Rengay Through the Seasons #21 Summary

by Toshiaki Koike (tk), and Vaughn Seward (vs);
Rengay #21 (Jan 20-26, 2008) Summary

Briefly Touching

Icy Road —
a plastic bag rolls,
right, left. /tk

A tangled cassette tape —
an end flaps in the chill. /vs

Revolving door —
cold and warm air
briefly touch. /tk

Frost patterns
form on the window pane —
finger print. /vs

A single glove — fingers
point toward the exit. /tk

Clock tower —
big and little hands frozen
at nine-twelve. /vs

Toshiaki's tastes in haiku have changed somewhat over the years. One aspect of this that surfaces in his art and haiku is the balance between man-made and natural objects. In haiku he has often been attracted to writing about ordinary and often neglected aspects of modern civilization. Human impact on nature leaves impressions and vestiges. We therefore decided early on to feature these two things as themes in this rengay: Vestiges and Man-made objects.

In the first verse there is a deep sympathy for the plastic bag. The bag has been discarded as garbage, it isn't noticed by anyone, and no one cares about it. Still, it moves on and tumbles left, then right in an aimless, directionless manner. It is also easy to identify with the bag and to wonder where you are heading in life.

Every so often one encounters a broken cassette tape with the tape from inside tangled up, often in a ball on a tree or bush. As CD's have mostly replaced cassettes this sight is becoming less and less common. The concept in this verse corresponds the relentless forward motion of technological advances and how past advances eventually fall by the wayside.

Verse 3 portrays the feeling of a brief encounter: warm with cold. Inside it is warm, outside it is cold, and the revolving door mixes a little bit of each on each revolution. It connects outside strangers with people inside that are familiar. As well, it represents the connection between "my world" and "the outside world".

The image in verse 5 is of a lost glove near the exit of a store or building. Perhaps it was a child's who had been playing and was suddenly called away. As with the plastic bag in verse 1, there is also a sympathetic notion, as if the glove was "feeling" left behind and was desiring to be outside once again providing warmth for its owner.

Perhaps the clock tower in the last verse is old and neglected or maybe it is so cold out that the clock mechanism has frozen solid. The 9:12 reference is symbolic of the period after the 9-11 disaster (World Trade Centre, Sep 11, 2001) when the world seemed to go into a paralyzed state. We are only now beginning to recover somewhat from this frozen, winterish state.

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Click here for the previous rengay in the series.


J. Andrew Lockhart said...

very interesting, how it ended

Pamela said...

I feel like a student.... and thats a good thing. Never tooo old to learn (I hope)

Borut said...

Reading the comments, I find the whole almost prophetic... Strange, but i've been thinking about the inner meaning of September 11 just this morning...

Ričardas said...

it's just amassing how images are evolving in this sequence, and it could be seen as a closed cycle - a plastic bag rolls unnoticed like many other material things lost their importance after 9/11.

floots said...

i see now

polona said...

reading the notes came as a true revelation... yes, almost there but not quite...
and i think this is one of the best rengay yet

Masago said...

Andrew: Thank you.

Pamela: You'll never too old, Pamela. :-) Thanks for contributing.

Borut: Strange indeed... thanks.

Riĉardas: So true. Thank you.

Floots: :-) Thanks.

Polona: You are kind, thank you.

On behalf of Toshiaki and me, thank you all for commenting!

Bill said...

A very powerful rengay, vaughn. Congratulations to you and to your collaborator.