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The Renku Sessions: Tawny Jacket – Week 10

 

renku_300

 

I am John Stevenson and I will be your guide for a twelve-verse renku, in which we will compose one verse per week until completion. A longer session, with a different leader, is being planned to follow this one.

This time we gathered one-hundred-seventy-six offers, from thirty-one poets. A wonderful, almost bewildering sample of possibilities for this verse. Here is a large, and still truncated, sample of the many verses that I especially enjoyed:

just a hop
skip and a jump
from fascism

Autumn Noelle Hall

yet another war
brewing
in the Middle East

Autumn Noelle Hall

banging a nail
deep enough
to burst

Robert Kingston

consommé served
in a fine
china bowl

Carol Jones

the booming
ghost town
of Jerome, Arizona

Laurie Greer

Sioux still standing
their ground
against Keystone

Laurie Greer

a black pen
to fill in
the absentee ballot

Kristen Lindquist

her sense of self
slowly fading
invisible ink

Terri French

“first there is a mountain
then there is no mountain
then there is”

Mary Stevens

this item
on backorder
until further notice

Mary Stevens

police officers
pull over
a driverless car

Maureen Virchau

that long pull
of whiskey while
court’s in recess

Berry Shropshire

is there
a spare dollar
in the farmer’s account?

Pauline R. O’Carolan

a calendar
of mountain top views
at the gift shop

Laurie Greer

another veteran
feeling the old ache
of a phantom limb

Betty Shropshire

childhood tv memories
of Iran/Iraq troubles
some sixty years ago

Nancy Liddle

filings
in the kaleidoscope
changing form

Robert Kingston

paint pot’s signature
left to dry
on the table

Carol Jones

they turn up
the car radio
for breaking news

Debbie Scheving

 

 

Our ninth verse is:

the horseshoe player
chugs the rest
of his beer

Patrick Sweeney

 

This verse takes up the topic of liquor, from the list I provided last time (borrowed from Professor Fukuda). It also offers some hints of other topics, at least for me. And it succeeds in transforming my prior sense of verse eight. While verse eight tells us that the day moon will be “there” when it becomes visible, this verse’s reference to the game of horseshoes invokes the saying, “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” And this is a double reference to sports and games because this saying is widely believed to be the creation of baseball hall-of-famer, Frank Robinson. The quote appeared in Time magazine (July 31, 1973).

At another level, Patrick Sweeney’s verse offers a contrast to the imminent appearance of the moon in verse eight. Here, the horseshoe player is making his beer disappear. Although, when it comes to intoxication, he may be “almost there.”

 

For our tenth verse, these will be the requirements/considerations:

  • a two-line, non-seasonal verse
  • connecting in some way to the ninth verse and in no obvious way to any of the previous verses
  • transforming our sense of the ninth verse

 

Note: I am repeating Shinku Fukuda’s list of “topic” areas (from “Introduction to World-Linking Renku”). These examples may be helpful in this final non-seasonal verse, before we finish with two spring verses. Consider writing about: mountain, store, job/profession, politics, economy, education, military, history, nation/place names.

 

Our renku, so far:

 

Tawny Jacket

autumn leaves
she sets out in
her tawny jacket

Andrew Shimield

the still-warm hollow
where the deer slept

Kristen Lindquist

cigar smoke
lingers
in the empty room

Pauline O’Carolan

seraphim song
of a glass armonica

Autumn Noelle Hall

ice-skating
with my hunka hunka
burning love

Lorin Ford

a kiss for luck
at the STD clinic

Maureen Virchau

rediscovery
of the starry night toad
after all this time

Linda Weir

summer day moon
almost there

Wendy C. Bialek

the horseshoe player
chugs the rest
of his beer

Patrick Sweeney

 

Please enter your verse offers in the comments box, below. I will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Tuesday, January 21 (New York time zone). On Thursday, January 23, there will be a new posting containing my selection for our tenth verse, some discussion of other appreciated offers, and instructions for composing the eleventh verse.

I look forward to seeing your offers!

