Adventure 359 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 25]

Well, we made it! 25 verses in 25 days :). Today is the last day of our collaborative poetry project, and the baton is in my hands.

Under normal renga rules, today’s verse should be a 5-7-5 on autumn (to comply with the continuity rules). However, as it’s the last verse of our poem, we’ve decided to bend the rules and bring the renga full circle,back to winter.

Here’s what I came up with :

The Holly King falls,
bound by age-old promises :
axial tilting

The “Holly King” is my kigo phrase for winter : this king rules until 21st December, falling at the winter solstice. I show continuity by echoing the “yielding” of Mabon in the Holly King’s fall ~ the Holly King yields to the Oak King and to the return of longer days.

The first phrase (12 syllables) refers to the bi-annual “fight” between the Holly King (waning year) and the Oak King (waxing year). The two solstices are always kept promises : the Oak King always wins in December, and the Holly King always wins in June.

After the cutting point, there is both a contrast in imagery AND a thread of connection. The image of a king falling is contrasted with (and connected to) the image of the earth tilting. It is through the phenomenon of axial tilting that we get our seasons.

You can watch the final episode of The Big Renga Round-Up here :

So what’s next? (Good question 😛 )

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 358 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 24]

So, we know it’s going to be autumn today, but do we know what kind of autumn it’s going to be? 😛 Today’s renju, Cara Wilde had the task of providing a 7-7 verse on the theme of autumn.

This is what she came up with :

Sienna rots, dank death calls :
Mabon’s hands held high now yield

This is what Cara says about her verse : ” My autumn kigo word is Mabon*. I continue the themes of fading light (dusk) and everything returning to the earth, leaves ready to rot….but there is the tension between the celebration of the harvest and the pull to go inward (the calling of winter). I  change direction with the notion of yielding…ready to go deep and dark!”

* Reference to the autumnal equinox.

You can watch today’s episode of The Big Renga Round-Up here :

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 355 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 21]

So, with a final verse on the them of love delivered by Kate Gold yesterday, today’s renju, Kate Trafford, still has some choice, but it is limited. Spring, autumn and love are now no-go zones, so she can choose from winter, summer, travel, dwellings, mountains or shores.

Kate pioneers with a non-seasonal 5-7-5 on the theme of mountains today. This is what she came up with :

Dreams of peaks unreached
inspire sure-footed ascent:
soul, eternal guide.

This is what Kate says about her verse : “I’m picking up on Kate’s ‘path that rises’ for a verse about a mountain climb (the kigo word is “peaks”), and I’m continuing Kate’s idea of ‘tender yearning’ as a “dream.” There’s a shift and contrast between the linear (time-bound) journey and the eternal (timeless) here-and-now. There’s also a shift and contrast between the concrete (physical) journey and the spiritual (non-physical) soul guidance… ”

Gosh. Now we’re really dicing deep! WHat do you think will happen tomorrow?

You can watch today’s episode of The Big Renga Round-Up here below. We had a few techy troubles today, but it’s really worth watching as today’s renju is guesting on the show!

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 341 ~ The Big Renga Project [7]

Yesterday we already knew that today’s stanza was going to be about autumn because of the Moon rule’s continuity clause. Whilst today’s renju , Caroline Johnstone, didn’t have much room for manoeuvre, she certainly made use of the little space that she had!

Here’s the 5-7-5 that Caroline added today :

Mushrooms mulched fully
feed on the dead like poison :
harvesting secrets

Every time a poet submits a verse, they have to provide a commentary to show how they’re complying with the renga rules. This is what Caroline said about her submission : “Continuity was via the leaves that nourished the ground, which they do by rotting. I was watching Gardener’s world and it was all about mulch…which like so many things has a dark side to it too, with fungal infections lurking, which also linked to mushrooms which are fabulous – or poisonous.. Senga’s verse was such a lovely picture of autumn (my favourite season, and I love scrunching through leaves)… so the contrast was to show the other side of that… and then because it was autumn, time of harvests and Samhain and the Day of the Dead etc, I wanted a plot change and thought about the sorts of things you can harvest – and the things you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, want to harvest :  secrets being one.. ”

And here’s today’s edition of The Big Renga Round-Up 🙂

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 337 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 3]

Leslie left the renga playing field wide open yesterday, giving the third renju , Flemming Funch, LOTS of options. Today, Flemming could have created a final winter verse (no more than 3 consecutive winter verses are allowed), or he could have used the Moon Rule to start off autumn, or he could have used the Love Rule to start off the theme of love. He could have also created a verse about summer, dwellings, mountains or shores.

Flemming invoked the Love Rule and created this 5-7 -5 verse :

Crystal light above,
travelled paths divide and merge :
strangers finding love.

So, he shows continuity with Leslie’s verse by using crystal as a winter kigo. There is contrasts and connection in his poem too. The first image is of separating and merging paths : the second image is of strangers finding love. The second image brings to mind the similarities of chance meetings as our human paths divide and merge. Flemming has created new direction by shifting the theme to love.

Now this is getting exciting because the next poet has absolutely no choice ~ she’s cornered! She’s got to write a 7-7 about love. No two ways about it 🙂 . This is because of the Love Continuity Rule which states that once love is mentioned, another verse on love must follow!

I am just going outside and may be some time.