skip to Main Content

The Renku Sessions: Tawny Jacket – Week 7

 

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 very busy holiday week featured one-hundred-sixty-three offers from thirty-five poets.

For those of you who observe a holiday at this time of year, I wish you a true celebration!

Once again, there were too many engaging offers for me even to list them all, let alone comment on each. As a compromise, I will comment upon a couple and list some others. If yours isn’t among those listed, you should presume that it’s on my next  longer list:

they were found
in each other’s arms

Pauline O’Carolan

If we didn’t already have a verse from Pauline, this might have been my choice. I love the way it recasts the preceding verse. It suggests to me that the combined weight of that “hunk” and partner caused them to break through the ice and either drown or freeze to death. And, of course, that is far from the only way to read it, leaving plenty of room to take this somewhere else with our next, seventh verse.

you tarzan
me jane

Pratima Balabhadrapathruni

It took me a minute to note the inversion of expectations here. It is usually Tarzan who talks this way, not Jane. That, in turn, also makes me think of the previous verse in a different way, wondering whether the “hunk” ever thinks of himself in that way. Or would he perhaps be surprised, embarrassed, or something else to be so characterized.

And here are a few of the many other contenders, all worthy of comment:

his feeling theirs is
one for the record books

Laurie Greer

morning after pills
roll under the bed

Carol Jones

smooth talking
between satin sheets

Kristen Lindquist

a safe word before
black leather and handcuffs

Polona Oblak

for better or worse
the groom on crutches

Chris Patchel

candlelight’s warm glow
on our naked bodies

Liz Ann Winkler

limping in tune
to her told you so’s

Robert Kingston

Penelope turns down
another suitor

Polona Oblak

cross words dissolve
with his soft kiss

Mary White

pelvic thrusts at midnight
on the oriental rug

Marion Clarke

just when he thinks
he’s got her figured out

Laurie Greer

another viral
marriage proposal

Chris Patchel

 

Our sixth verse is:

a kiss for luck
at the STD clinic

Maureen Virchau

A pair of love verses can be among the easiest to link. The theme of love alone links them. In this case, we have a couple in each verse, and sex is definitely a factor. Our sixth verse recasts the idiom “burning love” into a different and somewhat more literal idiom. And it keeps the “wild” part of the renku party going. We will want to keep that kind of energy/intensity for another four verses, before we take a different tone with the final two.

 

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

  • a three-line verse
  • without a season reference (our eighth verse will be a summer moon image)
  • connecting in some way to the sixth verse and in no obvious way to any of the previous verses
  • transforming our sense of the sixth verse

 

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

 

Please enter your verse offers in the comments box, below. I will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Tuesday, December 31 (New York time zone). On Thursday, January 2, there will be a new posting containing my selection for our seventh verse, some discussion of other appreciated offers, and instructions for composing the eighth verse.

I look forward to seeing your offers!

John

 

This Post Has 245 Comments

  1. scraping
    his chinos
    for the blind man
    .
    two bucks
    for the blind man
    in his chinos
    .
    two bucks
    for the busker
    in his pocket
    .
    who’d have thought
    a dime bar
    could hold so much
    .
    two milk bottles
    dangling
    from his chino shorts

  2. ice-skating
    with my hunka hunka
    burning love
    .

    Lorin Ford
    .
    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .

    Maureen Virchau
    .
    the arrow
    released from the bow
    finds its mark
    .
    – Lorin

  3. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    *
    parallel parking
    both tires
    scrape the curb
    .
    before sending back
    the glass with lipstick
    he takes one more sip
    .
    during a long rain delay
    the mascot slides
    across home plate
    .

  4. ice-skating
    with my hunka hunka
    burning love
    .

    Lorin Ford
    .

    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .

    Maureen Virchau
    .
    resolutions
    to practise the yoga
    of letting go
    .
    Lorin
    .
    (‘practise’ is the verb form, except for USA English, which uses the noun version, ‘practice’, as both noun & verb. I don’t mind which usage is used)
    .

  5. .

    .

    how they pile up

    the consonants

    in a queer alphabet

    .

    in fresh ink

    a letter

    intrinsically french

    .

    shoot’em up

    the world needs more

    idiot savants

    .

    a rat’s arithmetic

    in the distance between us

    this too is doggerel

    .

    through the bus window

    the blear of skyscrapers

    in the pouring rain

    .

