Poetic Constellations



2016 Poetry Form Challenge

#10 Choka (Japanese form)




The most intricate Japanese Poetry form is the Choka, or Long Poem derived from the Katuata.
The early form consisted of a series of Katuata joined together. This gives a choice of form structures of ..... 5 - 7 - 7 - 5 - 7 - 7.. etc, or .. 5 - 7 - 5 - 5 - 7 - 5.. etc. In the poem below Teagan uses three 19 onji Katuata for his Choka.

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?

Juan

The Choka could be any total line length and indeed many exceeded 100 lines.

Looking at this, it is easy to see why Poetic Historians believe the Katuata is the original basic unit of Japanese poetry using either the 17 or 19 unit onji.



Choka Replies



Kathy Anderson

Cornered
Imladis
Rohan

Angel of Shadow

Bend with the Willow

Terry Clitheroe

All I am left with
Caravans
Eyes
Frolicking Ladies
Hearts and Souls
Just a Question
Listen To The Earth
Nomad
Paths
Question
Reminiscence
Tomorrow
Unison
Vostri Occhi

Divena Collins

Gravity
Lost Souls
Never Lonely
Of Pain
Time Past
Time Warp
Shadows
Wind Storm
Wind Song

Etain Druantia

Nocturne

Bruce Henderson

On Reading Ancient Forms

Ryter Roethical

Becoming One
Closed Minds
Contemplation
De Bortali
Evening
Gentle
Karma
Midnight
Night
Poetry
Shadows
Storm
Twilight
Unison
Walls of Predudice
You Cried All Night
Zen Storm

Jeremy Farmer

Breaking the Rule

Leny Roovers

At Last
Both
Meditation
Silence



Kathy Anderson

Cornered

As I go through life
living becomes less challenge
and more self defense.
the first moment breathed
is the beginning of death
dieing to out live
the next person born,
and if this isn't enough
love and family
also tear you down
making a trail of red scars
regardless of defense
it is torn apart
to be sewn back together,
cornered by a scythe.

-----

Imladris

Two by two ponies
Arrive at the gate of home,
Imladris, as told of yore!
Come ye travelers
To the last best homely house
As Elrond's glad guests grow young,
Set your weary souls
Upon his downy pillows
To dream blessed dreams peacefully.

-----

Rohan

blacksmith hammers shoes
neath Summer sun by rivers
burbles and children's
voices echoing
in night fires crackle
flutes ere hoof-beats keep
the drumming of life,
the Rohan way on display
horses proudly snort!

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Angel of Shadow

Bend with the Willow

Dance with me, my love,
let the rain bathe our senses
as it quenches thirsty ground.
Bend with the Willow
in love's shades of midnight sway,
beneath deep amethyst seas.
As moon bids goodnight,
her stars will fall to the song
of the gentle leaf-dancer.
North-winds invite her
southern-night-wings, to open
for their dance of evermore.

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Terry Clitheroe

All I am left with

All I am left with
Is sadness because you've left
emptiness of you leaving
redness of my life
swirling away in water
the feeling of cold within
I feel no remorse
all I'm left with is sadness
we cannot be together
We're nearly there now
redness swirls away slower
no pulsing now, just drips
we're seeing less red
as slowly sleep welcomes me
all I'm left with is sadness.

-----

Caravans

Travelling through life
everyone's on a journey
we choose fellow travellers
or they may choose us
our companions on the way
seeking friends on our passage
a friend asks a friend
will you share your way with me
so a friend becomes a lover
because of giving
see how the shared gift grows
forever through Eternity.
be my friend and share
let the seeds of our love grow
sharing, growing and loving.

-----

Eyes

I knew a pair of eyes
so blue I could swim in them
each time I saw her I swam
the brighter her smile
then the more they would shine
but one day I saw them close
on that dreadful day
a little of me died also
even now I still see them.

I knew a pair of eyes
that were brown not like the earth
cloudy like a muddy pool
they never smiled
and always closed to me
usually just before she lied.
I could not see truth
'til the day she finally left
leaving me happy, content.

I know a pair of eyes
that are every colour known
sometimes green like the earth
when she smiles at me
the light shines into her soul
the one that's joined to mine
as each day begins
they tell me she's mine always
just as mine tell her the same.

