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The Renku Sessions: Tawny Jacket – Week 11

 

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.

I hope you are having as much fun as I am. This week we generated two-hundred-twenty-seven offers, from thirty-three poets. For instance:

 

removing more mounted
Confederate brass

Laurie Greer

 

honed to perfection
the ghurka’s dagger

Robert Kingston

 

Lyft driver making an illegal
U-turn

Laurie Greer

 

a mug
only a mother could love

Autumn Noelle Hall

 

as investors pump
millions into bitcoins

Betty Shropshire

 

General George Patton
Museum of Leadership rules!

Betty Shropshire

 

changing my money
for Canadian dollars

Kristen Lindquist

 

all the economical truths
in the carpetbagger’s talk

Pratima Balabhadrapathruni

 

like a thousand pound weight
hanging from the coccyx bone

Michael Henry Lee

 

thrown for a loop
by the chain of events

Laurie Greer

 

twenty-one guns
confiscated by police

Maureen Virchau

 

Migrant Child
by Banksy

Polona Oblak

 

dizzily spinning
the greeting card racks

Laurie Greer

 

communion cup raised
by the parish priest

Pauline O’Carolan

 

the family hurriedly packs
to leave Taal’s shadow

Debbie Scheving

 

a loaded question
from the back row

Maureen Virchau

 

thank God I’ve lived, worked
and loved in shithole countries

Dan Campbell

 

Kavanaugh confirmed
as the life of his party

Laurie Greer

 

a borrowed quarter used
on the scratch-off card

Terri French

 

clockwise or anti-clockwise
Down Under?

Marietta McGregor

 

no 12-step for kicking
the fossil fuel habit

Laurie Greer

 

irrational exuberance
for a housing bubble

Mary Stevens

 

hot tub
with a mountain view

Agnes Eva Savich

 

she rides the carousel
with help from dad

John S. Green

 

bombastic tweets aimed
everywhere and nowhere

Mary Kendall

 

 

 

Our tenth verse is:

 

aiming is easier
than pulling the trigger

M. R. Defibaugh

 

This is the truth of a sober mind. A person under the influence of alcohol may find it harder to aim but easier to pull the trigger. The new verse links to its predecessor in many possible ways. What comes to mind for me is that the game of horseshoes, like other “aiming” games and sports is a playful version of warfare. It’s the human equivalent of the play of lion cubs as preparation for adult killing. Then, there is just the link of metal working, producing both swords and plowshares.

 

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

  • a three-line, spring blossom verse
  • connecting in some way to the tenth verse and in no obvious way to any of the previous verses
  • transforming our sense of the tenth verse

Note: In Japanese renku, the blossom verse usually features cherry blossoms (sakura). This is so much the case there that simply saying blossom (hana) is understood to mean cherry blossom unless otherwise specified. For our English-language renku, we can feature any kind of prominent spring blossom.

 

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

 

aiming is easier
than pulling the trigger

M. R. Defibaugh

 

Please enter your verse offers in the comments box, below. I will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Tuesday, January 28 (New York time zone). On Thursday, January 30, there will be a new posting containing my selection for our eleventh verse, some discussion of other appreciated offers, and instructions for composing the twelfth and final verse.

I look forward to seeing your offers!

John

 

This Post Has 348 Comments

  1. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    ,
    M. R. Defibaugh
    .

    fallen blossoms
    rush along the gutters
    to the iron grate

  2. Late once again, so here are my last two:
    .
    .
    in a spider web
    one last blossom
    caught fast
    .
    .
    the whisper
    of plum blossom
    in half-light

  3. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    (M. R. Defibaugh)
    .
    .
    crab apple blossoms
    strewn across my car
    on a rainy morning

