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
.

121 comments:

bandit said...

# 31:


every tree
in every street:
the sparrow's voice (sandra; prov.)

I noticed this before, but was put off by Vivadi, perhaps for not being able to identify his music.

Here's a version for consideration as hokku; birdsong of spring, or a reference to the Aoba Festival sparrow dance, perhaps?

sandra said...

Here, for your edification young man, is a link to Vivaldi's Spring concerto (from his Four Seasons suite) on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYfAncKfru0&feature=related

I chose this one because at least it has something interesting to look at while you listen.

This link is a trailer for the documentary movie "4" where four violinists play each concerto in four different parts of the world. It was a great film - the Spring concerto is played in Japan and the images are of sakura.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfoOc73Pb58

sandra said...

Now, after all that, I don't mind the change, Willie.

My only hesitation is over "sparrow" - is the sparrow's song strong enough to convey the sense of spring music "in every tree, in every street"?

Would "blackbird" be better? Or is the word itself too strong?

bandit said...

Yes, 'sparrow' had a bit of a dry taste - although, I've been so overwhelmed with Aoba Matsuri and Cities of Green Leaves it might be some time before I get the festival, ginko kukai, and its attending sparrows, out of mind!
And I'm a fool for Bach - too serious!

I should mention there is a song sparrow, but probably not native to your region. They are rather musical . . . let's give it a listen, ermm, reading:

every tree
in every street;
the song sparrow's voice

every tree
in every street;
the blackbird's voice

I should say, too, Vivaldi, or any human musical eminence, seemed out of place somehow; blossoms may be a different story.

Well we have them side by side- have we any preferences or suggestions?

sandra said...

After all, I think I prefer "song sparrow", the sibilance adds something and the rhythm is better.

Do we need to alert John and Eric that we're back in business?

And please, do delete my earliest verse offerings. Thanks!

bandit said...

Thank you, Sandra.

I forgot to ask if blackbirds make it as far as your region. I remember blackbird song from the Beatle's White Album, of course. Similar to a Robin, with long, clear notes, as I recall.

I agree about the 'song sparrow's' sibilance (it's song, too), and a nice addition of length without being "preachy", as well as the meter lengthened by addition of word and phrase. I feel better with a nod to our friends in Sendai, also.

i think the lad's have been looking in, yet kindly refrained from too much commentary to allow me to get my head on straight.

We might still go by turns, for that matter, and if John wasn't so overwhelmed, we might take him up on his offer to lead a poem sometime soon. I know how it can be after a long winter - you simply cannot say no to any opportunity to take on construction work.

Well, then, to remain true to form, we require a blossom verse here:



where shanties once stood
a wild plum trembles

this garden ruin,
rhubarb and wild plum

the scent of plum
from deep in the hollow

John Merryfield said...

Again, beautiful ginko kukai Willie.

Don't hold your breath for me to lead a renku one day.

As far as our shisan... do we have a hokku? can we post the hokku to the front page to allow the space around it to inspire... ?

bandit said...

And he claims not to lead . . .

bandit said...

I only just heard the Aoba Festival in Sendai had been cancelled this year.

bandit said...

WAKIKU

every tree
in every street;
the song sparrow's voice / sandra


a wild plum trembles
in the shanty patch

a garden ruin,
rhubarb and wild plum


a scent of plum
seeps through the alley


. . . flowers are OK, too.
Then there's moon . . .

a moon-faced girl
skirts the melting snow

That might leave us a winter flower, then.

el coyote said...

dispatching angels
the cherry blossom wind

el coyote said...

I like this bandit:


a garden ruin,
rhubarb and wild plum


although I don't know if it links to the hokku

bandit said...

'm thinking of a scene in the city, carried out as part of a quiet vignette in this first of four separate sides.

I wanted to draw conclusions from each, part of a larger story in the whole poem.

I'm wondering where might this lead, although I'd prefer to learn the 'moon-faced girl's' destination. More interesting and unusual a tale, perhaps: A different interpretation of the spring moon.

For me, your 'angels' lean to a romanticism I wished to avoid in this first side. We might find it to be more common, along with 'blossom', in other shisan submitted for this contest.

el coyote said...

bird poop and fallen blossoms
look alot alike

bandit said...

That's not what those "dispatches" were?!

sandra said...

Willie, I love your "moon-faced girl". Love it!

A dumb question from someone who doesn't live where snow falls ...

Does the mention of snow in the wakiku regress the poem?

bandit said...

