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The Renku Sesssions: A Day of Snow 2

renkuchainGreetings and welcome to The Haiku Foundation’s  Fourth Renku Session: A Day of Snow. I am Marshall Hryciuk of Toronto Canada and i will be the leader of a 36-link Kasen renku. I’ve led over 40 of these linked-poem gatherings and my latest book, from Carleton Place, Canada is a selection of 15 of them, called petals in the dark.

Hello again, renku participants and observers. For our first link, our wakiku, i have chosen:

coyote song closer
this longest night

    –Judt Shrode

It has a strong aural sense that reaches into our bones and makes us feel the lack of sun that mentally is presented by the second line that also qualifies it as occurring in winter. The alternation of day and night between the links gives us the subtle, underlying motion i wanted and the “coyote song” itself, though not predictably, repeats in its natural setting.

Internally it has a simple cadence and a bit of complexity in having both a comparative, “closer” and a superlative, “longest” within two words of one another. Lastly, it adds a twist to the hokku; the surprise is that “a day of snow” happened before it was astronomically winter, not after.

So now what we need is a 3 line link, “no season” -or better, “no particular season.”

This may well be the toughest link we’ll complete, so instead of feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry about inside or outdoors and just write down what you feel when you read aloud the last link by itself. Keeping in mind of course, that we’re still in the quiet processional of no aggressive images or wordplay and that you can’t include flowers or blossoms, the moon or moonlight, because they have their allotted places, nor precipitation, animals or music, for example, so we avoid repetitions.

Happy linking,
Marshall

 

A Day of Snow to Date

a day of snow
no one else
has come to the door

      –Marshall Hryciuk

coyote song closer
this longest night

    –Judt Shrode

This Post Has 183 Comments

    1. i was caught in one of those deals…ing…where i did that first…buttering-hearing…i like that it eliminates the notorious “i”…don’t mind “i” being in L/3 though…or, the roll buttered…hearing the cries of the world…i am well fed ….thanks for considering

  1. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    .
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    .
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    .
    – Judt Shrode
    .
    crushing a leaf
    between my fingers
    for its scent
    .
    -Karen Cesar

  2. a day of snow
no one else
has come to the door

    – Marshall Hryciuk

    *****
    *****
    coyote song closer
this longest night

    – Judt Shrode

    *****

    tending a fire
    heart of orange
    in the stove

  3. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    *
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    *
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    *
    – Judt Shrode
    *

    drawing plans
    for a garden
    in green ink
    *
    – Sandra Simpson

    1. hi Sandra -this feels too located in the seasonality of spring -or maybe even late winter -but is certainly not ‘of no particular season’

      1. As I draw plans for my garden – in my head as well as on paper – at any time (ie, when the ideas come to me) I saw it as “no season” …

  4. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    *
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    *
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    *
    – Judt Shrode
    *

    flipping the bookmark
    backwards and forwards
    with my free hand
    *
    – Sandra Simpson

    1. hi Sandra -first line has an activity or motion that certainly isn’t violent but is frivolous and doesn’t really ‘attach’ in any way to the previous verse

      1. Hi Marshall,

        I don’t agree that the verse doesn’t link to the previous one, although will concede that it may be too subtle (or even off-beam). “the longest night” links to space and time for reading … and/or a coyote call being unsettling and linking an unsettled reader as shown by the “flipping” of the bookmark.
        *
        If you could enlighten me a bit further on your thoughts re linking, I’d appreciate it. Always happy to learn.
        *
        Many thanks,
        Sandra

  5. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    *
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    *
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    *
    – Judt Shrode
    *
    recognising
    the pottery bowl
    by touch
    *
    – Sandra Simpson

    1. hi Sandra -this has a pleasant sense of touch leading to mental recognition within the setting of darkness from the previous verse -willthink about this one again -thanks

    1. hi Steve -nice play on words with “conversing” which rather well describes what we’ll doing over the next 7 months or so -but not so radical as to be interruptive in the first 6 -the back-to-back participles is something I’ve got to be wary of though since i’m so fond of them myself -but thanks

    2. hi Steve -thanks, this has a nice play on words that doesn’t feel interruptive to the procession of the first 6 -in fcat, “conversing” might well describe the movement of a renku itself -however I have to be wary of the back-to-back particples here -since i’m so fond of ‘ing’ words’ myself

      1. thank you…both times…and i’m having fun with this, by way of everyones input and your comments…been writing haiku for a year, but am not educated to the particulars…funny, the words of haiku do not favor them.