    .

  6. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    .

    wrapping the clover
    in a wish
    that “the fours be with you”

    *
    charming her with clover
    and a wish
    that “the fours be with you”
    *
    falling for the drama
    of his clover and the wish
    that “the fours be with you”
    *

  7. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    *
    flashing blue lights
    in the rear view mirror
    on the mountain road
    *
    inshallah he mutters
    hunched over
    his scratchcard

  8. had him in check
    while nursing
    my first son
    .

    wendy c. bialek

    (sometimes a young mother chooses to multi-task!)

    1. Hi Barbara, you might want to have a 2nd look at the grammar of your first verse, above. The way you have it, it’s “her blood pressure” that’s lifting the phone. 🙂
      .

    1. Who would’ve thunk it?! This is absolutely fascinating, Wendy. Shirley Temple dolls? Talk about innocent vs not-so-innocent. You’re so good at researching and offering original verses. Thank you for sharing.

      1. maureen, thank you for welcoming me here….and for reading my posts. this is a fun place to be and i am so glad i stumbled upon it, i love sharing with you and you-all. learning so much here in a fun friendly, intelligent and creative group.

        i think i got a handle now on linking….this one perhaps, is my best attempt, so far, as a real shift…i feel i am making progress.
        your feedback….lets me be aware of how warm i am to finding the hidden treasure. thank you for that, too!

    1. Hi Radhamani
      I was tinkering with the chess theme too.
      .
      bishop to knight six
      the ivory monarch
      rocks in her seat

  9. the one
    knock out punch
    she never see coming
    .
    a rogue shot
    at the fair ground
    a flotilla of ducks
    .
    bags full
    of peelings
    at the gin joint
    .
    the braggart
    at the summer ball
    melts in the corner

  10. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    *
    Maureen Virchau
    *
    [x]
    marks the spot
    in his little black book
    *
    cashing in all
    his frequent flyer
    miles
    *
    for once
    the player
    gets played
    *
    just
    a little
    prick
    *
    (This last a reference to something phlebotomists often say, but with plenty of room for imaginative interpretation).
    *
    ~Autumn

    1. Oh, what the heck, maybe one more:
      *
      two-for-one
      drafts
      at the Silver Tongue Devil
      *
      [Note: The Silver Tongue Devil was the name of the obnoxious biker bar here in town known for its crap beverages, even worse karaoke and ungodly loud live bands that play waaaaaaaaay past the (rarely enforced) 10 p.m.”quiet hour.” We used to laughingly refer to it as “The STD,” before it was sold on to the current owner. The name’s been changed to The Blue Moose (goodness only knows why); but everything else has remained the same…unfortunately! After years of protesting to the town council and calling the police about the noise violations, we’ve thrown up our hands and turned up the air purifier for white noise instead.
      *
      ~Autumn

      1. Thank you for sharing, Autumn! I’ve never entertained the thought of STD standing for anything else beyond what I was referring to in my verse. Your story and Wendy’s verse certainly changed that. One of the many reasons why renku is so much fun! I’m sorry about the noise. I’m glad you found a way to deal with it.

  11. Maureen, what a great verse, with so many linking/shifting possibilities!

    were the 10 plagues of Egypt
    a manifestation
    of climate change?

    does your future
    really rest on
    school exam results?

    I waited at the stop
    for the bus
    that never came

    in Hamelin
    the Pied Piper
    took the children last

    1. Hi, Pauline! Glad to see you posting. Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m glad it offers a lot of possibilities. And congrats to you for your own highlighted verse! Very haunting and romantic and tragic. I’m looking forward to seeing how the renku river bends from here. Happy writing!

  12. drum roll, please…
    but I am pregnant!
    (cymbal crash)

    hands around her waist
    after pocketing yet
    another shot

    he’s building a crib
    without instructions on how
    to satisfy her

    1. oh, spaces don’t count on here

      drum roll, please…
      but I am pregnant!
      (cymbal crash)
      **
      hands around her waist
      after pocketing yet
      another shot
      **
      he’s building a crib
      without instruction on how
      to satisfy her

    1. ah, no I don’t think ‘lemon balm’ in this context shows a season. It’s not the bush. Coming from ‘the wellness witch’ (which is probably a corporation these days) the leaves are probably dried or in powder or pill form.
      .
      But, as in all things, sabaki has last say.
      .