  4. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    ~ M. R. Defibaugh

    *

    shooting blossoms
    we compared the cost
    of our cameras

    1. Revised:

      aiming is easier
      than pulling the trigger

      ~ M. R. Defibaugh

      *

      shooting blossoms
      we compare the cost
      of our cameras

      ~ Kanchan Chatterjee

  5. the ladybird
    dangles on the stem
    of a poppy

    la coccinella
    si dondola sullo stelo
    di un papavero
    ****************************
    on my wrist
    a bracelet of wildflowers
    and blades of grass

    sul mio polso
    un braccialetto di fiori di campo
    e fili d’erba
    ****************************
    wind and bees
    on the yellow corollas
    of dandelion

    vento e api
    sulle corolle gialle
    di tarassaco

  6. Poor tulips are
    just like me, they all expire
    before they retire
    ###
    I have to retire from my current job in a couple of months and got a call today from an organization that wants to hire me when I retire. That made me feel great because I really don’t want to retire. I love writing and playing the banjo but not all freaking day.

    1. hang in there! And there’s always volunteering. In a perfect world, everyone would work part time (and write and play the rest of the time).

  7. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    Dungeness crabs
    in their softening shells of eelgrass
    and plastic
    *

  8. Tulip bulb
    soup is delicious if
    you’re starving
    ####
    Just read an interesting article about the Dutch resistance movement against the Nazis. During the 1944 Hunger Winter, the movement handed out tulip bulb soup recipes, the bulbs are high in carbohydrates.

  9. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    weeping forsythia
    known
    for its toughness
    *
    Forsythia suspensa
    so tough
    it can weep
    *
    OR
    Forsythia suspensa
    tough enough
    to weep
    *

      1. technically morning glories are associated with autumn as sajiki….and bindweed is considered summer….but these more wild forms in certain areas can be seen all year round.
        where i live…morning glories are blooming in summer and can survive into nov. we get lovely wild morning glories in the spring and they have blue flowers….they all are climbers, and attach themselves to anything using tendrils.

      1. Glad you were reminded of her famous poem…lorin….
        i do love her work, too and her life story. though i didn’t have her poem of the well bucket/morning glory in mind when i wrote this…i have had years of growing morning glory, and studying bindweed…..to write thousands of poems about them….first hand.

  10. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .
    M. R. Defibaugh
    .
    coming up roses
    the outsider wins
    at sumo
    .

          1. No, not his tears, but jubilation, as the favourite isn’t always the winner 🙂
            And doesn’t the crowd often love to see the underdog coming up on top.
            .
            Was going to say, trumps, but thought better of it 🙂

      1. I would just say: the sumo wrestler…am I missing something in the usage of – outsider ?

        1. Hi Pratima
          In the news they talk of an outsider winning this year’s championship.
          This reflect two ways.
          Firstly it is quite rare for a lower ranking wrestler to beat those in the higher league.
          Secondly this is a man that comes from the west of Japan, a region that last won the Emperor’s cup a century ago.

          1. If you look up the meaning of, long shot, you may see what, Robert is trying to portray within his words, Pratima.

  11. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .
    M. R. Defibaugh
    .
    a galaxy
    of magnolias overwhelm
    the death Star
    .
    a battle
    of pinks enter
    the clone war

      1. Thanks, Robert. A persistent weed that needs controlling, but I think the colours and shapes as they grow are beautiful, a great botanical subject to paint.

    1. 🙂 Very nice, Betty. Or violets? They’re edible. Often candied in the Victorian Age. (Though you’d lose the alliteration of the pansies & the pièce…)

  12. with a flourish
    the magician produces
    a blizzard of blossoms
    .
    with a flourish
    the magician conjures up
    a blossom blizzard
    .
    moving stage right
    the magician conjures up
    a blossom storm

  13. this view
    with its weeping cherry trees
    painfully beautiful
    .
    this vista
    with its weeping cherry trees
    too painful to behold
    .
    so beautiful
    these weeping cherry trees
    are almost painful to see

    1. I think that first one needs a verb, otherwise there is a cut?
      .
      this view
      with its weeping cherry trees
      is painfully beautiful

          1. Fabulous link Marion!
            I recall a block print by Hokusai that captures Mount Fuji from beneath a cherry in blossom. I did look for it among the prints used for the Bristol Museum exhibition held in 2019. Unfortunately I could not find it.

