Skip to content

The Renku Sessions: Tan-Renga Week 5

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.

A total of 77 new opening verses were offered this week, by 18 poets. Once again, I will present a short list and then a list of finalists. I’ll then choose one of them but, as was the case the last time around, you can link to the other finalists, too.

 

So, here is my initial “short list”:

 

mica glistens
from this shallow river’s
sandy bed

Lorin Ford

 

 

sun on the river
a letter of condolence
still to be written

Keith Evetts

 

 

it takes two to tango
several more to
line dance

Michael Henry Lee

 

 

another storm
a swish
of my neighbor’s curtain

Tracy Davidson

 

 

rusted
the wheelbarrow
in red leaves

Richard Straw

 

 

on the same corner
every night—
asking for change

Laurie Greer

 

 

the end of summer
I put on
my shoes

madeleine kavanagh

 

 

january rules
there are no
secure places

Wendy C. Bialek

 

 

sparrows
come and go
on the fence

Debbie Feller

 

 

waking
angry
at waking

Debbie Feller

 

 

a fingerprint
galaxy disappears
in the telescope

Dan Campbell

 

 

streetlight…
her shadow grows longer
as she walks away

Jonathan Alderfer

 

 

blowing leaves…
the south wind no longer
warm

Nancy Brady

 

 

a lost button
your cardigan pockets
full of mothballs

J R Turek

 

 

 

Here is my list of “finalists,” with some comments:

 

 

 

mica glistens
from this shallow river’s
sandy bed

Lorin Ford

This verse seems to suit both renga and tanka styles of linking. It can be taken directly as a nature image but also can be read as an oblique comment on shallowness as a human attribute.

 

 

 

sun on the river
a letter of condolence
still to be written

Keith Evetts

And time, as the Steve Miller Band reminds us, keeps on slipping into the future.

 

 

 

the end of summer
I put on
my shoes

madeleine kavanagh

A minimalist verse but how could it be asking more clearly, “What’s next?”

 

 

 

waking
angry
at waking

Debbie Feller

A moment in which I imagine the poet(s) looking back, longingly at a dream.

 

 

 

streetlight…
her shadow grows longer
as she walks away

Jonathan Alderfer

This verse seems perfect for linking in the waka/tanka style.

 

 

 

I’ll say the same thing I said in the last round, because it’s still true. Any of these would be great fun to cap and I hope you will work with the runners-up, in addition to the one I am selecting.

 

 

 

Here is our opening verse for the next tan-renga:

 

the end of summer
I put on
my shoes

madeleine kavanagh

 

 

 

THIS WEEK

Once again, you are invited to offer two-line capping verses. You may offer up to five for madeleine kavanagh’s verse. And you may also offer capping verses for the other four finalists. Although they will not be used in selecting the tan-renga that goes into THF archives, it occurs to me that they might be used (with both poets’ permission) for publication elsewhere, depending upon how that other publication feels about their prior appearance here.

Note: I will be traveling for the next two weeks. There will be no new post next week but I hope to be able to post results for this round of capping verses on Thursday, November 3rd. Please make your offers during the next two weeks. However, you may prefer to make them early because the link to this post will probably disappear from THF’s home page toward the end of the first week.

 

Enter your offers in the comments section, below, before midnight (Eastern US time) on Monday, October 31. On Thursday, November 3rd, I will select the capping verse that will complete this tan-renga for THF archives.

 

Thank you, all, once again,
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 107 Comments

  1. Congratulations madeleine!
    .
    the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    madeleine kavanagh
    .
    a blustery wind
    brings in new scents
    .
    unsteady on the tarmac
    after a bumpy ride
    .
    at the stationers
    a new batch of pens
    .
    opening the parlour door
    a blast of cold air
    .
    the change in music
    gathering tempo
    .

