Many waters, or: A renga partnership, I

Poetry in partnership

My first taste of writing poetry in partnership with another poet has been the composition of a hyakuin (a renga comprised of 100 tankas) with Sangeetha of ‘Mindfills’, titled ‘Ripples’. This whetted my appetite for further creative collaborations, leading me to launch the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative, which is an open invitation to all writers to publish their poems at the Skeptic’s Kaddish. Every submitted work gets posted, along with a personalized poem of mine inspired by the submitted work.

Quaranjavirus submitted a series of four haikus, and I published his series, extending each haiku into a tanka in an attempt to paint an image of the young poet himself writing the original verses. Not long thereafter, the two of us took to composing a renga together, the beginning of which you may read below.

We’ve decided to call this new collaboration ‘Many Waters’, inspired by Song of Songs (8:7) ~

ืžึทื™ึดื ืจึทื‘ึผึดื™ื, ืœึนื ื™ื•ึผื›ึฐืœื•ึผ ืœึฐื›ึทื‘ึผื•ึนืช ืึถืช-ื”ึธืึทื”ึฒื‘ึธื”, ื•ึผื ึฐื”ึธืจื•ึนืช, ืœึนื ื™ึดืฉืึฐื˜ึฐืคื•ึผื”ึธ… Many waters cannot quench love, nor rivers drown it…

Every tanka verse begins with a haiku of Quaranjavirus’, followed by two lines of mine. Thus far, we’ve completed ten verses… and we’ll see how far this goes – maybe this collaboration will eventually become a hyakuin!

Many waters flowing

1 ~ 10

Monsoon arriving,
Bringing tragedy and joy,
Both sorrow and glee.
[Streets flood into canal routes
Mind floods with uncertainty]
The rivers in spate,
Swallowing all in their way,
Showering their wrath.
[Nฤgas ascend to surface
Soar into the air and dive]

Swordfish ascending,
Their hearts singing merrily,
Relishing the storm.
[Potamides saddle sturgeons
Riding their rushing rivers]

Boats carried away,
Currents tossing them about,
Lie battered by rain.
[Truth undulates with algae
Macroinvertebrates buzz]

As do tranquil ponds,
Buzzing with tranquil beings,
Yet in immense spate.
[Meditation in water
Brings our heart rates down, calming]

Feel the cold water,
Attacking with cold fury,
Yet calming your mind.
[Sinking into frigid depths
Letting go of mortal coil]

Heart freed of harrow,
Hugged genially by cold,
Rinsed clean of troubles.
[Cold water cycle spins tale
Created out of whole cloth]

Onlookers watch, shocked,
At nature's wrath unleashed,
The destruction wrought.
[Sirens sing seductively
Smiling smoothly at sailors]

Hoping to tumble
Into the land of mermaids,
Or seas of treasure.
[Davy Jones' Locker sparkles
Beckoning to mortal men]

Grindylows await,
Their presence oblivious
To ships steered by greed.
[God of ~Elusive Sea Change~
Proteus foretells downfalls]

16 thoughts on “Many waters, or: A renga partnership, I”

  1. This is really lovely. I enjoyed the entire collaboration but my favorite part was:
    “Onlookers watch, shocked,
    At nature’s wrath unleashed,
    The destruction wrought.
    [Sirens sing seductively
    Smiling smoothly at sailors]” Very well done, and lovely the canvas you two painted!!! Hugs, Joni

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