I was awaiting that question . . .
not here, it doesn't! And, as I understand, some northern parts of Japan, for that matter.

And John mentioned Tahoe City had a blizzard just a week ago, was it?

It could be "melted" snow and retain the cadence established while better suggesting the movement of season into the warmth of deep spring. And "melting snow' is a little less creative, perhaps, lifted straight from the kiyose.

The birdsong, as well as that of song sparrows, began in earnest over a month ago. i was surprised (and heartened!).

bandit said...

I should of just mentioned that sparrows over winter in the cold regions - 'sparrows with no necks' - Hackett.

John Merryfield said...

No wakiku offerings from me.

I too, am quite intriged with:

the moon-faced girl
skirts the melting snow

There are two seasons here in Tahoe: (winter) and (July and August). We're still in late, late winter when the blue jays make their nests and plum trees bloom while snow swirls, falling upwards, to confuse the tourists.

sandra said...

Looks like we have ourselves a wakiku by popular acclamation (50%)!

bandit said...

DAISAN


alright then; a call for daisan and a concluding note to this first side, Jo.

sandra said...

every tree
in every street;
the song sparrow's voice


a moon-faced girl
skirts the melted snow


wiping our shoes
on the door mat,
erasing the welcome


holding hands
as we jump
the puddles


carefully choosing
a word to write
on the steamy window



Or did you want a blossom verse?

bandit said...

Thanks, Sandra,

Our moon (after study of the Shisan schematic at the Renku Reckoner) takes us out of spring into non-season. That would give us a flower position at winter in the last side.

John Merryfield said...

crumbs distributed
unevenly
around the chair

bandit said...

Both of you make me chuckle. Let's wait 'til evening (eight hours) to see if Eric is about . . .

bandit said...

Interesting perceptions of the moon-faced girl's journey.

every tree
in every street;
the song sparrow's voice

a moon-faced girl
skirts the melted snow

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

with the inversion of lines in Sandra's offer, a bit of shock value and a definitive "movement" from jo.

John's verse really amused me with its clinical descriptiveness, as though a detective was taking notes at a crime scene. Still, it may have needed a buffer of explanation as to how we ended up there.

I considered

we hold hands
as we jump
the puddles

a more childlike voice, perhaps, although variety of length between verses may be an issue in our judge's eyes.

May we use this version of "erasing", Sandra?

sandra said...

Hi guys,

Yep, that version is fine - I wasn't able to make "welcome" italic so I didn't make it anything!

I think I would prefer it in italics to quote marks. How about you?

bandit said...

Side 2 - V 1


We can do that. It does look good.

We have an option for non-season or one summer verse in the next position, but we might want to keep away from seasonal reference with all the weather we've just experienced. We haven't been indoors yet either.

el coyote said...

neighborhood ghosts
in the abandoned pool


the hind legs
of a robust housefly

bandit said...

Nice one El C!

every tree
in every street;
the song sparrow's voice

a moon-faced girl
skirts the melted snow

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

bitter ale and doleful tales
spilled across the bar


we can go with a love verse at any time, too.

el coyote said...

"holy" socks
my big toe exposed

el coyote said...

two pints later
pondering sobriety

el coyote said...

two pints later
and it's monday

el coyote said...

robin's nest
four aqua eggs

bandit said...

pints of bitter and tales of woe
spill across a flyspecked bar

Stealing from E's cheeky 'pints', a better meter, although i wish I could incorporate the concept of 'Monday' and a lost weekend.

fortune squandered and pints
spilled across a greasy bar

Something Bukowski-like going here; a bit of cheek would keep this from wandering into depressiveness. This is kind of long . . .

pints and fortune spill
across a greasy bar

I can't find a meter that's right -

Do we have any other sub's? What does anyone think of any of these, please?

bandit said...

every tree
in every street;
the song sparrow's voice

a moon-faced girl
skirts the melted snow

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

pints and fortunes spill
across the fly-specked bar

Could this be summer? (for some people, probably)

sandra said...

How about:

two pints of bitter later
and already it's Monday

I like "bitter", but is it too much of a downer to start the ha side? I'm afraid I haven't researched this, am just asking.

And might it hark back to "snow"? (bitter cold)

Could "fly-specked" also be read as an ill-kempt place (a dive) where the summer's fly specks haven't been cleaned up? So making it all seasons.

bandit said...

ou're right - it's hard to catch the play on words here combining the two premises:

pints and fortunes spill
across the fly-specked bar

two pints of bitter later
and already it's Monday

a pint of bitter spills
across the fly-specked bar

To me, fly-specked indicates a door open in the pub for ventilation, like when I walk past the Arcade Bar on a hot summer morning to see the regulars seated there.

