Ripples, or: A renga partnership, IV

“The more you know, the more you grow”

Before I began writing poetry online last year, I’d never heard of a tanka, let alone a renga. Once I came to understand the concept of a tanka, I started responding to other poets’ haikus on their blogs occasionally, to show my appreciation.

I have long been impressed with Sangeetha’s (‘Mindfills’ blog) writing, which magically and seemingly effortlessly weaves multiple poetry prompts together. If I had more time, I would attempt to complete all of her haikus, out of sheer excitement. In any case, on April 4th, ~4½ months ago, I responded to a particularly enchanting poem of hers, which she wrote as follows (my [response] is bracketed & bolded):

touched by a moonbeam
tranquil lake shivers silver
~ripples reach my ears
[listening closely, I hear
lowest hanging clouds murmur]

To my surprise, Sangeetha responded to my response, thereby launching our renga partnership (previous to that I hadn’t even known that rengas existed)! We are continuing ‘Ripples’ and shall be exploring further opportunities for collaboration. For me, this has been an incredibly fun and fulfilling new experience.

Last time I shared ‘Ripples’ with you, we had just arrived at our 40th verse… and we’ve now completed our 50th… which means that we have written a Gojūin!

Spreading ripples

1 ~ 20

touched by a moonbeam
tranquil lake shivers silver
~ripples reach my ears
[listening closely, I hear
lowest hanging clouds murmur]

hanging clouds murmur
mischief firing up some fun
~pillow fight follows
[sudden unexpected kiss
below falling down feathers]

falling down feathers
caressing cherry blossoms
~April rain showers
[shivering streams of silver
matting our hair as we dance]

as we dance all night
starlight splattering on souls
~ summer sighs softly
[as time's tender tendrils tug
temptingly towards autumn]

autumn always clicks
photographs in sepia
~ I'm thinking of us
[thoughts flurry in photographs
like snow in the negatives]

a flurry of snow
when wayward winter winds whoosh
in a gust of glee
[off-grid up in the mountains
renga partnership on pause]

partnership on pause
winter ice and summer sun
~ melt to meet again
[rivulets rush rapidly
flowing freely together]

rushing rivulets
rumba in rugged rhythm
~ rapture on the run
[grrrowling in utter delight
bear cubs wrestle on the banks]

wrestling bear cubs laugh
catching snowflakes as they fall
~ into each other
[mama bear splashes nearby
~ looks like fish for lunch again!]

splashes nearby
squirrels run helter-skelter
bushy tails must dry 
[skittish fawns sip crisp water
wise doe eyes big mama bear]

fireflies flitter
festive forest fairy lights
fire up furry friends 
[finches flip-flapping for fun
friendly ferrets frolic forth]

tickled by a prank
hedgehogs roll over laughing
spraying pins on pines
[distracted by silliness
they struggle with their renga]

waterfall of words
wrapping wild winds of wonder
~ nature's poetry
[animals caper through falls
painted rainbow by the flow]

through the waterfalls
fireworks of colour sparkles 
rain rainbow showers
[blue bear cubs, scarlet squirrels
dance with dandelion deer]

delicate dewdrop
settles on slumbering sloth
~ waking up can wait
[while white rabbit rushes by
LATE for an important date]

bouncing up the slopes
bubbly bunny spots his date
boldly beckoning
[brown-eyed doe awaits white buck
brunch first, followed by breeding]

calling all creatures
crickets rub their wings in glee
commotion ensues
[rabbits get separated
date delayed by disturbance]

wild winds whirl westward
sweeping willow off her feet
~ bending all the rules
[long leaves largely lie lengthwise
tree trunk uprooted and torn]

snow white owlet wakes
perches high on broken branch
eyes wide open now
[violet voles, mauve mice hide;
lavender lizard makes haste]

slowly the skies clear
streaming sunbeams serenely
soothing nature's soul
[silence, anticipation,
shall subsequent stanzas soar?]

