Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Origami Barge

Quartet: The Origami Barge

Autumn in Venice -
a passenger boards
the origami barge

a spice so sweet,
the moonlight on silk

at the edge of thought
escaping resolution

no other purpose
but to disturb the dust

healing the scars
from boiling henna
in an iron pan

a barrel of lant
to tan the walrus hide

his anorak
put on backwards
the shaman does the deed

praise and thanks
for the bride's virginity

little lambs cavort
as well they ought
and not be naughty

his dog cherry cane
clack-clacking down the path

it's the ocean
you can smell from here,
the boundless sky above

the wild pearl
unaware of imperfection

I stole a kiss
that night we met
the ferris wheel broke down

you promised me a ride
in a red convertible

a rumble in the switchyard,
distant train horns
long and low

the monkey and his master
do the rounds

Tzetzka: 1, 5, 8, 12, 14

John: 3, 6, 9, 11, 16

Willie: 2, 4, 7, 10, 13, 15

Tzetzka Ilieva, Marietta, Georgia, USA

John Carley, Rossendale, Lancashire, England

William Sorlien (sabaki), St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

The Origami Barge first appeared in A Hundred Gourds 3:2

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Start the Za fizzing

Any team members, or curious bystanders, that are interested in starting or participating in another renku, written and agonized over live at this site, please respond in comments.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Quartet: Bronze Frog

Quartet: Bronze Frog

one more scooter
darts through the intersection -
lingering heat

half-thawed mooncakes
on a plate by the sink

the mission priest
adding water to wine,
testing our spirit

before the aria
the tenor's bated breath


with a swish and thump!
a pinecone makes its way
to the ground

the school girl's glasses
gotten frosty in the cold

some pink, some orange -
yarn bombed seats
in the morning train

our new sales promotion
geared to get results


rumor has it
uncle took a bride
without a dowry

a timid man is late
to view the blossom

one leg stretched,
the bronze frog pauses ...
before moving again

a daub of fresh paint
on the old tavern's crest


sign spinners
their dexterous displays
on every other corner

scraps from verses
we haven't yet written

does anyone remember
the year
without a summer?

fields of rosemary
from here to the horizon

Composed by E-mail, November 1 to 24, 2013
Tzetzka Ilieva, Georgia, USA
William Sorlien, Minnesota, USA

Sorlien: 1, 3, 6, 8. 10, 12, 13, 15
Ilieva: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16

This renku appeared in World Haiku Review, January, 2014

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Quartet: The Island

The Island

the midday heat —
a drunken wasp
drowning in my glass

taller than the corn,
ripples blur the grey

every now and then
the voice of Jesus
from the SatNav

one errant keystroke
beyond a state of grace


banished to the island
a poet
and his misty moon

a twist of wood smoke
sweet as any fish

amidst the roar
of plows and graders
groves of aspen quiver

any moment now
the feedback loop


the clock's slow drag,
she ticks off a box
in the personal ads

ice at the windows,
baggage at the door

the weight
too much to carry,
a footprint in the snow

so much for the students
and their placards


don't forget your duty
to inform
on friends and neighbours

pouring gasoline
to burn a bit of trash

bright young couples
cradle lapdogs
underneath the blossom

brave butterflies,
we're off to gather scrap

John Carley and William Sorlien
by email
14th August 2013 to 4th September 2013

Carley: #1, #3, #6, #8, #10, #12, #13, #15
Sorlien: #2, #4, #5, #7, #9, #11, #14, #16

Quartet: The Island first appeared in Moongarlic, issue 1

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bristlecone - a "new" Triparshva


bristlecone pines,
they straddle two dimensions
- mountain wind

opening the stone,
a sapling sprung forth

a red wheelbarrow
leans against the fence,
its tyre deflating

how many tassels has
a cardinal's galero?

la bella luna
shares a doorway
with the mourning dove

planting daisies
how pale my hands!

beneath the wrack and mire,
turtles all the way down

only Poseidon’s trident
was found washed ashore

so auspicious!
her three-faced Buddha
recovered from the storm

in the eyes of a stranger
an old lover's gaze

at first I laugh
and then I cry
watching the city lights

from the executive suite -
tents in Zucotti

pigeons and pinstripes
scatting across
the canvas squares

does it shine, also
on the Sea of Tranquility?