  14. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .
    M. R. Defibaugh
    .
    remnants of winter
    swept with a fresh layer
    of blossom

  15. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    The petals fall hard
    on the metal coffin cover
    sent it will not return

    1. nicholas….this is an interesting and deep, three line poem
      ++++++++
      but may have too much information for renku verse.
      i would leave off the last line and make two lines from line two.

        1. i know it takes getting used to…..the verse is not supposed to be a completed poem by itself….it is completed by the verse above it.

  16. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    happily shelling out
    too much
    for imported tulips
    *
    spearwort
    steals the show
    as the motorcade passes
    *

  17. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    daffodils leading
    the charge
    against Fusilade
    *

  18. his scattergun approach
    comes to light
    with the first tulips
    .
    the blooming tulips
    reveal my husband’s
    scattergun approach

      1. Thank you, Carol. It’s with a nod to this haiku of Bashō …
        .
        Sama zama no
        koto omoi-idasu
        sakura kana
        .
        Many, many
        things come to mind,
        cherry blossoms!

          1. Thanks for that link, Marion. I’ve read a few lines during my coffee break, and will read further.
            Paragraph 8, wonderfully true 🙂

  19. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    * *

    with careful choice
    the cuckoo makes a nest
    this caring mother

  20. for whatever it is worth:

    The mango is the first to blossom in semitropical and tropical lands … the blooms blossom and the smell like raw mango
    the cuckoo goes into a tizzy when the mango blossoms, it sings itself hoarse

    mango blossoms
    bring out the Cacofonix
    in every koel

    1. Pratima, I wonder why you call the koel “the cuckoo” (though it is a cuckoo, of course) in your prose but use its name in your verse?
      .
      To those unfamiliar with koels: the males of this species have a call that makes them extremely popular with people who like to be woken up at 5am and unpopular with the rest of us.

      1. Lorin, because I want this to be one small world, Cacofonix is from Asterix and a Gaul…and Koel is Indian. Is that not a nice medley?

  21. tickling
    the hairy corona of a
    lavender passion flower
    *
    lavender passion flowers
    feverishly climb
    the hanging trellis
    .
    wendy c. bialek

      1. I like the second verse, Robert. apart from the birds, that’s how bluebell woods should be,
        left in peace.

          1. That is sad, Robert, they tend to take residence where their food source is in plentiful supply, some years there’s plenty, other years, not.
            Hope they’ll be back, one day.

  22. Resubmitting, after doing away with the ‘silent’ break in my verse –

    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    ~ M. R. Defibaugh

    *
    stopping midway
    grandpa points at the blossoms
    with his stick

    ~ Kanchan Chatterjee

  23. good morning or bad mourning, ya all?

    *

    the smell of microwave
    blackened waffle replaces
    kitchen hyacinth
    .
    wendy c. bialek

    this goes back to “lingering cigar smoke”

      1. yes/sorry i typed that incorrectly it should be… kobe bryant…..
        thank you lorin for pointing this out!

    1. dan…I would guess some know. i would like to believe so….but some may be:

      too “wrapped-up”
      in themselves to
      commune with a bulb
      .
      wendy c. bialek

      1. True indeed Wendy, I have always wondered about the mysterious events that occur in bulbs and cocoons. Hope you are having a great weekend.

        1. i plan to roll myself up in a blanket and have some significant rem sleep and solve the world’s problems with automatic poetry which i hopefully will wake myself up to write down before it dissipates into thin air.

          i will become one
          with the bulb
          and know its secrets

          enjoy yours, too! dan!

        1. i don’t often speak to the dead….that is….online…..but i make exceptions for you, dan.

          thank you, dan

  24. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    the fragrant mercies
    of the tulip
    magnolia
    *
    the double-edged beauty
    of the umbrella
    magnolia
    *
    lily of the valley
    out of line
    with the landscaping
    *
    crocus tips drawing us
    within range
    of spring
    *

  25. *
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    taking too much pride
    in a dandelion-free
    lawn
    *
    showing no mercy
    where dandelions
    are concerned
    *
    ephemerals retreating
    as the canopy
    closes
    *
    parades
    of tulips
    in full regalia
    *

    1. laurie…..
      .
      taking too much pride
      in a dandelion-free
      lawn
      *
      this i can relate to very well.
      *
      knowing i wanted to plant organic in my garden…
      years ago….i took back my deposit on a house in NY,
      when i found out that the neighbouring house
      used the cancer-causing round-up to kill what
      they didn’t want growing out of their precious, green lawn.

