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The Renku Sessions: Timber Smoke – Week 6


Greetings and welcome to The Haiku Foundation’s current Renku Session entitled, ‘Timber Smoke’. I am Marshall Hryciuk of Toronto, Canada and I will be leading this session through a 36-link kasen renku.


So for the concluding verse of our opening processional, we have:

handprints  and crumbs
I would miss them

Pamela Garry


This takes up  the visual surprise of “day moon” in verse 5 and moves it into a domestic setting; the kitchen, or at least, an eating area, suggestive of taste. Where that moon was distant and barely perceivable, these images, still on a flat surface are near to the eye and to the heart of the observer. They’re in miniature yet the feelings they evoke are immense. And further there is a lovely evocation of abundance without waste in the “crumbs” and the innocence of childhood in “handprints” – ‘fingerprints’ would have sounded too ‘forensic’ here and evoke an adult atmosphere.

I also appreciate the ambiguity of “would miss them” that could happen either or both in the present -if the viewer hadn’t looked at the surface -or in the anticipated future, when the child or children are no lnger co-habiting with the viewer and that ‘crumbless’ surface would be a reinforecement of that loss.

So, to the visual stimulus of a distant day moon, Pamela has added an element of close and personal nostalgia giving a human touch to an immediate present and thoughts of a future.

Thank-you, Pamela.


What we need now is 3 lines, spring, indoors or out.

We can now proceed into the consideration of phrases with exaggeration, strident or irruptive action and spectacular language, though the links for the next 24 need not contain any of these, it could be allowed to have them.

We do require foreign words or phrases, names of festivals, Proper names, Place names and a numeral to be included in this renku, but we don’t need to accomplish this all at once. And remember, evoking the seasonality of spring here cannot include the names or reference to flowers or blossoms as that is reserved for the spring verse of number 17.

So, 3 lines, no break or kireji (= a  groundstroke’) of spring


Happy linking






Timber Smoke (so far)


nothing dimmed yet
timber smoke scent
sifts into the house

Marshall Hryciuk


one by one
I pick plums off of the ground

Alfred Booth


a file of cars
overtaking a tractor
on the mountain road

Keith Evetts


drawn out deer notes
echo in the coolness

Betty Shropshire


even paler
than the clearing fog
day moon

Mary White


handprints  and crumbs
I would miss them

Pamela Garry





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This Post Has 118 Comments

  1. handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them
    — Pamela Garry

    we spend hours
    listening to Jacques Brel
    as the rivers swell

    1. Oops did you stipulate no flowers?

      To amend….

      fingerless gloves
      sowing seeds – snow shower
      Easter breeze

    1. I like the double inference of your verse, Rob –
      our own mother or that of mother-earth, and haven’t we made a mess of things regarding the latter.

  2. handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry
    not the serious adults
    they aspire to be
    at their graduation fest
    dancing around the May pole
    with slippery ribbons
    in their hair

    at the

  3. handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry
    stay out of
    Mr McGregor’s garden
    says Peter’s mum

  4. the blink
    of an emerging hedgehog
    spiked with straw

    the fly
    on the frog’s nose
    gone in a blink

    telltale signs
    rabbits have been
    at the asparagus

  5. cherry blossom bouquets
    and new kimonos
    for my inflatable girlfriend

    imagine those bees
    dancing with joy
    in their hives

  6. handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry

    holding back
    my baby’s birth
    for one more April day

  7. handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry
    fetching stalks
    the coot on the canal
    builds s nest

  8. Congrats Pamela and thank you Marshall

    counting kite wrecks
    beached on
    our roof

    counting the frisbees
    that sailed
    onto our roof

  9. handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry
    his cum laude tassels
    to the four winds

  10. *
    handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry
    hosing off the dust
    from a rainbow
    of crocs

  11. *
    handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry
    giving pollen
    a lift
    on the bicycle helmet
    call back
    to the bicycle bells

    1. hi Pamela
      -I like both of these -i would like it even better if we combined them for a denser and more sensual effect
      as: giving pollen
      a lift
      on the bicycle bells
      Would you agree to this? Thanks -Marshall

      1. Sorry, Laurie, i meant to address you as it was your link i wanted to use
        giving pollen
        a lift
        on the bicycle bells
        by Laurie Greer

        Would be a very nice verse -Marshall

  12. *
    handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry
    changing the storm window
    for a slim
    supple screen

  13. *
    handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry
    with the fragrances
    of open windows
    the cleaning starts
    and ends
    with open windows

  14. courting
    copper pheasants
    test their mettle

    empty shells
    of mud-snails
    in the small boy’s bucket

  15. Pamela . . . well and truly a lovely verse!
    forecasting when
    the thinning ice
    will break
    – Betty Shropshire

  16. none but the shepherd
    knows wherefore
    little lambs bounce

    hanging up
    at the end of Vivaldi’s
    first season

    a new hatch
    of mayfly
    dimples the stream

  17. In the garden
    a blush of young robins
    feasts on wild berries

    a fresh breeze
    through the screen door
    overtaking the smokiness

  18. handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    the strength of
    the Tradewinds being
    measured in decibels

    his first communion
    still seems like it
    were yesterday

    the breakup we knew
    that was coming

  19. last years
    gathered herbs sprinkle
    on his heart-healthy salad

    (hope this one works for you, Lorin…and
    calms the roiling waters in a pot previously
    waiting for people stew.)

