Chōka of Water

A new form of Waka for anyone who doesn’t already know this beautiful style. Chōka means long poem, but can actually be any length. The shortest being 9 lines (not including the envoi) and the longest recorded being 150 lines. Here are the rules:

1. Repeating syllable count of 5-7 for alternating lines.
2. Last 3 lines are 5-7-7.
3. Often followed by an envoi, in the form of a Tanka, that usually sums up the poem or an aspect of it.

So, now you know, go, write and enjoy.


Moonlight bounces tears
Across the tops of trees, switch
Blade shadows at our
Throats, where life’s lacerations
Approach for romance,
Did you hold my heart against
Your uncovered soul?
As all around the winds rose
To talk lingering
Contemplations of lost gods,
I waited within
Your significance, crawling
To be heard above
Those chosen rising torrents,
Lovers days gone by,
Our storms reach outgoing tides,
Giving your words reflection.

What waters may rise
With tempests uncertainties,
Raging, rampant, each
Drowning in darkness… But all
Soon shine with silver linings.


Poem © Phen Weston 2014

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