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A Hundred Gourds 5:2 March 2016

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page 6  

Swallows

overgrown garden
this pale blue dragonfly
wants nothing more

G 1 ( 1 )

weeping willows
and swallows darting

C 2 ( 2 )

sticky heat
i hurry by
the asphalt crew

G 3 ( 3 )

none of us is as smart
as all of us

C 4 ( 4 )

media scrum
again he avoids
the question

G 5 ( 5 )

do you mind if i
regift that hug

C 6 ( 6 )

soft light
the moon
deep in cloud

G 7 ( 7 )


a shush of wind
in dry corn leaves

C 8 ( 8 )

**



bellflowers
drop their blue
all over the grass

C 9 ( 1 )

burrs cling
to the dog's tail

G 10 ( 2 )

icy conditions
` let's grip wax
our skis

C 11 ( 3 )

looking for someone
to share the wishbone

G 12 ( 4 )

one way or another
i'm gonna find ya
i'm gonna get ya

C 13 ( 5 )

again that perfect body
faceless in a dream

G 14 ( 6 )


he returns
with only one leg
she loves him more

C 15 ( 7 )

a crutch
his whisky glass

G 16 ( 8 )

moonrise
boats rock
at their moorings

C 17 ( 9 )

the rod straightens
as the bass leaps

G 18 ( 10 )

he weaves
in and out of the crowd
the skate boarder

C 19 ( 11 )

railway museum
the whistling night watchman

G 20 ( 12 )

early morning
frog sounds surrounded
by lilac

C 21 ( 13 )

trees a haze
of new green

G 22 ( 14 )

**



sun to sun
a lust worn
mourning cloak

G 23 ( 1 )

lovers play touch tag
with cherry petals

C 24 ( 2 )

hazy moonrise
we stop to listen
to each others' hearts

G 25 ( 3 )

come, i want the sunrise
to see you

C 26 ( 4 )

it seemed
so dark at first ...
your desire

G 27 ( 5 )

i'm stuck on bandaids
'cause bandaid's stuck on me

C 28 ( 6 )

hurt ...
they didn't accept
everything

G 29 ( 7 )

under the mohawk
all that teenage angst

C 30 ( 8 )

much employment
for lawyers
first nations land claims

G 31 ( 9 )

frozen into the icy path
queen on a penny

C 32 ( 10 )

carnival canal
hundreds of skaters
avoid one another

G 33 ( 11 )

so many words for snow
the shovelers

C 34 ( 12 )

falling steadily
the white chrysanthemums' moonlight

G 35 ( 13 )

little by little
the branches more bare

C 36 ( 14 )

**



in the current
her small orange boat
re-carved jack-o-lantern

C 37 ( 1 )

fence tops
afloat in fog

G 38 ( 2 )

late leavers
the geese
on our river

C 39 ( 3 )

the plane lifts off
from the world i know

G 40 ( 4 )

in her platforms
she says goodbye
on the platform

C 41 ( 5 )

not easily toppled
stalinist statues

G 42 ( 6 )

along with smoke
he exhales
political opinions

C 43 ( 7 )

the burning end
of the sweet grass braid

G 44 ( 8 )

autumn moon
the groundhog fat
for winter

C 45 ( 9 )

weight of the wind
monarch aster to aster

G 46 ( 10 )

dawn brilliance
the frosted seed crowns
of queen anne's lace

C 47 ( 11 )

crunch of minus five
in a wild apple

G 48 ( 12 )

sepals
just big enough to count
plum blossoms

C 49 ( 13 )

wings and spread tail
a wild gobbler displays

G 50 ( 14 )

**



recalled
each year at this time
marianne's tulips

G 51 ( 1 )

under the long leaves
easter eggs

C 52 ( 2 )

how i regret it
my childhood loss
of god

G 53 ( 3 )

power out
evening mass cancelled

C 54 ( 4 )

candlelight dinner
the flash
of her eyes

G 55 ( 5 )

a deep kiss
the taste of pear

C 56 ( 6 )

curving
to the curve of my hips
your arched back

G 57 ( 7 )

the cathedral fills
with handel's messiah

C 58 ( 8 )

the virgin
in pale stone
moon through snow

G 59 ( 9 )

through frozen grape vines
the frozen river

C 60 ( 10 )

hard and well defined
muscles claim my arm
constrictor

G 61 ( 11 )

they say he speaks
with a fork-ed tongue

C 62 ( 12 )

the truth is
petals fall
to be free

G 63 ( 13 )

look ... a fish kite
swimming up to the sky

C 64 ( 14 )