a psychic sign
in the palm reader's window
only half-lit

the station agent
fresh out of tickets to sell

high up above
an Escher-like
grid of powerlines

a radio voice
talks about the blue jay sky

crackle, crackle . . .
the hen's fresh eggs sizzle
away the day

the scent of cilantro
from my old umbrella

inside the volume
of Van Gogh's letters,
one pressed flower

we promise to meet again
for the next meteor display

p.a., willie, sandra, tzetzka, pat, sandra, willie, tzetzka, p.a., pat, tzetzka, pat, barbara, sandra, pat, willie, ashley, pat, barbara, tzetzka, sandra, tzetzka

First published in A Hundred Gourds 2:3

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Moon Faced Girl


every tree
in every street
the song sparrow's voice

a moon-faced girl
skirts the melting snow

erasing the Welcome
on your door mat,
we wipe our feet

two pints later
and already it's Monday

ants streaming
from the keyboard ...
a live feed

the bullet train
parts an ocean

sneaking Mary Lou
into the suitcase,
her colour almost gone

I keep a fire burning
at the gate

tamping his pipe
otherwise, lost
in the clouds

we settle down to talk
on the kitchen floor

a bell
echoing from the river
a bell

dried lilies
fill a glass of water

Sandra, Willie, Sandra, Eric, Eric, Willie, Sandra, Willie, Eric, Sandra, Sandra, Willie

click on photo to enlarge

First appeared in A Hundred Gourds, March 2012

Friday, January 7, 2011

Deep In The Grove


deep in the grove
where we once danced;
tule fog

a gecko's chirp loud
in an empty house

her Alzheimer's,
names forgotten
as well as our faults

days spent
decoding pebbles

off the trail,
the breeze and wild orchids
play guessing games

tantra pilgrimage,
rumps to the sky

back street boys
linger on the corner;

the fleshy sweetness
of a ripened peach

in the bomb shelter
an old can of
pork and beans

a shiny red bike
clears a path of pigeons

the mute boy,
face turned up in wonder,
now a bright moon

seen but not heard,
a maple leaf's piroeutte

John Merryfield 2, 6, 10, 12
Robin Beshers 1, 5, 8
William Sorlien 3, 7, 11
Eric V. 4, 9


Friday, August 20, 2010

A Triparshva Renku: August 24th, 2010


The Tiniest Pebble

an overcast morning
the tiniest pebble
has a voice / john

your words mingle
with the sound of rain / sandra

above the cottage door,
my fingers probing
for a key / linda

the scent of memory
lies in weathered wood / willie

the frozen moon,
a dullish gleam
in grandfather's eye / takke

but for a yearling's breath
stillness holds the dawn / willie


showing how he ran
for the doorway, the boy
in Batman pyjamas / sandra

above, a redbreast
clings to a pine / linda

engulfed entirely
by the yellow dust
of the pacifists / john

teasingly, a glimpse
of my dragon tattoo /sandra

quick out the back
to the morning train's
clatter and smoke / willie

passing a bottle,
they spoke of their dreams / john

she offers the war hero
another glass of milk / sandra

ink caps sprout in clusters
down the coppice path / linda

up the ladder,
picking the nashi,
picking the moon / sandra

a paper mum
falls from the pages / willie


astir in its depths,
the lake
at its natural rim / john

each star tonight
a tone from the watch night bell / willie

a candle gutters
as the old monk
dips his quill / linda

young painted ponies
leap from stone walls / john

through the rain,
the cherry blossoms move
just a little / sandra

green tea and bird song
to mark another day / john

Completed October 1st, 2010

John Merryfield
Linda Papanicolao
Sandra Simpson
William Sorlien
Shinjuku Rollingstone (guest)

First Place Winner, Journal of Renga and Renku 2010 renku contest


Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Oyster Midden - a triparshva renku


perched upon
the oyster midden
hopeful seagulls / ec

myriad ripples
on a frozen current / b

tourists take snapshots
by the gulf stream / gj

a single organism
pervades the forest floor / b

in heated moonlight,
hairpin turns mark the way
to babylon / gj

the blood in our veins / ec

dried-up rinds
of grapefruit litter
my Monday mornings / gj

paper airplanes
still floating on a dream / ec

darkness so quiet,
only the drip
of melting ice / b

a spindly wallflower
sets my heart abuzz / b

two contortionists
give shape
to the meaning of love / tm

pushing the stroller
footsteps fall in synch / ec

the flight of darts
is all i hear
in couples counseling / gj

lightning clouds change
from the inside out / gj

up all night
the morning glories
duped by a full moon/ ec

a monarch's journey
burdened by early snow / tm

the vortex
gathering all that is
extraordinary / tm

after the rains,
a map drawn in mud / gj

in the end
nothing more than
a roadside altar / ec

bear totem watches
lupine fill the valley/ ec

a single pole
of cherry adorns
the busker's hovel / b

poor old girl
we had to put her down/ ec

completed March 22, 2010

el coyote
turdus migratorius

Our Triparshva renku, The Oyster Midden, has been accepted for June 2010 publication at Notes From The Gean


