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The Renku Sessions: Tan-Renga Week 6


Hello, everyone. We will be focusing on tan-renga for the remainder of the year. 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.


We resume this week with 123 capping verses that were offered this time, from 29 poets.

So, here is my initial “short list”:


rain tap-dancing
on the roof

Keith Evetts



rows of new faces
staring at me

petro c. k.



one last glance
at the turning tide

Lorin Ford



polished to within
an inch of their lives

Michael Henry Lee



my accent for interviews

Tracy Davidson



toe ring tan
already fading

J R Turek



rockpools submerged
by the incoming tide

Carol Jones



the night ferry
is standing room only

Jonathan Alderfer



maybe i don’t
fit in

Sarah Metzler



on point the dancer
and the leaves

Deborah Barbour Lundy



once again
playing the same role

Amoolya Kamalnath



keys of the cottage
left under a pot




a walking stick
from driftwood

Peter Newton



the path you left by
thorns and brambles

Peter Mauk



In addition to these capping offers, I once again draw your attention to the many great offers made in regard to the “runner up” opening verses.


Here is my list of capping verse “finalists,” presented with madeleine kavanaugh’s opening verse and some comments



the end of summer
I put on
my shoes

madeleine kavanaugh


one last glance
at the turning tide

Lorin Ford


The opening verse seems to anticipate stepping away from the freedom and relaxation of summer and taking on some sort of responsibility once again. The capping verse says, “and yet, and yet…”




the end of summer
I put on
my shoes

madeleine kavanaugh


rockpools submerged
by the incoming tide

Carol Jones


A nice parallel between filling a pair of shoes and, by implication, filling a role, for which there is a seasonal dress code of sorts, compared to the natural twice daily refilling of the rockpools.




the end of summer
I put on
my shoes

madeleine kavanagh


keys of the cottage
left under a pot



Two kinds of “putting” that mark the transition from summer to autumn.




the end of summer
I put on
my shoes

madeleine kavanagh


a walking stick
from driftwood

Peter Newton


In this case, there is the taking of something of summer with us. The shoes to take us into autumn, the walking stick to take our imagination back to the summer. The implied comment of “driftwood” upon the nature of our travels is resonant.





Here is this round’s completed tan-renga, to be archived:


the end of summer
I put on
my shoes

madeleine kavanagh


a walking stick
from driftwood

Peter Newton





Please offer up to five three-line opening verses. Let’s think of them as love verses this time.

Enter your offers in the comments section, below, before midnight (Eastern US time) on Monday, November 14th. On Thursday, November 17th, I will select an opening verse for our next round.


Good work! Thank you, all, once again,






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:

This Post Has 50 Comments

  1. Thank you, John for doing tan-renga! I have been wanting to try out this form for some time and this is the perfect opportunity.

  2. winter wind
    bearskin rug

    dry branches
    on the tree
    one cherry

    old bristlecone
    spring meadow
    ten thousand saplings

  3. .
    together in bed . . .
    a ruby wink
    from the rising sun

    wake up!
    the blue flags are
    writing love poems

    her swollen belly . . .
    peonies flowering under
    a gibbous moon

    dear god!
    red smoke rising
    from your fumarole heart

  4. long walks
    in all weathers…
    writing their vows
    standard time…
    always each other
    to fall back on

  5. Just to add, if I may, appreciation for several capping verses that colleagues offered to:

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

    Noted in particular:

    the times we goofed off
    to go punting
    — Harrison

    A lovely chord of nostalgia, friendship, and wistful humour — and picks up the notion of succumbing to pleasurable distractions from duty. Spot on, as it happens.

    Turner’s slave ship
    fades into the west
    — Lorin Ford

    The visual of sunset over stormy seas and “the dead and dying” of Turner’s famous painting, shifts the narrative to the wider lack of effective condolence for the victims of slavery.

    her memory of mine
    now lost forever
    — Lakshmi Iyer

    Romantic and sentimental; but “her memory of mine” is an intriguing and temptingly recursive line.

