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The Renku Sessions: Way of the Wind – Week 8

Wayrenku_300

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

You may be one of the best groups that I’ve worked with when it comes to the love verses. Sometimes people are shy about this. But you have offered a great variety of approaches to the theme. Of course, I have to reduce your offers to just one. But at least we can look forward to revisiting love in verses 13 and 14. Looks like you’ll be ready!

In Japanese renku we often realize that there is none of the shame about functions of the human body that characterizes many western cultures. So, I’m glad to see some of you cut loose a little bit. After all, this is the “anything goes” section of the renku (ha).

 

her DNA
all over his
bong

     Michael Henry Lee

 

they say
bananas played a part
in her oral skills

     Lorin Ford

 

hubby doesn’t blink
when I ask for a lick
of his gelati

     Marietta McGregor

 

the spice
of our kissing after
a shot of chai

     Ellen Compton

 

Many of your verses linked to the idea of tasting something:

 

cuddling in bed
we sip
our café-du-laits

     Marilyn Potter

 

feeding each other
the last
piece of cake

     Debbie Feller

 

my love tastes
of honey
and desire

     Pauline O’Carolan

 

The tastes were not always pleasant ones.

 

separation
is the bitterest pill
to swallow

     Carol Jones

 

And sometimes the taste was figurative in nature.

 

our dry wit
keeping us slap happy
since the moment we met

     Laurie Greer

 

Since this verse needs to reflect a progression in time, and the prior verse reflected a married couple who seemingly have come to know each other well, we appreciated verses offering a long perspective.

 

after fifty years
you are still
my boyfriend

     Angiola Inglese

 

still smiling
at some
of my jokes

     Keith Evetts

 

you still ‘get’
the real me
between my words

     Carole Harrison

 

While I very much enjoyed these and many others, my final choice comes down to two verses.

 

no-fault divorce
papers signed
with a flourish

     Betty Shropshire

Clearly this is progress. If there was a marriage in verse six, there is the end of a marriage in this verse. It is the flourish that makes it so attractive. I imagine that flourish expressed not only in the penmanship of the signatory but in a broad gesture of the hand, into the air. As if to say, “Done!” And with as much ease as one might shoo away a mosquito or any other pesky insect. (A technical note. If selected, I would want a slight alteration in this verse to avoid the sense of a break after line one. “Divorce papers” can be a unit, rather than the divorce and the papers involved reading as separate entities.)

 

still drawn to him
after all the bumps
along the road

     Wendy C. Bialek

Here is also a comment upon a long relationship. There are two links. One involves the speaker, being drawn to him, linking to mosquitoes being drawn to her (and “drawing blood”). The other is the bumps that are a consequence of a mosquito bite. The suggestion seems to be that the bumps encountered in a long relationship (we can easily think it a long marriage) are of no greater consequence than the bug bites we are likely to get in enjoying nature. (I would also make a small alteration in this verse, to soften the connection of “road” to “street” in verse four and “way” in the hokku/title.)

 

Here is what I have selected as our seventh verse:

 

still drawn to him
after all the bumps
along the line

                        Wendy C. Bialek

 

 

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

 

 

We are now beginning a sequence of three non-seasonal verses.  So, no kigo should be included and no images that have their own places in a renku – no moon, no love, no blossoms. These verses should focus on broadening the topic areas with subject matter not previously touched upon.

 

The requirements for verse eight will be as follows:

  • A two-line verse of fourteen syllables or less
  • With no seasonal image (no kigo)
  • Without a grammatical break
  • Linking in some way to verse seven (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. We should also check it when writing non-seasonal verses in order to be sure we have not used a kigo without intending to.

 

I will be reviewing your offers until midnight on Monday, June 21 (New York time). On Thursday, June 24 there will be a new post in which I will announce my selection of the eighth verse, comment on some of the other offers, and issue instructions for writing verse nine.

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://www.thehaikufoundation.org/code-of-conduct/ 

This Post Has 77 Comments

  1. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek

    in his wallet
    there is a photo of me as a teenager

    Nani Mariani

  2. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek

    fight after fight
    make it stickier

    Nani Mariani

  3. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    someone once said
    it takes a train to cry

  4. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    fishing for
    escaped words

    6/21/2021 by wendy © bialek

  5. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    dumpster divers come
    up with the best deals

    6/21/2021 by wendy © bialek

  6. after putting his son to sleep
    writing his homework
    ********
    drawing water from well
    with gaps in buckets
    **
    empty coat stand
    carrying her husband’s memory
    ***
    stubborn cobwebs
    on her table full of books

  7. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    worldwide the Covid graphs
    rise and rise

  8. Congrats Wendy! With John’s edit, this verse reminds me of the Johnny Cash song “I Walk the Line”.
    .
    still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    .
    belly laugh
    it almost rhymes with giraffe
    .
    he tries to get into her drawers
    the burning giraffe
    .
    always on the ‘net
    the giraffe
    .
    craning to see santa claus
    the giraffe
    .
    where north meets south
    the giraffe
    .
    a weather forecaster ‘til he’s blue in the tongue
    the giraffe
    .
    .

  9. from the old swing
    again comes paint smell

    ***
    the last picnic before the covid
    exhibited in a special frame

  10. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    *
    another bounced cheque
    in today’s mail

    *
    but why did he get off
    at Charing Cross?

