Colored Waters

Written for:  dVerse Poets-Meeting the Bar; the Choka   (posted by Bodhirose)
The Choka or Long Poem is believed to be the most intricate of Japanese poetry and was used to tell a story; many were epic with over 100 lines.  This form was popular between the 1st and 13th centuries, the earliest example was discovered in the 1st century and described a battle.  It was 149 lines long. 

The Choka is an unrhymed poem alternating five and seven syllables that ends with an extra seven syllable line. You can use the 17 or 19 onji (syllable) style.  It can be any number of lines that you choose.

The River’s Path; a Choka by Gayle Walters Rose

with eyes gently closed
third eye streaming energy
I feel the river
my mind loose and free, follows
its path, moves downstream
flow is effortless and calm
eddy of water
catches twigs, leaves and debris
trapped but not knowing struggle
they dislodge and float onward
all moves as it should
no tension is inherent
nothing impedes its
progress, even whilst frozen
and its reflection opaque

Here is my attempt:

colors of water
lap upon each other’s hems
as the waves meet shore
topaz melds with sea-
foam green, rippling into sky
blue, and further out
slate gray touches horizon
white masts of sailboats
discernible from shoreline
ocean recycles
itself, carrying seaweed,
shells, stones, small creatures
whose lives depend on water

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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16 Responses to Colored Waters

  1. I think I can hear the waves in your choka


  2. Hélène/Mother Willow says:

    Imagery is beautiful.


  3. ladynyo says:

    A lovely, descriptive choka! What a wonderful form, too unused today. Your play with colors does well for this choka.


  4. Descriptive and colourful Choka.


  5. Grace says:

    Yes, the ever moving tides of the sea ~ Love the colors of the waters and in your verses ~


  6. Kathy Reed says:

    Your version is lovely, too; a great form for expressing traits of nature, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the colors that you depicted in the ocean’s water…a soothing choka.


  8. lillian says:

    ah….your vivid words have me more and more excited about our leaving for Bermuda again. We will be there this year from Jan 28 to Feb 28….those aquamarine waters, my favorite sea glass beach where the ocean truly recycles….


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