Writing Renga with Lovely Poets at Our Retreat Center

Sep 15, 2017 | Poetry, The Highlights Foundation Experience

Maybe the lovely isn’t needed in my title? Maybe all poets are as lovely as those who visited the campus recently? Do all poets stay and play with words into the wee hours of the night? Do all poets open their arms and hearts to the shy observer in the back of the room? All poets?

The lovely poets called to me, “Alison, write with us.” They were playing (those poets!) with a form called Renga, which, in poets’ circles, means “linked poem.” There are rules, though, I’ll admit, I was fuzzy on them. That’s only because with this group, the rules kept changing. They kept playing and linking, one poem to the next. One idea to the next.

Something about 17 syllables. Something about a word from one stanza must be found in the next.

All I know is that there was laughter and applause. Someone mentioned a toast, so we toasted and boasted with our mugs of coffee and tea held high in the air.

Joy Acey volunteered to emcee the Renga. She took us from stanzas on orange to sweater to night, and finally to Highlights. With the poets’ permissions, I’ve included the Highlights Foundation poems below.

I know the group would invite you to write with them. They’d say, “Friend, write with us.” (Just like they had with me.) And you would have to join them because they make it look like such fun (and deceptively easy too).

Go ahead and read, but then write and send us the Highlights Foundation poem you create so that all of our poems can be linked.

2017 Poets Retreat with Eileen Spinelli, Tony Medina, and Kathleen Hayes

Highlights (Foundation) Haiku

High spirits.

Light hearts.

Highlights haiku morning.

Eileen Spinelli

Writers racking brains

Digging deep for rare jewels

Highlights your talent

-Yolanda Danyi Szuch

Highlights Foundation

Inspiration run wild

Friends, food, fodder…

-Patricia J. Murphy

Poetry Retreat
Natural Inspiration
Highlights Happiness

-Deb Reidy

Frantic escape

Barn in the woods

Summer Highlights.

-Mary Jo Guglielmo

Highlights oasis

nourishes spirit and soul

r e j u v e n a t i o n

-Cory Corrado

Highlights seep deep

into aging roots.

True colors


-Nancy Klein

highlights over lowlights

lowly versus noble

yin and yang of chi

-Jeanne Poland

Ancient Oak Standing
Spreading branches overhead
Highlights! Safe embrace

-Debbie Conheeney

Goofus and Gallant

Stories, poems, and hidden pics

High Five for Highlights

-Bill Johnson

Crammed waiting room,

Magazine smorgasbord with

Highlights for dessert.

-LeeAnn Blankenship

Light catches bare wood,

a cabin, a lodge, the Barn,

Highlights my way Home

-Alison Green Myers

The sky is a book

In a small hand

Each word a star

Children reach for—


                                                   -Tony Medina

Yo, stunning delivery
fun with a purpose
haiku at Highlights

-Joy Acey

Thank you to our faculty for this Guest Post!

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