Kukai 2 - love tan-renga

Roundtable Renga • Millikin University, Spring 2011

his kiss
the only betrayal
I felt

breathless whispers
promise me the world

Tara Goheen (4)

summer starlight
the way her boots
light up in the dark

bulging pockets
full of dollar bills

Aubrie Cox (5)

I think the opening line provokes beautiful imagery in my mind, and then I can imagine what the boots would look like lighting up in the dark. With the section alone, it seems like an innocent haiku about a child playing outside in her light up boots, but then the two added lines give the poem a whole new meaning, and I love the way it makes it multi-dimensional. Kate

naked ring finger—
dropping hints
at Valentine's dinner

Tiffany's box
earrings again

Becky Smith (8)

Someone in class said they had an image of a girl playing with her naked ring finger at dinner, and along with that image, I can imagine how much she is hoping that he is going to propose to her. I like how the tanrenga builds up the suspense with the "Tiffany’s box" line, and then I felt the disappointment when it was only "earrings again." I felt really involved in this tanrenga, and I love how it made me feel like I was a part of the scene. Becky did a very nice job with this. Kate

I feel like the link in this works perfectly. It seems so counterintuitive for some one to be disappointed with Tiffany's earrings, but its still easy to sympathize with the speaker and her frustration. I feel like the first three lines would almost be incomplete as a free standing haiku because the linked lines just pay off what it establishes so well. Nora

I love how this tan-renga builds up my expectations with a marriage proposal on Valentine's day and then smacks me in the face with it's ending. I can perfectly see the scene of the woman twirling her finger, trying in vain to convey her wish, and the man totally oblivious. The last line especially gets me: even though the man tried hard and got his love Tiffanys jewelry, he still didn't get it completely right. It's just so bittersweet, a perfect Valentine's Day tan-renga. Susie

first date
in his hand

a hoard of panicking frogs
on the dance floor

Jennifer Kibbat (3)

schoolroom bustle
a special valentine
awaiting delivery

the class Charlie Brown
peeks in his locker

Elise Scannell (3)
cap by Aubrie Cox

being with you
your love like woe

I throw your clothes
on the lawn

winter snow covered
for a deep breath

fading with moonlight
in the last night

dimming lights
chocolate brown eyes
meet my gaze

champaign bubbles
slide up the glass

Elise Scannell (3)
cap by Aubrie Cox

bright red
she hides that heart
on her sleeve

she doesn't need more

Susie Wirthlin (4)
cap by Hollie Logsdon

initials carved in a tree
late one summer
fifty years ago

revisiting old memories
love has grown stronger

Nora Kocher (5)

This was my favorite tan renga because it gives me so much emotion. I get goose bumps reading it because I can only imagine a relationship like that. I also like the play on the word "stronger" because not only is their love growing stronger, but also the tree. Becky

slow dance
at her son's wedding
with her ex-husband

they glance at their son
for a moment they are young again

Nora Kocher (5)

This just paints such an emotional picture for me because it could have been interpreted in a number of ways had the last two lines not been there. It could have been an uncomfortable, bitter experience, but as you go on to read "they glance at their son for a moment they are young again", we understand that they are being nostalgic in a comforting, loving way. Its really beautiful! Thanks! Elise Scannell

movie theater rush
he wipes his damp palms
one last time

popcorn gives them both

Elise Scannell (7)
cap by Aubrie Cox

box of chocolates
on the counter
only coconut left

dog won't even touch them
thrown away with the rest of the day

Nora Kocher (3)

walking slow
he waits for her
to catch up

splashing in puddles
to waste time

Susie Wirthlin & Hollie Logsdon

The shift in this tan renga grabbed my attention. In the hokku, I imagined it as an elderly couple, or a young man helping his grandmother along. She can't walk that fast, so he has to make sure not to get too far ahead of her. But once I get the cap, the ages reverse. I think of a father waiting on his daughter, whose legs are so much shorter, but to top it off, she's not in too much of a hurry. Rather, she's splashing in every puddle they come across. The cap successfully continues the hokku by not only adding to the image, but morphing it into something new. Aubrie

I really like this because it could be interpreted in many ways. When I first read it, I assumed it was talking about two young kids walking together, but then reading it a second time I saw an image of maybe a grandmother walking with her grandson and he's jumping in puddles to pass time while she catches up to him. Tara

roses on the table
from last week's date

second thoughts
from the phone call

reaching out
crossing that old line
of comfort

memories linger
of their first embrace

romantic evening
a knock on the door
she stops, checks the mirror

little black dress
still on the hanger

Elise Scannell (7)
cap by Aubrie Cox

another damn
love haiku

I reach for
another page

Aubrie Cox (4)

© 2011, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.