  6. (adding 2 to the 3 that I posted earlier – Lorin)

    a willow frond
    sweeping the dust
    from his name –
    a juicy apple –
    the baby sitter

    1. Lorin, I really like this one!

      a juicy apple –
      the baby sitter

      … a whole range of thoughts ensued….!

  7. Congratulations, madeleine and Peter, on your tan-renga! I’ve also enjoyed reading all the other links.


    checked out
    at the library
    first date
    close friends
    sharing a tumble
    rapid heartbeats
    the rhythmic insistence
    of crickets
    leaving unsaid
    an angry comeback
    washing dishes
    each pink spring
    he asks her for their name

  8. love is a macdonald’s coffee
    five creams…
    a chocolate chip cookie


    would marry
    him all over

    would never
    forget you mom
    “here’s your kombucha”

    short furry legs
    climbing the hill…steady
    between my children

    a grand entrance
    the squirrel tumbles to earth
    “Where’s lunch”?

  9. yarn of silk
    first gift of first look
    her warm kiss

    cups of tea
    smokes reaching fast lips
    their first meet

    Perfumed kerchief
    touch between their
    love and lost world

    the mirror reflects
    preparation for
    their evening show

    kneels down often
    thanking God
    for their union

  10. Thanks for the pick and the encouraging comments. Congratulations on the driftwood.

    our eyes meet
    the echo of birds

    the grandchildren wide-eyed
    at how we met

    coming of winter
    our feet touch
    in bed

    happy ever after
    at the end
    of series one

  11. ::
    her white linen
    dress guaranteed
    to wrinkle
    so many
    love notes lost
    in translation
    between the pages
    of her algebra book
    his forget-me-nots

  12. their hyphenated names–
    Cupid’s arrow
    forever embedded
    how we tangle the strands
    of tufted lovegrass…
    tying the knot

  13. winter chill
    he wraps his blanket
    around his favourite

    broken locket
    her secret love
    slips out

    first base
    she floats home
    from the prom

  14. Very nice. Educative explanations. Well done Peter.

    And now:

    leaning together
    at the edge of the cornfield
    pink and blue scooters

    burning her letters
    a few sparks
    in the night

    unable to resist
    the scent of her
    frying bacon

    she giggles
    at his memoirs
    autumn moon

    blind date
    and yet

  15. after the storm
    our anxiety slowly
    begins to recede

    answering the question
    with a question

    a crash-course
    on sex-education

    power outage
    requiring all the Zen
    we can muster

    daylight savings
    another unfinished

  16. even after thirty years
    how we both long for that
    inner silenced love


    calm moonlit night
    our eyes speak a million
    ‘get along’ through odds


    true to ourselves
    we realise our belongings
    are our adjustments


  17. tripping over
    in the red light district
    spelling her name
    with sparklers
    on a starry night
    searching for love
    in a Spanish

  18. first date
    you open the door for me
    cherished memories

    picnic basket
    your outstretched hand
    in mine

    beef pho noodle soup
    salty sloppy mess all over
    your mouth

    the way you make me laugh
    when i am mad!

    to a renewed faith

  19. Congratulations, Peter. 🙂 Your driftwood walking stick fits seamlessly with Madeleine’s shoes, made for walking, I’m sure.
    Congratulations to all of the mentioned authors of the capping verses, and I appreciate John’s spot-on, succinct comments.

  20. There were so many lovely response poems! Congratulations to the finalists and short list poets!

  21. Hi John:
    Peter’s capping verse is a wonderful response and perfect for the poem. I enjoyed reading your commentary of all the finalists’ verses and of Peter’s response verse: “…the taking of something of summer with us…” I wanted to thank-you for your understanding of my poem.

  22. wedding anniversary
    sitting beneath a carob tree
    we listen to a nightingale

    ignoring menus
    we sit holding hands
    looking at the sea

    your eternity ring
    is loose but sparkles
    sellotape binds us

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