Tag Archives: Gogyohka

Surviving Winter

small leaning tree in snow
In the effort of
exercise
I shovel
to the back of
the house

Along the path
I find
a drooping tree
surviving
in the snow

In the effort of
relieving pressure
I shovel
off the back of
this tree

Fruitless
my efforts
I used my hands
but it would not
stand upright

It is amazing
how plants
weather
the seasons
for generations


This is my attempt at the Gogyohka form, explained in the previous post.
You’re welcome to try this form yourself.

Physical Engagement – Guest Post

I’ve been reading about different poetic forms in my Writer’s Digest. Today, I’d like to explore the Gogyohka form.

Gogyohka literally translates as “five-line poem,” and hails from Japan, developed by Enta Kusakabe. The rules are quite simple. The poem consists of verse written in five lines, but each line is a separate phrase. It is described as “having a different feel to five-line verse commonly found in Western poetry.” 

Here is a sample by the creator of the form, Enta Kusakabe:

What kind of
stained glass
have your
rose-coloured cheeks
passed through

It’s meant to be both concise and free. A compound or complex sentence is probably too long. The phrases may be seen as separate, but connect.

Here is my offering, inspired by a recent workout my coach named, “Fifty Shades of Pain.” Oh, yes!

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Physical Engagement

Standing tall
I drop my head
to curl small
and breathe
easier dead

Aching body
acetaminophen cured
strong enough
to climb mountains
on my mat

Slam down
the medicine
in a ball
rolling around
thrusting it out

Push up
that kettle to
slide against the wall
holding the squat
just a bit more

Fifty shades of pain
reward your body
with sweaty beads
glistening skin
a sea of sparkles

What about you? Do you have lines you’d like to share? Give it a go.

photo credit: ** via photopin (license)


Editor’s note: I asked Amy if she could do a regular gig here, and she was up for something monthly.  You’re all invited to participate, in a comment or ping-back.  If this poetry form, and a few more ahead, sound good for an official Link-Up, let us know.