-----

Frolicking Ladies

frolicking ladies
of all places, shapes and size
each day in the pool and frolic
men are allowed
but are the minority by far
just tolerated by the ladies
music's tempo leads
arms, legs move united in time
breathing in, out rhythmically
the minutes hurry
too soon we are winding down
frolics're over for today.

-----

Hearts and Souls

He closed his eyes
listening to her heart beat
united as lovers can
he felt souls unite
his heart and soul become hers
her heart and soul became his
united touching her
his lips following his hands
kissing her, searching all her,
her lips, ears, and breasts
and she rose to meet his touch
and welcomed him with her lips.
until the final cry
and after that more kissing
laying there spent together
eyes closed in sleep
no longer united in body
always sharing hearts and souls.

-----

Just a question

Fair stars way up there
on whom are you smiling now
are you winking your blessing
not me I know!
she's walking on other beaches
soaring in some other sky
without me I know
great canyons sigh, will they be seen
will you look down as will I
when I fly o'er next
instead of being down there
hoping soon to be with her

-----

Listen to the Earth

Stop what you are doing
hear with the ears of your soul
and listen to the Earth breathe
her hearts booming sound
each beat is in time with yours
as you become one with her
do not close your eyes
you'll miss the beauty of her
at the wonder of creation
the sun and the earth
feel her, touch her like your lover
inhale the Earths fragrances
taste her gifts to you
breathe her in, in all her moods
the sweet, the tangy and between
tonight before sleep
just close your eyes and listen
so that you hear the Earth breathe.

-----

Nomad

I need not wander
o'er desert or icy tundra
finally I have found a home
I need not wander
I've found a pleasant pasture
Now there is no need to roam
I need not wander
I have found an inner peace
my inner turmoil can cease
I need not wander
o'er desert or icy tundra
I feel my spirit-self increase

-----

Paths

Warriors chose their path
because of knowing on that path
they will embrace death many times
lovers chose their path
because of knowing on that path
love'll be embraced many times
we've chosen our path
to share our lives together
we'll share our lives many times.
and our final path
will be sharing eternity
another gift of our love.

-----

Question

Can one explain love
I am just a simple man
yet I know I am in love
we don't need to speak
we know of each others love
yet we say those simple words.
all they are, are words.
when we kiss there are no words
I am not kissing a word
that look in your eyes
you're talking to me with them
telling me about your love.

-----

Reminiscence

sitting here alone
in the place we used to share
the clearing still looks the same.
lost in thoughts of time
a time that is long gone by
I quietly call out your name
I know you are here
with me this day, everyday
I can feel you reaching out.
Time's not removed
memory of those times together
your ashes scattered around here
Subtly adding it,
the bushes haven't changed
and the place still looks the same
one last time I look
silently walking away
And the wind whispers your name.

-----

Tomorrow

think about tomorrow
realise it belongs to none
yet we plan our dreams ahead
fate is so fickle
as we smile kissing our mate
then we see it all is gone.
beaten at the gate.
realise that Fate's won again
what began as two's no more
two is one, just one
what ere was dreamed upon
has been cast aside by Fate

-----

Unison

our souls have joined
even though we are worlds apart.
only distance separates us
'til now only time.
our lives have been ever joined
and so it is ordained by fate.
kismet is a fact
you are my mate, my soul love
we now share our lives and tasks.
times, like now we meet
after I've spent my life searching
I know it's the same with you
I'm sure as we learn
this is our chosen lesson.
closer to the final time.

-----

Vostri Occhi

What do I see now
when I look into your eyes?
I see my future spent there
looking into them
nothing on Earth could condemn
there's no crime in possession
of a simple love
there's no need to disguise
or whisper what I speak of
I'll shout to the world
about my desire of thee
its plain for the world to see.

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Jeremy Farmer

Breaking the Rule

the sacred act of love
intimacy hidden in
dark shrouds of passion
a chore to endure
by word of marriage law
after solemn vow
the shaming of love
perversion of pure feeling
the shame is on them
words softly spoken
whisper "I love you" as lips
unite in a kiss
no pausing for thought
love; the one truth that matters
it's never a crime


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2016 Poetry Form Challenge
Poetic Constellations