John

 

This Post Has 241 Comments

  1. Hello everyone. I’ve really enjoyed following this Renku, Tawny Jacket, but I haven’t been able to join in until now. On the faint hope of “better late than never,” I’d like to put out these offerings all in one go (since the deadline looms over me in an hour or so). Thanks for understanding.
    .
    .
    the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    (Patrick Sweeney)
    *
    *

    our energy drained
    from those bombastic tweets

    *
    *
    our energy sapped
    by those bombastic tweets

    *
    *
    bombastic tweets aimed
    everywhere and nowhere

    *
    *
    empty rhetoric
    and drained energy

    *
    *
    Taps’ plaintive notes
    for another soldier

    *
    *
    new names chiseled
    on the war memorial

  2. going to the boneyard
    in Bagram
    ***
    stationed between
    IEDs
    ***
    I’m stuck on games and military deployment this week lol

  3. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .
    Patrick Sweeney
    ***
    her little black legs
    straddle the carousel
    .
    the black girl balances
    on the carousel
    .
    she rides the carousel
    with help from dad
    .
    for the first time
    she climbs the carousel
    .

    .

  4. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .
    our town’s elk sculpture
    sports the local team colours

    1. If that’s too close to ‘discovery’ then:
      .
      the lost chord forever
      seems elusive

      .

      And if that is too musical:
      .
      wordsmiths fitting keys
      in eternal locks

      1. I don’t think it is discovery or related. Poetry is rather devious in its ways , don’t you think ?
        I like the 2-liner

    1. I like how you use -still

      I have one too And the people on horses. How very beautiful that hand craft. Now a days, the faces la k a something. Charisma. Mass produced in moulds …

  5. Hundreds of pigeons
    Heard my street musician concerts
    ****
    While a grad student at UNC Chapel Hill I enjoyed busking and playing the banjo, flamenco guitar and blues harmonica, but not at the same time.

    1. the horseshoe player
      chugs the rest
      of his beer
      *
      Patrick Sweeney
      .
      gathered for eight
      at the the horseshoe player
      chugs the rest
      of his beer
      *
      Patrick Sweeney
      .
      gathered for eight
      at the Hangoartpoort
      .
      Interesting to find that there are eight recipients of the VC (Victoria cross) listed on the memorial. Still trying to find if this has a link with the timing of the nightly 8pm last post recital.

        1. Hi Marion
          Thank you. I knew this much.
          Finding for the first time the piece about the 8 VC recipients created a question I will hope to solve. Militarily I believe a significance will exist as to why the ceremony was set at 8pm.
          Armistice we all know was at 11a.m.
          My search will continue.
          Best regards
          Robert

          1. Dear Marietta
            My apologies.
            It appears I have been caught out by the auto text on my phone.

  6. another deployment
    to Afghanistan
    ***
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    ***
    reshuffling the cards
    at Binion’s
    ***
    shuffling a new deck
    at Binion’s
    ***
    tanks gain traction
    in an oil field
    ***
    an impeachment
    trial begins

  7. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    naming the VPs who’ve been
    acting president
    *

  8. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    scuba diving
    at the Liberty wreck
    *
    scuba diving
    in Flower Garden Bay
    *

  9. “when he first came to the mountains
    his life was far away”
    ( from John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High”)
    *
    “we are in the mountains
    and they are in us”
    ( John Muir)

  10. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .
    Patrick Sweeney
    .
    a repetitive squeak
    from the fireside toy
    .
    a second dinner
    for the dog
    .
    axe chinks
    high above base camp
    .

  11. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    no 12-step for kicking
    the fossil fuel habit
    *
    still not minding
    his own ps and qs
    *

      1. at least, and that’s not counting flakes!
        **************************

        .
        tossing tails in protest and
        raising “call us merpersons” signs
        .
        wendy c. bialek

  12. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .
    Patrick Sweeney
    .
    wanted! – a new player
    for the Queen’s head
    .
    a brief whistle
    and the bluebird was gone
    ..
    after-burn
    in bluebirds wake

    1. Anything relating to a journey might be looked upon as linking to the hokku. This has been a reason for me to pass on a number of otherwise wonderful verses.

  13. Thank God I’ve lived, worked
    and loved in shithole countries

    (A response to t-Rump’s comments about Africa)

    1. thanks, dan….you made my day with this one.

      here’s one from me:

      on his gold throne
      he google’s “impeachment”

      wendy c. bialek

  14. One connection I saw in Patrick’s verse was the foam on the side of the glass looking like a day moon. I like it, Patrick!

