A Hundred Gourds 5:1 December 2015

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Skinny dipping
in the fog, a blonde

Brendan Hewitt

Coyotes howling in the night
loneliness smoking

Judy Potter

Fireworks over the beach,
sparklers shower
sprinkles on a birthday cake

Sarah Hartman

Stars sink from the sky
crickets roar in the grass

Chelsea Noiles

Relentless tide heeds
the moon’s request to nurture life:
urchins of the sea
look up for their daily bread

Kerwin Davidson

The mudflats between
the islands rest
the cottage window shutters

Linda Vienneau Hargrave

Dancing to a September song
afraid I will

Claudia Mannion

Searching, reaching:
where are you, “love”?

Frank Hartman

She cracks a smile
under her skates
the moon’s reflection

Sandra Stephenson

Beneath silver manes
and papery skin,
teenage spirits
make snow-angels together

Judith Bauer

Mother Nature hiccups
sheds a tear
a marigold unfurls

Linda Vienneau Hargrave

The student prepares to leave for school

Allie Noiles

On the longest day
of the year, the earth
changes direction

Harvey Lev


Begun 7:45pm August 25, and finished 10pm the same evening

A 13-verse Kasen renga composed in the presence of Conrad Byers, a story-teller and the last schooner captain on the Bay of Fundy.

The poem was hand calligraphied onto rice paper and then folded as a paper airplane, following the lead of Allie Noiles, for our hosts, Main & Station, Parrsboro, Nova Scotia.

This renku was a meeting of strangers, occasioned by a visit by my husband and myself to an arts community on the Bay of Fundy, a historic site for shipping in North America a century and a half ago. Present was one of the last ships’ captains able to sail a wooden schooner in this Bay full of treacherous currents, tides that rise 45 feet in six hours, volcanic islands and rocks, and howling winds from North Atlantic hurricanes. True to the age-old tradition of assembling to compose verse and recount stories together - except without sake or rum in our case - the veneer of awkward politeness quickly burned off in the very first verse offered by designated Renku Master, Brendan Hewitt. With my assistance, the Master selected each of the 13 linking verses from 13 proffered by the 13 participants on that near-full moon evening – 169 fragments. By the end we were friends, buds, eager to hear and delighted by the final product, read aloud after two hours of deliberation and quiet appreciation of each other’s fragments. A true and compassionate ice-breaker, this. I hope to practice it again in other places I visit.

- Sandra Stephenson    

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