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 352 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 18]

The renga field is wide open today, leaving today’s renju, Caroline Johnstone, lots of options. She could carry on with autumn (still one more verse allowed!), or she could go for winter, summer, love, travel, dwellings, mountains or shores.

Caroline actually went for  7-7 on love, and this is what she came up with :

Love hearts freeze-frame memories :
Wind under wings; let it go

Caroline says : “The kigo word is love. I have two favourite symbols. The first is butterflies – symbol of change – hence, the “wind under wings” which links to Leslie’s butterflies rising. It also links to the leaving because if you were to leave, knowing you would never return, you would freeze-frame memories so you had them forever.

The second is hearts – hearts matter, hearts can change, be broken or opened or frozen because it can seem easier to not feel. But then you freeze out the good too – and you aren’t real.”

Hmmm… so you remember the Love Rule, right? Because Caroline started the theme of love off today, it means that it’s all hearts tomorrow too 😛 .

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

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 351 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 17]

After yesterday’s third (and final) compulsory verse on autumn, today’s renju, Leslie Marsh, had plenty of options. She could have continued with another verse on autumn – or gone for love, dwellings, travel, mountains or shores.

She went for a 5-7-5 on autumn and came up with this :

Monarch butterflies
rise, kissing silent goodbyes:
reeds wave in return

Leslie says : “The Kigo is the monarch butterfly, a creature closely associated with september. Once it has made its change it has to migrate. The seeds of the butterfly’s change has released it from the cage of its cocoon. Once this is done it must,as Persephone did, say goodbye to all it has known and go on into the future changed forever. Continuity is provided by the echo of Persephone’s mourning in the butterfly’s good-bye. A change of direction is provided by the movement from the image of a cage to the freedom of rising.”

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

I am just going outside and may be some time.