Frogpond 33.1 • 2010

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Revelations Unedited

Essay 1 - Hackett

Essay 2 - Scifaiku




Tan Renga

Book Review

From the Editors


Editors’ Note: The renga is an older form of Japanese linked poetry than the renku. For the HSA definition of the renku, go to the HSA Web. site <http://www.hsa-haiku.org/archives/HSA_Definitions_2004.html>. For a scholarly, but clear, discussion of how the renku evolved from the renga, read the chapter “Distinctive Features of Linked Poetry” in Miner, E., Japanese Linked Poetry, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979, pp. 140-159. As can be seen in this section, both forms are practiced today. Of interest to readers will be that the authors of “36 Renga” have shared the template they used.

36 Renga

by Dean Brink /Bao De-le (bd), Taiwan
Charles Chang (cc), Taiwan & Claire Ku (ck), Taiwan

1. (bd)

The withering wind
brings down the leaves—your fingers
touch my brow and eyes


2. (cc)

Plum blossoms—the only tracks
floating away on the ice


3. (ck)

The last snow
did not cover the lost shoe
of the fisherman’s son


4. (cc)

A north wind blows nets up high
stars fade away in the winter night


5. (bd)

Approaching the gate
your Pekinese barking,
father’s light goes on


6. (ck)

Streamlight Stinger searching darkness,
The daffodil shadows grew still


7. (cc)

Retiring diva
Luna removes her makeup
little by little


8. (bd) Out of the fog for how long
overhead—migrating birds
9. (ck) Stepping off the train
heads down, a chilly wind blows
their coats open
10. (cc) Quails sneaking behind the bush
are still swallowed by sunshine
11. (bd) Chilled to the bone
I pedaled twice as far
as we’d gone long ago
12. (ck) Fresh footprints in the mud
I follow your path alone
13. (cc) Halfway through the woods,
beside the singing creek
nothing but your shoes

14. (bd)

Forgetting our breakfast date
my phone stops ringing at lunchtime


15. (ck)

Chirping birds drown out
the call to board the last train—
a lost traveler


16. (cc) Under the only light
the homeless start to gather
17. (bd) On a hill deep in
the forest preserve, we look
out on the first sunrise
(New Year)
18. (ck) Lighting firecrackers in blowfish
washed ashore, the rich boys run
(New Year)
19. (cc) Chromatic
toxic clouds follow in step
with homo sapiens
20. (bd) At the edge of the forest
mother still rings the bell
21. (ck) Deep-fried baby trout,
pickled radish, cheap sake
for father and friends
22. (cc) Under cherry trees, the East wind
comes along, blows off blossoms
23. (bd) While we ate fiddleheads
at the dive facing the waves—
an old couple sang
24. (ck) The drunken sailor whirling
his red scarf—the tranquil night
25. (cc) Maiko walk away
from the okuya, kimono
sweep the stink away
26. (bd) Bamboo block the view from the bridge
where we once took Polaroids
27. (ck) Crossing the dried riverbed
the tea-picking lady
goes into the hills
28. (cc) Doves fly off in the downpour—
the wood shivers in the wind
29. (bd) Our umbrella torn,
North Shore so far—and you say
you love rainy days
30. (ck) Soggy socks under my chair,
you go smoke in the bathroom
31. (cc) The old clock stopped—
I count the minutes alone
the day you went away
32. (bd) In short-sleeved shirts again
our arms brushed as we walked
33. (ck) Last time at your house
new tea steaming between us
we drank in silence
34. (cc) Greeting the flying fish,
coconut palms wave from shore
35. (bd) Boys in uniform
corner an eel in the canal—
hold it overhead
36. (ck) Bended wing hanging loose,
a waterfowl soars upward