Skip to content

The Renku Sessions: Way of the Wind – Week 3


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

It may help, in regard to future seasonal verses, to point out that all seasonal phenomena are not kigo. In addition to invoking a particular season, a kigo is a word or phrase that has come to be recognized as doing so within a renku. There are reference works that contain established kigo and, while they differ from each other in various ways, an individual renku is typically written with reference to a single list of season words (saijiki). In our current renku, we are using an on-line source for this purpose: (

When writing a seasonal verse, you should check to see if its kigo is listed on this site and if it is listed under the season about which we are currently writing.


We were blessed with a great profusion of blossom images. Here are some that I admired.


a mountain rose
tucked into my journal

                        Mary White


dandelion seeds disperse
in all directions            

                        Liz Ann Winkler


the first sprigs of white
from the apple tree

                        Peter Newton


briefly sheltering in the scent
of the thorny wild rose

                        Laurie Greer


cherry petals brushed off
the chessboard

                        Chris Patchel


the scent of peach blossoms
floats along the path

                        Carol Judkins


peach blossom waltz
in the breeze

                        Dan Campbell


an old road leading
into blossom haze

                        Ellen Compton


our shoes whisper
to the fallen blossoms

                        Jonathan Alderfer


a mountain rose waivers
on a distant hill

                        Carol Jones


a breath of cherry blossom
enjoyed with our beers

                        Marietta McGregor


ah, to rest for a spell
beneath peach blossoms

                        Kanjini Devi


dandelion seeds found
in the colt’s tail            

                        Nancy Brady


Last week, I commented that, “the next verse is challenged to reground us in the sensory experience of ‘seeing the wind’ through its effect upon vegetation.” This continued to be a consideration in my selection of a wakiku, though I was happily surprised by some variations on this theme. Here are some examples:


roadside horsetails sway
with each passing car

                        Kristen Lindquist

Here is an instance of seeing the wind, with a twist. The scene now includes a roadside, with natural vegetation bordering the cultivated barely field of the hokku. This vegetation is also moved by a wind, but it’s a different wind.


first blossoms
hitch a tractor ride

                        Wendy C. Bialek

And, in this instance, cherry blossoms are relocated when the tractor, upon which they previously landed, begins its workday.

Here is what I have selected as our wakiku:


kids playing pooh sticks
with plum blossoms

                        Linda Weir

The view widens and we discover a bridge over a stream. Now, instead of wind, it is water that moves. Actually, it is children, who collect the blossoms and then let the water pick a winner. A timely reminder that renku is a game and it’s about playing.



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




You are now invited to submit up to five daisan (third verse) offers. This is one of the points at which the renku “takes off.” That is, it represents a strong departure from what has been written, so far. Since the first two verses are set outdoors, it would be good to have an indoor image. Since the first verses seem to be daytime images, a dusk, night or dawn image would be good now. The one way in which this verse does not depart from the opening verses is its tone. We are still in the opening section of the renku (jo) and the tone should remain sedate and somewhat formal.

The requirements for the daisan will be as follows:

  • A three-line verse of seventeen syllables or less
  • Containing a mid, late or all spring image or phrase from the site listed below
  • Without a grammatical break
  • While linking in some way to verse two (and in no obvious way to verse one), it also makes a clear departure from the scene(s) previously depicted

For this renku, we will be using this site ( as the source for our season words and images.


I will be reviewing your offers until midnight on Monday, May 17 (New York time). On Thursday, May 20 there will be a new post in which I will announce my selection of a daisan, comment on some of the other offers, and issue instructions for writing verse four offers.

