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The Renku Sessions: Tawny Jacket – Week 8

 

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.

As we sought the verse that will begin the second half of our twelve verse renku, this week produced one-hundred-eighty-one offers from thirty-six poets. A really impressive expression of the creative spirit!

There were so many good things to choose from, I wish I could list them all. Just know that there were many others, beyond the list of personal favorites that follows here:

 

the pub
around the corner
still pulling

Alan Summers

 

free range chicken
pecking and
clucking

Betty Shropshire

 

Marconi’s man
sends the first radio signal
from an Irish island

Marion Clarke

 

listening for the phone
in the spaces
of the day

Nancy Liddle

 

to pay
or not to pay
the cyber ransom

Chris Patchel

 

all but spitting
as he calls him
Judas

Laurie Greer

 

Venice Beach
littered with needles
after high tides

Maureen Virchau

 

an envelope
shoved to the bottom
of her purse

Agnes Eva Savich

 

heavy metal
blasts in the car
while it idles

Agnes Eva Savich

 

does your future
really rest on
school exam results?

Pauline O’Carolan

 

the baby
extends her toy
covered in drool

Mary Stevens

 

used cups
overflow the trash can
by the coffee shop

Carol Ann Palomba

 

Our seventh verse is:

rediscovery
of the starry night toad
after all this time

Linda Weir

In considering the set of verses we have, so far, I noticed that our two love verses, the verse featuring a musical instrument, and the verse about the scent residue in an empty room all tend to put humanity in the foreground. So, I was particularly interested in selecting a verse, this time, in which some aspect of non-human nature is prominent.

The linking element, as I see it, is the threat of extinction. And the temporal relativity of the term “survival.”

 

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

  • a two-line, summer moon verse
  • connecting in some way to the seventh verse and in no obvious way to any of the previous verses
  • transforming our sense of the seventh verse

Note: You will not have to make the slightest effort to link with verse seven since the name “starry night frog” and any mention of moon or moonlight will constitute a link. But remember that you also need to include a summer word or phrase in your 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

rediscovery
of the starry night toad
after all this time

Linda Weir

 

Please enter your verse offers in the comments box, below. I will be reviewing these offers until midnight on Tuesday, January 7 (New York time zone). On Thursday, January 9, there will be a new posting containing my selection for our eighth verse, some discussion of other appreciated offers, and instructions for composing the ninth verse.

I look forward to seeing your offers!

John

 

This Post Has 231 Comments

  1. crabs running sideways
    on the moonlit beach
    .
    Would two animal verses be OK this close together? There is also an animal in verse 2. Does their being in different classes (amphibian vs fish (?) vs mammal) make it OK?
    .
    Is this summery enough? I’m going back to the experience of my family during summer vacation on the Outer Banks, but I suppose crabs do a lot of running around in most seasons.
    .
    I had been contemplating offering
    .
    the sand cooler now
    on the moonlit beach
    .
    but then remembered the warm hollow, ice skating, and burnin’ love in previous verses.
    .
    It gets tricky not to repeat stuff the further in we get!

    1. I replied about this, relating to an earlier post. We probably won’t want any more creatures. If we do have one more, it should probably be in the final verse and not a mammal or amphibian.
      .
      Yes, it does get more challenging as we go along!

    1. Such wonderful images can be conjured up from the previous verse, just one more, even if it is too late-
      .
      moonlight shadows
      across a pebble beach

    1. (in case “lightning” is not so much a summer kigo, as it appears to be listed with autumn.)
      *

      yesterday’s monsoon
      and now a moonless sky

      *

      (where i currently reside, our monsoon begin in early july and can last into mid-october.)

  2. moon jumping side
    to side on sandy trail

    *
    in mountain moonlight
    all the trees are bonsai

    .
    (don’t know if these trees are allowed)
    *

    moon and her calming beauty
    up close a million warts

    *
    (i don’t know if “warts” are allowed, as it may link back to STD in Maureen’s verse )
    *
    moon bathing
    by the dusty window
    .

