After, or: My time

A Choka

ground temperature
at depths greater than ten feet
stays relatively
constant through the course of time
please bury me deep
in Earth's comfortable bosom
a warm welcoming
spa-like decomposition
muscles loosening
lying horizontally
limbs and back at rest and still
mine to enjoy finally


The most intricate Japanese Poetry form is the Choka, or Long Poem. The early form consisted of a series of katauta joined together. This gives a choice of form structures of 5/7/5/5/7/7โ€ฆ etc., or: 5/7/7/5/7โ€ฆ etc.

The Choka could be any total line length and indeed many exceeded 100 lines. Looking at this, it is easy to see why Poetic Historians believe the katauta is the original basic unit of Japanese poetry using either the 17 or 19 unit onji.

d’Verse Quadrille #164

The above choka is my take on dโ€™Verseโ€™s Quadrille challenge.

The Quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title), and it can take any form. This weekโ€™s challenge was to use the word โ€œwarmโ€ in a Quadrille.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

50 thoughts on “After, or: My time”

  1. An unusual look at burial, David, which you make very compelling in the lines โ€˜deep / in Earth’s comfortable bosom / a warm welcoming / spa-like decompositionโ€™.

  2. What a beautiful sentiment. ๐Ÿ’œIntellectual side merges with emotional side to make a sound decision. The form is one Iโ€™d also enjoy warming to.

  3. Your soul and spirit will be comfortablely at rest in one of the mansions your creator has prepared for you long before your earthly will is realised.

  4. lying horizontally
    limbs and back at rest and still
    mine to enjoy finally

    A wonderful feeling to relax and reflect prone on our backs on what joys are there accorded by Providence’s choice. Great write David!


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