Thank you so much, dear
        ❤️❤️

        So

  25. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    —Wendy C. Bialek

    heat from a cherry log
    that dried in the summer sun

  26. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    heat of the chilis
    in mother’s fried rice

  27. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    she hangs her stocking
    above the embers’ glow

  28. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle — Wendy C. Bialek
    somewhere in the backyard rink
    grandpa’s secret Loonie — Maxianne Berger
    ***
    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle — Wendy C. Bialek
    sharp frozen stalactites
    their sparkling wait for prey — Maxianne Berger

  29. unfurling my flag
    at the hockey game
    ***
    flagging up
    another missing person
    ***
    a sword of Damocles
    over the grizzly’s den

  30. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    *
    Wendy C. Bialek

    the nothingness of
    unadorned silver moonlight

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 2/11/21

  31. Congrats to you, Wendy. I’ve seen that very thing when I lived in Ann Arbor, MI, where winter weather lasts six months!
    ***

    And thank you, Laurie, for the gratifying words about my verses.
    ***

    Like last time, I’m posting Wendy’s verse before each of my offerings for the capping verse, for full effect.
    ***

    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle

    ~ Wendy C. Bialek
    *

    hotdogs for dinner
    mangosteen sorbet for dessert
    ***

    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle

    ~ Wendy C. Bialek
    *

    running hot and cold
    about inviting the ex
    ***

    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle

    ~ Wendy C. Bialek
    *

    ’embalmed but not forgotten’
    King Tut’s mummy

    1. thanks, dana….
      placing on my shoulders….another sweater
      just reading about your michigan exposure!
      in contrast….
      “this icicle” hung from my arizona home
      and lasted for only two days.
      thus the additional tanka i wrote about it:

      last year’s
      flaming maple leaf
      sealed in the icicle
      a dose of morning sun
      my lover, too, has gone

      tanka © 02/04/2021 by wendy c. bialek

  32. waiting to nurture the next
    fragile generation
    * * * * * * * *
    a womb plumped for birth
    after a long winter nap

  33. I enjoyed reading your commentaries Laurie and congrats Wendy
    *
    rain erasing the chalk
    outline on a dark street
    *
    the heron’s lunch
    kicked all the way down
    *
    stopping to listen
    to an orchestra of rattlesnakes

  34. what a great choice ! Kudos to Wendy for writing, kudos to Laurie for selecting ☺.. and now to imagine a capping verse …

  35. last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    – Wendy C. Bialek
    ••••
    a gap-toothed grin as
    the puck swishes through

    1. glad to see you posting again, betty…..this gives me a chance to tell you how much i liked your “open sesame” verse….and how i also appreciate your fondness for wanting to know how to place a verse in the right section of the season. i understand its significance and challenge, now.

      1. Thank you, Wendy. I’m no expert by any stretch of the imagination and when first started here, the guidelines were more stringent. Everything evolves and hopefully, so have I towards this looser style that seems more inviting to newcomers. All the best…

  36. Great image Wendy. Lovely poems.

    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    … Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    preserved plums
    warm with brandy custard
    .
    the once passionate girl
    still visible

  37. oh….and yes, john, i will love to place the other hat on and comment on the next selected verses and have the fun and enlightening experience and honour of finding the next capping verse with john close by my side.

  38. laurie…what a great job!…..i totally enjoyed reading all your commentary for all your wonderful picks.
    thank you so much, also, for choosing mine to open this new winter tan-renga.
    i am honoured that you enjoyed this image, seen from inside my living room window that inspired this opening verse. though, that icicle is long gone, i am so glad to have noticed its existence for the moment it was here, reflected upon it and shared it in the following three lines with all the members here:

    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    *
    Wendy C. Bialek

      1. from time to time the gate opening and shuttering

        Michelle Beyers
        Copyright © 2/11/21

        even my shadow looks cold in this slanted moonlight

        Michelle Beyers
        Copyright © 2/11/21

        winter moon drip, drip, dripping light upon a single pine

        Michelle Beyers
        Copyright © 2/11/21

        this year’s love letters
        tossed in a bin

        Michelle Beyers
        Copyright © 2/11/21

  39. I wasn’t going to, but…
    *
    last year’s
    flaming maple leaf
    sealed in the icicle
    *
    Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    the weight of his long
    unopened letter in my hand
    *
    slitting the envelope
    without breaking the wax
    *
    the burn out of too many
    virtual vitrines
    *

    1. Laurie knows that we probably will not choose her verse to cap her own opening verse but she is invited to continue playing and there is no reason that her offers may not show up in the discussion of “short listed” verses.

      1. john
        just so i understand….(for clarity)of my future selections:
        are you saying that offerings are “off-limit” from former picker(except as placement on the short list)?

        1. When the first three lines and the capping two lines are written by the same poet, that is tanka. We are writing tan-renga and, while anyone can find exceptions, tan-renga generally require two poets.

          1. yes, john….i understand this distinction and definition….tanka= one person/ tan-renga= two people……but my confusion lies in {the brackets} of your statement below:
            “Laurie knows that we probably will not choose her verse to cap {her own opening verse}….. ”
            ….when to my knowledge…..laurie hasn’t written the opening verse…..i did.

          2. Right. I just meant that we will try to pass around the option of choosing verses and Laurie knows that it will not come back to her so soon, if at all.

  40. Go Wendy Go Wendy
    ***************************
    last night’s lips
    turned stone cold
    **********************
    Chinese take-out in
    re-sealable containers
    ****************************
    the gutter guards
    appear to be working

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

  41. Congratulations, Wendy. Just like your flaming maple leaf, you’re on fire.
    A beautiful image, well chosen, Laurie.

    I look forward to reading the verses to come, and your selections and comments.

    1. yes, carole, this tan-renga experience is very invigorating and fun! thanks for your awesome kind words….and i agree…laurie did a fine commentary.

  42. Thank you for the wonderful commentary, Laurie. I loved reading the thought process behind the poems you looked at. Thank you for mentioning one of mine. Congratulations, Wendy! You’re on a roll..that’s two weeks in a row😊

    1. michelle….ditto! ditto!
      i agree, laurie did a great job!
      thanks for your encouraging words, michelle.
      this tan-renga is a fun fast dance….so glad that john has introduced it to the group, now!

      1. from time to time the gate
        opening and shuttering

        Michelle Beyers
        Copyright © 2/11/21

        even my shadow looks
        cold in this slanted moonlight

        Michelle Beyers
        Copyright © 2/11/21

        winter moon drip, drip, dripping
        light upon a single pine

        Michelle Beyers
        Copyright © 2/11/21

        this year’s love letters
        tossed in a bin

        Michelle Beyers
        Copyright © 2/11/21

      2. yes, tan-renga is a fast two step dance was a great idea of John’s. I am looking forward to seeing all the new poems.😊

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