    *
    the bliss of complete silence
    at the end of the day

    ~~~

  11. Congraulations, Wendy!

    Verse 1:

    reality television
    is car-crash TV

    Verse 2:

    Harry and Meghan
    are nothing but a car crash

    Verse 3:

    do atoms collide
    with a bang or a whimper?

    Verse 4:

    pencilling in
    a doctor’s appointment

    Verse 5:

    riding the dodgems
    at carnival’s end

  12. nice going, Wendy .. ☺
    **
    still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek
    **
    a bike retrofitted
    with shock absorbers

  13. between sky and sea
    the colors of the freight train parade
    *************************************
    on the coastal road
    wrong accents of the navigator
    ************************************
    on my terrace
    a vase full of white stones

  14. Excellent ! Congratulations Wendy!

    still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    Wendy Bialek
    .
    at every back out reviving
    that good old ghost story
    .
    Gilligan’s island reruns
    dissolving salt on our tongue
    .
    pooling our spare change
    for an authentic hotel bed shake
    .

  15. .
    still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    once upon a time
    those spaghetti westerns

  16. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    did cubists like Picasso
    deconstruct myths?
    – Betty Shropshire
    – Betty Shropshire

  17. Good selection! Congrats to you Wendy! Here are my contributions. I see that I’ve stuck closer to the previous verse than most of the ones posted so far. No matter. I always enjoy and learn from the selection.

    still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    frilly apron strings
    tied around his waist
    .
    after fifty years
    we slurp our tea the same
    .
    still can’t call his mom
    Mom
    .
    his pinch on her bottom
    gentler now
    .

  18. Congratulations Wendy and thank you John!
    *
    banjos enjoy getting winks
    and thumbs up at airports

  19. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    what to do
    with all the iron filings
    *

  20. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    the corduroy trousers
    of a gardening poet

  21. thanks john for all your wonderful comments and lessons.
    so much fun….with your now, undivided participation and appreciation of
    this marvelous group of writers.
    honoured to have a verse in the way of the wind renku.

    still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    zigs and zags
    of a white washed fence

    6/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

    dining-room hutch
    looses a tooth

    6/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

    a winning bingo
    number is called

    6/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

    children cut corners
    cropping coupons

    6/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

    1. changes:

      zigs and zags
      of a picket fence

      6/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

      dining-room hutch
      loses a tooth

      6/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

      families cut corners
      cropping coupons

      6/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

      1. oh! i’m thinking now that ‘tooth’ may be looked at as a body part, (‘hip’…in verse 5….and then…. could be problematic…..

        dining-room hutch
        loses a tooth

        6/17/2021 by wendy © bialek

        so would you nix this one and i will replace it later….john?

  22. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    elbows touch in greeting
    at the summit

  23. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    .
    Wendy C. Bialek
    .
    a few strokes in charcoal
    and the portrait’s done

  24. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    reading back and forth
    from the bilingual collection
    *
    charting the plots
    of the devilishly complex whodunit
    *

  25. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    apropos of
    “A Confederacy of Dunces”
    – Betty Shropshire

  26. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    anxiety relieved
    by popping bubble-wrap
    +
    the Nazca lines
    only seen from the air

    1. revision:
      the Nazca formations
      only seen from the air
      *
      we already have ‘line’
      in the previous verse

  27. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    questions from all sides
    at the family reunion
    *

  28. the train now delayed
    for all the wrong reasons
    *
    pulling curtains across
    to start the cremation
    *
    the baseball bat
    not used for baseball
    *
    an empty frame
    now ready to be filled

  29. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    flags unfurled nationwide
    to celebrate a new holiday

  30. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    even as we argue
    the beach erodes

    1. Or perhaps better to avoid beaches/ bodies of water

      even as we argue
      new planets are born

  31. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    why oh why claim cybercrime
    to be fake news?

  32. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    sumi-e cliffs inked
    with a shaky hand

  33. cage free chickens must
    drive themselves to market
    *************************************
    hammering plowshares
    into AK Forty Sevens
    ****************************
    snorting up some fat ones
    with a hundred dollar bill
    **********************************
    Hemingway insisted he
    would only need a sentence
    ***********************************
    a moving electric charge
    where magnetism acts

  34. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    who’d think that magnet fishing
    I’d catch a steel-toed boot

  35. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    she throws the compass overboard
    for always pointing north

  36. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    Wendy C. Bialek

    a record lake trout scooped
    in the landing net

    the string of stings
    in my jellyfish life

    1. John: please delete my last two (lake trout and jellyfish) as I have just recalled your stricture in V6 that ” At some later point, we may want a bird, fish, reptile or mammal but not in the next couple of verses.”
      Sorry. I’ll think of some others.

  37. Congratulations, Wendy! I think this isn’t the first time you’ve contributed a noteworthy love verse. And thank you, John, as always for your great comments, insight, and selections.
    *
    still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek
    *
    landing in the drunk tank
    after failing the walk-and-turn

  38. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line

    Wendy C. Bialek

    cloud shadows move along
    the boxcar’s corrugated roof

  39. still drawn to him
    after all the bumps
    along the line
    – Wendy C. Bialek

    whiskey neat sloshing
    on crumpled pages
    – Betty Shropshire

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