Christmas Mummer – December 18, 2017 (tanka)

waltzing through the street
winter mummers*
twirling golden fairy lights
one for every season

gsk ’17


Mummer definition, a person who wears a mask or fantastic costume while merrymaking or taking part in a pantomime, especially at Christmas and other festive seasons.

Fairy Tales and Giant’s Alley – Innsbruck – December 14, 2015

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At the Christmas Market in Innsbruck, children of course are not forgotten!  All throughout the alleys of the Old Town there are 28 life-size sculptures of fairy tale and legendary heroes and 4 giants who guard the street corners and light installations light up the evening.  In the evening from 4:30 until 5:30 a fairy tale Theatre Wagon stops in town with a daily performance of one of the many Brother Grimm’s tales.

Secret Wanderers – Jane’s Circular Poem – December 13, 2015

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Secret Wanderer

Inside, the secret wanderers go –
Aglow on sidewalks paved with wonder
Under dancing light-form plays
Ablaze, a gentle smile, the child inside …
Outside that tease, old age hides the truth
Youth, whom few can now remember –
December knows those wanderers though
Aglow in Christmas fairs …
Theirs – bright games and fond memories
Fairies still sing and never chide
Hide not from your magic Yule-time guide –
Inside, the secret wanderers go.

© G.s.k. ‘15

Yesterday I went on a day trip to Innsbruck with a group of friends to see their Christmas Market.  There are actually several Christmas Markets in Innsbruck .. being such a large city, it’s to be expected.  The one we visited is in the old centre of Innsbruck, where you can also find the Sacher Hotel, the local branch of the hotel famous for its Sacher Torte and one of the famous Swaroskis‘ stores … chocolate in all shapes and forms … and of course Christmas kiosks, pony and merry-go-round rids for the children.

Above are a few photos I took … which I dedicate to Richard Ankers – I’ve made good my promise and there are more photos to come.

the secret keeper – the wanderer #14:  Words: | GENTLE | WANDER | TEASE | GAME | FORM |

B&P’s Shadorma & Beyond

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

Morning Haiku and Waka – Winter Approaches – December 6, 2015

Christmas 2010_2

in the morning light
frost sparkles on the roof-tops
winter silence

a barking dog
sound drifting on the chilled wind
this frosted morn

frozen autumn leaves
there is a different sound
walking in the park

Christmas lights
line the streets and homes
carols on the wind
speak of good kings and shepherds
smell the chestnuts roasting

© G.s.k. ‘15

Someone recently asked me what I meant by “waka”.  Waka, historically was the word used to distinguish the classical poetry written in Japanese in place of kanshi or Classical Chinese.  It was swiftly extended to all Japanese poetry … later it was used more and more often to designate the tanka … which was a hokku with a two-line ending of 7-7 syllables (and also the five line ending of a choka).

I use it to mean any of the many classical poetic forms, now mostly forgotten, such as the choka, sedoka, katauta (etc.) and of course tanka – but I also think of kyoka and senryu as waka, though the Japanese do not consider these last two as proper poetry forms at all being considered spurious haiku or tanka as well as vulgar or too mundane.

Sunday Walk: December 1, 2013

My son, husband and I just got back from a walk through Arco’s Christmas market…and I thought I’d show you a few of the stalls!

Stockings and stuffers

Stockings and stuffers

This colorful stall really attracted my camera…and I do so love putting up stockings on my mantel!

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