      1. Yes–it goes on. I’m battling right now with my building over spraying Fusilade; I want to get a pollinator garden going, but not if I’m inviting the monarchs in to drop dead. Most of the ingredients of that stuff are unnamed “inactive” chemicals–not the same as safe–yet people are OK with that!! I’d rather have the “weeds.”

        1. i sure hope you are successful in your plight, laurie.
          these chemicals are hideous. they all should be banned…and people need to educate themselves on the natural repellents….that don’t mess with ecosystems and ground waters, lung and skin cancers, etc. Don’t give up the good fight.

  26. *
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    easy to
    miss the subtle charms
    of the snakeroot
    *
    learning to draw
    by sketching
    narcissus
    *
    apple trees
    sending out leaves
    before blossoms
    *
    purple hearts
    of lilacs
    swell in the sun
    *

  27. *
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    ~ M. R. Defibaugh

    *
    morning walk . . .
    grandpa points at the blossoms
    with his stick

    ~ Kanchan Chatterjee

    1. Sorry, I put a ‘Kireji’ in my verse. Resubmitted:

      *
      aiming is easier
      than pulling the trigger

      ~ M. R. Defibaugh

      *
      morning walk
      grandpa points at the blossoms
      with his stick

      ~ Kanchan Chatterjee

      1. lovely poem kanchan,
        .
        however you still have not removed the (silent) break
        (which here is the end of phrase or line break)
        at the end of L1.

        And this verse in my opinion is too good to let it get disqualified.

      2. Kanchan, the cut or break (kire in Japanese) in your verse above still remains even though you have disposed of the cut marker (kireji). One example of a 3-line renku verse using your content would be:
        .
        grandpa
        points at the blossoms
        with his stick

          1. carol…i see what you mean…..but that call is up to john.
            in the hokku….their is no specific mention of method of travel…..i don’t know if that makes a difference….i would like to here from john to clarify this…..

  28. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .
    M. R. Defibaugh
    .
    soft tissues for all
    at the Chinese
    plum festival

  29. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .
    M. R. Defibaugh
    .
    one petal
    at a time
    from the daisy clock

      1. i do! pratima, and what i love the most is that the mimosa tree and hummingbird happened on my lawn….in front of my eyes.
        thanks for enjoying the reading of this wonderful eye and ear event.

  30. working on
    your obituary outside
    a crazy crabapple choir
    *
    putting memories to rest
    amongst the
    peach blossoms
    *
    your yellow ensemble
    always
    the narcissus
    *
    magnolias laden
    the air with our make-up
    sex

    1. nancy, these i find charming.
      *
      the last one which i love the most…i’m wondering, might not work for any renku verse..
      *
      ???? maybe cause love and blossom verses may not be inclusive…..i wonder….can john clarify this for me ??????

      1. In longer renku, there are often seasonal love verses. But in this shore renku, there are only two love verses and we have already selected them.

        1. However, I don’t recall ever seeing a renku format that called for the topics of love and blossoms in a single verse.

  31. the moving finger
    pokes at rhododendrons
    and moves on
    .
    azaleas in bloom
    beyond the reach of bards’
    bejewelled fingers

    .

  32. Cherry blossoms,
    an oasis in the desert of
    Washington DC
    ###
    My family and I look forward each year to seeing these along the Tidal Basin, thank you Japan.

    1. Hi, Dan–
      In fact, there are cherry trees all over the place here, in the city and surrounding ‘burbs. Some of the best are off the beaten path and fairly crowd-free. Glad you enjoy the festival!

        1. Yes, Wendy, I can. 🙂 (Yikes!) But whatever John (the author of this verse) intends us to imagine, “blooming breasts” is metaphorical. Human breasts do not literally sprout flowers or blossoms in spring (though it wouldn’t surprise me to find a Dali-esque painting of such) For a renku, a blossom/ flower verse needs to refer to a literal blossom or flower.
          .