      1. Thank you, Lorin for your explanation on this, appreciated.
        .
        Yes, he certainly does, but it’s always good to have a helping hand from those who know about such things as well.

  13. an envelope
    shoved to the bottom
    of her purse
    **
    heavy metal
    blasts in the car
    while it idles
    **
    slowly
    he removes his wig
    and eyelashes

  14. wishing on
    a falling star might
    put you in the morgue
    *******************
    breath mints
    alone won’t
    fix the problem
    **************
    a disillusion
    between parties of
    the first and second part
    *******************
    Vanna White
    in black stockings and
    blue latex gloves
    ***************
    our odds on
    favorite pulls up
    lame in the 5th

  15. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau

    *

    a sign that reads
    please don’t bang
    the door

    .
    wendy c. bialek

  16. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    *
    Maureen Vircha
    *
    hail Marys uttered
    from the lips of the atheist
    as the plane descends

      1. I enjoy doing a search for your religious based verses, Marietta.
        The last link you provided was Jesus with a sprig of Mullein when I mentioned, ‘hags taper’ such an interesting read.

  17. ice-skating
    with my hunka hunka
    burning love
    .

    Lorin Ford
    .

    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic

    Maureen Virchau
    .
    dost thou think
    there shall be no more
    cakes and ale?
    .
    William S.

  18. five ball
    in the corner pocket
    his call shot

    From the learn-something-new-everyday department: Only non-obvious shots need to be called.

      1. It’s probably just me, Chris, but “balls” in “pockets” immediately following two ‘love’ verses . . . does not seem to apply only to a game of billiards played on a felt-lined table. 🙂
        .
        (“pocket billiards” has two meanings)
        .

        1. Hmm, that didn’t occur to me (and a search of ‘pocket billiards entendre’ didn’t turn up much) but it’s often hard to avoid sexual entendres ; )

          Speaking of back links: two quotes, Shakespear and Elvis? ; )

          1. Two quotes, Chris, yes. One from a song lyric and one from a play. So what? It all adds to the ‘bigger poem’ (the one that includes every verse by everyone) I certainly didn’t post it in expectation of it being selected.

  19. watching his son
    he turns back into the boy
    with the tadpoles
    *
    Or
    watching his son
    he”s again the boy
    with the tadpoles

    1. (imho) laurie….your idea is too good to toss into inner renku verse.
      .
      i would save it for new hokku or stand-alone haiku.
      .
      stands stronger as haiku: (or hokku)
      .
      i fiddled with it….hope this is allowable here….my big question is do you need “watching”?

      it can be avoided….and assumed in many cases. the watcher is silent….it is understood that it is looked at by a seer.

      old pond where
      boy catches tadpoles (now)
      my child surfaces

      *now is optional
      *hoping “old pond” implies it was a prior and now shared stomping ground
      .
      or

      .
      old pond where
      dad found tadpoles
      i bring my son

      .
      i bring my son
      to the old pond where dad
      found tadpoles

      1. Wendy–
        thanks for your response! I appreciate the reading and suggestions. Actually, I have been reworking this one (and others) as a real haiku–I have cut and uncut versions; I used the “watching” just to keep it smooth and avoid the cut, otherwise I’m usually wary of making explicit the implicit act of looking.
        I see this could also work as:

        taking his son
        to the pond he turns back into
        the boy with the tadpoles

        (FYI the “real” haiku version currently is:
        spring frog pond
        he turns back into the boy
        with the tadpoles)
        cheers!

    2. Yes, good for a haiku. Not so good for this no-season renku verse because “tadpoles” (like “frogs”) is a seasonal reference to spring.
      .
      So many things to keep in mind! 🙂

      1. Could the mention of green leaves, also, within a verse also bring into play the spring/summer kigo.
        .
        clover leaf- rue- and the lemon balm I have posted?