  20. 5….day moon
    hand prints and crumbs
    how I would miss them 7
    spring cleaning
    includes sticky banisters
    and a stained floor

    thawed at at last !
    muddy boots are censored
    at the door

    bits of this and that
    sauces, mustard, ketchup –
    supper’s ready

  21. lovely, subtle verse, Pamela and Marshall.

    budding branches
    suddenly alive
    with greenfinches

    new fiddleheads unfold
    to the pizzicato
    of the rain

    arriving storks
    find twigs aplenty
    in the battlefield

    meadow pipits
    thrilled to brood
    the cuckoo’s egg

    all the village girls
    but Sally
    dance around the maypole

    the first frog
    sings after lunch
    on Easter Sunday

  22. so simple yet so poignant Pamela, thank you for this jewel.
    as always Marshall your taste for artistic subtlety finds the best.

    1. thinning it down:

      M.D. orders
      Mrs. Dash to be sprinkled
      on his salads


      doctor orders Mrs. Dash
      to be sprinkled
      on his salad

        1. Thank you,
          Lorin …for your practical pointers, always on top of things….and shaking them up, LOL!
          i got your humourous rub!

          by now you have googled it….as the salt-less seasoning is sold in AU.
          i was unaware that the name is now changed. Again, thank you for heartily pointing this out to me.

          “Why was Mrs removed from Mrs. Dash seasoning?
          Mrs. Dash Drops the “Mrs.”-Just Goes by Dash Now
          The company didn’t explain why Mrs. Dash is dropping those three little letters—maybe that’s between her and Mr. Dash—but the newly shortened name is supposed to signify how quickly one can use the two dozen different Dash seasonings, mixes, and marinades to spice up their meals.Feb 21, 2020″ from a google search, i just did.

          and furthermore…”to add salt to the wound” LOL
          i have been using an OLD glass bottle of Mrs Dash which i refill with my own home-grown organic herbs, etc. as a salt-less seasoning for my husband….( i almost lost due to a heart attack)

  23. handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry


    cotton candy
    matches the cabbage patch
    twin strollers

  24. super spectacular, perfect human verse, Pamela and another priceless addition to our renku…Marshall.

  25. staring at the bare patch
    in the garden
    number three on the list

    staring at the bare patch
    I plot its future
    first spring breeze

      1. Final redo:

        bare patch
        number three
        on the garden list


        staring at the patch
        in the garden
        I plot its future stay

    1. I am changing both poems above…and scratching my second poem, as it mentions the name of a season which I understand is not acceptable. I have a redo below.

  26. For subtlety this one can’t be beat! It took me a while, but once I saw what was going on, I’ve been deeply impressed. Thanks to Pamela and Marshall.
    handprints and crumbs
    I would miss them

    Pamela Garry
    snowmelt runs
    to the circus grounds
    snowmelt comes
    in furrows
    and giggles

  27. oops! “…no reference to flowers or blossoms…” Marshall, I guess that would include flower seeds?

  28. Congratulations Pamela… a delightful verse! Thank-you for your beautiful poems!

    Thank-you Marshall for choosing a perfect verse for our renku.

    1. Hi Sebastian, I am sure renku should be for you, now. I would suggest approaching the writing of renku as if you were writing a haiku poem. Correct me if I am wrong, but this method has always worked for me and takes away some of the mystery. See if you can fit your poem’s theme to connect in some way with the last renku response posted. Your poem should be 3 lines or a verse of 2 lines, depending on the week. Reading Marshall’s directions at the beginning of each week’s session helps a a lot. I recommend reading his directions for each of the renku sessions that has been posted since August, to get a better idea. I would also like to suggest “Renku Reckoner” a book by John Carley , which Carol Jones recommended earlier in our session. The best advice I believe I could give is to jump right in and enjoy the fun:)

      1. Thanks very much Madeleine, I’ll try to get and read Renku Reckoner as I feel I need more guidance into this world of renku which seems to require a big leap from my usual haiku writing.

  29. Dear Diana and Marshal, I am amazingly touched and honored that you can deeply experience my words. We each bring so much of ourselves into the reading and writing of these quirky poems. When I was writing these two little lines, the handprints were my husband’s. Since our childhoods are an essential part of us, your interpretations make perfect sense to me. Thank you for this uplift. Pamela

    1. Awww Pamela… another interpretation that I have experienced…. As I have a partner/husband who leaves handprints and crumbs that I would miss too. Very beautiful. 🙏

  30. Beautiful… to experience something I never will … through these two lines. I never had children, not that I didn’t want to… for I did want them so much… but it is too late now. My season is over. But I could feel this… and definitely miss what I would have missed. How poignant and touching. This group makes me feel safe to be so vulnerable.
    Thank you Pamela and Marshall.

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