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The Renku Sessions: Way of the Wind – Week 17

Wayrenku_300

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

At this point in the renku, there are many things to think about. Something is bound to get lost in the process and it seems important to resist any tendency we may have toward perfectionism if we are to continue to enjoy ourselves.

The big thing that is happening at verse sixteen is that we are closing out the middle section (the “ha”) of our renku. We can either do it with a bang or we can begin to hint at the tone of the closing section (the “kyu”).

 

As has come to be customary in this session, I will begin by highlighting some verses from poets already included:

 

witch sisters
hunt for ghost fungus

                            Lorin Ford

 

a volcano still rumbles
beneath the tattered bashoo

                            Betty Shropshire

 

the science behind
these peak maple colors

                            Chris Patchel

 

a barrel of apples
sent to be pressed

                            Andrew Shimield

 

 

My selection will be made from the following set of nine offers:

 

the scarecrow reluctantly
turns in his badge

                            Maxianne Berger

 

The fancifulness of this image represents some of the bang we may want here and “turns in his badge” goes nicely with the fact that we are concluding our “ha.” For some, the presence of military and police officials in the concluding scenes of Casablanca may feel like too close a connection between this and verse fourteen. I don’t feel that way since that verse is so intensely and exclusively focused on “Rick and Ilsa.”

 

 

round and round
the fairy ring

                            Marion Clarke

 

This is a beautiful image combined with the harvest moon. And “round and round” helps us round out the “ha.” Rather than a bang, this offers us some of the tone we will be looking for in the “kyu.”

 

 

darker evenings
but smelling of chestnuts

                            Margherita Petriccione

 

The end of the day works nicely in this position. And we could use a scent image.

 

 

an extra blanket packed
for this chilly night

                            Barbara A. Taylor

 

Anticipation also works here.

 

 

tv drowned out by
low flying geese

                            Debbie Feller

 

A close link to taking leave of the moon.

 

 

we found ourselves
at the salmon run

                            Sandra St-Laurent

 

This image uses some of both strategies for transitioning from “ha” to “kyu.” The image involves furious activity but it also is known to lead to a “fast finish.”

 

 

migrant workers pick
the apple crop

                            Nancy Brady

 

I am of two minds about this verse. We started with “the way of the wind” and added a street, a que, relentless pursuit, an airport and a departure (taking leave). While it is legitimate to have some sense of subtle overarching themes in a renku, subtle is the key. So, I’m just not sure about adding “migrant” to the list, even though it is a solid choice when considering just the direct link to verse fifteen.

 

 

the last cricket offers
a song of absolution

                            Jonathan Alderfer

 

“Song of absolution” is a wonderful phrase.

 

 

we pick mushrooms
at his secret place

                            Debbie Scheving

 

Gathering mushrooms is very much in line with the intent of the kigo on our list. And if the harvest moon has departed, this might be the best time to visit a secret place undetected. I do think this has some of the atmosphere of a love verse.

 

 

Here is what I have selected as our sixteenth verse:

 

the scarecrow reluctantly
turns in his badge

                            Maxianne Berger

 

 

 

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 scarecrow reluctantly
turns in his badge

                            Maxianne Berger

 

 

The requirements for verse seventeen will be as follows:

  • A three-line verse of seventeen syllables or less
  • Without a seasonal image (kigo)
  • Without a grammatical break
  • Linking in some way to verse sixteen (and in no obvious way to previous verses)

Verse seventeen begins the closing section of the renku (“kyu”). Of this section, Professor Fukuda has written, “This part should be written calmly and pleasantly. Here again, we can say we write in formal attire.”

 

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 (kigo). Kigo are not always intuitive so it is a good idea to check the list before submitting a non-seasonal verse, just to be sure it does not include an inadvertent seasonal reference.

 

I will be reviewing your offers until midnight on Monday, August 23 (New York time). On Thursday, August 26 there will be a new post in which I will announce my selection of the seventeenth verse, comment on some of the other offers, and issue instructions for writing verse eighteen.

 

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 90 Comments

  1. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger
    .
    just one of many
    hollow men
    headpiece filled with straw
    .

