Recess Bell

      by Michael Dylan Welch and Garry Gay

Second prize winner in the 2013 Haiku Poets of Northern California rengay contest. First published in Mariposa #31, Autumn–Winter 2014, page 27. Written by email in 2009. See also the essay “Give Rengay a Try,” which includes this rengay in an Italian translation.


great expectations—
a Muslim transfer student
raises her hand                                                                 Michael

        the scarlet letter
        passed between friends                                       Garry

a secret garden
outside the window—
unfinished quiz                                                                 Michael

the only crayon
not broken
the color purple                                                                Garry

        a boy’s homework
        gone with the wind                                                 Michael

call of the wild
the children all waiting
for the recess bell                                                            Garry



About this rengay, contest judge Ebba Story said that “‘Recess Bell’ is a delightful venture into childhood. Each link incorporates the title of a classic piece of literature and by ‘incorporate’ I truly mean the words in the chosen title are intrinsic to the meaning of the verse. Too, the details of this classroom experience are wonderfully authentic. I’ve been there, and through this vivid rengay, I’m there again.”