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RENKU: linked collaborative verses: TRIPARSHVA 21verse & Call for AGEKU!

Sabaki (lead poet) - Linda Papanicolaou


POST: Choice of verse 21 & Call for AGEKU - the last verse!!

22nd JULY 2022


In strictly traditional Japanese renku, the season that closes the Kyu is spring, and the penultimate verse is the “blossom seat,” featuring cherry blossom as a signifier of transient beauty. In modern renku practice, other spring-fruiting trees such as plum, apple or hawthorn may be acceptable. In short renku forms such as junicho or shisan, the Kyu may conclude with a season other than spring and the penultimate verse may be a flower kigo appropriate to that season. Having read about the climate zones in which cherry or the other fruit trees are grown, I was not certain that a traditional blossom verse will be resonant for much of the subcontinent, so, called for either blossom or a flower verse, recommending the spring plants list on the Subcontinent Saijiki ( magnolia or palaash, as these are trees and may approximate a traditional blossom verse.

The offers that came in included these two, plus a dazzling array of blossoms of orange, elderberry, jasmine, apple, daisy, saffron crocus, rose, orchid, bougainvillea, kopu, and champa. It has occurred to me that going forward with renku activities here at Triveni, the spring and blossom verses may be one of the important places that international renku for the Subcontinent may have to find its own way to the authenticity of experience and meaning. However wide a range of climate zones may be found in India, they are still quite different from the temperate region for which the saijiki was designed. One issue is that species such as rose or magnolia bloom earlier and maybe spring kigo rather than summer as in the traditional saijiki. This isn’t just a matter of botanical accuracy—it means that the difference in season brings in different coded meanings.

In an essay on seasons in renku, William J. Higginson wrote, “The point of the blossom verse often hinges on the special light one enjoys walking or sitting under such trees, which is characteristic of spring” (Renku Home, Additionally, in a call for blossom verse in the Renku sessions at The Haiku Foundation, John Stevenson directed, “The blossom image should be the central focus of the verse rather than a prop for some other image. . .” (

I bore this in mind in considering which verse to place in the renku, eventually deciding that an offer from Sanjukta would best preserve the traditional function of the blossom verse. It’s simple and lovely in how it amplifies the setting of “our small garden” with a bamboo fence and magnolias to attract those buzzing bees. I don’t know about you, but when I read it, I feel as if I am there.

sounds of giggles eyed

the ventriloquist voice

on the Panchatantra / Lakshmi Iyer

our small garden abuzz

with the day’s anecdotes / Mona Bedi

a bamboo fence


in the magnolia haze / Sanjukta Asopa


This is the verse that will conclude our renku. Together with the three opening verses Hokku, Wakiku, and Daisan, it brackets the renku and provides closure. John E. Carley characterized it as "not just an ending but also the fulfilment of anticipation. . .” (New Zealand Poetry Society,

The requirements are

2 lines, place (non-person)

Spring season

Link to the previous verse, shift away from the leap over verse:

our small garden abuzz

with the day’s anecdotes

a bamboo fence


in the magnolia haze

Before you post, do a bit of self-critique. Have you checked (as best you can) that your verse follows the required criteria? How does it link to the previous verse? How does it shift away from the leap-over verse? What new topics or things does it introduce to the renku?


Each participant may offer two submissions, posted together in the same comment, with your name as you would like it to appear in the renku. Instructions for submitting remain as last time.

The deadline is 48 hours from now. We follow Indian Standard Time (IST). This POST will go up on 22 July at 6 A.M. So on 24 July at 6 A.M, the window closes (IST). All AGEKU verse offers must be posted on this thread BEFORE 6 A.M on 24th July.


1. Jo

house warming …

all the flavours of summer

on a dining table / Firdaus Parvi

a dozen ripened mangoes

from the neighbour next door / Kala Ramesh

the gleeful shouts

of street kids rolling

a bicycle tyre / Priti Aisola

an airplane through the clouds

in an indigo twilight / Margherita Petriccione

so close

the snow moon

envelops the field / Angiola Inglese

crackling silence as we bend

over the chess board / Sushama Kapur

2. Ha

caparisoned elephants

raising their trumpets amid

the village prayer beats / Lakshmi Iyer

a pied crested cuckoo

on a telephone wire / Marcie Wessels

after the downpour

she squeezes our clothes

under the banyan tree / Milan Rajkumar

a backlit craving races

into an embrace / Kavita Ratna

those dreams

of my first love

once again / Arvinder Kaur

the merry go round horse

stopped on a high note / Robert Kingston

a crick

in the neck

after Sistine Chapel / Sanjukta Asopa

shadows lengthen

into this new bite in the air / Sushama Kapur

moonbeams dipping

into a storm drain and a stream

with the same alacrity / Priti Aisola

the whisper of falling leaves

rolls into a pyramid / Amrutha V. Prabhu

3. Kyu

trekking on Himalayas

when layers

of our false selves peel off / Kala Ramesh

the synchronized silhouettes

of planting rice in paradise / Kanjini Dev

sounds of giggles eyed

the ventriloquist voice

on the Panchatantra / Lakshmi Iyer

our small garden abuzz

with the day’s anecdotes / Mona Bedi

a bamboo fence


in the magnolia haze / Sanjukta Asopa


Side one - Jo

hokku summer

wakiku summer

daisan non season

4 ns

5. winter moon

6 ns


Side 2 - Ha

7 ns

8 monsoon

9 monsoon love

10 ns lv

11 ns lv

12. ns

13 ns

14 autumn

15 au moon

16 autumn


Side 3 - Kyu

17 ns

18 monsoon

19 ns

20 spring

21 sp blossom

ageku - sp - (we are here!!)

*** **** ***** LINKS TO RESOURCES:

Kondo and Higginson, “Link and Shift, A Practical Guide to Renku Composition”:

Ferris Gilli, “English Grammar: Variety in Renku”:

Richard Gilbert’s “Muki Saijiki”:

*** *** *** *** Linda, Brilliant! Thank you so much. Gorgeous verse. Just too good, Sanjuktaa! _()_

222 views34 comments

34 commentaires

Kavita Ratna
Kavita Ratna
24 juil. 2022

Oh no!! I have missed the deadline! It's been such an amazing journey! Thank you so much Linda, Kala and all friends!!


angiola inglese
angiola inglese
23 juil. 2022

Thanks to Linda and Kala, I learned a lot here and I felt guided: I want to learn more !!


angiola inglese
angiola inglese
23 juil. 2022

My offers

perfume of a violet

hidden in the grass

on the sunny wall

the shadow of a crocus


Vani Sathyanarayan
Vani Sathyanarayan
23 juil. 2022

I loved reading all the verses but never contributed. Here's mine, just trying :)


and tree buds

paint the forest path again


and many baby birds

nest beside the rabbit burrow


- Vani

En réponse à

Welcome, Vani!

Tree buds is a spring kigo, so the first is fine. In the second offer, both baby birds and rabbits are spring kigo. I would say that baby birds is the kigo in charge of the verse.


lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
23 juil. 2022

Offerings again. Thanks Kala.


finally the dawn scatters light

on the scarecrow and bull-carts


four and twenty blackbirds

rises at the blue hour


Lakshmi Iyer

Membre inconnu
24 juil. 2022
En réponse à

I love both verses.

However, as Kala mentions scarecrow is an autumn kigo, while 2nd one does not have a spring kigo.

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