  2. Congrats Maxianne, on the intriguing verse, and thank you, John, for the insightful comments.
    *
    no guilt
    in taking
    a mid-day nap
    *
    an aging neighbor
    still practices
    his saxophone
    *
    gathering clothes
    for the thrift shop
    donation bin

  3. my dog’s
    paw shuffles
    in a dream

    8.23.2021 by wendy © bialek

    no
    deadlines
    for my dream

    8.23.2021 by wendy © bialek

    seven new tiles
    picked with my
    eyes closed

    8.23.2021 by wendy © bialek

  4. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    *

    my best friend
    only speaks
    in the present tense

  5. under a sudden downpour
    I can’t find a door to shelter myself

    ***********

    in the soap bubbles
    reflections of the sea

  6. Thank you John for your attention to my writings, and congratulations on your choice

    returning
    with a “green pass”
    to school
    ***
    new scarves
    to put in the office
    on the suit
    ***
    after retirement
    you can know yourself
    after all

  7. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    the scales
    of justice
    finely balanced

    baffled faces
    peek at circles
    in the stubble

    amazed to find
    clean-shaven poets
    at the retreat

  8. writing full story
    strike it off
    at the end
    ***
    out of mood
    hot cup of tea
    in the sink
    ***
    turned down
    in airport since no proof
    of identity

    ****
    inserting pencil
    in his half torn
    pocket
    **
    fast asleep
    despite mosquitos’
    harangue
    **
    much strain
    breaking a coconut
    decayed

  9. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    still a scandal
    when Black Lives Matter
    go on to it

    could be used
    as a sign post
    with a few touches

    the President
    without a blush slips in
    a reverse ferret

  10. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    *

    a rainbow
    trout leaps clear
    of the world

    *

    cultivating
    the pebbled waves
    and island stones

  11. the weatherman admits
    he can’t do anything
    about it

    a fisherman’s arms
    not quite long enough
    for tails

    [[ … trying to catch the ‘formal attire’ aspect… ]]

  12. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    enough room
    on his stick
    for every place he’s been

    the storytelling
    recovers its poise
    when the flap’s over

    medals
    to be recycled
    into ploughshares

    bubbles
    in blood vessels
    are the last straw

    we all sign
    the retirement card
    or is it a petition?

    few people read
    the records of
    the agriculture ministry

    shoeshining
    in ragtime
    tango

    on young
    macdonald’s farm
    it’s AI-AI-O

  13. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    —-

    just enough oil
    to free the rust
    that slowed the wheels

    the winch creaks
    as a bucket of sweet water
    is hauled from the well

    an upright citizen
    bent on supporting
    a good cause

    a new world record
    in the pole-vault
    by half a millimetre

  14. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger
    *
    pasting fresh
    bookplates
    in the hardcover classics
    *
    the strength
    of the stick-um
    on an Ex Libris tag
    *
    another
    Ex Libris
    swelling the shelf
    *
    another
    Ex Libris
    comes home to roost

  15. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger
    *
    the recycling sorted
    into different coloured crates
    ready for collection

  16. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    not mentioning
    the time spent
    listening to birds

    a whirl of rooks
    gives cheer after cheer
    to the wild sky

  17. Very visual, bravo Maxianne!

    the scarecrow relunctanly
    turns in his badge
    (Maxianne Berger)
    *

    rumors
    already in the air
    of a sequel
    *
    the courage
    to pocket a ticket
    for later

    *
    the scout pack
    always knew him as
    White Paws

    *
    life’s invitation
    to find another
    hobby

    *
    a crease
    smoothen
    at the farewell speech
    *
    glow
    of fulfilment reflecting
    on perfectly filled fingernails

  18. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger
    .
    which way
    to the nearest exotic
    tattoo shop?

  19. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger
    .
    yesterday’s heroes
    still smiling in auntie’s
    photo album

  20. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger
    .
    hoofbeats
    echo through the canyon
    long after

  21. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    .
    thumbs up
    for Hercule Poirot’s
    dapper moustache
    .

  22. congrats Maxine, loved your verse.

    the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger
    .
    resolutely
    selecting a comfy chair
    for the front porch
    .

  23. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    *

    CCTV cameras
    capture the fleeting sunset
    in black and white

  24. gazing upon
    a starfish constellation
    at low tide
    *
    listening
    to the echo
    of one hand clapping
    *
    remembering
    that Thai lady’s smile
    thirty years later
    *
    scratching
    that scar underneath
    the medal

  25. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge
    ————Maxianne Berger

    *

    by the willow
    where the water speaks
    there is a net and a fish

    *

    low tide uncovers
    the lovely form
    of a shifting sandbar

    *

    where are the crows
    there ought to be crows
    don’t bother they’re here

    (tongue-in-cheek tampering with the Sondheim lyric)

  26. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    a well-dressed priest
    with a whistle-clean
    begging bowl

    a sandwich for the birds
    kept in waxed paper
    tied with string

    gules three lions
    passant guardant in pale or armed
    and langued azure

    the sound
    of one crow
    flapping

  27. Congratulations, Maxianne. Now it does get hard!

    the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge
    – Maxianne Berger

    appreciating
    a good night’s sleep
    in the silent city

  28. neither styrofoam
    nor halos
    can be recycled
    *
    lonely man
    wearing a donkey disguise
    in the petting zoo

  29. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge
    – Maxianne Berger

    to soft strains
    of a Bohemian
    Rhapsody
    – Betty Shropshire

  30. John’s additional guidance today on the final section, above, prompts a reset.

    sunrise reveals
    night-sparrows are only
    ordinary birds

    past its azimuth
    the sun outlines
    western mountains

    1. I am assuming that, while ‘sparrow’ is an all-season kigo, ‘night-sparrow’, the yosuzume, one of the yokai or mischievous spirits, is not a kigo.

