Rain at Dawn

      a kasen renku coordinated by Hal Roth


First published in Frogpond 17:1, Spring 1994, pages 33–36. I’m forgetting the complete details of how this renku was composed, but I know it was written at least partly through postal mail, and I believe partly at a meeting of the Haiku Poets of Northern California and at an Asilomar haiku retreat with the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society (both meetings probably in 1993). Hal Roth received the renku periodically and shepherded it on to its next destination.



rain at dawn

a deer hunter’s orange coat

shines through the trees                                              Hal Roth


        a sharp hoofprint in moss

        at the edge of the meadow                                Elizabeth Searle Lamb


letter read,

he holds it, tense,

and rereads it                                                                    Hiroaki Sato


        washing the child’s feet

        she finds a sliver                                                       Terri Lee Grell


through the crescent moon

on the outhouse door,

moonlight                                                                           Jerry Kilbride


        unlocking my diary—

        pungent eucalyptus leaves                                  Ebba Story




winter wind—

the rusted weathervane

still points west                                                                 Michael Dylan Welch


        under the patchwork

        kneading my toes in the cat’s fur                      Kimberly Cortner


dark still—

a neighbor’s rooster, again

recalling the dream                                                         Christopher Herold


        on the tip of my tongue

        name of that man who passed                          L. A. Davidson


the infant’s grave

a forgotten memento

reflects the sun                                                                Hiroaki Sato


        on the dry sink

        his wedding ring encircles mine                         Sandy Roth



in this magic place—

and dancing                                                                        Elizabeth Searle Lamb


        clams eaten, her nude

        body, the moon, fogged                                       Hiroaki Sato


dressed to kill

she sits on a tack

for the lie detector                                                          Terri Lee Grell


        hell’s angels cross a faultline

        south out of salinas                                                 Jerry Kilbride


to the pacific

dunes carry

buckwheat flowers                                                         Lequita Vance


        hazy sky—

        the white sound of crashing surf                       Michael Dylan Welch




batik brush

black seeps in the crack

in cold wax                                                                          Jane Reichhold


        sand dabs frolicking

        to an unheard melody                                           Pat Shelley


on a nearby hill

teenagers meditating

near the autumn sea                                                      Jerry Ball


        gold leaf peels from the buddha

        cicada shells                                                               Margaret Chula


young man and woman

stand up to leave small pond

it must be one o’clock                                                    Kiyoko Tokutomi


        anchor splashing

        a bat swoops between the stars                       Ebba Story


landscaping finished

the gas company backhoes

through new-laid sod                                                     L. A. Davidson


        pools of darkness gather

        owl to owl to moon                                                 Hal Roth


an average ring

on the fresh oak stump

the year I was born                                                         Hal Roth


        falling snow covers

        all the rough edges                                                 Elizabeth Searle Lamb


cerulean eyes

framed by a rose

and golden hair                                                                 Hiroaki Sato


        king tut’s mask

        a foot from my face                                                Jerry Kilbride




playing beach volleyball

        that girl

with Birkenstock tan lines                                            Michael Dylan Welch


        carefully around the rocks

        the monk rakes a sea                                             Christopher Herold


at the right moment

tripping the hay release

to match the last windrow                                           L. A. Davidson


        this final aster

        without scent                                                            Hal Roth


from panpipes

a haunting melody

twilight                                                                                 Elizabeth Searle Lamb


        he returns to his wife

        with his smile renewed                                         Hiroaki Sato