Online internet courses by Call of the Page

Are you interested in a Call of the Page course? We run courses on haiku (beginner and intermediate, and advanced). We also run workshops and courses on tanka; tanka stories/prose; haibun; shahai; and other genres.

Please email us at: admin@callofthepage.org
We will let you know more about these courses.

Call of the Page (Alan & Karen)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fully Booked: The Tanka Course, but still places available on the October 2013 haiku course - With Words Group Email Courses



With Words Group Email Courses

The tanka course starting Sep 1st 2013 is fully booked, but there are still places available on the haiku course starting Oct 1st. 

The cost is $85/£55, but the early bird rate ($70/£45) is available if booking for the October course by September 2nd.

Please email karen@withwords.org.uk for full details on these and future courses, and nice comments from earlier participants.

We also run a haiku reading and comprehension course for those who would like a rigorous introduction to the form, starting the beginning of any month.

Best wishes

Alan and Karen

UPDATE FOR 2017:
With Words is now called Call of the Page:
Please do ask Karen for spaces on our popular online tanka and haiku courses throughout 2015 as well as our new courses launching this year.

Karen's email: admin@callofthepage.org


Alan Summers
 
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Major haiku poetry anthologies that Alan’s work appears:

Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years ed. Jim Kacian, Allan Burns & Philip Rowland with an Introduction by Billy Collins (W. W. Norton & Company 2013) http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Haiku-in-English/ 

The Disjunctive Dragonfly, a New Approach to English-Language Haiku by Richard Gilbert, (Red Moon Press 2013): “While nowhere denying the value of objective realism, Richard Gilbert has helped demonstrate how the innovative, and yes, disjunctive core of haiku, like the force of life itself, moves in many directions and by all means possible (and sometimes impossible), illuminating both outer and inner landscapes, and what is held between. He has given us what has been sorely lacking: ‘a new vocabulary of haiku techniques . . .‘”
—Peter Yovu

The Humours of Haiku
(Iron Press 2012) ISBN 978-0-9565725-4-7

Stepping Stones:  a way into haiku      
(British Haiku Society, 2007) ISBN 978-0-9522397-9-6

The New Haiku
ISBN 978-1-903543-03-0 (Snapshot Press, 2001).

Iron Book of British Haiku
(Iron Press; ISBN: 0906228670 First published 1998, Third print 2000)

Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac
 Kodansha International, Japan, ed. William Higginson ISBN 4770020902 (1996)


Co-Editor of five Haiku-based Anthologies:  
Parade of Life: Poems inspired by Japanese Prints ISBN: 09539234-2-8  (Poetry Can/Bristol Museum and Art Gallery/Japan21/Embassy of Japan 2002); The Poetic Image - Haiku and Photography (Birmingham Words/ National Academy of Writing Pamphlet 2006); Fifty-Seven Damn Good Haiku by a Bunch of Our Friends published by Press Here ISBN 978-1-878798-31-2  (2010 USA); Four Virtual Haiku Poets (YTBN Press 2012); and c.2.2. an anthology of short-verse poetry and haiku (YTBN Press 2013).

Four Haiku Collections: Does Fish-God Know (YTBN Press 2012); The In-Between Season With Words Pamphlet Series (2012); Sundog Haiku Journal: an Australian Year (Sunfast Press 1997 reprinted 1998); Moonlighting British Haiku Society Pamphlet (1996).

 





















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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tanka Poetry Kindle Edition now available! Take Five : Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 4



















Take Five : Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 4 [Kindle Edition]

This year's team consisting of M. Kei (USA), Editor-in-chief, Patricia Prime (NZ), Magdalena Dale (RO), Amelia Fielden (AU/JP), Claire Everett (UK), Owen Bullock (NZ), David Terelinck (AU), Janick Belleau (CAN), David Rice (USA), read over eighteen thousand poems to select the best for inclusion in this, the final volume in the must-read series.
 

Product Details

    File Size: 315 KB
    Print Length: 216 pages
    Publisher: Keibooks; Kindle edition (August 25, 2013)
    Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    Language: English
    ASIN: B00ES4IE8Y


"I'm delighted to be featured in this anthology, highly recommended for all kindle people who love good poetry."