        1. Good question, Carol. 🙂 To which I believe there’s no one answer. It’s sure to depend on who’s interpreting (ie, who the sabaki is) and which saijiki or the like they’re using.
          I think it’s also logical that it’d depend on context, both within the one verse and in relation to its previous verse (that it links to).
          .
          “Green leaves of the stringybark” (or any other type of eucalypt, which are evergreen) would be ‘no season/ all seasons’ in itself. Brown leaves would indicate the tree had been burnt in a fire, even if it wasn’t burnt to ashes. “New green leaves” of most deciduous trees would indicate spring. Lemon balm is bare all winter and at its best and most fragrant where I am in summer.
          .
          I’d have to go and have a look at your verse you’ve mentioned here to give an opinion.
          Pressed clover leaves as I used them earlier on this thread (or pressed flowers/ herbs from any season) would seem to me to indicate ‘all year/ no season’.
          .

          1. As always a lovely bit of information, Lorin.
            As the leaves mentioned were picked then dried for a preparation, it did cross my mind if it was/wasn’t a kigo.
            I think you’re right when you say it depends on the saijiki used and the sabaki.
            Thanks, Lorin.

  20. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    *
    *
    Klimt’s masterpiece
    suffused in
    the enigmatic sacred

    1. Linda,

      Can you rewrite this without the break? Starting a verse with a prepositional phrase (a frequently applied English-language haiku strategy) guarantees a break since you are giving us information about something before naming it.
      .
      The resolution could be as simple as moving line one to the end.
      .
      This note could be applied to many other offers but I’m mentioning it here because your verse does many good things and I’d like to be able to consider it further.

      1. Hi John – I’m happy to update my verse. Here are two options as I wasn’t sure if lines starting with a preposition also created a break? As it is still before the subject but now on the same line as the subject? If not An issue, the I liked the second one below better. happy to have either considered.
        *
        rediscovery of the
        starry night toad
        after all this time
        *
        rediscovery
        of the starry night toad
        after all this time

    2. Yes, it does get confusing: when is a slight pause a break and when is a break a cut? And we have line breaks though the Japanese don’t but line breaks don’t count as breaks, let alone as cuts.
      .
      Credit to John , though, for stating clearly what works for him.
      .
      For what it’s worth, of your revised versions I prefer:
      .
      rediscovery
      of the starry night toad
      after all this time
      .

    1. Hi, Wendy. I find this so haunting. Very dream-like. It actually brings to mind the Taoist butterfly dream parable.

  21. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    *
    checking
    all the right boxes
    on the Medicaid forms
    *
    ~Autumn

  22. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic

    Maureen Virchau
    ***
    listening for the phone
    in the spaces
    of the day

    nancy liddle

  23. According to Wikipedia, the shift to “flip flops” began in the 60s for British and American speakers.
    Your image is quite humorous! 😊 Betty

    1. 🙂 Interesting, Betty. Fun with English! 🙂 So what used to be a thong is now a flip-flop and what used to be a G-string is now a thong. Except in Australia, to date and in New Zealand, where they sometimes also call them “jandals”. (I don’t know why)
      .
      “The only permanent thing is change itself.”
      .
      (. . . or something to that effect, from Heraclitus, way back, who was Greek, and probably removed his sandals before stepping into rivers.)

  24. Ohhhh wow- what a wonderful surprise! Lots of great contenders. I find the love verses so challenging and fun to write. I’m sorry I couldn’t post earlier. It’s been busy-busy-busy with family in town for the holidays.
    .
    Yes, I was definitely taking a walk on the wild side with my verse, exposing the underbelly as they say. I’m so glad it works in shaking things up in the ‘ha’ section, and I’m looking forward to seeing where things can go from here.
    .
    Thank you, John, for all your time and consideration. And thank you to all my renku friends for such kind words and thoughtful commentary. Thank you, thank you. I hope everyone is happy & healthy & enjoying the holiday season!

  25. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    *
    gagging
    as the pu’er
    works its magic
    *

    another
    echinacea
    does the trick
    *
    no magic bullet
    for a superbug
    infection
    *
    praying
    the anti-vaxxers
    see reason
    *

    1. Hmmm…may link back to the empty room in verse 3 as well as the STD clinic. Both potential ‘empty rooms’. Oh well…

    1. This lingers with me, Marietta. I love the fact that you’ve chosen a daisy as I associate it with childhood, innocence and happiness. It just wouldn’t have the same impact with a rose.