    (clothes on)

  3. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir
    *
    solstice moon wavering
    between hot and hotter
    *
    sweet corn moon
    at the roadside stand
    *
    even the moon political
    this election-year summer
    *
    annual family get-together
    for the thunder moon
    *
    their family tradition of gathering
    at the thunder moon
    *

  4. moon in the spokes
    of the daisy wheel
    .
    opium seeds
    rattle in a moon lit pod
    .
    a moon shot
    at the summer beach party

    1. moon in the spokes
      of the daisy wheel
      .
      opium seeds
      rattle in a moon lit pod
      .
      a moon shot
      at the summer beach party
      .
      a moon shot
      at the summer ball

      1. not at all a problem, betty…..there is a group consciousness and we are influenced by everything in the universe. as well as a limited kigo selection. perhaps similar reference books, and internet sources…. we all use the same alphabet….but as artists….we have our different styles.
        i don’t own the word, have as many swings at it as you want.

    1. so uprooting… all these fire disasters and all the damage to life.
      hoping our awareness is globally understood and we can find a way to prevent this horror from taking more life and shelter from humanity, animal kingdom and plant structures. not to mention the toxic spews into air and water.
      hope all australian’s impacted including our poets can safely return to their homes.

  5. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    ..
    Linda Weir
    .
    tripping over
    the moonshine

  6. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    .
    Linda Weir
    .
    blink and you’ll miss
    the short night moon
    .

  7. school’s over & still
    a secret-sided moon

    *

    school almost over
    & still a secret-sided moon

    .

    wendy c. bialek

  8. So, no temperature (two previous verses), creatures (two previous verses), clothes, feet, colors, season names (verse one) song (two previous verses), flowers . . .

    moonlight floats
    on thistle seeds

    Unless thistle seeds are too close to blossoms.

    moonlight floats
    on cottonwood seeds

    1. plastic floods the river
      covering the moon

      .

      wendy c. bialek

      (in case bottles…is too close to glass armonica)

  9. the strawberry moon
    looks delicious
    **
    floating in the pool
    under the moon’s power
    **
    the moon’s aura smaller
    with glasses on

  10. .
    .
    the summer moon baits its hook
    with venus
    .
    what a catch!
    the sturgeon moon in fishnets
    .
    in longhand he scores the face
    of the strawberry moon
    .
    the buck moon
    rolls another fag
    .
    that potbellied crow looks like it swallowed
    the dog days moon
    .
    more than enough cheesecake to feed africa
    under the fruit moon
    .
    .

  11. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir
    *
    tracing da Vinci’s earthshine
    in the waning thunder moon
    *
    finding a summer sweet spot
    in the mare nectaris
    *
    paddling with a master
    under the dog day moon
    *
    REVISION
    nearly blinded after
    telescoping the solstice moon
    *

    1. Hmmmm, now I’m thinking that choosing a path takes us back to verse one and “she sets out” …
      .
      once across the moonlit bridge
      I find myself in summer
      .
      I cross the moonlit bridge
      to arrive in summer

  12. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    – Linda Weir

    the moonset
    slipping between waves
    *
    don miller

  13. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    – Linda Weir

    a reflection
    of the setting moon
    *
    don miller

  14. An fine, uplifting verse from Linda.
    .
    rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    .
    a pearl moon shines
    in the warm rock pool
    .
    the lustre of a pearl moon
    in the warm rock pool
    .
    finding a pearl moon
    in the warm tide pool
    .
    I added “warm” to these verses to indicate that it is summer, but perhaps the moon combined with a rock/tide pool suggest a beach stroll on a summer evening in any case?

    1. Marion,
      .
      There are a number of English-language reference works for season words. I haven’t specified one for us to use while composing this renku. One of my personal favorites is Bill Higginson’s “Haiku World.” That source lists “warm” as a spring topic. .
      .
      I think your logic is sound and I would consider it if we were doing a series of summer verses, which would further establish your verse as “summer.” However, since this will be the only summer verse in this short renku, I will want a verse that is unequivocally evocative of that season and no other.

  15. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    – Linda Weir

    a wink
    from the setting moon
    *
    don miller

  16. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    *
    barley fields rippling
    in the moonlight
    *
    succulent plums eaten
    under the moon
    *
    the summer moon
    caught in duckweed

  17. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    .
    Linda Weir
    .
    a small step
    on the giants causeway

      1. the moon as witness
        to warts and all
        .
        Thank you, John. Jumping from haiku to renku has been a fun learning challenge.

