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2014 HSA Bernard Lionel Einbond Renku Collection Awards

The Haiku Society of America sponsors this annual award for renku of 36, 20, or 12 stanzas. (Renku is a form of renga). See also the contest rules and the judges' commentary for the Einbond award. For more information about the goals of this contest, download a copy of the HSA Renku Contest Committee Report (pdf) published in Frogpond XIII:2 (May 1990).

Commentary by year: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 200720062005 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001

Winners by Year: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001

 


 

2014

Renku Judge
Shokan Tadashi Kondo, Tokyo, Japan

Judges' Commentary for 2014:

These three kasen are very close to each other. “Warmth of the Rail” has more interesting and deeper love poems. I enjoyed all of the kasen, and I was impressed by their effort to master the kasen form. I used the judging method innovated by Professor Meiga Higashi, which looks at four levels of the renku structure.

1. quality of one verse
2. quality of linking
3. quality of shifting in the third verse
4. variety of topics in the mandala-like world

In addition to this, I think it is important to have among participants a well-balanced sharing of long/short verses and moon/blossom verses. The linking order might need a little more study. One of the most important principles in renku is to avoid the regression, both short distance and long distance, so I think a deeper understanding of objects and events in the world will improve the quality of renku.Thank you for sharing the renku with me. A happy future for American renku, and I look forward to seeing more of them.

With best wishes, Shokan Tadashi Kondo

Tadashi Kondo, founder of Renku United Nations, is Professor Emeritus of Seikei University, Tokyo, and director of the renku societies of Japan and Kyoto. He has studied haiku and renku since 1968 and has published widely in these areas.

Grand Prize Award:

Warmth of Rail
(A Summer Kasen)
by
Tom Clausen, Ithaca, NY
Hilary Tann, Schuylerville, N
John Stevenson, Nassau, NY
Paul MacNeil, Onawa, ME
Yu Chang, Schenectady, NY

Second Place:

Straw Hair
(An Autumn Kasen)
by
Ron C. Moss, Tasmania, Australia
John Stevenson, Nassau, NY

Honorable Mention:

Yellowing Willow
by
Claire Chatelet, London, England
Eiko Yachimoto, Yokosuka City, Japan
Chris Drake, Hatoyama-cho, Japan (sabaki)

 


2014 Bernard Lionel Einbond Award for Renku

Grand Prize Award:

Warmth of Rail
(A Summer Kasen)

by

Tom Clausen, Ithaca, NY
Hilary Tann, Schuylerville, N
John Stevenson, Nassau, NY
Paul MacNeil, Onawa, ME
Yu Chang, Schenectady, NY

Jo
 
damselfly—
the coziness sampled
from each chair
Tom
a turn of the lock
at the boathouse
Hilary
spotless crystal
and polished silver
on display
John
the movie billboard’s
ten-gallon hat
Paul
moon-viewing
through the arms
of a Joshua tree
Yu
our state fair organist
chooses his stops
Hilary
Ha  
a ballet
of departing swallows
in the wind
Tom
the Queen Mary offers
a “paranormal tour”
John
is undying affection
enough to court
my sweetie?
Paul
sent to the bedroom
to revise a love poem
Yu
their urge
to touch the screen
as they Skype
Hilary
after the train has passed
the warmth of the rail
Tom
a plume of smoke
that appears to be the moon’s
visible breath
John
local news
touts a whiteout
Tom
panic buying
based upon rumors
of kielbasa shortages
Paul
a gecko disappears
down the rabbit hole
Yu
reflections
of cherry blossoms
at the Vietnam Memorial
Hilary
putting off spring cleaning
permanently
John
morning mist
so slow to pull away
from mountains
Paul
It’s a bird!
It’s a plane!
Hilary
an airman
comes out of
the closet
John
she dresses
to kill
Yu
they start in bed
only to fall
to the floor
Tom
enso
in the sandbox
Yu
circumnavigating
through the longest day
of your bi-polar moods
John
I cope with the heat
while collecting swizzle sticks
Paul
an E.T. fossil
from the Antarctic
core sample
Hilary
islands of plastic
bobbing offshore
Yu
hotel room photo
of the moonrise
between the twin towers
Tom
the giant harvester
fills truck after truck
Paul
Kyu
 
her daughter-in-law
makes the phyllo dough
for mushroom strudel
Hilary
scent of pine
through the open door
Yu
blinking lights
for both intersections
in the old mill town
Tom
hopes arising from
the vernal equinox
John
the last petals
around miniature apples
drop away
Paul
a rainbow kite
received as a gift
Hilary

 

 


