Shark, or: Through the dark

A sijo

an orca, sea serpent, or kraken;
no... actually... a shark;
seems it swallowed up my parents
and chased me through the dark;
I forgot the dream that morning
but the panic remains stark


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.

W3 poetry prompt

This sijo was written for Sarah David’s W3 poetry prompt this week, which is to write a poem of 14 lines or less on the theme of ‘dreams’.

d’Verse poetics prompt: Visionary poetry

This sijo was written for this week’s d’Verse poetics prompt, which is to write a poem in any form you choose inspired by a vision, dream, or both.

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!

62 thoughts on “Shark, or: Through the dark”

  1. in my first dream
    has my mother
    in a school building
    deep in the cellar
    strangled my brother
    after seventy years
    both come to me
    in dreams with
    with a curse
    towards me

  2. The terror of those type of dreams lingers long in the memory!

    What a crazy coincidence that both prompts this week were about dreams ๐Ÿ˜… it worked out well though, as many people responded to both prompts with one poem!

    1. Exactly ๐Ÿ˜€

      Since I knew what the W3 prompt was in advance, before it went live on Wednesday, I decided to delay my own responding to your d’Verse prompt because I figured I’d simply do a twofer ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thanks so much, Ingrid โค


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