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A Hundred Gourds 2:4 September 2013
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page 9  

Up Before Dawn

deepening twilight -
the bedroom window
open just an inch

patricia

something of the sky
in the Michaelmas daisies

andre

the box opens and
a dozen Monarch butterflies
open their wings

vanessa

against the dead tree
a steer scratches its neck

rodney

rising
among hot air balloons
the summer moon

andre

beside the sunlit road
a fruit stall’s honesty box

patricia

cycling veteran
up front in the basket
a Jack Russell

rodney


both hard of hearing now
she sits and holds his hand

vanessa

sparkling
at lunch with the girls
her diamond ring

rodney

fleeting sunshine
on Wordsworth’s Windermere

vanessa

in her photograph
from the Australian outback
she holds a snake

patricia

as grandma’s about to speak
the whine of a chainsaw

andre

clouds cross the moon
in a brush-master’s wash
of blue-black ink

rodney

the toddler’s curls
peeking out from his beanie

vanessa

in the back yard
we lose the shuttlecock
over the fence

patricia

across the water
the dome of a mosque

rodney

in the Mughal painting
quince blossom made from
hundreds of rubies

vanessa

the smiling teenager
applies pink primrose lipstick

patricia

with chopped parsley
the first new potatoes
rolled in butter

andre

delaying the milk-truck
a one-legged rooster

rodney

up before dawn
for the last push
up the mountain

vanessa

the scent of essential oils
on the masseuse’s hands

andre

in this heat-wave
a Clydesdale flicks his tail
at a fly

rodney

the whole family goes eeling
down at the creek

vanessa

the way hair falls
in her eyes makes his fingers
itch for scissors

andre

lovers loiter on the deck
whispering in fading light

patricia

on his cheek
that moth-touch tingle
from her eyelash

rodney

the static from the trampoline
makes mum jump

vanessa

autumn moonlight
a drift of cinnamon
on hot chocolate

patricia

crackle of twigs
on the backyard bonfire

andre

years later
she finds pressed leaves
in her first book of poems

vanessa

on the computer screen
their cat’s random typing

rodney

a night at the movies
and all he does
is munch popcorn

vanessa

making springtime music
ukuleles on the waterfront

patricia

at the fountain
ducklings paddle
through petals

rodney

a dewdrop on the peach
she whispers a blessing

andre


A Kasen renku composed by Vanessa Proctor, (sabaki), Australia, Patricia Prime, New Zealand, Andre Surridge, New Zealand and Rodney Williams, Australia


Kanso

Our renga was written by a group of friends (some of whom have not met face-to-face): two from New Zealand and two from Australia. It was conducted over a period of about two months via email by poets new to the genre. The renga/renku is a Japanese form of popular collaborative linked verse and its development in the Southern Hemisphere is quite recent. As far as I am aware, the only venue in which the form has been published ‘downunder’ is in the NZ journal Kokako.

Patricia Prime   


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