skip to Main Content

The Renku Sessions: Way of the Wind – Week 16

Wayrenku_300

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

We now select our autumn moon verse. While we are still in the middle section (the “ha”) and anything goes, the subject itself suggests beauty and a certain degree of awe. There were some very innovative offers. Here are a couple of attractive examples:

earthrise
from the moon
so unforgettable

                            Betty Shropshire

 

imagine all those
confused wolves on planets
with two moons

                                  Dan Campbell

 

While these verses make skillful use of a contemporary imagination, I am inclined to select a moon verse that represents more solidarity with the centuries of poets who precede us.

 

As we have come to expect, poets who have already been included in the renku continue to offer excellent work:

 

the moon
rounding up
the usual suspects

                                  Wendy C. Bialek

 

a net full
of cod
under the harvest moon

                                  Laurie Greer

 

the moon’s
fragments
in a cracked mirror

                                  Marietta McGregor

 

taking off
all my bling to point
at the moon

                                  Marietta McGregor

 

an exile sees
the moon
of home

                                  Keith Evetts

 

the teamwork
of moonlit migrants
jumping the wall

                                  Christopher Patchel

 

how come
everyone assumes
the moon’s gender?

                                  princess k

 

a film of high cirrus
hides the moon’s
pockmarks

                                  Keith Evetts

 

joyriding
in a bi-plane
beneath a sickle moon

                                  Carol Judkins

 

the moon
will still repeat its phases
as time goes by

                                  Lorin Ford

 

cumulonimbus
are curtains
for moonwatchers

                                  Keith Evetts

 

moonlight in the rigging
as we chart our course
by the stars

                                  andrew shimield

 

wherefore
art thou
moon

                                  Keith Evetts

 

Turning to those verses offered by poets not yet included, I am especially pleased to see some names that are new to me this week. I will make a selection from the following:

 

sixteenth night
brighter than before  
our shadow

                                  Taruni Aditya Patala

 

This is an autumn moon kigo from our list that does not mention the moon. This is made possible by a lunar calendar and the fine distinctions observed by the Japanese among all phases of the moon. If I select this verse, I will have to revise it to avoid the grammatical breaks.

 

 

miles apart
I look at the moon
you look at

                                  Surashree Joshi

 

This verse also contains a grammatical break. This sentiment is a very ancient one that still strikes the modern imagination. Coming after our two love verses, I am concerned that it might also be read as a love verse.

 

 

a crescent moon
rocks
this world

                                  greenrhythm

 

Attractive simplicity, enhanced by the fourth line (the poet’s pen-name).

 

 

moonlit moons
dance on mother of pearl
button blankets

                                  Liz Ann Winkler

 

The real moon, showing its imitators to best advantage. Love the laborious alliteration!

 

 

taking leave
of the harvest
moon

                                  Kanjini Devi

 

This verse brings to mind the famous “two autumns” haiku and fits nicely with the fact that Rick and Ilsa are parting. It’s interesting that even the harvest moon is separated into its component entities by a line break.

 

 

trickle down
moonlight lost
in the city’s glow

                                  Jonathan Alderfer

 

For American readers, at least, this verse has a vertical axis that includes the Reagan era theory of “trickle down economics.” On the horizontal axis, it is an accurate expression of what can happen to moonlight when observed from street level in any large city.

 

 

this veiled moon
dampens
any melancholy

                                  Margherita Petriccione

 

A very nice tone poem. I am concerned about a named emotion in this verse, since verse thirteen gives us “excitement.”

 

 

in the calm
of moonlight
the drone of engines

                                  Ann Smith

 

The same might be a factor here, although “calm” does not have to be read as an emotional state. Since I would have to revise this verse to remove the grammatical break, I might suggest borrowing from Margherita: “moonlight / dampens the drone / of engines.”

 

 

curtain left open
for the company
of the moon

                                  Debbie Scheving

 

I read the curtain of this verse, left open, as a contrast to the curtain coming down on the final scene of “Casablanca,” where Rick walks off with the prospect of a “beautiful friendship.”

 

 

only the moon
to witness the virus
creep into the room

                                  Pauline O’Carolan

 

There were several “moon and thief” offers, which represent another vertical axis reference to a famous haiku. This one simultaneously serves as a current events verse.

