T o m e g a k i or words to be read with the poem:
John Carley passed away on 31 December, 2013. Shortly after his first death anniversary, Sheila wrote to me, and then we decided to gather John’s poet friends to compose a kasen-renku. I chose and honor one of his last haiku Sheila newly received from John’s son by making it our hokku, or the starting verse of the collaboration.
The on-line composition began on 6 January, 2015 and was completed on 23 February, 2015. We hope this kasen is seen as our attempt of Tsuizen,
or a respectful remembrance of John.
During my work as a collaboration coordinator who saw to links and shifts of the poetry flow, there was a time or two when I found my-whole-being totally forgetting that John is no longer here with us. . .
However confusing and contradictory it may sound, I must have unconsciously felt the presence of John during the continuous hours of collaboration across huge time differences and so did most of the renju.
Isn’t renku a unique language art? Our short poems which keep feeding the fire of the session can help us see both naked and fine humanity beyond vast culture differences. In fact we had written far more than 100 candidate verses to keep the session going. Let us continue to write and honor John’s enthusiasm in renku.
sabaki for Peace with The Moon
List of the participants:
Carole MacRury, Washington, U.S.A (Canadian)
Paul Conneally, Loughborough, U.K.
Sheila Windsor, East Sussex, U.K.
Eiko Yachimoto, Yokosuka city, Japan (sabaki)
Norman Darlington, Bunclody, Ireland
Nobuyuki Yuasa (Sosui), Takasaki city, Japan
Chris Drake, Saitama Pref., Japan (U.S.)
Claire Chatelet (Sprite) London, U. K. (French)
Carmen Sterba, Washington, U.S.A.
William Sorlein, Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A.