Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Autumn 2008, vol 6 no 3
 

RENKU
 

October Rain, the first English-language Rokku Renku

       

October rain –
sheltered by an oak
we swap stories

rm    

a chatter of magpies
puffed against the cold

sw    

nimble fingers
delve in pockets
not strictly their own

jec    

under the table
the dog eats dry roast

ha    

a sickle moon
the breaking summer waves
soft in my ear

ey    

a light comes on
the clown alarm clock smiles

rm    

* * * *

     

cherry blossoms fractal
upon the mirror pond
beloved frog

sw    

so green the garden fence
begins to sprout

jec    

awkwardly
he wrestles with her garter
in the grass

ha    

her long tangled hair
a new mother rests

ey    

the feeling
on a childhood swing
snow flurries and sky

rm    

in a halo of Nag Champa
Buddha's laugh

sw    

* * * *

     

teasing out
where stone gives way to space
an oboe sings

jec    

we part the reeds,
a dream I know by heart

ha    

grinding sumi
a fragrance so acute
the fall-chill enters

ey    

porcelain and shadow
this autumn moon

rm    

layers of smog
colour the mountain's
beauty and sadness

ha    

you have yet to touch this flesh,
this throbbing blood

Akiko Yosano    

* * * *

     

almost midnight the red of a burgundy close to your lips

rm    

my mouth with yours our eyes filled with frozen stars

ha    

the Verrazano bridge, elegant with enormous lengths of wire

ey    

a different tack on a slow boat to china

rm    

how cooling the spray as we stroll through the sprinkler's rainbow

ha    

theater restoration did I hear applause

ey    

* * * *

     

unsettled crow
the tractor starts up
the wind-rows1

rm    

startled doe
the spotted fawn runs

ha    

...two, one, zero
launch! a space shuttle
and the Hope

ey    

the old headstone cracked
through a whaler's name

rm    

veined tissue
pink peonies bloom
origami of themselves

ha    

warmth of the sun
a ventriloquist yawns

ey    
1Wind-row: a row of hay, or sheaves of grain, raked together to dry in the wind
     

Composed 11 November 2007 to 23 March 2008

Participants:
rm : Ron Moss (Australia)
sw : Sheila Windsor (UK)
jec : John Carley (UK)
ha : Hortensia Anderson (USA)
ey : Eiko Yachimoto (Japan)
with a guest verse from Akiko Yosano (1878 - 1942)

The first two folios were led by John Carley and the last two by Eiko Yachimoto. The leadership was switched between the two in the third folio.


Related articles in this issue of Simply Haiku:
October Rain, the first English-language Rokku Renku : Tomegaki, by Eiko Yachimoto



 

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