    1. (would not like to meet up with this sea creature.)
      .
      i was wondering if any thing from the animal kingdom was still permitted since we have a toad? what are your thoughts, lorin?
      .
      John, what are the rules here?

      1. It’s unlikely that we will want any additional creatures. We have a deer and a toad. That’s enough for such a short renku. Even if we had another creature, we wouldn’t want that before our final verse.

  18. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    .
    Linda Weir
    .
    space junk between here
    and this summer moon
    .

  19. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir

    tireless research
    first moon landing

      1. rediscovery
        of the starry night toad
        after all this time

        Linda Weir

        precious discovery
        drugs under the skin

  20. every amphitheater production
    a vehicle for the moon
    *
    blinking sunspots for hours after
    telescoping the solstice moon
    *
    seeing herself in the image
    of the hungry ghost moon
    *
    weighing herself against the image
    of the hungry ghost moon
    *

  21. temperatures rising
    as the moon it descends
    ********************
    a crescent moon rims
    my Key Lime Colada
    *******************
    moon shadows dangling
    their toes in the pool

    1. a crescent moon rims
      my Key Lime Colada
      .
      mmmm! . . . . 🙂 definitely the yummiest verse to date, Michael.

  22. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    .
    Linda Weir
    .
    waiting for moonrise
    on the shortest night
    .

  23. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    .
    Linda Weir
    .
    welcome coolness
    on the moonlit verandah
    .

  24. Congratulations, Linda. I was fascinated, looking it up after you posted last week, to see this toad with the “just right” name and it’s great to have your verse now in the renku.
    .
    – Lorin

    1. Thanks Lorin. Yes, when I heard this rediscovery it seemed perfectly named to inspire my offering, knowing that a moon verse was to follow. And thought we needed a bit more nature in our renku at that point, something happier than so much of the news these days. Hope you are safe from the bush fires and that it all comes to a rainy end soon.

      1. Thanks, yes, I’m safe…in a city region. The town I grew up in has not been, and Iwonder about people I know up there. I watch the news nightly. I know enough from bushfires back then not to be a nuisance at such a time. All one can do is wait, at present.
        .
        The navy was shipping people out of Mallacoota by actual ship yesterday.

    2. Thanks Lorin. I felt that same about the name, “just right” to inspire, especially since a moon verse was to follow…

  25. so many princes
    in the orange moonlight
    slaying the dragon
    +
    princes – toads
    orange- our skies are now orange these days in Oz

    thanks for choosing mine as one of your personal faves this week – so chuffed 🙂

    nancy liddle

  26. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir
    *
    hermit crab safe
    in its moon shell
    *
    moon snail in the wake
    of its namesake
    *

  27. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir
    *
    blood of a horseshoe crab
    bluing the moon
    *
    vanilla cone with a strawberry moon
    on top
    *

  28. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    -Linda
    .
    a fraction of moonlight
    in each fountain jet

  29. there’s something almost magical about this verse 🙂

    .
    rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    -Linda
    .
    the moon almost liquid
    in the evening heat

    1. Looks like katydid is an early autumn kigo, though ‘first katydid’ (like ‘first cricket’) might be summer).

  30. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir
    *
    a cup of moonlight
    in the saucer magnolia
    *

    1. What a shame it is that we can’t have a flower (as John has mentioned) because there will be a flower verse coming up. (There’s always a ‘blossom’ verse in even the shortest renku).
      .
      You’re right on for season though, these ‘southern magnolias’ (southern to the USA, where they originate from) are blooming right now where I am. Saucer sized and dinner-plate sized! 🙂
      .
      It’s a very good image and well expressed so be sure to make it into a haiku and send it out.

