Renhai Reflections 73: Paint-By-Sense


A Renhai by Janice Thomson (jt) & Vaughn Seward (vs)

Three coffees later,
she checks to see whether
the painting has dried. /jt

Oil paints of red and blue — /vs
turpentine fills the air. /jt

A knock at the door —
she hides the wet canvas
between finished ones. /vs

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[Check the notes for details about a secondary theme.]


Renhai Reflections 72: Reaching


A Renhai by Jerry McKenzie (jm) & Vaughn Seward (vs)

A rakish figure
leans a ladder to the wall —
campus dorm. /jm

A soldier waits for luggage — /jm
the boy reaches for a hug. /vs

Enamel bathtub —
a black beetle tries
to climb up. /vs

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[Check the notes for the description of the incident that inspired this renhai.]


Renhai Reflections 71: Relaxed Embrace

Relaxed Embrace

A Renhai by Janice Thomson (jt) & Vaughn Seward (vs)

Hemlock branch —
a chunk of frost flowers
still attached. /vs;jt

Cattails at the pond's edge — /vs
a moat surrounds each stem. /jt

A warm breeze
slowly melts the ice —
a leaf springs free. /vs;jt

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[With this post we offer a little more spring hope. The Renhai is also unique in a certain way. Check the notes for more information about this and about "frost flowers".]


Renhai Reflections 70: The Art of Painting

[Here is a solo Renhai that Janice wrote a few days ago. It was inspired by a Renhai that we were working on together (to be posted in a few days). Thank you Janice for contributing to our Renhai Reflections project.]

The Art of Painting
A Renhai by Janice Thomson (Solo)

Part of a tail
tints the drawing table —
painting ravens.

The twelve shades of black ink —
my brush finds the coffee cup.

Multiple strokes —
in the mirror, my face
a painting too.

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Renhai Reflections 69: Barnyard Affairs

Barnyard Affairs

A Renhai by Janice Thomson (jt) & Vaughn Seward (vs)

Hole in the fence —
a llama keeps guard over
newborn calves. /jt

Loud chirps from the barn — /jt
the cat slips through a window. /vs

The spring sun
melts snow off an old
cream separator. /vs

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[...still pining for spring...]


Renhai Reflections 68: Where There's Smoke

Where There's Smoke

A Renhai by Vaughn Seward (vs) & Janice Thomson (jt)

I switch chairs
but more than the smoke
finds me again. /vs

The campfire's snap and crackle — /vs
Dad carves us hot-dog sticks. /jt

Ghost stories —
we hunt for dead branches
to add to the fire. /jt

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[Janice was yearning for warmer days and so we wrote this Summer Renhai. Also, it is unique in that it is somewhat more narrative than usual, check the notes for details.]


Renhai Reflections 67: Upon a Log

Upon a Log

Upon a log there sat a frog
All day without a bite;
A fly came by to ask for pie,
"A piece," said Frog, "you might."

Now this dessert was made of dirt
And offered with some tea;
But when the fly perched on that pie,
Frog's tongue flicked out with glee.

Upon his face a smile did place
From ear to ear, until
A heron bird, from what I've heard,
Soon caught him in his bill.

[I recently joined a children's poetry newsgroup and tried my hand at writing a children's poem. This is my first result. Thanks to Zhanna P. Rader for inspiration and help with the metre and other technical matters.]


Renhai Reflections 66: Winter Reaches

Winter Reaches

A Renhai by
Janice Thomson (jt) & Zhanna P. Rader (zh.r) & Vaughn Seward (vs)

Snow-laden woods —
my toque touches the end
of a pine bough. /jt

Bone-piercing cold — the click /zh.r
of her needles faster yet. /zh.r

Icy sidewalk —
his dog garbed with vest,
hat, and booties. /vs

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[This is the second three-person renhai written, click on the notes for a description of how this one was written. Click here to view the first three-way written.]


Renhai Reflections 65: Making an Opening

Making an Opening

A Renhai by Jerry McKenzie (jm) & Vaughn Seward (vs)

Victorian mansion —
each tap of the doorknocker
echoes within. /vs

A pileated woodpecker /jm & vs
attacks a suckering birch. /vs & jm

The Lenin ice-breaker —
cracking ice peals across
the frozen sea. /jm

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[Check the notes for more info about the pileated woodpecker and the Lenin ice-breaker.]


Renhai Reflections 64: At the Bottom

At the Bottom

A Renhai by Vaughn Seward (Solo)

A snowflake falls
haphazardly to the bottom —
country road.

A tear on her cheek —
the taxi recedes into darkness.

Bright white field —
the tip of some paper
barely appears.

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[Note: this rengay is a translation from a Renhai I recently wrote in Esperanto.]