shelter and meal served by friends ~ renga

Welcoming the morning light_2The challenge for Carpe Diem’s Renga with Basho #7 I’m a wanderer is to create a renga (or chain of verses) by following each provided haiku by Bashō (here in blue italics – tr. Robert Hass) with two lines. A “closed chain” is attained when the hokku (starting verse) and ageku (closing verse) connect in a way to make “the circle” complete.

shelter and meal served by friendsI’m a wanderer
so let that be my name –
the first winter rain

shelter and meal served by friends
wine warms me for my travels

all the day long-
yet not long enough for the skylark,
singing, singing

my voice not as melodic
carried away by the wind

the dragonfly
can’t quite land
on that blade of grass

watching reeds sway back and forth
making ripples in the pond

welcoming the morning light_1

the shallows –
a crane’s thighs splashed
in cool waves

frog splashing in quick retreat
thankful for gift of freedom

by the old temple,
peach blossoms;
a man treading rice

daily routine brings rewards
thoughts of meal at end of day

autumn moonlight–
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut

meal and warmth in one bundle
no travels in store for him

Museum of Fine Arts Boston (Japanese postcard)
Metropolitan Museum of Art  – Skylarks and Primroses, by Kubo Shunman





The Dead play
as wheels turn,
rubber rolls,
carrying us north,
east of where we were, south
of where we want to be
and I glance at our speed,
prompted by the sight
of a cop on a bridge,
radar gun in hand,
who glances up at a jet
contrail of conspiratorial origin
left by a pilot radioing
the location of an object
of unidentified nature
flying by on its return
tariff-bypassing flight
from a secret Chinese moon
base producing aerospace
tech products, where terraforming
efforts advance at an accelerated rate,
rubber trees nearly ready to roll out
the next set of tires for future trips
to Buffalo and home again.

Freewheeling it here, in my response to the optional prompt for Day 10 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month – write a poem of simultaneity/multiple things happening at once.

Image source: © Jack Knight Illustrations

NaPoWriMo 2018




home for the holiday


home for the holiday

short week between
even shorter with driving

seeing those I need to be with

but being with the one I need

My trip to Buffalo was sandwiched between Christmas and New Years.
Two thousand miles driving – 900 on Monday, 900 for the return on Thursday/Friday and 200 around town in Erie and Buffalo – made for a fast five days, but it was necessary if I wanted to both see the ones I love and be with the one I love. At least the weather cooperated, which is pretty much an essential when traveling alone. (And I got to see Niagara Falls at night!)


Textural Travels

dry, tan and tall
brown fronds dancing
weaving back and forth
in the wind of
northern lakes climate

tenths on posts
racing by
miles on miles

vines climbing in rows
too early for grapes
buds weaving
through their lines

I-beams en masse
on piers
diagonally horizontal
bridging here
from somewhere to
somewhere else

metal giants
towering over terrain
wired one to another
marching to the horizon

wanting to be green
ready to try
branches reaching
buds opening

clack, clack, clack
pavement seams

sumac buds
on bare branches
almost fuzzy

wheels buzzing

vertical lines in
horizontal progression
post after post after post
fences defining fields
needless of definition

south, then southwest
brilliant green on
rich brown
rows on rows
on rows

gray, with
red, white
paint traces on
weathered wood
corrugated roof
ivy woven across
empty silos

green on green
flowering fields

rising, towering
from cell
to cell
alive with voices

thick, gray
ill defined
to the horizon
and beyond

beads, then spatter
road spray
wipe, clear
spatter stream

grazing en masse
massive on four legs
across a field
meadow, pasture

red, round
diagonal glow

starred, flared
diffused by rain

horizontal seal
lifting, parting

Driving from Western New York to Missouri, patterns on patterns.