One of the most intricate Japanese Poetry forms is the Choka. Also referred to as a “Long Poem,” the Choka often tells a story. It does not rhyme, and offers a choice of syllabic form structure, as follows:

5 – 7 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7, etc.


5 – 7 – 5 – 5 – 7 – 5, etc.

The poem is as long as you make it, adhering to your chosen structure.


THE MUSIC OF YOUR HEART,  by Walter J Wojtanik

Hearts beat in rhythm,
a song of true love’s making,
never forsaking
the message it gives.
It lives to keep us dancing
for hearts are that way.

We chose how we step,
a waltz of passion’s fire.
What we desire
keeps moving our feet.
It’s the music of your heart
in this life’s slow dance.



27 thoughts on “INFORM POET – CHOKA


    When homing hawks soar
    along the ridges and lakes,
    they ride the thermals
    as though humming hymns
    to the coming of springtime
    and returning life,

    and in their high flights
    they carry with them high hopes
    of we down below:
    that love may yet live
    to nourish returning life
    for another year.

  2. Slow Winter Rain

    A slow winter rain–
    like the woman there, trudging
    down the road slowly, intent,
    holding tight her coat,
    her purpose concealed, unknown—
    like that, this rain falls.

    This cold winter rain.
    There three cardinals, puffed up,
    perched tight on a branch, wonder–
    will dark nightfall’s freeze
    harden nandina berries,
    and frost their red-feathered crests?

    Cold, determined rain.
    My strong thoughts can’t make it cease,
    no sing-song tune of childhood
    postpones this gray day.
    So the woman trudges on,
    and red birds, on branches, sway.

    © Damon Dean, 2019


  4. Twelve Apostles sailed
    Home across the Galilee
    Waters familiar from days
    Spent as fishermen
    ” I’ll make you Fishers of men”
    Peter had no misgivings
    Jesus had gone to pray
    Their way clear till storms raged
    A watery ghost appeared
    Striking fear to hearts
    The unknown Ghost came close
    Far scarier than Wind and Rain
    Till they heard his voice
    “It is I!” They bid Jesus
    Welcome and he took them home
    Don’t be afraid

  5. Backyard Bullies

    The starlings are back
    Greedy birds, pecking at the
    Woodpecker’s suet
    Like a gang in black
    Jackets, with hair slicked straight back
    Pushing aside small
    Downys who come close
    Mobbing the red-belly too
    Where are the crows and
    Blue jays to chase them
    And restore peace to my yard

  6. Lake of Fish

    A lake full of fish
    Fishermen grab rods and reels.
    Look at all those fish, they say,
    rubbing hands with glee.
    Sun beats down on lake’s surface,
    time goes by without a bite
    on anyone’s line.
    Fish seem to have disappeared,
    how much longer do we wait?
    Just one more hour.
    No nibbles–fishermen leave.
    Once again, lake full of fish

  7. Different Plans

    Being different is
    Not unlike being the same
    In comparison
    Because we all are
    The same as well as different
    The way God made us

    And on that last point
    God made us in His image
    With a plan for us
    To live by for life
    We each have a perfect plan
    If we accept it

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