tan renga

Tan Renga Challenge 

This week’s Tan Renga Challenge starts with a haiku written by Yu Chang, a modern American haiku poet. Yu Chang was born in mainland China; grew up in Taiwan; and went to graduate schools in England and in the US. Since 1974 he has been a faculty member in the electrical engineering department at Union College in Schenectady, NY.

warm rain
the spring moon returns
to the rusty can

©Yu Chang

The goal of the Tan Renga Challenge is to compose the second (two-lined) stanza to make the Tan Renga complete. This is my attempt:

warm rain
the spring moon returns
to the rusty can

the children run pushing by
winner douses the losers

Freshly Drawn: a tanka/tan renga

The first three lines are written by Chiyo-Ni, a famous haiku poetess; the last two lines, completing the tanka, are written by me. I love this style of writing, combing two authors’ thoughts to create one piece of, dare I say, art!

morning glory!
the well bucket-entangled,
I ask for water

© Chiyo-Ni

Graciously given by host
Freshly drawn cooling my skin

© Greg Wolford 

Linked to CDHK weekly tan renga challenge

Dinner Talk: a tanka/tan renga

This week’s tan renga challenge brought me, well, a real challenge! I didn’t particularly identify with with hokku so I had to chew on it a bit; a little joke there which you’ll understand when you read the first three lines of the poem! As always for this type of writing, the first three lines are written by another author (this time the famous Japanese poet Basho) and the last two, to complete the tanka, by me. 

boiled rice slop
his old lady fans the treat
with evening coolness (Basho)

attention turns from dinner
diffused by loving laughter

Shamanic Journey: tan renga

Althouth I missed last week’s tan renga challenge, I always look forward to this Friday event. Happily I’m on schedule today, at least for this exercise, and have already composed my portion of the tanka; the first three lines are provided by the host and the last two lines are written by a different author to complete the poem. You can read more about the challenge and much, much more at Carpe Diem Haiku

shamanic journey
a red dragonfly comes
to guide the canoe
© Jane Reichhold

along the swift waters edge
further toward his journey 
© Greg Wolford 

What a wonderful exercise this one is, at least for me!  I can see the words vividly in my mind as a scene unfolding and I hope you can, too. 

Blue Skies: a tanka

Its been a very long, tiring day for me so far – and it is still early! I was heading off for an afternoon nap when I saw the weekly TRC posted to the CDHK website. As you may know, I have a particular fondness for these tan renga; don’t ask why: I just do. 

The hokku, as I (finally) learned it’s called, was written near the end of the author’s life and I could feel that. The last two lines, my contribution to make the haiku into a tanka, came to me almost instantly; I only had to tweak a few words and I had it. Make sure to see the original post to learn more about this exercise, the author, and all things Japanese -poetry related really. 

this autumn
why getting older is like
a bird into clouds
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

gliding along through skies
on the way to where he came
© Greg Wolford

Reinvigorated: a tan renga 

On this dreary Saturday morning I opened up my email, a day late, to find the weekly Tan Renga Challenge (henceforth referred to as the TRC) from CDHK. Chèvrefeuille, our host, offered several thoughts/interpretations on the haiku that we will use this week to compose our tan renga; you can see all his thoughts and the challenge here. I went with the thought of an older woman as the inspiration for my piece.

the ancient woman
cherry tree blooms in old age
an event to remember

© Basho (at the age of 21)

The first grandchild born to her
Reinvigorates her youth
© Greg Wolford 

Tan Renga Challenge #84

Well friends, it’s been quite the week at the old home place for me: busy, sick, injured, I could go on but – honestly – I doubt you want to hear it! LOL

I’ve had little to no time or energy to write this week; I missed several days that I may try to catch up, we shall see.  But I always look forward to the tan renga on Friday and this week is no exception. So I’m literally making the time, taking pauses to save the post as I go, to participate in this challenge tonight. As a side note, I’m not sure why it is that I have a fondness for this style but I certainly do.

The prompt provided by CDHK is the first three lines with the remainder of the piece being my writing. You can find more information on all things haiku and this particular challenge here.

from a treetop
emptiness dropped down
in a cicada shell

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Seventeen years brings forth life
Only weeks to savor it

© Greg Wolford 

Although I’m not a fan of the cicadas, there is something profoundly sad to think of the time they spend “coming to life” only to survive for such a wee period of time. In a way, their life-cycle is a bit of a mirror of ours: We spend years learning, growing, gaining wisdom, and so forth and, for most folks I think, just about the time we start to “come up” or really get it our time is up … or very near so.

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”
James 4:14 (NLT)

Tan Renga Challenge- Howling Wind

Today is Carpe Diem Haiku Kai Tan Renga challenge day, one that I’m beginning to look forward to each week. The specific details can be found here but in short the first three stanzas are the inspiration and the last two are my addition to (hopefully) make it complete. 


 howling wind —
an autumn note within
the bamboo flute (C) Kala Ramesh

Dancing notes surrounding me
With peaceful tranquility