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