clouds slowly drifting away ~ renga

The challenge for Carpe Diem’s Renga with Basho Hineri #8 missing a wife is to create a renga (or chain of verses) by following each provided haiku by Bashō (here in blue italics – tr. Jane Reichhold) with two lines.  “Hineri” means with a twist, and the twist here is that one of the hokku from Bashō  is incomplete, and we are tasked with completing that stanza.  A “closed chain” is attained when the hokku (starting verse) and ageku (closing verse) connect in a way to make “the circle” complete.  Here, darkness leads back around to a sense of loss.

an early winter shower
a rice paddy with new stubble
darkens just a bit

clouds slowly drifting away
pale sunlight little comfort

clouds slowly drifting away_1

missing a wife
putting on bamboo grass
working alone, repair roof

much hard work ahead of storm
keeping rain from leaking in

path of the sun
the hollyhock leans into
early summer rain

thankful for end of high winds
a benevolent favor

above all else
a dependable chinquapin tree stands
in a summer grove

clouds slowly drifting away_2

nuts hidden in spiny fruit
shiitake growing on log

a dragonfly
unable to settle
on the grass

water beads forming on blades
tiny beads shine in sunset

clouds slowly drifting away_3each with its own light
fireflies in the trees
lodge in flowers

waiting for mates to appear
dancing in early darkness

The Aoi Matsuri (Hollyhock Festival) in Kyoto dates back to the sixth century, originally as an appeasement to the deities after disastrous rains with high winds ruined grain crops.

Shiitake mushrooms like to grow on chinquapin logs.  The “Latin” name for chinquapin is Castanopsis cuspidata, and “shiitake” translates as “Castanopsis cuspidata mushrooms.”

Wikimedia Commons – Shii (Castanopsis cuspidata) parts drawing
Wikimedia Commons  – Shiitake growing wild
Minneapolis Institute of Arts  – Flowering Hollyhock, by Kōno Bairae


4 thoughts on “clouds slowly drifting away ~ renga

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