" 'Take Five' is a first-class tanka anthology based on a world-wide search, inclusive of the choices of 9 editors from 6 countries. The tanka genre is a lyric poetic form of Japanese origin, expressed in five short lines. Those new to tanka and old hands alike can be assured the contents are excellent examples of the genuine article, an assurance not easy to find in an internet search."
Karen Peterson Butterworth

Book Description

"Contemporary tanka in English is an exciting literature that continues to grow and develop in the hands of increasing diverse poets around the world. Originating in Japan over fourteen hundred years ago, it remains a strong and flexible form evoking profound responses in the reader.

Although a tanka may be as small as a pebble, it creates expanding ripples in the mind of a receptive reader, ripples that touch far shores, with the polished perfection of the poem as the still center of meaning and experience."

 
weblink: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ES4IE8Y


Online courses on tanka poetry
With Words runs online courses on tanka poetry.  For more information please don't hesitate to contact Karen at:
karen@withwords.org.uk 


 

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Coming soon...Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts Vol.1. No.2 August 2013 and Runner Up in Best magazine category, Saboteur Awards 2013

































Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts Vol.1. No.2 August 2013

Coming soon…


First issue:

Saboteur Awards 2013, Runner Up in Best magazine category:
http://area17.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/lakeview-international-journal-of.html

Lakeview, the category’s runner-up, was described as ‘A diverse blend of traditional and experimental arts. Beautifully illustrated. Excellent work by new and established writers.’ 

 ‘A breath of fresh air, no clichés and obvious choices. Here to stay.’
http://sabotagereviews.com/2013/06/05/saboteur-awards-2013-fiction/

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Extended Judge’s Report for 2013 World Monuments Fund Haiku Contest from Alan Summers

Extended Judge’s Report for 2013 World Monuments Fund Haiku Contest continuing from:

n.b. Which monument am I sat in front of, in my own hometown?  See at the very end.

Haiku (plural and singular spelling) are the shortest of all short poems, and rarely take longer than six seconds to read. Although there are many approaches, the most commonly recognised version is that of three very short lines, containing two images often, but not always, taken from real life, that bounce off each other.

These two images may or may not have an obvious connection at first reading, but create a friction where two things rub up against each other and the reader can make up their own new third or overall image, and become joint poet during that time.

This kind of short poem works well if it’s especially crafted with a well-written and intentional rearrangement of words from our common language, that pulls an emotional connection, and reaction, out of us which makes us feel included.

Haiku often allow every reader to be a joint creative writer/reader while they read it, and the poem should feel far greater than the sum of its physical count of words.  

So what actually makes a haiku?

To start with, haiku is commonly known as a poem with three very short lines.  By the way, the word haiku means both a single haiku and the plural of haiku, something we’ve taken from the Japanese lack of singular and plural meanings in their language, which makes for interesting slants of meaning.

In Japan, haiku came about in force, back at the end of the 19th century and very beginning of the 20th century, (haiku is the term coined by Masaoka Shiki who died aged 35 in 1902).  Though very modern, like most things, it’s connected to the past just as music is, for instance.

Haiku came from a connection with other literature covering a thousand years, when it evolved from being a starting verse in a long poem where each verse was written by different poets, and this long poem was called renga, and then after Basho (1644 – 1694), as renku.

Why is haiku so popular in the Western world?

It should be easier for Japanese people to write haiku because of their multi-based language system, yes they have three systems, we only have the one with just 26 letters.  The Japanese language systems have such a rich resource to capture an incredible amount of detail within so few characters and ideograms.

Yet an incredible amount of people attempt to write haiku in English all around the world, and I’m glad that they do.

Back to Japanese, can we write close to what a good Japanese haiku writer can, with just the one language system that we have, when…

The Japanese system of characters for their language:
 
©Smashing Magazine http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/05/18/the-beauty-of-typography-writing-systems-and-calligraphy-of-the-world/  
There are 50,000 kanji characters, but 1000 to just under 2000 are used by most people (phew!)

Then there are hiragana and katakana: each have 46 characters in modern use (there used to be more).