(this last, simpler and the most esoteric, maybe)

I Wiki'ed bitter and found a wealth of info about English pale ale I never knew before. Of course, Mr. Carley would probably offer expert testimony on these choices and subjects, although he was last seen diving into a pub and eatery in lower Manchester and hasn't been heard from since:

curry and bitters
all along the Miracle Mile

Your points are taken about the "downer" aspect and implications of season. It could be possible to extricate ourselves with a love verse next, or perhaps we could re-address any of the above offers or seek another tack.

bandit said...

pints of bitter spill
across the fly-specked bar - summer

curries and bitters
all along the miracle mile - ns

neighborhood ghosts
in the abandoned pool - summer


the hind legs
of a robust housefly - summer

two pints of bitter later
and already it's Monday - ns

sandra said...

How about if we substituted the generic "ale" for "bitter"?

two pints of ale later
and already it's Monday

or even, and of course this is Eric's verse, so anything I suggest is reliant on his approval:

two shots of bourbon
and already it's Monday

To me that's a punchier verse in its language and imagery.

bandit said...

This recalls the old addage, "one drink is too many and a thousand not enough" heard in A.A. meetings since their beginnings. A sensitive subject to handle well, or "tastefully". I haven't seen it often in Haikai.

I would make one amendment, and that would be to drop two syllables from the opening line:

every tree
in every street;
the song sparrow's voice

a moon-faced girl
skirts the melted snow

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

two pints of ale
and already it's Monday

My compulsiveness with meter warrants this suggestion. 'Later' may be superfluous to the implication, as well as dragging the momentum after the previous verse's soliliquy. Are you amenable to any of these changes, El C?

John Merryfield said...

Please forgive my abscence. A committment might keep me away for the weekend. Onward through the fog!

el coyote said...

I like the rendition....
lets continue.

bandit said...

Side 2 - V 2 - Summer


Thanks, Eric:

every tree
in every street;
the song sparrow's voice

a moon-faced girl
skirts the melted snow

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

two pints of ale
and already it's Monday

*****

a siren's wail
comes pouring down
on the late plum rain

sandra said...

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

two pints of ale
and already it's Monday


among the bursting
bubbles of sea-foam,
blue jellyfish


every week
her pregnancy belly
that bit fuller


opening
the office window,
a fly leaves

bandit said...

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

two pints of ale
and already it's Monday

*****

a siren's wail
comes pouring down
with the late plum rain


a spider's web
trembles in the vortex
of a passing train

clouds of fireflies
scattered in the wind
of a bullet train

dark columns of cloud
race on the wind
with a speeding train

sandra said...

Hello Willie,

I like this one, it seems the most natural of the lot (ie, the others seem somewhat forced):

clouds of fireflies
scattered in the wind
of a bullet train

Thinking out loud with:

clouds of fireflies
scattered in the wake
of a bullet train

Look forward to Eric's offerings.

bandit said...

Wake! What the hey - the word that wouldn't come to me. Thanks . . .

Hoping John might have something when he returns, also.

bandit said...

Another EL kiyose added as a link (meister Z), plus a Haikai Glossary and more Ingredients (Birdsong Radio) on the right side of the page.

bandit said...

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

two pints of ale
and already it's Monday

*****


among the bursting
bubbles of sea-foam,
blue jellyfish


every week
her pregnancy belly
that bit fuller

opening
the office window,
a fly leaves

Sandra



a siren's wail
comes pouring down
with the late plum rain

clouds of fireflies
scattered in the wake
of the bullet train

Willie


Sandra, I might say,

every week
her pregnancy belly
that (little) bit fuller

. . . that (much) fuller

opening
the office window,
a fly leaves (early)


Eric or John, would you let us have any subs or preferences here, please?

el coyote said...

a live feed
ants streaming from
the key board

swirling ghosts
a windswept
garlic husk

bandit said...

Ants! Shades of Naked Lunch!

sandra said...

Hi Willie,

Thanks for the great suggestions, you're on a roll!

My preferences are:

clouds of fireflies
scattered in the wake
of the bullet train

- Willie

every week
her pregnancy belly
that much fuller

- Sandra

I like both Eric's contributions but am concerned that there is a subtle "cut" in each (just because there's no em dash at the end of L1 doesn't mean it's not there :) )

Does using an ellipsis help?

a live feed ...
ants streaming
from the keyboard

- Eric

bandit said...

