Guns, or: Roses

A sijo

good friends, wine, conversation, roses;
a lovely gathering;
forgoing birthday presents,
she'd asked for donations to Ukraine;
her sad smile hinted at heartache;
her mind away at war


A Korean verse form related to haiku and tanka and comprised of three lines of 14-16 syllables each, for a total of 44-46 syllables. Each line contains a pause near the middle, similar to a caesura, though the break need not be metrical. The first half of the line contains six to nine syllables; the second half should contain no fewer than five. Originally intended as songs, sijo can treat romantic, metaphysical, or spiritual themes. Whatever the subject, the first line introduces an idea or story, the second supplies a โ€œturn,โ€ and the third provides closure. Modern sijo are sometimes printed in six lines.

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!

18 thoughts on “Guns, or: Roses”

  1. The Sijo bubbles with prowess
    and dynasty.
    The hook of the doting narrator exploring the winsomeness on the ocassion of a distinguished societal influencer provides the lyrical punch.

    Intoxicating all at once, she could not ask for a greater gift than an illustrious biographer, to give account to the story of her life!!

    As always, brilliant David
    A storyteller to emulate

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