  26. congratulations Maureen and Happy New Year One and All
    *********************
    what happened
    in Vegas has found
    us out here
    ****************
    looking for that
    first opportunity
    to return the favor
    *****************
    finger pointing
    followed by lude
    accusations

    1. Thank you, Michael Henry. Glad you’re always here contributing creative verses. Thank you for your well wishes, and I wish you the same. Happy writing!

  27. Congrats, Maureen!
    .
    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    .
    Marconi’s man
    transmits the first message
    from an Irish island
    .
    Too close with “transmits?”
    .
    Marconi’s man
    sends the first radio signal
    from an Irish island

  28. ice-skating
    with my hunka hunka
    burning love
    .
    Lorin Ford
    .
    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    .
    four-leaf clovers
    pressed between the pages
    of Revelations
    .

      1. Hi, Lorin!
        *
        I really like your use of the word “pressed” in your first iteration of this verse. The double meaning of the literally squashed clovers coupled with the connotation of feeling pressured really works here. I think it’s stronger without the addition of “found, ” as it leaves the emphasis on the verb form “to press” (which could also lend the idea of the couple’s tension between the intercom pages, “Next!”)
        *
        four-leaf clovers
        pressed between pages
        of Revelations
        *
        “Revelations” is also a genius double-play, as one is definitely waiting for the big reveal at the STD clinic! Let’s hope it’s slightly less of an Armageddon for our skater and hunka hunka…
        *
        So original!
        *
        ~Autumn
        *
        P.S. Do they use the phrase “whale tail” for the underwear version of thongs Down Under? (It’s meant to portray the waistband of the garment-in-question breaching the waistband of one’s bluejeans). When my daughters first introduced me to that phrase, the visual cracked me up (all pardons to the poor whales, who are already suffering enough at our hands).

        1. Thanks, Autumn . . . yes, I agree that just “pressed”, as in the first version, is the best. Just can’t help second guessing myself. 🙂 I actually do have some four leaf clovers from many decades ago pressed in a book. Thanks for liking ‘Revelations’.
          .
          To your query, um, 🙂 no we don’t have “whale tail”, which seems elegant compared to the Australian version, which is “bum floss”. (“bum” being, not a vagrant or the like as in the USA, but that part of the body the French call the derrière.)
          .

  29. Congratulations Maureen
    .
    a kiss for good luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    .
    tic tac man’s
    gloved hands showing
    the odds
    .

  30. okay–I see the reason for dots if one wants a line space.
    .
    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Vichau
    .
    coastal warning:
    Beware
    Sneaker Waves

  31. Congrats, Maureen–

    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic

    Maureen Virchau

    exchanging a gift
    for a hobby horse with
    polka dots and lace

  32. Audacious, Maureen!

    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    – Maureen Virchau

    free range chickens
    pecking and
    clucking
    – Betty Shropshire

    1. Thanks so much, Betty. That is a fantastic word. I don’t even know where that verse came from! haha I was just trying really hard to write something radical. Glad to always see you at the renku parties. Happy writing!

      1. Well, it’s that stream of conciousness writing first thing in the morning where most of my offerings erupt. Mostly too HA for even the HA sections but I blame it on the meds! 😉 Recovering from surgery and facing future radiation treatments so this current renku party is an ever so welcome respite. Good to see you and other familiar faces as well as those I’ve not seen before! Best regards, Betty

        1. Hi, Betty! Ohhh yes- the stream of consciousness thing. I know what you mean. The HA section is so much fun. I’m very sorry to hear that you are suffering. I wish you a full recovery. So glad to hear that the renku helps. Kick up your feet & keep on writing those oh-so-creative verses. I still remember your “his better half” verse from an earlier renku session. Powerful! Take care of yourself.

        2. I first met you at renku and always love what you write for the (often quirky) originality, Betty. Glad you’re here and best wishes for your return to good health and taking pictures in the desert.
          —Marietta

          1. Marietta…I’m glad we became friends! Been awhile since I’ve posted desert pics but am hoping to do so again. I pray your beloved country survives those terrible fires…incredibly tragic what’s happening there. I love seeing and reading your verses, too…am always delighted by where they take me! Best regards, Betty

        3. i am a strong believer
          that the best medicine
          is “mendku”!

          Betty, by healing your soul you are proactively helping with the total recovery….keep it streaming.

