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  • With the advent of

    Another year, the journey,

    This life, continues.

    The road may be clear. Or not.

    Yet, for sure, we know

    The destination is clear.

    As in both known and unknown.


    I have always known

    that at last I would take this road

    but yesterday I did not know

    that it would be today.

    - Narihira

    I've appreciated this Narihira poem for decades. And today, for the first time, since I can, I looked him up on the internet. If the internet is accurate, he was a 9th century Japanese poet.

    And through him and this quote, I've newly learned of a series of poetry forms called 'Waka.' Like Haiku, with its tradition of 5-7-5, these other forms are always in 5s and 7s as well. However, they have a varying number of lines and arrangements. So, for example, a poem might be 5-7-5-7-7 (Tanka) or 5-7-7-5-7-7 (Sedoka) or a number of other arrangements. (Narihira's poem is translated from Japanese which changes the count.)

    Thus, this one my first attempt to stretch beyond the traditional Haiku. The form is called 'Choka' and is composed of 5-7-5-7-5-7-7.


    [Photo by Barbara, Cedar Lake, Minneapolis, 2014]

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