Kanji represents ideas or objects, hiragana expresses the grammatical relationships between them. Katakana is used to write words which have been borrowed from other languages, including various foreign names and names of countries.

The pool in total that many ordinary Japanese haiku poets might use is around 2040 characters or greater, instead of the 26 letters of the single English-language alphabet that we use.  Oh, and don’t forget that punctuation in Japanese is in words not symbols, as we use in English, and they are part of the sound-unit aka ‘on’ count as part of the poem, so that a 17-on Japanese haiku could be 15 or 16 sound-units long, plus one or two sound units that are the punctuation ‘word-phrases’.

A haiku is so brief it could easily be written on the back of a postage stamp (remember those things before txt messaging, and other social media?) but the techniques to make a good haiku could fill something the size of a novella, and millions of people every day have a go all the same, which is great news for us.

Regarding "on" and its mora length and nature here are three useful web links:


Haiku in English
copyright©Alan Summers, With Words






So how do we read, and even write, something so short as haiku in English that can still end up as a poem, without the benefit of the complex set of systems that the Japanese have?  As Japan borrowed art and writing techniques to incorporate into the modern haiku so we too borrow from them to do our haiku, with techniques taken from their use of a reference to a season or part of a season (kigo), and how to insert a type of pause between the two short parts of a haiku (kire, kireji).

The main characteristics of a haiku are two images that work well together, not necessarily close in direct subject matter, sometimes in slight opposition to each other: A juxtaposition is the most commonly used method, although there are others, especially in contemporary haiku, such as disjunctive methods.  I will touch on this at a later date. But for now…

Those two images create an electricity, charging up the reader to create their own vision of what the haiku has become as a poem.

Haiku work best with concrete images, yet often with a fine tightrope walk between objective and subjective phrasing.  This balancing act can be enhanced by other approaches, for example, fixing the haiku into part of a season, think Independence Day or Martin Luther King Day, or the British Guy Fawkes Day/Bonfire Night.  This can pin a haiku to a specific part of a season, even a day, and it’s amazing how other memories can flood in when this method is used. Remember, haiku are not so much nature poems but seasonal poems so urban subjects can of course be included.

It’s good to write a haiku in the present tense so that a reader feels the incident being recorded as a haiku poem has been so recent, that the reader need only turn their head to spot the moment being carried out.  That they too can become a witness alongside the original author of the poem who has recorded the incident as it happened.  This is a useful method so that each reader becomes a joint witness, even if the moment happened months or even years ago.  That’s one of the tricks or techniques that can be utilised in modern haiku.

One of the secrets of haiku is gently unearthing the reader’s creativity, reawakening the wonder of day to day life, and dismissing our sometimes jaundiced view of the world. As haiku can also be poems of place, in natural or urban settings, they are perfect for the World Monuments Fund Haiku Contest.


What did I look for when judging the World Monuments Fund Haiku Contest? 

Some of the above I’ve just stated, and also another technique, that of switching our perspective from something big to something small, or the reverse, to zoom in and then zoom out.  Something very effective in such a small tiny poem as haiku.

So what were the season time stamps in many of the winning haiku?

cricket is an Autumn seasonal reference in Japanese haiku, a time of reflection, memories, and a certain wistful sadness.

stars is also an Autumn reference, in the Japanese poetical sense.

butterflies are usually a Spring reference in Japanese haiku.

robin is usually seen as a seasonal reference to Spring in North America, and a Summer kigo in Japan, for the Japanese Robin.  In Britain the robin is a strong seasonal reference for Christmas unless accompanied with a dominant seasonal phrase from another season.

My Judge’s Report

A fine selection of verses which took quite a time to finally whittle down to a shortlist of first nine haiku, finally becoming six haiku, in order to pick prize-winning authors, and semi-finalists. Because of the nature of the organisation holding the competition, and that I am fascinated and moved by a strong sense of place (both external and/or internal), and identification with that place, each of the entries went through a tough and ruthless process. The final shortlisted haiku had to endure further relentless scrutiny and even further relentless scrutiny for a chance to earn their positions in the winning places of this competition.