2014 Bernard Lionel Einbond Award for Renku

Second Place:

Straw Hair
(An Autumn Kasen)

by

Ron C. Moss, Tasmania, Australia
John Stevenson, Nassau, NY

twilight glow
a scarecrow’s straw hair
lifts in the breeze

Ron
the moon is gentle
on the ladies
John
crickets pinned
in the Victorian display case
by royal command
Ron

luxury in detail
aboard the Cunard liner

John
dominoes lean
in a cigar smoke haze
towards port
Ron
snowfall deepens
in the mirror
John
• • •  
under the pillow
the tooth fairy
is short of change
Ron
gas masks issued
to dough-boys over there
John
our first
hot buttered kiss
as the movie starts
Ron
she gives me credit
for pursuing her
John
a tourist
plays the blues harp
down under
Ron
taking shelter
from the hailstones
John
we dare each other
to go skinny dipping
in the moonlit lake
Ron
a rare computer user
who knows how to make one
John
the watchmaker
has more time now
for Facebook
Ron
it will be all Easter
this weekend
John
apple blossoms
on the oil skin coat
of the drover
Ron
the whole family
smelt fishing in the creek
John
• • •  

how one thing
leads to another
in a local bar

John
more protein powder
to get that pump
Ron
the Hudson
widening on its way
to New York
John
it takes a year to save
for your diamond ring
Ron
finishing
each other’s sentences
with exclamation marks
John
the heat of sunburn
as we say goodnight
Ron
soaking in
a rare shower
during fire season
John
the speaker stands tall
at the protest rally
Ron
who was it
who was supposed to
inherit the earth?
John
the rolling thunder
all the way to the moon
Ron
what the squirrels know
is where the acorns
are buried
John
golden leaves fall
on the miner’s grave
Ron
• • •  
a crayon map
showing the way from here
to here again
John
the joy to be lost
without a GPS
Ron
in lucid dreams
I realize this is
my imagination
John
the frog that awoke
as a prince among men
Ron
castle folly
in the company
of blooming cherries
John
through haze I see her
both happy and free
Ron

 

 


2014 Bernard Lionel Einbond Award for Renku

Honorable Mention:

Yellowing Willow

by

Claire Chatelet, London, England
Eiko Yachimoto, Yokosuka City, Japan
Chris Drake, Hatoyama-cho, Japan (sabaki)

yellowing willow
along the canal towpath
a smattering of rosehips
Claire
a moonbeam woven shadow
stops, searches for a key
Eiko
the time a deer cried
and I went right in
without knocking
Chris
a volute of steam rises
from a chipped teapot
Claire
slice a daikon radish
into rings one inch thick
and boil till tender
Eiko
in cold wind they hold hands,
surround the nuclear plant
Chris
• • •  
a street artist
draws a portrait of Einstein
with colored chalk
Claire
the age of innocence
buried for good
Eiko
seeing the man
on a high wire sway
suddenly they kiss
Chris
the cooing of turtle doves
somewhere in the pines
Claire
with a feather pen
on fine washi I scribble
letters of your name
Eiko
seven ghost sightings
on the same block tonight
Chris
cool us, moon!
in this heat even anthills
turn into mirages
Claire
dividing the tall grass
a rope like snake
Eiko
the distinction
between war and peace
a convenient fiction
Chris
mourning Mandela
my rainbow child and I
Claire
the patter of rain
lets up: open now
and fly, my blossoms!
Eiko
chunks of ice from upstream
flash between green reeds
Chris
• • •  
white clouds race
across the muddied lake
as swans build their nest
Claire
seized by sad news, I see
the past coming alive
Eiko
for John Carley
the new was a patina
obscuring the newer
Chris
sincerity comes first
wabi, sabi someday
Eiko
between well and hearth
how many times must the clay pot
cross the threshold?
Claire
poppies bloom in the remains
of an ancient stone circle
Chris
in the green storm
briefly leaving the trees
a summer butterfly
Eiko
love makes you see
signs everywhere
Claire
her portrait
has his left eye
clearly larger
Chris
ignoring border walls
wedding bells ring out
Eiko
for one night
the moon flawless between
waxing and waning
Claire
the debt collector finds
red leaves in the envelope
Chris
• • •  
dripping dew
a bicycle heads up
a mountain road
Eiko
engraved on a cattle trough
the year 1888
Claire
a union organizer
came to this village
and found friends
Chris
when making tofu
every detail is crucial
Eiko
what stirring
deeper than the deepest roots
for all blossoms
Claire
a spring wind brings
the sound of distant waves
Chris

 

 


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