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The Renku Sessions: Way of the Wind – Week 12

Wayrenku_300

I am John Stevenson and I am your guide for a twenty-stanza, nijûin, renku.

There are a great many things to think about with each new renku verse. I try to keep my requirements simple but it often happens that a few factors become more important to me when it’s time to make a selection. In this case, I now realize that we need an outdoor image, perhaps a nature-based image, since we have been among human beings or in the imagination for quite a few verses. Also, we want something striking at this point.

Here are some offers that I very much enjoyed but that suffered from my not stating in advance what I now realize we need here. I hope we can all appreciate them, anyway:

 

the waiter
smirks as we order
the fugu soup

                             Lorin Ford

 

a double dog
dare to try
the blowfish

                             Michael Henry Lee

 

trying to create
snowflake ornaments
all different

                             Debbie Feller

 

wild ducks among
other colorful fowl now
stuffed and mounted

                             Berry Shropshire

 

memories
kindling
by the fireplace

                             Sandra St-Laurent

 

stepping back
in time to when
snowballs were fun

                             Robert Kingston

 

icicles dangling
from the immigration
office window

                             Dan Campbell

 

onion soup
leaving us only
half-full

                             Marietta McGregor

 

sipping coffee
by the bakery’s
fake fireplace

                             Dan Campbell

 

bedbugs
practicing
secret handshakes

                             greenrhythm

 

she was hunting
the blind mice
with a carving knife

                             Pauline O’Carolan

 

a little daikon
woke up
this greek salad

                             Wendy C. Bialek

 

first snow
our hopes
so high

                             Michelle Beyers

 

 

And here are a some that may have been finalists if we didn’t already have a verse from each of the poets:

 

a bonfire regenerates
that militant
zeal

                             Laurie Greer

 

thanked
for his service after
shoveling snow

                             Laurie Greer

 

their footprints
a bit zigzag
in the snow

                             Carol Judkins

 

at the pier
the pleasant chatter
of waterfowl

                             Linda Weir

 

The final choice comes down to seven offers:

 

our wink-eyed
ice sculpture
too risqué for the dean

                             Maxianne Berger

 

Probably outdoors, though very much about human relations. We have a pair of love verses coming up soon (numbers 13 and 14) and I wouldn’t want to put the idea of “risqué” in this position lest it create the possibility of back linking to this verse. Still, it does have the “pay attention” quality we want here.

 

wolves
in relentless pursuit
across the frozen tundra

                             Sally Biggar

 

This is outdoors, in nature, and it is striking, if not actually menacing. The link to the “pack” of fraternity brothers (?) is, in contrast, either humorous or perhaps critical.

 

how to ski
the expert slope
mansplained

                             Chris Patchel

 

Also, outdoors and also a verse with some attitude. Although I suspect we would all recognize skiing as suggestive of winter, it does not appear as a kigo on the list we are using.

 

the chatter of crows
carries across
a withered field

                             Andrew Shimield

 

This kigo is suggestive to most of us of Basho’s purported death poem. This gives it a gravitas that would be welcome here. On the other hand, because of this strong association to poetry, it may be a little close to the art show of verse eight.

 

deep tracks
through the snow
in the hunters wake

                                  Carol Jones

 

Another strong nature image. While I am not as concerned as some about a double kigo (snow, hunting), it would be just as well to avoid this in favor of other good offers that are available.

 

swirling smoke
writes a mystery alphabet
above the bonfire

                             Jonathan Alderfer

 

From the Greek alphabet to something more elemental.

 

photographs taken
with the classic
snowman

                             Carol Jones

 

This is fun. Again, perhaps a little too close to the visual art of verse eight.

 

 

 

Here is what I have selected as our eleventh verse:

 

wolves
in relentless pursuit
across the frozen tundra

                             Sally Biggar

 

 

Here is what we have, so far:

 

Way of the Wind

 

green barley—
we follow the way
of the wind

                        Lorin Ford

 

kids playing pooh sticks
with plum blossoms

                             Linda Weir

 

the long day opens
with a chime of pots
on the kitchen island

                             Laurie Greer

 

a coin in the cap
of a street busker

                             Andrew Shimield

 

summer moon
low on the hips
of the horizon

                             princess k

 

mosquitoes know that my wife
has sweeter blood

                             Dan Campbell

 

still drawn to him
after all the bumps
along the line

                             Wendy C. Bialek

 

queuing up to enter
the Escher exhibit

                             Carol Judkins

 

do you think
they discovered chaos theory
by chance

                             Keith Evetts

 

three-martini lunch
with old pals from sigma nu

                             Betty Shropshire

 

wolves
in relentless pursuit
across the frozen tundra

                             Sally Biggar

 

 

We will now be adding a second winter verse. The kigo in verse eleven (freeze) is listed as “all winter,” so this leaves all other winter kigo available to us. Please avoid images that have their own places in a renku – no moon, no love, no blossoms.  

