The Warrior – Choka

by Bastet

Moonlit Vineyards

The Warrior

under the moon light
in the last days of autumn
the warrior stood tall –
loosing her bow her arrow
made a perfect arc
then returning unto earth
fell in an arbour
draped in red and orange leaves –
a lone raven crowed
and two grey wood doves bubbled
the cold wind whispered –
she sighed in her keen knowledge
that snow would soon fall
pulling her woollen cape close
she looked one last time
then turning she walked away
remembering him
only as a summer breeze
she – one with the night
continued to walk her path

there in the moon light
of the last days of autumn
the warrior once stood
her woollen mantle drawn close
as softly fell a snow flake

© G.s.k. ‘15

Originally, the choka or long poem was an epic poem relating deeds of honour, love and other stories. It was more often than not sung and many were passed down only orally in that form. It was a form borrowed from the Chinese (in Japanese waka) – as were many other things in those far off days, including writing and Buddhism.

The choka can be of almost any length, because its form depends on alternating phrases (or lines) containing five – seven sound (onji) units (which we’ll call syllables).  The end of the poem ends using two lines of seven syllables. So the form is five/seven/five, five/seven, five/seven, …. , five/seven/five/seven/seven (which creates a tanka).

OctPoWriMo October 16. 2015

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