heron

Frogpond 34.1 • 2011

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Revelations Unedited

Essay - Grayson

Essay 2 - Yarrow

Haibun

Rengay

Renku

Tan Renga

Book Review

From the Editors

wordmark

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.

Dream of New Year

A Kasen Renku by
Eiko Yachimoto (eiko), Japan
Ella Rutledge (Ella), Japan

1.

on the road again
I dream of New Year rice cakes,
folded fern pillow

(Basho)

2.

greeting at an unknown gate
familiar scent of pine boughs

(Ella)

3.

explosive applause
for yokozuna wafting
from the radio

(eiko)

4.

in a hardware store window
a bunch of red-handled brooms

(Ella)

5.

the rising moon
mirrored in a mountain lake
untrodden, unmapped

(eiko)

6.

through the chilly air, a leaf
came down onto the dark stone

(Ella)

7.

hunting fall colors
Makioka sisters choose
their fine kimono

(eiko)

8.

during a lull in the game
a man ponders his next move

(Ella)
9.

before we were born
a crown-prince danced in the rain
winning his first love

(eiko)
10.

the song no longer makes sense
now that you have gone away

(Ella)
11.

in purple sunset
the wake of a battleship
graces the deep strait

(eiko)
12.

an airbase runway repaired
old wounds left to fester

(Ella)
13.

Was a ghost whistling?
I’d hear it walking barefoot
through sugarcane fields

(eiko)

14.

rum cokes on the veranda
moonlight leaks through a roof hole

(Ella)

15.

the gold pendulum
of the clock swings back and forth
a mouse heads for home

(Ella)

16.

“let’s rest on the river bank.”
clouds drift from the east

(eiko)
17.

fading into white
down the petal-scattered street
a tofu seller’s horn

(Ella)
18.

warped faces appear, disappear
children keep blowing bubbles

(eiko)
19.

mud flat at low tide
I pick up opalescent shells
remembering Mom

(Ella)
20.

rosary of long shorelines
a jet-pilot squints his eyes

(eiko)
21.

deep within the woods
an owl watches from the branch
of a withered tree

(Ella)
22.

first snow won’t stop for two nights shoji moistened tenderly

(eiko)
23.

soft glow on her lips
hearing footsteps on the path
she turns to meet him

(Ella)
24.

tomorrow is the day for
Hester Prynne to face the court

(eiko)
25.

your photograph still
hangs in the unused bedroom
its colors bleeding

(Ella)
26.

hexagonal quartz crystals
cushioned by thick cotton pads

(eiko)
27.

a perfect circle
formed after many false starts
containing nothing

(Ella)
28.

the harvest moon floating high
to lure out an old lobster

(eiko)
29.

tourists now depart
memories of sunlight lost
in fog behind them

(Ella)
30.

a long entwined vine of grape
to which I cling like a madman

(eiko)
31.

no longer does smoke
from household fires twist upward
to infinity

(Ella)
32.

schoolgirls chant in chorus
at Fudo-do in Kinkaku

(Ella)
33.

carrying up and down
corridors of umber gloss
200 futon

(eiko)
34.

slowly from its chrysalis
emerges a butterfly

(Ella)
35.

a young shadow moves
on the cleanest concrete wall
to the blossom breeze

(eiko)
36.

the seeds have all been planted
a farmer drinks from the well

(Ella)

Notes

Stanza 3. yokozuna: the highest ranking sumo wrestler.

Stanza 7. Makioka sisters: The English title of Sasameyuki, a Japanese novel written by Junichiro Tanizaki.

Stanza 22. shoji: Japanese sliding windows/doors with rice paper.

Stanza 32. Fudo do in Kinkaku: A hall in the temple often called Golden Pavillion, a famous destination in Kyoto, often of overnight school excursions.

3dots