Nitobe Meditation

A collection of tan-renga written by Michael Dylan Welch in collaboration with fourteen other poets attending the Haiku Canada Weekend at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., 19–21 May 2006. Most of these tan-renga were written at Nitobe Japanese Garden at UBC on my birthday, May 20, with one tan-renga finished after the weekend. First published in Haiku Canada Review 1:1, February 2007, pages 28–32.

quiet Japanese garden—

a branch cut on the side                                Michael Dylan Welch

facing away from the path                           Sammamish, Washington


a painter and a pond                                      Karma Tenzing Wangchuk

share the loneliness                                       Port Townsend, Washington


     ~   ~   ~


floating leaf

a raindrop                                                           Jessica Tremblay

pushes it in                                                         Vancouver, British Columbia


at the video shop

Titanic out of stock                                          Michael Dylan Welch


     ~   ~   ~


chilly morning—

the moss springs back

after my step                                                     Michael Dylan Welch


pink petals float in the pond                       Marshall Hryciuk

above the carp                                                  Toronto, Ontario


     ~   ~   ~


black branches

and a silver lamp post—                                Ava Kar

ducks on the frozen pond                             Oliver, British Columbia


the old wardrobe

now stained red                                               Michael Dylan Welch


     ~   ~   ~


a crowd

on the garden path                                         Chandra Bales

I walk around the crows                                Albuquerque, New Mexico


in need of a wash

the black BMW                                                 Michael Dylan Welch


     ~   ~   ~


pond’s edge—

the last plum blossom                                    Carole MacRury

drifts to a stop                                                   Point Roberts, Washington


a mourning dove

flushes upward                                                 Michael Dylan Welch


     ~   ~   ~


garden stroll—

we raise our voices

near the bubbling stream                             Michael Dylan Welch


my friend, the raven, settles                       Howard Lee Kilby

on a high cedar in the wind                          Hot Springs, Arkansas


     ~   ~   ~



in the garden                                                     Lyle Rumpel

   a twisted trunk                                              Victoria, British Columbia


finding myself

at the end of the path                                   Michael Dylan Welch


     ~   ~   ~


a stone lantern

covered with moss

next to one without                                         Michael Dylan Welch


visiting friends who still                                 Amelia Fielden

live in our old suburb                                      Buff Point, New South Wales, Australia


     ~   ~   ~


under halogen lights

translucence                                                        Claudia Coutu Radmore

of a million petals                                             Carleton Place, Ontario


in Spanish

she asks me the way                                        Michael Dylan Welch


     ~   ~   ~


“way of teenage rebellion”—

cedar stump                                                        Vicki McCullough

rotted at its core                                               Vancouver, British Columbia


paint faded

on the entire totem pole                              Michael Dylan Welch


     ~   ~   ~


garden walk

each rock                                                              Carmen Sterba

in its right place                                                 University Place, Washington


a shiny penny

in the snow-viewing lantern                       Michael Dylan Welch


     ~   ~   ~


a lull in our conversation—

maple tree roots

crisscross the moss                                          Michael Dylan Welch


chopsticks down                                               Terry Ann Carter

the meal is over                                                Nepean, Ontario


     ~   ~   ~


Nitobe meditation—

traffic and waterfall sounds                         elehna de sousa

become one                                                        Salt Spring Island, British Columbia


my reflection in the pond

wobbled by a koi                                              Michael Dylan Welch