First Prize, The Endless Column
I kept coming back to the Endless Column which seemed to both represent a particular place and event but also so much struggle in so many countries, not just Romania, but every country through time.   The mention of a cricket (another cricket) counting stars is a magical and memorable part of this haiku.  The two images worked well bouncing off each other, and another cricket is counting the stars lifted this haiku quite literally beyond its immediate place to perhaps one of Japan’s favorite haiku writers, that of Issa, who felt at one with all insects in particular, because of his tough and challenging life.

The second prize seems to beautifully capture so much of what is great about the American expanses, and how vital Route 66 is for American culture and for anyone who has travelled, or read about this amazing road, perhaps one of the biggest places, and monuments, and an iconic inspiration to those both inside and outside America.  Many of us are at a crossroads at some time in our lives, and perhaps passed by a rain-filled hubcap teeming with stars  which is such a terrific phrase for a haiku.

The third prize haiku combines the history of a world famous site known to many across media platforms as the Wailing Wall but by other names by those who live there.  It is a site for prayer and pilgrimage which dates back to the 4th century.  But do we not all need sustenance of one kind or another, even butterflies taking salt from the mud close to this religious place?

The Semi-finalists also, in their own individual manner, encapsulated something of the essence of place, from the famous maze of Henry VIII’s Hampton Court, with its incredible history and mix of complex politics, to the monument of love that the Taj Mahal represents, to Ha Long Bay, a precious and fragile area under risk from the tourist industry.

Alan Summers,
Japan Times award-winning writer



First Prize: Christina Oprea
Site: Endless Column
________________________________
the Endless Column -
somewhere, another cricket
is counting the stars



Second Prize: Mark E. Brager
Site: Route 66
________________________________
crossroads . . .
a rain-filled hubcap
teeming with stars



Third Prize: Mike Blottenberger
Site: Wailing Wall
________________________________
near the Wailing Wall
butterflies drinking salt
from the mud




Semi-finalist #1: Matthew Paul
Site: Hampton Court
________________________________
spring wind
a robin at Hampton Court
enters the maze



Semi-finalist #2: Neal Whitman
Site: Taj Mahal
________________________________
chemotherapy
photographs of Taj Mahal
in a well-thumbed book



Semi-finalist #3: Carol Judkins
Site: Ha Long Bay
________________________________
gold rush-
in Ha Long Bay,
the dragon weeps


Please do visit the video of the award-winning entries:

Where am I sitting?











I’m sitting in Barton Farm Country Park in Bradford on Avon:


In front of the 4th Century Tithe Barn (with a large cross shaped opening/window):

ENGLISH HERITAGE:
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/bradford-on-avon-tithe-barn/

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/bradford-on-avon-tithe-barn/history-and-research/

Bradford on Avon Tithe Barn:
http://www.bradfordonavon.co.uk/WhatToDo/tithebarn.html

This shows the other side of that cross shaped window opening:
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2739899



Alan Summers, 
a Japan Times award-winning writer based in Bradford on Avon, England, runs With Words, which provides literature, education and literacy projects, as well as online courses often based around the Japanese genres.   

He is a co-editor for Bones Journal (contemporary haiku), and his latest collection Does Fish-God Know contains contemporary and gendai-style haiku with short verse published by Yet To Be Named Free Press: There is also a forthcoming book titled Writing Poetry: the haiku way.  


Various essays and articles include:

Haiku: The Art of Implication over Explication

More than One Fold in the Paper: Kire, kigo and the meaning of vertical axis by Alan Summers (April 2016) http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/morethanonefoldbysummers

575haiku - Traditional Haiku as three lines and in a 5-7-5 English language syllables pattern

Travelling the single line of haiku:

The Reader as Second Verse

Black dogs and afternoon rain:

Themocracy: The Themocrats and their Concept Albums
Four book reviews by Alan Summers of writers who weave theme:

The Golden Carousel of Life:  Senryu, An Application to be a) human
Failed HaikuA Journal of English Senryu

http://www.haikuhut.com/Senryū-An-Application-to-be-a-human-by-Alan-Summers.pdf 

An interview with Shloka Shankar of Sonic Boom magazine where I talk about the negative and white spaces of haiku as the White Paintings of haiku
http://media.wix.com/ugd/61020d_8aa281272a5d4522becef0eb4f4e5a3a.pdf



The Call of the Page online courses 

Our Intermediate Haiku Course:
  
Haiku (plural and singular spelling) are the shortest of all short verses, with an intended arrangement of words to draw on an emotional reaction from a reader. The intention is to create an effect far greater than the sum of the actual number of words used.

