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2011 HPNC Rengay Contest Result

Rengay    (Judge: Renee Owen)             

First Place ($100)

The Last Word


Tracy Koretsky, Bellevue, WA

Kala Ramesh, Pune, India

Garry Gay, Santa Rosa, CA


record heat—

I let her have

the last word                     Tracy


echoing in silence

the weight of thoughts Kala


crossword puzzle

only so many ways

to say autumn                   Garry


everything I intend

in a sun-dappled kiss      Tracy


I pause

to listen in the rain

. . . notes of a flute          Kala


lost dialect

a lizard doing pushups   Garry



Second Place

The Space Between


Carolyne Rohrig, Fremont, CA

Christopher Herold, Port Townsend, WA


wooden bowl

wIth chopsticks I pluck out

the last grain of rice                        Christopher


a hawk

balancing on the wind                    Carolyne


electric blanket

I no longer turn on

her side of the bed                         Christopher


last line

the actor fades

to black                                                                Carolyne


the space between

here and the moon                         Christopher


modern art exhibit

a bare room

attracts the crowd                           Carolyne



Third Place


At the Edge


Linda Papanicolaou, Stanford, CA

sprite (Claire Chatele), London, UK


early snow—

the trunks of aspen

by a hunter’s moon                        Linda


bruised pine needles

perfume the air                                                sprite


harness bells—

the beard on the Santa Claus

slightly askew                                    Linda


upside down

in hanging silver balls

the cat’s face                                     sprite


an ember pops

as we let the fire die                       Linda


nothing ever

quite as it first appears—

tomorrow’s game                            sprite



Honorable Mentions (not ranked)


Sliding into Place


Beverley George, Pearl Beach, Australia

David Terelinck, Alexandria, Australia


first spring day

green tea travelling

spout to cup                                       Beverley


                languid drift

                of words and wisteria    David


a book face down

on the wooden steps . . .

distant bell                                          Beverley



                in the slip of your sash

                full moon rising                 David


a screen sliding into place,

a silk fan folding                                Beverley


                supple footfall

                upon polished floorboards—

                nightingales sing               David



Two Fat Spaniels


Michael Dylan Welch, Sammamish, WA

Amelia Fielden, Buff Point, NSW, Australia


weekend getaway—

the smell of the sea

at the ferry dock                                              Michael


                in the queue a woman

                drenched in Diorissimo                  Amelia


laundry day—

she calls my dirty socks

toxic                                                                      Michael


grey smoke belching

from lumber mill chimneys—

rain in the pines                                                                Amelia


                a picture of roses

                at the olfactory museum              Michael

a lavender border

along the wedding path

two fat spaniels                                                                Amelia



        Judge's Comments


Co-creating a rengay with other poets is always an adventure, and even more fun when we take risks and submit our joint efforts to contests or for publication. Here are some of the components that I look for in writing or judging a winning rengay. An effective title that works to orient the reader as to the theme of the rengay. Individual haiku with excellence (see Martin Lucas' article, Haiku as Poetic Spell, in Presence 41, reprinted in the Red Moon Press anthology Evolution). Two-line haiku that can be read with the line preceding it or the line following it. An intriguing theme that connects the disparate parts of the rengay, without being too obvious or contrived, with distinct links and shifts between each haiku, incorporating multiple layers and connections. The reader's curiosity and interest, as well as a sense of meaning, deepens with successive readings. Finishing with a last stanza that contains a subtle link back to the first stanza, and leaves one saying, "Ahhh."


       First Place

"The Last Word" masterfully captures its theme of communication, with each stand-alone stanza carrying its own colorful thread of poetic spell. When woven together, with its intricate stitch of linking at multiple levels, then shifting, the end result is a rengay that invites us back to discover deeper layers of meaning with each successive reading. A nuanced and enticing creation!


       Second Place

This delightful rengay invites the reader to work a bit to discern its intriguing theme of "The Space Between," adding to our reading pleasure and successfully capturing its essence in each excellent haiku. The thought-provoking title orients us from the starting grain of rice to the concluding bare room, while the last stanza subtly yet effectively links us back again to the beginning empty bowl. When it all fades to black, we say Bravo!


       Third Place

Half the fun of this creative rengay is how it keeps us "At the Edge" of understanding. Just when we think we've mastered their game, the poets throw us another ball, enticing us back for another reading, and in the process, showing us that things may not be quite as they first appear. Whether we're hunting for prey in the light of a moon or searching for the missing cat, with piqued curiosity, we wind up the winner.