  6. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    *
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    *
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    *
    – Judt Shrode
    *
    vending machine
    Milky Way wrapper crinkles
    the nurse returns

    1. hi Carol Ann -broad shift in the linking by the appeal to sound here, but I was looking for the involvement of other senses

    1. hi Vasile -i’m trying to avoid anything of a ‘new day’ here so as to prevent this renku from taking on the characteristics of a narrative

    1. hi Marilyn -no, don’t want to go to anything dawn-light here -want to avoid a day-night-day sequence

  7. hope glimmers as
    light intrudes
    on the horizon
    *
    *
    the word intrude feels too harsh to me but I still like the verse so include it 🙂

    1. hi joel -the emoticon tells me you’re enjoying yourself which the #1 rule of renku participation -“intrude” is rough here but one aspect that would make your offerings more acceptable for inclusion would be if you used your breathing as a marker for line-ending
      this would be then: hope glimmers/ as light intrudes/ on the horizon

      1. Thanks! I’m in complete learning mode so welcome the feedback. And yes, I am enjoying it.

    1. nice surprise element here, Vasile, but i don’t want a shift of focus to a computer screen while we’re just beginning our journey

    1. hi Marilyn -not sure i want a line “point the way-” after a verse with “closer” in it -I want to maintain the vagueness at least til the moon verse, #5

  8. Trying again 😉
    .

    a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    .
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    .
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    .
    –Judt Shrode
    .
    woven baskets
    fill with twigs and leaves
    for chaparral tea
    .
    – Karen Cesar

    1. hi Karen -love the word, ‘chaparral’ -almost too fancy for this early -but what really makes me uneasy is how close this is to Basho’s haiku about cherry blossoms falling into a bowl of fish salad he was about to eat

      1. Interesting read, Marshall. Basho’s verse was not in my mind, so it was not a conscious allusion to his verse which would not have been allowed this early in the Renku in any case.
        .
        The image in my mind was of Tohono O’odham ( Indian) women picking leaves and twigs from the creosote bush to make chaparral tea which is used medicinally. Rather than using ‘Indian’ or ? I chose to use ‘woven basket’ to suggest the activity of the women while avoiding breaking the convention against using proper names in the first few verses. I was also trying to avoid mentioning people directly as people are mentioned in the hokku.
        .
        I am enjoying your comments on each verse. Back later with another bite at the apple. 🙂

  9. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    .
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    .
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    .
    –Judt Shrode
    .
    woven baskets
    fill with twigs and leaves
    for chaparral tea
    .
    – Karen Cesar

  10. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    *
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    *
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    *
    – Judt Shrode
    *
    at band practise
    a selection
    of herbal teas
    *
    – Sandra Simpson

    1. hi Sandra -no, the ‘band practise’ is too close to ‘song’ and then the activity in its repeating itself is also too parallel

  11. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    *
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    *
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    *
    – Judt Shrode
    *
    checking
    the use-by date
    on every can
    *
    – Sandra Simpson

    1. hi Sandra -hoping for something more sensual at this juncture of our renku

  12. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    *
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    *
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    *
    – Judt Shrode
    *
    all along
    the diner’s counter
    dirty dishes
    *
    – Sandra Simpson

    1. hi Sandra -the double ‘a’s of the first line and the alliterative ‘d’s of the third in the same link i would find just a little too jangling here

