Porch Swing:
A 36 Link Kasen-no-renga

Jennifer Rule

Global Haiku Tradition
Millikin University, Spring 2004

a 36 link solo renku

Jennifer Rule

Porch Swing


soft sprinkles of rain
I stretch out my tired legs
on the back porch swing

     a squirrel jumps to a branch
     shaking the slightly damp leaves

coolness in the air
wraps around my exposed toes
the sun-disappearing

     I dive deeper into my book
     an old dog barking

the moon overhead
illuminates the raindrops
sweet smell of lilacs

     smooth cool silk
     the pillow pulls me to sleep


sharp telephone ring
echoes throughout the hallway
driving across town

     crumbling cement steps
     sorrow waits at the front door

shrill cry of the baby
chaos fills the tiny room
nothing I can do

     a single teardrop
     slides down my worried face

whirlwind of testing
monitors tracking rates
exhaustion sets in

     roar of the engine
     clouds become scenery


cold metal chair
waiting among strangers
staring at the moon

     worn leather suitcase
     slide into the taxicab

gathered together
hospital cafeteria
family reunion

     letting out the dog
     the neighborhood sleeps

he lays motionless
breathing in the soft scent
spring cherry blossoms

     time off work
     deteriorating health


scratchy stiff tissues
irritating my nose
I want to go home

     questions unanswered
     a moment of weakness

clouds rolling in
a thunderstorm approaches
my world turns dark

     wilting rose petals
     litter the cold floor

sad tired eyes
slowly fill with new tears
complications arise

     cold clammy hands
     held against her face


early morning sun
creating patterns on the floor
untied shoelace

     small frail body
     comforted by death

hot flames escape
the microwave consumes
my gourmet dinner

     rotting bananas
     fruit flies invade the kitchen

final moments together
solemn moon watching
my father slips away

     saddened faces linger
     his final resting place


alone in my car
windshield wipers clear away
cold harsh raindrops

     large strong hand
     upon my trembling shoulder

rough grey stone
the sun emerges
from the clouds

     tiny popping bubbles
     water drains from the tub

comforting porch swing
cherry blossoms cover the seat
I start crying

     the man in the moon
     watching over me

• • •

©2004 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors