A Pair of New Clams – Eiko Yachimoto and Paul Conneally

A Pair of New Clams

Kamakura—
a toddler attracted to
a gap in the wall
eiko
two kisses and sixpence
from the tooth fairy
paul
hop, step, and jump
through the mottled dirt road
a summer hat
eiko
cooled in the cathedral
she resumes shopping
paul
eyebrow moon hangs
on the indigo shadow
of a skyscraper
eiko
another busy day
at the waxing salon
paul
***
power cuts bring
a week of candlelight
and many a story
paul
‘no net ensnares me’,
was that cry a confession?
eiko
out on the moor
we dig a snow hole
and try to get some sleep
paul
a suave band dances
aurora borealis
eiko
flexing joints
the old man off
in search of a heart
paul
today Nature retracted
the stap cell paper
eiko
we pass quickly
through the hall of mirrors
into the freak show
paul
leaving his palace
young Buddha to be
eiko
someone plays the lute
and softly sings
Moon of Alabama
paul
can’t shed dewdrops
a weary butterfly
eiko
sit down! sit down!
it’s only a harvest mouse
in with the grain
paul
awaken to the clog-steps
of blossom viewers
eiko
***
long day
a registered mail came back
as unclaimed
eiko
plates of mud pies
in the play house
paul
a fragrance of dusk
wraps walkers from
waterloo station
eiko
the wild grass dreams
of Mont Saint Jean
paul
from the frayed side
of an iron helmet
a beautiful beetle
eiko
searching grandma’s box
for the right shirt button
paul
lest you should have
a crush on him, remember
a pocketful of rye
eiko
after thirty good years
a return to Gretna Green
paul
waves keep on rushing
into the cave bringing
subtle voices
eiko
her second scan shows
she’s in remission
paul
for their feast
quail eggs boiled, each becomes
the body of a crane
eiko
semaphore signals
‘not waving but drowning’
paul
***
the professor points out
the Sea of tranquility
over Fukushima
paul
the fresh brisk winds
drying a tsunami bible
eiko
the eldest ewe
nuzzles in a lost lamb
from the autumn field
paul
Little Boy Blue
Come blow your horn
eiko
she slowly raises
her cherry blossom tattoo
for comparison
paul
a pair of new clams
in Neptune’s Garden
shuhitsu

Paul Conneally, Loughborough, England
Eiko Yachimoto, Yokosuka, Japan

The on-line composition of the Kasen-style renku started on 29 June, 2014 and completed on 19 July, 2014.

It has been nearly ten years since I wrote a renku in a session led by Paul. I used to translate all my renku into Japanese, during the process of which I had fun creating Japanese equivalent for Paul’s charming links. Some of them have taken root in me, thus a boy reading Basho in the first train has been with me as I lost my sister, both of my parents, Hortensia Anderson and John Carley, my long time renku friends.

A Pair of New Clams literally happened on facebook this summer like a pleasant conversation between two old friends. Unlike me I did not pay much attention to the rules of kasen. Let it be was my attitude.

I am always a language lover, but this renku not only revealed forgotten chords and nooks in me but also proved one article I clipped today: “our language, the solid mother earth, becomes richer as we plow her with our fresh words!” Inter-cultural renku, where poets have more chances to cut open an untrodden terrain, seems to have an advantage: Being different from each other gives birth to a new soil, a new life.

For those who are in trouble, depression, doubt or sorrow, renku has got an enormous power. It gives them flourishing perspectives towards life. Rereading, I am finding myself gently consoled.

I cannot thank Paul enough.

Eiko Yachimoto
27 September, 2014

And I in turn thank Eiko. Always an inspiration.

Paul Conneally
2 December, 2015

‘A Pair of New Clams’ was first published in A Hundred Gourds 4:1 December 2014

Gathering Clams, Children’s Play – Miyagawa Shuntei 1896

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One thought on “A Pair of New Clams – Eiko Yachimoto and Paul Conneally

  1. Pingback: A Pair of New Clams – Eiko Yachimoto and Paul Conneally | Burn The Water | word pond

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