Hats Off to Hatku: Forty Tan-Renga

On 11 July 2009, Haiku Northwest and the Port Townsend Haiku Group held a joint meeting at Marrowstone Island in Washington State. Attendees submitted haiku on the theme of hats. Christopher Herold selected the following three-line poems for a handout titled Hatku. At the meeting he challenged us to try writing two-line responses for a selection of these poems to create tan-renga. The following are my responses to all forty poems. Response verses written as follows: 1–7, 11–14, and 20–22 written 19 July 2009, in Sammamish, Washington. Verses 8–10, 15–19, and 23–40 written 4 August 2009 on the I-405 and I-5 freeways between Bothell and Bellingham, Washington. Not previously published.



summer beckons—

a blanket, food, a good book,

a hat                                                                                                  Judi Komishane


waking up

in a long shadow                                                                    Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


my Bubbe’s kerchief—the beginning of Shabbos                  Carmie Soifer


the wide receiver bobbles the football                            Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


an embroidered yarmulke

on the man in front—

rollercoaster rush                                                                        Michael Dylan Welch


she doesn’t notice

our song on the radio                                                         Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


under an outstretched sky

the rabbi walks

bareheaded                                                                                   Carmie Soifer


traffic slowing

for a dead deer                                                                     Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


Easter in Rome—

confusing a yarmulke

for a zucchetto                                                                              David Ash


the last seeds

gone from the birdfeeder                                                  Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


this Mother’s Day

handmade hats on all the grey heads

dementia ward                                                                             Carol O’Dell


the summer of love

recreated on radio                                                              Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


a yellow visor—

end of the rainy

season                                                                                              Carmen Sterba


an egg almost frying

on the sidewalk                                                                     Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


Flapping brim

my garden hat

flies away                                                                                        Doris Thurston


into the great blue yonder

the child’s balloon                                                               Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


the scarecrow

gets a new straw hat

spring blossoms                                                                            Jay Haskins


my sister’s love bump

beginning to show                                                               Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


a feather in his cap

Jasper Bear steps out

looking good                                                                                   Judi Komishane


“Read it again, Daddy,

read it again!”                                                                        Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


left at home—

my favorite springy

English garden hat                                                                       Ida Freilinger


remembering at last

the shed lock’s combination                                              Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


Chinese restaurant—

ladies in birds’ nest hats

ponder the soup menu                                                               David Ash


distant skywriting

not quite legible                                                                   Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


stetson country—

in a drawl the waitress asks me

to repeat my order                                                                     Michael Dylan Welch


the hot air balloon

barely moving                                                                       Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


gets up, grabs his hat,

slaps his chaps with it hard, once—

bronc buster                                                                                  Karma Tenzing Wangchuk


the toddler’s grin

at moving his tricycle                                                          Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


today no shadow, no glint


 wears a gray, felt fedora                                                           Kerry Wilson


a field of poppies

no bull                                                                                      Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


some raindrops also

into the upturned ball cap

of the street busker                                                                      Karma Tenzing Wangchuk


it’s déjà-ku

all over again                                                                          Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


so wide the brim

nothing, everything all at once

in my garden hat                                                                           Polly Thurston


heard from the hammock

the start of a cricket                                                            Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


quick departure

from a secluded park bench

two hats left behind                                                                    Jackie Barr


a team of gulls

takes the field                                                                       Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


a milliner inhales—

quick as silver

the hapless hatter goes mad                                                   Robert Komishane


a waking dream

beside the Thames                                                             Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


Independence Day

scarecrow in a tuxedo

and top hat                                                                                     Carol O’Dell


the Harley Davidson’s

throaty roar                                                                            Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


in the window

naked mannequins with floppy hats

keeping cool                                                                                  Angela Terry


crocodile tears

in my soup                                                                              Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


impending deadline . . .

the purchasing agent dons

her pirate hat                                                                                Tanya McDonald


crunching his granola

dad with new teeth                                                             Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


swim caps adorned

with plastic flowers . . .

the summer I was ten                                                                Angela Terry


I think I felt something

under her sweater                                                              Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


Sombrero siesta.

Apples blossom overhead

while I snooze.                                                                              Richard Lloyd


we haggle over the price

of the used carburetor                                                       Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


under a hat

my mind goes on and on

horrible hair day                                                                           Polly Thurston


the cherry bowl

now full of pits                                                                      Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


cancer patient—

a well-shaped head

under her cap                                                                                Carmen Sterba


she suddenly says

“Let’s go bowling!”                                                              Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


All day

trees bend in the wind

There goes my bowler!                                                               Richard Lloyd


the umpire calls

a third strike                                                                           Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


A bit of luxury

Kangol turban from England

paid for from kitchen change                                                   Alison Hedlund


trinkets in the pawn shop

just like ours                                                                          Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


Dutch thrift

in time she can afford

a designer hat                                                                               Alison Hedlund


someone dancing

in the unemployment line                                                  Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


the old fence post

sprouts a mushroom cap—

I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE                                                         Margaret McGee


the Shakespeare play

in its third hour                                                                      Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


Angled front, back or side

a man’s perceived age

from a baseball cap                                                                       Kerry Wilson


a bag of peanuts

in mid air                                                                                  Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~



the kid in a coonskin cap

takes aim                                                                                         Christopher Herold


the automated telescope

tracking Jupiter                                                                      Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


Abe Lincoln’s top hat

worn to the Booth Theater

had seen better days                                                                  Jackie Barr


the TV left on

to the history channel                                                        Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~



in the cedar chest

grandmother’s bonnet                                                              Doris Thurston


the prairie horizon

ends in a thunderhead                                                      Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


first day of school

a dunce cap conspicuous

in the corner                                                                                  Christopher Herold


the new kid

reciting π                                                                                 Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


Halloween night

watchman dozing in his chair

hat slid down his face                                                                 Mary Leviant


a poodle skirt

leaves with a zombie                                                          Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


buying a funky hat

at the amusement park shop—

patchy sun so bright                                                                   Ida Freilinger


the clown inside me

spies his reflection                                                              Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


mountain morning

knit into the stocking cap

a long, white hair                                                                         Tanya McDonald


the colour of her jeans

in the glissade track                                                             Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


peach blossoms . . .

a sailor’s cap drifts away

in the swollen stream                                                                  Mary Leviant


the mountains receding

into sunset haze                                                                   Michael Dylan Welch


~   ~   ~


the pageant winner

adjusts her tiara

and her smile                                                                                 Jay Haskins


the paint-by-number

left unfinished                                                                       Michael Dylan Welch