 

The requirements for verse twelve will be as follows:

  • A two-line verse of fourteen syllables or less
  • With a winter image (kigo) from the list we are using
  • Without a grammatical break
  • Linking in some way to verse eleven (and in no obvious way to previous verses)

 

For this renku, we will be using this site (http://www.2hweb.net/haikai/renku/500ESWd.html) as the source for our season words and images.

 

I will be reviewing your offers until midnight on Monday, July 19 (New York time). On Thursday, July 22 there will be a new post in which I will announce my selection of the twelfth verse, comment on some of the other offers, and issue instructions for writing verse thirteen.

Onward!

John

 

 

 

 

The Haiku Foundation reminds you that participation in our offerings assumes respectful and appropriate behavior from all parties. Please see our Code of Conduct policy https://www.thehaikufoundation.org/code-of-conduct/ 

 

 

 

This Post Has 88 Comments

  1. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    even though it’s cold
    life keeps turning

    Nani Mariani

  2. sorry, ‘virus’ is not on this winter kigo list! (though ….it is recognized on many other lists and in many books i own.
    so….i replaced it in a following post…though a minute late!

  3. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    if only this virus
    was an endangered specie

    7/19/2021 by wendy © bialek

  4. sally congrats for a nice action, winter image,
    and thanks john for the wonderful work you do each day for this group!

    wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    reading totem stories
    between the quilts

    7/19/2021 by wendy © bialek

  5. she is in the same old coat
    all through winter
    **
    she is curled up
    example of winter withering
    ***
    plot of long novel
    her short day
    **

    her favorite porridge
    all around winter table
    **

    cold sparrows
    in search of haven
    **
    mom’s winter addiction
    her charcoal throughout
    **

    kitten’s sleep of comfort
    on fallen leaves

  6. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    shrill longing
    that is so long

    Nani Mariani

    Nani Mariani

    1. wolves
      in relentless pursuit
      across the frozen tundra

      Sally Biggar

      the north wind sweeps
      through the campus
      .
      the north wind howls
      through the mountain pass

      Nancy Brady, 2021

  7. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    the story of our winters
    at the back of beyond

  8. that pink tongue
    waiting for the snowflakes
    ***
    some rest
    finally getting off the sled
    ***
    in haste a snow glove
    remains downstream

  9. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra
    ——Sally Biggar

    *

    bones of winters past
    preserved in the permafrost

    *

    whale bones litter
    the icebound foreshore

    *

    a hawk seeks shelter
    under the red iron bridge

    *

    on the bright side
    winter nights are getting shorter

  10. melting ice makes
    slippery slopes
    *
    hunkering down
    through the sleet
    *
    cold nights the cost
    of clear blue skies
    *
    sandwiches not quite
    cutting it on this short day
    *
    the winter fly
    reluctant to leave

  11. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    by rushing to close the door
    still hear the sound of wild ducks

    Nani Mariani

  12. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    an iced pool reflects
    her red bonnet

    a reflection
    of her red bonnet

    neat oxygen drawn deep
    at the summit

    at base camp
    frost bitten digits

    at base camp
    climbers discuss war wounds

    a scattering of candy
    on the gingerbread cottage roof

  13. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar
    *

    the crackling campfire
    in the withering wind

    Milan Rajkumar
    *

  14. A really vivid image, Sally.

    Verse 1:

    sea levels rise
    and the ice disappears

    Verse 2:

    no access to her assets
    cold comfort to the creditors

    Verse 3:

    perhaps Putin
    authorised use of novichok

    Verse 4:

    he stalked her
    through the snow

    Verse 5:

    no trees
    but moss lives under the snow

  15. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra
                                 Sally Beggar
     
    blanched winter greens
    for supper again

  16. a twinkle of ice
    in the gathering night

    a howl rebounding
    from the winter mountains

    the young learn how
    their parents kill

    stark shadows
    stalk the winter grove

    fresh snow wipes out all traces
    in the hush of dawn

  17. sparrows floating like
    scraps of dirty cloth above the ice
    *
    tyrants know shadows of bare trees
    resemble whip marks

  18. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra
    *
    better one nandin berry
    than cursing the snow blindness
    *
    the Anthropocene proving permafrost
    a misnomer
    *

  19. 1
    looking at the clouds
    I see the snow
    from a long time ago

    2
    in my garden
    flowering heather
    under the rime

  20. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    bare-boned trees
    silent over fallen leaves
    *
    a passing wave of tails
    in winter grasses
    *
    bits of charcoal
    where the forest was

  21. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    a dusting of snow
    follows the thunderous entry

    hawks have a way
    of seeking out blood

  22. .
    the perfect wave
    arrives in the cold time
    .
    a double-knock hammer
    sounds on a clear winter day
    .

