Red poppies - a renga

A summer kasen renga written by Andrew Burke, Jen Crawford, Louise Waller, Lawrence Upton, Kristin Hannaford, Jennifer Compton, Heather Matthew, Jill Jones and Anie Locke.
Written between 24 November and 11 December 2004.

A version which includes each poet's initials underneath the verses they wrote, is available at hi spirits, weblog of the renga master, Andrew Burke. The renga was written online as part of the discussion on the poneme list. There was some discussion and disagreement on the list about acknowledgement vs anonymity of contributions to a collaborative project. In that spirit, I'm presenting an 'anonymised' version. Which is not to say I was one of the ones who thought it should be published in this form.

red poppies
lean into steam
off the wet path

in the fernery
fingers press sweating glass

fierce heat fades
evening twilight glows
a pink line

a fly stumbles
at a water glob
folding clothes
she drinks dark coffee
moon observes

the grasses seeding
green fruit swells above

midnight light
on watered garden
goat dung smells

four pink peonies a gift
sheets need washing

love - a red petal
her tattoo

forked over
the compost steams

a worm  
the uneaten meat  
a grey hair 

the peopled world spins   
cars stall in traffic   

moon bright as frost    
field of white goat skulls   
intruder light   

postcards from annapurna   
clouds of breath hover   

before dawn
we dread the heat
promised to us

a darkening sky
rain splatters fresh hay

green light
on the cherry blossom
a morning squabble

a fat bud cracks open
rising rivers roar

‘present for you, Gran!’
red eucalypt from
council tree butchers

colour wrinkles through clean wood
beneath the peeling bark

compose lists
to gather sparrows
seeds on lawn

so much to organise
too much to say

starfish legs
synchronised swimming
summer ladies' lunch

salt water in the harbour
obeys the distant moon

stand off shore to sniff
wet weather

the station wagon starts slowly
its old dry cough

tyres bald from travel
home, a bed

fluttering wings of
a blind white moth

faint crescent
between the hospital
and heavy clouds

in Carlton leaves blow
a red and gold dawn

hope? dust.
accumulating soil
green augmentation

girl running fingers through hair
a tongue over teeth, lipstick
shaking with fatigue
she searches for her glasses
she can't see them

empties out her bag feeling
a fathomless sea rising

a breeze spills
into the valley
jacaranda carpet

equinoctial petals fall
onto the bloomin' pages


Andrew Burke said…
Thanks for putting it up, Jill. It certainly looks cleaner without the initials, but I'm so used to seeing the initialised versions (where the initials are over on to the right hand margin, which is impossible on blog or direct to email) that I miss them. Perhaps it is just habit ...
Jill Jones said…
Yeah, it reads well without the scaffolding (as Lawrence described it). But I have no problem with a bit of scaff either. I'd be interested in any other comparative comments, on or off line. We'll see, eh!
Anonymous said…
two and a half years later... I just stumbled across this and want to let you know how much I enjoyed. More like this anywhere?
Jill Jones said…
hi norman, thanks for the comments. you can probably google 'renga' and find more. as for this particular collaboration, no more. it was definitely a one off.

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