Oh, Bulls**t!

But thanks for your thoughtfulness
:'>

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

two pints of ale
and already it's Monday

'that bit fuller' has such a tense, clipped urgency when you think/hear of it. A tightening of the jaw and sense.

'clouds . . . scattered in the wake of a bullet train' more a generalist unease . . .

'ants . . . a live feed' . . . wait . . .

ants(!)
a live feed streaming
from the keyboard

this is anxiety - meds must have gotten out of hand on the weekend!

daytime drama to psuedo-mystical to surrealist; it's a matter of how far we want to jump off, isn't it?

bandit said...

Just for grins, I've dashed off a maeku for each of your offers:

two pints of ale
and already it's Monday

every week
her pregnancy belly
that bit fuller

still cool enough
for a picnic on the grass

(cf. Manet, Edouard - "Luncheon on the Grass")


********


two pints of ale
and already it's Monday

ants(!)
a live feed streaming
from the keyboard

all are quarantined
in the Interzone

(cf. Burroughs, William S. - "Naked Lunch")

John Merryfield said...

Still have little time... could explain, but its not that interesting. Beautiful shisan so far!

bandit said...

We value your opinion, John - please share it!

Anyone care to write maeku for the verses not their own?

sandra said...

two pints of ale
and already it's Monday

clouds of fireflies
scattered in the wake
of the bullet train

opening every window
yet still no breeze

bandit said...

every tree
in every street;
the song sparrow's voice

a moon-faced girl
skirts the melted snow

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

two pints of ale
and already it's Monday

As far as I can tell, in the foregoing verses we have, first, a non-person (ba) scene, third person (ji-ta-han), first-person (ji) and conceivably first-person again.

Theory from Basho's time might lead sabaki to choose a verse of no-emotion (no), or place, which leaves us with our notably preferred -

clouds of fireflies
scatter in the wake
of a bullet train

a reference to shaking "out the cobwebs" after a weekends debauchery? Freedom dashed by the 9-5 drag? Whatever . . .

ants,(!)
a live feed streaming
from the keyboard / Eric (provisional)

leans to a personal observation/experience; the DT's or a Burrough's opiate hallucination.

I like this verse a lot, yet again, it's about how far do we want to leap off.

Either verse meets our summer requirement of theme . . .

I'd like to hear more discussion on this position.

sandra said...

"ants" certainly moves us into a new realm, which might not be a bad thing in terms of development.

An unexpected swerve and all that, but one that still fits the link and shift regime.

It's not a verse I "like" in the way I like "fireflies" but I am something of a traditionalist and realise this can be a short-coming, hence seeing the merit in "ants".

We are in the "party" phase (as John Carley so happily expressed it once) of the poem so "ants" also meets the need of being heard over the din, whereas "fireflies" is a quieter verse, despite the train!


I'm not sure about the screamer, though.

ants streaming
from the keyboard,
a live feed

???

bandit said...

Ha ha ha! I like that version . . . tongue-in-cheek, straight-faced.

ants streaming
from the keyboard ...
a live feed / Eric

I had the same reservations, too, but I'd like to run with this, just for the fact of it brings us out of that quiet tone, unexpectedly. If Eric is OK with the inverted form, of course.

John Merryfield said...

That is wonderful!

bandit said...

Side 2 - V 6

two pints later
and already it's Monday

ants streaming
from the keyboard ...
a live feed

*******

a vision appears
in the bullet train's wake

unsettled visions
in the bullet train's wake

perfect vision
in the bullet train's wake

visions blur
in the bullet train's wake

my vision blurs
in the bullet train's wake

the train emptys
and the conductor smiles

a bullet train
parts an ocean

willie

I reverted to Eric's first line in V 4; it seems smoother.

sandra said...

two pints later
and already it's Monday

ants streaming
from the keyboard ...
a live feed

singing our hearts out
in this fair city


sneaking Mary Lou
into the suitcase

back to one candle
on my birthday cake

bandit said...

two pints later
and already it's Monday

ants streaming
from the keyboard ...
a live feed

*******

a bullet train
parts an ocean

with all due haste
sneaking Mary Lou
into the suitcase

???

sandra said...

how's about:

two pints later
and already it's Monday

ants streaming
from the keyboard ...
a live feed

*******

a bullet train
parts the ocean



sneaking Mary Lou
into the suitcase
her colour almost gone

PS and FYI Mary Lou is a wooden "bead" doll, been around these parts since 1941 according to the net - I still have mine (but she's younger than that!).

bandit said...

