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 ūüėõ )

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? ūüėõ 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 357 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 23]

Well, today marks the start of the third and final page of our renga poem! To comply with some of the key renga rules, the first two verses on this page will invoke the Moon Rule (autumn). It’s Senga Cree’s turn to create the next renga verse and this is the 5-7-5 she came up with :

Bonfire gathering
around ancient light, dusk moon :
fleeting precious life

This is what Senga says about her verse : ” My autumn kigo word is “moon”. I show continuity with the last verse by by reflecting the sun’s heat in the bonfire – I also mirror Janet’s “restored” with my “gathering” (coming together across centuries around bonfires). I also show a contrast : juxtaposing the togetherness of ¬†gathering with the aloneness of death!”.

Ahh. A change of tone has definitely arrived. And we already know that the Moon Rule has a continuity clause, which means that tomorrow’s verse must also be on the them of autumn.

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

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 356 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 22]

With Kate pioneering with a verse on “mountains” yesterday, today’s¬†renju, Janet Dowling, could have continue on the theme of mountains, or gone for a verse on summer, winter, travel, dwellings or shores.

Bitten by the pioneering bug, Janet went for a 7-7 on travel . This is what she came up with :

Scattered far beyond the stars :
traverse the sun and restored

Janet says :”I provide continuity by moving from Kate’s “peaks” to “beyond the stars” ~ I create a sense of getting higher. The change in direction is a shift in theme to travel (by going out to the stars/sun and back again).¬†My kigo word is “traverse”.”

Well, it’s rather an oblique reference to travel, so the verse has been allowed. And, the big news is that we are already at the end of Page Two. Because our renga poem is relatively short, this means that tomorrow’s verse has to be an autumn verse and that the Moon Rule must be invoked.

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 354 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 20]

Yesterday, Lisa offered us a second verse on love. That means that today’s¬†renju, Kate Gold, has choices. She can continue with love (one more verse is allowed) or she can change direction : winter, summer, travel, dwellings, shores and mountains are all options.

Kate stuck with love and came up with the 7-7

Trust in the tender yearning :
follow the path that rises

Kate says : ” “Tender yearning” is my kigo for love. I show continuity by developing the re-kindled passion from the last verse into “trust”. I create the feeling of hope as the path rises, lifting spirits and hearts.¬†‘Rises’ could also be oblique reference to a mountain path.”

So, that’s love done and dusted. I wonder what’s going to happen tomorrow?!

You can watch the latest edition of The Big Renga Round-Up here :

I am just going outside and may be some time.


Adventure 353 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 19]

As Caroline invoked the Love Rule yesterday, it means that today’s¬†renju, Lisa Holden, has no choice but to create a second verse on the theme of love.

This is the 5-7-5 that Lisa came up with :

Polaroid found, hope ~
entwined passion rekindled :
hidden dangers lurk

Here’s what Lisa says about her verse : ” My love kigo is passion. The lovers of the previous verse were holding onto the freeze-frame memory and had to let go and move on from this precious moment. That verse made me think of a¬†¬†love that was lost or ended – and that those lovers had to capture the moment in a frame or photo to treasure the memory forever.

To show continuity, I have found that frozen frame of a memory mentioned in the previous verse as a photo, a Polaroid photo! That moment lives in solid form…the memory is re-ignited,remembered and renewed, bringing hope to get it back and re-live that moment again.

Now love is back : ¬†they are entwined. That frozen memory is being re-lived and rekindled. ¬†“Entwined” suggests warmth and heat, ¬†contrasting to the “freeze” in the previous verse.

But then you have to remember that this is renga, and the mood can shift at any moment. So I’ve put the happy love place under attack! Danger is lurking ~ will it threaten them? Will they have to let it go again, build a snowman or (for the first time in forever) will love win? It all depends on what danger is lurking…”

Hmmmm…. it’s getting interesting, isn’t it? And as for tomorrow, will it be a third and final verse on love … or something else?

You can watch The Big Renga Round-Up here :

I am just going outside and might 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 ūüėõ .

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.


Adventure 350 ~ The Big Renga Project [Day 16]

The third (compulsory) consecutive verse on the theme of autumn is served up to you today by¬†renju¬†Stephanie Johnson. It’s a 7-7 and here it is :

Persephone mourns harvest :
cage sustained by ruby seeds

Stephanie says : “Continuity is provided through a ¬†reference to Persephone – she is the daughter of the Harvest Goddess, Demeter. I also offer a further fruit reference (the ruby seeds are those of the pomegranate.) The kigo word is “harvest.”¬†The cage refers to the skin of the pomegranate, also to the kidnapping of Persephone by Hades. When Persephone eats the pomegranate seeds she seals her fate and is bound to Hades forever. She is mourning the harvest because she must go underground and be dormant for the winter…”

Hmmm…. we are certainly getting ourselves an education, aren’t we?! I wonder whether tomorrow’s poet will continue with autumn – or whether they’ll change direction. What do you think?

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

I am just going outside and may be some time.