  2. waking
    angry
    at waking

    Debbie Feller

    eastern sky
    is too cloudy

    —–

    sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evetts

    moments when the fog
    marred our bird watching

  3. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes — madeleine kavanagh

    the path you left by
    thorns and brambles

    _________________

    sparrows
    come and go
    on the fence — Debbie Feller

    empty cattle car
    some went left …

    _________________

    waking
    angry
    at waking — Debbie Feller

    I turn to you
    my dream of you

    _________________

  4. mica glistens
    from this shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford

    a house rat eludes
    the glue pad

    ——–

    sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evetts

    old gran’s tales
    surely keep me busy

    ***

    our shared bicycle
    will stay with me

    ***

    i visit our old school
    just once more

    ***

    piece by piece
    reassembling the puzzle

    ———

    waking
    angry
    at waking

    Debbie Feller

    i pen a note
    of warning

    the sunbird chirps
    relentlessly

    ——–

    streetlight…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    Jonathan Alderfer

    sheltered by her wings
    the brood of chicks

    on the deathbed
    her husband waiting

  5. waking
    angry
    at waking — Debbie Feller
    .
    her not-so-innocent cat
    yawns and stretches
    .
    that stupid accidental
    underdose
    .
    her ticket to the afterlife
    marked ‘invalid’
    .

  6. sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    (Keith Evetts)

    the ghost of a smile
    eddies in the debris

    the times we goofed off
    to go punting

  7. streetlight…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away — Jonathan Alderfer
    .
    the final piano notes
    linger
    .
    not one dry eye
    left in the house
    .
    it would never have worked
    in technicolor

  8. sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written – Keith Evetts
    .
    Turner’s slave ship
    fades into the west
    .
    again the temptation
    to wax poetic
    .
    day by day the pen
    becomes heavier

  9. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes — Madeleine Kavanagh
    .
    thongs :: flip-flops
    tomahtoes :: tomaytos
    .
    muddy footprints
    across Mum’s linoleum
    .
    clop-clop clop-clop
    down a hundred sacred steps
    .
    (total of 5, now)

    .

  10. sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evetts

    forget-me-not plants
    suddenly seen all over

    ***

    the taste of barbecued fish
    lingers on

    ***

    now drinking Earl Grey
    without sugar

    ———–

    waking
    angry
    at waking

    Debbie Feller

    the hibiscus bloom
    turns away

    ***

    song practice
    echoes in the hallway

    ***

    the infant’s cry
    louder than before

  11. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    (madeleine kavanagh)

    keys of the cottage
    left under a pot

    change sneaking up
    in the mirror

    borrowing freckles
    from dappled light

    the role of a clown
    in pantomime season

    run Bambi run
    from the gun

  12. sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evetts
    .
    My offerings

    I too learn to part
    with things not mine

    reminiscing our coffee chats
    near the mountain lake

    her memory of mine
    now lost forever

    Lakshmi Iyer

  13. mica glistens
    from this shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford

    persimmons picked
    for want of authenticity

    a gold ring found
    at the accident site

    ***

    sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evetts

    with dried up ink
    the pen waits to be revived

    i ponder
    about all the years

    another one
    before i can…

    ***

    waking
    angry
    at waking

    Debbie Feller

    a family once more
    in the reel

    the pull of blankets
    on a cold morning

    for the love
    for sleep

    ***

    streetlight…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    Jonathan Alderfer

    the brahmakamala
    blooms only once a year

    the neighbour’s cat
    almost always by our gate

  14. Congratulations Madeleine! Thank you John!

    end of summer
    i put on
    my shoes

    Madeleine Kavanagh

    forgetting all that happened
    last term

    ***

    but they
    somehow wouldn’t fit

    ***

    learning to tango
    with my new mate

    ***

    the scorpion escapes
    a hard lesson

    ***

    once again
    playing the same role

  15. streetlight…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    -Jonathan Alderfer


    twang of a zither
    from the pavement café

    what else is a sailor
    to do with his pay

    one trick with a stranger
    her bread for the day

    dark spreads from the dagger
    as far as the drain

    the squeal of a night train
    leaving L.A.

    clutching the letter
    that tells her he’s gay

  16. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    “Your nails have trimmed nicely, sir :
    Like me to do your corns?”