 

 

 

The selections become more difficult as we enter the latter portions of a renku. Here is what I have selected as our fifteenth verse:

 

taking leave
of the harvest
moon

                            Kanjini Devi

 

 

 

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

 

pidge porridge hotter
than the fires of hell

                            Michael Henry Lee

 

that delicious fillip
of excitement
from a sidelong glance

                            Marietta McGregor

 

Rick and Ilsa
in the airport fog

                            Christopher Patchel

 

taking leave
of the harvest
moon

                            Kanjini Devi

 

 

 

 

The requirements for verse sixteen will be as follows:

  • A two-line verse of fourteen syllables or less
  • With a mid or late autumn image (kigo)
  • Without a grammatical break
  • Linking in some way to verse fifteen (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, August 16 (New York time). On Thursday, August 19 there will be a new post in which I will announce my selection of the sixteenth verse, comment on some of the other offers, and issue instructions for writing verse seventeen.

 

Thank you, everyone!

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://thehaikufoundation.org/about-thf/policies/#code-of-conduct

 

 

 

This Post Has 74 Comments

  1. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon

    Kanjini Devi
    .
    warm sake for comfort
    this chilly night
    .
    (chilly (hiyayaka, mid autumn).
    .
    “A barnacle goose
    Far up in the stretches of night ” – W.B. Yeats, from ‘High Talk’
    .
    (goose (kari, late autumn)
    .

  2. morning frost blankets
    the homeless camp

    greedy pharaohs
    hoard mushrooms for themselves

    the welcome mat
    covered in maple leaves

    Congratulations Kanjini – lovely choice, John. I’m late this week and loving the variety of offerings so far.

  3. Congratulations to all selected ❤️specifically to dear Kanjini Devi >> big congratulations to you 🍇🌹🌹

    taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon

    Kanjini Devi

  4. Congrats to Kanjini, and thank you to John for mention of my “curtain” verse.
    *
    the walk home
    in a drenched hoodie
    *
    hypnotized by the white caps
    at high tide
    *
    barn swept
    and filled with straw
    *
    we pick mushrooms
    at his secret place
    *
    And a play on the discussion re Ryokan’s verse:

    their bums get cold
    picking apples

  5. Kanjini what a perfect moon verse for this renku, so well done. And, John your commentary enables us to see all that you see as our guide. And, thank you for commenting on my offering. Our daughter was able to visit for the first time in two years, so I will skip this week. Thought I might get to it today, but “something came up.” I was able to peruse some of the offerings and it looks like the group is really into polishing off this round. The way of this wind leaves me smiling.

  6. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    ——-Kanjini Devi

    *

    the wheat and the chaff
    go their separate ways

    *

    the south road
    crackles with frozen dew

    *

    the last cricket offers
    a song of absolution

  7. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon

    Kanjini Devi

    preparing thai basil
    stuffed mushrooms

    8/16/2021 by wendy © bialek

  8. john….thanks for all you bring to the renku table!
    (my only request is that the typo of my last name be corrected
    before it goes into archives, thank you in advance)

    the moon
    rounding up
    the usual suspects

    Wendy C. Bialek

  9. kanjini, a very succinct verse with a great link and shift! congrats!

    taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon

    Kanjini Devi

    training on mushrooms
    with expired vaccines

    8/16/2021 by wendy © bialek

  10. Congratulation Kanjini!

    Following
    Taking leave
    Of the harvest
    Moon
    ***

    tattered lotus bodies
    knotted on the yoga mat
    *

    we found ourselves
    at the salmon run
    *

    time to store
    the smell of straw
    *

    still birds
    listening to worm cry

    1. Oups! Added a syllable there (too many)
      Should read as follow:

      tattered lotus bodies
      knotted on the mat

  11. one after another
    grass final stage of wither
    **

    alone a crow
    after bone in autumn’s field
    **
    careful grandma’s steps
    a nonagenarian

    **
    her watchword
    always the next full moon
    **
    lullaby in cradle
    in more husky voice

    **

  12. shocks in the fields
    no need to fear for weather

    just one wrinkled russet
    hanging on the bough

    good bye Earth
    bin nice to know ya

  13. Congratulations Kanjini and
    thank you John

    taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon

    Kanjini Devi

    walnuts clatter on tarmac
    in a mast year

    a glimmer of sardines
    catches a wave

    mushroom spores
    vanish in a puff

    the way mushrooms
    push your buttons

    the picker’s persimmons
    warmed by sake

    some day
    more mushrooms may erupt

  14. Verse 1:

    a little cold
    when removing the organs

    Verse 2:

    desolate population
    now the city has fallen

  15. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon – Kanjini Devi

    *
    apple picking vacation
    enjoyed by all

    *
    in highlighted rows
    haystacks like breasts

    *
    an extra blanket packed
    for this chilly night

    ***

  16. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    – Kanjini Devi

    seems as if truffles were
    the only desideratum
    – Betty Shropshire

  17. Congrats Kanjini!
    .
    taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon

    Kanjini Devi
    .
    .
    one by one
    the wings from a dragonfly
    .
    the desolate delight
    of an empty nest
    .
    soaked to the bone
    i pour myself another
    .
    hand to mouth
    the salmon
    .
    a story telling of crows descends
    on fallen ears
    .
    a lode of lightning
    slashes the sclera
    .
    worms weep
    over bare bones
    .
    morning cold
    and my throat is dry again
    .
    .