          1. yes, this is the strictest interp. of the rule…….true…lorin….i was having visual fun pushing the envelop with it!
            *
            now….may i tap you to see how you would react to the reflection of a moon in say….water…..would you permit that to be in a moon verse?

          2. yes, I would, Wendy, for the simple reason that there needs to be a moon present for it to be reflected. 🙂 (Same with moonlight: without a moon, there isn’t any.)
            .

          3. thanks for allowing moon reflections, lorin….good explanation.

            maybe….someday….the “tattooed” flower…with the same reasoning may be accepted for renku blossom verse.

  33. Tiny
    Tim tiptoed through the
    tulips
    ###
    Tiny Tim was an American musician and ukulele player whose most famous song was Tiptoe Through The Tulips

    1. i remember him…..he had long hair…..he wasn’t tiny but his instrument was…..his voice was high-pitched.

  34. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .

    M. R. Defibaugh

    *
    ill flower girl
    picks an 80 year old
    to scatter petals

    .
    wendy c. bialek

      1. Thanks so much, Carol. I love daffodils. They always remind me of that famous poem. Wishing you a happy day!

        1. Thanks, Maureen, the sun is shining for a change, so, a very happy one.
          You also, have a good one.
          .
          The daffodil is our national emblem along with the leek, we can eat one while admiring the other 🙂

  35. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    blossoms and their scent
    carried on the wind
    through the park
    *
    wind-blown blossom
    turning the pathways
    pink
    *

    1. Both lovely and evocative, imo, Andrew. My favourite is the 2nd one, “windblown blossom”.
      .
      Well, in American English it’d be “blossoms”, but I don’t think the British, Australian, etc. usage should be a handicap in an international renku. American English does have uncountable nouns, just as we do (e.g. ‘money’) and I’ve not been able to discover why “blossom” isn’t one of them.

  36. Virginia bluebells
    Cover the battlefield
    at Bull Run
    ####
    Bull Run was the first major battle of the American Civil War, unfortunately my ancestors fought for the losing side. Virginia bluebells are a beautiful Spring wildflower.

    1. Oh my heart breaks for the koalas who have suffered and died.
      .
      Speaking of breaks, Robert–I think you should tweak that first line so it doesn’t have a pause at the end.
      .
      marion

      1. Thank you Marion for your suggestion.
        I will give it more thought.
        Indeed it is a sad time for the planet and its inhabitants.

    1. I simply love the phrase “scraps of sky”, Marietta, and the blue of gentian’s is so beautiful, but I’m wondering if “wreath” and “ashes” are too symbolic of death and would therefore represent winter rather than spring?

      marion

  37. Great verse, Matt. And thought-provoking, obviously leading us in many different directions. Thank you!

    minature daffodils
    planted
    with military precision

    did you see
    the photo of a carnation
    in the rifle’s barrel?

    scattergun action
    of bees
    in the blossom

    blossom
    on the sheet
    as she pushed the baby out

    1. I can just see those flowerbeds with the daffodils planted with precision, Pauline. 🙂
      .
      I have been thinking of one using a ‘scattergun approach’ but you beat me to it!
      .
      marion

      1. Thank you, Marion, and I’m sorry I stole your thunder. However, as your proposed verse was undoubtedly different I think it would be fine to go with it! Pauline

      1. I got it from Googling sakura and hanami, Lorin! The only fronts we follow here in Ireland are those of rain or snow! 🙂

      1. Thank you, Pratima. Whenever I see a reference to guns or shooting I usually think of my student days in Belfast and its peace walls.

  38. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .
    I predict
    Belfast’s first hanami will be
    in Botanic Gardens
    .
    in Belfast
    they celebrate hanami
    in the botanic gardens

  39. Thank you John for mentioning my Taal volcano contribution.
    *
    the old tree
    produces few cherries
    but lovely blossoms

  40. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .
    M. R. Defibaugh
    .
    many selfies
    from fields of narcissus
    poeticus
    .

