Seabeck Haiku Retreat

I keep thinking I should do a post on the Seabeck haiku retreat, as I have been home for a week and a half already! Seabeck– where to start? Thanks to Google, I knew exactly what it would look like, so there was no surprise there, but pulling into a parking space in front of the main lodge and seeing a gardener actually using a rake instead of a leaf blower to remove leaves from the steps of the porch immediately told me I was in the right place. It was a wonderful long weekend of writing renga, rengay, and haiku, socializing, buying piles of cool new haiku books, eating, taking ginko walks, visiting an old (circa mid-1800’s) cemetery, walking on the beach, hanging out on a rock and watching birds criss cross the sky above the lagoon, learning to identify a cormorant, eating some more, walking some more, listening to presentations, participating in my first anonymous haiku workshop, leading my first anonymous haiku workshop, making weathergrams, making various kinds of books, including one with Japanese stab binding (thanks to the expert instructions and patience of Tanya McDonald), meeting lots of new people, and even learning most of their names. Everything was wonderful, including, surprisingly, the weather, so now I am hooked, and plan to make it a yearly event! I can’t say for sure what the highlight for me was, but certainly one of the highlights, and the icing on the cake to an already lovely weekend, was being selected by judge Susan Constable to receive the First Prize Francine Porad Haiku Award! I feel both honored and humbled, and it only serves to make me want to write more, more, more! 🙂

A Summer Renga

A Summer Renga

By:  Cara Holman, vivinfrance, brenda w, 1sojournal, Linda Goin, Lisa Hills, pieceofpie

sweltering heat-                                                [Cara Holman]
children laughing and running
through lawn sprinklers

a dragonfly hovers
above a blade of grass

Cold, cold, wet August cold.                             [vivinfrance]
Depression looms
through gloom of speckled window.

Warmth, warmth, cosy warmth,
welcome comfort, hug of a quilt.

Rain rain go away                                             [brenda w]
dissipate the cloudy day
sun rise, dry the sky

twirl through meadows
and let your hair fly!

Snaggled hair and blush                         [1sojournal]
on cheeks, kissed by sun
while running wild

a child, a dragonfly all are met
in net of summer’s warming smile

Wild with heat and sweat                                  [Linda Goin]
You carry summer with you
in berry kisses

hold me tight before you fly
like summer into autumn

The honey bees                                                [Lisa Hills]
are jumping on the purple
lavender bush

everyday they gather
the nectar for their hive.

“Quickly!” they buzz.
“For we must finish before
the sun has gone!”

cool summer drifting breeze                               [pieceofpie]
open window invitation
subdue the heat within

sweltering shadows simmer
dancing tango flaming fire

twilight slowly overtakes                                   [Cara Holman]
the sky, sleepy children
shut their eyes

the dragonfly and honey bee
in silent slumbers repose…

Add To This Renga!

The Big Tent Poetry prompts just keep getting better and better. This week’s prompt challenged us to mix up our writing life, and write a poem that is different in some way to what we usually write. What I write the most are haiku. What I would really like to attempt this week is a renga, which is basically a series of short verses linked into a single long poem, and composed collaboratively. There are all sorts of subtle nuances to renga, as well as to haiku apparently, but for the purposes of this week’s prompt, here’s all you need to know:

  1. Haiku are generally three lines, containing a total of 10 to 17 syllables. The 5-7-5 form is acceptable but not required.
  2. Haiku consist of a sentence fragment (one line), and a phrase (two lines that complete a thought).
  3. Renga consist of haiku, alternated with two line phrases.
  4. Renga usually have a theme. I thought since we cross this country, and in fact the globe, the theme could be summer, in wherever you live.

So, now for the fun. I’ll start the renga, and everyone can add to it in the comments section:

sweltering heat-
children laughing and running
through lawn sprinklers

a dragonfly hovers
above a blade of grass

Read the poetic responses of others to this prompt here.