'41, huh?

Marian (my wife) had a Gerber Baby doll, probably as old as Mary Lou, handed down to her.

We have Autumn, two verses, in the third side, and love verses, also.

I loved the idea of Mary Lou combined with a surrealist train and travel. I could have mistaken it for love! I had some initial hesitation regarding meter and length, though, yet I'd like to post it and have a look and some thoughts generate about whence to proceed . . . nice one!

bandit said...

Side 3 - V 8

a bullet train
parts the ocean

sneaking Mary Lou
into the suitcase
her colour almost gone

*********

I keep a fire burning
at your gate

. . . or something. Traditional autumn kigo . . .

bandit said...

I've posted the last three verses, the better to see them as a possibilty for a "completed" sheet. Please consider them provisional, and feel free to add your comments or arguments.

ref: kigo -

'bullet train' - non-season
'Mary Lou' - autumn leaves
'I keep a fire' - autumn Obon

sandra said...

Doe this help in terms of length:


sneaking Mary Lou
into the suitcase
her colour worn thin

sandra said...

a bullet train
parts the ocean

sneaking Mary Lou
into the suitcase
her colour worn thin


from between your lips
the taste of walnut


from between your lips
the taste of persimmon

bandit said...

Actually, I like your first offer in rhythm with the 'gate'.

I haven't seen Eric check in for awhile.

el coyote said...

Wow! I love where this has gone! Sorry to be absent but I had a job come up and, well you know... anyway like the new additions. I will be thinking on this.

bandit said...

I see the last two verses as late autumn love verses, kigo of coloured leaves fading and a fire for a returning spirit - and some contortionism and pyromaniacal -obsession thrown in. They work on three levels . . .

Have a go for number 9, non-season?

el coyote said...

on the porch
empty coffee cups
and burnt match sticks


a city of ashes
and silence
on the radio


tamping his pipe
otherwise lost
in the sunset

sandra said...

Sorry, but I keep reading "grate" for "gate" - why would there be a fire burning at the gate? I'm not getting it at all.

I keep a fire burning
at your gate

bandit said...

So that the ancestors might find their way home for Obon festivities - could be a loved one ...

fire burning in my heart - today's stalking? An odd subliminal perception with a Mary in a suitcase ... these two have many levels other than obvious kigo and suggestive infatuation. For what lengths love?

I propose the 'pipe' to follow - a pause for reflection before kyu and its simplicity; a closure to the side and its self-exploratory mode. I feel a shifting of mood throughout the conjoined verses, each a scene evolving from the last.

a bullet train
parting the ocean

sneaking Mary Lou
into the suitcase,
her colour almost gone

I keep the fire burning
at your gate

tamping his pipe
otherwise lost
in the sunset

Quite the maturation from 'erasing the welcome on your door mat'...

sandra said...

okay boss, so what's the direction for the next verse?

bandit said...

okey- dokey, then? (chuckling to himself ...)

the very thing I pondered, off and on, for nigh onto an hour. We have one season verse, winter, and it's associative flower, perhaps best left for ageku.

Side 4 - v 10 - non-season

I keep the fire burning
at your gate

tamping his pipe
otherwise lost
in the sunset

*********

back from market
with nothing to show

bells pealing
resound through the valley

that melody lingers,
all but the words

el coyote said...

they fall asleep to
visions of fabled lands


shifting winds
the picture a bit fuzzy

el coyote said...

hey all... gone on an impromptu camping trip. Headed up to medocino county to camp along the eel river. See ya in a few days.

bandit said...

Other than for an unusual "welcome", a lost weekend, resultant delirium tremens (or typical work anxiety), oceanic trains, doll fetishes, unrequieted love, and a moment's respite for reflection - well, depending on the reader's interpretations - perhaps it's time for a simple, upbeat change of scene:

bells pealing
resound through the valley

I hope it's good news . . .

sandra said...

Sorry, was just about to post some offerings, but see you have already chosen.

bandit said...

Oh, shoot (darn, drat, etc.) Conflicting time zones - I'll stand by.

Besides, I wanted to ask you about a possible hitch in the grammar. I think it's acceptable, just trying to avoid articles and length.

Seriously, I think an upbeat tone would remove us from our contemplative study. We're due . . .

sandra said...

Okay then, will give it a go for this verse position (not sure if you wanted me to or not, so I will!)