“…a haiku often juxtaposes two [different] objects and challenges the reader to make an imaginary connection between them.”
From the Preface viii, Light Verse from the Floating World by Makoto Ueda
Columbia University Press, New York 1999

Traditionally haiku are rooted in the seasons, and you can have half the poem already written by adding a season. Haiku are also ideal for urban observations, and as a kind of short-hand for remembering events, the important days in our lives, and the often overlooked things that do matter and risk being forgotten.  Haiku can also make for excellent ecological and environmental writing. 

Above all these incredibly distilled verses can be wonderfully therapeutic.  They can also work out both the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ side of the brain which is a useful exercise to help stave off memory deterioration.

The secret of haiku is gently unearthing both our own creativity; reawakening or reigniting the wonder of day to day life and that of the reader too. It’s can be about dismissing or reducing our media jaundiced view of the world which is healthy even in the best of times and especially in the worst of times, to paraphrase Charles Dickens and the opening line to A Tale of Two Cities.

Haiku is The Golden Thread and this course will help you find it throughout our time together.


For information on our popular online courses for haiku, and tanka poetry, or haibun or tanka story/prose please feel free to contact Karen Hoy, Course Director, at: admin@callofthepage.org


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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Amos White, Guest Blogger: Haiku Poetry and the Sense of Place







Guest Blogger Amos White














Place names, and a sense of place, are evocative ingredients in any kind of creative writing whether works of fiction or non-fiction. Here is a part of a series on Sense of Place and Identity 

If anyone else is interested in being part of this series please do email me, with a subject line of Sense of Place and Identity at: alan@withwords.org.uk

Amos White, Guest Blogger:  
Haiku Poetry and the Sense of Place

By Amos White
Author of “The Sound of the Web:
Haiku and Poetry on Facebook and Twitter”
(CreateSpace, 2013)


Haiku is somewhat a profound adventure in concentration for me. In short, a meditation.

Most of my haiku write themselves in that moment between breaths. Yet, it is on the second breath, the one when I realize I was witness to something greater, that I let the words take form.

It always begins with a sense of place and my sudden connection to that place or an object or experience within that location, time or feeling.

The following haiku represent a different aspect of “place”: from the personal (identity as one's sense of self in this world), to geo-locational, to the spiritual, and to the temporal.


(Place of Identity) 
The oneness felt in realizing not only do you look like your parent, but that you also empathize with a particular life perspective they too hold. Memorial Day, we honor those fallen in service to our country. To be there in that moment when all has somberly fallen quiet and motionless, yet somehow the stars and stripes are still flying upright? Only a veteran could believe.


Papas drifting lip
the stars and stripes still flying
in the absent wind


(Place of Identity)  
The Buckeye tree means home. It is as much a sign of my youth as it is symbolic to The Great State of Ohio and its denizens. The buckeyes always fall from the tree the week before school begins, officially closing summer when arriving teachers unlock battleship gray drawers to disgorge and reorder their stores of wares for the coming year.

buckeyes
sharpening
pencils


(Geo-locational, temporal/seasonal)
Hakone village lies in the distance before Mount Fuji. This natural event of a noble tree being undressed in the warming air left me feeling like a voyeur- witness to a moment so intimate, yet so decisively a harbinger of spring.

lone pine tree
sheds its white robe
Spring in Hakone


(Geo-locational, historical)
The hunt for the Boston bombers found me struck to internet social media probing for sounds and sights of helicopters shredding the night into day above the suburb of Watertown. Time, place and our sense of our selves for “what's next?” were all suspended and projected in disorientating real time multimedia.

