Friday Fictioneers – Charon’s Boat (Choka) – January 23, 2015

haunting vision
Charon rows along the Styx
eternal night

(haiku) G.s.k. ‘14

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright - Georgia Koch

Credits: G.s.k. ’14 (Georgia Koch)


Charon’s Boat – Choka*

Down the River Styx
Across the wide Acheron,
Charon rows his boat
Through the eternal dark night.
Pay the rower well,
A silver coin or better …
Or remain ashore
For a hundred lonely years.

The old boat awaits
Each creature great or small,
Somber and dark
In lapping hungry waters.
Long, the starless night,
Sail to the gates of Hades
(If life’s been ill spent)
or to bright Elysium.

Down the River Styx
Across the wide Acheron
Charon rows his boat
Through the dark starless night
When Thanatos takes your hand.

G.s.k. ‘15


* Choka is an ancient form of Japanese Poetry, once used for Epic subjects or to tell a story.  They were often very long and sung. The form is composed of ‘short – long’ lines (or 5-7 syllable count) alternatively, ending with an extra ‘long’ line (or 7 syllables) which informs the reader that the poem has reached its conclusion.

Friday Fictioneers

This photograph is the first process of four versions (plus the original) which I took last year in Padua, the famous University city in Veneto (Italy) where Galileo taught way back when.  The boat isn’t  in the best of conditions in fact it seems semi-abandoned.  Here’s the fourth and final entry which shows all the processes from the “One Four Challenge” sponsored by Robyn of Captivate Me.

I’d like to express a special thanks to  Rochelle for using the photograph for this week’s “Friday Fictioneers” and hope everyone found something to inspire them through it.  Georgia

20 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Charon’s Boat (Choka) – January 23, 2015

  1. What a great story…You do Choka so well, Georgia. I must use this form at least once a week to get comfortable…such a great way to tell a story. That photo is awesome. Weekend started here…yay!!


    • Thanks … the Choka isn’t really much harder than a haiku or tanka, in fact simpler because one doesn’t have to stick to seasons or have deeper meanings .. it’s just 5 -7 for as many lines as you need it to be with an extra 7 to end the poem .. making the last group a tanka. Glad you liked the photo too! And I’m so happy it’s the Weekend for you! A little merited R&R after the Huns have been carousing about!


      • Yes, I do find the choka easier than haiku actually but such a nice form to tell a story with a nice rhythm ..I just forget…I need to put a list of forms on a sticky as a constant reminder.


        • I really do understand … I like the rhythm of the choka too … and it doesn’t have that sing-song quality of the ballad … I’m not actually fond of rhyming though I do it if I must but it’s nice when the poem has beat.


  2. Well done — you really *run* with a choka, that’s for sure! And the form is so appropriate here, given choka’s roots. Has an epic FEEL to it.

    Brava!!! 🙂


    • Thanks so much Jen … it’s not the choka that woke me up yesterday .. I waited too long and lost it (though it may still pop up) but I remember that WK of the challenge I called the photo Charon’s Boat, so went to the post and got the ku … et voila!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey, it’s way late and I’m headed to bed now … but … just in case someone doesn’t show for the Friday prompt at MLMM there’s a draft in the dashboard. I’ll wait till tomorrow afternoon and if nothing goes live will hit publish. It’s ready to go — has linky and all. 🙂



  3. Pingback: Morning Haiku and Waka – Haiku – January 26, 2015 | Bastet and Sekhmet's Library

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