    1. moon-collared lava
      tracking the plumeria’s scent
      ***
      The capitalization of the original didn’t mean anything lol

  31. Congratulations, Linda–a powerfully optimistic verse with a mesmerizing image.
    *
    rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    *
    Linda Weir
    *
    Harlequin scooping
    a gelato moon
    *
    (from the amphibian’s full name: The starry night harlequin toad (Atelopus aryescue), and Italian Commedia Dell’Arte)
    *
    Sending Rocky Mountain water-thoughts to Australia…
    *
    ~Autumn

  32. A contribution to still play in the renku game and with Australia on my mind…
    *
    rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    *
    Linda Weir
    *
    between the moon and me
    bushfire glow

    1. Or trying to learn from what John said earlier, switching the lines to avoid creating a break
      *
      bushfire glow
      between the moon and me

      1. Linda, it’s a pity that fire is most likely completely out the question because of ‘smoke’ + ‘burning’, earlier. (There were objections to “burning love” even though it was clear from context that any relation to fire was metaphorical, as is so much orf vernacular speech) When there’s a bushfire, all the smoke and fine charcoal in the air makes the moon much larger and a bright red-orange, as if it, too, was part of the fire.

        1. My first thought for the verse had been bushfire smoke, but knew that would work due to the cigar smoke line earlier. Thanks for the description of what the moon is like during a bushfire, sounds beautiful but frightening.

        1. Ingrid (and everyone),
          .
          We have already completed the only pair of “love verses” that will appear in this short renku. We won’t be revisiting that topic.
          .

          1. It is a misunderstanding. I did not realize, that a reply to a reply is not possible. Thank you !

  33. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    *
    Linda Weir
    *
    Apollo artifacts
    collected in Tranquillity

    *
    awaiting the next phase of blooms
    in the new moon garden
    *
    forgotten perennials
    blooming in the moon garden
    *
    late sighting of the cottontail
    in the moonlight
    *
    one small step
    to the moon garden
    *

    1. Laurie (and everyone),
      .
      One of our last two verses will be a “blossom verse.” So, we don’t want plants or gardens at this point.
      .

  34. Nice vs Linda, a little ray of hope in the natural world
    Prayers for Australia all creatures great and small !!!!
    ******************************************** 🙁

    all eyes at the drive in
    turned toward the moon

  35. Hi Everyone Writing from a small Australian community devastated by bushfire on New Years Eve. Cobargo, NSW. May not get to write verses this time as we have no power and fire is expected tomorrow. Extinction is so obvious and survival not easy. We lost lives here.
    ….
    The verse is beautiful

    1. Just a shame we can’t trade our rain for your sunshine, seems we have it in excess.
      Take care, Pauline, and also your family and friends. xxxx

    2. I’m thinking of you and everyone in Australia dealing with the fire and threat of fire. So very sad to see it’s impacts on people and wildlife.

      1. best wishes to everyone–human and animal–struggling through this horrific time. Stay hopeful; you are in our thoughts and hearts.

    3. Best wishes, Pauline. That’s about all I can offer. The whole east coast seems to have been on fire…in Victoria from Bairnsdale to Mallacoota! As a kid in Cann River, I was used to bushfires that threatened the town nearly every year, but nothing on the scale of the regions affected this summer.
      .

    1. Dan,
      .
      How about a version of this without the break. Something like:
      .
      the moon and I
      have our dark sides
      .

  36. Hi everyone – what a nice surprise to see my poem selected for the renku. And so many nice comments from others on their enjoyment of this poem. A nice way to start the new year for sure!

  37. a huckleberry moon
    rises without warning
    .
    over the old Roman aqueduct
    a huckleberry moon
    .
    a huckleberry moon lights
    the way to the Forum

  38. Great link and shift, Linda!

    rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    – Linda Weir

    southerly breezes ripple
    across the moon’s reflection

    1. O, how I wish this was so for where I am , Betty. We really need a cooling Southerly breeze.
      .
      I like the understated calm of this lovely image. I’m not sure how summer is definitely shown here, though.

      1. Hi, Lorin. Was trying to use ‘south wind’ as the summer kigo but written differently…maybe early summer? Winds from the south blow all Summer here in most of Texas.
        Good to know you’re safe from the fires! Betty

  39. *
    rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time
    .
    Linda Weir
    *
    rv rolls over
    an ansel adam’s moon

    .

    wendy c. bialek

  40. *
    rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir
    *
    on the wall for 80 summers
    original half-moon cookie recipe
    *
    those summer trips to Utica
    for half-moon cookies
    *

  41. Well done, Linda. Impossible not to think of my favourite artist with that “starry night” toad. 🙂
    .
    a dandelion clock-flower
    sends seeds to the moon

      1. Thank you, Carol. Yes indeed…I’ve been thinking a lot of my haiku friends who left us during last year, Rachel Sutcliffe and Jan Benson.

  42. moonlight melting
    polar ice caps
    *****
    on the summer moon
    it isn’t so warm
    *****
    August twenty-eighty:
    the Earth our waning moon
    *****
    lonelier than imagined
    man living on the moon

    1. Australia burning
      January moonlight
      ***
      From a Northern Hemisphere perspective, it’s interesting to think of January having a summer moon. Linda, I love the current event link in your link. Unfortunately, many species will never be seen again.

      1. Yep, M.R. the moon (through smoke haze) has been red. Where I come from, East Gippsland, has been completely cut off (not for the first time by a long shot). But the various areas on fire this past fortnight or so have never been so many and they have been joining up.
        .
        a haiku (not a renku verse) :
        .
        bushfire moon . . .
        the calligraphy
        of charred trees (Lorin Ford, Simply Haiku vol. 4 no 1, spring 2006)
        .
        http://simplyhaiku.com/SHv4n1/haiku/Ford.html
        .
        The writing was on the wall when I was a kid. And now, here we are.

        1. that’s spooky darlin’
          .
          The temperature alone, I should imagine, is horrendous to cope with, but add bushfires to the mix… unless it is experienced we just have no idea how hellish this must be.
          A devastating loss of human, animal and plant life.

          1. Bushfires are certainly hellish, Carol, and this year is unprecedented though it’s been predictable for a couple of decades at least. There has been a huge loss of animal life, farm and wild. Only two human deaths, which is amazing, all considered.
            .
            The smoke haze in Melbourne has been thick all week and will continue to be until Friday or later. This affects people with breathing issues such as asthma quite seriously.

          2. Can’t post below, Lorin.
            .
            The climate’s exacerbated change, for certain, has not only been predicted but has been a concern for at least forty years, it is only, I believe, that commercial and economical change this will bring has side-stepped.
            – as you so aptly say-
            ‘and now, here we are’

  43. Congrats, Linda! What an absolutely fascinating link. I’ve enjoyed reading more about the subject. An excellent choice, John. Thank you for all your hard work. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

  44. rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir
    *
    hide and seek
    with the strawberry moon
    *
    Marco Polo
    under the sturgeon moon
    *

    1. Strange fruit indeed, but ” That’s entertainment!”. One day there will be a movie. I sincerely hope it’ll be by the Coen bros . Only they could do it, imho.
      .

        1. . . . as does the ‘reality’, Chris, which leaves me gasping. (I do like your verse though and we’ve not had politics as a general topic)

  45. *
    rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir
    *
    a lost afternoon of tanning
    under the day moon
    *
    as the day moon briefly surfaces
    from a thunderhead
    *

  46. This is a beautiful ku
    .

    rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir
    .
    skinny dipping
    in balmy moonlight
    .
    reels and jigs
    at the moonlit crossroads
    .
    whooping as they moon
    out the car window
    .

    1. Mary (and everyone),
      .
      Moon verses in a renku are about the literal moon and its light.
      .
      I like your skinny dipping verse but, since our hokku features an article of clothing (possibly to be amplified by use in our title), a verse calling attention to a lack of clothing might be better avoided, but without loosing the moonlight swim image that seems so promising.

  47. Congratulations, Linda–this was hands-down my favorite offering of the lot.
    *
    rediscovery
    of the starry night toad
    after all this time

    Linda Weir
    *
    white knuckled
    in the black Maria
    *
    lost in the shadows
    of the mare nubium
    *

    1. oops–forgot about summer.

      maybe:

      *
      sweating and white knuckled
      in the black Maria
      *
      Perseids lost in the shadows
      of the mare nubium
      *

  48. Brilliant choice. Well done, Linda.
    We’re discovering and rediscovering, many times, tragic that the planet is in the situation it is.
    Goodness knows what we have lost before even knowing about it.

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