21 ~ 30

soaring beyond skies
on the wings of a whisper
[carried beyond the Kármán line
dreams softly sparkle in space]

dreams softly sparkle
stardust scattering magic
enchanting angels
[hallowed halos humbly heal
humanity’s horrid hate]

healing human hearts
slowly soothing seething storms
~ a drizzle of peace
[people, awash, cleansed with love
regret’s tears flow into rain]

flowing into rain
forever flees to freedom
time watches…silent
[wet mist sprays eternity
from infinity’s grand stage]

infinity sighs
ripples shiver fleetingly
water wonders why
[touched by familiar moonbeam
tranquil silver lake of time shimmers]

lake of time shimmers
stars stop a second to swoon
night skies reset clock
[Chronos begins once again
Aion amused to no end]

gods of time giggle
shuffling seas, stars and seasons
~future presents pasts
[ribbons bright are pulled undone
miracles beneath the lid]

miracle makers muse
cherry blossoms spring open
~ unwrapping present
[beckoning futures contract
floating out on sparkling dust]

beckoning futures
baby buds blithely blossom
into tomorrows
[pollination’s powerful
potential persevering]

preserving prayers
paradise plants seeds of hope
in every dew drop
[daffodils drawing diet
from damp delectable dirt]


holding on to earth
daffodils reach for the sky
stretching all that’s real
[twisting tesseract appears
folding nature on itself]

tesseract unfurls
new seeds of infinity
merge in a moment
[seconds conceived so quickly
multiply into minutes]

minutes make magic
melding my memories
melted in moonlight
[mystical meanings emerge
manifesting magnetism]

mystical moorings ~
toes of trees dig into earth
arms reach out to sky
[the unanchored tilde floats
through lush branches to the sky]

lush branches start life
swinging  on maybes
earth and sky await
[syllables swing down from above
seeking new bough to rest upon]

syncing syllables
songbird stumbles on poetry
simply profound
[peeping, warbling, chirruping, trilling
chirping to own beat]

birdsong in the breeze
winds in my heart howl
Hush! I know the lyrics
[flows chamber music, full of soul
feathers settle on music sheets]

feather-note on keys
hushed hymns float over forest
soothing baby’s breath
[steady syllables soften
sleeping suckling’s disquiet]

dusk draws the day’s drapes
softening sounds of sunlight
~ a lullaby yawns
[twilight nestles newborn in
night transformed by tender tunes]

a tender night hums
fireflies mimic starlight
dreams drift on ~ seeking
[Polaris paving phantasms
projecting paths pellucid]


pellucid pathways
ferrying northern lights
to the astral lighthouse
[Great Nebula clouds starbeams
Argo Navis sails off course]

a cloudburst of stars
concocting constellations
coruscating skies
[Orion shoots from the hip
Sirius guides arrows bright]

horizons hold hands
rainbow star travels all night
on a trail of light
[tranquil lake shivers silver
rippling as starlight dissolves]

a touch of starlight
waking up wanton waters
~ earth and sky mingle
[wrangling, willful water witch
wrests wish from wild elements]

wild elements whirl
winds dance to songs from heavens
joy begins new day
[dreaming gives way to daydreams
wish washed away by real world]

sun spins out of hand
real world tries tethering stars
~ fortune flashes by
[forgiving fortuity ~
foredoes foreboding fortune]

universe aligns
shards of time tessellate
unfurling presents
[~ all united, sharing tea
time for long conversations]

evening sky blushes
curling pink whispers of cloud
into silent words
[cirrus clouds spell I LOVE YOU
for juicy peach setting sun]

sighing so softly
trailing tender tremors
my soul surrenders
[touched by thin, teasing tendrils
you’re sweetly, softly seduced]

beyond the brink
melting moments and lifetimes
~ I sleep into you
[forms fading, dreams displacing
~ souls slowly slip together]


I’ve said it before, and I still stand by it: ‘Ripples’ is a fantastic name for a renga!

33 thoughts on “Ripples, or: A renga partnership, IV”

  1. An enchanting journey these took me on – I can only imagine the experience of writing them, in the collaborative manner that you two did. A beautiful and creative dance that I was completely engrossed in… the word choice, the rhythm, the stories told within each verse. Congrats on completing your 40th! Wow! Bravo! 👏🏼

      1. Because I had the flower of the Day to load on my photo/art blog, I finished the 73rd Surah last evening on my Interfaith blog and I was researching bings classic painting for the day. Cypress and Wheatfield by van Gogh on my general blog. I keep running out of room and don’t envisiage a domain in the bank.

          1. Many are the same, though in the case of the photography blog there are some newbies. I have Muslims following my posts on Islam and I wish they would atually say something, surely they know more than me.

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