  17. mica glistens
    from this shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford

    the stony look above
    her almost perfect cleavage

    the magpie nest
    brimful of ring-pulls

    —–

    waking
    angry
    at waking

    -Debbie Feller

    birds hide in winter’s
    scarlet dawn

    snores stilled
    by an elbow

    the cut-price therapist
    leaves town

  18. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    – madeleine kavanagh

    my new date even taller
    than his story

  19. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    Madeleine Kavanagh

    lost again on
    a one way street

    trashing the map
    I follow my heart

    a dangle of apples
    fill bushel baskets

    on point the dancer
    and the leaves

  20. sun on the river
    letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evett

    sinking behind velvet hills
    golden red…a fresh sheet of paper

  21. mica glistens
    from the shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford

    “…hope she likes the ring
    hope the band gets here on time…”

  22. waking angry
    at waking

    Debbie Feller

    fellow travelers of the
    countless “sleep deprived”

  23. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    — madeleine kavanagh

    1)
    my card reader
    ran out of codes

    2)
    a louse emerges
    out of her hair

    3)
    the weed plants
    ready for harvesting

    — ella wagemakers

  24. Congrats Madeleine, and to all those who were shortlisted:

    the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes – madeleine kavanagh

    but I keep my flip flops
    in reserve
    *
    heading to the orchard
    for apples and cider
    *
    getting prepared
    for fall classes
    *
    heading to the mall
    for new cardigans
    *
    grabbing the rake
    from the shed

    1. street light…
      her shadow grows longer
      as she walks away

      John Aldererson,

      she decided her next car
      would be a plymouth

  25. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    madeleine kavanagh
    **********************
    1) not enough fire
    on wood on wet floor

    2) his party announcement
    while sudden shutdown

    3) her blowing pipe
    on wet coal

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

    4 )
    wintry bed
    all her cotton saris in line

    sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written
    Keith Evetts
    *****************
    1) ants parade
    on special jaggery for tea

  26. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    madeleine kavanagh
    *
    the comings and goings
    of migrating birds

  27. the end of summer*
    i put on
    my shoes

    the radiant shimmer
    of fresh concealer

    the end of summer
    i put on
    my shoes

    maybe i don’t
    fit in

    the end of summer
    i put on
    my shoes

    not knowing where
    this friendship will go

    the end of summer
    i put on
    my shoes

    my first steps
    on cobblestone

    the end of summer
    i put on
    my shoes

    not enough room
    on the bus

    * madeleine kavanagh

  28. Congratulations Madeleine!

    the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    madeleine kavanagh
    .

    my father asks me
    who I am
    .

    the oak leaves turned gold
    as I lay dreaming
    .

    an early snow dusts
    the goldenrod with silver
    .

    afternoon sunlight
    still lingers in the treetops
    .

    the night ferry
    is standing room only

  29. street light…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    John Aldererson,

    “…son
    she just got orders…”

    mica glistens
    from the shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford

    last drops of sunlight
    reveal its treasure

    waking angry
    at waking

    Debbie Feller

    “I miss them
    so”

    sun on the river
    letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evett

    “…when will they
    ever learn…”

    (Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”)

  30. mica glistens
    from this shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford
    ***
    no day goes by
    in a hurry

    •••
    sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evetts
    **
    shaking head when
    everything is possible

    •••
    sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evetts
    **
    shaking head when
    everything is possible
    •••

    waking
    angry
    at waking

    Debbie Feller
    ***
    one hundred full moons
    useless
    •••
    streetlight…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    Jonathan Alderfer

    **
    please hug me
    don’t know how long

  31. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    madeleine kavanagh
    **

    back to work
    after giving birth to twins

  32. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    *
    madeleine kavanagh
    *

    another bang
    at the middle of night

  33. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    madeleine kavanagh

    the cliff where you fell
    one step at a time

    rattle of the southbound
    rambling in the palms

    black banded socks, too
    wooly bear says so

    new job business casual
    open or closed toe sandals?

