Four Chain Haiku | Shi Rensa Haiku

Some of you may have noticed I created my own form of haiku recently. It’s not that I changed the number of syllables.

I simply made the ending verse, the third, of one haiku required to be the first verse of the following haiku in a poem containing four haiku.

(You can also do this with more than four haiku if you like as a basic Rensa Haiku, or Chain Haiku. I simply put it at four because that’s long enough for a story, but short enough for a challenge.)

This may sound like a haiku quartet, which I just discovered was an actual form, existed at 01:50 Tuesday, 7/28/2020. I’ve been using my style for a while now, created randomly with the first one I posted.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on haiku and other forms of poetry recently and I thought I would give this one a name I just don’t want people thinking I sought to pass one style off as another.

I first wrote, what I call Shi Rensa Haiku, one day when I thought it would be challenging to take a verse and make two Haiku that are unique but stay within the same message.

Here I give you the name I’m giving this style as it appears here on my blog, and among my poetic friends. The name is primarily to distinguish in case I have a reason to mention the name in our poetic circle.

Shi Rensa Haiku


Rensa=Chain, connection


From my understanding, you place the adjective of most emphasis next to the subject.

Here, the word Rensa means chain as in connection. and to me, that is the key adjective.

So, there is more behind the scenes in the development of this form than a row of numbers in red and black. But for the enjoyment of writing one, that row of numbers in black and red. is all you need. Some other day I’ll get into the rest of the story.

The way you write a Shi Rensa Haiku is with the following verse pattern with the like numbers being identical.




The goal is to have the entire poem deliver one message but with each haiku being a unique part/purpose within the poem and possibly having the story or message being told to progress with some purpose by the end.

Here is one I wrote recently as an example.

Loves anguish… thirst


I self-destruct when
your words are lost from my life
dread pervades this void

dread pervades this void
as my ego begs for hope
life devastates me

life devastates me
when your eyes embrace with mine
own          these thoughts hunger

own these thoughts           hunger
and thirst           to demolish walls
for identities


The additional spaces you see between some off the words are the pauses I feel occur between them, giving that moment emphasis and meaning. This is a tool used in haiku when you don’t want to use punctuation or perhaps when punctuation doesn’t really fulfill what you want. It has also been used because haiku in the original form was written in one continuous line, not three stacked lines. With the stacked lines, there is a built-in hesitation/pause.

I hope you give it a try. It’s challenging to get one just right.

Another way to view the pattern that may be easier for some as not everyone thinks the same, especially when it comes to such restrictive poetry forms.

3 same as next line

3 same as the previous line
5 same as next line

5 same as the previous line
7 same as next line

7 same as the previous line

© 2020 Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.

How I wrote a Poem or How it wrote me.

How I wrote a Poem

by: Ronovan


Poetry comes from anywhere and everywhere. Not very helpful sounding is it? Let’s say you are eating cereal one morning at the breakfast table and you hear a clink in the kitchen of glasses. The sound triggers a memory, you are drawn back into childhood. A feeling comes over you of the spoon growing larger as you shrink back into childhood and become seven years old again.


Cold milk with floating OsWigged man reading poem

Clinking glasses in the sink

Shrinking tiny fingers

Pulling mind back to think

Oh those yesteryears

So simple way back when

They bring a smile to my face

Every now and then


Admittedly that’s not my best work, but as quickly as I am writing this piece today I am creating it without stopping and just letting the thoughts flow. I did not have an idea for the cereal or anything when I started typing this article. I might would go back and tweak this a bit to be better but for now I wanted you to see what can inspire a poem. And words don’t have to be beautiful stand alone words, or rhyme. By that I mean these poetically sounding words. They can just be ordinary words, which are what most of my work is.


Ordinary words touch everyone. You can understand one of my pieces instantly. That’s not to say mine are better than another persons, I just want you to know that just because you don’t think with those words doesn’t mean you cannot write poetry. You can write a poem in everyday words, and then look up synonyms and have fun with it.


Now I want to go into a recent poem I wrote and how it came about to show you the process. I dislike calling it a process because I really don’t have one. I think instead I will call it the creation of the poem. Even in my writing of this article I just let the words flow and go with it. Instead of correcting the use of ‘process’ I explained it and then created a new way of expressing my work. This is how poetry works as well.


The poem is Truth in a Picture. I needed a pick me up piece to do. I wanted to write something happy and full of life. For this I usually go to photos, sometimes of friends online but sometimes just wandering about the web. I wandered. I looked up some art paintings and happy did not happy.


This painting did.

gettyimages © Original Photo by
gettyimages © Original Photo by


The colors caught my eye, then sadness. There’s no doubt the woman is beautiful, but then you see more.


After the glimpse of color I saw the eyes and how they looked vacant and broken. It reminded me of pictures I have seen of female friends where the smile doesn’t reach the eyes.


That’s when the poem began, or perhaps it began as soon as I saw the eyes.


Thoughts came to me of what if I were the woman and knew what a man was thinking as he saw me looking beautiful but inside I didn’t even care because I knew the truth.


What if I knew why I looked the way I did? What if I knew this was my mask, my disguise?


Happy didn’t happen.


I’m not a long form poem writer very often, not that this is a long poem at all. I usually get my thoughts out as efficiently as they come to me. I looked at the painting and then closed my eyes and typed. I remembered the eyes, the nose and the lips. I thought of how makeup and lipstick are paints of disguise. I thought of how the paint attracts attention to disguise the harm caused by attention. I imagined her thoughts at each of his thoughts.


I then thought of the flip side of that and what the woman was underneath the pain and what the paint covered up. I altered the picture to show what was underneath.

Featured Image -- 2260

Sleep circles and bruises. The colorlessness a woman feels . . . the lifelessness. I took each of the previous thoughts and made them the truth from her side.


The reaction to the poem has been encouraging in the honesty of it. I was asked how do I know what women think. My replies never really captured my thoughts. I don’t know that I do know what women think, I just know how I feel about something and then I put it into words. Somehow in this piece I contained an anger until after I was finished. The anger would have turned it into a much different piece. I’m not sure I could have written that piece.


I tend to tell a story in my poems, be it my autobiography or some societal thing that plagues my mind. I do try to have fun with it at times, but that is rare. Write what comes out of your fingertips. Let your mind take over, let your heart set the tempo, and get out of the way.


Much Respect


 Copyright-All rights reserved-© 30, 2014.