Lilt of the Skylark

by Patricia Machmiller, Agnes Eva Savich, Lenard D. Moore, Charles Trumbull, Michael Dylan Welch, Fay Aoyagi, Garry Gay, David G. Lanoue, Bill Deegan, Johnnie Johnson Hafernik, Doris Lynch, David Oates, Joshua Gage, Paula Hamby, and Jeff Hoagland

First published in Blithe Spirit 30:4, November 2020, pages 63 to 66. Kasen renku originally composed at Haiku North America, Hawthorne Inn & Conference Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 8, 9 August 2019. Patricia Machmiller served as the sabaki, or leader, and Michael Dylan Welch as the scribe.

1. jump, flea!

my neighbor will be glad

to host you Patricia

2. dad in shorts

grills chicken wings Agnes

3. memories

of the scent of ironing

from upstairs Lenard

4. view of the pine forest

and the mountains beyond Charlie

5. I wish I could see

the footprints

on the moon Michael

6. the scarecrow skips

down the yellow brick road Fay

7. a chilly wind

through the missing pane

of the greenhouse Garry

8. the school principal

s the tennis coach David L.

9. the pulled tooth

feels better than

his lover’s text Bill

10. my to-do list

on a paper bag Michael

11. his fabulous gown

made from the curtains

of his last big role Agnes

12. I left my oxygen tank

on Mt. Everest David L.

13. a contrail


the winter moon Charlie

14. ice glazes the bottom

of the wheelbarrow Garry

15. Icarus

still falling

to the sea David L.

16. another journalist

killed in Russia Charlie

17. Easter lilies

cut in their prime

for a wreath Agnes

18. shell collection

left at the seashore Garry

19. spring haze

in and out

of my mind Michael

20. the smudge

on the pope’s eyeglasses Bill

21. into the night

lepidopterists converse

in subspecies Johnnie

22. while we drink wine

the planets align Doris

23. in the Deep South

the only parking issue is

where’s the shade David O.

24. putting the top down

at the drive-in Joshua

25. how long

do I wait

for Pandora Paula

26. shimmying close

under the disco ball Lenard

27. she says yes

to his proposal

on the Jumbotron Garry

28. the elephant

bathes himself in the pond Charlie

29. in the moonlight

a mailbox

with the red flag up Doris

30. sulphur shelf mushroom

on the cutting board Jeff

31. lightning again


the castle keep Michael

32. she tries

the king’s knight’s gambit Charlie

33. kitchen tiles

freshly mopped

and minty Agnes

34. strands of hair

trace her neck Joshua

35. the gospel choir


amid the blossoms Michael

36. lilt of the skylark

without an accent Jeff