sunlit
night-
Watertown


(Temporal)  
From the dust of earth we are born and to her we are reclaimed. The ephemeral nature of a fireflies' lifespan on earth spans but days. The persistent confluence of these two events in Africa portend an enormity of both sadness for the many lives who have perished all too soon in the political firestorms that have engulfed many of her nations, and of promise. For we all know that fireflies, too, will rise again.

ashes
and fireflies
africa


(Temporal) 
The olive tree bears the fruit, oil, wood and year round greenery to most of Italy. Harvesting olives takes long hours to where cleaning olives from the nets below the trees can easily become be a lulling meditative act. Losing my place in the moment has been as humorous as it is humbling. For only then do I realize that I was whatever I was doing until I fell back into the conscious duality of this reality thinking about what I was doing.

Cleaning out the nets
suddenly
there are two thoughts


(Spiritual)  
Being lost and found in the haiku moment is mystifying. There comes a grounding in all things as if there were but one lung we all shared pulling on the same coolness of air. Whether walking an Oakland city street with eyes level on the Bay's horizon, or passing unwet through the garden in a downpour, one can find themselves a participant in the subtlest of moments and partake of them just long enough to know their deeper meaning.

geese
signing
dusk


temple bell
in mid summer storm
I too part the rain
  

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Amos White is an awarded American poet, and author of "The Sound of the Web: Haiku and Poetry on Facebook and Twitter" (CreateSpace, 2013). Recognized for his American interpretations of the Japanese Haiku poetry art form, Amos has won recognition as Finalist in the NPR National Cherry Blossom Haiku Contest 2013 amongst others. He currently completed his first book, "The Sound of the Web”' (CreateSpace, 2013) and his next haiku books are "What Does the Moon" (2013), and "Sometimes a Whisper" (working title: 2014).

Discover more Amos White haiku at

The Sound of the Web: Haiku and Poetry on Facebook and Twitter




Sunday, August 11, 2013

tanka and haiku poetry online classes for September and October




There are still places on the With Words online tanka course starting September 1st, and plenty of time to book early bird rate for the online
haiku course starting October 1st.


If you're interested in further details, please email Karen: 
karen@withwords.org.uk



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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Announcing the World Monuments Fund 2013 Haiku Contest Winners


World Monuments Fund Statement:
The ties between poems and monuments are both ancient and contemporary, abstract and concrete. This past April, in conjunction with National Poetry Month in the United States, hundreds joined World Monuments Fund in exploring the special relationship between monuments and poetry by submitting entries to our second annual haiku contest.



The six award-winning haiku each bear witness to the world's treasured places, beautifully conveying both a strong sense of place and identification with that place. We are excited to share a video of the winning haiku, paired with evocative imagery from the sites that inspired them.

Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to all who participated, especially our judge, Alan Summers, a recipient of the Japan Times Award and the Ritsumeikan University of Kyoto Peace Museum Award for haiku.
4th Century Tithe Barn (with a large cross shaped opening/window):

ENGLISH HERITAGE:
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/bradford-on-avon-tithe-barn/

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/bradford-on-avon-tithe-barn/history-and-research/

BoA:
http://www.bradfordonavon.co.uk/WhatToDo/tithebarn.html

This shows the other side of that cross shaped window opening:
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/2739899


Enjoy the video: 
http://www.wmf.org/2013-haiku-contest-winners
http://www.wmf.org/2013-haiku-contest-winners


Monday, August 05, 2013

Renku poetry: A Cup of Snow - One of the earliest examples of the rokku form in English.

© 2013 Haiku Society of America










































A Cup of Snow

by
Hortensia Anderson, New York, New York
John E. Carley, Lancashire, England (sabaki)
Alan Summers, London, England
Carole MacRury, Point Roberts, Washington
Michael Dylan Welch, Sammamish, Washington