Thank you, everyone,




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 






This Post Has 72 Comments

  1. a warm night
    with blanket kicked off
    and feet ready to dream

    5/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

  2. grandma stays up
    appliquéing teddy bears
    over kite tears

    5/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

  3. tranquil evenings
    “know the value
    of doing nothing”

    the drained water
    buffalo rests after
    tilling rice paddies

    silk sheets stuck
    to me and I felt
    for the silkworms

    our luxury found
    in the half-life
    of silkworms

    afternoons spent
    charring young ayu
    on the barbecue

    1. It would more accurately be:

      tranquil evenings
      know “the value
      of doing nothing”

      “Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
      ― A.A. Milne

  4. a wet teddy bear
    combs the beach
    at sunset

    5/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

  5. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms
    Linda Weir
    mother relaxing
    at day’s end with sips
    of dandelion wine

  6. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms
    – Linda Weir

    cherrystone clams
    awash in butter
    – Betty Shropshire

  7. soap bubbles
    at sunset
    * * * * * * * * *
    the thread of the cocoon
    among mulberry leaves
    * * * * * * * * *
    the silk slime
    on the gnawed leaves
    mulberry tree

  8. Thank you, John and Linda. I love Linda’s offering and all its possibilities.

    kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms
                            Linda Weir
    paint brushes
    dip into the colours of spring
    mountain runoff
    a rotation of seven vowels
    and several moth
    on the scrabble rack
    porch lanterns
    too dim to find fitting words
    on the scrabble board

  9. unlocked the bird
    cage to celebrate
    Buddha’s birthday
    the temple
    light comes from the monk’s

  10. they may be famous
    but I can’t stand frogs
    kites bloom
    on the common terrace
    at sunset
    like dreams
    birds enter the clouds
    of dawn
    late spring
    withers even
    the paper flowers

  11. sprouting grasses
    only to be trampled
    by his playful shoes
    silkworms soaring
    dipped in boiling vessel
    closing her eyes
    highflying kite
    soon to be torn by fast
    pulling hands of boy

    mild spring roar
    threatening her fast
    to close drawing book
    his just blooming grains
    soon to be thwarted
    sudden spate

  12. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    a thumb
    full of jam
    for the toddler’s woes

  13. #5

    carried away by dreams
    joy of togetherness
    on school holidays

    Nani Mariani

  14. as always. great picks and commentary, john.
    thank you also for spotting my tractor verse.

    linda…what a fun, unique and charming wakiku!

    kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    their midnight yawns
    after cherrystone clams

    5/16/2021 by wendy © bialek

  15. Congratulations on your verse, Linda. A great visual to follow Lorin’s hokku, and plenty of opportunities to link and shift here.

    spring dawn
    and the sweet aroma
    of boiling jam

    warm evening
    in the concert hall
    and the pianist sweats

    tiptoeing downstairs
    for jam donuts
    in the lingering day

    blowing up balloons
    for the birthday party

    our mother
    reads a bedtime story
    at the end of a long day

  16. .
    make heads
    of mares’ tail
    legs emerge
    from tadpoles
    and in wine glasses
    footprints left
    on the riverbank
    in spring mud
    the pilgrimage of tadpoles
    in search of
    the sound of water
    scores of frogs
    on sunlit surfaces

  17. 3

    bright moon
    the soft light of the hand-held lantern
    we sing together

    Nani Mariani

  18. Congratulations, Linda! Thank you John, for mentioning one of my verses _()_
    the little boy
    hangs up
    his winning kite

    lighting a pipe
    for his tranquil time

    how about
    steamed red snapper
    for supper?

    a pink heart
    on Buddha’s Birthday
    in her diary

    the contact
    for eco balloons
    by his night lamp

  19. Thank you, Linda, for such a fun verse!

    greeting cloudy dawn
    with a click of
    grandma’s floor lamp

  20. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    good times with neighbors
    jump into the river
    and dance among the blooming flowers

    Nani Mariani

  21. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    — Linda Weir

    drinking buddies
    serenade a long day
    con brio

    This verse’s tone may not be sufficiently sedate and stately for the position! 🙂

  22. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms
    Linda Weir
    mother stirs
    tender sprouts into
    our supper stew