  15. sponsorship deals await
    from Coors Bud and Miller
    ********************
    issued a red card
    for littering the field
    ***********************
    details available
    on film at eleven

  16. Thank you John for the mention in your comments.
    *
    the family hurriedly packs
    to leave Taal’s shadow

  17. Thank you, Patrick, for an interesting verse – I’d never heard of horseshoe playing.

    Cool and calm in Cobargo this week. Thank you all for your best wishes.

    Pauline

    for want of a nail
    the war was lost

    gulping sea water
    while drowning

    communion cup raised
    by the parish priest

    no one will shake
    the Prime Minister’s hand

  18. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .
    Patrick Sweeney
    .

    not drunk enough
    for the Sama ceremony
    .
    out too soon to see
    the bow twirling ceremony
    .
    a maybach
    reveals the dignitary

  19. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .
    Patrick Sweeney
    .
    too many bells
    at the morning service
    .
    blue pins
    and bell bottom pants
    Or
    blue pins
    in bell bottom pants

    .

  20. all bets crumpled
    bus ticket home
    *
    I never liked
    froth in beards
    *
    will it still be called
    the north pole?
    *
    fresh crusty bread
    better than cold kisses

  21. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer

    .
    Patrick Sweeney

    **

    stakes are high
    fearing iron curtain

    .
    wendy c. bialek

  22. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer

    .
    Patrick Sweeney

    **

    stakes so high
    almost iron gates

    .
    wendy c. bialek

  23. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    clamps on crampons
    in a bid for Basecamp
    *
    (clamps in the verb sense here, to follow Patrick’s pattern)
    *
    ~Autumn

  24. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    dizzily spinning
    the greeting card racks
    *

  25. nicely done!
    .
    the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    -Patrick
    .
    view of Mt. Fuji
    from the Shinkansen

  26. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .
    Patrick Sweeney

    *

    here we go
    loop de loop

    .

    wendy c. bialek

  27. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .
    Patrick Sweeney

    *

    a clipity-clop
    circles central park

    .
    wendy c. bialek

  28. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    a full tank
    in the driverless car
    *
    all his earthly possessions
    crammed in a U-haul
    *
    cards maxed out
    and mortgaged to the hilt
    *

  29. Congrats, Patrick! Yours is a very clever verse. So glad to see it included in the renku. Cheers!
    .
    Thank you for another thoughtful and insightful commentary, John.

  30. proof of the d not
    the e in evolution
    *************
    unfinished business with
    the democratic process
    **********************
    at the end of the day
    America loses

  31. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    the president orders
    a retaliatory strike
    *
    the Tour de France riders
    hit the mountain stretch

  32. caught out between
    the privy and two trees
    *********************
    like a thousand pound weight
    hanging from the coccyx bone
    *************************
    the practice of
    medicine just that

  33. plant pots displayed
    on the smithy’s anvil
    .
    more pots sorry
    .
    plant pot display
    on the smithy’s anvil

  34. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .
    Patrick Sweeney
    .
    two bikie gangs
    roar into Walhalla
    .
    (Walhalla is a small, obscure town in Victoria, Australia that was a ghost town for ages and now is a touristy ghost town:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walhalla,_Victoria
    .
    as well as being the name of a place of Norse legend (see Wagner etc) where Valkiries live, which is probably the reason the bikies have been going up there since at least the ’60s. )
    .
    The link? Beer, which always has been and still is, as far as I know, consumed in quantities by ‘motorbike clubs’.

    1. Couldn’t help but have a giggle at this one,
      Reminded me of the ‘The Black Widows’ in the
      Any which way but loose, film.

    1. *sanders….is bernie sanders…..(D) running for president in usa.
      but bernie would be back-linked to ” burning ” love.

  35. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .

