Choka – 2013

Posted on August 8, 2013

I like Japanese poetry, including the classical forms that people rarely write any more …but I guess you all know that by now.  I like the “essentialness” of the haiku, but I like to write something a little more articulated at times,  so, I went to look up other types of Japanese poetry to see if there might be something more to learn!

I came across a great site which I’m enjoying very much, and I thought I’d try some of these different forms. And would prompt you to do so also!

This one will be in the Choka or the long poem form and is the most classical of the Choka forms…I will be following the form used by Teagan…it’s a group of  5-7-7-5-7-7-5-5-7.

The Moth

there is no freedom
escaping from my cocoon
I must seek you once again
I am drawn to you
like a moth to a candle
circling nearer and nearer
the deadly flame calls
now my wings are scorched
why must my nature be so?




sandbox in the park
kids building fragile castles
others make a lovely cake
someone starts a fight
sand goes flying in the air
mothers quickly intervene
the children laughing
seem only to say
mothers should learn how to play!

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on August 9, 2013

Old Gull

old gull on the pylon
watching tourists and boaters
perhaps someone will feed him
some generous soul
might be indiscreet and leave
a sandwich without a guard
early morning thoughts
of gulls are simple
where will the next meal come from.

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on August 10, 2013


so many fishing rods
he sits out in a morning
very serious hobby
sails in the distance
sun will overtake him soon
I wonder if he’s happy
lazy reflections
I watch him and think
he’s too close to the harbour

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on August 16, 2013

The Calling

there, the evening tide
leaving, going  out to sea,
here, I’m reflecting
of days gone by a-sailing
never knowing when I’d be home
or if I’d find home…
what’s this dissatisfaction,
here with-in my soul
wanderlust calling…

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on August 18, 2013

Experimental Choka (Choka with a 6 – 6 – 6 – 6 – 5 – 7 – 7 syllable count.)

Bastet’s Winter Dream

The land is barren now,
the wheat harvested – gone.
orange autumn leaves fall,
a cold wind is blowing.
Winter’s calling card,
announcing short snowy days
and soon we will roast chestnuts!

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on August 19, 2013

Experimental Choka (Choka with a 6 – 6 – 6 – 6 – 5 – 7 – 7 syllable count.)


Slowly the day begins
first light brightens the sky
the sound of passing cars
the birds light chittering
my keyboard…tap taps
as I write my morning blog
looking for inspiration.

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on August 20, 2013

Experimental Choka (Choka with a 6 – 6 – 6 – 6 – 5 – 7 – 7 syllable count.)

5:00 A.M.

I woke up to seeing clouds,
black and heavy hover
brow-beating the mountains
strange, light came from the east
behind the mountains
bringing forth sombre portents
of a day yet to be born.

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on August 20, 2013

Bastet’s Choka Experiment: Meditation – Rhyming Choka : 7-6-7-6-5 repeated 3 times…rhymes in couplets until the last line.


reflecting, meditating
my thoughts contemplating,
watching the leaves blow around
without hearing a sound
looked at in simplicity
observing the east and west
there I began my day’s quest
thus I discovered death
with a baby’s breath!
I think babies born today
have just finished dying
from the world that they knew well
living that awful hell
we call being born
then, I saw death every where
for which I have no care
leaves and insects, passing days
a simple passing phase
why then should I fear

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on August 25, 2013

Choka Variation: Balancing Stones

Ghazal calls forth sadness –
the rain begins to fall,
listen to its music
I go play with my stones…
harmony from Earth
balancing them calms my soul
sometimes banal actions sooth.

© G.s.k. ‘13

 Posted on September 1, 2013


crane flies overhead
a stranger to Italy
tourist, passing guest
flying over parking lots
what could be your quest
you’re all alone here, no friends…

early migration
brings you to Arco today
you’ll soon be in Africa

© G.s.k. ‘13

on/ji pattern: 5-7-5-7-5-7 5-7-7

Posted on September 3, 2013

dream, reality’s vacation

vibrant world of dreams
colours full of mystery
where could this place be
somewhere inside or maybe
a new dimension
something new I’d never seen
yet further I walk
into another timeline
places of my creation
weaving fantastic stories
and then I wake-up
grateful for this land of dreams
reality’s vacation

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on September 23, 2013

A House called Heather

like this old house
each day we weather and crack
paying life’s price –
growing old losing lustre
no alternatives
unlike Heather we lament
our wrinkles and greying hair

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on September 24, 2013

autumn perfume

passing near the bridge
sweet perfume called out to me
like honeyed orange
following the scented trail
like an old hound dog
I come upon dishevelled –
bruised tattered petals
but closing my eyes I saw
perfect flowers in my mind

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on September 24, 2013

Elusive Perfume (or Syrian Perfume)

I dream of jasmine
fiery Syrian hillsides
noble Saladin …
the ebb and flow of history,
age-old conflicts rage,
behind masked modernity …
elusive perfume –
blood scented power struggles
suffocate the rose
politicians interfere
discretely like elephants

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on September 27, 2013

morning sounds

a raven cawing
the rooster’s arrogant crow
a sparrow chitters
a passing car in the road
distant factory
tinkling of my glass wind-chimes
loud church bells ringing
coffee percolates
my computer’s soft humming
tell me I’m alive and well

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on October 8, 2013

Faithful Lovers

ah – seasons passing
in endless singing cycles
speak of death and life –
as they still walk hand in hand
though our fearful age
would sunder their tie,
life, refuses the divorce!
Oh, faithful lovers
your eternal embraces
creates Samara’s wheel.

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on October 12, 2013

first snow

the autumn leaves fall –
heavy rain, fell in the night
bringing mountain snow
the dawn sky – crisp and sunny
is timid and weak
clouds now forming once again
portentous cold winds
whisper of coming change
an early winter – draws near

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on November 13, 2013

Love lost

love is a potion
that each drinks at his own risk
so wise men would say
stars fall close to Earth
summer moon-beams shine brighter
than green northern lights
easy it is to think
you could be an obstacle:
we choose our own path
leaves clutch at no one
trees now are winter barren
love died with autumn
a man’s perfection of love
a woman’s dream reflection

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on December 1, 2013

Sunday Morning Walk

it’s silent and cold
the autumn days quickly pass on
broad leaf trees now nude
I’m thankful for  evergreens
that liven the lane
spruce and red adorned holly
make me think of joy –
soon white snow will cover all
and careful of ice
I ‘ll mince my steps as I go
Christmas lights are up
once again, winter visits
secretly I wish it gone

© G.s.k. ‘13

Posted on December 24, 2013

walking in the dawn
under heavy falling snow
– the odd car passes
splashing mud on everything
– a sad lone dog barks
in the cold snowy garden
– Christmas tree lights flash
In an hour all will change
as the day begins
bringing chaos in its wake
and Christmas Eve’s excitement

© G.s.k. ‘13

in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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