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A Hundred Gourds 3:2 March 2014

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Haiku Society of America Bernard Lionel Einbond Competion, 2013



John Carley conducted this twenty stanza Nijuin renku in 2013. It went on to win the Grand Prize in the Haiku Society of America Bernard Lionel Einbond Competition6.

It was quite an achievement in itself, and one might say under the conditions he suffered, absolutely amazing. John, however, was invigorated by the session. With his trademark aplomb, John’s thoughtful leadership and encouraging nature drew on the strongest attributes of each author, combining them to produce a poem of the highest quality. The judges' comments concur:

“ … when the sabaki (lead poet) communicates with clarity and the renju know just what is required, the result can be a polyphonous harmony, in which the very differences in the poets' voices are harnessed to strengthen the unity of the whole. Such is the case here.

It is no exaggeration to call 'Early Morning Heat' a tour de force, and the judges feel no hesitation in awarding the Grand Prize.”


Early Morning Heat

a line of ants
in the courgette flower —
early morning heat

S

perhaps you’d care
to share my parasol?

J

country-western
and native songs,
a circle round the drum

W

she pastes her happy snaps
to a favourite page

C

           * * *



seeking, hiding
way beyond the curfew
shadows and moon

L

in the blackberry basket
a taste of river fog

S

the chameleon’s tail
curls between
red, orange, yellow

C

with a shiver of silk
her stocking hits the floor

J

everyone answers
to the name of Smith
at Honeycomb Hotel

L

the street-sweeper
returns a gallic shrug

S

           * * *



misunderstood
a frog jumps into      whoops
the bouillabaisse

L

a smear of something
stains my new saijiki

J

snowbound highways
lined with deer,
the moon in every eye

W

lemmings stream across
a frozen lake

C

over and over and over
on hold
the first four bars of Bach

W

all that Dresden china
turned to dust

J

           * * *



granddad hides his stash
of sticky toffees
in the glove box

C

a blackbird tugs a worm
out of a hole

L

rising above
the dry stone wall
waves of white blossom

W

between our dreams of spring
a bridge of sand

S



Composed January 18 to February 15, 2013
John Carley, England (sabaki) - J
Lorin Ford, Australia - L
Cynthia Rowe, Australia - C
Sandra Simpson, New Zealand - S
William Sorlien, USA - W


It was a good year for John. He translated a number of exciting renku, wrote a teleplay, created a classic collection of haiga art, and revised and published a standard of renku method and technique that will stand as an icon of informative haikai literature. He brought many talented writers into the renku fold.

He saw his daughter surpass him in the pursuit of knowledge and celebrated the marriage of his son. He was consistently a loving husband and a sturdy mentor. We will always honor and cherish his memory.


image

Photo by Mary Carley





All material, including quotations and photos, are used by A Hundred Gourds with the explicit permission of Edith Carley and Alex Carley, literary executors for John Edmund Carley’s estate.

1. © Bristol Archive Records, Cat No. ARC191CD, Bristol Archive Records

2. Renku Reckoner by John Carley (forthcoming), Darlington Richards Press

3. Carley, John The Little Book of Yotsumonos. 2012, Darlington Richards Press

4. Carley, John, Nothing But The Wind. 2013. Digital edition copyright © Gean Tree Press

5. Shirane, Haruo, Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Basho, Stanford University Press, 1998

6. 2013 HSA Lionel Einbond Renku Competition, Grand Prize 'Early Morning Heat', first published: Frogpond Volume 36.3, Autumn 2013




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