    Patrick Sweeney
    .
    ” Divided by
    a common language! ”
    quotes our Professor
    .
    – Lorin

      1. Actually, Lorin, I think your:
        *
        insufficient oxygen
        reaching the brain
        *
        would make an excellent verse in response to Patrick’s!
        *
        😀
        *
        Autumn

  36. *
    the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer

    Patrick Sweeney

    **
    a paper airplane lands
    on the army ground

    Kanchan Chatterjee

    1. Resubmitted after reformatting the same:

      *
      the horseshoe player
      chugs the rest
      of his beer

      .
      Patrick Sweeney

      **
      a paper airplane lands
      on the army ground

      .
      Kanchan Chatterjee

        1. Great verse–I especially appreciate the subtle commentary about our overreactive security state (as we imagine what the response to that paper airplane might be…). Working on U.S. military bases both at home and overseas in the past, and residing in Colorado presently, however, I find this particular aspect of drones less-than-funny:
          *
          https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/a-huge-group-of-drones-is-flying-over-colorado-at-night-police-the-faa-and-the-military-all-say-not-us/
          *
          It is noteworthy that military aerial exercises here in the mountains have stepped up significantly since our President’s decision to assassinate General Soleimani (we are experiencing daily and nightly sorties of everything from fighters to transports to Blackhawk helicopters). Beyond the obvious implications of ratcheting up our war machine, there is the not-so-small matter of the additional carbon output due to increased airline fuel use…
          *
          the horseshoe player
          chugs the rest
          of his beer
          .
          Patrick Sweeney
          *
          unknown drones
          in a U-shaped formation
          *
          the carbon cost
          of mid-air refueling
          *
          Beyond disturbing…
          *
          ~Autumn

  37. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .

    Patrick Sweeney
    .
    the police station
    only forty-five yards
    from the pub
    .
    – Lorin

  38. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .

    Patrick Sweeney
    .
    a Little Blue Engine
    who knew it could
    .
    – Lorin

    1. I submitted my verse before reading yours, Lorin! Very glad to be on the same wavelength as you; I like your writing!

  39. Congratulations, Patrick. 🙂
    .
    the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    .

    Patrick Sweeney
    .
    . . . and she who searches is enlightened. Since I was a publican’s daughter, perhaps I
    should’ve known (I knew a lot of words I wasn’t supposed to know but this one is so mild ) To this day, though, the only thing I knew about that chugged was the Little Blue Engine, and by extension, ferry boats and someone’s old car that had something wrong with it and one could recgonise it, unseen, from the sound.
    http://www.word-detective.com/2013/01/chug/
    .
    I suspected it might be something associated with the sound “glug- glug”, but didn’t know. However since this usage seems to have arisen in the USA in the 1940’s, it’s not so strange after all that I wouldn’t know of it. ( I wonder if the Japanese use the term in Japan, Patrick, following the Americans? I know they like their beer. And some very good beer it is that they make, too,)
    .
    “Chug-chug” is probably the equivalent of “Glug-glug”, which is/was used here, and which certainly evokes an image of a serious and thirsty beer drinker. I like the humour of the guzzler being “almost there”, in quite an other sense than the moon in the previous verse. 🙂
    .
    – Lorin

    1. Very interesting comments, Lorin. I had never heard the verb “to chug” used in this way either, but guessed it was what we might refer to as “slugging” beer meaning to drink it quickly, or when my mother used to tell us off for taking “a slug” of milk or lemonade directly from from the bottle rather than pouring it into a glass. 🙂
      .
      marion

  40. Love it, Patrick!

    the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    – Patrick Sweeney

    as investors pump
    millions into bitcoins
    – Betty Shropshire

  41. Congratulations, Patrick–a thirst-quencher of a verse! Many thanks to John, too, for including my political attempts along with so many notable picks!!
    *
    the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    as usual, the Dems field
    some real ringers . . .
    *
    (Just in case my tone is in doubt, think facetious–and for my fellow Americans, follow the money and vote Third Party, for goodness sake!! Help stop the insanity of our “fake” two-party corporatocracy!)
    *
    Potus tweets
    #anyoneforagameofmotorboat?
    *
    still flipping burgers
    for minimum wage
    *
    gutting
    the EPA
    *
    (that’s Environmental Protection Agency, which is being beer-gutted even as I type this…)
    *
    a mug
    only a mother could love
    *
    right-side-up
    or upside-down for luck?
    *
    as Bodexpress runs
    the Preakness sans jockey
    *
    (it’s history. . . although might it connect with our absent deer?)
    *
    I’ll stop there–at lucky seven. 😀
    *
    ~Autumn