  18. Here are my offerings for the renga. I’m not sure how many I can submit.

    ::
    the porch lamp lit early
    as the evenings draw in
    ::
    cool evening breeze
    hunting for the moon
    ::
    swallows prepare to leave
    for far away places
    ::
    thought evenings draw in I pray
    that moonlight guides me home
    ::

    Karen Harvey
    North Wales

    PS. The link to the Code of Conduct is 404: not found.

  19. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    – Kanjini Devi

    thwap-thump of grand sumo
    via satellite from Fukuoka

    1. *Fukuoka in Kyushu hosts a major sumo tournament (honbasho) over 15 days every November. When my Australian photography workshop group attended a session, the giant rectangular stadium (15 minutes by cab from Hakata-ku Railway Station) was packed with cheering (or screaming) fans. It was exciting, deafening and fantastic fun to watch from the stands! Grand sumo with background info and play-by-play commentary is beamed all over Japan on NHK WORLD.
      https://visit-fukuoka-japan.com/todo/other_spots/400000006059/
      https://www.japan.travel/en/spot/267/

  20. Thank you for your kind comments, everyone! Thank you, John, for picking my verse. I’m truly over the moon _()_

  21. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    – Kanjini Devi

    grandpa’s pampas grass
    shining silver as his beard

  22. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    – Kanjini Devi

    every doorframe’s garland
    of orange persimmons

  23. red maple leaf
    riding a black bull’s back
    *
    skipping persimmons
    across the pond
    *
    scarecrow watching
    rabbits explore the shriveled garden
    *
    mini-kite maple
    leaves riding the wind
    *
    fresh persimmons are delicious
    if you’re starving
    *
    scarecrows daydream
    about running through the cornstalks

    1. You have such a wonderful sense of humour, Dan!
      I’m enjoying all your verses, especially the ones on persimmons.
      This one in particular left me laughing!!
      .
      fresh persimmons are delicious
      if you’re starving

      (Dan Campbell)
      .

  24. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon

    Kanjini Devi

    a cock’s comb tattoo
    on his close-cropped head

    bits of bottle focus
    wild fire in a haystack

    leaf after leaf
    parting from the maple

    a final wave of reeds
    before the cut

    new straw ordered for
    the Augean stables

  25. Congratulations Kanjini and thank you John, I always learn from your comments.
    *
    persimmons only taste sweet
    after they are rotten
    *
    juggling persimmons
    on a chilly morning

    1. “…persimmons on a chilly morning” immediately summons up:

      persimmon picking
      my balls are cold
      autumn wind
      —Ryokan
      akimogi no / kintama samushi / aki no kaze)
      – would Ryokan’s L1&2 be selected for the renku or not make the grade, I wonder?!

      1. taking leave
        of the harvest
        moon

        Kanjini Devi

        farmer on the haystack
        waits for the silver light

        the lone scarecrow
        dangling upside down

        so much to talk
        about the silver silence

      2. Keith, my best guess is that this English translation of the original Ls 1 & 2 that you’ve quoted would
        not make it, because of the break: ‘persimmon picking // my balls are cold. ‘

        Without a break it doesn’t make sense: “(a) persimmon picking my balls. . .” ( To misquote Ferris Gilli, “My, what a clever persimmon!” )

        I don’t read Japanese, but my intuition says Ls 1 & 2 might more likely be something similar to this in English:
        ” My balls become cold as I pick persimmons// autumn wind” or “As I pick persimmons my balls become cold // autumn wind ” .

        The only cut in a renku is in the first verse, the hokku. . . . (sometimes, the last verse, too. . . though I’ve not seen one in an EL renku)

        1. … also, of course, there are two ‘kigo’/ ‘season words in it: ‘persimmons’ & ‘autumn wind’. That’d be unusual, I think. I’ll leave it to John to answer whether it’s generally ok or not to have two season words in one renku verse.