I keep the fire burning
at your gate

tamping his pipe
otherwise lost
in the sunset


hills beyond hills
& above all, river song


settling down to talk
on the kitchen floor


the red silk rose
from mother's green gown

sandra said...

Hi Willie,

I would like to raise a possible concern with sabaiki re the "fire" and "pipe" verses - an inherent repetition of flame; also colour.

(If there is a problem it means my third offering is be a step too far.)

Thanks.

bandit said...

Good point, and as in side 1, vaguely suggestive extension of season.

As for linkage (by fire; we might call this "word link" or concept, etc.) Acceptable, though "scent" link became such a refinement to renku linkage with Basho's influence, bringing renku to an poetic art form, rather than mere parlor games for the rich and elite. A few words on this in one of Mr. Carley's "advanced arguments" at his Reckoner site.
Still, I like subsequent scene of quiet reflection - a pause for the reader, and protaganist, in such an unusual undertaking, and a conclusion to the side as well as set-up for kyu.

You may recall in other collaborations Ms Eiko and John mentioning taking a simpler, unambiguous tack with kyu verses so they might proceed directly, with confidence, to a gentle ending. And if we're in luck, something revelatory regarding the whole piece.

Interesting that you would choose hills, and I, valleys! I find the 'valley' to be more in line with what our benefactors have described, although both comparable in length. As both are written, i would choose 'valley' for its directness. Would you opt out for the next verse if that were so? I think it may be down to we two for the end. Let me know what you think - I'll wait for your reply.

sandra said...

Not sure what you mean by "opt out"?

sandra said...

If you mean, you do this one and I the next, that's fine.

Have to sign off now and go out into the world ...

bandit said...

As an aside, another note on style:

Our piece lacks a lot of the lyrical, what I might call, western romanticism we find in so many renku (look at the board of the renku group for examples). However, for what we might "lack" in that regard, we have rhythm, directness, meter of verse phrasing, and an apparent naivete of language inherent in Japanese verse, which is actually misleading - implications abound in the reading if one steps back a bit. Some might call this poem "gendai", for its surrealist touches, though above all I think we run a gamut of mood and emotion, at least as one can best expect in such a short form.

bandit said...

Oh, and distracted again, forgot mention of "colour" and "sunset" as possible uchikoshi - it's close, and I was toying with the idea of leaving it because we still advanced the poem to a pleasing degree . . . but, since you mentioned it, what if we changed colour to "lustre"?

bandit said...

Still assessing "colour" and "sunset" . . . both a "fading away".

Lustre loses the flavor of your verse.

bandit said...

lost in the "sunrise", which makes "bells pealing" more a narrative than transition...

sneaking Mary Lou
into the suitcase,
her colour almost gone

I keep the fire burning
at your gate

tamping his pipe
otherwise lost
in the (sunrise)

***

settling down to talk
on the kitchen floor

a bell resounds
from the river
through the (valley, hills, mountain)

dried lilies
in a green glass vase

trying out some things from a respective of cadence; can't meaningfully describe any linkage, just an intuitive sense.

sandra said...

Some thoughts:

tamping his pipe
otherwise lost
in the clouds

***

settling down to talk
on the kitchen floor

a bell
echoing from the river
a bell


three kids leap
from the old wharf

or

facing the morning
humming an old tune

sandra said...

I think the links are there, Willie.

tamping his pipe
otherwise lost
in the clouds

(I wrote the verse below inspired by the one above - my parents' farming neighbour, Peter, used to come over, sit on the kitchen floor, smoke his pipe and talk ... that's a personal link; not sure how anyone else would see it)

settling down to talk
on the kitchen floor

(the link from above to below is sound)

a bell
echoing from the river
a bell

(the link here is water)

three kids leap
from the old wharf

(and this sums up the "3 kids" who've written this poem - leaping into the unknown using (misusing?) an old structure (form) )

However, I've been too eager and forgotten about the blossom verse ...

so,


just violets
in a water glass


the first/last violets
in a water glass

I don't mind your lilies but it was a bit downbeat. To me (recalled from living in London), seeing little bunches of violets for sale means winter is just about over.

What do you think?

bandit said...

funny, we sort of saw settling on the floor as being up all night - Deb and Liz, two "hippie chicks" who were friends would throw parties quite often. they never had any fights break out, come to think of it . . .

bandit said...

. . . odd, considering the riff-raff who would attend - half the damn east side. (and yours truly)

I usually view clouds as a curse, used disparagingly, in a haikai poem, although these "clouds" could be from what's being smoked in the pipe, or from the fire, or just plain old clouds. Mind you, we passed around a few pipes having settled to the floor!