      1. Thanks, Pratima, Robert and Marion.
        (Marion, I’ve known a few of the species ‘narcissus poeticus’. They used to be particularly prevalent at ‘spoken word’ venues. 🙂

    1. I had to Google ‘kannon’, Wendy– fascinating!
      ,
      “Kannon is a Bodhisattva, which means she has prolonged her own eternal enlightenment to stay behind and help everyone who suffers in this world. Now that’s compassion!”
      .
      and…
      .
      “The most distinguished of the Kannon Bodhisattvas holds an unopened lotus in one hand, which represents the Buddha nature in us all, waiting to flower. Her other hand is open ready to rescue her followers.”
      ,
      (From an article in The Japan Times, June 25, 2011)
      .
      marion

      1. yes, this is fascinating to me too, marion….thank you for taking the time to look this up and post it.
        and yes, this is symbolic of compassion.
        it has been said of the(se) compassionate being(s):…that where the foot has stepped, it is replaced with a lotus.

      2. Kannon parallels the Chinese version, Kwan Yin, who holds a closed lotus and pours our water into the mouths of baby dragons. This image is the pouring-out of compassion upon the earth.

          1. Ah, I thought that was Tilda Swinton in the role: Ancient One (Dr Strange)

  41. gamecock irises
    surround the historical
    cannon’s site

    wendy c. bialek

    *gamecock irises are black in hue

  42. a lone daffodil
    fighting back
    the wind
    .
    after shock
    daffodils at a standstill
    in the child’s wake
    .
    in the firing line
    a bunch of white orchids
    for the journey

  43. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .

    M. R. Defibaugh

    *
    sakura petals
    shower the tank’s
    windshield
    .

    wendy c. bialek

  44. *
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh

    *
    toddler on the march
    through a field
    of bird-foot violets
    *
    lupines erecting
    a pollinator
    fortress
    *
    redbud flowers
    with the kick
    of a lemon
    *

  45. I’ll have a hard time matching my previous week, so I’m just hoping to inspire a few more verses over these last two weeks!
    ***
    these blossoms
    are the same but just not
    quite the same
    ***
    a child catches blossoms
    on a Polaroid
    white changing to pink
    ***
    cherry blossoms
    becoming pink
    on instant film
    ***
    a Polaroid
    the girl catching blossoms
    immortalized

  46. Thanks again to everyone who has congratulated me on what has been a great start to 2020! It’s undoubtedly a group effort, no matter whose verse is chosen each week. Pratima, I’m good with going by MRD. Sometimes I feel like I’m a research lab anyway lol, and the brevity makes for a decent haiku moniker! M.R. is short for Matthew Ryan, so just Matt is also perfectly fine. With two weeks to go, it’ll be exciting to see where our tawny jacket ends up!

    1. Thank you Matt for your wonderful addition to our tawny jacket renku.
      i have enjoyed reading your own commentary on your verse, too.
      congratulations on a touching verse.
      .
      aiming is easier
      than pulling the trigger
      .

      M. R. Defibaugh

      *
      thank you john, for picking matt’s verse for week ten. love your commentary for his verse.

    2. Mr. Research and Development , it is nice to workshop with you. Keep developing … in other words

      a name
      blossoms into
      a person, warm spring

      Salut!

  47. after the drizzle
    the almond tree
    has new shoots

    ***

    paparazzi
    shoot at the starlet
    in a floral dress

    ***

    the bride’s son offers
    a bouquet of daffodils
    to the flower girl

    1. I love the shift from guns and the link to paparazzi via shooting, Marina!
      .
      (BTW I think the term is to “shoot” a subject rather than “shoot at”, but you might be able to use another verb like ‘chase’, ‘follow’ or ‘pursue’, as the reader will automatically see a camera in L1?)
      .
      marion

  48. *
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    struck
    by the shattering branch
    of a Bradford in bloom
    *
    botanists
    rooting against
    the callery pears
    *
    neighbors
    at odds
    over flowering pear trees
    *