        1. There’s a lot in so few words. A moon verse next so there’s also that element of gravity
          in the last line.
          .
          The council arn’t usually that thoughtful when it comes to town planning 🙂
          .
          Blwyddyn Newydd Hapus, to you and Karen 🙂

    1. Thank you, Marietta! I find the love verses especially challenging so I’m grateful that it was placed. Happy writing!

  33. Congratulations, Maureen. Ah, yes, an aspect of the ‘love’ verse not so common in Basho’s time. . . at least the AIDS virus didn’t seem to appear until the 1980s.
    .

    1. Thank you very much, Lorin. I’ve been listening to Elvis since you posted your verse btw! Yes, my verse brings up an unfortunate reality of the times. Thanks for sharing your knowledge of Basho and renku and all the rest. Wishing you a happy day!

    1. This is really funny, Wendy–and so current, too!! I especially like the adverb, “meticulously,” for the fastidiousness it conveys. I can just picture the look that goes with the action, too -.-
      *
      The word “swabbing” just fell out of my rag-and-bone-shop bag (it’s an old velvet Crown Royal pouch that used to belong to my father). It’s yours, if you’d like. Might add just the “clinical” touch here!
      *
      ~Autumn

      1. glad you had fun with this one, autumn, thanks for your comments. and ….i agree…yes, swabbing is a great choice, it is more clinical , sets a longer suspense time and gives the added emphasis on the “s” sounds. i had considered it…along with disinfecting, and swiping but decided to leave more space,
        .
        i do believe there is enough here for a clear link to the STD clinic….and “cleaning” encompasses any techniques and tools to accomplish this task and allows the reader to imagine the way they would like to approach the job.
        .

  34. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    *
    tests inconclusive
    they tell her
    it’s all in her head
    *

  35. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    *

    out with the old
    in with the new
    ipad case

    *
    wendy c. bialek

  36. Congratulations, Maureen–way to risk being “contro-verse-ial” with a somewhat edgy topic! Really curious to see where this takes us…
    *
    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    *
    Maureen Virchau
    *
    fingers crossed
    as she pees
    on the stick
    *
    ~Autumn

    1. last night we saw ” four christmasses” with vince vaughn and there
      was an unusual part about retrieving a pee stick from children thinking it was a magic marker. autumn or anyone,,,did you catch that?

    2. Thanks so much, Autumn! I’m so glad you’ve joined the renku party. I always enjoy your commentary. Oh yes- I was definitely trying to push the ol’ envelope. haha I hope you’re enjoying your new puppy. I loved your hound dog verse. We have a rescue beagle. Unconditional love indeed. Take care, and happy writing!

      1. Thank you so much, Maureen! How sweet that you adopted a rescue beagle! I bet you get plenty of ooOOOOoooOOOOOoooo from that little hound! 😀 I would not have thought to intentionally look for a vision-impaired (or blind, which Holly appeared to be initially) puppy. But now that we have her, I would seek one out in the future for sure. I can barely tell the difference between her and the sighted Aussie we had previously, she’s so clever. Only when she’s running a straight line (such as a hallway) do I notice that she tips her head slightly to one side–the better to listen to where she’s going. She is sweetness and mischievousness all rolled up in one pretty little powder-puff package, and we love her to pieces already.
        *
        Give your poochel a pat for me!
        *
        ~Autumn

        1. Awwww- thank you, Autumn. Yes, there’s nothing quite like the howl of a beagle. haha Glad your Holly is adjusting well in her new Home Sweet Home. A hug & a treat for your bundle of “sweetness & mischievousness” over there. Take care!

  37. a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau
    *

    walks in flip flops
    abbessing
    up the adirondacks


    wendy c. bialek

    1. 🙂
      .
      “flip flops” – USA and Canada
      =
      “thongs” – Australia
      .

      These things:
      .
      It took the late Gene Murtha to explain to me why thongs for the summer footwear just wouldn’t work as I intended in American English!

