Just a Note – My e-book is up! December 7, 2015

Book Cover

Book Cover

Hello Everyone!


My e-book, “Old Bamboo Wind Chimes (Peace of Mind)” , a collection of original haiku and waka I just finished writing is up on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai as of today.  You can click HERE to see the announcement and eventual comments about the book  and HERE to read on-line and eventually down-load the book.  You might remember on last week’s Just a Note I wrote all about the book and how it came to be that I was publishing with Chèvrefeuille’s Publications. The haiku below is the winning haiku with the photo I used to illustrate it in the new book.

Old Bamboo Wind Chimes

rain drips
off old bamboo wind-chimes

I was so excited to send the completed e-book off that ,unfortunately, I didn’t think to send Francesco Neri’s original cover-design to Chèvrefeuille (tell the truth I myself at this moment don’t have the original completed book-cover design myself!).  I hope to e-mail it to Chèvrefeuille some time today.  I’ll also add a link to the book at the side of my blog sometime later (I’ve got a full schedule this morning) … hope you enjoy the book!

Ciao,  Georgia


OctPoWriMo Day 16 – Choka – October 16, 2015

moonlit vineyard

The Warrior

under the moon light
in the last days of autumn
the warrior stood tall –
loosing her bow her arrow
made a perfect arc
then returning unto earth
fell in an arbour
draped in red and orange leaves –
a lone raven crowed
and two grey wood doves bubbled
the cold wind whispered –
she sighed in her keen knowledge
that snow would soon fall
pulling her woollen cape close
she looked one last time
then turning she walked away
remembering him
only as a summer breeze
she – one with the night
continued to walk her path

there in the moon light
of the last days of autumn
the warrior once stood
her woollen mantle drawn close
as softly fell a snow flake

© G.s.k. ‘15

Originally, the choka or long poem was an epic poem relating deeds of honour, love and other stories. It was more often than not sung and many were passed down only orally in that form. It was a form borrowed from the Chinese (in Japanese waka) – as were many other things in those far off days, including writing and Buddhism.

The choka can be of almost any length, because its form depends on alternating phrases (or lines) containing five – seven sound (onji) units (which we’ll call syllables).  The end of the poem ends using two lines of seven syllables. So the form is five/seven/five, five/seven, five/seven, …. , five/seven/five/seven/seven (which creates a tanka).

Morning Haiku and Waka – Ghost Writer Choka – December 24, 2014

Today I’ve the privileged of being Carpe Diem Haiku Kai’s Ghost Writer. I introduced the choka … the classical Japanese “long poem” which is written in an unspecified number of 5-7 onj (or short line – long line) couplets with a round-up poem to close the choka with a second 7 onj line … making the last group a sort of tanka.

Wintry Choka – December 24

A wintry dawn
frosted trees glisten
deafening silence
golden light with blue hills
cold icy beauty
reigns over the valley

a black crow
raucously caws from a tree
over-looking fields
in his majestic black cloak
like a dark lord
he stands out in the snow

a tiny blackbird
looks upon his great cousin
his voice gone
it’s no time for spring song
new cawing replies
he ruffles his feathers

winter dawn
golden light and blue hills
frosted beauty
a crow caws its comments
tiny blackbird is silent

© G.s.k. ‘14

Dawn Thoughts – July 4, 2014


flashing explosions
rockets red glare through the night
Fourth of July!


The morning begins bright
until noon


renga fun
japanese poetry
comes to life
as we play
Ha, Jan and Oliana
like ancient poets

(Renga me, I’ll Renga you!)

Dawn Thoughts – June 29, 2014


backache and neck pain
a slight headache and I’m late
got so much to do
shaking my head I think that
these distractions – are arse pains

Japanese Poetry – Reflection

The Japanese are an extraordinary folk!  They have a variety of poetry forms, but they all physically look the same!

Take a haiku, which was once just a fragment of a bigger collaborative poem known as a renga and went under the name of hokku.  It’s all prim and proper with just so many onji (17 to be precise) about nature or something spiritual – has a kigo or seasonal word and then a cutting phrase to top it all off.  The first and last 5 syllable phrases can be inverted.  The middle 7 syllable phrase creates a sort of evolution in the poem.  One shouldn’t use the “ego” in it, it’s always in the present and one shouldn’t give an opinion … just the scene.  It can be very complicated to write.

The senryu which has the same structure 17 onji was born as a parody of the haiku.  I used to be a bawdy addition to a party and poets (who actually weren’t considered such by the more intellectual spiritual haiku masters) were paid to come up with something funny, maybe even following the haiku form with kigo et al … but you could use whatever popped into your head including ego, rhyme, conclusions, past tense punctuation all in 17 onji (for us syllables).

The kyoka therefore looks like a tanka, but tanka it ain’t!  The kyoka, historically was what the present senryu is now.  It was about the mundane … it could be comical or semi-serious with tongue in cheek humor.  It could be bawdy, it could be funny, it could be dead serious … but just for that reason, it could never be a tanka!  For more information about the kyoka and links to posts that specialize in the sort of poem follow this link to Poetry Forms!

Tanka: Pilgrimage – Carpe Diem #391

walk life’s pilgrimage
visiting inner temples
searching for nirvana
touching the inner Buddha
that’s sleeping within your heart


sun’s first rays
illuminate human hearts
great shining Buddha

Logo CD FebruaryPlease follow this LINK to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai for the interesting and inspiring post of the third day of  a month long Spiritual Pilgrimage to the temples of Japan…and a short history of the various Buddha’s who inspired them.

Gulls and Ducks – a kyoka

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAgulls screeching on high
kayakers went paddling by
ducks sat there laughing
puddling about on the lake front
as gulls guanoed the boaters


(Why a kyoka and not a tanka?  Kyoka: informal, improper and generally comic side of the 31-syllable Japanese poetry sometimes called ‘kyoka,’ or ‘kyouka,’ literally it means, “mad-poems” or “madcap verse,” representing “absolute freedom both in respect of language and choice of subject.”  Here’s a brief history of kyoka that I found looking for more information about this genre that I saw mentioned on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai)  I was going to use Kyoka to write a poem to this quote by Khalil Ghibran… “forget not that the Earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” (but couldn’t find a good photo, so I’ll write something serious…maybe.)

Bastet’s Poetry Prompt: Choka

I like Japanese poetry…guess you all know that by now.  I like the essentialness of the form.  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!

Other Prompts: