Asilomar Pines: A Kasen Renku

Previously published in Geppo (need to confirm the issue) 2002. Patricia J. Machmiller served as renku leader (sabaki), with help from Donnalynn Chase. Written by Michael Dylan Welch, Anne Homan, Donnalynn Chase, Carol Steele, Carolyn Fitz, Emiko Miyashita, Alison Woolpert,, Karina Young, Charlie Sciambi, Jerry Ball, Patrick Gallagher, David Priebe,Wendy Wright, and Kay Anderson.



Asilomar pines

emerging from the fog—

our family reunion                                                                       Michael Dylan Welch


            a special guest’s birthday

            during the dark of moon                                               Anne Homan


a perfect square

reflecting off its greenness—

polished apple                                                                              Donnalynn Chase


            riding with my friend

            in her racy convertible                                                   Carol Steele


we dash under the eaves

unexpected summer rain

only half soaked                                                                           Carolyn Fitz


            a goldfish sleeps

            by a ceramic bridge                                                         Emiko Miyashita


father and son

in a clarinet duet

how sweet it is                                                                              Anne Homan


            they kiss after

            the refinance goes through                                         Alison Woolpert


no phone call

yet I know he’s alone tonight

the Pacific between us                                                              Emiko Miyashita


            the sun rises

            over the arroyo                                                                Karina Young


bits of bicycle chain

used as jewelry—

we exchange peace signs                                                         Michael Dylan Welch


            they argue

            who will die first                                                               Carolyn Fitz


winter moon—

the steel yard’s guard dog

pacing, pacing                                                                                Michael Dylan Welch


            my granddaughter squishes

            the gingerbread man’s raisin eye                              Anne Homan


she shakes her cane

at the T.V., but still

votes Democrat                                                                            Alison Woolpert


            with steadfast resolve

            he stands before the cheering crowd                     Charlie Sciambi


a jet overhead

we remember that day—

new cherry blossoms                                                                 Karina Young


            soap bubbles

            from the basement window                                       Emiko Miyashita


manicured golf course—

sprinkler beating

a sudden tattoo                                                                            Michael Dylan Welch


            Martha Stewart sells stock

            gets ousted as CEO                                                         Carol Steele


late-night film—

I notice all the scenes

with dangling cigarettes                                                            Anne Homan


            two Arab presidents

            cheek to cheek                                                                 Michael Dylan Welch


ίAy, dios mio!

July gas bill

doubled                                                                                           Alison Woolpert


            the Buddhist nun’s dragonfly

            in my garden                                                                      Karina Young


surviving chemo

she gives a whoop

at her art show                                                                             Anne Homan


            claiming he forgot his hat

            he waits for her to answer                                           Jerry Ball


Paris weekend

the mime makes clear

his love                                                                                             Patrick Gallagher


            a memorial service

            for the flowers’ sacrifice                                               Carol Steele


moon caught

in a bird cage—

shadows of bamboo                                                                   Emiko Miyashita


            a ghoul comes seeking

            the geode of my heart                                                  David Priebe

fallen maple leaf

flapping from the trunk

even after the car wash                                                            Carolyn Fitz


            helping her with her jacket

            she tells me about my mother                                   Donnalynn Chase


at  last light

the old soprano holds

a high note                                                                                     Wendy Wright


            pomp and circumstance

            the snowy egret stalks the shore                              Kay Anderson


I eat

a cherry blossom

from her popcorn bag                                                                Carolyn Fitz


            he sends a poem

            up the kite string                                                              Wendy Wright




Verse 1:      Asilomar is a conference center in Pacific Grove, California.

Verse 23:    “ίAy, dios mio!” means “Oh, my god!” in Spanish.

Verse 28:    “flower’s sacrifice” A flower arranger’s ceremony to thank the flowers for giving their lives.