A 36 Link Kasen-no-renga

Sarah Scheck • Jennifer Toney

Global Haiku Tradition
Millikin University, Spring 2003

One of the most important and unique characteristics of haiku is its ability to provide the reader not only with an image, yet senses of sound, scent, and sensation. In Thunderstorms the authors wanted to not only describe the settings and actions taking place, yet wanted the reader feel as though they were in that moment seeing the lightning, feeling the breeze, smelling the rain etc. This is the first Kasen Renga created by the authors, and hopes that in this work you can feel the rain.



spring thunderstorm
red sky
the smell of rain

       unusual quiet unmoving air
       no more stars

gray anticipation
I watch
darkness approaching

       stirring thunderheads building force
       looming overhead

I search for the moon
and find

       closing my eyes
       breathing as the sky breaks


first lightning

       late arrivals run to their homes
       under newspaper tents

so fast
the water
collects in the grass

       a slap of thunder jolts
       my lungs hitch

one stray cat
behind dripping bushes

       girls shriek
       careful hair pasted down


moments pause
from behind the curtain

       a light spray
       glistens on shivering skin

wind pushed
young trees

       skin prickles
       hands find each other

fallen blossoms
after the rain

       impatient beds arise from death
       to soak in new life


black underwear
through white shorts

       slippery grass tickles my toes

under raining trees
rivers flow
down the streets

       layers churning
       the passing storm building in the east

across the sky
piercing veins
flash though the night

       into my room
       the smell of rain


flowing curtains
dancing wildly
after the storm

       faint rumbling
       distant sounds of the passing sky

frightened children
hand in hand
returned to their beds

       a patch of stars
       on a quilt of clouds

full and white
the moon appears
an evenings encore

       late hour
       shadows of leaves lull me to sleep


rolling over
I cover myself
cotton cool and crisp

       outside my window
       sounds of waking birds

clean rain
the robin’s bath

       morning shades
       blue to purple to pink . . .

arising sun
the air think and damp
the buds . . . break

       evenings rain
       we awake with new life

• • •

Author’s Links

Sarah Scheck
1-3, 5-16, 19

Jennifer Toney
4, 17,18, 20-36

This collaboration of Kasen Renga Haiku was inspired by and created during the Global Haiku class at Millikin University.

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