**



from bush to bush
those saucy american
goldfinches

C 65 ( 1 )

bumblebee or daffodil
who rocks who

G 66 ( 2 )

i'll come to you
in dreams
leave the door unlatched

C 67 ( 3 )

night storm
you the lightning

G 68 ( 4 )

morning cloud
and the joys
of spooning

C 69 ( 5 )

sugar into coffee
you in my day

G 70 ( 6 )

sweet sixteen
she revels in her tan
the new lifeguard

C 71 ( 7 )

a muskrat
with a duckweed hat

G 72 ( 8 )

full leathers
the motorcycle revs
summer moon

C 73 ( 9 )

freedom fifty-five
at one-sixty-five

G 74 ( 10 )

collaboration
davis and 'trane
a kind of blue

C 75 ( 11 )

smash and recombine
cubism's new way to see

G 76 ( 12 )

a flurry of petals
the policeman forgets
to write the tickets

C 77 ( 13 )

on breezes of silk
baby spiders

G 78 ( 14 )

**



eggcup-like nest
the hummingbird dark
as she broods

G 79 (1)

may --
a lifetime for a tulip

C 80 ( 2 )

painted-ladies
their flight before
and after desire

G 81 ( 3 )

lovers in and out of love
in and out of cloud

C 82 ( 4 )

her nudge wakes him
from a dream
of impotence

G 83 ( 5 )

re-d-erected
by her wet t-shirt

C 84 ( 6 )

quivering
and shaking
the earth moves

G 85 ( 7 )

a worry of things
that go bump in the night

C 86 ( 8 )

Obama elected
i fear the darkness
of white America

G 87 ( 9 )

tilted toward the sun
our days lengthen

C 88 ( 10 )

tendril and bloom
the trumpet creeper
reaches reaches

G 89 ( 11 )

congratulations!
your first jackknife

C 90 ( 12 )

with a crash
... beavers
the tree that held the moon

G 91 ( 13 )

fading ivy
clings to an abandoned house

C 92 ( 14 )

**



the bright red berries
of mountain ash
a crow picks them off

C 93 ( 1 )

all the twigs
rain-beaded

G 94 ( 2 )

a shower of stars
the long glowing tails
of orionids

C 95 ( 3 )

ray charles
it’s still about ray charles

G 96 ( 4 )

immaculate mary
our hearts are on fire
the sinner’s prayer*

C 97 ( 5 )

am i seeing things?
the snow fleas dance

G 98 ( 6 )

a single gust is enough
the tremble of petals
before they fall

C 99 ( 7 )

reds of a red-wing
raised in song

G 100 ( 8 )



Swallows – Hyakuin
Grant D. Savage and Claudia Coutu Radmore
Begun July 7, 2008.
* a song by Ray Charles


Swallows was finished on November 18th, 2008. Claudia Radmore and I traded links over the phone, for a little over four months, one link per day, or less. We would discuss each link, what season, or type of link it was supposed to be, with Claudia taking the lead. Claudia had found a site online that dealt in detail with Hyakuin, the seasons, the moon and blossom links, love, travel, lamentations, and fixed places for religious links. I believe we included extra winter and summer moon links. This is Canada, and most things, festivals etc happen in the winter and summer. Here in Ottawa, Canada, winter should last five months of the year. Winter is perhaps the defining season of Canada. Most of the artistic stuff, aside from the academic side of things, happens in summer, along with cottage life etc. The most colourful butterflies and dragonflies occur in June and July! Generally we proceeded in an egalitarian fashion, discussing the renku link by link as we went, till I finished it off with the redwing (red-winged blackbird, no relation at all to the European blackbird, more closely related to the orioles) One exception to most western renku is that we distinguished flower links from blossom links. Flower links, most traditionally, can occur anywhere in a renku, except next to a blossom link. The spaces for blossom links should ideally be reserved for fruit trees in bloom. Plums and cherries, perhaps peaches, apricots (what is typically translated as "plum" is actually "ume" or prunus mume, a type of apricot. I had one in my back yard for a few years) apples, maybe even orange blossoms in places where they are found. We liked writing love links, so included as many of those as possible.

Claudia and I hope that your readership enjoys this renku, and that others will find it entertaining and amusing, as well as deeply spiritual and/or beautiful by turns.

—Grant D. Savage


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