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Volume 3 | Issue 1 | September 2008 | 

Floating on the Wind
Norman Darlington

above the traffic
floating on the wind
gulmohar petals

baskets of piled guavas
on the street corner

spring cleaning
I stack away my memories
in the cupboard

so hard to sleep
thinking of tomorrow

an elephant
strains its ears for rain
in the baked foothills

each grain of sand
moistened by the wave

* * *

each passing year
brings more candles
and fewer people

as molten bronze
shapes the dance of Shiva

with frozen fingertips
he talks about
his sunny sky

over and over
that voice, those words

times like this
it feels as though my veil's
become transparent

at the other end of the world
someone I touched

the well greased
revolving doors
of the stock exchange

lighting the ancestral lamps
as days grow shorter

bathed in moonlight
Tso Mapham gives birth
to a great river

inner chaos so stark
as autumn deepens

* * *

early morning jog
the sun rises sooner
than expected

my eyes on the frisbee
as it leaves his hand

grandmother's diary
falls open
at an empty page

behind monsoon clouds
the stars are slowly shifting

a shadow-play
on moonbeams, as we listen
to raag malhaar

in and out of puddles
laughing kids kick ball

a Triparshva Renku by Norman Darlington - Ireland (lead poet)
Kala Ramesh - Pune
Rohini Gupta - Mumbai
Bhavani Ramesh - Mumbai
with a guest verse adapted from the 3rd century Old Tamil poet Kamayanaar

Verse allocation:
Norman Darlington: 4, 11, 15, 22
Kala Ramesh: 2, 6, 8, 13, 18, 21
Rohini Gupta: 1, 10, 12, 14, 19
Bhavani Ramesh: 3, 7, 9, 16, 17, 20
Kamayanaar: 5

A Note on the Form of this Poem:
Renku is a collaborative poetic form originating in medieval Japan. The now better-known haiku historically originated in the opening verse of the renku, and all of the great Haiku Masters such as Basho were first and foremost Renku Masters.

Renku is written on the principle of 'Link and Shift', whereby each verse must link to its preceding verse, but should move decidedly away from the verse before that. The resulting poem is non-narrative in nature, but rather reflects the idea of poem as mandala, cosmic exegesis, or some other metaphysical expression of "unity in diversity".

All renku must contain certain elements (each of the seasons, love, the moon, blossom) in variously fixed positions, while the opening verse reflects the prevailing season and environment. This renku has been adapted from Japan's four-season temperate climate to accommodate India's classical six-season calendar.










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