  49. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    locals dodge the festival
    for the peace
    of wild blossoms
    *
    the moving
    target
    of peak cherries
    *
    single-minded tourists
    missing the downtown cherries
    for the Tidal Basin spectacle
    *
    esprit de corps
    among sakura viewers
    braving the cold wind
    *
    no esprit de corps
    among sakura viewers
    looking for parking
    *
    giving dogwoods
    their day
    with a weekend parade
    *

  50. by presidential order
    we’ll be painting
    the roses red
    *****************
    azaleas
    blooming way
    before their time

  51. if they’re tulips
    we must be
    in Amsterdam
    **************
    bachelor buttons
    blooming in the
    widows window box
    *******************

  52. My mom says
    Heaven also has windmills and
    Triumph tulips
    ***
    My dad says
    No tulips, Hell only has weeds
    and cactus

  53. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .
    M. R. Defibaugh
    .
    bloom blast
    no it’s just my orchid
    objecting to movement

  54. Congratulations, M. R. Defibaugh. I like John’s choice of the word “sober” in his description. A quiet, thought-taking verse.

  55. regarding botany, blossom are the mass flower of a stone fruit of either a tree or a shrub, so, would I be right in assuming the mention of any ‘spring bloom’ is ok.

    1. I have been told that flowering fruit trees are what is intended but, for our purposes, any spring flower will be considered.

  56. within the walls
    of a secret garden
    tulips bud
    *
    in a side alley
    the tulip magnolia
    transforms everything
    *
    tulip buds
    on their slender stems
    are ready

  57. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .
    M. R. Defibaugh
    .
    first spring shot
    entered for publication
    causes a flap
    .
    mother duck leads
    the cloud breaking
    expedition
    .
    no thought
    for the plastic
    holding the shot

  58. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh

    That is a poem I will remember. I was wondering about the poet’s thoughts and where it took the poet, what the story behind the poem was. Your response helped me understand better.

    What is your name? It feels impersonal and cold to call you MRD, like a research lab or something…or what may we address you as…

  59. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    *
    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    Congratulations on an OUTSTANDING verse–I love everything about this one: the sound, the active verbs, the thought-provoking sentiment. Even the implications regarding talk versus action are here underneath. So powerful…Great choice, John!! Great offering, M.R.!
    *
    I see from my office window that my husband has just taken our puppy out, so I’m back on call. But I wanted to say WOW–Laurie Greer–you are on a renku ROLL!! So many fantastic offerings for this 10th verse AND already for the 11th as well!!! Really hoping to be able to come back and offer some more in-depth comments. But for now, YOU GO GIRL!!!
    *
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    *
    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    bloodstains
    Indian Paint Brush’d
    on the mountainside
    *
    ~Autumn

    1. Hey, Autumn, thanks for the encouragement! This is what happens when the OCD takes hold. (And slower days at work. Shhhh on that one.)
      Good going, yourself!

    2. alternately:
      *
      bloodstains
      Indian Paint Brushing
      the mountainside
      *
      or even:
      *
      Indian Paint Brush
      bloodstaining
      the mountainside
      *
      also:
      *
      Lilly-o’-the-Valley
      ringing the headstone
      with fragrant bells
      *
      pale anemones
      shivering
      in mountain winds
      *
      bittersweet truth
      blossoming
      on the chokecherry tree
      *
      King Attalus
      patiently
      tending his Hellebores
      *
      (King Attalus had a fondness for poisoning, and Hellebores are one of the classic poisons, along with Hemlock, nightshade and aconite. They bloom in the late winter/early spring).
      *
      ~Autumn

  60. Primrose don’t
    Speak French in Paris
    Virginia
    ***

    Paris, Virginia is a beautiful place to visit and hike if you are ever in the area

  61. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    clover already
    loaded
    with bees
    *
    marigolds going in
    to keep out
    mosquitoes
    *
    columbine coming back
    stronger
    each year
    *

      1. Hi, Pratima. Thank you for sharing your appreciation. “The Red Wheelbarrow” is one of my favorite poems. Happy reading & writing!