  23. never swallow an oyster
    that is having nightmares
    *
    taking oysters with viagra
    prevents rolling out of bed

  24. love the energy of Sally’s wolves!! thanks, John, for pausing on the risqué frat sculpture .. and now to respond ..
    *
    wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra — Sally Biggar
    **
    cor! how screeches pierce
    the cold, clear night
    **

    1. .
      cor! how screeches pierce
      the cold, clear night
      .
      Intentional or not, a nice tribute to Cor van den Heuvel.

  25. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar
    *
    a nandin berry
    to stave off the snow blindness
    *

  26. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    white as in
    the cliffs at Dover

  27. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar
    *
    unpacking the firearms
    from an heirloom quilt
    *

  28. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar
    *
    ice withering
    to the consistency of a quilt
    *

  29. hunting for something
    we cannot name
    *
    deafened by the howling
    of the north wind
    *
    the passing year full
    of empty bellies
    *
    the keen eyes of a hawk
    finds the wreckage first
    *
    from far horizons
    the call of the wild ducks

  30. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    catching a glimpse
    of Aurora Borealis

  31. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    burs between the teeth
    of a bone comb

  32. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar
    *****

    wind-bent tree
    kissing mother earth

  33. the passing year was
    little more than a blur
    ****************************
    a withered field where
    the bodies were buried
    ****************************
    pidge porridge hotter
    than the fires of hell

  34. Congrats Sally and thank you John
    *
    porridge, onions and turnips
    are a poor man’s menu
    *
    yelling for help
    after falling through the ice
    *
    building a tiny igloo
    for the mother-in-law
    *
    old Eskimo making
    his last hike across the ice
    *

  35. Excellent.

    wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    icicles the shape of a dagger
    dripping
    *
    the spokesman’s denial
    meets with cold stares
    *
    cornered by a married man
    at the New Year’s Eve party
    *
    a snowflake loses life
    for something said on Twitter
    *
    a mammoth task
    to keep the ice from melting
    *
    a quarry of cold stones
    for the graveyard
    *
    all the fallen leaves
    not trivial

  36. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    a PETA protest march
    targets real fur helmets

    1. On second thoughts (please ignore the first go):

      a PETA protest march
      shuts down the hunt

  37. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    scattered firewood
    in the wake of the home run

    an Eskimo’s view
    of the underworld

  38. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    in winter seclusion
    all sounds are louder

  39. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    a lost wicker fishnet
    trapping only bones

  40. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    snow pellets easily penetrate
    a pilgrim’s thin white cloak

  41. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    logs heaped on our bonfire
    to drive back unseen haunts

  42. Hello,
    Wonderful winer image, congratulations! Here are some offerings following Sally’s

    wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra
    ******

    snowflakes
    slowly blanketing the crime scene
    *
    charcoal suits at last stopped
    by northern lights
    *
    de-icing station
    a flight attendant starts a tune
    *
    icicles forming
    on the welcome sign

  43. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra
                                 Sally Biggar

    the diner soon fills
    with the smell of onions

  44. What a delightful surprise and honor! Thank you, John, for selecting my verse. I have been away from this forum for quite some time, so this pleases me no end. I’ll be watching from the sidelines now, and absorbing all your sage advice and guidance, John. Many thanks to everyone for your congratulations.
    Sally

    1. You are welcome to keep playing, Sally. While I probably won’t use a second verse from any poet, I have been regularly featuring verses from poets already included, indicating that their verse would, otherwise, have been contenders.

  45. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    a warm spot
    amongst the icicles

    turning ice to water
    for the long journey home

    tennis rackets too
    are good for trekking
    for

  46. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar

    Congratulations Sally.
    Thank you for considering one of mine John.

  47. Congratulations, Sally! And, thank you, John.

    snow
    on snow
    on bent feathers

    Michelle Beyers
    Copyright © 7/15/21

  48. wolves
    in relentless pursuit
    across the frozen tundra

    Sally Biggar
    *
    the christmas presents
    hidden from the kids

  49. A great visual, Sally, congratulations, a fab choice, John.

    Thank you for pausing on some of mine, enjoyed reading your comments.

    1. Congratulations Sally! Delightful to be on the tundra during a heat wave. Thanks ,John, for pausing on my offerings and for all your illuminating comments.
      *
      wolves

      in relentless pursuit
      across the frozen tundra
      *
      barely surviving
      on wild onions and turnips
      *
      Or even

      barely surviving
      the wild onions and turnips
      *

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