I like the treatment of the bell from the river - very nice.

I prefer the understatement of 'just violets'. The 'dried lilies' are JP in origin, Akita prefecture, grown wild and can be used in ikebana display, their pods handsome in a careworn way.
The lily bulbs are edible, too, formally an important food source, and leaves and petals used in teas and recipes. I have an informational link, but it's quite long.

What of this arrangement?

sneaking Mary Lou
into the suitcase,
her colour almost gone

I keep the fire burning
at your gate

tamping his pipe
otherwise, lost
in the clouds

***

settling down to talk
on the kitchen floor

a bell
echoing from the river
a bell

dried lilies
in a glass of water

lilies, an open sound - violets, clipped, yet sibilant? eez/ets

bandit said...

An oddity, trying to revive dried lilies in water, I know. Ludicrous, or sweetly hopeful? The dried lilies in water may echo the turning wheel of the seasons, more a Daoist view.

I do like the meter. Or;

lily pods
in a glass of water

just violets
in a water glass

But, prefer the wordplay and codification of dried lilies and rebirth, impermanence, etc. Either line an open sound, pods more of an "Om", both inviting a pause before the final line.

John Merryfield said...

lovely

sandra said...

I like the "pods" because there you do have the sense of rebirth (pods contain seeds), which "dried" doesn't convey, to me anyway.

I shall now print out the whole poem and give it a read through, so mtc, maybe.

bandit said...

OK, I give up - what's mtc? You kids and your texting . . .omg!

lily pods
in a glass of water

the reading sustains attention a little more, too.

I'll put it up - have a look, ya'll.

sandra said...

more to come ... and I don't text! LOL (really, I don't).

In paid employment just now, so will be later today (my time).

bandit said...

Yes, I vaguely recall having gainful employment - a maid in another life?

el coyote said...

I love that bell entry. It's quite powerful.

bandit said...

Rather than the typical default title from the first verse, I'll propose A Moon Faced Girl as a title. Maybe more fitting a name: this poem is different in some regards.

I keep jockying that last verse around - lily's, lily, the lily ...

Some other discreet changes, too, mostly articles.

sandra said...

Ahoy there mateys, some comments at long last.

Title: "a moon-faced girl" is good, if not great!

V2: would it help to change L2 to
"skirts melting snow" to make it more active

V6: Does it matter if two lines in 2 adjoining verses start with "a"? If so, this could become:

the bullet train
parts an ocean

V8: I'm still having trouble with a fire at the gate (sounds like vandalism). How does this grab you:

I keep the fire burning
in your grate

And, anyway, does "gate" hark back to "door mat"? And if we go with "grate" what does that do to V10?

V12: Does "pods" signify a winter *flower* which we need here? Would the judges interpret it as a flower?

Holly berries, hellebores (winter roses), japonica (according to the net it blossoms in spring but that's not my experience of it), camellia, some plum blossom, wintersweet, narcissus ...

branches of wintersweet
in a blue vase


filling the morning,
wintersweet

Hope this is some help ...

bandit said...

Hi Sandra,

No problem. Glad you're back - a rough week, I presume? Take a well deserved break, kiddo.

Glad you like "Girl ..." for a title. Was working on an Imachi renku with Hortensia and John C. that happened to overlap our effort here due to all having extenuating circumstances ...

Just spent an hour talking with the bar owner next door to turn the woofer on the damn hip-hop music down. he works the pizza shop while his wife runs the joint. He turns it down only to have his old lady crank it up again 'cause she don't wan't no "white boy" tellin' her what to do. C'mon, man, The whole fuckin' building is shaking! I like a lot of hip-hop, intelligent lyrics, clever sampling, techno wizardry, but that incessant BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM will drive ya nuts!
They're Asian, and they just had to 86 (permanently ban) a crew of Afro thugs trying to take the place over. I complained (in a nice way) about them, too. They'd stand on the street and talk shit and violent trash.
They've got a security man stands about five foot tall that wears an automatic pistol almost half his size.
Most of the clientle are young Asian Hmong, all in all pretty decent kids. But there are always groups that try to mess up a good thing. Imagine a biker gang rollin' in and taking a place over. That's happened around here, too.
It's hard to keep a calm demeanor when everyone seems to be looking for trouble - some days it's like the wild, wild west. i walked out one night and found myself in a knife fight with a thief, 'cept I didn't have a knife. Watched a guy get jumped in the alley by two rounders, beat him silly, then cart him off in a Cadillac. I mean, shit, what's the world comin' to? It's fucked up, 'cause you have to meet force with greater force. Seriously, I'm not a badass, nor do I want to be. Like Juan said, " ai yi yi!"