    1. hi Jackson -the sense of expanse and distance is already stated in verse 2 -to take this now would be too much of a repetition without moving the renku forward

    1. “burnt pretzels” maybe, but “smell of urine” during the processional would break up the whole momentum of this renku, Karen

    1. hi Karen -“garlicky” too aggressive a word-choice for the first 6 verses

    1. hi again, Marion -this does make a very nice 5 line poem -however, grasses in “whisper” right after a coyote’s “song” is much too close for a moving renku

    1. hi Marion this is a parallel verse to the one that was accepted just previous -we’re trying to shift with each verse

    1. hi again joel -this might be more the assumed whiskey than the ‘coyote’s song’

    1. hi Aalix -the sound of “church bells” might be filling up what was previously empty -but we need something physical that connotes what that might be

  13. [a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    coyote song closer
    this longest night]
    snow flakes
    swirl around in silence
    in ones, in troupes

  14. ( ok so i promise this is my last shot at this link)

    channel surfing
    nothing one can quite
    put a finger on

    1. hi Michael Henry -no promises necessary -though I don’t want the renku to pass from nature’s wide-open spaces to the narrow screen quite so abruptly

  15. I
    a day of snow

    no one else
    
has come to the door
    – Marshall Hryciuk
    *****
    ______
    coyote song closer

    this longest night
    – Judt Shrode
    *****

    skin to skin
    singing a lullaby
    for her deaf baby

    1. hi Mary -this is beautiful and sad at the same time but holds just a bit too much dissonance for these early verses

  16. Also, Marshall, I want to thank you for your thoughtful commentary on each offer. It is making this an extremely rich and instructive experience.

    Judt

  17. Good heavens, Marshall! I have just now seen this…what a lovely surprise. Thank you! I didn’t understand when it would be up, and haven’t even popped in. Also, I had chosen another one 🙂

    1. Would like to say, too, thank you for your words about the verse. You found much more in it than I did!

      1. Thank-you, Judt -your link had just enough ‘wonderful surprise’ itself -oh, and that means your links won’t be included again til verse 7 -though you could still send to me so that others could see what you’re writing as we progress

        1. Oh, that’s good! I thought I had to be done with the fun of participating. Thanks, Judt

  18. coyote song closer
    this longest night
    – Judt Shrode
    ***
    her signature
    in braille
    draws a smile

    1. nicely playful, Betty -but the wordplay of “draws a smile” is to be avoided in the first 6

    1. hi Vasile -this, to me, still has the feeling of isolation that the hokku had and that we’re trying to leave behind

    1. hi Marilyn -‘drifts’ has problems because it could link back to snow (in trhe hokku) -I’ve been thinking about this in connection with the incense smoke of a previous respondent -have to change it there if i’m going to use it -and I do prefer the scent of incense here to that of tobacco

    1. hi Todd -this feels more like an evaluation than an immediate observation -I don’t think this ever has any place in a renku -but the phantasy/surrealiste or ‘Current Events’ might be more suitable for this sort of perspective

  19. Hi Marshall, :-]

    [a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door

    coyote song closer
    this longest night]

    silence chapped
    by sweeping wings
    taking to flight

    1. hi Pratima -don’t know if ‘sweeping’ isn’t telling too much here -and end-rhyme with the wakiku is too jarring

      1. ah, okay. I was wondering about the rhyme scheme too. Thanks for your time

    1. uummm, yummy, Marilyn -but feels too much an extension of the implied winter’s cold of the wakiku

    1. well-written, Michael Henry, but this has a socio-political overtone i’d like to reserve for the ‘Current Events’ section

      1. thanks much Marshall, i don’t really know much about Renku form but i love participating, just try to follow the directions and see where the muse leads

    1. aha, Marion -a real ‘scent’ link -draws the renku a little too close to the subject, the ‘wonderer’ for me this early within it -but thanks

    1. hi Marion -nice image of surrounding quiet -but it in fact duplicates what we already have in the wakiku

    1. hi Marion -the incongruity of the sitter’s stomach here is something we’re trying to avoid in the first 6

    1. hi Carol -I think a train that can even seem to “flick” is either too quick or too subjectively observed for the first 6 links

      1. Hi Marshall. I’m on a steep learning curve regarding renku and am finding the other participants’ verses and your comments very useful. Thank you.