  34. mica glistens
    from this shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford

    the sparkle in your eyes
    partial eclipse

    _________________

    sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evetts

    silver moon
    sliver of truth

    _________________

    it takes two to tango
    several more to
    line dance

    Michael Henry Lee

    out of line
    gets you the old one-two

    _________________

    another storm
    a swish
    of my neighbor’s curtain

    Tracy Davidson

    the clank of
    my shovel in the rain

    _________________

    streetlight…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    Jonathan Alderfer

    cobblestone ghost
    flees the scene

    _________________

    rusted
    the wheelbarrow
    in red leaves

    Richard Straw

    matted feathers
    of a soaked chicken

    _________________

    1. streetlight…
      her shadow grows longer
      as she walks away

      Jonathan Alderfer

      sage on the air
      avenue of the ancestors

      ________________

  35. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    *
    madeleine kavanagh
    *

    so many memories
    like a sweet valentine

  36. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    *
    madeleine kavanagh
    *

    *

    Congratulations dear Madeleine
    Beautiful 💕💕

  37. a very intriguing poem

    street light …
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    Jonathan Alderfer

    hospital
    understaffed again

    street light …
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    Jonathan Alderfer

    “…mom is going
    deep cover…”

    street light…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    Jonathan Alderfer

    she refuses to have the “S76-4
    Discombubulator” fall into the wrong hands

  38. Debbie, a very thought provoking poem

    waking angry
    at waking

    Debbie Feller

    too early in
    the morning

    waking angry
    at waking

    Debbie Feller

    tired of counting
    crickets

    waking angry
    at waking

    Debbie Fuller

    a rainbow over
    the evergreens

  39. a very lovely poem, Keith

    sun on the river
    letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evett

    they use to play
    by the bank

    sun on the river
    letter of condolence still
    to be written

    Keith Evett

    “…never have I seen
    such valor…”

    sun on the river
    letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evett

    how will I
    explain this to her

    1. Thank you, Madeleine. An old college friend died of Parkinson’s. I went for a ruminative cycle down the Thames. The verse, almost needless to say, has been twice rejected. I am glad it struck a chord with you (and with John)

      1. Hi Keith:
        I’m sorry to hear of your friend’s passing…
        it’s a great poem. Hope that you continue to
        send it off.

  40. mica glistens
    from the shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford

    his eyes
    when he laughs

    mica glistens
    from the shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford

    the shade of their
    puppy’s fur

    mica glistens
    from the shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford

    scent of toast
    in the morning

  41. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    *
    madeleine kavanagh
    *
    announcement on radio
    there is a walking competition

  42. A super start!
    Thanks for naming me a finaltist.

    pack flipflops
    with bathing suits

    toe ring tan
    already fading

    first time
    since May

    littered with
    pink rose petals

    harvest a pail
    of green tomatoes

  43. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    *
    madeleine kavanagh
    *
    double-knotting the lace
    he pulls himself up by
    *

  44. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    *
    madeleine kavanagh
    *
    winning the flip to go first
    and hoping for a ringer
    *

  45. streetlight…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    Jonathan Alderfer

    the reconstruction
    we hope will stir memories

    Tracy Davidson

  46. sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evetts

    no words to explain
    her secret relief

    Tracy Davidson

  47. My 5 capping verse offers for Madeleine’s opener:

    polishing
    my accent for interviews

    first steps on the path
    to sobriety

    pretending to mourn
    for mother’s sake

    his name
    still a mystery

    finding my way to the front
    of the picket line

  48. Congrats Madeleine and thank you John
    *****

    trees in the hurricane
    juggling bird nests and squirrels
    *****
    searching for the pump
    to inflate his girlfriend

  49. Congratulations Madeleine!!!

    what happens in Vegas
    stays in Vegas

    waiting for
    the second one to drop

    easing into the
    constant bear gait

    polished too within
    an inch of their lives

    a watershed moment
    for neoprene heels

    1. Michael:
      what happens in Vegas
      stays in Vegas

      got my day off to a great start! Still laughing…

  50. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes – madeleine kavanagh

    talk at the chemo unit
    turns to neuropathy

    puddles and rainbows
    among rotting leaves

  51. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes – madeleine kavanagh
    .
    turning back
    to watch the turning tide
    .
    one last glance
    at the turning tide

