Friday, April 19, 2019

Willow River :: yotsumono

geese fly home
above the Willow River
...too much later
the markets all close

Country Western from the jukebox
melt water in the field

blue lights blinking
crashing through the door
a siren loud and shrill

bare trees, their blunt tops
beckon hoar frost on the moor

Monday, December 10, 2018

Facebook :: Yotsumono

daytime moon
figures in crayon scrawled
on every door

2 am it rained; now
the dogs bark at any noise

ever since we left
that abandoned sofa
sits there on the curb

logged on facebook
in language not my own



Thursday, November 22, 2018

Hemingway :: yotsumono

river and moon -
across the swing bridge
rust's silent creep

a masked tagger's
precarious balance

any time
Hemingway clenched his jaw
I'd buy us both a round

the little girl grins -
smudges on the server's screen


Letter From Fukushima :: Koyomi


a glance and a nod
then right out that door
deep spring snow

the moving guys squat
wrestling the quilt box

ebb tide
releases its grip
on our indiscretion

in a jerry built shack
beneath comma shaped clouds

timid steps
on the icy slate, moonlight
through an iron grate

two wet cocktail rings
merge on top the bar


after we finish
belly laughs
wobble the bed springs

wings of geese beat
auguries into the wind

this new appliance
sends a text
when the colors are done

in haikai spirit
a letter from Fukushima

trumpet vine
and gospel hymns
rise above the sea wall

the bright sting of salt
on still morning air

February 2, 2011, edited

bandit / govindajohn

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Noon in the Middle Kingdom (american spoken here)

mm, look at that baby, clean lines, Corinthian leather, and,
(sssnnniiifff) that new weapon smell!

· Reply · 44m

I think the Chinese are trying to bankrupt the US. They prefer that to actual war.

· Reply · 1h

that's part of war - they stopped buying treasuries already - "death to Amerika"

· Reply · 34m

Yes, but I like to mince words.

· Reply · 33m

no, no, no, that ain't me babe - ` made sure to put it in quotes

· Reply · 33m

Yes, but Uncle Confucius wants YOU! Use your head, son.

· Reply · 31m

come on board for the big win... sir?

· Reply · 30m

No, just follow the Middle Way.

· Reply · 30m

observe the squirrel - yes, I think I understand now

· Reply · 29m

Good. Now leave all your aircraft carriers in my bath tub.

· Reply · 28m

what about my ducks?! ... oh

· Reply · 27m

We can use then for firing practice.

· Reply · 27m

get an estimate first

· Reply · 26m

Bashaar plus 20.

· Reply · 26m

from a reliable contractor - betty's list?

· Reply · 26m

Betty crock of what, eh?

· Reply · 25m

a service to find services

· Reply · 25m

but remember - back down the ladder may cost you more

· Reply · 24m

The true searcher for the way enters the rock cliff cave and then contemplates the guano.

· Reply · 23m

I love a good guerro solo

· Reply · 23m

That figures. I'll tell president Xi that one. He'll have a good ho ho ho.

· Reply · 22m

not now it's nappies

· Reply · 22m

everyone's asleep

· Reply · 21m

But it's noon in the Middle Kingdom.

LikeShow more reactions
· Reply · 20m

Thursday, January 18, 2018

... all right, come at me then ...

Three Day Moon

still a few stalks
by the windbreak in the snow --
three day moon

the dog makes a beeline
for the fox's spoor

in the villager's panic
torches and pitchforks
passed all around

she posts a view of blossoms
one last time

Bandit, Rice

Degachi format for Yotsumono; Submissions are closed.

Thank you for your patronage!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

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, or by email:

Yotsumono ::: Hot Again; November

` Hot Again

a lone gull gliding
catches up to its cries --
Lake Mallalieu

kinetic theory
its rippling arc bending

pomade, coffee, talcum,
clean shirt, too -
the Fat Man's stick is hot again

a note, but no name,
and roses, just shy a dozen

` November

November --
countless raindrops to measure
the length of a day

a veil of frost
tints Johari's window

ranks of children
prone and obedient
to a flickering image

Lebensraum -
a none too distant dream

` ` ;;;;;


Quartet: Big City _ Moongarlic 8

Quartet: Big City

radiant stars
light mown fields and stubble --
rise of the new moon

big city, bleak and cold
though some still call it home

snow geese in flight
too soon for leaving
or early to return?

out of breath and a little hoarse
from shouting in the wind

beside the Mississippi
boundaries and borders
just lines on a map

should oceans come between us
pray never shall we part

lighting a cigarette,
the coffee set to brew
she types another letter

redolent of a summer day,
my longing resigned to torpor

'flies will stitch your mouths shut!'
children being naughty
get Granny's quick rebuke

headlights to the vanishing point
darkness spurs us on

narratives by design
personal and political
confront us everyday

a little bit stoned
the graduate wanders off

Golden Week queues
stretch around the corner
a cine-plex record

blossoms littering the path
obscure the garden's ruin

no matter how
they say it, play it, or spin it
we'll always cross that line

the last of my tokens
clink into the turnstile

{revised Dec. 2017}

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 _ Moongarlic Issue 1

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