  23. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    —Linda Weir

    from across the river
    smoke from burning fields
    mingles with our dreams

    through the windshield
    a spring mist shifts
    up the tidal creek

    wakened at dawn
    by a pheasant’s squawks
    across the river

    wakened at dawn
    by our neighbor’s tractor
    tilling along the river

    falling asleep
    to the white noise
    of the river in flood

  24. congrats to Linda for this continuation ! and now, my try at a sedate spirig-time kigo evening link and shift
    kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms
    Linda Weir
    after their long day
    Winnie tells Baby Roo
    a bedtime story

  25. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir
    the storybook shimmer
    of nightlights
    on the squeaky mylar balloon

  26. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    a tranquil night
    without the usual battle
    for the duvet

  27. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    midnight dice
    endlessly clicking
    under a hazy moon

  28. morning shadows
    waltz across the kitchen floor
    to the music of birds

  29. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir
    evening falls tranquil
    over the well-scrubbed
    butcher-block table
    the long day opens
    with the chime of pots
    on the kitchen island
    sparrow twitters chime in
    from the eaves
    at dawn

  30. bedtime twittering
    inside and out
    we share full nests
    scared of spring thunder
    a boy and his Eeyore
    hide under the bed

  31. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    dinner accompanied
    by a twitter of swallows
    under the eaves

  32. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    signing off Zoom
    as spring thunder
    rattles the tiles

  33. Congratulations dear Linda ❤️❤️


    kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    cat’s eyes glow
    follow the cycle
    and ting ting ting voice ..

    Nani Mariani

  34. our dragon kite
    takes shape
    on the kitchen table
    balloons cover
    the ceiling of
    the vaulted foyer
    spring melancholy

    1. sorry i hit the wrong damn button
      spring melancholy
      plagues the girl sick in bed
      with a cold
      spinning through the window
      in a window box
      her request
      for a pony falls
      on deaf ears

  35. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    all the baby birds
    learn to sing for supper
    under the barn eaves

  36. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    up early
    to comb the beach
    for ikebana driftwood

  37. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    Mom packs sandwiches
    for tomorrow’s school trip
    to the spring mountains

  38. What a lovely surprise to have my verse selected. I look forward to seeing how the renku continues to flow.

    1. Congrats Linda! Such a fun verse – thanks for the introduction to pooh sticks.

  39. For the hell of it:

    kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms – Linda Weir
    yellow dust boot prints
    on Mum’s newly mopped

  40. Congratulations, Linda!

    kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    A deft switch from the way of wind to the way of stream or river water, keeping the forward -moving flow. I also love the image of children playing pooh sticks. (I’m a tad vague on how pooh sticks could be played with blossoms though, since they’re all the same size, colour and shape. How to identify the winning blossom?)

  41. kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir

    lingering day
    Grandpa begged
    for more bedtime tales

    1. …oops – just noticed the requirement for no grammatical break. Please amend to:

      Grandpa begged
      for more bedtime tales
      as the day lingers

  42. Thanks, John, for noticing my wild rose and for your detailed and always helpful–and challenging!-instructions. Thanks, Linda, for introducing me to pooh sticks and for a wonderful verse.

    kids playing pooh sticks
    with plum blossoms

    Linda Weir
    weaving the light
    of the long day
    on the rigid heddle loom

    1. oops–perhaps insufficiently dusky.
      Can I edit to:

      weaving the last
      of the long day’s light
      on the rigid heddle loom

  43. Linda, I so enjoyed the videos of formal poohstick games, fun verse, congrats!

    through the heat shimmer
    chopped carrots plop into
    the evening soup bowl

    1. We will not want a third vegetation image here, after barley and plum blossom.

    1. While “soap bubbles” is listed as an “all spring” kigo, the kind of bubbles meant are the kind you blow with a wand rather than bath bubbles.

      1. Ok, thanks, John.

        It was a moment of enjoyment after a rainy wind swept day, gathering sheep from the hills 🙂

  44. Congratulations Linda, a happy vibrant verse.
    Thanks for pausing on one of mine, John.

Comments are closed.

Back To Top