Renhai Reflections 45: Moist Potentials

Moist Potentials

A Renhai by Vaughn Seward & Janice Thomson
Written November 11-15, 2008

The sound of a slap...
on the beaver pond's surface
ripples radiate. /vs

A steep coastal cliff - /vs
playing the thermals, a hawk. /jt

Steam engine -
above the buried coalfields
a rising fog. /jt

Click here for notes and linking details:


Devika said...

Hi Masago!

I was reading this and the previous ones...

i could imagine these as disjointed imageries, beautiful/evocative ones, i should say..

but somehow begin to miss poetry in the set...anyway, i could be wrong..


Devika said...

a typo again :-)

*I was reading this and the previous one*...(Leaving behind)


J. Andrew Lockhart said...

beautiful work, both of you :)

Borut said...

A great beginning: 'The sound of a slap'. A Big Bang of sorts…!?:)

With the story that follows: The Creation of the World ( in a Pentateuchal mood)…!?:)

John McDonald said...

loved this one well done both

Pat Paulk said...

This is good stuff!! Keep it up.

Bill said...

Very nice. "buried coal fields" is very strong.

Carmi said...

Your work evokes such strong imagery! You've reminded me why my first published works oh so many years ago were poems. I think I need to get back to my poetic voice. Thanks for the inspiration!

(Nice to meet another tech-focused Canadian, too!)

polona said...

very original and wonderful imagery
well done you two :)

Janice Thomson said...

I like the beaver verse too Vaughn - very strong image.

My thanks to all.

upinVermont said...

The first haiku feels weak to me. "The sound of a slap" is redundant, since the idea of a "sound" is already implied by "slap". The Haikuist, in this case, seems to be filling the line unnecessarily.

The (linking Haiku), correct me if this is not your preferred term, is stronger.

The final Haiku is strong. In this case "buried" works suggestively against "rising".

Masago said...

Thank you everyone for your comments.

Devika: Renhai, like Renku, Renga, and Rengay are not meant to be narrative and "poetic" in the Western sense of poetic. They are a series of haiku that have a common theme somehow all interlink. I'd be interested in hearing what you feel is "poetry".

Carmi: Thanks for visiting and your kind remarks.

upinVermont: Sure, "A slap..." conveys a general meaning and you might be satisfied with these two words if you are a minimalist. But a slap can also be felt and it can be observed with the eye. One may look at a painting and say, "why did he/she paint that extra tree or that rock over there in the corner of the picture, it isn't needed. He should have just painted stuff in the middle around the centre of interest". But the artist paints what he/she feels right and/or what seems needed.

Each verse (haiku) in a Renhai links to to every other verse as well as referencing the theme. There is no linking haiku.

Devika said...

Hi Masago!

Ofcourse, Masago- i get that aspect about Japanese forms of poetry..

To me poetry is so diverse in form and content..its not easy , nor do i have all my ideas at my finger tips to type it at the speed my fingers move...

BUT this link could be useful :

for that matter, it is an easy researchable question, i feel..and i don't disagree with any of the stated definitions of poetry...

but to ME, i find this quote works, because that's when i write my verse..

"A poem begins with a lump in the throat. ~Robert Frost

I would be happy to invite you 'again' to my blog -'The Certain Kind of Woman' at my profile..to review what i write..and perhaps comment on it..:-)

thank you, Masago
see again,

please do not be bothered my comments at all...you may see the way i make my comments at Borut's
its just fun for me...i never did it here, because i believed you were serious with your poetry...

upinVermont said...

//But the artist paints what he/she feels right and/or what seems needed. //

Of course.

And a reader or viewer may respond with what he/she feels is right or needed.

Haiku commentary is a time honored tradition. To my knowledge, there are no exact parallels in western practice.

Masago said...

Devika: Thank you for this extra info and invite to your blog. I'm not bothered by your comments, as you know I kid around with Borut on his blog too. :-)

Devika said...

Nice to know, Masago..

i could see you doing that, and perhaps he doing it back on you...peers or peer-likes playing with each other may be different...

but, i should know myself before i chose to do it with someone...you really seemed a very serious poet to me...

and me an aspiring one -- that's why i dared to say i miss poetry there...

thank you Masago for being kind with me...


Masago said...


//And a reader or viewer may respond with what he/she feels is right or needed.//

Of course. This is expected in a teacher/pupil situations. In most other settings the reader has the opportunity to "complete" the work and to take from it what he/she is able.

upinVermont said...

//This is expected in a teacher/pupil situations. In most other settings the reader has the opportunity to "complete" the work and to take from it what he/she is able.//

Hi Masago,

In 'most settings' the artist does not get to decide how a reader responds to their work, especially in an open and public setting. A reader's honest & unscripted reaction is normally part of the give & take, risk & reward, and joy of putting ones work before the public. It is not a matter of teacher/pupil relationships or other such definitions.

But, my gesture in posting here was and is a friendly one - the enjoyment of poetry. I don't mean to be adversarial or to debate how readers should respond to your posts.

Congratulations on your blog & I wish you well.

Masago said...

upinVermont: Yes, I agree with you about this. Comments and feedback are often useful in improving one's work. The "Haiku commentary" tradition I thought you were referring to were the in-person "haiku settings" where such feedback was/is primarily teacher/pupil. Granted, in this Internet era feedback on one's publicly presented work is more open to all forms of feedback (good and bad).

It was fun extending this verbal "spar" with you. Sometimes it is easy in these written venues to take another's remarks the wrong way even though they are given with the best of intentions. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

jem said...

A great sense of the above and below, the hidden and the shown in the last one.

And the creatures in the first two seem so playful, as if they really are enjoying life.