  52. Congratulations, Madeleine and thank you John for including my ‘shallow river’ in your final list.
    .
    re: “Please make your offers during the next two weeks. However, you may prefer to make them early because the link to this post will probably disappear from THF’s home page toward the end of the first week.” – John

    The link to all Renku Sessions isn’t hard to find on the THF home page, though: one just scrolls down the page until there are only the names (no photos etc) of the various things and click on ‘Renku Sessions’. All but the current page (this weeks tan renga page) can be found there, beginning with last week’s tan renga post:

    https://thehaikufoundation.org/category/features/renku-sessions/

  53. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    *
    madeleine kavanagh
    *
    feeling the footloose catch up
    with the fancy free
    *

  54. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    madeleine kavanagh

    *
    distant rumbles
    from the front line
    *
    taking
    my bruises
    *
    clap of thunder
    laces snap
    *
    rows of new faces
    staring at me
    *
    evacuation
    alert

    ****

    streetlight…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    Jonathan Alderfer

    my cigarette smoke
    races to catch her

  55. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    *
    madeleine kavanagh
    *
    a long walk to be sure
    there’s no place like home
    *

  56. Congratulations, Madeleine! Super verse. And thanks, John, for the comments and the short-listing.
    *

    the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes
    *
    madeleine kavanagh
    *
    ten easy steps
    to hand-knit socks

  57. Congratulations to madeleine kavanagh on an evocative and nostalgia-producing opening verse.

    the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    madeleine kavanagh

    at the bus stop
    big and little waves
    *
    familiar faces in
    a room with old desks
    *
    all queued up and
    laughing for lunchtime
    *
    on the playground
    shouts of Red Rover
    *
    avoiding cracks
    on the walk home

    +++

    Also, congratulations to the four other finalists:

    mica glistens
    from this shallow river’s
    sandy bed

    Lorin Ford
    *
    flashing a toy badge
    to prove a point
    *
    “distracted from distraction
    by distraction”

    (Hear T. S. Eliot read “Burnt Norton” at https://poets.org/text/t-s-eliots-burnt-norton.)

    +++

    sun on the river
    a letter of condolence
    still to be written

    Keith Evetts
    *
    the best fishing
    at sundown
    *
    tears from the glare
    and the memories

    +++

    waking
    angry
    at waking

    Debbie Feller
    *
    the dead alive
    dead again
    *
    a dead-end job
    for forty years

    +++

    streetlight…
    her shadow grows longer
    as she walks away

    Jonathan Alderfer
    *
    “The Third Man Theme”
    plays on on a zither

    (See Anton Karas play his tune in a Pathe Pictorial at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gFz79SBnuk8.)
    *
    “the empty sidewalks…
    are not the same”

    (See the “Walk Away Renee” lyrics by The Left Banke at https://www.songfacts.com/lyrics/the-left-banke/walk-away-renee.)

  58. Well done Marilyn. Open -ended shoes…

    the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    madeleine kavanagh

    rain tap-dancing
    on the roof

    soles of departed pilgrims
    wore these steps

  59. Congratulations, Madeleine. A fitting verse to take us forward, well done.
    Enjoyed reading your comments, John.

  60. good going…madeleine kavanagh
    loving your starter and john’s commentary
    thanks for the mention, john.

    circled by fire
    ants dancing for rain

    or

    circled by fire ants
    dancing for rain

  61. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes (mk)

    toe-nails in-growing
    and my feet don’t fit

    ballet lessons next week
    in the old mortuary

    wherever you go in the park
    mud on your shoes

    I’ll stand for Prime MInister
    now the lady is de-trussed

    trousers next
    and then my knickers

    it’s a serious commitment
    but I’ll stand to my word

    into the garden
    last trim before winter

  62. the end of summer
    I put on
    my shoes

    madeleine kavanagh

    ..
    Offering my verses
    .
    I’m not at all
    in a hurry to fly
    .

    father promise to get
    a new umbrella soon

    .
    i have one more round
    of fruit salad with icecream
    .

    the sound of tram’s bell
    further and farther

    .

    nothing to lose as i learn
    to pack my luggage

    .

    Lakshmi Iyer
    India

Comments are closed.

Back To Top