      1. Hi, Lorin…I, too, knew flipflops as thongs growing up in the panhandle of Texas in the ’50’s. Still have to remember the “correct venacular” to use now that a type of underwear usurped the term. 😉 Betty

        1. Now that’s interesting, Betty. Thanks. 🙂 So it was thongs for the feet first in the USA, too. Then suddenly (in the 60s, maybe 70s or 80s? ) someone (who frequented strip joints?) came up with “flip flops” (which to me suggests an image of an amply proportioned woman jogging without a bra. )

      2. my thinking….being that monks can wear flip flops year round….perhaps this is not a summer kigo for them.

        John what is the official word on this?
        .
        yes…thong is also slinky underwear…often with one trap separating the buttocks.
        .
        hobby horse is a toy. having the head of a horse which is housed on a short pole stick..often made of wood….but today may be made of plastic.

        the child places the pole between the legs…pretending to be riding it. it keeps the legs closed tightly together while in play! (thereby in some people’s mind, rendering it safe to play with)

        1. “. . . my thinking….being that monks can wear flip flops year round… perhaps this is not a summer kigo for them.” – Wendy
          .
          You’re probably right about that, Wendy. To me, thongs are something I’m in the habit of associating with summer, but there will be some people who wear them the year around, especially, perhaps, those in tropical regions such as Pacific Islanders. I know that Franciscon monks wear sandals. Also, the traditional Japanese wooden footwear has a thong that goes between the toes just like “flip flops” do. (and yes I am using the word ‘thong’ correctly in that last sentence. 🙂 It pre-dates the current “bum floss” definition of thong by centuries. )
          .
          Now I’ve looked up Higginson’s ‘Haiku World”, and for what it’s worth, he has all footwear under ‘Humanity : All Year’.
          .

          1. thanks again lorin….you are a great, reliable help…i actually own that book….i was looking up flip-flops in the back….didn’t find it….but didn’t think of footwear.
            thanks for all your stimulating input. i am following your words here.

  38. an excellent choice among many worthy contenders!
    .
    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    -Maureen
    .
    how many species
    will become extinct
    in the next twelve months?

  39. wow….so genius….maureen! and john so interesting a pick!

    a kiss for luck
    at the STD clinic
    .
    Maureen Virchau

    *
    updating texts
    sent to every
    close contact

    .

    wendy c. bialek

    1. Hi, Wendy! Ohhhh wow- thank you for your very kind words. Glad you’re part of the renku party. Happy writing!

  40. paying
    the rest of his life
    for the clean bill of health
    *
    barely time
    for a capsule summary
    of his symptoms
    *
    watching another vile
    fill with blood he thinks
    third time’s a charm
    *
    praying
    the anti-vaxxers
    come to their senses
    *
    despite the positive
    her sunny disposition
    never falters
    (or is the “sunny” a seasonal kigo?)

    1. I don’t think “sunny” would be deemed a seasonal reference, Laurie, even if it wasn’t being used metaphorically, as you use it here. We can have sunny days/mornings/ afternoons in every season, so I’d be surprised if “sunny” was on anyone’s list of season words/ phrases.
      .
      I don’t know for sure, of course. I recall contesting someone’s use of “pony” as a kigo/ seasonal reference. To my knowledge, a pony is a horse measuring less than a certain height at the withers. We have Shetland Ponies , Timor Ponies and other breeds of small horses. However, my friend pointed out that I was a novice and according to two renku experts, “pony” was a kigo.
      .
      Sure enough, the first entry under Spring- Animals in ‘500 Essential Season Words’ was and is:

      “colt, pony (wakagoma, late spring). ”
      http://www.2hweb.net/haikai/renku/500ESWd.html#SPRING–ANIMALS
      .
      I’m pretty sure there’s a translation error there, though. Someone has got “very small horse” mixed up with “very young horse” / “horse child.”

  41. Congratulations, Maureen a punchy verse, a frightening issue in todays openly promiscuous society.
    .
    Thank you for placing my verse in the line-up, John, you’ve made an old girl very happy 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Carol! I sincerely appreciate it. “Punchy” is certainly a good word for it. I’m sorry I haven’t replied sooner. I haven’t had time to think straight. I’m glad you’re part of the renku party. Your enthusiasm and support mean a lot. Happy writing!

        1. Addicting is theeeee word, Carol! I’m working on some free verse poetry over here, but I find myself taking breaks to write renku verses instead. haha Anyway, take care.

          1. All the very best with your free verse poetry, Maureen.
            Have an inspirational New Year 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top