Winter Fog – Choka – August 12, 2015

Basilica of San Antonio - Padua

Basilica of San Antonio – Padua

In Val Padana
out walking in cold winter
from the bogs arise
the misty fogs of evening
there, not far away,
mournful, a lonesome dog cries
in sad bitterness
the passing of summer life
and warm nights  –  now gone …
clinging cloying cold wet fog
falls in Padua
I, walk alone in the fog
in muffled silence –
swishing by a car passes
then in renewed calm
a caress of sodden hands
a cold emptiness
and yet that peaceful quiet
seems to me a balm

(envoy or hanka)

ah –  the winter fog
meditation comes with ease
in misty land clouds
the “here and now” stands close by
a step from eternity

© G.s.k. ‘15

Written for: Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #56 Choka (or Nagauta), Japanese “long poem”

I was looking for a little quick history of the chronological appearances of the various poetic forms in Japanese … and I came across this lovely site: A Crash Course in Japanese Poetry  I won’t say it’s the most comprehensive or even the most academic … but it certainly is very fun and fundamental accurate.

In the beginning there was waka:, which was borrowed from the Chinese by Japanese writers as was katauta, one of the most popular forms was the choka , often sung and about epic subjects,  sedoka, tanka and an oddity called the bussokusekika – a tanka with 3 7 onji finishing lines,  which are called waka.

Only later poetry was called kanshi because it was written in Japanaese (with kanji) by Japanese… (the only one I haven’t tried is the bussokusekika)  😉

Morning Haiku and Waka – January 11, 2015

foggy lake_small

the cockerel crow
pierces through the ghostly mist
morning bells
muffled like my inner song
ring melancholy tones


billowing fog
envelopes the lake and trees
silent ducks swim


Mirage Choka – a memory

in winter’s depth
cold fog blankets Mantova
the cold penetrates
coming through the walls like ghosts
like old sadness
sitting at the wobbly desk
my mind wanders
to the warmth of Africa
remembering heat
I escape the here and now
for a mirage of summer

© G.s.k. ‘15