Our Big Renga Poem

We did it : 13 of us created 25 linked verses of poetry in 25 days! And here it is ~

PAGE 1 :
Hokku [Verse 1] ~ Jane Talbot [1st December]
Prickly ghost blankets
spread out of winter shadows :
butter melts on toast.

Verse 2 ~ Leslie Marsh [2nd December]
Lone wolf sings a lullaby :
bear dreams the new icy day.

Verse 3 ~ Flemming Funch [3rd December]
Crystal light above,
travelled paths divide and merge :
strangers finding love.

Verse 4 ~ Betsy Anderson [4th December]
A longed-for kiss, light and chaste :
heart swells, and colour rises.

Verse 5 ~ Kate Gold [5th December]
Strength of waxing moon
pulls the tide ever higher
as distant peaks glow

Verse 6 ~ Senga Cree [6th December]
Tall branches sway, shedding flame :
earth’s crisp nourishing carpet

Verse 7 ~ Caroline Johnstone [7th December]
Mushrooms mulched fully
feed on the dead like poison :
harvesting secrets

Verse 8 ~ Kate Trafford [8th December]
Acorn hoard, squirrelled away;
fear conceals buried treasure

PAGE 2 :
Verse 9 ~ Janet Dowling [9th December] 

Exquisite members
traversing the dormant plain :
running, sweeping low

Verse 10 ~ Lisa Holden [10th December]
Ambling to a pause, awake :
above cherry blossom, sings

Verse 11 ~ Stephanie Johnson [11th December]
Buds yawn and stretch out,
anticipate, quivering :
cloying amber stain

Verse 12 ~ Cara Wilde [12th December] 
Skylarks dancing, air delights :
hidden desires erupting

Verse 13 ~ Alan Millar [13th December] 
Oh thunder solstice
of warm long sensual showers
and roses climax

Verse 14 ~ Flemming Funch [14th December] 
Serene is the sudden calm :
grey smoke rises to the moon

Verse 15 ~ Betsy Anderson [15th December]
Ashen skies contrast
hues from Fouche’s Pomona :
ripe fruits fall softly

Verse 16 ~ Stephanie Johnson [16th December]
Persephone mourns harvest :
cage sustained by ruby seeds

Verse 17 ~ Leslie Marsh [17th December] 
Monarch butterflies
rise, kissing silent goodbyes:
reeds wave in return

Verse 18 ~ Caroline Johnstone [18th December] 
Love hearts freeze-frame memories:
Wind under wings; let it go

Verse 19 ~ Lisa Holden [19th December]
Polaroid found, hope ~
entwined passion rekindled :
hidden dangers lurk

Verse 20 ~ Kate Gold [20th December]
Trust in the tender yearning :
follow the path that rises

Verse 21 ~ Kate Trafford [21st December] 
Dreams of peaks unreached
inspire sure-footed ascent:
soul, eternal guide.

Verse 22 ~ Janet Dowling [22nd December] 
Scattered far beyond the stars :
traverse the sun and restored

PAGE 3 :
Verse 23 ~ Senga Cree [23rd December] 
Bonfire gathering
around ancient light, dusk moon :
fleeting precious life

Verse 24 ~ Cara Wilde [24th December] 
Sienna rots, dank death calls :
Mabon’s hands held high now yield

Verse 25 ~ Jane Talbot [25th December]
The Holly King falls,
bound by age-old promises :
axial tilting


Launching On Monday 1st December

Winter frostThe excitement in the Big Renga Project is building as we approach our launch on Monday 1st December!

There are now 13 renga poets [renju] involved and we’ve been practising behind the scenes to familiarise ourselves with those darn rules 🙂 .

On Monday you’ll see the first verse published here, and you can watch the first episode of the Big Renga Round-Up here. Over 25 days, you’ll see the renga grow daily and you’ll get to hear more about the rules [shikimoku], and all the twists and turns, on the daily Round-Up.

The first verse of renga poem is called the hokku. The format is 5-7-5 (syllables) and the hokku is always set in the current season. So we already know that the first stanza will be about winter (that’s why there’s a picture of frost on this post 😛 ).

Hope you can join us on Monday.

Sōshō [the sōshō is responsible for the completion of the renga. S/he has the authority to dismiss an improper verse.]


Welcome To The Big Renga Project!

The Big Renga ProjectOn the 1st December 2014, a group of (up to) 23 poets who have never worked together before are going to start creating a 25-verse renga poem. If the ideas of collaboration, community and creativity press your “hot buttons”, we’d love to hear from you!

Whether you’re an experienced poet or a complete novice, please feel very welcome to express your interest in joining us. Our website is still under construction. Over the coming weeks, you’ll be able to get a better feel for what the project is all about. In the meantime, you’ll find full details of our collaborative poetry project here .

Jane Talbot
Organiser Of The December Renga Gathering