This is my second attempt to create a shared poem on WordPress. I thought the first one, a series of linked haikus, turned out really well. Click here to view the finished poem:

This time there are some refinements. A renga is a shared poem which begins with a haiku (an unrhymed 3 line poem of 5-7-5 syllables) to which are added two more lines (each of 7 syllables) which thereby forms a tanka (an unrhymed 5 line poem of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables). The process continues with a new haiku which also gains two lines to become a tankaand so on.

I thought it would be fun for each contributor to convert the previous haiku to a tanka and then write a new haiku for someone else to convert. I’ll write the first haiku and invite someone to add two 7-syllable lines plus a new 5-7-5 haiku. Each new contributor continues this pattern until I decide to bring the poem to a close by finishing the last tanka and adding a concluding haiku.

Anyone can participate more than once if they wish, the only bar being don’t add to your own haiku. Please use the Leave A Reply box because hitting Reply may jumble things up.

There should be some connection, however slight,  with the contribution immediately preceding yours – a tanka should hang together and a haiku have some link with the previous tanka. This shouldn’t stop people striking out in new directions, however. You may prefer to ignore earlier lines. Half the fun is watching the poem shift emphasis and I relish the challenge of pulling disparate elements together at the end!

This is the poem so far, although please check the Reply boxes in case the latest contribution is there. I’ll add new lines here as they come in and credit them in the finished poem. Thank you for your contributions.

Walk at the tide’s edge
Here where ceaseless ocean surf
Whispers to the land.

Prehistoric sharks teeth gleam
Pools appear and disappear

Wave shush absorbs sound
I float in the vast, cold sea
From whence we all came.

my blood merges echoing
memories of ancestors

who will keep this song
from the silence of neglect?
ripples collect thoughts

The great oceans sing their thoughts
Reverberating whale songs

Frothy tidal surge
Playing wet snare drum brushes
Sea lions bark cadence

As stars illuminate life
To imbue the foam with awe

A planet’s dreams wish
To encapsulate a wave
On which to escape

The water’s depths invite me
into their coolness within

And in the coolness
life renews
and I am ready to live again

 Renga now closed. Finished version on

23 thoughts on “Renga

    1. Wow, thanks so much for these powerful lines. I’ve added them to the poem above. 😀 I was starting to think no one would take the bait!

      PS Seen Johnny Dowd a couple of times. He’s a lyrical genius and he rocks!


    1. I like them because there is no need to rhyme and they conform to the principle ‘less is more’. I like the idea that you can finish another person’s poem and have yours finished in turn. Let’s hope we get some more contributions!

      Liked by 1 person

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