    1. hi again, Aalix -liked the first one the best -but I’ve decided any ‘waking’ is just too ‘narrative inducing’

    1. hi p j -to go from day to night is already tempting a narrative to start -then to follow with a waking would be just too much into an analog narration

    1. hi Jennifer -nice image -and a few senses appealed to -i’ll look at this again, thanks

    1. hi Patrick -‘kalimba’ is too exotic a word for the first 6 links (I don’t even know what it is)

    1. hi Aalix -this is a welcome appeal to another sense organ -i’ll look at it again, later, thanks

  20. coyote song closer
    this longest night
    – Judt Shrode
    ***
    from the lectern
    her laser pen outlining
    constellations

    1. hi joel -just too close to making our renku a narrative instead of a mosaic

    1. hi Maureen -this is a good link, appealing to another sense and also shifting away from solitude while maintaining a contemplative mood -i’ll definitely have another look at this one -thanks

    2. hi again, Maureen -I think if we change the first line to ‘incense burning’ we lose the doubled ‘sce’ sounds at the end of one line and the beginning of the next; but also lose the question of agency, so it just happens and we’re in the middle of it. Hope you agree, thanks -MH

      1. Yes, I think it’s an excellent edit. Thank you for sharing your thought process. I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration, and I am thankful for your kind words about my verse.

        1. hi again, Maureen -so as i read this more closely, i’m concerned that “burning” even with the muted effect of the ‘incense’ is too aggressive an action for the first 6 and also that “drifts” could be construed as a linking or at least a reference back to snow -so i’d like your offering to read:

          incense lit
          the scent of sage
          lingers in a crowd

          how ould that be with you?

          1. That would be wonderful. I’m very happy with your editing. Thank you so much.

    1. hi Peggy -nice surprise to this -the ‘lsearch’ seems a little close to the hokku’s expectations

  21. coyote song closer
    this longest night
    – Judt Shrode
    ***
    gnarled hands
    shaping the clay
    as it spins

    1. hi Betty -very nice image -‘gnarled’ is probably borderline rough for the first 6 and though the next 2 lines are smooth enough -i’ll still have to think about the closeness of “spins” to the ‘day’ night’ oscillation of the first 2 links

    1. hi Michael Henry -shows an attitude to its material that might be used elsewhere in the renku but not here

    1. hi Marietta -seems a bit of a strong emotion for the first 6 in the renku -and i’m not really sure who “them” is

    1. hi Carol -very nice but also very wintry -we’re trying to shift here to no season particularly in order to resist the run-on narrative urge

  22. Thank you very much for your advice, Marshall. A rewrite:
    *
    *
    praising the sky
    the shaman passes
    a bowl of tea

  23. A wonderful verse, Judt. Congrats!
    *
    *
    cross-legged
    the shaman passes
    a bowl of tea

    1. hi Maureen -I like the appeal to taste, thirst and warmth in the last two lines -the first line feels extraneous by comparison -like it’s a filler to make it 3 lines -I would consider a re-write of the first line if it had a salient but calm action or character -thanks

    1. hi Jennifer -well, we don’t know that the coyote was moving and we can assume you’re still alive -so we’ll have to wait until we’re in the fantasy – mythology -surrealism section to be able to consider something like this -no need for hyperbole in a renku

  24. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    *
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    *
    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    *
    –Judt Shrode
    *
    grandfather’s watch
    the hands move
    so slowly

    1. hi Carol Ann -feels too much like a redefinition, or ‘zooming in’ on the ‘longest night’ -a Western poetry technique, to be avoided in a renku

