Over the past few weeks,@marousia & I have collaborated together & then with @bookwriter222 to produce two poems ‘live’ on Twitter. Given the tremendous enjoyment of those two adventures we decided it might generate even more fun if we were to increase the numbers of our group & embark upon a 36-verse renga.
As on previous occasions we identified a theme for our renga (change) and created a hashtag of #rengachange so we could all easily identify each other’s individual lines the moment they were posted. A hashtag also enabled non-participating people on Twitter to follow our progress & comment/RT if they wished.
This particular venture was spread over two successive mornings to accommodate the huge time differences between those people who were participating. Once we had all stepped into the Twitter stream I volunteered to contribute the opening verse of our renga & we worked out a running order from there. To begin with there were four of us: @marousia @bookwriter222 @amoz1939 & myself, each of us submitting a verse in turn & then starting again in the same order. @remittancegirl joined us a little later and the five of us continued to contribute individual verses until our time ran out (some people desperately needed to go to bed).
The following day we were due to be joined by @MissyPoem but, just as were ready to begin, she mysteriously disappeared from our Twitter timeline. So, the same five people who were working on the poem the day before picked up the thread &, after a small bout of confusion, off we went again.
After a few more verses @amoz1939 was summoned by the crickets & had to leave. After another few rounds, @remittancegirl needed to respond to the dinner gong, leaving @marousia, @bookwriter222 & myself to complete the renga.
Just as we approached the final verse @amoz1939 suddenly reappeared & nipped in with a rogue verse seconds before @bookwriter222 contributed the official ending lines. That was funny enough but @amoz1939's explanatory tweet had me falling about with laughter: drat it. I thought we were supposed to go through the whole night since it is a weekend. O well.
At that point we all heard an inexplicable rumbling noise followed by a noticeable judder beneath our feet. It was, of course, Basho turning uncomfortably in his grave.
Despite our moments of confusion the predominant feeling that ran the whole way through this exercise was one of great fun. It did not seem to matter to any of us if we strayed from accepted procedure or if our verses lacked continuity. On the contrary, we were poetic rebels & celebrated the fact that a degree of Dadaism had crept into our work as we ‘laughed in the face of order & convention.’
As for a title – well, the remaining three of us had to scoot off pretty quickly once our poem was complete so, in the hope that my fellow (sic) poets will forgive me, I have chosen to call it ‘Fluxus interruptus':
Under a cool moon/ the earth slumbers, breathes softly/ stillness and shadows
A gentle western breeze lifts / petals from a cherry tree
Blue cat very still/ watches butterflies/ admid the petals
Dragonflies smiling ~ butterlies preen in colors ~having my sake
Silver ripples on green pond/ shades of orange, Koi resting
All is quiet here / pondering the coming day / nothing stirs, I sit
Ginko trees stand silent guard/ maples bowing to the moon
Bamboo house clean and ready / sake bowls fill to the brim
Distant thunderstorm/ heron glides down mountainside/ soft patter of rain
A stranger arrives from town / the thunderstorm is nearing
horizonal rain / steals the stranger's hat and laughs / gifts it to the wind
The hat staggers drunkenly/ spins wildly on the pond's brink
Frog jumps out of pond ~ and landing on floating hat ~a nice lily pad
Stranger kneels beside the pond/ Koi feeding upon his smile
As dawn breaks cover / wrathful angry storm abates / I wait patiently
Air fresh and dense with thunder / dew-trapped sparks of lightning passed
Fire gives out warmth ~ all guests seated by crickets ~ thunder storm ceases
Feast of eels and saki/ appears for the dinner guests
Crickets one sake ~ waiting for a guest to come ~ eels are delicious
Violet mist drifting down/ spreading blanket over guests
As frogs leap and sing / spoken tales of woven dreams / synchronicity
No leaping frogs, no grilled eels / stops the slow drip - spilt sake
Old man sings a song/ of brave warriors, their swords/ and lovely geishas
Sun climbs high, the morning burns/ sweat trickles down guests' faces
The mist clears away / a breeze that whispers secrets / cools the troubled mind
Breath upon a dusty glass / the ghostly geisha's kiss print
Ghostly foot falls tap/ across the sun light terrace/ mosquitoes buzzing
Sated guests lie on futons/ soothed by ghostly lullabies
An exchange, a glance / a frisson of excitement / quivers up the spine
In the corner the koto / sounds one dark abandoned note
Kimonos rustle/ the sound of slapping rhythms/ paper screen snaps shut
Far away, behind mountains/ black ships in turquoise ocean
Surging through the waves / a promise of a future / ships that speak of change
A floating island sitting / atop a giant turtle
A demon appears/ head flaming, eyes fiery/ the gods are smiling
With lightening speed, he strikes / the gods of change start dancing