      1. John, anent Keith’s comment, here .. can an all-season kigo be used in a no-season verse? I mean, in the sense that it could be “any” season, a no-kigo verse can also be “any” season ..
        of course, though, there are words that mean specific season to us, wherever we happen to live, which are not listed on Higginson’s site .. therefore technically not kigos .. but whoever reads the verse will quite possibly sense a season .. and what does Matsuyama have to say about it?
        okay .. this is not a single question, and could well require an entire book to answer ..

        1. Renku need to be written on the basis of an agreed upon list of season words and phrases (saijiki). The list we are presently using does not have an “all season” list. So, the question is moot here. If we were working with Bill Higginson’s “Haiku World,” for instance, we would have a section of “all year” topics. I have heard these referred to as “key words” and I think that makes more sense than the idea of an all-year kigo. But, if we were working with a saijiki that contained all-year kigo, we would use them as indicated.

  31. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge
    – Maxianne Berger

    ephemeral
    reflections
    off a tin can
    – Betty Shropshire

  32. another dream
    shattered
    when the results come in

    another bruise
    she tries to cover up
    with bravado

    that scent of fear
    when faced
    with Human Resources

    a city falls
    while he sleeps off
    his hangover

    no longer able to hide
    the symptoms
    that threaten

    1. This might be a good time to mention that the verses in the closing section will not deal with harsh topics – illness, death, failure, betrayal, politics, tumultuous emotions, etc.

  33. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    sketching in
    the outlines
    of a better life

    time to give
    the kaleidoscope
    another twist

    looking forward
    to the day there’s nothing
    in the news

    hope remains
    cetaceans will be
    more than bones

    barely a sign
    that life exists
    on other planets

  34. Congratulations Maxianne and thank you John
    *
    chained
    junkyard dog following
    the shade
    *
    I open
    an umbrella when
    her rain dance begins

  35. in every chapter
    choice words highlighted
    in yellow

    a treasury
    of unread books
    in every pile

    tow head curls
    escape the pitcher’s ball cap
    on the last out

  36. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger
    .
    bales of cast-offs
    destined to be dumped
    as landfill
    .
    losing count
    of the bales of cast-off
    on the wharf

  37. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge
    – Maxianne Berger

    petrified wood
    worn smooth
    to the touch
    – Betty Shropshire

  38. Congratulations, Maxianne, very nicely done. I like the subtle humour that arises from the idiomatic use of “turns in his badge” in relation to a scarecrow.

      1. Marion 🙂 Yes, a disheveled detective, perhaps with a Boris hairdo? Or a sheriff from an old John Wayne ‘Western’ (There were a lot of those.)

  39. Congratulations Maxianne!

    the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    *

    a ruby wink
    from the rising sun
    jumpstarts the day

  40. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    yesterday’s cowboy
    has become a dutiful
    firefighter

    8/19/2021 by wendy © bialek

    1. oooops! too close to:

      Michael Henry Lee’s

      “………..hotter
      than the fires of hell”

      yesterday’s cowgirl
      has become the
      new governor

      8/19/2021 by wendy © bialek
      8/19/2021 by wendy © bialek

  41. Congratulations Maxianne

    the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    hoping
    a few old friends
    stick around

  42. maxianne….i love this one so much and was hoping it would be included! soooo….congrats for writing both a humourous, animated verse…..and a serious, social comment!

    john, so happy you believed in this one and included it in our renku!

    the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

  43. the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger

    the studio’s contract
    is some compensation
    for a birthright

    all those things
    that never happened
    in the memoirs

  44. Congratulations, Maxianne. And thanks again for the absorbing selections and commentary.

    the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger


    some better way
    to mark a life of toil
    than give a clock

    the field birds love
    is scheduled to be turned
    into an airport

  45. those seasonal workers … thanks, John, for choosing this one 😉 .. it’ll be fun to see all the follow-ups ..
    maxianne

  46. Sorry to have missed last week, but hope to rectify that. Great verse, Maxianne–and thanks to John for the inspiring comments.
    *
    the scarecrow reluctantly
    turns in his badge

    Maxianne Berger
    *
    the family pitches in
    with the retirement
    bucket list
    *

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