Sixth Sense

by Tom Clausen and Michael Dylan Welch


First prize winner in the 2007 Haiku Poets of Northern California rengay contest. First published in Mariposa #18, Spring–Summer 2008, page 30. Also published on the Rengay page on the Haiku Foundation’s Haikupedia website. This rengay had a long gestation, in fits and starts, and probably took the longest to write of any rengay I’ve written—an unintentional twelve years. Tom and I wrote the first two verses on 25 October and 1 November 1995. And then we neglected this rengay for seven years, for reasons that now escape me. We wrote the next three verses on 24 May, 20 June, and 21 August 2002. Shortly after that, I moved from California to Washington State, and once again we neglected this rengay, as it got lost in a box of papers. I wrote the concluding verse on 25 October 2007, and sent the rengay in to the HPNC rengay contest almost as an afterthought along with other entries. And then it won the rengay contests first prize! Download or view the “Six Rengay” trifold, where this rengay also appears, on the Trifold Downloads page on my Graceguts website.



the baby’s eyes

change color

with the sky Tom


loud train horn—

ice crystals hang in the air Michael


three-cheese lasagna—

a bit of garlic stuck

to the pulled-out hair Tom


at the seaside museum

the sample otter skin

worn bare Michael


parking lot’s fresh blacktop

simmers in the sun Tom


Peter and the Wolf

my toddler’s eyes

opening wider Michael