So-anyway, John and Hortensia had a verse about a moon- eyed girl, almost used that as their title.

We can go back to "melting snow", sure, very recognizeable spring kigo. I only changed it due to your question of possible regression, but now we realize sparrows as over-wintering birds.

V6: I may had that, then saw your version with "the ocean" so back to "a train", though I've waffled back and forth some.

the bullet train
parts an ocean

Yes, and saw a persistence/avoidance chart at the RG stating somewhat the same as your point.

V8: If you reference the Meister_Z kiyose on the main page, which is based on the JP Shiki kiyose, you'll notice the fire at the gate kigo, which refers to a fire kept at the gate for deceased loved ones to return home for Obon in autumn.

We could change it from "your gate" to "the gate", so it might not sound quite so felonious.

V12: the whole point of that submission was to convey a hopefulness of a return to life, or to represent the wheel of the seasons, Dao, etc. Actually I thought the original "dried lilies" would attribute the scene better to winter, as in withered, dried, grasses, plants, etc.
A person's hopeful, perhaps vain, attempt to bravely change the world and nature. Then their's the whole history of the plant in JP culture as a life sustaining plant.

Pods may have a nicer ring, that "Om" sound, but looking at it for some time made me realize it lost the meaning and eccentricity to change to a different flower without such an underlying meaning such as changing colour to lustre would in Mary Lou's verse.

(con't)

bandit said...

(con't)

Frankly, and hopefully without committing any personal condemnation, since that's not my intent, pretty little flowers, fluffy clouds, dusty bridle paths, etc. don't mean diddly-squat to me, generally speaking, in most renku, and I just become bored silly. It becomes a question of, "so what?"

I'm sorry, but maybe it's because I live in such a shit-hole of a place not of my choosing, circumstances being what they have been.

I feel the "dried lilies" aren't so much "down" as they are revelatory of one's hopefulness in the search for renewal, a new start, facing a near certain futility in the face of all odds, which some may find admirable, bittersweet even. I think it's that desire we often have to pull for the underdog, if you know what I mean.

Let me make these changes on the board so we might have another look, in light of our commentary.

sandra said...

I'm happy with it as it now stands, Willie, and thanks for your dialogue on the various points.

Are John and Eric still with us? It would be nice to hear their thoughts too.

bandit said...

Whew! After the diatribe, moaning and muttering I put up, i'm glad you're not pissed off!

sandra said...

Now why would an honest and open exchange of ideas piss me off? Are you forgetting I'm from the Antipodes? Where a woman is likely to call a spade a bloody shovel! :)

bandit said...

I thought a spade was a shovel.

bandit said...

some fun stuff:

http://blog.alientimes.org/

and the lily blog:

http://blog.alientimes.org/?s=dried+lilies&x=10&y=7

and more lilies from Gabi sensei:

http://wkdfestivalsaijiki.blogspot.com/2011/06/saikusa-festival.html

sandra said...

Okay, so that seems to be it, then.

No other comments appear to be forthcoming - are we happy, Willie?

bandit said...

Yes, all is quiet. My counter says the lads have visited infrequently. One back to school and the other starting the cons't season. Ya gotta make hay when the sun shines ...

Yeah, I'm good if you are. It gets tough to read after so many times. Still, seems worthwhile, with something to say.

No grandiose scenes per se, or terribly artful/lyrical prose, as per definition of what's a "popular" style of writing. Reminds me of an Eastern European flavor, or something gendai in structure, with touches of surrealism, I suppose, each verse a possibility of multiple implications.

I suppose I should submit it to JRR then.

sandra said...

How about this minor change:

I keep a fire burning
at the gate

losing the first "the"

and also the penultimate verse should be attributed to Willie, not Sandra!

Otherwise, mark me down as happy :)

Our baby has turned out okay.

bandit said...

Yeees, "a fire". Funny how it changes read to read.

I never would have thought of "echoing".

sandra said...

yep, but the bulk of the verse is yours ...

bandit said...

Entered at JRR.

Paige said...

each a complete visual story

Yousei Hime said...

It has been so long since I visited. What a treasure trove to find upon return. Thank you for the wonderful haiku. I'll read them again before I go.