Christmas Fair – Choka – December 11, 2015

Christmas Market in Arco

Christmas Market in Arco

in the square candles
glow inside the wooden huts
lighting up bright gifts,
toys, candy and hand-made quilts,
could be Santa’s town
the smell of chestnuts roasting
cups of mulled wine too
and for the little children
camels for a ride …
all around play Christmas songs
smiling families browse
at Arco’s winter market

walking in the crowd
fond memories drift to me
other Christmases …
when we once walked hand in hand
drinking wine and browsing too

© G.s.k. ‘15

Carpe Diem Special #186 Georgia’s 2nd “days of Christmas” (choka)

The choka is one of the most ancient Japanese forms is the world of “waka” … they were rarely written out in the beginning, they were sung and usually were about warriors or kami or epic events.  Time passed and the form congealed until it became common to end the choka (which could be a long as one wanted but following a 5-7 onji pattern throughout) in two last 7 onji … thus creating a new form –  what often called “waka” which we now call tanka.  So, the tanka is the ending of a choka (as well as a completed “renga” line I suppose), only very few people write choka anymore. Here’s Chèvrefeuille’s great example of how to write a choka:

the cooing of pigeons
resonates through the gray streets –
ah! that summer rain
refreshes the dried out earth
filling its scars
the perfume of earth tickles
my nostrils
after the hot summer days
I dance in the rain
naked on the top of the hills
I feel free at last
nature around me comes to life
field flowers bloom
I see their beautiful colors
the perfume of Honeysuckle

ah! that summer rain
the perfume of the moist soil
tickles my senses
I lay down, naked in her arms
surrounded by Honeysuckle

© Chèvrefeuille

39 thoughts on “Christmas Fair – Choka – December 11, 2015

  1. Christmas feelings … caught in a wonderful choka Georgia. I like those opposite feelings, because that’s (in my experience) the real feeling of Christmas. Looking for peace all over the world, but in reality the sadness of several wars and streams of fugitives looking for a better life outside their countries torn by war and terror.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, special holidays like Christmas which are dedicated to peace, joy and happiness do create mixed emotions don’t they. One wonders at times how it is possible to ignore the reality of life, the homeless, the fugitives from war, war itself and of course ones personal tribulations and throw oneself into what would seem to be the manic folly of these holidays … and yet, the oasis of happiness relieves many from the weight of the world, at least for an afternoon.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks … I wasn’t completely happy with it though, so when I put it up on Poet’s Corner I changed it a little … if you’ve got a moment, perhaps you might read it and tell me what you think.


  2. I try to avoid malls and department stores this time of year for obvious reasons…no joy is found in those places but stress; your choka brought back to life the joy, anticipation of people gathering, children and camel rides…how sweet an image is that? ending with such melancholy…ma chère, ouf, je pense à toi dans tes souvenirs de joie et mélancholie. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, as you know, when a loss is so new, one tends to be visited by the ghosts of the past and that may be sad, but it’s not a destructive sad if you know what I mean. Btw I usually avoid malls and department stores during rush hours at anytime of the year .. I’m not fond of crowds –

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I do understand…bittersweet memories. This time of year I hear my mom laughing, singing Christmas jazzy songs and the kids looking at their Christmas list on the fridge door hoping Santa will get some of their requests. I do not like travelling during traffic either…the beauty of working late evening shifts. During rush hour, I call all the commuters a bunch of Yahoos…most don`t know what I mean when they push and shove. Guess they never read Gulliver’s Travels 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tell the truth, I read Gulliver’s travels in the children’s edition as a child in English and a translated full edition in Italian so I had to look up Yahoos … that was quite an eye opener! And thanks for your understanding Cheryl-Lynn.


  3. Pingback: Beneath a Gale | Sweet FA by Blake

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