Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Unus Mundus

Following our poetry duet ‘Flames of Creation’, @marousia & I decided it would be good fun to invite other people to take part in a further collaboration. Our friend @bookwriter222 spotted our twittered intentions and volunteered immediately. Being spontaneous individuals we thought: ‘Why not? Let’s do it – now! So, on a Saturday mid-morning in the UK & a late Australian evening, we began our renga.

We agreed that @bookwriter222 would set us off and @marousia and myself would follow her in that order, contributing alternately until we had 18 lines of poetry.

As previously, we also decided that we needed a theme for our renga. @bookwriter222 came up with the excellent idea of a unicorn. Working with a hashtag of #unicornrenga, we were on our way.

In classical renga it is expected that both the ‘moon’ and ‘flowers’ are referred to as the poem is created. Consequently, we all managed to include several lunar & flora references in our individual verses.

Whilst we tried to adhere to the traditional pattern of beginning with a haiku (three lines of verse with a syllable count of 5-7-5) & following it with two 7-syllable lines of verse (so the poem would be comprised of alternating lines of 5-7-5 & 7-7 syllable counts) a break in the process necessitated by the time difference between our countries caused us to break the tempo slightly. It was at this point that a rogue gogyohka crept into our sequence, which we integrated into our poem. Format was far less important to us than keeping such a wonderful conversation going.

Once re-united, we clambered back onto the renga path and skipped towards our final verse. After some deliberation, the title Unus Mundus was chosen, as it seemed to link in with the Latin roots of Unicorn: unus 'one' and cornu 'horn'.

Unus Mundus

 A forgotten time / two moons collide together / a unicorn breathes

Sparks from the moons collision / kiss unicorn's velvet horn

Drops of rain glisten / like pearls on flower petals / round unicorn's hooves

Flowing silver mane whips back / unicorn races the moon

Violets spring up / wherever unicorn's hooves touch / trees whisper secrets

Unicorn hears plaintive cry / bluebird with a broken wing

A bird from heaven /as blue as the sky is old /secrets bind them both

Unicorn lowers his horn / a single touch heals the wing

Bluebird sings his song / unicorn rears high, his eyes / like pools of moonshine

Black witch readies her poison / a unicorn of beauty

Ground unicorn horn / prized aphrodisiac / temptation was great

Unicorn sees moon shadows / of black witch in bluebird's eyes

A hazy dawn ~ brings black witch ~ back into the fray ~ our unicorn is in grave danger ~ we race towards the moon

Bluebird's sweet song fills the air / Black witch's spell returns to her

Black witch clutches throat / dissolves in putrid green steam / hail the unicorn

An eternal flame shines bright / in unicorns moonkissed eyes

Unicorn breathes/ on the putrid slime/ turning it to gold

Sunlight and shadows merging / death becomes life. Alchemy

@marousia posting on our collaboration can be found here: Unus Mundus
@bookwriter222 posting on our collaboration can be found here: Unus Mundus


  1. I also watched this one being built whilst breeding in and pit of twitter on Saturday Peter. Grand job my friends...one day when I get such a thing as a hands free weekend I'm there!

  2. Hi repressedsoul - thank you for your lovely comment. If you can find some space to take part I can definitely recommend it ... it is so much fun.

  3. Apart from the poem itself which I did find bewitching, I love how each of you must give up a sense of control over where the poem is headed. That's a very appealing idea to me at present. I wonder why.