 
laughing with delight
a cup of snow
a moon-eyed girl           
John

half gone, the last jar
of ginger jam      
Carole

roadside shop
the chain-saw artist
asks me my sign          
Michael

a faint glow in the sky
before sunset          
Alan

first chill night
the smell of cedar
in the quilts       
Hortensia

tic by toc
the leaves begin to fall
John

***
           
dab, dab, dabbing
at her cards the old lady
yells “bingo!”       
Carole

a mosquito bite
on the toddler’s cheek        
Michael

their second date
she drinks him
under the table    
Alan

we roll with the waves
of the water bed       
Hortensia

and bathe eche veyne
in swich licour
of which engenderé́d . . .  
John

the scent of wild rose
in the birthing suite   
Carole


***
           
deepening depression
the telephone
stops ringing      
Michael

a late-night diner
the hum of the fridge       
Alan

constant as the
poverty of poets
autumn moon         
John

three generations
peddling fallen walnuts    
Carole

leftover candy
the pumpkin’s toothy grin
starts to sag        
Michael

candle wax obscuring
the way of light     
Hortensia

***
      
tamarisk honey
the el-tarfah of dry tears        
Alan

with each breath
the desert’s fire and dust         
Carole

searching for an airplane
without wings       
John

                     affair the after
way wrong the home coming       
Michael

each snowflake different
his wife’s kiss       
Hortensia

the lack of a sharp knife
and a whetstone        
Alan

***
           
abattoir—
the apathetic gaze
of man and beast     
Carole

from rock to rock
the grizzly’s nose      
Michael

the sniper scope
adjusted
on the Canon Sure Shot       
Alan

fighting through the shed
to reach the mower      
John

we fill our pails
with plum blossoms
and then?           
Hortensia

the spring dawn
spills down the mountain
Carole

Notes
el-tarfah ~ The manna of the Sinaitic peninsula is an exudation from the “manna-tamarisk” tree (Tamarix mannifera), the el-tarfah of the Arabs. At night it is fluid and resembles dew, but in the morning it begins to harden. The Arabs use it like honey or butter with their unleavened bread.

and bathe eche veyne/in swich licour/of which engenderéd . . .
~This verse is in Middle English. It is taken from the second couplet of the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, generally dated between 1340 and 1370. As with all texts of this antiquity there are many variants. A recent, re-versified translation by A.S. Kline gives the full couplet as:
And bathed each vein with liquor of such power
That engendered from it is the flower


Afterword
John E. Carley
 
“A Cup of Snow,” written by e-mail in the first months of 2008, is one of the earliest examples of the rokku form in English. The rokku is a mold-breaking type of renku sequence originated in the early years of this century by the Japanese poet and critic Haku Asanuma. 

The form is modular rather than having a set length, permitting as many verse movements as the participants wish to complete, up to six. Season and seasonality are important, but not in a structural manner; the same is true for moon and blossom verses. A high rate of change is guaranteed as nothing may endure for more than two verses. 

Also, the penultimate movement of any rokku is inclined towards experimentation. I served as sabaki, but the renku effectively wrote itself, the very different personal styles of the participants being vital to the effort to break new ground. Sadly, one of us is no longer present, though her writing, as ever, stands out from the page. So we dedicate this renku to Hortensia Anderson, who passed away in May of 2012.



Hortensia Anderson
June 24, 1959 – May 21, 2012
Her book:
The Plenitude of Emptiness
hortensia anderson : collected haibun
with an introduction by Jim Kacian


“I have my copy already dog-eared and it is brand new! The haibun are potent and profoundly moving. This is a must-read. Get this book!” —Denis M. Garrison, poet, writer, editor, publisher: The MET Press

“I have tried to read Hortensia’s haibun with a critical discerning eye but I cannot. Again and always, the flow of her words and the intense images they allow me to create pull me under and away into a riptide of emotions.” —Jane Reichhold, poet, writer, editor, publisher: AHA Books

“The term ‘essential reading’ is horribly overused, but this book really is essential reading for anyone interested in writing the best, direct, real haibun being written today.” —Alan Summers, renga poet-in-residence for the City of Hull

The Plentitude of Emptiness:
 
http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/index.php/updates/preview-of-the-plenitude-of-emptiness-by-hortensia-anderson/
 
http://www.lulu.com/shop/hortensia-anderson/the-plenitude-of-emptiness/paperback/product-10293919.html;jsessionid=F211C07FB1AB7624791D6636E2A574CA

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