Tulips Flame

by Michael Dylan Welch, Amelia Fielden, Marg Sutton, Naomi Beth Wakan, and Zulis Yalte.

First published in the Journal of Renga & Renku #2, February 2012, page 203. This shisan renku was written in the poetry yurt on Gabriola Island, British Columbia on Sunday, 17 July 2011. I served as sabaki, or renku leader.

Gabriola grass

still damp with rain—

clouded summer moon Michael

mists clear

to a hot orange dawn Amelia

making marmalade

my father in the kitchen

for his annual ritual Naomi

tea kettle whistles

empty cups Marg

children at the bus stop

all in new clothes

a size too large Naomi

bruised leaves swirl and eddy

crows chorus their caws Zulis

filling the bath

she adds fragrant salts,

hums an old tune Amelia

Tagore’s jasmine flowers

moaning to the sky Zulis

he slides her hand

into his jacket pocket—

first flakes of snow Amelia

into the dark

the last ferry Marg

gathering lilacs

the neighbour’s bushes

overhang our yard Naomi

tulips flame

from long-buried bulbs Amelia