  25. a day of snow
    no one else
    has come to the door
    *
    –Marshall Hryciuk
    *

    coyote song closer
    this longest night
    *
    –Judt Shrode
    *
    turning their backs
    on the mountain range
    a herd of red cattle

    *
    – Sandra Simpson

  26. Stupid typo, please correct to:

    ***

    all packed
    she waits for a taxi
    to the airport

    1. hi Paul “all packed” even in its immediate sense here has far too much closure for this early in the renku

    1. hi Paul -well, this is such a huge shift from ‘coyote song’ that I don’t see the link -it’s closer to the hokku, which is doubly damning -forget the start -we’ve begun

      1. Hi Marshall,

        I was trying to follow some definition of daisan, 3rd verse, to push off from the first pair. My linking technique (as opposed to using “link” as a noun, synonym for stanza or verse) is in a sense of opposites, coyotes are close, short distance, while the runner is about to go far. I had also hoped to introduce the notion that we all are about to begin our renku journey together — poised to begin in our first 6 stanzas. My thinking may be flawed and is not always translated to a reader’s or a leader’s interpretation. I do not find linking technique to the hokku, but . . . ? My words were not random . . . but? Meanings and linking methods need to be perceived, not just intended.

        [ Linking technique in my other offerings: “pack”ing refers to pack of coyotes. Also the trip is movement which the pack of coyotes are doing – oppositely. I intended the modern “telephone” as linkage to instead communicating primitively by howling. ] No bill to pay for the howls.

    2. hi Paul -this seems to link closer with the hokku than the ‘coyote’s song’ -no more ‘starts’ for awhile at least

  27. coyote songs closer
    this longest night
    – Judt Shrode
    ***
    never gets old
    swirling stars
    on a canvas

    1. hi Betty -your first line I feel puts a reflective distance between you and the renku -which isn’t necessarily bad – i’m just uncomfortable with it here

  28. coyote song closer
    this longest night
    Judt Shrode

    *******

    reading in palm
    her life line is anew
    as clear as crystal
    Vasile Moldovan

    1. hi Vasile -don’t really want to use a simile at this point in the renku -but your offering might be more streamlined as a poem as: “reading in her palm/ a crystal clear/ renewed lifeline” -which as it is has too many adjectives -but interesting shift

  29. coyote song closer
    this longest night
    Judt Shrode

    waking uo more early
    the twin sisters tell one another
    the best dreams
    Vasile Moldovan

    1. hi Vasile, i’m a little wary of any ‘waking up’ links in 3 as starting a narrative -something I want to avoid

  30. a day of snow

    no one else

    has come to the door

    – Marshall Hryciuk
    *****
    ______
    coyote song closer

    this longest night

    – Judt Shrode
    *****
    ______
    now a vote
    on how many stars
    in the proposed flag

    – Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

    1. sorry, I spelled your name wrong Shrikaanth -i’m sensitive to this myself -anyway, this link is quite interesting -shift from the night sky to flag and the vote would continue the ‘song’ -will look at this agin later, thanks

  31. Sorry my comment is coming all scrambled
    ******

    a day of snow

    no one else
    
has come to the door

    – Marshall Hryciuk

    *****
    ______

    coyote song closer

    this longest night

    – Judt Shrode

    *****
    ______
    falling deeper
    in a bottomless pit
    I wake with a jolt

    – Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

    1. okay, Shriklaanth, we’re still in the first six so any ‘jolts’ are out of the question -the waking after a day and a night would be too narrative as well -don’t want to start a second cycle

  32. a day of snow
no one else
has come to the door

    – Marshall Hryciuk

    *****
    *****
    coyote song closer
this longest night

    – Judt Shrode

    *****
    *****
    falling deeper
    in a bottomless pit
    I wake with a jolt

    – Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

  33. a day of snow
no one else
has come to the door

    – Marshall Hryciuk

    coyote song closer
this longest night

    – Judt Shrode

    falling deeper
    in a bottomless pit
    I wake with a jolt

    – Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy

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