Tuesday, January 12, 2010



A submissions call for hokku for a triparshava renku of 22 verses beginning with Winter. Members, please submit up to three verses. Discussion will follow.

Reader's comments are encouraged and welcome!

Side 1 - jo - preface

hokku -wi
wakiku -wi
daisan -ns
4 short -ns
5 long -sp/su/mn
6 short -sp/ns

Side 2 - ha - development and intensification

7 long -ns
8 short -ns
9 long -ns/sp
10 short -su/sp/lv
11 long -ns/lv
12 short -ns/lv
13 long -ns/lv
14 short -au
15 long -au mn
16 short -au

Side 3 - kyu - finale

17 long -ns
18 short -su
19 long -ns
20 short -sp
21 long -sp/bl
ageku -sp

(from John Carley's Renku Reckoner)


deep river's ice
the catfish dream
of soaring flight / b

myriad ripples
on the frozen stream
a sudden thaw / b

perched upon
the oyster midden-
two hungry seagulls / ec

picking the sinew
from our teeth-
late winter stew/ ec

northern wind-
a fallen bird's nest
upsets/ unsettles the soul/ ec

charcoal rendering
of the world today
haiti slave ship / gj

hawk on a post
last night's
gargoyle dream / gj

center of the tempest
cold sparrows
in song / gj

whale watching
once again, only the sky
and the sea / rb


Friday, September 18, 2009

Twilight Stroll

twilight stroll
a pocket full
of rosehips / ec

the leaf strewn path,
my footprints in yours / tm

of the obelisk
changing its shape / b

a handwritten note
weighted with a stone / ec

traced in the dust
of a cold moon / b

below the boat,
infinity tinted blue / tm

falling for you-
two ball,
corner pocket / ec

her thighs grip his Harley
as young quail scatter /tm

the autistic boy,
in thrall
of shining wind / b

a bottle catches the breeze-
my sentiments exactly / ec

paper, scissors, rock...
an origami crane
flutters to the ground / tm

of rainbows, crayons,
and summer school daisies / b

tm: turdus migratorius... (Robin)
ec: El Coyote... (Eric V.)
b: bandit... (William Sorlien)

completed October 27, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Hokku submissions for a renku of yet undetermined length-
all comments are welcome!

mist suspended
in brilliantine
sunlight -? b

drowsy bees
listlessly mount
blossoms of weeds -? b

a drowsy bee's
languid humming
weeds past full bloom -? b


shooting stars
unfathomable distance
between us -? TM

soaking up sunlight;
golden apples
await the fall-? TM

ripened light
golden apples
await the fall -? TM

his eyelashes brush
my cheek -? TM


twilight stroll
a pocket full
of rose hips -? EC

seven new bills
but at least
the Giants won -EC?

rising embers
the hunting party
has returned- EC?

ready to bolt
the mounted elk head
stares at the door- EC?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Long City Sidewalks

long city sidewalks
the sweltering moon
aligns with Mars / b

past the lemonade,
my creaking hammock swing / gj

into the wind
the crew manuevering
to maintain balance / b

slow ominous circles
a broken wing / gj

hiking with Dad
my three steps
to his one / ah

captured tadpoles
in a budweiser bottle / gj

a brief glimpse,
a reflection,
vanished in the crowd / b

seeing my breath
feeling yours / gj

gaseous bubbles
rise from
the ancient pond / b

acupressure points
easing digestion / gj

on Joe Pye's weed
the sleepy bees / b

a honey colored
autumn dusk / gj

Completed July 7, 2009
Revised July 12, 2009

altadenahiker-Karin Bugge
bandit-William Sorlien
govindajohn-John Merryfield

First published in Simply Haiku, Winter 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

children's lip prints
on the window
it's summer
and are you sentimental?
corn again