  42. on an evolutionary scale
    barely three out of ten
    **********************
    Spuds Mackenzie tattooed
    on an eighteen inch bicep
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    your average convenience
    store clerk by stock and trade

  43. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    barista proclaiming
    “death before decaf”
    *
    three sheets to the wind while he
    tacks up the posters
    *

    Lyft driver making an illegal
    U-turn
    *

    1. Love your last verse offering here, Laurie! The horseshoe-shaped U-turn is brilliant! I like the enjambment of “illegal” on L1, too–because it lead me automatically to “turn,” the “U” packed even more punch.
      *
      Lots of room for thoughts on the legality or il of fair wages, cabbies being put out of business (and in too many cases, driven to suicide as a result), and corporate employee abuse here, too.
      *
      Great offering!
      *
      ~autumn

  44. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    removing more mounted
    Confederate brass
    *
    waiting to see who’ll be
    tapped for VP
    *

  45. stinging bubbles for kids
    on the south bank
    .
    stringing kids for bubbles
    on the south bank
    .
    a new dome
    for nostradamus
    .
    rollerdex calling
    the wrong Shapiro

  46. the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    Patrick Sweeney
    .
    a handful of empties
    for the milkman
    .
    hot boomerang on the tail
    of the Aussie pm
    .
    salutes from above
    for the VC rookie
    .
    another gold
    for the front crawler
    .

  47. Congratulations, Patrick, a fine verse, I like how John as made the reference to, almost there 🙂
    It is always of interest to read what others see.
    .
    Thank you for placing my verse in the list, happy days.
    .
    No, not on your own, ladies, just warming up after a very cold, wet, blustery day working outside. No doubt there are some, here, who would just love a bit of this weather.

    1. Just gone back to have another read of the verses along with the comments, and what is required for the next verse-
      Two in the line up, even happier days.
      I am particularly proud of my paint pot’s 🙂

  48. Hi, Wendy–are we the only ones playing?!
    **
    the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer
    *
    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    dressage novice
    already putting on airs
    *
    clip-clops of hansom cabs
    echo around town
    *
    preschool class practicing
    their bubble-blowing techniques
    *
    political bubbles
    shimmering with rainbows
    *

    1. No kidding–just ran into these at our local supermarket!! Beware the Johnny-come-lately “plant-based” profiteers who are shoving no end of GMO’s, lab-prefabbed protein and chemicals into plastic-wrapped styrofoam molds in an effort to garner some of our $green$. Word to the wise–read the labels!! (And if they say “Tyson” or “Pure Farmland ™–aka Smithfield,” just . . . no).
      *
      Thanks for shining the spotlight with great irony, Wendy!
      *
      Autumn

      1. thanks for chiming in on this, autumn.
        i have a lot of pet peeves in this department.
        .

        congrats, autumn, on your wonderful political verses….included with john listings.

      2. No surprise, there, Autumn, have had an insight into how this stuff is made (gruesome) and I for one will NOT be having it in my diet. If people want to be herbivores eat the real thing.
        I just can’t for the life of me, understand why some, so called vegans, want to eat plant based food that has the texture and taste of meat? Seems to me like a double standard, here.
        YUK!
        .

        1. totally agree! I haven’t eaten meat in decades and have not missed it! Awful that they take real food and make something fake out of it.

          1. Both meat-based and plant based food have many additives and preservatives we have been encouraged to avoid foodstuffs that have then. Where are we going with our food, or should I say where are ‘they’ whoever they are, taking us. I’m out 🙂

  49. congrats to pats…..we have our first rhyme! and what a great commentary john provided….did not know about that quote of f. robinson…..makes pat’s poem much more meaningful.
    .
    i included mine here first…..so you all can see the rythme:

    .
    summer day moon
    almost there

    Wendy C. Bialek

    the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer

    Patrick Sweeney

  50. Congratulations, Patrick! And thanks, John, for another great selection–and for highlighting a few of mine.
    Already having fun with this one.
    *
    the horseshoe player
    chugs the rest
    of his beer

    Patrick Sweeney
    *
    what looks like a hiccup
    might be recession
    *
    economic hiccups
    making things rough
    *
    popping the bubble wrap
    accidentally on purpose
    *
    china shop staff carefully
    saving the bubble wrap
    *
    mountains of bubble wrap
    waiting in the dumpster
    *

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