  62. Sobering, Indeed! Well, done!

    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    -M. R. Defibaugh

    mother’s irises
    in full bloom
    beside the water’s edge
    – Betty Shropshire

  63. Congrats MR Defibaugh and thanks John for the thoughtful intro to the next verse.
    #####

    Some water daffodils
    But I like to water the weeds
    In my neighbor’s garden

  64. *
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    bulbs calibrated
    to go off
    en masse
    *
    Tombstone
    Lady Banksia
    blooming for Easter
    *

  65. Interesting choice with lots of potential! Well done.
    .
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    .
    you wouldn’t say
    a butterfly zeroes in
    on lavender
    .

  66. Nice vs mrb *********** volunteer petunias of the Hispanic persuasion *************. amaryllis blooms popping up seemingly overnight. **************** bachelor buttons pushing off from the young man’s lapel

    1. well, as some of you might have guessed my cell phone reformatted this entry; sorry here’s the corrected version with a few minor changes, and again nice verse M.R.B.
      ************************************************
      volunteer petunias
      of the Hispanic
      variety
      ***************
      amaryllis blooms
      pop up seemingly
      overnight
      *********************
      bachelor buttons
      pushing off from
      the young man’s lapel

  67. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    tidal basin patrol
    hauling tourists
    out of cherry trees
    *
    a shot
    of Lincoln’s Memorial
    through blossoming cherries

    *

  68. aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger
    (Great link!)

    after two days
    not leaving a trace—
    bloodroot blossoms

    Or

    Easter morning
    the Judas tree
    in full bloom

  69. John, thanks for inclusion! It’s an honor to be included in your session, and I appreciate the thought put into your selections each week. It maybe helps that I’ve witnessed inebriated horseshoe throwing. Still, something from what I think was a Vietnam documentary also came to mind, a solider talking about how some of the young men died because they couldn’t shoot another human being even in the heat of battle. I also think of how war is so much easier to begin than execute, as we have seen for years in the middle east now. I can envision some soldiers throwing horseshoes to pass the time on some base in Iraq or Afghanistan. I’m looking forward to seeing what these final two weeks bring!

    1. Thank so much for explaining your inspiration for this verse, Matt. And well done.
      .
      Thanks to John also for great selection of verses and commentary.

  70. Congratulations
    M. R. Defibaugh
    Nice selection John.
    .
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh

    plum blossom
    in his anniversary
    lunch box

  71. *
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh

    *
    picking off
    the sakura
    blossom by blossom
    *
    or–
    sakura falling
    as the wind
    picks them off
    *

  72. every hair
    of a pasque flower
    through the macro lens
    .
    again, not quite appropriate for the finale where things should run rapidly and smoothly (how many of you know exactly what a pasque flower looks like?) but i couldn’t resist 🙂

    1. I know EXACTLY what a Pasque flower looks like, Polona! They are the first to bloom here on Pikes Peak each Spring. Usually, their opening is timed perfectly to coincide with our hummingbirds’ arrivals. But the climate crisis has thrown off the timing, such that they’ve been missing one another the past two years. Imagining that might have much to do with the marked decline in hummingbirds…alas. All things connected, each toppled in turn.
      *
      As a photographer, I particularly appreciate this up-close-and-personal view, as well as the way “hair” relates to trigger (hair trigger) and the way we “shoot” photographs. Very clever!
      *
      Autumn

      1. thank you, Autumn.
        it’s unfortunate how the climate change affects wildlife and the long-established relationships between species

  73. view of
    Mt.Fuji framed
    with cherry blossom(s)
    .
    *in UK E blossom is a plural noun
    .
    i wouldn’t normally use a proper noun in the penultimate verse but Fujisan is an icon and this composition sorely lacks proper nouns

  74. Congrats, M. R. Defibaugh! Such an evocative verse. It lingers. Thank you, John.
    .
    .
    dandelions
    sprout through
    a crack in the concrete

  75. Nice work, M.R.!
    *
    aiming is easier
    than pulling the trigger

    M. R. Defibaugh
    *
    the bee’s straight shot
    from hive
    to honeysuckle
    *
    no magic bullet
    for reviving
    the azaleas
    *
    peacocks competing
    with jasmine
    narcissus
    *

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