          1. Lorin: yes, there are (at least) two kigos in it, and two cuts…. but Ryokan is a master….. For the purposes of renku, L1 & 2 could be reversed to eliminate the grammatical break, I submit:

            my balls are cold
            picking persimmons

            Who invented the rule about no grammatical breaks, and why, I wonder. Interested…

  26. Thanks for your attention and for all the comments John, always very interesting.
    And thanks for your hard work.

    My new proposals

    ***
    let us welcome
    the first dew chill
    ***
    footprints hidden
    by the first tide
    ***
    darker evenings
    but smelling of chestnuts
    ***
    and we arrived
    at the sixteenth night

  27. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    – Kanjini Devi

    a volcano still rumbles
    beneath the tattered bashoo
    – Betty Shropshire
    – Betty Shropshire

    1. Hi Betty,
      The “bashoo” is interesting because because it’s one of two types of banana trees. In much of the world it’s referred to as a “Plantain” but I think that in the USA the name ‘plantain’ is reserved for a type of grass.

      In Higginson’s ‘Haiku World it’s found under “Banana Tree” and he knows it’s really a plantain tree but he mistakenly says ” . . . banana or plantain tree bearing inedible fruit“, which is not true. The plantain fruit is starchier and not as sweet as the bananas, so one doesn’t eat them raw but people (such as indigenous Australians and Pacific Islanders, for instance) have been cooking them from time immemorial.

      The leaves, as you’re obviously aware, become tattered in the wind in just the way banana tree leaves do. 🙂

      1. Hi Lorin! Happy you noticed my bashoo verse! Yep, we have a plenitude of plantain “weeds” not grasses. And I’ve eaten the leaves in a salad not that long ago while stopped overnight in the tiny town of Magdalena, New Mexico on a recent trip to Arizona…not very tasty but beautifully presented…we were quite surprised because it was such a “low budget” motel and restaurant. After I enquired about them, the chef claimed the unusual greens were from the local farmer’s market so we gamely ate them and something he called a watermelon radish which was not edible at all. We might’ve been had! 😄 Have also eaten fried plantains while in Costa Rica years ago and rarely, have see them offered locally in the more upscale grocery stores here.
        Cheers!
        Betty

  28. discarded needles
    among the haystacks

    how desolate
    this world seems now

    why does mother say
    my goose is cooked

    the dew frost settles
    on the body’s feet

  29. Congrats, Kanjini, and thank you, John.

    taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    – Kanjini Devi

    the runaround to tidy up
    after fleeting autumn

  30. Well done, Kanjini – a magic line-break! And another fertile session, well worthwhile.

    taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon

    Kanjini Devi


    geese gather
    to synchronise their moves

    again that name
    traced in the dew frost

    a scythe spares withered tips
    to take the ripened

    the first tide leaves in jetsam
    a fading bottled plea

    in the first tide’s jetsam
    is an Afghan lifejacket

    red leaves
    a lot to be desired

  31. Congrats, Kanjini, and thank you, John.

    taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    – Kanjini Devi

    new soba exactly what
    the doctor ordered

  32. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    .
    Kanjini Devi
    .
    witch sisters
    hunt for ghost fungus
    .
    ( mushrooms, fungus (kinoko, late autumn).
    *
    Omphalotus nidiformis, or ghost fungus, is a gilled basidiomycete mushroom most notable for its bioluminescent properties. It is known to be found primarily in southern Australia and Tasmania, but was reported from India in 2012 and 2018. . . . ”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omphalotus_nidiformis
    .

    1. +
      It’s actually Friday 13th ( AEST ) where I am, I’ve just realised.
      .
      taking leave
      of the harvest
      moon
      .
      Kanjini Devi
      .
      (b)
      ghost fungus hunts
      added to the almanac
      .
      (c)
      a ghost fungus hunt
      on Friday 13th
      .

  33. Congratulations, Kanjini. It’s interesting that “harvest” in your verse can work as both noun and adjective. Considering the prohibition : “no cuts in renku verses apart from the hokku”, though, we must assume in this case that it’s an adjective.
    .
    taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    Kanjini Devi
    .

  34. taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    – Kanjini Devi

    salmon up and up only
    to gasp in the throes of death
    – Betty Shropshire

  35. congrats to Kanjini ☺ and for interesting comments, John .. always helpful for learning ..
    **
    taking leave
    of the harvest
    moon
    Kanjini Devi
    *
    the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge
    *
    have a fun week, all …

    1. taking leave
      of the harvest
      moon
      – Kanjini Devi

      *
      I fill the blank
      with persimmons
      *
      the windstorm rages
      all down the alleys
      *
      three gees loud quack
      and cross the road

Leave a Reply

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

Back To Top