‘So Many Stars’ – A Starburst Hybrengay


* read the rays from center outward; ‘rays’ may be also read separately below the starburst graphic

STARBURST HYBRENGAY Template and Instructions

Rengay is a themed, 6 stanza linked haiku invented by Garry Gay, the stanzas alternating 3-2-3-3-2-3 for 2 players and 3/2/3/2/3/2 for 3 players.

The “starburst” hybrengay (hybrid-rengay) invented by Debra Woolard Bender, is a new-form hybrid inspired by rengay. In this form, a central “nodal” hokku provides a general theme and acts as the 1st stanza for 5 or more linked haiku branches. Each team of 2 collaborates privately to follow a theme inspired by the nodal hokku.

Starburst Rays = 5 teams of 2 players each. (N = nodal hokku) N/3-B/2-A/3-B/3-A/2-B/3: all teams follow the same pattern, issuing from the nodal hokku which is selected by a chance drawing:

Each player submits a 3 line hokku to the “renga master”. As hokku arrive, a number from 1-10 is assigned to each one by the renga master. When they have been received, the renga master asks a random participant to choose a number between 1-10. The hokku with the winning number will be the first stanza and inspiration for each hybrengay “ray”. Each team works independently without seeing the rays of the other teams until the works are completed and submitted to the renga master for compilation and sharing. The rays may be arranged graphically as a visual starburst (see above).

6 or more teams is a possibility, although it would be difficult to produce a computer graphic which could be viewed online, due to screen-space limitations.



Poetry © 2000 Hortensia Anderson, John Edmund Carley,
Sue Mill, Sue Torres, Paul Terence Conneally, Kevin Ryan,
Cindy Tebo, Marjorie Buettner, Izak Bouwer
& Debra Woolard Bender

Team 1. Hortensia Anderson & John Edmund Carley:

dark night
so many stars
Orion is lost 1/st

the hunter found
east of Taurus 2/ha

a single photon
the distant synapse 3/jec

one moon
round and full
of craters 4/ha

ancient tracks
cross the mosaic floor 5/jec

pieces of jigsaw
finally assembled –
the constellations 6/ha


Team 2. Sue Torres & Sue Mill

dark night
so many stars
Orion is lost 1/st

tracking Voyager
past the outer planets sm/2

late August
meteors speed
beyond the horizon st/3

supine on the lawn-
motionless in the heavens
Halley’s Comet sm/4

across the sky
the lights of the Milky Way st/5

among the water lilies
the moon’s reflection sm/6


Team 3. Paul Conneally & Kevin Ryan

dark night
so many stars
Orion is lost st/1

a great bear
points the way home pc/2

at the sky’s zenith
the single northern light
signals a return kr/3

in the space-lab
communication fails
Venus brightens pc/4

a look of love and hope
passes between husband and wife kr/5

her midwife
puts down the forceps
a twinkle in dad’s eye pc/6


Team 4. Cindy Tebo & Marjorie Buettner

dark night
so many stars
Orion is lost 1/st

sailor’s guide
the southern cross 2/ct

sonar scans
we listen to whales
make love 3/mb

scrimshaw artist
engraves the ivory
with a creased hand 4/ct

intricately curved seashells
carrying the rise of waves 5/mb

underwater maze
the small fish dart
into the coral reef 6/ct


Team 5. Izak Bouwer & Debra Woolard Bender

dark night
so many stars
Orion is lost 1/st

two lovers doomed to wonder
when will they see each other? 2/ib

boatman approaches
the river of heaven
oh weather, be clear 3/db

magpies rising
make a bridge
for her to cross 4/ib

clouds weave through silk trees
in his sleepless dream 5/db

tied to bamboo
poems written in dew
at Tanabata 6/ib


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