Global Haiku Tradition • Kasen-Renga • Fall 2014


Black Canvas

November 21 and 23, 2014


Natalie Zelman
Brandi DeLeonardo
Trista Smith
Danna Herbach
Alec Campbell
Sarah Suits



kasen black canvas

Black Canvas


slowing to 45
rumbling down
the endless road

a chill
leaking through windows

spirals of frost
dance to the
gentle breath

the ballet opens
the world stares

the galaxy's a stage
and we are the players
where no man has gone before

falling star's brushstroke
across black canvas

night sky
glittering dreams
litter the sky

a little girl
wishes for so much more

a quarter
cannot create
a new reality

inside my story I decide
what is real and what is not

middle school
english class
an existential crisis

the bruised child carries home an F

everyone wants the same thing
to live long
and prosper

the homeless man
hangs his head

remembering the days
when life was simple
she toys with her salad

dinner left uneaten
she scrutinizes her reflection

the rebel shows her
she can be more

she wears her armor
a worn, old leather jacket

28th birthday
she buys a cupcake
for herself

growing older and still
nobody to stand beside her

solitude in a crowd
content, simply

her far-off gaze
pulling him in

a playful tug
sends him flailing
into lake waters

the sea monster

another meal
a breeze comes
through the window

misty wind gusts
in off the lake

through the fog
mountain peaks

thinning air
the height a view stealing my breath

the final frontier
I wish
for nothing more

soaring in the air
free falling

terminal velocity
the upwards rush
when the parachute unfolds

ground fast-approaching
stomach in my throat

instant contact
my eyes snap open
heart pounds in my ears

dreaming awake
falling asleep never

the day is not over
impromptu musical number

a song bursting forth
begins the new day

• • •

The writing of this Kasen-Renga was an adventure. Beginning on November 21st, we wrote the first twenty-five links during an extremely long car ride using sketchbook paper and phones, and it was completed with paper and pencil on November 23rd.

We took some liberties with the traditional Kasen-Renga rules. Traditionally, in the fifth, thirteenth, and twenty-ninth links, the moon will make an appearance and in the seventeenth and thirty-fifth links, there will be an allusion to blossoms. Deciding that we wanted to make our own rules, we incorporated references to Star Trek in place of the moon and eighties movies references instead of blossoms.

We hope that it is as enjoyable to read as it was for us to write.


© 2014, Randy Brooks • Millikin University • last updated: November 26, 2014
All rights returned to authors upon publication.